I May have #Clothestraphobia.

I have a fear of being stuck in clothes … bear with me … I’m sure I am not the only one. I have been a spectator on many occasions in the past to this phenomenon, as a fashion retail manager. But only this morning, I became the subject of what I believe is Clothestraphobia.

Recently we took a few days away. Whilst we were there I took a liking to a garment. I spied the concoction, through the window of a quirky clothes shop in Bridport Dorset called Butterfly Boho.
https://goo.gl/images/dnDQ2g

After many years as a regional trainer for a luxury brand, my shopping is coloured by how the layout of a shop works, how garments are displayed and windows are dressed; not to mention the service. Needless to say, those things can have me wandering for hours; rarely buying. All of the above baffles the husband. If you are ever around us at such a browsing session, you could possibly hear the words “For goodness sake just buy something” coming from the exasperated husband’s mouth, or the occasional expletive (for f*’s Sake Buy it!). More often than not I go on my own.

Last week he caught me gazing, heard me sigh and followed my look. Grabbing said bull by the horns, he strode in and made a purchase. Looking is not usually a good measure of shape or fit. looking and sighing is, however, a measure of wishing, hoping you would look like that mannequin if … you wore the garment. Bearing in mind you would need to be as firm, as that hard piece of physicality, perfectly shaped and as tall as that mannequin to get the same look … often that gaze and sigh is where it ends.

I thanked him very graciously, all the time hoping he hadn’t wasted his money. Secretly fearing my four-foot-eleven frame and all its wobbly bits would look like a sack of King Edwards, ones that have wrinkled and softened with age. In fact, I hoped I would be blessed by the garment once it was on, suitably disguised and my figure enhanced.

A few days have passed since we returned, ( to give me time for a manic starvation diet and detox) this morning after a bath ( imaginary steaming off/melting more blubber) I donned my prettiest underwear, brushed my flowing hair, and applied lip gloss to give myself the esteem trying on the new dress deserved.

This is where I attached myself to the word ‘Clothestraphobia. The garment is two dresses. One is an underdress, fixed just above the hem on the inside but seperate everywhere else. The top layer is voluminous and has hitches and tucks that make it quirky. Picture of the garment below.

I love the different; after years of looking the part while working in fashion. I now try to be … alternative.
Things didn’t go to plan. The first mistake was stepping into it. Nevertheless, I did. Somehow I dropped the inside layer during entry and put my foot in the underskirts armhole. I know, hard to believe that but I did.

Continuing to pull it up and put my first arm in resulted in the other arm/leg hole tangling around my knee; horrific. By now I could hear the sound of belly scratching, stumbling and yawning as the husband, disturbed no doubt by my grunts and bangs, began to wake. Not wanting to be caught in a state of inelegant pose, I dropped my free arm and head inside. I thrust my hand in the inner skirts free arm hole and tried to stand. Now thoroughly stuck with my arm bent like a flipper above the head which is covered by the outer layer … I begin to move crab-like. With a now inner layer being pulled around my crotch, made tighter by the act of me trying to stand.

Below is a picture was taken of me while trying to show the reproduced moment. Though I really couldn’t get quite as tangled as I truly was.

My face was hot and my husband could be heard flushing the chain. At first, I felt a little bubbling in the depths of my throat, I remember thinking … NO! I shuddered when the filthiest laugh startled me, I hiccupped several times. Uncontrollable laughter took over, I wandered bumping into furniture while trying to twist my body free; doubled up inside the dress.
A tangle of hair, red cheeks and smeared lippy eventually looked into the eyes of a stunned husband. As only Ellen would. I said, “Thank you for that .. tea?” I pulled on my dressing gown without looking at what I know was a bemused face with a crumpled dress in his hand. We Sat, silently sipping our morning tea. You could hear a fly batting off the glass on the stable door.

I sniffed straightened my back and said, “well, things can only improve” he nodded, then slowly shook his head. That dear readers … is “Clothestraphobia”.

Have you suffered this affliction? Or assisted in the extraction of someone suffering? Let me know that I am not alone.

p.s. all photographs are the product of my own zapping.

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The Escape. #ShortStory

We trundled off in the motor home towards Dorset. A week in the West Country was just the ticket. Easy Rider belted out, Born to be Wild became the anthem of our trip. Four days in Dorset, parked at a clifftop campsite with wonderful views,

We caught up with the husband’s twin brother and wife; sharing food and stories. Laughs came thick and fast with our niece and her partner, we built new memories to last a lifetime. The sun beat down, dragon flies whizzed as stick insects sunned themselves in the bay tree; idyllic.

