Thursday, 29 January 2009

Phrase for Today.

Taken from the book featured here, Bloomsbury Anthology of Quotations.

The displacement of a little sand can change occasionally the course of big rivers.

Manuel Gonzalez Prada (1844-1918) Peruvian politician and writer.

Since I've been having a good think lately about change and truth in myself and in my work after reading posts by Brad and Selchie; (see people of interest down left column) I found this quote inspiring, challenging and worthy of consideration.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Being What You Wanted To Be.

In his latest post, Don Merritt suggested that he would perhaps prefer to be a character in one of my fantasy pieces than be faced with the prospect of 'what next' on the writing front.


Not a serious comment, I know, but it did get me wondering about who we would wish to be if not ourselves and the kind of life we might choose to live given half a chance.

For myself, there are a number of options which I'll list below and just for fun I invite you to add your own in the comment box. Knock yourself out and let those imaginations fly!

  • A Victorian Heroine capable of supporting herself without financial reference to significant male.
  • A Man. (Just for the experience of really knowing what that felt like.)
  • Helicopter Pilot. (I've always like the idea of being in control of flight.)
  • Psychologist. (Although with my job I think I'm half way there already.)
  • Lara Croft. (I know...)
  • Undercover Agent.
  • A Cat Thief who never got caught.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The Wrong Clothes.

Q: How do we find out which clothes suit us?

A: By experimenting with the ones that do not.

We try on clothes in many different colours and styles as we go through life to see if they fit and match our expectations. Sometimes we are fortunate and find exactly the right garment for the right occasion but mostly the majority of us are faced with a near match rather than a perfect fit and in all likely hood we tell ourselves that these will do, we have found a style which suits, these are the clothes for us.

We settle with and accept the decisions we have made only to wake up twenty years down the line and realise we have spent a life time in the wrong clothes. Or, the clothes did fit but now they are too small/large, they irritate us, a few are cosy and comfortable, familiar even but they are not in keeping with our life style anymore.

What do you do?

  • Stay as you are, after all you and those clothes go back a long way.
  • Put them in the charity bag and wave goodbye.
  • Rip them up, regret it and try to sew them back together.
  • Mix and match.
  • None of the above, you don't have the energy to care.

Deep down you have this niggling feeling that somewhere in the world there is a set of clothes that would better suit your needs, if you only had the courage and strength to reach out and claim them.

Saturday, 17 January 2009


He caressed her hair

allowing strands to filter through his fingers like spun silk.

Ripples of burnished gold cascading into shades of autumn colours

shimmering with glimmering light.

He was dazzled, beguiled,

lost in the promise of her whispered words

and persuaded beyond this world

All consumed, in a viable, desirable dream.

Monday, 12 January 2009

The Lingerer.

You know immediately when you are in the presence of a Lingerer. This person will take as long as possible to put down their bags before arranging personal items meticulously on the counter. This task would be completed before entering into a conversation with the box office clerk regarding availability of tickets.
A typical list of objects would be:
  • Glasses Case.
  • Gloves removed one finger at a time without hurry.
  • Diary.
  • Pen/tiny pencil that slots into the wire edge of the diary crowned with a white plastic disk.
  • Wallet/Credit Card/Purse.
  • A Notebook of some description.
  • This Season's Brochure with pages marked.
  • Any other Leaflets they just collected in the foyer.
In my experience The Lingerer can be male or female. The men tend to favour tweed caps and can be irritating, the women are down right annoying. I probably notice them more because I am a woman and their behaviour does not honour our sex. They come in all shapes and sizes, usually smartly dressed and well spoken. Teacher'ish, is the best word I can think of to describe them and I have often wondered if there had been a major attention deficit in their lives as children which they are determined to make up for now.
Quite often they book single seats, occasionally two seats but usually only one. There are many other people who only book one seat of course, for a variety of reasons but The Lingerer is a breed set apart by distinctive characteristics.
Here is an example of a conversation with a Lingerer.

"So, you've booked four shows at these prices, anything else I can help you with before I close the sale?"
"Just remind me again where the seats are for each show."

We go through the booking again, sometimes this is the second or third time. The Lingerer is efficiently cross referencing dates in their diary full of empty pages. They are also watching you closely for any signs of insubordination, a sigh, rolling of eyes, tutting. Any of these could mean extending the time they will spend at the desk. As they watch you they purse up in their lips and fix you with a concentrated stare.
I have made the mistake in the past of challenging The Lingerer with regard to information given. I will never make such a fundamental error again.
Eventually, the tickets are printed as the booking is verbally confirmed with times, dates, seating areas and prices again before being put into a wallet and handed over only for it to be opened up and spread out over the counter. Each ticket is scrutinised individually for any possible discrepancies of which there are none. We do ask customers to check their tickets before leaving the counter but The Lingerer likes to go the whole hog in front of you.
At this point the rules of the game shift slightly. It is no longer about booking tickets but about commanding attention in a controlled, manipulative manner. They are completely aware that a queue has formed behind them but this does not deter them from claiming their right to remain at the desk a while longer.

