Anton's Ideas

Anton Wills-Eve on world news & random ideas

A Waste of Time


 

 

 

A Waste of Time

Not a sound, not a peep

From the baby asleep,

While the cat and the dog

Both rest like a log.

And the afternoon sun

Is too tired for a run

Round the clouds in the sky,

No one knows why.

SDC11299
The warm summer breeze

Makes the leaves in the trees

Flutter calm and serene,

Speckled yellow and green.

Adding tranquillity and peace

To the ducks and the geese

As they float on the pond,

Where each lily and fronde

Are too tired to float

To the children’s toy boat

Left to bob or to sink,

While the kids have a drink,

the pond

And mummy’s new tan

Gets as dark as it can

Without burning her skin,

The cream round her chin

Stops it hurting all night.

The whole scene, so bright.

The sun, getting ready to set,

Thinks there’s time enough yet.

The birds, wasps and bees

The mosquitoes and fleas

All bask in the hot afternoon.

late afternoon

But it’s surprising how soon

Cool evening descends

And the afternoon ends.

One more day passes by,

Waving cheerio to the sky,

Because time’s daily run,

Round the moon and the sun

Can’t be started or ended

Shortened or extended.

good night moon

Anton Wills-Eve

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HOW DID THEY UNDERSTAND?


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/i-have-confidence-in-me/”>I Have Confidence in Me</a>

March 7th’s prompt.

HOW DID THEY  UNDERSTAND?

I once told my readers, at least I hope they are plural, about the inability of my five year old  son, Edgardo, to master four languages at such a tender age. It really was a shame because his four sisters and two brothers were all promising linguists and I am sure Eddie was merely attention seeking egged on by his nine year old sister Lucia. Let me tell you of his latest prank.

My wife, Francesca, and I were going out for the evening to see an opera that she particularly enjoyed, Don Giovanni one of Mozart’s greatest works. At lunch that day, we were in England for the summer holidays, he asked his mother.”Now you have got your libretto, haven’t you, Mama? Lucia tells me you need to thumb through one when you go to operas, whatever that involves, but I expect you know”. My adorable Francesca had long since given up trying to understand anything her seven children said to her. Within seven years she had given birth to Maria, eleven months later Giovanni, sometimes known as John or even Jean depending on which member of the family was talking to him. Two years after that came the twins Lucia and Violetta, a year later Dido and six years after Maria came Aeneas.  Finally a year later the seventh addition to our beautiful collection, little Edgardo was born in late 2009.

You will notice their names all had strong Operatic connections. Also they were born in different countries, France, Italy, England (the twins), Switzerland, Spain and America, this last appropriately for Eddie who was a typical Chicago gansgter. But after his arrival the doctors told us that no more children could be conceived by Francesca following surgery that was necessary at the time of Eddie’s very difficult birth. Tears were shed at first but soon my lovely wife realised she had more than she could cope with already. How she ever got a masters degree as well in two languages I will never know. But she was now lecturing at an on line  distance learning university which suited my peripatetic work and our over populated family perfectly.  I  took her on holiday to Salzburg shortly after Eddie’s birth,  a much needed holiday for both of us and a very necessary period of clinging onto each other for a while as our first love returned to us in all it’s wonderful tenderness. If anything, by the time of this story I loved Francesca more than when we met at university in Pisa in 2000 at a second milenium celebration student dance. We married in April 2001 and Maria was born in May 2002. Eddie came along in the early winter of 2009.  But to return to our opera night out.

When we took our seats in Covent Garden Francesca smiled at me and sighed with contentment as she relaxed to enjoy her favourite music. She knew the score and the main arias backwards but always liked to follow them when at an opera. If it gave her more pleasure so much the better, as long as she did not try to sing along with the performers. I got her out of this habit at a performance of Tosca at Verona where she was blushing puce with remorse as people sitting near us tut-tutted. But this night she was on her best behaviour.  I hoped everything was fine, but then I did not know what Lucia had planned for Eddie. Famous aria after famous aria had little notes scribbled in the margin.

