and this was all kinds of wonderful

匿名 質問:

Hello I was wondering if u could tell me what all of mattys tattoos mean

sure! he has 15 that we know of… lets start from the head and make our way down…..

1. wabi sabi on gum/lower lip (once it helaed the “wabi” has kind of disappeared lol) // meaning: wabi sabi represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” 

2. deer on left outer bicep/upper arm // no known meaning, i think this is one of the ones that he got at the tattoo shop next to george’s house that doesn’t really mean anything to him, he says in the shazam interview “I grew up next to a tattoo shop, one opened next to George’s house when we were 16, so we just moved in there and let people practice on our legs and stuff. So my legs are covered in insignificant tattoos that don’t mean anything.”

3. allerton on right inner bicep // meaning: reference to the character gene allerton from william s. burroughs’ book Queer, allerton is the love interest of the protagonist Lee (who is burroughs talking about himself in the 3rd person) - see shazam interview 

4. annie/true love on chest // meaning: for his nana who died in 2013 (he also talks about it in the shazam interview, “My nana hated all of my tattoos, she made me promise that I would never get a tattoo of her when she died, and then about 16 hours after she died I got the tattoo on my chest.. I’m not messin around Nana.”)

5. love in script above right elbow // meaning: just love?? haha i mean i think it’s self explanatory 

6. anchor below right elbow // meaning: same as love, just an anchor? haha idk

7. mortal kombat logo on right forearm // meaning: matty loves video games and was obsessed with mortal kombat when he was a kid/teenager

8. 1975 on right forearm // meaning: for the band, he talks about it in this interview “We were told by some people in the industry that we couldn’t call the band The 1975 because there’s never been a band that’s been big that’s just been number and I said that that’s a red rag to a bull and then tattooed it on my arm.”

9. we are kings on left hip/lower torso // meaning: lyric from their old song “wolves”

10. girl/tiger/shield thing on shin // meaning: insignificant one i think

11. something on the back of his left leg, i can never tell what it is // meaning: again i think one of the insignificant ones

12. rose above left ankle on left side of leg // meaning: i think one of those insignificant ones he talked about

13. cross above left ankle on right side of leg // meaning: insignificant

14. denise on right foot // meaning: for his mom denise

15. timothy on left foot // meaning: for his dad tim

cumbitemedaddy 質問:

Hey! I am in a DDlg relationship - my Daddy & I are interested in anal. I have no idea if you are so this is kind of a stab in the dark but hey here goes. I was wondering if you enjoy this with your little & if you do - I was curious about advice. What training did you do with her & what did you do as the guy to make her more comfortable? I have a plug that we are playing with but my Daddy is pretty large and I want to be able to go all the way. Sorry if this is in anyway offensive (:

lol

easy answer.

clean

douche

lube

lube

finger

lube

fingerS

lube

anal dildo (reserved for this area only)

lube

plug

bigger dildo

penis

fuckity fuck. :)

For all of the stories that I write about them, I haven’t made many posts about Sirius’ relationship with the Potters. Which is kind of funny because they’re one of my favorite relationships to think about. I’ve spent years building up their characterizations and their headcanons and…yeah…to me, they feel almost like real people. And throughout the dozens of oneshots and the handful of multi-chaptered stories where they’ve been in, their characters have essentially remained the same. So, if you’ve ever wondered, here are some basic ‘rules’ that I follow when writing about Mr. Potter and Mrs. Potter, and Sirius’ relationship with them.

