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Life is for living! Dream of yesterday, but live today

Time for painting.
turg hippie
Part of today's working, as well as HOUSEWORK!!! DUH.
Am doing a series of paintings about two women, originally I painted two Bowling ladies, and  sold one, so did two mini ones, this is a sort of off shootI do have fun with them, they are "going gothic" here. The original ladies were slightly more staid, and certainly not raunchy like this.March  15 009

(no subject)
Reflecting on the health care issue in America.

We used to have private health care, we no longer do.  When we had it we were fit!

I suppose coming from a life lived in countries where health care is generally covered, I find it difficult to comprehend the issues. NZ, England, and Australia have reasonable schemes.

I had TB while in NZ and only one bill for injections we had a problem with,
  and my babies born there? No cost at all.

In England it was covered.    Here in Australia as we came to live here when we were middle aged we have been lucky.

Husband had a vien operation, a prostate operation, a mass in his back taken out, and a blockage dealt with All for virtually no cost. I think we paid some for the anesthetics once or twice.   But generally this was done without cost.

We both pay for a specialist, but on medicare get about two thirds back, 

My recent operation,  so far no bills. When you think of the care I received and the food and the drugs, amazing.  So we do live in a 'lucky country' Realise its not the same for everyone, we have reached the age where care is needed, and are receiving it.

So with this in mind I will be watching what happens in America

Live Journal. Series 8. Week 30-5. "Appropriation"



‘Sherry Levine's After Walker Evans (1981) is a photograph of a Walker Evans photograph. She is challenging the concept of ownership: if she photographed the photograph, whose photograph was it, really? And she is addressing the predominance of male artists in the textbook version of art history. Sherry Levine is a feminist artist.”(From Image Duplicator) ‘

This artist became famous for replicating photos.

What is wrong with appropriation, if I photograph a puppy or a lily and I then paint it, won’t it just be like another lily or puppy? So some else has painted a lily, am I then banned from painting lillies? What if the light was just like the light when they painted their version? So many sunsets are painted how can we tell which was the original? OK, I know a totally 'line for line'  and 'stroke for brush stroke' copy is entirely wrong. But Pop art exploded when Andy Warhol painted the Campbells's soup cans. So did that allow for trend setters to copy even more?

I love painting, I love trying to capture light.  I look at the great artists from the early part of the 1900’s,   Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, Cezanne, Matisse,  then  my heart nearly bursts. The colours sing, the light is so pure. I am stunned and speechless when I am close to their work. I cried when I saw a Van Gogh up close.

 I so want to paint as they do!, and if I copy it, am I wrong?, I just want to get closer to them, to see how it works; how they achieve that image. I can only do that by working from the original example. I suppose it’s only wrong if I try to sell it as mine.  But it is mine.  I did it after all.

I admit I have copied images, I see a shape, a figure, a line in a fashion shot, and I copy it because it talks to me.  I change the colour, the size, the background, perhaps, the hair…then it becomes mine . I make it so.

 I am obsessed with fashion and had some old magazines I bought; they show patterns from the 1920’s and 1930’s.  One of them I altered slightly and painted in my style the result I show here. The original French magazine is delightful, but I simplified it and made the background more abstract. More 'me'.

I strive for beauty, and if in my quest I am carried along by the immense talent of those old masters  I can only hope as I copy, or study, some of the colour and magic will rub off, and I can achieve the perfect symetry I see in my head. So far, however I try it has eluded me.  ( Entry 5 of five),

 Voting for entries starts after the 18th.  By then I should be in severe pain but have a new knee, so will not be replying commenting or reading, unless life treats me kindly!  Good luck to all my friends. Read and vote to support us.


Sherrie wrote in her “Statement” of 1982 that “The world is filled

art2011 005

Live Journal Idol series 8. week 30-4GOBSMACKED
Starting the early shift was always hard. I had a ritual which helped, I put on my make -up as I drank the tea I made.
My watch, pen and badge were on the dresser, uniform hung on the door. Shoes ready to go, lunch cut the night before, out the door at 6.40am, with a squirt of light perfume. I needed to get myself looking and smelling good, it was my armour against whatever the day brought, like a protective shield. If I looked like crap I lacked confidence.

I was a personal carer, trained by the government as a ‘pseudo’ nurse. Someone to do the basics, OK I could take blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and I had first aid training, Had  psychiatric lectures, and disability care under my belt, as I had done two courses over four years. But essentially we were saving the real nurses some of the work load. More and more, that load consisted of paperwork, or computer statistics. But don’t get me started on that!

