Saturday, 12 April 2014

J is for Aunty Jessie pudding

Aunty Jessie pudding.
J is a Jolly letter, J is jubilant and joyful, justified and jocular. J is jelly in Australia and jello in the USA and just jam in Australia and Jelly in the USA unless it is about music then it is Jam everywhere. I digress, what, I hear you ask even if you didn't, is Aunty Jessie pudding for goodness sake? Well what it is now and what it was once upon a time are two entirely different thing but the essence is just as delicious no matter the ingredients. Here it is in its prior to RHYPIBOMO stage. Thank goodness I am learning from the professionals. :)

Aunty Jessie Pudding

Aunty Jessie lived on a farm
Her cows gave milk creamy and warm
The berries grew ripe and were made into jam.
“I’ll have to make extra bread today, the nieces and nephews are coming to stay.”
She stoked her wood fire, blazing and hot
And kneaded the dough for an hour
She dusted her hands on her pretty blue apron
And sneezed in a cloud of white flour.
Nieces and nephews climbed from the carts
With dozens of children in tow
Cousins galore ran for the door
All of them eager to know.
“Have you made some?”
“Is it ready?”
“Hello Aunty Jessie.”
“May I have two pieces this time?”
Aunty Jessie smiled at the children then made them form a line.

Cousins grew as they do
They all moved far and wide
They came together one last time when Aunty Jessie died.
In her pudding her memory lives on even to this day
For fifty years later though she is long gone
The children’s children say
“Have you made some?”
“Is it ready?”
“Just like Aunt Jessie?”
“May I have two pieces this time?”

It’s not the same.” Grumbles old Uncle Bob as he eats his piece by the heater.
“She made it fresh with her very own hands, the bread, the cream and the rich berry jam.
None of it came from a supermarket and all of it was real.
 My Aunty Jessie made the best Jessie pudding, I’d eat it for every meal.”
“Which Aunty Jessie.” Asks young Lily
“How was it different?” said  Jane
“The first Aunty Jessie when Bob was a boy made it all by herself
when bread was hard work, fires were hot and making jam was messy.
I’d rather go to the supermarket than work as hard as Jessie. “

The children of cousins keep in touch and talk about childhood things.
They didn’t know the others knew
Of Aunty Jessie pudding too.
For all of them, a favourite treat
A very special thing to eat
In all it’s very different ways
Around the world on chilly days
There are children who still say.
“Have you made some?”
“Is it ready?”
“Just like Aunt Jessie?”
“Can I have two pieces today?”

Okay well I wrote two flash fiction pieces today. One for the 38 week challenge which this week is Keepsakes as the theme.

Week 6 Keepsake 38 week challenge wc 508 Cecilia Clark
Louise blew a huge breath through her teeth and set her shoulders
straight. She knew she was due inside in a few minutes but the challenge
was so hard. The neat green grass of the tiny front yard provided a
delicate façade for the neighbours. Freshly painted picket edged the
pocket sized lawn. Louise felt her shoulders slump again and could not
muster the energy to lift them. The key was in the usual place under the
third ceramic snail on the precisely edged garden bed under the window.
“I’m here.” Louise tried not to grunt as she made her way laboriously
toward the kitchen.
“I’ve made tea dear and your favourite cake.”
“I’ll- be- right- there.” Louise struggled to progress down the hall; the sense
of claustrophobia gripped her as it always did.
“Oh there you are dear, take a seat.” Louise stared at her mother for a
moment then looked around the room. She squeezed into the ornate chair
by the table. The porcelain teapot clinked against the matching cup. An
antique silver tea spoon nestled in the saucer. “I put out the best when I
knew you were coming. I remember how much you like it.”
“Mother I mentioned once when I was ten that I thought it was pretty.”
“Yes and I remember. You always did like the finer things in life. Except
when you went through that Goth stage or was it Emu?”
“Emo, it was Emo and I, oh never mind.” Louise cautiously sipped the hot
liquid. It was tea this time. No milk and she would not attempt the sugar,
there was no way of knowing for sure. “the only time I drink black tea is
“That is sensible dear, black tea is good for you. I read that once in one of
my romances, you can learn everything from a romance you know. I’ll just
find it for you and you can read it.”
Louise listened to her mother rummage through her books for the one with
that reference. Louise had no doubt she would find it. She just wasn’t sure
how long it would take. “Don’t worry about it for Pete’s sake. I don’t need
one of your damnable romance novels.” There was a pained edge to the
words that Louise could not suppress.
“It’ll only take me a moment.” The muffled response was followed by a yelp
then the susurration of an imminent avalanche. The crashing and thumps
went on for minutes that felt like hours as Louise desperately climbed out
of the kitchen.
What was left of an alleyway between piles of books led to the cave-in.
Louise lifted magazines dating back half a century, frantically digging.
Louise found a hand clutching a paperback novel. Lifting one more book
revealed a bloodied face.
“I can’t get you out Mother. I can’t carry you over all this junk.” Louise
sobbed. Her mother lifted a shaking hand caressing her cheek.
“It’s not junk dear, it is all my precious memories. Every piece is a
keepsake of your life.”

