“Cathy, thanks for listening – you are a good listener.”
“Would you like to have a look at the garden?” she asked. “I can understand that side of Evolution better.”
They walked through her Dining Room and its patio doors into the garden beyond. They progressed companionably around its borders, comparing ideas about planting schemes. She outlined her plans for landscaping one area that was currently overgrown. He described work that he was carrying out in his garden.
By the time he left it was as if they were old friends rather than the sparring partners they had been, and they’d agreed on a date for a further chat at Steve’s house the following Saturday at the same time. Before then, they would be meeting on Sunday, the next day, anyway at Cathy’s house for the meal with the rest of the group that had been arranged at the meal hosted by the Wilsons’ two weeks beforehand.
Sunday 17th April at Cathy’s House
Everyone had turned up for the meal, including Tony and his lady friend, Christine. It was the first time that any of the others in the group had met her. Cathy had needed to extend her dining table and to bring down a couple of extra chairs.
Christine was, like Tony, single and widowed. They were of a similar age and height, and both were retired from work, but she still had a good head of silver hair while Tony was bald except for a semicircle of greying hair around the sides and back of his head. They had both been teachers when they had worked but at different schools.
At the table, Tony and Christine sat beside each other; she was next to Steve and Tony sat next to Cathy.
As was usual, the conversation flowed easily, much of it was both to put Christine at ease and to discover more about her – and about her relationship with Tony. Probably because of the diversion, this time there were no barbed comments flying between Steve and Cathy.
After the meal, everyone adjourned to Cathy’s Living Room. Cathy and Beryl brought in some drinks and nibbles from the kitchen while the conversation continued – though by now it had moved on to local politics and the way that the High Street was losing all its independent shops. Many of those that remained were now shuttered while the remainder were charity shops, betting offices or chain coffee shops.
Cathy, returning from the kitchen to her seat, contributed to this discussion by mentioning how the local Council would be passing on financial cuts to the Library along with other Leisure Services areas. It seemed to becoming the case that, unless the Council had a statutory duty to fund a service, such services would be reduced or closed altogether. Cathy had some doubts about how long she would be able to keep her job.
Steve, on the far side of the room, noticed how her passionate defence of public libraries was reflected in her eyes and gestures. He thought that she looked lovely. If anyone noticed that he and Cathy seemed less antagonistic that evening, they said nothing.
My opening photo today, is of an overcrowded area of our garden, perhaps like the area that Cathy was thinking of landscaping.
For a featured photograph I’ve chosen the central library in a town in the North of England where the building shown – a large Central Library occupying several floors was closed and replaced by a tiny section of a small industrial museum – echoing Cathy’s fears.
I took the photo using my Pentax KP 24 MP cropped sensor dslr camera with a 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
EXIF data were 1/30 secs @ f/8 and 23 mm. ISO was 100.