Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Sparkling Champagne?

A post by Madame, with conversational help from Monsieur

WHAT a beginning to the day! It started simply enough, with the morning breakfast routine on this side of the veil, but came close to disarray when dear, dear Metro ran its trains twenty minutes late. No, I have no idea why; they weren't deigning to make announcements until I suggested it might be a better idea than having to individually tell all the people lining up at the ticket window. Bright they are not.

If I worked in an office with an unreasonable manager, this would have been really annoying, but my boss is of the Normal Human Being variety, and when I rang to say the trains were running late he laughed at the use of the word “running” (I changed it to “trundling”) and said he'd see me when he saw me. So I cut out my coffee-stop, but didn't have to cut out time in Fawkner Park with Louis, which is what really matters. I don't much like being late for work, but I won't lose that most precious time of the day if I can help it. And how glad I am that we had our time there, this morning!

We stopped among a trio of Moreton Bay fig trees, away from the people walking to work and the schoolchildren running around. I didn't even start to do reiki or open my chakras as I usually would. Louis said not to bother, he would do it all. I had no more to do than stand still and feel the energy, and feel his fingertip upon the “third eye” chakra. Close the real eyes and see …

I arrived Home, as usual, sometime in the morning, calling hello and seeing my lovely man hurrying down the stairs, beautiful in his jeans and long-sleeved, snug-fitting burgundy tee-shirt.

“What time is it? Is it too late for breakfast?” I asked, after being caught up in a hug-kiss-and-spin.

“It is never too late or too early for breakfast,” said the master chef, and we bounced off to the kitchen. I say bounced advisedly, because it was another of those days when we were fizzing with happiness.

In the kitchen, Louis started preparing his usual bacon and eggs, while I opted for porridge with a large dollop of honey. I think it was the honey that caught Louis's attention.

“You tempt me, Madame,” he said, looking at it rather narrow-eyed.

Not being a man to resist temptations these days, he joined in the porridge making and limited the bacon to a small helping for a certain grey tabby. It wouldn't do for her to feel deprived and unloved, after all.

Our whole conversation at breakfast was full of fun and laughter. We talked fast, chattered really. It was extraordinary, standing there in Fawkner Park and half hearing, half reliving it. I only wish I could record it all at the moment, because it disappears so fast from the memory. Even earthly conversations do that, and with one recalled like this it's even worse. I'm relying on Louis to help me get this written, because while his memory may not be perfect, it is at least better than my earthly one!

“Do you want to work in the garden today?” I asked.

“I do, it is too fine a day not to, and I want to work on our wall.”

“Are you going to wear that top? I don't think it's a gardening shirt. It'll end up tragic like your purple tee.”

“My purple tee is not tragic. It bears the marks of honest toil.”

I snorted. “It may not be tragic but I don't see you wearing it to go out. Oh, I shouldn't have said that, should I!” - I laughed as I said this, because he'd got that speculative look I've seen many a time. “I can just see you wearing it to some do at the boys', just to wind them up!” I should know better than to say anything he could take as a challenge. He has centuries of unused mischief to get through.

“I should! It has the dignity of labour. Oh, I am in the mood for such folly today,” he said, which was true. I said fizzing before and it's the word that comes to mind: he was full of laughter and excitement, and I laughed just seeing him. He was also in a hurry to be outside, turning around and setting the coffee heating with a wave of his hand. He's not given to doing things “spirit-wise” mostly. He even pulled me onto his lap while we had our coffee; I squealed with laughter, just as silly as a schoolgirl, and we earned a disapproving look from Katie, who was sitting on the table eating her bacon. The disapproval seemed to be as much for the amount of food given her, as for our antics. She plainly thought she should be able to pick over Louis's plate, rather than have to make do with a cat-sized helping.

“Poor starved cat.You can have as much to eat as often as you want,” I pointed out to her. “You don't have to rely on this.”

“But it is better to eat food made for her, that someone has prepared or been put to the bother of doing,” Louis said. “It is like stolen food tasting better.”

Katie's answer to that was another dirty look aimed at both of us, before she went back to eating.

Once we'd gulped down our coffee – literally, I managed to spill some of mine – we got up and Louis stripped off his tee, revealing the purple one underneath. He'd only worn the burgundy one during the cool of the morning. I was in my usual arrival-garb of shirt and skirt, which isn't my gardening gear.

“I'm not even bothering to go upstairs to change, “ I said, and did one of the things I can do in Spirit – waved my hand and changed on the instant to my own tee and jeans. Louis pouted a bit.

“I would have liked to see the middle stage,” he said.

“I'm not letting you see me naked at this time of day. We'd get distracted and then we wouldn't get the gardening done, would we?”

“But I was thinking of the day and how warm it will be upon the earth, when the sun is high,” he said. “We must stop to rest and eat, after all.”

“Yes, and if we stop to eat and rest and other things, I know I'll need a sleep afterward even if you don't! We can't do gardening AND other things during the day!” I was laughing again. I've no idea whether he was being serious or just teasing, though I suspect that even if he was teasing, he wouldn't have let on if I'd taken him up on it!

We walked through the house to collect our trowels and other bricklaying paraphernalia. Our new garden is proceeding apace; we've laid quite a few courses. The corner turret is grey stone, and the two walls red brick, rather like Tudor bricks, narrow and flat. We've been tossing up whether to build them to a certain height and then do the rest by thought – erecting scaffolding isn't really in our plans – but it might not be necessary.

“Do you think we could just do the turret by thought, and then make the walls entirely by hand? They don't have to be terribly high. We could probably do them just standing on a stepladder once the turret's in,” I said.

“It is worth considering. Are you enjoying this work this much?” Louis answered, smiling and pushing his hair out of his eyes.

“I am, you know. I've never enjoyed work like this before.”

“You have never had perfect fitness before,” he answered.

“That's true. I doubt I'd enjoy it much earthside, though, even if I was perfectly fit and strong there. I suspect the company plays its part.”

I don't recall any more conversation from the day. I know we did sit in the earth, leaning against our new wall, to eat lunch, but rest and eat was all we did.

When all this had played through my mind's eye – or mind's cinema? - in Fawkner, I asked Louis if there was anything else from the day I needed to know. He smiled and said “One thing” - and I saw a glimpse of our evening. We had bathed, obviously; we were in our white bathrobes, sitting on the fur rug before our fireplace (spring is hurrying along, but it is still cool enough to want a fire at night). We had strawberries and champagne flutes, although I doubt we were drinking champagne; it was more likely that hybrid wine-cider drink we both like. That was all I saw, and really all I needed to. Our day plainly ended at least as well as it began.


Dawn J said...

You know, you two really have to stop all this glorious, wonderful time that makes the rest of us jealous! :) Okay, just kidding...well, maybe a little envious. In fact, it's refreshing to hear about your time together, a better-than-fiction respite from our hard days. Now pass the champ. and berries, please!

mcromance57 said...

I'll add a ditto to Dawn's comments. Especially the pass the champagne and berries comment ;)