Category Archives: Mumpty Fiction

The story of the china doll

The story of the china doll …

In 2015, for the first time ever, I entered a writing competition! It was something I’d always thought about doing, but never actually done – so I did it!   Although I didn’t get anywhere, I still kinda like my story and it made me, my sister and my Mum cry  –  so I feel like there must be something to it.  Anyway … the theme was Hero and it was only allowed to be 2,500 words.  I had about three months to write it in, and I wrote it about five days out from the deadline in about two hours.  Silly.  But see what you think …

Since then I have entered twice more and plan to keep entering, because it’s fun writing to a theme and writing is my happy place.  Anyway – I’m re-posting this because something I saw yesterday reminded me of it.  I hope you enjoy.


The story of the china doll …

When I was thirteen, it made me sad. When I was fourteen, it made me angry. From about sixteen onwards, I just ceased to care. Looking back, that seems incredibly callus, but I guess that’s what you’re like when you’re young, right? It’s all about you.

Imogen was my sister – is my sister – for a while we weren’t close, but you’ll find out about that soon. Mum says when we were little we played together all the time, even though Imogen was five years older than me. I don’t remember playing with her to be honest – I wish I did –we’ve lost enough time already. Mum said our favourite game was to dress up and pretend to be famous ballerinas. Normal childhood stuff for a couple of sisters I suppose – it’s just that when we’d grown up, only one of us could be a ballerina, and that was me. You need legs to be a ballerina …

Black Swan
Black Swan image via Pinterest

When I was thirteen and Imogen was eighteen, she didn’t have much time for me. I was still obsessed with ballet and she was “grown up” – or so she said. She never seemed that grown up to me, in fact most of the time she seemed far from it, but I had my life to lead, full of gymnastics and ballet exams and she had hers – full of boys and phone calls to her friends. I was angry with her for giving up dancing though – that was the one thing I admired her for – she was a really, really good dancer. I used to love it when my class finished and I could rush downstairs to her studio and watch her teaching her troupe. She was graceful, beautiful and happy, and at those times, I was proud of my sister.

But then Imogen met Ben and that’s when we grew apart. Ben was scruffy and rude and smelt of cigarettes. I hated him; Imogen loved him. Mum and Dad hated him too – they were always pleading with Imogen to stop seeing him and to find a boyfriend who was interested in her life and who treated her well. Like all parents I guess, they wanted him to treat Imogen like a princess; Imogen seemed happy with far less.   Inevitably I suppose, Mum and Dad banned him from the house and Imogen of course, moved out. That was the last I saw of her for nearly a year.

For the first few weeks, Mum and Dad just carried on as normal, but I could tell they were worried. Mum jumped every time the phone rung and I’d catch Dad constantly watching the driveway, both of them expecting her to realise how stupid she’d been and to come home. But she never did.

It was five months before they finally found her; holed up in a grotty, damp little house in Auckland where she and Ben lived with six other losers. Mum and Dad were horrified to see how she was living, but even more so, they were horrified at how much she’d changed. Imogen was a beautiful girl when she left – raven-haired with green eyes and a lithe dancer’s body, she had a fresh, wholesome look. With her pale, alabaster skin, she was always being told she looked like a china doll. Now, Mum said with tears rolling down her face, she was skinny to the point of emaciation, her hair was dirty and dull and her skin had broken out. Mum said she just wanted Dad to pick her up, put her in the car and take her home with them. Despite Mum and Dad’s pleading though, Imogen wouldn’t leave and told them to go away and never contact her again. Dad tried to talk to Ben about it, but I don’t imagine that conversation went well. Actually, if I’d been able to speak to Imogen at that time, I probably would have told her how disgusted I was with her and how sad and upset she was making Mum and Dad. If you ask me, she was just downright selfish and stupid, and I didn’t miss her at all. But I know Mum and Dad did.

Life carried on, as usual, for another seven months – Mum and Dad still tried desperately to stay in touch with Imogen and they made several trips to Auckland to see her. The last time they went though, Imogen and Ben had gone and their flat mates didn’t know where to – or so they said. One of them though – Julie I think her name was – told Mum that Imogen needed help; Ben was abusive and they were both addicted to meth, which was basically Mum and Dad’s worst fears realised in one hit.

Not long after that, the phone call came. That awful phone call in the dead of night that every parent dreads. It was the hospital – Imogen had been in a serious car accident and was not expected to make it through till morning. It turned out she’d come home that evening and found Ben comatose on the bed with a needle sticking out of his arm. Panicked, she and her flat mate had put him in the car and Imogen had been driving him to the hospital when she lost control and veered across the lanes, hitting the median barrier hard and rolling the car. Ben was dead and Imogen was seriously injured. The really sad thing, the doctors said, was that Ben was dead long before she hit the median barrier; her frantic dash to the hospital was already in vain. Why didn’t she just call an ambulance you ask? Apparently drug-addled brains don’t work that way.

Imogen did make it through that first night – barely. And she made it through the next few touch-and-go nights as well. She lost both her legs below the knee though and has a big, jagged scar that goes from the bottom of her chin, across her cheek and stops just under her right eye. She says she’s more like a china doll now than she used to be, except this china doll has lost its legs and has a crack across its face. She says flaws can be beautiful though and now I think she’s right. Back then I wasn’t so sure.

Life was pretty dark for Imogen in those first few months, as you would expect. Mum moved to Auckland to be close to her when she left the hospital and went to the rehab centre. Dad and I stayed home in Cambridge and tried to carry on as best we could. We’d drive to Auckland every Friday night and come home early Monday morning. That was the way we kept our family together and that was the way we tried to help Imogen heal. And Imogen needed to heal – not just physically, actually the physical bit was the easiest I think – she needed to heal mentally. I sat with her for hours, talking and reading to her in those first horrible weeks, while she struggled to come to terms with what had happened. She told me one day Ben had “shattered her soul” and she’d welcomed the drugs because they made her life bearable. I asked her why she hadn’t just called Mum and Dad to come and get her and take her away from it all, but she said she was scared of Ben and what he might do to us if she ever left him. He was violent, she said, and angry all the time. He was also mean and sadistic. The really weird thing though, and she couldn’t explain why when I asked her, was that she still loved him.

Ballet
Image via chinadollxox.tumblr.com

So, like I said at the start, I was thirteen and this whole thing with Imogen made me really sad – sad for her, sad for Mum and Dad – even sad for me, really. But you know what? When I turned fourteen it started to make me angry. We were doing everything we could for Imogen and Imogen just wasn’t getting any better. In fact, she was getting worse – she was just awful; nasty, uncooperative and ungrateful for all the support and help she got from Mum and Dad and the doctors and nurses. For a while I tried to be sympathetic, but then I turned sixteen and I stopped being sad and angry – actually, I just stopped caring.

