When Godfrey’s mother threw his dad out ,Godfrey was eight years old she was thirty-five, she was left with Garply the old family car and Iris had to learn how to drive

Sister Alice refused to ride in Garply as Godfrey called it on mornings cold with snow, for the noise it made when Ma ground the gears and he had to push it to get it to go.

The only door that opened wide was at the rear on the passenger side , the seats were missing except next to Ma , a wooden crate placed where Godfrey would ride.It was ugly and slate grey with one yellow door , every tire was bald ,there were holes in the roof and the rusted out floor.

A nest in the rear boot, seemed to house something alive,spiders lurked in every vent,there was no reverse gear and rattletrap Garply was laughed at wherever they went.

You could hear the car coming for miles,here Ma’s voice yelling from valley to sea, echoing off the hills as they rumbled past you could here Ma yelling at Godfrey.Yes I remember that day- when rattletrap Garply last drove away ,it is not a long story but you hear it still how gGrplys gearbox fell out, halfway to Swansea on ‘BUST ME GALL HILL’.

Groaning to a halt the car burst into flames, Ma leaped out swearing calling the car rude names. Godfrey stood in shock as the train bore down,Ma fetched her angry purse from the wreckage and they hitchhiked the rest of the way into town..

..It was long ago but I think of them still when I climb to the summit of “BUST ME GALL HILL’ and cross the tracks to the other side where rattletrap Garply died…Godfrey was living proof that many of us Survive despite our parenting not because of, and inspired his 13th wisdom, the simple truth that at the end of the day-WE ARE ALL EQUAL IN THE GUISE OF ODD….BYE BEATRICE.



  1. Love all of your stories, but this one reminded me of another tale from my days in Saskatchewan… I was walking out of the hotel one night when I passed two elderly women and a younger man, about 35 or so. One of the women was talking on the phone, while the other two stood by patiently. One side of the conversation went like this:

    “Hello, George? George, it’s Martha. That’s right. Listen, George. We had a problem with the car. That’s right. What was that? Just a minute…” (the younger man was apparently a tow truck driver) “George? Yes. It was the d-r-i-v-e-s-h-a-f-t, George. That’s right. Fell right off. Unh hunh…”

    This poor woman obviously had NO IDEA what she was talking about This was the day of rear-wheel drive vehicles, and she was lucky because I saw some footage once where the front end of a driveshaft fell off and the car literally pole-vaulted.


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