(and you too, Papa, who is reading this over Mama’s shoulder)
I hope this letter finds you in healthy spirit. How are you? I am sorry I have not replied to you sooner, but renovating the house, building a death bridge a lookout point and shopping writing my new novel has taken up most of my time. I am happy to announce that the lookout point is finally completed, the house is near completion, and the new novel is trudging along…All is well.
Thank you for the chocolate muffin and blueberry muffin recipes, Mama! I just made them today in my new kitchen…and they taste di~vine.
I wish I can wax lyrical about summer, Mama, but I know someone else who do it much better. “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” I’m sure you’re familiar with that paragraph, Mama, for it is from one of your favourite book.
My summer garden is prospering. My herbs are growing splendidly. I have had to put them in the writing shed because of all that renovations I was doing to the house, at least they seem to be doing well in partial shade. Parsley, rosemary and thyme…a pity I have yet to successfully grow sage and complete the verse.
By the by Mama, I’m sure Papa is reading this letter too over your shoulder. I should have written to him personally and thank him for his so called ‘care package’ that he sent me recently but my pride is a little bit sore still. I’m sure he meant to send the gardening books as a useful guide to a novice gardener, but fancy marking the page where the instruction says “plants need watering in order to grow”! And the watering can he included in the package…! I’m not sure whether to laugh, or to [hate this]…
I should let you know, Father dear, that it was only that ONE time I forgot the existence of my veggie garden and that was because I had a manuscript deadline to chase! And mind, I should like to remind you that I made money out of that novel, did I not? Enough to buy my own house without the need of entering into a fiduciary holy matrimony with a man I have no interest in…so I daresay a dead garden at least once in my lifetime can easily be forgotten!
Your care package and the initial thought behind it was much appreciated, Sir, but I shall hope you would have more care about your dear daughter’s feelings than your amusement…Besides, if there was anyone to blame for my initial inability to grow things out of dirt, I should think it was because I was raised bourgeoisie, don’t you agree, Sir?
Mother, why do you let him carry on with his cruel jokes, I wonder!
Speaking of bourgeoisie, Papa, I must tell you of this new thing that is all the rage this side of the world, that you and your gentilhomme society might appreciate (honestly Father, saying the word ‘gentilhomme’ does not make you, as the French would say, ‘mort de rire’?).
I’m not sure if news has reached your side about this pair of husband-and-wife scientists, Aiden Ramona and Alliana Petunia? ‘Tis most brilliant: working out of their ::A&A:: laboratory, they have found a way to replicate fireflies in a jar. Yes! Fireflies! In a jar! How brilliantly whimsy, no?
I have attached a picture, but seeing that I took it during the daytime, you cannot see the artificial fireflies…so I have taken the liberty of sending you one. I’m sure it will be a hit at one of your Lodge Dinners. Let me know what you think of it and what your fellow gentilhomme (ha!) make of it?
And while we’re on the subject of fellow gentilhomme (hahaha, lille mort de rire, Père!), I must implore you, if you would be so kind, Father, to please talk to Mister George Chattingham The Third, man-to-man? His attention is tiring, his letters even more so. I dread each envelope bearing his penmanship…why does a man like him insist on using long periods of flowered prolixity and pretentious phrases, and writes in complicated form with meaningless flourishes, that instead of making an impression of elegance and erudition upon I, the reader, but flaunt instead unmistakable evidence of vainglory and ignorance? And that humorous insistence on addressing himself and be addressed as ‘Mr. G. Chattingham, The Third’, egad Father! Do you think so low of me that you should envision me as the producer of one ‘Mr. G. Chattingham, THE FOURTH’?
I beg you, Papa, please do not encourage him, as how do you think I could stand a lifetime with a man so dull (third time around!) when I was raised by a Father most intelligent and interesting? Would you not prefer an interesting man like yourself as a son-in-law?
I shall pen off now dear Mama, Papa. There are still much to do with the new house. Please send my love and kisses to Attila the Hound and tell him I forever sympathise with Father’s choice of name for our most beloved canine.
With all my love and prayers,
P.S: Mrs. E. Knightley has been hounding me for the most recent pictures of me, so I have attached one herein. She is not trying to set me up with another Mr. So and So, The Whatever Numerical, is she? Just in case, I have striked my most forlorn post…so may the men she showed it to be doubly cautious of obtaining a wife so dour such as I!
So this was not meant to be the post that was scheduled for today, but I was in a silly mood while taking these photos and decided to channel my inner Austen (the more amateur and lightweight version, of course!) and get this out of the way.
I had a hoot writing this, and this is literally a flash fiction…because I wrote it in a flash! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it, and I’m hoping you’d catch several cheeky references I have sneaked in along the way. 😉