I've got a great big handle, I can tell you. My friends call me Thelma, but the whole thing is Thelma Thimblethwaite. I got the second bit from my late husband. It's very heavy.
My granddaughter Florence calls me granny, which is nice. Johnnie says granny to me too, that's also nice. Johnnie has a big handle too, William Birdsall, his friends call him Bill.
Johnnie and me are just Johnnie and granny, very good, but there is a problem with that.
I don't know what to think. We're going on a cruise, just granny and me. Twelve days together, that should be good, I don't really know. A cruise is something for someone as old as granny, maybe I'm too young. I don't know what to think.
That big black bird up in the trees on the island, what is it?
It's a cormorant, I think, there must be fish in the lake.
It's nice being here with you.
I know you find it funny, that I use the word nice.
How can that be? You are very nice, granny.
Oh, you make fun of me.
Yes, it is fun with you.
I don't get it, he knows what I want, I don't have to tell him, he just knows. If I want him to hold me all night, he holds me tight all night. If I want him to hold my hand, he holds my hand for as long as I want. If I want to be screwed silly all night, he does it.
I don't get it, I have no idea what he wants. Shall I leave him alone, lick him all over, say nice things to him, tickle him somewhere special. I don't know.
She goes to her coffee mornings, I go to the office, I gotta a job, perhaps a career. We keep that separate. We are together, but we have our own lives.
Why is granny upset?
Hey, cheer up, granny. We're going on the cruise next week. We gotta do some practising.
It's very heavy, this practising. I like it.
The phone rang, “Hello Bill!”
“Hello Florence! How yer doing?”
“BIG PROBLEM – you and granny have been hiding yourselves, you've been using code names.”
“Who knows who granny is or Johnnie? Not many.”
“That's true, but we ain't hiding nothing, it's just fun.”
“OK, who is OR rather was the best friend of granny?”
“I dunno, I think it is someone with the name Ethel.”
“You don't know. You should do. Ethel who?”
“Well, granny has told Ethel how wonderful Johnnie is, lots of times. I agree with that, but I don't know what Ethel thought about it. Until Olive told her who Johnnie really is. Yes, Ethel knows all about you now.”
“And? Oh, no! I remember who Ethel is now. Isn't she Liz's mother, Mrs Price, I've met her a couple of times...”
Ding! Dong! “Florence, there's someone at the door...”
“Bye Bill, I gotta go.” She put the phone down.
“Hello, Mrs Price.”
“Oh, it's true, you're here with Thelma. I'm not staying here.”
I pulled her inside. “Oh, do come in, Mrs Price. She, I mean granny, I mean Thelma, will be back soon.”
I got it, a ten-minute tirade. How awful I was for dumping her dear beloved daughter Elizabeth. How awful granny was for stealing the boyfriend from her dear beloved daughter Elizabeth. What a cradle-snatcher granny was. How could she steal the boyfriend of her best friend's daughter. How helpful Olive was. How unhappy her dear beloved daughter Elizabeth was. How she had to help and comfort her dear beloved daughter Elizabeth.
In came granny.
We got it, the tirade in the long version, twice.
“Mrs Price, please allow me to say a few words. Thelma did not snatch or steal me. We met at a party and it just happened. That's all. No great plan. Yes, Liz and I were friends, more that just friends.”
“But that's finished now. It just came to an end. It was Liz's idea, she finished it.”
“No, you didn't know that, Mrs Price? I can see that in your reaction. Didn't Liz tell you that? Yes, I have been avoiding Liz, I think that's the best for both of us at the moment. No, I haven't been saying bad things about Liz, that's not true. Who told you that?”
“Oh, Thelma is not alone, I'm just leaving...”
I pulled her inside. “Oh, do come in, Olive. Don't you think that it's good that your mother has a boyfriend?”
“I knew you would say yes. You know what? I'm going into the kitchen to make a big pot of tea. I think I know where the best biscuits are. You three ladies can have a big chinwag.”
The phone rang, “Hello Bill!”
“Hello Mrs Price! How are you doing?”
“I want to talk to you, Bill. I asked my daughter and it is true what you said. It was her idea to split up...”
“Now don't be unkind to your Liz, it was the best move for both of us. I still like Liz, you know. I don't hate her or anything.”
“I've been talking to Florence, what you said is true. Why did I listen to Olive?”
“Florence is a very clever girl.”