She had realised that the best test of a prospective husband involves no more than the asking of a very simple question, which every woman – or at least every woman who has had a good father – can pose and to which she will know the answer in her bones. She had asked herself this question in respect of Mr J. L. B. Matekoni, and the answer had been unambiguous. ‘And what would my late Daddy have thought of him?’ she said to herself.

Why should men find cars so interesting? A car was no more than a machine, and one might think that men would be interested in washing machines or irons, for that matter. Yet they were not. You never saw men standing around talking about washing machines

Today they called them oral historians, she believed; whereas in reality, they were old women who liked to remember the things that interested them most: marriages, deaths, children. Old men remembered cattle.

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