It was almost lunch time when I checked my mailbox, and found an interesting envelope amongst the normal junk mail. A pink envelope addressed to me in a female hand, and by the looks of it using a quill pen, quite personal and with just a hint of a perfume that started to bring back old memories. The return address held only a single letter, “S”.
I carefully opened the envelope to find it contained an invitatoin from Susan, when I first met her the name tag on her waitress uniform said Suzie. That was a few years ago, in the coffee shop just as it was demolished . Suzie and Mel worked at the coffee shop and we met off and on just after that and again for a hike on Hardknott Hill .
Now it was time to get together again. Her invite was to meet at the in Causton at The Golden Cross a short walk from the Causton Railroad Station at 9 o’clock next Sunday. I sent back a quick reply that I’d be there and began packing for a couple days in the country.
I arrived at the station on the 8:45 train, took a quick look around to get my bearings, I’d only been told to walk east on Station Road to the pub. I turned right and almost walked into Tom Barnaby, that is DCI Barnaby and Sgt. Gavin. Not wanting to get mixed up in one of their investigations I dodged them and walked to our meeting place. As my eyes adjusted to the darker interior of the pub I quickly spotted Melvin, when we climbed Hardknot we all called him Mel, but these days he prefers the more formal name. A small group came in just behind me, yes it was my sailing friends from the Whitehaven Marina . We all ordered some tea and biscuits while we waited for Susan. And a wonderful cup of tea it was. I was brought a pot of hot water and assured it was about 190F and an infuser of Lapsung Souchung. The others picked other varieties of tea.
At 9 o’clock on the dot Susan came through the door, still trim with flowing Auburn hair. After the greetings were over she said our ride was waiting outside. Our itinery for the day was to visit a few small hamlets, starting with Burwood Mantle then lunch at the Black Swan in Badger’s Drift and if we still had time we’d go on to have dinner in Midsomer Mallow. It sounded like a lot of traveling to me, but Susan had arranged the whole expedition. Outside at the curb was a Red London Double Deck buss! We were going to ride in style.
What a surprise when we finally finished up the day, as we got off the bus in Midsomer Mallow we were welcomed by DCI John Barnaby, Dr. Kate Wilding, and the ever-present Sgt. Neslon who hosted a dinner for us, a dinner at the Mallow Inn featuring roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding. It must I’m sure it was prepared by an American chef, it was fantastic. Dinner followed by a digestif of good brandy. By then I was ready to nod off. Susan had arranged everything, rooms for each of us with a wake-up call for breakfast the next morning.
After steaming coffee for some and a pot of English Breakfast tea and scones for me we all loaded back on the bus headed to Causton for the morning train home. I started thinking, Susan arranged this trip, Melvin had organized the hike on Hardknott Hill. So it’s time I think about leading an expedition.
for Sunday Photo Fiction – March 27th 2016