Sunday morning in Knittingham

Mary woke up at 7:00 to her surprise.q Her cat Emile was lying by her side with his head on the pillow

Gentle stroking his soft relaxed body

She said to him you are not a human being you know Emile. If your head is at the pillow your body is not underneath the duvet.

Oh that’s alright mother he replied; with my Fur on I don’t need to be underneath the duvet. To be honest I’m frightened about slipping down the bed and suffocating

That’s not like you Mary murmured. You are still quite young so you will be able to push yourself up with your legs.

I know such fears are totally irrational. But the fear seems to be real Perhaps I’m afraid of losing myself in you you he said thoughtfully

Oh that’s stuff about psychology it’s not the pathway I wish to follow today.

Why don’t we have some good hot tea. They went downstairs to the kitchen and Mary put the kettle on and put the teapot ready to use when suddenly there was a knock on the front door.

I’m not even dressed yet Mary cried. Although my night dress does look like a frock

Yes it does said Emile. In fact it was better than most of your frocks. Open the door quick quick.

When she opened the door she saw a well dressed artistic looking man.

Hello he said I’m your date for today.

My date for today what are you talking about?

Well I joined this dating agency for older people and they gave me your name and address saying you were looking for another husband.

Well that strange I said Mary because I’ve never joined any agency. I wonder if if you’re looking for Annie my next door neighbour??

No I’ve definitely got the name Mary on my phone they sent me the email last night.

Well why don’t you come into the kitchen and I will make you some tea because you look tired and hot

We all went into the kitchen and found the kettle was boiling. Then Mary said to the man what you would like to drink?

I would like to NESCAFÉ blend 37 he said nervously.

That’s good because I have just bought some she told him although I don’t drink coffee myself but the cat likes it. My cat is called Emile :come and say hello.

Hello sir you devil. What is your name may I know?

Well I’m not certain he cried. Just call me Simon.

How old are you Simon. You are grown up you should know your own name by now.

Well do you see, I used to belong to a religious order and when I was older I was given the name Simon but it’s not the name that’s my parents gave me when I was born. That name is John but not many people know that now.

Did you join a dating site because you don’t know how to get a new woman in your life?

Yes you have guessed correctly I have no idea how I can meet interesting women.

Do you mean you know how to beat boring women?

Be precise I have no idea how to meet any women at all having spent 20 years in the monastery. Of course I used to have some nuns in the parish who we used to meet but it’s not quite the same is it?

Well said Mary how fascinating. Do you think God is guided you to my door because I am a widow! I have been wondering whether to look for another ma non but since I am very clever some men are afraid of me.

They went into the living room and sat down on the sofa while they drank the coffee!

Simon very coolly looked at Mary’s pictures on the wall. I do like your Picasso prints he said

Would you like to come with me for a walk in the woods he continued.

That sounds delightful said Mary.

But I haven’t got dressed yet and do you remember that I have never seen you before so I would like you to bring two references from someone and notable in the area and I will then decide whether I want to go anywhere with you or not.

That’s not very friendly said Simon in a sulky manner

Well you have a strange story. I did not join a dating agency so I don’t know where you got my address from and if I was your sister you will not want me to go out with a man I’ve never met before I would you?

Well I suppose you are right. I am going to church anyway this morning so I will speak to the parish priest and ask him he will give me a reference

Yes I believe I have met that priest at a bring and by sale in the church hall. Yes you speak to him and then if he is willing to give you a reference we can have a date

Would you not prefer prunes the little cat cried.

No thank you said Simon. Thank you for offering that was very generous of you!

You are welcome cried Emile have you run up the stairs I’m going back to bed he shouted to Mary?

But Mary did not hear him because she was wrapped in thoughts in the kitchen wondering how this man has got her name and address. I think it must be Annie she though to herself because she is very clever at picking up men. And she thinks that it would be good for me to get married again or even just go to bed with somebody. Emile is not really enough company for me although he is very charming. If I get another husband then Emile may find a wife and start a family it will be lovely to have some kittens in the house again.

And she went upstairs and had a cold shower

And so will all of us

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