I’m elbow-deep in soapy water when the unusual sound of clip-clopping hooves makes me look up from the greasy pans and out of the kitchen window. What a sight to see! Two fine white horses, arrogantly tossing
the feathered plumes on their heads and pulling an open carriage which would have satisfied Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother. This would have saved Major the horse, Bruno the dog and Cinders’ mousy friends from a great deal of unnecessary trauma and
left the pumpkin growing peacefully in its patch until Thanksgiving Day.
Inside this handsome vehicle, a beaming bride, a chap who might be either the handsome
groom or the proud papa and a couple of sweet bridesmaids, all a picture of happiness. I don’t know if they are coming or going to the wedding but they make a marvellous scene processing so grandly along our suburban road. There isn’t time to grab
my camera and make for the front door so I have to make do with waving madly at them from my vantage point at the kitchen sink. This I do completely instinctively but sadly I’m pretty sure they didn’t see me. Coming or going, I wish them a happy
I love insights into other people’s lives. Sit me in a railway carriage and I will spend a third of my time with my nose in a book, a third
shamelessly eavesdropping on my travelling companions in the hope of some blog-worthy conversations, and a third looking out at the houses we are clattering past and wondering who lives in them, what they do for a living, are they happy? You are probably thinking
it’s none of my business and you are, of course, quite right but I’ve been playing this game for as long as I can remember – right back to childhood days when the train was steam-powered and you arrived at your destination all grimy with
specks of soot.
Then there’s the restaurant game. Have you never played it? You need neither board nor dice, just an over-active imagination. It helps to
take a seat in the very centre of the restaurant where you have an unimpeded view of all the surrounding tables. Then, table by table, you try to work out the family relationships, particularly Who “Belongs” To Whom. Some parties are simplicity
itself – assisted by the fact that there is a pink balloon with a large 90 on it, attached to the chair of a white-haired great-grandmother surrounded by her loving family. Mind you, working out which are sons and daughters and which are the in-laws,
and which children belong to which parents – well, that can keep me not-very-gainfully occupied through most of my main course if I am lucky.
Look at that
couple in the corner, ferociously arguing over their coffee cups. Are they married? If so, are they married to each other, or to other people? Is this a major fall-out or did he simply forget to empty the dish-washer again this morning? The people at the adjacent
tables are studiously ignoring the unfolding scene while almost certainly ear-wigging for all they are worth but in some ways it is more fun to be out of hearing distance as there is more Room for the Imagination.
In certain cases, you might be fortunate enough to have a table which offers sudden glimpses into the kitchen every time a waiter or waitress breezes through with a tray-full of delicious desserts. Is it a happy working atmosphere,
in there among the pots and pans? Has my steak supper been prepared with love by a chef who treats his or her work as art or by some grump who thinks he is too good for a seaside cafe and should be cooking at The Ritz? Would it make any difference to the taste?
Oh, I’d forgotten, I still have no sense of taste. Tasteless, that’s me.
Mr B asks me what I am blogging about today and looks a little puzzled when
I tell him. He obviously thinks that when I am playing the Restaurant Game I am hanging on his every word. Why, he asks, am I not telling my readers about the fact that both his sunflowers are now in bloom while mine are still struggling to find their Innner
Flower. I could tell you what I replied but I won’t, if you don’t mind.
I will leave it to your imagination.