Snippets of Downshire Life – Angling
Downshire is a relatively small English county but that didn’t bother its inhabitants, the may not have been the biggest but they were in no doubt that it was the best, and that belief was no truer than in the southern town off Abbottsford which was Downshire’s administrative capital and the seat of the Downshire government.
It was also a place of learning thanks to the Downshire University, it could also boast that it was a Cathedral City, was home to Abbottsford Town football club and benefitted from the renowned Winston Churchill Hospital.
Of all the many amenities and attractions the town had to offer, it was the hospital that had brought Mark Weston to town, in order to visit his sister who was waiting to undergo major heart surgery, in fact it had brought back to the country, from sunnier climes where he had been filming his TV Show.
But when he got to the hospital he went straight upstairs to the private room he had arranged for her, he not only found her lying in bed with wires and tubes coming out of her, he also found someone who would figure in both their futures, in the form of Elaine’s Doctor, Rita.
Because later that night they met for the first time outside the hospital and spent a pleasant couple of hours in the Hotel bar of the Abbottsford Regents and they made an unlikely connection, considering that she was a Doctor and he was a TV Fisherman.
The next day however they were unable to build on that connection as it was a busy shift for Rita and Elaine went into surgery, the following day however was a different matter, although when they were on the ward they maintained their roles, conscious and sensitive to their surroundings, but when they met downstairs it was different.
“Hello Mark” she said as he stepped out of the lift
“Hello yourself Doctor Rita”
“Very funny” she said laughing “have you got time for a coffee?”
“I do” he replied so they went to the coffee shop where they spent a pleasant hour, helping him to escape his worries.
Because she knew that although he put on a brave face for his sister and her husband that he was worried sick, and she also knew that no matter how she tried to reassure him as a Doctor she wasn’t going succeed but as Rita she could divert him, even if only for the briefest time.
The following day they repeated the process, twice, and the day after, and when Elaine was out of the woods and on the road to recovery the day after that, and she improved with each day that passed they went out for dinner.
Elaine had made such a good recovery that Doctor Gardner was happy to allow Elaine to be transferred to a nursing home to complete her convalescence.
As they loaded Elaine into an ambulance Rita said
“You know what this means”
“Yes, I have to take you fishing” He said
“So it’s my day off on Thursday” she replied
“Ok text me the address and I’ll pick you up at nine”
“Great” she said “what should I wear?”
“You’ll look great in whatever you wear” he replied “But I would recommend no heels”
There were only three small bodies of water left in the Finchbottom Vale by the 21st Century, one in Mornington, one in Childean and third of course was in Purplemere.
But as Rita lived in Shallowfield he had booked a room at the Shallowfield Lodge Hotel which meant they could fish in Teardrop Lake, which was actually somewhere he had never fished before.
It was an unseasonably warm sunny March day when he picked her up and drove her up to the Lake and he set up the folding chairs on the jetty and once they had set up he showed her the basic principle of casting and then he said
“Come and stand in front of me and look towards the water”
Rita did as she was told and he was stood behind her holding the rod in his right hand but before he could show her any more she turned around and kissed him and after a full minute he said
“You didn’t come for the fishing did you?”
“Not really” she admitted and they kissed again.
An early lunch was settled on so after he’d packed his tackle away they walked back to the car and he stowed it in the boot and as they walked up the steps to the Hotel she announced
“I like fishing, I think we should do it again soon”
“I’m afraid that today is the last day of the season” he retorted
“When does it start again?”
“The middle of June”
“Oh dear, what are we going to do until June?”
“I’m sure we’ll think of something” he said and kissed her