We Sat under the sunshade together reminiscing as we stuffed our faces, laughed and dozed. A woodpecker hid inside the hollowed Apple tree.

The days passed with a gusto we didn’t want to end.

We packed up and drove on to Salcombe Regis, on Devon’s beautiful coast. You couldn’t ask for a better spot, sunny, green, clean and friendly, a few miles from Sidmouth. We arrived the day of the ‘underwear revolution’ in Colyton (see link). A news worthy story that made us smile for the rest of the week.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/12/town-rallies-around-mother-told-not-hang-washing-launching-laundry/

Off to Sidmouth on the local hopper, it was so civilized and easy. We enjoyed wandering around the picturesque Regency seaside town.

Back at the motor home, we familiarised ourselves with the layout, checked out the shower and toilet blocks, putting green and shop. There was a vigorous but pleasant stroll to the view of Salcombe hill and the sea.

Morning arrived, overcast and breezy as Hurricane Hector’s tail whipped through. We chose to get ready and catch a later hopper, giving the weather time to calm. Off I strode to the nearest block.

Most people had long gone, jumped on the bus for their day out; despite the weather ( as we Brits do). I however had choices to make, a wet room or single shower, a cubicle block, toilets with basins and even a bath. The facilities were superb, spotlessly clean, the water hot and it was … empty.

Armed with bubbles and potions I chose the best space and I have to admit to feeling a tiniest bit smug.

(See Giffy image below🔽)

This was where I found myself in a difficult situation. To bypass any visual parts of my ablutions … I sum up by saying, my bag was dropped in a cubicle and I rested my cheeks to porcelain; next door.

On the way in, I noticed the lock turned a couple of times before the latch closed. I ignored the fact that the lever dropped free and rocked as I released it. Both of the above should have made me aware that something was amiss. After a short sitting time, I used the beautifully scented hand foam and checked out the attractive smile of the older woman in the mirror; before moving on to the shower room.

My hand wrapped around the lever and turned … around and around it went, my finger twisted & it spun the lever as if it was a feather. My sports strap alerted me to the rise in my resting heartbeat. My breath gasped, my hands became clammy and a pulse rapidly tapped in my neck.

The bumbag that hung over my hip contained my meds, a phone, a change purse with a debit card and a hair grip. After a few seconds I shook myself and delved into the zips. Phone extracted I tried to call the husband; fifty yards away in the motor home. I stood on the seat with my four-foot eleven stature stretched to the extreme, trying to find a signal. No such luck, finding a phone signal in the countryside is hit or miss at the best of times. Inside a toilet block, in the most rural of spots in the west country is nigh on impossible.

Now serious stuff came into play! With all the prowess of an Enid Blyton famous five character I thrashed out a plan.

I set the WiFi to search on my smart phone. Soon it offered to sell me WiFi from the campsite. With the debit card extracted the purchase of WiFi complete, I sighed with relief. I sent a text to a friend via Facebook’s messenger. HELP. LOCKED IN LOO. Phone Jay urgently PLEASE. I pressed send as the light in the lavatory timed out.

Back up plan fell into place; “Enid Blyton I love you.”

Clutching a hair grip between my thumb and index finger, I poked as I twisted the lever, I shoved, rammed and scraped about in the vicinity of the latch by the light of my phone; which was clasped in my mouth. I had been incarcerated for fifty minutes! My sport’s strap vibrated and fireworks went off, it obviously believed me to be vigorously exercising. With the battery on my phone now showing five percent I had to move fast. Logged on to Face book I found the campsite page friended the site and sent a private message. Help! Plot 153 locked in toilet. Send! Help. Next I emailed my brother-in-law. Please. Help. Phone Jay. Trapped in the loo. The screen went off just after I pressed send, the room was in complete darkness now; my battery flat.

A second blind (pardon the pun) attempt with the hair grip eventually bore fruit. By now I had been in the loo for an hour! My bladder was swollen, my cheeks damp and my grip ruined as I rushed out and towards the motor home. I thought to sympathy and maybe a touch of pride at my ingenuity.

I heard the ringtone on my approach, then the unnecessary laugher. Soon I looked into the eyes of a very jovial husband. One who pressed his Samsung closer to his ear as I passed him. Relieved to be relieved of the contents of my bladder in the safety of the motor home … with my foot used as a lock on the door. Only the music emanating from the other side of the door was to puncture the relief I felt.

Standing tall (as tall as a four-foot eleven woman can) I walked past ‘The Husband,’ I pushed the charger into my phone. Bleep bleep! My friend answered with ‘are you free yet?

