“I have a writer friend in the US who has INSISTED, under penalty of coming to visit me if I don’t, that I include here a mention of a free promotion I have going on one of my books. She’s further insisted that I give the link to said book and promised to check back to make sure I’ve done it, threatening to post a promo and link in the comments if I don’t. Seeing as how she’s vicious and not to be trifled with … here is the link to my promo, which is running this weekend only …
On with the tale…….Many of you will know that I used to work in Local Government. When I returned to Wales I took up a post which necessitated me roaming the County and checking the street lamps. I had to plot them on a map, verify the type of lamp they were and ensure it was only the ones run by my Local Authority which were plotted and not those run by the Highways Authority which were totally different altogether. Bored yet?
On one of my rural trips I was plotting a series of lamps when I got into conversation with a couple living in a large converted Church. I fussed their dogs, was invited to have a cuppa ( which I had to decline) and was invited back at some stage. Some few years later I decorated the flat in which my father’s mother lived only to have her die a few months later- not as a result of my decorating I hasten to add. Life moved on and I began a new period of work within the Authority which involved me working beside a river ensuring the bank was safe and the grass was cut short. One young man I worked with had a similar taste in music and as we were all quite friendly I allowed him to borrow some LP’s ( youngsters will need their parents to explain what LP’s are). Soon afterwards the Authority decided I was needed elsewhere and was asked to take on the job of Deputy Manager of a new scheme they wanted to try. This was going to involve a lot of interviewing. I didn’t get my records back.
The first day of interviews went well. We’d decided where possible to take people who were not currently working and give them chance ( the idea of a very forward thinking individual). They were mainly women but a few men a well. We took on 8 people that first day. The next morning I was prepared for another fresh start and the sun was out. It was early May and man had left the cave, invented the wheel and was now living in houses. It wasn’t a good start. The first three people weren’t employed but had no interest in becoming employed either. Some kind body brought a cup of tea through just before person number four came in. My heart sank. Jeans, leather jacket and motor cycle helmet. The helmet came off to reveal a woman with quite long, straight brown hair who like the others didn’t look interested. And to be honest, because of the way she dressed for interview, I wasn’t interested either. But, custom said to plough on. It transpired here was someone suffering hardship and ho was actually a nice lady. She got a job, as did seven more that day.
I’m normally quite a quiet and reserved person but I don’t believe in separating myself from my staff as I need to know of any problems. We had two teams of 8 people some of whom were willing to work late shifts if necessary. I became quite friendly with the teams as I’d go out with them sometimes, especially if it was an evening shift. The lady from day two was around a lot of course and I confess I liked her a lot but had no idea how to approach her. I got into conversation with another girl who seemed quite friendly with her and found out that she didn’t have a boyfriend or husband ( in fact she’d sworn off men) and managed to find out quite a bit about her. The following day the girl came in and asked for a word with me. Taking her to one side she told me HER SISTER would be happy to go for a drink with me. I had no idea they were sisters because of the difference in names. So, plucking up my courage I asked her out and Julia said yes.
We’d been going out for 3 months and I was pretty sure how I felt about Julia. Still showing my usual cowardice I chose a night when we were sitting alone in her lounge to ask where she saw our relationship going. She prevaricated a bit and I asked what she wanted to happen to which I got the response I’d hoped and I asked her to marry me. She said YES. Since we were alone we decided to have a romantic evening and play some music. I started looking through her records and found something I liked. And something else, and something else, and one marked on the cover where mine had been. Asking her about them she said a previous boyfriend had left them. Every one I’d loaned him was there. Julia said I only proposed to get my hands on them again.
I didn’t want to wait and so we booked the ceremony for November 1st of that year. One of the first things to do, despite being adults, was for me to ask her father for her hand ( I told Julia he was desperate for me to take the rest of her too) so the following Saturday morning we set off to where they lived. I’d never been there before. You could have knocked me down with a feather when we arrived and I immediately recognised the decorating.
Next job was to visit her big sister to give her the news. This would be hard I was told as she was very sceptical with the speed of things. Her parents drove us there and when we came within sight I almost cried out “It can’t be” but it was. They occupied the converted church. At least I got the long promised cuppa. Julia and I had many a laugh about that period over the years. I know coincidences happen but was that what had happened or had fate taken a hand in things to bring us together like bookends? You’ll have to decide.