By “The Photographer’s Assistant”
It was a Wednesday. The Boyfriend stood outside his front door and was immediately dripped on by the cold flow from the thatch above. He and the dog shivered together. The dog, looked very serious. She stared up at the boyfriend in a concerned manner. Shouldn’t they have taken the van? Shouldn’t they be working on the oak kitchen, which they both had in hand.
She and the boyfriend were walking now. They were going to walk through the woods and this was not as simple as it usual. A giant tree lay across their path and it was so muddy. There were streams of water everywhere. Eventually they struggled out onto the road. The dog became excited, they were going to one of her favourite houses. There might be a ball game.
The Assistant stood at the sink in her pyjamas. She had a virus, which had laid her low. She looked out of the window, wondering why it wasn’t raining yet, instead, the Boyfriend appeared around the corner. This was good, but was there something wrong at work? The Boyfriend looked cheerful enough. He and the dog came in for a cup of coffee. They all had a big chat. The boyfriend wanted to speak to the Photographer and they disappeared off together while the Assistant made a late attempt at getting dressed. By the time she had come downstairs the conversation was over and the Boyfriend had started for home before the next shower. The Photographer was looking slightly shellshocked. He wanted a cup of tea and sat down on his arm chair quite flummoxed. The Boyfriend had asked for the Daughter’s hand in marriage, and the Photographer had naturally acceded. There was a ring and the Boyfriend clearly had a plan. It took the Assistant and the Photographer all day to absorb this news. The Daughter had been cunning and a bit of an escape artist up to now. The parents were a little worried. There would be no excuse for the Daughter as she and the Boyfriend had been together for a long time, but she was very independent and they were worried for the Boyfriend.
A couple of days went past and there was no announcement. They had no idea what was going on. The couple were due to appear on Christmas Day, but they were late. The Photographer and the Assistant sat nervously over a cup of coffee, having returned from church. The Photographer managing to stifle the Assistant’s cough sufficiently for the service to go forward at its normal pace.
There was complete silence. The two were lost in a world of thought. Suddenly, the phone rang, literally off the hook. There was an announcement over the phone. The Daughter was in tears of joy. Of course, she would marry her Builder. The dog had proudly delivered the ring all on her own. She was very proud and felt very important. There were phone calls and internet contacts, and finally, the really happy couple arrived for more coffee and food. The ring was displayed from every angle and it was agreed that it was very suitable.
The Assistant was out in Exeter the following week and casually passed a jeweller’s window. She was never normally interested in jewellery, but, today, she looked in the window. She had not had an official ring herself for reasons of youth and complete poverty and she wondered what it was like to look at them and chose one. She looked at the rings and almost had a seizure. She had done this alone and the Photographer had to rescue her and take her to the Boston for a large black coffee and smelling salts. She now had a full understanding of the Boyfriend’s hard work and was impressed by the ring. The Photographer sighed and wondered about that day 47 years ago when he was so young that a ring was out of the question. The Assistant, however, soon revived, and, casting a crafty eye over the Photographer’s face, wondered if it would be alright to have that new sofa now rather than later on in the year. The Photographer winced and bought them both a veggie breakfast. He had had a secret look at his bank balance. A wedding and a sofa!! That motorcycle restoration would have to wait for another year! The wedding plans meanwhile, progress.
Of course, over the holiday, the weather was appalling. If there were any gaps in the weather, it was strange to be able to get out. The little town’s river was at its maximum, but it was adequately supplied with run off fields and areas, which absorb water, but there was one night which proved spectacular. The following morning, the Assistant awoke to get the Photographer a cup of tea. The rain was in torrents. She was totally distracted. The outside cobblestone patio was inches deep in water and the porch was inundated. Fortunately, the rain eased up enough to be absorbed into the soak-away and land drains, but it was a frightening reminder of what was going on up North. On the same day, the Daughter rang late into the evening to tell us of the spectacular sight in the little town. She and the Boyfriend (now a.k.a The Chosen One) had attempted to walk the dog, who to it’s credit, was not keen. They had found that the water had broken through the leat in the middle of town. The water was out of control and was running in a torrent down the main street. It was travelling past the local hotel and one of the pubs and was just the most amazing sight. It didn’t flood any building, because it wasn’t lingering on its way out of town. The most extraordinary aspect of the whole display was a medieval sight around the drains, which were full and dispensing large rats out into the town. The very next morning, a local farmer brought his machinery into town and quickly sorted out the situation. If it wasn’t for the local farmers, there are some situations, which would build into a real crisis in our little town.
In the village’s main street, a wall collapsed, which had only just been constructed and it was sad to see it’s owner labouring for many days to put it right.
We hope that you will forgive a longer blog, but there was so much to tell.
WE WISH YOU GOOD HEALTH AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.
STOP PRESS: The first lambs of 2016 seen at Blackaton