Observations of Life on Holiday by Gwen Bunting

Before we had the Corona Virus, before we were all locked down and isolating Gwen wrote this piece about a recent holiday. Holidays seem like distant memories now.

group of person sitting inside cafe le dome
A meeting of strangers Photo by Elina Sazonova on Pexels.com

 

On a recent journey I could not help but find people’s behaviour fascinating.  Some being friendly; others reserved; and others downright aggressive.  As the journey progressed observations became very much clearer.

The mum and daughter syndrome: the mother commenting to me, that now she was a widow she could enjoy all things SHE wanted to do,  as opposed to her late husband’s  dominance.  Little did she know she had spawned a duplicate of her husband; a daughter!  The daughter was an aggressive type, would barge her way to the front of any queue. Wow betides those poor souls in her way.

The quiet man who gave off the aura of ‘don’t speak to me’ was an interesting personality.  He had a partner, whom conversed with him, but his sole intention at the dining table was to eat as much as he could in the time allocated. His partner was quite different.  Nice friendly person.

The very tall man, his wife was bent over due to a back problem. Preventing her falling by constantly holding her hand.  How dedicated can one be:  Never had a chat with him, but on leaving the group he warmly shook your hand saying ‘it was a pleasure to have met you?’

The sad lady who had dementia and caused a lot of anxiety for her friend, who had not realised she was so confused.  Her wanderings around the various hotel lobbies very early in the morning asking when the coach was leaving and having her bags packed.  She realised on some occasions she was confused.  It made life difficult for her friend, most of the group supportive when needed.

The gentleman who requested they change his bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice as this one contained too many pips.  He got his way after many arguments.  His face was not dissimilar to a beautiful pencil drawing on display in one of the hotel lounges.  The said ‘orange juice man’ was extremely tall and as we were in Viking country I would have enjoyed researching his family history.

The various nations with whom we shared our hotels with were varied.  One nation in particular took it upon themselves to attempt to clear the buffet of all foods.  Hiding  loaves of bread, butter pats and boiled eggs into every orifice that was available to fill.  Life is very interesting when you are travelling and gives me lots of ideas to write stories about.

The Coronation

Elizabeth_II_&_Philip_after_Coronation
Elizabeth the second and Prince Philip Coronation portrait (Credit: Library and Archives Canada/K-0000047)

 

This piece is written by another of our Wordsmiths Sandra Hughes. I suppose the subtitle might be something like unintended consequences.

First public embarrassment (that I know of)

Or

Mum’s love of fancy dress

Or

THE CORONATION

The first humiliating fancy dress for me, was as a baby when my mother dressed me as

‘Baby Bunting’-

For those unfamiliar with the Nursery Rhyme-

‘Bye Baby Bunting

Daddy’s gone a-hunting

Gone to get a rabbit skin

To wrap the Baby Bunting in.’

Fortunately, it was not a rabbit skin I was dressed in. My mother, an intelligent, imaginative, resourceful woman, played with the word ‘Bunting.’ She made me a costume out of what looks like a flag (heaven help her if she mutilated a Union Jack) red, white and blue, which of course was decorating everywhere for the occasion. A hat, with ears, completed the ensemble.

We then joined with many other local children and mothers, celebrating the Coronation, of Queen Elizabeth 2nd, I hasten to add. This year, we found a photo taken at the event.

Last year, whilst helping my Mother sort through boxes, we unearthed said Baby Bunting costume.

For reasons known only to herself, my 24-year-old daughter decided she wanted to keep it. I just hope any future grandchild is not going to suffer the same ignominy as I did. You can work out how old the costume is.

I now confess, I followed in my Mother’s footsteps and often dressed my children in fancy dress on holidays and for school. These days, it is much easier with costumes in shops or online. However, my eldest daughter has continued the family tradition, but gone too far greater lengths than I ever did, kitting her children out in some amazing outfits she has made herself. (she is quite competitive!).

Looking at the group photo of the Coronation Party was quite emotional, contemplating how long our Queen has reigned and wondered what happened to all the people, seeing my grandmother and mother, no longer with us. A wonderful occasion, where everyone came together to celebrate.

Sandra

 

 

Words Unspoken

This post is by Wendy Fletcher.

She shares her thoughts on people watching and how the way they interact with each other and their surroundings. These thoughts inspire her stories that form from the pictures in the mind’s eye. An interesting piece, an observation on observations.

Wendy’s new book, The Railway Carriage Child is launching soon for details follow this blog or follow the link to her site at the end of her post

 

man and woman sitting on bench
A young couple enjoying each other’s company Photo by Andre Furtado

 

I started watching people having conversations and wondered what they might be saying to each other.

Poetic licence allowed me to record these conversations without ever hearing a word.

Body language played a big part in this.

Were the couple on a bench leaning in close?

Were their knees touching?

Did they hold each other’s eyes as they talked?

man wearing suit jacket sitting on chair in front of woman wearing eyeglasses
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Another couple in a restaurant looked far more distracted. He pushed his vegetables around with his fork. She wiped her mouth nervously with her napkin.

person walking with puppy near trees
Photo by James Frid on Pexels.com

A man with a dog sat in the park. Every time he threw the stick, the dog bounded back, dropped it readily and waited for a fuss. The man leaned over and gave him a hug; not just a pat but a real hug.

Here were characters for a story.

Without eavesdropping, without intruding, I could incorporate their unspoken dialogue into an imaginary scene.

Maybe the young couple were being drawn closer together by some adverse reaction to their relationship. Did they face opposition from parents who perhaps thought them too young for a serious commitment?

Could the older couple in the restaurant be those parents, could they be disagreeing about handling the situation?

And the man in the park; probably Granddad, lonely after the death of his wife, relying on the closeness he feels with his dog, but about to realise how much his wise words are valued by his family as he steps into the role of mediator; to listen to the concerns of his daughter and son-in-law, to feel the pain of his grandson, torn between teenage love and parental concern.

Yes, the idea is growing. I can meld together this family of characters who have never met.

Now I just need to go and write their story.

Wendy Fletcher

Wendy has a blog feel free to visit it Wendy’s blog

 

Soon to be published.

The Railway Carriage Child
The Railway Carriage Child