reeds, and the ducks and very young ducklings paddling in and out of the reeds. Further along there were Canada Geese floating on the water. Frustration creeping in wishing he had pencils and paper to hand seeing these through the eye of an artist.
The voice of Paula broke into his thoughts when she shouted picnic’s ready; sitting on the opposite side of the large rug away from Paula.
‘I don’t bite you can sit next to me,’
Blushing he changed position to sit next to her.
‘You sat next to me last night at dinner and again for breakfast also in the buggy driving here and you will be when returning to Uncle Damien’s. Now let’s eat there are home boiled ham and peas pudding sandwiches, a recipe from great grandma and scones and cakes I baked myself. Will you pour the coffee?’
Handing him the flask and mugs, ‘Saying these are a habit from my father he will only drink out of a mug he hates cups’
‘Old habits die hard, let’s talk about you and your art when did you notice you had the talent? How long have you been able to draw in such fine detail?’
‘That is easy an artist was engaged to draw Black Knight Uncle Damien’s top race horse. While the groom held him for the artist to draw taking hours I sketched him in ten minutes then went to work in my bedroom with my paints. Using the muscle shapes and positions to create light and shade then by painting a hedge behind gave it life. Three geese in flight to the left-side giving a focus point for the horse’s eye. Uncle Damien paid him four hundred pound cash for the painting and the fellow left quickly. He had painted a black horse that looked more like a plough horse than a thoroughbred race horse. My cousin laughed when he saw it and got the thrashing of his life for calling it a plough horse it took my dad and three farm hands to stop him using his dreaded crop he always carried. I was seven and he was six. Even then he would fight anyone who called me names for my writing.’
‘What happened to your painting?’
‘It replaced the one by the artist and is still hanging in the art collection.’
‘I better collect the horse and harness up we are running out of time,’
Paula whistled and the horse came running ‘I’ll harness him while you clear up the picnic dishes’ there was no food left apart from a few crumbs. Peter lifted the hamper into the rear of the buggy. As Paula climbed into the driving seat, Peter sat in the other-side. A flick of the reins the horse took off at a fast trot turning left at the junction then started into a run at a mile eating pace soon the distance was covered to the stable yard.
Mark was waiting in the stable. Hurry there is a car waiting out front of the hall, to take us to the station as he reached in the Buggy for the case you better say your quick goodbyes. They kissed and parted company. Dashing through the hall, for a quick good buy and shake of hands with Sir Damien and his Lady wife, and then out front into the car.
Sir Damien gave Mark a hug and calling him son. Then His mother hugged him Mark dashed into the car and off.