"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."



('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)




Monday, January 30, 2017

The Bodwyn Biffers

Last Monday, Keith and I went to a funeral. It was at the Methodist chapel a few miles away where, as it happens, I go to my Welsh classes each week and where Keith once danced on bits of paper in a short-lived attempt to join something akin to the Cubs (Don't ask!).
The funeral was for a childhood friend of Keith's, although he was a few years older. They lived in the same road, only a couple of houses apart and at that time, back in that golden era of the fifties, there were few other houses in the neighbourhood but lots of open land, an irresistible invitation to amuse themselves without the all-seeing eyes of parents and other adults. Keith and his friends called themselves the Bodwyn Biffers, after the area in which they lived, and spent a lot of their time and energy in conflict with a rival gang, the Nursery gang, again named in honour of their local area.
And then there was the time when they decided to do a little cuisine al fresco (yes I know I've mixed up two languages there). I have no idea where they managed to get the bacon and eggs from, but I have it on Keith's very reliable authority that cooking it in a hole, with a piece of turf pulled over the top for added privacy, improved the taste and enjoyment no end. Not sure about the effect on their lungs though.
 Clifford, whose funeral it was, was the leader of this intrepid group  and went on to be a mining engineer in adulthood.  (There has to be a link there somewhere!)
But although the chapel was packed, Keith was the only Bodwyn Biffer present and probably the only person there who knew the story.

11 comments:

Unknown said...

Leaves me wondering what's become of the old gang. I have lost contact with many of my childhood friends, although there are two or three of them I still see now and then. I've planned a trip to Washington, DC in the spring to visit a favourite of mine. I do hope Keith met a few old acquaintances at the funeral. Sad we seem to meet at the worst of times.

Dale said...

The comment above was mine, Jenny. Ivy had signed in and I inadvertently posted my comment under her account ...

Yorkshire Pudding said...

"Bodwyn, Llanrhuddlad is a hamlet in the community of Cylch-y-Garn, Ynys Môn, Wales, which is 142 miles (229 km) from Cardiff " Is that where Keith grew up Jenny?

Rest in peace Clifford - king of The Bodwyn Biffers!

Jenny Aspin said...

I guessed it was you, Dale. No, sadly, the only person he knew there was Clifford's older brother and one other friend.

Jenny Aspin said...

No, Bodwyn, in this case, refers to the road where Keith grew up. It was only a few houses then, there are quite a few more there now.

Dale said...

Wasn't Bodwyn just down the road from Doc Martin's town of Port Wenn, Cornwall?

Shooting Parrots said...

There seems to be a lot of blogging about death lately - I blame Trump and Brexit!

Jenny Aspin said...

Wrong Bodwyn, Dale. :)

ZACL said...

What privilege to have that very special knowledge and link to a long time friend.

Sok Sareth said...

It's a shame that "Ground Force" isn't still on TV. You could have got Charlie Dimmock and Tommy Walsh to transform your garden with Alan Titchmarsh doing the voice over.

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