One day Timmy Tumble, for that was his name, was taking a stroll through the village of Little Hoe. The village was the hub of all matters important in Timmys life, he knew the grocer, the butcher, the washer woman and the old shoe maker, he knew the doctor, the teacher and the candlestick maker and more importantly they all knew Timmy too.
But things were afoot in the little village of Hoe for a set of new neighbours had moved in next door to Timmys clean and tidy house with its bright red door and brass knocker. Timmy being the nice gentle good fellow he was decided that new was not necessarily bad and knocked on their bright blue door with the silver knocker to introduce himself.
‘Hello Sonny’ said the rather smart bespeckled gentelman that answered the door. ”You here for the bitches?’ He added.
Timmy was rather taken aback. ‘My name is Timmy Sir, I’m afraid I’m not into hounds. I live next door.’
‘Not bitches sonny, Beeeitches! You know, the ones with jumbly funbags. I’ve got a houseful, take your pick for only 6d’
‘I’m sorry’ said Timmy timidly, ‘I don’t understand.’
‘Gee, get with it kid, it’s 2014 not the bloody innocent life you leave where you closet yourself away everyday.’
‘But I don’t Sir, I live a normal life. I know the grocer, the butcher, the…’
‘Get real kid, it’s all about me out there. Sex and violence on demand, streaming filth on your screens, no holds barred language and drama not this bloody utopia you exist in.’
‘But I like my world Sir, it’s nice, it’s comforting, it’s gentle…’
‘Look kid, we have more wars now, women’s lib and the suffragettes hold no sway any more, relationships are seen as transient, casual violence of both sexes is common, life is viewed as a series of ‘me’ experiences and everyone is encouraged to criticise everyone else or try to live like a celebrity, what don’t you get about it all? It’s what everyone wants!’
‘It’s not what I want.’
‘They said that in Camberwick Green, look at it now.’
‘Why, what’s happened in Camberwick Green? I haven’t seen Camberwick since 1975.’
‘They changed its name.’
‘Well, that’s not too bad is it?’
‘They called it Mansfield.’
‘Oh, even I have heard of that bad place.’
‘Exactly. First they got rid of the windmill, Windy Miller ended up a hopeless drunk. Remember Police Constable McGarry number 452?’
‘Yes I do, a nice fellow he was.’
‘Look at him now in this photo. A right miserable bugger he is now. Moan, moan, moan that all he ever does, still he has a lot to contend with nowadays. It’s not as bad as Mrs Honeyman.’
‘She had a baby didn’t she, her and Mr Honeyman loved that child.’
‘Divorced. Six kids and you know what the worse thing is?’
‘They decided that it was ok to open up as many fast food places as physically possible in Mansfield and you know what she looks like now?’
‘Err, no, I’m not going to like this am I Sir?’
‘Oh my’ said Timmy genuinely shocked.
‘I know, it’s not her fault though, the place is riddled with bad choice opportunities. Pippin Fort was dismantled to build a new bus station and all the shops pulled down to make car parks. No use having car parks though if there’s nowhere to shop. Even Dr Mopp has been replaced by a new centralised surgery, no one on one care here. Remember the clown that used to turn the handle on the village musical box? Well in the eighties they decided to sack him and close down all the musical box making factories in the area leading to mass unemployment, a massive drug problem grew along with social problems you wouldn’t believe.’
‘I can’t believe that, but Camberwick, err, Mansfield used to be a nice place. Admittedly it was never as refined as some places but I have good memories of it and it had a nice heart.’
‘Not any more sonny, do you want any of these bitches or what?’
‘What will happen to me now Sir?’
‘It’s not for me to say is it sonny, you’re old school, you’re surplus to requirements, nobody does nice, naive or gentle today. Best let us just get on with it and stop interfering, you can’t change the world.’ And with that the blue door with silver knocker was slammed in Timmys face.
Timmy returned to his nice comfy house with its cheery red door and brass knocker. Looking around his house he carefully touched all the objects he had gathered over the years, objects that gave him great comfort and thought of the words the gentleman next door had said. He sat comfortably at his small table and pulled out a small pocket book. Very carefully Timmy got out his set of coloured pencils and laid them out neatly beside himself. Opening to the first page Timmy started to draw, he started to draw things that made him happy in the hope that they would make other people happy too.
And that was no bad thing.