My office window at Salty John Towers looks out over a country lane. Off to the left the lane leads past houses, campsites and caravan parks to a pleasant inn and the river. To the right is the village with its houses, cottages, three pubs and two restaurants. And the small Post Office from which many Salty John parcels are dispatched.
Over the years I’ve given nicknames to the people that regularly walk past my window. The names are mostly of an affectionate nature and once I come to know the person involved the nickname is dispensed with.
Fifties woman is one of my longest serving perambulators. She has a blonde beehive of impressive proportions and wears straight skirts and four inch heels. I can hear the click-clack of those heels well before she heaves into view. Another one who could be heard long before he appeared was The Whistler. Two years ago I realised he’d gone AWOL. I hope he’s all right and that he’s simply taken his perpetual warble elsewhere, but sometimes I fear the worst.
Then there’s Man-woman, a bit cruel that one and I will probably feel quite guilty should I ever meet her. But her masculine countenance begged the sobriquet.
The Twins Mother is, I was recently informed, not the mother of twins. Well, they look like twins. I know who she is but as we’ve not actually met she remains in the cast. Along with The Major and Mrs Major – he of the military bearing and magnificent moustache who tips his hat at the ladies. She of the Queenly wardrobe topped by a turquoise beret which adds a certain jauntiness.
Mystery woman has been around for several years and is still a mystery. Attractively interesting, I’d call her. She probably leads a perfectly ordinary life but her role as Mystery woman allows for more rewarding flights of imagination.
Some of the walkers know each other and on several occasions have stopped to chat together at the end of my drive. I often wave and they wave back.
I once had the part of one of the characters, the Boy, in “Six Characters in Search of an Author”, the Luigi Pirandello tragic comedy in which six characters persuade a director to let them act out their story – the Boy shoots himself in the end.
Anyway, it got me wondering if my cast of characters isn’t crying out to be in a story – scandal and intrigue in a small Lancashire village, perhaps. I’ll work on it this winter.
I know this has nothing to do with sailing or boats but it’s that time of year. I’ll try to get back on track next week. Unless you’d like to hear more about Mystery woman and that bloke that runs the boating website?
I’ll take this opportunity to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.