Monday, 20 March 2017

Happy Birthday Simon

I can't believe it. I've been a grandmother for two whole years. I can't publish any photos for privacy reasons, I made a blog for the stories already written for Simon (listed in the blog list in the margin on the right), The poem on the left was written soon after my mother's death in 1990. We had a difficult relationship, but I have reason to be grateful for many things she did for me and reading the poem again makes me realize how little I knew about her and how nice it would have been to have her to talk to now. She was alone for 29 years and I have now been alone for longer! Amazing really, how time goes. Before you can really turn round you are as old and grey as Maud (not my mother's ame!) is in the poem.
It's the first day of spring today, isn't it? I think I'll go out and buy some more fragrant yellow flowers!
I'll include what I think must be the start of a whole (silly) story for grownups. I don't remember writing it. It's one of many stories I started and most of them remained unfinished.
Short story writing is an art form of a particularly persnickety ilk. Writing poetry is almost easier because you can capture the moment in succinct rhyming or non-rhyming words and choose form and length. With short stories you have to be careful not to jump out of the box you have created for yourself. When I discovered novel-writing, I knew I had come home: No restrictive boxes to mention; no brakes on the number of characters, places, days/time; the omnipotence of choosing who lives or dies.....

The Crumps

Some people are called Smith, others are called Jones, and there are quite a lot of Browns living in Bigfield-on-the-Hill.
If you say “I´m going to the Browns for tea” you could be visiting John Brown, the butcher and his family, or Mary Brown, the postmistress, and her seven cats. There´s a Mr Smith who sells televisions, and another one who cleans windows, and if I start to tell you about the Joneses I´ll never get round to telling you about the Crumps.
There´s only one Crump family in Bigfield-on-the-Hill, and they live in a big old house called Happy Times in Buttercup Crescent. Mr Crump is called George, and Mrs Crump´s name is Edith, but they call each other Mr Crump and Mrs Crump. The five Crump children all have unusual names. Starting from the oldest and working down there´s Waverley-Montogery-Thomas, aged fifteen, Christabel-Mary-Johanna, aged thirteen, Angus-Winston-Bruce, aged ten, Cora-Silvia-Elizabeth, aged seven, and Wallace-Bing-Sterling, aged five.
And as if that weren´t enough, the Crump children have three cats who all look the same and answer to the name of Wig-Wam! Stick around, and I´ll tell you why!

The day the Crump family moved to Bigfield-on-the-Hill will be remembered by everyone who was there at the time. The previous owner of Happy Times, someone called Mr van Hooter, had gone to Australia and decided never to come back, and the old house remained empty for many years. The hedges looked like trees, the lawns turned into hayfields, and ivy grew all over the walls and around the windows. A distant relative, Miss Angela von Hooter-Clarkson-Briggs, came once a year to see if everything was still there, but one year she didn’t come at all and in fact she stopped going anywhere else as well, so the house had to be sold, and the Crumps were delighted that no-one else beat them to it.

When Mr Crump had parked the long drive-it-yourself removal van in front of the entrance to Happy Times, and climbed laboriously out of the driver´s cabin, he let out a piercing whistle, at which the back doors of the van were flung open, and the rest of the family jumped out.
“Finished lunch?” shouted Mr Crump.
“I dropped my custard,” replied Cora-Silvia-Elizabeth. “Look at my blouse, it´s all yellow.”
“Stop complaining,” scolded Waverley-John-Thomas. “You should have waited till we got here.”
“Too late now,” decided Mrs Crump. “Let´s move in before it gets dark.”

This was easier said than done.
„Where’s the front door key, Mr Crump?“ Mrs Crump was heard to ask.
„You’ve got it, dear,“ shouted Mr Crump from the depths of the van.
„No I haven’t. I distinctly remember giving it to you.“
„And I distinctly remember telling you to put it somewhere carefully.“
„So you did,“ capitulated Mrs Crump.
„So where is it now?“ 
Mr Crump was more than a little irate.
„In the chest of drawers, dear,“  shouted Mrs Crump.
„The mahogany one?“
„Yes, dear. The one in the hall.“

Now it so happened that Mr Crump had loaded the van very methodically, so the furniture in the hallway had been put into the van first so that it would not be in the way of the other pieces of furniture. This meant that the chest of drawers was right at the back of the van. and everything else, including the three piece suite the family had sat on during the journey, was in front of it.
There was no other solution. Everything had to be unloaded onto the drive first, then the  chest of drawers could be unloaded, the key retrieved and at last they could move in.

So what happens next? Will we ever know?

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