Is that you, girlfriend? I had just got through to Brassie, via my tablet.
Can’t hear you, Candia. My voice keeps echoing and it is distracting, complained Brassica. Wait a minute I’ll phone you.
Okay, Brassie. Have just heard that you and Cosmo are coming to Clammie’s Guy Fawkes party and that you have made up.
Yes, it was all a misunderstanding. Sonia got the wrong end of the stick. Magda was simply helping him to shift boxes from Ginevra’s cellar to the observatory under cover of darkness. It was so that the twins and I wouldn’t see our Christmas presents. He’d had them delivered to Ginevra’s as she is always at home and I rarely am chez moi.
But how did you find out the truth?
Oh, Carrie visited Ginevra to amuse her by having a laugh at my expense over the exploding sloe gin. However, Ginevra didn’t find alcoholic waste entertaining at all. She said that it had served me right for adulterating perfectly sound booze.
Brassie continued: Carrie picked up on the word ‘adulterating’ and, given the carer’s recent lexical expansion, asked Magda if she knew what that word meant. She was hoping to warn her off Cosmo.
She cleared her throat and went on: Magda understood the insinuation –she’d been receiving some helpful idiomatic lessons with Cosmo as a way of him thanking her for carrying all that stuff to the observatory. Ginevra had given them some linguistic books and a CD that Ola had left behind and she had provided some Dewlaps as a learning incentive. But, she chaperoned them at all times.
She laughed: Sonia had jumped to the wrong conclusion after seeing them together. So much for her Sibylline pronouncements!
Yes, she’ll be asking the butcher for some entrails next, to practise her divination.
Well, she sure needs some practice, but not on our business and family life. Magda was furious at being accused and spat out that she had a boyfriend with an Audi and that Cosmo was a damp squib!
Where had she heard that from?
She overheard Carrie telling Gyles one evening when they had called in to see Ginevra. They had no idea that she understood metaphor.
Cosmo is obviously a good teacher, I opined. But why was Carrie discussing what you told us in confidence?
Oh, she said it was because she had been so concerned about me.
Hmm. .So, all is forgiven?
Yes, and I’m not-like- pregnant.
Good. Well, don’t let Magda hear you using that dreadful filler. It would be so-like-bad for her English.
Brassie laughed. No, the only colourful affair Cosmo is having is with Aurora Borealis. You can see it so far south just now. That’s why he has been spending so much time out in the observatory.
I wonder what is in all those parcels? I mused.
Better be something good, said Brassie. By the way, what are you taking to the party?
Some iced biscuits shaped like comets and stars from Costamuchamoulah, I replied.
I’m taking some Nigella puff candy. Is your husband coming?
No, he won’t move from the wood burner, especially if ‘It Takes Two’ is on. Now that Ola Jordan has been eliminated, he has transferred his allegiance to Erin Boag.
Man, thy name is fickle. Oh, the twins like Denise van Outen. Maybe I should record it. I must say, I think Pasha is kinda cute, especially as a werewolf.
I like Artem, but I wish he had not disfigured his body with that dreadful tattoo. His upper torso looks a bit like a leather chesterfield.
Can’t say I noticed the tattoo. Hey! I’ve just had an idea. Why don’t we have a Strictly finals party? I’ll host it. Surely your husband would come to that?
Yes, he’d probably come out for that- but not in that way! I added quickly. I could hire him a matador outfit. I could be the cape.
More like the rampant cow, she countered.
(And that is why we are friends: because we can take a put-down from each other.)
I think I should be a judge.