(Click for modern photos of demi-tonneau awaiting restoration)
It seats two adults in comfort and two adults plus children at a pinch -- with Christine, Félix and Victoire accompanying Hippolyte, the driver, you can imagine things getting quite crowded, especially when Victoire gets excited :-D
This was supposed to be pure fluff (in the fluffiest 'bears no relation to the canon plot but is just the characters being sickeningly sweet and listing the names and ages† of all their children'-type way).
† 'Baby' Victoire is actually about five; she has been the youngest for long enough that everyone has got used to calling her that.
So I was slightly taken aback when it acquired some heavy but period-appropriate infant mortality more or less between one paragraph and the next; it works in the context, I think, and explains a couple of points elsewhere in the story rather neatly. But it's not quite the sort of thing you expect to crop up out of your subconscious when you literally had no idea it was going to happen.
This could be read as a sequel to "Newly Wed" some fifteen years later, I suppose, but it wasn't intended to be set in the same continuity; Raoul and his sisters get yet another different backstory here, and the gloomy keep at Drinon not only doesn't get mentioned, but isn't supposed to exist!
It was experimental in that I made a deliberate decision to attempt first-person present-tense narrative, but I think that has worked quite well in the context of a story that consists largely of fleeting moments in the immediate present. I'm a bit worried by the fact that in consequence the narrator isn't actually named until over halfway through, but there really didn't seem to be any natural way of getting the information in...
A Family Man
Sometimes, Raoul’s children remind him of himself and Christine. But mostly they are very much themselves. And a long walk on a hot day is not entirely to everyone’s taste...( Read more... )
Happy, healthy young apple seedlings... and the ink-bottle for my fountain-pens!
A tangled tray of 'salad' waiting to form flower-buds (believe it or not, I did do some thinning-out, by the unorthodox route of removing the stronger specimens of each species!)
Results from the fine-as-dust seed that was left in the bottom of the packet, which I suspect will produce a different species mix
In further news, I have finished typing "A Family Man" and started work on the provisionally-titled "Meg Shoots the Phantom" -- which is definitely going to need a better title at some point!
It looks as if the latter story really is going to be a short one for once, which I think is partly due to the script-like presentation I've consciously adopted (present tense and third-person 'objective', hence no long digressions into backstory or characters' thoughts about other characters) and partly due to the constraints of the original model: as an alternate finale, my version needs to fit more or less back into the space occupied by the current scene. Even as it is, it's going to be a bit longer, I suspect...
(Though I'm not yet sure if the title for this story should have the indefinite article, the definite article, or neither...)
Immediately after writing the ending I suddenly recalled a whole segment of unused material that was in the original development (while I was sitting on the bus... I even remember which road we were going along at the time), in which it is mentioned that Raoul as a child used to smuggle food to Christine and her father, and Christine now admits for the first time that it wasn't actually very suitable food for an invalid, and that her father didn't eat it! But I no longer remember what the line of thought that led to this exchange was (possibly Raoul comparing his wife's figure favourably to the scrawny girl of their childhood?) or how it fitted into the rest, so my subconscious was probably right to omit it.
We have initial germination on the second sowing of seed; a little more quickly than the original batch, I think, possibly because it's now later in the season and/or a lot warmer.
The orange ones are coming up first, which I think I remember.
Unfortunately the first batch got quite bashed about by the billowing curtains when I left the door of my room open with the curtains shut; I do try not to do that because the through draught sends my papers everywhere, but this is a new hazard :-(
I think they'll recover...
Still not finished, though I must be very near the end now; I've put the Countess in. Maybe another page? I should finish before the end of the notebook, anyway, although I certainly shan't get the 'family' fic in as well, as I had originally fondly imagined.
( should I cheat on the FFnet tagging? )
One of my anemones has fallen flat and seems to have snapped off from its root at ground level. Probably mechanical damage from drawing the curtain, I think, rather than rot or insect damage.
Oh well. I have four others and it wasn't doing anything interesting anyway -- just sitting there with its single leaf on a long stalk...
A slightly expensive source of inspiration, if so, since the bike repairs cost me £45 and a couple of days' bus travel cost me several pounds on top of that — but inspiration is inspiration and one can't complain!
( Read more... )
Now I really must get on and write them down before the whole thing gets forgotten, rather than getting distracted by Things on the Internet!