Monday, June 8, 2009

The Honeymoon of Nanny Kendal and Berjes

Berjes and Nanny Kendal got married by moonlight on the beach at Yelena and Kennedy's Twikkii Island vacation home.

Yelena and Kennedy had offered to give their former butler a big wedding at the Andropova-Cox house, but Berjes told them that Kendal had said she'd be embarrassed to be the subject of any fuss.

So, the couple got married in a very private ceremony on Twikkii island.

Yelena wanted to get Kendal a nice present (though Berjes had insisted that the loan for two weeks of the island house was more than enough of a wedding gift), and gave her daughter the task of finding out what Kendal wanted.

Yulia's approach was to ask Meadow, who knew her children's nanny well.

"Hmmm," Meadow hemmed, "I bet she could use some clothes. She and Berjes will be on Twikkii Island for quite a while, and I can't imagine that Nanny owns even one swimsuit."

So, Yelena gave the couple extravagantly generous gift certificates at several of the clothing emporiums on the island.

While his new bride was upstairs bathing, and changing into her negligee (or so Berjes hoped), Berjes gently uncorked a bottle of the Veuve Cliquot champagne he'd brought to the island.

When Kendal came downstairs in her nightgown to join him, Berjes thought to himself: "Wow--what a looker I've got!'

"To my exquisitely beautiful wife!" Berjes toasted. Kendal blushed.

It was a cool night in the islands, so Berjes lit a fire in the upstairs bedroom.

He and Kendal settled onto the small bedroom loveseat.

"My dear," Berjes told his new wife, "I could not be more delighted that we are now wed. Please let me know whatever I can do to make you happy."

"But my dearest Berjes," Kendal replied, "you have already made me deliriously happy by making me your wife."

"I never thought I would have this in my life," she continued. "I had become quite accustomed to being alone, and having my infant and toddler charges as my only source of affection."

"Well, you have my affection now, dearest," replied Berjes, and he led her to bed.

Kendal was surprised to wake up by herself the following morning,

but then smelled the delicious breakfast aromas wafting up from the first floor.

"Berjes!" she exclaimed. "How delightful that you have made me breakfast!!"

"As I plan to do every day of our marriage, my dear," her husband assured her, as he set down plates for both of them.

"Let's eat up," he suggested, "and then go for a swim, and relax in the gazebo, and I will make you lunch, as well."

"Berjes, dearest," Kendal stated, "I don't even own a bathing costume. I think we first have to take advantage of your former employers' generosity with the clothing gift certificates."

The couple went shopping at the Twikkii Island boardwalk.

Kendal managed to convince her new husband to buy some clothes for himself.

"I feel a bit silly in this, dear," he protested, coming out of the dressing room wearing cargo shorts.

"Nonsense, dearest," Kendal assured him, "those look simply splendid on you. And so much better than the old-man shorts you were previously wearing."

Kendal picked out quite a few outfits for herself, and changed into her favorite of them before resuming shopping.

'Now I feel like I'm on vacation,' she said to herself.

The couple spent the afternoon on the boardwalk, and ate lunch there, before returning to Brickstone Chateau for the evening.

Berjes invited Kendal out to the gazebo for another toast.

"More French champagne, dear?" she asked. "You're going to spoil me!"

"No more than you deserve, my angel," he replied. "Now, let us dance."

"Coming to bed, dear?" Kendal asked as she emerged from the bathroom.

"Absolutely!" Berjes answered enthusiastically, looking up from the computer. "What a lovely frock you have on, my dear. Is that new?"

"Yes, I purchased it today at the boardwalk," she answered.

"You are certainly making fine use of Madam's wedding present!" Berjes observed.

"Well, it was so generous that it will be quite difficult to spend all of it," Kendal responded.

'But I'm certainly going to try,' she thought as she plumped up her pillow.

'I married quite a clotheshorse,' Berjes observed to himself the following day, after Kendal modeled a new swimsuit while they built a sandcastle,

wore a new dress for their outing to South End Beach

(where Kendal realized that Yelena's gift certificates could also be applied to jewelry),

insisted that Berjes get another new outfit

("You look so distinguished, my husband!" Kendal flirted),

and changed into another new dress for dinner.

"I seem to have married quite the fashion plate," Berjes teased.

"Oh, as a young girl my dream was to have my own clothing shop," reminisced Kendal.

"But that came to naught, I'm afraid. No money."

