Vacation in Mesopotamia
We don’t get glittering prizes down our way. We get grisly ones awarded by nightmarish quiz shows. However, instead of open heart surgery without anaesthetic on the meat counter of our local supermarket, I get an evening with my brother, his wife and their bratty kid. The former, if successful, need be done only once. The latter, unfortunately, comes every December 28.
When Mr Starlin died, his widow decided to right the wrong of their 30 years of marriage. Rather than work, the old man preferred to read. From the time that he got out of bed until he put the light out before sleeping, his nose was in a book. He wore a huge moustache, which is wife trimmed. His eyes were permanently narrowed due to the continuous reading. He even had the same laugh lines as an infamous character who strutted the global stage several decades before. Meanwhile, Mrs Starlin took in clothes for alteration and went out charring three days a week. She grew vegetables in the back and front gardens of their terraced house in a cul-de-sac off the main road. The only time Mr Starlin rose from his armchair was to tap on the window and demand when lunch or tea was ready.