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  • #2811

    In reply to: Snowflakes of Tens

    TracyTracy
    Participant

      It was hot, although not as hot as usual for the month of August on the southern slopes of the Serrania de Ronda. It had rained, the black clouds and thunder a welcome respite from the searing dry heat of an Andalucian summer, plumping up the blackberries and washing the dust from the leaves of the fig trees. Blithe Gambol hadn’t seen her old friend Granny Mosca for months, although she wasn’t quite sure what had kept her from visiting for so long. Blithe loved Granny Mosca’s cottage tucked away in the saddle behind the fat hill and there had been times when she’d visited often, just to drink in the magical air and feast her eyes on the beauty of the surroundings. Dry golden weeds scratched her legs as she made her way along the dirt path, and she was mindful of the fat black snake she’d once seen basking on the stone walls as she reached into the brambles to pluck blackberries and take photographs.

      Rounding a corner in the path she gasped at the incongrous and alarming sight of a bright yellow bulldozer just meters from Granny Mosca’s cottage. The bulldozer was flattening a large area of prickly pear cactuses. Unfortunately for the cactuses, it was fruiting time, and Blithe wondered if Granny Mosca had first picked the fruits and suspected that she had, those that she could reach. Nothing that could be eaten was left unpicked ~ Blithe remembered the many sacks of almonds that Granny had given her over the years, very few of which she had bothered to shell and eat.

      The bulldozer was making an entranceway to the tiny derelict cottage that was situated next to Granny Mosca’s house. Granny had asked Blithe if she wanted to buy it, and she had wanted to buy it eventually, but the purchase of a derelict building hadn’t been a priority at the time. Now it looked as if she was too late, that someone else had bought it, perhaps to use as a holiday home. Horrified, Blithe called out for Granny, who was often in the goat shed or away across the hidden saddle valley cutting weeds to feed the poultry, but there was no sign of her. Two alien looking turkeys gobbled in response, and the black and white chained dog barked menacingly.

      As Blithe retraced her steps along the dirt path it occured to her that whoever was planning to use the derelict cottage might be a very interesting person, someone she might be very pleased to make the acquaintance of in due course. After all, she had noticed that the holiday guests staying at the casitas on the other side of the fat hill were all sympathetic to the magical nature of the location, many of them arriving from a previous visit to a particularly interesting location in the Alpujarras ~ a convergence of ley lines. When questioned as to why they chose the fat hill casitas, they simply said they liked the countryside. Either they weren’t telling, or they were simply unaware objectively of the connection of the locations. Blithe could sense the connections though, both the locations, and that the people choosing to vacation at the fat hill were connected to it.

      For one hundred and forty seven thousand years, Blithe had had an energy presence at the fat hill, although it was half a century of her current focus before she remembered it. She had felt protective of it, when she finally remembered it, as if she had a kind of responsibility to it. This place can look after itself quite well on its own, she reminded herself. The fat hill had watched while Franco’s Capitan looted the Roman relics, and watched as Blithe stumbled upon the remains of Roman and Iberian cities, and the fat hill had laughed when Blithe first tried to find the entrance to the interior and got stuck in thorn bushes. Later, the fat hill had smiled benignly when Granny Mosca led her to the entrance ~ without a thorn bush in sight. The cave entrance had been blocked with boulders then. Blithe had given some thought to an excavation, wondering how to achieve it without attracting the attention of the locals, but now she wondered if one day, when the time was right, she would find the entrance clear, as if by magic. Magic, after all, was by no means impossible.

      {link: feast for the birds}

      #2455

      “Are you saying that all we need is a giant blinking teabag?” inquired Lilac politely.

      “Yeah, I think if you get the guage right on the net, it should work like a dream.”

      “And what do we do with a giant teabag full of volcano dust?”

      “Lava dust tea? Are you kidding? Sells like hotcakes in some dimensions. The bridge tarts are always smuggling it through portals.”

      #2445

      Lilac frowned. “But I am too hungry to stop the blubbits.”

      “Lilac, this is an unprecedented situation, we must stop the pea dust,’” said Naturtium, rather sternly.

      “Well I am confused, are we stopping the blubbits, or the pea dust?”

      Naturtium, a rather charming nickname bestowed on her when she was young – her christened name was Nasturtium, looked thoughtful for a moment. “Right” she said at last, “You go and eat. I am going to study the situation carefully. It is imperative we get this right and save the Peaslanders. I suspect they are going to need their heads back …..”

