February – normally the hottest month of summer for me, but this year has been very wet. I wonder whether this Earth will ever get back to ‘normal’. Everywhere is suffering from one tragedy after another. I doubt, in my lifetime, that the world will ever be the same as before the Covid pandemic came to disrupt everyone’s life – not just here in Australia, but everywhere in the world. Maybe the climate will soon calm down – Autumn is approaching and we can look forward to cooler days, brisk mornings and, just maybe, rainbows and balmy days.
Talking about rainbows – it is a Christian belief that a rainbow is a promise from God – but I think the scientific explanation is just as wonderful. Surely the sun refracting light through rain drops and creating such a beautiful sight is just as marvellous.
Well, now that we are actually into the new year, the other thing I notice, is time. I remember thinking in the late 1990s that it was going to be wonderful when the year 2000 ticked over. Of course – it was just another day really. The planes didn’t fall out of the sky and computers didn’t crash as the doomsayers predicted. But, boy – doesn’t time whizz by as you get older! The clocks definitely get faster. 22 years have gone by since then!
With these thoughts in mind – here is a short story :-
At the Hairdresser’s.
Julie glared at the mirror. She always thought she looked great in the mirrors at home, but these blasted hairdresser’s mirrors didn’t agree.
Where did all the wrinkles come from? And all that grey hair? She had heard of the portrait of Dorian Grey that aged while the portrait-sitter stayed young. Were these mirrors like that? Were they magic?
When Julie commented these ideas to the hairdresser, Sue just laughed.
“Actually,” she said. “Your hair colour is lovely.”
Yeah, right! Julie pressed her lips together as she wasn’t convinced.
Even the clock on the salon wall and those at home were traitors. They lied! The hands zoomed around the numbers so fast that she wished, at times, that she was Samantha from the TV show ‘Bewitched’. Then she could wriggle her nose and slow down time.
Or perhaps, in a fit of temper, she could melt the clocks and watch them slide down the walls, never to bother her again. Didn’t Dali paint a picture like that?
As she sat patiently waiting for the haircut to finish, she drifted into the days of her youth. She was attractive then, but now – how would she find someone who was attracted to her, with all the wrinkles, that gray hair, and, of course, the saggy breasts and the flabby tummy. She inwardly sighed. Mind you, the men in her age group looked decidedly worse!
She finally left the hairdresser’s in a bit of a bubble of depression and headed to the local supermarket.
After parking the car, she struggled out of the car, her knees screaming with the pain of arthritis.
“Oh, hello, Julie,” a cheerful voice said. Julie looked up and saw her friend, Amy.
“You look great today,” Amy continued. “Have you had your hair coloured?”
Julie frowned – why would she colour it grey, for goodness sake?
“No.” She shook her head. “This is just me.”
“Well it looks lovely,” Amy said then got in her car and waved cheerfully goodbye.
Julie smiled carefully, and mouthed ‘thank you – bye.’
By the time she got home, she was decidedly grumpy.
She stomped into the kitchen and put away the groceries, glowering at the cupboard as if it was at fault. The tins of spaghetti didn’t move. Then she clomped outside and checked the post-box.
A letter address to her in handwriting she didn’t know, was in it.
She nearly threw it in the bin, but, intrigued, she decided to check the contents anyway. Inside was a lovely card with a heart on the front. She opened it cautiously. Inside was a message:-
“Sending you my admiration, and thought we could meet for coffee later. You look lovely.” Signed ‘From an anonymous admirer’.
Julie glanced around as if she thought she was being watched. She felt her heart skip a beat and she allowed herself a small sliver of hope. She wondered. Who would send her something like this? Was it a stalker? And, anyway … Why?
Then she realised it was February the 14th. She smiled, and almost skipped inside. Life wasn’t too bad after all. She would find out who sent the card – what an exciting development.
And … it was the first time in her life she had ever been sent a Valentine Day’s card!
Ingredients :- 500gm softened butter; 1 can condensed milk; 5 cups of SR flour; Any extras – sultanas/choc chips/coffee/ vanilla essence/passionfruit/lemon/nuts etc – use your imagination.
- Cream butter and sugar
- Add condensed milk and flour.
- Mix until the mixture comes together.
- Divide dough into three. Add a different ‘extra’ to each section.
- Take the first section. Roll into walnut size pieces and flatten onto a greased baking tray.
- Bake in a moderate oven (180C) until golden brown ( approximately 12 to 15 minutes.)
- Roll 2nd and 3rd sections into sausage shapes and wrap in waxed paper and freeze for later.
- Each section should give you approximately 30 to 35 biscuits.
As this blog is called Read, Eat and Dream, I have now given you a short story to read, a recipe to try out, and now I’ll talk about a dream we all aspire to – the dream of being FREE!
This can take the meaning of travel, or being able to move around freely in an open society. It can also mean you should be free to be yourself. Sometimes your environment may not be friendly – prison and war, an unhappy marriage, or even an inability to do things because of bodily dis-functions. All of things are not easy to overcome – but your mind can be free if you have the right attitude. So much is possible, that life should be a joy, even in adversity.
I have middle school books and picture books that help children (and adults) see that life can be exciting, if you only allow it to be. Please note – I write under the pen-name Marguerite Wellbourne for books with adult content (not suitable for children).
These books are AU$18 each, with postage extra. I can post anywhere in the world if I have an address to send to. Please contact me through my Facebook pages or email if you are interested.
My facebook pages are:
Linkedin : MLarter
Instagram : lartermaureen
Twitter : @MaureenLarter