“Since when have you had a reputation William; it never bothered you in the past.’
“Well you know how people talk around here.”
Alright then dad I will go out with you and Gerry but only for a couple mind.”
“Now you are talking son.’
“We are going to organise a hen night for Miriam aren’t we Janice?”
“Good; there will be a lot of the girls from the Land Army who will want to come out with us.
“Don’t invite Mrs Hudspeth though will you said Janice; she would have a field day laughing at me with a kid and all.’ She would say look at her only twenty three and saddled with a bairn and not even married. I don’t think I could take the humiliation.’
“Don’t worry lass, she won’t be invited.
Let’s have some dinner and then we can discuss the material we are going to use for Miriam’s dress whist you two go down the pub for an hour.’
“Sounds good to me; what do you say son?
“Aye I’ll come with you.”
What have we got tonight then Cora; something smells nice?
“I made panhagerty with a tin of corned beef that I found at the back of the cupboard and I’ve made some leek pudding to go with it.
“That sounds delicious mother; can I set the table.
“No you two go sit down Miriam and I will do it; Miriam put the kettle on and made the lads a nice cup of tea whilst I serve up our dinner.
The pudding was shared out after it had been removed from a muslin sheet then the panhagerty was spooned onto the top of the pudding. the gravy corned beef, carrots, and potatoes made a tasty accompaniment to the leek pudding and was very filling.
“Right lads, it’s out shouted Cora from the kitchen.
“I’m glad about that; I could eat a scabby horse.’
“Well there’s more leek pudding if you want some Thomas.
They all tucked into the humble meal and were glad of it. Even though they were farmers there was little in the way of meat these days.
Everything on the farm was strictly regulated by the police.
Miriam poured the tea out and William took a slurp from his huge pint pot.
“Aah that’s like nectar from the Gods Miriam thank you.’
Thomas then drank from a slightly smaller pot but none the less three times the volume of the cups that the women were drinking from.
“The subject turned to the weather again as the snow continued to fall.
William cursed because he hoped that before Christmas they would be able to harvest the cabbage, turnip, and sprouts; now it looked as though they were going to be snowed in for at least another week.