A few days earlier I’d picked her up from the airport. I hardly recognised her when she walked through the arrival door. For starters her normally porcelain complexion had changed to a muddy colour with red and green smudges on her cheeks! She was wrapped in a brightly coloured kaftan type dress and had a large leaf in her hair and sandals on her feet! It seems she was dressed and 'painted' for her journey by some of the women in the African village and she’d faithfully kept everything the same throughout her journey! Round her neck she wore a special necklace to keep her safe and she was to wear it until she arrived back in Africa in January. I commented that the only thing she was missing was a bone through her nose and all I got from her was a stern look!
She spent the following few days with her parents and cats, and shopping for Christmas presents. She brought a few arty-farty craft bits back fron Africa with her. For her mother she brought a very heavy brightly coloured necklace which is so different from the strings of pearls she normally wears. She had one of the men make a smoking pipe for her father and even brought back some special tobacco for him. I’m not suggesting there was anything dodgy about it (even though I suspect there is!) but how she got it through customs without it being confiscated beats me! Oh, her father doesn’t smoke by the way so if he humours her by lighting up on Christmas Day it could turn into quite a party!
We arranged a buffet at the pub for her . We expected to pay for it but the owners of the Bike insisted on doing it for her. We told her to be there at eight, so when nine o’clock came round we knew she was about to bound through the door! And so she did. She hurtled into the bar dropping her basket on the floor, and ran at us with her arms open wide bumping into a couple of tables on the way and knocking drinks flying. Rosey was back!
After much hugging and kissing and all talking at once, she went back to retrieve her basket and informed us that we were to open our presents then and there! Before we opened ours she wanted to show us what she’d got for her cats, Fuz and Scruff. It was a very realistic looking toy rodent. She called it a mouse but itlooked more like a rat to me! It was a battery operated devise which apparently scurried around constantly changing direction.
Needless to say she wanted to demonstrate it to us, and despite my suggestion that it was a bad idea she clicked its switch and popped it onto the floor. Off it went at a vast rate of knots first to the left, then right and then straight toward a group of giggling girls at a table near the fire. Rosey then made the mistake of standing up and shouting ‘catch that mouse!’ You can imagine what happened. As the fury monster closed in on the girls, chaos broke out! Screaming, standing on chairs......I’m sure you can imagine the scene!
We decided to have something to Eat and drink before we started on our gifts just in case any other surprises were in store! In the event our presents were quite sensible. Most of them, anyway. She did give Susan a rather ugly African doll with pins to stick into it because she’d heard she was still having trouble with her ex boyfriend.
I wish you could have seen Dave’s face when he opened his! It was a Borat Mankini in bright green! I can’t wait to see him on the beach wearing it in the summer! She gave Malcolm a tee shirt. Now Malcolm has a horse which he rides every day. The tee shirt has picture of a finger pointing upwards with the words ‘half man’ written below it. Underneath are printed the words ‘half horse’ with a finger pointing down. We instantly got the joke, but Rosie went on to explain that it was a funny way of pointing out who was the animal and who was the rider!
Our generously proportioned friend Daisy is a bit of a chocoholic so she got her a calculator which looked and smelt exactly like a bar of chocolate. Daisy initially thought it was a bar of chocolate which looked like a calculator and launched her teeth into it! Her face was a picture when it beeped at her! Jane is always careful with her small change, ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’ she always says. Rosey got her a money box which cleverly counts the money as you drop it through the slot in the top!
Then it was my turn. She always laughs at me because I do all my typing with one finger, sometimes extremely quickly! After a while my right hand begins to ache a bit – it is right now! So she got me a hand massager. Not any old hand massager, this one is shaped like a ladies breast! I’ll let you know if it works! I certainly had no intention of demonstrating it in the pub!
The gifts we gave Rosey were far more tame, the usual sort of stuff, make up and sweeties. I wrote her a little poem which I folded up and placed inside a locket which she can wear back in Africa as a reminder of the place she has in the hearts of her friends back home. No, I’m not going to tell you what it says! It’s between us a Rosey.