A Cup of Tea and a Biscuit (Forbes Squire)

O.K. Here’s a peek at the last main character, Fiona’s husband Forbes. Men, feel free to weigh in. Am I off? Women? Someone you know?

by cheri block

Forbes Squire


Forbes Squire throttled down his old John Deere Model G as he came to the curve and corner of the field he was plowing, but instead of rounding the turn to traverse another row, as he had done for the last twenty-five years each autumn, he stopped his machine.

This same hesitancy had happened last week in his library. Sitting down to read, an activity as much a part of his daily routine as breathing, he found he couldn’t turn the page.

A distraction from all that he knew—two fistfuls of children, a free spirit of a wife, his aging mother and his responsibilities up in Antigonish—continued to edge its way into his routine. This restlessness often caught him off guard, the effect  being a preoccupation with escape and retreat.

How far could he drive this old tractor? he wondered.

For fifty years—all his life—he had been everything everyone thought him to be—respectful, industrious, and modest. He still valued those traits and chose to read and teach literature which either reinforced or questioned them.

But lately, his energy waned and conversations bored him.

He wanted a motorcycle.

About Cheri

Writer, photograph, artist, mother, grandmother and wife.
This entry was posted in A Cup of Tea and A Biscuit (a story of Nova Scotia), My fiction and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to A Cup of Tea and a Biscuit (Forbes Squire)

  1. Your man seems headed for a midlife crisis. but ten years too late. Those fantasies usually occur around 40 although they very often can not be realized before 50. A rather wealthy cousin of my wife’s sold his company and, at 52, bought two motorcycles and set off, with his paramour, into the sunset. They had a wonderful time and trip.

  2. cheri says:

    Thanks Paul.

    I’ve been wondering about this because although most textbooks peg 40 as the time when men begin that self-evaluation that can cause tremendous upheaval, I have sensed this in a number of older men I know.

    Forty seems too young now.

  3. Do we now have a time schedule for self-evaluation? I naïvely thought it was a continuous throughout life process with the occasional peak now and then.

    • cheri says:

      I was referring to an intense evaluation that is the big peak ( or valley if you will), the type Dante experiences in The Inferno.

      The kind that leaves one wondering about about everything he has done in the past and what is to come after.

  4. Peter G says:

    Sounds like the midlife crisis stricken doctor from Damage, the Josephine Hart novel, played by Jeremy Irons in the movie. (One of my absolute favorite books AND movies, by the way. )

    Please get your grammar hat, because I don’t know where the dash goes:

    midlife-crisis stricken?
    midlife crisis-stricken?



  5. Cheri says:

    Why was it one of your favorite books?

    midlife crisis stricken is my guess without looking anything up…hey…it’s a Monday morning.

  6. Peter G says:

    I dunno. I just thought it flowed nicely.

    What? No dash at all???

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