Well, at last we reach to the day where I have to farewell Frankie and send him on to Rhombchick in Queensland, for some subtropical sun-fun. He woke up early, allowed me to re-order his cards, and tied his Best Bow in his drawstrings (photo 93).
Then he waited patiently while I got together the elements of a small present for Rhombchick. “I hope she likes it as much as I like mine!” he called, all his earlier reservations about his present entirely forgotten.
I wrapped him in his Travelling Underwear – bubblewrap and ziplock bag – and took him out for breakfast. “What about my other clothes?” he asked, bumping against my knee as we walked down the road. “I’ll buy you new, fresh, clean clothes,” I promised faithfully.
It seemed only fair that as Ambrosia had been the first of my friends to see him, she would also be the last. We have a more-or-less standing arrangement on Wednesday mornings, anyway. Frankie was delighted to be plonked down on the middle of the table, squarely between our two coffees, even if Bianca quite inconsiderately hadn’t opened up our favourite cafe yet. (photo 94)
Frankie watched, fascinated, as Ambrosia showed me some decorative mini-foliage she had bought to decorate perfume bottles with: (photo 95)
… and he was even more delighted when she let him play dress-ups in it, even though he didn’t want to take off his unsexy underwear: (photo 96)
Then breakfast arrived. Ambrosia and I had bacon and eggs, a rare thing for me, and Frankie had a large side-salad drenched in Caesar dressing (he had lost his appetite in his excitement to be back on the road again , so we both helped him eat it).
Breakfast over, it was time for Ambrosia and I to return to our respective real lives, and time for Frankie to hit the road. I walked with him part the way – as far as the post office. There, I bought him a set of Fresh New Clothes for travelling in. I went to pull my camera out of my bag, but he told me the batteries had run flat once again (that boy is expensive in recharges!), and so I sealed the parcel containing Frankie and Rhombchick’s surprises with a heavy heart and no clinically insane dialogue with second-hand inanimate paper-products, for once.
Went to the counter, paid for the new clothes (little Emperor that he is!), and paid for his passage up to Rhombchick’s.
Frankie is on his own for a day or two of travelling, again, but this time he has his St Christopher’s/Ferryman to protect him. And I will always have the Spawn to remind me, even though it is monotonously uniform in card-size and back-pattern. Soon Frankie will land in Rhombchick’s hands, and turn her life as upside-down-and-inside-out as he has just turned mine. I can’t wait to read about the devastation he causes in Queensland as he noses around in her routines!