They have walked in warm weather all the way from the beach, along the harbour wall, into the city, through the old quarter, up to the skirts of the castle, seeking the shade where possible, trying not to hurry, but not wanting to be late.
An attempt has been made before.
Two attempts in fact.
This time we are determined.
‘Do I look alright?’
‘You look fine. What about me. What do you think?’
‘O you always look alright.’
‘That’s alright then.’
‘What do you think? Can you see? Is there a long queue?’
‘It’s difficult to say. There is a queue of about half a dozen persons at the door. But then, there are several people leaning against the wall opposite the entrance. Some of them have come out for a smoke, I should think. But some of them might be part of the queue.’
‘We should probably start by waiting at the door.’
‘That’s the best plan.’
‘I think those people there are leaving. She’s fishing in her handbag.’
‘Could be. Still, we’re not the first in the queue.’
‘What’s the time?’
‘We’ll wait until eight forty-five, but no longer.’
They stand patiently. A waiter talks to them briefly, smiles, laughs, jots down a note on a pad, nods and leaves.
Around them the evening crowd heaves and swirls, revealing empty hollows and then refilling them, like the sea they have watched for much of the afternoon.
‘What’s the time?’
‘Ten to nine.’
‘We’ll wait until nine o’clock. But not a moment longer.’
Born in 1944, Nigel F. Ford wrote his first radio play aged 14 (refused). Jobs include reporter for The Daily Times, Lagos, Nigeria, travel writer for Sun Publishing, London, English teacher for Berlitz, Hamburg, copy writer for Ted Bates, Stockholm. Had a hand in starting the Brighton Fringe in 1967. He started painting etc. in 1983 and has regularly exhibited in Sweden and on the Internet in various publication. In addition, several magazines in UK and US have been kind enough to publish his writing. Such as Nexus, Outposts, Encounter, New Spokes, Inkshed, The Crazy Oik, Weyfarers, Acumen, Critical Quarterly, Staple, T.O.P.S, The North, Foolscap, Iota, Poetry Nottingham, Tears in the Fence etc. He is now trying to produce & direct one of his stage plays.