A normal morning meant helping those who were too frail to eat breakfast, spooning food into mouths that really wanted to close, talking to souls who didn’t want to ever hear or see again. Sometimes it was so stressful, knowing the person would rather die than eat and live another day. There were lighter moments though when laughing helped to break the monotony for the nurse and the patient.
Then the real work began hoisting them into a sling, bathing, shaving, washing, toilet time, and the icing on the cake for me? was making them look good to face the day. I loved to add my touch, a bit of lipstick, a pretty shirt or scarf for the women, a crisp jacket for the men. Just to show the world they were still special They deserved more, but I gave the time I could spare.
The scramble ended with clearing up the rooms tidying bathrooms, then morning teas, more showers and therapy sessions, and before we needed it; the lunch appeared and the feeding began again.
One little 90 year old lady monopolized me, her ways of stretching the time I spent with her were creative at least. She would pretend she was falling, or lose her stockings, and as I tried to 'hurry slowly', she would call me back to check her clock, see her sherry supply, view a picture of her as a bride, I did spend more time with her, but mornings were too busy to linger, as much as I wanted to stay, there were four people waiting for me to get them up. Nancy eventually let me go with a kiss and a hug and told me I was her favourite. But I suspect she said that to each nurse!

Her husband was also in the nursing home, he had a room across the hall, his dementia was severe, much worse than Nancys, but they seemed to be happy enough, looking out for each other, and always kissing goodnight. She called him ‘Daddy’, and told me tales of her life in Germany, and his too, they had harrowing memories, he had been conscripted, a young soldier, he had no choice. She had been in Austria, and had a hard existence. Yet after all their troubles they had survived, and settled in Australia, they had been married for 60 years.
Some days the smooth running was disrupted, someone having a psychotic episode, or a nurse unwilling to help when we requested it, so when we couldn’t get a second person to lift the patient it made it impossible, lifting alone is taboo now, the showers were inevitably late.

Then as lunch approached there were still the heavy people in bed. But mostly by 2pm we had the work done and we were nearly going home. Just the deadly records to deal with. Everything was written twice. Once in the hand held device we carried, then in the ‘on line’ notes. Any incident had to be recorded, every skin tear, scratch, pimple or redness of skin, any behavior problems, bowel malfunction or diet disasters. We dreaded having too many incidents and tried to avert them whenever we could. But strange things happen;

So as I sat in the room with the night staff giving their report of the night, I hoped it was a good day, the large nurse kept up a monotonous relay of which bowels needed help, who had been out of bed overnight, who needed to see the doctor, and gave the usual warnings about keeping records up to date.

When suddenly all the beepers went off at once, an emergency.

We checked the room on our pagers and found it was the little lady, Nancy. Probably lost her sherry I thought.
As we all arrived at the room the scene was like a bad movie. Blood spattered all over the walls, and on the bed. Arcs of blood; across the windows; on the curtains.
Near the bed was a patient recently transferred, a nice mild man who kept getting lost, kept missing his room, and was very confused. His head was a mass of wounds and blood, his left eye closed; We then saw ‘Daddy’, he was holding a huge walking stick, looking angry, and threatening the man.

We swung into action, removing all the patients, and getting them looked at in casualty which luckily was the other end of the same hospital. The room was thoroughly stripped and cleaned, an army of cleaners moved in and it was soon almost pristine.
Reports took a while that day. New laws meant we had to involve the police. So we had a 94 year old being interviewed, although he was unable to comprehend why. His language skills had regressed so that he now only spoke German. The other man was swiftly transferred yet again, hardly aware of what had happened. Although he needed stiches, and was bruised, he recovered.

Nancy told me later, ‘Daddy found him in my room, and he thought he was trying to get into bed with me.’
‘Daddy is very jealous.’ She remarked.

This is No. 4 of Five entries. http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/574285.html

Live Journal Idol series 8 Week 30- Entry 3. "Scared money never wins"
newer turq.

Scared money never wins.

 Life in a small town can be stifling, we all know too much about each other. Yet here on a ‘day out’ we are comfortable together. The bus lurches past misty pastures, there is talk of milking, and how cruel dawn starts become; how the prices for milk are bad.

  Women with pale, pinched faces, and winter coats lean into the steamy windows; some of them glad of a brief rest, so they try to sleep.  Men become noisy, talking of fishing and the football. There are silly jokes, and some ribald tales.  A young guy at the back shows his rear at the window. Some are already into their third beer before we arrive.

We sit close together sharing a cheese sandwich, talking about what we will do when we get there.  It takes three hours at least to get to Melbourne, my husband plugs his radio into his ear, and I read until it makes my stomach do somersaults.

The annual Casino trip is a fund raiser, they have raffles as we travel to the city, and the fare is subsidized by the Casino, they provide a huge ‘help yourself buffet’ as a sweetener. We get vouchers to eat there, shuffling groups in lines;    organized and regimented, like cattle to the abattoir. 

