LM has been very kind lately. He has taken to rummaging around in my clothes to see what needs repairing before the winter sets in. Its a very kind thought. He said he knew that my skills didn’t lie in either needlework or cooking and he would do me a favour and make some repairs. I mentally curtsied!
He then went off and found some spare buttons for my red coat and began ripping the Sellotape off the hem of my skirt and replacing it with thread. I thought that a job which didn’t need doing but when I questioned why he was removing the Sellotape, he said the concept was the same, of course. The thread held the hem up just as well as Sellotape but didn’t rustle and thereby announce my arrival to everyone. He thinks it probably will look slightly more classy when we are out and about meeting Agents and trying to secure contracts for next season. On other occasions he has looked at my shoes and if the heels needed redoing he would take them down to the Cobblers and simply leave a ticket on my desk so that I can collect them. he was usually generous enough to pay for these repairs in advance. I was especially pleased for the red coat repair. As for my cooking skills, he said he thought it would be better if I ” changed the record” and didn’t keep saying with a saucy wink that men didn’t marry me for the cooking skills, because whilst that could seem funny at 45 years old and with a pert arse, when I am the wrong side of sixty he said it smacks of slight desperation. I didn’t know whether he meant getting married or the saucy wink but I took his comments on board and covered up my cleavage that day!
Who reads the Daily Mail now anyway?
The Book Peddler has also been looking after me and giving me the mental equivalent of chicken soup. He has been sending over books and pamphlets that he thinks will interest me in the hope that I can restore my enquiring mind beyond the on line Daily Mail which I have been reading each day. It is true that I have been reading it diligently each morning whilst waiting for breakfast but its only because it doesn’t have a ” pay wall” . My subscription to the New Yorker has expired and I rather prefer a real copy of the Telegraph than something I can swipe at on line. However, whilst he has been slightly sententious about my current reading matter I have turned the other cheek about his new business venture which seems to focus on using his RIB ( rigid inflatable boat) to offer Dolphin Trips around the Harbour.
Having fallen short of being a Captain of a large yacht in Mary’s eyes, he thought he might be able to redeem himself and use his RIB to offer the dolphin trips. He reasoned that many, like myself, had only heard of these dolphins and had never seen the illusive creatures up close and thereby felt there would be a suitable market, especially after Sunday lunches. I don’t think he had realised that a trip out to sea in a Force 10 Gale, regardless of afternoon, would not be ideal in something that small. I feared that he also had not factored in that people will not readily board his vessel if there are only two life jackets in something seating ten passengers. He said he would take Henry along as ” First Mate” because he does have a PADI and is already signed up for his Dive Instructors Exam in January. Therefore, he retaliated, if anyone did fall overboard and didn’t have the lifejacket and was unable to swim, Henry could jump right in and bring them back up to the surface. He said a PADI was most useful in so many occupations, “didn’t I know?”
Muffins on the Menu!
He had already decided to offer a great deal and was going to whip up a batch of Muffins the night before and offer them with a cup of tea as a ” Welcome Aboard ” gift. He wasn’t sure of the flavours, as people’s tastes vary so much, but felt once they had tried them, they would feel sated. He further mused that even if chocolate chip wasn’t one’s person favourite choice, it didn’t hurt to try something different and share them around the boat. I wasn’t sure what to say but felt that the poster he had prepared which said ” Free Muffins on Board!” might not hit the right type of demographics. He tapped his nose and said “Lets wait and see. Let’s wait and see….”
No one likes a show off
This had further built up a head of speed when Jonny said that if I wanted to see the Dolphins I would need to swim out at least 1km from the beach. He said it was an easy swim and we could do it one day when the sea was flat. I said I was happy to try it if we took it slow and he didn’t splash me. I am always the first in the water, so I took off at a sedentary pace and was hugely hacked off when Jonny ran head first into the sea and caught me up with, in his words alone, a rather impressive Crawl! Not only did he manage to catch me up but he further splashed my hair which meant that that the colour was going to either fade or go green and I would have to wash it for the second time that day! This little action of his so annoyed me I turned and swam back to the shore feeling rather peeved and realising that I may get to the end of yet another Summer and not seen the Dolphins yet again. Of course by the time I had reached the shore, Jonny had swum past me (again) and tried to redeem himself by having a towel waiting for me when I got out. Now not only was I not going to be swung by his unusually chivalrous gesture but he was taking the job from someone else.
