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Some of the things that really horrify me



I want you to imagine, Gentle Reader, a scene, not unfamiliar to any civilised person.

I put myself into this scene, hoping that I may elicit some compassion fro; some understanding of, my horrors, when, like an enveloping mist, I feel the most dreadful feelings of déjà vu and I know, once again, like a recurring spectre of the night, a nightmare again will appear, as those who watched with horror and terror as that Prophetic Hand wrote on the wall at that sadly remembered Feast of Balshazzar.

I am at a dinner party where I am really enjoying myself.

The table, the silver cutlery and flatware, the sparkling white linen and china, the centre pieces, flowers and arrangements are beyond luxurious, yet they still maintain absolutely the last word in good taste.

Everyone is exquisitely dressed; either fashionably or interestingly esoterically or outrageously eclectically and the manners and conversation are being conducted in the best of possible taste, albeit with a modicum of acceptable raunchiness, dictated by the most well bred, of hostesses with the most circumspect, yet deliciously naughty sense of humour.

The wines, champagnes and liqueurs have been chosen to compliment the wonderfully adventurous but also superb food and also to appeal to my discerning palate to a remarkably clever and perfect degree.

The meal has been wonderful. The guests seem to have been picked by someone who really has read, and understood, the book: ‘Twenty People I would Love to Meet before I Die’ (Written by me, and available in a lovely Embossed Green Moroccan Leather-Bound Edition at all the smartest, best and most worthwhile and reputable bookshops in the Civilised World).

Is your mind beginning to wander?

Fear not, Gentle Reader, I am simply creating the mise en scene so that the denouement of this little tale will have the greater impact.


I am sitting between the two most beautiful, intelligent and charming people I have met for many a year. They represent both the Staff and the Distaff side of the human race.

She is so gorgeous that I find it almost impossible to believe that anybody could show such perfection of face, grace, charm and figure.

He is stunningly handsome but with the look that says that he isn’t even aware of his elegance and shining beauty.

Both of them are fascinated by my persona, my conversation, my charming and sometimes racy little anecdotes of my fascinatingly misspent life.

Both of them hang on my words and are enthralled by my presence, and I feel that either or both of them would love to drag me away to a secluded and ravishingly decadent boudoir or somewhere similar and have their wicked way (or ways) with me... With me and my hardly protesting body and, or indeed, mind.

Together or separately, I neither know nor care.

The almost ethereally elegant and wonderful dinner draws to a close, with the most subdued and intelligent conversations gradually leaving the thoughts and minds of all at that sumptuous arranged table. The liqueurs, the brandies, the Armagnac and the coffee arrive almost magically.

Marrons Glacés, Rahat Loukhoum and the most decadently delicious Petits Fours lie before our visually satiated eyes and then, perhaps, seek refuge on our lips and tongues and we are transported into an exquisitely wicked postprandial lethargy.


Everything, as I have attempted to convey, is perfect, and then comes the bombshell.

And then, some woman, who up to the very second before has appeared to be intelligent, cultured, stacked to the top of her wonderfully coiffured head with panache and style; this particular woman who has appeared to be of exceptionally good breeding and connected to the Best, the Right Families, lets fall from her perfect lips, the most frighteningly dreadful words I have ever heard.


I have heard these words before, and shuddered at them too many times before, as any well brought up civilised person must surely shudder:

Well of course I shudder when I hear those words. Those words which, by their very cruel and evil utterance must surely be the wicked arms and shoulders that would, Samson like, seek to push down the pillars that uphold the very best that is Good Taste and the Standards of Behaviour that govern the whole of Civilised Society.

I have heard this sentence, with many permutations. And no doubt I will hear them again, but they will have and always will be some of the most frighteningly morbid collection of words ever uttered.

I told you about the feeling of déjà vu, earlier on, didn’t I?

Of course I did, and here I was in the same situation.

It was a couple of weeks ago. I was dining, as described above, at the home of a very well known hostess, known for her wonderful dinner parties, Caroline Beste-Holme.

The woman I referred to; the awful creature who uttered the words that I am about to relay to you, Gentle Reader, turned to her fellow guests and proclaimed, in the most vile way that anybody has ever spoken:

“Dear Caroline has given us all such a lovely time with this splendid dinner party. I am sure she has slaved over a hot stove for hours to produce all this; to feed us so well. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we all repaid the compliment by doing the washing up for her?”

Won’t it be lovely if we all repay the compliment by doing the washing up for her?


The ghastly woman raked the assembled guests with a malignant eye as if to challenge anybody not to agree with her horrendous suggestion.

There it was again. That dreadful after-dinner suggestion that everyone would love to do the washing up for his or her hostess.


Now let me assure you that I am made of sterner stiff and can face the vicissitudes of life as well as the next man, but not all of us are lucky enough to exhibit bravery in the face of such an awful situation.

I distinctly heard the sound of my very dear friend, Mrs Hilda Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh as that poor lady fainted at the thought of a dishcloth. Luckily she remained upright, as she was encouraged to do as a child, and nobody noticed except for myself.

One or two of the better bred guests shuffled uneasily on their plush dining chairs, but seemed to lack the courage to challenge the suggestion.

Others directed frightened glances in he direction of our hostess, Caroline, but inexplicably, Caroline's attention appeared to be taken by the frosting on the Marrons Glacés held between her well manicured fingers.

Once more the deranged dinner guest raked the assembled ladies and gentlemen with her spiteful eyes and malevolently repeated, between clenched teeth:

“Won’t it be lovely if we all muck in and do the washing up?”


I rose to my feet, and looking her straight in the eye, said as calmly and as carefully as I was brought up to say,

“I have a dishwasher in my home and have never felt the need to wash a plate or spoon in my life.

“What do you think this is, woman? A Boy Scouts’ Camp? Are you Akela, or one of the other animals fabricated in the disturbed mind of Rudyard Kipling?”

She gazed at me venomously, a snarl beginning to disfigure her already unattractive visage.


Swords drawn - well, cutlery, at least.

She realised she had met her match. But as a last resort, she turned to Caroline, who by now had allowed her mind to gaze to centre on another of the Petits Fours.

“Caroline!” barked the awful woman, all semblance of refinement and class slipping magically away, “Shall we all wash up?”

Caroline raised a troubled gaze, and her face bore the most tragic expression of any London Society Hostess I have seen in my life.

“Oh Heaven’s above!” I thought, and the awful truth hit me like a thunderbolt. Almost as if I, also, had read the writing on the wall which had so unnerved that chap Balshazzar so very long earlier.

Caroline didn’t have a dishwasher... and neither perhaps, had the Dreadful Dinner Guest. No wonder they thought nothing of washing up. They probably didn’t even have any permanent staff. I couldn’t remember seeing any servants apart from a couple of foreign chaps in waiters’ uniforms.

But now the undeniably appalling truth grasped my soul, and I felt the panic rising within my breast.