Ring ring!

My brother-in-law howled in unison with his wife on speaker phone.

All the time … ‘The Husband’ sang along to, “Oh dear what can the matter be, three old ladies were locked in the lavatory” whilst wrapping his arms around his aching ribs and wearing the most ridiculous grin.

Once composed, I walked to the reception, reported a faulty toilet lock. Numerous apologies later and the promise of fresh croissants to soften the edges of ‘The Escape.’ I found my own funny. Shhhh! *whispers* We won’t let on at least for a while *Huge grin*.

All photographs are mine taken on location … except the Gif from . https://giphy.com/explore/images

The news link from the telegraph UK. (the link in above text).

The Enid Blyton vintage first edition cover lifted kindly from the internet.

Have you ever used a book you read as a child, for such a good reason as I … ? Leave me something to smile at in the comments, I just love to chat.

What Colour is Christmas

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 sat on her face as she waited for an answer. Emma’s neck was stretched to its full length, her lips pursed and a chubby finger was pointed at her drawing. Mary crouched beside her daughter and explained about colour and name. She drew a colour chart for her, while her little brother straddled Mary’s hip. Mary told her the colours of their clothes and the cushions on the sofa. During the day they sang songs and told stories, together drew rainbows to add to the already crowded fridge door. Emma and Tom Carpenter, went to bed that night tired and happy, knowing that tomorrow would be Christmas. Both anticipating the excitement and their children’s reactions to the parcels beneath the tree.

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. 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.

Mary wiggled and hummed to the music on the radio as she cut the last sausage roll and 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 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.
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 that you like it and it gives you all you need to put 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.

Conversation With a Grandson

First, the name I answer to, when being called by five particular individuals in this world is, ‘Grandma Duck.’ Why, is a whole other story, that isn’t for now.

Grandson: ‘Grandma duck’

he said, while screwing up his ten year-old brow.

Me: ‘Yes love’

Grandson: ‘This thing, the Haemachroma thing that you have.’

Me: yes.

Grandson:

Well, Daddy said about the iron and the blood *screws fingers together in a spider-like fashion* and the … Jeans ( not typo), steps from one foot to another rapidly.

Me: Umm … Yes love, you know they aren’t jeans you put on your legs the sort that are cool and Grandmas shouldn’t wear. I pull him in under my armpit sqeeze gently and kiss the top of his ear … as Grandmas do.

Grandson:

*wipes ear and frowns* ‘I know that Grandma *sigh*.’ His brows shoot up and with staring eyes he faces me. ‘It is about science and cells and Genes, they group together, some from your Dad and some from your Mum when they are together’ … He stops for breath, pokes his top lip with his index finger and continues. ‘They made you, and both of them gave you a mutant Gene so you have two… mutants, to get the thing.’

Me:

Okay, sorry, you understand that nicely, well done. I squeeze again, just a tightening of my bicep to reinforce how proud I was of the grasp he had of a difficult subject.

Grandson:

So, now you have #Haemochromatosis. His face lit up, a smile spread like crunchy peanut butter on warm wholemeal toast. ‘Does that mean you are a real Mutant? an Alien, like from outer space?’

He looks like he would pee at any moment, I glance towards the front door, half expecting a dozen excited school friends armed with lazer light and nerf guns to burst through at any second, armed and ready to capture the mutant Alien Grandma.

Me:

I roll my eyes, ‘tsk’ ‘No!’ now wash your hands while I get your lunch.

Grandson:

Slaps loudly his unwilling feet on the floor, audibly sigh’s as he foams his delicate hands. With his bottom lip protruding in disappointment he tucks himself under the table.

Me:

Eat your soup then you can have a biscuit … *wink wink*

The things that children understand are I am certain much broader than when I was their age. But there is I think a special type of imagination when your almost all grown, which spans the years and defys definition.

Talk to me, what do you think, are they more grown up, knowledgable better informed … or does as I believe imagination still shine through tegardless.

 Dr Who?

This week there were tweets and news reports, conversations and flips about the New! Doctor Who. For the first time ever, or so I have been led to believe, a woman is to take the starring role. I have watched many Dr Who’s come and go my favourite has to be John Pertwee, mostly because I adored Worzel Gummidge.


Anyway I digress, The lovely Jodie Whittiker, ‘I know her from Broadchurch’. Just saying, anyway she has got the title, won the coveted prize, stepped up to evolve the cult programme further into the realms of wonder. Now don’t shoot, my hands are up. I became bored witless at the naysayers, the chauvinistic complaints and the Agg-Gh ahh! It was everywhere, the moaning. So I switched off unplugged and refused to look any more.

