Uninvited guests – welcome and unwelcome

I've had some grief from Grannymar in the past about gratuitous swimsuitery - but surely this must count as editorially justified. And gorgeous. (Phoarr.)

It’s summer. It’s sunny. So the bad news is that it’s time to dredge up your swimming cossies.

Eek! I know.

I’m sure Well Done Fillet is not the only one battling with left over winter padding. But never fear, the Good Greatsby has a wonderful list of ways to overcome any embarrassment or shyness you may feel. There’s bound to be an answer that suits you.

But the good news is that it’s time for another guest post from Pam, who lives down the street from me in our village.

You may remember her first guest post about the rabbit lady, the evacuees, the rat catcher and how it was When no one locked their doors on my street.

Well, Pam’s back with a summery account of uninvited guests and how to treat them way back when- featuring foxes, hikers, horses and hunters. So, over to Pam, with more tales of a southern English village:

Although it was before my time, I was told by a neighbour, Mr Ben Batting who lived at No.37, that originally, before the road was built, the oak tree at No.17 used to be on the corner of three fields. When there was a fox killed by the hunt, it used to be nailed to this tree. Before World War Two fox hunting around the woods and fields was a common sight.

One day a fox being pursued by hounds broke through the rear fence of No.17 – our house – causing much noise and confusion. That’s partly because we owned a retriever and there was no way he would let other dogs, let alone horse riders, into his territory.

The fox escaped and my father refused the hunt permission to trample all over our land. As I was quite young at the time I was very upset by all the noise and confusion.

You can skip the next paragraph if you’re not a local.

When we first bought the land at the back of No.21 our boundary was in line with most of the road, except for for No.23, because the owners of No.23, Mr and Mrs Perfect, had bought the triangular piece of the field at the rear of Nos. 17,19 and 21 where Old Jane (see Pam’s previous guest post) had her rabbit farm. We eventually bought this piece of land off subsequent tenants when they sold their property.

Time for more uninvited guests.

The woodland at the rear which used to be used for hazel coppicing and where the Gypsies camped and made pegs, was not fenced off from the road. The foxes and badgers made a path through this piece of wood and up into our garden.

One Sunday on a beautiful sunny afternoon, I looked down the garden and saw a party of hikers emerging from the wood onto our lawn.

The previous day we had enjoyed the company of family and friends and so tables and chairs were still on the lawn.

The hikers sat down, removed rucksacks and made themselves comfortable. I walked down the garden and told them they were on private property.

“But the footpath is marked on the map,” proclaimed the leader, showing me the map he had used. I explained that the path he needed, which would take him through Wyns Wick wood to the village, was further on down the lane.

“Is it very far?” asked one elderly lady. “I can’t go much further without a cup of tea.” Suddenly I felt sorry for them. They had settled down expecting to be waited on and they were all older people.

“Stay where you are.,” I said. “I’ll bring you some tea.” Then, remembering cakes and scones left over from the previous day, I added “And something to eat.” Although they protested about being a nuisance and leaving, it did not take much persuasion to make them stay.

They left by the same path which had brought them to my garden, expressing thanks and gratitude. As I collected up the empty cups and saucers I found that they had left me a pile of coins and a hasty note thanking me for my hospitality and welcome.

Before the wood was fenced at the road edge we often used to get people wandering past the house, because they too had mistaken the animal path for a public path.

In those days we never gave it a thought that at any time one of these strangers could have come into our home and stolen anything that took their fancy.

When did it all change?

So that’s Pam again. Ah! Just had an idea. I could make the competition about whoever does a guest post in this blog. (It would save me the postage delivering anything to Pam anyway.) Any thoughts?



Filed under friends, history, In the village

8 responses to “Uninvited guests – welcome and unwelcome

  1. Pam – I’m just north of Chicago, Illinois (about an hour) which means I’m about 7 hours behind you in clock time. As such, I’m getting ready to see my last client of the day and thought I’d do a quick check on my laptop to see if I’d received any post notifications. What a delight to read your guest post!

  2. TaylorGooderham

    An interesting read. At my cottage, we’ve had people camp out at the back of the island (now a field). As well, we occasionally have to tell people going on canoe trips that they can’t use the river that goes behind the cottage, because it doesn’t exist.

    With summer coming up, I’d be cool with doing a guest post. Just need to do more posting of my own…

  3. I still wouldn’t think any of them would steal from me. That’s just me, though.

  4. These oldies, they do try it on, don’t they? The next thing, they’ll be insisting Pam’s house is the local B&B. “It says in this guide, always a warm welcome, musical entertainment provided, ensuites in every room. What do you mean, the nearest B&B is 10 miles away?”

  5. Barbara

    Oh how I enjoyed this story! I can just picture the exhausted senior hikers innocently making themselves at home for a rest in Pam’s back yard – hilarious! And in the end, Pam’s kindness triumphs!

  6. ‘Try wearing a nude swimsuit. This is a flesh-colored suit with naked parts printed on the outside’ – My goose pimples would show a mile off. You will have to remind what I am accused of saying. 😆

    Pam sure had a great way of using up stale cake and buns! More power to her elbow!

  7. Pam is a dear lady and word of mouth spreads quickly. More visitors may show up lost and tired looking for “tea and scones.”

  8. I used to live somewhere where there was a big hill behind our house, and people were sometimes up there at night, camping or whatever. While it wasn’t private property, really, I didn’t like people being up there. It was creepy. There was also an unwelcome guest in the form of a bunny or something that kept chewing through the bottom of our vines and killing them. Annoying things.

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