Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Be true, be you. A poem about peer pressure

We have but one,
this life we are given.
How we choose to live it

Let others have a say,
no way!!!
We are who we are

Not living to conform to,
others' ideas of us.
If we let it be

they will take our
joy away.
Follow your path

Stay true to you,
no one else
to blame for your

life but you.
No power will be given
to those who wish me ill

I stand by me
it's my will
not yours not ever

Happy to be
who I am
that's just me.

Knocking on Faerie Door part 10

After I don't know how long, the sun was streaming through my window. Rising to meet the day I recall my last thought before I dropped far away into dreamland: “I wish I could go back to being myself!"

Looking down at my legs, my arms, my nose (no whiskers!) aah and my hair, not fur, but hair! My real hair. I’m me again!!
Quickly snuggling under my covers, my eyes closed. The door handle turns and in walks Nanny. No! Not Nanny, not my sweet dear reliable honest Nanny, but Delores Daffodil. She is the undercover faerie posing as my Nanny. She is such a con-artist. No I will never again impart any personal feelings or secrets to her. Mostly I will never tell her about my trip through the faerie door. In retrospect she who may no longer be trusted, probably already knows, hence the conversation with Mr Bowfinger.

The door swings open; her deceitful hands swish the curtain. Lying lips call my name, “Beatrice, time to rise and shine”
Begrudgingly out of my bed I rise to face the day and knowing that no one can be trusted.

My hand slides under my pillow; it touches the familiar binding on my spell book. I am feeling comforted.  Where will I find my velvet bag? Faerie Dust, that’s going to be such fun, just imagine the mischief…. There was a rule about using this stuff wasn’t there? Oh well I can’t remember, sure it’s not that important.

My clothes are laid out on my bed by her. She looks at me and says “what do you say, young lady?” I mumble “thank-you” under my breath, avoiding her determined stare.
“Look at me when I talk to you Beatrice, where are your manners this morning?”
Glancing up to look at her in the eye and thinking to myself “Where is your everything??”

The dress is simply gorgeous!! Daddy had brought it on his last trip to London; he had said it was very expensive and that I should be very careful whilst wearing it. It is a pretty pastel yellow and made of satin; oh I do love the soft smooth cool touch of satin to my skin. My mood is lifted. I need to get back to the old Oak tree.

Breakfast was a non-event as all I could think about was the little door and how I am being attracted to it once more. Lessons with her fly past; I’m reprimanded for being absent-minded time and time again. Eventually through sheer exasperation she says those sweet words once more: “you can go out and play now!”

Feeling freedom in my heart I rush out of the kitchen, down the hall and through the drawing room to the porch and down the stairs, with her voice trailing behind me “Don’t run in the house Beatrice!!!”


Thursday, 24 May 2012

Funny isn't it? No not really

Ok! so maybe it's just me, and if that is then case then so be it.

I was recently in Waitrose where I overheard a fellow shopper going on about how her family only eat the white breast off of the chicken and eating meat off the bone is simply disgusting!!  Hello, breast meat is attached to the breast bone, or am I mistaken? Evidently it's okay to "just throw" the rest of the chicken away?

Anyhoooo a few days later, same store, same fellow shopper (yes small village) prattling on at the top of her voice about sustainable farming and being green and oh yes! Free range chickens... So tell me, we farm chickens, right? free range or not, it's a fact.

My problem comes where said person is prattling on about free range and sustainability yet feels it's okay to throw at least 3/4 of a chicken away. My head hurts to imagine the bullsh*t ( or is that chicken sh*t?) traffic running through her thoughts. How on earth can a person who preaches free range and sustainable possibly with the same breath, albeit a week or so earlier, say that her family only eat the white breast meat?? That's so contradictory, it's so wasteful and actually made my stomach churn a little.

I am sure that even a chicken (if they had intelligence, of which I'm not 100% convinced) would rather that if they were going to be bred to be eaten that  they would much rather have all of their meat be eaten instead of having 3/4  just be thrown away. It's an insult to their lives, however they were reared.

Yes I'm from Africa, no I'm not black, and to preempt the next question: No I'm not racist. The point I want to make is that when we were growing up, there was never any excess. Not money, not food not anything, except for maybe family, friends and laughter. But hey that's the way we rolled.

I refer back to the chicken and how we would use it.
Firstly it would be picked absolutely clean off the bone. Yes off the bone... imagine.
Next the carcass would get boiled for stock.
I recall at one point a very kind domestic sitting on the stoep (porch) actually cleaning the marrow out of the bone and eating that too. Could you imagine the look on my fellow shoppers' face, if she'd ever had to clap eyes on that scenario?

