The next morning he was making his first cup of tea for the day at ten o'clock when Mrs Cumberledge joined him in the kitchen. It was another glorious day, the summer light thick and yellow, the air already warm; all promising that it would be a scorcher later on.
“It's a lovely day, isn't it, Mrs Cumberledge?”
“It's going to be hot, Jason. Would you like a biscuit?”
She produced a tin of Arnott's Marie biscuits, and he admired the scarlet and cobalt Rosella painted on its lid.
As they sipped their tea and crunched the milky sweet biscuits, they chatted, not about anything consequential but just small things. He felt easy with her, almost as if he'd known her many years, not just a few days. She had an easy-going non-judgmental manner. He believed that there wouldn't be many things that shocked her. Underneath her placid demeanour there was also sadness, perhaps even grief, and this seemed to be a link between them.
“Are you going for a swim” she asked.
“That would be a good idea! Where's the best place”
“South Melbourne beach is easy to get to. It's not the best beach, by far, but it's the closest. And you can catch a number 1 tram to get there.”
“Where would I catch that?”
“Take the tram at the end of street into the city and change there. Wait a minute, I have a map of the tram network. I'll get it.”