Monday, October 18, 2004

Gavin picked me up at the train station in a Land Rover; it was a twenty-minute drive to his home. The house was set back on a parcel of land and not seen from the road. A gap in the stonewall marked the entrance. By today's standards in the US the house is modest but being over 250 years old it must have been considered stately when built. Gavin told me he purchased the house furnished when he got married and they lived there till they sent the children to boarding school and his wife decided to move to the townhouse in London.

He apologized and told me he had given the house staff the weekend off so for those meals that we didn't eat out we would be on our own. For tonight he planned dinner at his favorite local restaurant.

After showing me my room and taking a tour we settled in his study where he poured us each a glass of scotch. With out going into many details I brought up the incident of the prior week and let him know that I was uncomfortable being at his house. "Not to worry," he said, "Margaret knows about you, or at least some about you and also that you're here this weekend." I almost spit up my drink. Noticing, he went on to explain that their arrangement was that he would comfortably support her and to fulfill appropriate spousal social obligations. She would live in London and he at the country house, which he preferred, and he was free to have lady friends if he so chose. Her only request is that it not be someone who would embarrass her and that he be discreet in London. All of which he was agreeable to.

He guessed what I was thinking; "Why do I hire you instead of simply taking a mistress? That's what you want to know, isn't it?" I demurred but he continued. "Too much trouble, our relationship is much simpler."

He was up before me Saturday and after dressing I found him cleaning the shotguns. "Here he said you'll use this." Handing me one of the guns. "Do you know how to use it?" he asked. "I've used one before." I replied surprising him. "But why don't you show me."

He took the gun and picked up a few shells then we went out into the yard. I followed him picking up a set of ear protectors on the table. I remembered how loud the guns were. Behind the barn was a stack of hay bales. "Look", he unlocked the barrels and the gun split open; the ends of the two barrels stacked one upon the other. He slid the cartridges into the barrels then closed the gun relocking it. "See its pretty simple, just remember to relock it." He removed the cartridges and handed the gun to me. I took it and brought it to my shoulder and I looked down the barrel. "Let me show you how to hold it," he said placing his arms around me, his hands over mine. "Place the stock here so the recoil will be distributed better on your shoulder." He then moved my feet and body so they were in a better position explaining at each change the whys and benefits of his instructions. He's a good teacher.

"Let's see you load and shoot." The lock was a bit stiff and needed some effort to release but it did, I dropped the shells in and closed the gun. Remembering his instructions I sighted down the barrel and squeezed the trigger. The shotgun jumped in my hands and dust flew up out of the hay bales. The dogs in their kennel began barking excitedly. I squeezed the trigger again with the same result then looked up at him. I couldn't tell if the look on his face was befuddlement or amusement.

"You have shot before," he commented. "I grew up in a small town most everyone hunted including my dad and brother. In high school the girls would go hunting just to show the boys that it was something anyone could do." I told him. "What did you hunt?" Squirrel mostly."

With that we gathered our things and the dogs, then went to meet his mates, five neighbors and business associates and their wives or girlfriends. They were a nice group and I had a good time despite the weather. I had never seen a hunting dog work and it was fascinating to watch them. That evening we dined at a neighbor's the days hunt was the menu.

Sunday was spent mostly lolling about his house and grounds. We steeped in the hot tub for a while and exchanged back rubs. While rubbing his shoulders he asked if I found him fat. He wouldn't let me get away with not answering so I told him he was pleasantly round. He laughed and said I should be a diplomat, and then he got serious and told me his doctor wants him to lose some weight. Seems his blood pressure and cholesterol are both up and he's also having glucose problems. When I commented that I didn't think he was terribly overweight he admitted that many of the medical problems and his body shape were in his family but the doctor wanted him to lose a 20kg and make changes in his diet. That would make him about 80kg and stocky. I asked him if he was going to follow through and he said was going to try. He didn't want to die in his 50's like his father.

This weekend I saw different Gavin, not the jovial clown, but someone who was thoughtful and introspective. At dinner Saturday evening I also got to view Gavin the business executive who acts as a sounding board to his friends on business matters. I like this Gavin. Around six he took me to meet the train to London.

It was my plan to remain in London till Monday afternoon staying at a hotel near Westminster. As usual I was up early and went for a run. Returning to the hotel I soaked in the bath and then called room service for breakfast. Much of the menu was appealing but I was meeting a friend for lunch and decided to save my appetite for then.

Mike is the older brother of a high school friend. It has been years since I've seen him. He came to London about 6 months ago. He's been tabbed as having management potential so they have him touching all the corporate bases and he has moved four times in the last five years. I asked him how he liked London? He didn't, though he liked the English and loved the countryside. He admitted that he didn't like Chicago or New York either when he lived there. He laughed and said he was just a country boy and being in the city was a stop on his way to be a country gentleman. We both laughed at that.

He asked about my life and my family and particularly about Leah, as he had a crush on her. As I told him about my friends and my work I wondered what he would say if I told him about being a whore. He may not have been surprised since he knew about Easykimmie, though he never sought my favors. We whiled away the mid day with pleasant conversation and remembrances. Toward the end of our time together I realized he was flirting and as we were saying our good-bys he asked if he could contact me.



Blogger Jason said...

I thought guns were totally illegal to own in the UK. Are there some that are ok, or is the law not well enforced when it comes to hunting?

3:33 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home