  • First off, Mr. and Mrs. Potter are the nicest people in the world. They are that old, friendly, couple that you know in your lives that are always happy and always generous and always laughing and always opening up their home to anyone. I decided on this characteristic years ago, for the sheer fact that I wanted a complete contrast between them and Walburga and Orion.
  • Mr. Potter is usually always an Auror. In fact, I can’t ever remember writing anything where he wasn’t. This again was to create a contrast between the Potters and the Blacks, as a good chunk of the Blacks are Death Eaters.
  • Because he’s an Auror, Mr. Potter knows Moody. In fact, the two of them are good friends and are around the same age. Mr. Potter’s the calm, passive, one whereas Moody’s the loud, destructive, one. Plus, I jjust love the idea of Moody being like James’ weird uncle.
  • Mr. Potter usually knows Kingsley. Kingsley’s not in all of my stories but he is in the majority of them, usually as Mr. Potter’s apprentice; the guy who’s just starting to work at the Auror Offices and is working his way up to greatness.
  • Fudge is the devil. I know that that’s a bit off topic but a lot of the stories that I write have Fudge as a minor antagonist. He’s usually either a higher-up or even the Head of the Auror Offices. (Although he technically didn’t work in the Auror Offices in canon but seriously, who even follows canon anymore?) Fudge is basically that big, greedy, businessman who corrupts the office by trying to get fame, power, and money. He and Orion get along when the latter is donating huge bags of galleons to the Ministry. Naturally, he and Mr. Potter don’t get along quite as much.
  • Mr. Potter is basically like a cross between Atticus Finch and Uncle Iroh. He’s gentle but can be stern when needed. He’s passive and kind but he knows how to fight and he fights well, especially when his family is endangered. He’s always spouting philosophy and really wise statements that cause Sirius and James to think.
  • Mr. Potter can always see right through Sirius, no matter what age (Because I’ve had several stories where he meets Sirius when Sirius’ is a child). Sirius has spent his entire life hiding behind a mask and trying to deny the fact that he’s scared and upset. But Mr. Potter can see right through that mask. Going along with the above bullet, Mr. Potter often gives these really wise speeches and says exactly what Sirius needs to hear. Even if Sirius never says a word back, it’s always evident that Mr. Potter has helped him.
  • Mrs. Potter is the motherly figure - the one who gives Sirius warmth and support. She’s the one who gives him amazing meals (I’ve always had the headcanon that she was a phenomenal cook) and she always tells him how amazing and wonderful he is and she always reminds him that their house is always open. 
  • Mrs. Potter is basically like Mrs. Weasley only without the negative shrillness.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Potter almost always live in a big house out in the countryside.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Potter are rich, though unlike the Blacks, they are very modest about it.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Potter always send Sirius (and the other Marauders) sweets and presents throughout the schoolyear.
  • In the event that Regulus is in the story (which is more often than not), the Potters treat him exactly as they do Sirius.
  • Sirius tends to take after Mr. Potter whereas Regulus tends to take after Mrs. Potter
  • James is a combination of both
  • Mr. and Mrs. Potter think of Sirius (and Regulus if he’s there) as their son(s).
  • When it comes right down to it, Mr. and Mrs. Potter are the amazing (albeit sappy) family that Sirius (and Regulus if he’s there) needs. And it’s wonderful.

maliciousmango 質問:

Hi! Just wanna tell you that I really love your blog and all the おいしい and 甘い treats you post!!!!! Since I'm visiting Japan, what foods do recommend trying? Thanks! ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

Thank you.

When I was in Japan, I liked:

1) Bread! You can get very wonderful bread at Japanese grocery stores and bakeries. (The convenience stores, like Family Mart, also sell bread, but it can be kind of dry and low quality sometimes.) For bread, I recommend melonpan (melon bread), especially the kind with cream inside. I also recommend anpan (sweet bean bread), kareepan (curry bread), and sandwiches (such as katsu sando and fruits sandwiches).

2) Street food! Try taiyaki, dango, okonomiyaki, yakisoba, yakiniku, imagawayaki, yaki-imo, crepes, soft serve ice cream, takoyaki. Taiyaki, dango, and crepes are my favorite. I once had a very unique kind of dango with lemon frosting, at komachi-dori in Kamakura. But plain an-dango is lovely as well.

3) You should also try parfait and pancakes! Japan has a big selection.

4) Try visiting a cake shop. Japan has a lot of French-inspired sweets. Monburan, strawberry shortcake, cheesecake, cream puffs, tarts, etc. Having grown up in the US, I didn’t find most of the cake I tried in Japan quite sweet enough, but I don’t know if you would feel that way.

5) Sushi. It might seem overrated, but sushi places with the conveyor belt are really fun. Salmon sushi, negitoro, and tuna sushi are my personal favorite kinds of sushi.

6) Wagashi, traditional Japanese sweets. They might be an acquired taste if you aren’t accustomed to them, but I can never get enough haha. Try daifuku, manjuu, taiyaki, monaka. If you don’t like anko (sweet bean paste), then try ice cream daifuku. There is a brand called Yukimi Daifuku that you can buy at the convenience store.

