Flowers and Fleems Sunday, Jun 1 2008 

Miss Elizabeth O. reported:
My house is positively swimming in flowers, for one of my daughters decided to get a job at a flower stand over the holidays, and all the leftover flowers from Valentines day, she brought home. I didn’t realize how many flowers were sold for this special day, but it must be an awful awful lot based on how many were left over, for the lady who owns the flower cart told my daughter that she had sold over 200 times the amount that was left behind, and what was left was enormous. She let my daughter have them, as my daughter told her that her mother just adored flowers, and made her own bath oils and sachets out of the petals. This lady was so sweet, for she sent the whole lot over.

It was quite funny, for we ran out of vases to put the flowers in, so we started placing them in pitchers. We ran out of these also, and now most of our iced tea glasses are serving as make do flower vases. This works out just fine, unless someone comes to visit and happens to be thirsty, for we have no choice but to serve them iced tea out of either cocktail, orange juice or wine glasses. I of course preferred serving it from wine glasses, because I’m always looking for an excuse to use them!

The fairies seem to be smiling on my family as of late, for we have found some remarkable real items of clothing at fleems. Our greatest find was a poodle skirt in almost new condition. My oldest daughter adores poodle skirts, and she of course was almost doing flips in the yard at her find. This amused the lady holding the sale so much, that she decided to raid her attic, and lo and behold she turned up two other skirts! And she insisted on giving these to my daughter as a gift, free of charge. My daughter couldn’t just take these without doing something for this lovely lady, so she came home and baked her some cookies and made her a lovely wreath for her front door. When she took these to the lady, the lady decided to raid her attic some more, and turned up with some real blouses and a plaid skirt with the price tag still attached!!! Because of these happenings, my daughter has positively become a fleem fanatic. I bet she dreams of fleems in her sleep even!

Which brings me to this little tale. Last Saturday, a huge fleem was advertised, with many new and classic items. My daughter of course was awake and ready to go at 6:30 that morning, so we could get there before all the real things were taken. The sale was a bit of a disappointment, for most of the wares were just bongo junk but we did get a little laugh out of one thing. The proprietors of this sale had these poles with many lines running on it, in a somewhat squarish/circular fashion. I can’t describe very well what it looked like, other than a tv antennae with string everywhere. As my daughter and I were rummaging about trying to find something of interest, we overheard them trying to sell this item to another person. I heard the lady remark that it was called a solar clothes dryer, that it used no energy other than the rays of the sun. To which the customer replied, “Wow I didn’t realize that you could get solar dryers also”. Tee hee. My daughter and I just looked at one another and kind of half smiled, both suppressing giggles at this person. This person ended up buying this “new fangled” solar clothes dryer, probably at an inflated cost also.

But, the solar clothes dryer joke aside, I wanted to say that for those who have never used a clothesline, please do try it, especially for your bed sheets and tableclothes. You literally do trap the fresh air and sunshine into the fibres, and of course your house smells so nice when you change the linens. My family can tell that the sheets have been changed on the beds when they walk in the front door, long before they enter the bedchambers just by the smell in the house. Laundry detergents and fabric softeners don’t even come close to this lovely smell of freshness and cleanliness.

The Golden Dragon Sunday, May 4 2008 

At the Cocktail Bar, where Aristasians once gathered, music played and drinks were served…

Miss Mina: For as the other pettes savour the decadence of fleeming, I have decided that unless otherwise informed, there is no such thing as an allergy to alcohol in Aristasia. Oh, it’s not that the non-alcy Blonde Bombshell is so unpalatable, really. I suppose it could get a bit sickly, but I find it is greatly improved by being taken in little sips from a coffee spoon, like cod liver oil. I have been getting some funny looks though…

Now about the drink. Perhaps I ought to have something really dramatic – to celebrate my shocking conversion to Vice (after all, I do sometimes worry that I’m a bit too much of a good girl). I wonder; can the Cocktail Bar furnish that mysterious, exotic beverage of legend, the Golden Dragon?

