Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Chartwell Day, 1

I'm belated in fulfilling a promise (hello, facebook!) to tell about my lovely day that began with my husband handing me a feather from a Mozambiquan lilac-breasted roller. In the afternoon, we abandoned the three children and wandered out of town, ate lunch at a cafĂ© where we had been once before (curried chicken on homemade raisin bread and a double chocolate cake for me--any day is better with chocolate!), and then rambled on to a garlic festival and craft fair, a modest and country-quirky affair. We picked up honey and bread, garlic and herbs, a tigered maple serving spoon and fork.

On the way home, when I thought the day over except for the pleasure of seeing autumn leaves, we paused beside the road; my husband wanted to peep into a pair of windows always decked out with scenes and toys and figures. Already burning an autumnal golden and falling from its height in the the sky, the sun shot brightness onto the glass that made it hard to see.

In one window stood a goat cart, heaped with harvest. In another, Charlie Chaplin presided over a small dining table with mostly animal diners. While I stared, a cat poked its head through the gap between the backdrop curtain and the wall.

A pleasant White Rabbit sensation crept over me. We had gone to look, and now something looked back at us. While I was communing with the white cat, Michael drifted over. He said that a hand had parted the curtain at the goat-cart window and gestured for us to go around the house and come in . . .

The dining table, Mr. Chaplin at left.

A cat peers out at me.

The goat cart with harvest and animals.

And did we go through the portal and find out what lay inside? Of course.

9 comments:

  1. oh, my goodness!
    Eagerly anticipating part 2...!

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  2. As did I, just before I passed inside!

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  3. As expected, we are treated with your impeccable prose descriptions, making us see what you did :D

    Meran

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  4. More to come, Meran! Haven't even jumped through the portal yet...

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  5. Yes, I'm so glad that he wanted to stop just then...

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  6. Oh yes yes yes. Next instalment please. Or maybe there is to be a short story?

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  7. Clive,

    It did feel a bit like being in a story!

    Lucy,

    One of the fb comments on this link (from a painter friend here in Cooperstown) said exactly the same! Wonderland...

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.