We sat in the car and ate our illicit chips. Smothered with vinegar and a sprinkling of salt. I wore a denim skirt with a warm cornflower blue top, thick tights with dusty pink roses and ankle boots. My blue to your yellow of primroses and windblown daffodils. Your lipstick matched the pink rosed tights. Your eyes the colour of a summer sky.
“I love the tights” said the little voice from the passenger seat, as we tucked into the chips.
“Tried the jeans but couldn’t get the zip done up. Or breathe. Even less chance with these chips”.
We traded smiles as a bitter north east wind blew off the grey green sea. A cold bleak day.
Two feather blown gulls stood forlornly on the cliff top and looked out to sea.
When we had eaten our fill of chips, I decided to donate them to the wind- blown gulls on the grass. It was not an idea thought through and suddenly the sky turned dark as the forlorn two were joined by an armada of yellow beaked birds who swooped around the car and the unwanted food. Menacing. Hungry. Vicious. I lobbed the chips in the bin and made a run for it.
“Poor you” said the little figure as I slammed the door shut on the incoming armada of black eyed stealth bombing birds.
“Not my best idea”.
We drove home and the car smelt of vinegary chips and salt.
We did the cross word. I took the lead. Your answers more hesitant. The words less forthcoming, but we worked as a team. You got five across - the Greek horse ‘trojan’ to my eleven down ‘exposed, barren’, Dickens novel. Five letters. ‘Bleak’ as in Bleak House.
“Remember we used to walk passed it on the way to the beach in the summer?”
“How scary it looked when we walked passed on wild wintry days?”
“Remember when we went into and upstairs room and sat at the desk where Dickens wrote and looked out of the little window to sea? And then we had an ice cream and sat on the pier and watched the fisherman with their lobster pots? And we took home some fish for tea……”
Bleak it was and it fitted neatly with the other clues.
We got stuck on twenty three across (temporary or conditional – 11 letters), ate fruit cake with hot tea and counted the snowdrops and daffodils.
“Be nice when the weather is warmer and you can sit in the garden”.
“And you can play some more golf” said my number one fan.
“Without all those layers and hand warmers”.
Golfers to the core. We spoke of windy headlands, the lighthouse, tricky par fives and missing the putt for par. Matches lost and matches won. We looked at Hogan’s bible and studied the pictures of hand action and hip turn ratio to shoulders.
When it was time to leave, another hug, another look which said – Don’t leave it too long. Come back soon. I love you and miss you.
“Write me one of your stories” said the little figure by the window in the chair.
“I’ll be back soon” I whispered and on the way home REM sang Everyone Hurts and I changed the station.
And between the bowls of porridge and the ironing board, between the game of golf and the snowdrops, I wrote the letter and dropped it into the post box.
Just thought you might like a few words to brighten your day. I can see you sitting in the chair with the cross word and watching the birds. I have recovered from the trauma of the gull attack on the cliff top. Would have made a good story for the local press.
Breaking News – GOLFER CHIPS AND GETS MORE THAN ONE BIRDIE…
So next time we either eat all the chips or take them home! There was me thinking it was a good move to dispose of the evidence. But the smell of vinegar and salt was a bit of a give away. And the trousers are once again a bit snug on the tee shots and lining up the putts. No, I haven’t jumped on the scales but the jeans are too tight and the evidence is in the mirror every time I try to snuck by it on the way to the shower.
Managed to get out for a game of golf this week. Remember I told you about the top secret driver. The one I got to go with the oven gloves? The family are not yet aware of its presence in the household. It’s in the golf bag by the bookcase and its very distinctive head cover is underneath the golf towel. I might just stick an old head cover on it or maybe one of the army of old socks I have hidden away in a black sack in the airing cupboard. I long ago gave up trying to work out where the other sock went – one of life’s enduring mysteries.
Back to the driver – it went out for its first outing and behaved moderately well. Trouble is the swing is in a bit of flux at the moment. Another lesson is in the diary.
I gave Big Rich a putting lesson. I could see what he was doing wrong and on the sixth thought I should put him out of his misery. So we traded tips. He told me my swing was too flat and I told him he was decelerating on his putts. It worked for him and my swing became more upright. For a while. I need to pretend there is a wall behind me or someone with a taser gun. Pain and motivation. Works for me.
The Sheriff played a blinder and came in with 36 points. Eagled the sixteenth. Off the whites it plays 507 yards and is stroke index eleven. He now gets cut to One so is heading for a plus handicap in the Book of Big Rich. You really don’t want to know how I played the sixteenth. Not how it says on the course planner. It was not a good round. I started with a blob, found a few more along the way and ended with a par.
I skipped the bits in the letter. The bits I didn’t want to be read.
The swindle did not sugar coat it.
“You played terrible” said Gus.
“Never seen you play that bad. Ruggy is better than you now”.
“Maybe you do need a few lessons” said Big Rich in a strange mood of sympathy and kindness. Pay back for the putting lesson.
The worst card is always discarded and to my shame that belonged to me – I will have to pull my boot straps up………
Gus did not have a good day on his approach shots, but at least he was wearing a black jumper. Very useful when we went in for tea and the clubhouse was full of people dressed in black. Mourning a Very Old Member. A mid handicapper who loved the game, the oval ball and a beer.
They gave him a good send off. We sat outside on the patio. It was freezing, even with the low winter sun filtering through the branches, but we had forsaken our table in the window by the putting green for those dressed in black.
The Vicar was having a quiet five minutes on the next table. Gathering his thoughts, straightening his dog collar, and maybe a word with his Boss Upstairs.
Thanks for the help with the service and the sermon. Thought it went ok. Shame the Blind Man’s dog tried to drink the Holy Water during the eulogy and the Organist missed a few notes.
We shivered in the sun and behaved with decorum, until Sid said:
Oh my God, it’s bloody murder in there”.
“Actually, Sid” the Sheriff said, “think you will find it was natural causes”.
“Reckon we could sneak in and get some of that food” said Gus.
“Have you seen those cakes” said Big Rich. “Chocolate brownies”.
The Man of God blanched, looked over at our table of sinners and added a PS
Me again. Please look out for the crowd on the next table.
The clubs are back by the bookcase, the lesson is booked and the supper was not burnt. Cauliflower cheese and jacket potatoes. Black cherry yoghurt.
Take care of your sweet self and a big hug.
See you soon. Promise. And I have not forgotten your story.
Love always xx
PS. Twenty three across – provisional. I should have known that from the number of balls played off the tee with the Swindle. Fits in neatly with ‘jardinaire (9 down).
Enjoy the snowdrops and the daffodils xxx