Towards the end of the meeting tonight, my left-hand neighbour looked thoughtful. “I’ve just thought,” he murmured. “Tonight, or around this time sixty years ago, I was conceived.”
The new Rector was impressed by the part I took towards the meeting. Bowls of sweets, one between two people (so you don’t have far to reach). “I’ve never been to a meeting where there are sweets before,” she said. I resisted the temptation to say “Darling, you’ve never lived” and explained that there used to be biscuits, but either people had had their evening meal or were going home for it later and in neither event would they wish to chomp on biscuits. Jelly babies and Maltesers are different, however.
Lunch in Bury was good. We didn’t go to the Angel, in the end. We went to a pub called the Fox. As we approached the door, I was confused by a sign that said ‘Up your Sunday afternoon’ and then quite relieved to see, after a few more steps, the almost-hidden word above it, that read ‘Free’. Another sign offered ‘Al a carte’ menu. In fact, once we went in, my spirits rose, partly because it declared itself to be a smoke-free pub and partly because there was an appealing menu chalked on the board. They rose again when I asked for a glass of red wine and was handed a wine list. I had a good mixed mushroom stroganoff (would have been excellent had they been all wild mushrooms and not a good half ordinary button ones) and my chum had red snapper on a bed of crushed new potatoes with fennel.
Afterwards I pottered around while he went to try on trousers, and found how I’d managed to get completely lost last time I’d been there. I must say, Bury St Edmunds is not well signposted for pedestrians. A sign says ‘Town Centre’ so, slightly puzzled (for I’d thought it was another way), I followed it. A few minutes, it turned me right and then (this time I used my brain – at last – for there was no sign at all) right again. Ah, where I thought it was in the first place, I wonder why I’d been sent an unnecessary half mile. But I discovered that one shop faced the other direction than I’d thought, so when I came out last time, I had walked the wrong way.
The Rector and her husband met Ro, Dilly and Al the other night at the Quiz Night. She said how much they had liked them. “Your daughter in law is lovely” she said. “We said how much like you she is, anyone might think she is your daughter.” I thanked them for the implied compliment and agreed that we do have a lot in common.
Time for an early night, I was just thinking. I looked at the time. Ten past eleven. By the time I’m ready, it’ll be nearly midnight. Not so early after all, but not late anyway.