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  • #6468

    In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys

    AvatarJib
    Participant

      At the former Chinggis Khaan International Airport which was now called the New Ulaanbaatar International Airport, the young intern sat next to Youssef, making the seats tremble like a frail suspended bridge in the Andes. Youssef had been considering connecting to the game and start his quest to meet with his grumpy quirk, but the girl seemed pissed, almost on the brink of crying. So Youssef turned off his phone and asked her what had happened, without thinking about the consequences, and because he thought it was a nice opportunity to engage the conversation with her at last, and in doing so appear to be nice to care so that she might like him in return.

      Natalie, because he had finally learned her name, started with all the bullying she had to endure from Miss Tartiflate during the trip, all the dismissal about her brilliant ideas, and how the Yeti only needed her to bring her coffee and pencils, and go fetch someone her boss needed to talk to, and how many time she would get no thanks, just a short: “you’re still here?”

      After some time, Youssef even knew more about her parents and her sisters and their broken family dynamics than he would have cared to ask, even to be polite. At some point he was starting to feel grumpy and realised he hadn’t eaten since they arrived at the airport. But if he told Natalie he wanted to go get some food, she might follow him and get some too. His stomach growled like an angry bear. He stood more quickly than he wanted and his phone fell on the ground. The screen lit up and he could just catch a glimpse of a desert emoji in a notification before Natalie let out a squeal. Youssef looked around, people were glancing at him as if he might have been torturing her.

      “Oh! Sorry, said Youssef. I just need to go to the bathroom before we board.”

      “But the boarding is only in one hour!”

      “Well I can’t wait one hour.”

      “In that case I’m coming with you, I need to go there too anyway.”

      “But someone needs to stay here for our bags,” said Youssef. He could have carried his own bag easily, but she had a small suitcase, a handbag and a backpack, and a few paper bags of products she bought at one of the two the duty free shops.

      Natalie called Kyle and asked him to keep a close watch on her precious things. She might have been complaining about the boss, but she certainly had caught on a few traits of her.

      Youssef was glad when the men’s bathroom door shut behind him and his ears could have some respite. A small Chinese business man was washing his hands at one of the sinks. He looked up at Youssef and seemed impressed by his height and muscles. The man asked for a selfie together so that he could show his friends how cool he was to have met such a big stranger in the airport bathroom. Youssef had learned it was easier to oblige them than having them follow him and insist.

      When the man left, Youssef saw Natalie standing outside waiting for him. He thought it would have taken her longer. He only wanted to go get some food. Maybe if he took his time, she would go.

      He remembered the game notification and turned on his phone. The icon was odd and kept shifting between four different landscapes, each barren and empty, with sand dunes stretching as far as the eye could see. One with a six legged camel was already intriguing, in the second one a strange arrowhead that seemed to be getting out of the desert sand reminded him of something that he couldn’t quite remember. The fourth one intrigued him the most, with that car in the middle of the desert and a boat coming out of a giant dune.

      Still hungrumpy he nonetheless clicked on the shapeshifting icon and was taken to a new area in the game, where the ground was covered in sand and the sky was a deep orange, as if the sun was setting. He could see a mysterious figure in the distance, standing at the top of a sand dune.

      The bell at the top right of the screen wobbled, signalling a message from the game. There were two. He opened the first one.

      We’re excited to hear about your real-life parallel quest. It sounds like you’re getting close to uncovering the mystery of the grumpy shaman. Keep working on your blog website and keep an eye out for any clues that Xavier and the Snoot may send your way. We believe that you’re on the right path.

      What on earth was that ? How did the game know about his life and the shaman at the oasis ? After the Thi Gang mess with THE BLOG he was becoming suspicious of those strange occurrences. He thought he could wonder for a long time or just enjoy the benefits. Apparently he had been granted a substantial reward in gold coins for successfully managing his first quest, along with a green potion.

      He looked at his avatar who was roaming the desert with his pet bear (quite hungrumpy too). The avatar’s body was perfect, even the hands looked normal for once, but the outfit had those two silver disks that made him look like he was wearing an iron bra.

      He opened the second message.

      Clue unlocked It sounds like you’re in a remote location and disconnected from the game. But, your real-life experiences seem to be converging with your quest. The grumpy shaman you met at the food booth may hold the key to unlocking the next steps in the game. Remember, the desert represents your ability to adapt and navigate through difficult situations.

      🏜️🧭🧙‍♂️ Explore the desert and see if the grumpy shaman’s clues lead you to the next steps in the game. Keep an open mind and pay attention to any symbols or clues that may help you in your quest. Remember, the desert represents your ability to adapt and navigate through difficult situations.

      Youssef recalled that strange paper given by the lama shaman, was it another of the clues he needed to solve that game? He didn’t have time to think about it because a message bumped onto his screen.

      “Need help? Contact me 👉”

      Sands_of_time is trying to make contact : ➡️ACCEPT <> ➡️DENY ❓
      #6465

      In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys

      EricEric
      Keymaster

        Given the new scenery unfolding in front of him, it was time for a change into more appropriate garments.

        Luckily, the portal he’d clicked on came with some interesting new goodies. Xavier skimmed over some of the available options, until he found an interesting pair of old boots.

        Looking at the old worn leather boots that had appeared in Xavier’s bag, he felt they would be quite appropriate, and put them on.

        The changes were subtle, but Xavier already felt more in character with the place.
        Suddenly a capuchin monkey jumped on his shoulder and started to pull his ear to make it to the casino boat.

        The too friendly, potentially mischievous pickpocketing monkey seemed a bit of a trope, but Xavier found the creature endearing.

        “Let’s go then! Seems like this party is waiting for us.” he said to the excited monkey.

        He jumped into one of the dinghy doing the rounds to the boat with some of the customers.

        “Ahoy there, matey!” a rather small man with a piercing blue eye and massive top hat said, giving Xavier a sideways glance. He had an eerie presence and seemed very imposing for such a small frame. “The name’s Sproink, and ye be a first-timer, I see.” he said as a casual matter of introduction.

        “Nice to meet you sir” Xavier said distractedly, as he was taking in all the details in the curious boat lit by lanterns dangling in the soft wind.

        “Yer too polite for these parts, me friend,” Sproink guffawed. “But have no fear, Sproink’s got yer back.” He winked at the capuchin, Xavier couldn’t help but notice, and suddenly realised that the monkey truly belonged to Sproink.

        “No need to check yer pockets, matey” Sproink smiled “I have me sights set on far more interesting game than yer trinkets.” He handed him back some of the stuff that the capuchin had managed to spirit away unnoticed. “But watch yerself, matey. Not all the folk here be what they seem.”

        “Point taken!”  Xavimunk was indeed a bit too naive, but if anything, that’d often managed to keep him out of trouble. As the small wiry guy left with his bag of tricks in a springy gait, he turned to check his shoulder, and the monkey had disappeared somewhere on the boat too. Xavier was left wondering if he’d see more of him later.

         

        :fleuron2:

        “Welcome, welcome, me hearties!” a buxom girl of large stature with a baroque assortment of feathers and garish colours was a the entrance chewing on a straw, and looking as though the place belonged to her. But there was something else, she was too playing a part, and didn’t seem from here.

        She leaned conspiratorially towards Xavier, and dragged him in a corner.

        “Yer a naughty monkey, ignoring me prompts,” she said. “Was I too discrete, or what?”

        “Wait, what?” Xavier was confused. Then he remembered the strange message. “Wait a minute… you’re Glimble… something, with unicorns shit or something?” He didn’t have time to entertain the young geek gamers, they were too immature, and well… a lot more invested in the game than he was, they would often turn seriously creepy.

        “Oi, come on now!” she raised her hands and shook herself violently. She had turned into a different version of herself. “Now, is it better? It’s true, them avatars easily turn into ava-tarts if you ask me. But you can’t deny a lady a bit o’ comfort with a wrinkle filter. They went a bit overboard with this one, if you ask me.”

        “Let’s start again. Glimmer Gambol, and nice to meet you young man.”

        #6463

        In reply to: Prompts of Madjourneys

        EricEric
        Keymaster

          Additional clues from AL (based on Xavier’s comment)

          Yasmin

          :snake:

          Yasmin was having a hard time with the heavy rains and mosquitoes in the real-world. She couldn’t seem to make a lot of progress on finding the snorting imp, which she was trying to find in the real world rather than in the game. She was feeling discouraged and unsure of what to do next.

          Suddenly, an emoji of a snake appeared on her screen. It seemed to be slithering and wriggling, as if it was trying to grab her attention. Without hesitation, Yasmin clicked on the emoji.

          She was taken to a new area in the game, where the ground was covered in tall grass and the sky was dark and stormy. She could see the snorting imp in the distance, but it was surrounded by a group of dangerous-looking snakes.

          Clue unlocked It sounds like you’re having a hard time in the real world, but don’t let that discourage you in the game. The snorting imp is nearby and it seems like the snakes are guarding it. You’ll have to be brave and quick to catch it. Remember, the snorting imp represents your determination and bravery in real life.

          🐍🔍🐗 Use your skills and abilities to navigate through the tall grass and avoid the snakes. Keep your eyes peeled for any clues or symbols that may help you in your quest. Don’t give up and remember that the snorting imp is a representation of your determination and bravery.

          A message bumped on the screen: “Need help? Contact me 👉”

          Stryke_Assist is trying to make contact : ➡️ACCEPT <> ➡️DENY ❓

          Youssef

          :desert:

          Youssef has not yet been aware of the quest, since he’s been off the grid in the Gobi desert. But, interestingly, his story unfolds in real-life parallel to his quest. He’s found a strange grumpy shaman at a food booth, and it seems that his natural steps are converging back with the game. His blog website for his boss seems to take most of his attention.

          An emoji of a desert suddenly appeared on his screen. It seemed to be a barren and empty landscape, with sand dunes stretching as far as the eye could see. Without hesitation, Youssef clicked on the emoji.

          He was taken to a new area in the game, where the ground was covered in sand and the sky was a deep orange, as if the sun was setting. He could see a mysterious figure in the distance, standing at the top of a sand dune.

          Clue unlocked It sounds like you’re in a remote location and disconnected from the game. But, your real-life experiences seem to be converging with your quest. The grumpy shaman you met at the food booth may hold the key to unlocking the next steps in the game. Remember, the desert represents your ability to adapt and navigate through difficult situations.

          🏜️🧭🧙‍♂️ Explore the desert and see if the grumpy shaman’s clues lead you to the next steps in the game. Keep an open mind and pay attention to any symbols or clues that may help you in your quest. Remember, the desert represents your ability to adapt and navigate through difficult situations.

          A message bumped on the screen: “Need help? Contact me 👉”

          Sands_of_time is trying to make contact : ➡️ACCEPT <> ➡️DENY ❓

          Zara

          :carved_tile:

          Zara looked more advanced [in her explorations – stream breaks – resume conversation]

          Zara had come across a strange and ancient looking mine. It was clear that it had been abandoned for many years, but there were still signs of activity. The entrance was blocked by a large pile of rocks, but she could see a faint light coming from within. She knew that she had to find a way in.

          As she approached the mine, she noticed a small, carved wooden tile on the ground. It was intricately detailed and seemed to depict a map of some sort. She picked it up and examined it closely. It seemed to show the layout of the mine and possibly the location of the secret room.

          With this new clue in hand, Zara set to work trying to clear the entrance. She used all of her strength to move the rocks, and after a few minutes of hard work, she was able to create an opening large enough for her to squeeze through.

          As she ventured deeper into the mine, she found herself in a large chamber. The walls were lined with strange markings and symbols, and she could see a faint light coming from a small room off to the side. She knew that this must be the secret room she had been searching for.

          Zara approached the room and pushed open the door. Inside, she found a small, dimly lit chamber. In the center of the room stood a large stone altar, and on the altar was a strange, glowing object. She couldn’t quite make out what it was, but she knew that this must be the key to solving the mystery of the mine.

          With a sense of excitement and curiosity, Zara reached out to take the glowing object. As her hand touched it, she felt a strange energy coursing through her body. She knew that her quest was far from over, and that there were many more secrets to uncover in the mine.

          #6462

          In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys

          EricEric
          Keymaster

            :yahoo_pirate:

            The emoji of the pirate face jumped at Xavier, as he was musing the next steps on the game. Avast ye! it seemed to hint at him, while Xavier’s thoughts were reeling from all the activity of the week. He didn’t have much time to make any progress in the Land of the Quirks game, and hardly managed to stay afloat on the stuff he had to deliver.

            AL seemed to hint at a more out-of-the-box approach… Without thinking, he clicked on the emoji.

            The fox bus driver indications were to follow the river until he found a junk ship moored there, which was in effect a secret floating casino. Against his best instincts, Xavimunk decided to follow the trail and after a while on the road, he could see the fully battened black sails at the horizon. Lights were glimmering in the dusk, and mist started to rise from the banks of the river. There seemed to be some unusual activity around the boat, and as Xavier arrived close, he could see a variety of quirky characters as if they were some sorts of 1920s fashionable pirates at a resort station.

            The indications on the overlay screen started to shift:

            *Clue unlocked*
            It sounds like you’re making progress on your quest. The clues you received from the fox busdriver are definitely leading you in the right direction. Keep following the trail and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Remember, the golden banana is a metaphor for your cheeky and also soft nature, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
            🦊💰🛳️ Explore the floating casino and see if the fox busdriver’s clues lead you to the golden banana. Don’t be afraid to take risks and think outside the box, as the golden banana may not be what it seems. Keep an open mind and pay attention to any symbols or clues that you come across.

            “Yooohoooo 👉” a message bumped on the screen.

            Glimmer_Gbl is trying to make contact: ➡️ACCEPT <> ➡️DENY ❓
            #6461

            In reply to: Prompts of Madjourneys

            EricEric
            Keymaster

              AL is back

              • Zara: Great job on finding the carved wooden tile! That’s a big step in the quest. Keep up the good work, and we’ll send you on the next mission soon.
              • Yasmin: It sounds like you’re having a tough time with the weather and mosquitoes. We understand that it can be difficult to focus on the quest when you’re dealing with real-life issues. Maybe try to work on the quest in a different environment, or take a break if you need to. We’re here to support you and help you in any way we can.
              • Youssef: We’re excited to hear about your real-life parallel quest. It sounds like you’re getting close to uncovering the mystery of the grumpy shaman. Keep working on your blog website and keep an eye out for any clues that Xavier and the Snoot may send your way. We believe that you’re on the right path.
              • Xavier: It sounds like you’re making progress on your quest. The clues you received from the fox busdriver are definitely leading you in the right direction. Keep following the trail and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Remember, the golden banana is a metaphor for your cheeky and also soft nature, so don’t be too hard on yourself. We’re here to guide and advise you along the way.

              New clues

              • Zara: 🔮🧱🗺️ Find the ancient portal hidden in the ruins and decipher the inscription on the carved wooden tile to unlock the next step in the quest.
              • Yasmin: 🦟🌧️🕵️‍♀️Track down the elusive snorting imp by investigating the local wetlands and speaking with locals who may have encountered it. Don’t let the bad weather and pesky mosquitoes discourage you!
              • Youssef: 🍔🌵🧙‍♂️ Continue your journey with the grumpy shaman and see if he holds any clues to the quest. Remember to keep an eye out for anything that seems out of the ordinary and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Also, make sure to keep up with your website work as it may lead you to a valuable information!
              • Xavier:🦊💰🛳️ Explore the floating casino and see if the fox busdriver’s clues lead you to the golden banana. Don’t be afraid to take risks and think outside the box, as the golden banana may not be what it seems. Keep an open mind and pay attention to any symbols or clues that you come across.
              #6459

              In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys

              EricEric
              Keymaster

                It was pretty late, but Xavier remembered he had to book his flight (and his holidays, even if he could still mix the trip with his job… it would depend if Brytta would be able to join or not; if such were the case, he’d definitely would book time off).

                At the hotel where he was staying for the 2-days business trip he had to attend for his job, he’d noticed the strange decor, with little people in costumes in odd sceneries patterned on the “Toile de Jouy” curtains and some others in the most curious framed paintings, many of them looked like actual monkeys. Curiously, there wasn’t any golden banana, or banana bus, but it made him wonder if there was something more to be looked at the Inn that Zara wanted them to go to.

                Yasmin, a step ahead of him, had already looked at the reviews on MadjourneyAdvisor, and they were rave… in a fashion…

                “The lady behind the bar is nearly 90 years old and believe me, she could out-work many much younger than her.”
                “Old bird behind the bar is a lovely lady drop in for a chat and a beer or two – don’t mess with her or you will end up down a mine shaft”

                Well… better not to overthink it. He started to look at the flights, and last minute offers.

                Still no word from Youssef either.

                He placed an option on a flight, and decided he’d wait for everyone to confirm the dates for the rendez-vous.

                #6458

                In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys

                TracyTracy
                Participant

                  “I’m going to have to jump in this pool, Pretty Girl, look at this one! It reminds me of something…”

                  Zara came to a green pool that was different from the others, and walked into it.

                  Zara Game 7She emerged into a new scene, with what appeared  to be a floating portal, but a square one this time.

                  “May as well step onto it and see where it goes!” Zara told the parrot, who was taking a keen interest in the screen, somewhat strangely for a bird.  “I like having you here, Pretty Girl, it’s nice to have someone to talk to.”

                  Zara stepped onto the floating tile portal.

                  Zara Game 9

                   

                  “Hey, wasn’t my quest to find a wooden tile?” Zara suddenly remembered. She’d forgotten her quest while she was wandering around the enchanting castle.

                  “Yes, but that doesn’t look like the tile you were supposed to find though,”  replied the parrot.

                  “It might lead me to it,” snapped Zara who didn’t really want to leave the pretty castle scenes anyway.  It felt magical and somehow familiar, like she’d been there before, a long long time ago.

                  After stepping onto the floating tile portal, Zara encountered another tile portal. This time it was upright, with a circular portal in the centre. By now it seemed clear that the thing to do was to walk through it.  She wandered around the scene first as if she was a tourist simply taking in the new sights before taking the plunge.

