Tuesday, 30 September 2014

All in a Day's Work

Dearest Emily,

Lovely talking to you on Sunday, hope you helped Daddy with his packing for Singapore. I thought I'd tell you about my working day...

Well Em, you know how it can be with all the traffic making you late for work.

"Hallo Ducks" I said to some fellow commuters,

Cyclepath Selfie along the way,

Eventually I found a parking space.

Good to see some local titles in the window!

My desk is always full.

After all this stress and hassle Em- would you believe it- Customers come in! Sometimes Em, they speak in a language I can hardly understand- and I have to translate.
For instance- in comes a chap- long black hair tied in a ponytail and he says-

"Arlo. D'yee take bowks?
Mize dear ole ma doid three year ago now. Shewa nointy free, shewa.
Oiz only jurst gottit in me ta sell 'er bowks.
Oiz frum Debbun, oiz sayled in andz gotta free day winder.
Oi duzzent loike readin bowks.
Er add lowds a furst dishuns.
Z yer boss a fair man?"

At this point Em- he tells me there are robbers in Devon- zoiks!

"Oiz fourt yer bozzuz a fair man- coz uz drawin a woight rabbit"

Well you  can't say fairer than that Em- and then he said 

"Will eee recognoise me when oi call im?"

I suggested he would.

I ate my lunch, sold some more books, finished the White Rabbit, and wearily shut up shop at the ridiculous time of 4.35 pm- unpaid overtime Emily.

Back on the cyclepath-

Flippin' rush hour!

It's enough to make you see red sometimes...

Got home, walked the dogs. Then a man came round and bought all the old lego (well you did say you didn't want it Em.)

So, after a hard day at work, and a guilty conscience for selling the lego- I'm all for bed.

Now just ask Daddy if his day is as stressful.

Sleep tight,

Your ever-loving Grandmother, GiGi xxxx

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

September Serendipity

Dearest Emily,

Cycling home from work two weeks ago now- I parked my trusty bike whilst opening and closing the Mill House gate. As I went to pick her up- I looked across the estuary, and entranced by the light= took a snap on my phone.

Deciding that this should be September's painting project- I set to work at it on my Bookshop days. When I finished it this afternoon Emily, I realised something. You know what I was telling you about at the weekend about moving house?  Well, the house we are moving to nestles in the little valley tinted orange in my picture!
When Grumpa saw it- he called it 'The Past, Present and Future'. Uncle Joe called it 'Serendipity'.

They're both right- so call it whichever you prefer. I do so love September Em, especially with the fabulous Indian Summer we seem now to have as a regular feature. Swinburne calls it 'Kind September' in the poem below. I think that sums it up rather well;

Hail, kind September, friend whose grace
Renews the bland year's bounteous face
Through many a land that laughs with love
With largess given of corn and wine
Of thee and all the heaven above,
More fruitful found than all save thine
Whose skies fulfil with strenuous cheer
The fervent fields that knew thee near.
Over and out Em, hope you are having fun!
Your ever-loving Grandmother,
GiGi xxx

Thursday, 11 September 2014

GiGi and the Cat- Heaven on Earth

"THIS IS 'Heaven on Earth'" said GiGi, to the black cat. 

A ball of wool dropped from her lap, she caught it and resumed her train of thought and her knitting.

"Walking along the Causeway at sunset, Storm, the sky was all oranges and reds."

The cat sat on her lap, making progress impossible. 

"I was struck by the beauty of the magnificent sunset over the Mill-pond, and diamond-like sparkles dancing across the water. Maybe I had died, and gone to heaven!"

She closed her eyes in the afternoon sunshine. Following a busy day, before the Bored Meeting, a rest could do no harm.

"'Indian Summer'." GiGi and the cat dozed in the sunshine, a breeze ruffling the Tree overhead.

      *              *             *               *              *              *                *              *             *           

 Twilight fell, a bitter almond smell made GiGi glance at a cloud imagining it a woman, in a shawl, and billowing skirts. She blinked. The wind blew open a door, she couldn’t remember the inside, she must be confused. 

'Twasn't brillig, as the Slithey Toves,
All growled and gambled and were grave,
All whimsy were her Borogoves,
And the Home-Rath's dismayed'

She remembered The Meeting and floated along toward the hallway. Feeling dizzy, she decided a walk in garden, in the normal way, might help.

                                                                 * * * * * * * * * *

THE SMELL filled GiGi's nostrils again- she attributed it to musk from the many roses. She  couldn’t remember so many. Thoughts became slippery fishes as she tried to catch them.
"I’d see better" said GiGi, "From the Down- here's the path- No." she tried another "Well, then this goes there" So she went on, always returning to the house.
There was the Down, behind a flower bed, with a Lily gracefully putting daisies into pots on tables. A 'slippery-fish thought' regarding a cat escaped.
"You’ve seen her?" Lily asked as the roses became girls- dancing up the lane, skipping feet dancing round them.
“ The exercise took her!" Lily and rosebuds scattered across the Down.
Transparent clouds formed the fleeting figure of a woman. 

  "Beware the 'Wareofall" my Girl!
The mouth that snipes, the claws that snatch,
Beware the Monstrous Crow, and Shun,
The frumious Canallsnatch!"

A large tree stood in front as the sound of flapping wings filled the air. Something slithered from the Tower. A bird flew up, carrying something. At the trunk a creature was breathing heavily and sweating.
"It's the Monstrous Crow!" He looked over his shoulder, disappearing into a puddle. 
From the branches a toad stared and GiGi suddenly felt chilly. He belched.
A Vulture appeared. "That’s my Slithey Tove. Ethan Safertie Pseudolar is in muddy waters. I’m Harpy Lapette. Come into the Purgatree. See things differently! Join me for supper. Your eyes, are all I need. Got to keep my figure!"
Just then a tail, flicked behind the trunk.

Safertie shouted; "Don't talk with the Cautionary Tail! His words cost a thousand pounds." 

"Wasting time Ethan. I’ll keep my figure. Slithey!”

GiGi couldn't see any Monstrous Crow. 

'She took her Besum Broom in hand,
Long time the vexome for she sought-
So rested she, by the Purgatree,
And stood a while in thought'

SHE CAME to a field, and walked, wondering, what her thoughts were until she realised they were a Rabbit’s marching backwards and forwards, shaking a pocket watch. "Franklin D. Rarebit. We haven't got time. Know where you’re going? If you don't, any road will do.Use this!” He tapped his brow, skipping away.

A finger post stating ‘Tweedleton, The Wilderness’ was carried by a strange little man studying a book.

He held the book turning gilt pages. "Bought this! Had to get out of the Wilderness, I’ll read  you some!"

“Its getting dark-"

"You like poetry? It’s the bother again, bother!" he pulled at his beard, sorrowfully.

 "The Sun was Shining!"

"If it's long" GiGi cut in  "Would you-"

Tweedleton began,

"The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all its might,
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright.
This was odd because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily
Because she thought the sun
Had no business to be there
After the day was done-
'It's very rude of him' she said
'To come and spoil the fun"

The sea was wet as wet could be
Although the sand was dry.
You could not see a cloud because
No cloud was in the sky

The Plumber was a Lifeboat man

                                                            "Find your broomstick!”

Remembering the Rabbit- she didn't know where she was going- so nothing mattered. 'The Plumber was a Lifeboat man', came to mind as she saw the Bay. Screwing up her eyes, she saw two figures, in a green boat.  

The wind blew something over her. The lady appeared. " Are you, the lady from the House?" She caught the shawl as she spoke.

"Ye-es" said the woman "or the Queen. I’m Mrs Cameraman-it isn't my notion of the thing.”

"I'll do my best to address you"

"It’s neither here, nor there!" groaned the lady. “It’s my house, all out of temper. It will keep on, until someone does something." She flickered pale 

 " Let me help?" GiGi looked at the shawl. “your shawl?"

"Wear it, it's chilly". 

An Angel appeared." There’s Alice! She's here to make things better." said GiGi

"Better-eh?" the woman shrieked. The Angel sang "Beetter, beetterrr...." and disappeared.

                                 *     *      *      *     *     *      *     *      *     *      *

GiGi pulled the shawl tightly, and came to a shop- inside it her older self, and Grand-daughter Emily sat knitting.

And as in faffing thought, she stood,
The wareofall, with eyes aflame,
Came baffling through the tulgy-wood,
And murmured as it came!

One two! And through and through
The besum-broom went snicker-snack!

A bottle of Champagne rolled along, knocking GiGi over, shouting 'heeelp!' as a Magpie, pecked it upright.

GiGi stood up, and waited for an apology.

"It's very provoking" the bottle said, "to be stared at very!"

"I", began GiGi... "expected you to apologise!"

"People expect the wrong things!" 

GiGi didn't respond and strung the poem together;

Twasn't brillig, as the Slithey Toves,
All growled and gambled, and were grave.
All whimsy were her Borogoves,
And the Home-Rath's dismayed.

"Beware the 'Wareofall" my Girl!
The mouth that snipes, the claws that snatch,
Beware the Monstrous Crow, and Shun,
The frumious Canallsnatch!"

She took her Besum Broom in hand,
Long time the vexome foe she sought-
So rested she, by the Purgatree,
And stood awhile in thought

And as in faffing thought, she stood,
The wareofall, with eyes aflame,
Came baffling through the tulgy-wood,
And murmured as it came!

One two! And through and through
The besum-broom went snicker-snack!

The man spoke:- "State your Business!"

" I don’t think its any business of"...

"You don't think!" interrupted the man. "I am Don Churchillion. I think, so - should you!".

The bird spoke-

"I’m Litany Magpie. I; know my Business, Churchillion's, Tweedleton's, D Rarebit, Harpy. The Tove,  Safertee, Cautionary Tail, Lily, Rosebuds, Daisies, Mrs Cameraman's, Alice’s. I, know everybody’s Business."

GiGi interjected. "Then you know my Business?"

Don interrupted. “Let’s get back to your remark".

"I‘m afraid I don't remember" said GiGi.

