(1937-10-15) Memories and a Meal
Details for Memories and a Meal
Summary: Isobel and Kenneth meet over a meal to talk. They get reacquainted and have a nice discussion of a few topics close to home.
Date: 1937-10-15
Location: Fleet Street Bistro

It's been years since he's been to London, it took a while for him to find the place, but at last, in the blustery cold of the autumn night, he has found the bistro. Once inside he doffs his cap, his hand moving almost of its own accord to straighten his hair back into place. Tucking his cap under the left arm of his greatcoat, his dark eyes scan the modest crowd in search of the woman who had invited him here. While he tugs his gloves off, he tries to remember what she looks like.

Sitting in the middle of the bistro sits the woman in question. Her brown hair falls loosely down past her shoulders; she wears a light pink dress. It would appear that she has been keeping an eye on the door, as she stands only but a moment or two after the arrival of the man she is expecting. She gives her a little wave of greeting, and motions for him to come over.

Kenneth nods and heads for her table, dropping his gloves into his hat and resting them on the table. Out of habit, he offers her his right hand. "It was good of you to meet me here, Miss. It is not often I get letters from Lavignia's school chums." His voice is a rich baritone, the syllables clipped and his speech clear and concise. "London has changed since I have been here last, it took me a while to find the place. I hope I have not kept you waiting?"

Isobel reaches out her own hand to give Kenneth a strong handshake, which he might not expect from someone with her frame. "It's a pleasure ta meet with ya, sir. I'm glad you were able ta make it." She motions to the seat across from her. "Please, sit. And thank ya for joining me." She shakes her head. "I've not been here long, nay." She chirps, her Scottish accent quite evident in her voice. She doesn't speak quite as concisely as Kenneth, but she gets the intent across just fine, usually.

Kenneth moves about the table behind her to hold her chair as a gentleman should. "I knew Livi had said that her friends had come from all parts of the Empire, but it sounds to be that you are from the Lowlands?" It is an endevor at polite conversation, at least as long as he has his coat on and he gets settled in with tea, the conversation will be the standard small talk.

"Thank ya." Isobel murmurs as her seat is pushed in for her. "Aye, there were those of us from all over at our boarding school." She shakes her head at the guess. "Not quite quite from the Lowlands. Isle of Skye is my origin. My pa was from the Isle of Skye, my mom from Wales. Maybe the two differing accents growin' up made me sound from the Lowlands, though." She conjectures, looking with a thoughtful gaze upon her face. "Where abouts do you hail as home? If I might be so bold as to enquire."

Kenneth removes his coat, draping it upon a rack that is set up for such things, his military cap sitting on the hat rack, his gloves still inside. Returning to the table, he offers her a smile, then he draws out his own chair and settles in. "My parents are from York. They have the children, actually, Petra took the loss of her mother exceptionally hard. I thought it best that they remain in familiar territory for a while, I needed to return to my duties."

With a deep breath in, Isobel sighs slowly. "I am truly sorry about Lavignia. I'd nae heard about it until recently. How difficult it must be, especially for the children." She shakes her head. "How old are the children now? They must be gettin' up there." She says with a little smile.

For a brief moment, there is a flicker of pain in his eyes as she speaks her condolences and his dark eyes close for a moment, then reopen and the pain is gone. "It is kind of you to say, Miss Strudwick, the children and I miss her more than words can say. Still, every time I look at Petra, I see her mother's gentle nature. Grayson seems to have his mother's knack in the garden. Our girl is five now, and Gray is four. They will do better in York with their grandparents for a while. It's quieter there." Maybe he sounds like he is trying to convince himself.

"I wish I'd been around more ta visit while she was alive." Isobel says softly. "I regret that I was narry there. Her and I were friends back at boarding school after all. I suppose we were both quite busy, except for major events like your weddin'." She shakes her head, regret over her face. "Havin' a hobby like gardenin' will be good for the boy." She says, moving on to the children. "Have ya thought, maybe when they're older, of enrollin' them in the school that Lavignia and I went to?" She seems as if she is about to say more on the topic, however the waiter arrives at that moment to take their order. "Do ya have somethin' in mind ya'd like?" She asks of Kenneth.

Kenneth glances at the waitress. "Whatever the special of the evening is, that is what I will have. And a strong cup of tea, with cream, thank you. Whatever the lady is having, put it on my check, please." He holds his hand up to hold off any protestations. "It is the least I can do for a friend."

"I'll have the same. Thank ya." Isobel smiles and, yes, she was about to object to his paying. She just shakes her head, looking slightly amused. "As I was wonderin', about sendin' your kids ta the boardin' school we went to. It's…well, have ya ever considered eventually sendin' them there? They do have a minimum age requirement, but once they're both of age, I think it could be a wonderful place for them." Not being sure of how much Lavignia had told her husband, she hesitates on going into detail about the school.

