Posts Tagged ‘Diana’

Diana: a baby arrives (1971)

In Brenda, Diana, Mike on May 1, 2006 at 5:02 pm

Mike took Diana to the hospital after a few hours of labour pains. The sister told him they’d be hours yet and sent him home to rest because it was three am. Diana said I’m a doctor, I know it’s on it’s way, but the sister said there, there dear and winked at Mike.

The baby arrived an hour after that and Diana spent the rest of her life trying not to care that she was on her own.


Diana: Mike’s mother (1970)

In Diana, Jess, Judith, Mike, Ruth on May 1, 2006 at 4:57 pm

Mike’s mother visited often and always in the afternoons.

In the hours before she came, Diana baked melting moments and glued them together with dollops of thick lemon icing. She wore her pleated pencil skirt, filed her fingernails and took the washing off the line. When she heard Mike’s mother knock, Diana closed her bedroom door even if the bed was made. Mike’s mother came alone, and it took an hour, what with the tram and the walk, and she wondered why they had moved so far away, but that’s how it is she supposed.

Diana used the tea set. Mike’s mother had given it to her the day after Mike and Diana got engaged.

My mother-in-law gave it to me,’ Mike’s mother said with a brisk note in her voice. There was not a hug or a kiss exchanged and Diana wasn’t even sure she had said thank you.

Diana carried the tea things in on a large silver tray. It came from Auntie Jess who said this was your mother’s. It was the kind of thing Auntie Jess needed to believe. Diana’s hands shook and so did the tray. The tinkling of the tea set was not an unpleasant sound.

Diana kept the tray tarnished so that Mike’s mother could say ‘seems a shame not to polish a beautiful tray like that’.

Diana: meets Molly Armitage (1968)

In Diana, Mike, Molly Armitage, Raymond on April 16, 2006 at 9:50 pm

Mike organised the honeymoon, but Diana found the only house they could afford.

Their landlord, Mrs Armitage, was a short woman with a large nose, warm hands and cooking smells all afternoon. She lived on the other side of the maisonette wall and collected the rent on Thursday night. She said: ‘a doctor? Would have been useful if Raymond was still alive.’ She smiled a friendly smile.

Diana and Mike lived in the side that was light in the mornings and dark in the afternoons. When the wind blew, the front door closed with a bang.

None of their furniture was new.

The lawn at the back was dry and scratchy and rough. There was a peach tree on the left fence, and a lemon on the right. Mrs Armitage told them they could take the apricots from the branch dripping over the fence.

But you’ll need to be quick if you’re going to beat the birds. Then she said I’m too old to put up the net.

Mrs Armitage was not old, but she had lived on her own for the last ten years. Since Raymond passed away. It was a small smile she gave to Diana before she spoke again. A slow and terrible death, and that’s not something you can say to everyone.

She looked at Diana, then she said you call me Molly, love.

Molly grew roses in the front yard and vegetables in the back. She did her laundry on Fridays and she rode her bike to Church. In the late afternoons, she stood at the front gate and chatted to the people she knew.

Molly’s cat was black with not a whisper of white or grey. She called him Socks and Diana never asked her why. Sock’s ears were nicked and his tail was kinked.

Socks rubbed against Diana’s legs while she hung washing on the line, and in return she smeared butter across her fingertips, then let him lick. She did not like his rough tongue against her fingers, but she loved his soft fur against her legs.

‘I’ve never had a cat,’ she said to Mike.