For breakfast this morning we arose late and languidly consumed a light feast of melon, honey and fresh eggs as we perused the Sunday papers. After our meal we splashed each other with the dew that decorated the branches as we made our way like teenagers towards an exciting new adventure beyond the wooded skyline. We held hands as we walked together across the fields and stood by the lower road hoping to catch a final glimpse of the huge metal beast that had recently visited with us. I caught myself humming a forgotten tune as her perfume delicately wafted on the autumn breeze about me. Below us, the hillside still shrouded in a fine mist, cast an even backdrop on what had been a perfect beginning to the day. To our right, the distant smoke from a neighbours chimney seemed to wave at us as if beckoning on the cheeriness of which we possessed inside. The beast was no longer to be seen. Our weekend was very happily complete.
The last time it had arrived was on the back of a medium sized yellow truck. I remember it well, the air brakes hissing as they carefully manoeuvred the upward climb, the height of the exhaust stack glinting conically in the mid-summer sun above the hedgerows as it wound its way through the hillside. A week prior to the arrival the delivery company decided to do a dummy run unladen, just to ensure it would survive the journey through the winding road that leads to the property. The tall wrought iron gates gave only a hairs breadth as the driver eased the vehicle in reverse to the edge of the carefully coiffured lawns. It took three strong men half a morning just to lower it to the ground where it sat gleaming on the mustard hogging stone of the driveway before it was sadly rejected and reloaded as the sun had begun to set on such a truly magnificent object. This time it had to be right.
Once again, the man in over-all charge was a woman. Siobhan herself, dressed in her faded blue Sunday jeans, designer plaid press button shirt atop a white T-shirt and brown worky boots, her beautiful hair pulled back in an almost casual knot. If she wasn't already my wife I would have made a move based just on the magnificent way in which she looked before me. It was moments like this that made me realise just why she ate so carefully, like that of a very beautiful dove. My eyes travelled between my wife and the new arrival on the back of the truck. I watched as she stood, hands on extremely slender hips, her pale pink lips set firmly in the same way in which she does when I am in her bad books. The steel grey of her Irish eyes flashed authority as she emanated power just from her presence alone. I felt a hunger stir inside of me as she paced slowly up and down the cobbled slate of the pathway. Her anticipation matched an entirely different hunger to mine.
The mechanical arm moved steel hawsers majestically until they reached the perfect pivotal point of counter balance. The driver, a nonchalant man nearly as wide as the crate itself, was barely vocal in his directions to the guys assisting the cable winch. Slowly the mechanical boom took up the strain and the crate rose above the shingle of the lower roof tier as it began its ascent high enough to clear the leafy lushness of the neatly trimmed topiary. The rough pine of the timber planking gave off a faint essence of Scandinavian wood, a mere rivers crossing from the origin and birth place of the item inside its secure timber housing. My eye caught the green and bronzed hew of the twisted metal banding that gave the packaging its strength. The earthy elements of metal, wood and nature was not lost on me. It gave me an inner satisfaction that only a working man can recognise and appreciate.
The meal on Saturday evening had consisted mainly of hearty foods, comforting and wholesome for our invited friends. The conversation was taken up considerately by the arrival of the new addition to the large open plan room that had once housed those who insisted upon doing good deeds in exchange for a god fixing the subsequent emptiness that demented their insides. It had been nearly five years in the planning, the searching, the travelling, the resurrection and refurbishment, not to mention the added expense of the second shipping. It was as natural to its new environment as the day it had first been nurtured to such an original magnificent design. I had spent many an hour savouring it in my minds eye, admiring the craftsmanship many a night as I lay down in my bed. The intricacy of its design, the way in which it would never chime, beep or trill. A stoic masterpiece of Mother Natures engineering stood before us.
It was with no little sadness that an anti-climatic feeling was upon me after our guests had departed happily in spirit and in wine. The enticing crackle of the thick fire log merely enhanced the beauty of the room that evening. Our own wine glasses stood untouched as we headed hand in hand towards the focus of so much conversation in the curvature of the room. I sighed deeply as I realised that as good as it had looked hidden beneath those dusty oul barn sheets during our long weekend so many years since, it did not hold quite the allure that I felt for my wife. As the shadows of the open fire played devilishly upon the high ceilings of our once christian home, nothing could ever come close to being quite as perfect as the woman who stood before me. Happiness is not always at the expense of a gift secured for its long journey aboard many a foreign truck. Sometimes the object of a mans desire is right before his very eyes the whole time.
We retired as lovers by the fireside as we consumed the best part of our midnight dessert. A recipe of such intimate and special ingredients, of which I am unable on this occasion to record.