“Ach no I haven’t.” she said patting her pockets and fumbling round her neck. She turned and shuffled inside, returning a few moments later with a large button mobile attached to a beaded necklace. “Lucy sent me this so I can keep my phone handy. Isn’t it pretty?” Lucy – the one name she never got wrong – was her only daughter and lived in London. It was Lucy that dropped everything last year and camped out in the house visiting her mother as often as the hospital allowed. The local family went once when the hospital called and that had been that. Lucy had bought the phone after that so her mother could summon help if she ever needed to again.

“That’s a lovely idea. Now don’t you forget to wear it. I’d better get on anyhow. See you tomorrow.”

Keith went back to move the float down to the bottom of the road. Only 24 still took milk from him. Number 22 was rowing again. They’d been married 20 years and argued for most of it.

Chapter 1.4


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