SURREAL ADVENTURES FROM THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Burdish delicacies (I)

Back in Sandwich -meaning back to normal mode (urban hard working girl and hopeless girlfriend of an insensitive to the cold Zeewlander man)- I got this phone call:

- Hello.
- Leni. This is Ed.
- Hi Ed, how are you doing?
-I asked-
- I’m fine, thanks. I wonder if you’d like to join me for dinner tonight. I’m cooking a delicious roast rack of lamb with mint sauce.

This was supposed to happen one day or another. If I said ‘no’ he would be insisting over and over until I’d say ‘yes’. Bob had disappeared again for several days without a trace, so what the fuck. The more I thought, the less I could find a good reason to decline the invitation. So out of the frying pan, into the fire!

- Ok. –I said, very determined-
- Ok? Just like that? –he asked, not believing I would be offering so little resistance-
- Yes. Just like that.

There was silence.

- Say something before I change my mind. –I said-
- I may start building my hopes up once again.
- Ed. I’ve just accepted your invitation to dinner. It doesn’t mean you’ll have me for dessert.

He chuckled.

- What a shame. You’d be such a delicious cupcake. -he said-
- I bet I would. But not tonight.
- I’m constantly surprised by how delightful you are.
- Don’t butter me up, please. You already know it won’t work with me.
- Ok, tough chick. As you like it. We can always talk about business. As far as I remember, you still have to write a book for me.


Ooh yes. The book. I couldn't help hitting back:

- No, not for you, but for Hellgirl.

Ed sent a ghost driver with his black Bentley to fetch me at 7:00PM sharp. The car war parked in front of my door, punctual as a Swiss watch.


Needless to say I was left speechless. But that was nothing compared to what I saw when I arrived to Ed's house: I was blown away. He lived in a luxurious mansion in the outskirts of the city. I had never seen nothing like that except in the movies.

I knocked on the door and a pale butler opened it.

- Come in Ms Qinan. Mr Davies is waiting for you. -he said solemnly, with a low voice-

The butler guided me through the hall -twice as large as my tiny flat- to the library where Ed was reading an old book, quietly smoking a cigarette. His private book collection was impressively huge. It made me think of the labyrinthine medieval library of 'The name of the rose', where the evil monks carefully copied incunables, a few years before Gutenberg invented the first press machine. I was overwhelmed with these fantasies when Ed got up and smiled at me.

- Good evening, Leni.
- Good evening, Ed. You have a very nice house.
- Thank you. I really feel honoured by your visit.
- It's my pleasure. I hope you like red wine
. –I said, handing him the bottle of lovely traditional Rioja I had bought for the occasion-
- Excellent choice. It will be perfect with the lamb.
- Good.
- Please, follow me to the kitchen. I was going to start cooking.


We went downstairs through the long corridors of stone covered with tapestries and old paintings hanging from the walls, lit here and there by wide candles whose dripping wax would fall on the floor, forming small white piles.

I stopped by the painting of an impressive man who appeared to be very angry; he had followed me with his eyes all along the passage as I walked. His strong voice shouted at me “Go away, intruder! How dare you disturb the deathly peace of this house!!!”.

He really frightened me with his scary look. Ed threw his arm around my shoulder and pulled me close to him. He stared at the man in the painting and whispered into my ear, with his proverbial Burdish stiff-upper-lip:

- Oh excuse me, Leni. Let me introduce you to my great-great-grandfather, Angus Davies. Pay no fucking attention to what he says to you.

I smiled at Ed. But Angus still looked at me, really angry. 'Grrrrr...' -he went-

-Angus was a rich landlord in Burdishland. He lived in the fifteenth century. He fought and died in the Wars of the Roses, but unfortunately he never accepted his fate and his soul was doomed to wander about this world. And there he is, scaring my visitors. But don’t be afraid, sweety. He is totally harmless.

I was not so sure about that. I pulled closer to Ed and looked back at Angus’s portrait, waving goodbye to him with a little sarcastic smile, as he grumbled loudly at me. The echo of his protests could be heard all over the place.

