#12Christmas2020things

The twelve things of this years Christmas are in picture form above.

Number 1

My favourite ornament, it has not changed I just stupidly adore my thoroughly modern Angel. An angel in a red coat with a swanky bag. She watches down from above my books, keeps an eye on me. When Christmas is about Angel takes up a different spot. Overlooking the whole affair, smart with tidy dark brown hair. Her coat a ruby shade of red, like santa’s, it has been said her wings and heart shaped bag glisten in the Christmas lights. She is my favorite ornament by far. If Christmas was still to be Christmas she simply must be there.

Number 2.

Charlie. Is a poem I wrote and love it so much.It encapsulates the spirit of kindness of which this weird year I have seen quite a lot. So for your delectation, get the tissues and be prepared to weep.

Charlie wasn’t keen on Christmas, because of the paper, the lights and all the waste, He didn’t think it good to eat so much, when others went hungry, It soured the taste.

Charlie loved wearing Granddad’s flight jacket, the best ever Christmas gift, Grandma said he wore it each day, walking back from his overnight shift.

The coat was cumbersome and heavy, if zipped it came way past his throat. His arms needed to be longer, the leather smelt of tobacco, the wool a dirty old Goat.

But, Charlie could fit mucky Ethel, underneath it when the rain soaked all her card. Or the snow made her fingers go blue … as she sat in that old butchers yard.

He could fit a curled up ham sandwich and an apple from Grandma’s dish, Deep inside the wool lined pocket. So Charlie, he made a new Christmas wish.

He wished that all people had bedrooms, a place to rest their head. That mucky Ethel could have a bath and a coat to hold over her own head.

But Santa, he did not come calling, to the people who lived on the street. Instead he hoped they would have their own Charlie, who would give the shoes from their feet.

Number 3.

My favourite Christmas coat, I feel like Christmas is here when I wear it. I secretly long to be the Angel in number 1.

Number 4.

Christmas Horror stories, These Books, ‘Horror Anthologies’ are the perfect introduction to short snappy stories to be told around the fire. The fact that they each carry one of my own tales inside, makes them even more special. I hope to scare family over zoom this year, but of course, you could buy them as gifts if you wish. A new book is on pre order coming soon Wings and Fire.

Number 5.

Snow! Writing Merry Christmas in snow, building a snow man and sharing it even if it is only on Zoom; would be magical. It will be in the lap of Mother nature but I have asked Santa and I have been good.

Number 6.

CRACKERS! Yes I know but I do not mean me, or the ones with Cheese. I mean who could have a Christmas weird or not without a cracker to pull, a joke to read and a tacky prize. No they are in my Christmas 2020 regardless of weird.

Number 7.

A TREE. no matter how big how bright or how simple, a decorated tree is simply a must. As is a glass of cream brandy liqueur, Michael Bubl’e on the speakers and plenty of giggles. It is just what I want to do and so should you.

Number 8.

The grandchildren, We can not have them all so we will have none. But Christmas without there faces would be the unhappiest place for me. The one above is Ivy. we have two expected in spring and the chronological list is this.

Merlot 15, Flynn 14, Ivy 5, Mabel 4, Matilda 4. Penelope 3, George 18months. How could we have Christmas without all of these. So we will eat breakfast together and I will tell stories and jokes and we will do this while they open our gifts under their own trees.

Number9.

Santa and this one is special, another will never do. Santa has stuck by me and taken me through the bad times and delivered the goods. He will be with me at Covid-19s Christmas. We on a normal year have a tradition. We find a day where we can get as many family together and have our ‘Best’ Christmas celebration, 2018 we managed 19 guests. We have, food and drink, crackers and silly hats, music and laughter. Our tradition of the table game, secret santa. Each household brings, a male gift and a female gift, two children friendly ones each for under £7 each. each plainly wrapped with M,F,C on the package. After dinner the pile (to which I have added extras), is put in the middle; with my santa for luck (santa guides the dice). The die is rubbed and kissed the air thick with anticipation. Each of us take turns to throw, you need a double 6 to collect a gift. This continues until the pile has gone. At this point you can donate, or stick. Players usually donate (if a child has not won a parcel) then we begin again. This time, any double thrown, of any number can now steal. The packages have treats, silly things, and booby prizes inside. We laugh until we all have wet faces and gasp for breath. Not covid appropriate, or safe for 2020, so this year it will be sorely missed.

Number 10.

A phone, TO call up Mother, and people who do not have mobiles or wifi. yes they exist and I will not leave them out.

