S: Bunny visits Boo
BC: With a huge thank you to Susan for thinking of us all, for reaching out, and for letting the Bun visit so we could share our feelings and thoughts. She helped me make a decision about the future and take stock of where I am.
FC: The Ambassador of Grief and Whimsy visits London
1: After a very very long flight from Canada, the Bun arrived at Boo's office in Surrey, and that very same evening, they took the train into London Victoria before getting into a Black Cab. | Boo | Boo | Bun
2: The Black Cab Driver thought Boo was insane because she made him put the light on so she could take a photo of the Ambassador.
3: And to add insult to injury he took 10 minutes longer to get there than usual, so they were late for dinner in Covent Garden.
4: said the Bun to Boo. "No worries," agreed Boo ... my friends will be fine when I pay for the wine as way of apology."
5: and after another 5 minutes, they arrived at
6: Kate, Laura and Boo
7: Boo had arranged for Kate Young (Treasurer of Widows' Rights International) to meet Laura Slap-Shelton (Grief and Renewal dot com)- primarily because they have a common goal, namely raising awareness of the lack of human rights extended to widows living in poverty, especially in Africa and India. Laura's husband joined them along with James Miller (a widower friend of Boo's), whose son Henry happens to be one of the top Human Rights Lawyers in the UK. | and Boo confided to the Bun that she fantasized that Henry might look like Mark Darcy. In fact after a couple of glasses of wine she shared that fact with everyone at the table. | and just FYI, Boo has a pair of these. And some cat ones. But the Bun preferred these ....
8: The Bun was a little shy and jet lagged, so she hid in Boo's bag for the first hour and then stretched, yawned and oh my, was she hungry, so she peeked out and Boo immediately scooped her up and sat her at the table.
9: As soon as she made her surprise appearance, everyone jumped up, animated, discussions about lobbying the Human Rights Council in Geneva were forgotten ... and much to Boo's amusement and delight, her dinner companions started behaving as though they were paparazzi .. even the waiter came over to see who the celebrity was. After all the camera flashes ... the Bun had some rather nice Merlot to settle her nerves
10: It was soon time to head home and catch the last train back to the Kent countryside half an hour away from the bustle. The Bun and Boo walked halfway to Victoria Train Station because Boo needed to let a few tears out. London always does that to her because the city is full of so many happy memories - once shared, but now remembered by her alone. She showed the Bun the 'Tapas Bar' that she'd eaten at with him, and could see him - oh she could see him as he was then ... Once Upon A Time. A pub that they'd been in. They walked past Hyde Park - where they'd been to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers. More silent tears. It seemed as though there was a memory - a translucent faded water colour - of her beautiful husband at every turn. All the while clutching Bunny safely because it was dark and you know ... Boo is a FREAK MAGNET.
11: After wallowing in her bittersweet lala-land for a while, they hailed another Black Cab to Victoria and ... home.
12: the next day, the Bun was really missing her momma, so Boo cheered her up a little with a gift - her own iPhone - so she could hear her voice. She looked like an IT Girl with her accessories, her expensive bespoke jeans ... coolly posing in Boo's car as they headed for the coast for the evening.
13: Boo thought Bunny still looked sad ... so she took her shopping ... and bought stuff until the sadness evaporated from her face. Or perhaps her jeans were just pulled up too high and were uncomfortable - but Bunny, being the perfect diplomat, was too polite to say so. In any event, Bunny cheered up some.
14: Yes, the Bun cheered right up ... that is until ... she noticed that it said 90 mph on Boo's speedometer and when Boo told her to relax, the Bun said in very cool icy tones that if Boo were caught by the Police that she might not use her diplomatic immunity to get her 'off' She went ballistic, had a tantrum and when Boo told her to chill out, and explained that she had an internal antennae that always alerted her to the presence of the old bill, the Bun really spit her dummy out.
15: Boo tried telling her a joke to restore diplomatic relations - but the joke only seemed to darken the Ambassador's mood. 'WTF' - Boo thought to herself and with that very thought she realized the gas station was 50 metres away, causing her to manoeuvre the car off the motorway sharply ... and earning her a disapproving look from you-know-who.
