Through my bedroom window the smell of roses
assaults my nose.
As I drowsily awaken the sun makes
dappled shadows on my wall.
Another Laindon morning.
No school today so I may do as I please,
My father has other plans for me.
I have to go to Cottis the baker as we do
not have Mrs Brown’s small Hovis.
I fetch my bike to make the journey to
Langdon Hills bakery.
I take the unmade back roads.
The morning dew has burnished silvery
the cobwebs in the hedgerows.
Ah! is that a bird’s nest I see and a
The quiet country noises assail my ears.
The twitter of the birds; the rustle of leaves
in the hedge could be a hedgehog or
Now I’m in the high road.
Different sights and sounds here.
People walking to the station.
The green and cream local bus
A car horn is honked not as a warning
but as a greeting as neighbours
recognise each other.
The butcher is pulling down his awning
ready for a sunny day.
I prop up my bike on the kerb and go
into the small library to get another
Back on my bike I continue my journey.
As I ride over the railway bridge a train
arrives at the station.
I can smell the mix of engine oil and steam.
Not far now to Cottis the Bakers.
I get the small Hovis and put it in
my saddle bag.
I take the same route home.
Soon I will be leaving this country idyll
for the soot and grime of London’s
Basildon Council are taking our shop
and our home,
So they can build a New Town to house
the Laindon people they are displacing
Lucky granddad is letting dad have
his Off Licence.
Dad was certainly not going to rent a shop
from Basildon Council.
They had bought his home and
taken his livelihood.
I am sitting in a London cemetery
visiting our family graves.
The sun warming my face,
The quiet, the smells, the sounds,
take me back to a ride through
Laindon’s unmade roads.
The Council didn’t take my memories.