My goodness, I never expected to find myself so at home in the company of a woman again. It is many years since my wife died, and I believed I would never find another love to rival ours.
Leonora, Mrs W turned out as a big surprise. I have been aware of her as a socialite, always in front at any fund-raising for good causes. Always at the forefront when supporting the arts. Always at every high-profile event. I believed her to be a rather empty-headed chatterbox.
We have never talked other than to exchange the formalities at these public events.
I had been rather dreading the weekend at the fishing lodge which is rather rustic. Just Mrs W and I. No sooner had we left to drive there, than she turned up my car radio a little and proceeded to just watch the passing countryside and smile occasionally. I do appreciate a woman who knows when to be silent.
Fishing, she was an eager student, and soon showed she had the knack. Then she moved off to a spot she selected and caught more fish than I had done. Over supper which she insisted on helping me cook, we discovered some common likes. She is an intelligent conversationalist, and by the end of the evening we found we have a similar sense of humour.
Her children were grown up and had already left home when her husband died. She has managed the inheritance very professionally, grown her wealth very quietly, and enjoyed sharing the fruits of her good management with those deserving of it.
When her husband was alive, they enjoyed the ‘great outdoors’, as she phrases it.
The next morning she asked if we could just go for a walk. What a pleasure, walking with a woman whose conversation is about what she is observing in nature as we go along, not full of useless chatter. We decided to stay the extra night so that we could stargaze as it was new moon, and therefore a good time to do so. I thought it was also rather romantic. This woman is making me look at life again.
When we returned to the capital, leaving with the dawn to do so, I begged her to stay for one last cup of tea and a chat. We were comfortably ensconced when Leo and Anthea returned from a weekend away. Anthea was looking a little less stressed, so it must have done her some good. We all had a good half hour together before separating.
Leonora and I have been seeing a lot more of each other. Every time we are together I realise how good it is just to have female company with no demands, friendship and companionship, not formalities. She tells me I am a flirt, because I keep telling her how much I enjoy our time together. Unfortunately my libido is much reduced from what I remember during my marriage, or things may be a little different already.
She also tells me I am a gossip and a romantic meddler. I told her of all the obstacles I tried to put between Leo and Anthea, hoping they would get tired of me doing so and realise just how close they really were. Of course I claim responsibility for pushing them to realise how they felt about each other.
I told her about Anthea’s cancelled engagement, and she had some rather uncomplimentary comments to make about Philip who she knows socially. She is someone whose judgement I am beginning to really trust, and this makes me realise Anthea may have had a luckier escape than we thought at the time.