I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Friday, 19 February 2016

A throne less British

Didn't know they came in pink
Up at 06.25 as usual. Hey! Dawn's sky-slots over the Malverns and one part of winter at least is in retreat.

My mind's full. A post? Practice Santa Lucia? (Too noisy; too early.) More novel? (Lindsay's becoming cruel and it's unexpected; she's being nasty to Jenson; poor Jenson - revealed as just a salesman.) A short story? (It's been ages.)

But no. Yesterday - when, I can't remember - I read some fiction - can't think of the book title. Americans boasting about their bidet. Weird. Bidets are so French and it's traditional for Americans to think of the French as unhygienic.

"If we had the space," I ask VR, "should we install a bidet?"

From deep in her Kindle VR surfaces. "Perhaps. If I knew exactly what the French used them for."

A memory, sixty-five years old. Paris; too much rich food; an embarrassing moment on the pavement (US: sidewalk); the bidet back in the hotel answers. After which an adventure, already posted.

A bidet of our own! If visitors asked, how would I explain? I am not known for my hygiene; with age it’s less important. Am I now boasting? In a crabby Brit-type way?

OK! A post it is! Quod erat demonstrandum.
Hardline Hope, a novel (14,488 words)
Dear Piet, healthy yet timid. When he allowed himself to kiss her it was clear there would be no further progress this side of the marital bed. Lindsay wondered whether this was the result of being brought up within the Dutch Reformed church. But no the DR was regarded as progressive and had pronounced publicly in favour of same-sex marriages. Eventually Piet’s restraint became a mild form of obsession with her and she prolonged their affair... convinced (she)... would finally winkle out Eros.


  1. In the '20s,'30s,'40s and even into the 1950s many apartment buildings in Paris (other parts of France too but Paris is what I know about) did not have proper bathrooms. Working people, such as some of my relatives, made do with a toilet which was nothing more than a hole in the floor of a cubicle to which one had a key.This toilet was shared with other tenants on that floor. I used such a toilet when I visited my relatives. These were by no means slums or tenement buildings but petit bourgeois, well-maintained apartments. For baths or showers, people went to the public baths in the neighbourhood. But the bidet was often an essential and very practical feature in some of the apartments - what could be more useful for washing one's private parts when full-body bathing wasn't at hand? The bidet was/is a genius invention.

  2. Animosity looms. Just for once I'll play the gentleman and remain tranquil.

  3. Good heavens, what have I done now? I thought my bit of bidet history might be of slight interest. How can you possibly take offense with this, Robbie?

    I'm afraid that I'll never understand what the rules are over here and so I'll sign off and out now. Best wishes to all.

  4. Natalie: I am never offended; that would be hypocritical; I'm the one who does the offending. This time it's an interpretive disagreement. Vaya con Dios.

  5. Mm, no, can't quite work out what's going on here. Natalie's interesting and amusing response seemed to be perfectly complementary to your interesting and amusing post. Or so it seemed to me.

    Ah well, disconnects will happen.

  6. Lucy: I have a bad habit of finding myself engaged in acrimonious exchanges of comment with Natalie. I am sure these are all my fault, conceivably a function of age. So where I can foresee a problem, as in this instance, I am choosing not to respond. Length (on my part) tends to be a factor in these breakdowns although not all our comments necessarily end up this way. I can't say I enjoy this fratching. A counsellor perhaps?

  7. Never actually saw it as animosity though. But what do I know?

    Seems like wrong-footing, mistrust and misunderstanding, potential acrimony in all around I see just now. I've decided it's helpful to believe in astrology and put it down to something cosmic. Year of the monkey playing tricks maybe. Not very nice ones.

  8. Lucy: Hard words, then. I'm willing to accept the blame; I have a reputation for "going too far". It's the reverse side of not wanting to be thought banal; anything other than that. The ones that have stuck it so far (and several haven't) have been resilient, have had to be. It's time I figured in a short story (a novel would be too much) but since I'd be the obvious author I'd have to be convinced of my central character's literary value. Any parallels spring to mind? Perhaps George Bowling in Coming Up For Air - the only book my mother dithered about letting me read.

    The Year Of The Monkey, eh? Well there's one running for president over the water.

  9. All: Learned something from all this. It can be far more provocative not to react than to react. This was not my intention, not that it matters. This semi-correspondence has taken on another etiolated existence elsewhere and I'm both glad and relieved.

    But there's a quote that I can't quite remember that might be apt: something about someone who was the cause of something else in others. Rather hard for Google to nail that one down. Nevertheless I feel that I am he (or for that matter, her).