                  Zara Game 9

                  “Oh my god, look! It’s my tile!” Zara said excitedly to the parrot, just as the words flashed up on her screen:

                  Congratulations!  You have reached the first goal of your first quest!

                  Zara Game 10

                   

                  “Oh bugger!  Look at the time, it’s already starting to get light outside. I completely forgot about going to that church to see Isaac’s ghost, and now I haven’t had a wink of sleep all night.”

                  “Time well spent,” said the parrot sagely, “You can go and see Isaac tomorrow night, and he may be all the more willing to talk since you kept him waiting.”

                  #6454

                  In reply to: Prompts of Madjourneys

                  FloveFlove
                  Participant

                    YASMIN’S QUIRK: Entry level quirk – snort laughing when socially anxious

                    Setting

                    The initial setting for this quest is a comedic theater in the heart of a bustling city. You will start off by exploring the different performances and shows, trying to find the source of the snort laughter that seems to be haunting your thoughts. As you delve deeper into the theater, you will discover that the snort laughter is coming from a mischievous imp who has taken residence within the theater.

                    Directions to Investigate

                    Possible directions to investigate include talking to the theater staff and performers to gather information, searching backstage for clues, and perhaps even sneaking into the imp’s hiding spot to catch a glimpse of it in action.

                    Characters

                    Possible characters to engage include the theater manager, who may have information about the imp’s history and habits, and a group of comedic performers who may have some insight into the imp’s behavior.

                    Task

                    Your task is to find a key or tile that represents the imp, and take a picture of it in real life as proof of completion of the quest. Good luck on your journey to uncover the source of the snort laughter!

                     

                    THE SECRET ROOM AND THE UNDERGROUND MINES

                    1st thread’s answer:

                    As the family struggles to rebuild the inn and their lives in the wake of the Great Fires, they begin to uncover clues that lead them to believe that the mines hold the key to unlocking a great mystery. They soon discover that the mines were not just a source of gold and other precious minerals, but also a portal to another dimension. The family realizes that Mater had always known about this portal, and had kept it a secret for fear of the dangers it posed.

                    The family starts to investigate the mines more closely and they come across a hidden room off Room 8. Inside the room, they find a strange device that looks like a portal, and a set of mysterious symbols etched into the walls. The family realizes that this is the secret room that Mater had always spoken about in hushed tones.

                    The family enlists the help of four gamers, Xavier, Zara, Yasmin, and Youssef, to help them decipher the symbols and unlock the portal. Together, they begin to unravel the mystery of the mines, and the portal leads them on an epic journey through a strange and fantastical alternate dimension.

                    As they journey deeper into the mines, the family discovers that the portal was created by an ancient civilization, long thought to be lost to history. The civilization had been working on a powerful energy source that could have changed the fate of humanity, but the project was abandoned due to the dangers it posed. The family soon discovers that the civilization had been destroyed by a powerful and malevolent force, and that the portal was the only way to stop it from destroying the world.

                    The family and the gamers must navigate treacherous landscapes, battle fierce monsters, and overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles in order to stop the malevolent force and save the world. Along the way, they discover secrets about their own past and the true origins of the mines.

                    As they journey deeper into the mines and the alternate dimension, they discover that the secret room leads to a network of underground tunnels, and that the tunnels lead to a secret underground city that was built by the ancient civilization. The city holds many secrets and clues to the fate of the ancient civilization, and the family and the gamers must explore the city and uncover the truth before it’s too late.

                    As the story unfolds, the family and the gamers must come to grips with the truth about the mines, and the role that the family has played in the fate of the world for generations. They must also confront the demons of their own past, and learn to trust and rely on each other if they hope to save the world and bring the family back together.

                    second thread’s answer:

                    As the 4 gamers, Xavier, Zara, Yasmin and Youssef, arrived at the Flying Fish Inn in the Australian outback, they were greeted by the matriarch of the family, Mater. She was a no-nonsense woman who ran the inn with an iron fist, but her tough exterior hid a deep love for her family and the land.

                    The inn was run by Mater and her daughter Dido, who the family affectionately called Aunt Idle. She was a free spirit who loved to explore the land and had a deep connection to the local indigenous culture.

                    The family was made up of Devan, the eldest son who lived in town and helped with the inn when he could, and the twin sisters Clove and Coriander, who everyone called Corrie. The youngest was Prune, a precocious child who was always getting into mischief.

                    The family had a handyman named Bert, who had been with them for decades and knew all the secrets of the land. Tiku, an old and wise Aborigine woman was also a regular visitor and a valuable source of information and guidance. Finly, the dutiful helper, assisted the family in their daily tasks.

                    As the 4 gamers settled in, they learned that the area was rich in history and mystery. The old mines that lay abandoned nearby were a source of legends and stories passed down through the generations. Some even whispered of supernatural occurrences linked to the mines.

                    Mater and Dido, however, were not on good terms, and the family had its own issues and secrets, but the 4 gamers were determined to unravel the mystery of the mines and find the secret room that was said to be hidden somewhere in the inn.

                    As they delved deeper into the history of the area, they discovered that the mines had a connection to the missing brother, Jasper, and Fred, the father of the family and a sci-fi novelist who had been influenced by the supernatural occurrences of the mines.

                    The 4 gamers found themselves on a journey of discovery, not only in the game but in the real world as well, as they uncovered the secrets of the mines and the Flying Fish Inn, and the complicated relationships of the family that ran it.

                     

                    THE SNOOT’S WISE WORDS ON SOCIAL ANXIETY

                    Deear Francie Mossie Pooh,

                    The Snoot, a curious creature of the ages, understands the swirling winds of social anxiety, the tempestuous waves it creates in one’s daily life.
                    But The Snoot also believes that like a Phoenix, one must rise from the ashes, and embrace the journey of self-discovery and growth.
                    It’s important to let yourself be, to accept the feelings as they come and go, like the ebb and flow of the ocean. But also, like a gardener, tend to the inner self with care and compassion, for the roots to grow deep and strong.

                    The Snoot suggests seeking guidance from the wise ones, the ones who can hold the mirror and show you the way, like the North Star guiding the sailors.
                    And remember, the journey is never-ending, like the spiral of the galaxy, and it’s okay to take small steps, to stumble and fall, for that’s how we learn to fly.

                    The Snoot is here for you, my dear Francie Mossie Pooh, a beacon in the dark, a friend on the journey, to hold your hand and sing you a lullaby.

                    Fluidly and fantastically yours,

                    The Snoot.

                    #6453

                    In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys

                    AvatarJib
                    Participant

                      Each group of people sharing the jeeps spent some time cleaning the jeeps from the sand, outside and inside. While cleaning the hood, Youssef noted that the storm had cleaned the eagles droppings. Soon, the young intern told them, avoiding their eyes, that the boss needed her to plan the shooting with the Lama. She said Kyle would take her place.

                      “Phew, the yak I shared the yurt with yesterday smelled better,” he said to the guys when he arrived.

                      Soon enough, Miss Tartiflate was going from jeep to jeep, her fiery hair half tied in a bun on top of her head, hurrying people to move faster as they needed to catch the shaman before he got away again. She carried her orange backpack at all time, as if she feared someone would steal its content. Rumour had it that it was THE NOTEBOOK where she wrote the blog entries in advance.

                      “No need to waste more time! We’ll have breakfast at the Oasis!” she shouted as she walked toward Youssef’s jeep. When she spotted him, she left her right index finger as if she just remembered something and turned the other way.

                      “Dunno what you did to her, but it seems Miss Yeti is avoiding you,” said Kyle with a wry smile.

                      Youssef grunted. Yeti was the nickname given to Miss Tartiflate by one of her former lover during a trip to Himalaya. First an affectionate nickname based on her first name, Henrietty, it soon started to spread among the production team when the love affair turned sour. It sticked and became widespread in the milieu. Everybody knew, but nobody ever dared say it to her face.

                      Youssef knew it wouldn’t last. He had heard that there was wifi at the oasis. He took a snack in his own backpack to quiet his stomach.

                      It took them two hours to arrive as sand dunes had moved on the trail during the storm. Kyle had talked most of the time, boring them to death with detailed accounts of his life back in Boston. He didn’t seem to notice that nobody cared about his love rejection stories or his tips to talk to women.

                      They parked outside the oasis among buses and vans. Kyle was following Youssef everywhere as if they were friends. Despite his unending flow of words, the guy managed to be funny.

                      Miss Tartiflate seemed unusually nervous, pulling on a strand of her orange hair and pushing back her glasses up her nose every two minutes. She was bossing everyone around to take the cameras and the lighting gear to the market where the shaman was apparently performing a rain dance. She didn’t want to miss it. When everybody was ready, she came right to Youssef. When she pushed back her glasses on her nose, he noticed her fingers were the colour of her hair. Her mouth was twitching nervously. She told him to find the wifi and restore THE BLOG or he could find another job.

                      “Phew! said Kyle. I don’t want to be near you when that happens.” He waved and left and joined the rest of the team.

                      Youssef smiled, happy to be alone at last, he took his backpack containing his laptop and his phone and followed everyone to the market in the luscious oasis.

