RON: I mean I'm not sayin' ev'ryfing was better in the old days Fred coz they wasn't, no gettin away from it, but plenty ov fings was. And I miss em I do. I miss the bells. I miss the smell ov coal, and the saand me mum would make wiv the shovel when she was gettin a bucket ov it in from a big metal fing we ad in our garden. Sahnd all ov its own it ad. It'd all be covered in snow when she came bac...
It's another afternoon at The Red Lion pub. Ron and Fred are already into their second pint at 'their' table.
FRED: You gonna be in this evening at 'ome, Ron?
RON: Yeah, avin a night in t'night I am. Why?
FRED: My son's poppin' raand t' see me later so I'll get 'im t' drop your ladder back in 'is car.
RON: No rush, mate.
FRED: Well, I've finished the ceilin' and the walls ov me kitchen...
RON: What are they, cheese n onion?
FRED: Nah, barman said they're all out ov cheese n onion. All 'e 'ad was salt n vinegar, or ready salted.
RON: I'll av one if it's plain.
FRED: Nah, these are salt n vinegar, Ron.
RON: Oh, you should av got plain, I would av ad one or two ov 'em if yed got a packet of plain crisps.
FRED: So go n buy yerself a packet of plain...
FRED: Allo, Ron. Happy Boxing Day. Pint's ready for yer on the table 'ere.
RON: Cheers Fred. Do much Christmas Day? Any visitors?
FRED: Nah, very quiet. Most ov my fam'ly died off years ago. Stuffed me face wiv turkey, watched the Queen's speech on the telly, then 'ad a few cans before fallin' a kip in me armchair.
RON: Same wivs my lot. Still the odd one dotted abaht 'ere n there but mo...
It's lunchtime at the pub again, with old Ron and Fred there as usual.
RON: There yer go, Fred. Get that dahn yer me ol' son.
FRED: Cheers. What was Jim sayin' to yer by the bar? I aint seen 'im fer mumfs.
RON: Tellin' me 'baht 'is legs 'e was. Doctor's told 'im its wear n tear in 'is left knee.
FRED: Well, we're all gettin' older, Ron. Fings all falin' apart now they are.
"Alright there, Ron"
"Yeah, not s' bad as it 'appens, Fred."
"Yer don't wanna go araand sayin' that no more Ron."
"Oh yeah, I see what yer mean Fred."
"Not safe sayin' that now it aint... I saw 'im once I did, years ago mind."
"That creep! When was that then, Fred?"
"I saw that Jimmy Savaloy, ooooh, nineteen eight-one, eighty-two, raand abaat then. In one ov them London marathon fings 'e wa...
"Someone's fallen overboard from that tanker, Fred. I can see 'is 'ead bobbin' up n dahn in the sea way out there."
"Yeah, likely story. Must av slipped off the deck 'cause ov all the oil on it I s'pose."
"Straight up Fred, I aint jokin'. I'm tellin' yer there's someone out there in the water. Poor bloke, (SHOUTS OUT TO SEA) 'ANG ON MATE, I'VE SEEN YER. 'ELPS ON THE WAY MATE."
"Well if th...
"No I bloody aint ad enuff. We've only bin sittin' 'ere fer five minutes. I wanna take in the view prop'ly, get some ov this ozone inside me lungs."
"Ron, I'm COLD.... and the rain's comin' dahn 'eavier now."
"Dive in me bag there, there's a little umbrella in there yer can use."
"I'll fly off like Mary Poppins if I try openin' umbrella in this wind. Water gets in through the stitches wi...
(SETTING: Ron and Fred are on a day trip to Canvey Island, Essex, UK. They're sitting on the sea wall along the esplanade looking out to - a very rough - sea. Very windy, Ron is taking some deep breaths of 'sea breeze' into his lungs.)
- After inhaling two deep long breaths Ron says to Fred who is sitting next to him on the sea wall,
"Yer don't find that anywhere else Fred. They av sea bre...
"Fing was Fred, before they could pull the plug on the milkmen they ad t' wait until everyone got a fridge. There was still too many people wivout a fridge in the sixties yer see, but not by the time we entered the seventies."
"I'm glad they came 'ere though Ron, 'cause if it adn't been for them comin' 'ere I don't s'pose the likes ov me would av ever got t' taste a curry. Or yams, nice they ar...
"You're right Ron, they just throws yer a few peanuts whereas in the old days a person would be sellin' 'em outside the dog tracks makin' a decent livin' oudavit."
"And avin some self respect Fred. Kids at school t'day aint taught no proper trades, just 'ow t' tap-tap-tap on a computer keyboard. The old milkman felt 'e was doin' somfing wiv a purpose, providin' a useful service to 'is community...
