New app toy.
Solitude in Lockdown. A new way of regarding isolation.
Based on The Pillow Book, but in poetic form!
When the Iyo blind
is released with a rattle;
not lifting a door
before giving it a push,
thus making a noise;
twits who butt in: it is just
Irritating men who leave
the toilet seat up, or who
man-spread, or mansplain;
those who are selfie-obsessed,
or angst about their butt size.
Augustus Snodbury was very glad that he had made it to the end of term.
Virginia had been very happy with the pigeon’s egg ruby engagement
ring. Personally, like Dru, he had thought it a tad vulgar- its stone of
proportions more like the bump on Susan’s head.
Susan? I hear you query, Dear Reader.
Candia: Yes, the one who was/is with God.
Reader: I’m still no wiser.
Candia: Folk don’t seem to read ‘Romeo and Juliet’ now. Even the kids
just watch the Baz Luhrmann film. The Nurse’s child who died.
You know, that was why the old gal could be a wet nurse. Geddit?
Susan died when she fell and sustained a bump as big as a young
Candia: Testicle to you.
Reader: Ah! But what’s this to do with Virginia’s ring? Oh, yes!
Anyway, Virginia had clearly thought it was no more than she
deserved, as she quoted The Book of Proverbs– the bit about a virtuous
woman’s price being above rubies.
Reader: She is getting rather full of herself.
Candia: I agree. I could make her fall off her stilettos, if you like. I needn’t
wait till Lammas Tide.
Male Reader: No, don’t do that. We like to read about her ankles. Do you
think she will fall backwards in the near future?
Candia: Not so long as I can tease this sorry saga out! But, at least, Gus
is not ‘a man of wax.’
Reader (of either gender-or even both): No, we think that phrase refers
Candia: Oh, don’t be too hard on Nigel. He’s got enough on his plate.
His mother is trying to create difficulties about the wedding.
Reader: She has wormwood on her dug?
Candia: Her dug is all right. She’s prepared to check him into kennels
for the occasion.
Reader: Something is lost in translation here.
Candia: It is just that she feels she is losing a son rather than gaining
a daughter-in-law. She also thinks that she will have to hire a decorator
in future, as Nigel is bound to be more occupied as a married man.
Reader: So where are they all, in their Easter holidays?
Candia: Snod and Virginia are with Diana and Murgatroyd in the
Borders, sorting out the guest lists and logistics, but Dru and Nigel
have taken themselves off to Lanzarote. They bumped into David
Cameron the other day. Dru took a selfie with SamCam and invited
her-and Dave- to the wedding(s).
Reader (impressed): Did they accept?
Candia: No, they politely responded with the equivalent of: It is an
honour that we dream not of.
Reader: He might be free by then. By the way, is Snod happier about
Candia: I believe that he took Virginia’s hands and said: ‘Perhaps
my best years are gone. When there was a chance of happiness. But
I wouldn’t want them back. Not with the fire in me now.’
Reader: That’s from Krapp’s Last Tape and Embers.
Candia: Typical. One of his obsessions. He always talks…you know…
stuff like: ‘I can’t go on like this.’
Reader: And then he does?
Candia: Precisely. But Virginia can handle him. At least, I think she
Virginia: Yes, I can.
(Currier and Ives image)
Did you see Kim Kardashian’s toddler daughter, North West,
addressing the paparazzi with an authoritative: ‘I said no pictures!’?
Yes. She looked quite cute in her designer jacket and tutu, but
imagine having to be so media savvy from such a young age.
A lot of girls who are not that much older are desperate to
attract media attention, I remarked.
But some people maintain discretion, Brassie reminded me. Not
everyone is narcissistic.
I often wondered what Photini would have done after she met
Jesus, I mused. I bet she wouldn’t have asked to take a selfie
Who’s Photini? Brassie asked. Her name sounds like something
to do with photos, so maybe she would have sold her story to the local
No, she sounded as if she had more respect, I decided. How
about the following villanelle for an exploration of the encounter?
(Matson Photo Service, Matson Collection,
Library of Congress)
They labelled me: The Woman at the Well –
Put in the Pitcher by a Nazarene!
They said I had a story that would sell.
Swine rooted round me, snuffling at the smell
of scandal – reckless as those Gadarene.
They labelled me: The Woman at the Well…
and camped outside my house, convinced I’d tell;
amazed that He should speak to the unclean
and said I had a story that would sell.
Some vowed He’d mesmerised me; cast a spell
on me; elaborated what they’d seen.
They labelled me: The Woman at the Well…
Those paparazzi made my life sheer hell.
Why not take the shekels and spill the beans?
They said I had a story they could sell.
Rabboni’s Living Water seemed to quell
my raging thirst. Now I know what peace means.
They labelled me: The Woman at the Well
who had a Story that she Wouldn’t F***ing Sell!
The hot news in Suttonford this morning was that Bad Girl and Not Exactly
Disney Princess, Juniper Boothroyd-Smythe has been gated by her mother,
the hard-pressed Gisela, for posting a selfie of her twerking talents on the
The little hussy’s brother, John, grassed on her to exact revenge as his sister
had recently imprisoned him in his bedroom by yarn-bombing the door handle
and had shouted at him through the keyhole that he should take up twerping.
I don’t understand these girls, Brassica opined. I’m so glad that I only have
boys to deal with. I mean, those latex costumes that the girls wear when they
gyrate- they must chafe horribly!
I offered no response initially, but just stirred my flat white and then reflected
aloud: Miley Cyrus’ dance moves at some music event did not shock me
particularly. After all, anyone who has had to teach teenagers is basically
desensitised to their in-your-face antics. If they want to make twerks of
themselves in public, plus ca change. Sticking one’s butt out and shaking it
has become a bit passe, a bit of a cliche. Even Renault used the concept to
sell their boring cars. Different if it was daring and arty, like, say, Josephine
Baker wiggling all those bananas, but frankly, my dear, most of these little
shockers just make me yawn.
Hmm, Brassie nodded, I suppose it HAS all been done before. Goodness
knows what ‘all that jazz’ was in the musical, Chicago. Something unsavoury
about rolling down your stockings, breaking your garters and an activity with
your girdle was in the lyrics, as far as I recall.
I believe so, I confirmed. Just give all these pranks the good old damnatio
memoriae treatment. Like, okay, kids, we’ve seen it all before. Try to be
more original. Let’s face it, we have changed the nappies on all too many
butts. Been there; done that; gave the Betamax video to the charity shop
Brassie swallowed some of her coffee the wrong way and choked.
Candia, you’re not telling me that YOU did some of those moves once upon a
Them that asks no questions aren’t told a lie, I quoted and gave her a wink.
Now, butt out, as the current terminology goes! End of.