John Pilgrim: Helping June grapple with her new cleaner

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The beautiful weather last weekend gave me an ideal opportunity to catch up with an old friend, observe the somewhat strange antics of an elderly lady and to give Gemma my Spaniel the chance to let her hair down.

The old friend is Mick King. Since we are both now retired we decided to get together at Stockgrove Park where our dogs could take a swim in the lake.

Mick and I have spoken on the phone and by email over the past few years but hadn’t actually seen each other for quite some time so we both had a problem recognising the two elderly gentlemen who tottered towards each other as us!

Mick berated me for the wearing a silly hat and I suggested he might like to buy me a cup of tea at the café because I don’t recall the man ever buying me anything to drink.

As it turned out the tea came a bad second in texture and taste to the water in the lake. We took several breaks on our walk and we managed to put most of the world to rights in the process.

Later in the weekend I visited my elder sister June, who has purchased a new vacuum cleaner. She requested that I should stick around while she tested the thing out.

June proceeded to try to work the ‘new fangled thing’. It wasn’t easy because it kept switching itself off and my sister refused to believe me when I told her that the plug had come out of the power socket.

Having satisfied herself that I was right (for a change) she finished the test run by opening up the vacuum, taking out the bag and shaking the contents onto her skirt, she then stood up and the mess went onto the floor which she then swept with a dust pan and brush.

With Gemma trying to tip toe to the safety of the car I suggested that it was time we left. All in all it was a fascinating weekend and all for the price of a gallon of petrol.

Later in the evening and safely back home I was attempting to finish painting the decking in the back garden and in order to gain my attention the dog dropped her ball into the paint pot. So what with the swim in the lake and the ball in the paint at least the dog splashed out even if Mick didn’t.

It was great to see the old chap again though and Mick remember to bring some money next time (and make sure that what you bring is legal tender, none of your out of date stuff from under the bed!).