So, how long have I known Jenny? 10 years maybe, perhaps even a little longer. When I was director of a charity in Leicestershire, she was the boss of a ‘parallel’ one. In a charity, as boss, it can be very isolating and lonely. No one to share the burden because everyone else in the organisation is managed by you, not your equal. Jenny and I met up regularly for lunch; we would never break confidentiality, always were aware of possible conflicts of interest but be able to offer support, advice and have a laugh; maybe having a laugh was the most important thing.
Jenny retired first and we continued to meet monthly for lunch; when I retired the pattern continued. There was none of this ‘splitting the bill’ and then arguing if it was fair. When we met in Oakham, she paid; when we met in Leicester, I paid. Simples. The only condition about eating places was there had to be loose leaf tea.
Jenny and I share many interests, but one of them isn’t tea towels! I think she probably thinks I’m bonkers. But, to be fair, she has bought me some of my most unusual ones: Map of Single Malt Whiskeys, Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Scottish Dialect, one from the British Museum and this one of Conwy. Stunning artistry, bold colours, has had many comments on Instagram. I have asked her many times to be a Guest Tea Towel and she has mumbled under her breath but nothing came of it.
This tea towel from Conwy was a housewarming gift;
”Aha, you can’t have a housewarming present without a tea towel! I bought it on our holiday to North Wales at the end of January this year – my last holiday before before my year fell apart. It was a good day and we walked around the Conwy walls and strolled along the bay in cold but lovely weather. We loved the bold colours of the oystercatcher on the beach. We thought you would like it.”
When I sent Jenny a photo of this tea towel being used as a ‘tablecloth’ on a rickety old garden table the previous owners had left behind, Jenny said
”Very good. I approve”
Since I received the tea towel, Jenny has undergone the start of her treatment. On 23 May she texted me to say
”Chemo is working. Donald is shrinking”. (Donald being the tumour that made her world fall apart). There’s still a long journey to go but at least it has started.
Thanks, Jenny, for a great tea towel and I realise that this was the only way I would get a Guest Tea Towel from you. It was worth waiting for!!