“What was I doing there, among those people? How could I associate with any of them? And what is more, how could I escape from their company?

But help was at hand in the form of a true and trusted friend. A true and well bred and thoroughly Well Connected friend.

My dear friend, Hilda Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh, rose carefully from her seat where she had lain in a swoon from hearing the dreadful words “WASHING UP” and placing a genteel and perfectly manicured hand of my arm, turned to Caroline and said,

“Thanks awfully. One has had a wonderful evening. But one has to go; it’s getting late. By the way, dear, the plover was a trifle underdone, and may I suggest you try Fortnum & Masons for your Petits Fours next time. They’re far less sticky.”

Kopi Luwak


Kopi Luwak

As I was helping Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh to put on her cloak in the hall, she turned towards the glass and arranging her hair carefully, said,

“Perhaps we could ask Raj to drive us to a very smart little Café and Bar one knows. They serve a delicious coffee there that will surprise you. Kopi Luwak. So, so much nicer than that ghastly coffee that Caroline wanted to poison us with.

“Ah! “ I murmured, “Kopi Luwak. That will do nicely.”


Eldon Arsenaux from Cooley, Texas on November 18, 2015:

Let me suspend trying to suture such loose ends in my Samson story and say, that this theme, of protecting the private (pubic) from the public is strange. It seems that art, as the (mostly useless) conscious of creation, creates more mystery, more magic. That which is stripped in art, also obscures.

As far as my Samson story goes, I delight in your analysis of bringing down Dagon's Diner, whilst being unable to keep his pants up. Highly high-larious.

..."deliberate dalliance of hyperbole" reminds me of a nearby town, a town the dearest chaste child amongst us does not dare travel to. This Texas town is of course not a town at all, but a city of red lights, the city of Dalliance. Dalliance City always manages to creep into the chronicles of Cooley's twelve-fingered typist who works within The Cooley County Courier.

So it seems, that this sphere of power-sexuality appears in my personal work as well.

Mankind's mysteries are ofttimes in the most obvious of places. Samson, the strongest of men, was weakened by the carnal desire for women. So, Samson's story is a story of repressive tendencies, by God -by power. God grants powers, which are stripped from the 'sexually weak'. The unfaithful find faith through blasphemies, such as Samson.

Followers of Dagon did not fear (fertility) desire. Perhaps that is their power.

Maybe, that leaves things more or less lucid than they were before. I leave you with one last thought: Milton was fit for the story of Samson, since he too was repressed of external sight, but not from that great sight of God within. The God within gave Milton powers without. Stripped of optical power, John Milton presented his soul left stronger for such a physical lack. He tried to exemplify ultimate powers of metaphysical sight, over the powers of earthly, obscuring, power-hierarchies.

I may be off the mark with Milton, so, correct me Ian, if my reasoning is flawed in its presentation of one of my favorite English personalities.


Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on November 18, 2015:

Eldon, my most amusing friend, I am glad to see that you noticed my deliberate dalliance with hyperbole. How else would Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh deal with a fraught situation? Or any other, as that matters.

And with reference to Mr Samson. have you noted, when wandering around the Guggenheim, the Louvre and the National, how clever the dear chap is in managing to hide his wedding tackle from the too invasive gaze of the ladies, and some others?

I don't know about you, but I usually experience some difficulty in keeping my IKEA bath towel decently wrapped around my waist when leaving the bathroom. Even a sneeze or a gentlemanly cough is likely to encourage (with only a little assistance from gravity) it to seek the area around my ankles.

So the thought of bringing down the roof of Dagon’s temple, and all the sightseers gathered there, whilst keeping up his respectability must be commended.

Then again, maybe there is a clearer delineation between your hips and chest, and what occurs between the two, than in mine.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on November 18, 2015:

DzyMsLizzy, I only just saw your reply. HubPages are not very efficient, are they?

I would love to have a look at your work again. And don't worry about Poetry not selling. It's the creation and the result that matters ... not the cash.

Unless, of course, your name is George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron. he seemed to rub along quite nicely.

Eldon Arsenaux from Cooley, Texas on November 17, 2015:

What to add to all this illustrious (highfalutin) story? It was so, so tasteful, besides the plover, which was a 'trifle underdone'.

The words were overdone in remarkable fashion. You struck a mighty fork into the flanks of your characters.

Let us see:

I see Samson, sitting at the Dagon Diner, blind (not naturally, but Milton may say destiny!), and what do you know he forgot his pants with the pockets at home.

"So sorry," Samson says, "Allow me to run out to my donkey and grab some shekels from the sack across his back. Really, believe me, I'm good." But because Samson and the cook believe in different Gods -so they say- they consider dining and dashing differently, differently indeed!

So, instead of Samson blindly washing plates, since it seems such a prison of labor, he lashes out with his knife and spoon (now what was he eating that needed knife AND spoon?) and cut cut cuts at the cook's apron, flings the table over, runs half-naked wild through the restaurant, clonks his bald head (he had his lion's mane of hair cut but Delilah just the other day -how foolish), against a column supporting the structure, and says enigmatically till his last breathe: "Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet."

Cheers Ian,


Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on May 25, 2015:

Thank you. I am working on one work of poems in an entirely different type of subject matter; I have 'translated' my father's stories of his youth and young-adulthood into poetic first-person voice. I did a desktop printed publishing of that book some years back, for distribution within the family who knew my dad. Now, I am expanding on it, and preparing it for release as an e-book. My 'resistance' comes only from the myriad of people who have told me over the years, (and who still tell me), that "poetry isn't much of a seller."

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on May 25, 2015:

Thank you, MsLizzy. I enjoyed expressing my fears before an understanding audience.

By the way, I loved your 'Night Verse' poem. Please don't resist the temptation to publish your works (If you ever have resisted!). They are really worth it.

That one, especially, said everything to me... everything, so articulately.


Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on May 24, 2015:

Now that I have dried the tears of laughter and can see to type, I must congratulate you upon your mastery of suspense.

One can only imagine the horror! One must indeed take one's leave post haste in such a situation!

Voted up and funny.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on May 23, 2015:

Storytellersrus, my esteemed friend, thank you for getting in touch and opening up lines of communication again.

I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you and also reading your words. And why not?

Thank you for springing to my defence in regards to the above “venting”.

Worry not; I wasn’t offended; only interested.

Perhaps I am lucky enough to have learned that the person hasn’t got around to reading some of my other scribblings. Now there is a vast resource of shallow, paper thin meanderings that would make his teeth itch.

Dear heart, Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh has requested that you should know that she pronounces her name as “Plantagenet-Fanshaw”.

Which reminds me; I think I should ex-digitate, and do a bit more reading of HubPages. I have been far too busy being shallow. My friend says that I am so shallow that when I turn sideways, I completely disappear to the naked eye.



Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on May 22, 2015:

Thank you for your comment. I wonder at your use of "lascivious" in this matter, but perhaps you meant something else.

