There were several comments going round the crematorium yesterday on how well The Antiquer had scrubbed up for his mum's funeral. He did a good job on her eulogy, too. The Antiquer's mother was independent, lively, interesting and interested in the world and he captured her personality nicely.
Afterwards, over lemon barley water and mini quiches, I was bailed up in the 'condolence lounge' by The Antiquer's uncle, Lenno. Lenno is an octogenarian and has been for some years an ardent admirer of mine. So much so that back in May The Antiquer was telling his cousin that Grumpy and I had split up and his cousin said, "Oooh, don't tell Lenno."
I quite like an older man but, come on, I'm no Anna Nicole Smith.
It all began years ago when Grumpy and I squabbled our way around South America and I was sending out weekly emails describing our adventures and Places We Had Argued. The Antiquer printed these off and passed them to Lenno, who had tripped around some of the same places many years before. He was, by all reports, entranced. It had been a while since I'd seen him so I was quite looking forward to renewing our acquaintance yesterday.
Unfortunately, when we did, he had a bit of a crowd around. He began quizzing me as to when I was going to be writing for the paper. I laughed, feeling a little self-conscious. But he persisted. He told the gathering about my South American emails, extolling their virtues (as he perceived them). Then, to my horror, he informed me and the flapping ears around us that he had taken the liberty of sending my sloppy missives into The West Australian, suggesting that they publish them in their travel section. The editor quite unsurprisingly declined on the basis that they 'weren't written in The West's style'. Whoever that ed was, they showed admirable restraint and good manners. Lenno's view was that they were rejected out of professional jealousy. (Well, a girl does need a champion.)
It was a warm day and by this stage, with curious and skeptical eyes upon me, I was beetroot red and starting to perspire. I couldn't stagger away fast enough. I think I reeled all the way back to The Antiquer's. I mean, we all aspire to an appreciative audience for our musings. But...The West? Where's the self-respect???