Cutesy Stories

Who knows how cute the next story will be?  I wonder what the level of cute in your story indicates?

I am very interested in the amount of swapping going on in the stories.  I do not interact with the Incredibly Beautiful Man terribly much, but I seem to have an awful lot to say, so much so that it takes several different characters to say it all.  I am quite happy with the way things are developing so far, although I am only marginally less terrified than I was in the first place.

I am looking a lot more writerly however, so it is a very useful process.

Also started sculpting the chair last night.  It is a big job, but I think it will be worthwhile, if somewhat expensive.

We are now entering a very difficult time, as five months has apparently been judged sufficient for my siblings to utterly disrespect my mother and I following their display of enthusiasm for her death.  They have made years of expensive mistakes which they frankly cannot afford to pay for.

I am, needless to say, less than impressed by the murderous little shits.  I wonder how much they think twenty two years of harassment and negative behaviour is worth?  I cannot imagine being them, so it is hard to imagine that they actually believe they would deserve anything.

This has been a hard month, however I am sure next month will be better.  Still waiting for cables, sigh.




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What do you know?

For the Incredibly Beautiful Man, who shall henceforth remain initialless.

Stop here, I want to buy a paper.” Richard, faintly irritated by the heat, instructed his chauffeur, who acquiesced immediately. He got out of the limousine and strode across to the small tobacco and newspaper store. It was a grubby yet busy looking shop, brightly coloured baskets and fruit sitting outside to entice people in from the bright sunlight.

The older lady behind the counter looked at him sternly. He noted the curve of her neck, the grim expression. He found himself strangely engaged. He was so used to people being nice to him.

Anything else?” She looked at the newspaper, and returned her gaze to Richard. He was aware that she did not recognise him, which was unusual.

I don’t think so.” he tried smiling at her. It was not returned.

Thank you.” she took his money and turned to shuffling the newly disturbed pile of papers.

See you tomorrow.” Richard turned to leave. He was already looking forward to it.

When he arrived at the station, the usual crowd mobbed him. He was hustled into make-up, given his papers, taken in to the studio and presented his well-known politics show. Everyone knew who he was, surely? Why did the newsagent not know?

After the show, he went to his research department, berating them for not being ahead of the politicians he had interviewed. The Minister for Health had been particularly assertive today. Richard did not like this. Several junior researchers had been selected to take the blame for this, they bowed their heads accordingly.

Having extracted his pound of flesh, Richard had his make-up removed and looked at himself. Still a handsome man in his early sixties, he was aware that he had become isolated by his fame, but he had fought so hard for it all his life that it did not bother him. People were dead weight, obstacles to be overcome to get where you wanted to go. You couldn’t be at the top of a pyramid, however, without several layers of them beneath you so you had to tolerate them to a certain degree. He thought back to the newsagent, and wondered what she was doing. Her lack of recognition intrigued him. Evidently whatever it was, it wasn’t watching TV.

He chose a silk shirt and linen trousers and called for the chauffeur, who had been waiting for him all day.

I want to buy a paper.”

Another one?” the chauffeur was surprised at this change in the normal routine.

Yes, same store.” Richard stepped back into his limousine.

The store was fifteen minutes away. The chauffeur knew better than to make conversation, since Richard did not like that. When they pulled up the blinds were down. Richard again got out and crossed the pavement towards the door. He wasn’t sure what he wanted, he just knew he wanted to see her again.

Yes?” she looked up at him with the same nonchalant expression she had had that morning. Richard selected a newspaper.

You bought that one this morning. Did you lose it?” She again failed to smile at him, or show any recognition of his importance. Richard felt a little dip of disappointment, and rather liked it.

Yes, yes I suppose I did.” he felt awkward, nervous even. Richard had not felt like this in years. “You have been working a long time. When do you close?”

6am until midnight, every day.” The disinterested newsagent pushed a stray curl from her face. She looked at him, a slightly insulting expression. “I guess you don’t work these hours, eh?”

