Marjorie used to drive me up the wall. It wasn't just me, she drove pretty much everyone she ever met up the wall. Loud, overbearing and the most incredible snob.
That is probably the best that can be said for her.
She made poor old Gerald's life a misery, probably from day one. Why on earth he married the witch I will never know. Perhaps she was better 40 years ago but I doubt it.
He was dreading retirement, endless days of Marjorie-never Marge, going on and on and on in that booming parade ground voice of hers.
She would have made a good Sergeant Major. Something to do with the steely eyes and the large bristling moustache I expect, and she loved organising things, and people.
If she wasn't organising the teas for the Ladies Aid Society or one of the other dozen organisations that she ran like a well greased tank, she was organising Gerald.
If she wasn't organising Gerald then it was Martha.
Poor old Martha her devoted friend and companion. Nice, quiet and unassuming. How on earth she stood it all those years I do not know.
If I heard her say 'of course you never could find a man could you Martha dear' once, then I heard it a hundred times. Just as she said ' Come along Gerald' at least twenty times a week.
She wasn't that keen on me either, she didn't like him having any companionship at all, but he managed somehow.
Gerald and me we are close, we like to do the same quiet things, like fishing, well away from Marjorie's radar.
Gerald used to joke that he was just swapping one old trout for another and that the ones in the river were quieter and better looking.
Sometimes we even managed a quick trip to the Dog and Duck for a pint without the hideous woman finding out.
Gerald's friends were always glad to see us. Once or twice someone would come in and say that the Walrus had been spotted in the high street and Gerald would hide under the table.
Probably not the most dignified position for a Vicar. I would hide too, if she spotted me the game would be up and Marjorie would kick off big time.
I saw him once or twice, looking longingly at a certain spot in the garden and I knew exactly what he was thinking.
A perfect spot for Marjorie. Among the wildflowers and the weeds. it was the patch he kept to encourage the bees and butterflies. She detested it!
Marjorie said it was an eyesore and should be mown to regulation length like the rest of the garden.
If she saw a bee she would squash it ruthlessly, mainly out of spite because she knew that Gerald loved them. Martha liked bees too, she loved all kinds of flowers.
Marjorie had no time for the garden, as long as it was kept tidy she couldn't have cared less what Gerald did with it.
She used to say that the best thing for the garden was a lorry load of tarmac, and then she would laugh like a drain.
So we all carried on like that for years, until Gerald was only a week away from retirement and quite frankly getting pretty depressed.
The Church was letting them buy the Vicarage, it was too expensive to maintain they said. The replacement Vicar could rent one of the newly built cottages, far more cost effective.
That was when it happened, Marjorie died. She tripped on the stairs and fell down head first. Out like a light she went. She didn't linger, it wouldn't have been her way, far too messy.
So Gerald got his peaceful retirement after all. He's living with Martha now. They seem very content pottering around in the garden.
Martha suggested that he actually get a couple of hives and they took bee keeping lessons together. Romance flourished and that was that.
As for me, well I am in clover, Martha doesn't mind me at all. We get on famously.
I buried the dog lead good and deep, in the place where I put all my bones and other treasures. Nobody has any idea that it was me that left it on the stair for Marjorie to fall over.
Do I feel guilty? Not really. I have done my duty to Gerald and helped him out in his hour of need. After all I am supposed to be mans best friend.
Keep it zipped! Love and kisses Brian Barker x