A Snapshot Of Valentines Best Style

I recall the Valentines when I purchased a spud gun, to remind him of his youth! Having heard stories of the fun he and his twin brother had as boys in the sixties. It took time and research on my part to find one.

Beautifully wrapped in brown paper and string in keeping with the times past. Given with a giggle and a kiss that sealed the start of this gloriously decadent day.

For a Valentine should be a measure of your lives a bit of a tickle not too serious, just … fickle. A show of happiness that he already knows and trusts. The receipt of such a gift is unlikely to have ever been given before, like me then, original and unique.

Then came my gift from the husband, not wanting to advertise I will not photograph the wrapping.

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A chocolate honeycomb filled Bunny was prestnted to me, in a pre opened package … minus a leg! He remembered us laughing at an advert on television which in it’s self is lovely, as me and he and television don’t often, or should I say, don’t regularly meet. Television seems to act as a sleeping draft on me. Give me a comfy seat and the husband to cuddle; throw in the screen and sure enough I am gone. Anyway, my present … an edible bunny with an already missing leg. The husband grinned and said. “A bunny only needs one leg … to hop.”

We laugh a lot him and me, and banter constantly. I ate my gift … not enough to spoil the Valentines banquet that I knew he would cook; but enough to make me smile.

Unfortunately certain body parts if mine, became targets for testing the power of the innocuous looking spud gun. I can tell you it stings! I really should have thought this through.

I know, I am a bit of a loon but I have it on good authority that all the best people are.

Thank you Esme for sharing our stories on the salon this Valentine week.

Have you had an unusual Valentines gift? Let me know in the comments and click to read more @esmesalon Now!

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What Is The Colour of Christmas Mummy?

Inside a tiny house, nestled in the suburbs of London. Emma looked up at her Mum. “Mummy the sunshine in my picture,” she said pointing to the drawing on the fridge door. “It is sunshine colour, isn’t it? The grass, with Daddy and Mummy, it is grass colour… isn’t it?” A frown shaped her face as she waited for an answer.”That Orange” Emma poked the pencil into the paper, “It Is an orange Orange isn’t it.” Emma’s neck was stretched to its full length, her lips pursed and a chubby hand holding a colouring pencil was pointed at her drawing. Mary dropped to her knees beside her daughter. Intently, she looked into her eyes and explained about colour and how a few had the same name as the things she drew; like Orange and lemon. Emma and her Mother drew and labelled a colour chart, while her little brother straddled Mary’s hip. They learned the colours of the clothes in the laundry bag and the cushions on the sofa; though Emma’s wings threw in some confusion. During the day they sang songs and told stories, together glued tissue paper rainbows to add to the already crowded fridge door. Mary and Joe Carpenter, went to bed that night almost as tired as the children. They were both happy, knowing that tomorrow would be Christmas. The anticipation of the excitement on their children’s faces, the reactions to the parcels beneath the tree. Though not many, each one had been chosen with love, and need in mind.

On Christmas morning Emma skipped into the Kitchen. “What colour is today mummy?” Mary lifted her head, wearing a huge smile. Her eyes crinkled as they met that face. Her five-year-old was clutching pencils and pursing her lips. Her hair knotted from sleep; her giraffe under her arm. Mary’s pride shone from her face, as she wiped her forehead with the back of her flour encrusted hand and bent to her daughter’s height. “What colour do you think it is?” Emma screwed her brow and as if contemplating the world and left the room.

Within the hour Mary had worked her magic, children clean, fed and playing nicely. Food cooking nicely and preparation almost complete. Mary wriggled and hummed to the music on the radio as she cut the last sausage roll. She wiped her hands on the tea towel stuck in her waistband. Throughout the house, the air was thick with the scent of pastry and cinnamon and the sounds of happiness. The little girl’s question forgot; in the excitement of the day.

Tom crawled up the hall chasing his new train blowing spit bubbles; giggling as he went.
Dad burst through the front door stamped his feet and brushed a light dusting of snow from his hair. Joe’s nose was red and he rubbed his hands briskly to warm them.”Kisses” he called as he smacked his lips and waved mistletoe above his head.”Kisses I want kisses” he roared. Emma and Tom rushed to be lifted in a sloppy lip smacking embrace.
There were lanterns, twinkling lights and paper decorations dangling from every space in the little house. Carols rang out from the kitchen radio and sparks snapped against the guard on their open fire. It looked a perfect Christmas to him.
Dropping everything Mary ran to join Joe for a kiss; Singing as she went. Flour covered kisses ended in chuckling and tickles. With all four sat breathlessly on the floor. Emma looked up into her Mothers eyes and quietly said
” I think the colour is Christmas mummy.”

