Tuesday, December 30, 2014

So ...

            It’s after eleven o’clock, and I’m still up. Sad, huh? I believed I was on the mend some but managed to get sick in bed. I’m washing all the bedding. The sheets and a blanked are left. Another blanked is in the wash and a quilt is in the drier. All is not lost. At least my tummy feels better. … That’s a good thing.

            Knobby Knees thought I had the flu. What I have is a very potent medication to which my stomach sometimes objects.

            While the washer does its job, I’ve been busy writing. I’ve learned that I really don’t know how to spell effeminate. But, hopefully, I have now learned how.

A Pixie in Her Natural Environment.
[Note the Coffee, the Writing Tools, and the Books. Not seen in this image are the flirting toes.]

            Knobby Knees (aka my pet Scot) took pity on me today. My library spills over into the family room. There are seven bookcases in there, two of which were really ratty and too small. He disappeared off to town late this afternoon, returning with two new put-them-together bookcases. One is assembled and in place. The other will go up tomorrow.

            Back who knows when my grandfather painted over an ash wood beam. It’s as original in my work room. But it’s a nasty white painted over thing in the family room. Stripping and varnishing it is a daunting job that we’ve never wanted to tackle. KK says he can have it faced with nice, varnished wood. As I type this, that corner of the room is a disaster. Books are piled haphazardly; an old chest sits there, waiting to be returned to its proper place. A television destined for recycle is there. I may take a before and after photo. We’ll see. It’s a mess, but it should be back in order by the weekend.

            The shelves will still be less than what I would like. But we can’t afford custom-made bookcases. They will do.

            The story I’m writing has changed dramatically from its oral version. When I tell a story, my family interrupts to ask for detail or to make suggestions. Putting it on paper is a different matter. I’ve started it earlier in Tabatha’s life, added details and characters. I won’t post much of it. This is the ‘second version,’ the ‘naughty version’ that I whisper to my pet when we’re in bed or alone. Parts aren’t suitable for this blog.


But there is this:


            The Fens were not densely populated, but we had marriages on a regular basis, and those attached to father’s house were obligated to seek his permission. Some few sought the blessing, usually families that kept the old ways and worshiped in the groves with the wild women. To them father was rightful king, even after three hundred years of occupation.

            “Here,” Aunty said, “take the platter and serve our guests.” She loaded it onto my arms.

            “It’s too heavy,” I complained.

            She took it back with a frown and complaint. “You’re a slight thing; I despair of you ever growing to a proper size.” She reduced the load of honey cakes by nearly half and shooed me out the door. “Remember you’re his daughter,” she yelled after me.

            She meant my father’s daughter, of course.

            Few had arrived, but the hour was early in the predawn. An ox drawn wagon painted garish red and blue identified the family here for blessing. I served them first. The mother smiled at me. “I’m Isobel verch Roi,” she said.

            Her name was a combination of the old style and of the New Nobility’s speech. Isobel, daughter of the king. Certainly not the king who sat in the palace. “This is my mate, David.” David was interesting. He had the firm muscles of a Fenland’s farmer, but he also had the muscles one would associate with a Knight at his peak. Such a puzzle. “And these are our sons Rafe and Brand-Connor.” Two boys. Fourteen and twelve by my best judgment. The younger, named for heroes of old, was frank-faced and ruddy. The older was tall, thin, and though strong enough in build seem dainty, effeminate. A three-year-old girl sat on her lap, a thumb in her mouth and sleep in her eyes. “This is Hawice, our youngest,” she said.

            The girl who leaned into her mother’s side looked up wide-eyed. Before her mother could introduce her to me, she said, “You’re Tabatha the Chosen!” That was debatable. Old Aunt though I was. My mother agreed. I was uncertain. And I was embarrassed at the name and what it implied. [omitted sentence] “You herd the sacred goats,” she said.


            Now, back to laundry. I may get to bed sometime before tomorrow, but it doesn’t look like it.


  1. I hope you don't read this for several more hours. It's 9 AM here, 6 AM on your side of the country and you need your sleep.

    Tabatha, the Chosen, herder of the sacred goats, daughter to the king of the fenland. What is in her future? Is she to marry young? What adventures will she have? I, for one, am anxious to find out the answers.

    I hope you sleep better tonight. We are not planning anything special for New Year's Eve. I'll probably watch a little TV and go to bed early. At my age if you have seen one new year, you have seen 65. It gets tiring after awhile.

    For now it is time for some coffee and perhaps a bite or two of breakfast. I'm having a hard time getting started this morning.

  2. Mess? You should see my bedroom.

    I long for a next preview of the story.