These things seem unconnected yet they sort of happened at about the same time, as always with Bill things sort of happened.
Working in my garden one sunny afternoon the old Landrover chugged up, and with what sounded like a big sigh of relief the chugging stopped, and a cheery voice asked ” What you doing then”?, Now it so happened that I was not in the best of moods, having just had my old and trusty wheel barrow fall apart, which was to say the least a little inconvenient, making my reply sound a little abrupt, ” I’m digging a big hole for the next silly so and so that stops and asks me what I am doing”
Old Bill by this time had vacated his Landrover, and was leaning on the old Cotswold stone wall, clearly intent on having a good old chin wag. With a big grin on his pumpkin like face, he was not going to miss the chance of poking a little fun out of a friendly neighbour, “Missus been giving orders then”? Serves you right, you should take her out more often” This in a loud voice, knowing full well that my wife working in the kitchen with the window wide open would be bound to hear him.
Same old routine followed, with a wave to the window, where my smiling spouse would wave back, holding up a teacup invitingly, and receive a nod and a wink in reply. The old rouge had all the Ladies in the village doting on him, next would come the tray of tea, and a big slice of whichever cake had just been baked.
We chatted over the tea; well you could never be put out with bill for more than a few minutes.
I told him about my old wheel barrow, and was told don’t buy a new one, as he knew exactly where to find me one, slight alarm bells began to ring, visions of police cars etc, but I was assured everything was above board, no problems, so i was lulled into a sense of security.
Then Bill got all serious and started to tell me the reason for his visit, asking me did I remember how his brother on his last visit had in the Pub told us of his impending marriage to the Big Buxom country girl he was working with. Of course we would always remember how Bill with his usual banter suggested that he was delighted, but warned his brother that he should get some help looking after his big strong lass, we all had a laugh at Charley’s expense.
Well Charley was coming over that night, and would meet us in the Pub to tell us of his good news.
That night after a great deal of laughing and joking, and a few beers, Charley stood up and made his announcement, ”As you were all here when I told you about my getting married, I thought I should tell you about the good news, the missus is pregnant” every one cheered, raised their glasses in congratulations. Bill of course could not resist remarking that he was pleased his brother had heeded his advice, and obtained some help, when the laughter had died down, Charley with the biggest grin ever, simply said ”I always take my brothers advice, and invited her big sister to come and live with us, Trouble is she be pregnant too” This was the only time any of us had seen Bill speechless, mouth wide open, unable to utter a word.
Oh what about the wheel barrow, true to his word Bill turned up a few days later with my replacement barrow, and what a barrow, it was enormous about three meters wide and half a meter deep, goodness knows where it had come from, or what it had been used for.
My protestations were met with scorn, Bill grumbling that some ungrateful folk were never satisfied, and promptly put the barrow against the old stone wall, and with a few deft manoeuvres with the Bull bars on his old Landrover, presented me with a barrow about one meter wide, and more than two meters deep.
Now it only remained to launch the vessel properly, Bill produced a bottle of his best homemade, and we duly toasted the barrow, the bottle was finished, I don’t remember if we opened another.
Now anyone who has experienced falling into a two metres deep wheel barrow will know just how difficult it is to get out, and that the best solution is to curl up and fall asleep.