Note to self: I had to read three previous entries to remember what week this is. Memory is definitely getting worse…
This is “Thinking of my wife” week. 13thMarch was the 20th anniversary of my Ella’s passing. That’s why I’ve chosen this week’s “name”.
I was walking back from Tesco this morning with my new shopping trolley – the one my girls gave me for me birthday – and I walked past the house at the corner. The one with the huge side garden. I noticed that I’ve got new neighbours.
Their garden is quite big, but not as big as Ella’s and mine. I picked this house when it was still on the plan, and I picked it because of the garden. I was only 19 when I put a deposit on it. Me old man and I were working as plasterers for this development firm. I can’t believe I helped build all these houses in this street! It was 1954 and this house cost £1,465, can you believe that…
So, I was walking round the corner and heard the lawn mower and loud voices and laughter. A lot of laughter, mind you. It was only when I got to the front gate, past the tall hedge, that I saw them.
They’re in their 30s, I guess. He was mowing the lawn and she was walking after him, holding the mower cable, making funny faces as she talked and laughed.
It’s a beautiful day today. Sun is high and warm, there is not a single cloud in the sky. But I couldn’t take my eyes off her. It’s the redhead. She’s a redhead, just like my Ella, you know.
When the husband saw me at the gate, he came to introduce himself. Their names are Ben and Kelly, and they are adorable. They held hands and cuddled all the time we talked and I felt so much love between them that I even got a bit jealous. Ella and I used to cuddle all the time too.
I was a bit embarrassed, but I told them I had stopped because she reminded me of my Ella. I told them all about how I knew my Ella was trouble when I met her. Me mother was Irish and a redhead. And she was a very strong woman. I told Jim and Kelly I knew my Ella was trouble the first time I saw her. And even knowing that, I feel in love with her. I told them I put a deposit on our house when I was only 19 and why I picked our house.
I bought it on the plan, you know, and I chose the one with the biggest garden and hoped I would one day find a good woman, get married and have children. It all worked out in the end, you know.
I told Ken and Kelly that when I married my Ella, her mother asked “Are you going to live with us” and I said “No”. So she asked “Are you going to live with your parents” and I also said “No”. And she asked “Where are you going to live then” and I told her “I have a house in Pencoed” and she said “What???” I hadn’t told anyone, you see. But I bought it and I hope and it worked out in the end.
Lucky I picked the house with the biggest garden, I told Dan and Kelly. We had three children and every time my Ella got pregnant, I built an extension. So, you see, I now have a very big house, with three extensions, just for myself! And my back garden is still bigger than their side garden. But I’m all alone. It’s been 20 years now.
I invited them over to see the house, the garden, and have a cuppa and a chat. I really hope they come visit. They’re an adorable, friendly couple. And she’s a redhead.
Well, gotta take me tablets and it’s bed time now.