I take on your negative criticism with some humour, and I suppose I am grateful for any notice that you have shown. I do not write for HubPages very much, if at all, now and it's nice to be noticed once in a while.

Thank you for your comments. Perhaps you could have a look through my other scribblings and see how you find them.


rjbatty from Irvine on May 21, 2015:

Other than showing your dexterity with language, I thought this Hub was the worst piece of trite garbage that I've encountered since becoming a member ... and this includes writers who use English as a second language. It's fatuous and repellent. A person with your abilities should be applying themselves toward something relevant, something with substance. I'm not condemning you. HubPages allows us to write anything that crosses our brains. I've written silly pieces just for fun, and I think this is fine. What inflames me is that you have a real gift for writing. It pains me to see you using your time and talent on mere fluff. Merely displaying dexterity is like a muscle-man showing off his pecs in a tournament. You've proven your skill -- not just with this god-awful piece but with your many pithy responses to comments. Get over yourself and write something of merit. I know you have the ability to discard my comments in a similar, lascivious manner. Don't bother. Just take my remarks on face value. Your talent is not under question. My only point is that you should use your abilities for more meaningful communications. Don't squander yourself.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on June 21, 2014:

Dearest friend, Storytellersrus, I have not written a thing for myself for months. My muse seems to have taken a very long vacation somewhere on this planet where there are no telephone lines, no Wifi, no Internet connection, and as far as I can ascertain, not even the humblest carrier pigeon.

In other words, I am placing the blame directly at the feet of Erato. I can't (or possible) I won't take my finger out in the creativity area.

All I seem to do, lately, is read, read, read and read again.

John Steinbeck and Evelyn Waugh are getting my full attention, and the only time I come on HP is to reply to comments such as those of your good self.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on June 20, 2014:

Twi, I am alive despite being put upon by a twenty pound- as in weight not finance- demon of the charming kind alias granddaughter. My question for you remains, i.e., Have you written the promised hub regarding your most humble self? Your forever friend, though American slang encumbered, Story

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on June 20, 2014:

CyberShelley, my dear friend, you appear to be "our sort of people".

Thank you for your visit.

Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh says she seems to remember meeting you at a little soirée at Government House some years ago and that you ticked all the boxes.

"Mwah!" from her.

Shelley Watson on June 19, 2014:

Wonderful writing, my dear fellow, I do indeed adore the wonderful Britishness of it all. Reminds me of my days in colonial Rhodesia, where every occasion invites a ceremony in the Governor's house, including the son's 18th birthday. Thank you for sharing.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on March 12, 2014:

Dragonflycolor, I thank you. it was a deliberate superfluity of words, to begin with, but once in harness, I'm afraid I found it difficult to stop.

Mind you, it's better than having a cold and running out of tissues.

Ha ha!

(Obviously I loved your hub.)

dragonflycolor on March 11, 2014:

Incredible use of words. I love it.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 28, 2014:

I love making light of a disaster. It doesn't worry me at all.

i can always see the humour in any situation.

Hugs gratefully accepted.

(Note to self. I must write a hub about me and "being touched")

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 28, 2014:

Is there scent attached to such disasters? I long to experience the sensory whole of your distress. Bear up, young man, bear up. This too shall pass and all that rot.

Perhaps rot is poor choice in a world where the roof threatens daily disaster. My apologies. I am not making fun. I am sending hugs.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 28, 2014:

Story, my dear friend, let me tell you that I have already spent five hours today ringing Insurance Brokers, Insurers, Loss Adjusters, Roofers, and every other form of life on this planet that has anything to do with roofs, shoddy workmanship, rain, water, mud, sludge, gutters, the rising water table and the like.

I almost feel like writing a hub, similar to my: 'Having a small bedroom converted into a bathroom is easy. Right?' exercise in Sadomasochism, but it would be too traumatic for this poor old soul to create.

Lovely to hear from you, and Yes! I am relatively dry, although the wall in that bedroom would make an ideal environment for several pond living individuals:- the amoeba, the ever friendly hydra and the common or garden newt.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 27, 2014:

Oh Twi, how did I miss this? Some days Hubpages does not alert me to news. I hope your ceiling and you have dried up in a good way.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 18, 2014:

I've had a dreadful morning. Arguing with roofers about rain and where it's going and where it's come from and how it got there and damp ceilings and Aaarghh!

I love water.

But only when it's in the right place.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 17, 2014:

Hahahaha, I love it. Hymnsheet? You teeter above the word genius.

Plain speech, such a challenge. Adverbs raise hackles but adjectives pose... Um... challenges. Period.

Docked for an um and lack of imagination. Night!

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 17, 2014:

I will try to avoid both adjectives and adverbs.

The book to which is was referring is just a turn of speech.

The expression, "We're singing from the same (Oops - adjective alert) hymnsheet (notice that I have incorporated hymn into the sheet so that it becomes a noun rather than a noun modified with the adjective hymn?

I thought that "book" encompassed more... Perhaps I should have said that we obviously (Oops - adverb alert) march to the same (I give up!) drum.

As you have already (Aaarggghh!) noted, the hub above has a plethora of adjectives, adverbs and, no doubt, a superfluity of modifying words.

So I'll call it a day, and wish you a "Good night!"


Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 17, 2014:

The referral brought tears to my eyes and restored my trust. I only have one question; which book is it we share? I anxiously await your reply, overloaded with adjectives.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 15, 2014:

Of course not. Why should I dump a friend with whom I have laughed and chatted so much. We read from the same book.

But please, don't think I was exceptionally born to privilege. I was born and brought up in British India, with an office in the British India Army as a father, so having servants was not unusual.

We had the usual crowd - the Khansama, the Bearer, the Sweeper, the Mali and the Mali's Assistant, and the Chowkidar, who we shared with others in the road.

Read, if you would like, 'Krishna in the Morning' and there you will meet the man I loved more than anyone in the world.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 15, 2014:

You are right, it was a trivial response. My ten servants chip orange and blue fingernail polish as I type, peeling away the optimism of Super Bowl odds. I was not born to privilege and have never- until this moment- known anyone with one, let alone six servants. Perhaps this is why I could not sustain my nasal persona; I have only characters in books to mentor me. I don't even watch Downton Abbey. I hope this does not encourage you to dump me.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 15, 2014:

By the way, I have just looked at my ratings for 'Some of the Things that Really Horrify me' and out ongoing conversation has bumped it up to the top of my score.


Thank you.

It's fun chatting to you and there's the added bonus (as if a bonus could be anything other than added).

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 15, 2014:

Five on each hand?

Or am I being puerile.

When I was a little lad we had about six. They were wonderful to me. Especially Krishna.

But that doesn't help me with this tarting up of my hub with the blue box thing.

When I discover how, you'll be the first to know.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 14, 2014:

Yes. Ten.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 14, 2014:

My goodness woman. Haven't you got any servants?

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 14, 2014:

And denser than usual today, evidently. Some receiver of chocolates I turn out to be. Your hub cannot be looked at because you have yet to publish it I see. Or you unpublished it due to the HP. No idea. Completely lost.

