Chandelier becomes her.

  

“Miles, come here quickly”, Agnes had noticed this a few times previous, peering through the Georgian panes of her bedroom window across high into the canopy of the trees on the opposite side of the river bank a light kept flashing, she wondered wether this was a distress call, or the fact a home light was being distorted by the wind through the trees.
“Miles, MILES ! …. Do come see dear, please, …. QUICKLY” 
Miles lifted his eyes and automatically twisted his nose with his thumb and forefinger, he always did this when he felt that “it” was going to be a waste of time, placing his lead cut crystal tumbler of whiskey and soda down, ensuring it was on the silver coaster, heaven forbid he put anything directly onto the furniture, he walked across to where Agnes sat, she was a fiery young lady at the best of times, but, her beauty made up for that, constantly observing situations and her aptitude for being inquisitive, she never missed a thing, often he would play a game and move an item in a room before she entered, no matter how small the item might be Agnes would notice its misplacement, they would continue to enjoy this childish game throughout their married life.
This time of her life she did not like being pregnant, the seventh month hurdle had now become intolerable, finding everything rather strenuous, fortunately, there was Jasmina, her maid, she was always at hand, like the proverbial shadow, constantly ensuring her mistress was comfortable at all times.

Agnes loved the attention she was receiving, often pushing the mature Indian lady to her limits, this tiny woman was a sight to behold, wearing her beautiful coloured silk sari’s, anyone other than those in the know would think that Jasmina was the lady of the house, she was also Miles’ nemesis.
Agnes pointed toward the flickering light, Miles stared and said quite suddenly, “by goodness me, i do believe that is Morse code”, he stood concentrating, his time in the Army had taught him this whilst serving in India,” i cant quite make it out Agnes dear, something to the words of *dash dash, dot dot dash, dot dash dot …..*,” struggling with his rusty morse, he admitted, “that cannot be right dear”, suddenly, into the bedroom came a flurry of bright colours, “They have arrived Ma’am”, Jasmina announced, rhyming her Ma’am with jaam.
Agnes ordered Miles, “Run down quickly my darling, go and welcome them, you know what a strange old sod he can be”.
Smiling at her reflection in the dresser mirror, she plumped her hair and powdered some more foundation onto her over bright rosy cheeks, she thought to her self, ….. I certainly do not want them thinking I’m looking too well, 

I can always excuse myself, although she loved entertaining, the Brigadier was such an arse,an absolute bore, he knew a little about something and a lot about nothing.

Miles ran quickly down one side of the two half style pavilion spiral staircases, leaping out a step every other, the alabaster cherubs on the ceiling stared down, they themselves constantly hoping that someone would eventually fall down the uneven steps.
“Brigadier Farquhar…. Er, Welcome to Greenshanks …”
“Cunningham old bean, so kind of you and your jolly wifey to invite me this evening” Unbuttoning his own coat, he threw it over the chaise like it was a rag, 
“Goodness sake Man, wheres your Butler?” 
“No Butler for me Farq, I’m quite able to look after myself, bit of a modern man here” 

“Utter tosh, theres always room for a butler, anyway old bean, if you haven’t a butler, who else is there to blame?”
“Wheres is your beautiful wifey, is she playing coy?” ,…. staring around his environment, his eyes caught sight of the beautiful chandelier, 
“Does that monstrosity happen to be a Boheme or one of those bloody damned Chinese reproductions?” he spouted rather annoyingly.

Suddenly, and nastily he hissed, “is this a dry house or bloody what?” …”for goodness sake, i need a drink, the ride here was terrible, Bates our driver hit every damn hole in your driveway, how long is it? …. goodness sakes Cunningham, get a man”.
Suddenly, Miles knew that this evening and its conversation was going to be an absolute nightmare.
Mrs Farquhar stood quite still and silent, fearing any movement would incite a reprimand, the Brigadier was all too very handy at times.
Agnes whispered to herself, breathed in deeply, and held tightly onto the left stair handrail as she descended slowly and gracefully, proudly displaying her bump and comforting it with her right hand.
“Brigadier, so nice of you to come”, 
Immediately turning her back to him and facing Mrs Farquhar, she says
“Lavinia darling”, (the ladies peck each others cheeks, as was the latest fashion in France), 

Holding her palm Agnes whispers “Come with me dear, i have something to show you … ” as they both head toward the Drawing room.

