As I commence this narrative, I’m in the dining room of my parents home in East Ardsley. The clock on the wall indicates that it is 4:58 pm, although my laptop clock begs to differ with 4:20 pm being displayed in the bottom right of my screen.
I’m not an astute detective like animated karate exponent Hong Kong Phooey, but I’d venture the laptop is the more horologically accurate of the two timepieces. After all, the dining room clock has displayed the time as 4:58 pm (or am) for most of the week.
It’s a late start to today’s literary piece, the consequence of two weekly provisions shops on different sides of Leeds. Unfortunately we forgot clock batteries on both, so it will be 4:58 in the dining room for a day or two more. The delay in penning this monologue was also exacerbated by a visit to the Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) to visit my pater, who’s on his 10th day hospital in situ.
It’s been a tough time for the old man, his recuperative progress from surgery in June seemingly at a standstill. After a week of setbacks in the LGI, the only positive news to report is that at least his room wall clock is telling the correct time!…….. Actually, that’s given me an idea, I might swap the batteries with the dining room clock tomorrow, save myself a couple of quid.
The octogenarian Yorkshireman is beyond fed up with the situation, longing to get back pronto to chez Strachan senior. The Englishman’s castle where he can kick off his slippers and watch live sports, listen to his eclectic CD collection, enjoy a medicinal glass of merlot and put fit for purpose batteries into the dining room clock.
It’s a melancholic feeling sitting keeping his reclining easy chair warm. Hopefully my tenancy in this comfortable chair, within a short distance of his CD player, won’t be for too long. God willing, shortly he’ll be residing back in this chair as head honcho of our brood, where he can proudly survey his sanctuary and exclaim “Have you not changed the bleeding batteries on that clock yet, Gary?!”
I mentioned above I’ve been stopping in the village of East Ardsley quite a bit recently. The West Yorkshire community, previous domain of diverse industries such as coal mining, textiles, agriculture and railways.
My parents moved into the village around 28 years ago, on returning back to West Yorkshire (where they were born and bred) after a two decade exile in the north east of England. To clarify, this was a self-imposed exile not like Napoleon who was banished to the isle of Elba after defeat in the Battle of Leipzig. My mum and dad have never been to Leipzig or indeed Elba, but aren’t very welcome in Kirkstall for some reason!
As a child, late entertainer Ernie Wise (of legendary comedy double act Morecambe & Wise) lived in this village bordering the cities of Leeds, Wakefield and the market town of Morley. For the uninitiated he was the little one without specs, diminutive hirsute legs and a liking for appearing in ‘plays what he wrote’.
I’m bringing this narrative to a close now. Due to various interruptions, it has frustratingly taken 5 hours to write this blog, a pastime that ordinarily takes 1-2 hours. Negating the normal therapeutic qualities of this outlet.
As it nears 8:50 pm, or 4:58 pm by the dining room clock, I’ll bid farewell, goodnight, while I saunter off to google where Elba is.
2 kids who've flown the nest, 1 wife whose flown with Jet2. Born at a young age in 1960's Leeds, the author became interested in the literary life when his wife bought him a dog. Having an allergy to dogs, he swapped it for a typewriter. Being unable to train the typewriter to retrieve tennis balls, he reluctantly turned to writing...... Website - www.writesaidfred.org