Miss Mehitabelle: We are pleased beyond pleasure by your grace and charm. But from sugar and cream to a Golden Dragon? Do you not, as they say in Miralene, climb the mountain with a single step? Do drink it carefully, I beg you, for I have heard they are no light matter. Nor will you find ours so perfect as those from Rayapurh, but Miss Ithelia is kind enough to tell us that they are, which means, I dare to hope that they are not so very bad.

Dear bar-blonde, a Golden Dragon for Miss Mina, and in the proper goblet.

Miss Ellhedrine: Golden Dragons do look delightful. Can I smell yours? Ooh! just the scent makes me quite squiffy. And gosh, they’re three shillings! Imagine a drink being three shillings! I suppose that is because it comes all the way from Rayapurh or somewhere.

Another day…

Miss Mina: And now I shall relate without further ado the sorry tale of my first exercise in social imbibement. In attempting that hoary Golden Dragon, well, I not only climbed the mountain with a single step – I fear I fell right into the volcano. Oh, it was most exquisite, and queerly aetheriel – so that it was all I could do to be sure I had really drunk any – which was quite possibly the reason for the eventual disappearance of nearly all the goblet’s contents. So Miss Ellhedrine! We should both be thankful that I hadn’t the shekels to buy one for your sweet self – as I had been naturally inclined to do after you expressed such awe and “squiffy”ness at the sight and scent. For I can attest that it is a powerful substance indeed. Although I swear I felt just fine when I left for home… And as for what happened when I did get home… Well, I hung my coat up, took a little compact from my beaded bag, and looked. But instead of my face, all I could see in the mirror was a silken golden mist. I peered resolutely into it, and found I could make out what appeared to be scales – or, as I peered closer – fiery-gold chainmail… And then a figure slowly turning toward me, occupying all my field of vision…

Of course, I promptly fainted. Fortunately Evangeline heard the compact crash to the floor, and came rushing in. She went flying then about the house, upturning all-and-sundry in search of her 1903 ‘Home Notes’ annual, which at last she found – and I was eventually revived with the reliable “Remedy for Fits and Swooning Spells.”

Could it be, I consider now, that the Golden Dragon is one of the most decisive Aristasian sex-determination tests as ever there was? If so it ought to come with instructions. (‘Brunettes: Partake of the Golden Dragon without recourse to the smelling salts. Blondes: Experience abnormal phenomena and lie in for a week, resting languidly in yards and yards of something rather pale and diaphanous…’)

A Mysterious Bottle Thursday, Apr 3 2008 

Miss Fox confided:
While I was at home last night with my very best friend, Miss Vernon, there was a knock at the door. Now, I live in a nice, quiet townhouse (terrace to the rest of you) and we rarely get anyone wandering up our driveway, especially at 11pm on a frosty night. So I put down the brandy, slipped on my slippers (the high-heeled ones with the swansdown trimming – I save the fluffy bunny ones for when I’m alone), drew my housecoat around me and answered the door.I couldn’t see anyone. Mercy me, girls, I thought at first someone might then spring out at me, but the night was undisturbed. The moon rode in the cold evening sky, and a nippy breeze whistled around my ankles. I was just about to shut the door when I noticed a glint of light from near my feet. I tell you, girls, as I picked up that bottle, my heart raced and I darted out into the drive to try and spot my mysterious caller. But not a movement disturbed the evening except the rattling of the twigs on the trees. So, quick as I could, I slipped back inside and shut the door.

Needless to say, Miss Vernon (to whom I have told everything) was intrigued as much as I, and we searched the bottle for any hints about its origins. It was a small, crystal bottle with a carved stopper. As we opened it, the scent of flowers just wafted out and seduced our very senses with its rich, joyous scent. But there were no markings or trademarks at all anywhere on the bottle, no card nor wrapping left with it, and I am still puzzled!

Miss Vernon and I spent the rest of the evening puzzling over the mystery, but all I can tell you, pettes, is that as soon as I know anything, I’ll let you know as well.

Tea and Angelic Music Thursday, Feb 14 2008 

teahouse1We had a nice impromptu meeting at the Embassy. The house had actually been locked up because of a security problem and nobody had a key. Fraulein Landgrebe and I were standing disconsolately outside the front door like Latchkey Kids sans latchkey (actually we weren’t disconsolate at all, we were having a lovely chat). When Miss Yatsenko popped along she had the intelligent idea (why didn’t we?) of adjourning to the lovely tea house on the roof.

