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August 31, 2016

News from Norfolk: Old Dogs

November 17, 2013

2012-02-14 11.13.33

Morning Wal

Trevor came round with his new dog last Thursday. Maureen had gone on the mystery coach day tour with Doreen to Spalding Orchid Centre. It’s never a mystery, the coach always goes there, the mystery is that the woman keep going. I didn’t like the look of the dog to start with. It looked a bit foreign with its French muzzle and Belgian hind quarters. He’d found it on the Ellingham straight – nice to hear that’s still the place to abandon rabid pets and quarrelsome children. I warmed to the old thing in the end though. As I was saying cheerio to Trevor at the back door, it slunk back in and gave me a sharp nip on the back of the heel. That’s the sort of underhand nastiness you should look for in a family pet. There should always be that nagging doubt as to whether it should be left alone in a room with little ‘uns.

Course, it’s not a patch on my dad’s old dog – Rover, the Quidenham rough hair. I can still see him creeping on his belly out from under the table, barely moving the tassels on my mother’s green brocade tablecloth, to slowly sink his teeth into my father’s arm before legging it back under the table. How we’d laugh! Mother would barely stop breathing and would have to lean out of the window on account of her asthma. Never bit anyone else that dog. That’s loyalty for you. Not like these boutique dogs today, the Matthew Pinsent Pointer and Simon Cowell Corgi. When was the last time you saw a Dutch whippet or a Spalding spaniel? Dogs Wal, you can’t live with them, and you can’t live with them tied up in an old van in your back garden apparently.

Lenny.

cat2

Dear Len,

How old are them there children now? It only seems a while back there were all that fuss over one of them getting his head stuck in that there gate down Swingy Lane and poor old Tom Biggins having to cycle like hell back to his to get the washing up liquid to squirt in his ears. His mother reckoned they were still getting bubbles out of the left lug hole two months later, but I s’pose on the bright side his ears will be soft for years to come.

I was thinking of Roger just the other day. I’d painted the front gate for old Rosa Wood and were standing watching it dry when I thought to myself I wonder how old Roger is on account of how like listening to him it were watching the paint skin over. That led me to thinking of that blue handled hammer I left in your shed a while back. You remember we were giving that old AJS piston a fair old wallop when we spotted Roger heading in our direction. You tossed the hammer over your shoulder and we just made it in to the bushes at the back before he stuck that pink old head of his in to your shed calling out for us. Anyway it were nice to see him, especially as I didn’t have to listen to nothing he had to say, but I left later without the hammer. I’ll have to pick it up sometime soon as it is the only one that I’ve got to change the channel on the TV in the backroom. One hit for BBC 1, two for BBC 2, 5 to get Anglia with the snow and 6 to get it without so long as the wind is coming in over Tacolneston.

Talking of wind have you seen Spar have got beans on special this month? I sent Joan off with her shopping trolley to pick up a couple of trays. She had a bit of a moan, said wouldn’t it be easier if I went in the car. I said, I s’pose you think getting it down off the ramps, putting the rear axle back on and doing a spot of welding on the fuel tank is easier do you? She said, I thought you were just going to hoover it out this weekend. There’s more to keeping it on the road than giving it a hoover, I said, now I’ve got the ramps back off Doug Barrett it’d be remiss not to give it a look underneath. At that she gave me one of her looks and set off for the shop. She was back just in time to put on the tea so no harm was done by letting her say her little piece before she set off. Nobody can say I don’t respect her right to free speech especially if it doesn’t interfere with her getting the next meal on the table.

Anyway I’d better bring this letter to a close as I’ve just got time before turning in for the night to take the lawnmower apart again. It was running well this morning but it’s best to be on the safe side.
Yours Wally

cat1

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