Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

Family Folklore 

They form all of our family histories. Anecdotes of yore handed down, ensuring whimsical yarns involving kith and kin are maintained in folklore, allowing future generations to maintain and relay a small segments of a forefather’s existence. Stories that even though possibly partly or predominantly fictional are worthy of a retell as genuinely funny tales that you just want to be true.

The catalyst to today’s subject a recent conversation with a good friend during which she disclosed tales of her eccentric, resilient and idiosyncratic nan. A character, like my friend and I, raised in a working class northern English environment; her ninety plus year existence in a Lancashire mill town at times impoverish.However, those tough times manifesting a doggedness and survival strategies, along with a wealth of jovial yarns that won’t pass away with the nonagenarian.


 Amongst the anecdotes my buddy relayed about her elderly forebearer were submissions her grandmother once owned a cat that had a habit of defecating in her slipper, during tougher times as a mother of young kids carrying out a shoe repair with concrete and owning a dog that committed suicide.

Tales which not only humoured me, but also led me to conclude my friends nan wasn’t overly lucky with footwear and her choice of pets. The fixing of a shoe with concrete during impoverished times particularly tickling my funny bone; especially a revelation the sheer weight of the repairing material being so cumbersome that the quirky lady had great trouble manoeuvring her foot. 

The latter anecdote relating to the dog taking it’s own life was apparently the result of depression following the death of the old ladies long-term husband. In the absence of  emotional support groups like a canine Samaritans to engage with, the loss of his beloved owner was just too big a burden to bear. Of course there’s no way of proving 100% that the dog was depressed, however waiting until a car drove along his street before walking into the road is a fairly good indication all was not well with it’s mental health.

The cat doing it business in the old lady’s slipper also a strange whimsical tale. Incidentally, when I say the moggy did it’s business in the nans slipper I’m of course referring to an act of feline bowel movement. Not that it held meetings regarding sales targets for his crane hire business in the old ladies domestic footwear…… Tiddles Crane Hire one of north west England”s premier construction equipment companies.

I’d venture having a cat defecate in your footwear once is pretty unlucky, never mind one performing the act habitually, as was the case for nan. My understanding is that moggies ordinarily prefer to cover their poop, not leaving it on full view in an old lady’s moccasin. As I mused above, my friends grandmother appears to suffer from dreadful misfortune when it comes to domestic pets and footwear. 

Poor fortune indeed, but at least she’ll leave my buddy and the rest of her brood with highly entertaining stories which they can dine out on for generations…… A wonderful legacy!!

Categories: Blogs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.