Here’s this Sunday’s excerpt from my work in progress. This will be the last news of Frank for a while. The story is finished, first draft completed. It’s going into the digital drawer for a few weeks before I start the rewrite/edit process. Followers will be glad to know that the universe finally got a reboot and the business about Newtown Station has been resolved.
Someone comes into the shop. That’s always surprisng, but even more so given that there’s no door. I think he’s a monk of some sort, possibly Japanese. ‘Welcome!’ I say ‘please make yourself comfortable.’ Frank shouts, I jump. ‘Irasshai mase !!!!’ Yes, he speaks Japanese, I’d forgotten. I speak it too now because the machine taught me. The traveller smiles
Cheerful warm welcome (5)
Is the best indication (7)
A really good inn ( 5)
He seats himself comfortably at a low table that has just been installed. Frank folds himself down with natural ease. I scrunch and fold my knees clumsily. I know this man.
‘Mr Basho-san, you are welcome to our inn. What can we serve you?’ The machine is ahead of me. There’s three cappucinos and a plate of those small sweet cakes. Petit fours, I think, but there’s at least six of them. Basho bows, a slight nod of politeness. ‘Thank you very much. I always love the coffee here!’
We drink the coffees in silence, but it’s a warm, comfortable silence. It’s the companionable quiet of three travellers just come in off the road. After a drink we’ll have the day’s journey to talk about. Basho explains,. His old friend Sora showed him the cafe some years ago. When time permits, they drop by for a coffee. Even the great trading centre of Nagasaki cannot offer a decent cappucino in 1674. The Dutch make coffee, but they let it stew too long. The petits fours, he says, are excellent. Poems have been written about them. I understand this, entire books have been written about our madelaines.