I am back! New life, new stories to share, let the witchness commence!!
Three months ago I left the place I have called home for most of my life, to return to the place where I was born. It has been a challenging journey, a scary rollercoaster ride of emotions. I am still in a state of flux, of no fixed abode, adjusting to a way of life almost alien to me. But I have a new job, am making new friends, and tonight I smelt winter on the wind, and gloried in the pleasure of a sky dancing in stars. My life is not perfect, but it is wonderful!! And I am ready to write again!! Happy witch!! Bring on the next chapter!!!
Saturday evening, and I was enjoying the heady rush of approval of the photo I had shared with the world in general. Normally my photographs make me look like a lady of the night with a severe drug habit and a glass eye, but this one had somehow made me look relatively attractive, much to my delight. Vanity had consumed me, and I had become ever more delighted with each like on my Facebook page!!! Finally I had decided to tear myself away from the computer screen, and head for bed.
As I did so, I realized that my nightdress was still on the washing line. The rest of the household had retired already, so I crept quietly into the garden in the dark, leaving the light off so not to disturb anyone.
I gathered the clothes hanging there, and, arms full, spun around to head back to the house, blythely unaware that the neighbour’s cat had decided to sit just behind me!! And down I came, in a clumsy tangled heap, unable to save myself because of the clutch of clothing! Had I been slightly more petite, this would simply have resulted in an ungainly fall onto grass, but unfortunately, my extra few inches of what my Nearly Not Teen refers to as my unnatural woman height meant that my face made resounding contact with the concrete of the garden path! My glasses broke on contact, and added to the damage incurred, burying themselves into my eye socket, and my poor nose, which has already suffered four breaks in its half century, experienced its fifth.
I finally managed to untangle myself from the laundry, and struggled to a sitting position, blood pouring from both my nose and a gash on my temple. The neighbour’s cat sashayed casually past, casting me a reflective eyed look of disdain at my clumsy human moves!! Grabbing my nightdress to stem the flow, I clambered to my feet, and tottered unsteadily back to the house.
The vision that greeted me in the mirror was a far cry from the one I had been so smugly proud of earlier! I do comedy bumps, of the Tom & Jerry ilk, which swell with ridiculous speed to gargantuan proportions! My face was completely distorted, and awash with blood, and my left eye had disappeared completely!! Gingerly, I cleaned the wounds, and then grabbed a bag of frozen peas, to press against the affected area, in a vain attempt to reduce the swelling. And thus I spent the night, swapping peas for other suitable vegetables, as each pack defrosted!!
The reaction of the rest of my household, as they emerged the next morning, confirmed my suspicions that my pea-packs had not perfomed any miracles. Finally braving the mirror again, I faced Sylvester Stallone after the final fight in Rocky 2,975!! I hadn’t appreciated that there were that many shades of purple!! My heart sank!!!
You see, on Friday, I am meeting up with Torn-Apart. Which is hard enough to envisage,although he assures me I am being silly!! But I am also meeting his best friend for the first time, and quite what he will make of some-one who looks like a professional kick-boxer, I dread to think!! I have toyed with the idea of sunglasses, but as I don’t have any prescription ones, it would probably only lead to another fall! So I have developed another cunning plan!! I am becoming a pirate!! I shall make me an ornate patch, and dress in a goth pirate Johnny Depp/ Helena Bonham-Carter fashion, all floaty stuff, and brocade jackets and boots!! What do you think? Reckon I can work that look?!!
In the mean-time, I am going to keep a daily photo diary of my eye, to see how many different shades of purple through green/grey/yellow my skin can produce!! So for those of a squeamish or delicate disposition, look away now!! This is day one and two!!
The Witch is back!! New adventure has begun, and I am riding the crest of that wave!! Scary, but of the sort that makes you want to shout at the top of your lungs from sheer exhilaration!! Returning on a permanent basis to my home country is quite odd, it is a place in which I am an intimate stranger. Everything is familiar, and yet very new. I am like a small child in a toy shop, running from one display to another, unable to believe the choices laid out in front of me!!
Shopping, which I normally hate with a vengeance, is suddenly hugely enjoyable. The array of products available, the speed at which they are obtainable, the special offers that abound, to entice you in, all of these are quite magical to someone whose shopping experience has been limited to a single street. Even the much maligned postal system here is meteorically fast in comparison to that which I have been accustomed. No more five week waits for an item ordered online! No more trawling through pages of order forms, only to be told that the company doesn’t deliver to your country! Broadband that works. Constantly! And doesn’t require that you go make dinner whilst you wait for a page to load! Amazing!
I know the novelty will all wear off at some point, probabbly in the depths of winter, when my feet are blocks of ice, and the public transport has ground to a halt. But for now, I am relishing every moment!! Even the weather has conspired to make my transition easier, with glorious sunshine, and endless opportunities for drinks in the garden, surrounded by the most glorious array of flowers and fruit. And grass!! I hadn’t realised how much I have missed grass. The feel of it under my bare feet!! Wonderful!!
