We went Down South last week to stay at a friend's for a few days. Lurch told me that his parents were moving into a warden controlled retirement flat in a fortnight so the boys and I went to visit them and their new home. They are the only people in the whole of the UK to have sold their house in three weeks, unbelievable! We have had no calls and no viewings. Still.
We arranged to meet outside the 20ft high electronic gates. This was not a maximum security twilight home for the bewildered; there were no wardens there, only millionaires, there were no red strings and flashing emergency lights next to the loo, only discreet buttons to turn the shower and underfloor heating on. They have scrimped and saved all of their lives and have never had much money, it's brilliant that they've downsized, bought a luxury appartment and can begin to enjoy themselves with a bit of cash. Lurch's Dad is Scottish, never had a pair of underpants until he was 12 and joined the army when he was 14. He pulled himself up by his bootstrings and put everything into his kids' education. Lurch's Mum is quite posh and says the biggest mistake she's made is to spend their money on public schools.
We then went to see Wendy and Pete. Wendy has had a lumpectomy and found out the prognosis the day before we visited. The cancer has not spread but it is Grade 3, very aggressive. She's having six months of chemo and then radiotherapy so has an extremely tough time ahead. My friend had warned me that one of the most difficult things about cancer is how everybody falls apart before you. I managed not to cry, although Pete looked dreadful. Wendy seemed to be coping pretty well. She said that the worst part was waiting for the results but now she knows what she's dealing with she can come to terms with it. El Vel rang when I got home that night and we both burst into tears. I cannot believe she's got cancer.
The Terminator was banned from watching The Apprentice due to an incident in the village relating to primitive, Aborigine-style mud daubings on neighbours' cars with his friend, denials, written and verbal apologies and a bucket of hot soapy water and a sponge. He is in deep do-do, particularly for lying to me. The final hangs in the balance.
Danny Boy came home from school on Wednesday punching the air with his fist, beaming all over his freckly face। The girl of his dreams (the one who's been out with most of the football team) had dumped the other defender and DB's friend had advised him to rush over to her, fall to his knees and ask her out. She said yes. Danny Boy then showed me a poem he'd written about her that day with references to her eyes as diamonds (owing quite a lot to Sean, Sean the Leprechaun's Green Velvet tape of Irish songs, I think) and soft, rosy skin. 'What do you think?' he asked me 'Have you given the poem to her yet?' I responded. He said no. I suggested gently that it might be a good idea to hang back a little bit and see how things went before he got too involved. His smile faded. I felt terrible but told him that girls don't really like to be overwhelmed at the beginning of a relationship. He looked devastated, I could almost see the purple bruising and scar tissue forming on his poor tender young heart.