A mixed bag

October 28, 2013

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2012-03-20 16.23.39

You’ll remember I was contemplating that constant companion men of our age have when I last wrote – Death Wal, not ulcerated legs and digital watches. Got me thinking what I’d like Maureen, Peter and David to do with me when I’ve gone. Obviously my first choice is being left leaning up against that old Christmas tree in Maureen’s front garden so they’ll be able to see me when they are at the table for Sunday dinner. Maureen reckons it won’t hold my weight though. I’d also like to leave something for the kiddies. I’ve got 3 Golden Virginia tins filled with silver, a Tupperware box of buttons and a Haynes manual for an Opel Ascona for someone. I leave them out when the young uns come round, doesn’t hurt for them to see what you can have at the end of your life if you work hard and chain smoke. To tell the truth Wal, I despair of the younger generation. I saw Mick last week with his boy Gary. He’s a bloody boy, at least 6’ 2 and a fag paper, chest wide enough to get stuck coming out of the outside privy and hands like leaf rakes. What does he do? Works for Norwich union! Pushing pens 9 – 5 when his grandfather worked at Partridges farm for 40 years breaking his back with the threshing machine, till he broke his back falling off the threshing machine. It’s like that Jan Leeming on the telly, she’s no business earning that money whilst there’s men in Gorleston jobless. There’s a phrase for it Wal, it’s the lavatory chain swung too far. It never happened before Shirley Williams and the SDP. I don’t want to worry you Wal, but I think the Davids and Shirley are back – Scotland this time, promoting Salmon fishing I think.
I’ve said too much. I’m off to smear that fromage frais on the front window so Roger can’t see in.
Lenny.

2012-09-09 17.36.47

Well Len, there i’nt nothing going on in these here parts so I were right glad to be getting your letter. The blooming tennis is on and everybody’s fallen asleep in front of the box sozzled on that lemon and barley rubbish they sell at Spar now. No bugger would touch the stuff if they weren’t overcome with the horror of seeing grown men running around in white short shorts. I said to Joan no right minded man would be seen dead in shorts shorter than their longs in my day and she had the nerve to say she quite liked them tennis men and their shorts. Well that was that, I had no bloomin’ choice but to go and stand for a while in the back garden. I spent a bit o’ time sorting through the fag butts in my pockets and had a good look at that old wheel I’ve got propped up in the far corner behind the shed. Now you’ll be glad to hear that wheel is coming along nicely. You can only just make it out in them there nettles I planted a few years back and there’s a good amount of rust blooming on the hub. I reckon it will be ready to roll out of there and have a proper look at some time next year.

So you’ve got the Hertfordshire lot there have you? He didn’t come down in the Renault again did he? How’s that rear axle coming along on it? It must be nigh on 3 years since David and that boy of his stuck it together with a tube of Araldite and an old boot lace. We’re right lucky to have someone that mechanically minded we can turn to when there’s a motor that needs fixing. I’ve heard of that formage frais muck they brought you down. My Marion was here a couple of months back and said she were thinking of getting some of it for tea when Sandy and Paul next called. They always bring bags of Fisherman’s mates and them splintered up bit of seaside rock in colours that nobody’s got round to naming yet. Marion feels obliged to match it with something a bit different, but I soon put her straight – You don’t want to go encouraging them by giving them stuff. They’ll start thinking you’re pleased to see them and then you’ll never be shot of them. She called me a grumpy bugger, but I told her – You’ll a see, a few more years down the line and they’ll be turning up at your hospital bed and it’ll be too late to get out of it then. She wouldn’t take any notice though, blooming girl, she only went and said that some people like to have friends. Friends I said, you don’t need friends, you’ve got me and your mother, how do you think you’re going to look after us in our old age if you’re off gallivanting with blooming friends?

Sometimes Len, I look at that gal of mine and I think maybe I should of put me oar in a bit more with her. Joan has given her too many high fluting ideas. It’s the young. They don’t understand friends. I told her me and Wally got sat next to each other first morning at school by old Biddy Woodley and that was it. We were friends. None of this trying to find out if we liked each other. None of this trying to be interesting or nice. Like it or lump it Biddy Woodley had put us together and together we’ve stayed and what, I said to Marion, is wrong with that. Well of course there weren’t nothing she could say to that was there.

Yours Wally

Longer Life: The Place 3

October 18, 2013

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2013-06-29 19.07.32

Dear Wally
No visitors today so I stood at the gate for a few hours in the rain. Not much happening, old boy went past on his bike with a Happy Shopper bag blowing in his face. Makes you wonder how I managed to cause that five car pile up coming back from Hunstanton.

Maureen’s relatives have been down from Hertfordshire again. They can’t get enough of the Norfolk fresh air and peace and quiet. They must be half deaf and in need of a Vic Stick. Got up this morning to a lung full of Peter’s pigs and an earful of David’s boy Darren trying to start his Escort for an hour. He’d flooded it, same as every morning. His mother says he can’t afford the petrol to run it. They syphon a bit out of the vicar’s Fiesta now and then just so he can start it in the morning. Anyway, getting back to the Hertfordshire lot – I said to Maureen, go on then, what did they bring this time? You remember that jar she gave me and we thought she was choking but it turned out to be decaf coffee? I told her straight, we don’t tolerate coffee drinkers round these parts decafinerarated or not. Anyway I thought it couldn’t get worse, but this time they brought ‘fromage frais’, a cross between cheese and yoghurt apparently. More like a cross between too much money and too little manual labour. Even the dog wouldn’t eat it, put it off it’s usual bowl of gooseberries. Anyway they’re gadding about all over the place, Attleborough one day, Wymondham the next, wouldn’t be surprised if they’d made it to Watton by the end of their three weeks.

Roger came round with the EDP. Luckily I was busy hitting the tv with the walking stick and didn’t hear him shouting through the letter box and rapping on the window. Will have a look and see who’s died this week, perhaps it’ll be you. Hope not as I’ve already stuck a stamp on the envelope.

Yours as always
Len

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Well Wally,
Peter’s boy David has been round. We spoke for some time whilst his dad looked through the kitchen drawers for an Allen key. His university is nowhere near Gainsborough apparently. He is at Lancaster University and he goes to those all you can eat buffets some of which cost him nearly £10! He says Lancaster is a smallish town, like Dereham, but with more gravy. Students come from all over the world to study there. He’s met 2 welshmen, 1 scot and would you believe it? A girl from Beccles. He has a lady friend, but has not proposed I’m glad to say. I’ve told him to be careful not to mention he stands to inherit a Fordson Major tractor to her. We know how these girls get ideas. I remember I made the mistake of mentioning my father had a sidecar and access to the vicar’s tandem to a young sweetheart from Fakenham. From then on in I’d station my brother David at Pig’s Snout corner to holler when he saw her coming on her bike of a Sunday. I’d then spend the next couple of hours in the ditch at the back till she got tired and cycled back to Fakenham. We weren’t all blessed with meeting a Joan like yours Wally.
I’m off to bed after I’ve had a look in next doors wheelie bin.
Hope this finds you well.
Lenny

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