I would like to make one thing very clear. I am not a swinger. And neither is Mr Grigg. Nor, for that matter, are the Sheepwashes.
I say this because we have just returned from a weekend together on snowy Exmoor. And as it was Valentine's weekend, Number One daughter and several others have been sniggering quite openly at what the four of us might be getting up to. I can assure you it was walking. And more walking. Lots and lots of walking. My calf muscles are aching just thinking about it.
Although I did worry when a couple of weeks ago, as the four of us were driving to the cinema, Pelly turned to me from the front seat and said, sort of conspiratorially, 'now that we know one another better...' My heart sank. God, what on earth was coming next? I needn't have worried. She continued:'...maybe we should do the washing up when we come round to each other's houses?' The relief was etched like ley lines across my face.
Anyway, we have had a lovely weekend. In the romance stakes, it was considerably better than the time Mr Grigg excelled himself and took me for a night out in the meanest town in the west. Chard. This is the town from which I broke all contact when I left school. This is a town that smells of cottage pie and testosterone. This is the birthplace of powered flight. Or should it be fight? You only had to look at someone in a funny way at my school and you'd get your face kicked in. Of all the places in the world, Mr Grigg had to take me to Chard. He has never come home with so much money in his pockets.
We got to the Portugese restaurant half an hour before it closed at 7pm. There were only two dishes left. It was unlicensed so we had no wine to wash the food down. The meal cost him approximately £6. We adjourned to the pub next door which was having a buy one get one free hour on all drinks. It got busier and busier. A girl with tattoos and a bleached blonde mother sat on a bar stool next to me. She said very loudly that she felt like kicking someone's f****** head in. We left. Mr Grigg presented me with a boxed rose that he picked up from the pavement, just near the gutter. We drove on to a pub on the outskirts and gatecrashed a party hosted by someone I was at school with. I met a girl who had bullied me on a regular basis but that night was all hugs and smiles. My hackles were rising. I was then introduced to the first boy with whom I had got up close and personal.
The whole experience was absolutely terrifying.
This year, Mr Grigg bought me a long handled wooden spoon and a pair of nutcrackers. Just the kind of thing I might keep in the car in case I ever break down in Chard.
That's about it
Love Maddie x
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