The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 85… An old Friend… Part Two

Please, tell me of Bridget, I loved those little stories that she told us. Did you keep in touch with her’, asked Esme.

Celia became solemn in that moment, then said: ‘As far as I know, Bridget developed Polio when she was Eighteen, something to do with the swimming baths that she loved to frequent. All I know is that her family took her back to Cork, I tried writing to them, but they never replied.’

‘Perhaps, just perhaps, they were too sad.’ Esme said thoughtfully, and she reflected on her dear missed friend until Celia broke into her thoughts.

‘Well, maybe things were a little better than I imagined. There was talk from some school friends, that she had married an Irishman who was keen on Golf, and that she managed her disability very well, with a walking stick no less, and a great deal of bravery. She even learned to play golf. But, perhaps, it was all just a rumour.’ she sighed.

‘Well, lets hope it’s true, and that she’s doing the best for herself.’ Charles felt that was the positive thing to say. Then asked, ‘Are you living comfortably, I image you must be, and quite resigned perhaps?’ He knew Celia to be of strong character and felt the question was not out of place.

‘Well, I have comfortable rooms in Camden Town and until now, the rent for this accommodation has been satisfactory, but lately, my very kind landlord, who’s wife has been very sick has had to increase his charges to pay for her care, and this has left me short of Robin’s allowance, so I’m not quite sure about my next move, perhaps find some rooms better suited to my disposition or find an occupation of sorts, although, my schooling never gave me much preparation for that situation, other than being a wife and a lady hostess.’

Esme spoke first. ‘Our highly rated educations did not really equip us, any of us, for the real world. My awakening was with Charles, I learnt so much with him, and since my so-called education, he has always been by my side. Celia, I want you to be close to us. I want you to stay here with us. I don’t want you looking for cheap lodgings. You are to stay with us.’

‘That’s very kind of both of you. But you don’t have the room. There are many of you here already, and besides, you don’t want an old school friend hanging around and reminding you of our younger days, now do you?’

‘Look Celia.’ Charles spoke sincerely. ‘Toby and Barney are moving on. They want to open their own small camera shop in Tooting, they have already inspected the premises and are quite satisfied, and besides, we would love to have you here. You won’t be in the way, and if you like you can take over their old room and their duties in the shop. What do you say?’

About Patrick

a photographer, writer and blogger, a studio and press photographer since the mid 1960's, first published writings in 1974
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