It was around that time I stopped visiting too. I had been trying to get out of the weekly trip to Auckland for a while, but this particular weekend I had a really important show rehearsal and Dad finally relented and let me stay home in Cambridge. From then on, I stopped visiting and Mum and Dad stopped talking to me about her. Sure, they’d mention her in passing now and again, but I never asked about her – it was almost like I didn’t have a sister any more. Looking back, I guess I didn’t really. The sister I’d had; that beautiful, dancing china doll had gone; to be replaced with a moody, scowling shadow of her former self. It seemed that Imogen had disappeared into the shadows and was afraid to come out into the light.

So I carried on, without my sister; and I hardly noticed. My world was full of dancing and performing – I’d moved to Auckland by that stage to take advantage of the opportunities to perform that just weren’t available in Hamilton. I spent my days practicing and my evenings either performing or working in a local bar to pay my way – being a dancer in New Zealand is not easy financially, that’s for sure. It never occurred to me to visit Imogen – in fact, by the time Mum and Dad bought her to see my show, I hadn’t seen her for seven years.

I was the principal dancer in the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and it was my third performance when Mum and Dad bought Imogen along to watch the show. Mum had sent me a text earlier in the day to say she and Dad were coming to the evening’s performance – she didn’t mention Imogen – I learned later it was because Imogen didn’t want to come and Mum wasn’t sure she’d be able to talk her into it. Anyway, as I glanced into the audience it was a shock to see Imogen there at the end of the row in her wheelchair – and you know what? In that brief moment when I caught her eye, she wasn’t scowling – in fact, she looked happy. That night, I danced my little heart out; I danced for Mum and Dad, but mostly I danced for my china doll sister who could no longer dance herself, even if she’d wanted to. When we came onstage for the curtain call I could see tears rolling down Imogen’s cheeks, but she was clapping and laughing and I couldn’t believe it. Mum told me later she and Dad hadn’t seen Imogen happy since the accident – it was like those shadows she’d been living behind had been blown away and Imogen had taken one great leap into the sunshine.

All of a sudden then – at the age of 23 – I had a sister again.   And it was awesome – she was awesome. When I asked her about her sudden change of attitude to life, Imogen said that while she was watching me dance on stage, she’d suddenly realised her life didn’t have to be over. She may not be able to dance, but she could teach and she could laugh and she could love. And that, she thought, might just be enough.

Imogen never did anything by half; before long she had moved back to Cambridge, got herself a little flat and was back teaching again at the local dance school. She was spending more and more time on her prosthetic legs and less and less time in her wheelchair, and slowly but surely, her sparkle returned and my beautiful china doll sister was back.

Sure she was a little bit flawed, but that made her even more special to me. I realised how much I’d actually missed her all those years when I was telling myself I didn’t care. We talked about that, and she said she was surprised I’d stuck around as long as I did. Knowing she forgives me for it makes me feel better, but I’m still very sad we missed those seven years of our lives.

Do you know what Imogen does now? She’s the ambassador for a charitable foundation known as “No Drugs For Our Youth” – she travels around the country visiting secondary schools, telling them her story and pleading with them not to get involved with drugs in any way, shape or form – ever. At the start of every session she tells the kids she has a little sister; a little sister who is her hero and who showed her that life was precious. If only she knew – all I did was dance.

Imogen – my fragile, flawed, china doll sister. My hero.

China Doll
Image source unknown – if it’s yours, let me know!

I hope you enjoyed …

Love …

Mumpty

 

 

The curious creatures of Auckland burlesque – revisited

The curious creatures of Auckland burlesque: revisited 

A little while ago, Mumpty wrote some fictional stories on a few of her favourite Auckland burlesquers.  And this Friday night, she’s done a wee update.  Do enjoy …

Duchess deBerry

Galactic

Remember that saying:

Always be you …
unless you can be a fierce, intergalactic alien queen.
Then, always be a fierce, intergalactic alien queen.

No?  Seriously?  Well, it was inspired by Duchess deBerry, known simply to her nearest and dearest as The Duchess.

The Duchess had always been interested in space travel and so when her dear friend Sir Richard Branson (who rather fancied her) offered her the opportunity to accompany him on one of the first Virgin Airways trips to the moon, she jumped at the chance.  What antipodean temptress wouldn’t really?

Soon after the initial excitement had died down though,  The Duchess’s mind turned to more practical matters – what would she wear on the moon? She had no intention of wearing one of those ridiculous Michelin suits that’s for sure, but her current wardrobe didn’t inspire either.   As always though, The Duchess had a plan,  and that plan involved her illustrious pals at Asphyxia Couture and a brief to put together a little something something for her soiree on the moon.

DuchessdeBerry
Image by Black Friday Photography

She rather  liked what they came up with – it was certainly a statement piece, but practical too she thought.  Her hands were free and she had plenty of things to tie moon rocks and that kind of thing onto.  Sure, she could have done with a handbag, and it might get a bit chilly, but she wasn’t going to be outside on the moon for long periods of time was she?  She assumed she’d be able to pop in and out of the space shuttle at will – I mean even though she wasn’t paying for it, this was a commercial flight, and surely Sir Richard wouldn’t allow a passenger to get cold on the moon?  That would be ridiculous.

No, this little number was perfect and The Duchess shivered with delight as she settled down happily into the seat beside Sir Richard, gratefully accepting the glass of Cristal he handed her. #suchfun

Lilly Loca: disrupted

Lilly Loca, as we know, is a time traveller.  Just last year in fact, she travelled  from 1920’s New York to 2016 in Auckland, where she spends a great deal of time pirouetting seductively on stages around that fair city wearing the showgirl’s version of an itsty-bitsy-teeny-weeny-yellow-polka-dot-bikini and a purple-hued “do” Ru Paul would be proud to own.  But that isn’t enough for Lilly’s outrageous soul, so in an age where “disruption” is a buzz word in business circles, Lilly has decided to try a bit of disruption herself, and thus Gary Krumbert has emerged onto the scene. 

When I say Gary has emerged onto the scene, I mean more that he has BURST onto the scene and not in a glamorous, overnight-sensation kind of way; but in a more clumsy, goofy kind of way.  Because that’s the kind of guy Gary is; he’s a goofy drag king, born of the always glamorous, and sometimes androgynous, Lilly Loca.  He’s been around a while, but more recently has begun to make his presence known.

Gary_ruffles

One might be forgiven for assuming Gary is the quieter side of the Loca/Krumbert duo, and indeed he does tend to fly under the radar a bit.  I think his slightly nerdy persona  engenders a level of trust in people that allows him to get under their skin without them really even knowing it.

GaryKrumbert
Image by Peter Jennings

For Gary is most certainly not the quieter side of the duo.  Recently a naive judge referred to him as the “Veteran Virgin King” – well, let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth.  Gary, in fact, is quite inspired by that raunchy, ginger-bearded Tudor King of old, King Henry the VIIIth.  So much so, in fact, that he has a set of silk stockings and a hat set with a feather on a jaunty angle that he brings out on certain occasions, and it really does drive the ladies quite mad with lust; as you can imagine I’m sure.

