November 28, 2007

James, the Mac and Cheese Mouse

A few days ago, I had a rare London moment: eye contact and a smile from a stranger on the underground. *Gasp*
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It was at Euston Station, walking toward the stairs that led up from the platform. A woman and I were walking side by side, each in our own “can't-wait-to-get-home-from-work” mindset when all of a sudden, a furry body scurried in front of us, stopping us dead in our tracks. Hence the look and smile before continuing up the stairs.
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The mouse wasn't rare, of course. They sniff and scuttle along the rails all day and night. From afar they're sort of cute. In fact, it came to our attention that we even have one in our house. This is fine when we hear him squeaking from invisible mouse-sized crevices in the kitchen walls. We even gave him a name: James. But last night, James came into sight for the first time and that was not okay. James should stay hidden if he's going to live with us. That was our unspoken agreement.
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C told me about a shop called The Rosslyn Delicatessen on Roslyn Hill in Hampstead just a short walk from where I work. They stock all sorts of American food and have been voted Best Deli the past three years in a row. Bonus: They're located practically across the street from the award-winning and delicious Hampstead Creperie.
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Anyway, I bought some graham cracker pie crust, Kraft mac & cheese, authentic Buffalo wing sauce, some A&W vanilla cream soda, and some Aunt Jemima's pancake mix. When I got home, I left the mac & cheese on the counter intending to make it when S came back from the gym.
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Back to James.
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It was, oh, around 10pm when I decided it would be a good time to start cooking. I walked in the kitchen and James emerged from a corner of the counter sniffing at the air, little paws held up like he was praying...and ran straight across the stove and dove in a gap between it and the counter on the other side. I froze and walked slowly backwards into my room and shut the door behind me.
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James has crossed the line.
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In fact, yesterday was not a good day for being home. Not just because of James and his sneaky appearances on the kitchen counter, but because the heating broke and we all sat around frigid in Arctic conditions with bundles of clothes and blankets. Not exactly conducive to doing much of anything but curling up with a good book, which is exactly what I did.
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But first, I had to make a cup of tea. I walked into the kitchen wearing two hoodies. One of them had fur around the hood, which I was wearing because it was That Cold. It earned me a new nickname from H. I am now The Stephskimo. Cute.
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Here's hoping the heating is fixed tonight and James is tucked safely away in a little crevice and doesn't decide to make any surprise appearances.
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In other news, I have been invited to participate in a week long work experience under Eleanor Mills, the News Review editor at the Sunday Times.

1 comment:

Eliora said...

You write very well.