A follow-on scene from the novel, Georgina.
After their first Christmas dinner together, Georgina and Erich relaxed with a drink in front of a log fire. They met in turbulent and war-ravaged Crete during the German occupation of WW2, thus Mallaig on the west coast of the picturesque Scottish Highlands a complete contrast. Their cottage above the harbour had a view of an array of boats. With a fall of snow late on Christmas Eve, a festive scene had greeted Georgina when she drew the curtains on Christmas morning. Whilst Erich sipped his glass of Glenfiddich, Georgina commented, “A far cry from four years ago, Erich.”
“Indeed. I cannot believe we managed to survive.”
“I didn’t have my comforts.” When Erich’s eyes crinkled at the corner, Georgina added, “What I had to do for a jar of coffee!”
“All in the past, Georgina.” Erich took another sip.
Georgina took a large swallow and laid her glass on the table. Erich put down his and got up from the couch. He approached the drinks cabinet, lifted a bottle and then refilled Georgina’s glass.
“Thanks.” She took a couple of sips. “It’s been an eventful year.”
“In the school?”
Georgina’s mouth twitched upwards. “No, throughout the world. I find being a teacher is routine.”
“I get the impression you miss the art of espionage.”
“Miss it! I’ll settle for my current role anytime.” As Erich tittered, Georgina went on, “Look what has happened this year. A treaty has been signed by Britain, America and a host of other European countries to help each other in case of an attack.”
“No doubt Russia is the cause. They have become powerful and now have the atom bomb.”
“With China now a communist country, they also pose a threat to western democracy.” Georgina paused to consider, “George Orwell’s publisher timed the release of his book to perfection.”
“I’ve not read it.”
“It’s about totalitarianism and repression in a society.”
“That could be Stalin’s Russia or when Hitler ruled Germany.”
“Did you meet Hitler?”
“At a staff meeting. There was a pathos about him.” Erich began to reflect, and a silence ensued. To fill it, Georgina suggested, “No doubt the novel will create interest. Maybe it will be made into a film.”
“Stalin could play himself.”
Georgina laughed, took a sip then quizzed Erich on a relevant topic. “You’ll feel saddened about what happened to the people of West Berlin.”
He sighed. “Thankfully, the Americans and British flew in supplies.”
“Why did the Russians block trade routes to the western sector?”
“A dispute with America over the economic future of West Berlin.”
“On a brighter note, I can still obtain wine.” Georgina took a large swallow.”
“Your time on Crete an influence?”
Georgina nodded, then said, “I wonder what the forthcoming decade will bring.”
“Hopefully, an end to rationing and goodwill to all men around the globe.” As Georgina stared, Erich added, “And women.”
Georgina smiled then took another large swallow.
Merry Christmas. DM