Chere Julie, dear Jules. (Part 25)
13 Beach Street
My darling darling Jules,
I wrote that about five minutes ago and I been sat staring at it ever since. Its really nice to have someone to call my darling for whats really the first time in my life. It feels so nice to say my darling to you over and over in my mind and I says it different each time. You really are my darling and I'd do anything for you and you dont need to worry about me not loving you anymore because I decided a long time ago that I was going to love you for ever no matter how you felt about me. I tries not to think about what it would be like without you loving me because its a really terrible thought and when I starts thinking like that I stops myself and thinks about something else. It feels worse than when I thinks about me being covered in petrol and set on fire which I does sometimes but I dont know why. I really loves you Jules and I'm going to forever.
Fancy you becoming a vegetarian. I tried it once but I only lasted until dinner time because my mum made some bacon sandwiches and if theres one thing I cant resist its mums bacon sandwiches. She toasts the bread just a little bit so the butter dont sink into it so easy and she makes the bacon really crisp and always puts lots of it. Dad eats his with brown sauce but I think it spoils it because you cant really taste the bacon. I think ketchup is even worse. It must be really difficult for you being in the kitchen so much with loads of meat and stuff around and not be tempted just to eat a little bit. I dont know how you does it. It would drive me mad. Some vegetarians just eats chicken and pork and fish but no red meat. Couldnt you become one like that.
I was disappointed by what you said about why you dont want me working behind a bar. You uses words like low-born when you talks about the customers but theyre just like me and its just like you saying that I'm really common and not worth much and while I'll grant you that I'm common and I never makes a secret of it I objects to being thought of as not being worth much. I'm worth as much as the next person and I was surprised at you being sort of snobby because I never really thought of you as being like that. I didnt get the job anyway because there was dozens who went for the job and although they said they'd give you training they took two people who'd done bar work before.
Did you really mean it when you said that you was willing to give me some money to help me do something else. Thats what I thinks you meant and its a really kind offer but I dont think I can accept it. Its one thing when you helped me out when I was in trouble with the benefits officer but I dont think I could take anything from you without a good reason. I'm thinking of doing French at evening classes and I'm going to see about it later on. It started a week ago but but I dont think I missed much. I've been to other classes there and the first week all you do is talk about what your going to do later but it would be really good if I could speak a bit of French because I realised at your cousins place that I couldnt speak anything and I didnt understand nothing of what they was saying. You wouldnt think that I done French three hours a week for five years in school. I can remember il pleut and je m'appelle but nothing much else but I missed the first two weeks because I had the measles and I never seemed to catch up after that. Some of those at evening classes wont have done French at all so I'll have a bit of an advantage over them. I'm really going to work at it.
Kirsty confronted Dave Roberts and asked him what his intentions was and he says that he'd like her to be a sort of hostess when he opens his club in the country what is going to be called the Manor Club. He talks about buying her dresses and wants her to get her hair done professionally every day because its ging to be a really high class place and he wants her to look the part. She thinks that he means it and she'd really like to do it but she dont think he can afford to do it and maybe not for years. She dont know if she wants to wait around for years just in case it might happen eventually and maybe not. She's nearly 30 and its about time she settled down. He offered me a job as well and says that if I learns French proper then he'll make it more international. I told him he can forget it but it did seem a bit interesting but really I dont think its ever going to happen.
Thats the problem round here. People got lots of dreams about what they wants to do and they all seems really exciting things and you really thinks they are going to do it but they gets older and they dont get nowhere and after a while you dont get very excited when someone tells you about some great big dream they got. Most of the people round here is not here because thats where they dreams of being but its because they cant get away for one reason or another. You learns to live with disappointment and tries to make the best of things. Most of them does the lottery and thinks that if they wins they'll be able to live their dreams but I dont know about that because money wouldnt make my dreams come true. It would be a big help but when it comes down to it unless I does something about it myself no amount of money is going to help.
I'm glad I'm going to learn French and I hopes I can get really good at it but its really frightening because I never learned anything before unless I was forced to do it in school and then I didnt learn anything really well especially not French which was probably my worst subject. I wish you lived round here and then you could help me with my homework and tell me how they says different things in French.
I wished you lived round here and not just for learning French neither. Its a real pity you lives so far away because I'd like to see you all the time like Sharon sees Keith and Kirsty sees Dave Roberts though when I comes to think about it they dont see each other much any of them. Sometimes I forgets I got a boyfriend but most of the time I dont. I really loves you and misses you a lot and I cant wait for April.
