Arthog, Wales May 20, 2012 8:23 a.m. BST
Having lunch at Gene and Linus’s (neighbors of Wilberforce in Fairbourne) was interesting in that their bungalow was full of Egyptian memorabilia, doilies, silver, and stories.
Our lunch of homemade chile, homemade parsnip-parmesan-sage bread, green salad, and a dessert of fresh fruit and homemade lemon cheesecake, was on their conservatory (what we refer to as a closed-in patio) by their extensive garden with its small brook and many birdhouses. We were, once again, regaled with laughter. Tales of personalities from differing pasts were shared.
What is new, for us, is that of the three couples we have met, not only are they all very, happily gay, one partner of each couple is a grandfather. All are our peers. Coming out came, for some of them, late in life. They got married to a woman as it seemed the thing they “had to do”. They felt it was “expected” of them. In fact, one man, whose Mom still lives, has never told her of his new-found happiness. This is sad. This is a way of life that, today, baffles. It is not my life, thank goodness.
After lunch, we walked on the beach. We talked of life in their native Birmingham — one had it posh and one was a pauper — and how they enjoy being a couple living in prosperity. That is what makes happiness.
Before we left Gene and Linus, they printed out the recipes of the bread and cheesecake they had made for me to take home. They gave us each a warm embrace and kiss “until we meet again” — today.
The part of the beach along the estuary upon which we walked is rocky. Wonderful, sea-worn rocks. I remarked how, many years ago, I would fill my pockets with many rocks and take them home. Gene likes small, white, round rocks. He found one for me to take back to The States. It is a memento I shall treasure.
Mementoes will be the diary that percolates the stories we heard sitting on their conservatory and lounge. My memento pie case is overflowing. [At home, in Zwerglipatch Cottage, I have on display the wee, white rock in my “physical” pie case. It, too, is overflowing.]