- Ed, this mansion is huge… -I said, looking up to the high ceilings painted with dark angels and scary scenes from the Bible-.
- Yeah, too big for a man on his own. My family has lived here for centuries in Burdishland.
- Centuries? But Sandwich is a very young country!
- Right. But I managed to have my family home here. I’m 295 years old, dear. That’s … as old as the hills. Such an old guy doesn’t like new stuff
–he smiled-.
- You told me. But you don’t look older than 45. And great, by the way.
- Thanks, baby. 45 is supposed to be my age. It’s a part of my deal with the devil.
- That’s a very nice age for a man. You’re in the prime of life.
–I smiled at him-

We stared at each other and his red eyes glowed intensely. Surprisingly, he didn’t scare me.

I was really flabbergasted at his distinguished lifestyle. The place was palatious. The kitchen was cosy and modern, with that Victorian touch that made it... even more Burdish. He walked towards the big wooden table where the lamb rack was in a crystal tray, ready to be cooked.

- The rack is the most tender cut on a lamb, Leni. A perfectly roasted lamb will be crisp on the outside, and tender and juicy on the inside. Lamb is flavourful enough on its own. It doesn't need much seasoning and is so naturally tender, that it is bound to turn out well, as long as it is still a little pink inside. I hope you like it. –he said-
- Oh, yes, I like it a lot!
- Excellent. I thought you would be some kind of vegan freak.
- Nah. I try to eat healthy, but I need my portion of junk food and I fancy a Big Mac every now and then. -I laughed-

He grimaced when he heard me say that, but continued with the lamb cooking ceremony. His solemn dissertation about lamb’s flesh shocked me. I found it a bit bloody for my taste. He hissed at the sight of the fresh meat. That was weird. But I decided he was probably overdoing and let him have his fun.

- The most important thing to remember about cooking a lamb roast is to not overcook it. This one will taste delicious served with gravy and mint jelly.
- You like to cook, right?
–I asked him-
- Yes, Leni. Good cooking is a magic pleasure; pure alchemy; imagination and creativity in a kitchen, and basically a fine art. It’s a joy to cook for an audience that appreciates good food. The same thing happens with conversation. And I am enjoying it. –he said, gazing into my eyes and smiling at me-
- I am enjoying it too. –I smiled back at him-.

What a clever man he was. He certainly knew how to treat women. I didn’t understand yet the trap I had agreed to set myself in.

- Would you like to have a glass of your delicious red wine in the gardens? The flowers look just beautiful at this time of the year -he asked-
- That would be lovely.

He poured two glasses of wine and guided me to the back door.

- Ed, I wonder if I can ask you a personal question.
- Try, baby. But remember: curiosity killed the cat.
- I know. But information made him fat. What did you do in your previous life, in Burdishland?
- I was a physician. And a very good one. I wrote some practice manuals that were studied in all the universities of my time. I wanted to reach success as soon as possible, I told you. Pride and greed are my sins.
-he said, looking down-
- I thought you wrote fictional books.
- No. I now write the book about the people’s future and destination. The one you don't believe in. And, I must insist, it’s not fictional, but true.

I didn't want to go into details again; I knew he had visions of the future and he believed blindly we were made for one another. So I continued to dig into his past.

- Were you… married in Burdishland? -I asked-
- Yes. I had two beautiful wives and four children that I loved dearly. But they all died. This is the worst thing about growing so old... to see how your loved ones pass away.

He looked sad and absent minded. I felt very sorry for him. I realised he was suffering a lot. It was time to stop asking questions and change the subject of our conversation.

- If my memory serves me well, we were going to talk about business –I said-

When he came back to reality, he sipped from his glass of red wine, stared at me, grinned and declared solemnly:

- No, baby. I never mix pleasure with business.





"Happy meal II" (The Cardigans)

14 comments:

s said...

Yep, seems like you are next in line to get married, and there is probably no way to avoid it, because the bouquet knew what it was doing. Only question is: who will be the groom? If it would happen, who do you think it will be?
After reading 'Burdish delicacies' I realize Ed is well on his way to be the groom. He sure is something with his background and all. Does Bob even realize that he hurts you when he leaves without a trace. Its pretty rude to not inform you about his whereabouts. Do you even know what he is doing when he is away?

So Ed doesnt mix pleasure and business, eh. This could mean you are in for a 'pleasurable' evening, if you know what i mean :)

Grass said...

