Who Can Hear You

‘Think before you speak’

On a pavement Cafe at the end of the street, two smart men took themselves a seat.

Tristan, he bragged about his car, ‘£48000 look at it gleam, Mercedes coup’e a Successful man’s dream.’

Harry said ‘I worked hard taking overtime when I could. No room for a holiday or even a siesta.’ His £17000 spent on a pepper red fiesta.

They argued together, the for and against,
compared fuel consumption the weaknesses and strengths.

Now, Mary, she sat on the ground by the door

listened to them both open mouthed … in awe.

She sat head bowed by a note that said ‘park’ To remind her to get in her box before dark.

Her mac was large came down to her feet, an excellent choice, when you lived on the street.

for underneath, was all she possesses, two pairs of gloves and four threadbare dresses.

She didn’t speak nor look in their eyes when they lit cigars and binned crusts from their pies.

Silently she sat as they said their goodbyes. Missing the quiver of her lip and the tears in her eyes.

They dropped her a pound and crossed to their cars. She could have been an alien living on Mars.

A lightbulb moment!

Let me know what you think. Would you, in your excitement of the moment have stopped and looked at Mary? I’d like to think I would have taken my discussion inside, thought about how she would feel; overhearing.

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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.

All Teachers are Monsters.

Thank you Linda for this opportunity. The prompt word is ‘post’ to be used alone or as part of a word. Press RIGHT HERE to join in or read some great responses.

“Post my letter” Mother called after me. Stamping my feet with slumped shoulders I went back in the kitchen. “Give it me then, quick! you know I hate being late.” I snatched it from her hand and slammed the door. I lifted my arm pushed back the sleeve, my trusty Timex startled me.”Rob, can I bag a leg on your crossbar?” I yelled. He was a bit fly was Rob but with my prim plait, flat chest and tough shoes he was hardly seeing me as a girl; one of the lads that’s me. I closed my eyes and hung on as he weaved through the traffic; my lady parts bruised with each bump. Rob stuck the vee’s up to Mr.Light the Maths teacher as he passed in a rusted Vauxhall Viva. Embarrassed I try to hide my face in Rob’s back. So relieved I was to jump off; in front of the corner shop … Not quite like in the movies.

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Rob ruffled my crooked fringe, “Maths homework … you owe me.” He called as I hobbled away tidying my fringe. Waving as he wheelied off, I rub my shoe on the back of my sock to try to rid it of oil. Letter posted and Parma violets purchased I made it to class in good time. At lunch break, I would go to the phone box to phone Mum, make amends for being grumpy; I wasn’t late after all.

Mr. Wright called me over. “Cheshire,” He called. “That lad, he is a little rough … around the edges.” He stumbled his words awkwardly, “your parents, they would be displeased at you … marauding around on his crossbar. Take heed, he will end up in Borstal if he’s not careful.”

I knew he was right, they would give me chores for a month if they knew. “Sorry Sir, I didn’t want to be late.” My cheeks and neck grew warm and I just know I was scarlet. He gave me double homework and tapped the side of his nose as he handed it over. That was all I needed what with Robs lot and now this I’d be at it for hours. I sighed, pushed it into my bag and thanked him. Because good girls do not answer back, ride on crossbar’s with reprobates, and expect leniency from the teacher who received the Vee sign.

Mother, wearing her furious face; stood cross armed at the door. “To your room young lady, post-haste!” I should have guessed he would tell; all teachers are monsters but none more than Mr.Right.

Did you do something foolish that bit you back? Do tell I am waiting with Bated breath.

P.S. I love and respect teachers, this is a work of fiction, or as Mother would say damn lies. *gulp*

The Ebb Of Summer.

Lorna’s #Ginsperation is a fresh weekly prompt press HERE NOW to join or read. Have fun I know I will.

I am sharing this with Esme on Esme’s Salon A wonderful sharing platform find the blue frog to share your post    “HERE”  connect and have fun.

I shiver, pull my wrap tight about my shoulders. Evenings have drawn in; become sharper. Dew-laden mornings make my toes curl and the chill pinch my nose. Only two weeks ago we sat in the garden; way past ten we sipped wine, listened to the night. We had no inclination to close the bi-fold doors, or to shut out the last of the warmth, instead we jabbered about everything and nothing until the light crept below the moon.

As I flinch from the chill I know, my pyjama clad gardening this year has passed. Nor will we eat breakfast outside amongst the birdsong. I already miss him … reading aloud from the papers; while crunching toast. Tomorrow I will put flip-flops, sleeveless tops, shorts and sunscreens away. But today I will savour the last rays that warm my bones.

As the sun sits low in the morning sky; I see the Autumnal work to be done. The dust motes that dance in its lowered beam across the table, the streaks on glass that summer hadn’t seen. The Rhubarb’s last crumble waiting to be cooked. I see the rake that needs an oil before leaves hit its Tyne’s. There are beds to be made warmer. A sigh leaves my lips as I turn to go in. A season departs as I rouse another in its wake.

Thoughts of frosty mornings, warming soups, logs crackle and muddy boots. Rosy faces, knitted hats, harvest suppers, coconut mats. Shepherds pie served with peas. Suppers by the fire on cushioned knees.

Cuddles on the sofa under fluffy throws. Hear the crackle of a fire, taste hot chocolate laced with Brandy while warming our toes. Heathers pop their heads up to view Autumn’s arrival. Hedgehogs scurry past along the fence-line; like dryer balls, they roll up when the Cat flicks its tail. A memory beckons and Autumn has taken the Ebb of Summer away.

Could you taste the Autumn? Leave me a comment or two … just to please me.

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.🙂

Around The Garden.

I set the garden up first thing before the crow dropped feathers and the frogs sang. Tables, chairs, chests of drawers. Grandad’s binoculars and his upright teatime chair, the one with a wooden hinged cup tray at the arm. I piled and propped things to replicate rooms; polished and loved them one last time. I could almost hear them; Popa and Mama … discussing how this was; as needs must. By the time Chorley arrived with the mail, the lawn was an outdoor house. Trestle’s replicated the kitchen, displaying the silver with the willow- patterned service piled high. Sun crept between the Ash and sparkled the Copper kettles and pans. Grandma’s embroidery samplers, linens and her handmade lace filled the aged trousseau box, beside the Chaise longue … under the Apple tree. A copper slipper-bath nestled next to the herb garden. Laundered towels I draped on the oak airer; besides the pond.

By half-past three all was sold … except for the large mirror Mama used in her dressing room when I was three. It reflected more than Stupley’s walled garden. Memories of ball gowns, pirouettes and tiara’s, stopped me from accepting a bid. Satisfied, I took a last look around.

My stream of consciousness began with a word containing round and ended with it also as the prompt suggested. Thanks again Linda Hill for the opportunity. Press “HERE” to join the fun or read some wonderful posts.

Let me know what you think! I am thick skinned and love to chat. 😉