No, no I don’t. I guess there is no point in asking what you do in your time off?” Richard tried smiling at her again.

Not a lot, no.” She ran a finger along the counter top. “We close on Sundays, though. I do the laundry, since you’re so interested.” she scowled at him.

Ah I see.” Richard made further efforts to ingratiate himself. “I will see you tomorrow.” He felt a little excited at the boldness of this. What if she sneered at him?

I suppose.” she pulled her apron back into position and flicked her black hair behind her before turning her back on him.

Richard was left with no option but to leave. He felt rejected. This, after years of having people trying to be nice to him on the basis of getting something out of it was almost refreshing. She really didn’t know who he was at all! What would it take to get her attention!

He considered methods of self-improvement on the way home. What could he do to get her attention in that tiny transaction, of buying his newspaper. What would get a person like her excited to see him? What did she think about, between customers? How could she stand sitting there all day, every day? What was she like with other customers?

The next day was one of Richard’s many days off. He resolved to see the shop when it was busy, to evaluate whether she actually disliked him, or was merely ambivalent to everyone. He saw brief flashes of her beautiful neck in his head, craning in some expression of ecstasy he supposed, the black curls dampened with sweat. How would he persuade her into such a position? How could buying his newspaper develop? Why was it so important to him?

He took the second car and waited outside the shop. He watched bustling through the window, saw her rub her sore back. Never did her expression change. She seemed to breeze through her long day in much the same mood. Would she ever smile for him? He found himself begging her silently. Please, please smile for me. What was her name?

Finally he went in, brushing past some buckets she had hung from above the door. He immediately apologised for the noise.

You again!” She was serving another customer, but she nodded to him. “You want a job here or what?”

Richard shook his head. “I just came here to see you.” he did not smile as he gently flirted. Perhaps this would move things on.

The woman said goodbye to the previous customer with the same seriousness. “What would you like today?”

Figaro.” he waved his hand vaguely at the newspapers and looked her in the eye. “What is your name?”

Anna, but I am not a newspaper.” she glowered at him. Oh no! Had he made things worse? “What do you want?” she nodded like an impatient horse.

I would like very much to take you out, Anna.” Richard tried being direct and very serious. “Is that possible?”

I’m busy, and you are a fool. You don’t know anything about me.” A trace of bitterness entered her movements.

I want to know Anna. Please let me take you out. Tomorrow is Sunday. We can have lunch.” Richard felt very awkward now, and he relished it. Anna was an unexpected and welcome challenge.

It’s not that you aren’t cute. I’m sure you are, but I am not for sale here.” Anna looked him up and down. “What do you want with me, anyway?”

You are so…different…so proud, so serious. I remember when I was serious. I want to know more about you.”

That’s a shame. I think your life is too easy now. You know nothing.” Anna’s lip curled. “If I had daughters I would warn them about you.”

You have sons?” Richard clutched at this straw with some desperation.

No, I have no children. I am alone. Is that what you wanted, Mr Silk and Linen?” She still did not smile, but Richard was aware of some levity entering her mood. “You can ask all you want, I won’t say yes.”

OK, Anna. I will see you tomorrow. Richard was despondent as he left the store.

So, he thought, she obviously wanted someone more serious. How could he achieve this? He resolved that he must not smile at her, ideally not look at her, and wear darker colours. His show must be less entertaining, more in-depth, less journalistic. He went home and made a few calls. His article for Figaro was more independent that week.

The following weeks saw Richard implementing a new strategy for his show. New suits had been bought, he had experimented with his hair, he had become more assertive with his interviewees. People had commented that he was more insightful, his viewing figures increased. He felt better about his career than he had for years. He returned to the newspaper store, feeling much improved.


Like a bad penny. You want to read about yourself?” Anna openly sneered at him this time as she waved the paper at him. “I see you’re on the front page. You think it’s funny coming in here?”

Anna…I don’t come in because I think it’s funny. I want to take you out. Please let me take you out.” Richard was pleading with her now. “I think of nothing but you.”

