You Never Know

This is a repost.

Well, the bit after the introduction is.

I will start by saying that because, well, it is, and also because Caitlin’s popped by again and asked that I share her story… again.

I said that yesterday’s post was my last one with my Valentine’s collection for this year, which was true, but Valentine’s is all about love, basically, and that isn’t a bad thing. Love for self, for others, for someone special, and for life.

We take a lot for granted. We make plans. We have hopes and dreams and goals to reach, and challenges to overcome, never truly knowing if we will succeed. And along the way we never even think about the possibility of not making it.

If we did, would we do things differently? Seize the moment with gusto rather than half-heartedly taking chunks out of it… Be more receptive to those around us rather than pushing them to one side as we’re far too busy… Take time out to just see the beauty and the wonder of EVERYTHING that’s around us…?

Life’s limited. Our choices while we’re here aren’t. While we’re here.

Make the most of every second.

Make a wrong decision? Make another one to make it better.

Go for the good. I harp on all the time about Feeling Good. It’s the best way to feel, and knowing that we have a limited time to be able to Feel Good in (all things considered), we may as well start now. Have fun! That’ll begin things.

I now proudly present one of my personal favourite stories from one of my personal favourite characters. If you’ve read it before, I apologise for posting it again, but there’s something about Caitlin that when she calls by and asks for a repost, one simply must obey!

***

10th August 1911.
Dear Diary,
I’m so excited for the next year. My brother is getting married to Geraldine, and I’m going to be a bridesmaid. They won’t wed until June 15th, which is ages away, but still. A wedding. In my family. We’ve not had one for years.

2nd September 1911.
Dear Diary,
Geraldine is lovely. She’s a sister I’ve never had. She’s inspired me to go into the services. She works as a maid at a hotel in London, but she has given me the address to write to for a position that is far more exciting than what I currently have.

19th September 1911.
Dear Caitlin,
Mr James would like you to attend a meeting on 21st September, in London, regarding your recent request to join our Premier Service attendants in a brand new enterprise.
Dear Diary,
I had to write that from the letter I received yesterday. Oh, I’m excited. Short notice, I know, but this is how they work, according to Geraldine. Stephen tells me I’m being silly, and should stay with the Co-op, but I have so much more to offer. Geraldine says that with my nature, I’d be ahead in no time.

25th September 1911.
Dear Diary,
I’m so excited. Stephen and Geraldine have congratulated me on me gaining my new job. I can’t believe it myself. I’m confident enough with people who I know, but not with a lot of strangers. Mr James told me that I’d won him over with my smile… which is odd as I never do when I’m nervous. But he must have seen it.

5th October 1911.
Dear Diary,
I’ve not heard from Mr James for a while. Stephen says it’s my fault for taking things to heart, Geraldine says it’s Mr James’ fault as he’s very busy. I think I’m to blame because I’m too nervous.

15th October 1911.
Dear Diary,
Still no news from Mr James. Geraldine has said that she will speak to Mr James’ associate, to see what is happening. Stephen has told me I was rash to leave the Co-op, but I had to.

11th November 1911.
Dear Diary,
I’m so excited. My new uniform has arrived: a lovely white pinafore, black dress, shirt, and lovely hat. I need to buy some new shoes, my current ones are worn.

2nd December 1911.
Dear Diary,
Stephen and Geraldine have bought my new shoes. I’m eternally grateful. I can’t wait to serve them proudly at their wedding… in fact, I’m going to give them the best wedding ever (if I can).

5th December 1911.
Dear Diary,
Stephen has told me Geraldine is very ill with flu. She can hardly breathe. I hope she gets better… I know it’s a few months off her wedding, but we have so much to talk about. I want to do her proud.

15th December 1911.
Dear Diary,
Geraldine just called around with Christmas cards. She’s looking so much better I can’t believe it. Mrs Colmthorpe from round the circle has had the flu for weeks. Doctor Simmons has been out to her twice. Geraldine’s simply magical.

24th December 1911.
Dear Diary,
Stephen has brought the Christmas decorations around. They look lovely. Wreaths and holly, ivy, streamers and berries. He spent four hours decorating the parlour. It feels so Christmassy.

