Aiid to seduction

The Secret of Seduction

I've just had a visit from the Germans staying at number 4 ~ such a lovely couple and very interested in the history of the yard, the Sanders etc ~ I am so enjoying this book "The Levels" set in the Somerset Levels, all the familiar place names ~ about the basket makers ~ with  fascinating detail of basket making.  In fact I enjoyed it so much I got another of his on Kindle : 'Isabel's Skin' ~ an absolutely gripping story set in Somerset, London and Norfolk in the 19th century when there were trains but not cars or phones ~ brilliant.

I was 39 when I joined the Chesil Theatre in Winchester ~ Fred was a tall thin handsome creature, with a mop of blond Hesletine hair, ten years older than me and the star of the society ~ Cambridge and the Diplomatic Corps, a most distinguished fellow ~ so I was bowled over when he showed an interest in this pathetic care-worn housewife and mother ~ but the thing that eventually led me to agree to "a ride out into the country" one April evening was his delicious and irresistible smell ~ the smell of his Imperial Leather soap ~ occasionally nowadays I treat myself to a bar with the Sainsbury's order which brings it all back ~ a beautiful spring evening up on Old Winchester Hill, in the back seat of his posh car with G & T (he came prepared for seduction), his practised sweet talk,and his clean and delicious smell !   They warned me afterwards that never mind his wife and children, Fred had had his wicked way with just about every woman in the Chesil, "so don't get carried away ~ he is a wolf !"   But poor and plain and plump as I was, it did last ~ our relationship ~ before long he actually bought a little terraced house speciofically as our rendez-vous, can you believe, and as far as I know no other woman ever joined him there ~ and fully thirty years later, every couple of months, he was still driving all this way for a few nights of passion in Whitby !   Amazing when I think about it !   Bloody amazing !   He's gone now, bless him, but Fred was quite something, and always smelling so sweetly of Imperial Leather Soap.   So if anybody out there is having difficulty on the seduction front bear that in mind ~ Imperial Leather, the sure fire aid to seduction !

Funnily enough, though maybe it means I'm a slut, I didn't feel either guilt or shame after that incident on Old Winchester Hill ~ "After all these dreary years of marriage LIFE IS HAPPENING TO ME AT LAST !"

The friendly German couple left first thing this morning to get to Manchester Airport and their flight home ~ yesterday they gave us each a lovely lupin plant, Beverley and me, hers red, mine blue ~ how kind ~ they thoroughly enjoyed Whitby, Clarks Yard and David's cottage ~ the holiday cottage visitors for the most part are so friendly and interesting !   And those who come back year after year in number 7 they really become friends.

'The Levels' by Peter Benson, Penquin edition 1988, Guardian award winner