STEVE AND GEORGE

STEVE AND GEORGE

Two Character Studies

BEING A GOOD HOST TO STEVE

I had decided that it would be nice if Steve could stay for a few days in London, as he had felt somewhat bored, trapped in the wilds of Norwich. We hadn’t met in the flesh, and although he had my address, I thought it would be boorish if I were to just let him arrive and not pick him up from the station. So we arranged that he should ring me to tell me when he would be arriving and I made a point of being close to the entrance of the station at Norbury-sur-Mer when he arrived,

The train arrived, and as I had parked about a couple of minutes’ walk from the exit, in the sunshine, I was aware that it had pulled in, because a few people came out of the main doors from the ticket hall, and into the street outside.

Then Steve arrived. Although I had never met him, I knew that it was him immediately.

On his feet he wore what could only be described as the result of a successful but unwise mating between a pair of deck shoes and a pair of carpet slippers.

A jacket that defied even the term faux leather… It was fake leather of the most hideous and plastic variety… although “plastic” didn’t really describe it… Plastic, to me, implies a slight softness, a suppleness… the word implies a substance that has been moulded to take on a particular form, with give; with suppleness… but this jacket resisted that description… for who would, or could, have taken the time or wasted the energy in creating such a garment. This jacket, over a period of time… a period in which it had most decidedly fallen out of fashion (but not before it had fallen out of favour), had folded where it had been bent… and cracked where it had folded.

It was too large for him, but if it had been worn as a jacket, it may not have looked quite so unattractive… but he had draped it over his shoulders as nonchalantly, yet as provocatively, as a thirties dowager would have draped a fox fur over hers. The contrast between the former and the latter was less than pleasing to the eye.

He had obviously decided to wear it in this manner to give maximum viewing space to the black string vest which he wore. This garment was also made on the generous side; the prime reason for his wearing it being to show off his décolletage; that being somewhat pale, but chubby flesh, out of which sprouted, randomly, tufts of hair of an indefinite colour.

He wore combat trousers. Not khaki, but in shades of black, grey and off white. What more can I say?

What more can one say? Nothing; apart from adding that he carried his cigarettes and lighter in one hand and a wallet and mobile ‘phone in the other, but in a manner that emulated Joan Crawford looking down over the balustrade in the film ‘Grand Hotel’… It emulated Miss Crawford in the way in which he held these objects, with palms and wrists held up to the sky, but the aforementioned Miss Crawford would possibly not have realised how she was being mimicked… or if she had, would definitely have shuddered.

Ah! ‘Tis an onerous task, being a trend setter and gay icon.

May I here hasten to add that by "trend setter and gay icon" I am referring to La Crawford, and not to Steve.

He stood there, looking vacantly about him. For one brief moment, I was tempted to drive away and return home. But how would I explain my absence to him if he rang and said that he had arrived? Or worse, if he remembered my address and eventually found his way to my front door?

Making sure that I wasn’t being observed, I got out of the car and walked quickly towards him. As I approached, he noticed me and turned a seemingly vacant gaze towards me. I have always been a kindly soul; noted for my caring and protective nature. So I chose my words carefully:

“I hope you haven’t been standing there looking like that for long. I am surprised that you weren't arrested. Quick, get in the car”.

He sauntered slowly, far too slowly for my liking, towards my car.

“Did you come on the train looking like that?” I asked, hoping that nobody I knew would see me with him. “Quickly; get in the car,” indicating my vehicle which I had parked close by. Taking what seemed to me an unnecessarily long time to do so, he put the case he was carrying onto the back seat and slid into the front passenger seat. I held my hand out… He looked at it vaguely for a few seconds and then held it in a limp grasp.

“Hello, Steve,” I said.

“Yes,” he said, and then, as an afterthought, “Ah!”

I was immediately reminded of George de Lancy de Somerville de Smith de Ceased de Brown de Tergent.

George: A thumbnail Study

In my youth, I had known a rather strange and interesting Anglo-Argentine who went by the name of George Somerville… Somehow, Somerville wasn’t enough of a surname for George, and, as his father had been rather remiss in not allocating him a grand enough surname to suit his character, out of kindness on my behalf, I filled the vacuum which his presence required. So George Somerville became George de Lancy de Somerville de Smith de Ceased de Brown de Tergent. At this stage, I cannot recollect whether he showed any gratitude for my thoughtfulness or not…or whether in fact he felt any gratitude: but I had felt it my duty to be of assistance, and I think I fulfilled one of the obligations that friendship requires. As far as I know he has carried that surname with him to the present day.

George was quite capable of conducting a conversation using only the interjection or exclamation: “Ah!” and he had such presence that few questioned him.

George looked remarkably like a rather tall frog. He was not, as many of us would suppose, of a similar hue to a frog, which are known to be either green, or greenish. George was not green in the slightest. In fact, he was a rather subdued shade of chalk.