You know nothing. What could you want here?”

I just want you. I want to see you smile. I want to dress you up and show you off. I just want to spend time with you.” Richard’s chest was heaving. “Please let me make you happier. I tried to make the show better.”

I don’t watch your stupid show. What could it mean to me? Nothing you say will change things here.” Anna looked genuinely hurt. “I don’t know why you think this is some joke. I have to survive. You can come and go as you please.”

What can I do, Anna?” Richard tried to reason with her. “Please tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” A tear was escaping his left eye. He could not quite believe that his life seemed to be becoming a Belgian tragi-comedy. What was it about this woman that so intoxicated him?

This can’t be right. It is not real, you saying these things.” she shook her head. “This is not real life.”

What is real life?” Richard asked her, exasperated.

Real life is some brutal man in working boots, that leaves after one week. It is being called a whore in the market, because I wear red on a Sunday. Real is not some silly man in a limousine who laughs at me.” Anna was deeply offended. “What do you know?”

Give me a chance Anna.” Richard was more determined than ever to prove his seriousness to her. “Let me show you.”

I live above the store. Tomorrow is Sunday.” she looked away again.

If I come at eleven?”

Eleven is fine. If you’re late I won’t be here.” Anna did not look back at him. “If you don’t come, then don’t come back to the store.”

I promise.” Richard resolved to cancel his previous plans with the president of the TV station. “I’ll be here, whatever it takes.”

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Am I worthwhile?

Fairly good day in terms of progress.  I still have a lot of paperwork to finish, but in terms of the physical work things are going fairly well I think.  Bit of sanding and stuff to do tomorrow, but looking good so far.

So, as we painted my new window today, we got to considering whether I am a good catch?

My inclination was first to look at my track record.  I am not great at relationships really.  I have been very lazy.  The relationships with new people did not go particularly well, usually because I was obsessed with work, and so I tended to rely on the very oldest ones long term.  I had the same three relationships at 40 that I had at 16.  Then I met Wolfe and despite being utterly horrible to him, all bets were off in terms of the old ones because there was no longer any point to them at all. This is seven years later, he is married anyway and our potential future together does not really involve romance.

Obviously, this issue is more cloudy because I have been here for 22 years, taking care of the property and my parents and over-working during the times when their issues were less pressing.  Therefore I just didn’t prioritise anyone.  So, I would conclude on the basis of the quality of my attention, probably not so great in the past.

I also have a tendency to chase people away at random times, and this is not so great either.  Sometimes this is just intolerance, and sometimes it is lack of space.  I seem to need a lot of space, which doesn’t suit everyone.

I’m very faithful on the plus side, as I am usually too interested in other things to be bothered with more than one relationship at a time unless everybody knows about it.  So I think I can give myself a point for honesty.

I’m not very easy to entertain, since I am, when not being Ina Disguise, very shy and I do not normally watch a lot of TV unless I am sewing, I do not care about movies, I rarely eat out and I do not drink.  This makes things kind of awkward, although if I were to be offered coffee and backgammon I would probably be delighted.  My exs fully expect to be painting, gardening or taken out on mammoth drives to nowhere when they visit, so again on the plus side you get to see interesting places and do a lot of chatting, but it is probably not everyone’s cup of tea.

Sometimes when I am at home, I will wander off and vanish into different parts of the house for an hour or so.  This can be quite alarming if you don’t know it’s going to happen.  I guess I am quite spoilt and anti-social in this respect.

I’m also very scruffy most of the time, although I have got slightly better lately because of my return to work.  The scruffiness is because I sometimes start painting, sculpting or otherwise absent-mindedly making something so if I do not make sure I am wearing something I can damage, I end up having to buy a lot of clothes.

I am really good at cooking though.  I am also fully capable of doing my own gardening and repairs, so I never really have to ask anyone to do anything apart from help me lift heavy things now and again. There is usually at least one masterplan, so there is nearly always plenty of random weird stuff to do.

