I went to visit Manuella Bourdignon the other day. Not to be confused with bœuf bourguignon. That is a beef stew braised in red wine, often red Burgundy, and beef stock, typically flavoured with carrots, onions, garlic, and a bouquet garni, and garnished with pearl onions, mushrooms, and bacon.
Now that I've cleared this possible cause of misunderstanding let me start again.
I went to visit Manuella Bourdignon the other day.
She lives about a mile or so away from us. A bit more depending on which way you go to her house. You can go via town, or you can take the more scenic route through the countryside which is a bit longer. The latter is often better because you get to see cattle grazing in the fields, sheep and lambs gambolling in the pastures green, and hares hiding in the hedgerows.
I don't know why I am telling you all this. You are hardly likely to visit Manuella Bourdignon are you? For all you know, I might have invented her and she does not even exist. Which she does by the way.
I took the scenic route and on the way there I saw a one armed squirrel. Which means he only had one arm, not that he was carrying some sort of weapon.
I should have told you at the beginning that Manuella is an elderly lady we have known for a number of years. I don't know how old she is exactly but I think she was there when Adam needed his diapers changing.
Did Adam ever need diapers? Or was he created a grown up man? How old exactly? In his teens? Twenties? Older? The Bible is a bit unclear about that. And what did he say when he saw naked Eve? More to the point, what did she say?
Anyway, back to Manuella. She is elderly and takes many medications prescribed by her doctor. She takes so many pills and tablets that when she moves about she rattles like a baby's toy.
I took with me one of those pill organiser boxes. You must have seen them. Not the one I got Manuella, but something similar. It is a small box with different compartments for different tablets which you have to take on separate days or times.
She looked at it, smiled, and said, "I'll put it in my dead cupboard!"
"Dead cupboard?" I enquired, "what is that?" wondering if there is such a thing, as opposed to a living cupboard which is in the living room no doubt.
She said it's a cupboard where she leaves a lot of things which she does not use and they are left there for someone else to deal with after she is dead. A sort of postponement resting place for things left in limbo until their time of destiny has arrived.
She explained that she has in that cupboard precious items like a porcelain tea set for special occasions when she has special guests. You know, in case the queen or the pope should visit.
I asked her under what special circumstances would the pope visit her and find himself in need of a pill box.
She said, "he is old you know; maybe he takes a lot of tablets and he forgot his pill box in the Vatican!"
I said that if he had forgotten his pill box in the Vatican the chances are that his tablets are within it, in which case and circumstance he would not require her pill box since he would have nothing to place therein.
She told me not to be a smart Alec. No one likes a smart Alec apparently.
That is a pity. Because I was planning that next time I visit her I would take her a stuffed parrot as a present. Do you think she would like that? Or should I take her an old style mangle?
Which present do you think she would appreciate more? She lives alone, she likes pizza and she keeps fit by lifting weights and throwing javelins and boomerangs at passers-by. Tied to a rope of course so she can retrieve them back.