Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (15) Art and Loneliness (Part 07)
As they began the walk to the meadow there was initially an awkward silence so Sally told the story of how she had broken down and the Vicar had come to her aid.
“He’s a good man” Ben said “But don’t you tell him I said so”
“So it’s not him you’re mad at, then?” She asked
“What do you mean?” he asked but she didn’t answer as she was looking across the river at the picturesque view of the church.
“Now that’s what I wanted to see” she said
“It’s alright I suppose” he said begrudgingly
Sally scanned along the river bank until she spotted the vicarage garden and saw Caroline on the patio waving at her.
“I’ll leave you to it” he said sulkily
“Thank you Mr Noble” Sally said
“Ben” he mumbled
“I beg your pardon” Sally asked
“Call me Ben” he said and walked away briskly and Sally returned Caroline’s wave.
She spent a very pleasant few hours painting in the meadow and when she was finished she walked back up to the farmhouse but there was no sign of him in his garden so she put a note through his door, thanking him for his permission and mentioning that she hoped she could do the same the following day.
It was another fine day on Thursday and Sally set off for the meadow straight after breakfast again.
She called in at the General Store and picked up some bottled water and a sandwich for her lunch, she had forgotten to take anything with her the day before and greatly regretted it.
But as she was leaving the shop she met Caroline Hart who was on her way in.
“Sally” she said
“Caroline, hi” She replied
“So he let you then?” Caroline asked “how on earth did you manage it”?
“Well at first I was polite, but when that didn’t work I bullied him into submission” Sally replied
“Splendid, well done you” she said and seeing Sally was carrying her painting gear, asked
“Are you going back again?”
“Yes” Sally replied “if I can get away with it”
“Well good luck” Caroline said “come for dinner Friday night and tell us how you got on”
“Ok” Sally said “see you later”
She continued on through the village on the beautiful June morning until she reached Old Farm and once again there was no sign of the old curmudgeon so she carried on down the lane to the meadow.
Sally quickly set up her easel and began painting and in what seemed like the blink of an eye the morning was gone so she cleaned her brushes and stopped for lunch.
The afternoon sun was very hot so she packed up around 2 o’clock and headed back up the lane.
She looked for Ben Noble as she passed the house but there was no sign of him outside, she did fancy she saw him at a downstairs window but she wasn’t really sure but she smiled and waved anyway.