8) It is worthwhile to try to find an Okinawan restaurant. Okinawa has a distinct food culture from mainland Japan. Try chanpuru, Okinawa soba, Murasaki imo (sweet purple potato indigeneous to Okinawa).

9) General dishes that I liked in Japan: nabe ryori (all kinds of stew, normally made at home), curry rice, omelette rice, sukiyaki (beef stew), oden (I don’t know how to explain it but I like it), onigiri, ramen (you can get really over-the-top bowls of ramen at restaurants).

10) If you go to Yokohama, visit Chinatown (Chuuka-gai). Try milk tea with tapioca, goma dango, nikuman (steamed meat bun), anman (steamed sweet bean bun), gyouza (dumplings). You can also go to a buffet in Chinatown, but trying the street food is cheaper and more fun I think. There are a lot of fun stores to buy souveniers as well.

11) There’s always candy. Meiji chocolate is very nice. You can buy a bunch to bring home, so focus more on trying fresh food while in Japan.

I know I am forgetting some things, but this should help you I think. You can browse my blog for more ideas. (⌒ー⌒)

BAGGINSHIELD FIC RECS PART x??x 

*** ASEXUAL CHARACTER(S) EDITION ***

(please heed all authors’ tags/warnings)

*‘Til Break of Day by bendingsignpost. oneshot. ace!bilbo and demi!thorin(i think so anyway!). bed-sharing, cuddling. pre-botfa.
Two of a Kind by Neyiea. short oneshot. modern au. asexual relationship, fluff. extremely adorable!
Wedding night blues by Signe_chan. oneshot. post-botfa, marriage, ace!thorin, relationship negotiation, very mild angst.
*until the red dawn breaks by lilithiumwords. oneshot. the middle-earth zombie apocalypse au you didn’t know you needed but you really need it! asexual relationship.
Tangled by xxSparksxx. oneshot. post-botfa, ace!bilbo. thorin is wonderful in this (and demisexual i think). very mild angst.
*The Noise Inside My Head by WuNsChKiNd89. oneshot, post-auj, asexual relationship. cuddling, sharing a bed, nightmares, emotional h/c. 
*Righting Wrongs by diemarysues. series. fem!bagginshield. post-botfa. ace!thorin. thorin being a worrier, bilbo being a sweetheart, cuddling.

* = fave
more of my fic recs
dedicated to anonymoussong in gratitude for my demi!thorin icon <3

my blog celebrates its one year anniversary today! 😊🎉

how has it been 12 full months already?? tbh it feels like it was only a couple months ago i was pondering the idea, and innocently clicking the “create new blog” button with absolutely no idea how much it would come to mean to me.  

so first, i want to thank all the wonderful people i’ve met and become friends with through this blog. everyone i’ve come across has been so kind and supportive, and i can’t imagine my tumblr experience being half as good without you. y’all are the lilo to my stich. the tiana to my lottie. THE TIMON TO MY PUMBA!!!!!!!!!! *infinite heart eyes emoji*

and of course i can’t forget my followers (all 16,700+ of you wtf where did you all come from) who have stuck with me through all the drama and semi-hiatuses and url changes (remember rapunzels-, anyone?) and everything, i don’t know how you do it but i’m glad you do. i appreciate every single one of you—all the likes, reblogs, messages, and replies (i notice all of them!!)—and i hope you know you make me ridiculously happy. thanks for a great year, you’re all stars and i love you to the moon and beyond :-) 

p.s. i hope you each find a $10 bill on the ground today because you deserve it

匿名 質問:

Lately I've been having trouble writing and thinking of certain words especially how to explain and describe things in my writings and my art work. I was wondering if you had any tips or exercises to help this writer's block. This might be kind of an odd request, but anything helps!

Not odd at all!  Everyone has trouble looking for just the right words oftentimes.  Our brains are lazy creatures - they like to settle on the first or second option they come across, as long as it’s a decent one.  That’s why many new writers tend to get hung up on common or cliché descriptions - it’s what we’re used to.

My biggest question for you is, which senses are you relying on for your descriptions?  It’s easy to lean on sight alone when we use descriptive language, because we’re thinking of visuals.  When looking for fresh words to use, try exploring multiple senses - how do things feel to the touch?  What do they sound like?  To go even further (I’ve found this one particularly useful when describing setting), what does the sense of space feel like?  Vast and swooping, or close and cramped?  Think of a character standing so close to the edge of a cliff that it feels like they’re already falling.  Think of them shuffling uncomfortably in a tiny room that feels like their grandmother’s fifty-year-old wool coat.

