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  • Writer's pictureJohn Hemming-Clark

Mavis celebrates V E Day 75 years on

Did you join in with the V E Day commemorations from your front lawn on Friday? Did you engage with your neighbours? With more time at my disposal than is usual I learnt that one of my neighbours features on the Dad's Army theme tune and that the dog in The Magic Roundabout was renamed Dougal in the English version because the pronunciation of his French name would not have been, er, appropriate.

By way of preparation for the commemorations the lady of the house had managed to secure a number of balloons from the pound shop that she blew up enthusiastically and stuck on the fence at the end of our drive. They started to burst almost immediately before things settled down and we sat and socially distanced a bbq on our pavement with some of our neighbours. Star of the evening was Mavis who is eighty something. She hadn't been sleeping very well. With the flags and the bunting and the big band and jazz music Mavis was transported back to the 1940s. She was in full flow, a glass of Champagne in her hand, regaling us with tales of childhood exploits amongst the bombs, doodlebugs and air raids. She told us of rations, Anderson shelters, dog fights overhead, and gas explosions. Her eyes were glazing over and she became lost in the moment. Suddenly three pound shop balloons went off behind her, one after the other in quite succession - bang, bang, bang. Quick as a flash and before anyone could stop her, Mavis had dropped to the ground. "Mavis, are you okay?" I asked. From the safety of underneath the bbq she apologised. "I'm so sorry. I forgot for a moment where I was. I thought we were under attack. Do you think you could help get me up?" "I'm sorry," I replied. "I have to keep two metres away. But give it a few more weeks and I expect I will be able to help. In the meantime would you like a pillow?" Totally unperturbed she said without missing a beat as she waved her flute in the air, "I'ld rather have another glass of Veuve Clicquot." Mavis slept well that night. 😎

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