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good bye to sunday

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Sunday is the saddest day of a week because it heralds a start of another week that brings unknowns to all mankind: employed/unemployed, men/women, affluent/impecunious, and educated/uneducated. Every minute of Sunday hastens to its end like as the waves make towards the quicksands. For Paul Collie, who works as a manager at a supermarket, is an imperturbable person hardly under the weather, Sunday means constructive solipsism in which his artistic sensibilities and intellectual proclivity are manifested in such forms of gardening, reading and writing otherwise smothered under the pretext of financial needs and familial responsibilities during weekdays. Gardening, because it gives him a sense of being a master of fine arts akin to Michelangelo; reading and writing, because he it teaches the styles of writing he can employ in his own writing. On this late afternoon, Paul is having a jovial time with his like-minded friend Hans Cow, a senior librarian at Tolkien Library and a part-time private investigator, who called on him to talk about the current affairs of the week. This week’s topical subject of the Sunday talk: “Elitist Art exclusive of the undesirable”

Hans: “Did you read an article about Snotty Museum turning down an annually pledged largess from Johnny Mojo, the chairman of the cleaning company Mojo? The reason for the rejection was said to be of moral, ethical standards because Johnny Mojo was a one-time drug addict and affiliated with some kind of money-laundering scheme. But you know what? I think it’s all about posturing, gestures of some kind of uneducated, former jailbird upstart trying to hobnob with the big wigs and the celebs that these so-called “Guardians of Fine Artsimg_0458” do not want to approve of. For Mojo – let’s be brutally honest – does not meet their standards of impeccable donors. What they want is immaculate man without original sin!”

Paul: “Yeah, I read that Mojo guy. You are right in saying that Snotty Museum’s decision img_0457was rather foolhardy and rash, groundless in their a priori reasoning that a donor should be also morally and spiritually immaculate to support artistic causes. Which is a supercilious stance on the puritanical touchstone of sponsorship. That a company doing a dubious business should not contribute its munificence to the museum is a hokum, nothing but a supercilious illustration of elitist art exclusive of the populace. The museum do not want to be involved in moral money-laundering, or “art-washing”. I want to think that Mojo’s intention to donate his wealth to the museum was bona fide because art is open to all, not a prerogative of the moneyed. Besides, art is for art’s sake and not should be used as a tool for political campaigns or social dogmas. Lucy Maud Montgomery expressed the same sentiment, and W.H. Auden also concurred that art should not be trapped by political and social systems. The museum’s decision shows that even a realm of art has been a domain of social Spencerism…

Pleasure and activity make the afternoon hours seem short as the discussions seem to have no ends. There’s nothing like a merry heart that goes all day when talking and listening to a kindred spirit who understands your mind’s world and encourages to continue cultivating your mind’s garden. The sun has moved closer to the horizon, and soon the evening will come. Then this Sunday will become a part of the memories of the past as a new Monday comes. Then it all seems legit to chime the timeless Latin phrase: “Tempus figit”. So it does. Times flies.

Bonbon Brunch Bonhomie

IMG_4017It’s one fine Saturday afternoon, and Hans Bauer and Zeus Magoo are as cheerful and loquacious as sparrows in the morning sky as they are talking away about the weekly panorama of Avonlea,families, and businesses at the delightful brunch hosted by their good business partner John Elephant, who has not only an acute business mind but also intelligence embodied in geniality out of his deep concern for humanity. So as a token of appreciation of individuality, John asked Hans and Zeus in advance  of their choices of brunch rather than deciding the menu on his part (or his wife Rachel’s, to be precise). It’s in fact convenient for Rachel to prepare for the guests’ meals and also interesting to detect a trace of character and personality in each of the meals by its ingredients and condiments it accompanies. As  tree is known by its fruits, a persona can be interpreted by what he eats to a certain extent because people tend to stick to diets of their choice.

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“I must say it has been a fine week weather-wise, ” John says blissfully before having the first bite of his lobster cooked in his favorite vino by Rachel,  “It’s spring in earnest, and we are entering Season of Summer as if we are flying on an airplane! Speaking of which, I am going to California  next week to consider buying a two-story house there. My experience with treacherous weathers on the East compelled me to look westward. In fact, California reminds me a lot of Cape Town, where I came from. But I am unsure whether or not my whole family will have to relocate there. I am thinking of Rancho Santa Margarita in southern California. That’s where I am going to look around first.

