for Margaret

“Whose bright idea was it?” demanded Ben as he sat down at my table.

My eyebrows went up as I looked at his glass.

“Which idea? Is that a triple?”

“Yes” he took a gulp. “To ask my grandmother to speak at the Annual Dinner.”

“Henderson’s. Why?”

“That’s my question!”

“You know him. Any opportunity to look good with the women and the wrinklies. I mean, she’s been with the Association since year dot so it looks like he’s showing respect for long service. So what’s the problem?”

He took another drink. “You don’t know my grandmother!”

“True. Her heyday was a bit before my time, but she’s always been there in the background.”

“In her heyday, as you put it, she stayed in the background, doing the things you’d expect women to do in those days. Now it’s like her corset’s off – or whatever kept her in the background – and anything’s possible. “

“How old is she?”

“Eighty eight.”

“She’s still got all her marbles hasn’t she?”

“Most of them, as far as I can tell, but they’re likely as not to go off in all directions.”

“What’s the worst that can happen?”

“Don’t ask!”

He’d turned really pale. He finished his scotch, stood up and headed to the bar.

“Mine’s a pint!” I called after him.


Poor Ben. It occurred to me he had his own ambitions for preferment in the association and any embarrassment his granny might cause could impact on these. Still people’s memories are generally short when it comes to minor historical figures.

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