Category Archives: Imagination

Irma and the Merchant of Venice

 

I subscribe to a blog Murder is Everywhere.  Here various authors write about whatever is worrying them or filling their thoughts at any given time.

I received this from Jeff this morning and although I don’t know who Jeff is, I hope that he won’t mind my sharing it with you.

******

Here I am, sitting on a beautiful, sunny Aegean island, utterly glued to a TV as natural disasters of unheard of historic proportions crisscross our world.  I’m not sure if they’re on top of, below, or in addition to the plethora of man-made political disasters out there simultaneously raging for attention, but nature’s wrath has pushed thoughts of man’s foibles and follies out of my mind, at least temporarily.

That said, Portia’s speech in Act 4, Scene 1 of the Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare kept running through my mind. [N.B. If you didn’t know it was his work until I mentioned Willy’s name, then you probably won’t appreciate what follows]

2 william-shakespeare-hulton-archive-getty

Not being one to resist tinkering with a classic poetic masterpiece, I updated her Honor’s pitch to justice, to address Hurricane Irma and what lesson there may be for us in it—and the many other natural disasters plaguing our planet. Here goes:

The quality of Irma is not constrained,
It droppeth not as gentle rain from heaven
Upon the sea beneath: but is aimed west;
To target him that stays, not she that flees.
‘Though mightiest last midweek, Irma now sees succumb
Proud Miami armed with rage and frown;
To her specter of the force of nature’s power,
An attribute to flaw and travesty,
In those heads that doth not grasp rightful things.
For nature ignores such misguided ways;
And enthrones in the heart of all things,
An attribute to God’s power itself;
That man’s earthly powers cannot challenge God’s
Nature, seasons or justice. Therefore, You,
Though no floods be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the path of nature, none of us
Will find salvation: in prayer for mercy;
Unless that same prayer doth teach us all to render
Misdeeds to nature, and others in our clutch
That mitigate life and churn up our seas,
We’ll soon follow the looming curse of Venice,
And give sentence ‘gainst our very being.

MAY GOD BLESS AND PROTECT ALL IN HARM’S WAY.

 

Our thoughts go to all our friends in the US who may be in the path of Irma or
who have friends and family in its path. 

 

 

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Weekly Writing Challenge 29/01/13

Embrace

Have you discovered the Weekly Writing Challenge yet?  For this week’s challenge we were given this picture and asked to write a blog around it.

Do you see the activity in the photo?  Several groups of people milling around the tram stop, some ascending the hill and some descending.  And the couple on the opposite side of the road, standing on the rain-swept steps saying hello or goodbye.

Well those of you who have read any of my posts in the past know that I am an incurable romantic.  So I see these two young lovers being forced to say goodbye.  Their liaison is not encouraged by either set of parents and in fact, we can see her parents waiting impatiently on the other side of the road for her to finish her goodbyes and to board the tram with them. And if she doesn’t hurry they will miss this tram and have to wait another 20 minutes for the next one.  Why doesn’t she hurry when she knows that it will only make things worse if they miss the tram because of her?

But our two young lovers are in no hurry to part.  They know that once they do it may well be several years before they see each other again – if at all.  He is going off to America to school while she is forced to stay here in Turin to continue her studies and to help look after ailing grandparents.  The young couple has discovered that it is possible for her to go with him  to study in the US but it is also impossible.  Her duty to her family is so well inculcated in her being that she finds it almost unthinkable to walk away from her responsibilities.

But why should this be in one so young?  Why should these responsibilities fall on her young shoulders?  The elderly grandparents have each lived a long and probably useful and happy life; the parents too have lived and have no doubt enjoyed, many years of happiness together, so why therefore, should this young woman not be allowed the same chance of happiness.

For the past several weeks, the mother has been nagging her to stay.  Not to go to the US with the young man.  “Who will help with Nonni if you go? ”  ” I am getting older and I should have some time now to enjoy myself”  “Dont be so selfish.  Think of others” she says constantly.  “But I should also be allowed time to enjoy myself; time to find out who I am and where in this world I fit” responds the young woman.  Then the father chimes in with “Your Mamma and I have spent many years tending you and providing for your health and well-being.  Now it is time for you to consider us”.

The young woman is torn between longing to get away with her lover and her duty to her family.  So many questions plague her mind.  If she doesn’t go with him will he find somebody new in this new world into which he is going?  And will he soon forget her and the promises they have made to each other?  Or will he come back to her after his studies are finished as he has promised.

