Page 184. " 'A poet called Dylan Thomas once wrote some line that I think of every time I walk up this path.' "

The poem is titled "In Country Sleep": 


Never and never, my girl riding far and near

In the land of the hearthstone tales, and spelled asleep,

Fear or believe that the wolf in a sleepwhite hood

Loping and bleating roughly and blithely shall leap,

My dear, my dear

Out of a lair in the flocked leaves in the dew dipped year

To eat your heart in the house in the rosy wood.

Sleep, good, for ever, slow and deep, spelled rare and wise,

My girl ranging the night in the rose and shire 

Of the hobnail tales: no gooseherd or swine will turn

Into a homestall king or hamlet of fire

And prince of ice

To court the honeyed heart from your side before sunrise

In a spinney of ringed boys and ganders, spike and burn,

Nor the innocent lie in the rooting dingle wooed

And staved, and riven among plumes my rider weep.

From the broomed witch’s spume you are shielded by fern

And flower of country sleep and the greenwood keep.

Lie fast and soothed,

Safe be and smooth from the bellows of the rushy brood


Dylan Thomas was a Welsh poet who was as well known for his reading voice as his poetry. Born in the early 1900s, Thomas wrote not only poetry but short stories and scripts. His poems were known for their musicality, and "In Country Sleep" is one of his best known.

Page 187. " On the shelf itself there stood a Primus stove "

The quote continues: "A Primus is a little camping-stove that you fill with paraffin and you light it at the top and then you pump it to get pressure for the flame."

A primus stove is a portable cooking stove which is meant to be light and easy to move (great for camping, picnicking, and catering). Primus stoves were one of the first models of portable stove. They were typically made of brass. Original models allowed you to control the level of the flame with a pump, while later versions have a separate valve. 


Page 200. " There is a Teacher's Training College in Reading "

Reading is a large town in Berkshire, in the south east of England.

A teacher's training college offers the classes needed to attain a degree in teaching.


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