Billy Connelly’s Secret

Well, I don’t know much about Faeries but my Auntie Yvonne sure thought she did.

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When I was a kid, we would haul our caravan from Liverpool twice a year and stay in the backyard of Yvonne’s house at Tenby in Wales. Of course, being a teenager at the time, I thought it was an utter ‘drag’ but now I have many fond memories of those holidays.

As to Auntie Yvonne, well she was one of a kind. Her house was full of cats. More than I could count, and more than she could name too. She would just call them all ‘sweetie’ or ‘dear’ or ‘darling’. I remember seeing cat hair just floating on the air and landing on food and in cups of tea. It never bothered Yvonne a dot.

The back door to her house stood open 9 months of the year, so the cats could go in and out unbothered and she had those macramé hanging baskets everywhere! Inside the house and outside. She said they afforded the Faerie a safe and pleasant place to land, or nap, away from the cats.


Mind you, they all contained hard plants like cactus, “because” she said, “it’s all good and well for Faerie to visit, but I don’t want them so comfortable they want to stay“. So it was, while we would go to the beach or the park, Yvonne would stay home and spend half the day walking around with a watering can talking or singing to the plants, or perhaps wetting the Faerie!

And good God, she must have driven her neighbours made. From dawn til dusk you would hear her holler “I’m coming out now!” or, “I’m going in now!”. To warn the Faeries you see, in case any were crossing by her backdoor, Yvonne believed it a necessary courtesy to warn the Faerie of her movements so she didn’t step on them. She said that passing Faerie will always cross a doorway. I don’t know about that, but I know I never got a sleep in at Yvonne’s house, every morning from 5am I would be woken by her yelling “Coming out noooooow”.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you about Yvonne and Billy Connelly.

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Once darkness fell, Yvonne’s life revolved around the telly, and why wouldn’t it, her telly was top of the range for the time. (No one really knows where she got her money from but that’s another story).

Yvonne covered her velvet lounge in crochet blankets which were themselves covered in cat hair. Mum and Dad sat with Yvonne and the cats on the lounge. Mum and Yvonne sipping their Pimm’s and lemonade, and Dad his beer,  but I refused to get covered in cat hair, (and wasn’t allowed the Pimm’s) so always sit on the purple vinyl pouf. That is how we spent every evening of our Tenby holiday, gathered around the telly.

If the telly was King, Michael Parkinson was its Prince. Yvonne adored him and och! I remember being mortified when she regaled us with all his sexy qualities.

Anyhow, Billy Connelly came to be a regular sort of guest on Parkinson’s show and I happened to be at Yvonne’s house several times when Connelly made an appearance. Every single time Connelly made his way down those stairs and sat down beside Parky, Yvonne lowered her voice to a hush and told us most earnestly that Connelly was “touched by the Faerie”.

Look at him” she’d say and point at the telly, “He wears the skin of an ordinary man but look, just look at how he has people enthralled. Mesmerized, euphoric, they forget themselves when he’s talking. Mark my word, he is no ordinary man. He is touched, there is no doubt. That is Faerie work”.

Then, she would sit back on her furry crochet blanket and laugh so hard she would pee herself. And this was a young woman, she must have been in her late 30’s at the time, with an otherwise healthy bladder, she would literally pee herself with laughter.

Connelly wasn’t the only person she thought ‘touched’ by Faerie. I can tell you that, according to Yvonne, Charlie Chaplin, Van Gogh and Elvis Presley were also ‘touched’.

Well, if it is true Faerie ‘touch’ some ordinary people, turn them into something a little bit special, then Yvonne was surely touched herself. She was an extraordinary woman. I wish I had taken the time to talk to her more, to know her better. I can’t help thinking this world would be a better place if there were more people like my Auntie Yvonne.

From Michelle, Liverpool, UK