As to 1837, Canada experienced two significant rebellions. No tea, however. A few New Yorks Banks fell, inspiring the 1837 Panic. Same old same old.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 14, 2014:

I was at my nephew's birthday lunch and missed all these funny and immediate hubs. I am not sure why HP would be all over you on this quotation thing. I would rush to your hub and figure out exactly what is the issue, but I have a weekend guest coming and her bed is not made. Nor is her bathroom tidied. Hmm. Are there italics? I can't remember. Obviously you don't mean "" or you would have done just that. No idea. Completely lost.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 14, 2014:

Nota Bene.

I just looked and my poem (what I thinked was wonderful) has already got the little HP "H" thing beside it.

I should have tarted it up earlier.

Nota Bene (again) I've been working on it since breakfast and it's now 18:37

Ah! 1837, a great year. nothing much happened.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 14, 2014:

I am almost exactly halfway between you and your mother in years (bar one) and still think my mind is all that it ever was.

Shame, really.

By the way, Story, do you know how to put quotations in a hub? You know, the blue thingy to the right so that I don't get stung for plagiarism (there's that word again).

I have a poem which I think is really good, but HP think it's not worth NOTHING ... Well, not much anyway. I added some bloke singing, like, sort of opera stuff, like, and then thought that, cos he was singing in FOREIGN nobody would understand him, like, so I added this translation in ENGLISH and the real words in FOREIGN, like.

Now I think I oughta put it in a translation box so the HubPolice don't throw a brick through my window, like.

("like" is a suffix in the UK when Oiks and stuff can't string two words together, like).

Ha ha

Yours etc,


Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 14, 2014:

No worries. I anticipate great memory lapses in my future; my 86 year old mother is slipping level by level into a zen-like existence. Isn't this what the spiritual movement strives to accomish, ie, living in the moment? It's only a challenge for those around mom. She is quite happy studying the twists and turns of cascading leaves.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 14, 2014:

Many happy returns of the... the... the... Erm...

Oh, yes. Right!

Many Happy Returns of your Birthday thingy. It quite slipped my mind. Alzheimer's does tend to confuse issues.

But you have ages yet, at your present age of Hmph! Mutter! Mumble... years.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 13, 2014:

Aw gee whiz and shucks, I did not mean YOU, Ian. Gosh darn it. I was corresponding with the hoity toity Hermione! You, sir, are a knight.

Thank you for pointing out a phrase I worked hard and long to perfect.

Hugs!!! Story who truly did celebrate her birthday yesterday!

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 13, 2014:

And if the tiger is successful, he refers to the other in this little epigram, as lunch.

I loved "...wishing to steep humor in elegance."

Is it yours? It's wonderful.

By the way, Story; I have never sneered in my long and uneventful life. And neither do I plan on starting to do so now

I have been known to raise my right eyebrow in excess of three millimetres on the very odd occasion, and I implore you to believe me, I hope I can continue in this vein.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 13, 2014:

PS I know a sophisticated woman doesn't reveal her age. However, I am proud to be 61, despite etiquette.

Fondly, Story

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 12, 2014:

Quite so, quite so. you "got" me, vulgar phrase intended.

My apology for what appears to be a cacophony of descriptive disparity. To my credit, this illusory departure from what others might claim the true nature of "things" reflects more accurately a clever mirage, more aptly named a deception.

You are correct, residents were not permitted to get anywhere near anything nicer than Green Beryl cups and saucers. The porcelain at the center of this controversy was Flora Damica, an ingenious knock-off manufactured in Guangdong, China. I discovered the inexpensive set while strolling through Times Square and purchased them for this event, wishing to steep humor in elegance.

I bestowed upon Sharon the white starched apron and the nickname "Maddie Prior" as we stood giggling in the kitchen, singing:

I've waited longing for today

Spindle, bobbin and spool away

In joy and bliss I'm off to play

Upon this high holiday

The high holiday being, of course, April Fools Day celebrated on the first of April every year without fail in my home of origin.

I may have mixed metaphors concerning American tea bags and England's Twining Earl Grey, which of course originated with Thomas Twining selling tea from his coffee house on London's Strand in 1706. I might have been more consistent dipping true American Earl Grey tea bags into Flora Damica porcelain tea cups. Perhaps Celestial Seasonings would have been a more American choice.

However, I in no way implied nor meant to refer to what happened in Boston Harbor to tea that originated in China! The tea you refer to within that somewhat sneering account was far from Earl Grey varietals. British East India Company's three ships delivered and had removed by painted Indians the following: 240 chests of Bohea, 60 chests of Singlo, 15 chests of Congou, 15 chests of Hyson, and 10 chests of Souchon.

Adding insult to injury, the comparison you set forth, i.e., Princess Diana and Monica Lewd or whatever, is hardly fair. Princess Diana was a humanitarian of the highest degree. I heretofore submit Angelina Jolie as America's candidate.

In the end, I am most grateful for your news of Lord Geoffrey Ninian William MacCullouch. Today is my 16th birthday and though I suffer from bouts of dyslexia, I find great relief knowing I am not a killer.

When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.

George Bernard Shaw

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 12, 2014:

My goodness, Story. You have obviously not been in the Queen Alexandra Day Drawing Room and Recreation Area at half past four of the average day, sans Important Visitors and Notables.

The last time any of the residents were permitted to get anywhere near anything nicer than Green Beryl cups and saucers was at the time of the visit of His Eminence Cardinal Robin Limegarten, Papal Nuncio to Great Britain.

And if you were to see Sharon when she’s behind the digestive biscuits and the tea urn, you would be very lucky not to see her in worn carpet slippers.

And when you started to remind me that it was you who had provided American tea bags containing a Twining Earl Grey substance on some past April Fool's Day, I thought that you were referring to that other bit of nonsense that occurred in Boston Bay slightly before that silly little fracas that we, here, refer to as the America Revolutionary War.

But let’s let bygones be bygones. We had, as a somewhat direct result, Princess Diana, and you had Monica Lewinski.

You will, however, be content to learn that Lord Geoffrey Ninian William MacCullouch, as the old fool refers to himself, has fully recovered and has been quite happily ensconced in his new room at the end of the second corridor of the Lord Kitchener Wing.

He, apparently, made such a nuisance of himself at the local cottage hospital that their only recourse was to punish (as they thought) him with more than the usual daily enemas. Unfortunately, he is known at The Lawns by the affectionate name of “Senna Pod Ninian” due his rather rigorous and somewhat insatiable practice of following the Motto of Twilight Lawns to the letter.

As you may be aware, ‘Un Intestin Heureux dans une Personne Heureuse’ - (A Happy Bowel in a Happy Person’ is our much loved motto at The Lawns.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 11, 2014:

My Dear Hermione,

I would gently remind you it was I who provided American tea bags containing a Twining Earl Grey substance this past April Fool's Day, with innocent thoughts toward entertaining the dementia-ed masses who sat, tick... tock... tick... tock... tick... tock... within the sage green, Queen Alexandra Day Drawing Room and Recreation Area, gazing through pristine, double pane glass.