If she stays will she always regret not going with him and if she goes will she regret not being the obedient daughter she was trained to be.  How can she make a decision, one so important that it could well change the rest of her life.

But now we see from the picture that a decision has been made.  Because she is a dutiful  Italian daughter and has been brought up with the idea of family being the most important thing in the world, she will let him go to America without her.  She will stay to help look after the old grandparents and if necessary, her own parents who are also getting older.  She will keep her love alive by letters and emails and occasional telephone calls to and from her lover and trust that he will come back to her once his studies are over.

But we fear for her.  We think that once he is free from his family restrictions  and expectations (although as a son the expectations of his caring for family members is not so strong) he might find that the attractions of this new life quickly erase the memories of his old life.  And unfortunately this might include the girl.

If this should be so, will she become embittered and blame her parents for her unhappiness.  Or alternatively, with her young lover in America for several years will she be the one who doesn’t keep her promises.?  Will she find another boy to love?  And this one may well be more suited to her and her life; staying in the area and thereby allowing her to fulfil her obligations to her family without surrendering her life to them.

Perhaps we can revisit this young couple and their family at some later stage to check on them and how their lives are working out. I think I should like to do that.

Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.
Anthony Brandt
, author

A Mistake

Yesterday I published two posts.  The second by mistake.  I was so taken up with the story of Maisie and the Swarthy Gent in the Panama hat, that I hit publish and so it did so immediately. I had meant to programme it for today.

So today I am going to rest on my laurels and hope you enjoy both of yesterday’s posts – the one in response to the Trifecta Challenge entitled An Extremely Difficult Task and the second one continuing the saga of Maisie and her friends.

Two women on beach

Oh yes, they still had their hats but…

 

The Swarthy Gent in the Panama Hat

We left Maisie and her friends, way back in October, fidgeting and worrying about the Swarthy Gent due to call upon Maisie the following day.  The story continues..

After a restless night during which Maisie was convinced she had no more than a few snatched minutes of sleep, she was awakened by Jackson with her morning tea and the morning newspaper.

Usually Maisie was content to lie abed and sip her tea while reading the newspaper, but this morning she had too much on her mind to settle.  So she asked Jackson to pour her bath and having drunk the tea repaired to the bathroom to attend to her morning ablutions.

Dressed, she descended the stairs to breakfast.  This over she decided to call her friends to confirm that they would be with her well before the appointed time for Fotheringham to call.  They each assured her that they would and Juliet suggested that they have lunch together at a new tearoom that had recently opened in the area.  Imogen agreed with this suggestion and so it was decided.

None of the three friends felt like shopping even for new hats and so they met at the tea room at the appointed time and it was a subdued trio who sat down to a light lunch.

Lunch over they retired to Maisie’s house to await the arrival of the guest.  They were still worrying about him and the reason for his calling upon Maisie right up until the time of his arrival.

Promptly at 4pm the front door bell rang, followed by the tap-tap of Jackson’s feet on the tiled front entry.  This then was followed by Jackson’s knock on the door of the drawing room.  The gentleman had arrived and Maisie instructed Jackson to bring him in.

What a handsome fellow he was and how gallantly he greeted each of the ladies in turn.  He appeared just a little surprised to see three ladies instead of the one he expected.  However he quickly recovered his equilibrium.

Jackson was instructed to bring tea and while they waited for this they indulged in the usual small talk about the weather (very English), what friends they had in common but no talk about the depression or the recent stock market crash.  Ladies did not discuss such disasters.

Tea arrived and when all had been served, Maisie decided to take charge of the meeting.  She expressed her surprise at the intrusion into her life of a complete stranger and in her usual straight forward manner asked him what he wanted.

Thomas Anthony Winston Fotheringham, aka “Billy” Fotheringham was unused to being addressed in such a forthright way by a lady and spluttered into his tea cup.  When he had recovered his breath he said that what he had to say should probably be told to the Countess of Waverley in private.  “What nonsense” snapped Maisie.  “Whatever you have to say may be said in front of these two ladies”.

“Well then,” countered Fotheringham “the truth of the matter is that I am the illegitimate brother of your husband, the Hon Reginald Benton-Smythe.  His father had a liaison with a local woman in India and I am the result. ”

He went on to say that Major Thomas Fotheringham had been the old Earl’s batman and when the pregnancy was discovered, he accepted a large gratuity from the Earl in exchange for staying in India, marrying the pregnant woman and bringing up the boy as his own.

