I’ve mentioned my Uncle Cledwyn a number of times and, although I’ve not always been kind to him, he never once complained. Now, the old fellah’s gone to a much better place.
He moved out of his care home and now lives in a small but comfortable cottage deep in the Wye Valley. Which is where my story starts …
Having had some business to attend to in Monmouth, I thought I’d surprise Uncle Cledwyn, call in to see him on the way back home and take him a bottle of his favourite topple. I mean ‘topple’ and not ‘tipple’ because it only takes one glass and he falls over.
Anyway, I pulled-up outside the cottage and knocked on the door, prepared to wait a while for him to answer because he’s not as spry as he used to be. Plus, I knew “Tipping Point” hadn’t quite finished and he’d never leave the telly until he knew whether the jackpot had been won.
When he came to the door he was visibly shocked to see me. But not as shocked as I was to see him. . . . because he was stark naked apart from a battered old trilby. On his head.
He got over his shock quicker than I got over mine and said, “Come in, Bill!”.
He’s always been terrible at remembering names.
I followed him inside and declined his offer of ‘a nice hot cup of tea’ as I’d recently attended a health and safety course and my mind was full of images of spilled teacups and me driving a naked old man to hospital.
We sat and talked for about an hour, my gaze always aimed above his waist. When it was time for me to go, I said . . . “Do you mind me asking why you’re not wearing any clothes?”.
His reply was simple – “Well this place is so remote, I’ve been here over a year and you’re my first visitor.”
When I asked why he wore the old hat, he shrugged and said, “Well, I can’t completely rule out the possibility someone might come to the door!”