Image copyright Katherine Braithwaite
Day: March 17, 2023
The mystery of the concrete world
Copyright Katherine Braithwaite
Winter with Stan and Mary
Winter had come very early to Knittingham yet owing to the late summer and wet autumn,many trees still had their leaves,,,,,,,,,,,some were even green.Stan and Mary were sitting in their mock Tudor cottage style kitchen eating muffins and honey with Earl grey tea in mugs.
Wow,it’s so cold,Mary remarked.
Now,Mary I have told you before that Wow is not a word I expect to hear from such a highly educated person as yourself….why waste your learning?All those years climbing over wallsOxford and dating clever doctors from Harvard…
Bollocks,Mary answered in a tone not unlike the late Rose Nordloch,philosopher extraordinaire who was famed for her obscene talk.
I am thinking of buying some woollen vests,she continued loudly.
What is it, my darling Stan said nosily.
Mary was looking at a catalogue of ladies clothing. and lingerie which had come in the postThey are £39 each,she said wonderingly.If I get three it will be nearly £120 plus postage.Just imagine,I may be unable to afford wool vests
Can’t you just buy one and wear it all winter like the Tudors did?her loving yet irascible husband replied
I think it would get smelly,my dear,even if I wore my anti -perspirant,Mary answered benignly.We should get wool vests from the Government to save us from going to A and E with double pneumonia,she continued softly…Shall we mention it at the Labour Party meeting? I can get it on the agenda
No,no,Stan cried,I want your lingerie to be a secret…
A woollen vest is hardly lingerie,she retorted.. sounding like a character from Barbara Pym‘s novels
Everything a lady wears under her dress in lingerie he murmured gently….bras,knickers,pantaloons,petticoats,vests,corsets,suspender belts.stockings,tights,trouser liners,lace,fine silk,short underskirts,long underskirts……..nighties
But some lingerie is more sensual…Stan said wistfully,recalling the brown silk underwear Mary used to wear before feminism made most lingerie a No,No! Anyway,Mary said,we are too old for sex….we are too stiff and we are too shy now as well
But not too old to have a few fantasies,Stan thought… and woollen vests did not feature in his… he preferred lace and silk with a hint of perfume…. maybe a little embroidery….a dying art
Emile came in and asked for a vest too and some underpants… suppose I wet them? he miaowed in a panic
Well,you can’t have a nappy,Emile.Stan informed him.
I have no desire for such things,Emile mioawed angrily…where is my food?
Oh, yes… it’s in the fridge,said Stan.He took a large goldfish out of the fridge
Where did you get that from? Mary asked fearfully
Oh,that tom cat down the road knocked a fish tank over and he gave Emile one
.But they are pets!She shrieked…. ring 999 now and ask for an ambulance
Dave the bisexual paramedic strode in looking merry.
It’s Frank,the gold fish,said Mary fearfully……………i he dead
He is not quite dead,Dave answered….get a bowl of rain water.He put Frank into the bowl and Frank began to swim…
Well, that’s a bloody miracle,Mary screamed. almost frightening Stan to death!
Just call him Lazy Lazarus.Dave quipped…he was in suspended animation.. fish are very clever.Would you like me to clean out the kitchen or fetch in some coal for the scuttle? he asked the old dears,
Thanks but not today,Dave.We were just discussing vests.Do you wear one?
Oh,yes.he said, and I wear a short petticoat too….I’dd love a silk one as I am a transexual too,so I believe
Very wise,Mary informed him.Underwear keeps us warm.
And it makes me hot,thought Dave…. but he said nothing.He kept his sex life almost a secret even from himself
To buy or not to buy
That is my question
Mary tries to tell a lie
- Mary was just running out of the front door when she realised she had not combed her hair.
She looked around, and found a small wire brush labelled,”For nubuck and suede shoes”…..
Peering into the old mirror she ran it though her gold and silver hair,powdered her nose with her Estee Lauder natural beige foundation in powder form and slapped some coral lipstick on with haste.. and accuracy.
Right,that’s it,she thought.Enough to show willing.
She met her old friend Maureen at the bus stop.
Have you been seeing Joel again? Maureen asked naughtily.
