Sunday, 28 October 2012

Fleet of foot...

I walked out into the biting wind.
Poppy pinned to my chest,
proudly I went.

Looking for all the world like,
Miss Candy of Saturday morning pictures...
remember them?
Tray of poppies clapped to my heaving breast,
down the hill into the teeth of a
cold, cold day.

I was the new girl;
all the crusty old codgers like Ted who knew the 
ropes, had their rounds well established.
I was given two roads on the council estate.
Excitement coursed through my veins...
in an old-girly way, I thought I was brave going into battle!
Let's face it times are hard and most folk have so little money.
The first house I went to,
 brambles caught on my coat as I approached the front door.
Sleeping beauty I idly wondered?
Weaving through the greenery I managed to
get knuckle to door.  A discombobulated voice was heard to say...
Which I took to be, go to the back door?
Where I was met by a younger than me, guy
 I'd seen many times before. 
He'd obviously seen my approach and had two pounds in his hand.
Down the hill feeling love for my fellow man I floated.
I turned into the estate full of heart-felt hope.
The next house the door opened a crack
and a whiskered chin said she had already bought her poppy!
The next house a lovely lady came down the side of the house saying
'Don't get too close I've got a tummy bug!'
Putting a pound into the tin she scurried back into the warm.
Warmth and kindness was my welcome at all houses.

At 1.30 p.m. it started to sleety rain, so I bobbed up the alley
back home for lunch.
On arrival Ted and I compared the weight of our tins,
mine by a mile was heavier.

Earlier in the week we had had a skirmish on the sofa...
Oh yes LL... do we really need to know this?
Well, only in order to furnish you an accurate account of 
my poppy training initiation, 
(Oh and an idea of what a contrary monkey I am)
I think the tale must be told.

Sat cheek by jowl on the sofa, one evening I jumped up,
dived into the drawer and withdrew our stash of coppers.
Ted seeing where this was going said

'Stop!  Don't put the coppers into your tin!'

Well!  I'm afraid to say if someone, especially Hubs,
 tells me not to do anything AND explains the reason why...
In every fibre of my being I feel compelled to disobey.
It's only natural... 
isn't it?

'Why carry the coppers when you can put them in at the end...
think of your thumb Lin!'

Tears rolled down my face as I shoved each penny, groat,
and copper into my tin.
It was worth it for the rolling around, side-splitting laughter, plus 
the look of disgust on his visog
(like that word).

Any road taking the extra weight of my stolen stash out of the
equation, my tin was by far the weightier.

We compared notes, his, to all intents and purposes
wealthy clientele weren't so giving. 

Battling a desire to stay in the warm, out I went.
Folding money found its way into my tin that afternoon
and not only once!

At nearly the last house, through the door, I saw a shape jump
excitedly down the stairs.
I said as he opened the door
'Sorry it's only me; you look as if you're expecting someone exciting!'
He said 
'I've been watching you, from upstairs and it shouldn't be someone
out collecting on a day as cold as this!  It should be a young person!'

Well... I roared; to say it tickled me, would be the understatement.
Back-peddling for all he was worth,
he obviously realised that what he'd said, wasn't very diplomatic,
which made me laugh even more.

'Look, I'm a very straight-talking woman and if there's something I like, it's
someone who tells it like it is!'

He'd already bought his poppy at Sainsburys, although as we got chatting
 more and more money found its way into my tin.

Guilt quids are as well received as any other in my book.

Smiling and light in heart, feeling every year of my age, 

I puffed back up the hill.
Cold but content, happy to, in some small 
way, show my appreciation 
 for such a worthwhile cause.

Today, our 4th wedding anniversary
finds 't'old lass'  (Yorkshire expression) tucked up
in the warm
awaiting her celebratory flute of fizz.



  1. I always wanted to go collecting for the Salvation Army just so I could wear stout shoes and sing Onward Christian Soldiers.

    Rememberance Day is always so sad. One of the few fond memories I have of my dad was seeing him all dressed in his best suit and crombie overcoat, moustache brushed to perfection (the only thing of his I inherited!!) to march with his Ex-Servicemen's group in the parade.

    I like to spend my 2 minutes silence out in the garden thinking about all the men from our country estate who never saw it again.

    Oh I'm getting maudlin now but I find autumn such a reflective time.
    Time for a cuppa I think

    1. You and me both Elaine! I'll think of you when me tash quivers at the war memorial in the village.

      Remind me to tell a funny story about a crombie overcoat one day.


  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Mary Ann. Hope you aren't affected too much by the storm?


  3. Good for you, 'Old Girl', out in all that weather.
    Who could resist putting a few quid in your tin for such a worthy cause?
    Happy anniversary to you both - have a flute on me (next time I see you)xxx

    1. When we meeting next Debs? A glass of the Oh be Joyful would be a good idea!


  4. Good for you LL & all the "lowly folk" of Goudhurst! Like Bunny, autumn has always been a time of reflection for me (as in "What on earth will have happened by this time next year?") and ancient chaps with medals at the Cenotaph - that makes me weep.

    1. Nilly, I always feel like that at the Last Night of the Proms. The ghastly thing is, and I know I shouldn't get political... however... I always wonder about the recent, needless loss of lives and that ghastly man that took us into an illegal war. You would have thought, the first and second world wars would have taught us a thing or two.


  5. Thank you for going out and collecting.

    Belated congratulations on your anniversary - and I hope you had a glass or three of fizz!

  6. Thanks mm... it made me feel humble... 'You humble LL? Never!'

    Err...rrr three quarters of a bottle!


  7. Well done Linda your stories made me smile you should write a column for the newspaper :)
    Sally x

    1. Thank you Sally... 'The Daily Sport'.... methinks!?!