He explained to Gloria that he’d buy his evening meal out somewhere, so that she could have a natter with her mum. He asked her to text him once Charlotte had returned home. It had been a quiet day. David had spent the afternoon watching sport, Gloria had been to the shops to pick up some snack foods for when her mum arrived. Davina was in her room revising. It was still raining, so he donned a raincoat before he left to drive to the pub. He looked forward to the carvery. Charlotte wouldn’t be eating anything as nice as that.
Tuesday – Week Three
Local History Group
When Charlotte arrived at the Library, just before ten, it had stopped raining but the dark clouds promised more to come. She saw that most of the other members had already arrived, so she went straight to her usual table and greeted her usual group. They all commented on her tanned complexion and asked about her holiday, but their discussion was soon brought to an end as Renee, the Chairperson, called the meeting to order. The Secretary answered questions and comments about the minutes of the meeting Charlotte had missed. As Hazel was speaking, Charlotte read silently her copy of them. She’d already picked up her copy of the agenda for today’s meeting. Everything looked to be uncontroversial.
At the interval, she took her cup of tea to her table with her biscuits and continued her tale of what she’d done and where she’d been. Some of the group had been to the area previously and added their confirmation of Dorset as a glorious part of the country.
The second half of the meeting related to aspects of the industrial past of the area – coal-mining, engineering and printing. In preparation for the next meeting Renee announced that Hazel and herself would be looking at aspects of local history through the epitaphs on headstones of graves in the local churchyards. Volunteers were invited to accompany them and to email copies of any photographs they took. Charlotte thought that it might be interesting, so she volunteered.
Gloria had texted Frank, just after eight the previous evening, to say that the coast was clear. He’d received the call while he was still at the restaurant. When he’d returned to Gloria’s shortly afterwards, she’d told him how well and happy her mum had looked. Somehow, that didn’t make him feel as happy as perhaps it should have.
On Tuesday morning, while his wife was at her meeting, Frank too was busy – house hunting. By now, Frank knew by sight the staff at most of the lettings agencies and estate agencies. It was lunchtime before he finished visits to their offices, but he’d arranged half a dozen appointments to viewings over the next few days – one of them for that afternoon.
He went back to Gloria’s first to do a bit of housework and to start preparations for their evening meal. He stood, peeling potatoes at the kitchen sink, looking out at the garden. The Sun had come out at last and the garden was a blaze of colour – many of the flowers were ones he knew would also be blossoming in Charlotte’s garden: Welsh poppies, primroses, aubretia, lithospermum and fuschias. From the rear fence, white clematis cascaded, and above it all, the Rowan tree was full of blossom. It was only the other day that he’d cut the grass and, after the recent rain, it looked green and healthy.
He left the peeled and chopped potatoes in a pan of salted water, together with other vegetables that he’d prepared. He washed and dried his hands and put on a jacket to look at the house he’d arranged to see.
It was another wasted journey. The house was still a work-in -progress. The landlord was there together with the builder, who was plastering one of the walls. There were still clearly a lot of other jobs that would need to be finished. Frank asked the landlord to phone him in two or three weeks when the work was complete. If he hadn’t found anywhere else, he might be interested.
Another photograph today from when I was walking back from Happy Valley at Carr Mill along the woodland path – returning the way that I’d come. This image shows the stream flowing into a tunnel and the effect of the red, iron rich water pictured in yesterday’s image as it entered the main stream.
I used my Pentax KP 24 MP crop sensor camera with a 35mm f/2 prime lens lens attached. The shutter speed was 1/100 seconds at f/13. The ISO was 3200. The shot was handheld and I post-processed my shot in Lightroom Classic.