Uh oh, he doesn't mix pleasure with business eh? hehehehe I was imagining that Ed's house was similar to "Adam's Family"'s and the butler was the good old Frankenstein.. I guess I watch way too many cartoons! LOL I'm glad you mentioned "the name of the rose" though! Umberto Eco is a favorite and yeah, that octagonal library (if I remember it right) was the creepiest library ever described in books especially since murders had occurred there..

But I digress, my heart kinda warmed up at Ed's mention of his past families.. Must be a horrible experience to outlive your love ones.. hmmmmm..I think that's the worst punishment you can get, to live for such a long time (if not forever) and witness everything bad and good going in the world. One has gotta rest! I still wonder what he did to have deserved Hellgirl's punishment? Or have you mentioned it in your previous blogs coz I honestly don't remember...


xxx

Leni Qinan said...

Mocky,

Lilly’s bouquet was probably hexed too –just like everything she touches, lol-. Even though, as with the boxers, there is a way to escape her spells –hey, but I hope it’s not another deal with hell!-.

I’d like to be able to tell you that I won’t get married in a million years and that there will be no groom; but I don’t know what my future will be and feel totally defenseless about Ed and his visions.

It seems that my future and fate are determined, written down and unchangeable, no matter what I could say or do. But I can’t accept that and I don’t know whether his visions are credible or not.

I suppose Bob doesn’t even realise he hurts me when he leaves without saying a word. And this makes me even more sad. I don’t know what he is doing; probably living his life. He is the kind of man to live independent and feel very picky about having his freedom threatened. These are his rules, but it’s tough to love someone who won’t accept the same level of commitment as you do. So some things may change here. We’ll see.

Yes, I know Ed considers me some kind of pleasure –this is why I said I didn’t understand the kind of trap I was setting myself into-. (I know very well what you mean :))

Leni Qinan said...

Hi sis,

Nooo Ed’s place is not like the Adam’s family house! It’s more like an old beautiful and cosy cottage in the Sandwichian countryside, facing the sea -a very nice place to be, but it has some ghosts and weird stuff there. I'll write about it in the next posts-.

The house has a veil of mystery and is prolly too big for him –he complained about that, living there with his pains and sins-

Glad to know that you also liked ‘The name of the rose’. (I knew you did, I had that feeling!). I have seen the original library where the film was shot, at a Spanish private club and it was amazing. What an amazing story! And the monks were so evil!

As I told you before, Ed Davies is not a bad man, but a very tormented and lonely one, with ideas about death and a gloomy past. He is sensitive and emotional, but his feelings are sometimes too intense and deep. He seems to have the wisdom of age and is always most kind to me. Anyways… he is 295… a bit old for me, don’t you think? Lol.

His sin was greed for quick success (he made a deal with hell after writing his medical practice books. I wrote it in my post “The man who wrote the book of life and death”; the reason why you don’t remember is because you were climbing Mt. Apo when I wrote that, lol).
XXX.

max said...

So Bob is again missing???

I can’t believe that. I’m very sorry to hear that. You don’t deserve being hurt like this.

I’m very intrigued at the outcome of this story. I know you won’t get married if you really don’t feel like, but this Ed guy seems to know very well what he wants… and he wants YOU! (*grabs his head*).

And he is 295 years old??? But he looks like he’s 45… -ask him what his secret is, Leni. But if it’s a deal with hell, I’m not interested, lol-.

I have my doubts about him. Is he really a vampire? You implied some taste for blood. He makes me think of two films I like: Coppola’s “Dracula” (you already mentioned it in previous posts) and “The hunger” a neo gothic film about a vampire lady who lived on the blood of her lovers. Catherine Deneuve was gorgeous, and Susan Sarandon too. And there was David Bowie too –I know you sometimes play “Thursday’s child” in your mp3 player over and over while driving to work, lol-.

Grass said...

295 is way too old for you sis! LOL I mean, oh my god, even his ideas of sex must be archaic??? LOL kidding! I'm sure Ed would be a great lover but errr, too intense? LOL


And yeah, i agree with Max and Mocky.. Bob did a bad thing not to tell you where he's headed or his whereabouts at least. Independence is a great thing but too much of it makes an "inconsiderate" person. I am starting to dislike Bob! Hmph!

