During December 2017, Goldfinch flew to the opposite side of the planet to spend the holidays with his nearest and dearest. Not before a perfect weekend with me. That was my fourth weekend with him in five weeks.
I felt so much love erupt within me during the hours I spent with him prior his flight. It snowed that weekend. We both excitedly gazed out of the window at the thick snowflakes that were descending and landing delicately on the window-ledge.
I remember going for a walk around the village. I lent him a scarf to keep him warm. The snow was perfect. I remember it fluttering down onto my face and melting against my soft rosie skin. I loved holding his hand. I was so happy. After walking through the pretty village, we headed for the village green (the green was white that day) and a lot of snowball throwing. I ran through the snow because he was trying to put ice down my… yes!
Don’t you worry, I gave him back as good as I got!
He was gorgeous that weekend. Goldfinch holding my hand, Goldfinch loving my cooking, Goldfinch washing the dishes after we ate, Goldfinch calling me “beautiful” and “gorgeous”. That’s when I first started to suspect he badly needed his eyes tested.
I travelled with him to Heathrow Terminal 2. I don’t know if I was more a help or hindrance, however, he did not seem to mind. I just wanted to cling to every moment I had with him before his absence of five whole weeks! I remember sharing some mince pies with him. I remember having a “thumb-war” with him. I remember seeing him disappear through the barriers into the departure lounges and a great shot of pain gushing up into my heart.
I left Terminal 2 with tears streaming down my face. However…
…I gave him a huge surprise by being there waiting for his arrival five weeks later. I was there at Heathrow Terminal 2 Arrivals with my big gold sign waiting for over two hours with a terrible anxiety that I had the day and time of his flight terribly wrong. The moment I saw him, my heart truly leapt.
I took this photo this week. Departures is above Arrivals. As I was leaving Terminal 2 earlier this week, I looked back and could see Departures and Arrivals. The security area Goldfinch has vanished into twice when I have said goodbye, and the doors he appeared through after my agonising wait.
But he is not coming back this time
– is he?
…she says whilst starting to hyperventilate…
I think every time it snows, I will remember my perfect weekend with Goldfinch.
This post was in response to the picture prompt provided by The Haunted Wordsmith:
Who does not love the chance to go and pick their own sweeties for a dolly bag? You take your empty paper bag and you are allowed to wander around the sweetie displays and using the scoops provided collect whatever combination of sweets you like best!
There have been a lot of questions and answer posts floating around in recent weeks. I have loved seeing the questions provided by our Queen of Questions, Teresa, aka The Haunted Wordsmith. I have loved reading the answers from other bloggers too. You may be aware that I have had a lot on my mind with the loss of my gorgeous Goldfinch – my loss, Australia’s gain.
I had started posts in response to Teresa’s questions and not had time to finish them. So I thought I would go through my drafts folder and try to compile a pick and mix of the questions I was clearly most enthusiastic about (which seem to be mostly about food!) and compile my pick and mix post of Teresa’s recent questions. I have narrowed it down to twenty questions – so ten today and ten tomorrow is my plan, as twenty make an extremely long post!
Ten Pick And Mix Questions From Teresa
To Sweeten Saturday:
What do you put in your sandwich?
But I like variety. I would probably add some salsa or sundried tomato. I love hummus too, especially with either roasted vegetables or falafel. I might occasionally have goat’s cheese, and sometimes add beetroot. Grated carrot and pesto. Diced celery, carrot, cucumber and mango chutney. (I love all cheese but I am not very good with dairy.)
Oh I am hungry.
Have you ever played a sport?
Oh yes. I love playing sports – much much more than watching sport. In fact to be honest, I don’t think I like watching sport at all now. I just want to jump up and join in.
My sisters and I were competition swimmers. That was our thing. But because we were fit and had a great lung capacity, we seemed to be pretty good at most sports. I was on the school team for everything.
I don’t have great hand eye coordination though. I have a lot of energy and stamina. I have no fear, but very little skill. So my best position in any sport is in defence. I will take on any opponent. But once I have won the ball, I am pretty useless. I have to pass it to a team mate because I can’t run with the ball, I just trip over. I am not always very precise in my aim or the force with which I pass the ball.
I have played football (soccer that is), hockey, basketball, rounders (which I think is a bit like baseball), netball and other sports. But I am usually in some kind of defense position. Whatever I play I enjoy. I don’t tire out, I love running around, I will tackle anyone on the other team, but once I have won possession of the ball, I have to give it to someone else because I am so useless with it.
What is your favourite soup?
I love variety again! I like soup!
I love butternut squash soup. But if I have avoided dairy for a long time, stilton and broccoli is yummy. I love a spiced lentil soup. I love parsnip soup. A creamy vegetable soup. I like sweetcorn chowder. I love a garlicky mushroom soup or a vegetarian onion soup. I like roasted beetroot and garlic soup.
What is one song that best describes your day so far?
But to be honest, most days here in London, I feel as if I am running around from here to there trying to squeeze in everything I have agreed to do in a day!
What is the oldest thing in your refrigerator right now?
I think a jar of rose harrissa paste. I forget to use it. It has probably been there for about three months.
Most of my fridge contents are salad and soya milk or cashew milk, with the occasional bottle of white or rose. Things don’t stay in my fridge for long.
If you had to stay up all night, what is one thing that would keep you awake?
Even if I am exhausted, when there are people around me I can’t fall asleep. If I am on a night flight where all the other passengers around me are sleeping, I will be wide awake clutching tightly to my purse. I just don’t feel safe or relaxed to fall asleep with people around me, especially if they are strangers. I feel as if I am very vulnerable!
I have had to do a lot of night shifts whilst working in health-care and I have worked very late nights trying to meet deadlines on various voluntary projects. If I am on my own, I have to keep drinking coffee and getting up and going for a walk. But if I am with other people, it is not difficult to stay awake. We chatter and laugh while we are working. I have a story about a nighttime project and a hilarious situation we faced with an alarm – we were all in tears laughing. Whenever I tell the story, nobody seems to understand how funny it was. But at the time, we were all shaking with laughter.
If your kitchen could talk, would it have a horror story?
Oooooh – so hard to choose. But there is one flower, that I think makes my heart leap in a special way. The bluebell!
I love it because most people know better than to try to pick them to take them home and put them in a vase. If you want to see my favourite flower, you put your wellington boots on and traipse into the shady woods to see them carpeting the woodland floor. That’s where they belong, not in a vase.
Around the end of April they might start to appear and hopefully last well into May. Carpets of blue on the forest floor. It is one of the most beautiful events of the year for me.
It is absolutely enchanting. I don’t know how many countries have bluebells that erupt in the forest each spring. But it is an incredible vision to behold that I would hope everyone on earth would have chance to see.
What is your favourite dessert?
I love variety – you are going to be bored of me saying that! I don’t think you could ever put a sweet dessert in front of me that I would not devour with relish! My preferences only change according to the season. In winter I like a hot indulgent dessert, in summer I like light fruity desserts.
The only thing I am a bit snobbish about is either shop-bought pre-packaged desserts, or if I go to a restaurant, and I genuinely feel I could have made a better job of making the dessert than the professional kitchen staff have. When I first started baking all by myself, I remember looking through recipe books and picking out cakes and pastries I wanted to learn how to make. My very first choice was profiteroles. I reckon I was around twelve years old. I followed the recipe and instructions faithfully and out came perfect profiteroles. So I am a snob. I can’t buy them from a supermarket because I know mine are so much better.