"Art'noon Fred. That vein's playin' up in me leg again it is. Gettin' older mate."
"Join the club, Ron. Got a pint in for yer there."
"Cheers. Fallin' t' bits I am. Must sit dahn n rest me leg.......ah, that's better."
"My boy's lost 'is job. Thirty years bin there. Just tells 'im from outa the blue yes'dee."
"They don't care nowadays Fred. Expect nuffink from 'em."
"Bloody big mansi...
"Art'noon Fred, feelin' any better t'day are yer?"
"Yeah, worst over Ron, still can't taste or smell anyfing though. Bloody colds."
"Lot ov it goin' rahnd mate. Least yer over the worst of it.... quiet in 'ere t'day ainit."
"Is now, yeah. A few in 'ere earlier there was."
"Dead in 'ere now Fred."
"She's a lazy cah that one."
"Oud'yer mean Fred?"
"Guvners wife sittin' up at t...
"Art'noon Fred. What's that yer got there then?"
"Oh, it's wunner them bibles."
"Bibles? You feelin' alright mate? Get dahn t' yer doctor if yer not feelin' well."
"Yeah, course I'm alright. Ten pence it was at that car boot sale they've got on this morning outside that church up the road. Gotta be worf ten pence innit, God's word like."
"Nah, I fink you'll find that's not one of the o...
"What was all that abaht Fred, you've gone n upset that Irish gaffer right good n proper."
"Paddy the bloody plonker 'e is. Stands there tellin' me I'm a raceeist just 'cause I tells 'im I don't wanna pint o' Guinness. Twat!"
"Gotta be careful these days Fred, yer can't go rahnd makin' racist remarks mate."
"Raceeist remarks? I was up at the the bar t' get me rahnd in, Paddy comes along t...
"You took your time gettin' those in Ron, I'm bleedin' gaspin' 'ere I am."
"Barman 'ad t' change the barrel. There yer go Fred, get that one dahn yer mate. This is when it 'urts, sittin' back dahn. It aint too bad standin' or once I've sat dahn like, but that first bit ov bendin', that's when it's murder. Fink I'll 'ave to pop in t' that chemists along the road n' get meself a tube ov Raljex on...
"Art'anoon Fred, happy Easter mate. There yer go, got a pint in all ready f'yer on table 'ere. Sit yerself dahn 'n' get that dahn inside yer. Bit nippy out there innit."
"Is a bit, yeah Ron. Still, it's only five minutes walk fer me t' get from my 'ouse to 'ere at The Golden Lion."
"Easter in this country? Waste of time in my 'umble opinion Fred. Okay in Rio like, nice 'n' warm in Rio 'cause...
"I'll 'ave t' make this me last one Fred 'cause that clock up on the wall there is sayin' it's five past seven 'n' me darts match at The Golden Lion kicks off at eight. Takes ten minutes t' walk there from this boozer annal.
Did I say I've got the dog back indoors now? Yeah she's indoors now playin' wiv me slippers I expect. I've called 'er Marilyn. Friendly little fing she is. Better than fini...
"Anyways, I gets back to rand abaat where I knows the flying saucer is. Problem mate. Where's the bleedin' flying saucer? Spanza47b's switched on this invisible mode fing, if that's the correct word like, 'cause 'ow am I s'posed to know abaat such fings? Well I'm standin' there on the sand wiv me slippers 'n' me socks in me 'ands tryin' to figure out 'cisely where bleedin' fing is like. A few oth...
"There you go Fred, get that down yer. So yeah, as I was sayin'. Damsel in distress so I got t' do what I can t' 'elp the lady out. So I goes trudgin' out onto me lawn with Spanza47b. She shows me where to stand so as t' be ready to give the stranded disc a push. Says she'll call out to me when she's ready.
So she climbs back in up this sort ov ladder fing, and 'baat thirty seconds or so later...
"Cheers Fred, good 'elf mate. Look at that, does a lovely pint of beer landlord does 'ere. Gonna enjoy that I am.
Yeah, so as I was saying, last Friday evening it was, 'bout ten t' midnight. I was sitting in me armchair in me living room, just mindin' me own business as yer do. Tryin' t' do me Daily Express Sodtodoko puzzle I was, the harder one like 'cause I'd already mucked up the easy one ea...
More women were starting to go out to work in the 1950's, but most still stayed at home looking after their kids while the man of the house went out to work to bring home the dosh. My mum worked then but it was just extra pin-money from what was called 'home work'. There'd be big boxes of toy 'matchbox' cars delivered to our house twice a week from a firm called Lesney. She'd spend hours each day...