Take two examples. “La ci da rem la mano”, ‘Put your pretty hand in mine’, a seduction scene, had the annotation , “Mama, what a naughty man! Don’t let daddy see you reading this!” Then the famous aria where don Giovanni’s romantic conquests all over Europe are recited to discourage Donna Elvira, had the notes, ‘ he had 1,003 lovers in Spain? How did he keep it up?’ That was the first time Francesca had ever stuffed a hankey in her mouth in public much to my horror. I thought she was ill. In the interval she showed me the libretto and score.

“Lucia! But Francesca, it is funny. But she couldn’t know all that by herself and none of the older children would have told her!” My wife nodded and started to look worried. she asked me,

“David, isn’t it more worrying to try to work out what Edgardo was thinking as Lucia wrote this for him? He must have been curious”. We both left the opera house very concerned.

The next day we summoned Lucia and Eddie and asked why they had written all over mummy’s lovely libretto. Lucia tried to look innocently puzzled and not understanding what we were talking about, but not Eddie. “Oh, it is easy. Don Giovanni was a dirty old man, you know he never had a wash, or so our Giovanni told me, and Violetta said he held Elvira’s hand up in the air as they walked off at the end of that scene, but so many encores were called for on the first night that everyone wondered why her arm muscles did not give way she held it up so long.”

It was Maria who solved the whole mystery for us. It was just the three of us now. “Well, Mama and Papa, you see we did not think this was a suitable opera for a good Catholic family to be allowing their mother to see, so we decided to distract Mama by making her laugh and in such a way that the very youngest members of the family would not be corrupted.” I couldn’t believe her at first, but I did when she added,

“It was our embassy chaplain who told us what to write as he thought all of us were too young to understand the story, but was very pleased at how pious we were in wanting to preserve our parents’ moral standards.” Francesca wanted to talk to Father Richard but I stopped her. Darling, they are all seven of them in this far too deeply already. We are the ones who would be making our children lie even more by taking the matter any further. Let it drop. ” She nodded but sighed as she concluded,

“I’m still worried about Eddie, though. If he made up that explanation he could become a really accomplished liar, but if he undertstood the joke, who told him?”

I kissed her as we left the sitting room and said, isn’t it fun having seven children to worry about all at once! Are you sure you once wanted another pair of twins?”

 

Anton Wills-Eve

THE MISSING LINK


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/32-flavors/”>32 Flavors</a>

reply to prompt for March 17th.

 

THE MISSING LINK

 

There are thirty two flavors in chewing gum alone,

And in candy there must be many hundreds more.

Doubtless in cakes, chocolates and toffees

There are thousands with your teas and coffees,

While your dog says he’s got millions on his bone.

Alas, in England, we haven’t any flavors. No not one!

But that’s because we live across the ocean blue.

Where we are forced to spell them flavours,

And so miss everything a Yankee savours,

Daniel Webster, where did you put that bloody ‘u’?

 

Anton Wills-Eve 

 

 

OUR OWN PLACE


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/places/”>Places</a&gt;

continuing the story in my  post ‘the end of the line’ published March 13th.

     OUR OWN PLACE

 

The previous December when mum died and I had to return home to Barbados a few days before the end of my first term at Oxford, I received a Christmas card from my really close girl friend, well she was much more than that, although we were not lovers. All it said was, ‘thinking of you, praying for you, loving you. Mai. xxx’

This meant nothing at first other than how sorry she was I would not be meeting her family in London at Christmas as we had planned. But then, the day before I was due to fly back to Oxford I received this terrible shock. It was in the form of a brief but tear stained letter.

