It was Xmas Day morning, Beatrice was having a late sleep-in “resting for the big day”, Peter and Kandy were in the kitchen watching the pots and basting the turkeys, and I was sitting in the pub lounge with Reg.
Reg was taking a break, he had been up since just after he went to bed. So much to do, preparing the turkeys, putting them in the ovens, but with help from Peter and Kandy he could sit down for a few minutes and drink a cup of coffee with me. He brought me a mug of cocoa without asking, he knows what I like.
“How long have you two had this pub, Reg? I really like it.”
“Oh, almost ten years. It was in a bad state when we bought it. The previous owners tried to make it into an upmarket wine bar, called it “The Half Cucumber And Sixpence”. It didn't work. The locals hated it and it was too far away for the rich folks.”
“I ripped out all the new stuff and turned it back into what it could have been. We renamed it back to the original “The Nag's Head” and run it as a pub with good beer and good food. We're doing alright, even saving for our retirement.”
“But I want to ask you, Jennffer. You and Peter are too old to be still at school, you need to get out into the big wide world outside. Kandy too! She shouldn't be stuck in that girls' school for the rest of her life.”
“Oh yes, Reg! Peter and I want to pass our exams next summer and then go to college. And we are taking Kandy with us. She is training to be a football coach.”
“Football? Yes, I like watching football. Sometimes I get to see a whole game on the pub TV in the evening. But Kandy? Football coach?”
“Oh, she's good at it. Peter is pushing her. Last summer she did an eight week training course, Peter's idea. The girls at the school are doing football this year. Football for girls is really in, hockey is out. Kandy will do more training at Easter and then exams and then maybe a coaching job at college.”
“But tell me Reg, why do you do all the work while Beatrice has a good time serving at the bar and chatting to the customers. I've seen you lifting the barrels, fetching the food from the market in the big town, carrying the crates of bottles, cooking in the evening, cleaning the tables, you never stop...”
“That's easy, Jennffer! I'll tell you. It's simple. I love Beatrice like you love Beatrice's sister. It's as simple as that. I'm doing what I want to do and am the happiest man on the planet.”