We grew up with a "waste not want not" ethos, and believe you me, it has stood me in good stead. I have on many occasion made meals out of almost nothing. I was taught to survive with very little and be happy with what I have. This however does not mean I have no ambition and don't strive to do better for myself or my family. I do however know that when the chips are down I can stand tall in my corner. With everybody feeling the pinch maybe it would be prudent to look back at how we used to live. Nothing went to waste, nothing was thrown away into landfill.
The rule of thumb was if it looked okay and smelt okay and had no green stuff growing on it (expect for cheese where it was simply cut away) it was fine for human consumption. This was before those ever so useful "use by" or "use before" dates. I wont even go on about clothing hand- me- downs, suffice to say I had 3 older brothers and a sister older than them, it has left it's scars...*titters, hangs head*

So take what you will from this, if anything at all. I was just so annoyed at the hypocrite and her waste, I had to share my view.


Saturday, 19 May 2012

Knocking on Faerie Door Part 9

My emotions are running wild, what I have just overheard has put everything I have ever believed into question. How could it be possible that Nanny is called Delores Daffodil, and that the new Butler is called Bob Bowfinger? It has just occurred to me that these are not normal run-of-the-mill English names. No! These are Faerie Folk names!!!

 All my life Nanny has been one of them?  Why has she never told me? She could have, during all those bedtime fairy stories that she read to me, the secret smiles I remember, the twinkle in her eyes, everything that truly made me believe in the realm of enchantment.

Oh silly me!!! My whiskers in anger, I must stay still and calm or I will give myself away.

Scurrying across the kitchen floor as fast as my now short furry little legs can carry me; again I angle my huge ears so as to hear more of this conversation. I had managed to catch a few words here and there. Now however, I clearly catch every word as Nanny, holding up my torn nightgown, says "Her face was a sight, Bob! Beatrice knew she couldn't lie to me, so she simply avoided answering by shrugging her shoulders."

Oh I'm so angry I’m shaking in the doorway to the larder. Funny is it? Well Delores Daffodil I will show you!! I think to myself.

Bob Bowfinger just laughs at Nanny's rendition of events.

I am not amused that they find my predicament so amusing. How dare they? My revenge will be plotted later. For now I listen.

After a 20 minute stealth operation, and completely  flabbergasted at what I've discovered and I just want to shout out, yet I must remain calm before Delores spots me and does away with the "vermin" that I now am.

Here are the things that I have learnt during my covert operation:

Nanny is a member of the Faerie Folk.

Bob Bowfinger is undercover, sent to help me in my task to reignite those Faerie Lights.

Nanny was placed in my home a few months before I was born, so she could feed my imagination with regards to the enchanted realm.

Nanny is my Guardian and is meant to keep me from harm.

Bob Bowfinger is Nanny's assistant.

I have questions, so many questions: Why did Nanny never reveal who she is? Why and from what or who do I need protection? How is Bob Bowfinger supposed to help me? For heaven’s sake why am I even having these thoughts (is this even real?) and why oh why does it appear as if people/ folk have been conspiring against me my whole life!

I’m overcome with sudden feelings of sadness and loneliness, the one person I felt I knew and trusted more than anyone else in the world is not who I thought she was at all. A tear runs down to my little black nose. I can't bear this heartbreak a second longer. I have been deceived!! My whole life is a lie. I just want to lie on my bed and sob into my pillow, and OH WOE IS ME!! Now I’m stuck in the body of a mouse and I am not even sure how to turn myself back into me.

Having a quick look around and see Nanny and Bob have moved towards the back door. I run so fast until reaching  the now enormously high stairsI hop up to my room. Exhausted, my heart is beating in my throat. I hide behind the leg of my bed and finally I release my sobs. I sob and sob and sob. I'm emotionally drained and exhausted from exerting myself physically to get back to my room. I don't know how to turn myself back into me, and at this point I'm so despondent that I don't care. Laying my weary head between my front paws, I drift off, sad and lonely to my slumber.veronicastewar4@blogspot.com

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Flashflood Entry . She's away with the Fairies.

It was always the same, people saying “she’s away with the fairies”. Is that so bad a place to be?

Look around us, there’s war, there’s poverty, children dying needlessly all over the world, countries led by tyrants. So why not spend time in the realm of fairies and goblins and sprites and the like?