At my suggestion, serving persons, in the height of white starched fashion, entered the Room with a flourish, bearing trays containing said tea bags ensconced within water boiled to precisely 210 degrees Fahrenheit, with two minutes to go on individual tea timers.

Whereupon one Lord Geoffrey Ninian William MacCullouch, white hair fuzzed around excessively large ears, received his 22 cl porcelain Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica tea cup, designed by Johann Christoph Bayer in 1795, inside which brewed one swollen American tea bag.

His eyes grew round. His nostrils flared. “God save the Queen, the Island has been invaded!” he cried, throwing up his arms, setting in motion his wheelchair, which had not been properly locked.

His particular server Maddy Prior-- who had adopted the name of a “Serving Girl’s Holiday” vocalist-- reflexively dropped her tray of six remaining Flora Danica tea cups in an effort to halt the upward trajectory of Lord Geoffrey Ninian William MacCullouch’s gold-handled duo. She was rewarded with a 210 degree splash of water on arms and legs, missed the soaring missiles and collapsed to the floor in agony.

Lord Geoffrey Ninian William MacCullouch meanwhile, was rolling toward the double-paned glass, as a slope in the hardwood floor caused by deflection in the wood joists and aggravated by similar deflection in the girder supporting one end of the joist sets had been ignored for years by a well-meaning professional named Andrew Kleeman, yet to be Knighted.

With all the ruckus surrounding burned and flailing server Maddy Prior, only one man in the room observed Lord Geoffrey Ninian William MacCullouch’s fate, the Honourable Robert Tory Watson, scowled. He seldom partook in the chaos of television and in this moment, longed for a commercial break.

Lord Geoffrey Ninian William MacCullouch gathered speed and soon crashed through the double pane glass, falling into the garden, as it were.

Later, as two ambulances disappeared down the lane, I was advised to make my escape not only from the lovely Twilight Lawns, but also from the Country. Therefore, I find I must decline your kind invitation to pop in for a visit.

With humble regret I remain ever mindful of you and yours,


Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 11, 2014:

Ah, thank you, Storytellersrus.

I look forward to your visits so much.

There were days when I and the other Residents would sit in the Queen Alexandra Day Drawing Room and Recreation Area, for hours on end on Sunday afternoons after lunch; gazing through the French windows and waiting for a visit from a member of family, or perhaps the Reverend Hugh Halitosis, or even some Romanian Gypsies who might have wandered in on the off chance of pilfering the cutlery and flatware.

But nothing ever happened; no visitors ever came, as far as any of us can remember.

Cecily once had a visit from her mother, so they say, but if one would be at all honest, dear Cecily’s constant cry is, “My mother’s coming to see me today. We’re going out to tea,” So maybe she was a trifle confused and the only thing that happened was something like Sharon wheeling the tea trolley in at four thirty, as usual.

Take care, and if you are ever in the vicinity, it would be lovely if you were to pop in.



Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 09, 2014:

Well, well, IAN. Nice to finally meet you in the fresh.

You may delete this threshing comment on my behalf, as I have "Shared" Tom Lehrer with my Facebook family and increased the count on your foaming website to 101870. Ding Ding Ding Ding!

"Popularity" by Robert Browning

"Live whelks, each lip's beard dripping fresh,

As if they still the water's lisp heard

Through foam the rock-weeds thresh."

Etc Etc. You have disrupted my rock-weeds forever.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 09, 2014:

I know that the HubPolice absolutely ban URLs in comments sections, but here is the most amazingly funny bit from Tom Lehrer. If you do not know him yet, Storytellersrus, then be prepared to become a devotee.


And while you are settling down in you chair to reminisce about Winnie-Ther-Pooh (Thank you for that, there aren't enough of us out there) and the hundred Acre Wood, I shall explain that when I joined HubPages, I already had a site up and running, and used the name of a Retirement Home therein as my profile name.

‘Twas (and still is): http://www.twilightlawnsplc.co.uk/

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 07, 2014:

You give me too much credit, Twi! I have no idea on Lobachevsky. Math was not encouraged for a young lady, in my archaic world.

You may enjoy knowing I considered calling you Ther Winnie Inquisitor- as I pondered your acronym, TWI.

I will try the paste method, though I generally write on my phone... Thanks!

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 07, 2014:

Storytellersrus, I have done that already, many times. I write a comment of some length and then, for some bizarre reason, press a key and lose the lot. I have learned, over time, that if I am travelling into Ramble Mode, that the best thing is to copy and paste into a word document and, when finished.

My dear friend, Nellieanna, who writes brilliantly, and at length, has had recourse to this as well.

The beauty of the Copy and Paste routine is that I can then use the Spell Check facility which is set up for English UK. I can spell, of course, but I am the most deplorable two fings and one thumb typist.

I must look up Blavastsky. If, as you say, she was a “magnificent plagiarist”, I would probably be unable to see who she plagiarised, as Theosophy (or any other “osophies”) is not my usual diet. I am, as they say, somewhat shallow, and, like Winnie the Pooh, am a Bear with Little Brain.

However, I have the desire to make a very quick snuffle around her works.

Those Russian sounding chaps seemed to get up to quite a lot of plagiarism, I feel. There was Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky, the mathematician, if I remember correctly, or am I relying too much on Tom Lehrer?

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 06, 2014:

Sigh. I am not hitting the mark today. I finished a lengthy comment to you and edited it and as I was preparing to Post Comment, managed to erase it. Where is your house of ill repute? Perhaps I will join you there.

As to Blavastsky, she was a magnificent plagiarist. Still, she combined many brilliant ideas into her writings- even copying entire pages of another's work and calling it her own- and inspired a fascinating movement that inspired Mondrian's Evolution. He left Theosophy in the end, but it definitely influenced his work.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 06, 2014:

Hey Twi, Blavastsky turns out to be a plagiarist of great magnitude, but did manage to combine lots of ideas into her movement. Theosophy has its interesting perspective; Mondrian based his painting "Evolution" on its symbology, it appears. However, he grew away from it. I suppose theosophy is an evolutionary step in the conundrum of religious perspective- an attempt to discern Truth with a capital T and to insure one has considered all alternatives before one dies, ha.

Whatever. Which hub has turned you into a prostitute? I will be happy to stop by your house of ill repute and discover something new.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 06, 2014:

My goodness. I read your penultimate comment last night on my Smartphone, and although it is possible to reply and send messages, I find it difficult and somewhat tedious.

But having reread it just now, it explains why I dreamt of permafrost and of slipping and sliding on frozen mud.

I thought that I had eaten something nasty before retiring, but now I understand.

I have considered delving into Blavastsky, of whom I have heard nothing in my sheltered little life, but your description of her as being anti-Semitic was enough to make me realise that I would not enjoy the rancid things she has to say, nor understand them, in all probability.

