It was a beautiful seventeenth century farmhouse
in a picture postcard English village,
the family home of Liz
who would drop me off there
on our way back home from college.
I would pick up the bus for the last fifteen miles.
That night was my first overnight stay.
Liz lived with her parents and granny
and inside it was as olde worlde as out
with creaky floor boards and beamed ceilings.
It was Saturday and her parents were out
so we played our music loud.
Granny was said to be a little deaf
and she didn’t complain about the music.
I could hear her as she crossed the room above
to open a drawer or cupboard and then return
to her favourite chair in the corner
but there was no angry banging on the floor,
just frequent sorties back and forth,
her footsteps sprightly and unremarkable.
I didn’t mention her to Liz,
it felt rude, somehow.
At about eleven we heard a car draw up
and turned our music down.
Liz’s parents came in
followed by Granny.
Confused, I asked about the footsteps above
and they all laughed.
“That’s Auntie Aggie,” said Liz,
“She lived here when the house was first built.
She always walks when someone new visits.
She likes to introduce herself.
She’ll stop now you’ve acknowledged her.”
And she did!