We arrive back in The Enchanted Village as night falls. Along the way we see wisps of woodsmoke and take in its lovely autumnal smell as it rises up out of clusters of chimneys. It has been another night of hospital visiting. Things are slowly improving, a fleeting smile on a face where before there was only terror. I will write about it some day. But not here, that is for another blog.
As we draw up outside our house, the church bells are ringing down after the weekly practice meeting. I meet Champagne-Charlie and his dog in the square as they come back from supper in the pub. Mrs Regal Bird is chatting to another bell ringer and Mrs Bancroft comes down to my doorstep bearing a tub of clotted cream for late night scones.
Mrs B is on a high. A first in the 'buttonhole for a gentleman' category at the village show. All I managed was a highly commended in the photographic section, an official 'well done for trying', for the most boring of all my pictures.
The biggest prize, though, came this evening when I thanked the hospital patient for my birthday money.
'I've bought a dress with it,' I said. 'Another dress.'
There were three rings of a breathless laugh from the bed and a squeeze of my hand.
That's about it.
Love Maddie x
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