I didnt forget its your birthday in a few days time and I hopes you has a super time and its a pity you dont eat meat anymore because I knows how much you likes it and you told me about the way you always has suckling pig roasted on the fire stuffed with quails and it wont be the same with nut roast or whatever you eats instead. Cant you just eat meat for the one day and go back to being a vegetarian afterwards. I'll be thinking of you and wish I could be there to give you a great big birthday kiss.
I really really loves you and you makes me happier than I've ever been before in my life and I dont know what I'd do without you.
Lots and lots and lots of love,
Jules Lablagues xx
Julie, mon amour, mon coeur,
Thank you so much for your birthday greeting and the card. In answer to your enquiry, yes, I had a wonderful birthday. Everyone was most considerate towards me and my father refrained from taunting me with choice cuts of meat which was very difficult for him. My father's diet consists almost entirely of meat and fish, although he does not neglect the vegetables, and if it once breathed he will eat it. On his many travels in the line of business or for pleaasure he has visited many exotic places and returned with vivid details of the animals he had eaten. He described his experiences in such clear detail I could almost taste the monkey or the koala and even now I find myself salivating. It is not easy being a vegetarian when you are surrounded by carnivores.
Jacques would like to analyse me as a main project in his psychiatric studies. It would take just an hour of my day for a few weeks and then Jacques would write a ten thousand word dissertation on his findings. It would involve a fair amount of hypnosis as the ability to induce a trance is an important part of the practical examination. I would have readily agreed when he asked me but then I thought of you and wondered what you would think. Having known Jacques all my life I am not sure I want to place my sub-conscious in his hands. Two days ago he hypnotised the gardener's cat it it has been acting very strangely ever since and jumps over things that are not there. If he is not able to return it to normal cat behaviour soon he will call upon his mentor to remedy the situation. Although the mentor has moved out of the house he is a frequent visitor and often arrives very early in the morning as we begin our roll in the dew. He always leaves soon afterwards and says that he is pleased with Jacques' progress.
Odile's latest religion requires three holes to be drilled in her head but, as I remember her inability to go through with an ear-piercing appointment, I doubt whether, after the initial induction period, she will complete the ten preparatory rituals leading up to the head drilling. It is a Californian religion, of course, and it is very expensive but there is a double-your-money back guarantee if, within twelve months, enlightenment is not acquired. At the moment Odile has three spots of red paint on the shaved areas of her head where, eventually, the holes will be drilled. She has to renew these spots of paint every day as they wear off during the night. She also has to change the pillow case.
I have thought much about our time in Buckinghamshire and my abiding memory is of an atmosphere of calm. I never knew that it was possible to spend so many hours with someone in silence and yet feel there was a genuine communication. I thought that we would describe for each other our lives but there was strangely little to say. We already knew so much about each other from our letters that much talk was unnecessary.
How well you fitted in with the every day affairs of a large household. My aunt told me that she found you delightful yet she did not understand your insistence on dressing yourself in the morning when there was a maid ready and willing to do it. My aunt had nothing but admiration for how you were able to do your own hair but wondered why you continued to make your bed every morning when you were aware that the sheets were changed daily by the chambermaids. I told her that she was very old fashioned and that, nowadays, young girls were able to do many things for themselves. She said that she did not agree with all this independence but her smile hinted that she welcomed it.
I think it is a very good idea that you learn to speak French but may I make a suggestion. As you have already had five years of French tuition, even though you believe you remember very little, there is bound to be a great deal lying dormant in your unconscious. Five hundred hours of tuition must have left a residue of the basic rhythms and melodies of the French language imprinted on your brain, together with a vast lexicon of passive vocabulary, and it needs only the catalyst of a good tutor to breathe life into it. I spoke with my cousin Julien and he immediately offered to drive to Brineham a couple times a week in order to give you the personal tuition which we agreed was imperative for your development. Let me know if you think this is a good idea and I will communicate your thoughts to Julien.
I have given considerable thought to my proposed journey to visit you in the spring and it seems like an age away. Not an hour passes when I do not think about you and I fall asleep at night with you on my mind. I wake each morning with the wondrous image of you before me and wonder how I can survive the many months until I will see you again. A dozen times a day I am tempted to get into my car and drive to England but this seems too slow and so I consider flying and I consult the airline schedules for the next available flight. I know the times of the planes by heart. I cannot wait another six or seven months. I must see you soon. May I make a suggestion. I know that Christmas is a time you spend with your family but would you consider coming here to the Chateau and spending the festive period with me and my family? Please say yes. Take your time to consider this but if your answer is in the affirmative I will immediately arrange the tickets for your journey. My existence is empty without you.
I love you more than life itself,
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