Mildew Terrace consists of eight brick built homes all standing in a single row. The houses run from number two through to sixteen. I live in the end terrace, number sixteen. They are simple dwellings with a two up and two down accommodation. The two upper rooms consist of one double bedroom and one single while downstairs is a lounge come dinning room with a galley style kitchen. Plumbing was not something given much thought back in 1847 when these properties were built. Until recent times they had no bathroom, no toilet. One resident, who shall remain nameless, still keeps an old tin bath on his kitchen wall which he fills each Saturday night before performing his weekly ablutions. In another house an antique chamber pot is kept under the bed which once filled is emptied onto the rose bushes. Unsurprisingly the finest growth of roses in Fekenham can be found in that garden.
Today, following an early breakfast of eggs, bacon and a slice of fried bread flushed down with a hot cup of stewed leaves, I took a walk. It was a short stroll taking in the neighbouring homes but also part of Will Hamfists farm.
My next door neighbours are Rose Buckshot and John Tuck. I heard them struggling as I passed. They seemed to be having a spot of bother but I couldn’t see what was wrong.
“You’ll have to grease it first John as it won’t slide in.” said Rose a touch breathlessly.
“I’m pushing as hard as I can.” grunted John.
“Well stop you daft sod,” groaned Rose, “it’s far too big.”“Why don’t you take it the other way?” asked John still pushing with all his might.
“I think its wedged.” cried Rose in frustration.
“Hang on,” said John gasping for breath, “I’ll go and see if Tom Coppernob has any axle grease.”
As John moved away I could see the iron bedstead they had been trying to fit through the front door.
Next door to Rose and John live Violet Springheel and the aforementioned Tom Coppernob. Who were in their garden.
“Stop flapping it about Tom. I can’t get hold of it.”
“It’s gone all limp.” moaned Tom.
“Try squeezing it first to get the water out.” suggested Violet.
“Maybe if I slapped it against the fence?” queried Tom.
“Don’t do that you might get splinters in it.”
"Awww, look its dripping all over my shoes."
"Awww, look its dripping all over my shoes."
Eventually they managed to hang the sodden towel on the washing line.
Next door to Violet and Tom lives Maurice Tinkercuss. He, as you know, is the village postman, milkman and part time fireman. He is seldom in as he is always out. Today he was delivering mail and milk.
Mr and Mrs Crustywinkle have lived at number eight for more years than I can remember. Mrs Crustywinkle, as you may recall if you read “Ghosts of the Past” is house cleaner for Brigadier Largepiece. She had her duster in her hand this day and Harold, her husband in front of her.
“Put it in my hand and I’ll give it a polish.” offered the good lady
“Polishing it won’t do no good, it needs a firm grip. Here let me ‘ave a go.”
“Give the top bit a twist. It looks stiff.” opined Mrs Crustywinkle.
“’Course it’s stiff, we ‘aven’t had it off in years.” remonstrated Harold.
A loud pop followed by the waft of pickles as Mr Crustywinkle prised the lid off the jar then passed his beloved a jar of onions.
Number six is where Julie Twist lives with her son Billy. He is of course the young star of Winchester FC youth squad. They say he will soon be playing for the first team.
Next to them is number four where Hilda Hemlock lives. Her house door is painted black and the net curtains hang in tatters. There is a queer smell as you pass the place like formaldehyde and rotting beetles. No one has seen Hilda for years although you can often hear her rattling about. Kids around here say she is a witch but since few can remember what she looks like let alone what she does we all leave well alone.
At number two resides Mavis Mufftickle, a hearty woman with an eclectic taste in cats, Mavis has long had a passion for felines with thirty now in her possession. Possession is probably the wrong term as no one ever owns a cat; the cat owns you and grants you the pleasure nay privilege of caring for it by giving it food and shelter. Among Mavis’ mixed assortment of cats she has various breeds: Siamese, Persian Blues, Manx and even the odd ginger tom. In this world there is nothing like a little feline friend and Mavis has a fine selection.
As I strode past I saw Mavis trimming her bush. She smiled at me then called out.
“Morning Mister Duffy, would you like to come and stroke my pussy.”
Not being much of a cat lover I declined the offer and continued walking.
all words and art are copyright © of Russell 'C.J' Duffy.To view my books on Amazon/Kindle go here: https://www.amazon.com/author/russellduffy -- For another side of CJ go here: sOMeThiNg For tHE wEeKeND, SiR?