Crossing Paths with the Past

The Old Car
The Old Car

As a writer one is always on the look out for ideas and not just for plotlines, but settings and characters too.

Yesterday brought me not just an idea, but a real life story too.

Many years ago I was born in a village, a very old English village. It had the school, the church and of course the pub, well two really.

At one time it was surrounded by open fields and country lanes full of wild flowers, bird songs and a old water mill, all long gone. Now like many other places it has been swallowed up by its nearest town, and now that town has become a city.

When I was growing up in the village in the early 60’s my grandmother, who lived next door to my parents, seemed to know everyone. She used to take us for walks along the country lanes to gather blackberries and tell me the names of  the wild flowers, birds and anythings else of interest we saw while out walking. They were memorable days filled with bird songs, butterflies and sunshine.

When my grandmother used to visit a friend of hers she use to take me with her.  We walked from our house up passed the village shop and church and then passed a bright, red sport car, which stood at the bottom of someone’s front garden.

As a child, I was always fascinated  by the bright red shiny car that seemed to promise so much with it long, sleek body as it stood so proudly waiting to be driven off along the country lanes in those far away sunny days of my childhood. In those days not everyone could afford such a car, or even to own one.

Over the passing years I have seen the sport car fades from a bright shiny red to a dull pink as I travel back and forth in my own car, while it has remained stationary. Trapped forever in the one spot, waiting for someone to take it for a spin, to feel the wind racing over its sleek body once more.

Every time I driven pass it, I’ve promised myself I would stop and take a picture. Yesterday, I did just that and to my surprise and delight, I met the old gentlemen who owned it. I told him my story of how my life had been interlinked with his car.  He then told me his son now owns the car, and will be taking it away soon to restored to its former glory.

The lovely old gentleman, his car and me.
The lovely old gentleman, his car and me.

The old gentleman explained he was in the RAF and flew planes during the cold war. He is in the process of writing about his life as well as keeping busy with his garden and adding to his collection of RAF memorability.

He was such an interesting gentlemen that my husband and I could have stood all day talking with him as he chatted on about his father, family history and the history of the village where he and I grew up with twenty-six years difference between us.

I hope our paths will cross again, but it was lovely just to share in our memories of a bygone era and who knows I maybe able to use the shared moment in a book or story some day soon.

Have a great weekend,

Paula R. C.


2 thoughts on “Crossing Paths with the Past

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    1. Thank you Flighty, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve driven pass the car and the day I stopped the gentleman suddenly appeared from behind a hedge. His first words to me was ‘The car’s not for sale.’ I laughed and said ‘I wasn’t able to ask if it was’. So I guess he has been asked many times if it was for sale.


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