      #2407

      Peanelope smiled serenely as she gazed at the heads of her loved ones.

      “Oh Pixel,” she said, “Is that dust on your eyelid?”

      Chuckling to herself she ran her dusting cloth over his face, relishing the control she now had over her dear ones. One of her greatest pleasures was rearranging them on the mantelpiece. Sometimes, if her mood was poor, or she had one of her many men friends visiting, she would make them face the wall. At dinner time she would place them around the table, each head propped up on a large pile of Pee’s precious encyclopeadias.

      “More blubbit stew, Pee?” she asked.

      #2759
      F LoveF Love
      Participant

        (same random quote as above link #87)

        Actually, thinking of Dory made Quintin remember:

        “They are really bit rude around here”.

        :fleuron2:

        Dory stretched and yawned, and took in in a cloud of dust.

        Dory wondered out loud if she should have an older man with curly grey hair and a long maroon djelaba and a tall narrow brimless black hat and watch him get laid.

        I am so easy really, she thought giving it a last fond stroke. She finally surfaced from the flapping tangle of cloth just in time to see a group of people squatting next to a large oblong hole in the ground.

        PFFFFFT! Deserted again.

        Dory was getting bored waiting for this motley crew, looking slightly bemused, but smiling happily, she set off in search of Dory.

        #1838

        In reply to: Synchronicity

        TracyTracy
        Participant

          Madison posted about a cloud of du:face-grin:st today, sync with the new thread

          #2758
          TracyTracy
          Participant

            #87 Quintin had a woman near London ~ a strange small replicate, put here for gracious officials. Strangely linked to the story, was Dory. The other participants didn’t really expect this quaint dream…

            Dory made Quintin in Madagascar for the first time. Funny, but now they seemed to connect to Arona. Malvina disappeared, and once again Arona found this quite irritating. She could barely remember the music.

            Really, things are shifting. In the name of heaven use magic I Scream or something!

            A Man emerged from Arona’s lap. This is great, more comfortable than the ground.

            Oh cute, said Arona, a talking Man, love your cape by the way.

            Arona stroked Man. It was all feeling heat and humidity… and especially her hunger. Man sighed in an eggs sort of a way. She exclaimed delightedly, hugging the Man.

            [¹] Note from the editor: Man being a noble reader

            ~~~~

            Dory was dry, with strange hard shoulders and face. Her shawl finally surfaced flapping in time to a cloud of dust.

            PPFFT! I’m all on my own. Dory was momentarily speechless.

            #2323

            “Let’s put it this way” Ann continued, “Tis better to allow the snippets to flow out than to bottle them up, which is where the expression ‘to rack ones brains’ comes from. Rows and rows of bottles of thoughts on metal racks in a dusty cellar, contained within the confines of the glass, denied freedom of expression, and all because the Bottle Rack Attendant, or BRA for short, refused to set them free to find their own way in the world of infinite individual storylines.”

            #2295

            “To be perfectly honest dear, I wouldn’t be very outwardly lovely if I were to be honest.”
            “Another of your convoluted ways to say it’s rubbish” Lavender said with a smile “But that’s fine, you know. It’s also meant as a test of honesty… And as I’m not sure you heard it properly anyway, a little honesty wouldn’t have hurt you know.”

            But it seemed Harvey’s attention had already gone somewhere else. “Are you even listening to me?” Lavender said with a lovely voice practicing the delicate guttural accents of Sloopernoff, snapping back Harvey’s attention to the conversation.
            “Oh, you were speaking… I’m sorry, I’m starting to worry that Ann’s narcolepsy is contagious.”
            “Always the worrywort…”

            As they were talking surrounded by the soft dusty specks of the library (which every time annoyed Lavender quite extensively, as she wasn’t so fond of the taste of dust bunnies and didn’t see with the same eye as Ann the archaeological value of burying useful things in dust), Gremwick the mad Dean of the Worseversity passed by with a yellow sticker stuck to the back of his trench coat.

            “Looks like mad old Gremwick isn’t doing so good recently hey… Seems like he was droning about taking the students’ courses to check on their quality last time we heard of him…” Lavender looked empathetic.
            Harvey was smiling “If you ask me, he might just be wanting to know if the rumor of Prof Gubby’s nine nipples were true or only sheer fantasy”
            “I wonder which perverted mind’s fantasy it could be” sighed Lavender unimpressed.

