By Wit & Whitby
[Complete] Natural Beauty [Harbor, Beach, and Sea] - Printable Version

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RE: Natural Beauty - Nesah Meijer - 09-26-2020

Nesah wanted to warn him of the danger of some of the smaller accommodation, but the edge of town did not sound too bad. It was the center with its endless maze of yards and lanes and flights of stairs that one had to watch out for.

Nesah had gotten lost there once. The smell of it was enough to make one sick. There were barefooted, dirty children everywhere, open sewers, shared smelly privies, gaunt, worn down tenements evidently shared by too many people, judging from the fact that most of them took their work outside into the yards. All those haggard faces had stared at her when she had passed them, and when one of them had addressed her, she had run. It was a miracle that she hadn't been mugged and stabbed, or assaulted in other ways, and every time she coughed, she was still terrified that she might have caught the consumption.

But the dwellings at the edge of town were generally better. He might just survive his stay in Whitby.

"Good servants are hard to find in this town. Half the time the maids are just fishing girls who barely know how to keep themselves clean, let alone a house. And their morals are... loose..."

Okay, so she had figured out by now that the maid was not sleeping with her brother after all - the Almighty be praised - but she was certain the little harlot had followers. And the male staff was hardly any better. Her brother had sacked the butler on her very first day in town for running around the garden in his bare buttocks after making use of the oldest profession.

"I suppose you could put out an advertisement in the local newspaper, but be prepared for the worst..."

RE: Natural Beauty - Douglas Gordon - 09-26-2020

He frowned at this information.  "It might be better to hire someone from London then.  I didn't want full-time staff for such a small hoose, it tends to bother me when I am working when they want to clean a room that I 'ave tae tell repeatedly that the studio is nae needing them cleaning."  He had stopped various places over the last few years and l experienced this often enough.

"Though I thank yu for the information.  I can 'ire a 'housekeeper that will keep the 'ouse clean enough, and she can open the door.  There is a place up in the attic for someone to live.  And a cook can live in the small room just off the kitchen."  He said more to himself.  He could take care of his own things just fine.  His valet that had gone on to London thinking he would be meeting the Earl there.  A good chat, but Douglas thought perhaps this town was not one where he needed all the fuss.  Though the extra bedroom could be for the valet.  He'd have to think about it.  If Nevin wouldn't mind acting as a butler as well, it could be helpful.  Someone that knew Douglas manner and preferences.

The main part of the cottage had three bedrooms.  One of them, the master bedroom, was upstairs and had several large windows, and it would be his studio when not out painting in the area.  He would take the one next to it, as sometimes he would not sleep but rather go draw, with many lamps going.

He looked at her again.  "I think there is a rain really coming soon.  If we stay 'ere, we'll both end up being drookit (Soaking wet)."  He stood up putting his drawings into the portfolio type leather notebook.  "Being it is our second time meeting, may I invite you join me for a 'ot tea?  Tae make the fingers warm a bit?  I found a cafe in town that is pleasant."

RE: Natural Beauty - Nesah Meijer - 09-26-2020

It was probably improper. Certainly her brothers would see it that way, if they would pass by and see her drinking tea somewhere with a gentleman they hadn't met, a gentile too. Yet she felt a strong urge to say yes. She was lonely and friendless, and he seemed interesting enough.

But of course it would lead to trouble. He would misunderstand. He was a gentleman. She was a lady. And he would only ever see her as a lady. And there was only one type of relationship that could lead to, or none, she thought with bitterness. It could make her so frustrated.

As a child, she had been friends with many boys. When her parents had not watched, she had felt like just one of them, and after she had punched one for calling her a weak girl, they had treated her like one of them. But as she had grown older, friendships with men had become impossible. It would always be understood as either courtship, or improper, if not both. And they would always see her as a woman, rather than as one of them. She would never be one of them. And it made her so angry.

But it was that very bitterness that made her defiant in this moment. "Alright then," she said. "Lead the way."

RE: Natural Beauty - Douglas Gordon - 09-26-2020

He knew that he was outside the typical gentleman rules, but when did he color in the lines?  The question had been was she one of those that would give a quick and proper no, which was alright, as it was what he had expected.  Or would she challenge the line and be herself (within reason) and take him up on in the invitation? 

When she agreed, he smiled brightly.  He offered his arm to assist as they went through the beach with the sand and grassy areas.  The cafe was just inside the proper town area.  It was small but carefully taken care of by the look of it with round tables set up for four and two people depending on which one was selected. 

There were plants around and a delicate but not overly busy wallpaper inside.  There was room enough for 10 total tables with space enough for private conversations that the next table would not just hear it as a person talked at normal volumes.  Each table had a small vase of fresh flowers of various colors.