So this one time, at Drag Camp, Gary did something quite naughty – even for Gary.  He TOOK Lilly Loca’s rainbow-hued “do” and used it onstage as a “costume piece” shall we say.  To make the situation much, much worse, the costume piece was a merkin (uuuuuuuggghhhhhh – I know, right!)  Lilly, as you can imagine, was LIVID when she recognised it from her front-row seat in the audience.  She leapt out of her seat, scaled the stage and advanced upon Gary with a look in her eye that inspired sheer terror in his.  Such terror, in fact, that he scuttled offstage at the speed of light with Lilly’s “do” flapping between his legs and Lilly in hot pursuit.  The audience squirmed uncomfortably as a loud slap, a shrill squeal and a muffled thump could be heard backstage.  A few more thumps and squeals occurred and a couple of audience members burst into titters of barely suppressed nervous laughter, before the EMCEE Felicity Frockaccino hastily took over and began to belt out a rather raucous version of “I will survive” in a trembling vibrato.

Broken legRumour has it Gary was EXTREMELY lucky to get away with just a broken leg and he’s currently overseas on an extended vacay while his poor, battered body recuperates.  Reliable sources say he’ll be back when the heat dies down and Lilly has calmed her farm.    #suchfun

Leda Petit: the rise and fall (and rise) of an assassin …

Leda_champagne
Image by James Yang

When last we left Leda Petit, she was doing well as a secret assassin, making money by the bushel and lurking in bars, drinking champagne out of shoes and fraternising alluringly with her marks before she made her final, lethal move. 

Leda_fraternising

But things have gone rather downhill since then …

Leda_heroinchic
Image by James Yang

Sadly, our Leda has become a little too fond of the high-rolling lifestyle she can now afford as a result of her prodigious “hit” rate.  It’s a never-ending cycle of a whiskey here, a cigar there – a line of coke up her nose; “but never before lunchtime darling – I have standards.

Leda_mess
Image by Peter Jennings

One particularly snipey member of the Auckland paparazzi could almost be  excused for comparing Leda’s behaviour to that of Amy Winehouse at her worst.   But really, that would be unfair – as she says, Leda has standards, and she would NEVER go on stage and deliver a less than stellar performance like Amy did on the odd occasion.

Leda_paparazzi

Yes, while these days Leda is having a lot more fun than your average punter, she is also getting the job done.  I mean really, when you think about it, she’s living a glamorous Old Hollywood lifestyle that rivals that of Frank Sinatra and his cronies.  Of course, she’s doing it Her Way (do you see what I did there?) and I have it on good authority that despite the heavy nights and the early morning stumbles home to her apartment, Leda can be relied upon to be bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to mingle come midnight when the “respectable” bars open and Leda’s marks await.  Why look …

LedaSee what I mean?  She really is a consummate professional, our Leda. #suchfun   

Yours in updated curious creatures …  

Mumpty

C is for Christmas …

C is for Christmas …

Christmas
Image via Pinterest

Here’s Mumpty’s little guide to Christmas … in spelling format because I’m a geek like that.

C is for consumerism (as in rampant!) … when you read that bit you would be forgiven for thinking this is going to be an anti-Christmas post, but believe me – it’s not – I LOVE Christmas!  I get that it is very commercial and I get that some people hate that, but to be honest, if that sort of stuff bothers you and you can’t make Christmas fun in your own way, then you’re doing it wrong!

Christmas consumerism

Having said that … if you’re going to shop like crazy and enjoy it (like I am!) then you might as well support local businesses right?

H is for happy.  Whatever makes you happy at Christmas time – do that.  And do it all year too if you can.

Happy infographic

R is for roses.  I am lucky enough to live with my partner and our daughter in my family home, which means our garden is full of the roses that my Mum and Dad planted.  Lucky, lucky me right? So this time every year there are the MOST BEAUTIFUL roses all.over.the.show   These ones below are real life, from my garden.  Stunning huh.

Roses

I is for “there’s no “I” in Christmas!” Christmas is all about watching other people have fun – which then means you have fun by default!  Which is not to say it’s ALLLLLL about everyone else and I don’t enjoy a good present or two, because God knows I do!  And this year I can’t decide which present I want the most – do I really need another Jenny dress from Pinup Girl Clothing?  Or a GHD curling wand?  Or sparkly BAIT shoes from 19Black?  Yes, yes I do – and so much more! Heheeeee!

christmas gifts

S is for the Silly Season!  I love the Silly Season.  I love how there’s lots of parties and events to go to; how everywhere you look it’s Christmas; how the closer you get to Christmas the more and more charged, stressed and mad it gets; how there’s that feeling of expectancy in the air … ya know … all that!

SillySeason

T is for traditions.  One of our little family traditions is adding two or three special decorations to our tree each year. Our daughter has her own white tree in her bedroom, and this year we added a glass birdcage with a white bird inside it; a cute little silver TradeAid Santa and a gorgeous white Pandora china basket.  To our tree we added a gold star for the top; a glitter reindeer head, a gold bow and a Noel bell (my Dad’s name is Noel!)

Tree decorations

M is for memories – enjoying the ones you have and building more for the future.   Like I said earlier, we live in my family home, so I already have lots of awesome memories here, but it is still fun making new ones for our daughter.

Below is one of the little corners of paradise in our little corner of paradise!

Paradise

A is for #allthethings!  I absolutely love the excess of Christmas – the opportunity to buy cool and thoughtful presents; the food; the champagne (!); the get-togethers; the decorations; the songs (especially Amy Winehouse’s version of “I saw Mama kissing Santa Claus” and Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby”); the glitter everywhere; Christmas trees – all that stuff!

“Santa baby, and fill my stocking with a duplex – and checks.  
Sign your “x” on the line …!”

Eartha Kitt

S is for seriously though … I hope you have the best Christmas ever this year!

It really is all about Christmas amiright?

Mumpty

The curious creatures of Auckland burlesque

The curious creatures of Auckland burlesque …

Curious Creatures
L-R: Lilly Loca, Duchess de Berry, Leda Petit – picture taken @ Venus Starr’s Diamond Carousel

Mumpty loves a bit of fiction – she also loves a bit of burlesque.  So here’s a wee combination of these two loves – and who better on which to base some light-hearted stories, than four of Auckland’s curious creatures of burlesque: Duchess deBerry; Lilly Loca; Heidi Heart and Leda Petit.

Enjoy …

Duchess deBerry

Duchess deBerry

The Duchess was French of course.  She owned a small, 17th century chateau named La Roche-Sur-Yon, but she refused to live in it because it didn’t have a private theatre – and what use was a chateau if it didn’t have a private theatre?  Of course she could have applied to her local “consiel” for consent to add one, but that seemed tiresome, and the Duchess didn’t do tiresome.

So instead she spent her time wandering gaily around the world with just her credit card, a hat box and a battered Louis Vuitton suitcase.  She attended the opera in Versaille and the bull-running in Spain but found neither to her taste.

So she took up singing in smoky jazz lounges; the seedier the better – the money was poor,  but it was good for her soul. And anyway – she’d had the forethought a couple of years earlier to marry a very wealthy art collector.  He had lovely manners, and was therefore happy to share his fortune with his young and beautiful wife, while not requiring her to share much of anything with him.

