Lena comes from Germany, a very ordered country. She’s pale-eyed and lightly freckled. Slight. Attractive. Married with one child.
Lena will never grow old.
‘I was in a hotel,’ she told me, ‘and ordered a coffee with a slice of buttered sourdough, for my breakfast. Then I went into the beer garden and sat in the sunshine to wait.’
‘There was just one man there, smoking and reading his paper, he too was enjoying the winter sunshine, it was a very cold morning.’
‘The waitress came up with my coffee and placed it before me, I asked her where the sourdough was.’
‘Over there,’ she said, pointing to a bench some distance off, in the shade, ‘you are not allowed to eat food off a plate at this table.’
In 1923 the committee decided to hold a beauty pageant, the first ever, and after 2 weeks they closed the nominations for beauty queen.
There was only one.
They had the pageant anyway.
She got runner-up.
When I told this to Lena, she looked at me blank-faced. And come to think of it, her eyes were an arctic hazel.
I could see it made no sense to her, so I asked her to watch me.
I walked over to where Maurice was working. When he looked up I said to him.
‘Got a minute?’
Mozz always has a minute, has to, he’s got seven children.
…. and I told him the same story.
Mozz threw his head back and laughed. I looked over at Lena. Now she looked amazed.