Dinner parties and village people

Wendy and Jack live on the other side of the village. I mean, Wendy does; Jack lives in another one, nearby. They are a couple, but like many of us older folk, don’t find it necessary to be married, or even live together. They have invited us for dinner tonight, so we will bundle up and walk over and back. This is one of the benefits of living here. We don’t even have to take the car.

Wendy is a pillar of the church in the village, a very progressive and intelligent one, not at all the stereotype of a church lady.

Jack spends several weeks each year in Romania building schools, voluntarily and cheerfully. We don’t know them well, but after tonight, I hope we will know them better. Rosie and Ken will be there, too. Ken is 94. An avid gardener, Ken and Ken’s garden were used to publicize Shere’s open garden day this June. The reporter said he was 95, and he complained bitterly, “I’m only 94.” His girlfriend Rosie is 86 or so and is taking up art with enthusiasm, and we are in an art class together in Albury, the village next to Shere. Neither Ken nor Rosie look or act anything like their ages. Ken maintains his beautiful garden himself, does his own cooking at dinner parties, and plays bridge. Rosie lives opposite the church, and thus Ken’s house because it is next to the church. She plays bridge, too, and they travel together, to France and all over England and they are more stimulating company than many people far younger. If I can be like them, I won’t mind living to their ages.