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Tony Grist

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Water. Deep, Dark Water [May. 13th, 2004|10:08 am]
Tony Grist

Looking at pix of mokie 's pond starts me remembering. Like how there was this pond in the next door neighbour's garden when I was a kid with lilypads and weed and these big old carp who would come gliding up from the depths and blow kisses at the surface and how that was somehow exciting and scary- like being visited by ghosts. Also- in season- there was frogspawn and frogs to go with it. And me and my sis would heave huge helpings of that stringy jelly  into buckets and keep it in the back yard and watch for the tadpoles to hatch.

That would be illegal now. I remember seeing a pair of mating frogs and the lady next door said that the little one was strangling the bigger one, so I got a stick and prised them apart and- boy was I pleased with myself- good deed for the day-  helas!

That pond got into my dreams. The carp were bigger in the dreams. Then they morphed into plesiosaurs.

The lady next door was called Mrs Soundy. Her sister had been Thomas Hardy's second wife. She'd sometimes discuss Hardy with my parents, but of course I wasn't paying much attention. What I remember are stories she told about water. About how she'd skated on frozen ponds when she was a girl in Canada and how her husband had floated a raft on a flooded shell hole during the first world war so  he and his mates could go "fishing for dead boches". I think there was a photo to go with that particular memory. And moments after it was taken, she said, the raft tipped up and they all fell in.

Down into an icy darkness full of dead boches. Such horror. I was a kid who scared easy.

And Mrs Soundy's son was a wireless operator on the Queen Mary. He'd bring back magic stuff from New York- stockings and packets of instant chocolate pudding and copies of Life magazine. This was post-war Britain and we were hungry for anything with a bit of colour. And one time he brought back an American wife. She wore heavy make-up and talked Brooklynese and was altogether a bit too colourful for his mother and my parents.

But I thought she was grand...

 

 

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Comments:
From: flapperjane
2004-05-13 05:22 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this entry. So full of colour and life - and nostalgia. Fabulous ending too...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-05-14 01:41 am (UTC)
Thank you. :-)
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[User Picture]From: besideserato
2004-05-14 07:24 pm (UTC)
You! Fancy finding you here. How are you doing, love? I miss you! I wrote you a letter and lost it somewhere. I shall send it when I finish unpacking. Email me sometime, okay?
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From: flapperjane
2004-05-15 08:31 pm (UTC)
mon dieu!

how are you luv? so happy to meet up with you here!

lets write eachother. ill email you too!

isnt poliphilo the bees knees?

we've known eachother since 2001!
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[User Picture]From: besideserato
2004-05-15 09:44 pm (UTC)
Such a delight, always such good taste in literature, you had, dearest. I have been fortunate to find poliphilo, and I must say, your journal is a delight to read. And the latest cyber-soiree to boot, aparently!

flapperjane: send me your snail mail address that I may finally mail your things. I have postcards for you that I wrote in Sweden, postcards from Hawaii and letters. The more I unpack, the more I discover. No wonder you never said anything about them--I never mailed them!

Silly girl I am.
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[User Picture]From: besideserato
2004-05-14 07:22 pm (UTC)
You paint such lively, lovely pictures with your words!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-05-15 01:34 am (UTC)
That's kind of you. I've had a quick glance at your site and I see you're writing a novel. Me too. Mine is an adventure story set in the mid-fifteenth century. It makes me happy...

You and Flapperjane know one another from of old? It's lovely you should meet up here.
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[User Picture]From: besideserato
2004-05-15 09:51 pm (UTC)
You are very talented, I cannot wait to see how the novel progresses. Perhaps you and I can offer each other some critique. Such things are always welcome. It's always so nice to find someone who enjoys doing the things one does.

That is actually how I met flapperjane, her diaries were powerful and lovely. She had a site called The Labyrinth when I first met her, and no wonder, you could really get lost in her and not notice how fast the time flew. We have both taken several breaks from the online world, but we keep finding each other.

It's nice to know cyberspace is that infinite and that small all at once. It was a pleasure meeting you. I eagerly await giving your entire journal a good browse.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-05-16 01:38 am (UTC)
A bit of critiquing would be good. This current novel is the sequel to an earlier one that I'm in the process of trying to sell. I'm new to this novel-writing business. I've written poetry and non-fiction all my life and then- round about the time of the millennium- a friend challenged me to collaborate with her on a novel. That project never got beyond the first two chapters, but it was enough to get me hooked and I've been scribbling away ever since. This current novel is number 5.

One of the things I mean to do today is take a proper look at your site.
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[User Picture]From: besideserato
2004-05-16 01:44 am (UTC)
Wow, you are well on your way, then. I should like to give them a read sometime. Perhaps you can give my own a browse.

Let me know what you think of the site. You might have more fun if you go to my diary, because it is so much older than my journal.

You will find the LJ is the Cliff's Notes in more ways than one.
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