IMG_4019Zeus Magoo, who runs a convenient kiosk on 1291 Suhs Avenue, is surprised by John’s sudden intention of relocation to California because to Zeus moving a place of livinghood with a family, let alone his means of business seems to be too risky a business itself. “Well, it’s a nice idea to get away from the grim East, but I don’t think the nice weather should be the alpha factor to make you decide to uproot your livinghood, John. I mean, you can always vacation there with your family to escape from the blustery winter days, but moving there for good may ensue unforeseeable implications you can’t think of. Of course, you have enough resources to officiate a new residential and business addresses in the Sunshine State, but you need to think about this moving there carefully.”

IMG_4022“Yes, I agree with Zeus on that.” Hans Bauer, a tram conductor of thirty years, chimes in with his quiet agreement. “John, you are a man of prudence and sagacity, so it is hardly to expect you to act on impulses or whims. Think again, and think good. We don’t want to lose our trusty John to the Wild West. Surely, the eastern climate is not the most cheerful not salubrious to the sunny temperament, such as you possess, but then it’s not too bad to live here. At least, it’s better than Hanover, where I cam from at the age of eighteen.” Hans is then momentarily carried away by the floaty recollections of his early year with a melody of nostalgia.

The Trio’s brun table is filled with delicious food and general bonhomie air mixed with a certain pang of farewell, expectations for fortuitous future, and memories of the good old days that each of them is feeling at the same time. All in all, there is nothing more like having someone to talk to in times of need. That’s why Epicurus once said,  “We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.”

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That’s what friends are for.

photo (8)Since the opening of a chic French Restaurant La Boum, it has gained a reputation for serving a mune of homestyle dishes at reasonable prices in a very lovely atmosphere. Notwithstanding auspicious popularity of his restaurant, Randy the chef and owner of La Boum is still a simple man at heart, always finding happiness in every little way like St. Therese of Little Flower advised and practiced in the 19th century. In fact, it was Randy’s consistent positiveness and pleasant deportment coming from his heart that impressed highly enterprising and brilliantly intelligent John Elephant,  a town’s real estate developer who owned most of the commercial and residential properties in Avonlea  Consequently, John let Randy rent the restaurant for for an unspecified period on one condition that Randy’s monthly due would always be made on time.

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“Hey, how’s it going, Randy?” Looks like your restaurant is in boom like the name of it, La Boum.” was John’s affable greeting to his new friend and tenant Randy.  “Hey, buddy! Couldn’t be better! I mean. ever since I opened up the restaurant, there has never been a day where there is an empty seat. I did not advertise on my restaurant  on the media myself! I call it a miracle!” Randy’s heartfelt rhapsody of the successful launching of his restaurant business amused John all the more. That’s why Randy was a good friend of him. John needed Randy’s rustic and artless simplicity. Everything Randy said and did was of ingenuousness, which John had scarcely encountered.   Maybe it’s really an act of Providence that Randy and John were good friends.

photo (6)In the meantime, Seraphina and Mathilda were having their afternoon lunch in the restaurant after their fabulous window shopping in Lotte Department Store newly renovated with more variety of selections from apparel to shoes, cosmetics and household appliances, chocolates and restaurants. “I don’t like the new version of the department store.” Seraphina, who was tired of walking around the aisles, confided to her friend Mathilda before her first bite to a Chef’s Sandwich, one of Randy’s specialties. “It’s just all a pompous hyperbole of the same stuff only arranged and called differently. But I have to admit that the whole interior design of the lobby is quite elegant with aromas of sohistacately scented perfume that sweeten the entire floor.

photoMathilda thought that Seraphina was often hard to please, critical of anything glamourous or popular contrary to her fashion-conscious appearance that seemed to belong to a crowd in a Vanity Fair. “I like the remodelled store. It has now a wider aisles to walk around with attendants with more professional but nicer attitudes and more various items to select. It had taken about 8 months for the store to open it again. And I honestly think they had put quite a few huge efforts to make it better to accommodate themselves to today’s demanding satisfaction of us customers. So we should give them a laudable credit even just for the bona-fide efforts. Don’t you think so, Seraphina?”

