Notes from Tiggywinkles: My past catching up with me now

Les Stocker
Les Stocker

I do not have the time these days to give talks about the hospital.

I even seem to have little time to talk to Sue, my wife.

But I could not resist this invitation to present a short talk about our work to the annual meeting of the Isle of Wight League against Cruel Sports.

Not only would I be able to catch up with an old friend, Alan Knight, of International Animal Rescue but, best of all, I might encounter red squirrels.

I had worked with Alan before on such major missions as the Braer oil spill on Shetland and the drama of the hedgehogs on the Uists.

First off came that talk in Newport.

Sue and I set up our fundraising stall while I braced myself to meet an audience.

All going steadily. Then a blast from the past.

“Do you remember me?” I must have appeared blank.

The elderly lady continued, “I was at the Beauty without Cruelty Exhibition. You had a fundraising stall”.

Still blank.

“Sorry” I splurted out.

“The old memory’s going.”

Then the coup de grace, “I have some photos of you” as she produced three nightmare images from her bag.

There I was. Hank Marvin glasses, bell bottom trousers, right in the late 80s.

At that time we were hectic.

Fundraising every weekend to try and build the hospital.

Looking back I do not know how we survived those crazy years.

But we did as Princes Alexandra opened Tiggywinkles in 1991.

Stop harking back.

You have a talk to give.

It went well then we set off to explore the Island.

No red squirrels.

My only memories to be those ghastly photographs of my eighties fashion sense.

My next talk: January the 23rd at Tiggys.

Do come along?