"Do you have any information regarding The Classics's Season?"
"Oh yes, all the prices and dates are in your brochure." You know the one you've thumbed from cover to cover and made detailed reports on.
"Oh, is it? I must have missed those."
Highly unlikely.
"Is there anything else we can do for you Sir/Madame?"
They know there is nothing else but cannot quite bring themselves to move away, a captive audience is the life blood for obsessive personalities and The Lingerer is no exception.
"I think that's everything for now, I can always pop back again if I've forgotten something can't I?" they reply with a chilling smile.
At this point your heart sinks and you pray that you're on another duty when they do, or better still, another planet.

"Yes of course you can come back anytime."

The endless ceremony of putting the tickets away safely ensues, followed by the diary. The glasses are carefully removed, folded and put back in their case. Gloves are deliberately returned to each digit in turn and pressed into place by knitting fingers together. The coat is buttoned up and finally the bag is checked again.

"Thank you, you have been very helpful."
"You're welcome."

The smile freezes on my face, my eyes have glazed over. I deal with the next customer in a traumatised state acutely aware that the Lingerer has circumnavigated the foyer, avoided the exit and rejoined the queue.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

The Quill.

My sister gave me the most beautiful venetian glass pen with a nib for Christmas. I like to call it a Quill, it adds to the romance you understand although I suspect that technically, it would be classed as a dip pen for ink.

I haven't used it yet because the ink that came with it needs an inkwell which wouldn't look right out of context so I feel that a writing slope or writing box is in order too. These come in a variety of prices and design depending what the customer is looking for. As you might expect, I would prefer something vintage, reminiscent of bygone days in keeping with a time where the rustle of silken skirt could be heard along the well polished corridor leading to the drawing room for afternoon tea. Men will be standing around handsomely in uniform but without the war bit that follows. In my picture there is no war.

I will use my pen to create beautiful words beautifully scribed on parchment paper that has a faint scent of rose petals. I will seal the envelope with candle wax pressed with my initials before carefully covering my arranged hair with a bonnet, taking up my shawl and hurrying to catch the post.

When I return, I will go to my room to tidy away the evidence of creative employment. I will put the inkwell back in it's place alongside my Quill and blotter. I will check that the letters I keep tied up with ribbon are in tact within the secret compartment and that the key is safely caught up on the velvet band around my elegant neck.

Across the heavy bed I'll lie and dream of lovers by and by.
My hair unravelled, caught hither and thus between full red lips in need of a kiss.
Where are you my love?... my letters will sigh and you will come to me...yes, by and by.

All of these things I shall do when I find a writing box for the inkwell in which to dip my new Quill.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009


We sat in the car with the engine running for warmth and shared out the left overs from our lunch boxes. It was getting late and I was worried that before too long our youngest would be needing the loo. The frost was beginning to appear on rooftops.

My ears were still smarting from the conversation with my husband and on top of this the credit on my phone was running low.

"What do you want me to do? I'm closing the store, I can't come all the way home to let you in and get all the way back again."

"Well, I didn't do it on purpose did I? I was in such a rush to get out this morning I forgot they were in my other coat pocket."

I could hear him chuntering on the other end of the line, followed by mutterings and inaudible swearing. I wouldn't mind but he has been guilty of the same thing himself.

We had more words ending in a row at which point he put the phone down.

"Is he coming mum?" asked our eldest.

"Not sure love." I answered through gritted teeth. I would deal with him later but for now I needed to get into the house. I dialed the number again in a dangerously calm manner.

"Is that chap on duty today who you gave a lift to, he lives this way doesn't he? Couldn't you give your keys to him and ask him to drop by the house?"

There followed an angry stubborn silence as my husband realised this was the sensible thing to do.

"I'll ask him if he minds."

"OK, we'll hang on here then, see you later."

Off he went still chuntering and annoyed because I had found a way out of my own mess.

We chatted and laughed in the car for a good forty minutes until our hero arrived on his quad bike. I laughed with him about our predicament and thanked him for coming to our rescue as he handed over the spare set to the house. With a certain amount of gratification I noticed that my husbands' car keys were still attached.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Oh go on then...

Since my good friend Brad Green over on decided to tag me, I thought I would offer 7 things about myself without passing on the strain of tagging to some other poor unsuspecting blogger. So here we are:

  1. I worked at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for a few years back in the day.
  2. I spent a summer in Maine, U.S.A. on a children's camp teaching ceramics in my first year at College without ever having used a kiln before. We had a few explosions.
  3. I have met Donny Osmond twice! ( Sorry about that last time Donny.)
  4. My personal alarm went off during a Mark Knoffler concert when I crept in using my staff card.
  5. Last year my husband and I visited Rome for the first time. This was a magical trip by any stretch of the imagination and we can't wait to go back again.
  6. I have an infectious laugh.
  7. I never dreamt that Boxofficegirl would be seen by so many people, even fleetingly and for this I am truly grateful.

A Very Happy New Year to you all and thanks for checking in.