Image by Coralie Bickford-Smith
Then I found out who he was and I say to Nana I say, You know that old man, the one with the bins? Oh, what’s he gone and done now, Nana says. No, no, I say, he hasn’t done anything, he used to be on the telly. Who did? He did. What telly? Your telly, I say, Sandra Willis at Twenty-Six says so. What’s his name? David Hughes. Nana looks at me like I’ve lost it, she says I’ve never heard of no David Hughes. Well Sandra says he was big back in the day, I say. What day? Your day! Sandra Willis says he was the weatherman for years, after the news. Nana says, David Hughes? Oh, you mean, David Hughes! He’s your new neighbour? David Hughes is your new neighbour? I know! I say, I know! David Hughes the weatherman? Yes! My God, Nana says, he was big back in the day. Handsome Hughes. That was his nickname. Innocent times. Handsome Hughes. Your Grandad hated him. He must be Eighty. He is old yes, I say, but still handsome in a way. And he’s the old man with the bins? That was before I knew who he was, I say, I didn’t know he was famous. Oh, a long time ago, Nana says. Yes, I say, but he’s part of our heritage I suppose. If you want to look at it like that, Nana says. I should make myself known to him, I say. You’ve certainly done that already! Nana says. I mean in a nice way, I say, now that I know who he is. I should make myself known, knock on his door, remind him of some funny story that happened back in the day. It was a long time ago, Nana says. I know, I know, but you must remember something. Your Grandad hated him, all the men hated him. Something else. I don’t know, he read the weather, handsome, I don’t remember much else, Nana says. You must do! I say. I don’t. He was always on, we always watched the news then the weather in those days, wouldn’t miss it, what good it did I don’t know. But you must remember some funny story about David Hughes, something I could remind him, I’ve never known anyone famous before, I say. I really don’t, Nana says, I’m sorry but I don’t. And I blurt, You never remember things! What’s the point in getting old if you don’t remember things? And as I’m about to leave she says, He was on the telly for years and then he wasn’t. Some scandal, I don’t remember. Some scandal? What scandal? Something, it was a long time ago. Something political? I say. Something financial? I say. Someone else’s wife? I say. I wouldn’t mind him next door if it was those sorts of scandals. What scandal? I don’t remember, Nana says. Please, Nana says, can’t he just go back to being the old man with the bins?