Cross the wires between one sense and another.  Give textures to your sounds and personalities to your colors.  Mix and match the English language until you find something exciting, engaging, or unconventional.

I hope I interpreted your question correctly, anon!  If this isn’t the kind of answer you’re looking for, poke us in the ribs and we’ll try again!  Happy writing! 

— Senga

Lazarus

Last night when I got back from my trip, I noticed that my plant in the bedroom appeared to be dead. It’s the one with leafy palms, the one that’s most filled with life. I wondered how this could have happened. I had watered all of them before leaving, even though I only normally do it every other week. It should have been fine. It made me kind of sad.

I decided to try to revive it, at least once, even though it looked hopeless. From what I could tell, that plant was pretty dead.

I put it in the bathtub overnight after giving it some water, but in the morning nothing had changed. It still looked dead, only soggier. So then, reluctantly, I brought it to the kitchen sink and fed it again, all the while thinking that I’d have to get rid of it by the afternoon, after doing laundry and getting groceries. That way, at least the other plants could say goodbye.

But when I got back later, it was alive again, not thriving alive, but noticeable alive and somewhat dazed, like a hospital patient after waking from a coma.

I’m not saying it was a miracle, I am not a scientist, but I find it curious.

In 7th grade, we did this experiment in school with plants. 

One group of kids would plant a seed for their plant and water it every day for six weeks. Another group would do the same, but they would talk or even sing to it as they did it.  And still a third group would only water it sporadically, like whenever they felt like it or remembered. They could even cuss at it if they were so inclined. After six weeks, it was obvious that the plants in the first control group had fared the best. I remember being so amazed by this that immediately afterwards, I began talking to the plants in our house and occasionally in other houses, or museums.

I don’t really do this anymore, but I did it last night and again this morning without realizing it. Then I remembered that today was Palm Sunday, and it made me think about Lazarus. 

I’m not saying it was a miracle, but maybe plants just do better around people or other life forms. I’m just happy it’s still alive.

4

Richard Armitage 31 Day Challenge - Day 1: How you did you discover Richard?

It was fate.  When North & South first aired, I watched the first two episodes and then life got in the way and I missed the last two. During one of the repeat showings I happened across the second episode and thought “oh yeah, I saw this a couple of years ago, I wonder how it ends”.  Well, we all know how it ends :-D   I was taken with Daniela Denby-Ashe and wanted to watch more of her work but there really wasn’t anything readily available in North America.  As a consolation prize, I thought I’d look up that guy who played Thornton.  There was a fair amount of his work on Netflix.  So I watched Spooks and laughed because I’d been kind of faithful to the first 5 seasons of it before I got distracted.   

Thorton was my gateway drug, but Lucas sealed my fate.

匿名 質問:

I wonder what SJWs would think of Blazing Saddles. I just watched it with my dad and as we were laughing our asses off we came to the sad realization that the kind of humor in Mel Brooks films wouldn't fly today--people would get too "offended."

I love that movie. I love all of Mel Brooks’ movies. SJWs would probably shit their pants.

-the Polish one

匿名 質問:

I was just wondering. Jack is such a loud talker, are you too? Can you even talk, Sam? Wait, I hope this isn't a bad question to ask. I definitely don't want to make or sad or something. Also do you ever get annoyed at Jack being so darn loud all the time? :3

I can’t talk since I don’t have a mouth, but I don’t mind that Jack is loud.  It’s actually kind of nice to have someone to fill the silence :)

sarathe5thsoprano 質問:

Hello, my name's Sara, and I was just wondering if I can get a hug from each and very night guard and you? I'm not really feeling like myself and my family is kind of avoiding me right now. Thanks and god bless you all.

Things have been kinda rough, huh?
Group Hug!

Mike: “No.”