Depositing a cocktail glass almost to the brim of Dry Martini into Lavinia’s hand, she then gingerly places the pickup onto the rotating disc, 
“Oh how delightful”
Lavinia smiles, probably the first time in ages. “Tell me Agnes, have you any ideas for your new book?”, holding the cocktail stick and chewing the olives whilst talking.
“Actually ……its a work in progress, tell me, have ever thought of yourself as a possible suspect in an incident”?
Lavinia replies “If I could get away with the murder, then yes dear” and without hesitation giggles and winks at Agnes.

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Back to the Future

  Dear Dad, 

As you can see, I haven’t missed your birthday yet, unlike that one time and I made you cry, I still can’t forgive myself for that …. I am oh SO Sorry xx 
Well Wilf, I found this card you sent from Calpe, it’s got to be nine years ago this month, so, just for the record, il update you on the questions you asked, better hold on and listen very carefully, actually, go put the kettle on, can’t beat a cup of tea …. Hurry up, I’m about to start.

(Read the card, these are the replies)

Both of us are fairing up, although I do worry about C, rumour has it he does of me too.
As the lovely Dionne Warwick sings, “That’s what friends are for”
Well, any weather in Calpe is good, and very warm is even better, keep the Stamp nose out of the direct sunlight, you should know by now, that we don’t wear that, or our ears for beauty! 
Work here? It’s like the Fourth Road Bridge, it never stops, every-time it rains I’m sure it’s going to get in somewhere, even though the new roof has been completed, you just can’t trust the cowboys, they are everywhere, like the dust …… it just seems to breed!

In a nutshell, if I complain about it, it’ll be just like banging my head against a wall ….. Pointless!! 
Friends? Look just how many we have made over the years, of course, I’ve now been going there longer than you and dear Mum had, forty years, and yes, the drinks just seem to get stronger every visit …. Happy days!
Do you remember that time that we got burgled, in the middle of the night? *he* could have stabbed me, and you beat the crap out of him !!!

Oh I bet he had a headache!

You were my hero then as you still are today, my very very special man.
I hear it’s the rushkies now, they’re buying up every plot, climbing up higher to the height of the Peñon, it seems if your not got an ollie in front of your name or an arch at the end, then you’re no one.

Oligarch this, Oligarch that.

Yes, Its our home from home.

As always, and, as always, always means forever, give our love to Mum, I do hope Paddington is behaving himself with you, hope you both have a fantastic birthday on Saturday, sadly, I won’t be writing for a while, but, feel free to visit, or tie a message to Paddington’s collar, he often *pops in*. Royal Mail has really gone down the pan recently, hoping this gets to you by email, until we are united once again, stay safe, keep warm, and love one another for our sakes.

“We will”

Lovingly, your sons and puppies
P & C, S, H, W & J. 

XX XXXX

P.S. Sophie has now moved in with her boyfriend, tell Mum when you think it’s the right time. (modern times) xx Good luck with that one.
By the way, it was “Back to the future” day today (Wednesday) so, this is quite an apt message, if your not sure what that was just “Google” it, I’m sure you will have a better broadband connection up there than we have down here.

(Man hugs)

X

Piss poor

Day five,

The rat pack have run me ragged, my sleep pattern has been blasted out of all proportion and the new Zimuvane sleeping tablets “do not do exactly what they say they should do on the tin”.  My own bed and my home comforts will be welcomed tonight with opened arms.

Apparently the master of the house is stuck on the M25, in Parker the Mini, being a 4X4 he just hates to be stood still, and so does the driver, so, you can imagine just how wound up both are going to be when they eventually arrive home, how do i know this information?, i received a voice/text message via his Apple watch, thats Chris’s not Parkers, all very slow, sad and robotic sounding,  “I … AM … STUCK … ON … THE … M … 25” ……. Then silence!

