Wednesday, 24 November 2010

And just how long have you been here?

A small queue had formed in front of the Village Shop one Sunday morning, everyone eager for their copies of the Sunday papers - desperate to see what might have happened in the world outside, since yesterday.

The Knights (as usual) were at the front of the queue, followed by Daisy. The door opened and they all rushed eagerly in.

"Before I forget," said Percy handing me a cheque "A gentleman gave this to me and asked me to pass it on to you - he was in a hurry to get to Church otherwise he might have stopped to give it to you himself."
I took the proffered cheque, glanced at the signature and popped it into the till.
"Oh thank you very much Mr. M." I smiled back.
"I think he said his name was Dr. R" He added, then looking at Daisy for support said "Is that what he said Daisy?"
Daisy looked down her long nose and sneered, "I have no idea who he said he was - he wasn't speaking to me. I wouldn't know him from Adam, I feel as if the whole village is filling up with Newcomers."
"It's alright Mr. M, his name is on the bottom of the cheque - it was Dr. R." I said trying to comfort the old boy, clearly surprised by Daisys outburst. I looked at Daisy and added sarcastically "He's only lived here for eighteen years."
"Oh," said Daisy, quite unabashed, "I told you the place is filling up with outsiders, it gets so you barely see a soul you recognise walking down the street!"

As she moved away, little Eva plonked her papers on the counter and looked me in the eye, "Take no notice dear," she said kindly "Daisy has only been here since the War, she married into the village then - shes from.." and then cast a withering glance at Daisy "Newdigate."
I nodded knowingly, Newdigate was at least 5 miles away and the War only ended sixty odd years ago!

Anne was next to be served. She tutted audibly, "Newcomers?" she looked scornfully at the women who had stepped aside to wait for her "My husbands great-grandmother was born in this village! He can tell you a thing or two about Newcomers."

All three left the shop together, still discussing "The Invasion", I looked up at the next customer, Chairman of the Parish Council - keeper of the Village Archives - "Don't you start." I warned.
He shrugged, "I daren't, Anne's husband's great-grandmother was fifteen years older than mine, his credentials are much longer!"

4 comments:

  1. Another friend had lived in the village for 15 years. At social gatherings he would be asked "And where do you live?" patiently he would explain, they would nod and reply "Oh old Dickie Smiths place..."

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  2. It's almost as if you come from elsewhere you have two heads and speak a foreign language. Great story.

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  3. Its a misconception in villages that you may not "understand" the lay of things if you don't know the WHOLE family history - also a huge amount of importance is made out of very unimportant things - or perhaps thats the cynic in me!

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