Thursday, 11 April 2013

An Unexpected Meeting with Verity Lambush


Having spent the morning gazing either out the window or forlornly at a blank sheet of paper as inspiration skipped and danced away from me I thought I would poodle over to Apple Crust Hill. I don’t take nearly enough exercise so thought the walk might do me good. It might even clear the old cobwebs and goodness only knows they needed clearing. Spring being reluctant to show itself this year I threw a scarf around my neck then started off at a brisk pace.

As you may recall, Fekenham nestles snuggly between Apple Crust and Trimpton Hill’s. The whole area is a series of ups and downs formed by dips and rises that almost appear to be the spine of some primordial beast.

There is a wooden bench seat that overlooks the village. It was put there in memory of Clarence Dogwort a local man who fought and died in the First Asian War. Behind the bench, and a little distance, is the elderly people’s home formerly known as Thorny End. It was recently purchased by Constance Lambush, mother of Verity, the ex-headmistress of Fekenham Senior School.

That woman, Verity Lambush, has a reputation of quite mythical proportions. I was surprised to see her sat on the bench reading a book entitled Levinas and Nineteenth-Century Literature: Ethics and Otherness from Romanticism Through Realism” by Professor Dan Beers  It struck me as being a dry old biscuit to chew but she seemed absorbed by it. Seeing me she looked up, smiled reluctantly then reburied her nose in the pages of said tome.

Before sitting down beside her I thought it prudent to ask permission.
“Do you mind?” I enquired motioning my hand toward the bench.
“Not at all.” she replied stiffly.
As I pointed the old posterior at the neatly painted planks I took a quick, surreptitious shufty at the former headmistress who struck me as being an odd mix of Margaret Major and Helen Mirren, a paradox of co-opposite personalities -  on one hand the sultry siren and on the other the austere autocrat. She caught me appraising her and inclined her head toward me.
“Is anything the matter?”
Feeling a tiny tremor of having been caught as though peeking through a hole in the wall at the girls changing room I mumbled a hasty response.
“I, er, was, er, wondering if, er, you had read Elizabeth Abbott's "A History Of Celibacy?'” 
She gave me a withering stare before replying in icy tones. “Celibacy is for vegetarians.” She then returned to her book leaving me to make a hasty retreat.

Sketch of Verity lambush by David Vigor

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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?

1 comment:

Lily Strange said...

I think I'd be frightened to find out what sort of kink Ms. Verity indulges in.
I'm not so sure I agree with her assessment with celibacy being for vegetarians, however. I've been celibate for a good 15 years, and I still eat fish and chicken.