Here with my fairy friends I ward off the evil goblins and try and outsmart those pesky sprites, forever playing tricks on me. Why just yesterday I was absentmindedly making my coffee, again thinking of things ethereal, when as I put my sugar into my cup it started foaming all over!! Those pesky sprites had done it again, effervescent salts in the sugar bowl!! Just wait until I lay my hands on the scrawny, slimy, fowl smelling little pest that did this. He is going to regret this, this at my place of work!! Urrgghhh he has made me mad now!

I can just guess that it’s the doings of Pumpernickel Purple again; he sure does like to make me mad. I devise my plan, and set my mind to discuss it with Starlight Satin, the prettiest and most powerful fairy friend that I have. I have known and loved the fairies since I was a young girl, about 6 years old, I had stumbled across them in the New Forest whilst on an outing with my parents and little brother. I had wondered off to get a closer view of the stream and sprawled over an oak tree root that was protruding from the ground. I thought at first that I was seeing stars, but no, I blinked and there in front of my very own eyes was a ring of fairies all stood in shock, looking straight at me.

“Hello” I said and that was the beginning of my 20 year friendship with the. I believed in them you see, so I could see them.

Starlight Satin giggled with glee and clapped her hands as I imparted my ever-so-clever plan to her.  “That’s just brilliant!” she said in praise of my plan. Now I’m not sure if normal humans will know this or not, but sprites just cannot resist cotton candy. And the fair was in town too… oh what a magnificent plan. Together Starlight and I go and see Miss Octavia Arachnid. We tell her our plan and ask for her help; pleasingly she agrees to help, as she too has been victim to Pumpernickel’s pranks.

So off to the fair we go, my comrades sneak into the stall, whilst I keep the stall holder busy. I spy Pumpernickel out the corner of my eye. It’s going to work!!

 My friends have just finished carrying out the master plan.

As we leave ever so nonchalantly, I see Pumpernickel slip into the candy cotton stall and head straight for it. Oh what good fun to see him stuck fast in our pink web of revenge!!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Knocking on Faerie Door Part 8

I am nervous, I take the cover between my thumb and forefinger and open it very carefully.
The little book makes a crunching sound, I glimpse a sheet of paper that is silky looking and
etched with little words in gold.

Take me high
Take me low
Make me wings
Make me glow

I dream about
a place to go
how I need to look
I'm sure you know

So take me now
Here I am
I want to be

So this is it,easy enough. I need just think about what I want to be and I can change my shape.

I feel a tingling down my spine, that prickly feeling creeping over my skin. I want to try this now. I have a surge of nervous energy rising in my stomach , I feel quiet nauseous. I must calm down.

Then the sound that can chill an Eskimo: "Winnifred!! Breakfast!!" I will never get used to Nanny interrupting my special train of thought. In one movement I place the little book under my pillow and dress in my fresh frock, socks and nickers. I slip into my black patent leather shoes and rush out of my bedroom and hit the stairs running!! I don't want to keep Nanny waiting, besides which cold porridge is simply dreadful tasting.

"Ouch" tears start spurting from my eyes , as I land hard on my bottom at the foot of the stairwell.
Nanny runs to assist, with Bob Bowfinger in close attendance. "Come now my dear " says Nanny so sweetly that I almost forget that my (now surely bruised) bottom hurts.
Nanny leads my gently to the chair, as I explain looking at her through bleary eyes how my mishap occurred.

A large glass of orange, freshly squeezed, is placed in front of me by Bob Bowfinger. I like you Mr.Bowfinger I think to myself. I wonder what happened to Mr Grimm, our previous butler. I am not permitted to ask such questions, having been told that's "adults business" or in other words, none of my business.

After bleary eyes had dried and porridge all eaten up. I was told those magical words "you can go play!" Oh what joy. The sore bottom now a distant memory I race upstairs to retrieve my little bark covered book. This time I  open the book with some force.
I know exactly what I want to be and where I want to be!! I trust this ( for some bizarre reason) implicitly.

I think about my desired outcome and read

Take me high
Take me low
Make me wings
Make me glow

I dream about
a place to go
how I need to look
I'm sure you know

So take me now
Here I am
I want to be

I wait for the result, remembering the pain of popping wings and the unsure jelly feeling whilst I was made to shrink. I was hardly finished thinking when I realised I was in another room, looking up at something vaguely familiar, yet huge!! I look down at myself . It's the kitchen table leg, wow it looks different from down here.

It worked!!! it really did!!! I'm careful not to speak...erm squeak! I try to look around, I hear those oh so familiar voices Mr. Bowfinger & Nanny. They are chatting. Mr. Bowfinger addresses Nanny as Delores Daffodil. I almost squeak out loud! I caution myself. Delores Daffodil well in all my eleven years on this earth I had never known Nanny be called anything other that Nanny.

