|Boston Ivy, Victoria Barracks|
But the other part of the day he'd come to cherish was the morning tea he would often have with Mrs Cumberledge. The strong summer light would wake him up earlier than he in truth preferred, at ten or so. He often only got to bed at two, and so that was the regulation eight hours of sleep, but it always felt that he could go on lying there, dreaming about stuff, and the need to get up and wee always annoyed him because it meant he couldn't go back to sleep. So, dragging on some jeans over his boxers, and yesterday's T-shirt, he would saunter down to the kitchen and start his morning tea and toast. As often as not Eleanor Cumberledge would be there, pottering around the kitchen, or watering the pot plants on the back veranda. Her back veranda was a green haven, with geraniums, impatience, fuchsia, ferns, and growing on the fence, a carpet of Boston ivy which was still grass green but which Jason guessed would soon be turning the rich claret, orange, crimson and scarlet of its autumn dress.
She was a tranquil person, with an absent-minded kindness and the manners of a well-bred duchess, and she always made Jason feel at peace. She made him feel welcome. He wondered just how well she and his grandmother would get on. Though they were not at all like each other, yet they did have something in common. Their intelligence, which women of their generation were meant to dissemble, because the poor unfortunate men couldn't stand their women being brighter than them. His gran hid her intelligence under a misleading scatterbrained, gossipy inconsequential prattle. Mrs Cumberledge pretended to be vague but her eyes were razor-sharp, and she had a nasty habit of asking penetrating to-the-point questions when you least expected it.
Majorca Flats Episodes 81 to 90