Personally, I think she will be an iconic Dr Who. A conversation with a good friend had some days after the self-imposed ban,  was to bring up the question once more of should the Doctor be a woman? That was when we took it to the pub. Yes, two women took a convo to the village pub to do what men have done for centuries,  and why not! If a woman can be The Doctor… we ordered fizz as we would, a pint of John Smiths (any other beer could be substituted in this spot) is not our taste after all. The following is my version, maybe embellished, but mine none the less. Of an overheard conversation.


Two Men In A pub
.

Stan was slurping the froth from the top of his beer when this exchange took place.

Stan looks at Tom… ‘I suppose it will be exfoliate what they say now’. Wipes his mouth on his sleeve and sniffs loudly.

Tom. ‘What, what do ya mean’

Stan. ‘Them Dalek’s … now it’s a woman doctor’

Tom. ‘Ave you gone doolally, exfoliate’.

Stan. ‘Instead of sayin exterminate as they’ve  always done’.

Tom shakes his head slowly ‘Tha’s a daft bugger; exfoliate’.

A few minutes pass, both men finish their beers and Stan says. ‘You for another’?

Tom nods, and as Stan lurches unsteadily towards the bar you can hear a penny drop when Tom begins to guffaw.

Tom. ‘ Dalek’s exfoliate that’s reet funny that’.

I would like to thank a dear friend Anna, you know who you are, for the gift. Nuf said, “I owe you some fizz now we have moved back”. The pictures courtesy of pixabay  and unsplash and the land of lost internet photos. And you tube for the marvleous vid of Dr John Pertwee, forever in my heart as the undeniably wonderful Worzel Gummidge and in this bit Una Stubs as Aunt Sally.

P.S.

For Dr Who aficionados out there…  the relevance of John Smiths in the pub is that it  was the name the Dr took while being a human in The Family of Blood. Coincidence? Or did some helpful blogger (Gary Jefferies ) unaware of my dastardly dealings let my coincidence become a clever twist? Thank you  cue time lord music and …cut!

I couldn’t resist writing this post and I hope I captured the scene. What is your opinion on women taking it to the pub? Or woman being the lead in a cult programme? Have you ever overheard a gem when you least expected it. Leave me a comment I love to talk.

A Short Stream Of Consciousness.

Linda Hills stream of conciousness prompt please press 🔜 here 🔚  to read and join,  it Is fun #SOCS  No editing just pouring onto the page.


My Dad used to say “Nice things come in small parcels” he said it mostly to cheer me up…  Mum said “so does poison”  If as she often pointed out every family has their cross to bear, then it is possible I was it.

I am one of four girls who were all… a slighter build than me, they had dainty feet and were bor… fortunate with prettier eyes and full lashes and without double chins. All three had wavy or curling hair, they were popular, and taller than me, all three were in the top choice when teams were picked, and all three had tone, rythm and speed.

wpid-cymera_20141201_190627.jpg

Where,  I never grew into my large clumsy feet or had the ability to beautifully sing and dance. My bum was always big in this … whatever this happened to be. My singing voice… well least said and all that.  I swear someone put my eyes on upside down and stole my midriff… seriously, how is it that I have a standard leg length, a six foot arm span *holds head* “really” and am four foot eleven and a half. I was the girl that the netball captain dreaded having to take, the sister that the vicar told “god had better things than the choir on his mind when he made me” ! Promptly giving the collection plate over ( my then new job). And just in case you think like a butterfly I morphed into my wonderful self… No!

Singing is my passion and I could still win X factor the voice and be a singing sensation, but no one other than me hears the way my ears do… I still have straight as a poker hair, bigger feet,  shorter body, upside down eyes,  two chins, weigh more than them, I hide from the ball, miss with a bat and in comparison my bum is still big in that.

In case you think I feel sorry for myself NO! You see I am unique, I am an anomaly. I can laugh at myself, make others happy, I am kind and generous.  If I don’t compare myself to my sisters, I am average weight and fitness with a standard sized foot. My siblings are smaller (not shorter) and lighter than the norm. They are…  they, and I am me, a friendly, happy, quirky woman who writes. My husband, who by the way insists my differences drew him to me, loves this bonkers loon and wouldn’t alter a bit of me.. except maybe my  penchant for singing and being bouncy as I wake.

 

There I kept it short and shared pieces of me.

Do you fit neatly into your family have you grown into your space? I am dying to hear.

Ham!

Linda’s prompt for #Socs  is  Ham!  To join in or read some

fantastic responses click 🔜here🔙


I once laughed til I cried

over a song about ‘spam’.

