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(image by abc 10)

 

So basically you have been unfaithful to ‘Costamuchamoulah’ cafe here in

Suttonford? Brassica accused me.

It wasn’t like that, I tried to defend myself. No bog-brush bearded baristas

were involved, I assure you.  It’s just that ‘Brunetti’s’ salted caramel eclairs in

Melbourne were so tempting.

That Italian name’s familiar, Brassie interrupted.

You’re thinking of Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti, I surmised, knowing

she’d read a couple of the volumes in the series at her ‘Bookworm’ group.

But, you know, I’d prefer to make a tangential mental leap to summon up a

vision of Commissario Montelbano- the young one, I mused.  Actually, one

of the waiters who brought me extra marshmallows was kind of like him. He

had the same bandy legs, but Botticelli curls.

Mmm, quite a lot of Italian guys do.  Yet, you’ve been swanning round the

globe while the rest of us were generating mould in our ‘Hunter’ wellies from

the condensation build-up of Apocalyptic precipitation levels?

Join Nicola Sturgeon’s clan.  But not David Cameron’s.

How so?

She shares your taste in trending wellies.  Apparently Cameron wore a cheap

pair when he visited the flooded areas.

Oh, that was for the press, she exclaimed.  Do you think SamCam would

let him out in anything cheap if he was (say) visiting Rebekah Brooks for a bit

of a pot supper, after helping her to muck out at her stables?

Okay, I’m sorry.  By the by, I would be surprised if SamCam, as you call her,

allowed him out at all, when he is off-duty.  She would probably prefer him to

come home smelling of roses.

Why do I always get Donna Leon and Donna Tartt mixed up?

Dunno. Easily done. I took my tablet out of its case.

Look! This was us on our final evening at ‘Raffles’, on the way home.

Put it away, barked Brassie.  I’m not interested.  Anyway, you said you

went there twice, so I can’t forgive you.

She couldn’t resist a peek.

What were you trying to do?  Live up to your gravatar?

No, I was just having a ‘Singapore Sling.’

She drew me an even greater disapproving look.

Not a ‘fling’. You can get virgin ones, you know, I pleaded.

Silence.

No, actually.  Look, I’m not trying to be elitist.  Nowadays

it is a virtual extension of a creche.  Kids everywhere.  All these

special venues are commandeered by fathers in baseball caps

and shorts and mothers pushing giant buggies with babes who

only require feeder cups.  You dress for dinner and they throw theirs

on the floor- or ground-, if we are referring to the outside courtyard. 

Sometimes the infant accessories even manage to project their

regurgitations into your lap.

I do so agree on the distinction you make between ‘floor’ and

‘ground’, Brassie reflected. But, have you always been irritated

by kids, Candia?  I mean, didn’t you once teach the little darlings? 

Surely teachers like children?

Don’t bank on that, I replied.  D’habitude, we only like the well-behaved

ones, of which there are fewer and fewer.  I don’t mind them at informal

eateries at lunchtime, but if I am spending a mint on a rare grown-up

treat, I prefer a kiddychino-free zone.

Kiddychino?

Coming to ‘Costamuchamoulah’ by Chinese New Year, I predict.

We both sighed.

 

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