It’s officially freezing in our house tonight. I am huddled next to the Mac wearing several layers (me, not the Mac. I limit my in-house machinery to a single threadbare jersey which they share amongst themselves). I’ve even gone as far as wrapping my lower half in a blanket. This has left me feeling comforted yet strangely gran-like.
Still bloody cold though.
They don’t tell you about this stuff in the Welcome to Africa! pamphlet that’s for sure.
I wonder if they even have a word for radiator…
Anyway, in a bid to keep myself warm and my mind sharp(ish) I’m going to write a story set in a large (warm) banqueting hall. Brace yourselves…there may be nonsense ahead…
“…and fell into the swamp!”
The Prince used the agreeable laughter that spontaneously dribbled out of his five simpering companions as a means of escape. He paused mid-stride to allow a passing wine servant to replenish his glass before making his way to a corner bench to watch the proceedings. His faithful page, Jimmy, joined him a moment later bearing an emergency wine skin and a tankard of mead.
“Indeed my Lord.” said Jimmy.
“Not one of them worth my time and energy and…hello sailor who is that fine fellow over there?”
Jimmy squinted. “The tall one with the chestnut mane?”
The Prince frowned. “I believe that’s his horse. Put on your damnable spectacles man! How can you be of any use to me if you can’t…well I suppose filling my wineglass makes up for things…hurry up man! How can I be expected to…”
“The tall one with the braided chestnut mane?”
The Prince nodded. “That’s the chap! Who is he, pray tell?”
“Sir Felix Cumstance my Lord. Famed knight, fearless warrior and part time hair model.”
“Splendid! Splendid! The name is familiar to me, I…”
“He was responsible for the Pantene massacre my Lord. No one rightly knows what set him off but he laid waste to the good people of Pantene leaving but one soul barely alive.”
“Good grief! Who did he spare, and why?”
“There is a rumour my Lord that the man he left at the very steps leading up to Death’s cottage was the one and only Sir Vivor. Rumour has it that Sir Vivor failed to return a brush belonging to Sir Cumstance and the decimation of Pantene was the price to be paid. Whether it be true or not, there were many songs born that day dedicated to the victims of Sir Cumstance.”
“Ghastly. Utterly ghastly.”
“Indeed my Lord.”
“What? Oh yes the story was ghastly but I was referring to those two fops tagging along in his wake. What on earth were they thinking?”
“Pewter breastplates with the matching otterskin trim? Sir Tainly and Sir Visellavater if I’m not mistaken my Lord. Thinking is not their strongest suit so I’m led to understand Sire.”
“I would think a suit of armour would be their strongest suit wouldn’t you Jimmy?” The Prince slapped his thigh and bellowed a laugh.
“Brilliant my Lord,” said Jimmy. “Tis a wonder people ever stop laughing at you Sire.”
The Prince beamed and waved him off. “Oh you’re just being kind to an old man.”
Jimmy shook his head. “Never my Lord. My mirth is only hidden from you for fear it becomes an uncontrollable torrent. And you are only as old as the w…”
“Enough kindness. You must tell me who that handsome but oddly miserable looking stranger is standing behind the Widow Black at right angles to the performing seal.”
“Acting as an impromptu yet perfectly judged point of an isosceles triangle in relation to the blind juggler and the mute lutist?
The Prince nodded eagerly. “Yes! Yes! That’s him.”
Jimmy scratched at his chin. “That my Lord, is Sir Lee.”
“Sir Lee…Sir Lee…Sir…Not a local knight…grumpy but with an astonishingly large…wait…no…it can’t be…?”
“The very same my Lord. Sir Lee Tout des Pointes of Iltemper.”
“Marvellous! You must introduce us at once! He hails from Angér?”
“The Brusque Peninsula I believe my Lord.”
“How exciting! I must think of something witty to say…yes, yes, lead on man! I haven’t got all night…”