The Duchess smiled happily as she ordered a champagne cocktail – her set had gone well and now she was back in the bar of her favourite hotel in Naples chatting to an alarmingly handsome stranger – she really did love her life these days.

Lilly Loca

Lilly Loca Prive

Lilly Loca was a time traveller.  She’d travelled from 1920’s New York – where she’d been a luminary of stage and screen, performing to packed audiences and leaving a trail of broken hearts everywhere she went – to Auckland, New Zealand, 2016.

One evening in 1924, after a lot of very expensive champagne, she’d taken a wrong turn down a long, dimly lit hallway of the New York Baltimore Hotel, and had found herself in a musty room that smelt like it had been locked for centuries.  Just as she turned to find her way out, she had spotted a glorious-looking red door with a gilt frame which practically begged her to turn the handle.  And Lilly, being both adventurous and tipsy, did exactly that.

After falling for what felt like ten minutes, she jolted to a stop and found herself in a very strange, yet familiar-feeling place.  Blue, tube-like things proclaimed her destination in twirling writing as “Privé” – it looked very much like the Baltimore’s “Kiss Bar,” but there was lots of stuff called “technology” that Lilly wasn’t used to.  Still, everyone at Privé looked and behaved in pretty much the same manner as her 20’s theatre family had, so she decided to stay.

Being an adaptable soul, Lilly soon adjusted to her new environment – she got herself an iPhone, a FitBit and even one of those new-fangled Spotify playlists where she played Bowie’s “Lazarus” on endless repeat.

She just had a niggling worry that she might have left her diary on the hotel bed in 1924, and there were things in there she’d kinda wanted to keep secret …

Heidi Heart

Heidi Heart
Photo by Bruce Jenkins

Heidi Heart had a very dark secret.  It was something she’d tried hard to resist and she’d certainly never planned to tell anyone – it was HER dark secret.  The problem had arisen when Valentine, her husband, had come home to their New York apartment early one day from an interstate trip and found her.  The look of sheer horror on his face – before he turned and headed wordlessly for the door – haunted her even now, three years later.  

Shaking, she’d packed it all away when he walked out and prepared herself for the inevitable fallout when he told their friends.  She knew her social position, if not her entire life, would be ruined – but she’d known there was that possibility right from the start – and she had been prepared to take the risk.

Valentine never told their friends – he was probably too embarrassed – and they’d never discussed it; not once.  Their marriage was now just a marriage in name though.

In her darkest, most self-destructive moments since Valentine’s discovery, she occasionally thought bitterly that it had been in the privacy of her own bedroom hadn’t it?  It hadn’t actually hurt anyone.  It wasn’t fair that he had rejected her so completely since that fateful day.  Although, in her more lucid moments, she’d had to admit to herself that it wasn’t just that one time.  She’d  done it before – why she’d even performed a seductive striptease wearing men’s clothes as part of the fantasy.  But there were worse things than that weren’t there?

Yes, Heidi – there are – but not many.  Can you guess Heidi’s secret?  Well, I’ll tell you – she’s a bloody Justin Bieber fan.

Leda Petit

Leda Petit
Image by Luke Tarvor

Leda Petit was an assassin.  Only two people in the world knew this – which, when you’re an assassin – is a very good thing.

She hadn’t meant to become an assassin, it’s just that she’d had a boyfriend once who had proved very, very hard to shake once she’d got sick of him and in the end, she’d had to just “make him disappear.” A few months after that, she got a call from a mysterious gentleman who offered her $200K to make another gentleman disappear – he’d been good for the money and Leda rather liked her new $195K Mercedes (she’d spent the rest at Louboutin) so the next time he called, she was happy to “talk turkey,” so to speak.

The lifestyle wasn’t all bad actually – she seemed to spend a lot of time in bars drinking champagne out of shoes, smoking and looking authoritative, while she kept an eye on her “mark.”  She loved the feel on her skin of the cold blade under her garter belt, and had grown fond of it’s reassuring weight.  She also rather enjoyed the seduction, particularly if her mark was good-looking, but in the end there was a job to be done, and Leda was a consummate professional in that regard.

Leda always bought herself a little something special after each hit; a big solitaire here, a Birkin handbag there – she did it out respect for her mark really.  She was nothing if not respectful, our Leda.

Yours in fictional and curious creatures …

Mumpty

Sentinel & the Galleon

Mumpty fiction: Sentinel & the Galleon

Elizabeth 1

Sooo … I entered a writing competition again!  This is the second time I’ve done it and it’s exciting, a wee bit nerve-racking and lots of fun!  Anyway … the theme this year was “A convincing lie” and it was only allowed to be 2,000 words. You may or may not know this, but I am a Tudor history geek, so of course, I was inspired by that!  See what you think …


Sentinel & the Galleon

Sentinel

Well, Elizabeth thought grimly, it appears I need to remind Robert of our disparity in rank. She arched one finely plucked ginger eyebrow and observed the tense set of Robert’s neck as he stalked away. His behavior would certainly not do –one should never turn their back on the Queen and Elizabeth had seen the shocked looks of the courtiers when he had done so.

Elizabeth and Robert had been childhood friends – he had stuck by her through the tumultuous and the downright dangerous times, but now she would have to remind him she must be seen as regal and unquestionable – the Virgin Queen, respected by all and beloved by most.

But that unpleasant little conversation would have to wait – Elizabeth and Robert had a “situation” to deal with. One neither of them could currently see their way around, and one which wouldn’t go unnoticed much longer. Her allusion to that was the reason he had left so abruptly.

Of course everyone in their inner circle knew Elizabeth and Robert were lovers. The concept of the “Virgin Queen” was a lie – so far as her people believed, a fairly convincing lie – but a lie nonetheless. However, before you jump to conclusions and assume Elizabeth was pregnant; she was not.

Robert, you see, was a thief. A fraudster. That was the problem. And very soon, it would not only be Elizabeth who knew it, but the whole of the English court and beyond.

The situation was grim, and frankly Elizabeth was furious with Robert. As Queen, she had bestowed great favours and offices on him – she’d had to really, but that wasn’t how people would see it. Whilst he was descended from a very wealthy family, the tiresome Lady Jane Grey saga – which had resulted in his father’s execution – had rather drained the family’s purse and Robert couldn’t be expected to carry out his role as the royal favourite without the means to do so.

The crux of the matter though, was that Robert had become greedy and his accompanying lack of integrity had landed them both in this unpleasant predicament.

It had started with Sentinel. As Master of the Horse, Robert came in contact with some spectacular animals and when Sir Francis Knollys arrived one morning on the magnificent black stallion, a covetous gleam appeared in Robert’s eye and he determined that Sentinel must be his. Sir Francis wasn’t interested in selling Sentinel at first, but Robert made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. An offer Robert also couldn’t afford to make, so he purchased Sentinel out of the purse he’d been allocated as Master of the Horse. From there, it was a logical step that the same purse paid for Sentinel’s upkeep. Robert knew no one would have the temerity to question why Sentinel was available only to him and wasn’t part of the courtier’s pool of horses.