Was surprised when  given a book

Called ‘Green eggs and ham’.
I was thrilled when  cooked

Chips,  beans and ham,

for the first time,

by a visiting man. *wink wink*.
You never know what form

memories will take,

or how we inadvertently

nudge them awake.
A smell of lavender

Reminds me of Gran,

reading the rhymes… you guessed it

From green eggs and ham.

The taste of pig does it for me

It rumbles my stomach

until i fill it with tea….

Anyone for a sandwich?

A whimsical ditty … My husband listened (as they do) and said “You do know you’re weird… dont you”?

Comments welcomed and responded to promtly.

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A Present that made them smile.

I traipsed along the high street looking for something cool,

Wanting to find the perfect thing the exception to the rule.

Searching for a talking point the item that would hold pride of place,

After fourteen shops I was sure to be losing face.

Tired from a six hour journey and legs that no longer wanted to walk.

I dialled my daughters number… for a probing talk.

We beat around the bushes side swiped at my subtle plan

Then she asked me what I wanted “just say it if you can”.

Reluctantly I asked what the heck could I buy?

She said “a hat, you silly” I thought that I would cry.

Armed with an idea for the item I marched on once again,

On cobbled surfaces that would floor many weakened men.

A mother on a mission to deliver the perfect style,

It had to be special … after trying all this while.

I returned to my husband to update him on the task

He pretended he understood but his face was a blank mask!

It’s Christmas eve at three O’clock the sky is turning dark

My feet are burning and There’s one shop left across the park.

So I returned to the old town to the shop where I first began,

Where I asked for the hat, from a very puzzled man.

You see he told me quietly as his lip took on a twitch,

He wouldn’t disappoint me, pulling at his sleeve he broke a stitch.

But it isn’t a fashion statement, a cool item that is hot,

But a tea cosy that is worn upon a plump teapot.

“I know ” I shouted wildly, but it is all that you have got

That would look special on her head and not a pot.

So Christmas went with a giggle as my tale took a life of it’s own,

Even two weeks later she is still laughing down the phone.

She stitched up the spout hole and the handle space too

And sent me a picture NOT! to show to you.

Her cosy is real cosy, her smile is more than just a smile

As she dons her new hat and wears it with panache and style.

This silly ditty is a true story! And the cosy was purchased from http://www.whitestuff.com/ … shh! We won’t let on that I posted her photo… will we?

Have you ever given a better talking point at Christmas? Do let me know what it was and how it was received. I will get back quick smart with a response. Happy 2017. X

MicroFictionchallenge#26

Jane Dougherty challenges writers and poets amongst us with another visual prompt press 🔜 here 🔙 to join in The artist to thank for the loan of this picture is John Bauer.

Lady Godiva, wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia is a well-known tale across the land, but the lesser known second cousin once thrice removed of that noble Lady was Stanley Kingsbury, after hearing of the famous ride it gave the down at heel blaggard an idea.

Stanley had himself seven daughters and one beautiful dapple grey stallion. Stanley’s daughters were begotten via three sisters none of which he had been betrothed…  early that year they gifted him his daughters and fled to some say sunnier climes in the hope of finding husbands while unchattled by the presence of their loose morals. They together persuaded Stanley that once settled they would call for the girls as ladies maids and staff, that way they would live openly under the wing of their birthmothers but hidden from the smear of wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, Stanley poor as a church mouse decided to replicate Godiva’s ride with all his daughters on the one horse. He paraded the girls in hope of suitors,  through the streets far and wide they rode.  Alas, each time the townsfolk were alerted to the coming of an ungodly scoundrel and ordered to “keep within Doors and from their Windows, on pain of Death” Subsequently the girls were handed over to their grandmother and Stanley could be seen from the four corners of Mercia mounted on Pikes.

  • Any likeness to any living or dead person or persons is entirely coincidental.

Silence Please.

Charli at the carrot ranch has charged us with a challenge in 99 words no more or less write about something not allowed.  🔜 press here 🔙 to join in.

photos curtesy of pinterest.

She shushed me as the door slammed,

My arms full of books.

People peered above their specticles,

Gave me dirty looks..

She wagged a silent finger and 

pursed her lips tight.

When I slipped to the carpet

And toppled off the light.

My card was marked at the library door,

When a cough sent bubblegum

To skid across  the parquet floor.

Her sole was stuck fast 

As I staggered past.

just to round the debacle off

I snorted as I laughed.

Her teeth you couldn’t fail to miss

As the librarian delivered an Almighty hiss…

and pointed to the quote