This is a story I wrote a while ago, revamped, extended and wearing its very best party frock I have bought it back. I hope you like it, and it gives you everything you need; putting you firmly in the seasonal mood.

Merry Christmas to you all, followers, friends and visiting readers.

Do leave me a comment I love to chat.

Suggestions and Stonking Good Stocking Gifts Inside.

Dark visions horror anthology Buy Here

I won’t lie, I may be biased slightly … because I have a flash fiction in this book. But, and the but is huge; I am very proud to be part of this Anthology. Stuffed full of stories; some you can read in a snatch, others that fill a lunch break. All will fill your thirst for the weird, the creepy and the scares. Ask your local shop to get this best-selling horror anthology in stock. Order it from the library or purchase it from Amazon. Either way, you won’t regret giving, reading or receiving this gem. Twenty-seven Authors and 34 stories to stir and startle your imagination. Ideal for the unique individual in your life. The quirky shopper that wants to be the best present giver. The toilet reader. Ideal for the Allotment snuggler; sat in solace in the shed. For the wise man (maybe three of them)๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜‚ escaping the world with this book before bed.

NEWS FLASH! any moment now this book will be available in audio I will pop a link here as soon as it is live.

My next choice is this. A fantastic little piece of kit that will thrill any guitar playing person. It has to be a must for a stocking I am filling.

https://drummondandhammett.com/product/accessories/trans-amp/

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A great place for a special gift Drummond and Hammett make some amazingly unique items; the whiskey tumblers above are only one of many hand-made items on offer.

RIGHT HERE

This Gift stop is for …

All writers and readers

or library feeders,

sketchers and scribblers

and stationary givers,

drawers and doodlers

Fiddlers and stencilers,

And collectors

Or pencilers.

A small niche company in Ireland who makes exquisit gifts one of my favorites are her hand rolled pencils Press Here to find my favorites.

Next is a doozy of a gift.

Geoff LePard’s Book

Apprenticed To My Mother

Buy Here
Geoff painted a clear picture documenting the lives of his Mother and family. Her quirks and idiosyncratic ways are brought to life with carefully chosen words. His words have you standing in the corner of the kitchen; watching her show her boys how to cook. The story is punctuated with his father’s extraordinary poetry; received by his wife throughout their lives. It paints a picture of a time past and fortitude shown. It has laugh out loud moments like the comments she made and the diplomacy she fooled you into believing she used. A cracking good tale one well worth reading. Told beautifully by a loving son, and a damned good storyteller.

The cushion in my photo is a fluke, but Geoff mentions his Mothers dabble with Beekeeping so I thought it apt in the circumstances. The cushion is mine purchased from Dunelm. A super stocking filler, even those surgical stocking wearers who we can never quite please … will wipe a tear and cast a smile at the strength and the love in this book. Three generations of my family have thoroughly enjoyed it so far. This book will Grace many a comfy seat, accompanied by a slice of perfectly baked lemon drizzle cake.

My final gift idea is time.

It doesn’t have a price-tag because it is priceless.

Offer time, Pick a date and time; time to sit, and listen. Share a cuppa with someone who is alone, share a story or two.

I owe you two babysits written in the Christmas card. To give a young couple the time, to do as they wish; time for themselves.

An invitation to supper or breakfast, sharing food is rarely about eating. Sharing food is more about your caring; you cared enough to ask, to share your time.

What are your best gift Ideas and did you enjoy mine? I love to talk, leave me the gift of a comment.

Is This A Writer’s Affliction? Or A lack Of Conviction. Writers Block.

I have always thought …
We may have a bad day. We may have no ideas. Blank unforgiving spaces between our writer’s ears.

Maybe we are feeling low, With life to do and places to go.
So we put it off … penning I mean.
We procrastinate and are not so keen.

When we give ourselves a shake,
Stop feeling lazy; checkout of our writing break.
Pick up a pen and start again. It’s not a bore or some godless chore.

It is a gift, a time to live and work in fantasy.
For most, it would feel like ecstasy.
How many others wish they could too … if the shoe was theirs; instead of worn by you.

Writers Block … is it just a phrase?
to disguise the days we chose to Laze.

Pictures by way of Pixabay.

What do you think?

Is there truth buried in my tongue in cheek?

Or is it a contagion, a nasty communicable disease? I truly want to read your replies c’mon let me have it straight between this writers eyes. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜—

Playing like children.

improv

He introduced himself as Stanley. In a commanding but calm voice, he said, “Good afternoon, welcome to this lovely Theatre and my series of workshops.” He had a warm open face which put us at ease. โ€œWhat is Improvisation?โ€ he said as walked with purpose around the circle of seated newcomers, he looked encouragingly, hopefully; from face to face. “Anybody,” A lady raised her hand and in her lilting southern Irish accent, she softly crooned; “Good afternoon, my name is Fiona, I think the answer may be … Improving yourself?” She delivered her statement without flinching and punctuated it with a sharp nod. The silence filled the room and like all good teachers of improv should, Stanley smiled. He tilted his head, squinted hard and began a long slow nod, “Yeeesss, improving your acceptance of offers, never saying no, or shutting an offer down,” he replied. Now, we were all frowning, looking from Fiona to Stanley and back. From my position today with minimal knowledge on board and one ten week course completed; I know exactly what he meant … *claps hands* “Bravo for not wimping out of the offer Stanley.”

Delivering open interesting statements, open questions or offers, and continuing with interesting responses, ones that can be grown into even more elaborate but random stories; that is how to improvise. Learning spontaneity, how to turn off the internal policeman is necessary and we are required to do so to proceed.

On to our first icebreaker. We were to choose a person, preferably one you didn’t know before, link arms with them and walk quietly around the room, out on the balcony and down to the garden. Stanley instructed us to chat as if long-term friends having a stroll, having a chinwag. On the way try to find things out about each other. For me taking a stranger by the arm was huge. We ‘Brits’ don’t encroach, as a rule, we give other human beings personal space. It simply isn’t done. Lesson learned! How to relax and turn off the voice / internal policeman, until it is no longer telling you ‘you can’t do that, adults should never.’ Eventually (minutes later) we all get into a large circle and a pair at a time steped forward. One in the middle listening, her partner commentating, recalling the others words. She or he; then swapped places. This was repeated for all of us. When, or if, you froze and invariably you did, you most likely said “I am afraid I can not remember your son’s name,” or Job or something to of that effect. Stanley would interject with ‘yes you do’ and on one such occasion he said, ‘you met her at the courthouse.’ He was trying to remind us; it is improv. Someone … (Lovely Fiona) said, ‘I’ve never been in a court in my life,’ while stabbing out the four stations of the cross. Stanley, was nodding enthusiastically when he replied … ‘You have, when you were arrested for breaking that window.’ The penny dropped. One by one the circle got it, slow nods and smiles as the realisation hit home. All except for poor Fiona and her partner, Gretchen, a nicely spoken octogenarian who was mortified by the thought. She looked on; horrified, hand to mouth, eyes poking so far out that I thought surely they would roll across the floor at any moment. Her jaw repeatedly opened and shut as she trembled and took her seat. With lesson one now learned, we moved on. What you don’t know you can make up, and nobody cares. And so the improv classes began with great enjoyment.

One course down and we broke for Summer. I couldn’t believe how much I missed it.

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During the break kate, my long-term friend and improv buddy continued to improv with me. We’d walk her dogs Chester, a white westie and Rosie, a long-haired Dach Russel (Dachshund cross, wirehaired Jack Russel) Three times a week. At the crack of dawn, we’d take them; for forest walks, in the grounds of national trust houses or vast acres of Suffolk countryside. Our attempt to keep a totally unplanned story going for the duration of a 4,6 or seven-mile walk, was a challenge. Especially when interspersed with songs, rhymes and basic silly bugger stuff. All the while chasing down two hounds. I am sure they were that embarrassed to be seen with us as they took off at every opportunity … so as not to be associated with the two crazies behind.

One evening, after a laughter-filled long walk; The Husband, (mine) Kate and I went together to a night of Art. The Gallery opened and Champagne was served in long-stemmed glasses. Along they came with delicacies on guilt trays. Parcels of sumptuousness clutched by leggy teenagers earning a crust. We floated about in our best bibs and hairdos, taking in the sculptures and paintings. There were shelves of objet d’art separating sections. Large figures and twisted shafts of metal that graced the lawns. Purses clicked and secret bids were happening around us, when Kate and I, in unison laughed out loud. Not a tinkling notatious sound but a guffawing that had us clenching our stomachs and cheeks. My nose stung as fizz escaped my left nostril; when we overheard a conversation. A conversation not aimed at us, a private overhearing of what can only be described as gossip. This was what made us laugh …

An elegantly clad forty-something lady was (supposedly) quietly imparting to another female. “I was timing my run for the cross country next week, my pace was good. I took the route behind the lake when I heard and saw the most extraordinary thing.” Her friend leaned in and we shuffled closer, after all, it’s not every day you are handed a wonderful opportunity of people watching and listening. “I heard the most awful caterwauling coming across the lake.” She looked (for effect) to her acquaintance “Really, what was it?” She said while circling her manicured hand at shoulder height towards another waiter. After gorging and gulping several salmon and caviar morsels and coiffing Champagne they moved on to view some pastels; contemporary scenes. We gracefully followed suit eager for the conversation to continue. Meanwhile, Kate’s pal, who had a piece of art in the exhibition and had put us on the guest list was busy being too self-important to join us. In retrospect, I am pleased she didn’t as air-kissing people you not only invite but have known for years is not polite. It also left us a little annoyed and possibly (my husband’s words) looking for mischief.

Staying close to the two women was easy, we just shuffled a few steps and feigned being knowledgeable. Drawing attention to an exhibit called Rust never dies. I said in a pretentious voice whilst gesticulating wildly. “This shovel, made in a modern Baroque style, lace cut, rusted and oiled is a Denice Bizot, the artist uses a plasma torch to burn the pattern into the metal. (Her work can be found HERE)

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I can surprise myself at times *sniffs* But other times … I thank Pinterest, Google and Wikipedia for being so handy. Kate, though interested in my observations was sure we’d never hear the end of the runner’s story if we stopped where we were so moved on. At that moment the Husband appeared, pointed out some art he liked, after a chat and my nod of approval was given he retreated to the sealed bids table. Luckily we have both similar tastes.

I looked around to see where Kate was. I found her, she was pointing into her raised palm and mouthing maniacally, quick, quick. Just as I got there, I saw the runner and her friend laughing behind Kate. I was in time to hear her say “Singing they were, both of them, laughing like banshees. Really you had to be there to believe how bad it was. Rufus was going to jump in if I hadn’t caught hold … well, he is a wolfhound you know.” She shook her head as Kate spluttered. It happened so quickly, there was no stopping her. I nudged and tugged her hand but she turned to face them. “Excuse me, I couldn’t help but overhear, were you running in Ickworth park when you heard them?” Both ladies stepped back, the runner said “Pardon” and twiddled the Pearl strand at her throat. “It’s just that we were there this morning” Kate beamed. “Yes yes … did you hear them too.” She placed a palm on Kate’s sleeve while nodding waiting for a response. I felt myself get warm, my clammy hands dropped to my side and I cringed. “It was us” frantically she waved a finger too and fro from me to her. I turned up my mouth and an involuntary nervous cackle left my throat. Kate joined in with gusto. both women grinned with staring eyes from her to me then back to each other. “Well, what are the chances,” said runner “Of you being here, now, while we were mentioning it.” I watched the runner colour as she wondered what we had overheard. Here we were, improvising, in a gallery, without a class or Stanley beside us … Playing like children.

playing like children

Thank you Lorna #Ginspiration for the prompt. People Watching you or you people watching. Press HERE to join in or have a good read. Media pictures were from Pixabay.com with exception of the shovel not to be used without credit or permission all copyright of the shovel is owned by Denice Bizot

Post and promote your blog on @EsmeSalon, press HERE to join in a superb free safe place to connect, read and be followed back.

Have you ever tried Improv? Or have I peaked your interest? leave me your answers and comments It is so good to talk.

Yes! Sir. #soCs

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “yes” Use it as a word, use it in a word, extra points if you start and finish your post with it. Enjoy!

Yes! This is what climbed down in front of my face. I was In the supermarket gathering items, reading label’s, trying to compute calories, sugar and fat. Really not taking much else on board when this happened. On yesterdays trip it was eyes peeled, trolley nicely filling up when . YES! A flipping “S” word, him up there๐Ÿ‘†dropped like James bond absailing into th O2. Hairy legs wriggling from a sign, you know the ones (TEA and sanitary protection isle 4).

My arms froze in crucifixion position my eyes crossed, I leapt back and the Agave nectar spun out of my hand and slapped hard into the direction of a passer by. At that precise moment I was doing an impression of a first nation Indian warrior dancing on hot coals … voice and all. Meanwhile the recipient or victim, (of the Agave) had turned to face me, as it’s thin plastic container slapped his forehead, split and sent rivulets (all in slow motion) down his face and suede jacket. ‘Humpf, who wears suede to do the shopping anyway?’

I remember hearing a frantic tannoy announcement but couldn’t understand what was said, for some random screeching commotion that was going on. That was when I realised it was me. Some person was dragging me towards pet food and finally clamped a hand over my mouth. Yesterday was a not such a good day for shopping.

The ‘S’ word had long since gone scuttled away no doubt looking for Miss Muffet. Two girls were cleaning down the irate man in isle 4 ( he appeared to enjoy that bit) and I was escorted (manhandled by a chauvinistic security guard) out to the door to my car,

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minus my shopping and thoroughly traumatized. “You will go home and think yourself lucky that the gentleman in isle 4, does not … do you for assault” said the security man close to my ear.”You have serious issues” I went on to suggest mental ones. How dare he I thought, but meekly I unwound the window and said “Yes Sir I am going … I promise … yes”
P. S. Just in-case you didn’t notice “I hate the “S” word, I do Yes.”

What don’t you like? That could get you to loose control? leave me a comment and I will get back as soon as I can.๐Ÿ™‚