Saturday, October 31, 2009


The gentleman sat on the station platform waiting for her to arrive. Nervously he looked down at the pale translucent skin on the back of his hands, counting the dark stains of the liver spots. She had once held those hands in hers, youthful hands, strong hands. He glanced away from the painful reminder of his aging, searching for the clock and the endless ticking seconds till they would meet again.

Closing his eyes he pictured every detail of her appearance when he had last seen her. That memory had grown stronger with each passing year. Her dark hair swept back in a cascade of soft curls, topped by her neat felt hat, her hazel eyes soft and tender. A dash of rouge on each rounded cheek and soft plump red lips inviting his kiss. She wore a blue coat nipped in at the waist gently flaring over her hips it accentuated her figure. She had been so proud of that coat it had taken the last twenty clothing coupons she had.

He opened his eyes and looked at the clock once more, it was eight fifteen, just a few more minutes. The platform was deserted as always, the trains had long since stopped calling at this station. The seconds ticked by as he recalled the night they had parted. They were so different, their lives and families were worlds apart. His parents had never liked her she was from a working class family they did not think that she was good enough for him. They would never allow the young couple to marry he knew. 

More seconds ticked by, eight sixteen.  He stroked the breast pocket of his jacket fondly touching the ring he had carried close to his heart for the last sixty two years. They had arranged to meet at seven o'clock to catch the night train to London Kings Cross, they were eloping they would start a new life together. He had been late, she had been waiting for over an hour. His parents sensing something was afoot had delayed him. Now it was his turn to wait on the station platform. eight seventeen, the chill air made his bones ache, he sat silently as he watched the clock. In another minute she would be here.

At eight eighteen she arrived, quietly she stood at the edge of the platform watching him. His heart pounded in his chest, his breathing quickened and his chest ached with the effort. She was as beautiful as ever. Her plump red lips parted in a smile as she held out her hands to him. Struggling to raise himself from the seat he shuddered as the icy air seized his limbs. She stood still, arms outstretched smiling, drawing him to her. Slowly he found the use of his legs walking to her eager to feel her touch. Her hands were soft and cool he squeezed them in his aging hands. He could barely breath as he took in the youthful beauty of her face, her dark hair under her hat and the blue coat, she was right to be proud of it. Somewhere in the distance a train horn sounded as it approached the station.  

He glanced at the clock, eight nineteen, he loved her, he had always loved her. He felt the rush of air as the train approached the station. Silently, hand in hand they stepped from the platform edge just as she had done sixty two years before, just as he had watched her do each All Hallows Eve for the last sixty one years.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Final Girdle

Mrs Beeton for those of you who don't know her is my mother in law. She is, how shall I put it, somewhat set in her ways and a little remote from reality. No she isn't suffering from dementia or anything like that, she has always been this way. Now as she approaches her eighty ninth birthday her little idiosyncracies are becoming ever more demanding.

To Mrs Beeton her phone is much the same as oxygen, she cannot live without it. This results in numerous phone calls throughout the day most of them with the same content. She has set conversations for different people. Much the same as her set duties for each of us. His Lordship deals with financial matters and anything involving tradesmen. I on the other hand am designated shopping assistant, prescription courier, and girdle purchaser.

Now fortunately for me I approached womanhood at a time when far from hooking, zipping and tying themselves into undergarments, women were burning them. My knowledge of such garments of torture has been vicariously gained through my girdle tracking expeditions with Mrs Beeton.  By their nature they are somewhat elusive creatures and are rather secretive. Add to this their declining numbers, they are I believe on the endangered species list, and it is becoming ever more difficult to find them.

So when Mrs Beeton informed me that she needed a new girdle I began the hunt for an outlet. After much interwebby searching and some interesting encounters with girdle fetish sites I tracked down a shop in a town not too far away.

A few days later with Mrs Beeton in tow we headed to the girdle emporium. It looked a friendly sort of place with net curtains discretely shielding the contents and customers from the eyes of the outside world. On entering the shop we were greeted by two ladies attired in matching twinsets and decor laden with chintz and lace. Mrs Beeton was immediately shown to a waiting chair. It was clear that they were not merely purveyers of girdles but also brassiers, corsetry and huge knickers. Whalebone and gussets were respectable fayre for conversation in this establishment.

Feeling that Mrs Beeton was in safe hands I took the opportunity to slip out of the shop and wander through the market place. A short while later I returned to find Mrs Beeton still sitting where I had left her surrounded by an array of girdles. I noted that both of the previously serene ladies now had something of a flush about their faces.

"How are we doing?" I enquired

"Oh I think we just about have it," replied lilac twinset

"Do they come with suspenders?" interjected Mrs Beeton

I looked at her quizically, "you don't wear stockings."

