MB has a posse.
Although the number is under six, at times, it appears to be sixty. They come in and out, with the usual greeting of "Hiya!", cheery voices ringing out, all of them with these beautiful smiles, flawless skin, awake to the world around them, on the cusp of what is there, just beyond their reach.... ready.
They go to different schools, yet meet up afterwards, on the bench, gathering at pub, here at the house, walking about, talking, texting, now playing gin like old hands. Dark hair, deep blonde, MB's light blonde hair standing out. Brown eyes, varying shades of blue, each ringed in sooty dark lashes and black liner. Slim hipped, laughing, the occasional arguments, for the most part, they stand loyal to each other, chattering so fast I sometimes struggle to understand them.
Slang, songs I've never heard of, quotes from films I don't know (or didn't...now, I, too, say 'yarp'), nattering on about this and that, they fascinate me. The difference between this lot and the girls I watched grow up with HRH is apples and oranges. It's the culture, the bonding found in sex segregated schools, perhaps.
They take the piss out of me, M asking me "How do you say this?" then mimicking me, her echoes of my non-anywhere American accent precise. L, who introduced me to the. best. marscara. ever. Ever. Their words tumble over each other, wondering about New York, and the amazement of how huge the US is, how all of the UK would fit into Colorado.
They all want to come visit, they are all welcome... they are funny and polite and good natured, even with the occasional spat. They take responsibility for what they do, as proven last night, when something went a bit wrong at the sleep over.
I was impressed with MB's standing up for her culpability, for the way she handled a situation, for her friends standing with her, for the suddenly mature way she dealt with what happened, and how she discussed it with her mother.
They suddenly weren't little girls anymore, but, young women.
I'm here in my Harry Potter room, listening to them play gin, as they listen to Holyoaks, text on their phones, and gossip. They can do all of this at blazing speed because they are teenagers. I'd be lost.
I'll miss my Gaggle of Girls, who come in, surrounding me, pulling me into their whirlwind of silliness and swirl out again.
They liven my life, exhaust me, make me smile.... and I'm so glad not to be their age again.
Our Neville Fact:
He has a personalised license plate: N4 NEV. Both cars face outwards in the garage, because Margaret has a phobia about reversing. In 1965, Margaret backed out on her way to the Village to attend her meeting of the W.I., and ran over the family cat, Phumpry, causing little Magnus to not speak for a year. Since then, she's refused to drive in reverse. So, now, Neville will back the cars in, to allow her to pull straight out.