Jeremy: “Aww, come on!” *pushes Mike into Sara and hugs*

Charles: “Everything will be fine, you’ll see.” *hugs*

Richard: *gets up from his chair* “Come here kid” *hugs tightly*

Fritz: “Hey! I wanna piece of that action!” *Glomps!*

Gabe: *Embraces*

匿名 質問:

Hello there Uncle Dojima. I read from one of your previous asks that you and Nanako watch Steven Universe and like Garnet? As a fellow Garnet fan I was wondering what it is you like about her. Thank you! Keep up the good fathering and policing you're doing a wonderful job

She is kind, loving and STRONG… which she uses to protect her loved ones. That is what I am all about. SHe would do anything to protect her child!!!!

itmustvebeenthefairies 質問:

Ooo how about Lockhart's blog?

  • their blog url: magicalme
  • the kind of posts they reblog: literally anything about him bc all press is good press
  • the first person they followed: he would follow himself first if he could
  • what kind of theme they’d have: lots of pictures of him everywhere
  • what kind of text posts they make at 2am: marveling about how wonderful he is

send me a character!

匿名 質問:

About the bad parent relationship thing could you do one where you're scared to have a family with them because of your parents and family not being good examples of how to be a family and you wouldn't know how to be a family or it would be broken because youd eventually split like your parents if you had one?

Sure thing! But really, and I know I say this all the time - everyone; IF. YOU. NEED. SOMEONE. TO. TALK. TO. THEN. YOU. CAN. TALK. TO. ME. I don’t know if I can stress this any more! I’m always here for you, and you can always count on me, okay! Don’t forget that!


Xiumin: Y/n … you are the most gentle, kind person I know. You would be an amazing mother - trust me.

Luhan: Not a good mother?! Y/n, you are the most wonderful person that walks the planet, and I have no doubts in my mind that you would be a wonderful mother as well.

Kris: You aren’t your parents, jagi. And I have faith that you can learn from their mistakes and do things the right way.

Suho: Listen to me, jagiya - one day, we will have a wonderful family, that lives in a nice house, and we’ll all love and appreciate the wonderful mother that takes care of us all. I know that you could do it.

Lay: Never, ever, would I leave you. You are the highlight of my life - without you, I don’t know if I would still be able to perform like I do. I promise you that I will always love you as much as I do in this moment; hopefully more with every day.

Baekhyun: Don’t ever think like that. Your parent’s mistakes were their own - no matter how terrible they were, look at the amazing person you’ve become. Don’t ever think of yourself that way - you are so much better than they ever were.

Chen: *keeps watching you for the rest of the night, trying to figure out a way to get you to realize how perfect of a mother you would be*

Chanyeol: *starts crying because he hates that they’ve made you fear a commitment so much* You are perfect, y/n. I love you beyond belief, and never would I leave you. I don’t think I could survive without you.

Kyungsoo: I … I don’t want you to ever think that you’re that unimportant to me. I love you too much to ever let you go like your parents did each other.

Tao: *tries to convince you that you’re so much better than your family, but is crying too hard to speak*

Kai: Never once has the thought of leaving you crossed my mind, and it won’t in the future. You are so important to me, and I would like to meet the people who made you feel otherwise so I can give them a stern talking to. 

Sehun: Really, I’m not crying. I just hate that the person I love most in the world feels this way about herself. I promise you, there’s no way that we’ll end up like your parents did. Because of them, we know what to do right this time.


I hope you liked this! Feel free to send in reaction/ship requests, as well as any questions/thoughts you have! My box is always open!

Saranghae~

jadecore 質問:

I just want you to get through all of this happily in the end. You're a wonderful, kind person, and many of your characters are genuine inspirations to me. You deserve to be happy and deal with all of this relatively simply.

Thank you! I really think it’ll be ok, i’m very fragile right now, and there is also this bubble of rage inside me, but it’s not driving me, and the support from my fans is so inspiring!

I have been getting back into my ZP cast and planning on starting up the next arc soon!

