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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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.

The Look That Said It All.

Monday morning and postie arrived. The Husband smiled as he signed for the new lights he had made for his car; three weeks they took to arrive.
When he came back his face altered, gone was the smile put in place for the postman, his bottom lip bulged and his voice sulked. “it’s too cold to put them on outside.” I frown and feel my ears stick up like a Hare on hearing a fox. I can feel it, something is coming … Together we gaze through the bifold doors to the garden, him clutching his parcel and thinking, me checking the birds still have food in the feeders. Suddenly he perked up, became animated, “I wonder, if I opened the doors and drove carefully over the deck, it’s not like its a scrappy old car. ”

He didn’t finish.
I spun to face him, a nerve in my cheek began to tic, my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth and I shivered, like someone walked over my grave. We silently faced each other for what seemed to be an imesurable amount of time.

“Sigh … okay it was only a thought” The zip nicked under his chin and drew blood as he fastened his jacket. His boots cracked the ice as they were slapped over the deck. I began to steady my breath. Then I recalled receiving such a look, it was delivered over half moon specticles and then knew … I had inherited The Look.

Have you used such a powerful look? Did it work. Leave me a comment I love to connect.

The photo’s were borrowed from adverts, thank you (Hadley glass and Auto trader) as I hadn’t cleaned the ducks calling card from the glass on the garden room and mister wasn’t keen on the numberplate showing or me sullying his car with a label saying not on my watch!

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.

Genetically Challenged.

We moved away to Somerset, we didn’t find our forever place so after four and a half years we sold up and moved back to Suffolk in the east of England in May 2017.

We threw ourselves into the refurbishing of our house. Well the truth is I didn’t actually do very much as I was exhausted The husband, who can turn his capable hands to most things began the project working flat out to make our home warm and dry.

Eventually, we thought to find a doctor, a dentist and an optician etc. A week of changing addresses, doing paperwork, joining electoral roles and collecting information took place.

During my new Doctor consultation (I thought him very thorough), a gamut of questions were fired at me, from under an arched and knowledgeable brow. Lots of poking and prodding, weighing, measuring and listening occurred. Squeezing, knocking and the questions went on for an exceedingly long time. Next, I was given bottles and forms to both fill and present to the hospital. This is where I cut to the chase and leave my usual shaggy dog story peacefully in its dog bed.

I had been to the doctors over the last four years with, the pains in my joints, falling asleep, that we all laughed about, the getting lost and my words muddled, the misty or foggy headedness, the heartburn and the chills I had when everyone else was warm, bouts of cystitus that I just couldn’t clear up.

All the above were individually poked fun at by family and friends, none more so than by me. Silly me, getting old, winding down getting a bit quirkier than I was before. It seemed, the harder I tried to get myself fit, the slower and crappier I felt … the more often I stayed in my pyjamas the more it became an Ellen thing, to be laughed at, I stopped saying I am too exhausted to get dressed.

I had my thyroid checked several times, my blood, cholesterol and sugars, to no avail. I was told to lose weight, about 20lb was suggested for optimum fitness. At this point the doctors (I had seen a few) I felt, were beginning to think I was lazy and wasting their time. They said, maybe it was taking early retirement, or I was depressed missing family and familiarity, but losing weight and getting fit would help. So on I struggled a sleepy, chilly, foggy headed woman who was more and more muddled, weak and in pain.

Well, I can tell you with some relief, that I am not lazy, fat or a hypochondriac, I have a genetic condition that has been very gratefully spotted by my new GP. How lucky was I to have moved and to have seen someone who knew what he was looking at. He noticed my bronzed skin which incidently makes me look super healthy. When your looks don’t pitty you it is hard to get acknowledgement. Then listened to my account of severe tiredness and sent me for the blood tests. Six hours later he phoned the house to explain that a DNA test was required to confirm the diagnosis. After weeks of waiting it was confirmed. I have Haemachromatosis, the Celtic disease, bronze diabetes or the Viking curse. For a condition that I had never heard of there are plenty of names.

Basically, I store iron, my blood then chucks it into my organs and tissues, the brain, liver etc. This toxic stuff causes havoc where ever it lands. There is no cure … but there is a treatment for which I am very grateful. And though scared, I will suck it up and get on with it. I won’t let it win or change me, it won’t define who I am. Still I smile, with damp eyes and a fighting spirit.

Since August, I have had needles and cameras in orifices I would have preferred not to, I’ve seen pictures of a few places … even I hadn’t seen before. I have been humbled by the kindness of medical people and scared by the condition and the vast amount of knowledge that I am unable to take in, but I am loved thoroughly by those who matter.

Here is the joke, you knew there would be one … I have a needle phobia, always have had and the treatment, the only treatment is Venesection. Blood letting, phlebotomy, removal of my toxic blood. Before we left for the first treatment the husband thought he would … relax me, he wore a wicked grin when he searched You Tube and had to wipe his eyes for the thirty minutes he played me Handcocks Half Hour, a comedy radio skit from 1961, where Tony Handcock donates blood.

One Venesection down and I didn’t disgrace myself, I am sucking it up! What the hell else can I do? So I guess right now, according to Tony Handcock I have an empty arm ‘Tah Dah boom!’

Every seven days a pint has to be removed until numbers drop and stabilise (how long is a piece of vein/ string). Then the gaps will widen to monthly and in a few months or years, maybe I can get down to four times a year with monthly blood tests. For now my toxic blood can’t be used and gets poured away. Once I am in maintenence it will be used and my donations will eventually help others. But basically … ‘If you want to live and be healthy, you got to bleed … forever.

The husband, he suggested leeches, we have a well in the garden so it could be an option. Someone actually said ‘You must wish you could self-harm.’ Then some people are sick! I became upset when a family member said ‘So what, it’s not a biggie,’ easy to say when it’s not you, said from that place of comfort. Another writer/ bloggy person unbeknown to him gave me an idea.

An advert!

Wanted! A Gentle Male Vampire with sharp teeth.

The successful applicant would be required to come to my home under his own steam. To be dressed in traditional uniform and to specifically partake of dinner twice a month, until further notice.

Wages will be in the form of warm B rhesus negative

Iron enriched the oxygenated blood.

Conversation will not be necessary,

Though good oral hygiene is a must.

The applicant/ Sanguineoue being, will not be permitted, in fact, will be forbidden to partake of any other beverage from any source whilst in my employ, or my home.

Once the task has been completed he will depart the way he arrived, leaving no sign that he ever attended.

If interested in this position please reply by email/ sonar or echolocation … at your soonest opportunity. Only experienced thirsty practitioners need reply.

P.s. no sympathy required I am lucky, I at least can be helped. Sometimes I can’t focus enough to grab my words and writing or talking coherently is not happening. It hopefully will improve and I will be back, talking, writing and reading and laughing regularly.

P.S. When the specialist said, “You’ll see, we will get you back feeling normal, it will take time; we will improve things.” He was looking into my eyes holding my hand. That’s when The husband laughed aloud and said: “That will be novel, nobody’s accused Ellen of normality in years.” Both men were in hysterics, I think that says it all. I have always risen to a challenge and Genetically challenged will be no different.

Hemochromotosis the most common genetic condition that is also the most undiagnosed and least talked about there is.

As a writer, a teller of stories I get through with my tongue firmly i my cheek.

For information, support and to help raise awareness go to.

https://haemochromatosis.org.uk/

 Ooh!Ahh!

Dan has taken on the lovely Linda Hill’s #soCs and the prompt is ooh! ah! press to join in HERE.  Pictures used here were obtained via google, but though I used all due dilligence,I am unable to credit the artist as the owner of the copyright evades me.

stream-of-conciousness

Ooh! Ahh! He cried as I launched myself at the guttersnipe. With a tug of his lobe and a boot firmly at his raggedy behind. It should have had him scurry up the nearest  drainpipe and out of my pockets. But no, he artistically flopped to the dirt lifeless, and stiff. Now his already grubby self was plastered in faecal matter of both human and horse from the gutter.