I live in an amazing house and have devoted cats, so I am doing something right.  I am also very good at taking care of people.  I can be quite funny, and quite grumpy, sometimes at the same time.  When I am interested in something, I tend to focus quite well although I do like breaking things to see how they work.

I think that just about covers it.  I will be writing story four for the Indescribably Beautiful Man this evening. (he has no name now, sorry)  The base for his chair arrived today, as I had ordered it before discovering that he has no name.  I have no idea what I am going to call it or how to deal with the no name thing, but I am sure I can figure something out in the next six months or so.


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Tons of Work

Tons of work to do at the moment.  I have material to finish, once the stuff finally arrives, work to do on some areas at home, administration stuff to get out of the way before the cabling finally arrives for Boris, and Boris himself is still being perfected.  I want him to look as good as possible before we commit to film.

I frequently enjoy my home a bit too much.  It is a joy to live in, and I am very grateful for the many years I put in earning the right to be here. I do, however, miss my parents.

My father, as I have previously mentioned, had a fascinating life.  A rebel’s rebel, he did not even tell my mother what he went through, and when I told her some things after he died, she was extremely shocked.

He would be delighted at how things have turned out, and so I regard everything I do as being as much for him as for me.  It is a lot of work for one person, but if you love your surroundings as much as I do, it does not feel as much as it probably is.

There is a lot going on, so it is a bit like an endless game of Tetris.

Today is remediation and administration.  My local council owes me a few hundred pounds that could be spent on other things.  This I will put towards some further developments.

In the meantime, I have to get this batch of irritating work out of the way to move on to more progressive work.  Ina’s future really depends on the decisions I make right now.  I have relaxed a little since Christmas due to shell shock, however I cannot spent two years grieving as I did for my father.  I am not sure if grief is easier after a few people, or whether I will suddenly find that I feel just as bad.

I am just aware that I do not want other people to experience threats and frankly disgraceful behaviour from so-called professionals, and I do not think carers should have to tolerate what they go through on top of the emotional stress of being a carer.  It is a dangerous and stressful roller coaster.

I also have to pin down our activity when the cabling finally arrives, so that we can get our introductory work out of the way in an extremely short timeframe.  The more work I can get out of the way the better.

I think right now, however, I will enjoy some quality time staring at the flower garden whilst I construct today’s gameplan.  It is important to me not to have to discuss these things with the IBM (incredibly beautiful man) should I ever be able to persuade him to visit.  Some things aren’t worth the airtime.

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A rare post about cats

In the course of my strange meandering life, I have had several different cats. I tend to rescue or inherit them, and since I am known to several different pedigree rescue and rehome organisations, I am now considered worthy of cats with special needs.

My ragdoll was unusually violent and considered insane, and was a little bit like a delinquent teenager when he first came.  He has shown excellent taste in humans and is now one of the happiest and most loyal cats I have ever had.

My bengal was a failed show cat, and is the mother of two of the best show cats in the world, however her unusual temperament meant that she was unable to be a show cat herself.  She is unusually intelligent and leads from behind, and has taught me a lot about cat handling and leadership strategy.

I got my cat-cred because of a Siamese I placed with an elderly friend.  He had been a stud, and when he first arrived he was so concerned by the lack of dominance in the house that he became quite aggressive with my friend.  Several hours of therapy ensued, during which I showed my friend how to explain things to a cat.  She thought spanking him was the answer, which of course is meaningless to a cat.  The way to deal with this is very gentle dominance.

You can do this with a blanket and your hand.  Wrap your cat up in the blanket, so that he or she cannot move, hiss and flex your fingers briefly, then let your cat go.  If you do this over a few days, your cat should then be able to relax as they know that you are a bigger cat and quite scary, but mean them no harm.  Shouting at your cat or chasing them is threatening, whereas gently telling them that you are capable of defending your mutual territory makes perfect sense, especially as in your cat’s head, you are doing the hunting.

