The conversation moved on to what Frank had said about renting a house. He explained that he feared it might take a while. He said that he’d spend the following day seeing if he could find lodgings with a young landlady who’d cook his breakfast and evening meal for him. He teased them that he wouldn’t complain if she offered other benefits.
Gloria was shocked – both for the image it conjured up in her own mind and because Davina was listening. Davina though was in stitches laughing.
‘Gramps,’ she said, ‘that’s gross.’
‘I was just pulling your mum’s leg love’ he assured Davina – and her mum.
On that note, they all decided to call it a day, but not before Gloria, horrified at the thought of her dad playing house with a landlady – of any age – had told him that he must continue to live with her and Peter until he could find somewhere suitable.
He excused himself and returned upstairs to do some internet searching.
He was still getting his mind around what he’d learned about the housing market when Charlotte’s text arrived. He read it and immediately felt relieved. They quickly arranged to meet for a meal at five-thirty. She’d chosen a local carvery place. That suited him fine. He went downstairs to let Gloria know.
Before he did anything else, he phoned Betty, his widowed older sister to ask a favour. Betty worked from her home office as an architect. She refused to consider retiring and would probably prefer to die at her drawing board – though, these days, he assumed she’d use a desktop computer for much of her work. Betty was almost a neighbour of Gloria and had a similar house although she’d had an extension built for use as her office.
Her phone only rang a couple of times before she answered with her business and surname details. When she heard his voice, she asked if she could ring him back in ten minutes because she was with a client.
‘What are you doing at Gloria’s?’ she asked. He’d phoned her using Gloria’s landline and she’d recognised the caller ID. He explained the situation briefly, but she bombarded him with questions – many of which related to his sanity and common-sense. When she got round to asking why he’d phoned, he told her that he was planning to rent a house, for six months maximum in the first instance, and wanted to know if she had any contacts as landlords or agents who could short circuit the bureaucracy. She asked him to leave it with her. He told her that he’d be having a meal with Charlotte that evening before putting David in the picture. She told him that he should get down on his knees if necessary and beg her to let him return. He went for a wash, got changed and, with all best wishes from Gloria and her family. he drove to the restaurant.
I took this photo in this morning (11/02/2021) at Sutton Mill Dam, St Helens, Merseyside. I took this shot because of the contrast between a shoot of a palm tree and the frozen lake.
I used my Pentax KP 24 MP cropped sensor camera with a 35 mm f/2 prime lens attached. The shutter speed was 1/400 at f/9 and the ISO was 640. The shot was handheld and I post-processed my shot in Lightroom Classic.