Remember our names for each other? ‘Peter the Great’ and ‘Come what Mai’? Well hold on to them my darling. They are all we have for the time being. I told my parents and family about you and showed them that lovely picture of us in our favourite place. That was when they realised you were not just West Indian, but coloured. Oh Peter, how can people be so cruel? I explained that being Chinese I could well be just as much a shock to your parents, but they would not listen. I asked what I should do, about my studies in particular. My father said he would take his belt to me, and my brothers would kill you before they allowed me near you again. Why, Peter? Why? My family merely said I was their daughter and must do what they said and that I had no say in the matter at all.

I have been banned from Oxford and they don’t care that I was studying medicine, like you. They didn’t care about sick people, their control over me came first and that was that. My father is going to ring my tutor tomorrow to say I am too ill to study and that will be the end of it. To make sure of this I will be virtually a prisoner in my home and not even allowed out to shop for three months, mum said. At least I have got in first with this letter to you and one to your friend Leroy, giving him my address. He is still in London and I know he will try to help somehow. Be careful, Peter. You will always be ‘Great’. I Love you. Mai. XXX”

As you can imagine I was badly shaken and could not think straight for a while, but then I looked at the time. Sunday or not it was only nine pm in Oxford and I rang our tutor to get my call in first. I was incredibly lucky, Dr.Lassiter was in his rooms and when he heard my story was absolutely furious. He is going to ring you now and tell you how he can help you, although he was none too sure. All he did know was that as you were over eighteen, and so your family were breaking the race relations act, then you could do whatever you wished. He was reporting the matter to the Dean and the Chancellor so that they could also get in before your father to make sure he understood your rights. Leroy will certainly keep an eye on you so I’m adding his mobile number if you need to text him (if you can).

I Do love you, ‘Come what Mai’, and always will. xxx. Moi.

I heard nothing from anyone before boarding the plane today, but here in London airport at 9.00am I have managed to get hold of Leroy. He tells me he has informed the police of what has happened and that they are checking with the authorities in Oxford. It seems Mai’s father did ring Dr.Lassiter and was told in no uncertain terms that she was returning to Oxford even if the police had to bring her. That is all I know but I have told Leroy to tell Mai to meet me in our favourite place this afternoon if she get’s back to University as we hope. This is a picture of where we loved to walk together. Leroy is calling round at her house later this morning.

 

Our Favourite hillside walk.

Our Favourite hillside walk.

 

You can see why we liked walking hand in hand down towards the lake in the distance. Well in the hope that she’ll make it I have bought a ring which I hope to put on her hand this afternoon. I have to go now or I won’t make Oxford in time myself.

————————————————————-

Just imagine the scene. it was almost exactly the same time of day as when I took this picture, about four in the afternoon. I had almost given up any hopes that Mai would turn up when she suddenly appeared , running towards me up the hill between those sunlit trees. We clung to each other for what seemed like ages and then she asked if we could sit on a tree stump as she had something important to tell me.

“Peter, dad was in a terrible rage when Leroy arrive, he thought it must be you. But Leroy was very clever and had a policeman with him. The constable assured dad this was just a friend from Oxford who was returning for the start of term and thought I might like a companion on the journey. I picked up the hint and nipped upstairs to collect my case which I had ready with everything I needed in it in the hope I could somehow get back to University. Dad told the constable I was not going but the officer produced a court order accusing dad of racial discrimination and then actually arrested him. Only mum was at home and couldn’t stop Leroy from leaving with me. I don’t know what will happen next. I saw Dr. Lassiter and explained how I had managed to return and the college has changed my accomodation to a very safe suite of rooms on the third floor where he promised I would be looked after. It’s really lovely Peter. He asked me to bring you back so we could all discuss things as they are now. Can we go?”

I smiled back and said ,”Not until you answer this question. Give me your hand, Mai. Here, slip this on and then tell me that you will marry me.” She gaped in happy surprise and kept her arms round my neck for several minutes before whispering.

“Of course I will, Peter. After all you are ‘The Great!'”

(to be continued soon)

Anton Wills-Eve