Daily Archives: April 16, 2019

control freak

Dear avocado

How long must I wait for you

To ripen for me

Just when I think you’re ready

Should have checked the day before

©2019 Annette Rochelle Aben

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Mother Mine – Tallis Steelyard

It has to be said that as a gentleman who works with many ladies of mature

years, I have discovered more than I really want to know about the

relationship a woman has with her mother. Some of these relationships are

good. As daughter grows older she comes to recognise the mother for the wise

lady she is, and as the mother grows older she recognises the sensible woman

her daughter has become.

Some are not so good, but few have been as troublesome as the relationship

Madam Rosamie had with her mother, known universally as the Dowager. For

some reason it appears that the Dowager held her daughter in supreme

contempt and made no secret of the fact. What made things difficult for

Madam Rosamie was that the Dowager was always so nice to everybody else.

Now I’m not sure at what age a girl will start buying her own underclothes.

Such matters are not ones that I’ve ever thought to ask about. But even into

her fifties Madam Rosamie would receive from her mother a large parcel of

nether garments. These were always for a lady two or three sizes larger,

made of a cheap scratchy material, and were in the sort of colours one would

only wear under three layers of black. Rosamie was left in a quandary, she

was not somebody who would wish to casually ‘throw something out’, but these

were garments she wouldn’t have inflicted upon a scullery maid. (Even if she

had one of the appropriate size.) The drawers she finally sent to a local

stable where they used them as hay nets for their horses. The brassieres she

gave to a local greengrocer who used them when he wished to put on a novelty

display of melons.

Now Madam Rosamie was a respectable widow with children of her own who were

old enough to have left home. She maintained quite a large household because

she enjoyed entertaining. So she had more kitchen maids and downstairs maids

than you might normally expect to find.

Not only that but because there was no gentleman of the house who might be

tempted into philandering, Madam Rosamie could hire pretty maids without any

fear of the consequences. Indeed the situation worked to her advantage as

pretty girls, realising the nature of the house, would often apply for jobs

with her.

Obviously it was something soon noticed, and at her soirees one would find

bemused ladies who were accompanied by sons and nephews, all of whom had

suddenly developed a passionate interest in the poetic art. As an aside I

might mention that several girls did make good and happy marriages.

Yet the Dowager stalked into the house, glanced round, and came to the

conclusion her daughter was running a bordello! Now I suppose people are

entitled to their own opinions. This is fair enough. But I feel that they

are not entitled to vent their opinions to the Watch. (Running an unlicensed

bordello is an offence)

Obviously the Watch had to get involved, and whilst courteous, they were

firm and needed to be convinced. The question has to be asked, whilst it is

doubtless easy enough to prove an establishment is a bordello, how exactly

does one prove it isn’t? Providing evidence that something isn’t happening

can be tricky.

Eventually the Watch realised the difficulty they had put Madam Rosamie

under and so they agreed that one of their officers, posing as an odd job

man, would live in for a period. This seemed fair to Madam, and Watchman

Pilkin moved in to a small box room. He turned out to be a real treasure. He

was a man who could fix virtually anything, and at the end of the fortnight,

Madam Rosamie insisted on paying him for the work he’d done, even though he

was also drawing his Watch pay. The maids were so sad to see him go they had

Cook bake a cake and there was something of a small leaving party for him on

his last day.

A week later he had to move back in. The Dowager, realising her strumpet of

a daughter had cozened the Watch, proceeded to advertise her daughter’s

putative establishment with discreet advertisements in appropriate

newssheets. Eventually she even had somebody walking ‘round the city with a

sandwich board. He would give passers-by handbills with graphic

illustrations for the illiterate.

Pilkin, now in full uniform, dealt with the situation. Initially he

courteously clarified the situation for the potential client. But when that

failed, as appropriate he became stern, mocking, and in three cases resorted

to percussive castigation with his truncheon. Eventually the word got ‘round

and the steady flow of potential customers finally dried up.

Still everything comes to the one who waits. Madam Rosamie was holding a

garden party and of course the Dowager attended. Now it appears that she had

spotted two of the servants sneaking off, so she followed them. In this case

it was the youngest maid and the boot boy, both of who were aged about

fourteen. Madam Rosamie and the rest of the staff of course knew about their

infatuation, but wisely pretended not to. At the same time, they maintained a

gentle watch over the activities of these two young people. In reality, this

is something quite easily accomplished as each generation, in the face of

all the evidence to the contrary, assumes that it is the first generation to

discover love. It never seems to occur to them that the older generations

have in their time tried all the same ploys that they are now attempting.

But the Dowager decided she would covertly follow the young couple with the

aim of catching them ‘in flagrante delicto.’ In this she was aided by the

fact that this part of the garden was a maze of winding paths and bowers.

The Dowager noticed that if she took a higher path, she could make her way

between two rose bushes and be in a position above and behind her prey.

