‘Oh well,’ said Dina, looking out of the kitchen window as she loaded the breakfast dishes into the dishwasher. ‘I guess our Sunday walk is out of question now, what is it with Glasgow weather? It’s raining, hailing, snowing, windy and sunny all at once!’
‘Count your blessings,’ Billy said, as he licked the last crumb of bacon off his plate and stood up to clear the table. ‘We’ve had it lucky here, my girl,’ he said. ‘Look what’s happening to the poor people in Wales and other places in England, entire homes being washed away.’
‘True,’ she replied, ‘it’ll be nice to have a lazy Sunday indoors though. I think I’ll sort out my wardrobe, been meaning to do that for ages now. What are you going to do?’
‘I was actually thinking of making my Bucket List. Want to help?’ he asked her, getting together his notepad and pen.
‘That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever hear of William Stone,’ she mocked, ‘what on earth would you possibly put on it?’
A lawyer he was, honest and upright,
In a town, southern, hot, and dusty.
When times were different, and honour was might,
And value systems were not quite rusty.
Hero to his son, and a friend to his daughter,
They did not need to miss their mother.
For he gave them all they needed and more,
Loved them, so they needed no other.
A man of honour, he showed true grit,
When the rabid dog came to town.
Picked up a gun, and stood his ground,
Then, sadly, shot it down.
‘I think I may have stolen some books,’ Cathy said to herself in horror.
Aborting the unpacking, she went looking for her husband, and found him in the kitchen where he was trying to rustle up a quick dinner from the contents of their almost empty ‘fridge. Neither of them had the energy or the wherewithal to go to the shops. The take-away fish supper they had planned earlier was unimaginable in this blistering heat.
‘Dan, I think we have sunk to a new low,’ she said, thrusting the two beautifully bound editions of the criminal goods at him. ‘We seem to have stolen books from the hotel’.
His expression was a comical mirror of her own, angst and mirth vying with each other, as she struggled to understand what had happened.
They had just returned from a week away at the Cotswolds. A well-deserved vacation after almost two years. And they seemed to have timed it with the one week of Indian summer that the United Kingdom had been blessed with. Scorching summer. Wall-to wall sunshine with temperatures in the thirties. The Scottish couple had not been prepared for the blast of heat that welcomed them as they stepped out of their airconditioned car.
Hot, humid air hits hard against winterwear
As we exit the airconditioned aircraft.
Cool, crowded chaos, collecting cases.
And there’s music, stringy music.
‘Welcome,’ smiles the porter, the taxi driver,
We mutter, utter irrelevant instructions.
Distracted by wet armpits, incongruous winter boots.
And there’s music, static radio music.
I feel your presence as I start to drive,
Muttering your prayer fervently.
And now that I am fifty-five,
I too whisper unselfconsciously.
‘Dugga Dugga, please keep us alive,’
Because Ma, Ma Aamar Bangali.
Chiffon and pearls, and Chanel Five,
Your pashmina draped so casually,
You were his perfect military wife,
Duties performed elegantly.
But at home, only crisp cottons you wore,
Because Ma, Ma Aamar Bangali.