Betrayal in the Village

26 Aug

I am finally home and settled from the trip. Crossing the Atlantic is always an adventure and, whilst I did enjoy seeing friends and family and experiencing the sights and sounds, there’s nothing like drinking out of your own teacup.

My timing was perfect. While I don’t flatter myself that I was the sole motivation, I was particularly pleased to be back to witness the exciting Ashes victory. As always, I send my best to the boys in white with the green-stained knees and the red smear along the rise. There’s nothing that swells the pride more than watching Ricky Ponting pull his Bush-the-morning-of-9/11 face.

However, I am afraid I do have to report that not all was champagne and confetti when I got back. I am very displeased by some more local news concerning the Old Vicarage of my village. The building had been for sale for quite some time, and there were rumours circulating about possible purchasers for months. I was distressed to find upon my return that not only had the property been bought, but the new owners have already moved in. I confess to feeling slightly let down by the Parish Council—surely a village resident as important as I (and this is not pride speaking, it’s purely objective fact) should have been consulted before any final decisions were made. I was not, and the first I knew about it was on the morning of my return (Christopher confesses he chose to deliberately withhold the information from me during our twice-daily chats as he knew it would only upset my already delicate traveler’s tummy—bless).

I am very disappointed. It’s not the owners’ background, family situation, lifestyle choice, economic demographic or professional standing which causes me dismay, for I know none of these. Additionally, I have yet to see any dramatic changes to the Vicarage itself since their arrival (it remains St George’s Cross- and Staffie-free). What is sticking in my craw is simply their name.

Before you accuse me of being a nit-picker (which, may I just point out, is a graphically offensive description for someone whose only crime in finding details valuable), I would like to tell you the family’s name. It is Coxender.

Now, clearly there is a sexual connotation present (if you missed it, I suggest you go to your nearest closet, shut the door tightly and whisper the name aloud). It’s awkward, of course, and may lead to their children being bullied but quite frankly the abuse of children by other children has never been a grave concern of mine.

What does disquiet me is the fact that Coxender was the name of an old love rival of mine. Years ago, one of my gentleman friends abandoned me in favour of a woman of questionable morals whose name was Oleanna Coxender. In retrospect, of course, I have no doubt that I was the more desirable catch and that young William was purely blinded by the pressures of masculine pride and the charm of the absence of knickers. Still, I was heartbroken and have done my best to sweep the whole ugly experience under the Oriental carpet. Now, unfortunately, I am forced to confront this hurt every time I am driven through the village. The cruelty is almost beyond belief.

It’s so disheartening that people’s definition of community seems to no longer extend to anyone other than themselves. A truly sad day.

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