  The lights when we arrive are dazzling, I get a moment of dizzy excitement. A rush of adrenaline, unconscious of my actions I feel for my money, yes the purse is there; yes it has notes in it, I can’t wait for the noise and the whirl of those wheels, the clunk of money, the bells and whistles, the heart stopping moments when I might,-- just might, have won a fortune. Yet the guilt I feel makes me say,

”Shall we have a walk along the riverside first, get a coffee or something?”

But I know he feels the same as I do, that rush to experience the dazzle of the unfamiliar machines, the huge expanses of carpet. The size of the place is frightening, I always get lost, yet we dive towards a machine each.  Staff come round with cold drinks at the machines, so we don’t leave and stop spending.

“I just might put a dollar in" he says. The eyes glaze over, and we are both lost.

Which is so sad as we can’t afford to lose. On what we have to manage on,  this is madness and it won’t last long, the money we saved to come on the trip,  would buy a load of wood, or a week of grocery items. Yet when asked, we say,

“Yes we’ll come, put our name down.”

Our money is so little when we look at what others put into  the hungry machines, we always hope this is the time we come home laden with cash, or a new car, or a holiday from the spot prizes.  Vain hopes;

Our sensible friends from the town go to the Fishing and gaming Show, or the Quilt exhibition, or the movies. They shop in the city, and eat at the Casino but don’t stay. Very, very, wise, country people who know what hard times are.

The feeding frenzy is a spectacle too, like so many sharks in a school of fish they dive and grab. We gape as we watch piled plates pass our table.  “Is he really going to eat that?” I find room for two desserts though.

Then it seems within minutes the money has been swallowed like the crème caramel I ate, slipping away with no sound. My purse is flat and so are my spirits. My husband I find doing slightly better, so he gives me a hand full of coins. I lurch from small wins and moments of elation, to despair in a few more minutes.

Then there are the empty hours, no money and nowhere to go.  Beside me I see the full range of the obsession. The habits, the quirky rituals, as I sip a free coffee I observe;

The old lady who taps the screen three times between pushes, her scarf drops to the ground, her stocking are wrinkled but she has eyes for the screen only.

The young Asian man who bets the highest amount he can on each push, he wins,  and soon has money in every pocket , but as I watch he puts the lot back , every crumpled note and even the small change. He starts to hit the buttons with force as if punishing them.

The glamour girl who looks like she might have been out all night, plays fast, but covers her eyes and never looks at what the screen shows. If she wins, she hits ‘gamble’ plays high stakes, and loses every time.

Loud yelling from one dark haired man, and his friends as they win the big prize, and then drink, until they are all escorted from the building.

  Then the sad little man who presses slowly and carefully, and says, quietly, ‘Come on be nice to me’,  as if talking to a lover.

We sit together and have a meal of monumentally disgusting food, given to us because we have enough tokens. It is not a good feeling, we have no money to be part of the elegance of Casino life, but we know that too is an illusion. There is a very strict dress code for the elite, for the rooms, where losing enormous bundles of cash, is an obligation. No tie, no entry. But a smart suit and a suitcase of cash, “Do come in!”

Why is it men wear bow ties to watch beefy thugs try to kill each other at the fights?

 Why is it the racing fraternity, has such high dress standards? To get in the marquee they expect hats and very expensive shoes, top hats even at Ascot , where you mingle with royalty.

Yet bookies are just nicely disguised money snatchers. It seems that to lose money in buckets you need to dress like landed gentry.   The more you can speculate the more you accumulate they tell us, and if you do it in an Italian suit does it help?

Back on the coach, with our cold coffee in a flask; and some sticky sweets gathering fluff in our pockets,  we try to ignore the depressed mood that descends on us.

The Casino trips have stopped now, and perhaps it was for the greater good. We had already decided we would never go on another. The town has the benefit of the money we spend now as we buy the wood or the groceries.   Perhaps the netball team lost out as they were the recipients of the money raised, but I think in the end we actually won.

This is entry 3 of five.

 Voting for them starts after the 18th.  By then I should be in severe pain but have a new knee, so will not be replying commenting or reading, unless life treats me kindly!  Good luck to all my friends. Read and vote to support us.


Series 8 Live Journal idol. 30-No 2. A Cesspool of sorts.
Running doesn't always solve the problem.

It was siesta time, the silence punctuated only by the flop, flop, of her sandals as she walked back from the beach. Green shutters swayed in the breeze, drifting like eye lids closing, she found she was holding her breath, the silence was so complete.
The doorway of her villa was in deep shadow, someone could be crouched there, waiting, but only a startled lizard zig zagged across her path. running for the rocks. I should be running, thought Sophie but instead she swept wide the doors, flooding the room with light.
From there she could see the dazzle of clear water and below the bay of yellow rocks.. She dare not think too far ahead, but at least for a little while. This was still her home.

