1971 - Mr Toad lived in the next street to us. He was a wee old man who I used to see walking slowly up and down the back entry between our two streets. Mr Toad was weird little man who used to both fascinate and scare me. His odd cartoon-like name seemed to suit his demeanour perfectly. He never spoke to anyone and seemed to be in a wee world of his own. I think he was a trauma-victim from World War II.
When Mr Toad came dandering up the entry we would stop our games to let him pass. He would walk past us, lost in a world of his own and quite often we would file in behind him to form a procession with him leading a line of four or five small kids silently impersonating his awkward, hunched-over walk. He would always be oblivious to this bunch of little brats taking the mickey out of him.
Mr Toad would leave the back door of his house open (in the days when you could leave your back door open), and we would often sneak into his back yard to look at the weird plants he grew. His yard was full of the oddest looking plants we had ever seen. I think a lot of them were in fact weeds that he grew in pots. This wee man held much weirdness and we were strangely drawn to it.
I remember last seeing Mr Toad as he walked down the entry as normal. As he passed me I noticed he had his penis out and was peeing as he walked. He seemed oblivious to the fact that a young child was there witnessing this very strange happening. A strange wee man was Mr Toad.