Having prepared my evening meal of Alpine eggs with warm Ciabatta followed by tagliatelle ai funghi, then, feeling full of stomach but oddly empty inside, I thought a spot of company at the Frog and Radiator might buck me up.
It’s a brief walk from Mildew Terrace to the green. The night was crisp with a chill that required a heavy coat and scarf tied snuggly around neck. The heavens were clear of cloud so the forecast for snow had been wrong. Stars gathered in the late winter sky. They shimmered and winked looking like curious imps lounging idly on a mystery of velvet.
Facing the village green the Frog and Radiator emitted a welcome glow that fell from its mullioned windows onto the silvered grass. I opened the door and was immediately greeted by a barrage of voices all joined in various conversations.
Spotting a space at the bar I eased my way through the throng that gather here most nights. Ethel Blowvalve was sitting sipping a G and T, at her elbow Millie Meade while in front, nodding their heads in all the right places were Violet and Rose. The vicar sat with the brigadier. One drinking Ginger Wine the other a half of mild. At the bar were landlord Arthur Bentwhistle and his beautiful wife Lupini.
Lupini was born in Muckleford hospital, and she won’t mind me revealing this, in 1954. Her parents had left Italy in 1947 just as Europe was beginning the process of a Federal Union *. She is still very attractive even with her hair turning from raven black to purest white. I sometimes think Arthur doesn’t know how lucky he is. Of course Arthurs philandering is now the stuff of folklore. He has always coveted that which he shouldn’t.
Arthur was holding court as he so often does. Telling bawdy jokes that are far too near the knuckle for me to repeat here. I heard one though, as I edged closer, that was rather funny and I’m sure you will too.
“A woman goes into a chemist,” began Arthur chortling as he spoke, “and asks the pharmacist if ‘e sells Viagra to which ‘e replies:
“Yes, madam we do.”
“And do they work?”
“Yes, madam they do.”
“Can you get it over the counter?”
“Only if I takes two.”
Laugh? I thought I would cry.:
*The world of Fekenham is not our world. It is very similar but somewhere along the way there was a split in reality and events that occurred here are not always mirrored there. Europe is much lke the USA, it is Federal and includes a Russia that never had Communism. Britain, or Albion as it is called in Fekenham, repaired the damage done to the Irish and gave them independence in 1912. Ireland then joined the Union of Albion as co-equals along with Wales and Scotland. The Empire was replaced by the Commonwealth which also is a co-equal, non-Federal, trading partnership. There was no WW2 only a Great War fought between France and the rest of Europe in 1914-1918. France lost and the call for Europe to unite grew until 1945 when Germany, France and the North of Europe formed the first of what was to become The European Union. Italy, Spain and the rest formally joined in 1958, eleven years later*
:. all words and art are copyright © of Russell 'C.J' Duffy.To view my books on Amazon/Kindle go here: https://www.amazon.com/author/russellduffy -- For another side of CJ go here: sOMeThiNg For tHE wEeKeND, SiR?