Since we used to spend all our time in said tea house before the downstairs began to be furnished, I can’t imagine why I didn’t think thereof. But I then I am well known for being a well-known Chinese snack known as a Dim Shroom.

Then – joy of joys – my beloved Cousin, returned from Japan, was able to pop in and take tea with us.

Miss Yatsenko was talking fascinatingly to Fraulein Landgrebe about music. She is dreadfully expert in the mathematics of musical theory and listens to Bach with a pen and paper, analysing the creative mathematics. To a shroom who loves but cannot even read music, this was more than impressive.

Die Fraulein is a wonderful linguist and organiser, Miss Yatsenko clearly a musical sorceress, dear Yu-chei is far clever at Japanese than my poor smatterings, and so knowledgeable about Chinese as well as being an accomplished Vikhelic artist (and blonde too!) We are surrounded by such clever maidens, I feel more than ever like the family Dim Shroom.

Miss Fraulein quoted an atheist who said “There is no God, but if there were, Bach would be God”. Curiously – or perhaps not curiously – this is a wonderfully precise inversion of the truth, for “God geometrises always” as Plato said. Mathematics, as Sai Hermya taught (the very ancient one – not Hermya of Rayapurh), and as the Tellurian Pythagoreans knew, is the very basis of the universe in a way far different from that imagined by modern physics (although the mathematical approach of modern physics perhaps stands to traditional cosmology in the relation of a peasant pidgin to a high sacred language long forgotten).

I too love Bach and much other music, and though I cannot analyse it (I should love to learn) I somehow feel its relation to the Music of the Spheres. I spoke to a wise Ranya once about whether it was meet for a child of the Motherland (even in exile) so to adore the works of the Outlander, and she said “Why, my child, do you suppose it is called music? Because, where it is true and pure it is written directly by the Muse, through the hand of whomever she chooses.”

So I feel truly that in Bach I am listening not to the music of a mascul, but of the Angels.

Miss Miranda at the Cocktail Bar Sunday, Jul 15 2007 

Miss Miranda pops in:

Well, hello to all of you grown ups here in this bar. I am new and if my Brunette Mummie knew I was here, what lines I might get! But my Brunette Mummie doesn’t know, so please, don’t tell her! I mean, I haven’t even had my coming out party yet, so how in the world could I be so very “out” as I am here, in this gorgeous cocktail bar. I would feel a bit more shy, except that I am never shy and after all, I have been reading books about places like this one for years! So Barmaid, could I please have a soda from that soda fountain over there?I might be a bit naughty just by being here, but even I know better than to ask for a real cocktail, say, like a Manhattan (I read about those too!), I mean, you wouldn’t actually give me a Manhattan, would you? And, perhaps with an extra cherry like that one over there?

Now, I feel I just have to answer Miss Barbara’s question about being stuck in the Pit, all the while having an Aristasian body and soul. And really, I can’t believe it took little fourteen-year-old me to answer this question, and the question must have the simplest answer if such a blonde Blonde as yours truly can come up with it so easily.

The answer is this: move to Aristasia! I mean, even if you can’t really, you can in your head, don’t you know? Miss Barbara, just go there when life is so terrible! I know I have, for, to be completely honest, I don’t really have a Brunette Mummie or a Blonde Mummie for that matter, because I also am from the Pit, but in my head I have these Mummies and in my head all of the cars are round and beautiful and all of the clothes are completely up-to-date! In my head, you see. Just go there in your head and you’ll see that what is in your head is real and what is in the “real” world is false. That’s what magic is, and once you visit Aristasia, you understand that magic is so much more real than anything else.

Of course, Olyvya is right, if you can meet with other real girls who think as you do, it can be so much easier, but even on your own this will work! For instance, today I lost an hour, simply misplaced it, and I was supposed to go somewhere at noon, and when I looked at the clock, it was 1:00, and I was so shocked! Well, where I really live everyone was so roll-their-eyes-at-me but in Aristasia, in my head, everyone simply said, as they patted me on my back, “Why, of course, dear, Blondes, especially very young Blondes and very Blonde Blondes, always misplace hours. Don’t worry your sweet head about it.” So much more sane, don’t you think, Miss Barbara?