Yes, the Book Peddler had, by default, the job of holding the towels when we are in the water because he says someone should always be on hand on dry land to call the Coastguard should one of us be attacked by a shark or get stomach cramps. Therefore, he elected himself to be the one to keep an eye out from the shoreline. He said it added a sense of comfort to those on the High Seas being able to see that he was readily available for unexpected emergencies. Having come fully prepared with a High Viz Jacket; a lanyard ( which bore the name “Daphne Mills, Deputy Librarian” on it) and in his “man bag” he kept some insect repellent; calamine lotion and quinine tablets. Having confided with Jonny over a rather large Gin, that he didn’t like the salt on his body as it tended to make his skin itch and flake, Jonny replied in a somewhat fresh manner, that maybe he “needed to get Mary to suck it off him sometime! “ Lately I have come to realise that I can’t rely on him to behave in company and I shot him a further glance. He didn’t appear to notice, however, as he was far too busy following Lilo Lil’s arse up the beach to grasp anything further of note that day.
He seems to have formed an unhealthy interest in her arse ever since she got lashed one night and sent a video of herself on her husband’s back ” riding ” around the sitting room to the lyrics of ” Horse with no name!” I think the fact that she got her arse slapped by her old man during it probably added a frisson to the proceedings, sofar as Jonny was concerned. Thankfully she was fully clothed at the time otherwise, I dread to think where it would all lead.
He often refers to it! ( such a Wanker!)
I was further annoyed with Jonny because he had turned up at the caravan that day; taken a look around it and declared that I had ” gone feral” and needed to keep things tidy, especially if I wanted to find things in a hurry. I thought it was a tad cheeky bearing in mind that it is only my temporary home and I am desperately short of space. He further opined that if I was indeed short of space, it would be easier to keep everything put away and occasionally do the washing up. And as if to make his point his eyes glanced towards the worktop where, indeed, last nights dishes and some of the breakfast things had been lingering until I could muster up some enthusiasm to run the hot water. In fact some days I have so little enthusiasm for doing said washing up, that I simply take the plates and cutlery and chuck them in the bin along with the waste overs. It would appear no one, currently, has even noticed.
On the move like Aslan
Added to this drama was a quick phone call from Artur who said he was calling from ( Northern) Cyprus and wondered if I still had the phone number of Mary? Apparently he had taken the Bird from Billericay for the duration of the summer but after three months in her company she had become rather dreary. He confided that at about nine pm each night she wanted to slope off to bed. Now as Artur reminded me, ” nothing is for nothing” and if he had kindly invited her to his 4 bedroomed; 2 private bathrooms; own pool, air con Villa then she really should be grateful and give something back! He said that he still had all of the summer kaftans belonging to his ex-wife in some of the wardrobes there, including some rather interesting clothes from the Fun Cupboard and he had invited her to wear them at will. He says he doesn’t know why she seemed annoyed and refused his very generous offer! Why one evening he had even put a few items on the bed and suggested she wear one of those to dinner and one afterwards! It was at this point that I spluttered in my coffee fearing that this indeed was a case of ” rather too much information”
Artur was oblivious to the fact that he had overstepped the Vulgar Barometer and told me she had initially made her self readily available for making breakfasts of his choice and offering “extras” after the sun went down. Sadly, he concluded, he knew it was a waste of time when she served up Melon Balls one night soaked in Creme de Menthe. He saw the Norwegians exchange a glance and it had been all he could do to get through the meal knowing that his Dinner Parties were now being considered somewhat ” infa dig!” around the Complex
Artur however was feeling testy again that day ( a typical trait of narcissists) and said that he had suggested that if she was tired, she go home and she had readily agreed. Therefore, if she was heading home on the 0750 to Stansted the very next day , he was looking for some other companion to help him finish off the last few weeks in Kyrenia. After all, why waste a perfectly good king size bed with 200 thread count cotton duvet, or indeed his ex-wife’s kaftans?
He said that Mary had readily come to mind and knew that she would never dream of eating a Melon Ball, or indeed any other type of ball dripped in Creme de Menthe and therefore he may well be able to save the day and still hold the final party of the season if Mary could come and take charge of the catering !
I don’t have a thing to wear
It was quite late that night when I got a text from Mary saying that she was jetting off to Cyprus and was looking through her options. I assumed she meant clothes as opposed to men at this point but frankly at 01.20 in the morning, I don’t suppose many would really care. She was wondering about a gift she could (thoughtfully) take to Artur for his kindness in offering her a few weeks in the sun before Winter sets in. I was quiet for a minute and then text back ” Well, Mary, I know he has a fondness for Creme de Menthe. Why not get a bottle of that at the airport and give him that as a gift?” The rest, as they say, is history.