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Cherry Liqueur (part 2)

"I beg your pardon?"

"According to my grandmother the best remedy for melancholy." She turned towards me and
smiled. "Would you like one?"

I nodded, confused. Abracadabra she opened her bag and conjured a bottle and two cut-
crystal liqueur glasses onto the bench, filled the glasses and lifted hers.

"I'm Louise."


It tasted heavenly and suddenly I had to laugh.

"Are you sure your name's Louise and not Mary Poppins?"

"Quite. Why?"

I pointed at her handbag.

Louise grinned. "There are two Muffins inside as well."

From that day we often met for tea, cake and liqueur. We went on excursions and had dinner
together on Sundays. Louise was well travelled, the walls of her flat were studded with
pictures from all over the world.

"My Pedro died last year," she said. "We didn't have any children and hardly any relatives left
in Mexico. I have family here, so I came home." She snorted. "Everybody makes mistakes. It's
cold here."

Louise told me how she'd med Pedro in Guatemala. She had participated in an agricultural
expedition. The freshly graduated agrobiologist had fallen head over heels in love with the
daring botanist on the scent of a rare orchid. Soon afterwards, they got married. Pedro's
people welcomed his bride into their family but Louise's never accepted her choice of
husband. Her parents even refused to go to the wedding.

It was great to listen to Louise talk about her trips through South America, Africa and Asia.

"In many warm countries life happens after sunset on the streets," she said. "You put a few
crates as tables on the pavement, some chairs, and then the entire neighbourhood will turn
up. Everybody brings a dish or a bottle. You gossip, eat, laugh…"

We tried to organise neighbourhood-meetings but nobody ever turned up. We didn't mind.
We still had each other. Often I wondered what the other people were thinking about the two
Grannies who were having picnics on the lawn and even using the seesaw and the slide when
the fancy took them.

To be continued...