Kenneth glances at his wife's friend and conciders her words. "Mum has already begun to suspect that the small oddities that happen are more than just coincidences. She always thought Lavignia a peculiar girl and says blood tells. I think for once Mum is correct; that particular boarding school might be just the thing for the pair of them when they become of age. Heaven knows I wouldn't be able to guide them at all in their particular talents."

"If ya ever have any…questions, I can certainly be of help." Isobel looks across at the man, taking in his words for a moment. "Though, technically I'm narry sure of how much I can tell ya. But bein' one who has been through the process, I can certainly tell ya how it can be difficult a'times for those who don't share Lavignia's background. Or, rather, how strange it must seem." She says softly, just as their tea arrives. A little 'thank ya' is given to their server.

Kenneth nods and adds a bit of sugar to his tea, then settles in to drink it. "She was a good mother, tender and cheerful and doting. Mum tries, but you're correct, there is much she doesn't understand. Much I cannot explain to her. Much she'd never believe even if I tried. So I don't. I just tell them that the children are high spirited and that the little people must like them. If nothing else, Mum believes in the wee folk." He offers her a bit of a lame smile and a shrug. "I wish I could have them here, but peculiar happenings would be too quickly noticed."

"Aye. It'd be a difficult thing ta explain. But, there's people trained for that." Isobel smiles softly, taking a sip of her tea. "Had one come ta me and my family when I was but a lass. Strange thing it was." She chuckles slightly. "I can still remember it like it was yesterday." She says with a little smile. "My parents are much like you and yours, ya see." She attempts to explain without saying too much. She tilts her head at the 'wee folk' comment. "Well, your ma wouldn't be too far off in her believe in the wee folk." It almost seems as if she's smirking, though it's hidden by her tea cup as she takes another sip.

Kenneth says, "Livi used to tell me Mum the same thing." for a moment he sips his tea too, then looks to her. "I wish I knew who Lavignia had named for Godparents for the children. They had two sets, you see. She chose from her friends, I from mine. Unorthodox, it's true, but then we were a bit unorthodox in a great many things. Had her parents lived, this all would have been much easier."

"You have narry a thought as ta who she might've chosen?" Isobel asks, though she suddenly goes wide-eyes. "I'm sorry. Ya just said ya don't know. An' I'm sure ya probably have no o' contact with…those who she became friends with with skills like herself. Except tonight with me o'course. An' that was my own doin'." She clears her throat. "If there's ever any bit o' issue with Lavignia's side comin' out in the children, I want ya ta feel free ta contact me. It's a bit unorthodox, yes. But as ya said, it's a bit of an unorthodox family ya have."

Blushes a little at her disbelief, but understands it completely. "Her friends didn't really approve of me, I thought. There were lots of sideways glances at the reception in her parent's home. The funerals were worse." There is a moment that it seems he might elaborate, but then he just offers a smile. "I am certain that she had friends who might not have thought that I was a bad choice, but you were the first to offer to meet with me. For that alone, Miss Strudwick, I will be forever in your debt." He does sound very sincere about that.

"I apologize for any discomfort ya might've felt at the hands o' people like…me." Isobel says softly. "Not all understand this side o' life all that well." She murmurs, looking at him apologetically. At that moment, their food arrives. Waiting for the server to leave, she says, "You're back ta work, ya were sayin'?"

Kenneth says, "Yes, I am. The army has decided it needs someone who can work out probabilities and statistics. I am fairly good with numbers, so I got the job. It gives my mind something to think about, knotty problems can be unwound often with a judicious use of mathmatics. These are strange times we are living in, it tends to make people uneasy. People forget sometimes that we are all the same, no matter what our talents, we are all alike when you get right to the bottom of things. I expect people like me have a lot of appologies to offer people like you. So, I expect we can call us even. I should like us to be friends, if we might, Miss Strudwick. You may call me Kenneth, if you should like to be more informal.""

"Mathematics? How fascinatin'. I never had a mind for numbers, personally. Could've never helped m'father with his book keeping for his business. Inn Keeper." Isobel mentions. "Aye, I suppose we're pretty similar in the end, the lot of us. Just some differin' sets o' talents is all." She smiles at Kenneth and nods. "If we're ta be doin' anythin' informal, I suppose you should be callin' be Isobel then, Kenneth." She flashes him a kind smile.

