Samuels Slate House Sign
I walked slowly along the row of cottages, examining the slate house signs, loving the descriptive names. I paused outside a particularly attractive cottage with a slate house sign portraying the name Samuels House. A name that had nothing at all to do with the sea or the surroundings. While I stood lost in thought as to who Samuel was, the door of the cottage opened and a very small, very old man greeted me with a friendly smile. “Can I help you young man?” he asked in a delightful Welsh accent that sounded as if he was singing the words. I apologised for seeming nosy and remarked on how attractive his cottage was. I told him I had been wondering about the name.
“Ah”, he said. “My slate house sign. It started off with some retired folk moving into Number 7, and putting up a slate house sign calling their cottage The Lookout. Then Number 5 put up a slate house sign with the name Gulls Cry on it. Before I knew it all the cottages had a slate house sign with a name on it”.
“I’ve lived in this cottage man and boy for nearly 90 years and never had cause to give it a name. My fathers name was Samuel and my name is Samuel and everyone’s always known that this be Samuels house. No need to have a slate house sign to tell anyone that”.
I asked him what had brought about his change of mind. He ruminated for a moment, running his hands through his still abundant hair and then said, “Well I tell you what I’d pass all those slate house signs every day and the more I looked at them, the more I liked them. They looked good. Like they’d been there forever. Like they’d last forever. And then one day I woke up and thought time I got myself a slate house sign.
So I did. Called my place Samuels House. Just like it’s always been. But now I’ve got a slate house sign to prove it”. And with a parting smile he turned to go back indoors.
I gave his slate house sign a last look and walked on. Happy that I now knew whom Samuel was.