But it hadn’t stopped at Sentinel. God knows if it had, Elizabeth thought, I could have made it all go away. There were numerous other transgressions; a painting here, an expensive wall tapestry there, even a water closet in his quarters at Whitehall – all on the public purse. But it was what came next that threatened to bring both Robert and Elizabeth into disrepute and eventual ruin.

Galleon

The Galleon Leicester – where it all started to unravel for Robert. Rather than paying for the galleon from his own private funds, he fraudulently commissioned, built and fitted her out from his purse as Lord Steward of the Royal Household. The galleon was a vain folly and an expensive one at that. Robert wanted it for reasons threefold; the more noble reasons being to increase England’s sea power and to offer Elizabeth a quick means of escape, should that be necessary; and the third being simply that Robert felt his position in the realm warranted it.   While the Galleon Leicester was not designed as a pleasure craft, it was entirely suitable as such, and Robert embraced that use wholeheartedly, hosting many a magnificent soiree onboard, with Elizabeth as guest of honour. On one particularly extravagant occasion, he had Sentinel spirited onboard before his guests arrived and greeted them from the stallion’s back. Impressive, but risky – Sentinel soon registered his distaste by whirling round, rearing and nearly throwing Robert off the side. Robert dismounted and Sentinel was led off – but not before the impressive spectacle had been witnessed by all, and was talked about for months afterward.

Those were the glory days for Robert and Galleon Leicester, and Elizabeth had no idea of his deception. She believed he’d paid for the galleon out of his private funds and indeed, she’d been impressed by his generosity in commissioning her partially for Elizabeth as a means of escape.   She doubted such means would ever be needed, but she was flattered all the same. Flattered that is, until Robert knocked on the door of her privy chamber late one evening, his face pale as a ghost. Elizabeth dismissed her ladies at once and watched in horror as he fell to his knees in front of her, his shoulders wracked by silent sobbing. “Robert,” she asked in a hushed and terrified tone “what is wrong?” In the half hour that followed, Elizabeth ran the full gamut of emotions; from horror to disbelief; sympathy to anger and finally to the current feeling of dull dread that had resided in her chest for the five days since his confession.

Not only had Robert been duplicitous in his use of the Royal Household purse, he had used Elizabeth’s royal seal to authorise it – something which Elizabeth would never have allowed, had she been asked.   Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth’s Personal Secretary, had taken Robert aside that evening and questioned him about where the money had come from for Galleon Leicester and a number of other expenses. Robert had denied using the Royal Purse of course, but Walsingham had solemnly promised him a full investigation would ensue over the next few days. The use of her royal seal meant Elizabeth was mired as deep in this mess as Robert and she knew full well there was no point in disassociating herself and claiming she had no knowledge of it – no one would believe that, given the closeness of their relationship. She was also under no illusion that Walsingham would ensure that particular approach would be wholly ineffective.

So that is how the current situation had come about and Elizabeth was furious she had spent the days since Robert’s confession worrying herself sick trying to find a solution, only for him to turn his back on his Queen and stalk away in anger. That behaviour would be addressed – mark my words, she thought to herself. But first things first. She was going to have to come up with something for Walsingham and it was going to have to be good. He was no fool and furthermore, he was no supporter of Robert, nor she suspected, herself. If the latter were true, he would certainly never admit it – that would be treason and treason meant a forfeiture of his life. Which, Elizabeth mused, would certainly be the easiest way out of this mess.

No, she had to come up with something or they would both be ruined – he rightfully so; she, through no fault of her own. She would be seen as a silly and thoughtless Virgin Queen who had allowed a man to turn her head and take advantage of not only herself, but the people of her realm. She may as well abdicate then and there, and Elizabeth had no intention of doing that.

And so the lie was conceived and Elizabeth went about the task of ratifying it using the formidable skills of state she had inherited from her father, King Henry VIII and her mother, Queen Ann Boleyn.

Elizabeth_Lie
Image from the movie Elizabeth: the Golden Age

The ensuing lie was convincing indeed and Elizabeth delivered it at its dramatic pinnacle when Walsingham came calling the next morning. She was rather proud of her performance really; the wide-eyed surprise when he deferentially yet smugly laid out his accusations, followed by her scathing delivery of the lie itself. Her subsequent arrogant dismissal of Walsingham, accompanied by a thinly veiled threat that it would not be in his best interests to question her ever again – it was all rather good really. The most gratifying moment was the dawning recognition on Walsingham’s face that he’d been hoodwinked by a far superior opponent.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Half an hour later, Elizabeth tucked a stray lock of firey red hair back under her crown and in a voice of steel, requested her page bring Robert to her. It was time they had a conversation.

Elizabeth1
Image via deviantart.com

Hope you enjoyed my story!

Yours in stallions and galleons …

Mumpty

 

Mumpty’s fictitious evening out … in pics

Mumpty’s (slightly fictitious) evening out … in pictures

Recently Mumpty had an epic evening out … because she is so tired after such a busy night, she decided to show you what happened in pictures.

It went a little like this:

She wore …

Pinup Girl Clothing Gilda gown

the Pinup Girl Clothing Gilda gown in burgundy, with …

Lace bolero

the Pinup Girl Clothing Gothic Lace Bolero to keep her warm.

On her feet she wore …

Christian Louboutin Decollette pumps

Christian Louboutin Decollette pumps – the red clashed a bit with the maroon of her gown, but she didn’t care, ‘cos Louboutin.

She carried this bag, the Alma BB in black vernis by Louis Vuitton …

Louis Vuitton

and wore these Art Deco emerald earrings.

Emerald earringsHer eye makeup looked like this …

eye makeup

her lips and nails looked like this …

Lips & nails

and her hair looked like this:

Dita hair

Oh yes, and her bra looked like that too!  Her date was …

George Clooney

and they went to:

Paris

to watch Dirty Martini, and …

Dirty MartiniDita Von Teese perform …

Dita Von Teese

They drank Dom Perignon …

Dom Perignon

and didn’t eat, because eating’s cheating, and she didn’t want to be wearing shapewear because, George!

While they were at the show, they caught up with …

Marilyn and Frank

and …

Angelina

before heading to a bar to watch …

Rolling Stones

and …

Amy Winehouse

play some blues together.  After that, Mumpty was pretty tired, so she went home to her bed.

Bed

She’s sure you’ll agree, it was a pretty good evening.

Night night

Mumpty hopes you enjoyed.

Love and fictitious dates …

Mumpty

 

The mystery of why six girls ended up on a beach in the middle of nowhere

The mystery of why six girls ended up on a beach together in the middle of nowhere …

MumptyStyle Six Girls on a BeachOn a warm, yet blustery summer’s day on one of New Zealand’s remote beaches, a very strange thing occurred …  six girls, from entirely separate worlds and entirely separate periods of time, ended up together on that beach – and none of them knew why they were there.  So to try and solve the mystery, they discussed with each other where they’d been and what they’d been doing prior to their unexpected meetup … 

The last Ruby Spice (furtherest on the left) remembers, she was hanging out at a milkbar with her friends – dancing, smoking, chasing boys and riding round in cars.  It was 1952 and she was having the time of her life; not least because the coolest guy in town had just confessed his undying devotion to her – although that did help!

