Mally’s Harem

I made another dent in the treating of my dad Malcolm’s garden fencing yesterday. It’s a time consuming job which has taken longer than anticipated due to fitting the task around other priorities.

A friend light heartedly asked if it was the Forth Bridge I was painting, due to what they saw as my procrastination. I was pretty sure it wasn’t, however it would have explained the presence of all the traffic and a locomotive train in my pater’s back garden.

My octogenarian father is currently recuperating from a medical procedure that prohibits him helping me. In addition to that, he was too busy indoors being mothered by Elsie, Mavis, June and Fran from the bowling club.

Age has not diminished Mally’s heartthrob status and, combined with his affable nature, he remains the ‘old ladies choice’ in his West Yorkshire village.

I didn’t venture into he house while the elderly harem were present at chez Strachan senior. I was far too busy staining fences. Not to mention concerns that, if I did, I would be confronted by a scene akin to one from the movie ‘Calendar Girls’!

As I stood like a latter day Tom Sawyer in my scruffs applying fence stainer, I muttered to myself “If I hear the piano strike up and women’s voices singing ‘Morning has Broken’ emanating from the house then I’m off!”

Thankfully, that scenario didn’t materialise and apart from the occasional whooping, screaming, shouts of “Don’t do that Fran!.. It’s too near my stitches!”, in addition to what sounded like the cracking of a whip, Mally’s house remained relatively quiet.

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I suspect they weren’t playing Bridge, however I couldn’t waste anymore energy worrying about my dad’s activities. I had a job to do. A task made more difficult than the previous panels I’d stained, as I was having to cut down large swathes of shrubs before I could apply the treatment.

After around an hour I heard Elsie, Mavis, June and Fran giggling as they left through the front door of chez Strachan senior and, a few minutes later, my dad walked out to inspect the quality of my fence treating.

He walked up and down examining the panels like a sergeant major undertaking a squaddies kit inspection. All of the time remaining tight lipped, apart from the occasional tut, sigh and sneeze.

Eventually, after much scrutinising he ventured back towards where I was stood. What would be Mally’s verdict on my workmanship? Would I get the Strachan standard crest, a mark to show he recommends my work? …. Or will Mally be joining the heavily subscribed  ‘Wish I’d done it myself!’ club?

“You’ve done a really good job with that Gary!…. It looks much better!” my dad proffered gratefully as he stood next to me.

“Cheers dad!…. Do you like the sandy colour?” I inquired of my pater.

“Yes, it dries well…… Although you have missed a bit over there…… I don’t know why I’m paying you!” He informed me while pointing to the bottom corner of the adjacent fence panel.

“You’re not paying me!” I responded, unsure if he was joking or not.

“Seriously Gary, I really appreciate you treating my fences. Is there anything I can do in way of recompense?” Mally proclaimed.

I pondered for a few seconds, before responding “Well you can start by putting some bloody clothes on!”

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