My friend has terrible difficulties with my female Bengal, as he moves and talks much the same way she does.  She is deeply suspicious of his unpredictability as a result, and is utterly convinced that he plans to eat her.  From this you can see that cats interpret your moods with some considerable accuracy, and that your anxiety is deeply troubling unless your cat is secure enough to have achieved an advanced level of understanding.

With Bengals in particular, your facial expression also means quite a lot, so it is important to be serene for a happy cat life.

What scientific studies seem to have failed to understand is that cats are primarily spatial.  The territory, surfaces, physics of their surroundings are incredibly important as they are in the middle of a food chain.  You are part of those surroundings, and so they are also testing you as they go about their day testing how best to escape difficulties, how squashy the chair is, how far the light fitting can swing etc etc.  Surfaces that cannot be tested are a source of stress, so it is in your interests as a responsible cat owner to make sure they have access to as many as possible, especially at height.

Finally, cat relationships are determined by how well they get to know those surroundings, so if you are having problems with a dominant cat, it is simply a case of moving the furniture and getting the submissive cat in first so that they have the advantage.  For this reason I introduced my delinquent ragdoll to my trade union leader bengal on her territory, and it worked perfectly.  She pretends that he is in charge most of the time, but when it comes to bursting open a new box of pouches, enlists his muscle to break the box, whereupon she will slash the packets open for him so that they can find their favourite flavours. From this you can see who really wears the claws, but you would never know most of the time.

There ends a cute post about cats.


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I made a lot of errors today, fixed them, and probably made some more.  I am very happy.

The incredibly beautiful man wore a hideous shirt, which also made me extremely happy.

Today was a good day, all things considered.

The mind is a strange thing, isn’t it?

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Style developments

Well, it looks as if SB is getting a whole book, so I will have to actually ask if I can use his whole name when it is finished.  It is a lot more difficult with private individuals.

I have finalised the plans for the artwork for him, and it is very elaborate, but a distinct development of the Ina Disguise brand, moving a step on from a combination of the Wolfe and Boris work with a heavy dash of Maroc.  I have got it down to a six to twelve month job so far, but I will not be starting it until the shoes are out and the toby jugs for Boris are done, so a few months down the track.  I do not want to be using initials when I put stuff on the website.  This is going to be incredibly awkward, given that the situation I am in at work means that I would rather not speak to him about anything other than work.  I suppose asking this question is about work really.

I have no idea how people manage to make things so complicated.  I have had the sense from him more than once that he would quite enjoy a direct argument, and I am not at all interested.  I take my fury out as Ina, so by the time I get to work I am defused and usually rather miserable about the whole thing.  It is not good for your self-image to constantly be in the wrong about shit that is nothing to do with you really.

I will also ideally have to change shifts now, to avoid upsetting him and a third party and  as a side-benefit for the benefit of the Boris project.  This will not stop the flow of the work at all, but it is going to cause a few problems for other people, who apparently have enormous problems doing it.

Don’t ask me why I seem to be so prolific with SB, because I have no idea.  I am guessing it is something to do with stress but the creative links are coming very fast indeed.  Looking at how I was with Wolfe from the blog, I see that anger plays a part, but things kicked off with Wolfe because Wolfe and I were so under one another’s skin from the beginning that it was very easy for us to push each other’s buttons and see what happened.  It is difficult to describe, but by the time we had four words typed a whole year or five of communication had gone by.  I am used to big characters, so I am guessing it was unusual for him to have someone engage the way I did.  One of my many odd features is that I could not care less how much fame or money you have.

With Boris, I have very structured ideas in comparison.  I have a firm idea of what picture I want to paint and why I want to do it.  I genuinely have huge affection for Boris, but there is none of the irrationality there is with Wolfe or SB, although I am very much aware that Boris has strong shark qualities just as Wolfe does.

I am getting close to the physical state required for intense sewing, which is repressed lust-rage.  It is not very healthy at all, but it does involve a lot of 16 hour days crouched over whatever I happen to be making and it does get things done.

