Last night, we were awfully cheered to be ushered into the nearest car park and not to have to tramp across a muddy field to the concert hall. I picked up some tickets for next week for Al and Dilly (really quite surprised at their choice) and a programme – the programme for a whole month of concerts is only £4. A bargain indeed. I have a collection going back many years.
We went and chose our food and found a table with a couple of spaces on it. An elderly man and woman were in the end places, she in a wheelchair, and a young man next to each of them. The two younger men politely cleared a tray away so that I could put down ours. They stacked the crocks from their own tray onto it as I put our food etc on the table. “Would you like to put them on my tray?” I suggested. The elder young man did so, but didn’t let go, ready to put them all in front of him. “I’ll put them on the bar” I offered. “Thats all right, we’ll clear them when we leave.” I looked at his face. He was startlingly good-looking. Stunning. So was his brother. “I’m already standing up, it’s no trouble” I said cheerfully. He demurred again. Look, no assertiveness with a woman old enough to be your mother, however gorgeous you are. “thank you, but I’m as polite as you are,” I insisted and took the trays over to the bar. Actually, if he was as polite as he wanted to look, he’d have stood up and taken them himself; not that I wanted him to but that would be what I’d expect if I were his mother.
Ro and I, whilst keeping up a conversation between ourselves, eavesdropped between the boys (early 20s) and their grandparents. Frightfully public school, they were. Impossibly handsome (as I might have overstated already), very suntanned, elegantly tousled hair – naturally so, not styled, fine teeth, white but not whitened, very well-spoken without being plummy-mouthed, come on, go into the City of London or a major auction house and you will find them by the dozen. The subject of the conversation was cricket; having discussed the score (they didn’t know the most recent any more than I do, and apparently rain had stopped play early) they suggested to Grandma and Grandpa that they watch the two of them play in a tournament next week. “I lost my Captain’s cap today” said Elder Toff. “Overboard?” asked his sibling. “Yes, pretty blustery out there.”
Later, “Next time I visit, I must bring you some vegetables out of my garden, Grandma” said ET. “Some lovely lettuces.” He also has a pumpkin plant that has rampaged over the garden. Lots of flowers but no fruit yet. “How many pumpkins do you get from a plant?” asked YT. “Well, there are two flowers at every leaf joint.” “Will each flower grow into a pumpkin?” “That’s how it works, the fruit grows from the flower” – with good-humoured patronage. I longed to ask if the flowers were male or female. I’d be very surprised if many of them grew into pumpkins, you just don’t get dozens from each plant. “What’ll you do with the surplus, sell them?” asked YT. “Oh no, I’ll give them away. Give them to poor people.”
Ro and I sucked our cheeks hard (each our own, stoppit, ew) not laughing.
Once seated in the concert hall, the people behind had to stand to let latecomers past. They apologised. “No, there’s plenty of room, isn’t it a joy?” said the overenthusiastic patrician lady behind me. In front, latecomers were barging past without giving anyone time to stand up.
I must tell you about the art installation, but for today I have delighted you long enough.