The sand was painfully white outside they were at the beach bar pausing for a moment after the midday rush.
"Is Mitch coming back tonight? asked Mercedes wiping her hands.
Sophie called over her shoulder
"I'm not really sure."
Perhaps to avoid further questions, she went outside to clear the tables. The sunlight through the raffia roof made patterns on the brown bodies beneath.
Sophie helped most afternoons, collecting glasses and helping prepare the simple food. The older men joked with her she had adapted well. They even encouraged her stumbling Spanish. Mercedes had grown fond of Sophie. Was happier with her than some of the younger women, at least Sophie didn't mind working in the heat of the day. They washed up in the cramped kitchen, to the sound of some plaintive love song on the record player. As if to herself, Sophie said,
"He will be with his friends from Palma, ...I may not see him at all."
Yet she was already planning which dress to wear, and wondering if she had changed in a month. Before sunset was the best time, still the heat burned through her almost to her bones.
Riverlets of moisture ran down her stomach; she was sleeker, more muscled now, her long brown hair curling to her shoulders. Her legs deeply tanned from afternoons spent walking along the beach. She swiftly showered and changed into a strapless cerise dress, and high mules, a single pearl on a chain around her neck. With a spray of perfume she was ready.
It was the isolation that had attracted her to this place. There were about a dozen villas the fishermens' homes, two restaurants and a’Supermarcado’, and the sprawling beach bars of course.
One each end of the small sandy beach, the had huge jars of glossy black olives and dark dry hams hanging from the roof. Not many tourists found came to this beach Preferring the town with its shops. Pleasantly devoid of notices about chips or bacon and egg,. It had suited Sophie well, but today workmen called after her as she strolled by, they were erecting shiny new telephone boxes. How alien the glass and steel looked in this landscape. She didn't look up, the gentle puff of dust that rose with each footfall kept up the same rhythm.
She had innocently smiled once before, and there had been a banging on her shutters in the night
That bleak spring when she had made her plans seemed a hundred years ago, not mere months.
Only when the children were settled had she finalised everything. She left unanswered questions; three adult children, and a rather dull husband behind.
The money from the jewellery would one day run out she had to prove to herself she could survive alone. James, was probably convinced she had lost her mind, perhaps she had. But with halting Spanish she got by, did all sorts of jobs, even washed tablecloths for the local restaurant. She was experiencing a delayed rebellion, trying things she had never done. James had said years ago;
"You could never survive on your own"
She was almost sorry her tracks were so well covered and he wouldn't find her.
She was drawn like a magnet to ‘Joeys’ a place in town, it gave her a crash course in living. The place had a bad reputation she later found.
Old ladies in black crossed themselves and muttered as they passed it. But by then Joey had become a friend, a kind listening ear when she was lonely. His clients were drifters and misfits, others who were running; like herself.
Bibulous characters like Kenny and Bill; drinking brandy for breakfast and telling affected little stories to whoever would listen.
Annette was a regular too. Hair piled high, jewellery glinting; purple eye lids flashing. Artfully preserved, she must have been in her mid sixties, but still lived a wild life. Still prowling, seeking out men to devour. For a while Sophie wondered if that would be her fate too.

Sometimes she watched young mothers on the beach and she was reminded of all the patchwork days of motherhood. They seemed so young these girls, with their fat babies on their hips, feet bare, hair long and free. Yet she had been barely twenty when Molly was born, not much more than a child herself. Happy times to look back on, egg and spoon races on green lawns; lop sided birthday cakes she made and iced. Marzipan chicks at Easter; shivering and tiptoeing with lumpy stockings at Christmas; she only remembered the pleasures. So far away, like a dream.

There were other pleasures now. 'Mitch has been asking about you" Joey said with a twinkle. A young man, had eased himself from a bar stool and strolled over. His hair was sun streaked, his clothes casual; expensive.
"Well Maam nice to meet you, my good friend Joey says you are a fugitive, and I'm intrigued mind if I sit here?”
"Looks like you have" she smiled, not sure she wanted the intrusion at first. So that was how it began:
They drank champagne, shared a paella, and found they shared a similar sense of humour. He talked about his family. His mother was French his father an American who had settled years ago. They owned a cheese factory, one of three on the island. He said he dealt with the business, flying to Palma weekly. Sophie told him a little of her life but was happier listening to his.
"You could fly to Palma tonight. I know someone who is going at three." He murmered. She was flattered, but shook her head.
"Not I have obligations, but thanks.”
It was after four when Joey yawned and signalled it was way past closing time. They walked out into the half- light, Mitch pulled her strongly to him. She went, perhaps too eagerly; too easily
The afternoon heat stunned Sophie as she walked through the garden. Mitch had invited her to his villa. There were shady arbours a fountain and along a terrace vines stretched right to the edge of the cliff.
Inside the huge marbled floored living room held two sofas of white leather, there were heavy glass coffee tables and white rugs. A gleaming brass surround framed the open fireplace and it was filled with rich purple flowers. He took her round sliding back doors to reveal a view of the garden or the pool.
She later discovered he wore pure silk; pale grey shorts, that clung to his hard body. He was so perfect she felt she must constantly touch him, as if to retain this memory. It can’t last she thought, things like this don't.