Kenneth nods and relaxes, the lines of his face softening as he looks to the plate of fish and chips laid out before them. "Well, these look very nice." There is, of course, a bottle of malt vinegar there and he helps himself to a goodly splash upon his food. "If you might help Isobel, in thinking of someone who Livi might have named as the godparents of the children, I would be most greatful. It would be good to have allies in raising them and watching over them in places I am not welcome to go. It sounded to me like a splendid place, she would describe things to me when we were younger and I would draw them for her. Next time we meet, perhaps I could bring that book and you could tell me if I got it right. She always told me my drawings were splendid, but she would have said that if I drew six lines and a peach."

"Don't they just?" Isobel chirps away, looking down at her own fish and chips. "I've'nae had a good fish an' chips in quite some time!" She uses the malt vinager after Kenneth, saying, "I'll give it a might bit of a think over, 'bout who she might've chosen. Can't say as I'll come up with anyone, though." Sympathy laces her voices as she looks at him, somewhat sadly. "I'd be happy ta look at what ya've drawn. I can be the objective observer of 'em." She grins as she says this.

The fish is fresh and hot, the beer batter crispy and delicious. "Very nice indeed." He exclaims, taking another bite of the battered haddock. "Mum could make beef and puddings that a saint would sin for, but her fish was never nice at all. Soggy it was, most of the time. Not proper at all. Still, you never turned down a meal, for you wouldn't get another till morning."

"Sounds lovely. A'times, there's nothin' quite like a meal made by your mother, though, even if it's a bit soggy a'that." Isobel chuckles, shaking her head in amusement. "I always found military men fascinatin'." She gears the topic toward Kenneth's form of employment. "We had a few come through the Inn when I was growin' up. From a few o' the Scottish regiments, usually."

Kenneth nods. "The military is indeed interesting. Some day I should show you what pressing projects I have been working on.. like trying to make my quarters more livable. I spent more than a few pence on whitewash for the walls, believe you me. Still, it is livable now. I might even be able to bring the children down for an overnight or two."

"Oh, I could probably help ya a little with makin' things look nice." Isobel grins, between bites. "I'd make things look nice an' pretty for ya!" She laughs. "I hope ya get ta have the children around often!"

Kenneth grins. "I would love to have them here with me, but I have to be aware of their talents, their gifts might be more noticable here. I might not be able to identify all their gifts.. if I couldn't how could I keep them from using them?"

"It is common for little things ta prop up in children, when it's evident that their…gifts are there." Isobel explains. "But they don't often have too much ability or control until they're in school and they start learnin'." She says softly. "More often than not, it's just the little things that show up. Nothin' big. Mostly…" She shrugs. "From what I understand, ever now an' then, something bigger pops up. But it's not often. Grant it, it's easier ta have someone with similar gifts around in these times."

Kenneth smiles. "Good, then I don't need to worry so much if the children come to stay with me. Still, because of their ages, I would have to find a nanny for them if they stayed here. I would say an other talented nanny, if you know of anyone. It would make things less complicated."

"Let's hope ya have narry a thing ta worry 'bout. If their abilities show up strongly, it'll be when they've intense bouts of emotion. So be wary o' that. Especially with 'em bein' so young." Isobel warns the man. "If ya'd like, I can keep in contact, and, if you keep 'em with you, I can drop in now an' then ta check in on 'em." She offers in a gentle tone. "An' we can always check for a nanny with…unique abilities ta handle such children." She nods. "I'll see if…" She doesn't get to complete the sentance, however, as a person seems to have quite stealthily appeared beside their table. Isobel nearly jumps. As she looks up, she rolls her eyes, "Oi. Jake. Ya got ta announce yourself. A little cough, clearin' your throat, or a 'How do ya do?' or somethin'!"

"Kenneth Benton, this is Jake Merthorp. We work tagether, as sorts." Isobel looks up at him again. "What is it, Jake?" He explains quickly that she's needed at the office, for an urgent matter. She sighs heavily. "I'm sorry." Is said to Kenneth. "Do you mind if I…only it seems that…well, they'd probably not come for me if it weren't a big deal. I am very sorry for this!"

Kenneth stands, as a lady is about to leave the table. "Of course, you must go. Yes, please, do keep an eye out for a person for me and I will keep tabs on the children. Thank you so very much, Isobel, for coming out in this cold. Do be well." He turns to her new companion. "A pleasure to meet you Mister Merthorp."

A small nod is given to Kenneth by Isobel's new companion. "Good evening, Kenneth." She curtsies. "And once again, I'm sorry. Thank ya for a lovely evenin'. I had a nice time chattin' with ya. Good evenin'." She curtsies once more and then is off. If one were to follow her and her companion, they'd soon loose them in the bustle of the evening.

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