Ullswater: My Friend Peter.
Peter Embley was my friend, he was my first friend. I would be about 8 when I met him. Where we lived on Ullswater there were not many children and those that lived in the area, were not of my age. One day a boy was brought down to our house to met me and introduced as Peter. We stood there silently, looking at each other I remember, he said nothing, nor did I. We were sent outside to play and we still said nothing to each other, he probably feeling, what am I doing here kind of feel, as did I.
I later learned that he, his mother and sister Pam had come to live at Crook-a-dyke nearby, evacuee's from the WW2 bombing of Newcastle. His father was a merchant navy captain and was at sea for most of WW2. As time progressed we became firm and close friends, our interests were similar.
We fished, we roamed the fells... we knew every crag and cranny, we hired Dicky Lowis's rowboat when we had a spare sixpence. We made dams in the beck, moats and canals in the swampy, muddy places, we hunted for birds nests, took an egg and blew it for our collections, if we did not have that kind. We knew where the butterflies laid their eggs and used to take caterpillars home and feed them until they formed a chrysalis and waited patiently until they hatched, dried their wings and flew away. Life was good to us, not a care in the world, we lived in the middle of nature and we learnt nature's secret ways. I don't often think of those far off days now, but when I do, I feel lucky and a surge of pleasure flows through me.