"I like to have suspenders as back up." she replied 

"We can provide suspenders dear." the pink twinset said soothingly

A few suspenders later and Mrs Beeton was the proud owner of two new girdles.

Now at this point I should mention that Mrs Beeton is of somewhat diminutive stature, she is barely four feet eleven inches high and weighs seven stone dripping wet. You would therefore not be forgiven for wondering why she feels the need for the confines of a girdle. Well I have mused on that subject myself on occasion, but I have to say my imagination has discretely confined itself to the fact that as a somewhat obsessive character ruled by routine she has always worn them and always will. Apparantly this is not so!

The following week I was sorting Mrs Beeton's laundry, yes this is another of my duties, and came upon one of the newly acquired girdles. To my horror I discovered that it had been slashed along the bottom edges. My mind raced with all manner of explanations, had she had a hot date with Freddy Krueger? Had she not really been a proud owner and slashed them with her butter knife? This defacing of the girdle made no sense. I took it to Mrs Beeton.

"What on earth happened to this?" I enquired holding up the offended girdle

"Oh I had to make some modifications," she replied somewhat embarrassed


"I don't like anything tight around my tummy,"

"It's a girdle! Isn't that the idea," I replied somewhat surprised

"Oh no, I use it to keep my tights up, they keep falling down,"

I looked at her legs and sure enough her tights were rolling around her ankles in such a fashion that Nora Batty would have eaten her heart out. "What size tights are you buying?" I asked

"Large, I've always bought large," she replied indignantly

I have now added another duty to my list, tights monitor. She now has several new pairs of warm lyle tights in a small size and the lovely new girdles have been consigned to the dustbin. Alas the great girdle hunting expeditions have now come to an end and it would appear that Mrs Beeton's tights will now be contributing to the further demise of the girdle emporiums.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Frock Horror - An Impromptu Little Cultural Exercise.

Do you ever feel like the forces are conspiring against you?

It has been raining here quite heavily at times over the past week.. I know here in blighty who would have dreamed. Anyway at the weekend I bought myself a rather nice frock for work. So on Tuesday I decided to give the said frock its first outing. I did look rather fetching I have to say. I spent the day carrying out a number of home visits. As I left my final visit the heavens opened and when I say opened they poured buckets. I was drenched through to the skin.

I could have wrung my lovely new frock out like a dish cloth. Accompanied  by much squishing and sloshing I headed home. Oh the relief when I got out of my soggy attire. Unfortunately this soon turned to concern when I noticed my entire mid section was a startling shade of azure blue.  The dye from my lovely frock had run and I now matched the lining perfectly. So I was slightly miffed that after two showers and lots of scrubbing , (I have to say I was buffed to perfection and silky smooth), my mid section still had a lustrous blue hue. I headed off to the shop from where I purchased the frock.

Handing the frock to the counter assistant I explained my 'mishap'. Examining it she scanned the label. "Madam I'm sorry but this dress is dry clean only." she announced.

"Yes dear I am aware of that, but I didn't put it in the washing machine" I replied

"Being dry clean only it means you should not get it wet"

"I got caught in the rain"

She looked at me over the rims of her Dolce and Gabbana spectacles, and hmmed loudly. "I will have to get the Manageress, I can't deal with this," she said and she retreated into the back of the shop holding my frock at arm's length.

The Manageress appeared and eyed me slowly, (it was the kind of shop that likes to cater to a certain class of clientele), in my somewhat bedraggled state I clearly did not pass muster. "Madam I cannot possibly reimburse you for this purchase, it clearly states dry clean only and you have got the dress wet." she said handing the soggy frock back to me with a look of disdain.

"But it was not my fault," I demanded, "I got caught in the rain,"

"then you should have taken shelter" she replied.

"Oh I'm terribly sorry, perhaps I should have hammered on a door requesting they let me in, 'help! help! it's an emergency, I need assistance, it's raining and my frock is DRY CLEAN ONLY', " I said somewhat sarcastically. She was not amused.

"Madam our returns policy does not cover 'acts of nature'."

"What about terrorism?" I enquired


"Actually I was mistaken, it was not the rain, it was the Physioterrorist suspect I was visiting who unbeknown to me had been in the process of making a water bomb, which turned out to be unstable and unfortunately detonated as I reached for a current bun." I replied triumphantly. Her glare instantly froze the soggy frock in my hands and it was clear that the returns policy did not cover 'acts of terrorism' either.

You will be pleased to note that both I and the frock have now dried out and we shall enjoy future outings together only after checking the weather forecast.
A Tykes Progress. Design by Exotic Mommie. Illustraion By DaPino