25th December 1911.
Dear Diary,
Geraldine has bought me a good luck trinket. A bracelet to wear – secretly – for when I start my new job. She says we all need something secret when we start something new, to help us along. There’s a place in the trinket for a small photo graph of whomever I want. I may take Stephen and Geraldine with me.

1st January 1912.
Dear Diary,
Oh my goodness. Happy new year.
I’ve met the most incredible person ever. Even Stephen likes him. He’s just started at the Co-op where I used to work, and he’s marvellous. He’s a butcher, but he says he is destined for other things.

5th January 1912.
Dear Diary,
Harold called around again. He’s lovely, I want to be with him all of the time, but I can’t. I have my walk to learn. My talk. My shoulders need to be in the right place.

1st February 1912.
Dear Diary,
I’m so excited. Harold wants me to go to the Spring Dance. I’ve never been asked to any dance before… I blush thinking about it. Stephen and Geraldine goad me. But now I start to wonder if I should continue to see Harold.

22nd February 1912.
Dear Diary,
I don’t know what to do. Harold has discovered my birth date, and now knows that I’m not as old as I said I was. Only a couple of years, but a lie is a lie. But it was Geraldine’s idea, so was I very wrong in saying it in the first place? Harold isn’t very happy.

4th March 1912.
Dear Diary,
Geraldine has fallen out with me. She says she never told me to tell Harold my incorrect age, although she did. Stephen hasn’t said anything about that, but looks at me as though I’ve done something wrong. He told me yesterday that Harold is the next in line to become a supervisor at the Co-op and I could have got my job back if I hadn’t have lied. But Diary, I never lied. I just never said.

8th March 1912.
Dear Diary,
Harold dropped a birthday card off for Geraldine, without speaking to me, although he handed it to me with a slight smile. The postman dropped a letter off for me as well. I’m so excited I can’t write anymore!

10th March 1912.
Dear Diary,
It’s been a couple of days – hectic days. Harold has said that he understands why I caused confusion with my age, as I do look younger than I am anyway. Geraldine has started talking to me again after I apologised for saying that she’d told me to lie about my age. And Stephen has asked if I want to work with Harold at the Co-op. But I can’t. But I can’t say anything either.

20th March 1912.
Dear Caitlin,
You are to report to Southampton on 8th April to ensure you are fully conversant with the current company protocols.
Dear Diary,
I’m so excited. I’m going to be conversant with protocols, whatever that means! I had to tell Geraldine about the letter, and she sat dumbfounded. She couldn’t believe that I’d actually been accepted, although she said that she knew that I would. She told me that she wouldn’t tell Stephen.

30th March 1912.
Dear Diary,
I’m so apprehensive. Have I made the right choice in taking this on? I’ve never worked in services before… and I have to travel miles away to a different town to do it.

31st March 1912.
Dear Diary,
I’m so excited. I’ve thrown my apprehensions away, and I’m going to do it! I need to have some money to get Stephen and Geraldine a lovely present for their wedding – they’ve made me Chief Bridesmaid now. And Stephen has asked Harold to be Best Man.

6th April 1912.
Dear Diary,
I have to go to London again tomorrow so I can start to learn how to do my new job. Harold, Geraldine and Stephen threw a rather nice party for me last night, to send me off. I’m excited, dear Diary, but apprehensive.

9th April 1912.
Dear Diary,
I’m VERY apprehensive. I’ve learned how to do the servicing job, and I’ve learned the correct manner in which to speak to people – I was a natural, the teacher said – but it’s two months off Stephen and Geraldine’s wedding, and I want to be back for it. I don’t want to let them down.

10th April 1912.
Dear Diary,
There are lots of us here, I’m so excited! We all look so good in our new uniforms. I’ve made a new friend in Betty and we both hope we can share a cabin together. Betty’s lovely. She asked to see the photos in the secret trinket that Geraldine gave me, and she said that Geraldine reminded her of her sister. When we get back in a few weeks, I’ll ask Geraldine if Betty can come to the wedding, to see if they are related. Well, stranger things have happened. This ship we’re serving on looks fabulous. Even the name sends shivers down our spines… ‘The Titanic’. Betty’s so excited! She says this is her pathway to a great future! I’ve told her this is just the start of her journey, but now is the important bit. A new adventure. We don’t know where we’re going to end up, but if we continue to feel as good as we do now, we’ll always feel good. We’re both so excited!