I edge ever nearer, so as to hear more closely, their conversation. What I hear you will never believe!! I am shaken to the bone, my ears twitching my mind spiralling out of control. How? Oh how can it be?

Monday, 7 May 2012

Knocking on Faerie Door Part 7

Hastily and absentmindedly I wash.  I get out of the steaming tub, feeling fresh, my body pink, I wrap my towel around me.

Now what was it again? Oh yes that's right, Butterpetal Bloom had reeled them off.

There should be:
A wand, standard issue from what I recall.
A red velvet bag, yes that's right, Faerie Dust!! Secretly I can't wait to use that.
An opalescent orb - to bring the message home. Just what does that mean exactly?
A spell, ooh yes!! My very own spell, I wish I had it right now.

A small cloud of diamond dust surrounds me, I'm momentarily blinded but just as suddenly it's gone.
What was that all about? I am not sure I can cope with all these strange goings-on. I take stock:
I have seen a little door, been "abducted" from my room, miniaturised and be- winged then taken
in to another world. Then on top of all that I have been commanded by this bee sized person to save her people??? Oh and not to forget, got a telling off from Nanny too!

What?? Did this all really happen to me? And if it did happen, why me?

My eyes are drawn downward, I look at my feet. There, between my bare feet lies the tree bark covered book.

It's real!! It's all real!! I shake my head as I need to register all this information. Slowly and unsure of myself I bend down and pick up the little book. It fits perfectly into the palm of my hand. I move over to my bed,  sit down and pull my towel around me as if it will give me some possible protection from what I'm about to do.

Tentatively I open the book.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Knocking on Faerie Door Part 6

I stood in amazement looking at the array of things laid out on the table.

Butterpetal Bloom started speaking, pointing to each object in turn. " A wand, standard issue, not to be used lightly as the power it holds is immense, and if not used for righteous purposes can recoil against you"
She pointed to a little red velvet bag next.
"Magic Faerie dust, again to be used with extreme caution and only as a very last option"

Next she pointed to an oval shaped opalescent orb, "This", she said" you used to drive the message home" and she then drew my attention to a tree bark covered book and said
"finally, here is your spell that will convert you into whatever form you need, you say it and just think about the form you want to take on, and voila!! you will instantly transform".

As I struggled to take it all in, she continued " So take these now and go forth, help us live, please".

Did my ears deceive me? Did this gorgeous creature say please? to me? My mind racing, my heart beating wildly, I feel overwhelmed. Why was I chosen to have all this responsibility heaped on my shoulders? Where am I even to begin with this huge task? Oh my head hurts, I have so much to think about.
Next thing I know, I am hearing the shrill sound ringing in my room like an ear piercing alarm:
 " Winnifred, time to get uuuuupppp!" swiftly followed by what sounded nothing short of a  blast from a foghorn " Winnifred !!! What on earth have you done?" Nanny pulled the curtains open with one swift movement, the bright sunlight falling over my face, I scrunch up my eyes, and open them slowly. This is not the best way to be woken up.

I looked at Nanny, wiping the sleep which somehow sparkled like diamond dust, out of my eye.

Perplexed I ask " What is it Nanny, what ever do you mean?"
Nanny now clearly visible as my eyes adjust to the sunlight, is glowering down at me. Her  size looking imposing as I cower away from her.
" Your beautiful new nightgown, it has two huge tears in it!!" "Look here, right up here on the back"

I stand up out of my warm bed. I am so tired, exhausted even.

Nanny in one swift movement takes the gown from my body.
I am very suddenly wide awake and alert, as if I'd been awake for ages. How am  I going to explain those? I asked myself.
 I had to think quick, how am I going to get myself out of this situation?? It comes to me, act oblivious.
 "Tears Nanny?" " Why, what do you mean?" the events from the previous night still fresh in my mind. I am by no means going admit what had happened to Nanny, she would most certainly chastise me for having a wild imagination. No I simply couldn't tell her!!! I look at her directly and simply shrug my shoulders.

After a lot of tut - tutting and speaking under her breath Nanny, having placed my lovely new pink and white dress along with my delicates and socks on my bed, and having poured water into my ceramic tub (which was a very modern addition to our home) she made to leave my room, stopping only to look back at me, say "hurry and wash girl" shake her head in dismay while glancing down at the torn nightgown. I know she is upset as it will fall to her to mend it.

As I lower myself into the steaming tub, I wonder to myself about the events that took place last night, I mentally walk through the events as they happened. I reach the point where the " tools of my task" were explained to me.... So where are they now?