Derek looked out at the
torrential rain from the window of his workshop.
Lets have a beer, he proposed,
bending down and opening a hidden trapdoor in the
floor. Mavis doesnt approve of
alcohol, Derek explained as he withdrew two
cans from the camouflaged compartment and handed
one to Peter.
What the eye doesnt
see, the heart doesnt grieve over, as they
say, Peter ventured.
True enough, my
friend. Derek closed the trapdoor. This
workshops been a bit of a bolthole - Mavis
seldom comes out here.
Peter turned a page of his
newspaper. Out of sight, out of mind, as
Derek, changing the subject, what do you
reckon for the three-thirty at Doncaster?
Peter concluded his intense
study of The Racing Times, closed the
paper and placed it on the workbench. Live
and Let Live, he predicted decisively.
Derek slid open a secret
drawer in his workbench, removed a mobile phone
and dialled the local bookmaker. Its
Derek Smith here. Twenty quid to win on Live and
Let Live in the three-thirty at Doncaster, please.
Derek replaced the phone in its hideaway. Mavis
doesnt approve of gambling, he
clarified in response to Peters glance.
One mans meat
is another mans poison, as they say,
Peter responded sympathetically. Anyway,
nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.
approve of TV, either, said Derek as he
pressed a concealed button in the ceiling. A
television descended from an unsuspected recess.
We can watch the race on this.
They settled down to cheer
on the selected nag. You cant teach
an old dog new tricks, as they say, sighed
Peter, reflecting on Dereks wife.
Derek flicked a switch on
his chair arm. A flap in the arm opened to reveal
tobacco, tobacco papers, cigarettes, cigars and a
lighter. Smoke? he offered.
Never look a gift
horse in the mouth, as they say, joked
Peter, selecting a Havana.
approve of smoking, Derek lamented, rolling
some Gold Leaf.
You certainly need to
mind your Ps and Qs, as they say.
Derek adjusted the volume
on the remote. Too true, Peter.
Thatll pay for some new supplies for
the workshop, declared a delighted Derek,
twenty minutes later, as Live and Let Live romped
across the line at odds of ten to one.
Make hay while the
sun shines, as they say, encouraged Peter,
also realising that the noise of rainfall on the
roof had abated. He highlighted the latter fact
by pointing upwards with his finger, and then he
consulted his watch. Time and tide wait for
no man, as they say, Peter continued,
rising from his chair.
Derek also stood up, moved
to the window and surveyed the clearing sky.
Yes, youd best go before it pours
again. He opened a fanlight. This
rains a bit of a nuisance. Mind you,
he queried with a knowing smile, you know
what they say about April showers?
I certainly do,
joked Peter, taking his meaning and returning a
devilish wink. They say its the best
DVD of the series - better than May Bathes
or even June Takes a Sauna! The true
significance of Dereks question suddenly
dawned: Youve got a copy havent
you, you old dog?
Derek removed a wall panel
to reveal his extensive collection of artistic
magazines and DVDs. Keep it under your coat
as you leave, he cautioned, passing the
disc to Peter, Mavis doesnt approve
A nods as good
as a wink to a blind horse, as they say,
replied Peter in a conspiratorial tone.
Peter stepped from the
workshop into the wet grass and felt the
refreshing sprinkling of a final few raindrops.
He looked at the droplets on his hands and then
up at the passing clouds. Theyll
bring May flowers, as they say, he remarked
to himself as he crossed the lawn. Even
Mavis would approve of that.