It was drizzling when we set off for Yorkshire, but the sun came out as we headed North and at some time we stopped for a while and canoodled in a field. We stayed in Settle, I think, that night. The next day, the Sage wanted to explore the local antique shops and he was pleased to find two Victorian vesta boxes - Americans might know them better as matchsafes - which he bought. He said I was bringing him luck already.
We'd got married on Thursday. On Saturday, he wondered, casually, if it'd be all right to go home by way of Bristol. Bristol is not, by any stretch of the imagination, on the way home to Lowestoft from Yorkshire. There was a picture he wanted to look at...
We set off, arrived in the area by late afternoon and started to look for a hotel. Late May, we didn't think there would be a problem, but there wasn't a room to be had. It seemed that the local Cider Festival was on and throngs of merry scrumpy-drinkers had converged on the West Country. However, as always, our luck was in. We stopped at a pretty little hotel by a stream and went in, rather hopelessly, to ask. The proprietor was dialling a number (phones still had dials then, it was before the era of keypads) and put the telephone receiver (phones still had receivers then, it was before the era of all-in-one telephone/keypads) down to speak to us. "I was just ringing the Tourist Board" he said. "I've got a single and a double room left - they were booked but the people haven't turned up." We took the double, of course, and were grateful - he reckoned that they were probably the last rooms left in the area as everywhere had been booked out for weeks.
Later, in the bar, an elderly chap was engaging people in conversation. He had a settled air to him, and it turned out that he was a permanent resident. We gained the impression from the hotelier that this was a mixed blessing...
The next day, we found the house where the elderly couple were selling the picture. The Sage wanted to buy it, and a price was agreed. They were very anxious to sell us another rather odd oil painting. It was of a sharp-faced old man sitting at a table, counting his piles of money. We didn't really want it, but they were insistent, and the Sage offered a fiver. He was a bit embarrassed when they accepted it, but afterwards told me that he had hardly enough money left for petrol and couldn't offer more (this was before the era of cashpoints and it was a Sunday when banks are closed).
We still had our wedding celebration party in August, and our Seychelles honeymoon afterwards. There were thirteen rupees to the pound, I remember, and the easiest way to convert was to think in units of one shilling and sixpence.
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Tomorrow you will be telling us how much he sold this Rubens for, and this was how you made your first million, won't you?
Was the field in which you went canooing flooded?
Ho ho, that wasn't the way, Dave.
I'll forgive your misreading, as you've only got one working eye.
Great that the Sage has such an absorbing passion as a career. No mooning about being bored after retirement, as I believe some men do.
I still think of the seventies as just the other, day but of course money went much further then.
Going on a delayed honeymoon id a brilliant idea. The first week or so you might as well be anywhere.
Can I canoddle you down the river, can I canoddle you down the stream?
Don't know what got into me, I know it wasn't a noddle, as I am strictly on low carbs. Surely you meant that you had a nice lunch in that field.
He semi-retired at 50, Pat and has never had time to be bored since.
Noodles, yes. That was it.
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