Saturday, April 29, 2017

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 Post 1520. Sunday April 30


A fond farewell from good folk of Amble Bay






Good morning all. 

'Coffees all round Maisy, please. Oh, and one tea for Emily'

There's something I need to tell you.



Arthur always leaves The Fish Inn at ten precisely. ‘Off to get some ZZZs’ he always says.  But last night he left at nine. ‘Get everyone a drink’ he said, placing a £50 note on the bar, ‘I’m not feeling too well’

‘Best get some ZZZ’s then’ said Dan.

'Best get some ZZZ's Arthur' 

Arthur said nothing as he wandered out the door.

Once home, he opened the bottom drawer of the kitchen dresser and rummaged through the mass of papers. He dragged out a large brown envelope and placed it in the centre of the old oak table before heading for his bed.


Earlier this morning, Zena the Cleaner let herself into Arthur’s farm house, just as she did every morning. Her first job was to make Arthur’s bed. He always left at daybreak to start work on the farm.

But not today.

‘Arthur?’ she said.

Zena shook his shoulder and shook it again. He didn’t stir.

‘Arthur?’ 

She fled in tears to the kitchen and slumped herself down at the old oak table. She noticed the envelope; her name was scribbled on it. She pulled out some papers. 

Arthur had planned today and the coming days to the smallest detail.


Arthur liked a joke. Just yesterday he said  ‘I saw an advert for funeral plots. That’s the last thing I need!’

I'm sorry your visit to Amble Bay ended on a sad note. Please come back one day, we really enjoyed your company.


~Coda~

The sun shone brightly for Arthur’s funeral. Pete’s place was packed. The choir sang All Things Bright and Beautiful as he'd wished. Holy Jo spoke, I spoke, several of us spoke.

Then it was back to the Fish Inn to celebrate his life. Dapper Dan spoke, Iris spoke. We recalled our favourite memories, we sang his favourite songs.

How we laughed.
  
And how we cried.
  

The community clubbed together to place this bench beneath Florence’s cherry tree. It’s the seat she always wanted; somewhere they can sit, two souls together.

This morning as I stood here, I heard two voices in the breeze.

‘We had fun Arthur, didn’t we?’ whispered one.

What did you say Florence?’ whispered the other.







Previous episodes  A B C D E G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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Friday, April 28, 2017

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IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR Z, PLEASE CLICK HERE!





Post 1518. Saturday April 29

Tales of everyday life in the coastal village of Amble Bay







Right. Lawns mowed, tables chairs and sunshades in place. The bouncy castle's inflated, but when I tried it just now I heard farty noises each time I landed so it may have a leak - at least, I think they came from the castle!

Ah, here you are! Welcome one and all to my home and our farewell picnic. Porky Pete’s here with his hog roast, and for those of a vegetarian persuasion, Charlotte has made some non-meaty treaties. I’ve made jelly trifle. Yum!

Hopefully, Arthur's going to recite some of his witty ditties, but when I saw him earlier he was looking a bit peaky. We’ll see. The Bustleton Brass Band are on their way to play a few diddly-om-pom-poms and Mick the Trick's going to perform magic -  if he finds his props! He made them disappear at a kid's birthday party yesterday and he's not seen them since.

I think everyone’s here, but I can’t see much for all the smoke!  ‘Are you all right in there Porky?’

By the way, Dapper Dan’s expecting you at the Fish Inn tonight. The first drink’s on the house, and local band the Urchins are treating us to a bit of heavy metal. Don’t worry, it’s not that heavy - more like tin foil really!

So, enjoy yourselves, but don't drink too much because we are meeting first thing tomorrow for coffee and a debrief before you leave!





Tomorrow's final tale of Amble Bay is simply entitled ZZZ's

To read a brief description of Amble Bay and see a scribbled map just click HERE

Previous episodes  A B C D E G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W XZ
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Thursday, April 27, 2017

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Post 1518. Friday April 28

Tales of everyday life in the coastal village of Amble Bay








You may have noticed that many of the Amblers have nicknames. I’m known as Keith the Chef by the way which I don't imagine requires explanation!

You see the guy leaning on the bar chatting to Dapper Dan and Mike the Bike?  That’s Mark Xavier. He’s got a mean left hook as Sarky Bart recently found out, and I don’t mean he’s a pirate! No, he’s a very keen boxer. He wins nearly every bout because punch bags don't punch back and he rarely finds anyone interested in taking him on in Amble Bay.

Mark and I were at school together. Back then he was known as Spotty, but not due to a complexion malfunction! It started one day when Mark X shouted ‘X marks the spot’whilst studying a map during a geography lesson. He always hated the name, so a few years ago we held a Nickname Committee meeting  and renamed him X-Boxer!

He’s not our only X. There’s also Raymond who works in the fractures clinic at Bustleton Hospital. He’s known as X-Ray. He couldn’t tell a lie if he tried – you can see right through him. Don’t groan!

Just a reminder that as tomorrow is your last full day, I'm having a farewell barbecue at my place at lunchtime, then it's off to the pub in the evening. Sunday we'll get together for coffee and a chat before you head off back home. Bye for now!




To read a brief description of Amble Bay and see a scribbled map just click HERE

Previous episodes  A B C D E G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

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Post 1517. Thursday April 27

Tales of everyday life in the coastal village of Amble Bay






I love it here. It’s so tranquil.  Above, swaying branches; their delicate pale green leaves reaching for wispy white clouds as they glide ‘cross a sky of springtide blue. Blimey, listen to me getting all poetic! Careful you don’t trip up. Whoops, too late.

