Gladys Jones ( Auntie Glad) rang yesterday and left an answerphone message
Could I call around sometime in the afternoon?
Of course I did, and took with me a spare pork chop from the freezer, so I could swap it for the bag of scones that had been freshly baked and wrapped for me.
I had earmarked the chop for another of the village ladies (also called Jones) , , who had made me a jar of chutney last week, but unfortunately she had suffered a sudden stroke on Sunday and is now in hospital.
True to form, Gladys knew all about the other Mrs Jones. The nerve -centre which is her aga warmed kitchen, could put MI6 to shame, as information from every corner of the village is transmitted with lightening speed through a whole host of "operatives" back to her.
She is an elderly version of Judi Dench from SKYFALL
Omniscient and benign.
I know the other Mrs Jones and her family well.
She has visited me often on the field when the weather has been kind
and always refers to me in her sing song Welsh accent as a formal "Mr Gray"
I will take the dogs up to the family farm today to see how she is doing.
Gladys has known Mrs Jones since the 1940s and as we chatted I mentioned that only in 2009 I remember seeing Mrs Jones hanging onto the back of a tractor when she thumbed a lift from Gentleman farmer Ralph back up to her old farm
"she was a lot younger then " she noted
and I smiled too
Mrs Jones was a youthful 83 at the time