Woke up this morning and could not go anywhere until I got Life without Shame done.  This means that SB has somehow managed to induce an escalation of my creative flow to the point that it is almost entirely compulsive.  I am impressed with the improved linking in the story, but rather confused as to why it had to be a Catholic story.  It made its point very neatly however, so I am quite pleased with it.

No idea where this is headed at all, so stay tuned to find out what happens in story 4 I guess?  We shall see how SB manages to make my life less pleasant this week. (honestly, try not to – I know you read these.  Please try not to.)


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Life without Shame

To my beloved Wolfe, who I still cannot mention without weeping, and to SB, the gift that just keeps on giving. (pause for more weeping)

What are you giving up for lent, Sonia?” the old priest smiled at the little woman. Sonia was considered an old spinster in the small Italian town they lived in. Small, fat, grey-haired. Ordinary, in that invisible way where she had never been a threat or amounted to anything.

Shame, father. I thought I would give up shame for lent. Forty days of not feeling bad about anything.”

Now you know that probably won’t work well, don’t you? Would you like me to explain why God might not like that?”

No, father. If I do something wrong, I will confess. I want to try this.” Sonia was determined. “I might give up cured meat too.” she tried to appease him with this offering.

Well, I cannot say this is a good decision, Sonia. Let me know if you get into trouble.” the priest shook his head. Really, he thought, at her age. Perhaps it would be quite funny?

Sonia returned home to prepare for work at the bakery she worked in, feeling that she had made a good decision. God couldn’t possibly want her to go through life invisible, could he? Surely God liked happiness?

Looking through her wardrobe, she saw a sea of dowdy clothing. She looked at her frizzy, dry grey hair and thought this looked dull too. God, she felt, was probably bored looking at her anyway. She went next door to the chemist and bought a red hair dye. She figured she had time to do something before she went to work to express her month of freedom.

Half an hour later, Sonia was impressed by the change. She wasn’t young, she thought, but she certainly looked more cheerful. She selected her least comfortable brassiere from the dresser, and pushed her breasts into a showy cleavage by adjusting the straps. Yes, that was better, she thought.

Digging throught the wardrobe, the best she could come up with at short notice was a rather sheer black blouse, which she really just had to wear over a sturdy vest at funerals but which allowed her to show her new cleavage, and a pencil skirt, which she had not worn for some time. She was a little saggier than she remembered, but she remedied this by shaving her legs and wearing tights.

Standing for several hours at work would not be fun in heels, she thought, so she used her fluffy black mules, which simply looked rather more frivolous than her usual slippers at work.

Feeling rather daring, she applied some lipstick and a little mascara. Her mother would say she looked like an old tart, God rest her soul. Sonia was thrilled by her transformation.

She picked up her handbag, put the required items in it to maintain her new look, and went to work. No cakes for her today, she thought, she did not feel like eating today.

The baker did not recognise her at first. “Sonia?” he was aghast. Younger than her, and yet set in his ways, he did not like change.

Yes! I am celebrating Lent!” Sonia put her handbag in its customary place under the counter and started work. The mules were not all that comfortable, but she was aware that he was staring at her ankles, which pleased her enormously.

Maria was her first customer of the day, in to buy the bread for her enormous extended family. She was suitably shocked.

Ah, how are you Sonia?” Maria thought this was clearly some sort of mid-life crisis. “Feeling OK?”

It is a beautiful day to celebrate Jesus! How are you, Maria!” Sonia smiled at her, revealing excellent white teeth.

Well, you know, Brigitta is expecting again. You know how these things are…” Maria felt she was on safer ground now, talking about herself was always limitless with Sonia, since Sonia had a dull and lonely life on her own.

No! I have no children! I have no idea!” Sonia did not feel the need to be sensitive, since Maria had never been particularly nice to her. “Have a nice day!”

