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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The storm.

Thank you Wallace Peach for this amazing prompt.

February prompt

Any one who was … anyone knew about the storm and Dorothy. Time magazine, Mental health periodicals and well, they wrote a book and a film. But, in the Circus community, and burrowed beneath the grass lands. The story of Monica and her six Mousletts. Abandoned by a wayward Father; as they were. Then rescued by Humphrey the Hefferlump from the most atrocious storm; was mentioned, far and wide.

How although he was fierce and feared by all who encountered him; he gently shaded Monica and her Mouseletts until the storm past, and the snow settled. Then he sucked them all up his trunk, collected the wibberly wobberly house from the bough of the Acacia tree. Took them all to his watering hole. Where to his surprise … but no-one else’s, they all came to a watery end.

Humphrey, never was to be kind again. A rogue with the courage of a Lion and the heart of a Tin Man, who unfortunately was too stupid to know he was missing the intellect of even a scruffy scarecrow.

Sometimes the moral of the story is clear … once an old rogue Hefferlump always an old rogue Hefferlump.

The prompt picture is on loan with thanks from Pixaby and the Oz gif from giffy. Thank you also Esme Slabs for the sharing space Here!

“Was I too cruel … or not cruel enough?” Answers in the comments please I can’t wait to respond.🤣😂

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. “What is Improvisation?” 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 there👆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.🙂

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.
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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.

Different Can Be Good.

This morning he made me a cuppa; called upstairs to let me know. Gazing out the window into the sunlight, he stood pressed against the sink, my tea sat alone on the worktop. Silently I took in the shape of him, placed my flat palm in the arch of his back. Pressing firmly I rubbed slowly towards the back of his neck and twiddled the edges of his hair damp from his morning ablutions. I closed my eyes as my cheek found a space just the right shape; between his shoulder blades. I whispered softly, “I do love you” as my nostrils sucked in his fresh morning scent. The husband, (as I often refer to him) gave a low chuckle “Jolly good” he said. This was a response I had almost got used to, a tongue in cheek remark that sometimes … slips under my skin.

The thing is when you move and breathe in unison when you know what is about to be said … just once, you’d like something different, a fresh surprising thing. Aware as I was that although he did not want tea himself … he thought of me. Though he could have said I love you too, it would have been what many would have said. He chose to say something that he knew I would recognise as his. Even so, deep down, I would have been excited by a new response.

At the end of a special dinner, I know he enjoys a cheese board with all manner of pomp and smell. But just occasionally I surprise him with sticky toffee pudding made from scratch. I Serve it with a salted caramel sauce and fresh cream; in potbellied jugs. But this day, the one about which I write … I purchased a bun from the baker, one that I myself can’t eat.

He cooked us a roast with all the trimmings. We laughed at what we had both read and had done during our day. I spoke to him about his response this morning, how occasionally it would be good to be different, how different is sometimes nice. Not something you’d want too much of you understand, but good to be surprised with occasionally.

Then I presented him a warm hot cross bun, after all, it is Easter.

I listened to the locks turn as I climbed into our bed, I can hear him muttering something under his breath. Once settled we chat about everything and nothing; “Goodnight Husband, that I love” we kiss and squeeze. He wriggles closer, traps me from behind with both arms and legs. “Till morning you funny old thing.” As he blew a raspberry on the back of my neck. “That different enough for you.”

“Perfect,” I said.

Click on ‘Stream of consciouciousness Saturday to join or read other responses. SoCs the prompt was ‘Bun’. I hope you enjoyed my response.

Do you think we need to make the effort to be spontaneous … occasionally. Leave me a comment I can’t wait to read.