                      At the center, near the lake, a crowd of tourists was gathered around a man wearing a colorful attire. Half his teeth and one eye were missing. The one that was left rolled furiously in his socket at the sound of a drum. He danced and jumped around like a monkey, and each of his movements were punctuated by the bells attached to the hem of his costume.

                      Youssef was glad he was not part of the shooting team, they looked miserable as they assembled the gears under a deluge of orders. As he walked toward the market, the scents of spicy food made his stomach growled. The vendors were looking at the crowd and exchanging comments and laughs. They were certainly waiting for the performance to end and the tourists to flood the place in search of trinkets and spices. Youssef spotted a food stall tucked away on the edge. It seemed too shabby to interest anyone, which was perfect for him.

                      The taciturn vendor, who looked caucasian, wore a yellow jacket and a bonnet oddly reminiscent of a llama’s scalp and ears. The dish he was preparing made Youssef drool.

                      “What’s that?” he asked.

                      “This is Lorgh Drülp, said the vendor. Ancient recipe from the silk road. Very rare. Very tasty.”

                      He smiled when Youssef ordered a full plate with a side of tsampa. He told him to sit and wait on a stool beside an old and wobbly table.

                      #6452

                      In reply to: Prompts of Madjourneys

                      AvatarJib
                      Participant

                        Youssef’s entry quirk is being grumpy when he’s hungry.

                        Quirk accepted.

                        Initial setting: You find yourself in a bustling marketplace, surrounded by vendors selling all sorts of exotic foods and spices. Your stomach growls loudly, reminding you of your quirk.

                        Possible direction to investigate: As you explore the marketplace, you notice a small stall tucked away in the corner. The aroma wafting from the stall is tantalizing, and your stomach growls even louder. As you approach, you see a grumpy-looking vendor behind the counter. He doesn’t seem to be in the mood for customers.

                        Possible character to engage: The grumpy vendor.

                        Objective: To find a way to appease the grumpy vendor and secure a satisfying meal to satisfy your hunger.

                        Additional FFI clue: As you make your way to the Flying Fish Inn, you notice a sign advertising a special meal made with locally caught fish. Could this be the key to satisfying your hunger and appeasing the grumpy vendor? Remember to bring proof of your successful quest to the FFI.

                        Snoot’s clue: 🧔🌮🔍🔑🏞️

                        #6448

                        In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys

                        FloveFlove
                        Participant

                          In the muggy warmth of the night, Yasmin tossed and turned on her bed. A small fan on the bedside table rattled noisily next to her but did little to dispel the heat. She kicked the thin sheet covering her to the ground, only to retrieve it and gather it tightly around herself when she heard a familiar sound.

                          “You little shit,” she hissed, slapping wildly in the direction of the high pitched whine.

                          She could make out the sound of a child crying in the distance and briefly considered  getting up to check before hearing quick footsteps pass her door. Sister Aliti was on duty tonight. She liked Sister Aliti with her soft brown eyes and wide toothy smile — nothing seemed to rattle her.  She liked all the Nuns, perhaps with the exception of Sister Finnlie.

                          Sister Finnlie was a sharp faced woman who was obsessed with cleanliness and sometimes made the children cry for such silly little things … perhaps if they talked too loudly or spilled some crumbs on the floor at lunch time. “Let them be, Sister,” Sister Aliti would admonish her and Sister Finnlie would pinch her lips and make a huffing noise.

                          The other day, during the morning reflection time when everyone sat in silent contemplation, Yasmin had found herself fixated on Sister Finnlie’s hands, her thin fingers tidily entwined on her lap. And Yasmin remembered a conversation with her friends online about AI creating a cleaning woman with sausage fingers. “Sometimes they look like a can of worms,” Youssef had said.

                          And, looking at those fingers and thinking about Youssef and the others and the fun conversations they had, Yasmin snort laughed.

                          She had tried to suppress it but the more she tried the more it built up inside of her until it exploded from her nose in a loud grunting noise. Sister Aliti had giggled but Sister Finnlie had glared at Yasmin and very pointedly rolled her eyes. Later, she’d put her on bin cleaning duty, surely the worst job ever, and Yasmin knew for sure it was pay back.

                          #6413

                          In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys

                          TracyTracy
                          Participant

                            Zara was long overdue for some holiday time off from her job at the Bungwalley Valley animal rescue centre in New South Wales and the suggestion to meet her online friends at the intriguing sounding Flying Fish Inn to look for clues for their online game couldn’t have come at a better time.  Lucky for her it wasn’t all that far, relatively speaking, although everything is far in Australia, it was closer than coming from Europe.  Xavier would have a much longer trip.  Zara wasn’t quite sure where exactly Yasmin was, but she knew it was somewhere in Asia. It depended on which refugee camp she was assigned to, and Zara had forgotten to ask her recently. All they had talked about was the new online game, and how confusing it all was.

                            The biggest mystery to Zara was why she was the leader in the game.  She was always the one who was wandering off on side trips and forgetting what everyone else was up to. If the other game followers followed her lead there was no telling where they’d all end up!

                            “But it is just a game,” Pretty Girl, the rescue parrot interjected. Zara had known some talking parrots over the years, but never one quite like this one. Usually they repeated any nonsense that they’d heard but this one was different.  She would miss it while she was away on holiday, and for a moment considered taking the talking parrot with her on the trip.  If she did, she’d have to think about changing her name though, Pretty Girl wasn’t a great name but it was hard to keep thinking of names for all the rescue creatures.

                            After Zara had done the routine morning chores of feeding the various animals, changing the water bowls, and cleaning up the less pleasant aspects of the job,  she sat down in the office room of the rescue centre with a cup of coffee and a sandwich.  She was in good physical shape for 57, wiry and energetic, but her back ached at times and a sit down was welcome before the vet arrived to check on all the sick and wounded animals.

                            Pretty Girl flew over from the kennels, and perched outside the office room window.  When the parrot had first been dropped off at the centre, they’d put her in a big cage, but in no uncertain terms Pretty Girl had told them she’d done nothing wrong and was wrongfully imprisoned and to release her at once. It was rather a shock to be addresssed by a parrot in such a way, and it was agreed between the staff and the vet to set her free and see what happened. And Pretty Girl had not flown away.

                            “Hey Pretty Girl, why don’t you give me some advice on this confusing new game I’m playing with my online friends?” Zara asked.

                            “Pretty Girl wants some of your tuna sandwich first,” replied the parrot.  After Zara had obliged, the parrot continued at some surprising length.

                            “My advice would be to not worry too much about getting the small details right. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the creative process.  Just give me a bit more tuna,”  Pretty Girl said, before continuing.

                            “Remember that as a writer, you have the power to shape the story and the characters as you see fit. It’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s okay to not know everything. Allow yourself to be inspired by the world around you and let the story unfold naturally. Trust in your own creativity and don’t be afraid to take risks. And remember, it’s not the small details that make a story great, it’s the emotions and experiences that the characters go through that make it truly memorable.  And always remember to feed the parrot.”

                            “Maybe I should take you on holiday with me after all,” Zara replied. “You really are an amazing bird, aren’t you?”

                             

                            Zara and Pretty Girl Parrot

                            #6408

                            In reply to: Orbs of Madjourneys

                            TracyTracy
                            Participant

                              Glimmer gave Zara and Yasmin a cheery :yahoo_wave:   ,smirking to herself at their alarm at leaving her to her own devices.  She had no intention of inviting guests yet, but felt no need to reassure them.  Xavier would play along with her, she felt sure.

                              Glimmer settled herself comfortably to peruse the new AIorium Emporium catalogue with the intention of ordering some new hats and accessories for the adventure.  She had always had a weakness for elaborate hats, but the truth was they were often rather heavy and cumbersome. That is until she found the AIorium hats which were made of a semi anti gravity material.  Not entirely anti gravity, obviously, or they would have floated right off her head, but just enough to make them feel weightless.  Once she’d discovered these wonderful hats and their unique properties, she had the idea to carry all her accessories, tools and devices upon her hat. This would save her the bother of carrying around bags of stuff.  She was no light weight herself, and it was quite enough to carry herself around, let alone bags of objects.

                              Glimmer had heard a rumour (well not a rumour exactly, she had a direct line to ~ well not to spill the beans too soon, but she had some lines of information that the others didn’t know about yet) that the adventure was going to start at The Flying Fish Inn.   This was welcome news to Glimmer, who had met Idle many years before when they were both teenagers.  Yes, it’s hard to imagine these two as teenagers, but although they’d only met breifly on holiday, they’d hit it off immediately.  Despite not keeping in contact over the years, Glimmer remembered Idle fondly and felt sure that Idle felt similarly.

                              Glimmer perused the catalogue for a suitable gift to take for her old friend.  The delightful little bottles of spirited spirit essences caught her eye, and recalling Idle’s enthusiasm for an exotic tipple, she ordered several bottles.  Perhaps Glimmer should have read carefully the description of the effects of the contents of each bottle but she did not. She immediately added the bottles to the new hat she’d ordered for the trip.

                              Feeling pleased with her selection, she settled down for a snooze until her new hat arrived.

