First week of July: Amanda came round to watch Wimbledon on my TV. She made rather a meal about me not having a colour set (unlike her parents). In my view, one loses nothing in black and white and as far as sport is concerned the definition is better. She is obsessed by a scruffy fellow Borg. I could not resist saying I wish he had never been ‘born’. She looked at me blankly so I repeated the joke. I am still invited to the Trubshaws for lunch followed by men’s tennis finals on their colour TV. I simply cannot warm to Borg. I am sure that if one were to get to know him, one would discover that he is a quiet, simple lad, as capable of enjoying a pint and cracking a joke as the next fellow. Even so, I do not believe that one can ever trust a man whose eyes are set so close together.

Sunday Finals Day: I overslept and therefore missed breakfast because Amanda’s father had, I am sure, spiked my Advocaat last night when I arrived. My watch had stopped so with no idea of the time I came down to a busy kitchen and house preparing for lunch. The colour TV hummed away, surrounded by the men, standing, hands in corduroy trousers making comments about when the action would start. I admired Lady Trubshaw’s black lace-up boots and received a withering look from all of them. Amanda whispered (loudly) that her mother had polio and needed support splints. I offered to peel the potatoes (not required) but then felt that my contribution should be laying the table, keeping an eye on the TV non action and the other watchers who consisted of family only, chuckling I thought at me and my jokes,

In the dining room I was not sure which drawer held the silver. The first one I pulled had a loose handle which came off in my hand. I slipped and hit my head on the side of the table. It must have made quite a noise so when I came round I found myself looking up the skirt of Lady Trubshaw as she fussed over me. What happened next was in a blur. But I left on an early train back to London, very hungry having missed two meals and the finals. Maybe I could check the result on the wireless later.

Monday: As the new Assistant Group Head but with no Group to Head (I just found out this last week) I decided to make an impression that Amanda and her father would approve of. I looked through the internal directory but could not find anyone who might be in the Group, vaguely interested or at least who might want to join. I called the receptionist who asked me who I was. I informed her that I was Assistant Group and was about to utter the word Head before the line went dead. It was time to take a stand. I called Amanda who I feel gave me a cold shoulder.

This is rather unfair I feel just because all Sunday evening she had to remain at home consoling her mother who needed valium. Apparently when I awoke from the fall, stunned, I was so startled by what I never wanted to see again above me, it made me shriek and grab her polio weakened ankles, culminating in her collapsing next to me on the floor.

What I would have given for a real cold shoulder of lamb preferably.

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