Can you imagine the looks that passed between the three ladies at this news?  They were stunned; almost incoherent.  “But that’s not possible”  and “How could that be?” and “Reggie’s father would never do anything like that”.

Through all the spluttering and exclamations Billy Fotheringham sat unmoving with a small, sardonic smile playing around his mouth.  He assured Maisie that he was indeed her brother-in-law and proposed to remain in London making the most of this family ties.  Maisie was horrified.  What could she do to stop Reggie being ruined and his father and their family name being dragged through the mud.

“Just what do you expect to get out of this preposterous tale?” she enquired in an imperious voice; the voice that had been known to shrivel lesser mortals in their shoes.

“Just what is mine by rights” was the reply.  “And in case you are asking I can prove my claim.  I have come into possession of a pack of letters sent by your father-in-law to my mother.  And I have the deathbed confession of the man who I always thought was my father.  These things are irrefutable and are available for inspection by you, your husband or any other reputable person you wish to name.”

“Are these papers in your possession now?” enquired Maisie.

“Would I be foolish enough to carry them around with me when London is full of footpads and pickpockets?  No, they are in a safe place where only I can get ahold of them.  So what do you want to do now?  Do you want time to discuss it with your husband and father-in-law, or can we make a deal between us?”

The effrontery of the man quite took away Maisie’s breath.  How was she going to deal with him and the fall out if his claims became known in Society?  She would need some time to think and plan; perhaps consult Reggie; certainly consult Sir Charles (Juliet’s brother) and his friend Sir Hector Ryder, Head of the Metropolitan Police and maybe even  the ailing Earl.

But time was certainly needed.  She would put this scoundrel off for a couple of days to give Sir Charles and Sir Hector time to delve more deeply into this man’s past, although the thought of bringing the fellow’s claims to their attention  horrified her.

“Well obviously I shall need some time to consider what you have told me this afternoon” she said. “And equally obviously I shall need to see the so-called proof of the relationship between you and my husband.  So I suggest that you leave now and come back again in two days time, with some proof of your claim at which time I shall have an answer for you.”

With that, the swarthy gentleman picked up his Panama hat, gave each of the ladies a broad smile, thanked the Countess and took his leave.

A shocked silence remained in the drawing room after his departure.

To be continued….

Christmas Again!

holly

“Christmas is coming and the geese are getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat;
If you haven’t got a penny a ha’penny will do,
If you haven’t got a ha’penny then God bless you!”
Nursery rhyme and Christmas carol (frequently sung as a round)

Well Christmas with all the excitement and busyness is almost upon us.  No doubt you are looking forward to many parties and celebrations culminating in a special time with your family and friends.

I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you some of the facts and fallacies surrounding Christmas as we now celebrate it.

Did you know?

