Agatha dear I feel quite invigorated after our first belly dancing lesson.
It was exhilarating Mary, exhilarating. I feel quite 72 again.
I really was impressed with the ability of my new brassiere to hold everything in place – there were plenty of moments which could have resulted in a wardrobe malfunction.
Indeed Mary dear, it was quite a relief for all of us I’m sure. Viennese Whirl?
Ooh please, how delicious. Wasn’t Lucia Pintworth a gem – quite stunning in her crimson silk pantaloons, she was the spit of that lovely Karen Clifton from Strictly, I thought. And a youthful 59, if I understood her correctly.
Surely not, by the way she was bending backwards in such a supple fashion she can’t be more than 42. But didn’t she marry Maxim as a result of a holiday romance when he was on a Grand Tour?
Goodness, I didn’t think anyone went on a Grand Tour nowadays dear one, well apart from those terribly rude Top Gear boys. Anyway, there is a little more to the story of how Maxim met Lucia. Did you not hear about the unpleasantness between him and Fortescue Warboys?
Really, Mary? I am quite in the dark as to any kerfuffle between Max and Forty.
Well, some years ago he and Fortesque had a colossal ding dong at one of their table tennis tournaments in our games room. Maxim got quite out of hand, bordering on the violent. As a result they smashed the display cabinets in the Count’s games room and nearly took out his favourite stuffed Parrot. In fact, the dear old fruit was certain that there was going to be pistols at dawn!
Goodness Mary, I do believe your husband can get quite carried away sometimes! I can imagine his Italian blood quite on fire at two English Toffs smashing their ping pong balls about and getting into a tizzy.
That is true dear, I had to calm him down with several large glasses of Chianti. But the whole episode was really about Maxim wanting to marry Fortesque’s cousin, and dear old Forty went into a total fizz about the whole thing, protesting that Maxim was only after the Fabergé snuff box that the Tzar had supposedly given her. Trouble was everyone, except Fortesque and Maxim, knew it was a fake!
He sounds too much like Binky dear, and we all know how that ended.
Yes Agatha dear! Anyway, Maxim was shipped off to stop him from interfering and quite frankly at 78 he really was becoming a bit of a liability – (whispering) too many dalliances with the servants so they say. So in Italy he met the delightful Lucia.
And such an asset she has turned out to be. She has certainly calmed Maxim down, but she talks nineteen to the dozen and I think he just lets it wash over him, can’t understand more than one or two words of what she says. Neither can I of course!
Well Agatha dear, I may have a solution to that, and it really is quite exciting when I think about it.
I can see that dear. You look positively overcome, fit to burst. Tell me then, while I pour the tea.
Well, I’ve been thinking about this for some time now. I’ve been reading articles about teaching yourself new things to stimulate the brain and stave off dementia. So, I’ve decided to go back to School!
Oh Mary dear isn’t that a bit radical? I don’t believe St Margaret for the Pure of Heart isn’t quite the same now. I understand it’s a comprehensive and really quite modern! And, erm, not wanting to put too fine a point on it dear, aren’t you a little old for gymslips and satchels now? Although I must say you can’t beat a pleated skirt and a nice blazer – they’re quite ‘on trend’ this season I believe.
Oh Agatha sometimes you are just too old fashioned! I have no intention of going back to my Almer Mater, I’m enrolling in one of those delightful online learning courses which means I can do everything from the luxury of my own home. And besides, you know perfectly well what happened the last time I wore a gymslip and had to hang onto those bars in some kind of arcane ritual…
Golly yes, but you did look most decorative dear heart. But anyway, what on earth has possessed you to take on this challenge dear?
Well, you know that The Count and I just about rub along due to the differences in our languages? Well, recently I have found myself wanting to have chats with the dear chap around subjects that are a little more in depth than one or two ice cubes in my G&T. So, I am learning Italian!
How confusing dear, it means I won’t be able to understand either of you! Don’t you think this is all a bit much Mary? I mean we’re only just back from Egypt, and most of the time I had to get by with sign language and some charades – goodness know what language they were speaking!
I do believe it was English, Agatha.
Well, yes, but I struggled to understand our guide at the Goddess Temples in Luxor. So at our age, do you think it’s possible to learn a new language?
I do believe that women – even chaps – can turn their hand to anything at any time of their life Agatha. After all we hadn’t been belly dancing until tonight and look at the progress we’ve made – you managed to get your tassels twirling most becomingly. Besides, the lovely people at Future Learn – the online education people – let you go at your own speed.
Well if you must dear, but it’s all a bit beyond me I’m afraid.
Oh but Italian is such a wonderful language, and besides, I can now successfully order a glass of white wine – “Vorrei un bicchiere di vino bianco”
Oh, it sounds so much more sophisticated in Italian – I’m transported to the old days of elegant sipping and cocktail dresses *sighs*
I know, so romantic is it not. But that’s just the start of course. It’s totally super that after just one lesson I can ask The Count for two different types of tipple! Now I need to learn how to say “Please may I have another Viennese Whirl”
Free online language courses:
Viennese Whirl recipe: