Monday 30 April 2012

100 Word Challenge - Ruby Tears

I don't remember collapsing onto the beaten sofa.

I can only recall a cushion brushing against my arm as Charlotte's news registered.

David ... Dead? What? How?

I sat motionless. I saw his face. That crooked smile. That hollow gaze.

I fidgeted. I got up. I closed the curtains again. I sat back down.

I waited.

Charlotte appeared. Her eyes puffed. Cheeks crimson.

She crashed next to me.

The red lamp shade cast a ruddy shadow over her face. Ruby tears rolled down her cheeks.

Charlotte slowly turned to face me.

"Chrissy?" She croaked.


"It might be my fault."

I'm linking up with JB47's 100 Word Challenge. This week's prompt was ... Ruby

Monday 23 April 2012

100 Word Challenge - News Flash

I popped my head around Charlotte's door ....

"What's up Char? Not seen you all evening."

Charlotte was slumped over her desk. Her slender fingers tightly clawed around a newspaper.

"Oh, hey, hi. Sorry, I'm locked onto something at the moment. Catch up with you in five?"

I hesitated.

"Are you sure you're okay?"

Charlotte inhaled, sighed and turned towards me.

"Remember David? The guy I had that fling with two years a ago."


Charlotte looked at me in disbelief.

"He's dead. Threw himself onto the tracks."

"Shit. You're kidding?"

Charlotte gave me that look.

 "Chrissy I need time out. I'm exhausted. Shut the door behind you?"

I'm linking up with JB47's 100 Word Challenge. This week's prompt was ...

"I'm exhausted. Shut the door behind you."

Friday 20 April 2012

#Art I Heart - Underwater Cherub

Underwater Cherub

This print hangs on a wall in my bathroom. Its of my very own merbaby, Little A, when she was just seven months old.

I love the vivid blue, the light dancing in the swirling bubbles and swell of the water's surface, and the golden gauze ethereally floating around Little A's body. I love Little A's wide eyed expression and the way she looks so comfortable and at ease in the water. She almost looks otherworldly; a mythical creature that exists in storybooks and ancient tales passed down the generations. An underwater cherub caught in a heavenly net. I wonder what her eyes are looking at. A withering ship wreck perhaps? Bobbing seahorses? An unhurried turtle? Or a shoal of angelfish darting and weaving through the warm currents of a teeming reef?

The reality is that this image was taken in the tepid waters of a diving centre pool in Chiswick, West London, by a professional underwater photographer. When Little A was three months old I started taking her to baby swimming classes to the detriment of my finances. Babies are so eye wateringly expensive aren't they? Anyway, she adored splashing and frolicking in the water with the other infants. She never seemed to mind being continually submerged under water by the very amicable teacher whose warm South African lilt reassured the oblivious babies and their jittery mothers. We continued the lessons for a year and I credit them with Little A's confidence in the water now.

I leaped, my bank balance didn't, at the opportunity of having some underwater shots taken when Little A was seven months and a bit. The shoot lasted half an hour. It involved a lot of dunking under water with costumes and props by an athletic fifty something platinum blond who should have known better than having had plastic surgery. Botox does not look fetching in a swimsuit. The gossip goes that this swimming teacher, not the one who taught Little A on a weekly basis, was having a clandestine affair with the burly photographer. Judging by the furtive glances and knowing smiles between the two there was definitely something salacious going on in that diving pool. Or my over zealous imagination was bored and fancied some intrigue to entertain itself with. I wager the latter.

This picture is also a reminder of my birth trauma and depression. After Little A's arrival it took me six weeks to muster the courage to leave my flat. Something was clearly wrong. The emergency cesarean shattered my confidence which lay broken in unforgiving, misshapen shards. The swimming lessons gave me the fortitude to brave the outside world again. They gave me a beacon of normality in the daily grind of breastfeeding, expressing and nappies. I also met some really amiable women. After the lesson we would often lunch and natter together with our bairns at the local hotel. I just hope my nervousness and anxiety at the time wasn't too palpable.

So not only does this print capture a beautiful memory from Little A's babyhood, its also a healing marker of my slow return to emotional health.

I am linking up this post with Midlife Single Mum's very imaginative Art I Heart meme. The idea is that you choose one piece of art you feel drawn to and write a short story about it. Sadly this might be my last entry given the limited amount of art hanging on the walls of my flat.

Monday 16 April 2012

#Once upon a time - My Favourite Bear

Once upon a time .....

My favourite bear was blue.

He was christened Blue Teddy; a simple name for an honest bear.

Blue Teddy
He's the only bear or toy that's survived my childhood. I think he was given to me when I was about three years old but its hard to tell as I have no clear recollection. Old photos confirm the appearance of Blue Teddy at around this age of my life. I'm sure he was very fluffy and rotund once. Now he's all cuddled out and consequently a two dimensional ted. He sits on the end of my bed as threadbare as the moon with a gaping hole down his left side and small, discreet punctures around the neck. His right shoulder has stuffing missing so that the adjoining arm hangs loosely by his side. This must have been the arm I lovingly dragged him around by.

Blue Teddy - The two dimensional bear

Old wise Blue Teddy. He's borne witness to the entire passage of my life. Was he in my bedroom the day I lost my virginal innocence? Probably. Poor Blue Ted. The things he's seen. I remember Blue Teddy accompanying me everywhere; to my grandparents on quiet Sunday afternoons, annual family holidays on the sandy beaches of Southern Cornwall, and to the loo. Then somewhere in my teenage years I let go of childish things and Blue Teddy sat unnoticed, unloved, in a corner of my bedroom with my other discarded toys.

When I left home Blue Teddy was bagged up and stored with the rest of my history in the attic. He didn't reappear in my life until my late twenties, after HIM, the not so nice boyfriend. I wanted to reconnect with happier times and Blue Teddy was the dependable bridge to my past. Perched on my pillow, Blue Teddy has been a reassuringly silent presence ever since.

To carry on the tradition I gave Little A a blue bear of her own but she prefers mummy's teddy. I once found her attempting to fasten a nappy onto him. Blue Teddy didn't appreciate this judging by the displeased frown above his beady glass eyes. The other day I caught her throwing my geriatric ted around the lounge. She'd lobbed him about with his weakened, floppy arm, "Little A be gentle, he's an old, tired, grumpy bear not unlike your mummy". But most days Blue Teddy can be found securely squashed into Little A's pram, taken on shopping trips and sight seeing tours around our flat.

Another shopping trip 

Blue Teddy has almost been like a guardian angel, a steadying anchor, to the narrative of my life. He contains the whole story, marking the never ceasing passage of time; childhood, teenager, the first kiss, first boyfriend, O'level's, A level's, university, jobs, careers, moving to London, Younger Dad, the birth of Little A. The story goes on... Friends and family have come and gone but Blue Teddy remains like a stubborn flag pole, the one constant buoy, if a little frayed and threadbare, in an impermanent world.

Good ole' Blue Teddy.

A generation of Blue Teddies

So once upon a time, what did you enjoy (or dislike) doing, seeing or creating? It could be anything. What were you like many moons ago? Do you have a once upon a time story to tell or picture to share? It could be a happy, sad or humorous tale. The skies the limit. I've decided to turn this into a monthly meme blog hop thing. So do Link up below and grab the badge code ... and don't forget to tweet #onceuponatime.

Once Upon A Time
Grab the badge code ...

<a href="" title="Once Upon A Time"><img alt="Once Upon A Time" height="170" src="" width="150" /></a>

I am also linking up with A Mummy's Too's Favourite Childhood Toy Meme.

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