Here is a tintype Auntie took of cousin Violet and myself whilst we were waiting for the goose to cook:
Wednesday, December 24
Here is a tintype Auntie took of cousin Violet and myself whilst we were waiting for the goose to cook:
Wednesday, November 26
Once you roamed so free
In a field, or wherever it is
that turkeys congregate.
Now you cook in the stove...
Auntie, stop poking me with that
Fine ,I shall get out of the kitchen
I look forward to your golden-brownish
Tuesday, November 18
I'm just glad to be out of that godforsaken boarding house. I swear I had not a minute to myself there...difficult when one is....creating...poems...to be constantly interrupted to come downstairs for meals or for tea...or to escort one's Aunt on her daily constitutional...or all sorts of dreary things.
Granted, it is not the plush setting that I imagined that Phineas Matova, man about town and poet at large, would be dwelling and entertaining in, but I have a table and chairs, a fireplace, and a goodly supply of *peers at a faded label on a large barrel in the corner* whiskey? Whiskey I believe it is. Bought it from a chap in an alley. And that is all I need.
Perhaps I shall take a stroll and make aquaintance of my new neighbors...or perhaps I shall stay in and write poems...Oh I believe I shall do that this evening, with no Aunt to ask me to rub her bunions or ask me to fetch her yarn from behind the sofa or bathe her ancient, dyspeptic cat.
Mr Boots apparently had some sort of ...skin condition.
Thursday, November 13
Sunday, October 5
I believe she has mostly put that unfortunate incident of her home burning to the ground (the unicorn is still at large...do not look at me like that) and seems to be settling well into her life in Stormhold. I did notice she removed all sharp/pointy objects from the vicinity...(difficult when one is trying to butter one's scone...a spoon simply does not do...besides I don't believe you can injure anyone with a butter knife...harrumph ) After our scones and tea, we bid adieu to my cousin and went off to continue our visit.
We walked through the new Oxbridge University, admiring the buildings and grounds. I managed a few tintypes of the visit:
Oh.... I have control of my camera. Indeed I do. What a handsome devil.
Auntie and I strolling the grounds while she tells me yet again the sad, sad story of her first husband, Eustace Winterbottom and his demise at the hands of (or is it paws?) grizzly bears.
Auntie and I prepare to take our leave of Caledon, taken just before she rapped me with her cane for smoking. *grumbles*
Sunday, September 28
Spoon, laying against the empty bowl
which was full of soup.
But has now been consumed.
Gazing at my reflection
In the round part
Even all distorted
I am a handsome devil.
You lay intertwined on the floor
lifeless and eyeless
Well of course lifeless,
because you are socks.
And it would be very frightening
If you were alive.
And as everyone knows,
Socks can't see.
I believe this one to be my finest work yet, spare and economical...yet it conveys so very much about the human condition in just four lines... I call it:
Gently browning over the fire,
Crispy and golden, just the way I like it
Crumbling delicately in my mouth
Especially good with butter or jam.
*sneezes and coughs*
Actually I'd like some toast very much right now, but as the cook for the boarding house is off shirking her duties at home, I shall have to figure out the stove myself. Pah.
Sunday, August 24
I'm taking a contemporary approach here...all that ryhming business may be suitable for maiden aunts sitting at lace-doily covered tables with ostrich quills, but not Phineas Matova, man about town and poet at large!!
"Saffie, old girl"
Little beigey lady
With your hair so beige
And your dress so beige
You are like a stalk of wheat
Waving in the sun
Your eyes are like two shiny buttons
Sitting neatly in your head
I am most glad they are there
Because it would be a tragedy
If they were not.
For hours you sit,
Squinting at your embroidery
and your knitting
And your books.
Thank you for the scarf, by the way.
No applause necessary. I shall not forget all of you when I am Poet Laureate.. *beams*
Tuesday, August 12
I finally managed to make a tintype of Miss Antwerp...or Aardark...for the life of me I cannot remember the woman's name. Perhaps it is Antelope? Here she is, skulking by a wall.
