By “The Photographer’s Assistant”
It was that time of year. Why the whole family chooses to buy its cars in the month of June is strange and unaccountable, but one car was old enough to have to account for its existence. The Assistant’s old car stood bereft among the early summer flowers. The car had long lost its bloom, and most of its interior had been wrecked by the dog, who now stood patiently on the drive. He sensed that he might be in for an outing in what he considered to be his car, indeed a kennel on wheels, which he allowed the Assistant to drive him around in. The Assistant was frowning. Whilst she wasn’t the worlds greatest driver, she did like to have a car and she was aware that it would be tricky for the Photographer to find the dog and her a new mobile kennel. The Photographer had been disappearing into his study and she and the dog imagined that he had been counting up very small piles of money and sadly shaking his head.
The moment arrived and the sombre funeral band climbed in to the twelve year old car and sat mournfully in their usual much loved grubby seats. The Photographer cleared his throat and the dog slumped onto the floor of the boot.
On arrival at the garage in the little town, the garage man was examining an acquaintances car with some interest. Clearly, this car , a 1950s black Morris Minor, was always under examination having being hoisted up a very long way with its owner, who was in a cheery mood, pretending all was well and chatting nervously while the garage man adjusted his glasses several times and poked the car in an investigative manner with his screw driver. No one takes their car to this garage to just get a simple pass. The Garage Man is extremely thorough and very doctor like. He is likely to come up with a correct and safe diagnosis that nobody wants to hear.
Ignoring what was going on with the other car, the dog sat pensively on the forecourt. His mistress was clutching his lead, his master was silent, and he felt an atmosphere. He observed everyone present and gave the garageman, who is also a field dog expert, a deep meaningful look, before he was forced to accompany his master and mistress for a silent cup of coffee, followed by the long walk home.
The day was spent in the usual busy manner. The Assistant had actually forgotten her car when the phone rang. She picked the phone up nervously and the dog climbed out of his basket. The car needed a minor adjustment, but it was alright for another year. They all walked in to fetch it and had a celebratory cup of tea. What a relief!
Talking of the shops in the little town, the Photographer and the Assistant realised what a lot it provided for them, when they had a delicious supper at home that Saturday night and they worked out the following, all of which was packed into their rucksack, after a delightful walk amongst lush spring scenery into town:
A serious pink paper for the Photographer, a somewhat frivolous small newspaper for the Assistant, who has a slow reading rate
A steak, which had been hung for so long that it looked and was wonderfully tasty
Wonderful English tomatoes, green, green broccoli, huge mushrooms, small red cherries
A wonderful piece of Brie
A wonderful piece of Stilton
A loaf of olive bread so beautiful you wanted to eat it there and then
A spring balance, for the Photographer to tension the cam belts on his Ducati 900 SS
An enormous box of dried worms for the birds, which a fellow shopper said the Assistant could use to catch fish as well
A fantastic cup of coffee with an enormous cream eclair that the cream oozed out of and two tea cakes for Sunday tea, all home made.
One bottle of milk
A lovely bottle of wine
A bottle of wheat beer
A tin of Monarch Red gloss paint to cheer up the front door
All of which were delightedly carried up the big hill to the home on the Moor to be consumed over a lovely weekend spent with the dog and the car, which only knew the little town and would now know it for a little while longer.