In July the fiesta finished with fireworks and the town felt hung over. Sad streamers blew in the wind. Mitch had gone. The last time he had just kissed her gently and said "See ya.” he didn't phone or write.
A sudden vision of home, safe and constant returned, but she pushed it away, thought only of Mitch coming back to her. Waiting in her bright dress in the bar she felt a chill,a premonition, at that moment he swung through the door, a girl on each arm. One gloriously leggy; with almost white hair; the other, a rounded red head. He signalled for her to join them, smiled his usual lazy smile. Sophie finshed her drink, and shook her head in answer.

At the bus station the heat and dust made her feel dirty and used. She sat for a moment on a sticky seat amongst the paper cups and bottle caps, the night dragged on as she sat and waited till dawn.
At a small cafe she drank coffee to pass the time. She realised she was surrounded by English voices, it was August, people were enjoying holidays. She was aware of the mess she must look, decided she would get back to her villa on the next bus, to sleep and then to plan. There was something familiar about the girl in front. Sophie almost started to retreat, but was too slow, the girl turned.
"Mum, oh my God is it you?" Her daughter’s face crumpled and she ran to hug her and cry too. Holidaymakers in short brushed by, but the two were oblivious to them.
“We had given you up, I can't believe it, we thought you must be dead.”
She held her daughter she had missed her, missed them all, shakily she asked "And Dad, how is Dad?"
“Deadfull Mum!, not the same at all it's really knocked the stuffing out of him".
Sophie paused trying to imagine James less stuffy, it was difficult.
There was a little money over when she had paid for her ticket. it would be her insurance, an ‘escape fund’. But for now she was willing to try again. Perhaps James would accept some changes, take her out for a meal, or to the theatre, leave his stamps for once. She was soon packing bright dresses, pale trousers and high heels away. She left out a simple blue dress to wear home then went for a last walk. The sea was milky in the evening light, the sand still warm between her toes. A butterfly swept up by the wash of water floated in,
"Poor thing" she whispered "but at least you stretched you wings in the sun didn't you?" The sun finally dipped, and it was dusk. Sophie turned to go home.

This is part 2 of five entries.   Voting for them starts after the 18th.  By then I should be in severe pain but have a new knee, so will not be replying commenting or reading, unless life treats me kindly!  Good luck to all my friends. Read and vote to support us.


Live Journal series 8 IDOL Entries for week 30. Part 1.Disappear.
Sage Grave in  A Sage gravestone in Pensford


Butterflies were dancing in the grass, Kate watched them as her mother made a fire to wash clothes at the Creek. Lovis allowed Kate to come because she was a good child. Lying down in the grass, she was chatting in her sweet way to the birds and the insects, happy and in her own dreamworld.

Her other four children were told to stay in the cabin. James Sage her husband, was out clearing the ground for a new crop, They had some horses stolen last year, it was 1793 now, early April and a bright sunny day, They recovered the horses with help from their neighbors, the man ran off avoiding capture. James and Lovis hoped life would settle again without these dramas, they loved their home and their young family.

As she lit the fire and went to get the clothes Lovis was humming a song. But when she returned to the cabin and walked back through the grassland, her heart stopped, there was no sign of Kate. She was missing! No movement save the grass sighing and the gossamer wings of butterflies glinting. Sick and faint from worry she called for Katy, then went to find James.
All night and day they searched every creek bed, and cried together when they didn’t find her. No sleep came as for weeks they called and walked the fields.
The neighbours scoured every hut and secret place a child could hide, using imagination they tried to eliminate anyone who might harbor her, but the search was hopeless.

James did detailed searches, becoming quite crazy looking for her, in desperation he contacted a woman called “Granny Moses”. So James travelled to see this woman who was supposed to have clairvoyant powers. She was in the mountains of North Carolina. He made the arduous journey with a strong conviction he would find answers. He needed to know just what had happened to his dear Kate. With tears in his eyes he told the story again to the elderly woman.

He was told when he had finished his story, “ Katy is alive and well, but you will not see her, your wife will outlive you and in very old age will hear of Katy, but will not see her.”

James had to endure the horrors of war as he followed Washington through campaigns, and this was made harder  because he  was  distraught about never finding Katy. He returned home to work on his land, yet often although they had more children, they both talked of Katy, and at every family gathering she was remembered.   The memories were fainter, but in a Mother and Father’s hearts she lived on.