  • Clement Moore’s 1823 poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas” was the catalyst for the reinvention of St Nicholas into the jolly, fat image of Santa we now know?
  • Also invented by Moore, Santa’s travels are invariably connected to reindeer.  In the poem they are pictured charging through a winter sky complete with strong, elaborate horns.  But in winter reindeer lose their horns so are Santa’s reindeer all female or are they castrated males?
  • Moore omitted to tell us that St Nicholas was Turkish.  He was real and was born in Patara, Turkey.  He was an early Christian and in the 4th Century he became bishop of the district of Demre where some of his bones can still be visited.  Little fact is known of him, only oral legends relating to his goodness and kindness to children.
  • Another poem, this one by Frank Baum (who wrote The Wizard of Oz) told that Santa lived in a valley called Ho Ho Ho.  American marketers quickly picked up on the poem and Ho Ho Ho became Santa brand’s catch cry.
  • The song Jingle Bells never mentions Christmas and has no connection to Christmas.  It was originally composed for America’s Thanksgiving festival in 1857.
  • Nobody knows when Jesus was born or died. For many centuries people in the northern hemisphere celebrated the winter solstice, the shortest day and the turning point in the long, often hard, cold winter.  Some 300 years after Jesus’ (guessed at) death date, Pope Julius I announced that 25th December would be the date to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  As Christianity spread around the world, this date took over the existing festivities and became “Christmas”.  The word Christmas didn’t come into being until 1032 AD.
  • The bible doesn’t say that three kings visited the baby Jesus but refers to “Wise men from the east”.  They may well have been astronomers (they did follow a star) or Zoroastrian priests and the fact that the three gifts, Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh are mentioned is the possible basis for assuming there were three visitors.
  • And the gifts they brought.  Gold and Frankincense would be acceptable but in ancient times Myrrh was very expensive and used in embalming dead bodies and was burned at funerals to disguise the smell of bodies that hadn’t been embalmed.  Why would it be brought to a newborn child?
  • And everybody’s favourite – Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol”.  There have been 14 versions of this story.
  • Four Calling Birds in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.  Originally it was four colly birds, colly being the ancient word for black (as in collier and coal) so colly birds were black birds.  As time went by colly fell out of use and didn’t make sense so people started saying four calling birds.  This doesn’t make sense either.
  • Decorated evergreen trees have been part of December celebrations in Europe for many centuries reminding everyone that spring is just around the corner.  The decorated Christmas tree became accepted in the UK when Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and the children were depicted in the “Illustrated London News” standing around a lavishly decorated Christmas tree.
  • The use of X as in Xmas is not at all invalid or disrespectful.  The word Christ was never part of Jesus’ name, it is a title assigned by later worshippers in Greek meaning ‘the anointed one’.  In ancient Greece the letter chi was written with a symbol very like an X and the title assigned to Jesus was Xristos and was frequently abbreviated to just X.  So writing Christmas as Xmas has been considered acceptable for some 1000 years.  Note early publications were charged by the number of letters so using X in Xmas was encouraged.
  • The wassail ritual was an ancient pre-Christian custom of drinking a toast to the sun after the northern mid-winter approximately 25 December and hopes for a bountiful harvest in the coming warmer months. Hence the song ‘Here we come a-wassailing’ was a gathering of friends drinking a toast.  “Waes hael” in ancient English means “Be healthy” and the usual drink was a mixture of spices, apple juice and eggs.  (Give me a G&T any time).
  • Christmas was cancelled in England in the 1640s when Puritan law forbade churches to open on Christmas Day and banned home decorations, celebrations, carol singing and the creating of Nativity scenes.  December 25 was declared a day of everyday work and fasting.  The outraged populace made Christmas observances in secret until the Monarchy was restored in 1660 and King Charles II restored Christmas.
  • And finally, a horse named Santa Claus won the Epsom Derby in 1964.

So there you have my list – as my son always says I have a fund of useless information.  Enjoy it anyway.

Christmas tree

Image via Wikipedia

“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”
Charles Dickens.

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The White Dress

White Dress

Occasionally one comes across a picture/photo that speaks volumes and at the same time raises questions.  This picture was included in an invitation to the opening of the summer season for one of our well known dress designers, Trelise Cooper  Included in the opening will be a showing of photographs by Melanie Mason several of which have been printed onto parchment and will be offered for sale.  This is one of Melanie’s photographs.

The photo speaks to me of some of the villages I saw in Tuscany, set on hillsides with steep roads leading up to the houses.  The houses have deep, sloping roofs and as in this case, many have windows opening over the street and some have very small balconies projecting above the street.

So this photo immediately posed the question of why was the white dress hanging outside the window?  Was it there to dry having been washed, to air before being put away after having been worn, or was it there as a sign?

Perhaps here lives a damsel in distress who needs rescuing by her knight in shining armour.  Her much older husband is very rich but uncaring of her.  He spends his nights carousing with his friends and with harlots and she feels neglected.  And so this married woman has sought love and understanding in the arms of a younger man.  It may be that her husband is away for the night and therefore, this dress which in this case becomes a nightdress, gives the information to her swain that the coast will be clear this evening.

And what will be his response?  Will he arrive after dark so that nobody sees his arrival?  Will he boldly walk through the front door of what I think is a palazzo owned by the husband’s family and therefore, manned by his trusty retainers?  If this is the case, the lovers will have to be particularly careful not to raise any suspicion.  How will they do this?  And would it not be easier to arrange to meet at an hotel or other place away from prying eyes?  But wait, maybe that is what the white dress is saying – “Meet me at the hotel on White’s Road”.  No doubt there will be less likelihood of the tryst being reported back to the husband.

So I vote for the message being to meet at the hotel.

But perhaps after all the more mundane answer to my question is the right one.  No lovers’ message here.  Simply it tells us that the lady of the house wore the dress last night and it is now being hung out to air or dry before being put away to wear again.  Maybe she is greatly loved by her older or even young husband and has no need for trysts with knights in shining armour.

Do you see a message here too.  I would like to hear it if so.

