Dode in Olden Times

24 February, 2020

Becky has been badgering me to tell some of the stories about the ‘old days’ at Dode -to her & many others thirty years is of course almost a lifetime, to me and some of my friends it is like yesterday.

Here’s the first story, it’s true.

I was sitting quietly in a jacuzzi in our local ‘health club’. Crabwise my friend Bill edged around the seats towards me, after 30 years I can still remember his words exactly- ‘here mate, you’re a bit weird aren’t you?’ – weird was not a word that I would have used to describe myself but I knew what he meant. ‘Sorry’ I answered – ‘Candles, do you want some candles?’ Anticipating that this was the beginning of a Ronnie Barker type joke I ventured a guarded ‘ok’. ‘Good, bring your truck over to the yard on Saturday’ was his response and he immediately went on to talk about something else.

I should explain that Bill was then a director of a haulage business (today its called logistics – come to think of it we don’t have many ‘health clubs’ any more) and it later transpired that a company which had been storing candles in one of his warehouses had left ‘a few’ behind in one of the bays which were cluttering things up.

The following Saturday I took my Range Rover over to Bills – ‘glad you’ve come, I’ll go and get them, just drop the tailgate’. 

I knew that I had made a terrible mistake as he reappeared driving a forklift truck, carefully placing a pallet in the rear he proceeded to push it in -‘don’t do that’ I squawked ‘I’ve got to get them out ‘ but he had already driven off, only to return a few moments later with a second pallet.

I returned home with over a thousand large Church candles, as I opened the passenger door a pile fell on the drive just as Mary came out to see what was going on. 

My wife has a short sentence, often use, which is always delivered in exactly the same tone & proportions – one third anger – one third concern – and one third pity – What have you done? (sometimes she adds ‘this time’ and I know its really serious). 

‘I didn’t like to say no’ was all I could manage ‘and besides we could give them to our friends for Christmas’. ‘No one has that many friends’ she muttered as she stomped back indoors.

What had I done indeed I mused as I stacked the candles along the rear wall of the garage. Some six weeks later I was to open the local paper to read an article about a deserted Norman Church (with no electricity) which was going to be sold by auction!

As you can see from the picture, Bill & I are still great friends and we enjoy a hot tub together even after all this time although in the privacy of my home. 

Becky who now runs Dode and from time to time badgers me over things is Bills daughter – another circle complete!

Bright Blessings Doug.

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