Thursday, 7 June 2007

Part IV

All right sports fans I have an email from last night that says, “Don’t disappoint Brillig and Jenny. Tell it all. My Dad can use the ego boost and if necessary the references. Besides I want all the credit, as this was my idea. I have been trying to get him to start dating again for the past two years. Don’t worry, with the alias no one will even think of him. If it helps I give you my word I will not read your blog for the next three days. Agreed?” So here we go…

As we sat having our coffee Hassan told me more about his days of climbing here. How he came to the sport (his father) and why he loved it (the challenge). I sat watching him over the rim of my china cup, once again thinking how unbelievable this all was. Not that I don’t get “offers”, I still do much to my own amazement being a woman of a certain age and all that; apparently no one has informed the men of the world that I am off the market due to aging (thank the gods). Q has been after me for years to “have a relationship”, but of late she has been saying “at least date!”.

Here is the problem – a rather wonderful problem when you think about it, I married the perfect man for me. He was every woman’s dream man really, handsome, smart, funny, wealthy, and committed to making the world a better place. I fell in love with him when I was twelve years old and spent the next nine years growing up as fast as possible and convincing him I was the only woman for him. When he died, I wanted to follow him. There is a much longer story there, but this is Hassan’s story. The point is I know, I have always known I will never feel that way about another man. For a long time it felt treasonous to his memory, then I did try a few times but nothing was close enough so I concentrated on being Q’s mom and that was enough and it was wondrous, but now she is grown and has her own life, as it should be. Still I hesitate.

All this passed through my mind as I listened to Hassan’s soft voice in the empty dining room recounting his exploits on the rock faces of the world. Physically there is a lot to like here. Standing at 5’10” myself, I judge him to be about 6’1” or so and maybe fifty more or less? I love his smile – white teeth, full lips, and a single dimple on the left side and he uses it often. He is proving to have a great sense of humour and thinks I am funny which is essential – the humour factor is a deal breaker for me. A relationship, any relationship without good humour and laughing is a sad thing I feel. His skin is that fabulous copper cream colour of the Moroccans that makes you want to touch their faces, the kind of complexion you feel you can sink your hand into like a pail of rose petals. Years of climbing and exercise have left him in obvious good shape – broad shoulders, narrow hips, flat abdomen, and that bum is solid gold I tell you. The fingers of his hands are long and the palm is broad, like a pianist or a swordsman. There has been no problem in his genetic line with hair loss I am thinking as his is thick and black, the kind that begs you to check him for any bumps and bruises! And he smells fabulous. I finally remembered where I knew that scent from, he’ wears Creed Green Irish Tweed, I would bet money on it. It’s like inhaling endorphins.

“Are you listening to me?” He cocks his head to the side and gives me that grin again, the one that makes him look like he knows something he shouldn’t.

“Yes, of course I’m listening. You said you climbed in the desert in New Mexico and you’d never climbed in India. Why? Don’t I look like I’m listening?”

“Truthfully? You have the calculating gaze I see on the sheikhs when they come to the horse shows in the desert and look the stock over for defects.”

I laughed. “I don’t think you have to worry over me pointing out any defects unless of course you feel the need to confess something? I’m just along for the scenery remember (no double entender there, oh no).”

“I’m finding the scenery quite amazing myself today,” he said giving me a long look with those almond brown eyes that made my toes curl. I was having goose pimples in the most embarrassing places and I was fairly certain it wasn’t the air conditioning.

After coffee Ali had still not appeared. As we came out of the dining room he was coming into the lobby with the bellboy carrying enough bags for three weeks in Siberia – during winter.

Once the car was loaded Ali plops himself in the front seat next to Hassan! “Ali you need to get in the back. Lady Macleod is sitting there,” Hassan said as he took my arm and gave Ali a stare not unlike that of a fisherman who guts his catch. Oh yes ladies!

The drive to the airport was notable for its silence and the palpable feel of Ali’s stare on the back of my neck.

Ali climbed out of the 4 X 4 and walked directly onto the plane leaving Hassan and the co-pilot to deal with the mountain of luggage. I was watching it go into the hold wondering if it would put us over weight. Actually I was envisioning tossing it out one piece at a time at 3000 feet.

In the airplane he sat down in a seat nearest the back, drink in hand and did not so much as acknowledge my presence for the rest of the flight. A handsome man whose looks were ruined by his scowl and obvious distain for anything but his own pleasures, I had a pretty clear idea of his views on women.

Once we were settled into the flight pattern Hassan came into the cabin. “I’ve turned over the rest of the flight to my co-pilot. I thought you could use some company back here.” We passed the flight with him telling me about his wife, the story of how they met and married when their parents had arranged it, had their son, and became the best of friends, and how she became ill and died four years ago. “We did come to love each other. It grew out of the friendship really, she was a great partner, a help not only at home but in my business dealings as well. She had a sharp mind that could see right through to the heart of any situation, and she was a fantastic mother. I credit much of my son’s independence and compassion to his mother’s influence. Of course at times that can be trying!” His eyes lit up when he spoke of his son, and were far away when he spoke of his wife.

The co-pilot called back to say we were coming into the landing pattern at Rabat. “This flight, this day has been too short. There is more I want to say to you, there is everything I want to know about you,” he said lifting my hand to his mouth for a soft kiss. He left for the cockpit and I was pretty much capable of flying without the airplane at that point. As I looked down at the ocean we crossed into the city and I realized he is leaving, today! Six months he had said, in Saudi Arabia. What did that mean, would he be back? When? Was he serious about what he was saying and what his eyes were telling me? I realized the bigger question was how did I feel about this? Was I actually considering getting involved with this man? Just how would that work? What would that mean…hang on I have known him for less than two days let’s get some perspective here. But I didn’t feel like getting perspective, I felt like I wanted to know what those lips would feel like somewhere other than the back of my hand.

