Skip to main content

Miss Jones

By Belinda

Miss Jones passed by the house of my childhood so often that she became a part of my memories of that time.

Our house was situated on the top of Bear Hill, but it was really two roads at that point, separated by a steep bank of grass. The lower road ran along our row of council houses, which were filled with families with young children. The upper road carried traffic to the lower village from Station Road, which led to the railway station.

Miss Jones lived in Lewkner Cottages, on Station Road. In earlier, more ancient times these had been almshouses, but by the time I write of, they were merely accommodation for the elderly.

I had a large collection of big copper pennies at that time, when 12 of them made a shilling and 20 shillings made a pound. I had lots of pennies with images of Queen Victoria, from the young, girl queen, to the old, stout, and stern looking matron she became, with double chin and veil. And I remember thinking, as I watched Miss Jones's unhurried progress along the path above our road, that she had been alive when Queen Victoria was alive, for Miss Jones seemed old to my young eyes; a link in a chain connecting me to the past of my penny collection.

Miss Jones was roundly plump and on the short side of average height and I never saw her wear anything but a bright royal blue coat that came almost to her ankles. She wore a hat of darker blue atop white hair, which she parted in the middle and wore in a bun at the nape of her neck. She walked slowly, with the aid of a walking stick and she seemed kind and peaceful although I couldn't tell you why.

She was a Miss in the day when you were either a Miss or a Mrs., a time before "Ms." How clear and concrete those definitions seem now; no in between.

I didn't know Miss Jones, but I think I remember talking to her once. And she belonged in my life, along with the angular Miss Twitty of the sweet shop in the village and Miss Lawton of the haberdashery shop, who, after she retired, walked the village streets with her golden retriever in a slow and unhurried manner.

Writing about Miss Jones makes her real again for me. Now I wish that I knew more about her; who she was, and her story. But maybe that's not important. Like the toy people that fill my grandchildren's  Playmobil make believe towns, she was one of the people who filled up the village of my childhood, and thinking of her brings back a time long ago and dear to me in memory.


Marilyn Yocum said…
"Writing about Miss Jones makes her real again for me." Was there ever a better reason for sitting down and writing then? This sentence just jumped out at me. I wonder why.....
Belinda said…
Oh, Marilyn, it is like opening up a photograph album but creating the photograph on the spot in words, and then having it forever--a photograph that did not and could not, exist before, because no one was there to take it or think that it was important to do so.

It is a powerful thing to bring a person or place, to life for others to see and feel, taste and smell. That's it!! :)
Susan said…
I read about Miss. Jones not long after midnight and have been thinking about her and all the Miss Jones' in my life ever since...

And it makes me wonder whose, if anyone's, Miss Jones I am? And what will they remember about me?
I too, notice, that there are other people in the world that exist entirely, completely, separately from me. We've never spoken, never interacted, never connected in any way - but oddly they are part of my experience anyways. I am 'Miss Jones' to others, I wonder if somewhere someone is writing about a blonde woman that they knew years ago on the edge of their lives ... maybe there's a Mrs. Burston blog being written right now ...
Belinda said…
How mysterious this world; and the way we are connected, even when we aren't really.

Popular posts from this blog

Just Joy!

Our family has a standing date for Sunday dinner on the first Sunday of every month. Not that we don't see each other at any other time, but we all know that particular Sunday is pretty much for sure--and I look forward to it so much--the front door bursting open and our house being filled once more with the voices and vibrancy of six grandchildren and their parents. 

This week Spero, Brenda's new Australian Shepherd puppy came too, and met his extended family, leaving Molson at home to have a rest! He was duly adored by all of us.

He came with a dazzling array of toys and is proving a fast learner, already sitting on command and responding to Tori's training. I was so impressed at her technique of quickly rewarding a turnaround from any slight naughtiness with praise for "good sitting," or "good" any other desirable behaviour! 

Tippy had her hair cut stunningly and bravely short the day before; making a statement about who she is as a unique individual, o…

The Secret Adventures of Susan's Scottish Scarf

By Belinda (with a lot of help from Susan :))
I was saying goodnight to her at the front door this week when she told me. There was apparently more to the scarf around her neck than I knew. 
The scarf had been a gift from me for Susan's birthday on Tuesday December 18th. It had been her 60th; and that day I had treated her to lunch to celebrate. 
We met at a tiny restaurant, Port Soiree, in Schomberg,near her office. It was a restaurant neither of us had been to before and it turned out to be a gem, with artsy ambiance, amazing food, wonderful service and modest pricing. In other words, it was perfect!