Monday, 13 March 2017

Missing England – a Theory Unproven extra

Missing England – a Theory Unproven extra 

Eric carefully slit the brown tape on the parcel that Tyaan had delivered earlier. He pulled back the flaps slowly, savouring the reveal of whatever items his gran had sent him over from England this month. While he never asked for anything outright, she had the knack of gleaning from his letters what he was missing the most and sending that over in her monthly parcel. Of course, she was the thing he missed the most but it was unlikely that she would ever jump out of the box herself—figuratively rather than literally, at 5 foot nothing his gran was small but not that small—since she was petrified of flying. 

His fingers closed around a familiar shaped jar and he tugged it from the box. Marmite. Amazing. He’d been craving the savoury, salty spread for weeks now. He couldn’t say why. That and Star Bars. Maybe with a couple of months in the bushveld under his belt he was missing home, just a little bit. Fish and Chips. Ant and Dec on the telly. Slipping his boots on without having to check for venomous creatures first. Porn at the click of a mouse. Mrs Harris’ scones. His gran’s neighbour made the best scones. 

The rain. Eric couldn’t believe he was saying this but he missed the sudden downpour that could blight even the sunniest summer’s day back in London. The days when rain fell in sheets, dripping off your hair and down your collar. When hay and muck was heavy with the added weight of the water, and dampness mingled with the smell of elephant and rhino, monkeys and zebra, goats and pot bellied pigs as he made his way around the zoo. 

No one would ever believe he missed the rain. 

They would have rain later in the year, Tyaan had reassured him, when Eric had mentioned the dust and his concerns about the watering hole drying up. 

Summer—and didn’t Eric struggle to get his head around the fact that Tyaan was talking October through to March rather than a couple of weeks in late July, early August—would bring even hotter temperatures than Eric had experienced so far, coupled with an increase in humidity. And thunderstorms. By December the bushveld would be more green than brown and flowers would spring up under foot like a carpet. And apparently, if he thought the bushveld was noisy now it was nothing compared to the sounds of nature at its most vibrant, with newborn impala and wildebeest and the influx of migrating birds. Rain almost every afternoon, torrential storms with fantastic lightning displays—fantastic, if you weren’t out trying to fix a fence in it or fly a plane—and flash floods as rivers burst their banks. 

Maybe he should look into stockpiling sand bags and check the maps of the preserve for dried up river banks. Maybe Tyaan could help him; after all a local’s knowledge wouldn’t hurt. Maybe by January he would be cursing the rain once again. 

Eric placed the Marmite on the table in front of him and reached back into the box. A couple of packets of Golden Wonder Cheese and Onion crisps, the DVD of Mama Mia, and a piece of paper. His gran always wrote a letter but that was in an envelope waiting to be opened at Eric’s leisure. Perhaps she'd thought of something after she’d sealed the envelope. Eric glanced at the note and grinned as he read the first line. 

Mrs Harris’ scone recipe. 

Now, if he only knew someone who could bake. 

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  1. Yes, awwwwww. Not to be greedy, but your readers (me me me) would love a sweet coda featuring Mr. Cowdrey and Benedict. (For your 'things to write someday' list. Maybe Christmas?)

    1. They are on my things to write someday list, I promise.