            #2281
            EricEric
            Keymaster

              G3 (short for GGG, which was shorter for Good God Gordy) asked as if to himself “Anyone met the Fisherman yet?”

              :fleuron:

              Gremwick put down the Psychic Politics book he’d taken for his assignment, his five words written on a lemon coloured sticker:

              Oof… here we go, “state — briefly — fisherman — library — pigeons”… There’s a bit of challenge here. he sighed, mostly uninspired.
              “Perhaps I should have stayed with the easy words like ‘more, is, less, think, true’”.

              :fleuron:

              “Do you mean the Fisherman’s coming? How long has it been already?” Ann started to count briefly on her chubby fingers.
              “Well, I guess if you’d be more assiduous in Pr. Rose’s class in bird divination, you’d found out that the pigeons’ flight was unmistakably precise on that matter.”
              “I tried, believe me, I tried to pay more attention,…” Ann said, “but frankly, I prefer direct experience of the broom cupboard to the draughty corridors of the library…”
              “Oh, I should say I’m a bit disappointed at you; I’ve always believed the state of dustiness would have been an incentive to you rather than a deterrent.”

              “Don’t underestimate the incentive of detergent” Monica said almost mischievously under her breath.

              #2279

              Ann glanced vaguely over the bookcase, wondering where her dictionary was. Did people still use dictionaries in book form? I suppose any book will do for the purpose, she decided, and reached for the nearest book, a book about Rembrandt. She opened it randomly five times, using a ball point pen as a pointer, and selected five words for Prof Underbaker’s assignment.

              …now…excite…

              What a coincidence, I might be able to kill two birds with one stone here, Ann thought, with a slight shudder at the bird killing metaphor (if it was indeed a metaphor, Ann tended to skip the Labelling Words classes)…

              …someone…

              Ah, but who? Who shall I excite?

              …pointed…

              Pointed in the right direction? Addressed someone pointedly? Not to put too fine a point on it…

              ….time

              Ann was interested to note that her selection of words started with the word NOW and ended with TIME, and popped it into her clue box in an effort to stay on course and finish the assigment.

              ~~~

              There was no time like the present. Indeed T’Eggy was well aware that All is Now, she’d heard about that theory in Wicks, the online magazine that she’d found so enlightening. She’d been reading a copy of Wicks (a reproduction, the originals were now collectors items and very valuable ~ in an artifact rather than a monetary value kind of way, monetary value having been devalued in the early part of the century) in the teleport waiting room when she met the handsome foreignor in the dusty blue robes. Of course, it was not unusual to meet foreignors in the teleport waiting room, not unusual at all, but the tall, dark, and handsome stranger had excited her. Perhaps it was the flash of long lean tanned thigh that she glimpsed as his robes caught on the door knob. Of course, even the ‘waiting room’ was a retro touch, because there was no need to ‘wait’ for teleport travel. It seemed ironic in a way that folks in the old days had perceived ‘waiting’ as an onerous thing, an somewhat unpleasant period of clock watching and crossword puzzle books. These days ‘waiting rooms’ were popular places to meet people and choose probability pools. The latest trend was Turtle Nights, and Frog Nights, where men and women gathered in waiting rooms to choose partners, to find that special someone, loosely based on the old Hen and Stag nights.

              “Do teleport stations have door knobs, Ann?” Pedro interjected.

              “Oh!” Ann was momentarily non plussed.

              “Non plussed? Is that a word?” asked Pedro.

              Pedro, stop interrupting! The assigment isn’t to design a teleport station!”

              The teleport station had been designed in retro style, a facsimile of the Atocha train station in Madrid. Lack of need for physical details had not resulted in a lack of appreciation for physical detail simply for it’s artistic merit, not to mention historical educational value, and the TRANS (Teleport Relative to Any Now Space) Station was an award winning example of old fashioned detail. Why, it even had doorknobs, even though doors had been dispensed with several decades ago.

              “I thought the assigment wasn’t to design a teleport station?” asked Pedro.

              “Does it bloody matter?” retorted Ann, with a hint of exasperation. “The overall point is to write rubbish, and that’s what I’m doing!”

              “I’m glad you pointed that out, Ann” remarked Pedro helpfully.