"Perhaps my granddaughter and her husband could help you start a shop, if you wish," suggested Berjes. "They seem to be doing so well at their car dealership, and Randy certainly has a head for business."

"Oh, no," Kendal demurred. "I couldn't possibly accept such largesse. I'm happy just being your wife, and a nanny."

Several days later, Kendal was cleaning up after breakfast, and Berjes was out running errands.

"I could get used to this," Kendal sighed, as she put the breakfast plates into the dishwasher while wearing a $300 nightgown.

The phone rang.

"Hello, Andropova residence," Kendal answered, formally.

There was a momentary silence on the other end of the line. "It's Damian," a male voice said.

Kendal's heart skipped a beat. "How did you get this number?" she asked, her mind racing.

"Oh, I read about your 'impending nuptials' in the paper," the man answered smugly. "Yelena Andropova is big news, so anything that touches her is also big news. Even if it's just her former butler getting hitched to some local, 'well-regarded' nanny."

Kendal caught her breath. She had tried, via her tiny and extremely private island wedding, to avoid any publicity whatsoever.

"So," the man continued, "I called her husband's architectural office, and explained that I was your nephew, had been away on business in Singapore, and had only just gotten your message about the wedding--a non-existent message, as you and I both know--and that I was soooooo very sorry that I had missed it, and that you now seemed not to be answering your cellphone." He paused, and chuckled.

"I don't own a cellphone," Kendal responded.

"I know that," said the man. "But Kennedy Cox doesn't. He suggested that perhaps you didn't have cellphone coverage in Twikkii Island, and then he gave me this number--to his own vacation home. The unsuspecting sot," he laughed.

"He's a nice man!" Kendal said, panicked, though she was wary of angering her caller. "What do you want?"

"What do you think I want--I need more money," the man answered.

"I've given you nearly every cent I've earned in the last 10 years!" Kendal exploded. "I've lived in poverty because of you!!"

"We both know that was your choice on how to handle the 'situation'. But don't think I don't appreciate it," the man said, silkily.

"Damian," Kendal sputtered, "I simply cannot give you any more money. I am old, and tired. I finally have a husband, and I would like to live out whatever years I have left in peace."

"If you don't cooperate, I'll tell him," the man threatened.

"But you promised!" Kendal argued, horrified. "You promised years ago that you would never tell him!!"

"Situations change," the man answered, calmly. "The global economy is bad, and some of my more 'creative' investments haven't done as well as I'd expected."

Kendal heard Berjes coming up the front walk. "I have to go," she hissed urgently into the phone.

"Fine," said the man. "I'll call again--'Auntie'," he laughed, and abruptly hung up.

Kendal hastened to place the phone back in the cradle before her husband came through the door.

"I have the creme fraiche you wanted, and the sea urchin roe," Berjes announced gaily, putting his purchases into the refrigerator.

"I'll have you know I am expecting a splendid lunch, my dear!" He stopped short when he saw her face.

"Is anything wrong, my love?" he inquired.

"Oh, no, not at all," Kendal assured him. "I was just thinking about your idea about the clothing shop. I really think I'd like to undertake it, if you think your granddaughter and her husband would really be willing to help me get started. I'm just sure I could make money at it," she said, earnestly.

"Delightful!" exclaimed Berjes. "How wonderful it will be for us to have a project together!!"

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: To my great surprise, Nanny Kendal Lawson turned out to be a Fortune Sim, with an LTW of earning $100,000. Not to mention the other reason she seems to have for needing money....

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Gothier-London "House"

The first thing Randy and Calista did with the huge former firearms factory building they had chosen for their new home (after they refinished all the floors)

was to put up new walls in the back half of the first floor,

so that Berjes had his own calm, quiet refuge where he could rest and read,

and his own handsome and well-appointed bath,

and so that Christopher had his own magical space.

The couple also built a generous open kitchen,

and, across from it, there was room for Calista's bass, amp, and the grand piano she had had in storage for years.

Next to the music area was formal dining for six,

and next to that was spacious seating surrounding a newly installed fireplace.

The “monster master suite” in the loft upstairs that Calista had imagined was not yet finished,

but the sleeping area was comfortable,

and Calista had enough room to set up her magic paraphernalia,

and she'd put up screens around the bathroom fixtures they'd had installed.

The new location was working out very well for the young family. Calista was able to give Christopher his first meal of the day,

and Randy was able to spend time bonding with his son,

before putting him back into his crib, at which time Randy and Calista left together for London Motors across the street.