On that particular day in 2016, Ruthita Venus (2nd from the left), had been practicing her hoola-hooping.  She was determined to become a “hooping megastar” and surprise her workmates at their upcoming Christmas function. She had just changed out of her hooping gear and was off to meet an ex-boyfriend to discuss custody of their pet pig, Clooney, when she disappeared.

Ms La Rue (aka Mumpty) (white petticoat) had been catapulted to the beach from her happy life in 1529.  A noblewoman of King Henry VIII’s court, Ms La Rue had been in the midst of being dressed by her maidservant and would under no circumstances have left her chamber in that state of undress had she had a choice in the matter.  She wasn’t even laced in properly, and her hair hadn’t been styled for goodness sake!

Dolly D’Ville (third from the right) was a mortician from London’s Whitechapel district – it was 1888 and she was on her way to collect the third of Jack the Ripper’s victims,  Elizabeth Stride, when she disappeared.  Dolly was particularly disturbed about her disappearance as she had been rather looking forward to seeing Jack’s latest work; she had learned a lot about human anatomy from him and it was a field she felt she was destined to be very, very good at.

Michelle (second from right) was plucked from her role as the life and soul of a party held at the home of  Billy Minsky, the King of Burlesque.  It was 1924 and Michelle, who was often known as Ms Tittle Tattle, had attended the party with Mae Dix, one of Minsky’s top burlesque performers.  They’d had a blast for a while demonstrating their tassel-twirling skills to the eager crowd, but Michelle had become bored of that and had wandered up to the mezannine floor to overlook the pool and cool off when she disappeared.

Miss Monique Sweet (furtherest on the right) was the only girl to have actually been on a beach when she disappeared.  A “flower child” of the 60’s; Miss Sweet lived in a house bus and travelled around California with her boyfriend – he earned money as a tattoo artist and she as a still-life model.  At the time of her disappearance, Miss Sweet was attending a beach party to celebrate being chosen for the cover of the Beach Boy’s latest album.

So what did these women have in common?  The only thing they could identify was that they were all burlesque girls.  And what bought them together that day?  It appears that a highly secretive, clandestine group of photographers from the year 2098 had chosen this eclectic group of women in order to take photographs for an exhibition.  Using 2098 technology, they chose their subjects based on certain physical, mental and social characteristics, and then tele-transported them to the remote beach via time warp. 

And what was the point of the exhibition?  Well thank you for asking.  The point of the exhibition was to demonstrate how women used to be – tall, short, slender, curvy, red-haired, blonde, green-eyed; brown-eyed; pale-skinned; olive-skinned.  You see, sadly in 2098, all women looked very much the same – technology was readily available that enabled them to “edit themselves” so as to meet the standards of the “perfect woman” – as defined by the media.  Subsequently, they were all tall, thin with glowing white smiles, long limbs and a tiny waist; long, thick hair and pert bottoms and breasts.  Sounds good in theory, right?  But there were murmerings of unrest; women wanted variety, they wanted to stand out and to look different; they wanted freckles and round tummies; they wanted to challenge the norm … 

This clandestine group of photographers had read about a long-forgotten and magical dance art known as burlesque and they wanted to know more.  They’d heard that these “burlesque women” celebrated their curves and didn’t try to edit them away or cover them up; in fact, they accentuated them and showed them off.  They wanted to see these exotic creatures in real life; to know more; and to photograph them …

What really happened?
A bunch of Glamilton’s burlesque girls met up with a group of photographers at Ruapuke Beach in Raglan, NZ and took crazy and beautiful photos!  Inevitably, the session ended with jazz hands!

Here are some more pics from that wonderful day on the beach …MumptyStyle Michelle_Sam

Dolly D’Ville and Ms Tittle Tattle dancing in the water!  Photo by David Rowe Photography.

MumptyStyle MonSweetMiss Monique Sweet – photo by Tom Martin.

MumpytStyle Ms Tittle TattleMs Tittle Tattle – photo by Tom Martin.

MumptyStyle MumptyMumpty – photo by Tom Martin.

MumptyStyle Ruby SpiceRuby Spice – photo by Tom Martin.

MumtpyStyle RuthitaRuthita Venus – photo by David Rowe Photography.

MumptyStyle Dolly D'VilleDolly D’Ville – photo by Dave Curran.

As you can see – it was a fab day!

Did you like my random story?  If so, you can find a couple more here and here.

Enjoy …

Mumpty

 

My faux interview with Elvis Presley

My (faux) interview with the legendary Elvis Presley 

MumptyStyle Elvis
Image via http://www.justacarguy.blogspot

Following my recent (faux) interview with the stunning Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley himself contacted me to suggest he would like to do an interview too – you can imagine my delight!  “Why thank you, Elvis” I said, “yes, I rather would like to interview you!”

Elvis was taken from us in 1997 – far too young at the age of only 42.  He lives on in our memories and on our airwaves as the undisputed King of Rock’n’Roll.  His voice, talent, looks and charisma have ensured the massive stardom he achieved while he was alive has only increased since his death – his stature as one of the true greats is assured for many, many years to come.

Rather than talk about Elvis’s achievements and his talent, we decided to be shallow and talk about his looks and his style instead!  Just as Marilyn was a trendsetter, so too was Elvis – he was the first of the rockers to make “bad boy” style cool and sparked the quintissential Rockabilly-style.

So Elvis, let’s get started …

Q1. What do you think of this style … look familiar ?  

MumptyStyle Rockabilly
Image via phillyprgirl.com

A.  It looks very familiar and I love it Mumpty – Rockabilly style at its finest.  My sources tell me the Rockabilly look  has undergone quite a resurgence in recent years and I’m pleased to hear that – it was a good look the first time round.  The only thing I’d like to point out is that I preferred not to wear denim. 

Fun fact # 1: Elvis didn’t really like wearing denim – it reminded him of his less than fortunate upbringing.

Q2. The “Elvis pompadour” is now iconic.   Can you tell us what products you used.
A.  First off … did you know my hair wasn’t naturally black?  It was sandy blonde, but I liked it edgier – blue black – so I had it dyed.  I was pretty lucky I had my own personal hairstylist – Larry Geller – he used to dye my hair for me every two or three weeks – I think the product he used was L’oreal.  I told him “you can do whatever you want with my hair, just make sure I don’t lose it.”   I basically just used pomade and a comb to get it how I wanted it.  Then hairspray – lots of hairspray.  It used to flop quite a bit though when I was performing ‘cos of the lights and moving around so much.

Mumpty: “and all that hip-thrusting too …”
Elvis: “yeah, there was a bit of that!”

MumptyStyle Elvis hair
Image via apimages.com

Note: Elvis’s personal hairstylist has said he used Royal Crown Hair Dressing pomade on Elvis’s hair, which gave it that wet, shiny look.  It only had three ingredients; petrolatum (petroleum jelly), olive oil and fragrance – fancy stuff!