Number 11.

My bird feeding regime begins in earnest usually with a poem about feeding the birds, With no children to share in the feeding this year I will video myself singing Mary Poppins famous song (I can not sing) Feed the birds and send one to each family household so they can see the birds get fed and Grandma Duck is still bonkers enough said.

Number 12.

My rock/pebble painting, represents a song and the year where saying I love you has been there to replace hugs and kisses that we all are still missing.

Thank you YouTube

Which is your favourite of my #12Christmas2020Things did you like best and what will your celebration miss. answers in the comments, I am dying to know.

An Awful Anniversary Assembly.

Sixty years, well here’s to it, I raise a glass; into it, I spit.

Jerk my head to call him near, passed his glass feigned a cheer.

He swallowed with greed; saliva and all. I curl my lip; soon he’ll fall.

A drunk, a bully full of hate; tonight, they will see his colours

spread out on the dinner plate. I served tripe and jellied eels.

This food, both banal and grey; like him, had seen a better day.

I smile at those around my cloth. His cronies and the hangers-on

those that doff their cap, those that think him a super chap.

“Please sit” I cry. Having previously dressed his tripe

with little crushed garlic to disguise the arsenic’s taste.

It was with finality he gorged in ungentlemanly haste.

Today my cynical response to the terrible poetry prompt. It takes me to a sixtieth Anniversary gathering. I hope you enjoy. Please leave me a comment I simply love to talk.

The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest 2/22 – 2/28/2020
https://chelseaannowens.com/2020/02/29/the-weekly-terrible-poetry-contest-2-29-3-6-2020/

 

“How many times must I tell you?” my Mother shouted. “How many times must I tell you, question mark” Is what my young self-heard. Like all good girls, I answered. A question should be answered, or you might be remembered as rude. I twisted my fingers like a church and steeple; stood on tippy toes and wore my most thoughtful look. “Maybe twice Mummy, I might not quite hear you with once … If I was doing something else … like reading.”  Shuffling backwards I sucked in my breath. “I might not hear … the first time.” I continued, I was careful with my answer, making sure to not say too many words or smile too much while I spoke. Unbeknown to me, that was not the right answer. I knew this because Mummy’s lip curled and her face twisted, into that not nice face, the one that made my knickers wet, which she liked even less than my answer; Five I was then.


My school uniform was still being worn when Mum came in looking for me; frowning. My buttons all skew-whiff, socks wrinkled into my shoes and my book firmly clasped between ink-stained fingers; behind my back. I stood straight and looked into her eyes while she spoke, knowing I should have changed before finishing that page, then she would not be as cross. Why hadn’t I? Simple, my book called me. I looked down at my shoe while I rubbed it against my calf; blackening my sock. Both hands were behind my back; clasping Black beauty. This left me unprotected, unprotected against falling, losing my balance. But I was not showing my book, not for anything. “How dare you answer me back, you defiant girl” I felt Mummy’s spittle land on my face as she snarled and poked me with her finger. “I was, only trying to answer Mummy” I whispered. “Just you say that once more girl!” That statement was another trap I fell into when I was small. Even though I was being asked to repeat something, I should never, ever do it. If I did, sore legs, no tea and bed would follow. That’s when my books became best friends. Under the blankets with my penlight torch between my teeth; I treasured that torch. I could check for bogeymen or the devil  … she said he would get my tongue if I lied, so I had to be vigilant.

I was one of a family of five, at least until my youngest sister came along when I was six. Six years and four months old, that was when she appeared; all soft and smiley, smelling of milk and baby powder. She came with a plethora of things I had never seen before. Mum and Dad must have done a deal on a job lot; my eldest sister said. There came a van with a carry-cot a bath with a stand, a chair that bounced, bags of rompers, dresses, vests and cardigans. There were lidded buckets, nappies, both muslin and towelling. Then there were the toys. My toys, I had outgrown them … so Mummy said. Off they went,  with new ones in her box. How she came to be, or how that happened, I am sure my sisters wondered as much as me.  But it did, and there she was, making the family of parents with four girls. She was no bother, she would be asleep when we left for school and asleep or about to sleep when we came home; so I only recall her being around at the weekends and holidays. With two older sisters to help, I didn’t get much of a look in; not old enough to be trusted and not experienced at life. My help was to sit next to her chair and read her stories, and of course to call out if there were any smells.

