Come on, we’ll go for a nice walk…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s heraldic term is ‘talbot’ – a large hunting hound, now extinct.
I used to have a couple of fine talbots, but I had to let them go – they started eating all the furniture. (talbot)

When I was a child, I really didn’t like putting on ‘best clothes’, combing my hair, and being taken to visit relatives. One day we went to see Uncle Waff and Auntie Sadie. (‘Waff’, apparently sometimes spelled ‘Waugh’, but pronounced Waff, was his nickname, I think he was actually called Bill.) We sat in their living room with cups of tea and dainty plates of arrowroot biscuits balanced on our knees; the adults did lots of chatting; I was the only child present. I was being ‘well behaved’ and was definitely not enjoying myself.
I think Uncle Waff spotted that I was looking uncomfortable and said in a cheery voice, ‘Come on David, let’s go for a little walk…’
We were soon outside and striding up the road. I suppose walking along with this man, with the strange name, that I hardly knew, was slightly better than sitting in that room having to have tea and uninteresting biscuits, but then to my horror he said, ‘I’ll tell you what David, let’s go and visit some strange people I know, they live fairly close by…’ Strange people?… My heart sank… I couldn’t really say, ‘No, I don’t want to!…’ I was trapped – this was turning out to be an awful day…
We walked on and on in the sunshine, turning off the main road into a side street, down an overgrown alley, across another road, past gardens and fences, until we eventually came to a scruffy green back garden gate.
‘This it, this is where they live…’ he whispered, ‘let’s go in quietly and surprise them…’
This was getting worse by the minute – I was so miserable…
We entered the house slowly and carefully through the kitchen, I could hear the ‘strange people’ murmuring in the next room. Uncle Waff whispered close in my ear, ‘Come on David you go in first…’ I froze… I heard the conversation suddenly stop as he turned the knob on the door to the room. Oh, this was awful!… Why?… Why had he brought me on this ridiculous adventure?… I was just about to break free and run, but he quickly pushed the door open and propelled me into the room… There they were… the strange people, sitting in chairs, teacups in hand; they all looked up and stared at me… In my panic I hardly recognised them – there was my mum, my sister, and Auntie Sadie. My uncle had walked me on a long and convoluted route back to his own house!… Oh, how we all laughed!…
He was a good bloke, my Uncle Waff…

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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