Thursday, 19 May 2016

Damara leaving Sugarbush Valley

So this will be the last installment in the Damara series. She will soon be on her way to her hometown of Rooibosh Hill.

Damara took one last look at the empty room, and felt a bitter sweet emotion overwhelming her. She desperately wants to go home, but the whole trip and the few days in Sugarbush was so special.

She headed to the kitchen to find Mona and greet her, but she was surprised to discover a few other Commune-residents there too. She has greeted most of the villagers the previous evening, so it meant a great deal that some of them wanted to say good bye again. "Oh there you are!" it was Mona. "Are you ready to leave?" she asked Damara. "Yes I am, thank you for everything Mona." and a huge knot formed in her throat. She quickly hugged everyone, trying very hard not to cry.

As she turned to leave, Mona quickly hurried up to her, "Hey, wait for me?" Damara looked surprised, "Are you going with me?" Mona smiled, "Of course, dear, I will never let you walk to the bus stop alone." Damara smiled and the relief washed over her. This was not a good time to be alone.

Damara informed Mona that she would quickly like to buy a snack for the trip. She didn't feel like eating that morning, and knew she would be hungry as soon as the bus pulled out of Sugarbush Valley. "I know just the place." Mona smiled. They headed for the Deli. Damara was fortunate to meet more villagers. This time it was Hector Corntop and Durwood Chestnut, who turned out to be Pansy's husband. "Pansy told me about the lovely stranger she met, now I can told her I've met you too." Durwood announced proudly.

While Damara surveyed the Deli for something to eat, Mona and Hector chatted about general things. Damara was sorry that she haven't discovered the Deli earlier. It was another wonderful gastronomic institution.

Damara settled on a simple sandwich filled with pastrami, lettuce and tomato and an organic juice. "Will that be all?" the friendly Hector inquired. "Unfortunately yes, but I would have loved to buy more." Damara apologised.

On her way out, Damara was pleased to bump into another friend she made, Bethanie Woodbrook. "Aaah Damara, I'm glad I caught you. You must have a save trip and hopefully one day our paths will cross again. Please write to me?" and Bethanie handed her a piece of paper with an address. Damara acknowledged that she would, hugged her friend tightly and excused herself.

Still ahead of time Mona and Damara wandered at a leisurely pace towards the bus stop. Admiring the scenery and chatting about Damara's visit.

They also passed the small clinic where Andrey Buttermilk was examining Charlotte Brighteyes' teeth.

"Bye bye all." Damara called out, feeling much more confident about leaving. "Bye Damara," they called out, "it was nice meeting you!"

They also passed the school where Mr Chiffon was explaining a confusing Latin term to Katie Darwin and Wren Farthing.

"Bye Damara, do come visit us again!" they greeted as Mona and Damara passed.

Soon they arrived at the bus stop. Others was already waiting there.

And Damara couldn't believe her eyes when she saw Irene Bearbury. "Are you going somewhere too, Irene?" she asked carefully? "No silly, I came to say good bye to you."Irene replied. Damara felt the silly knot in her throat rise again.

She was also glad to see Blanka and Kaitlin there too. They informed here that they are going on a day drip to Meadowfield Falls, to attend a baby expo. Damara was overjoyed that she would have some company on her trip.

While they waited for the bus, Damara and Irene settled on one of the wooden benches and talked like they have been friends since childhood. Damara knew that she had formed a friendship with Irene that will last forever.

Too soon the bus arrived, and it was time to go. Kelly Basset must have noticed the somber mood, as he tried his best to cheer up everyone with his jokes.

Damara hugged Irene tightly, trying to keep the words to a minimum.

Damara also thanked Mona for her kindness, help and friendship.

"All aboard!" Kelly announced, probably sensing the river that might be cried if he didn't cut in. "Leave your luggage to me, I will load it." as he pushed Blanka's buggy to the boot.

And just like that, the bus sped off, and Damara's time in Sugarbush Valley came to an end!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Damara's visit: day 5

On the fifth and last day of Damara's stay she was invited to have breakfast with three friends at the Seafood Restaurant of the Deckers. "Good morning Margaret", Kaitlin greeted friendly, "so glad you brought Damara to our Restaurant!" 

While Kaitlin got the menus, the friends settled in, but Damara first admired the view.

She was blown away by the sheer beauty of the landscapes. "Good morning you two!" She waved to the Blackberry twins.

After ordering their food Damara and her new friends chatted about daily life in Sugarbush and Damara's journey. "Oh no, it is too difficult, to pick a favorite, I had some wonderful times in all the villages and towns I visited, and though each village had something I loved about them, I cannot pick a favorite." Damara explained.

Their food arrived, and everyone agreed that it looked delicious. They tucked in and for a while only the clattering of cutlery could be heard.

After breakfast, Brooklyn suggested that they climb on to the roof terrace and show Damara the view. "Oh I am somewhat afraid of heights!" Blanka Buttermilk exclaimed but she was brave enough to climb on the roof too.

Soon it was time for Margaret, Myriam and Blanka to get back to their daily tasks. They thanked the Deckers for a delicious meal, with promises of coming again. "I sure need to bring Maurice here." Myriam told Blanka. "Oh yes, maybe we should arrange a babysitter one evening?" Blanka suggested.

Not in a hurry to return back to the Commune, Damara decided to take a walk along the river. In the distance she could make out the shape of a canal boat.

As she came closer, she noticed that it was quite run down. "Damara, good morning?" Someone called out," It turned out to be Rose Timbertop. "do you want to climb abroad?" Though surprised by the invitation and the fact that the lady knew who she was, Damara didn't want to be rude and accepted the invitation.

Taylor Timbertop lowered a ladder across the water and Damara nimbly climbed over.

