Thursday, March 02, 2006


Story contd.

Whilst I was helping Maddie to change into her ‘going away’ suit, I asked her how things had gone the first time she took Paul home to Mum and Dad’s - he had been staying with the aunts.

‘Well as you can imagine Mum put on a big spread: high tea with all the trimmings, the Shelley china, her special malt loaf – although I told her Paul had had dysentery - and oh yes, because of that she decided to do up the loo and painted the lavatory seat.
Unfortunately she did it whilst Dad was at the match and forgot to tell him. Guess what happened?’

‘He didn’t!’

‘Oh yes he did. You could smell the turps from the bottom of the lane.’ Maddie giggled.

‘I wish I could have been there. How was Gran?’

‘She behaved like a duchess until she knocked the HP sauce bottle over.’

‘Don’t tell me…’

“‘Stand up you long-necked bugger!’ she shouted, and…”

Maddie then collapsed in helpless laughter.

‘Tell me! Tell me!’

“and Paul stood up!”

We collapsed on the bed tears rolling down our faces.

‘Well he would wouldn’t he’ I gasped, ‘him being used to orders.

I was really going to miss Maddie. Paul got quite irritated when we had giggling fits which made us worse. I would have to think of them as a couple from now on.

After the departure of the happy pair it all went a bit flat so it was a relief to set off with Sarah for the Lake District. I had managed to save some money and Sarah was earning so we decided to treat ourselves to a bed and breakfast instead of camping or youth hostels. Mum and Dad recommended Mrs Lawson’s in Ambleside. It was a typical local house built of grey Lakeland slate, close to the Police Station. Mrs Lawson was very motherly and a good cook so we were persuaded to have our evening meals with her.

After exploring Ambleside I took Sarah to see our old haunts. The camping ground now had a few caravans but the enormous tree by the edge of the lake which had been struck by lightening and uprooted was still there. Evan used to call it his castle and you could still see the rocks where we use to tie up and fish. We wandered round Bowness and admired the lovely boats moored there. One was called ‘The Girl Pat’.

The Lakes were busier than pre-war, but their beauty was undiminished and I never tired of gazing at the many varied lakes garlanded with dramatic mountains – so different to the sea-side scenery I had grown accustomed to. We decide to spend a day in the Langdales. To break ourselves in we would potter up and down the little sugar loaves there before tackling a mountain. The weather was unusually balmy and by mid afternoon we were hot and tired and retreated to a cool tea-room with flagged floors. The seating arrangements were forms with trestle tables – all quite matey and we got chatting to three young men who had been climbing. We had to get back to Ambleside for supper but as we were looking up the bus time- tables the chaps said they had a car and would be happy to give us a lift. They were quite a bit older than us and there were three of them but they were polite and charming and climbers so I knew we’d be fine.
We told them of the dance we were going to that evening and they decided to join us.
The evening was a great success and we arranged to meet the next day when they would drive us to Coniston so we would see a more remote area. Another lovely day of sweet scented meadows and shimmering lakes and gentle flirtation. Time flew and it seemed criminal to dash back for supper, especially as the boys were leaving the next day. I had a brainwave. We would phone the police station from the inn and ask them to pop over to Mrs Lawson’s to tell her we wouldn’t be back for supper.

It was magical by Lake Coniston in the early evening and we were surprised to see quite a lot of people. We decided to have a skimming competition where you find flat smooth pebbles and see who can get the most bounces on the water before the pebble sinks. The chaps were brilliant at this and we were rubbish – which pleased them no end until two officious looking blokes came up and said we must stop at once we were disturbing the calmness of the lake. What on earth was going on?


AndrewM said...

That's the sort of behaviour that can lead to jetskis and suchlike!

Carry on the good work.

Nick said...

Just as well the skippingstones police were on hand. Who knows what you'd have got up to next - even dipping your toes in the water perhaps.

R. Sherman said...

Great story. My tells how the first time my father met her parents, he dumped a bowl of something in his lap. Without missing a beat, my grandfather said, "Well, Ken, at least you wore your old clothes."


Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Your story warmed me on this frosty morning. And police popping in to a B&B to tell the owner that her guests wouldn't be in for supper after all - well, that's what I call public service!

Caroline said...

Climbers are good chaps!

Universal Soldier said...

I loved the painting the loo seat story.