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Spalding area's legend John Ward: 'It's the eyes that do it'



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I have just been half viewing a ‘drama’ or whatever programme on the flat screen wonder (FSW) but I gave up as the actors seemed to speak in some mumbling fashion to each other regarding the supposed ‘plot’ or script even.

Also quite possibly the light bulbs must have blown as it seemed to have been filmed in somebody’s coal cellar judging by some of the scenes that were hard to figure out.

I was grateful when the adverts appeared, which is saying something, if just to get my eyeballs re-tuned into normal lighting conditions, even if it meant watching adverts for gap-filler toothpaste, online bingo, ditto hoop-la or hook-a-duck.

John Ward (38137491)
John Ward (38137491)

Once back there was a reference to eyes, as in looking into somebody’s apparently, in whatever it was that passed as the supposed plot between two of the characters.

However, despite this, I must admit I did have a slight breakout of giggling. It was the reference to somebody’s eyes that got me as my mind drifted away.

In my formative and gainful employment past, in one situation there was someone who performed/acted as the company receptionist who once described an encounter she had with her then, latest boyfriend or as she phrased it so eloquently, ‘Me feller’.

She had seen him on three dates at the time that involved the usual romantic stages:

Stage one: he asked why a beautiful, stunning girl was on her own - she was looking all over the place until she realised he was going on about her.

Stage two: explaining he was allergic to ‘posh food’ in restaurants (more so if he was expected to pay for it) but a remedy (his) was a bag of chips and a pineapple fritter seemed to be the cure for that.

Stage three: ‘I wanna take you home to show my mum!’ she said (guaranteed to get the poor soul looking at his watch and babbling away: ‘Gosh - is that the time? – I must be going as my hamster is on a regular diet and it’s nearly his din-dins time would you believe?..)

This was the outside world of Christine; receptionist, tea maker and fingernail filer (nowadays that would be upgraded to mobile phone/device skilled fidget/ twitcher) in our small but friendly company.

Some of her ‘romantic interludes’ were quite amazing to listen to during our assorted tea/coffee break moments.

It’s possible she was influenced by the range of the ‘Kills and Swoon’ romantic themed paperback novels that she seemed to look upon as some form of ‘romantic’ instruction or maintenance type of books.

One encounter she enthralled us with was about her then ‘feller’ called or referred to as ‘me Paul’.

It seems that it was on their second date, or visit to the zoo, when she looked into his eyes as she made an astounding discovery – I quote here: ‘Do you know, his eyes were like a pair of conkers on fire they were..’

On hearing that, Mavis who like me was half listening and trying to hear the radio at the same time, nearly fell off her stool she was perched on while she was knitting away at her husband’s cricket jumper she was making him for his birthday prezzie.

I let Mave take the lead here: ‘Are you sure, love? – conkers on fire?’ as she looked across at me but to be honest I was more interested in hearing what the next record was going to be as there was a quiz question going to be asked.

Yes, she confirmed – he had ‘eyes like a pair of conkers on fire’ one hundred per cent.

On hearing that I think Mave’s glance and mine clashed and seemed to suggest we were not getting out as much as we ought to be doing, singular that is.

True her hubby Geoff was into cricket but I was half tempted to ask her if his eyes were like ‘blazing cricket balls on fire’ but held back.

As Mave and I were getting over the shock to the system of hearing that some people could have eyes like ‘conkers on fire’ she followed it up with: ‘he’s a very romantic feller is me Paul as he always opens doors for me before I walk through them’

I think she meant doorways as opposed to actually walking through a solid door, but on reflection I might be slightly out on that one, all things – and Christine – considered.

Also, while this brainstorming stuff was going on I had missed the quiz answer on the radio but I think the answer was, or could, have been Tom Jones singing ‘Delilah’.

However, I did wonder what the likes of Babs Cartload, the ‘Lady in Pink’ authoress of many romantic novels, would have made of it all, which might have taken the following route as I bring you my interpretation entitled: ‘Love Can be a Strange Commodity if Money and Land Acquisition are Involved’.

Sir Jasper Proudarm first saw Lady Charlotte Mhake-Believe as she entered the ballroom now filled with hundreds of guests on that warm summer’s evening.

Charlotte wandered around smiling before going out onto the terrace for some fresh air.

He noticed her movements – her corset was obviously giving her discomfort he surmised – but as he did not know of her, he asked another guest and was informed:

‘Oh, that’s only Mhake-Believe’. Sir Jasper followed slowly out in her direction, which was luckily forwards.

The sound of the crickets were now so distinctive – the latest score was 76 not out, with two batsmen to go – that could be heard above the summer heat.

Charlotte gazed into the horizon as from her clutch bag she revealed a telescopic long, thin cigarette holder, which also doubled as a snooker cue if the ends were bunged up first, stuffed a ciggie in the thick end as she pressed it to her vibrant, inviting cherry red lips.

Sir Jasper moved in close, introduced himself as he stared at the long, thin cigarette holder that was by now clenched in Charlotte’s dentures.

He then spoke: ‘Does one crave ignition for your ciggie, dear Lady Charlotte?’

She replied in a low husky voice: ‘Yes, chuck’ but as he was about to do so, she noticed that as he brought out the box of matches from under his top hat, his eyes were like a pair of conkers on fire.

And they loathed happily ever after.

Nowadays, I am forever forgetting to ask the optician when I go for my eye tests if he has come across this phenomenon of having anybody with eyes like, well, ‘conkers on fire’ but then I don’t suppose he would also know if the answer was Tom Jones singing ‘Delilah’ either.



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