So he was tall, with a frame that was angular and skinny to the nth degree, but in consequence, he was a perfect clothes horse. Whatever he wore, he had presence and his dress implied authority. He had what in earlier time would have been described as gooseberry eyes, set in a face that had all the arrogance of a Renaissance Prince; a pale and haughty demeanour. This haughtiness was a result, I suspected, of myopia and, I am certain, a mental vagueness which was monumental. George had the capacity to gaze from his myopic, gooseberry eyes, all the way down his aquiline nose in such a way that would momentarily paralyse into submission the staunchest of human beings; even the staunchest of the staunch; Polish labourers and spinster schoolteachers had been known to quail before his gaze.

GEORGE SAVES THE DAY


There had been a memorable incident when King Peter of Yugoslavia had been visiting the city of Perth, West Australia, where we lived. Not together, may I add, but we lived in the same State.

Somehow George (George de Lancy de Somerville de Smith de Ceased de Brown de Tergent) had become enmeshed in King Peter’s retinue. At one dramatic moment, a slavering Balkan Freedom Fighter had broken through the crowd of sycophants and hand kissers that surrounded the King, mouthing what appeared to be obscenities, republican slogans and rallying cries, all in Serbo-Croat. The King and his party drew back in horror and dismay; George, our George, (G de L de S de S de C de B de T esq.) turned his supercilious and haughty gaze upon the miscreant.

George uttered but one word… one sound.

“Ah!” he said.

The Slavering Balkan Freedom Fighter, albeit more heavily bearded and hirsute than your common or garden Freedom Fighter needs to be, fell back before that gaze, seemingly mortally wounded, and the Regal Party moved on.

Apparently, later that day, an official from the Royal Party sought out George, and with tears filling his grateful eyes, clasped George’s hands in his; kissed him three times, one on the right cheek, one on the left cheek and one on the right again, and thanked him profusely for saving the day.

“Ah!” George is reported to have replied.

I LEND A HELPING HAND

George, as I have already stated, was pale of face, and upon inspection, proved to be pale of limb and torso, and, no doubt, of other parts of his epidermis.

We lived in West Australia; the state that should have been called the Sunshine State, except Queensland had hijacked the name. West Australia: the state in which anybody, at that time, who wasn't as brown as possible (not only in the Summer, but in the Winter, also), stood out like a sore thumb. George’s face, in its almost British paleness, stood out, not so much like a sore thumb, but like a beacon… a very pale and obvious beacon.

I decided, out of the goodness of my heart, to set things to rights.

If George de Lancy de Somerville de Smith de Ceased de Brown de Tergent couldn't fit into the general colour scheme all by himself, or with the help of his non-cooperative skin, then I would do it for him.

What I liked about George was his willingness to help me in all my little plans and ventures.

“George,” I said to him one day, “George. You are too pale. You don’t fit in”.

George looked at me lugubriously, as was his wont.

“Everybody else,” said I, attempting to soften the blow, “is browner than you… Even Maureen… and she’s a redhead”.

“Ah!” said George. “Maureen, yes”.

“So we’re going to make you fit in,” I said. I stressed the use of the abbreviation “we’re”; it would make him feel more involved.

We were in George’s flat. He thought that that was the end of the conversation. He reached for a magazine he had been reading, and started to read an article on… for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was about; it can’t have been important.

“I’ll run you a bath,” I said, “You go to the chemist and get a packet of Permanganate of Potash”.

George looked at me quizzically, but, as usual with George, also trustingly.

And so, off he went.

I was just about to turn on the bath taps, when I took a mental peek at George’s face. He, indeed, was pale. I rushed out of the door of his flat, and leaning over the balcony, I called out to his departing figure, “Better get two packets”.

“Ah!” said George.

It was a blazing hot day in December. The air about his departing figure shimmered; almost crackled. Inside the flat it was relatively cool. I started to run his bath; a tepid bath, not too hot, not too cold.

A short aside:

When I had been a much younger person, my father had been gardening and had driven a garden fork into his big toe. It had hurt, obviously, and there had been a good deal of blood. My mother, having been a nurse, had known what to do. She had removed his Wellington boot, which he had been wearing (Note well: Wellington boots are poor protection against gardening forks) and made him put his foot into an enamel bowl of water to which she had added “Condy's Crystals". This is the common name forPermanganate of Potash” or Potassium Permanganate


The crystals dissolved in the water, producing a deep purple solution. The colour was amazing. Apparently my mother had used this to clean the wound in my father’s toe. However, not only did it make the most amazingly beautiful purple and magenta solution, but after a short period of immersion, the skin of my father’s foot took on a rich orangey-brown colouring.

I was fascinated, and thought that, eventually, I would have cause to be pleased to have discovered the quality of this wonderful substance.

I was not disappointed. It took some years, but I knew that if I waited long enough, I would find a use for my acquired knowledge. Permanganate of Potash and George’s fair skin; a marriage made in heaven.

My Story Now Takes on a Bit of Colour

Eventually the bath had filled with water. I turned off the taps, and as I did so, I heard the sound of George re-entering the flat. He carried a paper bag in his hand; a paper bag that proclaimed in bold blue letters ‘Hugh Howling, Chemist’.

“Got it?” I enquired.

George looked at me through his dark sunglasses, smiled vaguely in my direction, and waved the paper bag at me, as if to confirm that he had fulfilled his part of the plan satisfactorily.