16: After re-fuelling and restoring international relations by massaging the Ambassador's ego with talk of it being "Year of the Bunny", and enquiring as to the health of the Bun's favourite nephew, enthusing about the wonderful tea that Vicki would serve her ... not to mention bribing her with a bag of Cadbury's Fingers ... a compromise was reached. The Bun would wear her sunnies (which she was supposed to save for Australia), so she couldn't actually see how fast Boo was driving.
17: Boo even agreed to let Bunny use her Peter Rabbit plate for the duration of her visit, because she has this exact one. Cliff brought it home for her ... so she loves it. And doesn't generally let anyone else use it. | they talked about Peter and other famous bunnies ...
18: the "Energizer Bunny" that went on and on and Dillon (named after Bob Dylan) from "The Magic Roundabout"
19: then the Bun asked Boo if she had purposefully omitted Watership Down because the rabbit died ... and Boo quietly answered that she probably had done - albeit on a subconscious level. | then ... thankfully they had reached the coast. The Bun enquired, a little coyly, whether they might be meeting any playboys later ... and Boo let her know they'd be seeing some diamond geezers, who were Boo's and Cliff's friends ... very close and cherished friends - but it didn't mean that the Bun couldn't flirt with them. Bunny took off her sunnies and didn't seem to care less about what the speedo registered!
20: The Bun was getting very excited about meeting these diamond geezers and started checking that her hair ribbons were just so, and adjusted her designer jeans so that her tail was on display. She kept hold of her new iPhone and sunnies ... secretly hoping they would make her look cool. But then ... she started worrying that she wasn't dressed appropriately ... and before long had a major meltdown. So Boo had to make a detour so the Bun could buy new clothes, and only just managed to convince her to wait until they'd visited Roy & Lala, then Vicki & Ging, before getting changed. | Roy and La-la
21: They drove along the coast road, and Boo went quiet ... for his footprints had once left their mark on those sands. She could almost forget that he'd died when she was in this place. But not quite. It was painful and equally comforting all at once. Her heart smiled ... whilst the tears bubbled just below the surface. They were driving past their old apartment - where they had been so so so in love, so happy. She remembered a time when she had been oblivious. How blissfully happy and safe she'd been in her la-la-land and she struggled to compose herself. Boo ... his Boo. Boo before ......and in that moment, the Bun's empathy radar went to red alert ... and she asked why Boo appeared so pensive ... | and so, Boo explained that the coast, the sea, always brought grief to her in its true size ... that the enormity of what she had lost was so over-whelming. That they''d launched the firework that held some of his ashes over those waters, letting him go free ... as his spirit always was - it had been the week after Boo had lit that fizzling fuse, that she lost it. Big time.
22: she also shared that they had married by the sea. To Van Morrison's Someone Like You. and that she used to sing Dido's Thank You to him ... ... and played it to him one last time at his funeral ... at which she'd asked everyone to imagine that he was having the Viking Funeral which she would have preferred if logistics had allowed ... so the Viking horns were played for him while everyone stood in silence - out of respect. But now she played (and sometimes managed to sing some) of Paul Weller's You Do Something To Me instead ...
23: ... or Sash's Stay. I had a dream last night You were there You hold my hand so tight I thought I'd just die (Do you remember?) When we used to have So much fun I used to cry sometimes Those days are gone (Do you remember?) I wanna go back to Back to the days When I needed A little more fun When I believed I believed I could fly so high Through the clouds Tear down these walls if just for one day Tear down these walls I need you to stay Stay Turning back time to Times we made love All day, under the sun When I believed I believed I could fly so high Through the clouds
24: They drove - at a stately pace - much to the Bun's approval. Boo didn't want to ruin the moment and admit that she couldn't see through her tears, leaving her with no choice but to take her foot off the gas. And when they parked outside Vicki's, Boo's tears had dried and evaporated. They were welcomed with hugs, tea and love. | Vicki and Cliff taken by Boo when she was 20 and Cliff was 28 (two years after they first met and became friends). | The Bun and Ging taken by Boo 5 minutes after they met. That's all it took. His bad influence for 5 minutes. And the Bun had lost her table manners. In 5 minutes. Really.