Quick introductions was made. "And this is Roxy Renard, she will help me with the cleaning of the boat, and Aaron Cottontail will assist Taylor with some of the renovations." Rose explained.

Then Rose told Damara how they came to obtain the canal boat. Damara was captivated by the story, and cautiously asked if Rose will show her the interior.

"Of course I will show you, but please keep in mind we have just arrived in Sugarbush with it. It is very dirty and Roxy and I haven't had time to clean it yet." Rose explained. "Oh don't worry, I wouldn't mind that." Damara reassured Rose. They entered the boat through the bedroom, and Rose explained that they want to have Aaron make a bunkbed for Buddy.

Then she opened some doors to reveal the living area and kitchen.

But also explained that if both set of doors were closed it reveals a bathroom with a shower and a toilet. Damara was intrigued.

"It is so well equipped." Damara exclaimed. "I would love to live on a boat." Rose blushed, "I agree, I am looking most forward."

They went outside again to the back of the boat...

and Damara and Rose climbed on to the roof. "Wow, this is ideal for having sundowners." Damara said. "Yes, we thought so too, but the children makes me very nervous, at least they are good swimmers." Rose confirmed, keeping a close eye on the little ones.

"Hey auntie Damara, are you enjoying your stay?" It was little Owen. "Oh hi Owen, yes I am, but it is almost time for me to go home." Damara explained. "Mommy will be sad, she tells daddy every day, how great you are and that she wants to see you one more time." Damara felt a huge knot in her stomach, she did have a special connection with Irene. "Thanks for saying, that Owen, maybe things will work out and I will see your mom again."

Though Rose, couldn't stop taking, Damara sensed that they were anxious to get back to deciding about the boat, so she excused herself. "Enjoy the renovations, and maybe one day you can visit us in Rooibosh Hill with the boat." Damara waved good bye.

Damara ventured into the village square, it was all the time still her intention to visit Pippa's shop and the Periwinkle shoe store.

And was she glad she did. The Patisserie was deliciously impressive, and she got to meet another villager. "Good to meet you, Damara, Pippa just told me everything about your trip. It must have been wonderful?" Rosemary asked. "It was amazing, but I am glad to be going home tomorrow though." Damara replied.

Though the choice wasn't easy, Damara settled on a donut with strawberry frosting. It was scrumptious, and with each bite she realised that one will easily get very fat if one is to stay in this village.

After finishing her donut, Damara went into the shoe store. She noticed that their was only a small selection of shoes, but form a distance they looked like good quality shoes.

"Hey Damara," Alex greeted her friendly, "Kate mentioned that you might drop by. Also let me introduce you to one of my favorite customers Mae Mulberry." Mae blushed and greeted Damara. "I was fascinated when hearing about your hand crafted shoes, and just had to come and have a look for myself." Damara explained.

While Alex made notes of Mae's next shoe order, Damara took a closer look at the shoes. She sighed and wished she could buy a pair for her husband, but she knew her suitcase was already too full.

Damara couldn't believe it, but as she exited the shoe shop her stomach gave a loud growl. Was it possible that she could be hungry already, but then she got the smell of pizzas and everything made sense. And what came as no surprise a little pizza parlour was situated just outside the shoe shop.

She immediately ordered and extra large slice of pepperoni pizza.

While she waited she noticed a dog couple waiting at the table. "Good afternoon, I am Damara." She greeted friendly. The couple introduced themselves as Antonio and Dorothy Patches, the hairdressers of the village. They had a quick chat, and wished Damara a safe journey home.

Soon Damara's pizza was ready and she thanked Frasier, and with promises that she will surely enjoy it she hurriedly left.

Damara once heard Mona mentioning the square and decided to go and enjoy her lunch there. It was quite busy, mostly with children trying to make the difficult decision of which sweets to choose.

While enjoying her last bite, a petite little mouse approached Damara. "Good afternoon, I am so sorry to disturb you, but you are Damara? The travelling Sylvanian?" the mouse hesitantly asked? "Damara quickly chewed her last bite, and replied. "Yes that is me, how can I help?"

The mouse turned out to be Betty Hazelwood, the caretaker of the orphanage. She told Damara all about little Helly Beaman, who stayed with her for a short while before she was adopted by the wonderful Beaman family. "Well, that probably all happened while I was away." Damara explained.

"Of course," The mouse giggled, "but can I ask you to take a letter to Helly and her new family? I really miss her and though I know she is very happy, I want to keep contact with her. I have asked her new mother permission to write her a letter." Damara agreed and said that she will be more than happy to deliver the letter. The joy on Betty's face was sensational.

Damara tucked the letter carefully under her arm, and decided to have a look around amongst all the carts and small shops. She first met Geoff and Shirley Darwin.

And decided to buy her husband a tin of their delectable chocolates.

Lastly she ventured over to the soft serve stand of the Brightfields. Gill and Ellema tried to convince her to try some of their ice cream, but she just knew her dress will burst open if she puts any more food into her mouth.

With the thoughts of one last thing that she must do, she walked towards the tourist and information centre. She needed to buy the bus ticket for her final trip home. At the office she met Daisy Buttercup and Theodora Dappledawn. She informed them that she needed to buy a bus ticket to Rooibosh Hill.

Theodora offered to issue it for her and Damara had a chance to chat to Daisy. She mentioned her visit to Highfields farm and that she was overwhelmed by the beauty of the Buttercup house. "Well, it is a real shame that you are going home tomorrow, as we would have loved to have you for dinner."

After Daisy left Damara went into the office to get her ticket. Herbage gave her the ticket explaining the route that she will travel and confirming the departure and arrival time.

With the ticket and letter tucked together now, Damara made her way to the Commune. She needed to start packing.