“Bath’s ready,” I announced.

George and I moved to the bathroom. The white enamel bath was almost full to the brim; only three inches from the lip, with sparkling water which had taken on the palest blue-green shade. George peered into the bath with absolute trust on his pale face, his aquiline nose pointing at the surface. He turned to look at me quizzically.

Ceremoniously I opened the white paper bag and took out the small white card box on which was proclaimed proudly: Condy's Crystals and below it, Potassium Permanganate. I opened the little box and scattered the dark purple crystals into the bath. Immediately there was an explosion of colour; the brightest and most vibrant purple; verging on magenta. I bent down and swirled the water with my left hand. The colour was so intense the water looked almost opaque. George watched me carefully, but quietly, and then, as I had the other box in the bag, I took that out also, and added the crystals to the already dramatically dark purple water.

I could almost hear George’s eyebrows rising towards his hairline. George who was seldom if ever shocked or even noticeably interested in anything; George who took virtually everything in his stride; George whose calmness at all times was monumental, said; “Gosh!” and then, just in case I hadn’t taken in his excitement, he said, “Ah!”

“This’ll do it.” I said, “Get in!”

He turned his head slowly in my direction. Then his eyes moved slowly and carefully to the bath. Once more he turned towards me.

“It’s purple.” He said in beautifully clipped accents.

“I know. Trust me”.

“Could you remind me why we are doing this?” he asked.

“You’re too pale. We’re fixing that”.

“I’m not sure whether I want to be purple,” He took a deep breath and looked long and carefully at the bath.

“I know,” I said again, “You don’t want to be too pale do you?” I asked rhetorically. “Trust me”.

As I left the bathroom, I could hear George removing his clothing and then lowering himself into the water.

“How long do I have…” he started.

“Not long,” I called, “I’ll let you know. Make sure you’re completely covered with the water; we want it to work properly, don’t we”.

“Ah!” said George.

It was a hot day. I went into the sitting room. Stretching out in the cane armchair, I started to leaf through the pages of the magazine George had been reading. The flat was peaceful. In the distance I could hear the gentle sounds of children playing on the Esplanade, down by the River. The “Putt! Putt! Putt! Putt!” sound of a motor scooter’s two stroke engine. Calm and peace pervaded the flat. I must have dropped off to sleep.

Suddenly I awoke by the sound of George’s voice. It must have been a good half hour later. His voice had a slight edge to it:

“I think I’m done”.

I opened my eyes. He stood in the doorway to the sitting room. He was stark naked. His hands held protectively in front of him to secure his modesty.

“How do I look? I’ve looked in the bathroom mirror, and I can’t see any change… Except there’s something on my chin”.

The bathroom mirror he was referring to was a small shaving mirror, attached to the wall at eye level. He had only seen his face in this mirror, as there wasn’t a full length mirror in the bathroom. It was equally obvious that he had only looked at his face. If he had looked down, it would have been a different matter.

“Um!” I said. I was lost for words.

There was a full length mirror in his bedroom, however.

He left me briefly. I heard what only can be described a yelp from within his bedroom.

He reappeared.

I have seldom seen any marked emotion on George’s usually phlegmatic face. This time, however, there was a little more emotion expressed than I was completely ready to deal with. He looked at me with eyes that I should imagine could be described as brimming with unadulterated hatred.

“Look what you’ve done,” he snarled, and his voice cut through the warm afternoon air like a steel blade. Suddenly the ambient temperature seemed to drop several degrees.

“Look at me,” he growled from between clenched teeth, and with that he raised his arms in a dramatic gesture.

“I’m trying not to,” I replied, “George, your hands! Replace them, please,” and I politely averted my gaze.

“Look – at – me!” said George; his arms still gesturing and waving about at shoulder level.

I unwillingly was forced to grab the bull by the horns, as it were, and I looked. Every inch of George: George de Lancy de Somerville de Smith de Ceased de Brown de Tergent, which had formerly been as pale as the palest peaches and cream English rose; Nay! As pale as the White Cliffs of Dover (albeit less colourful) …Every bit; every square inch, except for one dramatic part, was no longer the colour of the George that one had grown to love.

He was now a colour that I have heard described as burnt orange – or more specifically, orange orange. From the bottom of his feet, I should imagine – almost to the top of George, he was now a violent orange. Yet with the exception of his toenails and fingernails which were a richly deep and glowing burnt Sienna.

George had obediently immersed himself in the Permanganate of Potash solution, but what he and I had both forgotten, or neglected to attend to, was the fact that he would have needed to breathe whilst immersed. So he had lain with as much of himself immersed in the water as possible; with the solution right up to just above his chin.

There was a tide mark just below his lower lip. South of this tide mark, George was bright, vibrant orange; above that, the Northern part, was still a George-like pale pinkish grey.

I considered telling him that if he had taken a drinking straw into the bath with him and completely submerged himself below the surface of the water, he could have breathed through the straw and allowed the Condy’s Crystals to do their work and the colour would have been general, not simply isolated on his neck and lower body, but the look on his face gave me the hint that my opinion as to what we should have done wouldn’t have been very well received at that particular juncture.