Surprisingly, she is wearing a colour other than beige, which she seems to favor.
Wednesday, July 16
I have been accused of arson. I was camped out in the Tanglewood forest, living on nuts and berries. I was attacked and nearly consumed by Vorpal bunnies. (who on earth is keeping Vorpal bunnies?? *shudders*) A tiny poked me with a sharp stick. Then another tiny poked me with a sharp stick. I fell out of trees. Several times. I was very itchy.
But now,, dear people of Caledon, I am safe in the custody of my Aunt Juniper, living in a room at her boarding house not too far away...really, just a short train ride outside of Caledon. Not even an hour, from what I recall...admittedly I wasn't in the best frame of mind when I took it, being a bit dazed. But thirty to forty minutes at the outside. And the scenery is very pleasant. I assume anyway.
My Aunt has not allowed me to leave the premises yet. Believe me, I have tried, but then a rather surly gentleman that she has as a border ...talks me into returning to my little room. I would never have figured that such a large and imposing figure would be interested in summoning spirits and table rapping, rather than the more violent pursuits that he seems to be ideally suited for, but that seems to be the case.
Oh yes, my Aunt primarly rents out rooms to others who are spiritualists or those who wish to be. It does grow rather tiresome at times, with the household full of knocking noises, or peculiar disembodied voices.
Occasionally I have been frightened out of my wits by one apparation in particular that suddenly appears in my room and hovers there until my Aunt comes in and sends it..her...*shudders* away. Apparently this is her spirit guide Flossie, who has taken a dislike to me and enjoys tormenting me.
Another form tends to hover around me, but I realized quickly that this was not a ghost, but another one of the boarders. A Miss Antwerp? I am uncertain, but she seems to favor the color beige. She is the only boarder who seems to want to visit me.
Did I mention the boarding house is only a thirty minute train ride outside of Caledon?
Saturday, July 12
Monday, July 7
I realize that unicorns are generally not known as arsonists, but I swear, by the coarse hair on my Auntie Juniper's head that this one is!
Dirty, disheveled and rather peckish...I had taken to searching for from scraps from a rubbish bin, hiding out in the Tanglewood forest, wearing an outfit rather cunningly fashioned out of twigs and leaves as I seem to have misplaced my trousers..thankfully the nights have been warm and no one seemed to have discovered my hideout.
Or so I thought..
I had spent a fitful night tossing and turning...laugh if you may, but I am quite used to sleeping alfresco as I frequently forgot where the spare key was when I would return to my cousin's house from one of my many nights of carousing.
Wben I awoke, I noticed a nearby bundle with a note attached.
Dear hapless vagabond,
I have noticed you out here for several days...I know you must be growing cold and hungry, so please accept my meager gift of a blanket and food..
Not an employee of the Caledon Sanitorium.
Surely an employee of the sanitorium ....I know they have ways of luring you into a false sense of security and then they pounce! Pah!
Friday, July 4
Since my clothes have long since become tattered. I also fashioned a loincloth out of some of the larger leaves and grass...it usually stays on as well, although I believe I rather frightened some young women, out for a stroll, who responding by dissolving into hysterics.
Perhaps it is time for me to turn myself in....I cannot stay out here much longer....the pubs generally do not allow gentlemen in grass skirts, charming as I am...there was an offer of a bed at the Sanitorium....
Monday, June 30
It is day three of my forced...forced exile from Regency. *sobs* Why will no one believe that I did not set fire to the house? It was the unicorn, I tell you!! Did no one see that maniacal glint in Eleanor's the unicorn's eye??
I sleep during the day and forage for crumbs of food and a stiff shot of whiskey in the evenings. I bathe in forest streams...*is startled by a tiny and hides behind a tree*
What was I saying? ...
