Mrs Cox continues her isolation by chatting with her husband Lenny who died 75 years earlier – just at the end of the Second World War.
I think you’ll be proud on me Lenny – two reasons – fust I was sittin’ in me chair at the bedroom windoo as I do of a mornin’ ‘avin a contemplate – when I clocks these kids a yaharing about on the bench across the rowad.
“Oy braindead” I shouts “keep ya cowin’ distances”.
“We’m exercising missis” the one whelp says. “Well exercise yaw common an’ keep apart – better still – bugger orf back indoors afore I call Dixon of Dock Green”
They left wid their tails ‘tween their legs but I did feel loike I was the sourpuss at the knees up – gooin’ around stoppin’ folk from havin’ fun when all they wants is a bitta crack to relieve the tedium. Nippers corn’t be nippers at the mo – t’aint natural.
‘Ere do you remember that New Years Eve when we did that conga down Livery Street? Must ‘av been nigh on a hundred of us arms round the one in front ‘on ya and a woodbine in yer mouth. “aye aye conga aye aye conga, do-do-do ado a conga-do…” Ooh, me back! Quite enough of that.
Where was I? Oh yez this FaceToime malarkey! Just call us ‘Heinstein’ Lenny, yow wouldn’t cop yer breath – I only gorn and mastered it! Got the voice before but now oy got pictures un all. Wondrous stuff – Charlie ‘n Suzettes clan. Yow’ll recall as he and that floosie wench Gloria h’emigrated on that Arcadian ship for a tenner back end of the 50s? Lot of water gorn under the bridge since then – Gloria ditched Charlie for a sheep farmer within weks. I knew it Lenny – tried to tell Charlie but he wouldn’t av’ it – any road Charlie soon found this Aussie wench Suzzette – or rather she found ‘im when he cum to work for ‘er Dad doin’ swimming pool maintenance. Well, she soon realised he wornt cut out for that – only swimming pool Charlie ud ever sen wus at Smethick Baths.
So they started a Cox-style market stall together– only the best produce unpolished to shine. Dun well out onit un all they ud four beautiful kids together – ‘course he’s a sprightly septuagenarian now and so’s ‘is Suzette ‘cept she ‘ent so sprightly on account as ‘er ‘ad a stroke last year.
Any road t’was the first time I’d seen ‘em live – videos yes but this was live. Marvellous this FaceToime thingy Spanners got me. Kids and Grandad kids all wavin’ and sayin’ “Hi Granma Cox!” Suppose I should ‘ave med the effort and gorn really – but never been on a ‘plane. If the good lord ‘ad wanted us ter fly ‘eed gid us wings – said it then, say it now. Call me stubborn, if ya like! Then you allus did. Loike when I wouldn’t give inta dem blinders. Peaky ‘bugger ended up wid one ear after I Vincent Van Gough’ed ‘im that day back in ’29. Taught them blinders not to mess wi’ the Coxes.
Any road, as I was sayin’ (got distracted – me age an’ I’m allowed) Charlie’s gotta lovely ‘owse on the beach in place called Newcastle somewhere north of Sydney, a coal-mining town jus’ like our Newcastle yus to be. They all look looked normal – not like convicts at all. We’ll be Facetsittin’ every Friday now – night-toime for them, morning ‘ere. Not as it makes much difference ‘ter me.
Ooooh update on Boris – he’s beaten the pop Lenny, wi’ the ‘elp of them wonderful NHS frontliners. Out of isolation and back on the ward. Brung a tear it did – reason to be cheerful as Doreen’s eldest Josie’s always sayin’.
“What’s your reason to be cheerful today gran-grans?” “Dunno pet” I says – mebbe because I saw Yer Uncle Charlie on Facething this mornin – what’s yorn?”
“Well there’s cowslips and forget-me-nots growin’ where the council ain’t bin cutting’ the grass, it am so good for the bees ‘un the butterflys – like nature tellin’ us to be thankful” ‘er says.
“All things bright ‘un beautiful” I says. “Used to sing that with my mother – I’ll be smiling all day rememberin’ that – thank you Josie, pet”
Honestly Lenny, she’s so much like Doreen her Mum – bit of a dreamer but hardest worker on the pitch as I recall. Josie’s a grafter too. Since she cor work at ‘er normal job – due to it bein’ furlonged or whatever they call it – ‘er set to work makin’ face masks for all the folk in ‘er road and beyond.
No point in me ‘avin one though as I cor go out for three months. Mebbe selfish but breks me up a bit that I cor goo shoppin’ for meself since the pop – then again folk standin’ in line with their trolleys for an hour wearing masks ‘ent my idea of fun neither.
Mind yow that’s become a bit on a farce – folks out foraging from the crack a dawn waitin’ for supermarkets to open. I’m sure they’re just hoardin’.
That’s the bit that t’aint like the war at all Lenny – there we daint have much so we med do – now they have too much! Them’s all becoming lardy pants through stayin’ in and scoffin’ nine meals a cowin’ day – I kid you not mate.
I sen pictures of the queues outside Morrisons and ASDA on the Bromsgrove Standard website – Spanners showed me how to computer it afore the lock in. Local news and a break from all the gloom and doom on telly. That bloke with the poncey name runs it – Tinkerbell or sommat – Tinkerbell ‘Arris I think. Nice chap despite ‘is name – “I’m very committed to the community” he says when he cums round to see us when I was one hundred and one.
Brought me a bag of doughnuts – which he proceeded to eat ‘iself.
“What’s the secret of you longevity Mrs Cox?” he asked me
“Well I rub parsley seeds in me ‘air to stop it fallin out and gargle every day with elderflower and vinegar” I told ‘im!
Night Lenny – another day dun mate, another day nearer the new D-Day – deliverance from the Pop.