George advanced towards me with an expression which I read as being what one would loosely describe as: aggressive, fuelled by intense anger.

The thought was beginning to dawn on me that my little scheme of making him more socially acceptable, by changing his colouring in a subtle manner, had not really worked according to my original plan.

I thought that under the circumstances it would be better to leave him at that stage, as I felt that, for some reason, he didn’t feel particularly grateful for my efforts on his behalf.

I heard later that, due to a good deal of concerted effort; relying on soaps, bleaches, shampoos and scrubbing brushes etc., and support from one or two of his other friends, George and his chums had managed to tone down the orange to something approaching a streaky apricot.

Unfortunately, the rich brown of this fingernails and toenails proved to be more of a problem. These took much longer, and I heard that he just had to wait till the colour grew out with the nails, which took quite a while. Of course he would be wearing shoes, so his toenails being dark brown wouldn’t matter… only he would be likely to be viewing them on a regular basis. I was considering telling him this and also, helpfully, advising him that he could disguise the brown fingernails by wearing gloves, but when I tried to contact him, I heard that we wasn’t ready to talk to me as yet. Maybe it was because he thought gloves would be unsuitable for Perth, in the middle of a hot Summer.

More by this Author


Comments 57 comments

Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Ian,

This comment may be rather lengthy. You are such a great writer. You have such a way with words.I really enjoyed this story..I honestly read it three times..just to get a good grasp. I felt like Steve/George with their "Ah" as I don't know how to put in words really. I love learning new words, how they are used, and applied within a story..so I enjoyed this very much..it was very funny too..I use to sun bath years and years ago with baby oil and iodine...the two together can give you a rusty color too if you do not mix it right.I turned orange sometimes..lol.. I bet it took forever to come off. I have one question..did this really happen..don't answer now..wouldn't want to give it away..thanks for giving my brain a good work out too. By the way you were such a good friend to Steve/George..lol Thank you for a fun hub for sure.PS if I missed something please let me know.

Sunnie


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thanks Sunnie, for being such a constant support. I really appreciate it when you visit and make your comments. For what is the use of writing, if no one reads what one has written?

I am finding it difficult to catch up with all the new postings, but I feel that I have to. I am such a slow reader; you would most probably think I was a “slow learner” as well if you were to watch me. I have never been able to scan, so if I say I have read something, then I HAVE.

Bless you, because you read it three rimes.

Now; about the veracity of the piece(s).

Picking Steve up from the Railway Station actually happened.

George saving King Peter was pure fabrication (I did have a chance of meeting King Peter, but that would be another hub, and…)

George and the “fake suntan” actually happened, but as in all of them, there is a modicum of “poetic licence”.

Thanks again,

Ian


Lady Wordsmith profile image

Lady Wordsmith 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

Ian! This was wonderful. Ooh, I did so enjoy reading it, and managed to tune out the sound of my three wee boys wrestling with each other in the next room - a true testament to your BRILLIANT writing!

Is there more? Both of these stories feel like the beginning of something very, very good. Honestly, I could read a whole book of this stuff Ian. Please write one!

I am humbled, really I am, by this writing of yours.

Linda.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Linda, coming from you, that is a magnificent comment. You know how much I admire your writing skills. I was just writing a comment regarding your last comment on OCD. My scribbling went on a bit, I'm afraid.

There is another story in the Steve and George group... I was just thinking about it. Look out for 'Steve Comes to Dinner'. Unfortunately it takes me ages to write anything... I am very slow.

It will really show what a kind and supportive sort of person I am... well you realised that by reading my last hub, didn't you.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Ian if I may add one more thing. I am a fast reader however I do not retain what I have read. If I would slow down then maybe it would help. You being a teacher had some of these kinds of students I am sure. Comprehension was always hard for me...so I should slow down...with saying that...that was why I read three times..:) Not because it was difficult to read but my brain had to back track to take it all in. I look forward like Linda to reading another story about Steve.


Lady Wordsmith profile image

Lady Wordsmith 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

Sunnie - I have this problem also. I agree with you, perhaps if we slowed down, we would take in what we read properly. I read fast too, but retain not a thing!

HubPages is great for sharing in this way, because I've discovered lots of little things about my personality that I always viewed as deficiencies - now I just see them as part of my make up, and traits that lots of other people have learned how to deal with. I bet if you wrote a hub about comprehension, you'd get lots of suggestions on how to improve your abilities :)

Ian, I will wait very patiently for the next installment of your adventures. Yes, I do see that you are incredibly kind and supportive, and honestly, I'm surprised at George's reaction really, since it was obvious that your intentions were very honourable. Really, some people are so ungrateful!

Linda.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I am not only a slow reader, Linda and Sunnie, but I have what I describe as "Selective Dyslexia". I actually read what I think should be there, and as a result, I may have to go back and read a sentence several times. This, as you would realise, is a way that some people study (something I have never been able to do). Believe it or not, when a page comes up on Ceefax or Teletext, I usually have to wait till that page comes back at least once because I couldn't take it all in during the first reading.

