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The Day Before Yesterday: 84 - A Sleeky Grey Cat

...But we had forgotten our second son, who chattered to everyone, unperturbed by size or appearance and before I knew it, he had seen her outside her door and was telling the lady "Your Smokey has killed all our pigeons and we are going to move to Almondbury now."

Her reply was "Taa thi hook to Almondbury," in her very broad Yorkshire voice...

Gladys Schofield has good reason to be pleased that she is moving to a new house in another village.

To read earlier chapters of Gladys's life story please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/the_day_before_yesterday/

About November every year England would be blanketed in thick fog for days. The smoky fumes from this, made it hard to breath in the low-lying areas. Transport could only crawl and sometimes be brought to a halt altogether. The dirt and grime from this made it impossible to hang out washing at all and there were a lot of fatalities amongst the elderly.

We had a very bad one in the last year of our stay in this home. We could see the fog just hanging there in the valley below our houses. Cliff would walk down the lane to the Golf Links on his way to work, leaving a clear sky behind him. He was engulfed in darkness as it hung like a curtain half way down the hill. He didn't see the sky until he got home after work. It was a dismal time of year at the best of times but this was the worst we had known because it lasted the best part of a week. Cliff wore a mask and so did many others. We were lucky to live high on the hillside, it was like another world.

A new bakery was making delicious smelling bread just across the road from the mill where Cliff worked. This shop was used a lot by the workers at lunchtimes. We decided to get our bread there, as Cliff could collect it when he left work. We did this for quite a while, then two weeks before Christmas, as he had just received his weekly pay packet, he walked across the road to collect the bread. He reached into his pocket for his pay envelope but it was not there. He at once retraced his steps as eight pounds was a lot of money in 1948 but he could not see it anywhere.

He came home and told me and still thinking it may be lying somewhere. Our next door neighbour offered to run him back to work on his motorbike but they hadn't any luck either. Someone must have found it and said nothing, as it had his name on the packet.

His workmates, on hearing about it, had a collection for him and presented us with over five pounds. It was a very kind thing to do so near to Christmas but we never found out who had gained a wage that day.

Even though we did not get the deep snowfall, the Winter was very cold but apart from the usual coughs and colds, we got through very well. It was probably too cold for the germs to survive. We got a small snowfall in early March of 1949 and it hung about the roads, the frost making it slippery for any vehicle to come to our small group of houses.

We had got exciting news. A new Council house had been allocated to us at Almondbury and would be ready in a week or two, so we were hoping the snow would be gone by then. We couldn't take the chooks and knowing this, only had one or two of the old ones left, they being more use as a tasty meal than for laying. But what was happening to the pigeons? Each day there was one less at feeding time. We were down to the last one when Cliff, up a little earlier than usual, saw a sleeky grey cat jump down from the small pophole he had made for the birds to come and go. He had our bird in his mouth as he ran into the woods at the back of the houses.

We had seen that young cat before in the house next door. This was an awkward situation. We didn't want to make unpleasantness, especially now we were moving. The man was kindly after all. He had run Cliff back to look for his wage not so very long ago. The lady of the house was a strong character, very heavy built. She had moved from the village above us. She still thought everyone was an intruder if they were not born there. I often heard her strong deep voice penetrating our walls as she did her chores about the house, so we decided to say nothing about the cat.

But we had forgotten our second son, who chattered to everyone, unperturbed by size or appearance and before I knew it, he had seen her outside her door and was telling the lady "Your Smokey has killed all our pigeons and we are going to move to Almondbury now."

Her reply was "Taa thi hook to Almondbury," in her very broad Yorkshire voice.

She was someone I didn't want for an enemy so I was pleased we would soon be moving.

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