BREAKING NEWS – I have just returned from the showing.  Fabulous clothes but more importantly I met Melanie.  What a truly delightful person she is and I hope to see more of her in the future.  I also bought a copy of her book, Goodbye, which contains a collection of photos with accompanying prose.  I was wrong – the photo was not taken in Tuscany but rather in St Remy de Provence, France.  the accompanying prose is by Colette.  As the book is “for times of sadness and loss” the prose deals with loss.

“It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer… and everything collapses. ”

Hysteria

Clapping hands

Note – This is Blog No 501.  Worthy of applause? Now for tonight’s blog.

Tonight we went to the movies.  Yes again.  The choice of movies at our local bijoux theatre was good – The Wish, Your Sister’s Sister, On The Road and more, and we chose Hysteria.

It is described as a romp through London in the late 1800s when Hysteria was a catch-all phrase for many women’s problems.  Click here to see the trailer.

I thought it was all terribly ‘tongue in cheek’ until I looked up our good friends at Wikipedia.  Here we learn “hysteria was a once-common medical diagnosis, made exclusively in women, which is today no longer recognized by modern medical authorities as a medical disorder. Its diagnosis and treatment were routine for many hundreds of years in Western Europe.”

It appears that there really was a Dr (Joseph) Mortimer Granville who invented the electro-mechanical vibrator as a means to achieve this ‘paroxysm” in his female patients without his (the doctor) having to stand for up to an hour administering the ‘pelvic massage’.  There had been an earlier invention by an American physician,  a steam-powered vibrator called ‘The Manipulator’ .  Granville’s invention was rapidly followed by other contraptions none of which could be manipulated away from the doctor’s surgery.

Sears catalogue advertising vibrator

A 1918 Sears, Roebuck and Co. ad with several models of vibrators. via Wikipedia

Then along came electricity giving the ability to use vibrators in one’s own home, then of course, came all sorts of battery operated toys including vibrators.  And if we are to believe all we are told millions of vibrators reside in homes around the world.  But no,  I won’t ask if you have one.

Yet More on the Bonnets

A few days ago I wrote about Promises to Keep and was reminded that several of my posts ended in To Be Continued..and in fact they never had been continued.  So I am making a concerted effort to make good and keep those promises made.

Today I shall start with the continuing saga of The Bonnets.  In case you don’t know this saga started in June when Sallyann of Photographic Memories wrote a post about some bonnets left in a taxi cab and suggested that I might come up with the answer to why they were there.

Bonnets in taxi

Photo thanks to Sallyann at Photographic Memories.
Click on the picture to go to Sallyann’s post.

If you are interested in reading this saga, the links will appear at the foot of this post.

Caroline Fortescue (more usually known as Daisie) borrowed a couple of her grandmother’s hats to go to a 1950s party with her friend Charlotte.  Of course, her grandmother Maisie was delighted to lend the girls a couple of hats and she and her two best friends Juliet and Imogen entered into the spirit and produced some hats of their own for the girls to choose which they preferred.

The party was a success (?) but when the girls awoke the next day the bonnets were missing and they had to confess to Maisie et al.  Another string of adventures followed while the bonnets were located but as is usually the case with Maisie and friends involved, all didn’t go smoothly.  In recovering the bonnets the two ladies stopped off for a light lunch before which they indulged in some shopping during which they each bought a new hat.  And you’ve guessed it, the new hats to which the two ladies had treated themselves were lost during the course of the day.

So now the story continues…Thomas   Stazyk commented after the last post “Yes . . . and what about that swarthy gentleman in the Panama hat seen lurking in the department store and later driving past Maisie’s in a late model sports car?” So that takes the story off in yet another direction.

After her two friends left, Maisie sat pondering the question of where were the new hats?  She remembered she and Juliet had them at lunch and was sure that they had taken them to the lost property office.  She recalled placing the bag containing the hats at her feet while she filled out the required form to take away the bonnets but had no recollection of what happened after that.  So the very next morning she called the lost property office and having spoken to the same very helpful young woman, found that the hats were indeed just where they had left them the day before.  Maisie thought to herself that any cleaner working for her would be instantly dismissed if she/he didn’t see such a large parcel on the floor when completing the evening cleaning tasks.

Anyway, so the bonnets were found and could be returned to their rightful owners.  Juliet was called as was Imogen.  Neither lady wished to upset their friend again in leaving her out of the adventure.  Then having agreed where to meet,  all three sallied forth yet again to recover their new hats and have a light luncheon before returning home.  And the swarthy gentleman?  Well that really does have to be the subject of yet another post.

