Saturday, July 29, 2006

Our first real holiday. (Part 4 The Traffic Warden)

The following day, Sunday, we went to Eyemouth, a small fishing village over the Scottish border, where we had called at previously on our long weekend. We had lunch at the Lobster Pot Inn. It was a very pleasant place and the food was excellent. All through our stay, the weather still held good and we made the most of it. We swam in the sea; we lazed about on the beach. (This time, Iris made sure she was protected by sun-tan cream!) I remember that there were swans swimming in the sea; it was that calm. In the evenings, we would go back to the ‘Ponderosa’ as the locals called the pub and we would join in games or just natter away to friends we had made. We had also discovered a tiny social club tucked away in a back-street in Berwick but more of that later. We were really enjoying our first holiday together.
A remarkable incident took place when we went to Eyemouth. As we approached the small harbour, we saw the road had double yellow lines freshly painted there. Parking was only available in a handkerchief-sized ‘square’ near the harbour. It was a time when the licensing laws hadn’t changed in Scotland and the pub was only open on Sunday lunchtime if the tide was right for the small fishing fleet of about four or five boats to enter harbour. We stopped near the square but it was choc-full of cars and vans, (about eight, altogether!) As we decided to pull away, a traffic warden knocked on the window and asked if we were staying. It was the last place I thought I’d see a traffic warden. They were a common sight down in Cornwall but up here at the back of beyond??? He was a smallish tubby man of indeterminate years; anything from fifty to seventy. I replied that we wanted to go and have a drink in the pub.
Get this… He said, “That yon van there is going in a couple of minutes, give me your keys and I’ll park the car for you.” I was amazed at this; In a semi-trance, I gave him my keys and we went into the pub. It was very busy and eventually we got served just as the traffic warden was pushing his way towards us with the keys in his hand. I thanked him and asked if there was any charge. He replied “Aye, thanks, I’ll have a wee dram wid ye!” I got him a measure of scotch and the landlord pulled a pint as well.. He told me “Auld Wullie likes a taste o’ beer with his dram, ye know!”.. Auld Wullie was the only traffic warden in my life that I have bought a drink for!!!

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