See that heart carved in a tree trunk? I did that when I was twelve. The initial K is for me of course and S for...please don’t laugh...Celine. How was I to know Celine started with a C? You don’t pronounce it like Christine or custard do you? Arthur built us a treehouse up there. It fell down one afternoon.  Unfortunately, I was in it at the time!

The lady sitting beneath the ash tree reading is Molly.  The kids think she’s a witch with a book of spells. It's actually the diary she started writing the day she got married. Her beloved husband Walter passed away ten years ago and she’s worn black from that day to this. He tended the wood, clipping branches, nurturing new shoots and caring for the creatures of the undergrowth. They say he talked to rabbits.

Look at the bluebells reflecting in the lake. I’m going to sit for a while. You’re welcome to sit with me if you wish.







You can click on my photo to make it larger



Tomorrow I’ll be telling you about Mark Xavier aka X-Boxer!

To read a brief description of Amble Bay and see a scribbled map just click HERE

Previous episodes  A B C D E G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z





Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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Post 1516. Wednesday April 26


Tales of everyday life in the coastal village of Amble Bay






Here we are at Amble Manor, the palatial residence of wealthy spinster Lady Violet Smythe. She actually a Smith, but she doesn't think that sounds posh enough. Don’t let on I told you!

How about these massive iron gates? 'Open sesame!' I love it when they obey me.

'Open sesame!'

'Open sesame!'

They seem to be stuck, can you give them a shove?

Right. I’ll park between her Bentley and Arthur’s  tractor. He’s probably doing a few jobs for her. Oh, he's asleep in the cab. 

Before we get out, a few ground rules. Bow your head as you say hello, don’t attempt to shake hands, don’t sit until invited, don’t speak unless spoken to and don’t tread on her dog, Teeny Weeny. Yes, that really is its name! 

We’ll probably be offered a little glass of sherry; drink it whether you like it or not. Then some Earl Grey tea in a dainty china cup. When you pick it up, point your pinky. Be especially careful if Teeny Weeny lands on your lap.

She’ll probably serve cucumber sandwiches, followed by scones, jam, and cream. Whatever you do don’t drop any crumbs, or feed Teeny Weeny.

Right, here we go. Can you give me a shove up the steps?

Right, tug on the bell chain. Ding-dong! The doors are opening, and...

Oh no, there goes Teeny Weeny. 

Catch it!

Catch it!

Not a good start.


Tomorrow will be walking in The Wood

To read a brief description of Amble Bay and see a scribbled map just click HERE

Previous episodes  A B C D E G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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Monday, April 24, 2017

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Post 1515. Tuesday April 25

Tales of everyday life in the coastal village of Amble Bay



The main street looks different on a Tuesday, doesn't it? There are lots of large stripy umbrellas and beneath them, little stalls selling local stuff.

This is Stinky Stuart. 'Hi Stu!' He makes very smelly cheese in a barn just down the road.  Try a bit of that. Nice yes? No? Oh well. 

Here’s Martha. 'Hello Martha, lovely day'.  She makes these pretty trinkets and beaded jewellery. I can just see you wearing those earrings!

You see that guy strumming a ukulele? That’s Jack Potter. He’s not exactly a busker, in fact, he hates it if anyone drops pennies at his feet. He just loves to perform. He’s here every Tuesday singing like a songbird.

Over there’s Frank the Forager. He works for Lady Violet Smythe up at ‘the big ’ouse’ as he calls it; part gamekeeper, part gardener on her enormous estate. She lets him shoot the odd partridge or two and sell them here alongside wild mushrooms and hedgerow herbs. I broke a tooth on a piece of lead shot once.

Here comes Arthur with his wheelbarrow. ’Hello Arthur, what’s in there?’

'I said what's in your barrow?'

Oh, sacks of potatoes. He sometimes finds himself a gap in the market (literally!) and sells stuff he’s grown in the lower field. ‘Did you grow them yourself, Arthur?’

'Grow them yourse....?'

Silly question, forget it!

I’m going to grab one of Frosty Fred’s fabulous ice creams! Join me?





Tomorrow I'm taking you to meet Lady Violet Smythe

To read a brief description of Amble Bay and see a scribbled map just click HERE


Previous episodes  A B C D E G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Sunday, April 23, 2017

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Post 1514. Monday April 24

Tales of everyday life in the coastal village of Amble Bay




Every Monday we hold the Tuesday Club. I know what you're thinking, but it's a long story so don't ask!

About twenty of us meet weekly to discuss important issues of the day. Last week we talked about wild animals damaging our gardens. 

Someone asked Arthur if he was having problems with the deer. He said Amble Ale was fine as long as he drank no more than three pints! I hope he's remembered his hearing aid this week..

We have three topics; one trivial, one serious and another of enormous importance. This week we are starting with (deep breath) 

‘The implications and the possible effects of the UK's exit from the EU upon rural communities in general, and Amble Bay in particular'

We haven't decided upon the serious and very important subjects yet. 

Only kidding!

We're actually discussing the proposed wind farm on Amble Marsh, Mrs Hendeson's massive increase of ten pence on a dozen of her eggs, and the weather.

So, off we go. Ladies and gentlemen, your attention, please!

Oh no, Arthur's snoring!

We are about to start Arthur!

Arthur!

Arthur!

Oh well.




Tomorrow will be all about Umbrellas and Ukeleles!

To read a brief description of Amble Bay and see a scribbled map just click HERE

Previous episodes  A B C D E G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z





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