Best part of all? Free phone calls as part of the deal with my mobile supplier!! For someone who talks even in her sleep, that is the most wonderful gift ever!!! Torn-apart and I are like a pair of teenagers, spending hours talking utter nonsense to each other, just because we can!! The sort of conversations where, if asked, you couldn’t actually say what you had been talking about.
So in all the excitement I have sadly neglected my writing!! That little scribe voice hasbeen becoming steadily more persistent, and it has finally won, I am back at the keyboard again. More irreverance, madness, random photos, and occasional attempts at grown-up writing, with an odd poem thrown in!! I missed you all, and can’t wait to catch up on everything, and everyone!!
Oh, just one more thing!! A new photo!! Having lived for so long in a country where the sunrise and sunset times remain pretty constant all year round, my body doesn’t quite understand that daylight does not necessarily mean morning as we know it!! So I find myself wide awake at silly o’clock, while the rest of the household sleeps! This morning, I decided to mess around with my webcam, and of the 16,537 photos that I took, I found one that didn’t make me look like a convict, or a cabbage patch doll!! I duly posted it on facebook, and it has been met with universal approval!! Which is wonderful since I wasn’t wearing make-up, and hadn’t brushed my hair!! I think I shall adopt this approach for all further photographs!! And just for the record, it was a strappless top!!
Good to be back!!!
In ten days time, I will leave Gibraltar, my home for nearly forty years. New adventure. New beginning. ‘Tis scary. Bring it on!!
The wave of disbelief washed over her once again. She felt her breath catch in her throat, and fought desperately to focus on her surroundings. A lie. The worst kind of truth. She had asked the question. She had not realised the impact of the answer.
It had never been perfect. At best it had been fun, the giddy pleasure of being wanted, desired. She had been lonely, an emptiness carved by loss longing to be filled. Tired of being brave, she had welcomed his apparent strength, and had gradually succumbed to his words, his will. So gradually, she was unaware of her isolation until it had surrounded her completely. Family ignored, friends no longer calling.
“This is your family now,” he told her. “We are all that matter.”
She had begun to melt away, a snapshot blurred by drops of poison. The vibrant hair, the vivid make-up, the laughter, the childish joy, slowly wiped into a muddy sludge.
And with it, the constant accusations of lies. If she spoke, she lied. If she stayed silent, she lied by omission. She felt her grip on reality weakening, began turning ever inward.
Until she found the bag.
At first, she couldn’t make sense of it. She put it back, and left it there for days. Then opened it once more.
And then summoned the courage to ask him.
He told her.
And her world flipped over once more.
I adore this!! It is mad and totally over the top, perfect for me!! And I have an insane urge to dance the Argentinian Tango whilst it plays!! And frequently do!! Hey!! It has Witch in the title. What more can I say!!
Ultravox – Vienna
Aaah the Eighties!! Aaah the make-up!! Aaah Vienna!! Like what I did there!! This was possibly the best track never to make number one!! But boy was it difficult to dance to!! Picture if you will a dance floor filled with painted mannequins, all starey distant eyed and sucked in cheeks. Swaying ever so slightly. Until the middle bars, when the track suddenly sped up, and no-one quite got the moves right, and everyone did a sort of embarrassed jiggle!! Hilarious!!! My Best Friend and I included!!
My apologies in advance to those country music fans among you, but I cannot stand this song! End of!!
The store I worked for underwent an overhaul a few years ago. Having sat comfortably on her stoical British bottom for slightly too long, she had realised that the young pretenders had been quietly taking over the high street as she dozed. She was dragged back to her feet, dusted down, and buffed and polished to within an inch of her life. New work practices were devised by earnest young executives sitting in air-conditioned ivory towers, far away from the mêlée of the shop floor. Monday morning meetings became an endless list of new rules and regulations, to be rolled out across the shop floor by myself and other equally fraught, and, at times, incredulous floor managers.
These actions were understandable, all businesses need to move forward. But one factor hadn’t been taken into consideration. And that was those staff members of a certain age, who had grown up with the comfortable slipper feel of their workplace, and weren’t impressed by the sudden switch to blood red stilettos!
My food department became the proverbial rug, under which these blots on the new sleek appearance were swept. I didn’t mind. Because I ended up with some of the most glorious characters I have ever worked alongside!
Merci was a tiny pixie of a woman, eyes dancing with mischief, a deep voice rubbed raw by years of smoking. She played the dizzy card to great effect, but was in fact possessed of a rapier sharp mind, and outrageous wit. Her sparse blonde hair was the bain of her life, and barely a week passed where she wasn’t trying some bizarre treatment in the hope of suddenly developing a flowing mane. One memorable month she gamely massaged snail slime into her scalp, despite the merciless teasing she received. Her personal life was marked with tragedy, but she was the consummate professional, and it was never mentioned at work. Most glorious of all was her frequent habit of using entirely the wrong word, with hilarious results. My favourite was one very busy afternoon, the two of us manning the tills, with a queue that snaked across the floor. A tourist asked her if everyone in Gibraltar spoke Spanish and English.
“Oh, yes,” came the reply. “In Gibraltar, we are all bisexual!”
And then there was Jane. Almost a caricature of an English shop assistant, lank hair held back from her face by two grips, shirt always pulled and gaping across her chest. Slightly stooped, sensible shoes, short socks, vaguely crumpled. No matter how busy we were, she moved at Jane speed, a slow careful crawl, with a slightly nasal voice that matched perfectly her pace. Apparently always in a semi-comatose state, she in fact did not miss a thing, and managed her section with frightening efficiency. A keen sense of the ridiculous hid beneath her surface, and would bubble up in unexpected moments. What fascinated me most about her was her true love story, which she told me one quiet afternoon. Forced into a loveless marriage at sixteen, with a small child, she had met the love of her life when she was eighteen. She was on a rare night out with her younger sister, and saw him from across the dance floor. He asked her to dance, and one week later, she moved in with him, and never left. When she told me of the moment she knew he was the one, it brought tears to my eyes.
“He asked me to dance, and took my hand, and I knew at that moment that I never wanted him to let it go again.”
My Father was not a hands-on type of Dad, more a Victorian children should be seen and not heard type!! But occasionally he let his guard down, and we actually have him on audio tape singing this. One of my fonder memories of him.
There will be a lot of you who will probably have no idea who I am writing about. But today Rik Mayall died, and I am devastated. He was my hero, the man who made me laugh louder than anyone, with the sole exception of my Torn-Apart and my boys. He was completely mad, a huge breath of fresh air after the British sit-com culture of the seventies. Along with his best friend Ade Edmondson, he exploded on our television screens in the early eighties, and won the heart of every teenager. The Young Ones was anarchic, rude, chaotic and hand over face horrifyingly dreadful at times. But any of us from that period can quote the script by heart.
The charity single he and the rest of the cast performed with Cliff Richard was wickedly awful, but I can’t hear the original of Living Doll any more without expecting the shouty chorus!! His series The New Statesman, in which he played a highly ambitious and ruthless Tory M.P. was all the funnier due to its almost perfectly accurate depiction of many a real life member of parliament. And his role as Lord Flasheart in the brilliant Blackadder series was sublime!!
As with a lot of successful comedy actors, the frantic gurning he employed belied a really handsome man. He always reminded me in some strange way of my Torn-Apart, which may be why I actually cried at the news of his death. In 1998 he had a near fatal quad bike accident, and as a result of the head injuries sustained, he suffered from fits, and it is suspected that this may have been the cause of his death today. He was only 56. British comedy will never be the same. Without him, it would have spluttered to an end a long, long time ago.
R.I.P. Rik Mayall
Ugh!! How can I ever choose a favourite song!! I have about six hundred!! But this one is right up there!! I loved The Fine Young Cannibals, and just the first few bars of this will have me running to turn the volume up!! They also did a fabulous cover of The Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love With Someone, both tracks are brilliant. But oh boy, those eighties videos left a lot to be desired!! No wonder we spent more time watching live gigs!!
My flat is best described as having character, and bijou. I love it, because it has an upstairs, like a real grown-up house, a rarity in these parts. I love this photograph, taken in the smallest room in the house, which just happens to be my living room. It sums up beautifully the inordinate amount of space teenagers can occupy, and covers perfectly the two different definitions of room, both a specific area within a house, or space to move!!
My Nearly Nonteen rolls his eyes in pained horror at my love of Coldplay, but everyone needs a touch of painful angst in their life!! And I love the lyrics of this particular track!!
I love to watch you as you sleep.
Your face wiped clean of stress and care.
The furrow gone between your brows.
The pillow tumbled mess of hair.
A leg escaped from tangled sheets,
Still sweet scented with desire,
Your body languid in repose,
Sated after passion’s fire.
I love to gaze upon you thus,
Feel my heart swell with loving ache,
Then nestle close against your skin,
And hold you safe until we wake.
Have you ever watched someone on TV and thought I want them to be my Best Friend Forever? Paloma Faith is my choice!! She is gloriously outrageously mad, with the most wicked giggle, and a voice that blows you away!! My absolute favourite of hers is the cover of the Inxs track Never Tear Us Apart which is my Torn-Apart anthem. And I adore Upsidedown as well. If you haven’t discovered her yet, enjoy!! She is incredible!!!