Mornington-By-Mere – (74) Sixteen (Part 01)
The quaint chocolate box English Village of Mornington-By-Mere, was the beating heart of the Finchbottom Vale, which nestled between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest and the rolling Pepperstock Hills.
It is a quaint and picturesque village, a proper chocolate box picturesque idyll, with a Manor House, 12th Century Church, a Coaching Inn, Windmills, an Old Forge, a Schoolhouse, a River and a Mere.
15 year old Matthew was one of the Smith clan, who were tenants at Smithfield Farm and had been for as long as anyone could remember, and as soon as he finished school he was going to take his place working on the land, and that day had finally come, the school year was over so he was on the way home by the usual route.
He left the Village School and walked towards Church Bridge and proceeded along the riverside path on the Northern Bank of the River Brooke with Mornington Field on his right and Manor Wood across the water on his left.
After the Wood stood the famous Mornington Brewery and immediately before the river changed direction, Dulcets Mill stood, one of the last three remaining Mornington Mills.
At the point the River turned sharply to the right he followed the path that threaded its way through the woods that bordered the western edge of Mornington Field and as he meandered his way along the path he heard a voice behind him.
“Wait for me Matt” it, said, “wait for me”
He turned around but he couldn’t see who it was
“Wait for me” they continued shouting, a little louder this time and then there was a crash as a schoolgirl came running around an oak tree and hurtled straight into him and they both ended up on the floor.
The schoolgirl was young Alexa Newbold
“Ouch” she said rubbing her left knee.
Alexa was a few months older than Matt and she was staying on in full time education and would be going to college followed by University but she wasn’t going to go before she had done what she needed to do.
“Are you ok?” he asked as he helped her to her feet.
“Just scrapped my knee a bit,” she said laughing
“I didn’t think I was that close to you”
She was a very pretty girl, five foot one with Jet-black hair and pale alabaster skin and she lived in Military Row with her family
“Happy birthday by the way” he said suddenly remembering it was her 16th birthday
“Thank you,” she said grinning because she didn’t know that he knew.
But Matt knew everything about her because he loved her and had done for as long as he could remember, but he would never tell her that because she was on a different path to him and as a farmer he wouldn’t be able to offer her anything and he certainly wouldn’t be able to compete with the kind of boys she was going to meet at University.
So he had resigned himself to the fact that she was unattainable.