Tuesday, November 18, 2003

“Sit down then, duck,” she said. “I’ll make you a cup of tea in ten minutes. I’m glad you’ve come though. Sunday afternoon’s the only time I get a bit of peace, and I like somebody to talk to. I like the house to be empty now and again. It’s a treat the way you look after your clo’es, Arthur. Every young man should, that’s what I say. But you know, it’s like living in a different house, when the kids aren’t fighting and running over everywhere. Eddie’s gone up Clifton with Pam and Mike, and they won’t be back till six, thank God. They lead me such a dance all week that I’m allus glad to get shut on ’em at weekend. Last night we went to’t Flying Fox and I had so many gin and Its I thought I’d never get home. Our Betty clicked wi’ a bloke, and he bought the whole gang of us drinks all night. He must a got through a good five quid, the bloody fool. He had a car though, so I suppose he could afford it, and he thought he was on a good thing with our Betty, but you should a seen his face drop when she came home wi’ us instead of going off with him! He was going to start some trouble, but our Dave – he was wi’ us as well – got up and said he’d smash him if he didn’t clear off. The poor bloke went deathly white and drove off in his car. ‘What a bleddy fool I was,’ Betty said when he’d gone, ‘I should a got ’im to drive us all home!'"

Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (75)