“ Being afraid of remarks" said Don "Churchillion's DON’T DO. I’m descended from a Great Leader. Mayhap you'll never see another. I'm not proud, you may shake hands. I have Churchillian’s ears. If I need answers, we get them. Recently, we were in cabinet, the numbers didn't add up, a funny Business".

Litany interjected " I know your Business.”

 GiGi pleaded “what IS my Business?"

They shook heads. "If you had numbers and took some, what is left?"

"Nonsense" said GiGi trying again "My Business?"

"It’s to enable The Queen!" They left, Litany whispering “A dim one!”

GiGi was startled by shouting:- " Ahoy! GiGi, I presume?"

A White Knight, tumbled off of his horse, and re-mounted. "I’m here to help you".

Smiling, the series repeated, the horse stopping (frequently) and the Knight tumbling off either side. GiGi walked at a safe distance.

"You’ve not had much practice?"

" Unintention’s the problem!" said the Knight as explanation. "The important thing is to see you through the wood. Unintention’s always been like this- so I put a bell on his Bridle". The horse's name was Unintention, GiGi gleaned."Does the bell help?" 

"That’s clever- like a carrot and donkey- the sound makes him look and others hear him coming!"

Pleased with himself, GiGi bit her lip.

"I have clever ideas. You saw me looking thoughtful, I was inventing a song- I shall sing it"

 GiGi hesitated. "Is it long?" 

"Yes" said the Knight " and very beautiful. Everybody says- it brings tears to their eyes, or ..."

"Or what?" said GiGi.

"Or it doesn't. It’s called 'Ways and Means', or 'Portals of Fate' or, 'Passing through the Gate'."

Beating time with one hand, as if to music in his head, he began...

"I'll tell thee everything I know. There's little to relate.
All about Mrs Cameraman,
A-passing through a gate.

Where are you Mrs C, I said,
And why not in your crib?
Her answer trickled through my head,
Like water through a sieve.

There she was among the skies,
She couldn't reach the gate.
In the House they couldn't see,
They helped to seal her fate.

Tell her once, OR tell her twice,
They’re in the 'Purgatreeeee!' 
Take the broom, look up at the moon,
Sweep the house 'thrice cleeen!'

And now, if 'er I put,
My fingers into glue,
I weep for it reminds me so,
Of the Mrs C, I used to know,
Whose eyes, like cinders all-aglow,
Who rocks her body to and fro.
Who mutters mumblings sweet and low,
As if her mouth is full of dough,
It all now seems long ago.

He turned to the woods. "There, over that brook, and home, but you'll wait to see me off? “

"Yes," said GiGi: "thanks for the song."

"You didn't cry."

"It won't take long to see him off," GiGi thought, "there he goes!" She waved and bounded across the brook.

* * * * * * * * *

"Her besum broom went snicker-snack,
Through hall, parlour, and stair,
Sweeping from the floor to the chimney-stack!

A broom and goose wings hurtled down towards her. "Alice's" said a voice- “Put them on!"

A youth appeared by the entrance, wearing jeans, top hat, and holding a walking cane.

"Your Business?" he enquired.

"Cleaning," said GiGi

The door was opened, by a cat, dressed as a Butler.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Clasping her broom, GiGi swept upstairs, opening windows as the wind picked up. She swept the rooms, dust, sparkling in the half-light. Everything felt energised as she descended the staircase. Storm led her into the Meeting.

Two figures approached the gate.

“Glad to be here." said Mrs Cameraman

" Mr Carroll, made me a Queen. In my book, we never say 'Off with their heads!’ Not my style. I never wanted to leave! I returned- but the House was dark- and I was 'exercised'.”

The tea-things, flew from the table, candlesticks shooting stars into the air... 

GiGi and the Cat approached the Bay. "This has been your mischief, hasn't it?"

Storm answered "You mentioned Heaven on Earth. Nonsense helped you make sense. Purgatree is for those who cannot see. After suffering, most understand. Some don't.
You need faith in Heaven on Earth, then you'll never need Purgatree. 

You changed the air around- it had attracted those in Purgatree.

Good-bye- I need to reel someone back in."

                                                 *       *        *          *       *         *        

The moon was slowly winning a silver victory 
and conquering realm after realm of Sand, Down and Sea.

Anne Thackeray at Freshwater Bay.

GiGi gazed at the sea as though awakening from a Looking Glass Dream, the moonlight turning into sunrise.

A boat sailed in from the horizon. Its’ name- 'P.GREENE' with Grumpa and Storm inside! 

Had Grumpa found his own way to Heaven on Earth?

Still wearing Alice's Wings, she exclaimed:-

 "Am I dreaming this, or is this dreaming-me?"

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

My Jabberwocky

Dearest Emily,

I've drawn you a Jabberwocky. I hope you like him.

First told at a party in Whitby to his cousins the Wilcoxes in 1855 at Whitburn, the Jabberwocky was based on a local legend 'The Tale of the Lambton Worm'. He made his way seventeen years later into 'Alice Through the Looking Glass' and then became the muse for 'The Snark'.

Do you think he is scary enough Em?

Your ever-loving Grand-mother, Gigi xxxx