Heave Ho, Valentine’s!

Valentine’s is nearly over!
Can you hear me cheer?
All this nonsense packed away
For yet another year!

I’ve champagne cooling nicely
In ice that was quite pricey
With strawberries by the icy
Chilling since last nighty;
Dark chocolate looking finey
And some oysters there – cor blimey!
They’ve really knocked my psyche
I’ve gone all pale and whitey…
The thought of shellfish – crikey
And that’s meant to stir things ‘rightly’?!
Nah, not for me, thanks kindly
They’ll make my tummy lively
I’ll leave things there, sublimely,
My word – is that the timey?
Now I’ve lost the plot alrighty
…That’s OK as I’m a Pisces
Where was I? Ah, Valentine’s
See?

Valentine’s is nearly over!
Can you hear me over there?
All this fuss for nothing
And does anyone really care?

Thankfully, this is my final Valentine’s post for this year! Yes, I know it isn’t Valentine’s Day until Sunday, but here at the Mansion it’s just Sunday. Plain Sunday. All this build up for nothing. I’ll say no more.

Happy Valentine’s Day, if you celebrate it! I’m not a total Grinch!

The Valentine Nebula

Hidden deep within the Quadrans Muralis constellation lies this tiny tiny nebula. Tiny by nebula standards, but still immense where the Universe is concerned. Some of those stars are hundreds of times larger than our Sun, and they are all light years apart from each other , so you can imagine the size.

Made up mostly of turbulent gases and dust, the nebula appears to be tearing apart, or broken, earning it the name of the ‘Breaking Heart Nebula’, or more commonly the ‘Bleeding Heart Nebula’. Others refer to it as the ‘Lonely Heart Nebula’ as they see a longing face in the midst of the swirling gases, seemingly tormented by loneliness.

Discovered on February 14th 2016, and with its location being coincidentally close to the VAL-N10 system, it is also being referred to as the Valentine Nebula. Also coincidentally, the star VAL-N10-987b is thought to be being orbited by a planet the size of Venus, in the ‘Goldilocks zone’.

Venus incidentally is the Roman Goddess who represents things associated with Valentine’s, including love, beauty, sex, fertility and desire.

The nebula is on the far side of the VAL-N10 system, so from our perspective lies in a very remote part of the galaxy, and therefore the name Lonely Heart Nebula is probably the most fitting… although not in a post about Valentine’s.

Sorry about that.

Catching Casanova

Giacomo Casanova (1725 – 1798). Ish.

Picture the scene. It’s the mid-eighteenth century. We’re in Italy; Venice, actually. The Carnival is coming to its close. Noble folk (and lesser-noble for that matter!) are all partying like it’s 1999.

All are dressed in elaborate clothing, wearing stunning full masks, some with head-dresses made out of the grandest of feathers; others wearing the finest Venetian wigs and hair-pieces and/or top quality silks.

Couples are dancing to their hearts content, inside grand palaces and out. The streets are full with revellers who have spilled out from various venues.

The atmosphere is jubilant.

Today is Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras… the final day of Carnival.

Only it’s not today. It’s the mid-eighteenth century, don’t forget.

One of those revellers, revelling away is Giacomo Casanova, that Casanova. The one with the reputation. This is a few years before he meets Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and quite a few years after he was treated for nosebleeds by a witch.

Apparently, the treatment didn’t work for some reason, but Casanova was fascinated by the whole process and this ‘dark’ side, so to speak.

The mid-eighteenth century. Full of gothic splendour. Fancy dress. Masks. An ideal time for another creature of the dark to emerge: vampyrs.

The walkways are lit by torches and candles, but shadows are everywhere. Doorways are in shadow… alleyways are in shadow… steps are in shadow. Also in the shadows are the odd reveller or two, including our very own Casanova and his ‘friend’, Maria Constanza.

He’d just met Maria, and they were getting on like a house on fire. Throughout his travels, and his ample research, Casanova had never met such an endearing and hypnotising woman. Granted, he couldn’t see her face due to the full mask she was wearing, but there was something about her eyes that bore into his very soul.