              “Oh my god, look at the time!” Ann exclaimed. “It’s time for class!”

              “Bugger that!” snorted Pedro. “I’d rather hear about what happened with T’Eggy and that tall dark stranger!”

              #2568

              In reply to: Strings of Nines

              F LoveF Love
              Participant

                Franlise was pondering the distorted image she knew Ann had of her. Of course Ann was perhaps not the best judge of character. Her seven failed marriages bore testament to that indisputable fact.

                It is a bloody good thing, she mused, that I am so confident of my own inner loveliness. All these disparaging remarks could really begin to get me down otherwise.

                Casting an admiring sideways glance at herself in the large, and somewhat dusty, mirror hanging from the wall in Ann’s office, she hurried off for her 3pm meeting with the Fellowship.

                #2549

                In reply to: Strings of Nines

                TracyTracy
                Participant

                  Zhaana was 18 years old and outwardly beautiful as well as inwardly lovely. Nine years had passed since she’d last seen Sanso on that extraordinary excursion into The Elsepace Arrangement, or so it would appear. That is to say, Zhaana had no recollection of what might have occured during those nine years, and the general accepted medical opinion was that Zhaana had suffered amnesia. She was found wandering the streets of Amsterdam in the spring of 2009, wearing about her outwardly beautiful body a few outgrown shreds of dusty indigo fabric. Fortunately the weather was mild, and when passersby did a double take, it was due to her looks and not her unsuitable garments.

                  When Taatje van Snoot saw the girl wandering aimlessly along the canal her left ear popped, indicating that she should pay attention. Taatje had been reading Lisp, the popular new magazine for new energy people with word issues, while sitting on a bench beneath the burgeoning green foliage, enjoying the warm spring sunshine. As the strange girl with the bemused and curious expression wandered past, Taatje rolled Lisp up and shoved it in her capacious carpet bag, and followed.

                  :detective:

                  #2540

                  In reply to: Strings of Nines

                  F LoveF Love
                  Participant

                    Franlise had an outward beauty which matched the sweet loveliness of her inner being. Yes, she was a vision of pure loveliness, and many gallant knight had attempted to woo her away from her cleaning job. But Franlise knew that it was here, amongst the filth and dust of Ann’s office, that her true work was done. By day a cleaner, by night she toiled endlessly weaving Anne’s words into works of beauty. Words which would then go out into the world and give solace to many a despondent and lonely reader. To know that her words gave hope where once there was despair was all the thanks that Franlise needed.

                    Of course no one must know it was Franlise who was the true author. The Fellowship had insisted when they gave Franlise her mission that her part be kept hidden. Being humble, as well as outwardly beautiful and inwardly lovely, Franlise was happy to obey the wishes of the Fellowship in this matter. Besides, she knew that if Ann were to find out the truth, the pour deranged creature would probably be driven to place of complete madness.

                    Franlise shuddered at the thought.

                    #2508

                    In reply to: Strings of Nines

                    “Did you call me?” Sumhellfi the Devilish Half-Elf Half-Goblin :yahoo_devil: of the lost Dhataland poopped into existence to answer the wishes of the lost soul.

                    When she had tripped on the dog’s turds that her friends had reminded her more than once to take care of removing, she also inadvertently moved the old family dusty fish-clock that sings when you stoke it. Only that it had not sung for years —Flove forbids! That awful drunkard song didn’t play now there wasn’t any battery left in the horrible decoration.
                    Was it a magic clock? With a genie in there? :ghost:

                    While Yoland was lost in deep thoughts and concern, Sumhellfi leaned forward with an enticing raise of the eyebrows :yahoo_smug: “May I offer you some sliced naggin? It tastes like coleslaw they say…”

                    #1835

                    In reply to: Synchronicity

                    F LoveF Love
                    Participant

                      This afternoon I felt motivated to spend some time here, for the first time in ages. I was in the story section, Circle of Eights Part 2, where there is the nut story line and of course the quote from the infamous Lemone chap.

                      we’re all nuts anyway; different flavours thereof, but nuts nonetheless, peanuts, peacan or up the wall-nuts

                      While I was reading a parcel was delivered to the door, which turned out to be a box full of of bags of nuts; cashews, peanuts, pistachios, chocolate almonds … (it was a hospitality industry advertising thing, which was completely unexpected .. cool! and YUM! )

                      #1282
                      F LoveF Love
                      Participant

                        Speaking of toomoorroow, Elizabeth,there is something I have been meaning to say to you for some time now. Godfrey cleared his throat nervously. Somehow with all our deep, and incredibly meaningful philosoophising about life, I clean forgot to mention it.

