Anne and Ron rolled up last night. I was cooking dinner so Ger went out to do the meet and greet. We often take it in turns.
So who are Anne and Ron? In their email they described themselves as two senior citizens visiting Ron’s homeland. They told me they were very excited about booking a night in our gypsy wagon.
All well and good. A lot of guests pass through the gates of our little glamping site in the Summer. Most of them are young couples, or friends on holiday together.
Ger returned twenty minutes later. ‘They’re lovely,’ he said.
‘Good,’ I said, shaking the sweet potatoes. ‘Do they want tea or coffee.’
‘I don’t know.’
‘OK go and ask,’ I said, putting on the kettle. Lately I’ve found that people have been leaving my chocolate brownies so I baked cookies instead. I was keen for the guests to try them out.
Ten minutes later, Ger returned. ‘Ron will have tea,’ he said. ‘Anne has gone to bed.’
‘That was quick. Is she OK?’
‘Yea, she loves it here. She’s always wanted to stay in a gypsy wagon ever since she ran away with the carnival at the age of seventeen.’
Carnival?? Double take. This sure is a new one to me.
Intrigued, I volunteered to carry the tea-tray down to the orchard, I encountered Ron -deep in conversation with the lovely French couple staying in our caravan.
First impression- he looked like a wizard with a walking stick.
He told me to drop the tea into the wagon. Slightly uncomfortable as I knew Anne had gone to bed, I knocked on the door and introduced myself.
Ann climbed out of bed and took the tea. She was wearing a full length white cotton nightdress. She looked like a teenager who, unaccountably, has become a senior. I could clearly see the girl she once was. Slight, fair-haired, impish smile. I could imagine her running away with the carnival.
I have a golden rule when it comes to guests. I do not ask personal questions. If people want to talk about their lives, their families, their jobs, then I’m happy to listen but I will not ask.
This time was different. I REALLY wanted to know about that carnival.
The night passed. Ger brought their breakfast to the wagon this morning. Ron was wearing a long red tartan nightshirt. Anne had slept well.
Turns out Anne worked for a freak show in the carnival as the ‘Amazing Elastic Lady’. (Ger has less qualms asking personal stuff than me!)
Ger and I had an appointment at 10.a.m, so we said our goodbyes and drove off. We felt sad that we didn’t have more time to talk.
As luck would have it, we met them driving along our one track road on our way back home. Ger pulled into the verge to enable them to pass and wound down the window.
They said they were sad to go. They had enjoyed their stay. We said that we had enjoyed having them. Then Ger asked Ron if he had worked for the carnival too.
No. He had done various things. Mostly followed where the Spirit led. The Spirit led him into a long stint of nursing. He had also also been a Cistercian Monk for twelve years.
After she finished with the freak show, the elastic lady had become a WARDROBE MISTRESS. So cool. I am blown away by this. It ranks as dream job number 7 on my list.
(more about dream job number one another time)
So there we have it. Anne and Ron. The Wardrobe Mistress and the Monk. This amazing couple who drifted briefly through our door and filled us with curiosity about the variousness of life.
The link between any of this and fashion is extremely tenuous.
Yes, there were two long nightdresses, some elastic and a lifetime of costume making. No more.
But, hey, fashion friday is like that.
See you all next week!