Now I appreciate that, as stories go, that isn't much of one, but I haven't finished. To this day neither Mother nor Daughter have had any contact.* They have lived separate lives, each cut off from the other. Sadie, for that is my cousin's name just packed her bags and disappeared, setting up a new life with her new family.
Many years ago Bad Man Senior attempted to get in touch with her and I recall that a meeting did take place but no bridges were built and, after that brief encounter, she returned to her chosen life. That must have been more than fifteen years ago now and in real terms she is now just a distant memory. A childhood friend that was as close as a sister in our pre-school years but is now just an uncommon name that rarely surfaces in my thoughts ...
... until today. First stop of the day for 30% and I was Littleton Auction rooms where the table yet again failed to make an appearance. We then headed over to Evesham for a wander around a couple of sale rooms and found a possible. ** Anyone who has read The Journal will know that Evesham is my home town and that I have developed a disdain for the place as it has deteriorated over the past thirty years. We therefore set out for Craycombe Farm in an attempt to lift our spirits.
At Craycombe Farm we wandered around the Antique units and were thawing out in a very expensive establishment when we got chatting to the Proprietors. They were an elderly couple and, after a lifetime of Antique Deals, were as pleasant and trustworthy as a pair of underfed Vampires. As 30% enquired about the cost of having a table re-finished I watched as the wife quite openly and repeatedly encouraged her husband to increase his estimate for this task. It transpired that their son ran an associated antique restoration business and the Vampire Queen was ensuring he got his blood too. As we chatted further we mentioned that our next stop was to visit Jim who runs the wood turning business on the Farm.*** At this point they asked if I had attended Prince Henry's High School as their son had briefly been a pupil there and also knew Jim.
I explained that I knew Jim through his wife Rose and the conversation wained. We made our excuses and left, never once turning our backs on the blood sucking duo. As we walked around the corner we bumped in to Jim and were soon stood in his workshop catching up on each others' news and chatting about our day. We recounted our conversation with Vlad and his undead Queen and Jim happened to mention the name of their son; Carl**** ...
... somewhere in the dark recesses of my brain a neuron glimmered ... Carl, Carl ... the glow increased and, one after another, neurons started to fire. I knew that name. Why did I know that name? I asked Jim if Carl had any notoriety and he shrugged and said that there was nothing he could think of. Suddenly, out of the blue, it came to me. "Does he have a wife called Sadie?" I asked. Jim looked somewhat taken aback and confirmed that he did.
So, after the best part of thirty years, a chance encounter with a pair of blood thirsty dealers followed by a chat with a friend and I come within a whisker of a cousin that I haven't spoken to for a generation. Will I make contact? I was going to say probably not but I know that the true answer is no. We have both drifted too far apart for a reunion to have any value or meaning.
---* I believe my aunt may have written a letter in an attempt to make the peace but nothing came of it.
** It's back story suggested that it could be had for much less than the asking price and it would need that discount as a re-polish would be necessary to restore it to it's former glory. In the end we decided not to make an offer as, after laying out a 6' x 4' rectangle on the dining room floor, 30% MAY have finally realised that a four or five foot diameter circular table is the better option.
*** Jim, as in Rosie & Jim.
****surname redacted in a half arsed attempt to preserve anonymity
Today I also briefly had possession of my new helmet until close examination showed that I had been sent an ex-display item with a scratch on the brow. The damned thing was rapidly repackaged and sent back with a request for the new helmet I had actually ordered.
30% and I filled our afternoon by making a huge batch of pea and ham soup until it was time to collect TP from school after his Austrian skiing trip. He had been delayed by coach problems, missed ferries and diversions to avoid motorway crashes and arrived about four hours later than expected but reported that the resort was fantastic providing the best snow and apres ski entertainment he had ever experienced.
It is no wonder his nickname is Spoilt Bastard.