Dried and folded

Not my laundry, obviously, which apart from one emergency trip to F’s machine remains unwashed and scrumpled, but the local lilies.



I had one of those conversations this morning which I dread. The ones with someone you don’t know particularly well and haven’t seen in a really long time. Fortunately this was a woman I liked and had much in common with who I met through shared school stuff and hadn’t seen much since our respective children moved on to different places. The conversation went something like this:

Pleasant Acquaintance (out jogging, jauntily): Hi! how are you?

Me (attached to lead pulled by grumpy dog): Fine!

PA (removing headphones from which issue tinny jogging music): I haven’t seen you in ages! How’s FirstSpawn?

Me (heart sinking slightly, realising that we weren’t going to pass like ships in the night): He’s fine thanks, but he’s off school at the moment…

[we have a wide-ranging and in-depth conversation about boys, illness, and school examinations and find we have much in common]

PA: And how’s [the ex]?

Me: Oh he seems fine. He’s just got engaged.

PA (unable to disguise the fact that she’s goggling with astonishment): Engaged????!!

Me: (realising it’s been a *very* long time since we last met): Ah, er, yes. We split up some time ago…

[we have a wide-ranging and in-depth conversation about men, maintenance and much younger women and find we have much in common]

PA: And the BBC, how’s that going?

Me: Ah. Well, actually I’m unemployed now. A single mother on benefits, you know, that great scourge of modern society.

At this point PA realises that the water under the bridge is of sufficient volume to irrigate several rice paddies. We check that we have up-to-date mobile numbers and arrange to meet for a cup of tea.

I’m rather looking forward to it.

7 Replies to “Dried and folded”

  1. Interesting choice of illustrations for the post; I particularly like the first. I’m going to have to give the dead and dying flowers in my garden a closer look.

  2. The first photo reminds me of my idea of a triffid…or maybe it is from Mars. It sounds like you will need cake as well as tea when you meet your chum

  3. beautiful images. that conversation was great. ohh, it seems like one of the awkward talks i usually find myself in.

  4. Pics: a classic two-part essay on the spectrum of beauty.

    Conversation: I’m glad I’m not alone in viewing the onset of conversation with the casual acquaintance with a kind of dread. Although in your case perseverance was clearly positive. A couple of bottles of wine seem an appropriate alternative to tea and cake.

  5. Ah, yes. I have taken to lying in these kinds of conversations:
    “Oh, didn’t you hear? My mother died in a shark attack.” That sort of thing.
    Of course, if you have to follow it up with meeting for tea, that might be a bit awkward…
    TIme for the Five-a-Day, perhaps, all at once?

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