The exceedingly pleasant Saturday was swiftly winding down. The Howard Miller kitchen wall clock ticked rhythmically and undeterred towards six. The busy Saturday, replete as it had been, was lamentably coming to its closing stages. After their bicycle ride early this morning, after their breakfast at the golf club, and after having gathered and unloaded their groceries (by which time they had all but exhausted the first half of the day), B and D had both been out for lunch, separate congregations, D with B’s sister (L) and daughter (J) and her girl-friend (A); B with another lawyer (K) who was beating the bushes for his urban litigation practice (estate contests and Plaintiff’s counsel in personal injury suits). By all accounts, when B and D rallied at home by happenstance at almost the same time after lunch, their respective social and business engagements had gone well. For D’s part, after their most satisfactory lunch at the new Crêperie, L and the girls had visited the house and admired the garden, the patio and the recent improvements to the garage and brick lamp posts. L, who had more than once mentioned the possibility of selling their expensive family home nearby the Canal in the City, clearly had an eye on the less expensive and more expansive rural housing market. For his part, B and his ward (the younger City lawyer) had shared hard facts about the murky past and about current business practices, two lawyers dryly discussing life as seen from the Bar. They had wandered up and down the Riverwalk from the old Town Hall to the Victoria Woollen Mill where they had dined by the waterfall (though neither of them had paid much attention to what was beyond the extent of the white linen covering their table). Theirs was a soulful expatiation, a commiseration between an older and a younger lawyer. B had felt the need to share the lessons of life which he had learned. K regretted the untimely death of his father at age 59.
After lunch B had taken another bicycle ride; the day was simply too spectacular to ignore, and given that the calendar was hastening towards autumn, it behooved him to take advantage of the fine weather which he knew would not last. Upon his return from this second bicycle excursion, B prepared (as he had said he would) a gazpacho soup for which he had purposively purchased the ingredients earlier that morning. It wasn’t often that B usurped D’s jurisdiction in matters culinary, which made the enterprise both singular and imperative. After an hour of chopping, mixing red wine vinegar, virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard, hot sauces and countless vegetables, drowned in tomato juice, the dish was prepared. Into the ‘fridge it went! Worn out and feeling the ache in his back and knees (being unaccustomed to stand), B threw himself onto the green leather sofa in the fireplace room and blissfully drifted off for a solid thirty minutes lulled by music from the French side of CBC radio.
When B awoke and recovered his bearings, he suggested they take their gazpacho soup on the patio, now partly shaded by the burgeoning garden trees and dappled by the late afternoon sun, alluring. The air was still. How it lent itself to a frozen vodka martini! This was B thought a secret roguish reflection (at least until it was similarly echoed by D who not surprisingly shared the same anxiety) but the threat of inducement had by then passed, pushed aside by each spoonful of the soup. They were drinking their soup from Crown Derby soup plates on matching platters, with sterling silver spoons. They had decided months ago in a moment of awakening to use the stuff, to stop hiding it away in the cupboards and the drawers of the ancient mahogany cellarette inherited from one of the earliest Molson family members. Everything tasted better on silver, they both agreed.