Bear in mind that the Old Bat and I are both pretty much in our dotage and our first date was in the way back when. Way back before I had my own transport and had to rely on buses to get around. Way back before I could afford to take a taxi rather than catch a bus. Way back before mobile phones were even dreamed of. Ye gods, we're almost prehistoric!
The Old Bat and I both worked for the same bank, albeit at different branches but those branches were situated at either end of the street and the juniors from each bank met on a daily basis to perform a ceremony known as the local clearing. (Believe me, you don't want to know!) One day a
A friend was planning to hold a party and I wanted to be there. But my regular girl friend was a children's nurse and was rostered on duty that day. There was no way I could turn up at a party without a girl, so what to do? After much humming and ha-ing (I was distinctly lacking in self-confidence in those days) I plucked up the courage to telephone the bank where I knew the Old Bat had last worked, that being at least six months earlier. Somewhat to my surprise, she remembered me. And to my even greater surprise, she agreed to accompany me to the party. As she lived on the other side of town, she suggested she should catch the bus and I should meet her at the stop, which we duly did.
Although I had agreed to the Old Bat catching the bus at the start of the evening, there was no way I would leave her to make her own way home late at night. Despite knowing that she lived at the other end of town, I didn't actually know where she lived or which was the bus route nearest to her house. As it happened, at that time of night there was only one route still running in anything like the right direction so we caught that to a stop somewhere near where she lived. I relied on her to guide me to her home through streets I didn't even know existed. After a mile or so, by which time I was completely lost, on the corner of some back street, we stopped for a quick cuddle. It was then that she fainted.
A cold, winter's night. Late - very late. In a part of town I had never before been in, completely unaware of where I was. A girl who had just fainted on me - and I didn't even know where she lived! No-one about and all the houses in darkness.
But wait! There was a light in an upstairs window! Although still very groggy, the Old Bat was starting to come round. I half-carried her to the house with the light and hammered on the door, which was eventually opened. The householders took pity on me - or, rather, the young girl quite obviously in a state of some distress, and allowed us in. The Old Bat revived quite quickly as some warmth got back into her and we were soon able to resume our journey. Luckily, we had only another three or four hundred yards to go.
That was not the most propitious way to meet my future mother-in-law - but I think she forgave me in the end. And it wasn't very long before my second date, and then a third. The rest, comme on dit, is history.