I have to admit, i thought i was prepared for these five days of isolation here on our ranch, out on the isthmus, and to be honest, i was not. Ranch? Isthmus?  Oh! it’s just my fun way of describing our habitat, we are out on the headland, almost by the National Park, and when the weather turns in, it can feel like we are somewhere completely away from any form of civilisation, apart from the local natives of course, all ten of them in their respective homes, truth be known, all of them strange, us included, preferably leading quiet lifes and minding our own businesses.

We are less than three quarters of a mile from the town centre, it can at times be a very pleasant walk into, but, when raining, or the wind is blowing up and into every orriface, it can be dire. As I’m not feeling 100 percent at the moment and the car has not been at my disposal, i guess i can wear the “i really messed up this time” badge with pride. Talk about Mother Hubbard and her bare cupboards, poor old sod, now i know how she must have felt, even more so as this months “salary” disappeared a week earlier, due to an emergency which was not expected, its been tight, no, actually, its been all too typically rather “church mouse ish”.

The puppies are going to go into screams of delight upon Chris’ arrival, ETA 15:00 hours, believe me, it is going to be manic, and that then will be my cue to exit and head across to Paignton, with £23 in lose change in my pocket, i shall attempt to fill a trolley for this weekends survival, thank heavens the golden eagle shits on Monday.

I hear you used to be able to get paid for peeing in a pot, hence the title.

Karma! The price to pay,

Hang on there while i top my glass up !

There, thats better, i can start now.

I hear you wondering why on earth has he “started” quite so early in the day?, believe me, it would have been earlier, but, as is said, shit happens.

Im now into my third day of house and dog sitting for my best mate, four unruly Jack Russell’s who have pushed me to my limits, three are his and the remainder, Willow, is mine, anyhow, upon an executive decision this morning, and after being physically and verbally assaulted by them, i begrudgingly force myself out of bed, and then feed them, the frenzied four, as per the norm.

I decide that I’m going to give myself a breakfast treat and head into town, this is of a rare occurrence, as I’m, or we, that is Chris and myself normally head onto the next town along the coast to do our business, to be honest, i don’t share myself locally, be it opticians, solicitors or even shopping in my own home town, terrible really, but simply because everyone gossips too much, and frankly, i don’t wish to be part of an evenings conversation where, A) i might have been seen to be choosing a pair of “Ronnie Kray style” glasses, or B) why did he only buy three figs, and why did he buy the figs? period,!! and C) who i intend to sue next, not that i am, you must understand, not at present, anyway.

As today is quite fresh, its time to open up the winter wardrobe, sounds flash huh?, well, infant, its a choice of two coats, one a funereal type crombie or that of a sports coat emblazoning the swoosh logo, to those who aren’t sure what that is, its a brand name, Nike.

Swoosh it is then, still fits nicely, the diet has helped at least, and in the pocket i find £8+ in change, that sure is a bonus, breakfast or brunch, what ever you like to call it, is now sorted.

Deciding to share the love, i dismiss my on occasion usual coffee haunt and call upon a new venture named “Picnic Brixham”, all very Laura Ashley meets French Chic, i decide I like this place, its calm, no children, by the way, i believe establishments selling coffee should NOT entertain children, there, i said it. N’er n’er, i place my order.

I down my doppio and dive straight in, i have never seen so much Brie in a baguette in all my days, beautifully presented, with cranberry sauce and a fresh radish salad, actually,  

 here it is, it was awesomeness on a plate, actually no, it is awesomeness in my belly!

This place has my vote, I plus order an americano, black and plain, I am lacking in energy, little did I know, this was to be my fuel for later, I give my praise and head out, my train of thought is, what to buy first without being penalised five pence for a scabby plastic bag, (excuse the break, its past 16:00 hrs, the mutts need evening dinner, BRB)

The enigma I present to those in the know, is why would I purchase four camping gas canisters for cooking?, when I have one of the most beautifully presented fitted kitchens on the south west coast, simple, when I’m creating, and believe me, I can create, in more ways than one, no!, I digress, I have an oak and granite island, it is of monolithic proportions, infact, its one of the many “few” purchases I made after i receiving an inheritance from my Father, simply, it faces North, I have views across the water toward Torquay, I have a camping gas stove on it, and it gives me inspiration to cook whilst i look out onto my world, whereas my fitted hob has no view, its as simple as that.