                        Clean is hardly the word I would have used whilst anywhere in the vicinity of this ooffice, muttered Finnley, mostly to herself, as she attempted to dislodge a large spooder web from the corner of the ceiling.

                        Godfrey hesitated. He looked down and with somewhat unusual preoccupation made spiral patterns in the thick layer of dust on the window ledge.

                        Godfrey, what is it? asked Elizabeth starting to feel some alarm. Oh in the name of Floove, you haven’t found another Felicity have you!

                        No, nothing like that. The thing is, you see … well …

                        Spoot it out! You are driving me Madder than Almad! snapped Elizabeth, losing patience, and craving nicobeck. She knew that meddlesome Finnley would take great delight in reporting her to Mr Arak if she smoked in the ooffice.

                        Godfrey sighed and looked up, directly into Elizabeth’s beautiful violet, albeit rather bloodshot, eyes.

                        I have been offered a position managing a poonut farm in Noo Zooland. I start immediately. It is a dream come true for me Elizabeth. I had to accept.

                        No! screamed Elizabeth.

                        Yes, I am afraid so. Goodbye dear Elizabeth. We both knew I was a rubbish pooblisher. Why don’t you see if that chap Bronkel will come back?

                        Good riddance I say! said Finnley as Godfrey walked out the door. You two have done nothing but speak noonsense in a hooty tooty accent since that man arrived.

                        #1233

                        When he had been hit by the blow of the watermelbombs and the furious lady he had come to rescue, Akita found himself in a strange peaceful place. He was getting bits of what was happening, but the will to resist and fight seemed vanished in a distant scene he was only distantly aware of.
                        He was seeing Kay, his spirit dog beside him, beckoning him to another place of white luminous and warm peacefulness.

                        “Am I dying” he asked, feeling the answer to the question wasn’t very important.
                        “Don’t be silly” the dog said mentally “Just let go for a moment, it’ll make things easier for you to get out of this place to another one you’d prefer”
                        “I’m not sure going anywhere is so important, being here reminds me of something long forgotten”
                        “Yes, you know this place, you’re drawing to you some memories of others of your focuses, explorers from your time and also ancient dwellers, in a very very distant past. These living memories will help you.”
                        “You were there too, configured differently but I remember you from there”
                        “Yes” the dog nodded “you had a pack of dogs in one of these explorer focuses. I was the alpha one, see…”

                        Some scenes moved in the white foam sprinkled with diamond dust like he was seeing through openings in a crystal cave. All was so clear it was elating.

                        “But we’re never going to get out of this place, not without a boat, a plane, not without a compass… and not without a brain!” he was being drawn back to where his body was, wrapped in the warm snet, jumping on the back of the snow scooter. “These women will lead us to a sure death, and pretty fast!”
                        “Just relax, even if they don’t give that impression, they know what they are doing. They focus on what they want, and they trust. They can’t see the dead-ends you are seeing. Sometimes you get caught up in those other memories of yours. You’ve read adventures of Antarctica explorers, most of them were drama, but it doesn’t have to be the same broken record now, you’re going to love that time if you choose to…”
                        “They’re so focused on themselves it’s hard to believe you. They wouldn’t see a leopard seal as a threat even if it was at their throats!”
                        “But they wouldn’t even draw the predator to them in the first place.” Kay was saying warmly “Have a little faith in them, there is a surprise coming along that’ll show you beyond a shred of doubt that their allowing for miracles is fairly titanic.”
                        “Titanic, yes… Now tell me I shouldn’t worry with all those icebergs!”
                        “Indeed” Kay said with a hint of mischief in its ethereal voice “Now, let’s wake up and have some fun!”

                        #1223

                        Becky sipped her coffee nervously, chain-smoking as she waited for Al and Sam to return from the crystal shopping excursion. She wasn’t sure if Al would approve of yet more characters in the Reality Play with so many loose threads already, all getting tangled up and dusty like so many balls of wool under the bed. Like dust bunnies, Becky thought with a chuckle. It was funny how the play had so many different moods, almost as if it had a life of its own. Well, I suppose the play itself is a sort of focus of attention in its own right, a conglomeration of the energies of a variety of essences, creating its own reality from its own perspective. But wait a minute, thought Becky, lighting up another cigarette, how is that different from me, for that matter? I am a conglomeration of the energies of fragmented essences creating my own reality from my own perspective too. Does that make me nothing more than a Reality Play —or, does that make the play a Focus of Essences?

