She talks of family planning with spiders; gives advice to dogs on the subject of manners; compliments flowers on their beauty; discusses pesticides with bumblebees; speaks of romance with butterflies; lectures cats on their toilet habits, and, mostly, she just tells off the wasps. Wasps are the Hell’s Angels of her garden. When hot, she undresses, when cold she wears layer upon layer. Rarely is she colour co-ordinated. She looks best naked. This one is of the earth.
Whilst idling in the open air she has shown me many things from nature that being held a hostage of concrete and tarmac had denied me.
She takes in waifs and strays and gives a ray of hope to the unfortunate with kind words. We are lovers, parents, husband and wife. Confidants over thirty years woven together in love this past twenty or so. As just friends there were never secrets. We have no secrets even now. I call her my ‘child bride’ as I am nearly eight years her senior. We are over one hundred years between us – and counting. When the mood takes her she may prey upon the weaknesses of pretentious humanity. In days of yore, in drink, she sometimes destroyed such beings. She is blessed with great, cutting wit and cries giant tears, like crystal balls made of morning dew when laughing. She laughs a lot. She does not ride that savage downhill slalom of melancholy that is my want, although if left alone too long she climbs the walls of tedium. Her smile can illuminate a cathedral, her frown may slam shut its Gothic doors and herald the crepuscular certainty of nightfall. She is blond, her hair fine and long, her body nectareous. A brave one, she has the small scars of childhood recklessness about her limbs. Accident prone, she bruises her body with regularity, yet never her heart. To her there is no calamity in her clumsiness. The regular breakage of man-made objects matters not a jot. She says such things are replaceable anyway. Those mortals who cause the pain born of malice she would lock away forever. She calls small children and the very old, ‘My angel’. Infants would follow her to the ends of the earth. Sometimes she has the mouth of a navvy, sometimes the eloquence of a bard.
She conceived our child in the Polynesian suite of a French chateau in the Loire Valley. As is her way, a certain savoir-faire. When, all those years now past, giving birth to her George she sweltered in the body heat of her own endeavour. Nearly a day in labour, and oblivious to the comings and goings of others, she insisted the midwife undress her. Enthrallingly naked, she bore her son. Natural instinct is second nature to those of the earth, those impish daughters of Eve. Fate wed us; eternity binds us. My Celtic lady is out of step with the rest, captivatingly mad, yet with no comprehension that this is so. She has emboldened me. I think I am her rock.
Her name is Shirley. Shirley is ‘off the wall’ most times.
* In the light of the Bat Tattoo on the Bum post which was aimed at getting a cheap laugh at my wife’s expense I thought I best make amends – there’s only so much beating around the head with a rolled up newspaper one bloke can take! Hence this revival of one I posted a while back when I had only just started ‘blogging.’