Alas for the Dowager, the bushes were thicker than she’d expected, but there

was still a path of sorts. Unfortunately for her it was both steep and

slippery due to the rain. She skidded, lost her footing and rolled down the

steep slope becoming more and more tightly entangled in what was in reality,

a bramble patch.

Her struggles were to no avail, merely getting her more tightly entangled.

Fortunately, her two young potential victims heard her cries and ran to the

rest of the party to get help. Thus, it was that Madam Rosamie and I were the

two bold souls who discovered exactly what the problem was. I borrowed an

old pair of trousers from the junior footman, who used them when it was his

turn to clean the guttering on the roof. I added to it a jacket borrowed

from the gardener and cautiously I penetrated the maze. After almost

stumbling I returned to the top of the bank, acquired a rope, and had a

group of the heavier servants bracing themselves to support me as I made my

way down again.

When contemplating the situation, it initially seemed that the obvious answer

was just to tie a rope to the Dowager and pull her through what was left of

the brambles. After brief discussion this was discounted.

With a pair of secateurs, I tried to cut the brambles away from the

discomforted lady, but eventually I realised that this was fruitless. The

only option was to cut the clothing off the lady and pull her out of it,

abandoning it to the thorns.

This, as you can imagine, is a ticklish operation, especially with a lady

with whom you are in no way familiar. Still I somehow managed it without

outraging probity too much. I tied another rope around her ankles, took the

end up the bank to the now growing collection of guests and staff, and

arranged for them to pull while I returned to help guide the lady past

obstacles.

They had only pulled her about a foot before it was obvious we would have to

think again. The Dowager had got her hair entangled as well. By this time it

was raining heavily. The number of potential pullers was diminishing by the

minute and I would have to act swiftly. I asked for the clippers that the

cook used to cut the hair of male staff and applied them. Now I am no brute.

I didn’t cut all her hair off. I merely used the clippers on those patches

where the thorns were entangled. Finally, soaked and muddy I gave those

enthusiastic souls who had remained the order to pull heartily.

If a few minutes we had dragged the Dowager up the slope, got her onto the

path at the top, untied her legs, and her daughter, radiating a sort of

manically cheerful concern, escorted her into the salon. Here she was met by

the assembled guests who applauded her vigorously on her escape. Old towels

were fetched and she was allowed to sit down whilst a sedan chair was

summoned. This took her to the Goldclaw Baths. There she could get herself

clean, a hair dresser could doubtless be prevailed upon to do something to

her hair, and her maid could meet her there with a complete change of

clothing.

I might comment at this point that since the moment when she reached the

path and I untied her ankles, the Dowager has never addressed a word to me.

On the other hand Madam Rosamie speaks most highly about me to all her

friends, claims she cannot run any form of party without me in attendance,

and even, if we meet in town, will address me in affectionate terms as ‘My

dear Tallis.’

 

 

And the hard sell!

 

So welcome back to Port Naain. This blog tour is to celebrate the genius of

Tallis Steelyard, and to promote two novella length collections of his

tales.

 

So meet Tallis Steelyard, the jobbing poet from the city of Port Naain. This

great city is situated on the fringes of the Land of the Three Seas. Tallis

makes his living as a poet, living with his wife, Shena, on a barge tied to

a wharf in the Paraeba estuary. Tallis scrapes a meagre living giving poetry

readings, acting as a master of ceremonies, and helping his patrons run

their soirees.

These are his stories, the anecdotes of somebody who knows Port Naain and

its denizens like nobody else. With Tallis as a guide you’ll meet petty

criminals and criminals so wealthy they’ve become respectable. You’ll meet

musicians, dark mages, condottieri and street children. All human life is

here, and perhaps even a little more.

 

Firstly;-

Tallis Steelyard, Deep waters, and other stories.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PTS3FGS

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PTS3FGS

 

More of the wit, wisdom and jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard. Discover

the damage done by the Bucolic poets, wonder at the commode of Falan

Birling, and read the tales better not told. We have squid wrestling, lady

writers, and occasions when it probably wasn’t Tallis’s fault. He even asks

the great question, who are the innocent anyway?

 

And then there is;-

Tallis Steelyard. Playing the game, and other stories.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PV1N7XZ

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PV1N7XZ

 

More of the wit, wisdom and jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard. Marvel at

the delicate sensitivities of an assassin, wonder at the unexpected revolt

of Callin Dorg. Beware of the dangers of fine dining, and of a Lady in red.

Travel with Tallis as his poetical wanderings have him meandering through

the pretty villages of the north. Who but Tallis Steelyard could cheat death,

by changing the rules?

 

If you want to see more of the stories from the Land of the Three Seas, some

of them featuring Tallis Steelyard, go to my Amazon page at

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

 

https://www.amazon.com/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

 

Tallis even has a blog of his own at https://tallissteelyard.wordpress.com/

Angel Messages April 16 2019

Your DAILY MESSAGE from Angels

WALK, or CRAWL, but KEEP MOVING FORWARD!

We love you

Thank you, Angels!!!