WARD’S WORLD: By John Ward
Summer has arrived then. All the signs are there to see with no need to rely on selected rumours, gossip or ‘Pin the Tail/Drawing Pin on the Donkey/Weather Map’ style of weather forecasting or soothsaying that is seemingly used by some forecasters that has been noted and the only brightness was seeing the forecaster’s shirt or dazzling tie – ouch.
Yes, the almighty summer thing is among us and allowing for minor hiccups like the possibility of rain, hail, snow or similar storms to blight the concept, while at the coast those of a certain age will be strutting around in brand new, bright as you like, trainers and strange hats that will never see the light of day once they go home and will go into a charity shop at the end of summer – or Thursday as we have come to know it.
It was while taking Spot the family pet Black Labrador, out for his usual early morning walkies down the bit that we call part of the countryside and other signs of seasonal activity catch the eye. For starters, in the hedgerow there is an empty soft drink bottle – you never see a full one do you, odd that – and considering the distance between the edge of the road and the hedge itself, as you assume it was thrown from a moving vehicle as nobody walks down a road to deposit/discard such an item, maybe we should be finding out who this person is and get them signed up for our country’s cricket team as here is a potential player in the making and all things considered, can’t be any worse.
Another sign we live in the countryside, so to speak, is a discarded or slung if you prefer box and wrappers from a well known take-way establishment and you have to give them credit as I can well remember when they only had a farm, E-I-E-I-O as we used to sing about it years ago as mere childlets growing up and so they have come a long way but it’s a shame that some of their clients have not the willpower or brain power to discard the after mess in a proper and sensible way like decent human beings but perhaps I could be wrong in putting them in that category of being human beings.
Often wonder if Old Mac still has the farm and the pigs and the sheep E-I-E-I-O as we used to sing about but then he maybe gorn all digital in this age, oh arrr.
Next we can hear something that sounds like a hornet on fire as Spot’s ears lift up and his nose twitches as he stares into the distance, looks at me for a second opinion, and within seconds a motorbikerist is coming up the road at slightly, one would hazard an educated guess, more than sixty of your legal miles per hour (no idea what that is in kilos) as he seems to be on a mission to get to his destination twenty minutes before he set out and yes, we do Think Bike here and wonder if he does too as there is a time and a place for such antics and the public roads are not it, and before anybody gets off their operating trolley and writes to complain, I remember attending a funeral where the dearly departed was dispatched by such a clown on his projectile/motorbike, and yes I used to be a bike rider myself but I did use my head in conjunction with the twist-grip and I’m still here as a result as you may gather.
Rant over now, so back to your sewing and rug making amigos.
As we walk on, yea and behold – we see a settee in the undergrowth or partly hidden by the overgrown grass. Now how did they know that Spot and I would want to have a break about there and site it accordingly? – was it Sat Nav? – pure guesswork? – or just plain Grade One fly tipping? – we know not although if Spot knew, he was not letting on as he never uttered a single woof on the matter although I did stop him from ‘christening’ a corner of the said settee – now, now Spot! – although leather don’t rust.
The thought crossed the mind that in this age of the ploy that you can ‘buy’ such items for basically nothing as in no deposit or whatever, in colours that range from ‘Explosion in a Flamingo Feather Factory Yellow’ to ‘Oriental Unknown Disease (cure pending) Mauve’ then take a few years to wear it out, the kids to use it as a battleground or trampoline as ‘it’s raining outside, mum’, leave ciggie burn marks on each armrest as ashtrays seem to be in short supply, then to place a plank across it so to paint the ceiling on it as you don’t have a step ladder available or it’s used as a make-do over night bed when cousin Bert came to stay for a day or two, before he skips the country to avoid paying for a settee suite he was due to pay for he brought a few years back he had forgotten about..
Next thing in the ditch that catches the eye is a bicycle wheel; rear one with tyre still on it in good condition. As we stand looking down, a jogger in that trendy garishly coloured Lycra stuff that makes him look like one of the villains in the Batman films, perhaps the Riddler? - Vainman? – comes to a halt as he stands looking down with us, he swings his head from side to side, he asks the question we all ask at such times: ‘Wonder what size it is? – it might fit my missus’ bike..’ and is followed up by ‘well, must go now as I am having a belting big fry up when I finish this malarkey – byeee’ as he gyrated up the road before us.
It must be nice to be into these sporty, healthy life regime things – or then again, not.
Bearing in mind it’s not viable or indeed possible to do a circle by way of a walk back to home unless taking a pack of lead free, ozone friendly sandwiches and a flask of tea or coffee made with garden fresh bird bath water with no nasty GM ingredients, it means we get to a certain point or the sharp bit, and we turn round and we head back in the direction we have come from.
Just as we are heading back, a lorry pulls to a grinding halt by the roadside and yes it’s that time again as the driver jumps out and says he is lost and I say ‘Hello, Lost – I am John and this is Spot and we trust you are having a nice day’ and he asked if he ‘was okay for March?’ and I replied that he had just missed it but another one would be here in about eight or nine months time, and it usually follows February and he said wanted the town called March and so we finally got him going in the right direction and as I said to Spot, you can’t beat ‘professionals’ unless you have a stick handy, as opposed to chasing after one.