Not that she was too unfamiliar with the use of a banjo as an offensive weapon; after all, she had – in her youth – frequented some of the more authentic Folk Music venues in the country. The sort of places where the beards are as unkempt as the woolly jumpers and the cider flows like rivers in spate and accordions are unmasked at the midnight hour.
Like I said, she was not afraid to unleash the banjo, providing she was sufficiently provoked. After all, she had lived wild and free on one of the remotest hill farms in the Welsh border regions and even knew how to pronounce Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch without drowning her nearest interlocutor in spittle or strangling herself with her own entangled epiglottis.
Of course, coming from that region meant that she knew all the local words and expressions for rain – all thirty-seven of them – from: it’s pissing down to it’s absolutely fucking pissing it down, and she had even heard the myths and legends about the secret special word used only when the sun shone, although rumour had it that word had been last used in her grandmother’s grandmother’s time and then only once… on a Thursday.
Still, she was a fine figure of a woman, with all the necessary strength in her arms to keep a sheep in its place while the shepherd put his wellies on and to wrestle a wild accordion into submission.
And, yes, I loved her, loved her with all my heart, until that fateful day when the all the cider barrels in the cellar sprung leaks and she was the only one brave enough to volunteer to go down there and drink the cellar dry.
She nearly managed it, too.