Chertsey Tales Part Twentyone.
The war seems to be far away, although there are some air-raids in the north of the country.
We had another bomb land in Lyne fields, it made a big crater, and all the kids were searching for shrapnel.
It’s Sunday morning, I have finished putting some white Blanco on my plimsolls, it’s a bit pointless as they are completely worn out, I have no idea why I do this, every weekend; white tennis plimsolls seem out of place with rest of my clothes.
Don, my brother is in the garden, he is very good at growing things, and his favourite is the gooseberry bush, he says it has special powers.
Helping mum at the weekend is the only time I have her to myself, we talk about all sorts of things. I have just wrung out some clothes in the mangle and have hung them up on the line.
Today, mum seemed a bit odd, she kept looking over her shoulder at me.
“Trevor,” she said.
Now I need to explain; Every now and again, for some reason, that I have never understood, my mother calls me ‘Trevor’.
I can understand when she calls me by my brother’s names, Don, or Bernard, that happens all the time, but Trevor— we don’t know any Trevor’s.
“Trevor” she says, I know you like helping me with the washing, but boys of your age should be doing more manly things, like your brother in the garden.”
She stopped washing and dried her hands and looked straight at me.
“Do you have a girlfriend?”
“Of course, I do, lots of them.”
“No, I mean a special one that you really like?”
“No, not really, I have a two special boyfriends though, Teddy and Tony.”
She kept looking at me, for quite a long time, then very quietly said.
“Umm, Alan, have they told you about the birds and bees at school yet?”
Oh, I thought, not that old rubbish, Teddy and I reckoned it can’t be true, you have only to look at the size of a bee, compared to that of a bird, even a little Wren.
“Well mum, Miss Weller did start to explain it to us, but Laurie Zubiena kept interrupting her and asking lots of questions. Then she started to cry, and Mrs. Ayres had to take over the class.”
“Anyway, Don has told me all about it.”
“Did he now, and what did your brother tell you?”
“He said they were delivered by a stork, although I’m not too sure about that. There’s a lot of babies about, but I have never, ever seen a stork.”
“Wait till I see him, he’s always telling you stories, babies are not delivered by a stork.”
She gives a long sigh.
“Put the kettle on and let’s have nice cup pf tea.”
She says this, as if it was no good going on.
Now, I know I am a bit backward, but I just knew Don’s story about the stork was total rubbish.
On the other hand, the gooseberry bush in our garden is quite big, that is something to believe in, after all seven kids were born in this house.