Call us:

Life, The Universe and Goats

                                                                                                                                          LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND GOATS


                                                                                                                                                                   Chapter 12


                                                                                                                       The Dry Grass of Summer       Shangri-La-on-Sea



They are agreed: the Best of Times.  The sea burbling and the sand golden.  Orange groves, up and down scrubby hills, pine forests and roadside cafés, they are drinking Sangria, munching olives, and at midnight race arm in arm the long sweep of warm sand to the blue blue blue blue blue blue sea.


   In charge the General.  Military man.  Personal consultant to the sanctuary of the Field Marshal.  Never again to be caught with trousers below the knee.  For when the chips are down, when your fish fries and frazzles, your first call is to the General.


   And when the bulge in Cherubim’s belly is borne, come next Christmas we can expect to see — son of Chopper.  Blue sea below the knee, he scans the horizon for the enemy.


   Jennifer Samuels stretches a glistening brown leg and smooths cream in tight circles from the top of her thigh to the tips of her toes.


   The new black box waves Chicane’s Saltwater the lavender evening breeze.


   Lost in space.


   To an undiscovered country.


   ‘So tell me …’  The scholar Benjamin, joint in hand, joins the Professor, brothers in arms, the front line of the burbling surf bubbles.  ‘… Where d’ya hide the money?’


   ‘Granny’s commode.’  They turn to admire Granny Pol-Pot, enthroned at the top of the beach, and shovelling exotic fruit with a large silver spoon.


   The Professor stares down at horny cloven toes.  ‘You know what I’ve always fancied? …


   Down by the sea.


   And a sanctuary.


   ‘… Raising a family of goats.’