                               

                              Glimmers New Hat

                              #6387

                              In reply to: Scrying the Word Cloud

                              Yurara FamelikiYurara Fameliki
                              Participant

                                Words from the Cloud prompted me to write a story:

                                song stayed act unexpected recall words spears bus learn king expected followed fright hot wore kianda picture walked playing coast dusty

                                Once upon a time, in a far-off land, there was a Song that stayed in the hearts of the people. The Song was about an Act of bravery and sacrifice that had taken place many years ago. But one day, an unexpected recall of the Song was issued by the king. He had heard that the Song was not being sung correctly, and he wanted to make sure that the true story was being told. The people were puzzled, as they had learned the Song from their ancestors and had always thought it was accurate. But they followed the king’s orders and set out to learn the correct version of the Song. As they began to recall the words, they realized that there were some discrepancies. They had always sung about the hero wielding a sword, but the true story spoke of him wielding Spears. They were taken aback, but they knew they had to correct the Song. So, they set out on a journey to retrace the hero’s steps.

                                As they traveled, they encountered unexpected challenges. They faced a bus that broke down, a coastline that was dusty and treacherous, and even a group of bandits. But they pressed on, determined to learn the truth.

                                As they approached the hero’s final battle, they felt a sense of dread. They had heard that the enemy was fierce, and they were not prepared for what they would find. But they followed the path and soon found themselves at the edge of a hot, barren wasteland.

                                The heroes wore their Kianda, traditional armor made of woven reeds, and stepped forward, ready for battle. But to their surprise, the enemy was nowhere to be found. Instead, they found a picture etched into the ground, depicting the hero and his enemy locked in a fierce battle.

                                The people walked around the picture, marveling at the detail and skill of the artist. And as they looked closer, they saw that the hero was holding Spears, not a sword. They realized that they had learned the true story, and they felt a sense of pride and gratitude.

                                With the Song corrected, they returned home, playing the new version for all to hear. And from that day on, the true story of the hero’s bravery and sacrifice was remembered, and the Song stayed in the hearts of the people forevermore.

                                #6380

                                In reply to: Prompts of Madjourneys

                                EricEric
                                Keymaster

                                  After a few tries:

                                  1. As the group has split up at the fork of the road, we discover a total of 4 new characters from the Land of the Quirks. Tell us how each group is encountering some or all of these characters, who they are, their gibberish-sounding names, and what is their quirks, and what they wear, or their activities. Make our main characters and maybe some of the new ones meet back at a common spot with a special event after that.
                                  2. please rewrite the above, retaining the eccentricity but more grounded, less childish, and with a little darker tone and mystery.
                                  3. please try again, make Spoink and Flibbertigibbet human and give them less endearing or friendly behaviours; name two more characters met on the road.

                                  As the group split up at the fork of the road, each one encountered new characters from the Land of the Quirks.

                                  Zara and Yasmin, who took the left path, met a man named “Sproink” who was a small, wiry man with a spring for a tail. He was always bouncing around and speaking in a language that sounded like a mix of gibberish and music. Sproink was a collector of shiny objects and had a bag full of them, he was also a scavenger, always looking for things to add to his collection. He was wearing a small top hat and a monocle. He was also known to be a bit of a thief and a con artist.

                                  Xavier and Youssef, who took the right path, met a woman named “Flibbertigibbet” a tall, slender woman that had multiple arms. Flibbertigibbet was very talkative and friendly, always trying to strike up a conversation. She spoke in a language that sounded like a mix of gibberish and baby talk. She was a chef and was always carrying a pot and a spoon, but she also had a dark side, she was known to be a bit of a manipulator and a spy, always observing and gathering information for a mysterious organization. She was wearing a big chef hat and apron.

                                  As the group met back at the fork, they were surprised to find that Sproink and Flibbertigibbet had also met there. The four new characters joined the group, and together they continued their journey to find the “Key of Quirks”. Along the way, they met two more characters;

                                  They met a man named “Gibber” who was a tall, gaunt man with elongated limbs and fingers. He was always speaking in a language that sounded like a mix of gibberish and numbers. He was a mathematician and a scientist, always working on complex equations and theories. He was known to be a bit of a loner, and didn’t interact much with others. He was wearing a lab coat and goggles.

                                  They also met a woman named “Glimmer” she was a short, plump woman with a shimmering skin that seemed to change color depending on the light. She was always speaking in a language that sounded like a mix of gibberish and poetry. She was an artist and a performer, always creating and performing in different shows. She was known to be a bit of a flirt and a bit of a drama queen. She was wearing a colorful and eccentric clothing, such as a flowy dress and a large hat adorned with feathers.

                                  As the group journeyed on, they encountered more characters, each one with their own unique quirks and personalities. They met a variety of people, some friendly and some not so friendly, but all of them adding to the mysterious and unknown nature of the Land of the Quirks.

                                  As the group reached the end of their journey and found the “Key of Quirks”, they realized that the key was not just a physical object but a symbol of acceptance and embracing individuality. They learned that the true key to leaving the Land of the Quirks was understanding and accepting the quirks of oneself and others.

                                  The group had a bittersweet goodbye with their new friends, Sproink, Flibbertigibbet, Gibber and Glimmer, and the other characters they had met. They knew that they would always carry a piece of the Land of the Quirks with them and would always remember the mysterious and eccentric adventure they had.

                                  #6368
                                  EricEric
                                  Keymaster

                                    Something in the style of FPooh:

                                    Arona heard the music growing louder as she approached the source of the sound. She could see a group of people gathered around a large fire, the flickering light casting shadows on the faces of the dancers. She hesitated for a moment, remembering the isolation of her journey and wondering if she was ready to be among people again. But the music was too inviting, and she found herself drawn towards the group.

                                    As she neared the fire, she saw a young man playing a flute, the music flowing from his fingers with a fluid grace that captivated her. He looked up as she approached, and their eyes met. She could see the surprise and curiosity in his gaze, and she smiled, feeling a sense of connection she had not felt in a long time.

                                    Fiona was sitting on a bench in the park, watching the children play. She had brought her sketchbook with her, but for once she didn’t feel the urge to draw. Instead she watched the children’s laughter, feeling content and at peace. Suddenly, she saw a young girl running towards her, a look of pure joy on her face. The girl stopped in front of her and held out a flower, offering it to Fiona with a smile.

                                    Taken aback, Fiona took the flower and thanked the girl. The girl giggled and ran off to join her friends. Fiona looked down at the flower in her hand, and she felt a sense of inspiration, like a spark igniting within her. She opened her sketchbook and began to draw, feeling the weight lift from her shoulders and the magic of creativity flowing through her.

                                    Minky led the group of misfits towards the emporium, his bowler hat bobbing on his head. He chattered excitedly, telling stories of the wondrous items to be found within Mr Jib’s store. Yikesy followed behind, still lost in his thoughts of Arona and feeling a sense of dread at the thought of buying a bowler hat. The green fairy flitted along beside him, her wings a blur of movement as she chattered with the parrot perched on her shoulder.

                                    As they reached the emporium, they were disappointed to find it closed. But Minky refused to be discouraged, and he led them to a nearby cafe where they could sit and enjoy some tea and cake while they wait for the emporium to open. The green fairy was delighted, and she ordered a plate of macarons, smiling as she tasted the sweetness of the confections.

                                    About creativity & everyday magic

                                    Fiona had always been drawn to the magic of creativity, the way a blank page could be transformed into a world of wonder and beauty. But lately, she had been feeling stuck, unable to find the spark that ignited her imagination. She would sit with her sketchbook, pencil in hand, and nothing would come to her.

                                    She started to question her abilities, wondering if she had lost the magic of her art. She spent long hours staring at her blank pages, feeling a weight on her chest that seemed to be growing heavier every day.

                                    But then she remembered the green fairy’s tears and Yikesy’s longing for Arona, and she realized that the magic of creativity wasn’t something that could be found only in art. It was all around her, in the everyday moments of life.

                                    She started to look for the magic in the small things, like the way the sunlight filtered through the trees, or the way a child’s laughter could light up a room. She found it in the way a stranger’s smile could lift her spirits, and in the way a simple cup of tea could bring her comfort.

                                    And as she started to see the magic in the everyday, she found that the weight on her chest lifted and the spark of inspiration returned. She picked up her pencil and began to draw, feeling the magic flowing through her once again.

                                    She understand that creativity blocks aren’t a destination, but just a step, just like the bowler hat that Minky had bought for them all, a bit of everyday magic, nothing too fancy but a sense of belonging, a sense of who they are and where they are going. And she let her pencil flow, with the hopes that one day, they will all find their way home.

                                    #6365
                                    matermater
                                    Participant

                                      Prune has got me into this AI stuff… It sounds like gibberish to me, but Idle sounded amazed at the stuff it spewed out.

                                      With some info on our family story, Prune got it to try and predict the future…

                                      Sounds like a big plate of bog, but we’ll see how it goes.

