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Posts Tagged ‘Raymond’

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.

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