I am sitting in the sunshine reading my book. Yes, indeed, that’s what I said – in the sunshine! After the winter we have had and the long, slow progress into Spring, I feel that this is worthy of note.
I have positioned myself on a bench which was installed in memory of Muriel L. Lines. No further detail, not even a date, but I sit here and think about the unknown
Muriel and hope she had a happy life. Mr B, meanwhile, is in the Bowls Clubhouse, making me a cup of coffee. He knows how to keep me happy, this man of mine. It doesn't take much. His main purpose in being here on the pristine greens of the Marine Gardens
Bowling Club is not actually to make me coffee but to have a roll-up, otherwise known as “practice.” He has his first match of the season next week and is woefully out of practice. Part of the problem has undoubtedly been that he joined me on the
Short Mat Bowls mats over the winter season which requires (so he tells me, not that I would know for myself but I thought I would pass the information on to you, just in case you can make use of it sometime) a completely different arm action. Changing
from one arm action to another is No Easy Matter.
Mr B is alone on the bowling green with the exception of two large sea gulls who are strutting about as if they
own the place. They pay absolutely no attention to Mr B as he busies himself with his mat and his jack and his woods. I am much taken by the fact that the sea gulls, with their smart white and grey plumage, look just like Mr B in his bowls "uniform"
of grey trousers and white shirt – clearly they consider themselves members of the club. One of them marches over to see the gent sitting on the next bench to me (no, I don’t know who is commemorated on this bench but if I remember next time
I am there, I will find out, if a sufficient number of my readers think it is in any way important.) This gent is sharing his sandwich lunch with the seagull and I get the distinct impression that this may be a daily event. He appears to be trying
to teach Greedy Gull to catch pieces of ham sandwich in mid air with, it has to be said, a singular lack of success.
There are other people sitting on benches
around the green. There is an elderly couple who said “hello and what a lovely day it is” when they passed me on my bench, on the way to their bench. At the far end, a younger woman in a purple jumper is accompanied by an extremely small dog on
an extremely long lead. She sits down and tries to persuade her excitable pooch to do likewise but he runs round and round the bench, getting himself and his owner tangled up in the process. A grandmother is shepherding a sulky-looking Small Person to the
cafe with promises of ice-cream. She is probably dying for a coffee...
I am reading a book by Robert Muchamore, loaned to me by Jack, the Oldest of the Many
Grandsons. It is classic action fiction of the type which has much to recommend it on the basis that it has attracted teenage boys back to reading and as such I can only applaud it. Enid Blyton it is most definitely not. On the back cover is the
warning “Not for Younger Readers.” I am hoping that there is nothing in the book, as the story unfolds, that might upset the Older Reader...
book tells the story of the latest recruit to The Cherubs, which is a branch of British Intelligence whose agents are all children aged between 10 and 17 years old. They carry out undercover missions and, as the blurb inside explains: “get away with
all kinds of stuff that adults can’t.” Key qualities for Cherub agents include high intelligence and physical endurance, along with the ability to work under stress and think for themselves.
I look up to find that the Small Person, now with ice-cream in hand, has plonked himself in front of me and is studying me with a fixed glare. He looks as if he can think for himself though I’m not completely
sure about his levels of physical endurance as he looks a trifle, well, puny. Though fierce with it. I give him half a smile and he turns on his heels and runs off to his grandmother, possibly demonstrating high levels of intelligence. “Come on,
cherub!” I hear her say, as she bundles him into his push-chair. I can't believe my ears.
Mr B finishes his roll-up and we head off to the cafe for
a bowl of thick vegetable soup and a roll.
Out on the bowls green the sea-gulls, smart in their white and grey bowls kit, continue to strut up and down, clearly
pleased to have seen Mr B off their territory so that they are now, indisputably, masters of all they survey...