Friday, August 04, 2006

BEST OF TIMES

BEST OF TIMES…

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity . . . Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.

At last we were home and it was really special having Jamie there with me.  Mum and Dad were very sympathetic about the loss of his grandfather and marvelled at all we had accomplished on our holiday.  I told them that if they hadn’t dragged me up the mountains when I was knee high to a grasshopper I wouldn’t have been up to it.  When Maddie appeared I told them that I was going to finish with Andrew.  We walked Maddie back to the aunts, and on the way back I phoned Andrew.  I told him I was back and would get in touch once I knew my off-duty and arrange to meet.  I had to tell him in person but I was dreading it.
Back home we had a lovely chat with Mum and Dad and then, exhausted went to bed – I in the room I shared with Gran (she was in the States) and Jamie who was in Evan’s room (he was on holiday.)  Next morning I saw my parents off on holiday, made breakfast and took Jamie up a cup of tea.  Jamie then went shopping and to have a hair cut.  Alas I had forgotten about Wakes Week and all the shops were closed and the Valley was earning its name – The Valley of Death.
Jamie geared for climbing and hostels was looking decidedly scruffy – especially in the trouser department so I purloined a pair of Evan’ s trousers – beautifully pressed – Mum was an excellent valet – and then he looked presentable if rakish.  The only time my sweet-tempered brother ever got angry with me was when he discovered what I had done.  We went to the Aunts for tea and came back with Maddie, our chaperone and her baby.  I enjoyed bathing and feeding the baby then Jamie and I went to the flicks – at least they were still open.  We walked back over the tops and Maddie had gone to bed.  Alone at last.  Mum had left a wimbry pie (a sort of blueberry grown wild on the moors) so we demolished it and talked and spooned and looked at the stars.
During the weekend we were often alone together late at night and as we got more passionate Jamie said that he respected the fact that we were in my father’s house and would not betray that trust.  I just wished I had a prettier petticoat than my mother’s which as too big for me and I had to knot the straps.  All I felt was a delicious, warm, oozy feeling.
The next day I took Jamie to a farm we used to stay at in the Ribble Valley.  They had known me since I was a child and I was proud to show off Jamie whilst Mrs Walker gave him the once over.  Always a bit unnerving as her eyes looked in different directions, but he passed muster and we were given a splendid lunch.
When we got home Maddie had been joined by Paul who had returned from down south.  I wondered how he would behave as originally it was he who stopped me going to the Commem Ball with Jamie.  However they seemed to get on – there was a lot of bonhomie and I cooked tomato omelettes for all.  Sometime over the weekend we went to look at the Unitarian Church where Maddie had been married.  That night we stayed up almost till dawn – our last night.  It was time to return to hospital. Get back to work and tell Andrew I couldn’t see him anymore.

16 comments:

PI said...

Blogger refused to publish this and then just as I was about to transfer it from Word to Dashboard it published - sans paragraphs. Sorry but you know how temperamental Bloggeris!

granny p said...

Cliffhanger....how many months is it before we get to hear who you did actually marry....and which is MTL! Dithered between two men myself when young; neither right, it turned out. But the dithering - and the guilt of it - I understand. We were so young, so innocent, so naive then.

Z said...

Wonderful, as always, Pat. And I loved the bit about Mrs Walker and her eyes.
Your parents knew, this time, that you had earned their trust. But it takes people of our age to appreciate the value of the confidence they had placed on your and Jamie's sense of honour - such a different world now, this simply wouldn't apply.

PI said...

grannyp: MTL is Jamie. Re first marriage - be patient - I haven't met him yet but things will speed up soon. I think having a diary for that and only that year has slowed me down. For years I haven't been able to read it and I'm glad to have passed that hurdle.

z: I'm glad you understand. Sometimes it seems inconceivable but the tenor of our times was so very different. Mind you as things progressed, looking back , one wonders, but knowing all I do now I have no regrets. Only for any hurt one caused.

Life of a Banana said...

i have nothing to say at this point. I am waiting for the plot to get juicy.

PI said...

LoaB: Oh! No pressure then?

fjl said...

It's so true that no matter what, a new under-outfit is always required.

;-) xx

PI said...

Felicity: tee hee! Or even one that fits!

Guyana-Gyal said...

Uh-oh. How did Andrew take it?

The part where you said *somebody* borrowed her brother's lovely pants to lend to someone else cracked me up.

SIm H-D said...

Isn't it great when you meet some one who's "right" and you get that warm "oozy" feeling?? You also end up eating less as you think about them more.

When I fell in love with Girlpants, I dropped down a dress size. Marvellous!

apprentice said...

I've come to this late. (Mmm that sounds like a bit of dialogue for further on in the story.)

I need a character list to catch up.

PI said...

apprentice: if you scroll back to June 26 there is a character list. Thanks for asking.

sim: in those days I ate everything - ones weight didn't vary until I got married
and I started to look anorexic - make of that what you will.

GG: I never understood why he got so cross about a pair of trousers. Poor Jamie was caught in the middle. Tell you about Andrew next week.

R. Sherman said...

As always, you know how to end a chapter to keep us coming back.

Cheers.

PI said...

Randall: I just tell it like it was.:)

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Jamie was an honourable chap, right enough. I might have been hoping for a little less honour, mind you... ;)

I'm having a nice time catching up, by the way. I haven't been by for a while. I kind of like to let the PI posts accumulate for a bit, then get a cup of tea and sit down to get lost in your world.

Are you sad that that's a bygone era? It sounds romantic, authentic and idyllic in a very particular setting but also in a very universal way: young love; troubled times etc. all set against the grand background of The Lake District and Lancs. I think that's one reason you're writing reads so well. You have a real talent for storytelling, Pat.

Do you think things are better now or back then? I guess I don't know what I mean by "things". I'll leave that up to you, if you read your comments this far back.

PI said...

Sam: might have been a good thing.
If I were much younger I would be sad but I live a very sheltered life now and imagine in my mind that not much has changed. MTL is very much of the old schoool.

There waa a time when i very much regretted not sleeping with Jamie but it all sorteditself out in the end - so far. It ia a very tangled tale