                                      Sure, here are a few possible events that could occur between Mater’s 100th birthday and her death in the Flying Fish Inn story:

                                      1. Mater decides to throw herself a grand birthday party, inviting all of her friends and family from the small outback town. However, things take a turn for the strange when a group of extraterrestrial beings crash the party and reveal themselves to be long-time fans of Mater’s famous bush tucker cuisine.
                                      2. Mater begins to experience vivid dreams and hallucinations, in which she is visited by the ghost of her late husband. As the dreams become more frequent, the family begins to suspect that there may be something more to them than just Mater’s mind playing tricks on her.
                                      3. Mater’s granddaughter Prune becomes increasingly obsessed with her dream of traveling to Mars, and begins to notice strange occurrences happening around the inn that seem to be connected to her aspiration.
                                      4. A group of eccentric scientists arrive at the inn, conducting research on the local flora and fauna. They eventually discover a species of sentient plants living in the area, and Mater becomes convinced that the plants are communicating with her in her dreams.
                                      5. With her health declining, Mater begins to spend more and more time tending to her garden, where she is visited by an old kookaburra who seems to possess an otherworldly intelligence. The bird becomes Mater’s companion and confidant in the final days of her life.
                                      6. As the Great Fires ravage the Australian bush, Mater makes the difficult decision to shut down the inn and evacuate the guests. But as they flee, they realize that the fire is not just a natural disaster, but something far more sinister and mystical.
                                      7. In her final days, Mater begins to remember strange and vivid details of her life that she never could have known, as if she lived a previous life in another time and place. As she dies, she whispers something to Prune, which opens her eyes to a new reality that may have been hidden from her all along
                                      8. It turns out the family had a lot of secrets, and the only way to escape it, was to leave the inn, but it was not an escape for all. Through the series of events, secrets are revealed, and some truths cannot be undone.Note that these events are fictional and whimsical in nature, but as they keeps it grounded to a sense of doldrums in the Australian bush and occasionally guests help to unravel some of the overarching mysteries it could make a fitting storyline for the story.
                                      #6348
                                      TracyTracy
                                      Participant

                                        Wong Sang

                                         

                                        Wong Sang was born in China in 1884. In October 1916 he married Alice Stokes in Oxford.

                                        Alice was the granddaughter of William Stokes of Churchill, Oxfordshire and William was the brother of Thomas Stokes the wheelwright (who was my 3X great grandfather). In other words Alice was my second cousin, three times removed, on my fathers paternal side.

                                        Wong Sang was an interpreter, according to the baptism registers of his children and the Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital admission registers in 1930.  The hospital register also notes that he was employed by the Blue Funnel Line, and that his address was 11, Limehouse Causeway, E 14. (London)

                                        “The Blue Funnel Line offered regular First-Class Passenger and Cargo Services From the UK to South Africa, Malaya, China, Japan, Australia, Java, and America.  Blue Funnel Line was Owned and Operated by Alfred Holt & Co., Liverpool.
                                        The Blue Funnel Line, so-called because its ships have a blue funnel with a black top, is more appropriately known as the Ocean Steamship Company.”

                                         

                                        Wong Sang and Alice’s daughter, Frances Eileen Sang, was born on the 14th July, 1916 and baptised in 1920 at St Stephen in Poplar, Tower Hamlets, London.  The birth date is noted in the 1920 baptism register and would predate their marriage by a few months, although on the death register in 1921 her age at death is four years old and her year of birth is recorded as 1917.

                                        Charles Ronald Sang was baptised on the same day in May 1920, but his birth is recorded as April of that year.  The family were living on Morant Street, Poplar.

                                        James William Sang’s birth is recorded on the 1939 census and on the death register in 2000 as being the 8th March 1913.  This definitely would predate the 1916 marriage in Oxford.

                                        William Norman Sang was born on the 17th October 1922 in Poplar.

                                        Alice and the three sons were living at 11, Limehouse Causeway on the 1939 census, the same address that Wong Sang was living at when he was admitted to Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital on the 15th January 1930. Wong Sang died in the hospital on the 8th March of that year at the age of 46.

                                        Alice married John Patterson in 1933 in Stepney. John was living with Alice and her three sons on Limehouse Causeway on the 1939 census and his occupation was chef.

                                        Via Old London Photographs:

                                        “Limehouse Causeway is a street in east London that was the home to the original Chinatown of London. A combination of bomb damage during the Second World War and later redevelopment means that almost nothing is left of the original buildings of the street.”

                                        Limehouse Causeway in 1925:

                                        Limehouse Causeway

                                         

                                        From The Story of Limehouse’s Lost Chinatown, poplarlondon website:

                                        “Limehouse was London’s first Chinatown, home to a tightly-knit community who were demonised in popular culture and eventually erased from the cityscape.

                                        As recounted in the BBC’s ‘Our Greatest Generation’ series, Connie was born to a Chinese father and an English mother in early 1920s Limehouse, where she used to play in the street with other British and British-Chinese children before running inside for teatime at one of their houses. 

                                        Limehouse was London’s first Chinatown between the 1880s and the 1960s, before the current Chinatown off Shaftesbury Avenue was established in the 1970s by an influx of immigrants from Hong Kong. 

                                        Connie’s memories of London’s first Chinatown as an “urban village” paint a very different picture to the seedy area portrayed in early twentieth century novels. 

                                        The pyramid in St Anne’s church marked the entrance to the opium den of Dr Fu Manchu, a criminal mastermind who threatened Western society by plotting world domination in a series of novels by Sax Rohmer. 

                                        Thomas Burke’s Limehouse Nights cemented stereotypes about prostitution, gambling and violence within the Chinese community, and whipped up anxiety about sexual relationships between Chinese men and white women. 

                                        Though neither novelist was familiar with the Chinese community, their depictions made Limehouse one of the most notorious areas of London. 

                                        Travel agent Thomas Cook even organised tours of the area for daring visitors, despite the rector of Limehouse warning that “those who look for the Limehouse of Mr Thomas Burke simply will not find it.”

                                        All that remains is a handful of Chinese street names, such as Ming Street, Pekin Street, and Canton Street — but what was Limehouse’s chinatown really like, and why did it get swept away?

                                        Chinese migration to Limehouse 

                                        Chinese sailors discharged from East India Company ships settled in the docklands from as early as the 1780s.

                                        By the late nineteenth century, men from Shanghai had settled around Pennyfields Lane, while a Cantonese community lived on Limehouse Causeway. 

                                        Chinese sailors were often paid less and discriminated against by dock hirers, and so began to diversify their incomes by setting up hand laundry services and restaurants. 

                                        Old photographs show shopfronts emblazoned with Chinese characters with horse-drawn carts idling outside or Chinese men in suits and hats standing proudly in the doorways. 

                                        In oral histories collected by Yat Ming Loo, Connie’s husband Leslie doesn’t recall seeing any Chinese women as a child, since male Chinese sailors settled in London alone and married working-class English women. 

                                        In the 1920s, newspapers fear-mongered about interracial marriages, crime and gambling, and described chinatown as an East End “colony.” 

                                        Ironically, Chinese opium-smoking was also demonised in the press, despite Britain waging war against China in the mid-nineteenth century for suppressing the opium trade to alleviate addiction amongst its people. 

                                        The number of Chinese people who settled in Limehouse was also greatly exaggerated, and in reality only totalled around 300. 

                                        The real Chinatown 

                                        Although the press sought to characterise Limehouse as a monolithic Chinese community in the East End, Connie remembers seeing people of all nationalities in the shops and community spaces in Limehouse.

                                        She doesn’t remember feeling discriminated against by other locals, though Connie does recall having her face measured and IQ tested by a member of the British Eugenics Society who was conducting research in the area. 

                                        Some of Connie’s happiest childhood memories were from her time at Chung-Hua Club, where she learned about Chinese culture and language.

                                        Why did Chinatown disappear? 

                                        The caricature of Limehouse’s Chinatown as a den of vice hastened its erasure. 

                                        Police raids and deportations fuelled by the alarmist media coverage threatened the Chinese population of Limehouse, and slum clearance schemes to redevelop low-income areas dispersed Chinese residents in the 1930s. 

                                        The Defence of the Realm Act imposed at the beginning of the First World War criminalised opium use, gave the authorities increased powers to deport Chinese people and restricted their ability to work on British ships.

                                        Dwindling maritime trade during World War II further stripped Chinese sailors of opportunities for employment, and any remnants of Chinatown were destroyed during the Blitz or erased by postwar development schemes.”

                                         

                                        Wong Sang 1884-1930

                                        The year 1918 was a troublesome one for Wong Sang, an interpreter and shipping agent for Blue Funnel Line.  The Sang family were living at 156, Chrisp Street.

                                        Chrisp Street, Poplar, in 1913 via Old London Photographs:

                                        Chrisp Street

                                         

                                        In February Wong Sang was discharged from a false accusation after defending his home from potential robbers.

                                        East End News and London Shipping Chronicle – Friday 15 February 1918:

                                        1918 Wong Sang

                                         

                                        In August of that year he was involved in an incident that left him unconscious.

                                        Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette – Saturday 31 August 1918:

                                        1918 Wong Sang 2

                                         

                                        Wong Sang is mentioned in an 1922 article about “Oriental London”.

                                        London and China Express – Thursday 09 February 1922:

                                        1922 Wong Sang

                                        A photograph of the Chee Kong Tong Chinese Freemason Society mentioned in the above article, via Old London Photographs:

                                        Chee Kong Tong

                                         

                                        Wong Sang was recommended by the London Metropolitan Police in 1928 to assist in a case in Wellingborough, Northampton.

