It was St. Patrick’s Day and happened to be a Friday so was pension day. My sister and I prepared to set off for the post offices where we collected our pensions. We went to different post offices. I used the one nearest home because it was more convenient when I was looking after my brother when he was ill. My sister Jo went a bit further into the town, past a terrace of shops.
As I locked the front door I was a little startled by the force of the wind which blew fiercely up the road in quite hefty gusts, but then wind is nothing new to us here on the Island so I wasn’t unduly disturbed.
I went down the couple of roads on the way to Jo’s post office; sometimes the wind was blowing in my face, other times I’d get a hefty push in the back. So I came to the terrace of shops. Here the wind seemed to increase in force. People were having to take little running steps forward or went staggering backwards. I pushed in close to the shop windows and hoped for the best. I thought I would go on round the corner and down the street to Jo’s post office. Next moment I was flat on my face and gazing eye to eye with a small black pebble which was encased in the concrete pavement. I realised that I had been blown over!!!
Next moment, two strong male hands reached under my arms and yanked me to my feet and a husky voice said, “Are you alright?” On being assured that I was, my Good Samaritan, after propping me against a wall, went on his way. I felt a bit sick and my left arm began to hurt but I settled down to wait for Jo.
The wind still heaved up and down the road and I looked down to where my sister would come and then I saw her, on her face outside the fruit shop!!! I couldn’t believe it. As I was watching a very attractive young man battled his way across the road to her and seemed to be comforting her. After a while he helped her to her feet; she linked her arm in his and they came slowly up the road towards where I was standing. He said he was helping Jo to her post office and would come back to get me. I don’t think I would have made it around the corner without his strong arm to cling to.
Arriving at the post office we were greeted by the Post Master who pointed over to where Jo was sitting on a chair and he sent one of the staff to get another chair for me. The office was pretty crowded as it was pension day and everyone was taking a great interest in us. The Post Master asked where we were going and we said, ”Safeways,” he said, “Oh no! You are going straight home. I will ring a taxi for you.”
Actually, I don’t think we could have made it to the shops, we were both feeling rather shaky. Suddenly the post office door burst open wide and framed in the doorway was Barry, the taxi driver who drives the big London taxi. He surveyed us both in silence and then in his broad Yorkshire accent boomed, “Have you been drinking?” If I had had me teeth I would have gnashed them! As it was I replied coldly, “If we had been drinking we wouldn’t have fallen and when I get a bit stronger I will kill you!!!” However, he helped us into the cab and brought us home and was most kind.
Having found out that we had no brandy at home, only half a bottle of whisky that we were given two years ago as a Christmas present and had saved ever since in case we got a cold (which we never did), he told us to make a pot of tea, get two cups and lace them each with a good measure of whisky. Then he went on his way.
Since then we have developed into two old ladies hobbling about on two sticks.
(source: by Wyn Black from ‘Old Times’ (Shenn Traaghy); artwork is Windy Day 2 by Carol Aust)