Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (16) The Highfinch Curate (Part 03)
Nick, Julia and Vicki all did the rounds amongst the congregants and then said their goodbyes, he for one was in the mood to socialise so as they were leaving he said,
“Do you two need to rush off?”
“I don’t have any plans” Vicki replied
“No nor me” said Julia
“How about lunch then? At The Downshire Arms?” he suggested “my treat”
“I’m on” chirped Vicki
“Me too” Julia said brightly
Just then they arrived at the door where Jenna was seeing the faithful out the door.
“What's he up to now?” she said to Nicks companions
“Lunch” said Vicki
“Why don’t you join us?” he added “At The Downshire Arms”
she looked blank for a moment as she processed the invitation almost as if she had been asked a question in English but had to translate it into German before she could answer.
“You know what? I would love too,” she said beaming
“I will have to meet you there though”
“No problem” He said and the three of them made their way through the village to the pub.
They had a very pleasant lunch and Jenna was an absolute delight very down to earth and very witty.
He had obviously met her many times at the Church, parish council meetings, various local events and things like the soup kitchen but it was the first time they had socialised.
Vicki had earlier pencilled the Curate in as a sherry drinker and she was shocked to the core when Jenna asked for a pint of Guinness and when she noticed the look on Vicki’s face she said
“They don’t do it in half’s”
Vicki nodded understandingly in response, and then the penny dropped and she laughed
At the end of an excellent lunch Jenna reluctantly declined a third pint of the black stuff stating that she had to prepare for the evening service.
They walked through the gate in the pleasant afternoon sunshine of a September Sunday when the Curate paused
“Thank you for the lunch Nick” she said “But thank you so much all of you for the companionship”
Then she added
“No one ever invites me to the pub, and I do like a drink and a chat”
“We will bear that in mind for the future Jenna” he said and
Julia and Vicki heartily agreed
When they reached the Vicarage thanks were muttered and immediately dismissed, cheeks were kissed and blessings exchanged.
Promises of doing it again soon were made and would not be broken.
Jenna had genuinely enjoyed lunch, as had the rest of them, but none of them envied Jenna having to spend the rest of the afternoon in preparation of that evening’s service while the rest of them would be dosing off in their respective garden chairs and sleeping off their lunches.
Having safely delivered his luncheon companions to their respective front doors, where cheeks were kissed etcetera he returned to his house and was asleep ten minutes later dreaming of Jenna.