(109) 'KEN TUFFS, The Memory Collector'

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Ken
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(109) 'KEN TUFFS, The Memory Collector'

Ken
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This post was updated on .
                                           
                                                      Fred, Fred, pooped the bed,
                                                     told his mum, he'd laid an egg.
                                                    When his mum, went up to look,
                                                   she stuck her finger in the poop!

The above is not another example of my poetry skills but a poem that my mother taught me the year I started school, it amused her and I know she told it to all nine of her children.  I'm sure, that as the years passed, they too told it to their children, as did I.  Recently, my seven year old granddaughter was staying with us and and I decided it was time to bring some culture into her life.  I began to quote the family's favourite poem but I'd got no further than, 'Fred, Fred,' when she took over and finished it, word perfectly. It seems my daughter has her educational priorities firmly in place, for she's handed down something that may have been in our family for generations. I wonder who taught the little ditty to my mother and who taught it to her.  Whoever it was, they had a lot of fun and laughter in their heart.

My sister Phyl recently complimented me on recovering the memories that could have been lost forever, and this, 'Kens Cosy,' immortalises some more gems from the past.  I'll begin with one that occurred in 1942 and it involved Phyl when she was just four years old.  She and brother Gordon, who was eighteen months younger, needed someone to look after them for a few hours for my mother had to be elsewhere. Dad was away, for these were the war years, and my eldest brother, Wally, was now a working man.  So mother had to decide which of her other children should take a day of school to look after the two youngsters.  For some reason she chose Bob who, at nine years of age, considered himself to be almost a man.  So he was entrusted to look after his little brother and sister.  Perhaps not the wisest choice!

This was during our Longacre Cottage days and mother had supplied Bob with some sweets to give to the children when he saw fit. This he did, but he hadn't been told to use a mousetrap when doing so, but that's what the rascal did. One by one, he placed the sweets on the hair triggered mousetrap, and, one by one, his hungry young siblings were invited to take them off.  At that time, sweets were rationed and a rare treat, so the temptation was hard to resist. What happened you ask?  Well, in Phyl's own words, "By the time mum got home, our little fingers were bruised and bleeding."  Bob swears this never happened but it reeks of his sense of devilment, even at that tender age.  Sorry Bob, I believe sister Phyl!

Sister Violet told me another interesting story about 1942 and this one occurred on Christmas day.  It was early in the evening and mum was busy in the kitchen while everyone else was gathered around the blazing log fire.  In those days the cottage had no electricity and so they sat in the dim, but comforting, glow of the gas lamps.  Dad was still away in the army, so it was seventeen year old Wally who got up to answer some loud knocking on the door.  No doubt some of the children would have peered through the window to see who it was and they would have seen what Wally saw when he opened the door.  Before him stood a man who said, "Please can I come in by your warm fire, I am a poor old man who is cold and hungry, with nowhere to go on this Christmas night."  Wally, probably looking bemused, muttered something and, turning to the children, asked, "What shall we do, shall we let him in?"  With one voice they all shouted, "No, don't let him in, shut the door quickly."  Although she was only four years old, my sister Phyl says she can still remember the old man was wearing a trilby hat and a brown coat.  Continuing with Violets words she said, "As the little ones starting to cry, Wally began to laugh." The old man was in fact, our MUM!  She walked in, dressed in Dads suit and overcoat and, as she took off her hat, everyone began to laugh.  They were tough time war years but somehow, on that long ago Christmas evening, our wonderful mother found one way to make the family laugh!

In my Kingdom I have a small, chipped, brown and cream jug of only sentimental value, its actually rather ugly.  I've always kept it because my mother gave it to me, saying it was given to her, by her mothers, mother, and that makes it old.  As old perhaps as the, 'Fred, Fred,' poem, that may too have been handed down from Emily Smith, who was my mothers grandmother. "Kens Cosy is recovering memories that may have been lost forever," that's what Phyl said in an email this week and, I confess, I'd never thought of it that way.  However, it perfectly describes what I've been trying to do.  Of course it helps when I get info from the likes of my much loved sisters and the above stories deserved to survive.
 
From now on I will add to my long list of self awarded honours a new one, 'Ken Tuffs, The Memory Collector!'
Ken
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Re: (109) 'KEN TUFFS, The Memory Collector'

Ken
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The collector and protector of memories that may have been lost, that's what I've been doing these past few years.  I'm actually rather proud of what I've achieved, particularly of the two stories told here that came from my much loved sisters!