She seemed very keen on him. She held onto him tightly, pulling him back when he tried to leave, or slamming his body against the wall and pressing hers against his to prevent him going.

He knew that he shouldn’t be there, but she had this strange power over him.

He felt dizzy. Mesmerised. Completely out of control. Something he wasn’t used to. Had she intoxicated him? Whatever. She was about to remove her mask, and he was finally going to get his reward.

Maria lifted the mask and revealed her face. The eyes were the same; hypnotic. The face was not what he expected. Pale. Drawn. Blood-red lips beneath a sharp pointed nose. Ravaged.

She looked at him squarely in his eyes.

“You’re mine.” She said, with a hint of either expectant laughter or absolute hunger. Her lips parted, and Casanova noticed the sharpest of fangs protrude from beneath her top lip.

“Don’t fight it,” Maria said, “Let me make you whole.”

“Thanks for the offer,” Casanova said as he pulled the stopper out of a small glass bottle he’d had hidden inside his jacket. He splashed the contents into Maria’s face, who recoiled, screaming… steaming. “You almost had me then, but you don’t travel around the world like I do without picking up a thing or two.

“Holy water. An excellent way to keep you vampyrs at bay!”

Maria clutched at her face and when she looked up Casanova had vanished into the night. The shadows now even more full with revellers. The party now in full swing and Casanova nowhere in sight.

Blog Lovin’! Do you fancy a bit?


My ‘art’ and ‘creativity’ blog – with dramatic licence, of course! And colour. Mostly.


The new home to my Superhero Diaries stories / snippets / samples.


And the main blog. Almost anything goes. Usually into a black hole never to be seen again, but sent there with one purpose, nay, one intention… to Feel Good. Updated daily. Or thereabouts.

This has been a shameless advertisement feature to promote blog lovin’.  Click the images to visit the respective blog. The links should work. Hopefully.

Well, I love bloggin’, I do! Why not promote it?

Valentine’s Day set to move

Talks are taking place with the board of the International Allocation and Reallocation of Important and Strategic Dates Consortium (IRIS, previously known as ROSE: the Reallocation Of Some Events group, and before that HYACINTH: Ha! Yet Another Card Initiative Now Thought Historic) for the date of St Valentine’s Day to be moved.

St Valentine of Rome, to give the saint his full name, has always been celebrated on February 14th, the traditional day of St Valentine’s. This seems to make sense, and seems to have always been the case.

However, things are not as they seem.

Knowledge of St Valentine is sketchy at best. He’s been written out of some church traditions, yet kept in others. Since the Middle Ages, the saint has been associated with love and courtship, on and around February 14th, however some people are now saying the actual date should be July 23rd.

Another confusing thing is, given the fact that Valentine was a Roman, theories are emerging that February was actually created just for the fourteenth. During Roman times, January and February never existed until they were introduced into the calendar. Before then, there was a gap, a void, between December and March.

Here’s an image of part of an early Roman calendar:

This year, 2016, February has 29 days, as it’s a Leap Year, and the extra day is needed to keep things in check with the orbit of the Sun. IRIS initially considered moving Valentine’s Day to February 29th but have since changed their minds, and are now looking for a date currently outside of February completely: February 32nd.

IRIS advise that, unlike the early Roman calendars, this date isn’t set in stone, and the talks are ongoing. They are also state that they are considering moving February 29th to April, and June 1st to October.

Exactly when these changes will take place is to be determined. When the consortium used the name ROSE, they discussed the removal of the letter Z from the alphabet, but that is currently still in use.

More will be reported on these changes as and when they become available.

This has been a Beyond the Sphere special report.

Aphorodíta of Phoenicia

Aphorodíta,
Cast in marble
Watches through the years

Yearning,
Waiting,
For Phoenicia,
Her land to reappear

One Phoenician,
Her Phoenician,
Adonis,
She waits for too

But cast in marble
She waits forever
For that’s
All she can do.

Behind the marble
The story’s different,

They live on
Forever more

Even in the Underworld,
even if for half the time,
And even after death by wild boar

Legends last as statues do
Throughout the tests of time

And Aphrodite and Adonis
Seem a fit for Valentine’s…