Heaven in a Plastic Cup


So this is what happened. I procrastinated and procrastinated aanndd, yep you guessed it, procrastinated about the Palace of Westminster and old Pugin and styles of architecture and all that good stuff.

Ten days to the deadline and I was eating peanut butter ben n jerry’s and watching Mr Selfridge. Four days before the deadline I was on my feet all day baking and cooking and kneading and jamming and dressing up for Madame Squidge’s wedding shower.

Well we didn’t call it a shower because it was just a pre-wedding party but I guess it’s a shower! We showered her with hugs and lovage and some kisses. And put sparklers on her chocolate layer cake that my sister in law and I made. We had pink pearls and purple hearts all over it and I sort of mucked up the sparklers because they kind of went up in a huge flame because I was scared of the lighter.

Which is ironic considering how friendly I was with a lighter about a year and a bit ago, when I used to puff.

ANYWAY, seventeen hours to my assignment and I was watching Friends (again) with another mini tub of Ben N Jerry’s, this time Cookie Dough. And may I just say, heaven in a plastic cup?

Nine hours to the deadline and I was up at 3am wishing Lulu a late happy birthday. Whilst feverishly eating pears and drinking actimel and sneaking digestives out of the cupboard.

Six hours to go and I decided to play and replay Speeding Cars by Imogen Heap. Came across a video showing how she edits her music. Decided she was rather pretty and decided to Google Image her. Then fell into a sticky rut consisting of Imogen Heap and Lana Del Rey, who, might I add, is bloody gorgeous.

Then I made breakfast. Not for me, for Damian. He was shocked and surprised and pleased and slightly disapproving but didn’t have time to berate me before he gave me a toothpaste kiss and ran out. Well I had to use up the eggs. Cause I am going back ‘home’ tomorrow. Where is home, though?

Two hours to go and I gorged myself with Baked Walkers. I don’t even like Baked Walkers. It doesn’t have any flavour. It’s just solid crunchy cardboard with a slight hint of old sock. I also sang a lot of Speeding Cars and recorded myself, and listened to the recording before deleting in horror and shock.

Did I really think I was good at singing? Pop goes that bubble, eh Lenora.

One hour to go and I was feverishly typing lots of stuff about the nineteenth century and the revival of the Gothic tradition. And did you know Gothic design is heavily integrated; nay, STEMS from Roman Catholicism? There’s news for me. I don’t know how to take it. I don’t much care for Roman Catholicism, really.Yet I do so love the pointy spires and detailed architecture of Gothic buildings. WOE IS ME, I SAY.

Two hours after the deadline I submitted my assignment. I was smelly, the place was a tip, my feet were ice and my nailpolish had been scratched off.

And this is my word to the folks: Never leave your assignment until two hours after the last possible moment.

Disclaimer: Luckily for me there is a ‘grace period’ which lasts until midnight on the cut-off date (deadline date). So technically I still have one hour and thirty five minutes. However, y’all might not be so lucky.


Saving Mister Banks


I watched this film thousands of miles above ground, above clouds, amid bouts of extremely nauseating turbulence. Everytime the plane lurched downwards or swung sideways my heard thundered like a thousand hammers, and my fingers curled ever tighter around the arm rest.

Glancing at my sister beside me, I saw that she was very much the same way. Only she didn’t let films distract her, she suffered in face-on agony. Nobody else seemed perturbed. The fellow to my left had his head covered with the thin airplane blankets, and the fellow next to him was nodding his head, faint music wafting my way.

And so I watched Saving Mr Banks, pausing every time an especially vicious lurch of the metal cabin took over my senses, my mind drifting to the leagues between my feet and the rocky grounds of the Arabian desert.

Slowly, though, the film began to creep over my fear. I was absorbed into it, and my terror became an underlying itch that was almost entirely ignored.

It was lovely. Emma Thompson never ceases to evoke my admiration. She carries herself with such potent charm. The little quirks about her; her eyebrow thrusts, her scornful looks, her straight back and her flawless irritability made what could have been sombre, mirthful. Tom Hanks slid right into the character of the typically American, typically loud and excessively friendly Walt Disney, as he is wont to do. Thompson and Hanks had a humorous relationship on camera, goaded by Disney’s attempts to please the ever irked Mrs. P L Travers. The combination of old classics and new … abecedarians made for a pleasant watch.




I especially enjoyed how close Ginty kept Mary Poppins to her heart. She loved the woman, much as I did when I first read about her. The film portrays what the producers, the author and Walt Disney himself went through in the making of Mary Poppins, and truly it is a refreshing insight into the old classic.

Not many films are so well made that they capture one’s feelings. Especially one whose feelings are so distraught as mine were during that dreadful, dreadful flight.

