Occasionally, I do leave the house. Only occasionally, I admit, apart from my weeks in Scotland, but I do enjoy feeling part of the community here nonetheless. I have D to thank for that – his naturally gregarious nature has led us to meeting people in the village and, through his efforts, we do have a social life of sorts, mainly revolving around the village club, where we go to join a quiz team, to hear live music and to dance. And, when we are given the opportunity, we dance. At the club, the dance floor is small and D and I can fill it alone. The regulars at the monthly live music events have started to expect it now and, as much as I worry about boring everyone or looking like we are showing off, everyone appears to enjoy watching us. D tells me that, on the weeks I am in Aberdeen, he has been greeted with disappointed looks and “Oh, is she not here? That’s a shame, I was looking forward to watching you both.”
D’s latest venture is to join the committee of the club, to support it by giving his time and showing his commitment to its future. It is his way of giving back to the community which welcomed us so warmly just over a year ago and, although not a committee person myself, I admire him for it. I have agreed to go to the newly formed craft and natter group once a fortnight though so, who knows, I might even get a social circle of my own. A few glasses of red wine may have been involved when I signed up, but I am looking forward to getting out and meeting some more people – honest!
Being on the committee means D is much more in touch with what is happening in the village than I am. Last week, he announced we were having a takeaway for tea. Our nearest takeaways are a drive away, so I was a little surprised that we were going to make that effort on a Thursday night, but, no! Totally unbeknown to me, we have a visitor to the village on a Thursday at 6pm – we have a chippy van.
A chippy van! I was beside myself with excitement at the thought. (Hmm, maybe I really should get out more … ) We walked down to the club, enjoying the signs of early spring in the hedgerows along the way – snowdrops, crocuses and even some early daffodils have started to bloom.
As we reached the end of our lane, the van went past us and pulled up in the car park of the club. By the time we got there, there was already a queue. We stood quietly chatting while the chaps in the van got the cooking underway. By the time one of them came round to open the sales hatch, we were all sniffing the air eagerly, looking forward to our chippy treat. And we weren’t alone. Silently and with a grave dignity, a black and white cat had appeared from nowhere and jumped up on to one of the tables in the beer garden, for all the world looking like he was taking his place in the queue.
Clutching our precious tea (which, as well as convenient, was very reasonably priced), we walked home again, to be ambushed by our own two feline friends, their little noses twitching even more than ours had. Decanting our haul on to plates was too much for the Calamity Cat, who made an attempt to steal D’s fish before admitting defeat as he defended it strenuously. We did save them a little but they had to wait until we had finished before they got it. They both very much enjoyed it, so I can see them looking forward to Thursdays from now on. And they may not be alone there – I think we have a new midweek tradition …