Tuesday, July 05, 2011


I awake in the quiet of the morning, reclining on my bed, made by the finest mattress-makers in all the land, filled with natural fibres and customised support structures, designed to ensure that I awake from each night's sleep revitalised and refreshed. I rise into the sunshine amid the sounds of the parrots frolicking in the garden, and don fine robes, crafted far off in the orient. I dress for comfort and warmth, and that which I seek I find instantly in my wardrobe, filled with many, many such clothes for all occasions.

As I descend the staircase, I feel that perhaps I should like a warm, invigorating beverage to ease the chill on this winter morning.

"As you wish, my Liege" - A beautiful white clean china cup, with intricate floral designs, and an ingenious machine that heats water almost instantly sparks into life with a gentle boiling hush. While I wait the idle minute or so, I gaze out at the tropical landscape, quietly encompassing the view, a dense majesty so rich and vivid, and yet, one that this King often fails to appreciate. I reach into a nearby drawer, and produce a clean shiny, silver teaspoon. In a jar nearby I have a compound, composed by the most brilliant food scientists, that, when mixed with water, reconstitutes the finest Arabica coffee from Equatorial Guinea - the aromas and deep robust hues appear like magic, as the boiling water is poured into the cup.

While the flavours of the pure drink are intense, lively and bold, I am not satisfied. Indeed, I should like this beverage to be sweeter. In another jar, just nearby, I have the distilled granules of a compound grown in the northern lands, the sugar cane. This grass is grown to a height of around 12 feet, before workers harvest and slash it, and then each individual strand of cane is crushed, woven and pressed, until a thick molasses is formed. This brown molasses is then refined through a boiling process, seven times, until a pure white crystal is produced, after extensive drying. It is this substance, this white powder fit for a king, that I choose to sweeten my beverage with. I add two spoons of the powder into the cup and stir. The clinking of my spoon is the only sound in the still morning.

And now, while sweet, this drink still does not please me sufficiently well. For it to be fit for me to drink this winter morning, it requires further modification. What I wish, is for a maternal cow who has given birth to a calf to be taken from the pastures and to have milk suckled from her teat. This milk should then be boiled and cooled. Then, when it has been boiled and cooled once more, it shall be carried on the roads of the land, hundreds of miles, until it is brought to me. This is perhaps an odd request, but it is what I desire.

Fortunately, being a King, precisely this liquid, white and cold, is stored right beside me, in a complex cupboard, designed by the finest engineers so that the temperature inside it is maintained at that of a freezing winter morning.

I pour this white milk into my cup. It swirls brilliantly, thermal currents producing a spectacular display of diffusion whorls. I stir them away impatiently with my spoon.

Bearing my Royal mug, I adjourn to the front deck, to sit in the winter sunshine, as it warms the land. As I sit, regally on the deck, high above the other houses and the ocean below, I am reminded of those fresh moments of my youth, those times when the winter sunshine seemed the only comfort that I received.

Still moments, where alone, and far from home, when that warming ray of sun on the back of my neck was like magic in the cold mornings, my cheeks still flushed from the cold, my clothes ragged and unkempt. Full of promise and discovery, a stranger to change, I would find those quiet moments in the morning, and I would feel amazed that I could be there, amazed that the world had a mechanism that I could maybe one day comprehend and be part of.

The sweep of nostalgia covers me with a rich tapestry of memories and moments, and the fleeting, desperate longing comes with it - for that time, when I was not a king, and was merely a rough and tumble young knave. I let it pass as I finish my coffee.

The Royal iPhone rings.