I head toward the butcher, canisters in hand, and purchase a chicken treat for the motley crew, after an interrogation as to why I haven’t been “around” for a while from the lovely Wayne, i depart, graciously.

Being in town has been fun, sarcasm is one of my forte’s, you may have noticed that, seeing *my* bus, and hail, he stops, I climb aboard and flash my pass, and yes, i’m entitled to free bus travel, of which I rarely use, oh the shame!  Steadily the aged transit wends its way around a familiar route, altho, noticing from my disabled seat, I see an elderly lady whom i recognise, i wonder why she might be travelling to my neck of the woods, expecting the struggling vehicle to turn left at the top of the hill it steadily continues to the right, I am spooked, jesus H christ, I am on the WRONG fecking bus, eventually I stop panicking, thinking it will return hence where it started from, it passes through a new estate, goodness knows how long its been there, I hadn’t a clue, many stops are called, the penultimate passenger alights, the driver looks at me and says in his uncaring stagecoach dialect, “Bus terminates ‘ere mate” …..

I can’t express my thoughts, or even my profanities now, here I am stood, next to an isolated bus stop pole alone with a carrier bag and almost two miles away from my start position, there are no return buses for at least 45 minutes, WTF!

Its a beautiful sunny day, thank god, i walk slowly down streets i haven’t trodden upon in years, i make a pathetic call to my mate, who is over 200 miles away, hoping he might detour and pick me up en route, cursing, i head downhill this time into town, i stop briefly to purchase more surprises for the puppies, i am sure the mutinous crew have now destroyed what was a safe haven and once known as home.

i hear a voice in my head, “buy me, buy me”, as i near the off license, i can taste the freshness of the grapes desperately trying to escape the screw top of the bottle, i contemplate brown bagging as i hot foot it home, the hounds of hell are quiet as i approach the sanctity that is home, i throw the “lions” chewsticks, and place the bottle of golden nectarness briefly in the freezer.

At least, i have had my exercise for today, and tomorrow, possibly even the day after. I definately expect to sleep tonight.

Bottoms up peeps!

By the way, three figs for 99p, who could resist!

It’s in here somewhere!

It would appear I have been dogged with what might be referred to as writers block, my concentration and thoughts are seriously numb. I stare into space seeking inspiration, even counting the gaps between the uprights on the railings outside have not sparked a flame.

Seemingly, it would appear, that my brain has broken.

On a bright note though, I am led to believe *it* will come up right behind me and bite my ass when it returns, and I probably won’t even know about it when it does.

I Contemplate putting on a thick coat and head toward the town, a walk across the top of the Marina, maybe count just how much money is floating about, those tax evasion buckets, each moored tight and secure, slowly and steadily draining the economy in more ways than one, instead I have a change of heart, far too cold for that.

I am Instead, for a few days, house & dog sitting, attempting the odd jobs that have been noted, I prioritise these into two genres, one being of a safe low altitude, the other into high altitude, the latter often means a two man operation, I take my time, slowly, and in-between the many breaks of tea or coffee and of course the obligatory custard cream, which are oh so naughty, but nice, I steadily, one by one delete each item off the list.

But can you tell me why, oh why on earth does the telephone always ring? especially when you are either balanced on top of a ladder or presenting an indignity of your backside sticking out of a base kitchen cupboard, searching for the “I’m sure it’s in here somewhere” item to do the third job on the list, always trying to be one jump ahead of the game, but also being wary of not banging ones head or having to endure a possible hip replacement at a very short notice, after all I am of the age where *that* could become a serious and possible eventuality, although I do think the world of you my dearest Vanessa*, I have no intention of becoming “eventually yours” not yet at least, either in marriage or at the undertakers.

OUCH! What on earth was that?

“Quick, where’s my note book? quick, quick”!

*(Vanessa, my designated funeral director)

Silence. that is the wonder of,

IMG_1232Today the St Georges Cross flag hangs from the cheap aluminium flag pole, it displays to others of my thoughts and beliefs, nothing religious, it says exactly who i am, tomorrow it may be my Pride Flag.

