Happy All Hollow’s Eve! It used to be my favorite holiday, but that was before I worked three Halloweens in a Costume shop. Now I hate Halloween. I hate dressing up (as something other than myself – I often look weird, but never intentionally). The sight of grease paint brings back memories of standing at a counter and telling people we were out of cheap fake blood (because they waited ’till 6:30 pm on Halloween to buy it) and explaining I wasn’t trying to rip them off by pointing out the remaining expensive option. If you’ve studied fashion history and you’re anal-retentive about era costumes needing to look right (or anal-retentive in general) never work in a costume shop. Maid Marian would never have worn a 1970’s sack dress (the ones with a high waist line, usually made in shades of brown, trimmed with ribbons, with string lacing up the front and then tying at the back into a bow over a zipper), but try telling that to someone who thinks it makes a great Maid Marion costume.
The worst days were filled with people who didn’t know what they wanted to be for Halloween. After spending twenty or more minutes asking questions and offering a plethora of unique costume experiences (I’m an ideas person. Mention a problem and I’ll give you solutions whether you want them or not). Of course the customer would then decide to go as a native American Indian or a nun (if there were any nun costumes left). If I end up in Hell I’ll doubtless find myself in a vast costume shop where I’m working behind the counter. The ladders to reach the mask displays will be a mile high. I’ll be stuck wearing a badly fitting vomit-pink mini dress and all the male customers will want to try on the masks at the top…one after the other…to the sound of snorting laughter… (I try to be good!) Read more…
At 10 AM the sun was so bright and inviting I had to walk into town to find a treat (any excuse to be out in the sunshine). By 10:15, before I’d put my shoes on, the sky had clouded over. Hoping it would clear, I was soon out the door leaving my umbrella leaning against the wall. They say middle age makes women become invisible, but you couldn’t miss me in my red knit hat and red sweater! I was wearing a jean skirt…the black tights and shoes were an unfortunate choice. I looked like a Christmas fairy (in England it’s often a fairy they put on the top of the Christmas tree) a fat Christmas fairy who was too heavy for the sleigh so Santa left her behind. I’ve been craving red the last year or two, but I’m now craving golds and golden browns which means in a year’s time (when I’m craving pink or some other colour I can’t find) the clothing stores will be full of brown clothes and shoes because this is my life. Read more…
Last week was one of those weird lovely weeks where time seems to stretch out (in a pleasant way). The Goblin had the whole week off. On Friday he woke up and decided he had to go to the zoo so we drove down to Colchester. The zoo is a nice size for people who don’t want to walk miles (that would be us). He particularly loves seeing the lions, tigers and elephants. I love seeing the little monkeys, though I find it impossible to pick a favorite animal; even hyenas are cute in their own mutant way. I took my little camera, thinking I’d take some shots of me and the Goblin, but managed to get several shots of the animals. The sky was overcast (it started to rain just as we left) but that lovely dull slate gray English sky provided the perfect backdrop to my favorite photos of the day…a rogue flamingo that just happened to be preening itself directly underneath a pedestrian bridge…I wish I’d had our bigger camera…I could have stood there for hours watching the flamingo…the bright pink against the gray water…lovely! I had to share my favorite pictures. Read more…
General, I've been taking photographs
Me and my Goblin October 1997 (my hair was dyed red)
Today I’ve lived in England for thirteen years and in a few weeks we’ll have our thirteenth wedding anniversary. It seems strange that so much time could have passed, but you know what they say about having fun.
OK, it hasn’t been all fun (that first year was like falling down the rabbit hole and landing on my head), but overall it has been more than fun…it’s been a dream come true. I adore my Goblin even more than when I married him. He’s become my best friend (though if I want to talk about dead Frenchmen I have to torture someone else as he can’t bear it. His eyes roll back into his head and he goes into a coma). He’s my hero; if I’m in pain he can hold me in his arms and it really does make me feel better. I don’t think there’s been a single day in thirteen years we haven’t laughed together; even on the days we struggled to communicate ie had the odd argument. Being realistic, there must have been days I wanted to chuck a pan at his head and run away back to the States, I just can’t remember them. To be fair I can be very annoying (without even trying); there must have been days he longed to shove me onto the next plane to Chicago in the hope I’d get lost in the airport, but here we are thirteen years later still making each other laugh.
This past week and a half we’ve both been ill, fighting off a really nasty cold. True love is when you feel like death, but you make a trip down to the kitchen to get your sick Goblin a glass of water and a choc-ice because he’s burning with fever. True love is when your Goblin holds you even though you have snot all over your face because he knows it’ll make you feel better. Life isn’t always what we think it should be, but as I learn to cherish each day (I’m one of those people who expect the worst thing imaginable to happen any moment) I find it’s usually better than anything I could have made up.