I would completely recommend Saving Mr Banks to anybody who sees sentiment as an old comrade, and who cherishes old classics and has a sight for a well made film. It is not for impatient children. I also read a review which said that it was not for people who didn’t like Disney. Personally I find Disney too wishy washy and excessive, and yet I loved this film. It left me in an aura of pleasant thoughtfulness. I also loved Mary Poppins (the book, more than the film). The film attracted me because of Julie Andrews, whom I loved in The Sound of Music. I adored the way Mary Poppins was portrayed; she was just how I imagined she would be! Naturally the film wasn’t entirely in keeping with the book, and I haven’t watched it more than thrice, I imagine. However this whole story about Mrs P L Travers and Walt Disney and waiting twenty years and her absolute correctness and her history.. Oh dear it all combined and exploded in my mind and there I was weeping tears of sadness and sentiment on my seat high up above the clouds, all puffy and white. And I thought to myself, thought I, “Well by gosh, Lenora. You shall be wanting to read Mary Poppins again!”

And so I shall. So I shall.



Being Smelly

I feel smelly. I didn’t take into consideration the fact that I would be sweating on an hourly basis. Back in the UK, I rarely sweat. I only sweat when I run. Or when I go for an especially strenuous bike ride. Or when I do my aerobics in my tiny sitting room. On a day to day basis, whilst one is going about their day to day tasks, one does not sweat.

At least, not so profusely as one does in this hot humid country. I woke up this morning, cleaned all the floors and sat myself down to have an hour long phone call with an old chum. Well, as one does, I walked around the house whilst on the phone. I climbed over things and sat in places I would never normally sit on, where my mind not so occupied by the conversation I was taking part in.

I wasn’t even moving that fast. I was barely moving at all. My physical exertion was nil, and yet I was sweating like a pig! I had a lovely long shower just before I fell asleep last night, and now, not twelve hours later, I feel as though I haven’t had one for days.

I am glancing out my window now and all I can see is the dusky brown of dust coating every building, road, pavement. It sits on the cars like a complacent beast. Yet it is unmoving and sinister.

I dusted the furniture yesterday and today it is covered in a film of dust that tells of years of neglect.

I dusted them yesterday.

I smell like the man who hadn’t showered in forty years. My hair hangs in clumps, stuck together with sweat I didn’t even exert myself for. I used to take for granted that daily showers were a luxury, to freshen one up, to make one feel alive. 

Now, daily showers are a necessity.


A Red Satin Dress



Everybody was dressed exquisitely. Long dresses that swirled around dainty, glittering shoes. Circlets about heads, gleaming bracelets, pendants nestling in the creamy crooks of necks. Their faces were painted up a picture, their eyes glittered and smiles adorned their lips like a kiss of sunshine.

It was like a dream. A child slid a bouquet of red and white roses into my fingers, another slipped her chubby arms about my waist and looked up at me through huge hazel eyes and told me she loved me.

And when the dancing started; all the dainty feet tapping on the shiny dancefloor, pretty shoulders shaking, hair swinging, flashes of colour, glitter, smiles, laughter. Little hands gripped both my index fingers and my arms swung out, little girls twirling beneath them, their dresses swishing out in a rainbow of satin and gauze.

I think they had a good time. They kissed me and hugged me and told me I was beautiful, and that they hoped I would have a blessed marriage, and to enjoy myself.

I told them it was lovely to see them.

And some of them cried, and their hands went right down to the floor in demonstration of how little I used to be. I didn’t know how to react to that so I just hugged them again. I didn’t know how to shape my face.

And all I could think of was the dreadful, dreadful itchiness on my arms, and how a pool of sweat was gathering in the small of my back, under the heavy embroidery on my bodice, and how a rash was forming under my lower lip, where I’d lathered dark red lipstick.

A part of me was thinking, well if I was invisible, how nice would that be? To watch the merrymaking from my safe cool haven. And another part of me was just waking up. A little nymph in my toes tormenting me to move, another pixie in my hips, shoving at me to shimmy along with the others. A pair of bronze arms reached through the finery and took my hands, the bouquet falling to the floor, getting lost amongst the petals and the glitter and the shoes. Her eyes danced mischievously at me. She pulled me in and twirled me around and suddenly I was not me anymore.

I was somebody else. Somebody who wanted to MOVE. Somebody who wanted to prance around like there was no tomorrow!

Sometimes you have to embrace frightening things like old friends, to get on in life. There is no ‘I can’t do it’.

You can. You must. You should.

I am glad I did. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to look back on that day and smile about it. I wouldn’t have been able to gush about my new experiences, my feelings of joy when

I realised I was no longer The Turtle Hiding In Her Shell. I emerged from my safe haven, and found that the outside wasn’t so prickly and uncomfortable after all.


Square Seven

Well hello there. And how do you do? And how do YOU do? And you, and you? Oh, and you, of course. No, I didn’t forget you! Impossible! I saved the best for last.

I finally met up with my sister after five months of being apart from her and it was lovely. I didn’t give her any kisses but I hugged her she seemed happy to have her older sister back and I was happy to have a ready-made talking companion and everything was hanky dory until yesterday.

Yesterday she pestered me beyond belief. She wanted to play candy crush on my  phone even though I only had 8% battery life left and I might have needed it for an emergency. Naturally I said no to her but she kept persisting and this girl simply cannot take no for an answer. I had forgotten that irritating trait of hers. 

When I ignored her petulant persistence she began to take physical measures against me. She threw pillows at me, and poked me. She interrupted my conversations, and talked over me. I began to hate her again. 

So now things are really back to normal.