                        The line of thought was giving Becky a bit of a headache so she flicked through Al’s latest entries. Clever old Al had been tapping into his Spreal focus when he came up with those silly names, funny how it often worked out like that. A nonsense word here, a bit of gibberish there, none of it meaningless, and none of it meaning anything absolute, either. The secret of life, Becky decided, was in Not being Afraid Of Nonsense. People were so afraid of Nonsense, as if to be caught speaking Nonsense was a heinous crime, or at best a severe handicap, possibly resulting in some form of custody or social alienation. All you had to do was find other people who resonated with your own version of Nonsense, which happened automatically anyway vibrationally. There are thousands variations of Nonsense, and none of them make any more sense than any other, thanks to the Equality In Nonsense underground movement a few decades ago. Equality In Nonsense was started by a group of online friends a few years after the Ministry Of Common Sense had disbanded through lack of interest. It caught on quickly, making a mockery of common sense, which went underground, a few die-hards hanging on with grim faced tedium to the old tenets. Over the years, as the Acceptance Of Nonsense Rights was established, the Equality In Nonsense brigade disbanded to get down to the business of creating new variations of Nonsense, just for fun —which was of course, The Point. Nevertheless, or should I say, notwithstanding, Becky smiled, there still remained a degree of common sense in the general populace, which possibly wasn’t altogether a bad thing.

                        It all got a in a bit of a muddle for awhile, until some enterprising folks published the handy guide books ‘Cooperation Within Nonsense ~ How To Communicate In Your Chosen Nonsense’, and ‘Accepting Total Nonsense ~ How To Deal With The Nonsense Of Others’.

                        :fleuron:

                        “Roots” exclaimed Elizabeth “I forgot the theme word!”
                        “No doubt you’ll come up with an ingenioos way to slide it in, Liz” replied Godfrey with a smirk. “Pass the poonuts.”

                        A disgruntled Elizabeth rewrote:

                        “Rats!” I forgot the theme word!”

                        Unfortunately, Pig Littleton insisted on using the OOh dimension vernacular, and Elizabeth tutted and hit send.

                        #1208

                        From Georges’ account of his first encounter with Phoebe Chesterhope. Part I

                        On that bright sunny day of June, 1852 I was impersonating the heir of an American family involved in weapon industry… taking advantage of a business trip for my father, I was enjoying the night life of Paris and naturally got closer to a certain Catherine whose family’s wealth was quite substantial. The first part of the scenario was almost done… I had to make her infatuated enough to make her ask her father to lend me a big amount of money I was supposed to use it as an investment in our family business that was flourishing and quite.

                        As we were approaching a jeweller’s of the Saint-Germain district, my eyes noticed a woman coming from the opposite direction. Definitely not from Paris, something surreal in her appearance caught my attention. It was not something physical, and it was obviously something I couldn’t name at that moment. Intrigued as I was, I still kept my conversation with Catherine going on. I was quite trained to spot my next preys while I was still playing with the previous one, and with a stranger it would be even easier. She entered the shop.

                        I maneuvered quite subtly to approach the window without being noticed, and while my companion was raving about some of the finely made necklace and bracelets, I was observing the woman. The owner had made her sit on a chair near the cashier and was bringing her some tea. I couldn’t help but notice how she dismissed him harshly right away after that; apparently he wasn’t the one she wanted to meet that day. The man seemed somewhat offended but soon enough regained composure: there were other clients in the shop and he made sure his assistants wouldn’t daydream unnoticed.

                        “Do you want to go inside, darling?” I suggested to my mate, “I’m sure the choice is more interesting if we speak to the right person.”

                        I knew I wouldn’t have any problem to bring her into that kind of place, and the look in her eyes was quite validating. It took me a brief moment and a persuasive tip to one of the shop attendant to explain that I wanted Catherine to choose what she desired. I wanted a fine piece of jewelry suiting her beauty. All I had to do was let the clerk show her different set of jewels and and just look as if it was unfair to her beauty and let her look for another one. In between, I was free to observe the other woman sideways.

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