Next, a beautiful young man came in to purchase a cake for his workplace. Spying her cleavage, he took his time over picking, making her bend into the cake cabinet for some time. She stood upright after a few minutes of this. She smiled at him. He smiled back.

You are very beautiful, young man, but I have not time for this.” she shook her head. “Life is too short, beauty.”

He laughed “I’ll take the strawberry one.”

Huh! Furthest away! You are very cheeky too!” She leaned in again and picked up the cake, struggling slightly.

I will see you tomorrow?” The young man blushed slightly as he asked her. “You work here now?”

Sonia felt it was probably unnecessary to tell him she had been there for years. “Yes! I will be delighted to serve you again!” she hummed a happy tune as she tidied the counter.

Sonia’s mood further improved as the day wore on. She wasn’t invisible any more. Word of her transformation spread around the town remarkably quickly, and towards the end of the day her old ‘friends,’ who had never bothered with her in the past, suddenly started asking her how she was. She revelled in the fact none of them actually asked her what had caused this change.

After work, she went to the market and bought some brighter clothing. She was enjoying herself for the first time in years. She almost danced as she picked brightly coloured skirts and shoes for work. A lively man of her own age waltzed her around the square briefly as she made her way out, buying herself some flowers for her house. She supposed this was vanity, yet another sin.

She put the flowers in her front window, clearly visible to the people passing her house. She put on a yellow skirt and green blouse, and giggled at the combination of this and her new hair colour. She sang to herself as she considered new paint colours. Soon, there was a knock at the door. Her neighbour, having been gossiping with the local women, had come to see the apparition of Sonia without shame. She stood at the door, staring at her balefully.

Anita! How nice to see you. Would you and Franco like to come for drinks? I have some Wine and olives from the market? You can come before your dinner!”

Eh, sure. I will go get him.” Anita returned to fetch her tired husband.

As they entered, Sonia kissed them both hello, “You are so handsome Franco, you need to get more sleep!”

This was too much for Anita “What on earth is going on?” She was outraged. “What are you doing?”

Franco felt the trickle of male hormone, the colour returning to his tired face “What do you mean, Anita? The lady is paying me a compliment, no? She doesn’t mean anything by it?”

Sonia has never been like this before, look at the breasts, the hair, the teeth! What is going on?” Anita demanded. She looked angrily at Sonia.

Life is beautiful. We should celebrate!” Sonia stepped back and did a little twirl before breaking into song. She had a fine operatic voice that nobody had previously heard. “Let us drink!” She broke open the wine. Franco smiled.

Anita tried redirecting the conversation to gossip, but neither Sonia nor Franco were interested. They wanted to talk about travelling, good wine, where to find good olives. It turned out they both loved to swim, so they talked about good places to go for that. Anita was furious.

We are not coming here again.” she fumed “I thought you were my friend.”

I am your friend. Those other people in the town, they are none of my business. Life is for living, not talking about others.”

It is OK, Sonia, I think I need to take Anita on holiday.” Franco looked worn. “Thank you for the wine. You look great, by the way.”

Thank you.” Sonia was nearly in tears. She had not meant to upset her neighbours.

As the 40 days wore on, the bakery became busier and busier. Sonia talked the baker into repainting the frontage, gypsy flowers replacing the plain green tatty paintwork that had been there before. Musicians would choose to play nearby, so that people buying lunch could listen and give them their change. Sonia put potted plants and tables outside. The baker was exhausted. The priest was unhappy.

When are you going to be pious and humble Sonia again? This won’t do!”

Oh, my darling, never.” Sonia threw up her hands. “Because eternity is right now!”

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The importance of being shameless

A great amount of the last ten years has been taken up by considering one statement, which was originally from Twisty.  I used it in Best Scandal Ever, when Kira teases Aldous by announcing her intention to marry Sam Redwood, despite not knowing him or even particularly liking him at the time.  This conversation, in common with many others in the books, actually happened.  The real Aldous is a depressed and underconfident person who frequently needs to be shocked into forgetting how miserable he is for a few hours.

