roses and sunrises and migraines but more marion.


we write to you from within a darkened room.

we awoke early – very early – with the sunrise – and realized the whole of the right side of our head was compressed and tight and painful – tis a headache – possibly a Migraine *sighs*

so we went back to sleep after drinking a large glass of water from the jug in the fridge with the slices of blood red oranges (we do like to live well) and hoped it would pass.

it is – slowly.

why is it here?

we have been Thinking too Much, we fear.

never a good idea.

a little action, some tasks, a few goals and then Whoosh! the whole thing tumbles into What Now? and What if That doesn’t Happen? and Panic ensues.

when actually all in good Time, of course.

migraines are a pause button.

as are roses and sunrises.

both of which we enjoyed this weekend – – – – – – – –

and we present for your humble inspection right now.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwe did a tiny Art Project this weekend.

in one of the vintage magazines we saw a car advertisement with, bizarrely, a vast chandelier, so we cut it out carefully, painted a small canvas frame with gilt/bronze paint (which we Just happened to have lying around) and then mounted it with decoupage paste.

not sure where to put it but it will do nicely while we wait for the future purchase of our very own chandelier….


we need Much higher ceilings for a chandelier.

perhaps the novel will manifest a chandelier.

here’s hoping:

a little more?

you are Too Kind *blush*


On Sunday mornings, Hampstead was divided into those who got up early and went to church (wearing hats and gloves and matching patent leather handbags and polished shoes) and those who lay in bed and then sleepily walked up to the high street to buy the papers and croissants and doze away the afternoon listening to a play on BBC Radio 4.

The Jones family used to be the former sort of Hampstead residents until Libby reached the screaming-in-church nightmare toddler stage. Gratefully they succumbed to the family that drifted around the house most of the weekend until Mark became sports-mad. Now Sunday mornings were precious, but the afternoons saw Annabelle getting mud-spattered or rained on at the side of a football or hockey pitch. She didn’t mind. Her family had been sports-crazy growing up so it was rather nice.

At the corner shop, Annabelle looked at the odd mix of tins of vegetables, small bottles of milk with silver tops or blue and silver stripped tops for skim. Shelves of women’s magazines promised new lives or modern updates to Greek dramas in the lives of the famous and the infamous. Lydia was there in the corner thumbing through the classified advertising section of The Lady, looking for gossip from the Shires.

“Hello, Lydia,” said Annabelle.

Lydia peeked over the top of the magazine. “Shall I tell you your fortune?”

Annabelle looked nervously around the empty shop. “Alright, go on then.”

“What’s your star sign?”


Lydia looked carefully at the magazine. “Pick another. Gemini is having a better week.”

“But I can’t pick Gemini if I’m a Pisces,” Annabelle was disappointed. She really thought Lydia could tell her what to do about her future, such as it was.

“You need to expand your concept of the universe, Annabelle.”

Annabelle, disappointed, fussed with the magazine shelves, straightening them and wondering whether to buy a copy of the glossy interiors title featuring a French country farmhouse. “I thought you meant you could really tell my fortune.”

“I can,” said Lydia “but not in the local corner shop. You never know who might burst in.”

At that moment Libby burst in through the door. “Mum!” she said, irritated that her mother drifted through Sunday mornings when there was important clothes shopping to be done.

“Libby, what’s your star-sign?” said Lydia.

Libby sighed when she saw her mother was talking to the weird lady. And then she remembered the weird lady had seen her smoking so she better be nice.


“Excellent!” said Lydia, handing her the magazine. Libby stared at the portrait of the late Duchess of Windsor on the front and gave it, doubtfully, to her mother.

“Are you really a witch?”

“Libby!” said Annabelle, putting The Lady back on the shelf and trying to hustle her daughter out of the shop before they got excommunicated from Hampstead.

“I’m a high priestess,” said Lydia, a bit too loudly for the comfort of the nice Hampstead mummies doing their weekend magazine browsing.

“Isn’t that the same thing?” asked Libby, by now quite interested in the distinction.

“I wish I had the Gift, but I don’t,” explained Lydia, sneaking a bar of Cadbury’s fruit and nut chocolate and slipping it into Libby’s hand and putting a pound coin on the counter. Libby knew she was being bought but chocolate was chocolate. The shop door opened and the bell at the top tinkled merrily. Marion was standing there, wearing large dark glasses and a drop dead gorgeous chocolate brown floor length coat. Libby stared.