You guys are giving me the drive too! 8)

Little things mean a lot 14

Dear Delia,

I can’t remember when I’ve heard better news! Oh Deels I amso, so happy for you! It is a wonderful sign that it’s all coming back so clearly. What does the Doctor say? I’m afraid I don’t know as much as I could about recovery from amnesia, but regaining these memories must be a good indicator that the rest could come back soon too? Thank you so much for sharing those stories with me, I loved reading about your adventures as a little girl. You have told me before in passing that you were lost at a fair once and that the people who worked there were so kind to you that you hadn’t wanted to go home (you were trying to entice me to take the train to visit a fair with you in Brighton at the time!), but I didn’t know about Susan, or that you had wanted to work at a fairground because of the candyfloss! If I were any kind of an artist I think I might be tempted to paint the image of a small dark haired girl in blue gingham, smiling unconcernedly and hugging a big red balloon in the middle of a busy fairground as if her heart’s truest desire had been realized. I would call the painting ‘Susan’ and everyone but you and I would think it was named for the child! Do you remember how long you kept that balloon after you left the fair? I don’t suppose you still have its remnants tucked away somewhere. Alas ‘forever and ever’ to a three year old is rarely as long as we expect it to be. But perhaps that is for the best or I for one would be eating nothing but bread and butter pudding to this day, as I asserted after a particularly delicious serving as a toddler that I was going to eat only ‘mama’s bed and butty puddimg’ forever and ever (I know, who would have guessed that my younger self would have such dreadful diction? But alas, it was so).

Of course I meant it when I said I would visit, I would like nothing better! I actually asked your mother in the hospital if I might be allowed to come and see you now and again, but at the time you were so unwell and the shock so fresh that I don’t think she liked the thought of having well meaning friends cluttering up the place and she rather discouraged the idea. After that I didn’t want to push, but if you want me to come there is nothing on Earth that could stop me. A trip to the seaside sounds utterly delightful but if it’s too much you needn’t concern yourself about entertaining me. I would be just as happy planting tulip bulbs in your garden or even just sliding round your bedroom floor in stockings. I don’t mind a bit what we do as I shall be there simply to see you and one way or another, whatever we set out to do we always have a splendid time. If you let me know what dates would suit you best I will talk to Sister Julienne about getting a few days leave. I’m not sure when I last took a holiday and I have never been to Wales, so it is all rather exciting! Ought I to write to your mother and ask her leave to come though? I would hate to make her feel I had forced my way in against her wishes, especially after I asked and was turned down by her once before, even if that was in the immediate aftermath of your injury. If she isn’t happy with the idea of a house guest I’m sure I could find a boarding house somewhere not too far away so that we might have day visits at least?

The Christmas concert went swimmingly. The girls’ brigade had been working very hard to get their band up to snuff and they acquitted themselves beautifully in their piece. We were all left speechless and Sister Mary Cynthia (who remembers having to encourage the girl even to speak in public a year or two ago) teared up a little when a shy young lady named Cheryl surprised us all with an achingly beautiful solo of ‘silent night’. Then there was a sermon of course, with Mrs Turner and her community choir leading the hymns, and then it was our turn. We very nearly had a disaster on our hands even after I managed to get Stephen’s solemn oath that he would not play Scrooge as Mr Larson (his headmaster). Do you remember Alfie, the boy I mentioned who sat on his camera during the pinhole session we did a few weeks ago? Well it seems he really is extremely accident prone (or perhaps he is in the midst of another growth spurt and it’s making him uncoordinated) because just three days before we were due to perform he took a tumble down a flight of stairs and fractured his tibia! He was meant to be the ghost of Christmas yet to come, but we felt it might rather detract from his ominous presence to have him limping along in plaster as he showed Scrooge the doom he was inviting on himself. We had to have a last minute cast shuffle so that Alfie could be Tiny Tim, that way the crutches would be entirely in keeping with his character. This would have been fine if it weren’t for the fact that Alfie is a robust and hearty lad and rather taller than the boy playing his father, so all the mentions of poor, frail (and above all LITTLE) Tiny Tim took on a rather comic air. Still, the boys all remembered their lines and at the end of the show one or two people told us how much they enjoyed the comedy aspect so of course we all just smiled along and pretended the casting had been done that way deliberately!