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Having heard all this, Serapina felt herself a bit ashamed, or modified for being so critical of anything new or modified because a new thing always terrified her; she lacked adaptability. She’s conservative at heart, but thanks to her good and graceful nature, she wasn’t a conventionalist. “Mathilda, I did not intent to criticise the store’s generally improved atmosphere. In fact, I liked how the whole lobby smelled with perfumes of beautiful scents that were totally different from the ones you could get in drugstores or some other shoddy places. Maybe I was just too tired after walking around the store because I get easily peeved for such things… But I am glad to come out with my good friend today and enjoy this moment of repose with this delicious food. ” Upon finishing her apological statement about her abrupt curtness in the beginning, Serapina began to eat her sandwich with pleasure, which made Mathilda smile and start enjoying  her  custard pie with her heart’s content.

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Episode VII – Saturday Morning Serendipity at Bonjour Cake Shop

IMG_3843One Saturday morning, Mathilda Bear, who currently works at Bauer Daycare run by Hannah Bauer, stops by at Bonjour Cake Shop to reward herself with a cup of freshly brewed hot French Vanilla coffee with cream and two cubes of sugar and a piece of Ispahan cake that captivates her dormant testing bud and elevates her withered spirit with wonderful rose cream. It’s her weekly treat as a sweet reward for her hard work as a daycare teacher.

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Since it’s Saturday, the proprietress of the cake shop, Laura Collie, is at home with her family, attending to keeping the household neat and tidy, doing laundry,  preparing for special Saturday menu for her family, and probably taking a promenade with her friends late in the afternoon. So Laura has hired Bonnie Poodle, originally from Paris with her two baby twins, named Nena and Neno, both of whom are one-year old with Nena being five minutes older than her brother. The Poodles lost their parents two years ago by a tragic car accident in Paris. Since the death of their parents, the Collies being distant relatives by their mother’s side have invited the Poodles to live in Avonlea to help start new life in a different land under their aegis.

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“Good morning,” greets Mathilda first when she comes into the cake shop. “Bonjour!” is the French reply from Bonnie, who despite the fact that she’s a good English/French bilingual, oftentimes tends to reply in French because her brain’s language facility has already been cemented in her first language. It is said that you can have native-level fluency in acquisition of a foreign language if you learn it before the age of fourteen. Anyhow, Bonnie is getting well adjusted to her new life in Avonlea and likes her new job as a cashier/attendant at her aunt’s cake shop. She likes to talk with her customers with a pretty smile on her face, and always works hard even during a period of lull in the store hours because the word procrastination does not exist in her disposition as it is a hereditary trait in her family.

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“May I have a medium hot French Vanilla coffee with milk and two cubes of sugar?” Mathilda orders with her eyes gravitated toward the delicious-looking donuts by the counter. ‘”Anything else, miss?” Bonnie asks with a sweet smile. “Hmm, I can’t decide which one I should have because all looks so very scrumptious. I am wrestling with temptation of getting both donuts and cakes. But I can only take one because I have to watch out my figure. What do you recommend, miss?” “Then I’d like to recommend you our Ispahan, a rose-cream filled cake made by our fine patissier Laura, who is also my aunt.” “Oh, is Laura your aunt? Well, nice to meet you! What’s your name?” “I am Bonnie Poodle, and Laura is a distant cousin of my mother from France.” “Oh, I see. Bonnie is a pretty name for a pretty girl! I am Mathilda Bear. I work at Bauer Daycare. I am a regular customer of your establishment. I love coming here after hard days of a working week. I will have an Ispahan, which is actually one of  my favorite delicacies in the world.”

IMG_3823Bonnie thinks Mathilda a bit loquacious but pleasant and affable. Besides, the fact that Mathilda works at a daycare school provides her with a sense of relief that she can take her two baby twins  in the care of Matilda when she’s at work without having to take Nena and Neno to her Laura, whom Bonnie wants to alleviate from loads of responsibilities, so that she can enjoy her own private time with her own friends. So she writes down the address of Bauer Daycare School to check it out on Monday morning when she’s off from work. If all goes well, Bonnie wants to learn a new trade that can help her start a new business of her own in future. What trade it will be, Bonnie will do it just fine.

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