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Tante Clothilde in her Gondola

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Dear One has a flamboyant side to his family. Tante Clothilde, for example, invited me to hear Handel’s Messiah and managed to be the person in the audience to whom the baritone soloist threw his bouquet upon leaving the theatre, though he was less than half her age. Some people just sizzle, and today, day 18 in my year of daily doing something new, I decided to invite effervescent Tante Clothilde somewhere. We had lunch in a bistro near her elegant apartment, and exchanged stories from our lives. I told her about the strip spelling bee, the quail eggs, and the Greek man with the little yellow bird, from my earlier posts here. She told me about her decades-long liaison with a piano player who accompanied the stars, her summers on the beaches of Nantucket, and her travels by Venetian gondola through narrow moonlit passages. We drank San Pellegrino and I ate my favourite restaurant meal, risotto, which I don’t know how to cook, and she had a pavé of salmon in a phyllo crust the waiter assured her was kiss-light, and to assure her he blew her a kiss. Some people live, breathe and dream romance, and Tante Clothilde is one of those beautiful souls.

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