Turn again Whittington

Alene isn’t sure where I am right now. Neither am I! I have a berth on a rather interesting “cruise” — not a pleasure cruise where people lounge on sun decks and drink cocktails with umbrellas in — nor one of those dirty-work scientific cruises where oceanographers, geochemists and marine biologists try to gather as much field data as they can while living and working in extremely cramped quarters, eating monotonous food and going without bathing. There are scientists, engineers and tech types on this cruise — but the accommodations are somewhat less primitive. We are not “out of range” (although my smartphone is) — but internet access is limited, and I do not see the need to take up valuable bandwidth — so it’s rather like being back on the island in Patagonia — except that I have more company!

Last night, Alene went to see a play (Indian Ink by Tom Stoppard, currently playing at Seattle Center) — and I enjoyed watching with her. I watched her safely home on the bus and the half-hour walk after that. We haven’t spent much time together in the last week.

Today she has been doing a bit of sort out — culling her closet of clothes she no longer wears, and looking through all the crap that has been gathering in various drawers. She came across a few forgotten gems — such as an elementary school notebook her mother brought on a visit. (Alene’s mother seems to have saved EVERYTHING!) Some of the writing exercises are really cute — and I suggested Alene share some of them.

The first concerns Dick Whittington. The following is exactly what Alene wrote:

Once there was a poor boy called Dick Whittington. He did not have a mother or a father because they were dead. Most people were saying that the streets of London were paved with gold. So he set out to see the streets. On the way a man in a cart said where are you going? Dick said I am on the way to the streets of London, I hear the are paved with gold. The man said I will take you to London, so Dick got into the cart. But when he got there he did not see any gold. Soon it was night. Dick was very tierd so he lay on a doorstep to go to sleep. In the morning an ugly cook opened the door and saw Dick. She was very angry, and said go away boy what do you think your doing on my doorstep. But a girl saw Dick and said oh cook don’t send him away.

Well, it must have then been time for recess, because she didn’t get to finish the story! You can read the whole story here. It’s a really cute story that is well known in England – based on the life a real Richard Whittington who was born in the 14th century and went on to be Lord Mayor of London. And – there’s a cat in it!


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