'My dust would hear her and beat;
Had I lain for a century dead,
Would start and tremble under her feet,
And blossom in purple and red'
"ONE thing was certain" said GiGi, half to herself, and half to the black cat, who was prowling around the garden perimeter for the umpteenth time that day. "That, my little Guard-Cat, is that we do, actually,
live here in 'Heaven on Earth'".
The cat stopped, and eyed the ball of knitting thread which had dropped from GiGi's lap, which she promptly caught up and resumed her train of thought along with the clicking of her needles...
"You see, Storm my prettiness, quite simply, I know that this is true."
Storm did not display any physical sign of attitude towards anything that had been said.
"Two years ago Storm, I was walking along the Causeway at sunset. The sky was all Halloween Orange and Chimney Red- yes Storm I do know that is a Tom Wait lyric, so what? It fits."
The cat proceeded to walk across her lap, making knitting progress somewhat difficult.
"As I said" she stroked the cat's chin " It was then barely a month from the Move, and I was struck, Storm, quite simply struck, by the beauty around me. The magnificence of the sunset over the Mill-pond, and the diamond-like sparkles dancing across the water quite took my breath away, and I just had to ring Grumpa and tell him."
Storm flicked his left ear, and took leave of GiGi's lap.
"I said that it was quite possible that I had in fact died, and gone to heaven!"
Grumpa hadn't disagreed, or challenged this notion, therefore GiGi had concluded that she was in fact, on the right track. It could be said, that even if he had disagreed, she may have believed that she was on the right track. But there we have it; GiGi thinks she is right, and that is that.
The cat merely flicked an ear, and set off for a bit of a prowl.
"And" she went on "What is more- ALL of my Paying Guests- without exception, say that with such a view to behold, and such a lovely spot, that I 'must think I've died and gone to heaven'. See, Storm, so there you are. It simply must be so".
Satisfied with her theory, she dropped her work, and settled back against the wall, closing her eyes in the warmth of the late afternoon September sunshine. It had been a busy day, and now all the Museum visitors had gone and she was waiting for the Bored Meeting that evening. Really, she should have been doing some cleaning, but a little rest could not do any harm.
"Do you know the name for this rather lovely weather, Storm? It is called an 'Indian Summer'."
The cat approached her, and then spied a dog- and abruptly turned tail to quite deliberately cross its path, and with an arched back and hissing sounds- saw both dog and owner return back from whence they came.
"Leave the poor dogs alone Storm- it really is NOT a very nice way to behave. Do you realise that your attitude has meant that several local dog-owners now get into their cars, just to drive their lovelies to the beach, rather than cross your rather cantankerous path? It would really be so much more agreeable Storm, if you didn't deliberately wind them up don't you think? Anyway, as I was saying, this is what is called an Indian Summer- Mr Guard-Cat, and with luck if it is like the last two years, it might continue until Halloween."
At this point, Storm jumped up onto the wall behind where GiGi sat, and promptly chased after a spider who was engaged in the process of letting himself down to the ground behind GiGi's left ear.
"And please, Mr Cat, leave the poor spider alone. He has been around a lot longer than you, and really done nothing whatsoever that you should be bothered about!"
She caught hold of the cat, who, in a fit of defiance, leapt out of her arms and through the middle of a rather magnificent spiders web.
"Now look at what you've done. Not content with harassing the poor spider, you have rendered him homeless as well. You really are the limit sometimes Storm, look at you all covered in web. Come here, and let me clean you up a bit".
Storm acquiesced, and even began to purr a bit. They sat together for quite some time, GiGi with her eyes half closed, and the cat purring as she stroked his back and tail. The sun still shone pleasantly as an early autumn breeze started to ruffle the leaves of the trees and bushes nearby.
* * * * * * * * * *
It seemed, thinking about it later, that twilight fell all in an instant, accompanied by the strange smell of something like bitter almonds- GiGi couldn't think of how to describe it better. She opened her eyes, and looking up at the sky, now all lilacs, pinks and blues- and she blinked as she saw what she took first to be a cloud, and then looked like a woman, wrapped in a shawl, and wearing a long billowing skirt. GiGi blinked again, and it was gone.
A sudden gust of wind blew open the shop door- and Storm disappeared inside.
'I thought I had locked that' she mused and followed the cat, picking up a book that had fallen onto the floor- intending to put it back on display. At first glance, everything seemed the same, but actually it was completely different. There was no shop display for a start, and rather disconcertingly, she found it hard to remember what it was like before.
"Oh" she said, clutching the book and looking around her. She could hear voices from the Tearoom- which led her to conclude that the Bored Meeting had started gathering, and so she must just have gotten confused. So, she sat down on a chair she couldn't remember seeing before, to try and figure things out a bit, but unable to do so- looked at the book at the page it fell open to...
'Twasn't brillig, as the Slithey Toves,
All growled and gambled and were grave,
All whimsy were her Borogoves,
And the Home-Rath's dismayed'
Just then, a shout distracted her, and she clapped the book shut, whilst thinking that something sounded rather familiar somehow, but she couldn't say why.
"I really should get myself to the Bored Meeting" and she found herself floating towards the hallway- well sort of floating- just moving somehow- she thought later on. She could see the door to the Tearoom open, and a cacophany of chatter and dissent emitting from within.
However, what with all this floating around, she felt a little giddy and decided that a proper walk in the natural way, perhaps around the garden, might just be a good idea.
Nuff for tonight Em, do you think your new Sister might like it one day? I shall send you the drafts of each chapter, so you can decide...
Your ever-loving Grandmother,