Should Auld Aquaintance Be Forgot?

I wondered with it being a new year, a fresh start etc if John would want to change his weekend jaunts and explore pastures new. So I asked him. “John shall we try somewhere different today? New and different shops maybe? A different train route?”

“NO! Webskirtee. Man. Pizz balloon. CD” said John very firmly.

This translates to ‘No thank you mother, I would be very happy to continue our forays into that quaint seaside town called West Kirby, with its interesting little shops selling all manner of things. For instance there are shops selling electrical goods, classy cards and beautiful jewellery, and those special shops with their own unique scent selling second hand CD’s and other ‘Vintage’ items.’

So it was that John and I set off to wish Webskirtee a very happy New Year.

There was one difference, John decided we would set off from a different station this time, because it had level crossing barriers that make a very exciting noise when they are about to be lowered to stop the traffic…this could be interesting. We bought our tickets from a roly poly man who had obviously consumed an enormous turkey and a stack of selection boxes for Christmas. Somehow he had still managed to squeeze himself into the ticket office, leaving enough room for a huge mug of coffee and the mother of all sausage batches dripping with egg and tomato ketchup. Eagle eyed John spotted the sausages bulging out of the sides of the batch. “Sausages!” he shouted incase the roly poly man had mislaid them…fat chance.

Then John put his mouth to the window and yelled “John Ellsmoor. Sausages. Now. Please. Ok.” Also doing the signs for sausages and please. He followed this with his impersonation of Alan Partridge on helium of   “Ahhaaaaa!”  But the roly poly man wasn’t for sharing and instead gave us two return tickets to Webskirtee on Sea.

The platform was deserted except for a sweet grey haired old lady who looked like everyone’s Nana. She was all smiley and had a tartan shopping trolley bag thingy that old ladies pull along. John was skipping ahead of me slapping his head with every alternate stride which isn’t easy to do. Believe me I have tried and it’s harder than it looks! I didn’t want her to be startled by my 18stone head slapping boy so I tried to run after him, but my own legs were letting me down so I kind of limped and lolloped along a bit lop sided. It was hard to distinguish which of us was the carer.

John stood next to her and pointed at the trolley and at himself to ask her if he might possibly have a quick go of her trolley. “JohnElmo. Wheels. Please.” Helpfully waving his arms around to demonstrate wheels turning and again signing for please.

The lovely Nana continued to smile but gripped her trolley ever so slightly tighter. I explained to John that it wasn’t a toy to be played with and then apologised to Nana for John’s presumptions. She was lovely and asked how old he was. “24, he will be 25 next month” I said proudly. She then turned to John who was by now preoccupied with the barrier which was about to go down, much to his delight. “What is your name” Nana said in a nannerish kind of way. “Barry” said John squealing with delight as the sirens blared, warning traffic to stop. “Barry, now that is a nice name” said Nana. At this point I thought I ought to explain that John was talking about the level crossing barrier. “ No not Barry” I said  “Barrier” and pointed to the level crossing. She looked at John and said “Oh Barrier, that’s an unusual name is it French?”

Fortunately the train arrived and saved me from what could have been a long and difficult exchange.

Once we arrived in West Kirby on Sea John was keen to mooch about the ‘vintage’ shops, searching for CD’s and taking in the shops own unique fragrances. Eau De Flash with the merest hint of cheese was a particular favourite this time. He found 2 CD’s, a ‘NOW’ something or other and a mad ‘Dance 2000 Mega Mix’. As I was waiting to pay, John was looking at the toys and had found a naked baby doll. He used to be fascinated with the baby Annabelle dolls that cried, suckled and wet themselves, so he was bashing this poor doll on the back trying in vain to get it to perform any of the above. When it didn’t  he put it on the floor and stamped on it. I paid for the 2 CD’s and a squashed doll and quickly left the shop.

The kind handsome man from the classy card shop with the beautiful jewellery and the french name aka Pizz, has promised John a free balloon whenever we are in the vicinity, so that was our next stop. John chose an enormous gold number 3. It soon became apparent that it had a personality problem and desperately wanted to be the letter E. So every time we stopped, the balloon turned on its tip toes and became an E, flatly refusing to turn around to face the right way.I think it needs CBT.

Next stop the Dungeon of doom…‘Whuuuhaaaaa’…evil laughter…Big surprise, it had all the lights on and John was delighted not to have to squint at all the appliances. He thrust his head inside a Bosch and put his CD’s in a Zanussi Fridge! This was fantastic. But wait a minute there was something missing. The miserable man was no longer a gringo, his top lip was as naked as the doll that John had just killed. “What’s with the lip” I joshed, “Shaved it off” replied the miserable man. “Why” I asked, desperate to keep this conversation going as it was the longest we had ever had. A kind of verbal Keepie Uppie and I didn’t want to be the first to drop the ball. He looked at me as if I was mad and said “Its January” and sent the ball back to me “do you only shave in January then?” I said heading the ball back to him…he nearly dropped it but at the last minute managed to head it back to me “It was for November, Now it’s January” I was ready for him “ But you had it in December!!  what’s the difference?” and returned the ball with a super header. The miserable man caught the ball, put it under his arm and walked off…spoil sport.

John was making friends with a fridge freezer that Gollum, sorry Colin, was unpacking when the miserable man came back, without the ball. “Happy New year” I said, he nodded in reply his top lip glistening with sweat from all the Keepie Uppie. John walked over with his Cds and a new toy, a large piece of polystyrene which he bonked me on the head with and rocked with laughter. The miserable man’s mouth twitched in the corner which I guess was a semi smile. “What did you get for Christmas” he asked John. John bonked him on the head and said “Cheese on toast”

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17 thoughts on “Should Auld Aquaintance Be Forgot?

  1. So glad you have done this Julie, im enjoying every word. Oh and I’m asking Santa for cheese on toast next Christmas xxx

  2. Absolutely FANTASTIC! I was reading with tears in my eyes, followed by incredible stinging due to tears meeting factor 30 face cream….then couldn’t see page …so after minor eyeball rinsing Im back…ready to read on! Very well done for going ahead and doing this wonderful blog! Julie your an amazing person and so is lovely John! If this doesnt get more people aware of Autism and its day to day treasures and challenges then nothing will! Your a champion to all families of autistic cherrubs! Big Huggles to you both! xxxxxxx

  3. My friend stacy showed me this blog. You are amazing I’ve just read this to my family over the dinner table has us all in balls of laughter.

    • Hi Beckie thank you for your lovely comment. I am so pleased you like the blog, John is a star. I hope to continue to entertain you and your family whilst getting the message across for other families with autistic members, that there is light at the end of the tunnel; but you have to look for it.xxxx

  4. Well done Julie I’m delighted that you’ve done this. I know you’ll be an inspiration to many with your light-hearted, warm & often hilarious recounts of your adventures with John. I’ll still await my signed copy of the book!! xx

  5. Thanks George your comments and support mean a lot, I hope one day you can keep Robin entertained by reading a chapter a night of your signed copy of a book…eeek!! Might make it a kind of lighthearted sex romp…50 Shades of beige! xxx

  6. Top marks Julie. I want to go to Webskirtee. Very very enjoyable reading. I hope it reaches far and wide across the web.
    Hubie x

  7. Oh Julie forget the book . Let’s have a film instead . Think you would be a great script writer too. Westkirby is the obvious location with such an abundance of eccentric shop keepers and British rail employees ha ha .

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