Saturday, June 28
*tosses empty bottle away* I was previously turned out on my ear after a wing at my Aunt's house burned to the ground, but that was ..oh that was my sister's fault. One of em anyway. From day to day it seems I have anywhere from one to two to seventeen sisters....(hic) They keep moving around...(hic) Not unlike that tree...(hic) Oooo...swirlies...
*Coughs and sputters*
Wha-where was I? Ohhh C-chemical experiments and such. Not a suitable occupation for a young lady, I keep saying, but my opinions seem to be falling on deeeaaf earsssss. (hic) I diggresss... I....Phhineasssss Matov-Ma-*mumbles* didddn'tt burrrn my cousssinnnssss houseeees down....yer a niiccee ladeeee....nooooo...doon'ntt runnnn awaayyy.... Mmmmyyyy unnnnicorn es the (hic) pyromaniac, not meeeeee.
*takes another drink and passes out again, snoring loudly*
Sunday, May 11
Wednesday, April 30
When last we left, Phineas Matova, Man About Town had found himself the unwitting escort of his dowager Aunt Juniper on a long and dreary trip through the Mediterranean. Of course, I was able to spend time at the Grecian seaside and enjoy the fruits of several Italian vineyards, but it was still all rather...dismal.
I spent most of my evenings, not down at the local drinking establishments, as I would have wished, but in the audience, dozing off during my Aunt's inumberable seances and table tippings. (My Aunt is a spiritualist medium)
I must say this trip has left me rather well rested, if anything. If I was not being put to sleep by knocks from the beyond, I was falling into my soup during long, tedious suppers with her and her gaggle of hens from the local spiritualist groups. If I never have to hear of spirits and ectoplasm again, it shall be too soon
Saturday, April 19
Let me backtrack slightly, you may recall that my aunt had arrived for a visit lo these many moons ago...I made a feeble attempt at escape...whilst Violet was greeting the old battleaxe and had requested I sally forth to fetch a cab, I made a dash for freedom.
I spent an afternoon and evening hiding in one of the local pubs, then a remaining night hiding in a shrubbery, until I was rousted by a very angry gentleman and his even more angry wife. Well, I certainly know when I'm not welcome. The sun was gently creeping into the sky, the cocks were crowing...and I was growing peckish and by the scent of things....badly needed a scrub.
I sighed and looked around me. The nearest hotel was miles away and I was growing rather low on funds. My cousin's home was only a few minutes walk away and perhaps no one would be awake at this ungodly hour. I tiptoed in as quietly as I could..no one was about. Exhaling softly, I began to set about making tea...when I began to feel that I was not alone. As if two beady eyes were boring into my very soul.
I swallowed. "Hello?"
"Harumph. Running off and leaving an old woman at the train station. Ass."
I fear I would be remiss in not saying that I broke out in an icy sweat. As she circled me like a wolf circling something it wanted to eat for dinner...she fixed me with her eagle like stare...and wrinkled her nose.
"You smell like a distillery..pfft..." I shivered as she placed a shriveled, bony claw on my arm.
"What? no kisses for your auntie??!" she cackled huskily...sending even more shivers down my spine and making me feel quite faint. I staggered over to a nearby chair and sat weakly in it. Aunt Juniper shuffled over to the stove and began banging about..."hmmpf...you need lots of strong coffee...you look like you've been dragged behind a carriage..." this seemed to cause her some sort of fit that I deduced was laughter.
To be continued...
Tuesday, March 4
A chill wind seemed to blow from the northeast as I staggered after my cousin, clutching my coat around me and shivering. Thinking that I could perhaps stall our progress to the train station, I racked my brain for a quick diversion that would seem believable. The only thing that I could come up with on the spot was feigning a fainting spell.
"V-Violet..I don't feel so well" I took a few halting steps backwards ( I am a trained mime) and clutching at my forehead, fell to my knees (being careful also to not muss my trousers or hair)
and let out a heartwrenching (I thought at least) moan.