Anyway the quote from Twisty is:

“Famous people are just normal people minus the sense of shame.”

As pearls of wisdom go, this is one of his better ones.  It is perfectly true.  All the stuff you tell yourself about what you can and cannot do is largely about shame.

Likewise, as I was saying the other day about major religions determining which emotions you should focus on, such religions rely heavily on shame to keep you in your place.

Whilst pondering the enormous quantity of negative information that had been disseminated about Wolfe, buried now but very easy to find nine years ago or so, I considered how much of this information was useful, and how much was simply envy.  Shame and envy pair nicely together if you want to keep people in their place.

TV and other media like to focus on these, as buying products and paying for them uses up a great deal of people’s time, rather than thinking for themselves or other equally dangerous pursuits.

As a repressive artist, who has habitually used shame, amongst other emotions,  as a source of energy to create objects, shame is kind of useful to me, although it certainly isn’t useful when considering how to see a return for my work.  It is my best friend and my worst enemy.

I was obviously horrified by recent events, but only some of it is my fault, and even then I am a victim of evident physical issues and a lack of boundaries because of a variety of other factors.  It is much easier to deal with if it is all your fault, because then you have the option of taking action.

I’m a lot calmer than I was a few days ago, and I don’t really think I should beat myself up over it any more.  It is very sad that my first impression was wrong, but I shouldn’t really be surprised or angry about it. Shit happens.  It’s very sad.

Overall, I think I have seen massive improvement in some areas from dealing with my Wolfe issues.  Now I need to focus on physical confidence and the shamelessness of disseminating information, both of which are a step forward in terms of ridding myself of shame.  Once I have dealt with this, then I will have to focus on becoming more arrogant in order to return to the work I was doing when I met him.

I definitely feel more inclined to say what I have to say and to hell with it than I used to.  I don’t feel as smart or as serious as I used to, but perhaps that is a good thing as it actually gets the words onto the paper, as opposed to feeling like one of my friends, who despite being an international political journalist, cannot bring herself to publish a book, even under another name, in case anyone finds out.

Shame is not useful, and it is there to keep you in your place.  It is probably a good idea to work on that.

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On Being Boris

Things I have learned from today:

  1. I am definitely a girl.  I need to work on that.  Even strapping the mammaries up failed to prevent my giving the game away with girly movements, particularly with my giant hands, oddly.  People seemed somewhat aroused by watching my ex suffocate me with duct tape, however, which was quite funny as we don’t think like that at all. He complained of dizziness after running around me 65 times.
  2. When making costumes, be aware that your wording will then determine your movements.  This is not the Glass Walls project, so I cannot cross my arms and look mean.
  3. Avoid pictures near a senotaph.
  4. Have a firm idea what you want to say before taking said photographs.
  5. I am very good at sewing.
  6. I am almost as good at making masks, but I still need to work on it a little for good quality photography.
  7. I am thinner than I thought I was.
  8. I need to be more confident although I have improved enormously with my campaign of walking terror.
  9. People may object to Ina’s anonymity.
  10. The hood gives me an incredibly small head.
  11. Boris needs neater trousers than Ina.
  12. Boris is extremely popular.
  13. When using a new camera, do not trust a photographer to sort out the problems with it.
  14. Your level of confidence determines how much space people give you when doing things, even when they are fairly hazardous like waving giant flags.
  15. Make sure that your photographer realises that you cannot see inside a large mask, so that any anomalies can be corrected.
  16.  Do not rely on sunlight, as it does not always photograph well.
  17.  Explain the shots in detail, so that you can be guided by the person taking the shot.
  18. Possibly fire yourself, and replace yourself so that you can get exactly what you want from the pictures.
  19. This project is not cheap, but it is great fun.
  20. Redirecting your feelings does not 100 percent work.
  21. Doing a project like this is a great cure for shyness.

I would include some shots from today, but they were all a bit lame, so I will see how much we can improve tomorrow and update then.

So nice to be working.




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