Seema was Janie’s neighbour for many years in Sandall Close, just across the road. Strangely, they got to know each other better after Janie moved to Noddyland and after Seema had a major fire at her house, about five years ago.
A couple of years ago, Seema moved to Johannesburg. She and Janie keep in touch through Whats-app, one of the few bits of ICT wizardry that Janie has embraced with gusto.
So when Seema told Janie that she was going to be visiting the UK with her new beau and soon-to-be-husband Carl, we found a mutually convenient slot in the diary for the pair of them to join us for dinner in Noddyland.
Having been given Seema’s description of Carl as “a big Saffer”, Janie decided to go for a big, red meat option; beef fillets with wasabi mayonnaise as the main dish. Rather a lot of it. As it turns out, Carl is a big chap, but perhaps not the massive eater that Janie catered for. No matter – that beef fillet dish works wonderfully as left-overs, as Janie and I discovered to our joy for two further meals each.
We had a very enjoyable evening with Seema and Carl; they both loved Janie’s garden and it was still warm enough for us to enjoy drinks and nibbles on the terrace, with a little bit of help from the terrace heater.
Carl is a very interesting chap. He works in design and construction using interesting, sustainable materials in innovative ways. We had lots to talk about; wine, partially-shared heritage, a love of travel and of course cricket.
Indeed, Carl would have come in handy for our cricket matches in days of yore, as he can bowl pace from quite a height, except the budget for our charity matches doesn’t quite stretch to flying players in from Safferland.
Meanwhile Seema seems to have made a good life for herself over in South Africa and is well settled there now, which is lovely to see.
As is so often the case with such evenings, the hours seemed to fly by and soon the evening was done. Who knows whether the next time we see them will be in England or in South Africa; their case for us visiting that country at some point in the not too distant future was quite compelling.