Christopher would nap until Calista's grandfather arose for the day.

Berjes would help his great-grandson with potty training,

get him dressed for the day,

feed him again,

and help him with toddler skills,

before placing the boy at the activity table,

and turning to his own interests.

When Christopher got tired, the boy would crawl to his toddler blanket and fall asleep there, which meant that Berjes did not have to watch him every minute.

Meanwhile, Calista and Randy would open London Motors for the day.

They would chat up their customers,

and would take turns running the cash register.

Calista was very good at customer relations ("It's almost like people magically become her friends!" marveled Randy), and could sell a car an hour.

Calista would also periodically go outside to ensure that the lot looked its best.

She usually went home late afternoon,

to spend time with Christopher,

while Randy manned the dealership by himself.

Randy was very pleased when Kennedy Cox and Yelena Andropova dropped in one evening. “Randy, hey,” his boss greeted him. “I stopped by your new home—you two did a great job on fixing it up. And that's quite a statue you've got there in the front window!”

“Yes, sir,” Randy laughed. “Calista bought it several years ago. She's a friend of the artist, and she's thrilled finally to have a room big enough to display the piece.”

“You know, you and Calista should consider getting your home—and this dealership, too—featured in Architectural Digest, or one of the other high-end shelter magazines. I could make some calls, if you're interested.”

“That would be great!” Randy said. “Thank you!” Taking a job as the business manager of Kennedy's architectural firm had been one of the best decisions Randy had ever made.

Yelena came over. "Hey, Randy, that quite a statue you got there in window! Big statement!!"

Randy, who never missed an opportunity to kiss Yelena, pecked her on the cheek. "Yes, ma'am," he smiled.

"Did Kenny tell you his idea about magazine?" she asked. "You should do--be verrrry good for business."

Calista was playing piano when Randy returned home for the night. “Sounds great, honey!” he enthused.

“And that food sure smells good--did you eat dinner yet?”

“No,” she answered, getting up from the piano bench and kissing him. “I was waiting for you.”

She got the pasta off the stove and prepared two plates for them.

“Kennedy stopped by the dealership after he left here,” Randy said. “He was very complimentary about your decorating—said he thought we should get this place into Architectural Digest. He commented on the statue, too. So did Yelena.”

“Everyone seems to be so interested in the statue,” Calista murmured. “There was even a crowd gathering outside before, pointing. It's very odd behavior.”

“Well, it is a pretty unusual statue, dear,” Randy said carefully.

“Do you think it's wrong for the space?” Calista queried, looking slightly worried.

“Oh, no,” Randy assured her. “Hey, if a crowd gathers in front of our place, it's fine with me. The more people who spend time in the neighborhood, the more people drop in at our dealership—that's the way I look at it. Hey, is Christopher still up?” he asked hopefully.

“Nope—Granddad put him down just before he went out for the evening, and Christopher's been asleep ever since,” she answered.

“Where is Berjes?” Randy asked.

Calista smiled, sitting down. “He's out on a date with Nanny Kendal.”

“That's great!” Randy exclaimed.

“Yeah, it's really sweet,” Calista commented. “Remember a couple of weeks ago he seemed to be at death's door with the flu, and then he met Nanny.”

“It seemed to take him a long while to get over that flu, though,” observed Randy, sounding concerned.

“Oh, I assure you,” his wife laughed, “Granddad was dragging that out so Nanny would have to keep coming over to take care of Christoper, so Granddad could keep seeing her.”

Randy thought a moment. “You've never mentioned your grandmother.”

“Oh, she died way before I was born,” Calista explained. “She and my mother went to join Granddad in India, but Grandmother had a delicate constitution—sort of an 'English Rose', if you will—and she succumbed to some dreaded local illness. After that, Granddad sent my mother—who was still just a child-- back to England to live with his parents, and he's been alone ever since.”

“Sad,” Randy mused. “Well, it's really nice he's found someone he likes. Hope the date's going well.”

Christopher suddenly started squawling from his room, and Calista went to take him out of his crib. Randy cleaned up after dinner, and was just taking out the trash when Berjes arrived home.

“Hey, Berjes—how's business?” Randy asked (which was his favorite greeting to everyone).

“I am the richest man in the world!” Berjes cried.

“Nanny Kendal has agreed to marry me!!”

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Join us next week, for Berjes and Kendal's Twikkii Island wedding.