MumptyStyle Elvis Pomade
Image via pomade-shop.eu

You can still get this pomade and they’ve never deviated from their original recipe – I guess if something ain’t broke, don’t fix it right?!

Q.3 Elvis, tell us how were you feeling when this picture was taken?

MumptyStyle Elvis Army haircut
Image via elvispresleymusic.com

A.  Well, it was too late at that stage anyway ma’am – it was already done! Just before the cut though, I was pretty apprehensive to be honest – my hair was a big part of my look.  But I was going into uniform anyway, so that wasn’t really a problem as my “look” was going to be the same as all the other guys.  In general though, I was pretty nervous about the whole two-year military stint but I wanted to do what I could for my country and not to take advantage of my position, so I did it.   

Note: this image of Elvis’s defiantly-cool hair being reduced to Army standard instantly became a pop culture phenomenon.  Prior to the “big chop” thousands of teenaged girls (and older women too I’d guess!) wrote to the president trying to avert the “national crisis” of Elvis’s haircut!

Q4.  Elvis, did you see yourself as a trendsetter in terms of fashion? 
A.   No ma’am …at first it would amaze me when I’d wear something and then suddenly it was “street style” around the world – it was pretty surreal.  After a while though I started to play with it a bit and I’d wear increasingly outrageous stuff – just to see what people made of it.  I guess I had access to whatever I wanted in many ways when it came to fashion – and being a showman – I took advantage of that.  I loved tailor-made suits, hand-made shirts and I liked to wear pink – which, at the time, was not the done thing.  I was big on leather jackets too – I had hundreds of them – in all colours – I never shied away from colour.  I also never forgot the power of a simple white shirt, (which, if I’m honest, suited me better when I was younger!) although I did like clashing prints and textured fabrics too.  As you know, in my later years, I wasn’t adverse to a bit of lycra and lamé either … in fact I was wearing it long before P Diddy sent it down the runway – just sayin’! 

MumptyStyle Elvis green shirt
Image via gophoto.us

Note: A letter, sent in 1956, from Elvis’ costume suppliers, had a pencil note on it, indicating Elvis’s measurements at the time were: chest – 40″, waist – 32″ and he wore size 10 shoes.

Q5. Can you tell us the story behind the infamous blue suede shoes?

MumptyStyle Elvis Blue Suede shoes
Elvis’s ACTUAL blue suede shoes. Image via assets.instyle.co.uk

A. Yes ma’am, I can.  That particular song was inspired by Johnny Cash – we were out together one night and Johnny told Carl (Perkins) about a guy he’d met when serving in the military  – this guy had referred to his military regulation airmen’s shoes as his “blue suede shoes.”  Johnny wanted Carl to write a song about it but Carl said he couldn’t write about something he knew nothing about.  Anyway – later that year Carl was watching a couple dance and he heard the guy tell the girl “uh uh – don’t step on my suedes.”  That night he set it to a nursery rhyme “one for the money” and the rest is history I guess. 

Fun fact # 2 – In 2013, the only pair of blue suede shoes owned by Elvis were sold for £48,000.

Q6. What would you say was your most outrageous period in terms of what you wore?  
A.  Aaaah … definitely when I started working with Bill Belew – he designed the jumpsuits and capes I wore – it was a lot of fun.  He was big on embellishment and I enjoyed wearing all that flashy stuff.  Especially the big collars – I really liked those. 

MumptyStyle Elvis Presley jumpsuit
Image via http://www.sportphotography.com

Fun fact # 3 – there are around 250,000 working Elvis impersonators around the world!

Fun fact # 4 Elvis had a great sense of humour – listen to this live performance which was being taped, where he ended up laughing hysterically mid-song!

Fun fact # 5 Elvis’s backing singer in the above video was Cissy Houston – Whitney’s mother.  Her professionalism in carrying on right the way through his antics made him laugh even more!  What made Elvis laugh the most though was that after he’d changed the words to “do you look at your bald head and wish you had hair”, he noticed a man in the audience had taken off his wig and was waving it at him!

And on that rather hilarious, and oh-my-God hot, note – Elvis and I will sign off.  Thanks Elvis – it’s been fantastic talking to you.

MumtpyStyle Elvis Signature

Love …

Mumpty

 

PS: Elvis has left the website.

My faux interview with Marilyn Monroe

My faux interview with the late, and truly great, Marilyn Monroe …

MumptyStyle Mariyn

Now this may seem an unusual interview, being that Marilyn died in 1962.  Obviously then, I didn’t ACTUALLY talk to her *insert shifty-eyed look here* but I have been obsessed with Marilyn for years and have done lots of reading about her, so I’ve kind of answered my questions on her behalf – I don’t think she’d mind, do you?

Anyway, Marilyn lives on in our memories as one of the most beautiful and alluring women who ever graced this planet and she is still an object of fascination for many.  I really enjoyed researching the products and methods Marilyn used to enhance her legendary beauty and sex appeal.  She was undeniably a trend-setter and was, in many ways, well ahead of her time.

So Marilyn, let’s get started …

Q1. Marilyn, your skin always appeared flawless – what skincare products did you use?
A.  Well hello Mumpty … I’m so pleased you asked me to do this interview!  I used Erno Laszlo products; particularly his Active pHelityl cream for moisturising – it was great for my slightly dry skin; I’m so proud that his company is still going today and many of the products I used are still available.  I spent quite a lot of time with Erno and he created a repair balm especially for me to help fade and repair a scar I had on my stomach.  I also used olive oil on my face and ice baths to firm and tighten my skin.    

MumptyStyle Erno Laszlo
This is the moisturiser Marilyn used – it is still available today.

Note: Marilyn was also reported to use Ponds Cold Cream and Nivea Cleanser, which were both staples of the 1950’s.  She used Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil as well.  Stories that she used Vaseline under her powder have been discounted by her longtime makeup artist, Whitey Snyder, and it does seem unlikely really because oooweeee, your makeup would just look gross, and Marilyn’s never did!

MumptyStyle Marilyn

Q2.  Did you have a favourite makeup brand?
A. Well a lot of the products in my makeup bag were by Erno Laszlo – I really did like his products – especially his Duo-Phase face powder.  But I didn’t use Erno’s products exclusively – I liked Max Factor, Guerlain and Elizabeth Arden too.

Note: Marilyn’s makeup case and its contents were sold by Christies in 1999 for $266,500.  It contained:
3 x Max Factor lipsticks
2 x Elizabeth Arden cream eyeshadows (Autumn Smoke & Pearly Blue)
2 x Elizabeth Arden Eye Stopper eyeliners (one brown & one black)
1 x Leichner of London eyeshadow
2 x bottles of Revlon nailpolish (Cherries a la Mode & Hot Coral)
Glorene of Hollywood eyeliner and false lashes
2 x bottles of perfumed lotion by Shiseido
Anita d’Foged Day Dew cream makeup and cover up
2 x pots of Erno Laszlo makeup

Q.3  Marilyn, was there a makeup “look” that defined you?
A. Well actually, I’d like to think I defined it!  I was, after all, one of the original pinup girls!  But obviously the look that I favoured was a defined brow, eyeliner flicks and red lipstick – you see, even by today’s standards I’m a modern gal! 