Mondian. yes. Gimme squares and things, and I'm a happy man... I suppose we are talking about the same chap, but if not, excuse my ignorance.

I'm in the middle of trying to tart up one of my hubs. It happens to be one of the best things I hav e written and I was dismayed to find it floundering at the bottom of my list of hubs. I'm going to whack on a few nice pictures and hope that the HubPages staff and everybody else is attracted by coloured beads and shiny objects.

Hey ho! Ever the prostitute... or ever willing to prostitute my art.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 06, 2014:

Twilight Lawns, in an effort to justify my attempt at humor above-- reminding you that I am struggling to regain the virtue, having rediscovered it within this hub-- I would like to point out that my interest in theosophy is based upon the combination of theology and philosophy.

It is in no way- I repeat no way- connected to the horrific trickery imposed upon the world by Blavatsky in her dualistic, anti-Semitic Theosophical Society. Please forgive any distress such unclassified implications may have caused.

I adore theosophy in a bottom-line sense, sketched by arthistoryunstuffed.com upon biographying Mondrian:

"Theosophy attempted to explain why neither science nor religion could provide the answers to life’s mysteries."

I hope you are able to sleep better tonight.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 05, 2014:

Twi, the river trip sounds snakes- will it include religious bits? I do adore theosophy.

For the moment I cannot relate to water as liquid. I have returned from a most edifying journey into frigidity, accompanied by my gurus Finnegan Dun Dagen and Baxter of Thor, during which time I reflected on the implications of snow sand. Were you aware that mud does not manifest in such circumstances?

Miracles abound.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 05, 2014:

Your humour and writing expertise was judged and not found wanting.

Thanks for starting out my day with a smile.


By the way, Twilight Lawns has shrunk, as you wrote, to Twi. Soon it will be just two letters and I will be able to write a best selling novel concerning my being adrift on a rowing boat with the, eventual, sole companionship of a Bengal Tiger called Richard Parker.

But in my case it will most probably be a rowing boat on the Serpentine, Hyde Park, in the company of a South Kensington Matron; the redoubtable, Oleanda, Dowager Countess of Asti-Piedmontese-Tagliatelle-al-Forno.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 04, 2014:

Dear Twi, Such a relief to discover though my humor was lost, our friendship fared better. Sadly, I tend to topple in the months of May, June, July and August, none of which have Rs other than Rest and Relaxation which never apply to me. Please reconsider.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 04, 2014:

My dearest Storytellersrus, what a deliciously deranged comment.

I was beginning to despair that the whole world, or at least the part with which I have been rubbing shoulders shoulders recently, had become far too sane. I am heartened to discover that you have avoided even the semblance of such.

Lovely to hear from you again, and if you ever find that something has been unavoidedly (Is there such a word? If not, there jolly well should be.) misplaced, then please don't hesitate to look for it here, or at least call on me to assist.

And if there is an R in the month, I will certainly drag out what kind bones I have and rush to your succour.

(Please note: My kind bones have hardly ever been used, so I should imagine they could do with, at least, a temporary airing.)

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on February 04, 2014:

Hello Twi- may I be familiar? Revisiting this hub, I find my sense of humor within paragraph 4 of the second part, beneath frills and harumphs. I have been in a sour mood for quite some time and would have appreciated a bit of a hint as to its whereabouts, thank you very much.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on February 04, 2014:

Wow! Thank you, Ann. I am grateful for the attention, and charmed and smiling all over my face as a result.

That is some accolade!

Ann Carr from SW England on February 04, 2014:

You keep us in suspense well with your fabulous atmosphere of breeding and refinement; one can hear the murmuring conversations and planning of clandestine trysts.

It made me smile throughout; clever writing and a clever idea. Completely different from any other hub I've read. Ann

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on September 05, 2013:

Svetlana, you certainly do have a head well stuck on you shoulders... or to put it anther way, You do talk a lot of sense.

Whether we are Hubbers or HPagers or even HPagists, I hope we will always be in contact; one way or another.

You are one of the most interesting and talented persons I have ever met.

I really liked the link you sent me. Great fun. And those Vikings... covered in blood at almost every stage. I loved them.

Hoping all is going well in your life as a whole and that you are happy.

Fondest regards,


kallini2010 from Toronto, Canada on September 05, 2013:

Dear Ian

I think we all had "The Hurt Pride" marathon in our lives, with only difference that there is no end point. We continue to trudge regardless... (or as the fashion of ignorance puts it "regardless")

I've had that, too, but I just got over it and that is why I left HP. Admit it, HP is not for fiction or poetry, it is a "HOW TO" without even "WHAT FOR".

But I have to tell you that the exposure on HP

(there is an idea: what about instead of calling us "hubbers", they modify it to "HPagers or HPagists"?)

so, after the emotional exposure (if not downright striptease), I felt more comfortable sharing my work with real time audience. Any criticism and I'll just move on to the next idea. It's not the idea was bad (or a disaster), it was something else. I accepted it even without definition.

What I thought was funny, people did not funny at all, what I thought was not funny at all, they found hilarious. But I still wrote the way I write.

I am talking about the Laughing Like Crazy Show. It was quite a success.

And coming back, to the fundamental question of audience (by whom you measure success or failure), I took to heart this statement


“The Audience. Soon after you confront the matter of preserving your identity, another question will occur to you: “Who am I writing for?”

It’s a fundamental question, and it has a fundamental answer: You are writing for yourself. Don’t try to visualize the great mass audience. There is no such audience – every reader is a different person.”

William Zinsser “On Writing Well”


If you like to write, write.

I hope that brightens your day!

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on September 05, 2013:

And thank you for "the best answer". That made my day. I also received one from another Hubber (I still hate that term) the other day, so it soothed my hurt pride that so few people really bother to read my hubs.

I loved writing the above, as you would no doubt realise. It is so pretentious and words and unutterable affected, but it was so much fun.

I'm glad you found it and I hope you enjoyed reading it.

Take care of yourself, and enjoy those select dinner parties. i would love to join you there.

With great respect and fondness,


kallini2010 from Toronto, Canada on September 04, 2013:

I would be more upset if Caroline or rather Some Who Butts In would have asked me to help cooking and setting the table. I certainly don't belong there, maybe because I have a dishwasher, an old one or shall I say "vintage"?

Never mind my grammer, por favor.

I loved your response to my odd little question - I have a grammEr and, especially pronunciation police at home and it drives me nuts - if it was up to me, I would abolish all emphasis (pl. ?)

Of course, it might lead to some confusion, but wouldn't we be able to tell by context?

For example, "to write" and "to pee" has the same spelling, but different emphasis (naturally!) and they differ as they go from one case to another.

But it is not very exciting. I have listened to two linguistic courses by John McWhorter and it was absolutely fascinating! I wish you could listen to it, too. Both are video courses and I was able to rent it from the library. He also wrote a few books and one of them "Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue. The Untold Story of English."

