The Dramatic Entrance….

Charmaine has returned home from her stint at being a genius crossword compiler. Apparently there was an ‘incident’ at Cousin Windsor’s [a right Batarde] that she will not speak of. Knowing my Cousin Windsor, trying to forget about it is the best way forward, and I will not press her further for information. With her she brought a picnic basket, which upon arrival she dumped in the hallway before ascending to her rightful place in my attic. Such a pity that in her absence the attic sprang a leak, so it came as no surprise to hear her shouting, screaming, and possibly stamping a bit before stomping back downstairs to disturb my revelry by bursting into my studio in an overtly stroppy manner.

‘What is the problem, child?’ I asked, barely looking up from whatever I was looking at.

‘The roof is leaking, all my clothes are soaked through and there is bird poo all over my vintage bakelite collection. And I bet you haven’t paid this?’

Charmaine stood in front of my desk waving a piece of paper. It was the electricity bill. I smiled wanly as the lights dimmed and then went out.

‘Obvously not,’ I said.

‘There’s nothing else for it, Aunt Scarlet, you’ll have to reopen the wedding calligraphy business, we can’t carry on living like this.’

And I said, ‘NO, NO, NO!’

I sighed, she did have a point, I had rather let things slide over the past five months, and it was true the roof was leaking, the paint was peeling and, much much worse than this, we were running out of gruel. Thankfully, at the back of my mind I had a spare plan.
I looked Charmaine up and down and considered how much money I could get for her if I advertised her dextrous skills on the right type of Internet site. She could look quite fetching in the dark, it suited her skin tone.

‘NO, NO, NO!’ Shrieked Charmaine as if reading my blog post over my shoulder as I typed.

‘Well, what do you suggest we do?’

‘These,’ said Charmaine, stabbing my latest creations with her stumpy index finger, ‘flog these, everybody loves a bit of gold and a bit of bling.’


Flog these???


‘Don’t worry, Aunt Scarlet, leave the marketing to me, I have ideas, and Asmodeus will help.’

With the hazy image of Asmodeus hanging in the air, Charmaine flounced out of my studio in a purposeful, determined, #girlboss sort of way. Who the hell was Asmodeus? I shook my head dismissively. The girl had obviously gone a bit peculiar, but still, her positive ‘can do’ attitude had made me feel uneasy. Cousin Windsor had obviously instilled these ideas, ideas that were well above her station, and possibly above the steeple at the end of the lane, which was very high above indeed. I shuddered in my seat and felt a little faint because if she was successful it would mean that I would [heaven forbid] have to work.


Work in progress…


Now c ‘ere…

46 thoughts on “The Dramatic Entrance….

  1. It’s weird being there in your cold, damp, dark studio -really, I was, in my mind, not in a creepy way – and not knowing what Charmaine is or what you look like, but hearing your conversation. And yep, you could prolly fob those thingies off on someone. Totally in love with them.

  2. Okay, I have just read back issues and learned that she is indeed NOT a talking cat, but is your niece. Gotcha. Carry on.

  3. No gruel?! How cruel. Heh. Turning your passion into a necessity can be a suicide trap. It’s why I have no interest in trying to get published. What if it worked? Then I might have to do it again. (Worst case of denial ever.)

    Why the ‘calligraphy uk’ tag? Why not just calligraphy? Act local. Think global.

  4. Oh, dear. Isn’t Asmodeus the demon of lust? I do hope Charmaine hasn’t been sniffing the permanent inks to help her with her lust for power?
    When she comes back, don’t let her trick you into the attic, otherwise it could be you up there slaving away under her tyranical regime (not) eating gruel!

    • Asmodeus is a frightful demon, Mr Devine… and it is true, Charmaine’s lust for power is out of control, though the attic has now been re-named The Penthouse… still looks the same, but Charmaine has thoughtfully informed me that branding is everything.

  5. quite fetching, flog these, flounced out – f’ing brilliant – I might just filch a few of your words.
    Cousin Windsor reminded of the time I spent touring around Windsor Castle.