He opened the door and indicated with the hand holding the portfolio notebook for Nesah to go first and select what table she might wish for them to use.  There were windows on either side of the entrance door, each holding one of the four-person tables.  The rest of the tables were spread around the main area of the cafe.

"Have you been here before?"  He asked as they went in.

RE: Natural Beauty - Nesah Meijer - 09-27-2020

Over my dead body, Nesah thought when he offered his arm, and instead, she picked up the pace, so that she could walk ahead of him while getting off the beach. She tried to march on steadily, despite the difficulty of walking in the sand in her shoes, and the heavy winds pulling at her hair and skirts. Once in town, however, she had to look at him for directions.

She entered the tearoom and looked around. It wasn't as bad as some. The decorations and wallpaper not too gaudy. The seating area not too packed. The young women strode over to a table in the back, as far away from the window as she could get, and she sat down quickly, before he could assist. Then she looked at the painter. "Hardly a place I would expect a gentleman to frequent on his own..."

RE: Natural Beauty - Douglas Gordon - 09-27-2020

When she didn't take his arm, he gave a smirk.  He had figured that would be the result but had felt he should at least offer.  If she had fallen or stumbled without him having offered it, he would have felt a bounder.  He didn't rush to catch up with her, just walking at his typical relaxed pace.  When she paused to allow him to join her, he walked along with her to the cafe.

After she had sat down, Douglas joined across from her.  He put his portfolio notebook down under the chair.  "I must admit that I have a fondness of tea and scones.  Often when a female client wishes tae talk aboot the portrait they wish tae surprise their 'usband or family member they request me tae meet them at such a place.  The Miss Cranston's Tea Rooms and Glasgow Willow Tearooms have become quite popular in Scotland."  He gave a light shrug.  Being around a lot of women having tea did not bother him.  He equally went to gentlemen clubs and bars either on his own or to meet with friends.

"Now, one of the first things, other than places tae paint, is a decent and quiet place tae 'ave a good cup of tea."

He had been to a few places around town, and this one had become his favorite.  "It isnnae fancy, but when I just want tae relax and 'ave a cup, this is just what I am looking for."

A waiter came up to them.  Douglas had met a few people over the last few days, especially in arranging to rent the cottage.  He hoped none of them would happen to come to the cafe while he was there with Nesah.  He was still enjoying being a nobody of position to the woman.  The waiter was polite and pleasant handing out a single delicately decorated menu page.

"Good afternoon.  If you have any questions please feel free to ask."  The waiter stood glancing at the two thinking they must be a couple.  He had seen Douglas there before but did not know the man's name.

RE: Natural Beauty - Nesah Meijer - 09-27-2020

Nesah placed her hat on her lap, since she hadn't seen a coat rack, and she took off her gloves and placed them on the table I front of her. But she didn't care to take of her coat. The cold winds had chilled her to the bone and she knew it would take a long time before she felt warm enough to take it off.

She watched the artist put the notebook away and was almost tempted to ask to see it, but he already put it under his chair and she decided to save it for later. "Ah yes..." she said, in response to his comments on the tea room. "I have seen many men hang outside the..." she looked for the word, "pubs... But of course you English are also very fond of tea."

Entirely unaware of that (sometimes fatal) mistake, she turned to the waiter. "Can I have a tea please... and... what do you serve for food?"

RE: Natural Beauty - Douglas Gordon - 09-27-2020

"Aye, pubs are a nice place tae get a feeling of a community as well as a decent ale."  He smiled.  Taverns were okay but were more for travelers and not the locals.  He liked getting a feel for a place and see how people really live.  "In Scotland as well as 'ere in England.  I'm from Scotland, myself."  He explained.

The waiter nodded and indicated the menu card he had laid on the table when he had arrived.  "Our most popular is the Earl Grey."  He replied used to the question.  The card showed a listing of teas:  Black Tea, Earl Grey, Green Tea, and a variety of Herbal Teas.

"As for a light snack, the scotch quail's eggs are a favorite."  The menu card also listed:  muffins, tea cakes, finger sandwiches, delicate shrimp and salmon open sandwiches, scones to serve with clotted cream, jam, and lemon curd, as well as a slice of lemon cake.

RE: Natural Beauty - Nesah Meijer - 09-28-2020

Nesah had no time to reply to him, since the waiter was there. "I'll have an Earl grey then, and... those eggs..." She said naively, and she waited for the painter to place his order.

RE: Natural Beauty - Douglas Gordon - 09-28-2020

Douglas took one of the napkins set neatly on the table before him and put it over his knee.  Looking at the menu card, he rubbed his lips together thinking.  "The green tea, a shrimp and salmon open sandwich, and scones with clotted cream and the jam."  He finally selected.

The waiter nodded.  "I'll have the items to out to you right away."  He headed out through a door at the back of the dining room.