Happy Valentine’s Day from Hector and Bone
A Parisian Love Posy
Something in the air
Glamorous Granny lives in a sleepy village and enjoys all that life has to offer in the heart of her local community. She’s in the daily habit of taking a gentle stroll every morning, first to the general store to collect fresh bread, eggs and milk before following the winding lane which will eventually take her out of the village.
Today is no different. It’s a beautifully bright and sunny morning in mid-February, if a little chilly. As Granny picks up her provisions after having a cheery chat with the store assistant, she ventures out. After just a few steps, she becomes distracted by distinctive cooing. As she approaches the village church she glances up and sees that a pair of collared doves have settled upon the weather vane, nuzzling each other with obvious affection. As she enters the gate to the churchyard, she witnesses other displays from happy pairings of wood pigeons, blackbirds and song thrushes as they perch upon the headstones, tenderly pecking each other.
“There must be something in the air today!”, Granny exclaims, smiling to herself.
Bouquets and Bees
As she continues along the churchyard path and exits at the opposite gate Granny soon arrives at the little florist’s shop, so popular with the villagers and passing motorists alike. She sits down on the bench outside and pours a cup of tea from her flask. It really is a lovely day for February. Even so, she's taken aback when she sees a busy honey bee in motion, circulating and alighting on the various floral bouquets in turn as it industrially collects pollen. Granny is transfixed as she follows his progress. First, he selects the glass jars filled with bunches of gorgeous blue forget-me-nots before settling on smaller posies of violets and then the most exquisite arrangements of fresh lavender, displayed alongside dainty dried lavender bags.
The droning of the bee has an hypnotic effect on Granny. She is immediately transported back to Paris in 1965 to a charming pavement cafe in Saint-Germain where she drank coffee and brandy with her first suitor, Monsieur Gaulois. He brought her posies of fresh and dried lavender, violets and forget-me-nots every day during that heady Spring, when they were young and so in love. He’d always greet her with a wink and a kiss. He was tall, lean and rakish and something of a Beatnik. She came alive in his company. She can still smell his intoxicating cigar smoke mingled in with the aroma of lavender and coffee. They’d drifted apart not long afterwards but she's always held a candle for him.
A rabbit with a message
Granny opens her eyes and comes back to the present. The busy bee has disappeared, as have the bouquets of flowers. There are other, somehow less appealing blooms in their place. She realises that the bee and the blue flowers were out of time-it was too early for them-but she has no doubt that she was meant to see them, to be reminded of her first love. She pulls herself together and gets up from the bench. Suddenly, she’s aware of a rabbit who streaks across the road directly in front of her. He’s a bit long and rangy for a rabbit, she thinks. Darcy the Flower Bunny stops, turns around to meet Granny’s eye and delivers a long, knowing wink. She sees that he’s carrying some kind of blue stem between his teeth just before he leaps away and disappears into the adjoining meadow.
Hearth, home and a large cat
At home in her cosy kitchen, Granny reflects on the day’s surreal events. Her large ginger cat comes to snuggle with her in front of the fire as she gives him an extra big hug. She’s realised, of course, that it’s almost Valentine's Day. She retrieves a long-faded lavender bag, filled with the leaves from one of the Parisian bouquets that she has kept in a drawer for all these years. She smiles as she clutches it to her heart before putting it back in the drawer.
“Oh, Ginger”, Granny says. “I adored Monsieur Gaulois, but he belongs to my past, a very long time ago. But you’re in my here and now and I love you more than anything in the world!”
Ginger seems to understand. He meows and offers his paw to Granny which she grasps and kisses ardently. She cries tears of gratitude and happiness.
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