Less than forty feet away the water reaches deep into the crevices of the sandstone and limestone cliff that support my home, this victorian villa sits precariously high above the waves, the bedrock fault runs right through the middle of this ancient structure, just as and when the earth will devour this failing abode no one knows, hopefully when it does, i will be asleep.
For over a hundred years the residents and many now departed souls of this property have stared through these wafer thin panes of glass, constantly bearing the beat of sea spray, we watch the sun rise, we watch it set, its views distorted through age and elemental wear, it in itself offers inspiration and displays the wonder that is this beautiful bay, Torbay, my home.

Almost everyday of my near eleven years inhabitance i have watched the trawlers make Port and head toward the Berry Head Mark, further onward to the fishing grounds, losely speaking, heading out into the unknown, each man subjecting themselves to the cruel world that the fishing industry is, each and everyone trusting every other crew member, this is teamwork, this is sheer determination to suceed, this is hell.
Everyday i watch them return,

I have seen the beautiful cottage opposite me engulfed in flames, an old gentleman who watched his entire lifes achievements and contents go up in smoke, never to get his own life together again, from its ashes a diabolical steel and concrete construction rises, it is an enigma, one that is neither similar to a castle or a beached cruise ship, however, such is the wonder of life, nothing changes, but everything else does.

The property above me sits quiet like death, still as it was when the old lady died peacefully in 1955, they, the two doting sons leave this as a shrine to her, it stands just as it was left then by her family, the house creaks and groans as the seasons change, visitors arrive unannounced and for a few days this shrine lives as it used to, visitors trundle precariously over threadbare carpets, water pipes rattle and dripping taps are twisted to the point of almost destruction by uncaring hands, often there is much silence, less often there is laughter, it is a rare occurence, the dust that lies upon the furniture is dismissed, the dark bakelite telephone that sits solitarily in the corner never rings, attempts of making culinary delights fail as they try to cook on appliances that should bear the labels of either “obsolete or unsafe”, the refrigerator shakes and moans, almost as if in itself it is dying.

Hundreds of books adorn the shelves, they themselves each having never been opened for decades, and the heap of National Geographic fanzines, piled high, they lean precariously to one side, old pictures hang of relatives, now them selves turned to ashes, the once guilded picture frames leave many dark shades of years sunlight burning into the distemper on the walls, a single one bar fire awaits to be energised, as and when, the dust burns and permeates the room, they sip sherry by the light of the diminishing daylight and begrudgingly turn a shadeless lamp on, an aged 60 watt lamp burns sadly, even the moths are gone, they too grieve, occasionally a good time once had is remebered, often a bad comment is thrown into the conversation, perhaps these aged walls do have ears, the dead benefactor turns and she sighs.

Every visit, each elder notices how their once familiar faces have changed, trying to recreate old times and walk adventures across the headland toward the South and North Forts, remembering their childhoods and happier events, each quietly wondering who wont be visiting next, it is after all a waiting game.

They tread upon grounds once exercised by Napoleonic armies, it is said that the voices of the troops and the sound of horses can be heard on silent dark starry nights, the breath of the baying horses rise into the cool evening air, the fear of men can be smelt, each one to have wondered about their own future which lay in the balance, each one to be savaged by either war, famine or disease.

The walks meander amongs bushes and often coppulating couples can be seen exercising their animal instincts without concern to those appreciating the woodland beauty, occasional rustling from near display horned beasts, a flock of rare breed sheep and rams beat track amongst the bracken and gorse, they climb down precariously from cliff top, tiptoeing further down toward the cold atlantic channel waters, many giving display to the passing pleasure cruisers passing the coast towards Kingswear and the Royal Port of Dartmouth, a coast line so rugged, yet often peaceful, the sea heaves and rolls its fetch from further shores miles away, rising and falling, rising and falling, tons of untameable brine, some bearing white hats, others covering dark silken depths, the sea smoothes as velvet but offers hard and volatile personalities as a psycopath would, it changes in an instant, without any warning.

I sit quietly and observe.