MumptyStyle Marilyn Makeup

I think if I was alive today, I might very well be a M.A.C kinda girl … it was lovely of them to create a line of cosmetics especially for me to commemorate my 50 year anniversary. My favourite was the lipstick in Charmed I’m Sure … and the packaging was sublime! 

MumptyStyle MAC Marilyn

Note: Apparently Marilyn used red lip liner and up to five coats at a time of Guerlain’s Rouge Diabolique to achieve those famous lips.  Rouge Diabolique is no longer available but Guerlain’s “Kiss Kiss” lipstick in Insolence de Rouge is an exact dupe.  Marilyn’s makeup artist would make her lip colour darkest at the outer edges and lightest in the middle to create the illusion of fullness.  He also used false eyelashes on the outer edges of her eyes to give her that sexy, bedroom-eyes look she always had.  Her entire eye was covered in a creamy white eyeshadow first, before having soft, smoky brown applied to the outer crease, giving her eyes lovely depth.

Fun fact # 1 – Marilyn’s red lip was voted the most iconic beauty trend of all time.
Fun fact # 2Besame Cosmetics do a lipstick inspired by Marilyn called Red Hot Red – all their vintage reproduction lipsticks are the exact shades used by Hollywood starlets.

Q4.  How did you look after your hair?
A.  My hair wasn’t naturally blonde of course – as you would have seen from my earlier modelling shots.  My main hairdresser was Kenneth Battelle, often known as “Mr Kenneth.”  A Hollywood agent told me I would get more work if I dyed my hair blonde, and so I did – and he was right.  It was the whole “Gentleman Prefer Blondes” thing, but I have to say, it was pretty tough on my hair. I used to think of my hair as being “pillow case white.” 

MumptyStyle Marilyn hairNote: Marilyn’s hairdresser stated she had very fine hair that tended to be oily unless it was washed every day.  Her hair was naturally curly, so she often had it chemically straightened which can’t have been good for it with the products they used back then!

Fun fact # 3LUSH have a fabulous hair mask called “Marilyn.”

Q5.  What’s your favourite fragrance, Marilyn?
A. Chanel No. 5 – of course. 

Note: One of Marilyn’s most famous quotes came about when a radio announcer cheekily asked her what she wore to bed “why, Chanel No. 5, of course” was Marilyn’s response; thus increasing Chanel’s sales and publicity immeasurably!

MumptyStyle Marilyn Chanel

Fun fact # 4: in 2013 Chanel finally made Marilyn the face of their timelessly popular fragrance, Chanel No. 5 – she took over from Brad Pitt!

Q6.  How did you keep fit Marilyn?
A.  Well I never really liked sports, so I just used to run, which actually was pretty unusual at the time.  I did weights too – I never really considered my body amazing to be honest – and I’m so glad I didn’t have to work out like a mad thing like the movie stars do today – ten minutes was enough for me! 

MumptyStyle Marilyn exercise

Fun fact/rumour # 5 Marilyn shaved half an inch off one of each pair of shoes in order to achieve her famous wiggle!

MumptyStyle Marilyn signature

Thanks Marilyn … it’s been wonderful talking to you about your beauty and health routines.  You were truly one of a kind; a legendary beauty and talent whose memory will never fade.

Love …

Mumpty

 

A view to scheme by …

A view to scheme by …

(A fictional story, inspired by the picture below.)

MumptyStyle ParisHenri, 1pm …

Henri climbed the lichen-clad, rough-hewn steps to the small stone building on the top of the hill and gazed through the heart-shaped window that looked out over the city of Paris.

His heart was heavy with dread, for Henri had gotten himself into a situation – a situation that was not going to resolve itself quietly or easily.  In fact it seemed likely that the next few hours and days were going to be very difficult for Henri indeed.

An attractive man with a quick wit and a sparkle in his eye, Henri had never struggled to attract female attention.  His latest conquest however, had mistaken the seriousness of his intentions and had this morning announced her plan to leave her husband for him.  This was not what Henri had in mind when he started their dalliance; he’d simply been looking for a little fun and she was, after all, an extremely beautiful and intriguing woman.

What made this morning’s announcement chilling rather than a mere frustration however, was the husband in question … Henri’s boss.  Henri’s very influential and very dangerous boss who was known in equal parts for his brutality and his adoration of his beautiful wife, Celine.

Why Henri, why?” he asked himself, head in hands.  “How the hell are we going to get out of this one?”

After much contemplation and with an even heavier heart than when he arrived, Henri headed back down the steps toward his office in the city.  He spent the remainder of the afternoon there organising his affairs, then left for the airport where he had booked a midnight flight to a place far, far away from his comfortable life in Paris, never to return.

Celine, 6pm …

Celine climbed the lichen-clad, rough-hewn steps to the small stone building on the top of the hill and gazed through the heart-shaped window that looked out over the city of Paris.

She adored this view … her city, a city that pulsed with passion and excitement, a city that was hers for the taking.  Celine was a stunningly beautiful woman; a woman men dreamed of possessing, but none ever would.  It amused her to think her husband Bertrand truly believed he possessed her.  Although Celine outwardly acted the part of the dutiful wife, in reality she detested Bertrand’s common, oafish ways; his attempts to buy style and position; his lack of sophistication.  He was however, wealthy.  Very wealthy, and that suited Celine well, for Celine had a plan, and unfortunately for Bertrand, the plan didn’t involve him.

Celine’s heart actually belonged to her beautiful lover, Marcheline.  The sequence of events Celine had started that morning had everything to do with Marcheline and their wish to spend the rest of their lives together, revelling in the luxury Bertrand’s money would afford.

This morning she had informed Henri she was leaving Bertrand for him and the egotistical fool had believed her.  The disbelief, followed by the slow realisation of his imminent and extreme danger was comical to watch.  He was a fool, but he was not such a fool as to hang around and wait for Bertrand’s response to the knowledge of their “relationship.”  Henri’s inevitable and timely disappearance would make him the perfect scapegoat later that night when the police answered a call from Bertrand’s hysterical wife who had found his poor lifeless body, shot once through the heart.  She was almost looking forward to her tearful confession of the affair with Henri and relating how he had turned so bitter when she had tried to end it with him …

Celine glided back down the stone steps toward the mansion she shared with Bertrand, the next step in her plan clear in her mind.

Marcheline, 11pm …

Wearing Celine’s silk gown and Chopard diamonds, Marcheline swept into the bedroom Celine shared with Bertrand and laughed as she registered Celine’s look of utter confusion.

“Pack your bags and leave Paris, Celine” Marcheline purred, as she settled herself comfortably in Bertrand’s lap.  “Bertrand and I have a wedding to plan.”

Enjoy …

Mumpty