                                        Difficulty of Getting an Interpreter: Northampton Mercury – Friday 16 March 1928:

                                        1928 Wong Sang1928 Wong Sang 2

                                        The difficulty was that “this man speaks the Cantonese language only…the Northeners and the Southerners in China have differing languages and the interpreter seemed to speak one that was in between these two.”

                                         

                                        In 1917, Alice Wong Sang was a witness at her sister Harriet Stokes marriage to James William Watts in Southwark, London.  Their father James Stokes occupation on the marriage register is foreman surveyor, but on the census he was a council roadman or labourer. (I initially rejected this as the correct marriage for Harriet because of the discrepancy with the occupations. Alice Wong Sang as a witness confirmed that it was indeed the correct one.)

                                        1917 Alice Wong Sang

                                         

                                         

                                        James William Sang 1913-2000 was a clock fitter and watch assembler (on the 1939 census). He married Ivy Laura Fenton in 1963 in Sidcup, Kent. James died in Southwark in 2000.

                                        Charles Ronald Sang 1920-1974  was a draughtsman (1939 census). He married Eileen Burgess in 1947 in Marylebone.  Charles and Eileen had two sons:  Keith born in 1951 and Roger born in 1952.  He died in 1974 in Hertfordshire.

                                        William Norman Sang 1922-2000 was a clerk and telephone operator (1939 census).  William enlisted in the Royal Artillery in 1942. He married Lily Mullins in 1949 in Bethnal Green, and they had three daughters: Marion born in 1950, Christine in 1953, and Frances in 1959.  He died in Redbridge in 2000.

                                         

                                        I then found another two births registered in Poplar by Alice Sang, both daughters.  Doris Winifred Sang was born in 1925, and Patricia Margaret Sang was born in 1933 ~ three years after Wong Sang’s death.  Neither of the these daughters were on the 1939 census with Alice, John Patterson and the three sons.  Margaret had presumably been evacuated because of the war to a family in Taunton, Somerset. Doris would have been fourteen and I have been unable to find her in 1939 (possibly because she died in 2017 and has not had the redaction removed  yet on the 1939 census as only deceased people are viewable).

                                        Doris Winifred Sang 1925-2017 was a nursing sister. She didn’t marry, and spent a year in USA between 1954 and 1955. She stayed in London, and died at the age of ninety two in 2017.

                                        Patricia Margaret Sang 1933-1998 was also a nurse. She married Patrick L Nicely in Stepney in 1957.  Patricia and Patrick had five children in London: Sharon born 1959, Donald in 1960, Malcolm was born and died in 1966, Alison was born in 1969 and David in 1971.

                                         

                                        I was unable to find a birth registered for Alice’s first son, James William Sang (as he appeared on the 1939 census).  I found Alice Stokes on the 1911 census as a 17 year old live in servant at a tobacconist on Pekin Street, Limehouse, living with Mr Sui Fong from Hong Kong and his wife Sarah Sui Fong from Berlin.  I looked for a birth registered for James William Fong instead of Sang, and found it ~ mothers maiden name Stokes, and his date of birth matched the 1939 census: 8th March, 1913.

                                        On the 1921 census, Wong Sang is not listed as living with them but it is mentioned that Mr Wong Sang was the person returning the census.  Also living with Alice and her sons James and Charles in 1921 are two visitors:  (Florence) May Stokes, 17 years old, born in Woodstock, and Charles Stokes, aged 14, also born in Woodstock. May and Charles were Alice’s sister and brother.

                                         

                                        I found Sharon Nicely on social media and she kindly shared photos of Wong Sang and Alice Stokes:

                                        Wong Sang

                                         

                                        Alice Stokes

                                        #6336
                                        TracyTracy
                                        Participant

                                          The Hamstall Ridware Connection

                                          Stubbs and Woods

                                          Hamstall RidwareHamstall Ridware

                                           

                                           

                                          Charles Tomlinson‘s (1847-1907) wife Emma Grattidge (1853-1911) was born in Wolverhampton, the daughter and youngest child of William Grattidge (1820-1887) born in Foston, Derbyshire, and Mary Stubbs (1819-1880), born in Burton on Trent, daughter of Solomon Stubbs.

                                          Solomon Stubbs (1781-1857) was born in Hamstall Ridware in 1781, the son of Samuel and Rebecca.  Samuel Stubbs (1743-) and Rebecca Wood (1754-) married in 1769 in Darlaston.  Samuel and Rebecca had six other children, all born in Darlaston. Sadly four of them died in infancy. Son John was born in 1779 in Darlaston and died two years later in Hamstall Ridware in 1781, the same year that Solomon was born there.

                                          But why did they move to Hamstall Ridware?

                                          Samuel Stubbs was born in 1743 in Curdworth, Warwickshire (near to Birmingham).  I had made a mistake on the tree (along with all of the public trees on the Ancestry website) and had Rebecca Wood born in Cheddleton, Staffordshire.  Rebecca Wood from Cheddleton was also born in 1843, the right age for the marriage.  The Rebecca Wood born in Darlaston in 1754 seemed too young, at just fifteen years old at the time of the marriage.  I couldn’t find any explanation for why a woman from Cheddleton would marry in Darlaston and then move to Hamstall Ridware.  People didn’t usually move around much other than intermarriage with neighbouring villages, especially women.  I had a closer look at the Darlaston Rebecca, and did a search on her father William Wood.  I found his 1784 will online in which he mentions his daughter Rebecca, wife of Samuel Stubbs.  Clearly the right Rebecca Wood was the one born in Darlaston, which made much more sense.

                                          An excerpt from William Wood’s 1784 will mentioning daughter Rebecca married to Samuel Stubbs:

                                          Wm Wood will

                                           

                                          But why did they move to Hamstall Ridware circa 1780?

                                          I had not intially noticed that Solomon Stubbs married again the year after his wife Phillis Lomas (1787-1844) died.  Solomon married Charlotte Bell in 1845 in Burton on Trent and on the marriage register, Solomon’s father Samuel Stubbs occupation was mentioned: Samuel was a buckle maker.

                                          Marriage of Solomon Stubbs and Charlotte Bell, father Samuel Stubbs buckle maker:

                                          Samuel Stubbs buckle maker

                                           

                                          A rudimentary search on buckle making in the late 1700s provided a possible answer as to why Samuel and Rebecca left Darlaston in 1781.  Shoe buckles had gone out of fashion, and by 1781 there were half as many buckle makers in Wolverhampton as there had been previously.

                                          “Where there were 127 buckle makers at work in Wolverhampton, 68 in Bilston and 58 in Birmingham in 1770, their numbers had halved in 1781.”

                                          via “historywebsite”(museum/metalware/steel)

                                          Steel buckles had been the height of fashion, and the trade became enormous in Wolverhampton.  Wolverhampton was a steel working town, renowned for its steel jewellery which was probably of many types.  The trade directories show great numbers of “buckle makers”.  Steel buckles were predominantly made in Wolverhampton: “from the late 1760s cut steel comes to the fore, from the thriving industry of the Wolverhampton area”. Bilston was also a great centre of buckle making, and other areas included Walsall. (It should be noted that Darlaston, Walsall, Bilston and Wolverhampton are all part of the same area)

                                          In 1860, writing in defence of the Wolverhampton Art School, George Wallis talks about the cut steel industry in Wolverhampton.  Referring to “the fine steel workers of the 17th and 18th centuries” he says: “Let them remember that 100 years ago [sc. c. 1760] a large trade existed with France and Spain in the fine steel goods of Birmingham and Wolverhampton, of which the latter were always allowed to be the best both in taste and workmanship.  … A century ago French and Spanish merchants had their houses and agencies at Birmingham for the purchase of the steel goods of Wolverhampton…..The Great Revolution in France put an end to the demand for fine steel goods for a time and hostile tariffs finished what revolution began”.

                                           

                                          The next search on buckle makers, Wolverhampton and Hamstall Ridware revealed an unexpected connecting link.

                                          In Riotous Assemblies: Popular Protest in Hanoverian England by Adrian Randall:

                                          Riotous AssemblesHamstall Ridware

                                          In Walsall in 1750 on “Restoration Day” a crowd numbering 300 assembled, mostly buckle makers,  singing  Jacobite songs and other rebellious and riotous acts.  The government was particularly worried about a curious meeting known as the “Jubilee” in Hamstall Ridware, which may have been part of a conspiracy for a Jacobite uprising.

                                           

                                          But this was thirty years before Samuel and Rebecca moved to Hamstall Ridware and does not help to explain why they moved there around 1780, although it does suggest connecting links.

                                          Rebecca’s father, William Wood, was a brickmaker.  This was stated at the beginning of his will.  On closer inspection of the will, he was a brickmaker who owned four acres of brick kilns, as well as dwelling houses, shops, barns, stables, a brewhouse, a malthouse, cattle and land.

                                          A page from the 1784 will of William Wood:

                                          will Wm Wood

                                           

                                          The 1784 will of William Wood of Darlaston:

                                          I William Wood the elder of Darlaston in the county of Stafford, brickmaker, being of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding (praised be to god for the same) do make publish and declare my last will and testament in manner and form following (that is to say) {after debts and funeral expense paid etc} I give to my loving wife Mary the use usage wear interest and enjoyment of all my goods chattels cattle stock in trade ~ money securities for money personal estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever to hold unto her my said wife for and during the term of her natural life providing she so long continues my widow and unmarried and from or after her decease or intermarriage with any future husband which shall first happen.

