‘Every child must remember laying his head in the grass, staring into the infinitesimal forest and see it growing populous with fairies.’ (Robert Louis Stevenson)
And while I laid there, in the long, long grass it tickled me and tickled me and I wondered….is it the grass tickling me or is it one of the sparkling, magical fairies of fairyland making me giggle…..
There’s a sign in St Helena which quite simply says ‘Fairyland’. This sign points in the direction of a long winding path surrounded by windblown flax leaves and a magnificent v
iew of green green green. If you follow the path that leads down and down and down…..eventually you will arrive at a quaint little place called Peak Dale farm.
I’m wearing my fairy t-shirt!
One way to explore the wonders of St Helena is to walk and that we did. In the sun, in the rain and for quite a few kilometres (with the help of a lift in a truck-thanks Carla and Marco!). It started with deep puddles of squelchy mud…
“We’re going on a fairy hunt. We’re going to catch a beautiful one. We’re not scared.”
I definitely wasn’t scared, I was excited. Would I finally see a fairy? I’ve been told that fairies live at the bottom of the garden so I looked up high at the looming trees, down at the deep puddles and across at the old flax mill.
Years and years ago, New Zealand Flax (a long, green and thick leaf) was introduced to the island so that it could be made into ropes, mailbags and many other things for exporting to other countries. Even though the mills around the island are now closed, flax is still a popular leaf to use for table mats, flower decorations and even handbags and hats! Some very clever ladies on this island are very good at making things out of flax, although mummy is still practising…….
If you want to find out more about the industry of flax leaves, take a look at this link….. http://sainthelenaisland.info/flax.htm
So anyway, back to the walk… as I said before, after a few miles of walking, we heard a truck coming along behind us and in it was my friend Eliza and her mummy and daddy (as well as her cousins Ashlin and Dylan). We hitched a lift and they took us along to their Peak Dale farm and quite a wonder it is! There were chickens and sheep and views of all the island. Bravely, my friend Eliza held a chicken and chick and I helped her feed the chickens with the corn. It was great to explore her little farm.
As drops of rain started to plop on my head though, mummy, daddy and I decided to plod on. It can’t be that much longer? Right?
And it was uphill.
And it was in the rain. It wasn’t ‘spitting’ (as Peter Kay would describe it), it was full on, pour a bucket on your head, chucking it down. So there’s us, typical Brits, in our waterproofs, struggling up a hill with large branches on mummy’s back (for the bbq) and a hello kitty bag. I had given up at that point too, so daddy ended up lugging me up the hill. When we eventually got to the road, I’m sure the people passing must have had a right laugh at us. We were like drowned rats. Gosh, when it rains here. IT RAINS!
Exhausted, wet, but happy….
So at the end of this extract, I would love to tell you that we found the fairies, but unfortunately we didn’t. I’m pretty sure I heard them though and I’m pretty sure I was sprinkled in fairy dust that day….
‘A rustle in the wind reminds us a fairy is near.’ (Anon)