I look at the language differently now and that lovely fact puts me in yet another minority. As in "What are you talking about?"

My little dinner parties now include me and the best professors and it is all one on one. And I call the shots when to let "the talking head" talk and when to switch it off.

Funny, but since I left HubPages, I have learned so much!

Thanks again for making me laugh today!!!

P.S. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gwJHuEa9Jc

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on June 13, 2013:

Very aristocratic, my good man.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on June 13, 2013:

Cough! Cough!

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on June 13, 2013:

High praise indeed. I will sleep well despite the ever growing billow of smoke permeating my existence.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on June 13, 2013:

Oh my goodness.

One feels as if one is not the only one in the asylum.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on June 13, 2013:

TL, This one's for you... took me all day, by God, hope you like it or at minimum, tolerate it!


Barbara from Stepping past clutter on June 13, 2013:

LOL, TL. Do not take that comment too seriously beyond the smoke inhalation. You inspire me to dish it right back.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on June 13, 2013:

Thank you for the visit. I think you would realise that this was an exercise in a deliberate plethora of adjectives and adverbs to convey a somewhat shallow and pretentious group of people. I loved writing itand somewhat revel in Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh, my own personal bête noire .

I love her so much... or maybe I should have pointed out that I love to hate her so much.

Take care of those fires and try not to breathe too deeply!

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on June 13, 2013:

Once again the sun struggled to break dawn a smoke filled horizon in the wildfire land called Colorado, but I had ewe to muster me with a fortitude known only by the stalwart likes of Madame Pommes Frites herself, destined to suffer the washing. For some walk while others talk, but in the end the scrub'n must be done. Sigh that it is.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on June 11, 2013:

Pearldiver, I am always pleased to see you. You were my first follower, but apart from that, I admire your literary talents so much.

Rob Welsh from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time. on June 11, 2013:

Oh Wow... Ian, I feel suitably served! :) I am so pleased that I was able to deflect all direct glances, in support of 'mucking in,' off my well positioned paper plate! Nicely done my friend... you take care... PD

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on April 24, 2013:

A brilliantly clever bit of writing, my dear friend.

I have read it several times already and am still snuffling appreciatively over your double entendres. (Is that the expression?)

Texas Bumpkin, my eye! You were ever the word master... mistress.

Many hugs,


Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 23, 2013:

My darling Ian, I beg to assure you that taking into my body of ANYTHING which summons the need of a stomach pump afterwards convinces me to avoid 'the ANYTHING' so requiring, and to simply let the nasty medical equipment languish!! I've never had the need of one and at this age, hope never to need one!

Perhaps Seto's Aunt and I can gracefully become engrossed together in discussion of Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh's magnificent room appointments and His Grace's excellent taste in the selection of lovely music wafting through the apartment, as we discreetly nibble the provided tidbits and wash them down with some of the Perrier he's also made available. Don't you think that would work?

The sad truth is that my culinary adventuresomeness has atrophied considerably since the last time we visited The French Quarter in New Orleans, where I did relish the alligator hors d'oeuvre and incredibly delicious escargots bordelaise washed down with a potent sazarac which would mask (or obliterate) the before-dread and the aftertaste of even the most hideous Kopi Luwak ever to be served by our otherwise splendid hosts!

I would think it shouldn't surprise or alarm you that I mustered adequate language to mention the origin of the beverage in question from the vicinity of the civet you'd indicated, and that I did so in the most ladylike manner I could summon! I was left wondering that it would have ever come up - - or gone down - - oh, - or wherever!

How I dislike disappointing you, my dear. But you must have realized going in, that a simple Texas bumpkin is a simple Texas bumpkin to the very bitter end - er -or wherever. . . . ! . . . (For just a moment I thought you referred to my words when you mentioned to Acaetnna ". . . the 'dreadful words' uttered by that Beast from Hell . . ." before I realized you'd never 'do such of a do'!)


Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on April 21, 2013:

Acaetnna, thank you so much for the visit. I always love it when you turn up, my very romantic and lovely friend.

I hope the "dreadful words" uttered by that Beast from Hell didn't horrify you as much as they did me.

By the way, I hope the weather was as lovely in Guildford yesterday as it was in London SW16. It was glorious here, and a perfect day for the London Marathon today.

Those poor, poor people in Boston, how my heart goes out to them. What a cruel and unnecessary act.

Take care,


Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on April 21, 2013:

Silver Genes, I thank you for the visit, and loved your comment.

However, and I stress the HOWEVER, one looked and looked and regardless of looking one could not find a Better Class of Civet. One supposes that one just doesn't mix with, or go to the places frequented by Our Sort of Civet. Every one that one was introduced to appeared to be extremely common.

But then one saw the light at the end of the tunnel (if you'll excuse the pun) and one realised that, whether one believes the old adage or not, it may be possible to draw sweet water from a foul well.

Or coffee from a... What was that word Nellieanna used? One has never had cause to use it, and one doesn't aim to even try.

acaetnna from Guildford on April 21, 2013:

This was such a brilliant read, fantastically written and a real gem . What fun, I was enthralled trying to imagine what those dreadful words might have been! Another of your brilliant pieces of writing and I was completely lost in your words and captivated until the end. Voting up of course and pressing your buttons too!

SilverGenes on April 20, 2013:

What a dreadful experience! It gives one pause to wonder if the sticky Petits Fours had been chosen for this very purpose. How fortunate that Mrs. Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh had the good grace to remain conscious and rescue the situation. Never mind. The evening ended well enough with a beverage more suited to the company, though one would think they might employ a better class of civet.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on April 20, 2013:

Nellieanna, my friend, you are cordially invited to attend in Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh's private apartments when Fr Hayastan and His Grace, Archbishop Setrag will be entertaining and education that dear lady by sampling a collation of the more interesting and heretofore unexplored bodily parts of the inhabitants of the animal kingdom.

Coffee and tidbits to be served at five of the clock.

I would love you to meet my dear friend Seto, an Acolyte (and also close relation) of the Archbishop. He will have, in tow, his Aunt, who I am sorry to say, was given by him a beautiful and, let us here admit, expensive bag of Kopi Luwak grounds which she seemed loathe to even taste.

One hopes, Dear Nellieanna, that by your good and adventurous example, she may be persuaded to enrich her life with a few more interesting culinary experiences.


Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 19, 2013:

Must have been the green Chartreuse. The yellow surely wouldn't have caused it, methinks.

I look forward to witnessing Mrs. P-F's introduction to Kopi Luwak, so long as I'm not asked to sample it!

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on April 19, 2013:

What is the matter with Hub Pages. i posted this above ages ago and it has now appeared.

Hey ho! There was obviously too much Armagnac in those yellow Petits Fours.... or was it the Chartreuse Verte in the pudding?

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on April 19, 2013:

Dearest NeiineAnna,

Thank you for the visit.