Thirty one years later James died and was buried at the farm, and Lovis stayed on her land at Elk Creek, her children grown and scattered now.
Charles one of the boys settled in Kansas and in 1854 met an Indian agent. The agent looked at him questioning where he came from and did he have a female relative amongst the Shawnee Indians?
He went on to explain that there was a white woman who bore a striking resemblance to Charles. At first Charles thought this was not his concern, then he reflected and asked the agent if he could see the woman?

The woman was sent for, and appeared in front of Charles, when he saw her Charles felt sudden shock, this woman who was about sixty, was the image of his mother twenty years ago. All the features and colouring were the same.

She told him through an interpreter her name was indeed Kate, and although she spoke no English now, she recounted her history which included three marriages to Indian chiefs, and the birth of one son. Her son had since died and so had her husbands. She had been with the Cherokees and the Shawnees and living in that area for a while. She also knew she had once come from another place and been stolen by a white man. Her name she always kept, she was still Kate.

Another brother lived in Missouri, Samuel was able to come and confirm she did look like his sister. So the brothers wrote to their mother asking if she could remember anything special about Katy. Lovis was nearly 90, but wrote back with the information.

The letter came at last from Elk Creek, yes, she had a birth mark on her shoulder, and they discovered the ginger coloured birth mark and knew without doubt this was the sister they lost.
As they all went through the elation of a preparing a proper reunion with her mother and the family, Kate who was packing to go on the journey became ill with pneumonia and died. The earlier prophesy came true.

She was buried in a family grave, her ashes joining those of her Mother and brothers, under a western plains sky, which even now has changed very little, and there are still those who pass on the story, and those who listen and understand the saga of the family, fragments of other lives that will continue in folk lore.
That blood runs through my veins, the blood that made James the strong man he was, the blood that made the other members of the Sage clan go to America and Canada, and become part of a new world. Yet in a sleepy Somerset village, the graves mark the ones who stayed behind my great grandfathers. Imagination is our transport, we can fly like the eagles over Western Planes, or skim over lakes in Ontario, we can soar over deserts in Australia, there are no boundaries and with us we carry those memories and they will never die.

The above grave is one of my family, The Sage family originated in Somerset. They were mostly farmers.
Some facts are not consistant in the records, Kate was Cate in one, Lovis was spelled Lovisa, and the grave of Kate may in fact be on an Indian reservation.  But I love the story and only found it recently.

This is part 1 of five entries.   Voting for them starts after the 18th.  By then I should be in severe pain but have a new knee, so will not be replying commenting or reading, unless life treats me kindly!  Good luck to all my friends. Read and vote to support us.

http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/574285.html      Thank you!


lj idol series 8. Week 29. "Laviathan"


. He really was ugly in this light, why had she agreed to come! His eyes were devouring her, she felt vulnerable, precariously isolated in this dark place. As her heart pounded and he drew closer she felt like an animal, trapped and in desperate peril. The very odour he exuded was inducing fear.

‘My dear’, he sneered, ‘how amazing to find you here.’ She backed away, ambushed, now with no escape,  feeling the cold metal behind her.
Exposed now in this harsh lamplight, his face appeared more distorted. The rocking boat swung the light back and forth.
Everything she hoped for was now in jeopardy. With a sickening sense of foreboding she tried rashly to smile. The deck tilted suddenly.

‘Hello, Mr. Jones, you frightened me to death.’

‘If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again!’
The quote came back to her. A quote about a different monster. The mythical monster.

 He was not a myth but was the real and immediate threat. The waves crashed against the hull, and in the dark recess  of the lifeboat dock she was hidden from view. Few strollers were out on deck tonight anyway. The biting wind kept them in their salons. The liner was not due to dock until morning. In New York, a job waited, and her new employers. A chance for her to get a toehold on life, and help her mother.

Jenny’s strong spirit had kept her seeking change. It was what set her apart from the wenches serving in ale houses and in service. Her bright eyes and creamy skin, her love of living. In spite of the reality of her life, she had always been an optimist. Always tried to see the good in others; until Mr. Jones that was. Her chance to leave the squalor and poverty of London hanging in the balance.

‘I saw you leave the dining room and thought how brave you were my sweet one.’ His podgy hands reached out to her.
‘What do you mean?’ she said shrinking away.
‘You said we could meet sometime, and we have much to discuss, but on such a night! ‘

Jenny had a bunk in steerage, he had sent numerous messages from his first class cabin, most of them she had ignored, till this one. Her final decision was one of desperation. Hidden in her sleeve she took the only weapon she had, and hoped it wasn’t needed.

‘You should not delay me sir, tell me what news you have of my Mother, I’m cold and need to get back inside.’

