Brother Cadfael's MonkshoodSaturday, October 03, 2009
This afternoon Rosemary, the girls and I went to the Vancouver East Cultural Centre to a wonderful performance of dance from Montreal, Diary/Journal Intime. I will write about it tomorrow as I have not had the time this evening to process the roll of Kodak Plus-X with which I took a few pictures of two of the dancers with Rebecca and Lauren.
Time went quickly as I had to cook a roast beef for dinner and Rosemary made her “famous in our family” Yorkshire Pudding. We served the roast with potatoes, carrots and onions with lightly steamed snow peas on the side. Rebecca had several helpings of my meat gravy. Then I heard a scream in the kitchen when she cleared the table. It seems she spotted some blood on the cutting board which had oozed out from what was left of the roast. I explained to her that I had poured most of it into the gravy and that is why it was good. These Saturday night family dinners (and sometimes on Monday nights as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve) are really a way for me to go back to the family dinners of my past especially the ones that were held at my Auntie Winnie's who was married to my father's oldest brother Harry. I remember Uncle Harry putting sugar into his mixture of Colman's Mustard for the salad he prepared. I remember Auntie Winnies severely deformed hands as she poured us her tea which we wolfed down with her lovely scones. To repeat that so beautiful statement from the Last Supper, "Do this in memory of me."
We listened to some Gerry Mulligan and eventually all the girls, Rosemary, Lauren, Rebecca and Hilary ended up on our bed with Toby the cat while I scanned what you see here. Tonight may have been the last Saturday where I will be able to cut fresh roses from the garden to put on the dinner table. There were a few but the one that caught my eye was Rosa ‘Brother Cadfael’. I read all of the Brother Cadfael novels written by Ellis Peters. There is one that sticks out in my memory called Monkshood. The botanical name for this extremely poisonous perennial is aconitum. The variety that was growing not far from Brother Cadfael was Aconitum carmichaelii 'Arendsii'. Rosemary has a fondness for this plant’s very blue flowers and this very tall (7ft) variety flowers in the fall. Both Rebecca and Lauren know about the poisonous nature of this plant as well as Brother Cadfael. In the novel called Monkshood you do not have to guess what the murderer uses to do away with his victim.