Thursday, 15 November 2007
This picture has nothing to do with this post but I felt like something soothing and uplifting - and seasonal.
The other weekend when we were travelling back from Devon we stopped off in Fowey. I used to live there, some time ago, and although it’s changed a lot since then, it’s still a favourite old haunt of mine. I’ll only go in winter though, when it’s quiet.
I had a very dear friend called Jane who lived at Readymoney Cove, not far from the town, but sadly she died two years ago and is sorely missed. Mind you, she’d had a good life, and at the time she died I think she’d had enough. She was in her seventies and sprightly minded, but her body was letting her down.
She had gone blind and needed a hip done. She had no money and the cottage was falling down. Her children (grown up) lived in America so they rarely came over, and most of her friends had either died or moved away.
But whenever we went to see her she was wonderful company. Intelligent, funny, a wicked sense of humour and liked nothing better than a good flirt with Himself – who was more than happy to oblige.
So it was a terrible shock when I got a phone call saying that she had died. The funeral was full of young people, which said a lot for Jane, but next to me stood a man of about Jane’s age wearing a smart dark blue woollen coat, highly polished brogues. He crept in at the last minute and cried all the way through. Then he tiptoed out, quiet as a cat.
It’s a while since we’ve been back to Fowey so I decided to go and see what had happened to her house. There were net curtains at the windows (not like Jane at all) but the door was firmly locked and no sign of life. So I asked the fellow who was cleaning the toilets if he knew who owned it now.
‘I haven’t been doing this job long, but my mate told me that a famous writer had bought it,’ he said.
So I went up and knocked on the door. Nothing. I asked her neighbours and they thought it was let as someone had the fire lit the previous night.
I came home none the wiser. Then I thought, I’ll write to the owner – whoever it is. So I did.
I’d like to know that Jane’s house was loved as she loved it. So I’m waiting for an answer. Not that I expect to get one, but you can always hope. And if not, I shall write one.