BYE THE TINNED SPOTTED DICK- I Sat Down and Wept- From Worzel

I have written little of the early days, the year of Godfrey’s passing…great change for us all, but days of nonsense to, that reminded me he was ever present.

When first I learned that the vagabond, Godfrey, had made “The great transition,” to the peaceful shady gate, he’d had occasion to mention, the first days dragged, leaden as a wet through knapsack, a blurred waiting for his odd whistle in the bath or thud of suitcase at our door. His book of wisdoms stayed in it’s tatty wrapping, was a layer of fine dust on my turquoise chair. And an delicate silence between us we had not experienced before.

“Only the wind is forever”, long ago I recalled telling Godfrey. The third month, I cried. Was a Tuesday, aisle 7 in the Fairways Grocery Store- One over from the one where cleaners and powdered detergents that made Godfrey sneeze were kept, beyond the beets in produce, by the tinned spotted dick, I sat on a case of raisin pie filling, (jumbo tins), and wept.

We were older, yes, but Godfrey never reached an age of “Dignified old Gent’, or me a “Paragon of Lady-like Decorum”, we never planned it, but oft created nuisance on Tuesdays, oh, the shops we were escorted from.. It was the cheerful tin of “Spotted Dick Pudding”, on a celebrate The Jubilee display, Godfrey’s favorite boyhood dessert, for the first time the happy memories, of our long friendship, could no longer quell how much his absence hurt.

Bruce, the grocery lad, the tall one with spots, delegated to follow us about with his broom came by. He saw the tin of Spotted Dick I was holding, asked, “where is your friend?, who knocked my cat food over on the shelf end”? And why do you sit, alone on raisin pie filling and cry?. A posse of elderly, early shoppers stood around me, one offered a plump hand, took the Spotted Dick away…dearie, she spoke softly, I understand” “Twas the cracker aisle I wept, when I lost my dearest Verne, it is a true cliche’….we will laugh about it, in another grocery department, one day.” “We cry till we laugh, we carry on, and we accept…by the Tinned Spotted Dick, today I sat down and wept…


8 thoughts on “BYE THE TINNED SPOTTED DICK- I Sat Down and Wept- From Worzel

  1. My elder sister asked me to put a code at the top of my posts to indicate the degree of truth and invention which I injected each story. After a while it just became a simple 9-1 or 6 -4 indicating mostly fact but one part fiction (for padding) or a bit more than half n half fact. In the end I stopped doing it because even my inventions were in a huge way the real truth.
    In my case the one for who I would weep is still alive I wonder if she weeps as well.

  2. All our writing is indeed, our truths, I believe it was Oscar Wilde, but you would know, who said- “We laugh, when the pain is too great for tears”…one of my faves, thanks for the read.

  3. So lovely, so sad, so true: unexpected grief has caught me more than once long after the loss of a loved one, as though my subconscious breaks through and lets emotion flood me. But, typical Sheila, amidst the tears there is humor. I loved the lady who lost Verne. By the way, what is Spotted Dick pudding?

  4. Oh, Janet, good evening, true to the Obits, every week someone loses their Verne…this week for us marked the leave taking of a much loved co-worker, on to a better job. It has been difficult. “Spotted Dick” is a fine dessert, a rich, steamed pudding full of raisins, saw it frozen in England, where on Christmas Eve- the grocery shelves are picked bare, my job was to find a vegetarian dessert for 40 women, that could be prepared outdoors. At the bottom of a shop freezer, was a “Spotted Dick”, woefully containing lard . .About to be kicked out, I chose “Green Plum Jelly”…but that is a whole other story.

    • Spotted Dick sounds much like the steamed carrot pudding with lots of raisins by mother used to make. It also sounds much better than green plum jelly. It is hard when co-workers you enjoy move on, but I’m glad it was for a better job.

  5. I will see if I can find you a tin for your Nov birthday…Spotted Dick very much as you describe. We made our co-workers Cubby into a shrine, I expect to be “Spoken To” over it, but we had a good guffaw over it.

  6. Bless the dear people who understand our unexpected weeping and grief, and give comfort. I can’t say I ever reached the point of laughing but I clearly remember how simple the triggers were that brought me memories and emotions. Spotted dick for Worzel, pipe tobacco smoke, fishing lures, a favorite song, dusk….there is no need to explain.
    Yes, Sheila, it’s the truthful way you write that touches me, whether I’m laughing out loud or sniffling. You make a good point that there are many types of loss. I hope your co-worker is replaced with another gem.

  7. Thanks Mercy- how simple the things, so thin the line between laughter and tears. As I told Janet, we turned our former co-workers cubby into a shrine, because we cared. Just been on a journey up this Island, to places I visited as a child. New wedged where those ancient memories still leave traces, nothing I did not recognize, shall have to write about it.

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