These butterfly photographs reminded me of Uncle Ted and Aunt May. They were Mum’s cousins. Ted was completely blind and May was legally blind but with partial sight. Ted was a character. We didn’t see them often but each time was a treat. He liked to play mind games with the sighted – especially the children.
I remember Ted and May coming to see us. They took the bus and then walked the half mile from the bus top. We knew to expect them so I was walking up the street to meet them. When they were still a way off Ted called out “Hello Rodney”. How did he do it?
Another time we were all, yes all, ‘watching’ television. I think it was Sunday Night at the London Palladium, a tediously boring program for a boy of eight. Goodness knows why we had it on when we had visitors. The show was at a point where a row of chorus girls (The Toppers?) did their dance routine across the stage, all long legs, sequins and synchronized kicking. Suddenly, Ted let out a huge wolf whistle and said “just look at those legs”. Ted had some imagination.
But the story I want to tell is the time Ted was riding the bus home. It became very foggy. Another pea-souper. The bus driver drove slower and slower. Finally he stopped the bus and said “Sorry everyone, the fog’s just too thick. I can’t see enough to find the way, you all have to get off and walk from here”.
Cue the Lone Ranger music: Ted stood up and said “Stay put, I can lead you. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s foggy”. With that, Ted walked in front of the bus with his white cane, and led the bus all the way to the bus depot.