Bert liked to visit Geraldine who lived across the courtyard from him. He could see she was home, so he walked over, past the old pump and rang the bell. Geraldine had been cleaning the windows. She stood there in her striped pastel colored t-shirt that made her upper body look more like a barrel than a woman, and he thought she was wonderful. As wonderful as the day he first laid eyes on her, nearly 55 years ago when his mother first took him to school. She offered him coffee as he knew she would. She asked him about Else, his fourth wife. Bert didn’t want to talk about Else. “Listen,” she said, he always liked to talk to her, “Why don’t you,” she had such a with words, “Go off and sleep with an older woman. It’s obviously been on your mind.” she talked so sexy sometimes, “Like Ans.” Ans was even older than Bert, who was two months younger than Geraldine. “Then,” Geraldine explained, “You can go back to your thirty year younger wife right in time for her home cooked dinner, and feel like nothing untowards has happened.” Bert didn’t fancy Ans. “This way you can sleep with a natural looking grey haired someone else, still have great conversations with me, and keep your delicious Else.” Bert was frankly a bit piqued. “Here,” Geraldine took the silver spoon from the sugar bowl and poured some salt into it, “Have some salt with your coffee.” She dropped the spoon into his coffee. “Next time,” she said stirring it, “You’ll appreciate it more when it’s sugared.” (Text P. Abbott) This post features a photo from one of Gouda’s beautiful courtyards.