Thank you, Barmaid, for the Manhattan, um, er, I mean the lovely cream soda. It’s everything I always dreamed it would be. Thank you to all my new friends for listening to me go on and on and on.

Ta ta!

The Silver Screen Game Saturday, Jun 2 2007 

Miss Miranda suggested:
Could we all play a little game? I thought it might be fun to say who you think you really are inside. I mean, who from the movies you think you really are. I mean, who is you, really. Oh, now I’ve fumbled it all, and maybe you don’t even know what I mean, but, here, I’ll go first.

I think that maybe I am the girl Miss Monroe plays in The Seven Year Itch, even though I am only sixteen years old because she is so simple and sweet and a little on the dumb side. I don’t mind saying it, but I am, you know. A little on the dumb side. But who would mind if she were as pretty as Miss Monroe? I’m not, as you can see. As pretty as Miss Monroe, but the way she looks and acts is just the way I feel, so I pick her.

But, if I were to say who I want to be more like, it would have to be Bernadette in Song of Bernadette, because, like Miss Monroe, she is simple and sweet, but she also is so good. Watching that movie just makes a girl want to be as good as she can, even if nobody else understands what being good means.

Oh, I am sorry to babble. I really am.

I hope you all can tell me who you think is most like you on the silver screen and maybe you can say too who you wish you could be more like as well, so I don’t feel so silly for having said all that.

Miss Ellhedrine replied:
Dears and darlings, here is your own Ellhedrine. You can always guess what I have been up to when you haven’t seen me for a spot – just working away, preparing for all those dreadful exams. Now that I know I shall see Miss Barbara sometimes at Milchford I am foply anxious to get there (foply is the next one up after triply, you know – singly, doubly, triply, foply).

And every one has been so nice to me. Miss Barbi and Mina saying I am exotic, even though I am only Ellhedrine Joans from a little town in Quirinelle who goes to Brightsea for her holidays, and even though I wear a green school uniform and only put on my squirrel coat to come here. Well, of course that is kind, but I can hear in your dear voices that you really mean it. I am not sure how you can, but I know you do, and that has made me so very happy.

Miranda, your game is just a wonderful idea. Now, I’ll tell you who I feel like on the silver screen, but you must promise not to laugh. It is Katherine Hepburn. Now isn’t that strange. Every one says “Surely you mean Audrey Hepburn”, but I don’t, I mean Katherine. I know she is terribly brunette and I am rather on the blonde side of blonde, but she is who I mean, even so. I could never be chic and poised like Audrey, but Katherine’s wonderful, high-strung, nervous vitality – yes, you see it now, don’t you? – and her magical theatricality (perhaps that is what makes me seem exotic if I have a hint of it). When I see one of her films I “catch” her for days afterwards and sound much more like her than me.

In the summer my two brunette cousins came down from Milchford with a group of sophisticated ‘varsity blondes and brunettes, and Dora said “This is little cousin Ellhedrine [and she did pronounce the “h”, bless her]. She suffers from the delusion that she’s Katherine Hepburn”, and Lucilella said. “Nonsense, darling, she doesn’t suffer from it, she thoroughly enjoys it.”

Anyway, I am sublimely happy at present, and Katherine-ing away like anything when I’m not swotting. And all that hard work does seem to tone me up and make me feel more alive and able to take an interest in just about everything. It is so good for me.

Futurism at the Cocktail Bar Wednesday, May 23 2007 

The Cocktail Bar was one of the earliest places for Aristasians to meet in Elektraspace, and some strange and wonderful conversations were had there! You can still see most of them in the Cocktail Bar Archives. Here is a example: Daffodil is speaking…

Ah, Pettes. It is to wonderful to travel. It is even Better to return. The warmth and friendship, hip!, here are dear to me. You darlings are the most Wonderful companions a girl could Hope for. I just love you so much. Oh, am I being too overly maudlin? Well, I have Just come from a Champagne Reception for this terrific artist, Marinetti and they served lots of it. Champagne. I do so like Bubbly, hup!