Learning the meaning of things is easier on a page, you can see the question marks and commas. ” When is a question, not to be answered?” By ten years old I knew better, but at five I hadn’t realised. You had to read the face, and interpret the tone that words were delivered in; if you were to understand. At ten, I knew when not to answer … though answering back was still a confusing one. As is, ‘just you come here.’ You do have to go as soon as it is said; not too quick, or too slow. I do not remember being taught to read faces or voices. It was something it seems you just had to know. It felt like I had to … just know, quite a lot Whilst growing up.

By fifteen I had learned to negotiate, compromise and keep my head down and nose clean. I had been working since I was fourteen, after school and at weekends. Sweeping and tea making in the hair salon, fetching coats and always smiling; part of the job. I lived in a lodging house and had an apprenticeship in hair and beauty, and for the most part, I coped nicely. Being fifteen was a time of hard work and independent living. I paid minimal rent; part of which was to cook the odd lunch for the landlady’s Father. Rent was paid for with three jobs. The hairdressers, the night cafe behind the Mace shop, and working every Sunday in a posh coffee shop in a neighbouring town. The reading of expressions came in handy at the salon, especially for nodding and smiling in the right places. Having my hair and nails done at work was a perk of the job and gave me an air of sophistication, or so I thought. Mixing with the elite as well as knowing good manners. I was brought up with, and my compulsion to read anything I could get my hands on made for a well-rounded, smart, nicely spoken, hard-working young woman. During this time my evenings were filled with writing, poetry mostly, all tucked between the pages of my favourite books. There I was secretly hoping Louisa M Alcott would permeate my work; improve it, as if by magic. But, as all fifteen-year-olds were back then, I was very naive.

My top five books were:
Alice in Wonderland
Black beauty
Mary Poppins
Little Women.
These taught me that words were wonderful … as long as they are kept in order. Books were my friends and writing could catch your fears on paper. Much better than in your chest.

So here we are with the power of five. Five senses, five elements, five digits on hands and feet. Five paragraphs .What more could anyone want?

I am unable to add this to the blog competition that it was written for, as alas, I got carried away. 375 was the count to stay below to qualify. This piece, is three times longer so I place it here to share with those who might enjoy a read. Iwould like to know if you have found it impossible on occasion. To tame a flash fiction to sit between the numbers required. Please comment I love to talk. .. 🎶😲🎵

Five Paragraphs on the shaping of me.

#WQWWC The Culprit

 

FotorCreated

 

“Their Daddy had been away a long time; I remember it well.” As Winifred  recalled, she spoke with clarity her eyes misted over then sparkled as the memories crowded in. I looked at the tall, slim, straight lady who wore her ninety years behind a mask of order and discipline; I was surprised at her gentle voice.
We sat at the table with a tray of tea pouring paraphernalia between us. “I would like to hear” I said as I played Mother with my Mother in law across the damask cloth.

“After his accident it took two years one to recover his health; it was a very bleak time, then another to rehabilitate. We had to fly him home a closer unit was required to… acclimatise.” Stopping to gaze thoughtfully she smiled. “We were made of stronger stuff then. Howard had one leg amputated at the thigh the other was so damaged it was a useless limb full of pain and infection.” She shook her head and tutted.
“They had fitted a tin leg with leather straps which he was trying to use; but it was not easy. Roehampton took him in, they decided he would be bought home one weekend in two as a precursor to returning permanently.” Occasionally she would drift off as if visualising his face. “Our boys were five, they couldn’t remember not really.” Winifred shook her head.

“The day had arrived the boys knew Daddy was coming and I had explained the best one could. It was four o’clock, I recall having just laid the table for tea when the clanging began in fury. They rushed to the window jostling for space with me close behind, flashing lights and that dreadful racket, Howard had arranged it for them with the driver.” She collected the cups, leant on the table, frowned and said. “As I pulled back the nets to look, the Ambulance arrived in the lane.” Then tapping her finger  like quotation marks she raised her voice “There’s the culprit! I said guiding them to look. From that day on an Ambulance became the culprit.” Winifred dropped the dishes into the sink and said.
“Well my girl a little magic sometimes works wonders; after all a culprit is far more interesting than a Daddy.”

image

Quote by Ellen Best 2016.
writers quote wednesday writing challenge

Thank you Ronovan and Coleen for the prompt challenge this week “Magic”
To go to silver threading and read the weekly challenge stories press the Here

I linked this post to Haddons musings at the senior salon where coconspirators can make connections and virtual freinds. Thank you Bernadette http://haddonmusings.com/2016/03/23/senior-salon15/