I shouldn't like to live on das Boot all the time, and I can say with great certainty that neither would MasterB, but that doesn't stop me from feeling sad that I shall go home tomorrow, or from MasterB having a nice time now. He has commandeered my seat, a fold up director's chair of some vintage, rather as he commandeers the sofa. I am writing in the dark to discourage the ingress of insects.
I just tried to ring Aunt, but her number was engaged. It was similarly engaged half an hour ago, from which I deduce that she is relating our day to Uncle Bill.
As forecast, the day dawned bright and sunny. It got brighter and sunnier as the morning passed. And hotter. I should have mentioned hotter, some 30 degrees C, and hotter still in my car after it had sat in sunshine for a while with the windows closed outside Aunt's flat this afternoon.
Showered, dressed and breakfasted, and with my hair brushed and also washed, I headed off for Aunt's, only to discover when I stopped to buy the paper that I had left my purse on das Boot. At least I was able to offload the bags of used cat litter into the bin outside the newsagent's. I refused all Aunt's offers of cold drinks, biscuits, and goodness only knows what and hurried her out of her flat. My big fear was that we would reach the pub only to find the table she prefers, her table, taken.
So she got her vist to the marina, albeit briefly, while I grabbed money, a hat and sun cream, not realising Aunt had already put the latter two requisites in her bag in advance of my arrival.
We admired the poppies in the fields, the growth of the corn, the neatly rolled hay bales, and the rectangular ones. The sun shone.
There was no one in the pub garden. I stopped the car by the gate, and accompanied Aunt to our selected spot. We were the pioneers of the lunchtime rush. Our flag fluttered invisibly but proudly in our elected corner. I parked under a plum tree I neglected to photograph, the car neatly in the shade, so after a few seconds internal debate, I shut the windows and extracted a fleece blanket from the boot to act as a cushion for Aunt's now boney bottom.
She is thin. Legs like twigs, her trousers flap about them. For some decades Aunt has been on the cuddly side. No longer. Still, she eschewed the walker that we had brought and walked through the garden with just her stick.
I'll spare you all the details of lunch, at least for now, but we opened with a pot of tea for Aunt and a grapefruit and soda for me. I have extolled the virtues of this pub before. The staff, warm, welcoming and accommodating have it just right. The chef assured me the soup was not only gluten free but also sieved. He also offered to thin it further with vegetable stock if Aunt found it too thick.
We basked in the shade of the tree and watched the pub fill up. People with dogs, including two gloriously wet German Shepherds who had just had a river swim, people on bikes, an elderly couple in a Mercedes, both of whom ordered alcohol which made me wonder about their drive home. A man on one of those bike where you lie in a recumbent position stopped and looked at his map. Aunt refused my offers of help when she went off to the loo, and bore patiently with my warnings of steps and my advice to take it slowly and to ask for help if she needed it. I don't like to be any trouble, she said. You'll be more trouble if you fall over, I replied. She nodded agreement, and I felt it was safe to let her go on her own. She returned with a huge smile saying it had been easy peasy.
We only left the pub, the rather unfortunately named Dyke's End which makes me think it should be the title of a somewhat dubious detective novel, when the people who had joined us at our table received their meals. Your steak smells wonderful, said the woman. My feelings were diametrically opposed. Your steak smells vile, was my opinion, but I didn't say it aloud.
Aunt wanted eggs. We drew a blank at the organic farm, though I came away with a bag of rainbow chard, but we got the last dozen from the lady who keeps bantams. Later I stocked up at the farm in Worlington.
Aunt was tired but very happy when we got back to her flat. I've had a wonderful day, she told me. So have I, I said, and downloaded some of the pictures to her tablet so she could relive it in the coming weeks.