A Chair for Mother

[This was written in 1990, as a school essay]

Me mother always comes on Tuesday to our house. She has done for as Long as I can renumber. Except, of course, when the Falklands was on. She stayed at home then, 'cause she thought the chap up the road was a secret Argentinian agent and might want to hold her to ransom. Well, me husband, our Bill, managed to get her out. How he did it I don't know, but he did. That was one of the very few things our Bill has done successfully in his life.

Well, anyway, every Tuesday there she is, stood at the front doorstep nine a.m. sharp. Stick in one hand and bag in the other. She's got arthritis you know. Not that it stops her at all, she can nip down to the shops for a pint of milk quicker than our Bill, but then again our Bill's never been one for dashing about.

Well, when me mother comes on a Tuesday, it it's a fine day she likes to sit out in the garden, or what bit of a garden we've got. Bill's not much of a gardener. But to sit out in the garden she needs a chair. We haven't got one of those posh chairs like Mr Jenks 'cross the road's got. God knows I've tried to get our Bill to get one, but he never has. We have to get a dining chair from our front room. The room looks nice to say Bill's done it up (he's not much of a painter is our Bill). I'm still not sure about the magenta ceiling a bit over the top for my liking, but Mr Jenks likes it.

"Somewhat different." he said.

He's always been a man of style has Mr Jenks.

Well, anyway, me mother's not very good at carrying things: her bag maybe, but a chair no. The only ones she can manage really are those dining chairs from the front room, which aren't very comfortable; never mind the scratches she puts on them carrying them about. I don't grumble though; she's been good to me in my time.

Well, I decided that I'd get her one of those garden chairs. bit of money from the bingo, so I wanted to get one. I told our Bill. Well he 'ummed and aarghed a bit for sure I can tell you.

"We better get one." I said, "for when me mother comes on a Tuesday. You know how she likes to sit out in the garden, and she's not getting any younger," I said.

Well he 'ummed and aarghed for a bit like our Bill does. In the end he took me to that new place that's open "Focus" it's called (what Mr Jenks recommended, nice man Mr Jenks). Bill took me in the end. Well, it was that or have no shirts ironed for three weeks!

Well, when we got to this "Focus" place I found the seats like Mr Jenks had said in his instructions. They were all set out right and proper with these other chairs. It looked just the thing for me mother, and it looked strong enough too. Not that me mother is a big woman, because she's not just rather portly as Mr Jenks would say. Well, she's always had a large appetite.

Well, anyway this mester came over, an assistant he was.

"Is it easy to put up?" I said.

"Yes" he said.

"Can you keep it up in the winter?" I said.

"Yes," he said, "but I would take it down," he said.

"Ta," I said. "I'll think about it," I said and he walked off.

A lot of help he was, a bit like Bill really he's never been much of a helpful person.

Well, Bill by this time was sat looking at a shelf of putty, so it was no good asking him. This other mester was passing by so I asked him. Bald fellow he was, I don't really like bald fellows, but anyway.

"What do you think to these seats?" I said.

"I've got one," he said, "they're good.

"The other mester said I should take it down in the winter," I said.

"I wouldn't," he said, "I'd leave it up. "

"Why?" I said.

"There's too many nuts and bolts," he said.

Well, we got this thing home Bill started complaining about his back when he was lifting it out of the boot. He's never been a healthy chap has our Bill. I didn't ask our Bill to put it up after what that mester said at the shop, so I went round to Mr Jenks and asked him to put it up. He put that seat up ever so nice he did, and he said he would give it a coat of paint next week.

Well, next Tuesday me mother came as per normal nine a.m. on the doorstep. I took me mother outside to look at this seat. Well, I was expecting her to be rapt, but she was anything but. She looked at the seat and then at the side.

"I'm not sitting on that our Edna!" she said.

"Why not?" I said.

"It's made in Argentinia, our Edna," she said, "I'm not sitting on that!"

Well, that was that! It does look nice in the garden though. Pity garden's not ours. Our Bill had to get rid of the chair before me mother came back. He was all for keeping it, but I told him either I leave or the chair goes.

So, now Mr Jenks has got it. and trailing ivy. He's put it next to his terracotta urns. Me mother still comes round on a Tuesday: sits in the garden on a dining chair mumbling,

"You can't beat British furniture, our Edna - better than that Argentinian stuff."

Good job she doesn't look underneath it though - says "Made in Taiwan!"

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