We Carry On Chatting

21 January 2010 cont.

“No,” said Janet, “I’ve never married.”

“Have you got any children?”

“No,” she said, again and this time I thought I detected a note of regret in her voice. We talked for a bit about her parents, both now dead, and her love of horses. She told me that life had been tough but enjoyable.

“I’ve written 70,000 words about my childhood, my time in the solicitor’s office and the long hours running the farm.” She paused. “I’ve also mentioned my time in prison and ‘the lost five days in 1976’; something I’ve never even told my closest friends.”

I stopped making notes and sat bolt upright at the kitchen table. I’d woken up at the mention of prison and the lost five days.

“Would you mind letting me read what you’ve written?” I asked evenly.

“Of course not,” she said. “But, ‘Elen – I want you to be honest wi’ me: just tell me if it’s a load of rubbish. If it’s no good I’ll bin it – simple as that.”

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