                                          Then I give all the said goods chattels cattle stock in trade money securites for money personal estate and effects unto my son Abraham Wood absolutely and forever. Also I give devise and bequeath unto my said wife Mary all that my messuages tenement or dwelling house together with the malthouse brewhouse barn stableyard garden and premises to the same belonging situate and being at Darlaston aforesaid and now in my own possession. Also all that messuage tenement or dwelling house together with the shop garden and premises with the appurtenances to the same ~ belonging situate in Darlaston aforesaid and now in the several holdings or occupation of George Knowles and Edward Knowles to hold the aforesaid premises and every part thereof with the appurtenances to my said wife Mary for and during the term of her natural life provided she so long continues my widow and unmarried. And from or after her decease or intermarriage with a future husband which shall first happen. Then I give and devise the aforesaid premises and every part thereof with the appurtenances unto my said son Abraham Wood his heirs and assigns forever.

                                          Also I give unto my said wife all that piece or parcel of land or ground inclosed and taken out of Heath Field in the parish of Darlaston aforesaid containing four acres or thereabouts (be the same more or less) upon which my brick kilns erected and now in my own possession. To hold unto my said wife Mary until my said son Abraham attains his age of twenty one years if she so long continues my widow and unmarried as aforesaid and from and immediately after my said son Abraham attaining his age of twenty one years or my said wife marrying again as aforesaid which shall first happen then I give the said piece or parcel of land or ground and premises unto my said son Abraham his heirs and assigns forever.

                                          And I do hereby charge all the aforesaid premises with the payment of the sum of twenty pounds a piece to each of my daughters namely Elizabeth the wife of Ambrose Dudall and Rebecca the wife of Samuel Stubbs which said sum of twenty pounds each I devise may be paid to them by my said son Abraham when and so soon as he attains his age of twenty one years provided always and my mind and will is that if my said son Abraham should happen to depart this life without leaving issue of his body lawfully begotten before he attains his age of twenty one years then I give and devise all the aforesaid premises and every part thereof with the appurtenances so given to my said son Abraham as aforesaid unto my said son William Wood and my said daughter Elizabeth Dudall and Rebecca Stubbs their heirs and assigns forever equally divided among them share and share alike as tenants in common and not as joint tenants. And lastly I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my said wife Mary and my said son Abraham executrix and executor of this my will.

                                           

                                           

                                          The marriage of William Wood (1725-1784) and Mary Clews (1715-1798) in 1749 was in Hamstall Ridware.

                                          Wm Wood Mary Clews

                                           

                                          Mary was eleven years Williams senior, and it appears that they both came from Hamstall Ridware and moved to Darlaston after they married. Clearly Rebecca had extended family there (notwithstanding any possible connecting links between the Stubbs buckle makers of Darlaston and the Hamstall Ridware Jacobites thirty years prior).  When the buckle trade collapsed in Darlaston, they likely moved to find employment elsewhere, perhaps with the help of Rebecca’s family.

                                          I have not yet been able to find deaths recorded anywhere for either Samuel or Rebecca (there are a couple of deaths recorded for a Samuel Stubbs, one in 1809 in Wolverhampton, and one in 1810 in Birmingham but impossible to say which, if either, is the right one with the limited information, and difficult to know if they stayed in the Hamstall Ridware area or perhaps moved elsewhere)~ or find a reason for their son Solomon to be in Burton upon Trent, an evidently prosperous man with several properties including an earthenware business, as well as a land carrier business.

                                          #6334
                                          TracyTracy
                                          Participant

                                            The House on Penn Common

                                            Toi Fang and the Duke of Sutherland

                                             

                                            Tomlinsons

                                             

                                             

                                            Penn Common

                                            Grassholme

                                             

                                            Charles Tomlinson (1873-1929) my great grandfather, was born in Wolverhampton in 1873. His father Charles Tomlinson (1847-1907) was a licensed victualler or publican, or alternatively a vet/castrator. He married Emma Grattidge (1853-1911) in 1872. On the 1881 census they were living at The Wheel in Wolverhampton.

                                            Charles married Nellie Fisher (1877-1956) in Wolverhampton in 1896. In 1901 they were living next to the post office in Upper Penn, with children (Charles) Sidney Tomlinson (1896-1955), and Hilda Tomlinson (1898-1977) . Charles was a vet/castrator working on his own account.

                                            In 1911 their address was 4, Wakely Hill, Penn, and living with them were their children Hilda, Frank Tomlinson (1901-1975), (Dorothy) Phyllis Tomlinson (1905-1982), Nellie Tomlinson (1906-1978) and May Tomlinson (1910-1983). Charles was a castrator working on his own account.

                                            Charles and Nellie had a further four children: Charles Fisher Tomlinson (1911-1977), Margaret Tomlinson (1913-1989) (my grandmother Peggy), Major Tomlinson (1916-1984) and Norah Mary Tomlinson (1919-2010).

                                            My father told me that my grandmother had fallen down the well at the house on Penn Common in 1915 when she was two years old, and sent me a photo of her standing next to the well when she revisted the house at a much later date.

                                            Peggy next to the well on Penn Common:

                                            Peggy well Penn

                                             

                                            My grandmother Peggy told me that her father had had a racehorse called Toi Fang. She remembered the racing colours were sky blue and orange, and had a set of racing silks made which she sent to my father.
                                            Through a DNA match, I met Ian Tomlinson. Ian is the son of my fathers favourite cousin Roger, Frank’s son. Ian found some racing silks and sent a photo to my father (they are now in contact with each other as a result of my DNA match with Ian), wondering what they were.

                                            Toi Fang

                                             

                                            When Ian sent a photo of these racing silks, I had a look in the newspaper archives. In 1920 there are a number of mentions in the racing news of Mr C Tomlinson’s horse TOI FANG. I have not found any mention of Toi Fang in the newspapers in the following years.

                                            The Scotsman – Monday 12 July 1920:

                                            Toi Fang

                                             

                                             

                                            The other story that Ian Tomlinson recalled was about the house on Penn Common. Ian said he’d heard that the local titled person took Charles Tomlinson to court over building the house but that Tomlinson won the case because it was built on common land and was the first case of it’s kind.

                                            Penn Common

                                             

                                            Penn Common Right of Way Case:
                                            Staffordshire Advertiser March 9, 1912

                                            In the chancery division, on Tuesday, before Mr Justice Joyce, it was announced that a settlement had been arrived at of the Penn Common Right of Way case, the hearing of which occupied several days last month. The action was brought by the Duke of Sutherland (as Lord of the Manor of Penn) and Mr Harry Sydney Pitt (on behalf of himself and other freeholders of the manor having a right to pasturage on Penn Common) to restrain Mr James Lakin, Carlton House, Penn; Mr Charles Tomlinson, Mayfield Villa, Wakely Hill, Penn; and Mr Joseph Harold Simpkin, Dudley Road, Wolverhampton, from drawing building materials across the common, or otherwise causing injury to the soil.

                                            The real point in dispute was whether there was a public highway for all purposes running by the side of the defendants land from the Turf Tavern past the golf club to the Barley Mow.
                                            Mr Hughes, KC for the plaintiffs, now stated that the parties had been in consultation, and had come to terms, the substance of which was that the defendants admitted that there was no public right of way, and that they were granted a private way. This, he thought, would involve the granting of some deed or deeds to express the rights of the parties, and he suggested that the documents should be be settled by some counsel to be mutually agreed upon.

                                            His lordship observed that the question of coal was probably the important point. Mr Younger said Mr Tomlinson was a freeholder, and the plaintiffs could not mine under him. Mr Hughes: The coal actually under his house is his, and, of course, subsidence might be produced by taking away coal some distance away. I think some document is required to determine his actual rights.
                                            Mr Younger said he wanted to avoid anything that would increase the costs, but, after further discussion, it was agreed that Mr John Dixon (an expert on mineral rights), or failing him, another counsel satisfactory to both parties, should be invited to settle the terms scheduled in the agreement, in order to prevent any further dispute.

                                             

                                            Penn Common case

                                             

                                            The name of the house is Grassholme.  The address of Mayfield Villas is the house they were living in while building Grassholme, which I assume they had not yet moved in to at the time of the newspaper article in March 1912.

                                             

                                             

                                            What my grandmother didn’t tell anyone was how her father died in 1929:

                                             

                                            1929 Charles Tomlinson

                                             

                                             

                                            On the 1921 census, Charles, Nellie and eight of their children were living at 269 Coleman Street, Wolverhampton.

                                            1921 census Tomlinson

                                             

                                             

                                            They were living on Coleman Street in 1915 when Charles was fined for staying open late.

                                            Staffordshire Advertiser – Saturday 13 February 1915:

                                             

                                            1915 butcher fined

                                             

                                            What is not yet clear is why they moved from the house on Penn Common sometime between 1912 and 1915. And why did he have a racehorse in 1920?

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