Time After Time


September 6, 2012 by Whispering Smith

Published Littlehampton Gazette August 30th 2012

Time after time

A couple of years back when I first started working my allotment, most afternoons there was an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair sitting by the allotment gate, I thought  of him as Saint Peter. He had a thin face and the large ears that old men sometimes develop and his false teeth rattled a little when he spoke. He was quite deaf and conversation was difficult. He got himself to the gate each day by pushing the wheelchair backwards with his feet. Each time I saw him he asked me how long I had been on the allotment that day, and then he would ask me how old I was. I would tell him and he would laugh and ask me to guess how old I thought he was. I always told him that I had no idea and he would say he was ninety-five. I have learned from a fellow allotmenteer who believed that the old man was Polish, that he had been a fighter pilot in the war and that he had been badly injured when shot down in Russia by German cannon fire – hence the wheelchair. I do not know if this is true. All through that summer, if the weather was fine, he was at the gate and each day he would again ask me how old I was and I would tell him, he would laugh and ask me to guess how old he was and I again say would say that I didn’t know and he would laugh and say ‘ninety-five’. And so it would be every afternoon of every day. Sadly he did not appear last year and so far this summer not a sign. I hope he is well.


Look Bach in anger

Love the design of the new bandstand and looking forward to its completion come next June. Open air summer theatre, music concerts – of all kinds – poetry readings all sheer entertainment for the many and the few and complimenting in many ways the Windmill Theatre. I solved the riddle of non repeated Bach concert of three years ago. Apparently the town council, when approached for a license by the organisers, were told in words to the effect that it was ‘…too up-market for Littlehampton.’ What a ruddy cheek! Hope the TC has as little say as possible as to what the bandstand is home to.


Starry starry sky

My son has set up a blog for Whispering Smith and handed it over to me last week. I booted up my pc but could not find it in my documents so I asked him where it was and he explained that it did not work like that. It was not in my documents but stored elsewhere and then went into an explanation that lost me completely. So where really is ‘elsewhere’, I wondered? He looked at me long and patiently and, I like to think lovingly. ‘Look at it this way,’ he said. ‘I have given you a link to it which you can look upon as a wormhole to where your site is stored in a galaxy far, far away.’ At last, an explanation in a language I was familiar with!


Gone fishin’

I’m filing this week’s column from The New Forest. Rolled out of my sleeping bag at the crack of dawn, made coffee, cooked some eggs and bacon, sorted out my gear and went fly fishing. So far I have caught four bluebottles!

One thought on “Time After Time

  1. Lin says:

    So interestingly the New Forest didn’t bring forth tumbling words of ..beauty…solitude…sun twinkling through leafy arbours….can really smell the bacon and eggs though. Wafting…taunting ….delicious

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