I know that hyperbole and a superfluity and unnecessary use of adjectives in frowned upon in the best (writing) circles, but at dinner parties, one is permitted to be effusive in the extreme, and Mrs Beste-Holme wouldn't have noticed that anything had possibly gone awry, until it was pointed out to her (albeit sotto voce, and in the most compassionate manner) but Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh, that she not only didn’t have any servants but that it is definitely not done to try to overcome the dearth of such chaps by turning to the wanted ads of the local papers to acquire hired help for the evening. Foreign chaps or not!

Let one be assured that in the Best of All Possible Worlds, one’s minor AND major peccadilloes are just there to be found out.

Retribution will surely occur.

Here endeth the First Lesson.

Please turn to Hymn 43 in your hymn book - ‘The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended’

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on April 19, 2013:

When my next amazingly well written e-book is released (if I ever finish it, which is quite unlikely) you will be able to read of the evening Father Hayastan, the Private and Personal Secretary to His Grace, Setrag, Armenian Archbishop introduces Mrs P-F to Kopi Luwak.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 19, 2013:

Well, whatever 'beans' might emerge from any orifice of any kind of civet anyWHERE, are sub-common, to my way of thinking! ugh and sub-ugh!

Being served any excretions from any animal would horrify me!

I'm dubious about perfumes laced with civet juices!


Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on April 19, 2013:

The Common Civet, if I may remind you, Nellieanna.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on April 19, 2013:

The Common Civet, if I may remind you, Nellieanna.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 19, 2013:

Oh, no! Thank you, Silent Reed! I'd bought into the coffee! But beans from the external most distant regions of a civet???? Oh, no. Now I'm starting to feel faint and nauseous!

I was so overly trusting of our Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh - (and our dear Ian) - to seek only something imbibable! (is that a proper word? haha)

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 19, 2013:

Oh, how I love "postprandial lethargy"!! It's outdone only by being 'gazed at. . . venomously'!

It all reminds me somehow of Matthew's mother, Mrs. Crawley, or Cora's mother, Mrs. Levinson from America, each defying poor Cousin Violet's elegant manners and traditions at every possible turn! At least Mrs. Crawley maintains some veneer of proper English upbringing in delivering her 'downers', though.

The final coup de grâce delivered by your always-on-top-of-it Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh truly saves the day; while the coffee elsewhere saves the spirits, I'm sure!

Well done! "Capital, capital" - (she adds, reintroducing tawdry tackiness back into the scene)!

What fun, Ian, - to once again brush paths with your marvelous henhouse of funny characters!! Thank you, my darling! :-)

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on April 19, 2013:

I'm sure she would love to come to tea, as you appear to be the Right Sort of Person, Nikkij, but don't worry. She always has the odd servant hanging about just in case they are needed for the more disgusting things in life.

I believe that when Raj drives her to anywhere in which there might arise a problem, that Sharon is on hand. Raj says that she keep Sharon in the boot (trunk) of the Daimler when they are Out and About.

Beautiful Garbage from Louisiana on April 19, 2013:

Haha yes, very tongue in cheek. I would ask her to tea, but I'm afraid she just wouldn't help me with the washing of the dishes!

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on April 19, 2013:

My dear friend, Silent Reed,I am aware of the "background" of Kopi Luwak, as my dear friend Mrs Hilda Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh only drinks that type of coffee since being introduced to it by His Grace, Setrag, Armenian Archbishop of Highbury and Islington, when he stayed at Twilight Lawns, Retirement Home for the Better Sort of Person, in Norbury-sur-Mer.

Dear Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh was horrified when she was informed that the beans, prior to roasting, had appeared from the arse of the Common Civet... I think it was the proper adjective that distressed her, but when she was informed that it was the most expensive coffee in the world, the preferred of Our Sort of People, she asked for another cup.

Please don't distress yourself concerning your domestic duties. This will be our little secret.

And yes, there are one or two other little things that distress me. I feel I must put pen to paper concerning them... but perhaps with less hyperbole in the adjectival content. (Whatever that may mean)

SilentReed from Philippines on April 18, 2013:

The exquisite use of the English language in this literary work held me enthralled. Although I must confess having to look up the unfamiliar French words that is de rigueur in polite society and unfamiliar to one living in the boondocks. I do the washing up all the time when my wife feel faint, which is mostly after meals. Years of docile domicile indoctrination have simply wash away the horrors that you speak of.

The title did say "some". Will you be hosting or rather foisting another sumptuous tale of cultured histrionics for our cerebral trepidation? Please omit the kopi Luwak, it may be considered the most expensive but do you really want coffee beans sh*t by a civet? I'll have the instant, si'l vous plait. Thanks for the tongue in cheek humor. ;) It was delectably served.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on April 18, 2013:

That was the only thing that saved me, Linda. A good, stout wall of adjectives and adverbs to lean my tired back against, and of course, Breeding, my dear, Breeding.

After all, one of English and...

Oops! I forgot, I'm a Paki, but the Raj put me in good stead.

Standards (He says, changing horses in mid stream) Standards, my dear, standards.

Linda Rawlinson from Lancaster, UK on April 18, 2013:

Cor, you're on a roll with your adjectives today, eh?

How are you? Have you recovered from this horrific experience yet? And Mrs P-F? Truly traumatic for you - I feel the horror, feel it deep within my bosom. I can't imagine how you maintained your self-control in the face of such bad breeding.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on April 18, 2013:

'Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin' or 'Help the Hostess Clean Up or Misfortune Will Befall You.'

My dear friend I almost swallowed my tongue I was laughing so much at your quoting that which was written and also your lovely translation of it's meaning. Of course it all fits into place now, doesn't it?

Until now it was all Dutch to me, as they say. That was the language in question, wasn't it?

And your preamble was delicious.

Mrs P-F has asked me to let you know that she and I would like to formally invite you to a little soiree she has planned; date to be announced.

As the dear lady says, "You are obviously our sort of person."

drbj and sherry from south Florida on April 18, 2013:

So happy I found you, Ian. This elegant, erudite, somewhat esoteric and perhaps eclectic recitation of your horrific, horrendous dinner party experience has shocked me to the core. Words fail me. (That would be a first!)

But I do sympathize with you completely and fully understand the panic and dismay you must have endured. Guess we finally know what those words on the wall meant: 'Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin' or 'Help the Hostess Clean Up or Misfortune Will Befall You.'

Thanks for the fun and give my best to Mrs. P-F.

Twilight Lawns (author) from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. on April 18, 2013:

Nikki, you are lovely. Thank you very much. I think I crammed every adjective and adverb I could muster into this little piece... glad you liked it... and glad you could see that it was all very tongue in cheek.

By the way, Mrs Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh says she has missed you too, and sends her fondest regards.


Beautiful Garbage from Louisiana on April 18, 2013:

Your writing style and usage of words and a very well established vocabulary really kept me interested in this story, even when I found out the most horrible words ever heard were, How about helping with the wash? lol

and I have missed Mrs. Hilda Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh

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