Disappearing Eileen!


I had forgotten about Eileen until I was going through my list of phone numbers and came across one for Linda.
Linda and Eileen met at the car boot sale one Saturday when they found themselves with adjacent stalls.
I believe Eileen was from near Milton Keynes (her daughter certainly was) and Linda was from somewhere near Newmarket.

But the story doesn’t start with their meeting, it starts a year before they met.

Eileen had become friendly with a couple who had a stall next to her one Saturday, on the far side of the field next to the hedge.
For the next few weeks they pitched-up next to each other and a friendship was formed. The couple were having a clear-out of their house before they moved to Lincolnshire.
The Saturday after the couple had moved Eileen told me that they had vowed to keep in touch and at some stage she’d been invited to stay at their new house.
They had told her that when they were settled in they would get in touch and send details of their new address and phone number. 
Over the weeks Eileen became despondent as she heard nothing until she resigned herself to the fact that they had forgotten her as they had moved on to a new life.

The following season she changed her usual spot for one on the other side of the field near to the burger van so she could have ‘a new start’.
She pitched up next to Linda, despite having similar stuff for sale, and they started to form a close friendship.
I heaved a sigh of relief as Eileen seemed to be her old self again.

Their friendship continued over the next three or so seasons until Eileen dropped a bombshell. She had met a man online and was emigrating back to Ireland where she had been left a small farmhouse near to Rosslaire.
In the meantime we had met her daughter who lived somewhere near Milton Keynes, and who had expressed the opinion that she was happy with this turn of events.
The Saturday after Eileen’s move, something seemed to be bothering Linda. 
Over a coffee she blurted out the tale.
Eileen had phoned her the day before the move for a chat, she seemed to be rather uncertain about the change in her life, but Linda put that down to understandable nerves.
She also promised to ring her for a chat while she was waiting for the ferry at Fishguard.

Linda never heard from her again.

Linda trawled the internet for any serious road accidents from Milton Keynes through to Fishguard.
She searched for any changes in occupants for farmhouses in the Rosslaire area.
She repeatedly did name searches.
All to no avail.

She concluded that:
a) Eileen had no intention of keeping in touch, possibly as a result of being let down by the couple who had gone to Lincolnshire.
b) She had been in a terrible but unreported accident on the journey that stopped her making that call from the dockside.
c) She had never wanted to keep in touch and as soon as there was no car boot sale, there was an end to the friendship.

Shortly afterwards Linda was poorly and did her last car boot sale before vanishing from sight. 

However there is a postscript.
On the day of my daughter’s wedding in 2012, someone was apparently looking for me. The lady who passed on the message said that he thought she said her name was Eileen and that she had once been a regular until she emigrated to Ireland.

Postscript number 2!
Having written down the bones of this tale I was left with a phone number and a wondering… ‘What if I try the number? It’s been about ten years but I’ll never know unless…!’ 
So I rang.
The phone was answered!
My introduction: “Hello, I’m sorry to trouble you but my name is Simon, I have the Baldock Boot Sale and had this number for a lady who used to sell with us, she was called Linda?” 
The answer blew the cobwebs off many years of wondering, 
“Hello Simon, this is Linda!” 
We had a wonderful chat and it was great to hear that she was still about!

What I want you to do TODAY!
Dust off a phone number you haven’t used for years and give it a try.
After all you can always bail out and put the phone down, but what have you got to lose.
You never know!!

Stay happy
Stay lucky
But above all
Stay Well

Best wishes from Simon (aka Baldock Bard!)