It’s been a while since I wrote more of my story set in the 1950’s about Peggy and her sister Barbara who go to stay with their grandmother who lives beside the sea. Peggy is going on a boat trip to a nearby island with her grandmother’s friend Mr Benbow.
It was jolly exciting but the sea was more bumpy than I expected. In my ‘Adventures at Sea’ book, the ships sail smoothly across the sea and even when there is a big storm they glide up or slide down the towering waves. Mr Benbow asked me a few times if I was feeling alright and to let him know if I felt queasy. I must look up queasy in my dictionary when I get home and I wrote it in my notebook so I wouldn’t forget. His boat, The Puffin had an engine, not sails and Ben stood inside at the wheel. Mr Benbow stood outside with me and pointed things out, telling me the names of the birds and I wrote them in my note book too. Maybe I would draw a picture of them later so I remembered when I went home.
“That’s a sad face, Peg, you feeling alright?”
“I’m fine, thank you Mr Benbow. I was just thinking how I wish I could stay here all the time, I love being beside the seaside. Do you think Granny would mind if I came to live with her. I would be very helpful and behave myself.”
Mr Benbow laughed and said he and I would have lots of adventures, but he expected Mummy would miss me.
“Maybe Granny would let me come and visit next time it is a school holiday, do you think she might?”
Mr Benbow said he was sure she would and pointed out a fog bank to me. I asked him what it was,, I could see there was looked like a cloud on the water, I hadn’t noticed before.
“We may have to turn back and not visit the island today – fog can be very dangerous, Peg, especially at sea.”
“Where is the island?” I asked. There are some small islands we can see from the cliff path, but they don’t have people living on them. Mr Benbow said that when we rounded the headland I’d see it dead ahead, and we did,, and then there it was, I could see it! Farholm Island! A real island! It was so exciting!
We lumped and bumped along and Mr Benbow said look out for porpoises, which I did but we didn’t see any. I was a bit hungry and ate one of my sandwiches that Granny had made, and Mr Benbow had a mug of tea and asked me if I would like one. I thought only grown-ups drank tea; maybe he thinks I am quite grown up, so I said yes please. He told me to go into the galley and pour one and help myself to milk and sugar.
Mummy always says little girls can’t do things so I’m really surprised that in fact I can do things; I might mention it to Mummy in a polite way. I was pouring the tea from the teapot into a mug with red stripes on when Ben called me and asked if I would pour one for him with a dash of milk and two sugars. I was very pleased to do it because he is a very kind and nice person. I guessed a dash of milk might be the same as a splash of milk and when I gave it to him he said it looked like a drop of all right. I’m not sure exactly what that is but he smiled and winked at me. He has green eyes.
I took my red stripey mug out and was shocked! I couldn’t see anything! Well, I could see Mr Benbow and the seats and everything on the boat, but the fog bank had come while I was inside.
“How can Ben see where we’re gong?” I asked. Supposing he couldn’t find the island? Or supposing we crashed into it? There was a fog once when I was at school and a man drove his car into the school gates.
“Don’t worry, Peg, he’ll find his way,” Mr Benbow said. “You’re not worried are you?”
“No, Mr Benbow, I think Ben must be a very good sailor so I’m sure we’ll be alright.” I thought he might be worried.
He laughed and said I was a caution. I don’t know what he meant but I think it was a nice thing.