Thursday, 24 February 2011

I Jest.

I can remember now, a visit from a lady who was a Psychic, smilingly she told me, 'You are the Jester.'  I was taken aback at first thinking she meant I was a fool, but she went on to explain that the Jester actually was far from foolish, indeed he held a privileged position.  It was he who made everyone laugh, licensed to play the fool and cleverly made them believe he was a buffoon but who was actually privy to secrets and was the only one who dared utter bad news to the Monarch. Back in Mediaeval times the Jester was chosen for his keen insight and it was believed he was inspired with poetic and prophetic powers.
 Fortunately my moustache and beard aren't as bushy as this - I've already got the red tights and I don't mind wearing bells should the Queen need me, for the wedding!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Even her shadow has grey

Morning sky - pearl-grey, an opal horizon against which bare, black branches lattice, lace-like, like fish-net stockings.

I used to think I was robust, a tomboy you can see it in the photograph.  I was Robin Hood never Maid Marion, Buffalo Bill not Annie Oakley, the Prince not Cinderella.  Now, I can look back and realise I was actually quite fragile, not made of stern-stuff but a broken reed, probably more like Beth than Joe in 'Little Women'. My hero was Katherine Hepburn when in reality it might have been better to have been Virginia Woolf. Unlike Ginny tho' at the last moment something snatched me back from the brink.  Funnily enough my Mum said that after I was born she took me to see her Grandmother by that time very old and wizened.  When she was told my name she apparently said, "Oh..don't call her that, they'll call her Ginny!".

To my knowledge throughout my sixty-one years not one person has ever called me Ginny!
Funny that.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

I grew up listening to Rachmaninov.  Late at night this was the wonderful music that would play over and over again in my brother's room. Being my big brother by over eight years I was 'Titch' to him, but he was artistic and handsome and sophisticated to me. His shoes were hand-made leather boots when everyone else wore winkle-pickers, his waistcoat was mustard-yellow and his hands made jewellery.  His trade was Artisan Jeweller he was an alchemist of silver and gold, he painted portraits and was a wizard at mending clocks.
Today... he has reached his seventieth birthday.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

We moved from the Big house when I was five, but up until that time I slept in the smallest bedroom, right next to the dark door behind which ran the stairs to the attic. My Mother told me I would regularly wake up during the night, crying that I couldn't breathe, that something was choking me, and funnily enough  I can clearly remember the sense of foreboding I felt when I had to descend the grand staircase when alone. There was a door to a bedroom directly at the top of the stairs, it was my elder sister's room, beyond which was the bathroom I think.  Each time I would reach the spot where I had my back to the rooms, my hand upon the handrail and I'd be overwhelmed by a presage of something black, dark, sinister even, yet I knew I had to descend to get away.  To this day I have a distinct recall of flight. Somehow, some way my childish stepping became fleet, flight even! Yes, in the sense of winged, it felt like a swoop, a glide and I was in the entrance hall at the bottom of the stairs. I can't explain it.

The door to the attic opened outwards on to the landing and then the narrow steps led upwards into the rooms. It's funny I don't remember feeling frightened up there.  There were trunks and old cases full of clothes belonging to my fathers long dead Aunts, the usual trumpery, hats with tattered feathers, broken fans, ancient musty handbags, old shoes.  All Dad's India photographs black and white, sliding about in a small suitcase and all his uniform from the army. It was dark, no window that I remember only a light bulb and the smell of old things and moth-balls and times gone by. There wasn't anything menacing up there,whatever it was, it was only on the staircase and landing.