That day, I drove to Peakville and back.
At the Old Man’s house, a damaged Christmas card had belatedly arrived. The Royal Mail had enclosed it in a plastic sleeve. The postmark was dated 24.12.10; the address was correct, but incomplete, with a district-name but no postcode. When I opened the card, there was no writing inside. So I don’t know who sent the card.
Mrs CJ has replaced her old car with a Mercedes — but only a little one.
I quickly packed a suitcaseful of clothes to take back to Suburbia Somnolenta, then I drove to Bert’s. The grey car with the dent was on the forecourt. I saw only Junior and Tall Woman behind the counter. (Probably the shop does not do much business on Monday lunchtimes.) The batter on the fish was not very crisp, so I doubt that today’s cooking was from the hand of the master.
Back at Suburbia Somnolenta, I received a phone-call from Mrs CJ. She had not noticed that I had been visiting — she was phoning simply to check how I was.
I told Mrs CJ about a piece of folk-art I had brought back from Peakville with me: a fruit-bowl made of pieces of wood salvaged from houses in Peakville that had been destroyed in the Blitz. Who the artist was, and exactly where in Peakville the houses were, is information that is now lost in the mists of time. The Deceased Lady’s mother would have known. (Were the houses near where the Deceased Lady’s father’s sister used to live?)
Another thing that I told Mrs CJ I had brought back with me was the rug that she and Dr A had folded up and that the Old Man had put back in its place.
[Original posting 24 January 2012]