Stacy worried about Mel. Her friend was pretty, kind and clever, but she had no idea how to pick a suitable boyfriend. Time and again she’d agreed to go out with someone who’d seemed to be charming but had turned out to be a closet misogynist. Craig was just the latest of a bad crop.
She was genuinely pleased that Mel now had a job. Stacy was familiar with the shop and its owners – she had been ever since she’d known them through a previous role she’d had as a uniformed community constable. Because of that history, she knew Jamie Hannay – she used to fancy him before she’d been married. “Now,” she thought, “He’d be a good catch for Mel.”
A family lunch
The dining table was laid for five at the Harrington’s. Mel’s brother Jack hadn’t arrived yet, but Mel had brought Craig with her. Her Mum was busy in the kitchen and Brian, her dad, had been asking Craig what he thought about Mel’s career news.
They were sat on the white leather furniture in the front living room – Mel and Craig, side by side on a three-seater chesterfield couch and Brian on one of the matching easy chairs.
‘Well, it’s more a job than a career isn’t it?’ Craig said, ‘I’m sure that you’ll agree Mr Harrington that being shop assistant is hardly like what you and Mrs Harrington do – architect and teacher – they’re careers.’
‘How’s your career progressing, Craig?’ Brian asked – knowing full well that Craig was still unemployed.
A fleeting frown of annoyance passed over Craig’s features before he replied.
‘I’m thinking of doing a postgrad course and training to be a language teacher. I have written off to the University.’
Mel and her dad both spoke at once.
‘You never told me!’ Mel said.
‘What languages did you have in mind?’ Mel’s dad asked.
‘I was thinking of German and Spanish,’ Craig told Brian, while, when he turned to Mel, he said, ‘You weren’t listening. You were going on about this job of yours.’
Mel was furious. She knew that he hadn’t said any such thing and, anyway, she hadn’t interrupted anything that he’d said – he always criticised her if she did.
‘Were those your degree majors?’ Brian asked, ‘I’m sure that Jean told me that Russian and Chinese were the main shortage subjects.’
‘You’re correct that there’s certainly a demand for teachers in those languages,’ Craig replied, ‘but German will be useful for pupils who wish to work in Europe – and South America is an emerging market where Spanish will be useful.’
‘From what I’ve heard,’ Mel said, still annoyed with him, ‘Brazil is the only emerging country in South America and they speak Portuguese there.’
‘Whatever! I’m quite sure that my languages degree will be quite acceptable.’ Craig told her.
Mel scowled at him.
‘What do you make of the council’s plans for redevelopment, Mr Harrington?’ Craig asked to change the subject.
The photo that I’ve chosen today is the third of the series that I’ll be posting in this part of my daily blog in this part of the page. As I said previously, the series is based on a walk that I did on the 19th April along the bank of the Leeds to Liverpool canal between Burscough Bridge and the ‘Ring O’Bells’ pub just over a mile away. I did the walk in both directions, accompanied by my daughter’s dog, Ted. I’ll start with a shot I took at Burscough Bridge wharf.
The image shows a moored narrowboat and its reflections in the canal. The EXIF data are as follows: Camera used was my 24 MP Pentax KP cropped sensor camera paired with a Pentax 28-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 full-frame lens. The shutter speed was 1/250 secs @ f/7.1 and 88 mm. The ISO was 100. The shot was handheld.