Your parcel arrived safely and I have put it away ready for Christmas morning as you asked (though it took a great deal of self control as I am as excited as a child about it!). I will open it at 7.30 on the dot, and perhaps you could open yours from me at the same time? I’m not sure what your family tradition is on Christmas morning, but hopefully you’ll be able to take a few minutes at that time. Trixie, Barbara and I have agreed to have our own little family Christmas morning together, but I have made sure that it won’t begin until 8am so you and I can exchange our Christmas presents first. That way it won’t get lost in all the hullabaloo that is bound to ensue when Barbara bounces in in her pyjamas like a child coming to tell her parents it’s Christmas day! Trixie and I have been putting our heads together the last few days to come up with ways to make the holiday special for her as we’re afraid she may feel rather sad and homesick otherwise. There tends to be quite the religious focus here at Nonnatus for the rest of the occupants (they are nuns after all, so what can one expect?) so it can be quite a solemn occasion if we let it (at least until Christmas dinner when everyone is in a more celebratory mood) and though Barbara comes from a church family and must be used to that, she has also been telling us all sorts of stories about the little family traditions she has back home. She was supposed to be going to spend the holidays with her family in Liverpool, but she just received word from her father saying there has been an outbreak of scarlet fever and she should stay away to avoid bringing it back to Poplar, so the poor girl has found herself at a bit of a loose end.

The day she got the letter telling her not to come home I found her sitting on the steps looking utterly woebegone and as though she might be about to shed a tear or two. She told me about how her father still has her write a letter to santa claus and send it up the chimney the way he had done when he was a little boy, because he says someone who does so much for others as she does ought to send a little wish for herself heavenward at this time of year, and how he still makes sure she has a stocking to wake up to on Christmas morning even now she’s grown up. She made all the games and songs of the morning sound so jolly that it rather made me want to be a part of it too. Trixie and I are old hands at Christmas spent away from the trappings of childhood, but as this will be Barbara’s first Christmas away from her family I feel almost maternal towards her over it and have been planning to recreate the experience for her as best I can.

 So last night I brought out paper and pens and told Trixie and Barbara we were going to write our Christmas letters to Santa. Trixie was a little bemused at first, but I think she understood when she saw the look on Barbara’s face and after that she joined in gamely enough. It wasn’t so much the activity itself after all, but the family feeling behind it and the fact that we were doing it to give Christmas to a friend who had thought she was going to miss out (and really, after having a beach party in December simply writing letters to a magical wish granter from the North Pole seems tame by comparison!). We had a whale of a time coming up with preposterous Christmas wishes and when Sister Monica Joan saw what we were doing she showed us the trick she learnt as a girl to create a draft that would ensure the letters went straight up the chimney (and so directly into the hands of jolly old St Nick) instead of catching in the flames and being burned away.

In spite of the fire trick I have decided to not to rely solely on our letters to bring about a merry Christmas morning and am over at the Noakes’ house this evening, watching little Freddie while Chummy and Sergeant Noakes go out to the cinema in exchange for the use of Chummy’s Singer (we do have a sewing machine at Nonnatus but I wanted this to be a surprise). I’m afraid I will never win any awards for my sewing, but I can manage well enough to piece together a couple of big stocking shapes out of red felt and I had fun earlier today going round the market choosing little presents to fill them for Trixie and Babs. We never really had big family Christmases when I was a girl so I am rather enjoying putting the extra effort in to planning this one, especially as the unexpected lull in both the number of women going into labour and medical disasters to be dealt with has left me with rather more energy and time than I am used to!

I do hope you’ll like your gifts Deels, I’m sending the parcel along with this letter all ready for Christmas. The package on top is your present from the nuns, but it will be best fresh so you might want to open that one right away rather than waiting for Sunday. The rest should be perfectly safe to be kept though, and I made sure that all the parcels in the box are individually wrapped and labelled with the name of their sender, so if you want to you can take them out and put them under a tree or at the foot of your bed (wherever you feel best to display them).

Merry Christmas Delia!

Love,
Patsy

 _________

Dearest Delia,

It’s really true. You remember. Not me, perhaps, but even so you are really, truly regaining your memories! In spite of everything else as the weeks have gone by I have been so afraid this would never happen; that you would never know all of yourself again. It’s lucky that I’ve gotten into a routine of opening your letters when I am alone because reading this one I couldn’t stop myself from sobbing. I feel as though a dam has burst in my chest and all the fear and sadness I have been storing up seemed determined to flood its way out through my eyes. It has left me feeling raw and shaky, but I can’t contain the hope I feel anymore that perhaps what we once had is in reach again.