She’s part of the Vintesse ‘Mama/Futurist movement’. She designs recipes for dinner performances. How can I possibly describe it? Oh, wait! I have a program…Here is her Autumn Musical Dinner:

“In a hunter’s cabin secluded in a green-blue-gilded forest, two couples sit down at a rough wood table made from trunks of oak.

“The brief blood-red twilight lies in agony beneath the enormous bellies of darkness as if under rain-soaked and seemingly liquid whales.

“As they wait for the peasant cook, the only food that passes along the still empty table is the whistle that the wind makes through the door lock, to the left of the diners.

“Dueling with that whistle is the long, sharp wail of a violin note escaping from the room on the right belonging to the cook’s convalescent brunette daughter.

“Then, silence for a moment. Then, two minutes of chick peas in oil and vinegar. Then seven capers. Then twenty-five liqueur cherries. Then twelve fried potato chips. Then a silence of a quarter of an hour during which the mouths continue to chew the vacuum. Then, a sip of Barolo wine held in the mouth for one minute. Then a roast quail for each of the guests to look at and inhale the smell without eating. Then four long handshakes to the peasant cook and off they all go in the darkness-wind-rain of the forest.”

She calls herself a Futurist, hep!, Aeropoet. Need I add that she’s simply the most Intense Brunette I’ve ever met? Barpette, may I have a brimming glass of French Fizzy stuff?

Patience and I are just back from a Romantic jaunt to the continent via Zeppelin. Patience knows I love to travel by airship and arranged the Excursion as a surprise. Isn’t she tops? Have I shown you her picture? Wait… I have one in my bag somewhere… Oh, here she is in her new yellow hat.

She took me first to Berlin for a week. We attended some Night Spots where the entertainment was certainly Eye Popping. The costumes on the, hip!, girls, well, I don’t consider myself Prudish in the least but I blushed crimson never-the-less.

Our next stop was Madrid. The second night, while staying at a lovely villa, we had a dinner of spiced chicken and rice accompanied by a smooth Port. It was there and then that Patience agreed to set a date. Do you know, I nearly Fell off my seat!

We have been betrothed now for nearly three years and every time I brought up the subject of setting a date, Patience found some excuse to put it off. First it was her, hoop!, family. Then her work. I love her so deeply that I was willing to wait until eternity. Yet I despaired we would ever Actually marry. And here she was asking if May or June would be alright. Well, I set her straight at once. Anyone knows no wedding can be Properly planned in a month or two. The engraver alone needs three for the invitations. And for my dress, Goodness, I’d need twice that time. Perhaps later I could impose on Miss Anita, our Paramount Studios Archivist, for some suggestions?

I’m the luckiest Blonde in the world, hip!

Cigars Sunday, May 6 2007 

Miss Sharona asked:

What does one feel about cigar smoking in Aristasia? I am not at all sure how I feel about the matter myself, although I must admit that as a blonde, the idea of a brunette puffing along is rather charming…

Miss Carina answered:

I have known Aristasians-in-Telluria smoke cigars, not only brunettes either, and while I wouldn’t call it charming, there are worse things. I would have thought that it would spoil the taste of the wine, but it seems not; at least, it doesn’t spoil the appetite for it.

Lady Amelia wondered:

Ah, but does the foul weed actually grow within the fair borders of Aristasia? I am utterly hazy about the flora and fauna. There are certain, shall we say, unnecessary plants and creatures which any blonde and many a brunette would gladly banish. But perhaps nothing should be excluded?

Sweet Jutta said:

I only can speak for myself, but I would not need any cigars not for me, neither for anybody else. I find the smoke of cigars very acerb. It makes my eyes water and when the smoke gets cold I hardly can bear the smell of it. So smoking cigars is not very appealing to me. From time to time I oversee an adult brunette whose elegance is emphasized by her smoking of a cigarette. But for blondes I think smoking is just a bad habit and I will refrain from it.

Miss Annya agreed:

I certainly prefer the smell of cigars to that of cigarettes. Cigarettes smell dry and acerbic and not in any way pleasant, while cigars can often smell rich and rather delightful. I am speaking of the smell of other people’s puffers here. Passive smoking is an excellent occupation for the idle blonde. However, she must insist on her smoking-servitors using only the best and most expensive puffers. Pleasant aroma without all the bother of puffing for oneself.