‘Stand up I tell you,’ his acting skills would have had Shakespear signing him a contract.  I kicked with my beautifully buckled shoe, the sight of the schitt’e smeared item and the stench, had me heave. If he didn’t move speedily, vomit would join the mess on himself. I have no doubt he’d be smelt from a mile away for more than a week.

*retch, heave* this time there was no stopping it. I wafted my lace kerchief in front of my nose, heard rather then felt the slop hit my other shoe then splash my breeches. Just at that precise moment, he rolled over, leapt up, grabbed my fob and showed his heels. I cried ‘Thief! Stop him!’ As i felt for my watch, it had gone, leaving me the stomach churning stench.  I cried for the loss of both face and watch… I sobbed ‘Ohh! noooo!’

a

I hope my interpretation tickled your sensibilities and maybe like me you were a trifle pleased at the comeuppance of such a fop. Do leave your comments I answer with vigour.

Five Silly Things.

This month I was prompted to reveal and describe five silly things I do or say, so others can get the measure of me. So hold on to your holly hocks and here goes.

Picture of Hollyhocks.

I make stuff up … funny that.

Once I held a conversation about my imaginary childhood in a place called Black Rock. This was accompanied by an Irish accent (very bad). After ten or twenty minutes I smiled nicely and made to leave. That was when the Irish couple I had been speaking to … waved goodbye and hoped I’d call in when next visiting their home town of Black Rock. *smug*

I am bonkers.
I secrete note pads and pencils about my person (see my story glimpes of me here ) pencil in my hair, paper in the top of a holdup stocking.

I can be dramatic.

I lay my hand backwards across my brow, fluttering my lashes as I swoon. Next I hold the pose for three seconds (i know you are doing this) in a breathy voice say “But… you do love mei (pause for effect) dhont yoou dharling” and finally
batting my lashes I drape myself across the husbands lap. This is quite Edwardian in nature and makes said husband blush.

A quirky being am I.

I am an early riser that is my thing. Singing is also a thing; one that most people prefer me not to do. I vocally reproduce the ‘Good morning’ song in the guise of Doris Day at the top of my ( not so crisp) voice, while dancing in a mock hoe – down fashion (at least once a month) to rouse “the husband” from prolonged slumber.

My face full of mischief.

I admit to mischeif.

I frequently Pretend I am of the same origins as people trying to sell me things over the phone. I repeat exactly what they say in their own vernacular… until they put the phone down. Or I have been known to repeat in the most pretentious voice available to me … “Dahhling I am truly distraught” I tap the phone on the mouthpiece. “Frightfully awful I can not hear a word” tapping hard on the mouthpiece again, before cutting them orf!

I am nothing if I’m not inventive.

I have been known to plop myself cross legged on the library floor in the children’s corner and read aloud with voices and actions. This either has parents dragging children away with startled looks or gathers them in front of me; teddies clutched to chests thumbs in mouths… *whispers* and that’s just the parents…

P.s. I can count, but Ellen stylee.

Talking too much (in some folks minds) is my thing. If a story can be told in two words it … in my mind isn’t worth listening to or wasting my breath on. When required to, I listen intently. After all that is how I get the stuffing for a character or inspiration for my book.

~~~~~

Please tell me one silly thing about you, I look forward to your comments.

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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Acoustically speaking.

“A badly timed Trump” a prompt from Sacha to be complete in 52 words . Press here to join in the fun.

It was a sombre occasion, you could see your breath leave your mouth. The pews all waxed and lillies beautifully bookended the pulpit. A vicar as old as the church itself went up the steps, releasing a loud trump which riccochet off the walls. He  sniffed.loudly as the funeral march began.

In England it is another word for flatulence! I do believe it has the same meaning globally *wink wink*

Have you held back a titter, stiffled a smirk or guffawed in the wrong moment? Tell me in the comments I can’t wait to reply.