From anecdote to . . . a novel ? The stuff plots are made of . . .
I was ten when the man we knew as Uncle Fred Jones came courting my mother. His wife, Aunt Constance, was hardly cold in her grave before his car, panting with love, chugged up the hill to our house.
At first my mother thought he wanted tea and sympathy. Gradually she realized he wanted her to change him from widower to bridegroom. She was horrified. Unfortunately she was too timid to tell him so. Her solution was to lock herself in her bedroom when he came and make us say she was ill.
He must have been accustomed to women being ill because it took him a long time to get the message. We got into the habit of keeping watch for him while we played in the garden. The first glimpse and we’d dash into the house with, ”Mummy, Uncle Fred’s here!” and she’d dash upstairs and bolt the door, leaving us to ‘entertain’ him.
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