She was always more to me
Than just a wonderful wife
She was quite simply
The rhyme and hue of life
Downshire is a relatively small English county but like a pocket battleship it packs a lot in, a short but beautiful coastline, a channel port, the Ancient forests of Dancingdean and Pepperstock, the craggy ridges and manmade lakes of the Pepperstock Hills National Park, the rolling hills of the Downshire Downs, the beautiful Finchbottom Vale and farm land as far as the eye can see from the Trotwood’s and the Grace’s in the south to the home of the Downshire Light infantry, Nettlefield, and their affluent neighbour’s, Roespring and Tipton in the north but cupid struck its mark in the East, or more precisely, 20 miles inland from Sharpington-By-Sea, equidistant between Finchbottom and Pepperstock Green, in the sprawling village of Denmead where Charlotte St David was sous Chef at the Angels Tears Restaurant in the village.
She worked for her friend and boss Emily Goff who was head Chef and part owner, and between the two of them they had built it up into a highly respected eatery with a popular foodie following, but it came at a cost, to her personal life, and now that they had made a success of it she really wanted someone in her life to share in that success, someone she could talk to about the highs and lows of her day.
Emily had found her someone, in fact she was marrying the new Vicar at the Church of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, Humphrey Martin.
But such happiness had eluded Charlotte, partly because of the long hours she worked and in part because she didn’t meet many suitable candidates, but the main reason was because she had lost her mojo.
She knew that to be a fact, because when she did find someone who ticked all her boxes, he was unresponsive, she flirted with him, using the full arsenal at her disposal, flicking the hair, inclining her head when they spoke, coyly biting her lip and giggling, and she drew a complete blank, it was like she was casting pearls before swine.
The object of her flirtations was Graham Jones an Engineer from Purplemere who maintained all the Kitchen equipment.
Graham was from Wales originally and moved to Downshire together with his younger sister Glynis, she had got a job in the costume department at Purplemere Studios straight after college and they lived together in his flat for 7 years.
As his parents had charged him with looking after her, he was a bit of a mother hen to her, even after she left the Studios, because of boyfriend trouble, and moved to Mornington and stayed with their cousin Dave, he still felt responsible for her and that was why he had been ignoring Charlotte St David’s rather obvious flirtatious advances, not because he wasn’t attracted to her.
When she left for Mornington she left a lot of her stuff at the flat incase things didn’t work out, so he felt that he should be prepared for her return and for there to be no distractions.
But then there was a development at the end of January when the Welsh Patron Saint of lovers struck on St Dwynwen’s Day, on the Tunnel of Love in The Sharpington Fun Park when Scott Lazaro presented Glynis with a hand carved Welsh love spoon.
Now in the years they had lived together he had witnessed her being in love at close quarters, but she had never seen her so head over heels in love as she was with Scott, so with Glynis fully loved up, big brother Graham was free to go in search of love for himself.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t until the 1st of March before he found himself heading towards Denmead and the lovely Charlotte St David.
Which he thought was quite apt given that it was St David’s day and she was a St David.
But having made the decision that it was time for him to find his own love he wasn’t entirely sure how to achieve it, after all he had brushed off all her flirtations in the past and he was concerned that now that he was ready her feelings may have cooled.
So, he decided on an all-out assault, a new shirt, A haircut and shave at Mazzone’s, a liberal application of his most expensive aftershave and a fresh Daffodil on his lapel for St David’s day, and he hoped good luck.
He knew from past visits that his best chance of getting her to himself was between 3 and 5 and he was on schedule to meet that window but as he was driving over there he suddenly realized he didn’t have the first idea what to say, he was a bit out of practice and on all his previous visits he had been on the defensive, and she was flirting with him, and that was fine because he was well versed at that, but now he had to take the initiative and that he was not used to, and by the time he pulled up outside the restaurant he was in a mild panic and it took him a few minutes sitting in the car to calm himself down.
After suffering a crisis of confidence after his last visit Charlotte was determined this time to go all in and if he rebuffed her she would at least know once and for all that it was not meant to be.
Charlotte and Emily were sitting in the restaurant relaxing before they had to start prepping for the evening, when she saw him pull up, and she braced herself for action, and then he didn’t appear, and as the minutes past her confidence began to ebb away and this threw her into a blind panic, and seeing her reaction Emily smiled, because she’d been there herself, but when Graham finally appeared at the door she put a reassuring hand on her shoulder and made herself scarce.
Charlotte stood up when he knocked on the door and took a deep breath, Emily knew that she liked him but what she didn’t know was that she had been in love with him for several months, so him standing at the door and her in a “make or break” frame of mind was a big deal.
“Hello Graham” She said as she opened the door
As he passed her, and she closed the door, she got the full effect of his aftershave and she tingled all over then she saw the Daffodil.
Graham walked slowly towards the kitchen, still unsure how to ask her out, then he stopped and turned to face her, and in the instant, he opened his mouth to speak, she kissed him, and he forgot what he was going to say.
The second she seized the moment and her lips touched his, she had an instant of self-doubt that she might have gone too far but it soon melted away as he returned her kiss with equal intensity.
“Sorry about that” she said “But you are wearing the Daffodil and I am a St David, so it’s my day really”
“I can’t argue with that logic” he said, “but is it just the one kiss that you’re entitled to?”
“Oh no it’s unlimited” she retorted
“That’s good to know” Graham said and kissed her
“Well that went well” he said to himself as he got back in the car after leaving the restaurant
But then he thought to himself and chuckled
“I never did get to ask out a St David on St David’s Day”
To find the perfect partner
There’s no one I must pursue
Across the world in search
Of every street and avenue
For if I were to take the highway
It would lead right back to you
I think I overly rely on you
I try not to but I know I do
I know I depend on your support
Perhaps more than I ought
I don’t want to cause any upset
You’re more than a safety net
I know my view is slanted
And I’m sure I take you for granted
But the reason that I depend on you
Is because I’m in love with you
A comforter is a form of bedding
The modern example is a duvet
Or perhaps a continental quilt,
An eiderdown is best, so they say
But I think that you’re the best
Comforter by a very long way
Love appeared like an emerging flower
Blooming like a flush on a maiden’s cheek
Spreading out like the wings of a bird
And taking flight upon romantic winds
Traversing the immense poetic globe
Reaching every corner of the world
Before returning to its love-struck source
For there is no greater extent
To which a love can aspire
Than all around the world and back again