Annabelle looked sideways at Libby and checked her watch theatrically. “Gosh! Is that the time?” she said and tried to get safely past Marion who would not budge. Libby looked between her mother and this vision and worked out it was the new neighbor.

“Do you live next door to us?” Libby said.

“Depends on where you live, sweetheart,” said Marion, smiling behind her dark glasses.

Libby had been trained never to give out her address so she did not know what to say. She appealed to her mother silently for help. Annabelle was waiting for Marion to move and was very distracted by the whole situation. Lydia came to the rescue. She pulled the door open wider, thrust a copy of The Lady into Marion’s hands and pushed Libby out into Hampstead High Street. Annabelle slipped through gratefully and rushed off in the direction of Louis, Libby rushing to keep up, unwrapping her chocolate bar hastily before her mother told her to save it until after lunch.

Marion wordlessly gave back the magazine to Lydia and slipped the dark glasses down over her nose, looking at the tiny newsagent –slash-grocery store with amusement.

“Quite taken with your lovely neighbor, Marion?” said Lydia, dying for gossip. Marion took a bottle of Evian water from the fridge, looked at how much it cost and put some coins down on the counter. As she went to exit the shop she smiled from behind her glasses at Lydia, “That way madness lies, Lydia,” she said.

Lydia was not that easily defeated. She followed Marion out of the shop. “Did she ask you about the full moon ceremony?”

Marion did not need to ask what a full moon ceremony was. She knew what Lydia was dabbling in. Early stage magic, clearly. But she was tempted to get into the life of the community.

“Why do you want to use my house?”

“Because there’s a direct view of the moon through your oak trees.”

“Of course there is. I can’t believe I even bothered asking.”


19 thoughts on “roses and sunrises and migraines but more marion.

  1. ooooh, migraines are nasty visitors. like that loud kind of university buddy who drops in uninvited and stays until you tell him to bugger off ten times in a row and he finally does realise it’s NOT a joke. I hope you are better now.
    I’m suffering springtime headache, I got rid of my migraines (hopefully forever). but I do get sensitive to sunlight in the first days of spring, and my head aches, and I can’t properly think, I talk with an extraterrestrial drawl, and I’m very sleepy. a very weird and obnoxious state for someone who’s as bubbly as I am.

    this novel is LOVELY, LOVELY, L.O.V.E.L.Y.!
    my favourite quote from this bit would be: “You need to expand your concept of the universe.”

    1. *smiling* So Much over Here.

      Thank you for your delicious praise.

      *humbleBow *

      Head ok today. Tis possible it was the zinc tablets we took too late in the day…….it happened the other day too. Who knows.

      Not us.

      About much At All.

      Which is such a relief and makes everything so Much more Adventurous.

  2. Sorry to hear about the migraine…

    Quite intriguing your novel…but wondering if the non Brit or Brit living people will get the little nuances of the details like the lady and bbc4? Anyway looking forward to more…

  3. I am sorry to hear of your migraine and I hope that it has eased. I am sending many good wishes and I am sure that ‘it’ will happen, you have so many talents: a delicious way with words and a great eye for a picture. Gosh, does that sound patronizing, it’s certainly not meant to be. Thank you for the latest extract from The House on Church Row.

  4. As one who suffers from migraines, the aura is always the worst part – for me. And yes, a pause button may be in order, but lovely of you to let us enjoy some Marion all the same.

    (Cool cloths, much water, dim lights, sleep if possible.)

  5. Gorgeous! The prose not the ailments that is. I hope it eases soon darling.

    Current Brutish milk drag is blue – whole milk, green – semi skimmed, and red skimmed.

    Although they now also do orange, which is 1% and thus half way between skimmed and semi. Butba corner shop wouldn’t have that. Really I should publish a treatise on the subject. I find orange best for the Nespresso, and red for the Yorkshire.

    Is there to be a rugged handsome gardener at any stage?

    Nurse – the screens!


    1. *giggling* massively.


      when did the Milk Change?

      is Nothing sacred?!

      no gardener that we have Planned…….but one never quite knows. sort of a Rupert Graves type? former public school boy – good with his hands?

  6. I am so sorry to hear of your migraine, my friend. Sending good “opening up the skull” kind of thoughts your way while thanking you for a little bit of Hampstead.
    **bisous, the silent kind so as not to awaken your headache**

    1. Much appreciated *skullopening* wide enough to do a load of laundry as we noticed we were down to the last slim-fitting black gap t-shirt ;)


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