No,I’ll be damned if I see him again,Mary said shyly.He told me he was living alone in a large house up the hill, then I met him with his wife.Who was he trying to fool?
Maybe he hoped you would not notice?
Not notice what,her wedding ring?
Luckily the bus came down the road and stopped beside them.They jumped on and ran to the back. for a gab.
Are you going shopping? Maureen asked.
No,I am going to take some photos of the jazz band playing on the pavement by the bank… but I told Stan I was going to the pharmacy to buy some Vaseline….
Why,does he not like you taking photos?
Not when an old boyfriend of mine is in the band.
Exactly how old is the boyfriend?
About 69 I guess.
Well he’s not that old!
He is an ex I should have said.I knew him in primary school and used to ride his tricycle.He was my first love.We were only 5 years old.I think it was his red curls and the tricycle that attracted me… but we split up when we were 6.
Surely Stan would not be jealous;it is 63 years ago,
And to me it was like last year!Well. you know time does not exist in the Unconscious.
Yes and no.Good memories can be there but also pain can seem as if it just happened even when it is from 50 years ago.
Have you had a lot of men admiring you,dear?
How would I know?There could be thousands if they were too shy to speak.
You know what I mean!
Not so many.. I had my second when we were 10.He had golden hair and long eye lashes and lots of games in boxes.He was very sweet but we were to young to be engaged so I decided to give men up and study mathematics instead as that has its own icy beauty…
Wel,,nice meeting you.Have you dyed your hair;it’s got brown streaks.
Oh,dear,Mary thought.Is it shoe polish? But who polishes suede shoes nowadays?
Stan was following Mary on his Face Bike.He was watching her from behind the bike racks in front of the HSBC Bank…
Mary had had many bikes in her life.. what would a fortune teller make of that,he asked himself.
Still,she had no idea Stan was nearby as she wandered nonchalantly along the grey pavement in her Rosella dress and Gabor suede Mary Janes..
Now then, where shall I go to take the photos,she thought…maybe I’ll sit outside this Coffee Shop and pretend to feel faint if anyone asks me to buy coffee…
she opened her bag and took out her Kindle Paperwhite… she was reading,
Creative Imagery and Healing… and also Cars and Peace by Leo Wholeshaw.. a futuristic novel set in North London.In the first chapter a grandmother has been beheaded in North London.
That’s a bit far fetched,Mary had thought when she read it but in fact Wholeshaw had been right on the ball when he wrote his e book and self published it on Cramuzon for £3.89…
I wonder if I’d like to write a novel, Mary mused… just then she saw Stan on the other side of the road talking to a blonde bombshell dressed all in pink.
I see,she thought.He didn’t know I’d be here as the pharmacy is half a mile away.
Who is watching whom?Well.the morals be lacking but my grammar is incorrect, damn it!
And so swear of us
It kept the rain from Emile’s eyes
When the weather turns out wet
Emile has to wear a hat
Mary bought it in a Sale
Making sure it was for males.
Yellow with two cotton ties
It keeps the rain from Emile’s eyes
Mary has her own hat too
Bought in Orford, it is blue
Emile as he is a cat
Up a tree does love to sit
But when he’s leaping tree to tree
With his rain hat , he can’t see.
Mary said, “well stay indoors
You can help me with the chores
I’ll make a harness with a cart
You can carry soap.dear heart.”
“Otherwise go visit Anne
Eat the curry in her pan
Scratch her doormat,sniff for mice
Eat her cake and churn her rice”
I think I saw Stan on the stairs
It’s that velvet coat he wears
I may go and have a rest
I can lean upon his chest
Shall we visit him tonight?
Emile,dear, you must not bite
If he is a spirit now
You may only give a bow
Annie came in looking flushed
By the milkman she was kissed
One more man and she will die
Mary says she needs meat pie
Then the ladies make some tea
Gossip till their minds are free
Mary wants to write a book
If dear Anne will learn to cook
Stan is hiding in the coats
He is checking what they write
Then an angel flies to him
God wants enemies within
So practise love and hope and faith
Even though you have no grace
Say God is dead but do not taunt
Jesus preaching on the Mount
Be you friend or be you foe
Through a needle’s eye we go
See, you’re full of love and grace
Now go home and wash your face