If Chris sends us a picture of himself, it will appear here.

If Chris sends us information about himself it will appear here.

The February Competition was Apple. The Winning piece was based around Glen Millers Song; Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me.

The Winning Piece

Glenn Miller by Chris Faltane

Don’t sit under the Apple Tree with anyone else but me, anyone else but me, anyone else but me, no no no. Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me, till I come marching home.

Apple Tree And Dandelions

The soothing tones of Glenn Miller came to mind as I looked at the spot where we once sat. The apples themselves long gone as the tree gave way to the harsh bite of winter. The branches were dead and bare, the sky white and cold. The love that once bloomed…

He had looked so dapper that day as we ate and talked, my picnic bag spilling out all his favourite things; Scotch eggs, pork pies, jam sandwiches, grapes and, of course, apples. Although we hadn’t brought the apples with us. His father had grown that apple tree, it was one of his favourite things to pick a ripe apple from a branch. He always said it was as though each apple was a gift from his father, that every time he plucked one he could feel his father smiling down.

His dapperlings had shown up as the day gave way to night, each and every one of them carrying an instrument in some form. Singing they were of the women they’ll miss and the battles to come. Despite the hard days to come they were, each and everyone one of them, smiling and full of life. My heart bled and my tears began to fall as I thought of what could be.

Letter from Captain A. G. Butler regarding his DSO, 1918. page 1 of 4

Here and now, looking back on that night my breath caught in my throat. It had been years now, the war had finally ended. In my hand I clutched the last letter he sent me, more then 7 months before. It spoke of that night under the apple tree and the songs that were sung. It spoke of pain and hope, love and loss. May of his dapperlings had not made it. He was no longer sure he would make it. In the letter he begged me not to wait for the ship in hope and despair. He promised that he would meet me under the apple tree, away from the madness, if his ship came to shore.

Do I dare allow myself to believe he was still alive. 7 months with not a word. Night was beginning to fall, an orange sunset with hues of purple. Breath-taking. Beautiful. It shattered into a prism of colour as tears sparked at my eyes.

The ships should have arrived long before now. The harbour is but a short drive from this hill. The pain in my chest is almost too much to bear. A lump has risen in my throat. I place my hand on the cold trunk of the tree and fall to my knees as it began to snow.

It was all I could do to not brawl like a babe.

I began to sing in a small voice.

Don’t sit under the apple tree, with anyone else but me, anyone else but me, anyone else but me. Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me, till-

My voice broke as the first tears spilled over.

Till I come marching home.

The line of the song caught on the wind from far away, almost as if the wind itself knew my despair. I listened to the song as it continued on the breeze.

Don’t go walkin’ down Lover’s Lane with anyone else but me, anyone else but me, anyone else but me. No, no, no!
Don’t go walkin’ down Lover’s Lane with anyone else but me, till I come marchin’ home!

A small smile came through my tears, it was almost as if he and his dapperlings were singing under the tree once more.

Don’t hold anyone on your knee, you better be true to me, you better be true to me, you better be true to me
Don’t hold anyone on your knee, you’re gettin’ the third degree, When you come marchin’ home!

My smile froze. Time itself stopped. The voices were now ringing clear and true and I turned for there on the hill stood my man, dapper still, and smiling. Eyes full of love as he ran towards me. Tears of joy flowed uncontrollably as he swept me into the air, my head brushing the bottom branches of the tree. The dapperlings with him were raising bottles of beer and kissing their women.

The sunset truly was beautiful

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