Jenny thought about her Mother, last seen at the door of the almshouse, desperately thin and resigned to her final days being in that dreadful place. Having money defined who you were, or if the path you followed was smooth or rough.

The man now before her had a pock marked face,  skin puckered and erupting in pustules. His huge frame swelled even larger in the middle, buttons strained on his snakeskin waistcoat. He towered above her, and slowly pushed his hand into a pocket, taking out a pocket watch before replying.

“You have reasons to be nice to me’ He replaced the watch,  his piggy eyes surveying her, smugly waiting for her reply.

Jenny shook her head, ‘I know nothing of those reasons Mr. Jones.’

‘Well my dear lady, I have been busy, when I heard you were to sail from Southampton, I so wanted to be on the same vessel, and had much to arrange Mr. Mancula has my authority to find a small cottage, your Mother can be more comfortable, her needs are few, she can see her days out on the edge of the Forrest of Dean, now isn’t that kind of me?’ He looked pleased with himself.

Dark waves and small glinting lights distracted Jenny. The shore was getting closer.

 She remembered her first meeting with the vile Mr. Jones. In the service of Lord Hall and his family, he had been a guest of the family invited because of his business connections. There for the shoot, he had quickly shown he found her irresistible.
Why hadn’t he wanted Annie instead ?, Annie would have bedded him; no, he wanted her, and made that plain. Jenny had managed with some help from George the footman to get away, or keep herself in view of the family. Mr. Jones found out as much as he could gleaning information from Annie, who was not likely to pass up a chance for easy cash.

Jones lunged suddenly grasping her around the waist, trying to put his face close to hers.

The name of the liner she sailed on was the same as the monster she had read about as a child, she remembered snatches of the story... her body fought as her mind tried hard to find a way out.

She twisted away trying to get free from the wall and closer to the rail. With her left hand she pushed at his face. Her right hand delved into the sleeve, but then his strength defeated her. For a moment he smiled a foul smile of triumph and he attempted to pull her supple body closer.

Her courage returned and she smiled a hestitant smile. She needed a moment or two, some precious recovery time, for one final act. Concentrating on a spot on his throat her eyes tried to keep focused as he kissed her cheek and slobbered in her ear, his evil breath made her blanch, but she kept her resolve. With a sudden pounce she stabbed deep into the side of his neck, hitting the jugular. He twisted in pain away from her; The small paring knife in his throat, silencing him, except for a choking sound as his blood oozed.

Horrified Jenny leapt back away from the torrent of blood. He slumped across the rail his head low towards the sea, as if the fates were there to help her, he lost his grip and went almost slowly into the dark waves. The engines churned on and he was soon lost.

 There was a faint sound of music from the salon, a late dance still in progress. Jenny felt nausea wash over her, and stumbled towards the lifeboat. The cool bulkhead behind her head supported her until she recovered. A squall of gale force swirled around the ship, and lashing rain washed the deck.

Her whole body trembled,, and her teeth chattered. There would be a cold dawn to face, and moments of pain when this returned in nightmares. The enormity of her actions may haunt her forever. Yet as she went towards the music, she felt only release.
She imagined sending her mother money and bringing her to this vibrant city,  it would be so good to spend their days together.
Her job as a nanny and the thought of the beautiful park where she would walk the children lifted her spirits. Yet for Jenny the sea would never give her rest. She eventually settled in the mountains far away from the sound of the relentless waves.

Footnote the ’Leviathan’ first took paying passengers in 1923, it stopped service in 1933, and was broken up in 1938.

Quotes about the mythical monster;
Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope?
Can you put a cord through his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook? Will he keep begging you for mercy? Will he speak to you with gentle words?

100 things No 1. Inspiration.


Today there were several news items that caught my attention. One of the stories about bullying had me wanting to write, so am writing a letter to the paper. This is not the letter just a bit of background;

The mother in the article confronted the bully and told him she would cut his heart out with a spoon. Like that.

My middle child was being bashed every day when he was about 8, I didn't know but a mother told me when she witnessed it. He had come home pale and tear streaked but didn't tell me this happened for a week or two. Anyway I dealt with it full on, no 'pussy footing' about the school and the 'procedure' I went straight to the mother. She denied her angelic child could do this, but other mothers confirmed it she had to concede, and it stopped. Similar case when I was 10, My mother took me to the school made me punch the boy who was hitting me, I was scared stiff too. OK this would be frowed on now, but hey it works.
Another mother empowered her girls when bullied on FB. They rang the person and said they would be round to discuss it. Bullies don't like direct approaches, they can hide easier. I have had the subtle bullying other women sometimes try. Leaving you out, doing the whisper campaign, which means spreading something unpleasant about you which is not true. Again I confronted that when it happened. If you leave it they win. If you fight it you still may lose friends, but at least you tried. Never give up.

