In memory of a dear friend in ‘Billinge Lump’

‘Is That Billinge Lump’ is the second book in the Sell the Pig series and continues the story of what happened after my mother, brother, my dog Meic and I moved into our new home in France.

Shortly after ‘Lump’ was published, I received news from the UK that a very dear friend of mine, Peg, whom I introduced in ‘Billinge Lump’, had died, aged 94. I had known Peg and her husband Bob since the mid-1970s, when we all lived in the same area of South Wales. Their youngest son’s girlfriend came to work on the South Wales Guardian, where I was a reporter.

Despite being of almost exactly the same age as my parents, Bob and Peg seemed to have a much younger outlook and we got on really well. In particular, I loved Peg’s wicked sense of humour.

They came and visited us in France several times and Mother was always pleased to see them, as they had all become friends over the years, although she never remembered who they were to begin with. They were staying at the time I was buying Tottie’s Grottage, so they were one of the first people to see it, in all its shambolic glory.

I’d taken them with me on my little R&R trip, and we had all stayed with great friends of mine, Geoff and Christine, at their lovely bed and breakfast, about an hour from the grottage at Chabanol.

Sunleys01Bob and Peg at Chabanol with Geoff and Christine and their dog Bounty


Bob and Peg with their eldest son Bobby, with Geoff and Bounty

This post is by way of a tribute to my great friend Peg. One of the things for which she will be best remembered is her rather risqué limericks. Some of them were just not repeatable in polite company, but I did reproduce the mildest of them all in ‘Lump’. So if you have not yet read the book, here, just for you, is Peg’s limerick.

‘There was a young man from Aberystwyth

Who took his girlfriend home to play whist with.

But instead of that,

They sat on the mat,

And played with the things that they pissed with.’

Peg, you always could make everyone laugh. RIP, my friend.