Yes, it's very strange how ungrateful some people tend to be when one puts oneself out to help, and just because something doesn't work immediately, that person whines and moans... I was only doing my best.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Steve, for example. A kind hearted and sweet person, but you ask someone like that to have a simple meal, and to this day, he's whining and moaning about the meal. Just won't let it rest.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean

Oh TL this was delightful. Your description of Steve was a hoot. Its a shame George de Lancy de Somerville de Smith de Ceased de Brown de Tergent wasn't more appreciative of your efforts. I mean really, you were trying to help the man. It might not have gone completely according to plan. In fact might have had the exact opposite effect of that intended, but your heart was in the right place.

I'm a slow reader. I get lost in them; reread them. Savory them. This was delicious.


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kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

"Ah". "I see". I had a pleasure to meet someone who has a talent to answer like that "I see." The ball goes back to you and you are forced to continue. "I see." - I wish I had the talent to describe the air of finality of this statement. I cannot even repeat the intonation. But approach is brilliant.

I loved how you select your words. "Violent Orange". I had my personality tested and it has to do with colours. My predominant colours are Blue-Green (speaking of turquoise), but I was so militant at the time that I was insisting that I am Orange (people of action and courage). I settled for "Bloody Orange" - it makes a statement!!!

"Decolletage" - you had me there. Decolletage?! I love the word. Especially applied to a gay man.

"Monumental mental vagueness" - loved, loved, loved.

The only thing that is I might have changed is connecting Steve and George. The story of George seems complete, but Steve?


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Ah! Svetlana, at great expense, and having sold the film right in advance, there is another mini chapter entitled 'Steve Comes to Dinner'. It hasn't been written yet, but advance bookings are looking very healthy.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you for stopping by and reassuring me, Randy.

I am so glad that you can tell that George was just a little remiss in not thanking me effusively for my efforts. But I suppose that is the way of the world. I did my best; my very best.

And did I get a thank you?

Heavens, no!

But I am a kind person, and the milk of human kindness flows liberally in my veins, and as a result, I will always be there to lend a helping hand when it is called for... and even if it isn't called for!


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I see. [dramatic, air of finality!]

It's not a bad thing. [another of his expressions]. Ah.

I really regret not having saved our first online conversations. Marc the Philosopher (I officially named that character "Marc the Philosopher, Question Mark") had a way with words and conversations. He could use clever and sophisticated words and yet express absolutely nothing. You see? [dramatic]

With your permission, I will be dropping every now and then "decolletage" and "violent orange" and "monumental mental vagueness" because I loved those expressions. I love that you use words that I have to look up and being a person of extremes I am going straight for complete depravity and decadence. For some it is decadence, for some it is avant-garde. Orange? Pourqoui-pas? Hair, perhaps? Nails? Fitting in? Who needs it. Not Steve. Not me.

It is a very good beginning. What is for dinner?


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

You will be surprised... Steve certainly was!


neeleshkulkarni profile image

neeleshkulkarni 5 years ago from new delhi

i am sure if i come visiting i will be very careful of you when i bathe, being dark i am sure i will be deep crimson or orangish black or somethingg.

love ur writing .


Mark Ewbie profile image

Mark Ewbie 5 years ago from Euroland

I don't visit as often as I should Twilight, and I am mortified to think I might have been missing out on this quality. A beautiful, interesting and most importantly captivating, piece of work.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, Neelesh. My only aim is to please, and as you admit to being exactly the right colour scheme, I will leave you alone in that department. My advice though, is to be wary if I appear to be in a helpful mood. Some people may misinterpret my kindness.

Thank tyou for visiting, and reading my little effort.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Mark, I am one of your most devoted fans and take your comments to heart. Thank you. I think you style and outlook is so clever and incisive, that I always read your hubs as soon as they come up, even though my inbox may be full... I love quality.

Your 'Winnie-ther-Pooh' hub went round and round in my mind all evening,

Ian


Steve of Ian fame. 5 years ago

I am afraid our Ian spent too much time in his childhood, at a compromise distance from his, "well to do" middle-class parents. He filled the gaps of natural love and affection with too much time at the cinema, watching any number of worthless but classic movies. From the screens of story tellers' fantasy, he drew a strange notion of love and life. He believes this early template to be real and fits all of real life into a film frame, made from characters observed from that childhood screen. Sadly he does not know, or see any need, to unclick the boxes of his own peculiar default settings and remains autistically stuck inside his movie box way, of observing this world of secure familiarity.

Ian should have been a solicitor because he can make even a honeymoon look sordid. His lucid and vivid imagination were getting him into trouble long before Photoshop and Airbrushing were the twinkle in any wannabe millionaire's eye.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

I can't imagine this to be true but I guess Steve would know..We all look at the world in a sordid, odd way, and it may change like the wind. Thank you for sharing this bit about Ian..as for me I still like him ALOT! His writing too.

Sunnie


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Dear Poet Laureate, for that is you Sir; I feel it in my compassionate bones. Dear Sir, thank you for descending from your Ivory Tower (second floor, Lord Kitchener Wing, Twilight Lawns plc, Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, UK).