So this article made me want to write, perhaps not poetic and lyrical, but real life.

lj idol week 28. series 8. Walking on eggshells.
A modern tale.

Maggie is at her evening class, it will be at least two hours before she comes back, sinks into a chair and falls asleep, telling you first she had a ‘hellish’ day and did you pick up the dry cleaning? Juggling Melanie’s spaghetti to her table at the high chair and watching the toast for Tim, you try to keep one eye on the sport’s report on T.V. Mealtimes are always chaos, Tim is five now and tries to be good; just now he’s picking up toys beneath Melanie’s chair, you try again to hear the score while buttering toast. The bellow as Tim pokes Melanie and she retaliates with her spoon finalizes that opportunity. Soon, you will be splattered in soap and toothpaste and starting the bedtime stories.

Then three glasses of water and six threats of ‘ No TV,’ later blissful silence will settle on the toy strewn lounge. Only then you can close your eyes and dream of golf courses, of days when you had a few drinks with the boys. Those days are confined to the past. Guilt-ridden you pick up squashed biscuits; half chewed toast and crumpled storybooks. The mirror shows your pale face, badly needing a shave. Haven’t had a holiday for a while and sleep starved nights don’t help. Melanie is only two and wakes often, she always frets for Dad, suppose it shows she bonded with you at the start, as you were the one who woke for her in the first weeks.

It was different for your Dad, he would come home, grunt, put the paper over his face and await his call to the dinner table. Dreadful cholesterol rich meals; crunchy potatoes and gravy. Then he would smoke a pack of cigarettes and drink a few bottles of beer. Maggie your wife, watches everything, and eats like a bird herself. You remember when she was pretty and had a bit more flesh on her bones, and sex is off the menu unless It's 'on her schedule.’
There should be some spontaneous fun , or is that taken out of the contract? You asked if she could make something like a dessert and got your head chewed off. Mum used to make steamed puddings, you sometimes find yourself dreaming about hot syrup dumplings, an escapism of the culinary kind. An indulgence in food porn.
You have to get a presentation ready for the sales meeting tomorrow. So, you quickly eat some cold pasta and start working. Eyes feel heavy, it’s hard to fight sleep. You even snored in the middle of Rathbone’s sparkling new advertising ideas last week.

Putting the books back a copy of the ‘Female Eunuch’ falls into your hands, strange that book must be thirty years out of date, when women were downtrodden and burned bras, you consider how times have changed and replace the book next to the old bible. It’s easier to conform than spend life treading on eggshells.

‘The way we were.’ 1960.

This wasn’t the way it should be. My eyes were stuck together through sleep deprivation, and feeding the baby had taken an hour. The pale winter sun showed up the thick dust in the living room, a pile of ironing was stacked so high it might fall off the chair. I know the washing in the laundry is starting to make its presence known as the smell is creeping down the hallway. Must do something or he will be provoked again. Not much time.
How long does that give me before he gets home? About four hours. Hope he feels better, and also please....please don’t let there have been another drinking session, and then him grabbing me. The outcome... rough, brutal sex, and for him alone. The baby cooed, and I looked back, she was so beautiful, and together we were coping OK. I was still feeding her and she was four months soon. Money was short and I had to really budget to make ends meet. Tom was still going out with the boys every Friday, which seemed unfair, but what could I say? I could just afford a lipstick and my hair was a tangled mess, other women managed, guess I would.
In my irrational moments I railed against this imbalance, after all women can learn to shoot, if they can’t fight can’t they? I really felt that desperate some days, and was barely keeping the angst under control.
As Tammy slept I quickly disinfected the washing, and tried to make the pile smaller. I actually buried one diaper in the garden, before attacking the rest with scrubbing brush and bleach. Hanging out four lines in the tearing wind was exhausting.

Two hours to go; put some meat in to cook in a casserole. He likes a pudding, quickly rub some butter and flour together, a few apples remain, so make a crumble. Tammy wakes and I am feeding her; slumberous as she gazes up at me. I am almost asleep as she sucks and smiles, relaxing in the sunlit room.

He will say ‘What have you done all day?’ Inferring he has been slaving and I have been lazy. So I change and settle her and rouse myself to chores again. I will not tell him how tired I am, or how depressed I feel. Those admissions just antagonise him.

I spray polish around, and swipe at the worst areas of dust. The casserole smells good, and the crumble is a bit too well cooked but I fervently hope it will do, Half an hour...... a quick wash a spray of cheap perfume and a slash of pink lipstick. Tammy is playing in her pen, the table is laid. I flick on an electric log fire. Almost too late I notice the ironing pile, Oh god, quickly I abandon everything and stuff it in the nearest cupboard. He hates domestic chaos and snapped acerbicly last time it happened. The car drives into the garage, and as a not quite perfect ’Stepford’ wife I go to welcome him home.