  6. Windsor is a bit playful, dainty – mean-spirited people could call it even fussy, while Old Baskerville on the other hand is disciplined & rigorous. Both humanists I guess, while the Batardes are so terribly “gothic” ; at least the German one from 1500 has something for it in its strength, while the 19th century cousins are weaklings – ha !

    • He is definitely gothic, Mr Mags…. bit like Count Dracula only British… I mean German…. and very aristocratic. He collects old paintings, Ravens, jewels and, corgis…. likes talking to buildings and has a plant called carbuncle…. that might be the other way round, but you get my drift. And it does appear that I am drifting!

  7. Surely you can persuade young Charmaine that in return for exploiting her dexterous skills, her gruel ration will be trebled, the dry crusts will be softened somewhat and the rodent stew will be less nauseous. Surely an offer she can’t refuse?

  8. I popped by last night to leave you a message but it wasn’t having any of it, so I gave up in frustration, anyway that night, I had the most vivid dream. I dreamt you had opened you home up as a guesthouse offering elocution and calligraphy lessons to it’s guests. I was the first to arrive at ‘Dunscrubbin’ along with my entourage followed by Princess, she brought with her a chocolate coloured poodle that kept shitting everywhere and MJ turned up looking like Mrs Meers, she was wearing a black wig left over from the Am Dram production of Thoroughly Modern Millie and a man with an artificial leg who kept asking if he could take it off so he could give his stump an airing. Oh and Toyah was singing in the garret.

    • Oh how wonderful, Ms Carte!!!! And did I appear as a young Babs Windsor???? It would make sense… especially with the elocution lessons! I can hear myself yelling ‘Get’out of my guesthouse!’ -probably in the direction of Toyah.
      Was MJ the cleaner? I must do this!! What glorious idea!! And I can see Mr Lax and Mr Mags as handymen, I can see them up on the roof fixing the tiles, and Mr Mags can double up as my personal chauffeur… I will allow him to smoke.
      Meanwhile, apologies for the comment frustration – it seems a bit rife at the moment.

  9. One slacker reporting, Miss!
    Actually, I did try, but had the most frightful cock-up with Worsepress. It kept insisting I was not signed in and when I signed in it rejected my password.Well, I thought up a new one and if the Bishop finds out what it is I’m in trouble!
    And then, of course, I got fed-up and have only just remembered to come back.

    Technical query…does that gold stick to the nib?

    • Oh Dinah, I hate to think of anyone getting fed up anywhere near my blog. I will get Charmaine to ring the WordPress people to get them to sort it out.
      Meanwhile, no nibs were hurt in the making of this blog post 🙂
      The glue is painted on and the gold leaf stuck on top…. Charmaine will have words with me for this over simplification, I’m sure! She will tell me that I should have used words like ‘size’ or ‘mordant’, but I am tired… so glue will do.

  10. My poodle appologises… Nice that Charmaine lowered herself for long enough to grace you with her new found self opiniopnated presence. I suggest she employ herslf to getting her clothing dry before the “penthouse” overwhelms the senses with the heady aroma of wet linen, taffeta and musty crimpolene… What is this Work of which you speak? It is a term quite unfamiliar to me…

    • Charmaine has said some bloody awful things to me since I wrote this post, Ms Princess, I will reveal all this week coming… but, put it this way, ALL her clothes are quite dry now…. indeed, they are burnt to a crisp…. there is nothing better than the scent of melting crimplene whilst ironing your self opinionated niece’s clothes to put a wicked smile on your lips. Somehow I doubt she’ll ever mention ‘work’ within my ear shot ever again 🙂

  11. Oh dear, I’m so late for the party… again. But I can’t help it: everytime I hear the word “gruel”… so many bad memories… I just can’t… *cries bitterly*

    Wonderful golds, ma chère. As if it wasn’t stressful enough to trace those gorgeous letters, now you have to fill them. Do you have to hold your breath on every stroke of the brush?

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