We appreciate your visit, and are honoured by your presence.

These Hubbing Chaps are mostly ex-colonials from what they amusingly refer to as the United States of America (former Colonies in the Americas as owned by His Britannic Majesty George III of these Sceptred Isles).

The Poor Dears will understand little of what you are rambling on about, but suffice to say, they believe every word that I have posted, and as you know, Kind Sir, truth has never stood between me and self expression.

If I say that you said, “Ah!”, Sir, then “Ah!” you said.

This is what is known as “poetic licence”.

Understood?


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Sunnie, I have responded to Steve already, and told him where most of the hubbers come from. He was amazed, as, until this evening, he hadn't heard of the United States of America and thought that you all lived in a little island off the coast of Cuba, or one of those other Foreign Countries. I tried to explain it to him and then he wanted to know how I managed to communicate with people who spoke in "Foreign" as he called it, and was absolutely amazed when I pointed out that North Americans and other people from the USA actually speak English.

Poor soul. He's gone to bed; very confused.

I sent Mrs Eulalia Hawkins up, just in case he needed restraining... he gets very excitable when he is confused.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Poor Steve, please give him my best.I am sure it is very confusing. I just hope he does not may a trip to china town anytime soon..that may add to his confusion.;)

I hope there will be no restraints involved.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I'm not sure, Sunnie. Mrs Eulalia Hawkins can be kind and reasonable for hours on end, but then, for no reason, she can be a teensy, weensy little bit authoritative, and then who knows?


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Dear Ian/Steve/George and any other literary giants lurking about here. At present I am inundated in stuff like this:

"If the estate or trust receives its income unevenly throughout the year, it may be able to lower or eliminate the amount of its required estimated tax payment for one or more periods by using the annualized income installment method. See Pub. 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, for details."

duh . . .

I am unable to think about this intriguing story and I feel terrible about that. But truth is truth.

But another character's name in it rings a bell. My prodigal son's name is Steve. hmmmmm


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Hmmm! Indeed, Nellie. or conversely, Ah!

You poor thing. There is very little in my life that irritates me more than filling out forms. We have just had the ten yearly census in the UK. It can be done manually (!) or on line. On line is a doddle. It look minutes.

I loeathe beutocracy,,, teachign got just like that when I was about to be retires... Luck me!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Yes, I hate bureaucracy too. And it's never-ending, I think. We started out with a government "of the people, for the people, by the people" and it becomes one of, for and by the bureaucrats, politicians and ultra rich and powerful citizens mostly. Tiresome.

One thing about it, like your retirement just in time, before your teaching profession succumbed to those controls, most of us will live our lives as well as we individually have the forttude & tenacity to do - before the next round of impending horrid developments appear on the scene; - and so has it been since time before time, I suspect. It all always boils down to our own lives and personal choices, as to how bad or good it is for ourselves. I say that with reservations, thinking of too many people trapped in such horrid circumstances that they never get even a slightly fair chance to make any choices which would improve their own lives - some can't even survive infancy. But most of us, at least those with means to be discussing anything here, have ample opportunities personally to improve our own lives and circumstances. Usually simple things - though not necessarily easy ones.

Well -taxes could be simple if I would or could just write out a check for about $4000 (which I won't and can't) and just send it with a simple list of required items to list and have calculated. But the system also provides means to discount that sum, though that is where it gets murky and complicated. I've already brought it down to about $3000, which would clean out the estate's checking account and there are other obligations to consider coming up for that resource soon, including another type of taxes and also insurance! (After the storm the other night, insurance may be needed for repairs! It's a never-ending thing and provides a good argument for the philosophy of detachment from all "things".) There are some other choices possible but mostly, bad ones!

Anyway - since I have discovered the reprieve of having till 6PM tomorrow to get the returns and payments in (or requests for extensions with the same or greater payments) - I hope to decipher some more possible deductions to bring the liability down a notch or so. And then I'll start my own return. Fortunately, though there are some complications involving my ranch on it, I have brought in so little income, that there may be some slight refund on the amounts that were withheld for taxes from it. The ranch has brought in -0- and cost mucho. If only the estate owned it, I'd have those losses to deduct! ah well. Se la vie or sumptin'.

I'm happy and feeling great, anyway. The weather has become idyllic, the windows are open for a lovely cool breeze, I feel like a million in spite of the IRS, and all is well with my own subjective world. After all - that is what really matters to a subject. So I don't FEEL like a "poor thing", anyway, though I appreciate the empathy! :-)


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Wouldn't it have been better to employ a good accountant; one clever in taxation and stuff? Or would she/he cost a lot anyway?

My heart bleeds for you. I hope you get your nose above the parapet soon.

Big reassuring hug,

Ian


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

ps - But the point was that all that "stuff" does cut into my Hub time and other fun, which is a poor thing!! hehe. I resent that part of it greatly! I'm only here briefly now while munching my morning fruit and sipping a cup of coffee. (Nearly any excuse works for me!)

I love the book and its premise: "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff - And It's ALL Small Stuff!"


