Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Nan and the side passageway

At the side of Nan's house is a door leading to a covered passageway with a door to the kitchen in the side wall and another to the back garden at the far end. There were numerous territorial battles between Nan and Uncle as to who had supremacy over the side passage.  Nan used it as a moggy hotel for any stray cats who came through her garden and rejected Dandycord rugs. Uncle used it to house his equally precious motor bike (often to be found in pieces, occasionally to be found in one piece and riden around the block before being taken apart again).

One extremely foggy morning in the 1950s Nan had been ticked off by Uncle for her use of his 'empire': 'Muuther, I don't want to find any cats in that passage when I come home - horrible stinky things and their fur gets all over my bike.'  With that he jumped onto his Norton, revving up the hill, a young man in a hurry - sadly more Lone Ranger than Marlon Brando in The Wild One.
Some time later Nan went to catch the bus to work.  Stepping out into the dense fog, she could hear the sound of a horse galloping down the hill.  Expecting to see a horse and rider she came face to face with a lone horse with a bridle, but no rider.  Grabbing the bridle (always wondered quite how she managed to do this - being vertically challenged - possibly some sort of flying ninja jump - must ask her for more detail) she began to talk to the horse, warning him that it wouldn't be a good idea to continue down the hill as the main road was ahead and that he should come with her until she could find out where he belonged (yes, she did and still does talk to animals in exactly the same way she talks to humans).
The horse was led into the passageway to await Uncle's return.  Sadly Nan wasn't there to hear his initial reaction; but given that he continued to bring this up in every arguement they had until the 1980s I suspect he wasn't very pleased.

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