I missed that blog out, sorry.. I will read it later sis.. :D

xxx

Leni Qinan said...

Hi sis!

Well, yes, he's 295 but remember he still has a long life to live (he writes the book of life and death with the fate and future of all mankind). Anyways, for those who don't know that, he is a good looking beta male (beta? not sure he's beta or alpha now? lol)

Heheheh sex with this guy could be just amazing (just to think of his vast experience makes me shiver! I bet he's not at all archaic -we'll see what his moves are in the future-. Let's think he's 45 -as far as sex is concerned, this might sound a bit old to you,
but it sounds like wonderful to me, hahaha-. Okokok, I'll behave.)

About Bob: I really like this guy, but I'm wondering where we are and what the situation is. Suffering is not my thing, so we'll see what happens.

((Don't worry about missing posts, darling, my posts won't move, lol. Just enjoy and feel no obligations here, sis, this is just to entertain you and fantasice a bit. I already feel very honoured with your amazing loyalty as a reader and commenter and the link to this blog you have in your website)).

Big big kiss.

Leni Qinan said...

Hey Max,

Yeah Bob is again missing. I know you'll tell me to flip him the bird, but I just can't. Silly, eh? yet I can't.

Getting married is not an option now, so don't panic, i won't.

Ed's secret is.. yess you found out: a deal with hell. I also think he's a little vampiric, and I hope he won't bite me, lol.

Oh I've seen "The hunger" some years ago, and I loved it -especially Susan Sarandon–.

And Bowie, yes I like him a lot. "Thursday's child" is a favourite song -the vid is amazing, watch it in youtube if you can-

Thanks for the advice, but I'm afraid i won't take it, lol.

XXX.

Fernando said...

Cuanto tiempo sin pasar por aquí...

¿Es que aquí no cierran por vacaciones?

Un beso. ¿Se te ha pasado el enfado?

Leni Qinan said...

OOOOOH no me lo puedo creer!!!

Bienvenido, Fernan! Espero que hayas pasado unas buenas vacaciones y que hayas vuelto completamente relajado y feliz.

(¿Enfado? ¿qué enfado? yo ya no me acuerdo, la verdad. Bueno, los amigos discuten a veces ¿no? pero luego siempre hacemos las paces, y sobrevivir a estas tonterías es una prueba de que la amistad está fuerte, ¿no crees?).

Aquí no se cierra por vacaciones, Fernan. Me voy el viernes dos/tres semanas a la playa y seguiré escribiendo desde allí. Me voy armada con mi portátil y una batería completísima de cacharros para tener conexión a Internet en cualquier sitio remoto y seguir con vosotros si la técnica me lo permite. El día que deje de escribir, ya no seré yo.

Me alegro mucho de verte por aquí de nuevo -la verdad, se te echaba de menos-. Como ves, mi vida virtual sigue siendo de lo más azarosa y completa.

Un beso muy fuerte.

PS1.- ((Joé, que me alegro mucho de verte otra vez!!!)) :)

Fernando said...

Pues me gusta que te alegre.

Disfruta las vacaciones y relájate un poco, que no pasa nada, de verdad. :-)

Leni Qinan said...

Fernan, todavía me queda un día de pringada -sólo UN DÍA! Son los últimos coletazos de una temporada que parece que no se acaba nunca!

Después, me escaparé a una bonita y tranquila playa desde donde seguiré posteando.

Fernando said...

Y te quedas en españa o te vas por ahí?

Que envidia, Leni...

Me confortaré pensando en la semana que me queda...

Disfruta!! (es una orden)

Leni Qinan said...

Ok guys, let's all welcome back Mr. Fernan (aka The Captain), who has just come back from his well deserved summer holidays and is honouring me again with his visits and comments.

I am leaving on holidays myself too -this Friday- BUT it doesn't mean I won't be posting. As you know, I can't stop writing, so stay tunned because posts will be published regularly, as often as usual -or even more, who knows, lol-

As I said on previous posts, I'm taking a 2-weeks trip to the Seashell Islands -not far from Sandwich, but a warmer weather-. So be in touch, cos I won't be leaving the virtual scene.

XXX.