and the other for Mid Week Blues Busters 2.4  I went over the slushy 500 with this and it was prompted by the tune 'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas'  --->

“Oh this is so exciting.” She squealed and spun around on the seat trying to see every glitzy sight.
He grinned at her naïve enthusiasm and admired the way the sequins caught the lights across her curves. She would be a breath of fresh air in this foetid place; for a little while anyway.
“It’s so pretty and bright. Is it always this bright?” she swung her fresh face around to him for only a moment, her eyes sparkling, cheeks flushed with her enthusiasm. He felt something ancient shift inside and groaned. How young is this girl?
“All night, every night, the city never sleeps.” She turned and sat in her seat properly and he was reminded of a long forgotten memory of – no he wouldn’t take that road. I must be getting old; I am off my game tonight.
“Oh I thought that was just a slogan.” He smiled a world weary lift of the lips in response to her country girl sunshine.
“Why did you agree to Las Vegas?” The thought had bothered him so he asked it outright but he wasn’t expecting the flicker of doubt on her face. It was gone faster than lightning in a summer storm but he had seen it.
“Oh you know, just to see the place and see if all the stories are true. I’m too young to gamble but I would love to see the tables. Do you think you could get me in there, just to see? Please?” She had clasped her hands together, leaned forward and was pleading with her bottom lip pouting and her chin a quiver.
“If you look like that you will be barred entry before you even walk through, security will send you to a creche.”
“It was worth a try. You’re the manager surely you can bend the rules a bit?”
“Not if I want to keep my licence I won’t. You will walk through on the way to the green room, you’ll see plenty enough then. Look why are you really here? You are the world’s most popular young singer right now and could go anywhere in the world, why here? It’s all a façade, fake, a giant neon crusted ball of glamour that can’t really hide the other side.” He didn’t know why he was saying this, it was his job to promote the fantasy not tear it down but something in those clear bright eyes was messing with his hard built crust. “Look down not up, once the light fades out of your retinas you’ll see the whores and the homeless. You can’t see them with glitter in your eyes. A sweet young thing like you should be anywhere than here.” She studied him and he found himself squirming under that direct calculating gaze. She seemed to come to a decision.
“I want to find my father. Last known whereabouts was your casino.”
“Your father? That could be any one of thousands of …when was he here?”
“Fifteen years ago, give or take a few years. He drove down in an old de Ville. I have a photo.” She reached into the tote bag that matched her sequined dress. He had lost his enthusiasm for the too young curves. She pulled out a faded photograph. “My mother is still living back there in Tennessee. She never remarried and she never lost hope he would come back some day.” She held the photo like a talisman. She lifted her chin with a touch of defiance. “I am not stupid you know,” her excitement had dimmed and she looked lost, “I think the demons under all the lights got him and he can’t go back. I just want to know for sure.” Her voice had faded to a whisper and she was looking at everyone on the street, her eyes rapid scanning, the photo clutched to her chest.
He cleared his throat, sat up and adjusted his tie and cuffs. A bright casino owner entrepreneur smile lit up his face. You don’t stay on top in this place by looking down a well.
“Right then, let’s schedule a tour for your first break in the show and in the meantime I will have some people make a thorough search for you. Can’t have my star attraction wandering the streets by day, it is much safer to wander at night.” He chuckled at his own joke and was pleased to see her smile. “There that’s better, now chin up, are you ready for the cameras? Good girl, let’s give them a show.” He stepped out of the car and bent to offer her a hand. She stepped out all long legs and sequins to a barrage of flashing cameras and screaming fans.
“Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas.”

Just a bit more art today 
 I am trying out some different things from a book on how to draw things so the idea for this one is not mine but I made changes that made it more my style. I used pencils. I am thinking this one needs some fine liner outlines.
 another one from the same book of ideas but still I changed it and the practice is good. The book deals with using geometric shapes to outline a drawing. Something I did a long time ago but needed to revisit.

The mermaid is all mine. I like her but I think I will try the same picture with water colour and see how that goes. I need much more contrast in the light and shadows.

Tomorrow is a great big intense writing day for camp nanowrimo so I am going to do some intense word catch up for my book.