The morning was begun in a quiet, rather soothing way with these words:
Not seeing you every day is hard, but not having you in my life would be worse. It is such an important reminder to me as many people I am close to I do not see every day. One of those people is CPI, a person who I do not see everyday and have not seen every day since we were roomies, about fifty years ago – well more than that come to think of it, about fifty-five years ago.
She: You have shown excellent restraint.
Me: You make me laugh! Restraint is not exactly what I am known for.
What exactly is restraint? There is more than one definition but in this case CPI is referring to
unemotional, dispassionate, or moderate behaviour; self-control. Some synonyms are: self-restraint, self-control, self-possession, lack of emotion, sobriety, coldness, formality, aloofness, detachment, reticence, uncommunicativeness. ANTONYMS forwardness, outspokenness. But there are also other synonyms that are appropriate: Subtlety, mutedness, understatedness, taste, tastefulness, delicacy, delicateness, discretion, discrimination. ANTONYMS excess, indulgence.
So one can see that restraint is not exactly my middle name. I am not unemotional or dispassionate, nor cold, nor aloof, nor detached. And non-communicative??? Huh? I write a blog almost every day – I am the antithesis of non-communicative. Instead I am forward and outspoken and that does occasionally get me in trouble.
Our communication went on.
She: I have no idea how Christmas is celebrated in Dubai, although since tourism is so big the country may emphasize the shopping. .
Me: I do so agree about the shopping. Perhaps I can score, as my stopover is on Christmas Eve and there may be giant last minute sales going on. But actually I hate shopping, instead the first stop over I am going to the Majestic Flower Garden – it is absolutely huge with literally millions of flowers. And you do remember about my Ikebana flower arranging for years and years and years (20)
She: Interesting how the royal family at least has adopted so many Western wedding traditions as in wedding cake, white bridal gowns.
Me: How do you know about wedding cakes and white bridal gowns – even I do not know about that. What about flower girls? Some guy in the Hampshires needs to know.
But then our correspondence took a different turn as I had told her about a new video.posted by TA Group about the Alix Residences which shows, in more detail, the building including a bar, which is rather appropriately called Brazen.
She: Brazen such a good name for a bar and of course carries through the theme.
Me: Yes, it is rather clever. I could easily see me drinking in a bar called Brazen. Hahaha
She: Any indication as to how Alix has been received/selling?
Me: I have no idea, it is not really any of my business. It is hardly that I have a financial interest in the place. They just stole my name. Hahahaha
She: How long is the flight from San Francisco to London?
Me: It is rather endless. But I am armed with the book on Kamasutra and some sleeping meds and an extremely funny eye patch which is sure to attract attention
She: Am am certainly interested in the indications that the Sultan is reading the blog.
Me: Well it is rather scientific and statistical. If you read me once, statistics show that you come back again and again and again.
She: Perhaps he is making arrangements to be in London over Christmas
Me: Who knows? Not me. It would be pleasant to see him but he may be busy. The last time I saw him he did say: “See you around.”
Now I do realize that this does sound crazy, this entire email conversation with my friend. But it is all honest and above board.
CPI concluded with a sentence I did not understand
She: With five golden rings.
Me: I do not know the meaning of that.
My goodness, is my friend ever intelligent, more so than her humble friend. I looked it up. “The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the “Pentateuch,” which gives the history of man’s fall from grace. The partridge in the pear tree, naturally, represents Jesus Christ. This theory seems tailor-made for circulation via chain emails, but it actually makes little sense once you examine it” Huh? But there is more:
But scholars on the subject (and yes, there are scholars on the subject!) agree that it was first published either as a children’s song or a Christmas carol in the late 18th or mid-19th century. Edward Phinney, a professor of classics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, put the first publication at 1868, but it also shows up, in slightly altered forms, in Mirth without Mischief, which was published around 1780, and James Orchard Halliwell’s The Nursery Rhymes of England, which was published in 1842.
So things are progressing quite quickly – hard to believe how soon I shall be leaving, days are spinning by quickly. I feel somehow that this is going to be a monumental trip. What is monumental? Striking, outstanding, remarkable, magnificent, marvellous, majestic, stupendous, prodigious, ambitious, large-scale, grand, awe-inspiring, awesome, important, significant, distinguished, classic, memorable, transcendent, exalted, unforgettable, enduring, lasting, abiding, permanent, immortal, historic, epoch-making
Hmmm.- whatever could be epoch-making, transcendent and exalted and enduring and prodigious about a trip to London stopping at Dubai. Hold onto your hat – I guess we will shall see. When questioned as to what that expression means, this was one response: “it means “brace yourself”, something big is about to happen.” Yikes!