I thought it was a silly idea. The last thing Rosey needs right now is a relationship. I suppose you could say that I’m being a bit possessive, not wanting to lose a mate from our happy band of friends, but I honestly believe that she has quite enough going on her life right now to keep her fully occupied.
Anyway, her work colleagues arranged for her to meet a young man whom they thought would make the perfect boyfriend. Rosey asked a few of our circle of friends to go along to give her moral support.
He arrived late – not a good start, and was clearly a little taken aback to find her sitting with four assorted friends! He introduced himself as one Simon Pargiter-Pratt. In his hand he held a bunch of wilting flowers.
He was a lanky, rather awkward looking young man whom I assumed to be in his late twenties. There he stood every bit the country squire in a pair of camel trousers, an Oxford check shirt, university tie and a fine tweed jacket. You could see your reflection in his chestnut brown brogues.
However his boyish and somewhat blotchy complexion made him look a fair bit younger, and judging by the bum-fluff on his chin it appeared quite possible that he’d not yet felt the need to start shaving!
It seems he had recently qualified as a vet and joined a local practice with the unlikely name of Nine Lives.
Simon proffered his hand, and just as Rosey was about to give it a shake she recoiled and said ‘I’d rather not; I don’t know where it’s been!’
At least that broke the ice. Simon dissolved into laughter –he sort of went ‘hwa-hwa-hwa’ - and we laughed along!
Rosey quickly realised that witty banter could well be the way forward, and when Simon asked about her family she said ‘I am the youngest of three, my parents are both older than me!’
‘And’ said Rosey ‘My family is mixed race – my father does the hundred metres but my mother prefers the relay!’
By now we were all laughing along, and Rosey had everyone in the palm of her hand. But I know Rosey well enough to realise that she was using her amusing repartee to disguise the fact that she was not in the least bit interested in Mr Pargiter-Pratt!
I decided that perhaps I should take over the conversation and get our new friend to talk about his calling.
‘So Simon’ I said ‘What have you been vetting this afternoon?’
‘hwa-hwa-hwa-hwa, vetting, I like that’ he guffawed.
‘Actually Kev, I was looking at a problem which has occurred within a couple of Carinthian Blondviehs. The poor creatures caught coccidiosis’
‘Sounds very interesting, doesn’t it Kev?’ said Rosey looking at me with a half grin on her face. ‘Do tell us more’
‘Well’ started Simon ‘Typical signs of coccidiosis are diarrhea, rough coat, loss of appetite and weight, and general emaciation. The general weakness may cause the calf to defecate without rising, thus soiling its tail and hindquarters. In more severe cases the manure may contain blood, mucus, and stringy masses of tissue’
‘I’m sure my Grannie died of that’ said Rosey with sad look on her face.
‘Actually Rosemary’ said Simon ‘this particular condition is confined to bovine species, and unless your Grandmother was a cow.....’
‘She could be at times!’ interrupted Rosey and with that we all broke into uncontrollable laughter.
I have to say, I felt sorry for Rosey’s prospective suitor. We tried to involve him in some light conversation but it was clear he found our bar-room banter somewhat trivial.
He meant well, but he simply was not, nor would he ever be one of us. He realised that things would never go any further, and with a somewhat crestfallen look he thanked us for our company and bid us all farewell.
‘It wouldn’t have worked’ said Rosey. I mean can you imagine me being called Rosemary Pinkerton-Pargiter- Pratt? What a mouthful!’