Brassica pestered me to go and view some jewellery at Foyle’s Auction House’s forthcoming sale. She knew that Cosmo had off-loaded some secret Chrissie prezzies in the garden observatory, but she had really wanted a rock on her finger to heal the experience of suspicion and jealousy that she had put herself through- unnecessarily as it had turned out. For Magda, Mrs Brewer-Mead’s carer, had simply been helping him to transport boxes and to store them and had not been making up to her husband.
She felt insecure and considered that an outward symbol of fidelity was called for. Around the house she had been singing Rihanna’s new release:
Shine bright like a diamond x2
You’re a shooting star I see
A vision of ecstasy
As we moonshine and molly…
Who’s Molly? Cosmo had asked, not picking up on the sublime message she intended.
Oh, it’s just the latest song about diamonds, she explained in a matter-of-fact tone.
Doesn’t make sense to me, said Cosmo. I like the bit about the shooting stars, though.
You would, thought Brassie.
Castor stopped glueing something on the kitchen table and said:
It’s about drugs.
What? They were concerned immediately.
Yes, molly is ecstasy- the drug.
Are you sure? How do you know that?
John explained it to us in the school yard. He got the download.
So, that hint had gone down badly. She played Shirley Bassey a few times, Lucy in the Sky with Aforementioned Minerals and a track with Marilyn Monroe from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but then decided to be more proactive since her strategy seemed to be failing. Hence the auction view.
Candia, what are the four qualities I should be looking for? Carat, colour, cut and…?
Cost, I said, sarcastically.
No, I’ve just remembered: it’s clarity.
Hah! I said. I remember a woman asking her friend if she was wearing a zircon and it didn’t go down too well, but it just goes to show that most people couldn’t distinguish paste from The Hope Diamond.
I didn’t want to try any rings on as I had been planting some winter pansies earlier that afternoon and hadn’t had time to repair my chipped nail varnish. Brassie, however, was asking the woman to take all sorts of jewellery out of the cabinet.
By the time you reach your Diamond Wedding Anniversary, you won’t have any free fingers left for Cosmo to decorate, I said. I wonder what Prince Philip gave the Queen for their celebration? I added.
Diamante collars for the corgis? she replied, struggling to push an H fitting ring on her J finger. They’d look cute on Pooh-bah, Algy and Humbug.
The pugs don’t need any of that bijouterie, I advised. Remember, you still have to pay University fees for two in the future.
I can’t get this off. My hands are too warm now.
The embarrassment. The woman had to get a bowl of cold water and some liquid soap and, after a lot of wrangling, the ring eventually slid off, leaving a red mark.
Maybe diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend, she said soberly, as she got into the car and put the catalogue in the glove compartment.
(No, people like me are.) I only thought it.
Let’s go and have a coffee at Costamuchamoulah, I suggested, and I’ll tell you all about the Yahoos and their obsession with grubbing up bits of carbon.
If it’s to do with computers I won’t understand it, she said.
No, it’s a different kind of Yahoo.
Ooh, you are clever, Candia. How do you know all that stuff?
I read, Brassica. It’s as simple as that. Come on. What kind of lavendarial cake do you want, or is it a stupid question?
Emm, the cupcake, please.