Trixie came into the room while I was still a bit red eyed and I was terrified that she would start asking awkward questions (how on Earth could I explain why I was so emotional over your story of balloons and gardeners after all?) but she didn’t ask, just glanced from my face to the letter in my hand then quietly came to sit beside me and gave me her handkerchief. We stayed that way for what seemed like a long time, her with her arm around me and her head on my shoulder while I pulled myself together, but even when I was back in control she didn’t ask why I was crying, just gave me a little nod and said ‘that’s better old thing, big smiles. It will all be alright you know. And if it’s not… you can talk to me. It won’t change anything if… well, I’m your friend Patsy, and you can talk to me, that’s all’. Perhaps she saw my fearful look, or perhaps I was simply reading more into her words that she intended, but a moment later it was as though it had never happened and Trixie was her usual self again, talking about a new dress she was simply dying to find an excuse to buy and discussing the newest styles in Vogue. I never realized quite how much of a brave face Trixie puts on, but I think she wears glamour girl image the same way I do my ‘Nurse Mount’ one. We are both of us just playing a part to keep the broken parts of us hidden from the world.

I can’t help thinking about how this should have been our first Christmas together in our own home. No matter how I try to push the thoughts away I keep imagining it. Waking up in our own bed, close enough to reach for your hand and whisper a ‘Merry Christmas’ in your ear, then cuddle back up under the covers for an extra five minutes, because finally, finally there would be no risk of anyone walking in and catching us if we lingered too long. Then we’d make breakfast together and sit under our own little Christmas tree to exchange gifts. Perhaps we would both be on duty that day (after all the work of nurses and midwives doesn’t stop even for the baby Jesus) but even if we spent the day apart at the end of it we would be able to come home and close the door and return to just being us again. Do you want to know a secret Deels? That day is what I wished for in my letter to Santa. Oh not the one I wrote with Trixie and Barbara of course, for that I wished for silly things, like enema pots that dispose of themselves and uniforms that repel bodily fluids, but somehow I couldn’t get the game out of my mind and after they had both gone to bed I snuck back downstairs and wrote a different kind of letter. It might be foolish fancy but it will do no harm to ‘send a little wish for myself heavenward’ as Barbara’s father would say.

I hope you like your presents. Just as you said to me, it somehow feels important that I get this right. The jug was my first idea – a nice, modern geometric design of course, not roses or violets, but it wasn’t enough. I kept thinking about your first letter, when you told me your room was full of ‘prim water colours of flowers’, and how the last time we were together you told me that you wanted the only flowers in the room to be real ones. I thought that if you were here in Poplar I’d make sure there were always fresh flowers for this jug. But you’re not here, and I realized that that is no reason to stop me from sending you flowers anyway. I had to find a map of the area in the library archives to find the names of the nearest towns, then spend an hour calling directory enquiries to track down a florist that would be near enough, able to deliver and willing to do what I asked for a sum I could afford. But eventually I managed it and it is all arranged – for as long as you are staying in your mother’s house you will always have fresh, colourful flowers delivered fortnightly to your door to remind you that I love you (even if you don’t know that that is what they’re saying).The balloon you will find tucked inside the jug was a late addition, and I hope it will make you smile. I picked the one that promised to be the biggest and reddest in remembrance of Susan, as a celebration of your childhood memories returning to you.

The rest of the box was filled by others here in Poplar. Everyone put in a little something to let you know you aren’t forgotten. The nuns donated a parcel of gingerbread men (after the last cake they sent as a gift arrived with a slice missing courtesy of Sister Monica Joan they decided biscuits would be safer and more traditional than a cherry sponge for the time of year anyhow). Fred kept with the ginger theme by supplying a bottle from his new batch of ginger beer, but Trixie warned me of his last attempts at brewing, so I have included a note to drink with caution in case he got his figures wrong and made it highly alcoholic again! Mrs Buckle has very kindly sent a pretty length of blue fabric with white polka dots, in case you should wish to practice dress making to keep you entertained while you are away from work. Trixie sent the chocolates and Barbara the sherry and the bag of shells (because I told her you wished you could have a summer beach party in winter too). The card is from the cubs, they made if for you in their last session and have all signed it. I hope you like the pictures from their ‘Christmas Carol’ performance as well! Dear Timothy Turner made then up for me and asked that I wrap them with a ribbon (which he had bought with his own pocket money) and send it as his own contribution to your gift. I was really quite touched when everyone told me they wanted to send something on to you. I forget sometimes how much a part of a family I am now.

I love you Delia.

Merry Christmas Sweetheart.

Love,
Patsy