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

pps - And then there is my own oft-used premise, "If it can't be fun, why do it?" Sometimes this is misinterpreted as an attitude of irresponsibility, but that is not the case. As you can tell, I am a most responsible person. But almost any tiresome task can be accomplished with more of a sense of fun! And many which cannot be made to be or viewed as more fun to do, really may not merit doing anyway. One should occasionally examine one's verities to see if they still are or really ever were! I believe that. It helps at times to clear out the millstones around one's neck and the gummy stuff one tries to move around in on all levels of living. Sometimes just to stop and consider the time-frame of whatever is fretting oneself and making it less fun to BE, can help to clear it from one's list of burdens. If it's all in the past or future, it's possibly already "served its time" & cannot be altered or has yet to come up and may never do so!

OK - that's my Sunday sermon for today. hehe


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

Such a wonderful friend as yourself deserves so much more than the likes of Steve and George my darling Ian. When one puts oneself to such expenditures of time, effort, and attention to detail, only to be cast aside as so much rubbish....sigh it simply boggles the mind.

I, for one, cherish your friendship, and if you turned me orange, would simply accessorize accordingly dear "Fiend". xx


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Nellieanna, that almost sounds like something our good friend Jean Paul Sartre would have written. It's all pretty existentialist stuff.

Not so much a sermon, as a philosophical argument in a little café at Château Rouge, or at Le Dôme, Montparnasse, whilst drinking café noir and Pernod Fils.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I know, Angie, and just when I had expended all that energy and compassion and sweetness and light on George, in his hour of need. I could have been at Grant Street (my favourite beach), in the company of my good friend Marina, soaking up the sun and getting browner and browner.

But George’s ingratitude was like a prayer on bended knee in comparison to Steve’s lack of appreciation when I fed and watered him at my humble little pied-à-terre in Norbury-sur-Mer. When I take my finger out, and write up the account, you will be able to pass judgement on the ingrate. Look for ‘Steve Comes to Dinner’ a forthcoming hub.

Ian


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Hm. . . . I like the setting of that little café, though I'm not much into arguments; - could it be a philosophical discussion instead? Well - it would be if I were in it. I may have strong convictions for myself but I have no desire to impose them on anyone and I respect others'.

It may fit into some other philosophical pattern when I say that I think more than one "truth" is true and can coexist, even with what seem to be contrary ideas. But I'm slippery when it comes to fitting into categories or stereotyping, I must prewarn.

So - - when do we do this? hehe.

Hugs. . . This is the last day for finishing taxes and I'm very optimistic, - so long as I don't allow myself to indulge too much in this fun!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Get back to work, Woman!

Thinking of you.


Steve of Ian fame. 5 years ago

Angrose. In your sweet nieve way you have just given Ian licence. I can just imagine his evil little fingers twitching hungrily about who Angrose can become. Turning orange is mild to what Ian can do. He is far worse than the tabliod shallowness we have all become accustomed to. In that, nothing you can put your finger on sort of way, turns creativity of truth into an art form, and furthermore takes it to another level.

Ian is to shallowness, what the bear is to evidence of what might happen in the woods. With slighly more in common with the above than I care to spell out. Isn't that right Ian? I beseech you as your father confesser, renounce this life of iniquity and turn to seeking the purity of your soul, that you might be redeemed and have more than correct spelling and grammar on your side when at those pearly gates.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

I am torn between states of joy at being done and actually completely done (no extension as usually happens) -and an anticlimactic feeling. I just don't want to "have to" do anything! Perhaps tomorrow. . . . - or maybe, I'll just sleep all day. But will return to the melee soon (she sez drowsily, lacking a certain luster of commitment . . . . sigh . . . :-)


Steve of Ian fame. 5 years ago

Nellienna:- Sounds like a bi polar state. My depression took me off any work this evening. Finishing any project need not mean a high at the end sadly.


steve of ian fame profile image

steve of ian fame 5 years ago from Essex

...and Ian, where is my human spell check?


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Oh My there is Steve in the virtual flesh..nice to meet you Steve..I am Ian's non wacko christian friend..he will explain..you know he has been writing about you ALOT! Your color looks much better by the way.;)

Sunnie


steve of ian fame profile image

steve of ian fame 5 years ago from Essex

Hi Sunnie.

www.stevefranklinpalmer.moonfruit.com


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Sunnie, George de Lancy de Somerville de Smith de Ceased de Brown de Tergent was my lucky friend who had the "all over" tan. Steve is just the person you will reading about in 'The Chronicles of Steve' which i believe is being put up for the Booker Prize at the end of this year or next year.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

In my capacity of walking spell Check, I have already remonstrated with Steve of Ian fame. As a deplorable typographical mistaker, I always have to use it myself, so will resist the joy of pointing out your two mistakes to the general public... or a lower form of life, Hubbers.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Oh my goodness,,,I need to get these characters straight in my head. Steve is probily thinking this girl is Wacko!

Sunnie


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

No. You're safe, Sunnie. Steve only has the slightest grasp on reality. But read the poems on his site, I think you will like them very much.