25: The Cat Rodeo
26: after the Rodeo which Vicki kindly arranged as a special surprise, the Bun looked a little green around the gills, and seemed to want to go | However, Vicki had a cunning plan. A clever plan. She distracted her by helping her to get ready to meet the diamond geezers.
27: hanging with the diamond geezers ... no cameras allowed
28: Before they knew it, it was Monday morning, and with hardly any sleep they headed off to work. Poor Bunny. She worked so hard that she wanted a massage, a lie down and a vodka (with diet coke and ice) - when they went to the local pub at lunchtime (to celebrate her friend Laks moving to a new role).
29: The following week flew past. Boo left the office, exhausted and in tears late one evening. She was so stressed that she couldn't think straight. She told one of the Senior Managers (a friend of hers) that she could hear her pulse or heartbeat in her ears - it was pumping that fast. He was furious and told her to demand that she be given an assistant, else he would. Boo promised to speak to her line manager upon her return from annual leave. And so now she is stressed about that too ... | The Bun has been chilling in the car, the office or the entrance porch ... to keep her safe ... mainly safe from Boo's terrorists - Fred and Barney - pictured here. p.s. the bear in the picture above is brown bread (dead) now.
30: Cliff's 55th birthday was approaching fast (March 16th); she could feel the waves growing in strength and size as they lapped at her ankles. After 2 years and 2 months she had learned not to fight it. It was one of the hardest lessons she ever learned (and without her mentor). For just like water, grief will find its way. Resistance is futile. It won't leave you alone until it's assured that it can floor you on a whim. All one "gains" from fighting is exhaustion that debilitates. So she will fall to her knees and let the largest wave almost drown her before crawling back to land; knowing that every second of her pain is worth the 15 years she had with him; knowing that she would do it all again if she could, even for a taste of him; knowing that love is stronger than death. Finding herself already depleted of energy, she discussed her plans to scatter more of Cliff's ashes (with one of his closest friends) with the Bun, before rescheduling launching the firework until the following weekend. The Bun and Boo sat looking at the rocket and his ashes, then the scrapbooks that are sill a work in progress ... in the quiet. For quite some time. Boo spoke to him for an even longer time whilst Bun pretended not to listen patiently. She can't help it. I mean, have you seen her ears? Then the Bun was privy to some stories - about some stuff she can't ever tell anyone else. Memories once shared ... no longer. That felt good for Boo. She missed that familiar banter, those clear blue eyes, the smile and oh, his laughter and the way he held her, so so much. If she admits to this out loud she always breaks. Every time. It gets messy. She would always miss so many things about him. Just watching him sometimes. Sawing a piece of wood, without measuring it, and then being astounded each time that it fit perfectly. The way he would look at her across a crowded room and how they could communicate without the need for words. His amazing broad shoulders and back. Hands that were so big yet gentle and made her safe. Hands that worked so hard for them and their home. Hands that soothed her. His intellect. His humour. His understanding of people without being judgmental. His guidance. She wanted to breath him in again. She wanted so badly to lay down with him. Sleep next to him. She missed the closeness they shared. She missed all of him, even his snoring. She'd progressed in most aspects yet insisted on keeping him safe in her heart despite knowing their souls were still entwined, just as the palm trees where they married are.
31: Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation. | Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, but falling in love with you I had no control over. | When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you will see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
32: And so all that remains is for Boo to pack Bunny's Samsonite (it took her 15 minutes to open BTW), wash Bunny's t-shirt (babies are so sticky), add two more addresses on the list, write in her journal and finally book her on a flight to Wales on Friday 18th March 2011 (provided there are business seats available, naturally). The End. (Not)
33: The adventure continues ... Bunny meets Moose (who is actually a dog not a moose) and unlike the terrorists in London, he is a good boy (trained in other words), and I have a feeling the Bun will be glad she chilled out for a while, because J will probably have her digging and growing carrots and lettuce.