By “The Photographer’s Assistant”
The Photographer lay in bed. It was six in the morning.There were a number of disturbances about which nothing could be done. The Magpie had been moved out of its residence, possibly having been murdered by two marauding ravens. There had been many battles, but eventually the magpie had been silenced. The Assistant had got her binoculars out and had been stunned at the sight of such large talkative residents croaking to each other like an old married couple. They talked from early dawn, sometimes all day. It was driving the Photographer mad. They were not the only disturbance. Next to him and it has to be said, well down to a descent snooze, the Assistant snuffled like a small child deeply contented.
The Assistants noise was particularly alarming. He had slept beside this athsmatic for forty five years. There had been disturbance, but nothing quite like this. Her contentment was sweet, but the snuffle meant he couldn’t sleep. His experience was broad and a deep suspicion lay within. She had just had her drug changed to a really strong and expensive one and it appeared to be very effective, so why this symptom? Having got the Assistant a nice cup of tea, the photographer said he would get some toast. On arrival in the kitchen, his worst fears were confirmed. Why, every year, on return from her homeland, he always had to sort this out was beyond him. First call, the fridge. Yes, why hadn’t he spotted the Spanish sherry and, my God, that enormous bottle of Spanish Cava, all of which were impossible to buy in the little town. Look! Up here! A block of unpasteurised Welsh cheese! Clearly things had got out of hand. There were at least 8 bottles of Spanish red wine in the utility room, not to mention two boxes of Spanish almond tart. Usually, The Assistant ordered one bit of toast for breakfast with the Photographer’s own home made marmalade, but this morning she had wanted two with cheese. Clearly, something had to be done, especially, as the little town’s own food shops held so many Devon delights.
The Photographer was proud of sticking to enjoying his own vegetables by way of a diet, on his return from the great Welsh pantry. The Assistant was weighed and found wanting. She had put on 6 lbs. He had lost 3 lbs. This was a very serious matter. The Assistant was constantly being checked up and he had no intention of spending yet another week chasing an entirely disinterested Assistant, who was always in denial, around the house with a blood pressure monitor and an asthma meter. The thought of the tears after another check up at the surgery, possibly at Christmas, was not to be contemplated.
The Assistant was read several riot acts and all food intake was strictly examined. All sad looks at meals were being ignored as they both eat vegetables and she dreamed of the new skirt she had been promised provided the Photographers’s moving target was achieved. Saturday night was a particularly salutary meal. No wine was produced, no chocolate and the cake that she had just baked was frozen as soon as it was cool. She snoozed through “Waking the Dead’ on the Drama channel and went to bed utterly exhausted as all her stimulants and allergy causing agents were under lock and key or armed guard in the Photographer’s study.
The Photographer had been thoroughly distracted from his latest project and would have been angry if he hadn’t found it all so amusing. At least his daughter had found what would have made up an amusing part of his collection of unusual holiday sights in Devon in August. Here it is, the ultimate German camper van for 20. Imagine accommodating that on small Devon roads!
For next year, the Photographer has a plan. He doesn’t usually plan this far ahead, but he is getting older and wiser. The Assistant is very excited at the thought of another trip to Colonsay. Fantastic! The Photographer plans a long visit, affording himself a well deserved rest from nursing. There is barely any food at all on Colonsay. Food involves a long expensive trip to the Mainland to Tesco, where purchases can be monitored. As for the whisky habit. She just loves expensive whisky, so that is only one bottle then! Cunning. No Spanish delis, no Italian ice cream parlours, no Welsh cheese and Welsh cakes. Excellent!
Of course, there are those big blue eyes and the possibility, that she has found out the e-mail address of the Spanish deli. She has been saying that the new stair carpet should come from that wonderful Welsh mill, near the deli, where he just loves the pattern and the colours. Thinking of him, of course. The trip needn’t be long and the spring in Pembrokeshire was so mild………………………. ,