Ian


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

If bipolar can come and go in a unique short visit, perhaps so, Steve. I think it was just a natural re-aligning after an intense and demanding chore, though. It's all gone now. No "high" It's just been a quite productive and pleasant day, though now the weather is being ugly. Storms, hail, tornado threats, wildfires - need more? I tried to caution the squirrels to take cover, even knowing it may be in my attic. . . .

Life is what happens.

My sympathy for any state of depression you've had. Thinking about depression. Isn't that the after effect or natural respiration after much pression or pressure, similar to inhaling and exhaling? I don't know. I am just asking.

We should have a long talk. . . . We might become bosom buddies.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I just love the picture of you handing out life belts and sandwiches to the squirrels and telling them that in an emergency they are permitted to take refuge in your attic. It is such a lovely picture.

Nellieanna saying, "Now come along guys, form an orderly queue and no pushing and shoving; women and children first (I don't know the female of squirrel or what the babies are called).

We've had a lovely day here. 24 degrees. The hottest day, so far, this year.

Have you come out from under a pile of documents and forms? I am about to go and look at your latest hub.

Big hug, my dear friend


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Thank you for that refreshing reply, Ian! It's really getting serious when a homeowner actually begins to like the little stowaway rodents, isn't it? Did you ever read my hub about them? http://hubpages.com/animals/Paranoid-Or-Just-Plain... Honestly - after all this time, they really may think I'm their fairy godmother. They hardly scurry away when I go outside and address them- even when harshly, which is frequently. I call them "bad squirrel" and chide them for all their presumption invading my attic. They know my voice, obviously, from hearing me yell at them whenever I hear them up there, after I beat on the wall to really put the fear into them. HA! So for what end? So they can love me? Hrmpt! Another of my hubs talked about squirrels and my initial brush with them as a young bride, among other clashes with reality. - http://hubpages.com/art/A-Postscript-to-the-Squirr... I may be a squirrel-whisperer. . .

Yes - I actually got both the tax returns finished under the deadline, checked by TurboTax for glaring errors and approved with flying colors. Printed 'em up, and sent them off to their separate destinations by certified mail. You'd think they'd go to the same IRS Center, but, no. One in Utah and one in Texas. So they won't be comparing notes on my work, I suppose. Whew! I managed to get the tax liability down on the one by about 1/4 the original figure and the other one from a plus I owed to a minus they owe me. So the work was not in vain!

Big hug for noticing my newest hub. I like doing that sooooo much betterer! :-) (didn't you teach me that was the ultimate comparative of good? I didn't ask Lynn Truss' approval, though. )

Smiles!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

You, Nellie, must be one of the most efficient, yet artistic, persons i know. Your brain must be going left right left right left right as frequently as a Roman cohort marching into some early Etruscan town... make sure they break step when crossing bridges.

I'm going to travel squirrelwards as soon as I have posted this.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Hugs. . . . .


Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

I just wanted to say 'Ah!' but the comment tool wouldn't let me ... it wanted me to write War & Peace instead ... but I told it it had already been written. It sulked.

Great hub ... you are the wordsmith, TL!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Angie, I loved your comment. I know that you don't take prisoners, by reading your hub: http://hubpages.com/community/How-we-can-all-help-...

so this comment is very gratifying to me, indeed. Thank you for dropping by.


Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 5 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

Very glad I gave you a boost, old bean.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 3 years ago from Stepping past clutter

TL, through the smoke of raging wildfires I spotted this hub. The name George refreshed my eye, as I am about to grandmother one George Stuart and thought to learn more about his character- assuming, as in horoscopes, similar names convey similar energies. Though King George and George Clooney might disagree, when reading of your pale buffoon, "Ahh..."

(Where was I before I rudely interrupted myself? A bit of the old Alzheimer's oozing into my aging brain. Yet, here it is... my highway of thought, evacuated at 75 mph.)

Back to George. Pity.

Your use of the English-- albeit Australian-- language titillates. Steve and George may work as a rain dance for my neck of the Colorado woods; laughter inspires tears, I have been told... by one wise as yourself, meaning nothing in particular.

I have no idea why you would read my hub declaiming ten writing improvements when you obviously passed that exit long, long ago...

Voted up and funny!!!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 3 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

From a person of whom I am already in awe, Storytellersrus, this is a wonderful and very satisfying comment.

Thank you so much.

Whilst reading your hub, my new friend, I felt as if I would lke to be sitting in a rather intimate little Café and Bar and discussing all your points.

HubPages, at times, makes me despair, and then today I read your hub, and everything sort of fitted into place. The sun came out and in a hedonistic display of emotion, I pressed three buttone (as I have already said) and I can assure you that I have only done that three times before.

Thank you again.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 3 years ago from Stepping past clutter

TL, you brightened my day as well. Where is the Cafe and Bar? I'm in!!!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 3 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I don't want to press my luck, and it is absolutely against rules set down by the HubPolice, but you may chuckle over Steve Comes to Dinner.

An absolutely factual account of another example of my many kindnesses to Steve.

It's going to be difficult, however, to find the Café and Bar, as there aren't many floating around on the surface of the Atlantic

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