But A. is a mystery to most of us. Perhaps even an enigma. What do you really know of her, other than she IS a "her" and that she is obviously well-traveled and pretty smart? Nothing, that's what. And that's the way she wants to keep it. You see, A. has been running from the law for almost 15 years now.
Stop. If I am going to do a tribute to my friend A., I must learn to stop lying. Obviously, she has not been, is not, running from the law. She is just a very private person. But I have learned a thing or two about her - after all, I have been stalking her just as long as she has been following this blog. Frankly, I have learned a hell of a lot more about her than I am going to share with YOU in this post, but I will share a few things you may not know, just to tease you. Here are a few of those juicy facts.
A. grew up in Africa during her formative years. Ha! Bet you didn't know that! In fact, A. is the only friend in the world I have who has ever had malaria. I cherish that. (Her father was a doctor, and luckily for us she recovered.)
A. makes her home in the South of England, but has lived quite a few places in the United Kingdom, including Scotland. But - and here I spill the beans a bit - A. is NOT English. No. A. is an Irish lass, born and bred. Irish as in... um... Ireland. But still British. A story for another day.
A spends a good part of the year in France, where she has a home by a very pretty river, and from where she sends us gorgeous photographs. She is a good enough photographer to make money at it, although she would probably poo-poo that idea.
A. attended university in Liverpool. Biology. She's very smart. But now she earns her living translating things from French into English.
I'm not going to tell you any more than that right now. If you know her at all, you know how good she is at presenting photo essays. So I will try to do one here, just to make myself look inept. Which I am, compared to her.
Those of you who live in the UK probably noticed how extra sunny and fresh it was when you woke up this morning.
We can all breathe a sigh of relief that our dear friend has survived yet another incursion into the enemy camp.
As an American, I assure you I have nothing against the French. May God strike me down if... if... if... ARRRRGHHHH!!!
I take that back! I swear I will tell the truth from now on! Oh, God! Henceforth I will treat the French with.... lo....lo.....love and respe...ack ack ack...respect. Yes! I see the light!
Such an intelligent people! Even the five year olds are running around speaking perfect French! ack ack...
In almost all other respects... save her constant disrupting of this blog... A. is an intelligent, well-traveled and considerate individual.
But she lives in Fr..Fr..France half the year! Holy Hornswoggler!
She even has a home there! Please help me pray for her! (A. is very religious - a vicar once married her in fact, though she is not married to a vicar now.) Pray that she will find the strength to overcome this sickness, this addiction, to all things French. Most things French. Some things French. Ok, wine and bread.
But she is home in England again as I write this. Although no telling how long she will stay this time.
France is well-known for.... what?... world-class cuisine and backwards-running soldiers? But what fine food does our little A. eat as she departs? Some sort of French imitation of American moose chili. Peeeeeyuck! And then she boards the ferry for a cool 6+ hour trip across the channel in choppy seas - and spends the entire time hanging over the rail puking out her French-subverted guts.
Of course she won't admit to anything of the sort, because spending so much of her life in France has turned her into quite the little liar. But I think we all know the truth: Puke puke puke all the way home to England, leaving a trail of Franco-American chili chum in her wake.
But at least she is back, living in the shadow of Winchester Cathedral (more or less) where she belongs. Far from good food and fine wine, back in the land of gourmet fish and chips. Urp.
Welcome home. For a few weeks anyway. Until the wanderlust spirits you away again to some far corner of the world. Or France again. Sigh.
Thank God for the internet.