Note: I originally intended to leave this emprise out of this story, but decided even writing about it for the first time, brought a warm, comforting glow back to my lonely soul, so I put it in!
One Friday night, mother dear gently blew her fag smoke over me, as she cleared away my dinner things, (the enamel basin, mouldy crusts of the bread, and the empty Oxo cube foil) and spoke to me for the first time in two days, asking: "Would you like to go and stay with Auntie Mabel for a few days? She's got a shed you can play in?"
Perplexed by this magnificent offer, as I wasn't aware of having an Auntie Mabel, I thought about the proposal, and thought it might be about time I spread my wings beyond the end of the terrace - so I gingerly accepted the invite, (unsure if it was actually an invite or an order to go) with reservations lingering about who the hell 'Auntie Mabel' was. (I've certainly never heard of her before or after this wonderful escapade).
So, that night, mummy put a tea shirt, socks and undies into a 'Marsden's carrier bag, and off we went on a number 24 West Bridgford Urban District Council bus into the grand 'Bread & Lard' island of West Bridford, dropped off somewhere near the canal. Then I was marched more than walked towards Trent Lane, and into the massive gardens of a foreboding dark house.
As mummy dear knocked on the door, it was opened immediately, with the 'welcoming' woman, ushering us in, and down to the downstairs kitchen. As we arrived in this kitchen, I knew something was very different to what I was used to... I thought for a while, and realised what it was, it had food in it!
I waited for the woman and precious mummy to conduct some business that involved the woman opening her purse and handing mater some cash. (This was not unusual, it's the other way around that I cannot recall ever seeing happening).
So, with a quickly shouted: "Now you behave yerself for Auntie Mabel, she'll bring yer back on Monday", off she went, leaving little me sat on a stool sucking my thumb.
This heavily scented 'Auntie Mabel approached, and offered me food the likes as I had never seen before, as she rubbed her hand up and down my young skinny legs.
I liked that, but didn't know why, but I liked it!
I was given a knife and fork to use, but didn't know how to - this didn't disturb 'Auntie Mabel' at all, as she produced some cake and ice-cream - again food I was unused to, but relished.
I was then taken upstairs, by the red faced, heavily lip-sticked, nice smelling, plump, polite, slightly scary 'Auntie Mabel', who thought I could do with a bath. A real luxury here, and I didn't have to bath myself - she saw to that.
I liked that too, but didn't know why!
It confused me a little, that certain areas of my anatomy were receiving a lot more attention than the rest of my puny underfed, scrawny body was.
Again I liked that, but didn't know why!
The drying off was with real towels too! Again certain areas got dried off with more attention than other areas.
I liked that too, but didn't know why!
'Auntie Mabel decided as she was drying me off, that she'd like to take some photographs to remember me by, and this took about 2½ hours, what with all the "Must get you in the best position and lighting 'my dear'!
I liked that, but didn't know why!
Time for bed she decreed, "Do you sleep with your mummy at home?" No chance I thought, but just squeaked a mild "No". "Would you like to sleep with me tonight?"
I liked that idea, but was unsure why!
"Please" I muttered.
I found out that the reason she was on her own, was that her husband was away on business, so we had to keep ourselves company so we don't get lonely!
No chance of that, I think we must have spent about 24 hours in bed! Still, I've always been up for getting educated.
I liked that, and was beginning to know why! Oh happy memories!
When we eventually rose up from bed, me being very sore, confused, but absolutely ecstatic, it was into the bathroom for another two hours.
I loved that, but now knew why, and I was eagerly learning.
Then into the kitchen, for more food, (I must have eaten the equivalent to a months supply at home in three days)
The whole stay at 'Auntie Mabel's" consisted of the same and similar treatment.
I liked that, but didn't know why, but have been eternally grateful ever since!
I just hated it when it was all over!
She returned me home on Monday, offering one last concealed gentle caress and a couple of well aimed gropes as I entered the house.
How I begged to be taken back to see 'Auntie Mabel' again - but as mysteriously as she appeared in my life, she had heart-breakingly gone from it.
I spent the next two weekends searching to see if I could find her house again, but to no avail.
Dad had never heard of any Auntie Mabel either.
I still have my young memories of 'Auntie Mabel'.
I liked that, and now I do know why!