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.

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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.

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.

My First Exquisite Dress.

I love the life of your hat,

I once had a dress like that.
All grace and glamour,
The boy’s would clamour
To glimpse the off shoulder
French fancy.

And me, at sixteen,
I learned how to preen
I perfected a wiggle,
A look over my shoulder,
But under my brows.

The dress held my joi de vivre
My confidence my class.
It was in the lace,
While I hid the blush
Upon my face.

My parisienne dress
wasn’t me.
But in it, I could be,
Entertaining and sweet.
They would fall at my feet,
And I could shoo them away.

Back then, when age was nothing
But a moment in time.
Confidence plucked from air
As the flower in my hair.
It was all so fleeting,
like a clandestine meeting.

A Seat In The Bleak.

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Thank you Sue Vincent for the photo this week and the opportunity.  Press here To join in this weeks prompt. #WritePhoto

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Bleak, some say this view is bleak, the empty to me isn’t empty. The sky speaks of things to come and hints at things just past. I gaze thoughtfully while digging deeper into my pockets dipping my chin so the zipper scratches my nose. My quiet contemplating place; perched on crag like a bird with its feathers ruffled. Hair whips my cheeks and stiffens in the biting wind. My eyes struggle to see as far as I want them to. But here, the whoosh of the sea, the lapping of water against rock and the voices on the wind … comfort me.

Hours pass with me inside my head, the imagery sharp as Italic ink on paper.  The sky darkens, reflections flicker, horses lick, their white manes they flash and curl atop the surf and I am reminded of where I am. Cleansed and at peace I raise myself, soles firmly grip into roughness of rock, gouging in to keep me from slipping as I head back.

At first barely a glimmer of light shines from the tiny house creeping between badly pulled curtains. The rusted swing squeaks in the wind; the taste of salt lingers. I open the oak door, stamp my shoes on the coconut matting and strip off the sodden outer layer. His head lifts and kind eyes take me in, his book thumps closed as he makes way for me to join him. Tom pats the cushion next the fire on the double club chair. “Come, let’s get you warm,” his eyes crinkle as they do when he looks into mine. “You look rested now, how anyone comes back from such a bleak unforgiving spot looking as you do … I will never know.” Tom rubbed my feet between his hands twisted a strand of salt encrusted hair behind my ear and said … ” I love you Eve.”

With all my worries blown into perspective, I inhale the stew I have cooking on the stove, the bread Tom has put to warm. “Shall we eat, then I will tell you a new fireside story, one brought to me on a gust of wind.” I say. We clatter to the table amidst the spitting of logs laughing at the days turn of events. Knowing tomorrow my bleak will refresh me once more.

Do you have a place? I would love to know, leave me yours in the comments.

 

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/

The Empty

Sue Vincent’s  picture prompt once again challenges us… press here to join in or to read some fabulous responses..

Remnants of yesterdays bonfire smolder on the bank, barbed wire posts too damp to burn are propped at angles like skeletons legs. The wind whips my hair across pinkend cheeks, wipes drops from moist eyes as I trudge aimlessly across the empty landscape. A gnawing in my abdomen makes me tremble; my hands shake as I recognise my own emptiness.

An hour passes me by, legs heavy and joints begin to ache as I work my way home. Lifting my foot to plant it firmly in the kissing gate where we stopped and kissed last night; the irony of it makes my lips twitch and my chest tight. In the emptiness I succumb to tears; self indulging, long overdue by my reckoning.

Last night around the fire we had talked, loved and hoped. We hoped that three weeks late was a sign, we had held each other tight, talked until wishes were invisible to the moon.

This morning I woke to his whistles as he cycled to work. A fleeting smile at my lips soon vanished as the dull drag in my gut became apparent. Tonight I will have to tell him we were wrong. Smoothing my palm over my cheeks I take a deep breath, kick off my boots and straighten my back. Today will go so quickly here in the empty.

Love After Love

 

The time will come

when, with elation,

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror,

and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

By Derek Walcot. R.I.P. 17th March 2017 #WorldPoetryDay  couldn’t pass by without a bow or a curtsie to the painter, playwright, poet, English professor and nobel prize winner amongst his many accolades. He missed this day by four days so I would like to honour him in some small way. 

A Rosy Pairing

press to join in. Sue Vincent’s  picture prompt.

Here is this weeks photo. All.entries to be in by March 22nd.

Stalactites hung like chandeliers from the roof of our cave, the formation split it into two rooms. Since his leaving I had made it welcoming, sweeping the animal waste in a pile,  hanging a lantern from a  root that pierced the ceiling. The rosy welcoming glow was encouraged by the minerals in the rock that cast a sunset; perfect for this night. Animal skins shone silver on the vine that provided cover.

My heart bounced in my chest, as his shadow fell on the ridge. I trembled and perspired at the shape of him. Picking up the mewing bundle I stood at the entrance and thrust it towards his broad chest and said… “Your  gift” With his huge hands he twisted the neck, a crack of splintering bone was heard. A gasp left my throat and I wiped my eyes with trembling fingers. With swift strokes he skinned and gutted it, throwing the debris aside. Taking me roughly in his arms to the inner chamber he reminded me what we were together for.The calf spat and cooked on the fire  as we writhed on its soft skin. Now I was his, I had successfully filled his needs and his belly .
I remember my son asking what it was like when we lived in caves. Though I am not quite old enough for that, I think maybe my story would have fit.I bet you thought that bundle was something else… leave me a comment I am dying to know  😀 😄 😮