Saturday, 11 January 2014

Damply draped review.

The characters are holed up in the local primary school. Hot drinks have been provided, illegitimately in teachers' clearly named mug. With Bellissima, dampened, reclining on her chaise longue again minus the wellington boots that Peggy is now placing in the Infants' toilet block, everyone is keen for the reading group to be properly re-established.


Elaine:  Here's our author, just stepping out of that community rescue boat. Why wasn't that around when we were sloshing our way here?

RM:  Glad you made it everyone. I'm here with only slightly wet feet.

Peggy: The rest of us had a lot more than that. Anyway, we can get started now. Right, Bella?

Bellissima:  Ugh! That tea!!! I'm hardly revived from my ordeal. I've only drunk tea out of  bone china before. It tastes quite awful from this thick mug marked Mrs Briggs Only. Is that a double-barrelled name?

Elaine:  Don't whinge. You had the only tea. The rest of us had congealed lumps of Basics coffee. These primary teachers seem masochistic.

Peggy: Don't delay her, Elaine. I got her here. She's been revived. Now she must critique.

Bella:  I'm still rather faint.

RM:     Think, Bella, of your audience. 24 different countries visit and may well be watching your performance. The bulk of them are American.

Daryl:   Ha! I see that's made her sit up.

Bella:   Americans! I don't you just love them! All big smiles and broad shoulders. And so generous. To think they may be listening to little me! Oh, someone help me smooth my draperies. Who has a pure bristle brush for my shoulder-length curls?

Peggy:  We're hardly in Fitzgovia at the moment. Just get on with critiquing my story, will you?

Marian:  Focus, Bella, focus. And remember KISS.

Bella:  Which one? In my life, so many, darling, so very many.

  Come, Bella. Make a start. Your audience awaits.

Bella:  Ahem.  Unaccustomed as I am to addressing such a huge -

Peggy:  No, no. Give the story title, describe the characters and theme, that sort of thing.

Bella:   Oh, just that? Shouldn't I stand on that little stage where the cradle is and the black wall paper with the stars?  My dusk pink robe will stand out so well.

  The story is the interest, not the reviewer, Bella.

Daryl:  That's not the impression I get from the reviews I read.

Bella:   Anyway, what was the title, dear?

Peggy:  A Fitting Matter.  Just start.

Bella:   Yes. Ahem. Lovely audience, let me turn my head, my left side's even better than my right.  A Fitting something. This story has an American in it, which is nice, especially as she's a goodie. She lowers herself to hang out Peggy's washing on the line. Poor lady, how coarse! You Americans have dryers even in California. You must think it so gross for our gardens to be desecrated in this way.

Peggy:  The story is hardly about hanging washing out, Bella. Can't you get to the theme?

Bella:   Darling, I was coming to that, but gently. It's about underwear, quite inappropriate for a quality story.  So I'm afraid I have to say this isn't quality. As for the characters, well the American lady listens politely for the most part while Peggy goes on about the past. She admits speaking so rudely to her parents and even laughs about family secrets when the American aunt divulges them. I found it unsavoury altogether. I can't recommend it, even to the Japanese who might have interest in strange English customs.

Peggy:  Thanks a lot!  I'm sure that's going sell lots of copies of Me- Time Tales.

Bella:    Darling, all the best reviewers say perfectly beastly things or they wouldn't keep their jobs. I could hardly say the story is brilliant or no-one would take me seriously.

RM:       Friends, Followers, Everyman. Open your minds. Let not the meanness of a common critique fall hard on your better judgement.  The book may be bought here: http://

Tea-breaks for mature women and curious men. 

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