Sunday, 18 April 2010

When Peckish Turns to Piggy - by Michael W

rain, rain and rain temps 4

We're back in Sutton after a wonderful weekend. Had huge fun in Burlington, VT for Susan's birthday. Her good friend Liz was there too. We went shopping on Church street, hit a couple book stores, had drinks in our room all together so Susan could open her gifts....then all headed out to a restaurant called The Belted Cow.

Oh. My. God.

Amazing food. And we know amazing. And we know food! This was fabulous. We started with the asparagus soup with bacon and morels, some divine flatbread shared - then onto the main course. Michael had the filet mignon, Liz had the salmon and the Birthday Girl and I had the pork. All have horseradish mashed potatoes.

It was delicious and disgusting. You'd have thought we never eat. But the portions were so big not even Michael W could finish - however a few minutes later he was eye-ing a lemon concoction at the next table.

I vowed never to eat again.

Next mornining, lying in bed and talking about what a great evening we'd had I asked Michael how he felt. He said, 'I now know what happens when peckish turns to piggy.' It was such a perfect line - and decritpion of all of us - I had to use it.

Can you believe the ash. I find it odd I didn't mention it in earlier posts since I've been riveted to the news of the volcano since it happened. What a shock. All air traffic stopped in France, UK, Germany etc. Shocking. And dreadful for the travelers, especially families, caught up in it.

Like most of you, we have friends either stuck there, or stuck here - or whose vacations have been either cancelled or delayed beyond recognition. I wonder what the airlines etc will decide to do.

I finally finished the page proofs...sent the email corrections off and tomorrow need to mail the hard copy.

While the women were clothes shopping in Burlington, Michael decided to sit outside on a bench in the mall and stare into space, which is apparently more interesting than answering, 'What do you think of this? Do you like it?'

He voted with his feet. But eventually tired to looking at thin air and took himself off to the William-Sonoma. We don't have a WS in Quebec so this is a treat. And, I think he was trying to make up for the gift he brought back for me from NYC last week.

It was wrinkle remover.

I kid you not. This is right up there with his gift for our very first Christmas together - make-up lessons.

Now, I have to tell you, unless Este Lauder has started making caulking, my wrinkles are going nowhere. But I think he saw my face when I tore the paper off his gift. So off he went.

For those of you who read A Rule Against Murder/The Murder Stone, there's a scene where Gamache describes the first gift he took to Reine-Marie's mother, when they were dating, and he was a young, nervous man trying to make a good impression. Well, the gift he gave was exactly the same as the one Michael describes giving to the mother of his first love, fifty five years ago.

He took her, for reasons that defy explanation, a bath mat.

So, the bar is set pretty low for Dr. Michael. Anything short of a handful of skunk poop is considered good in this family. So I really just thanked him for the wrinkle remover and now have the added gift of being able to kid him about it.

But he actually found a lovely gift at WS. Soap. And not an anti-fungal, industrial strength deodorant, medicinal, facial hair removing soap. But some lovely rose scented liquid soap and hand cream. It'll go into the city apartment.

We're home now. I'm sitting in front of the fireplace, reading a manuscript an editor/friend sent to read to possibly blurb. I say no thank you to most requests these days. Just don't have time. but he's my first editor - and since left the imprint for another. And his dog, Henry, inspired Gamache's Henri. So I really owe him. And like him. The manuscript's a riot. Am already halfway through. It's really a Christmas novella, called The Fat Man - A Tale of North Pole Noir. And is hilarious.

Such is our Sunday - sipping cafe au lait and listening to Simon and Garfunkle. And planning a bubble bath.

Be well. Will talk to you tomorrow.


Barbara said...

I'm taking the ash situation rather personally since it's blocking a shipment I'm waiting for from Amazon UK. Are you sending the edited pages to Britain? They might take a while getting there. But it's off you plate, and that's the main thing, right?

Jo B. said...

I had to laugh about Michael's gifts to you. My husband has similar taste in gifts like the bath mat. He bought me a meat slicer one Christmas when we had little kids that were always sick and many doctor bills and couldn't even afford meat. He has never heard the end of it either.

Bev Stephans said...

I think that the worst gift a man ever gave a woman was a set of snow tires for Christmas! This was a fried of ours who gave it to his significant other. I didn't even ask him what her reaction was..she's probably still in shock.

Dana said...

First Christmas: infant son in neo-natal, family and friends 1000 miles away. Gift - NOTHING.

Second Christmas: A sewing machine bought on Boxing Day for the sales.

Third - tenth Christmas: cheap books, mostly non-fiction (guess who loved them) from whichever airport he was flying through to get home.

I won't even mention our anniversary, which is Dec 26.

I think the gift giving was just too confusing for his PhD mind.

Just finished my second reading of The Cruelest Month and discovered so many clues for the next books that I will probably read it a third time before October..

Nikki B said...

Louise--nice to almost see you :) LOL ...

Michael -- Good move with WS!!

***still cracking up...good thing you love him!

Beth said...

Just today I was reminiscing (guffawing) about the gifts John has given me over the years. A truly considerate, kind, loving man, he inexplicably seems to think that the reason my car is messy is that I do not have the proper tools to keep it otherwise. Which explains the handy dandy car vacuum, followed a year later by coupons for the car wash. I think I made my feelings about this trend clear, as he has not given me any other "car cleanliness" gifts.

Nikki has it right--good thing I love him!

Anonymous said...

First year married: my birthday, pots and pans, Farberware, but still; Christmas, a garage door opener. 36 years later, it's Barnes & Noble gift cards. That works, even when he forgot the anniversary the last few years. I know Michael isn't an engineer like Mr. Practical, but he could be.

Louise Penny Author said...

hi all,

Love your stories about spouses and gifts! I will make sure Michael reads them - will make him feel so much better.

Am feeling a little overwhelmed today with books to read and write and the panel to write up - and other stuff, so won't comment more except to say, thank you!

Hampers said...

I just recently discovered your blog and am so glad I did. What a sweet post! Keep on posting.