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Wet Wild Windy Wellington Weekend

Well it’s the second weekend of Spring but somebody forgot to tell the powers that be.  We should be out and about smelling the spring flowers, enjoying the balmy weather and wearing our lighter spring attire.

Alas, both yesterday and today the fickle Wellington weather has proven to us once again that it cannot be relied upon.  Yesterday we had wild winds and today we have had torrential rain and gale force winds.  We have hunkered down only venturing out when absolutely necessary.  Fortunately for me (and Lotte) my friend is quite happy to take her out for her walk while I sit reading my Charlie Fox novel.

I have written before about Zoe Sharp’s protagonist Charlie Fox  and today I read Fifth Victim.  At the end of the earlier novel – Fourth Day – Charlie’s lover Sean Mayer was critically injured and now lies in a coma.  Charlie is attempting to come to terms with this as she sits at his side each day hoping for some sign of life and/or recognition from him.  But he lies unmoving and unresponsive and she wonder what will become of her without him.

Her boss, Parker Armstrong head of the Close Protection Company, Armstrong-Meyer determines that Charlie needs to do something and so he assigns her to guard a rich young woman.  The young woman, Dina lives in the Hamptons with her  mother and fills her days riding her champion horses, shopping  and attending social  functions and parties.   Because of a spate of kidnappings among the children of the fabulously wealthy set in which her daughter moves, her mother is fearful that she might be the next  victim

While Charlie strikes up a friendly relationship with her charge she is hard put to keep her out of harm’s way and when another of the set is kidnapped and brutally murdered Charlie must unravel the mystery of who, what and why.

This is another well written, fast paced novel that is hard to put down.  The very thing to fill in a wet, wild, windy, Wellington day.

Obviously, I am completely taken with Zoe Sharp’s character and can’t wait for the next book.  I hope you are sitting at the computer writing away now Zoe.

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Found at last

Bonnets in taxi

Photo thanks to Sallyann at Photographic Memories.
Click on the picture to go to Sallyann’s post.

You may recall that a couple of months ago, Sallyann at Photographic Memories posted a picture of a couple of hats reclining in an (abandoned?) taxi cab.  She also gave me a challenge to come up with a story as to why they were there.

Needless to say, my mind started to hum and I did come up with a story, but it was left unfinished at the end of June.  Since then the characters in the story have been hammering at me to finish it.  So…

We left Maisie Benton-Smythe, more properly called the Countess of Waverley and her good friend Juliet Drummond finishing off their day of frustration with a couple of large G & T and the promise of a good meal with Juliet’s husband, Major Sir Claude Drummond.

They agreed that they would start early the next day and call as many of the taxi companies as possible.  Meantime, they would enjoy their evening.

The next day dawned and as promised Juliet arrived early.  The two women had hardly had their first cup of coffee when Jackson, the parlour-maid came in with the telephone.  The caller was the helpful young woman from central booking who had provided Juliet with a long list of taxi owners, but more importantly a number for property left in taxis.  This helpful young woman had taken it on herself to call the property office to enquire whether the bonnets had turned up and to her delight, she was told they had.  So she wasted no time in calling Maisie’s house to give her the good news.

As the lost property office was in the centre of town, the two women decided to make an outing, have lunch, do a little shopping (for hats maybe) and then go and claim the bonnets before returning home in the afternoon.  Well as you can imagine, things did not necessarily go as planned where these women were concerned,

Oh, they finished their coffee and had a cab called to take them to their favourite department store where they spent a happy hour looking at hats and finally each buying one.  Then pleased with their purchases they went off for lunch.  A grand time was had as they met up with their other great friend, Imogen Carruthers who was now completely recovered from the damage to her shoulder.  She was a little put out that they hadn’t included her in this adventure and declared that she would accompany them when they picked up the bonnets.

So after lunch, another cab was called and off they went.  Once at the office it was relatively easy to claim the bonnets having proved that they were the owners and so they left in high spirits after deciding to all go to Maisie’s for tea.  Yet another cab was called and they chatted happily all the way to Maisie’s.

It wasn’t until Imogen was leaving to meet Sir Percy for dinner and Juliet was leaving to meet Sir Claude that they realised they didn’t have the two new hats they had bought before lunch.  What had happened to them?  Were they left in the department store, at the lost property office or had they left their hats in the taxi cab?

To be continued … perhaps

Related Posts – The Bonnets, Part 2, Part 3, Lost, In Search of the Bonnets and
Hats, Hats on Again, New Hats, The Beach

Thanks for reading.

Sunrise