I am afraid my smoking is passive these days since Miss Drusilla and my beastly sister Lindie got together to say they didn’t think a blonde of my years ought to smoke, and my Guardian (who used to be a little indulgent on these matters) agreed. Lindie! One’s own flesh and blood! Et too brutal, what?

Anyway, the Lindie-beast bagged some rather jolly little cigars in America. Vanilla-flavoured and with their own little built-in holders. Including a lovely jewelled cigarette-holder which would convert even the most confirmed non-smoker. Actually, even Lindie only smokes about two a month. After all, smoking is a performance, not an indulgence.

Calamity Jane Thursday, Apr 26 2007 

Calamity Jane

Miss Belleanne said:
I saw Calamity Jane at the weekend, and it was actually rather splendid! Marvellous blonde and brunette leads! Any thoughts, pettes?

Miss Daphne agreed:
Yes, I simply love this film. “The Deadwood Stage” has to be one of the best musical songs – all that brunette energy. And it’s a wonderful sequence when the girls turn the run-down shack into a sweet and cosy home. I also enjoy that song where Calamity and Wild Bill are so rude to each other – “I Can Do Without You”. Fantastic lyrics! “The Windy City” is another great energetic song, and I think “Secret Love” probably sounds a chord for many of us.

Miss Juliana added:
Ah, secret loves! Now there is a thread that might be marvellous on those lonely evenings when one sits by one’s open fire, a storm raging outside, with a large cup of hot chocolate in one’s hands and pink woolly bedsocks on one’s feet. The lights are low, Miss Peggy Lee is playing softly on the gramophone in the background and the girl in the scene feels…well…romantic.

So, ladies, how about sharing a few secrets so we have something to read until the mood passes and we are all able to pop off to bed and dream of the blonde or brunette of our choice?

My story is, I fear, somewhat ‘run-of-the-mill’. Has every girly girl fallen in love with her English teacher? I did! She was a most stately blonde with a Marilynesque beauty spot in just exactly the right place. I loved her shoes – always exquisite black leather stilettos. I loved her perfume; Chanel No.19, of course, which filled the whole classroom with a sweet, floral odour that stayed with you half way along the corridor. She was a lady of consummate dignity and intelligence and I simply adored her.

No names, of course, must be mentioned but hers was bouncy and true and gay and light and…ahh, swoon!

Come on, girls, nobody knows you or your secret love so why not spill the beans?

Oddly, it seems no one did! How about you?

Shopping Accidents Thursday, Apr 19 2007 

Miss Belleanne reported:

This evening I went to a shop in order to return a skirt I bought last weekend that had stopped making me happy. That was my specific purpose, from which I had no intention of deviating. I was in a single-minded hurry.

And yet, I came out again with a box of raspberry truffles and a red feather boa.

Does this sort of thing happen to anyone else?

Umm Jack replied:

Quite the opposite. I go into the shop intending to spend money but I am either dissatisfied with the wares available, or nothing fits, and my feminine frustration knows no bounds.

Perhaps this is one of those blonde-brunette divisions, on par with “do you imagine yourself kissing or being kissed” –  is it more likely that you will come out of a shop with less than you intended, or more?

Miss Belleanne admitted:

I confess I like shopping in America, because while finding attractive garments here is quite a crusade, it was impossible to locate anything elegant in the town where I spent my first eighteen years. Even crumbs are delicious after such a famine!

Miss Annya bragged:

Being in England and relatively poor is quite fun from a shopping point of view. We find such delightful things in charity shops at such idiotically low prices. Particularly useful when one has put on just a tiddly-widdly little bit of weight and had to invest in a new wardrobe.

Though actually, the most exciting thing recently has been quite a few really up-to-date umbrellas. Until recently one has envied the divine Miss Honey for her umbrellas, now one is feeling just a touch smug.

Miss Belleanne added:

About an hour ago I joined the happy ranks of Bourjois “Rouge Pop Chic” lip gloss wearers. It was a completely unintentional side-effect of going to Ulta for a new box of cleansing cloths pour le visage. Seems to be working out nicely.

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