We are wa-a-a-y over 1000 words here. Spank me Rosie (in the immortal words of Col. Jack O’Neill) but I think we have to have a Part V. Are you up for that?


jenny said...

Oh oh oh!! You've got me all breathless and panicky at the same time! I dont know if I can wait a WHOLE 6 MONTHS for the next installment!! But if that's the way I feel, I can only imagine how YOU must be feeling!
By now, Hassan is gone and that fire you have is smoldering, with you wondering if it all happened or was it just a dream, but if it was a dream... man! it was a damn good one! Please let this not be the end....

Kaycie said...

Are we up for that?! Are you quite mad? Of course we are up for that. Could you please post it, oh I don't know, NOW?

How wonderful. I cannot wait to hear the rest, Lady M.

ps - I adore Col. Jack O'Neill!

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Well I hope you win those blogpower awards then!

sally in norfolk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sally in norfolk said...

I don't mind how many parts as long as its finished by the time i go to Corsica.... 8 days to go and stressing :-)

debio said...

This word counting lark is imposing on our enjoyment, lady m. Keep your head and let's hear the rest - soon as you can!

lady macleod said...


When I get published will you write my reviews? thank you for that reaction, and thank you for coming by.


I'm writing as fast as I can. I am so pleased you are enjoying the posts. Oh yes, Jack O'Neill totally yummy. Thank you for coming by.

maryam in marrakesh

How fun would that be? thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


I voted for you again today. I think Corsica will be brilliant. thank you for coming by.


he he. How happy am I that it seems too FEW words to you?! On the morrow. Thank you for coming by.

Minx said...

How far is Saudi? What are you waiting for?

Omega Mum said...

I was reading this, then heard something and realised it was my breathing speeding up. Wow! Talk about vicarious excitement.....

Drunk Mummy said...

Keep it coming Lady M!
I have been voting for you in the Blogpower awards - excellent storytelling!

lady macleod said...


It's not the distance, it's the politics. but I'll give you a hint...Istanbul, Paris, Seville...
thank you for coming by.

omega mum

Excellent. I am pleased to assist your oxygenation process. I'm so happy you are still enjoying this. Thank you for coming by.

drunk mummy

thank you!!!! the awards thing is such a kick, and thank you for the very kind words.
Thank you for coming by.

Andres Carl Sena said...

goose bumps who knows where and kisses on the back of the hand wondering where to next . . . I do enjoy it. flying without a plane- float along the clouds like heaven's rain . . . nicely done

I Beatrice said...

Oh, but this is almost too much for me, you know! I mean - taking me to such places at my age!

Wonderful stuff though. If it's real - how thrilling! If it's not - how extraordinarily well done!

But now that you have taken us this far ... and especially if you take us on to Paris and Istanbul as well... there will be nothing for it but that you must ask us all to be your bridesmaids. Debio, and Omega Mum, and Sally, and Brillig, and Jenny, and me!

Thanks a million for the vicarious experience anyway. I'm ready to fly away myself - and feel I must ditch Mr Porteous on the spot!

(ps. It looks as if I'm going to have to get a new screen or a new laptop (sob,scream!). So might be out of action for a while. Shall try to keep reading though - wouldn't miss a word of this romance.)

lady macleod said...

andres carl sena

I am pleased you enjoy it. thank you for the kind words and thank you for coming by.

i beatrice

This is tragedy indeed! Your anxious cast of characters out of action? Shall we pretend they have all fallen into a sleep of Rip Van Winkle proportions to awaken upon the sound of a new laptop firing up? I do hope you decide on new computer wear soon before the gardens begin to fade.
Thank you for the kind words, I am pleased you are enjoying my adventure. thank you for coming by.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Lady M! How thrilling! He has all the talk, all the moves and the body sounds fab...I feel for your heartstrings, they must be jangling.
Good luck, and keep us posted!

pluto said...

Man, this has to be your best post yet.

jennifer said...

Ohh... I loved that. I've been married way too long!

Mama Zen said...

More, more, more!

The Good Woman said...

Oh Lady M - I'm away this weekend and just know I'll spend too much time in Skye wondering about the action in Morrocco...

Bogger Blogger said...

Can't wait for it m'lady. Bring it on and don't spare the horses, fantastic writing.

lady macleod said...


yes he does seem to have it all..
thank you for coming by


Thank you. Oh dear now I have to be in competition with myself, scary thought. thank you for coming by.


Thank you, I am pleased you like it and thank you for coming by.

mama zen

I'm writing as fast as I can... thank you for coming by.

the good woman

Skye! You're going to Skye?! I'm from Dunvegan, the home of horizontal rain. Are you going to the hills? Oh please send me some photographs. Bambi will love it. thank you for coming by.

bogger blogger

thank you for the praise. I am pleased you are enjoying it. thank you for coming by.

KarenO said...

Its the next day and we're eagerly waiting for Part V! :D

james higham said...

...white teeth, full lips, and a single dimple on the left side and he uses it often...

Why are women so anatomically specific? :)

Brillig said...

Oh Lady M! You have mastered the art of suspense and, apparently, word counting. There were so many places as I read this that I laughed out loud or smirked or though, "oh, that was a clever way to say that!" I'd pinpoint them all, but then my comment would be longer than 1000 words and we all know that that's UNFORGIVABLE!!!

And, to the sender of the email, well done. You and I both know that you're reading this, but thank you for giving our friend Lady M the chance to write the stuff we've all been dying to hear. ;-)

pluto said...

Hey, no-one's rating your posts, I'm just happy with whatever turns up on your site from one day to the next :)