My cousin turned and looked at me, with the sort of look one would reserve for say an unpleasant bug, rather than a cousin in grave distress. She sighed a bit and said
"Phineas, quit arsing about. You're making us late for Auntie Junipers train and believe me, I do not want to hear her complain for the next fortnight about how we abandoned an old woman"
"Alright, fine. But I might have been fainting!"
"Come along Phineas!"
I stood up, carefully brushing my trousers off and trudged off after her.
to be continued
Sunday, March 2
Violet rolled her eyes heavenward and uttered in a voice tinged with impending hysteria; "Yes, Phineas, it was. Please get dressed. We need to go fetch Auntie Juniper from the train station."
A chill ran down my spine that made the water pooling in my bed seem blessedly tropical by comparison. Violet gazed off into space fixedly for a moment, so fixedly in fact, that I had begun to believe that she was having a fit and whilst attempting to force open her jaws in an attempt to keep her from swallowing her tongue, she appeared to become increasingly agitated
"That's alright, Violet, just let it pass.." I said in my most soothing voice as she jerked away from me and said "What the devil?" Normally, I would have received a swift kick in the shins for my trouble, but she merely shook her head mournfully, uttering "just get dressed..her train is arriving this afternoon and she's expecting us to be waiting for her" and leaving me to attend to my toilette.
Having dressed and shaved and feeling somewhat more human and less like some nocturnal creature that makes it's home in the woods, I made my way groggily down to the kitchen and poured myself a cup of tea. I pondered the arrival of Aunt Juniper and what that would mean to my current existence.
Would I still be the same Phineas Matova, man about town? Would there be the long nights of carousing or would I be forced to stay home in the evenings, rubbing aunt bunions, threading needles and listening to stories about her rheumatic cat? I shuddered involuntarily. Granted, she was not Aunt Maria, the most feared of all the aunts, but still, it was not good news.
to be continued..
Sunday, February 24
*sighs heavily* Now, I've lost my train of thought...
*several minutes pass*
What? Oh yes, I had a rather earth shattering confession to make. Something terrible is going to happen and I fear I had rather a hand in it, you see. Of course, my intentions were good...how was I to know that they were going to explode in my face rather horridly?
It all began with that first letter, several months ago...after being rather unceremoniously dumped by our guardian, Aunt Maria...on the doorstep of my cousin Violet after that other incident....no, really that was my younger siblings fault..these terrible letters began to arrive from another aunt.
Oh yes, we have several. About seven, possibly eight, if you count that one living in a country that I cannot remember at this time. I do believe it is hot and dusty, which narrows the field down a bit. This was not that aunt. This was my maiden aunt Juniper, not the battle-axe that Maria is, but certainly not my fun-loving, gin soaked aunt Elspeth. (who am I told I rather resemble. *beams*)
These were horrid letters, addressed to my cousin, advising her that she had heard reports of my "scandalous behavior" as she described it and casting all sorts of aspersions on my character and making implications that my cousin was not doing her best to 'control me".
Firstly, I am Phineas Matova, Man about Town. While I do have a healthy enjoyment of life's pleasures, I do not believe that I am "a menace to society" And I am fifteen months older than my cousin, and therefore should be her guardian, not the other way around. Of course she merely laughs at me when I try to bring this up. I try to point out her sleepwalking and the many times she has taken a spill into the water, but this only seems to make her laugh harder. Pfft.
*swigs directly from absinthe bottle instead of pouring it into a glass*
Wednesday, February 13
Valentines day (hic) is upon us and I have yet to find a wealthy young lady with castle to court...*takes drink and falls over backwards*
Several minutes later...
So it'll just be me and the unicorn....(hic) I love me unicorn....*passes out*
Tuesday, February 5
I had no idea dirigibles could be so fiery...I mean ...erm...the unicorn didn't ....*runs away*