15 November 2008


Tonight, Saturday 15 November 2008

People on AOL really drive me crazy sometimes. I have been hosting the 'Naked YF At Home' chat room for a while now, at least since it was summer and the 'Home Nudist' room was usually full, mostly of non-nudists who come in trolling for pics of our naughty bits. The 'Naked YF At Home' room was started as an overflow place, hopefully for girls about my age who do as I do and want a safe place to chat about it where there is an active bolt-holder who will boot out the naughty people. However after all this time I have concluded that there are no girls about my age who like lying outside or lolling about the house naked and like to chat about it, and that there are really only men who like to fantasise about seeing, and probably doing a lot more than seeing, a girl about my age doing that.

One of the questions the men seem compelled to ask me is what the male members of my family think of this. They tend to assume that my male family members 'like' to see me, usually hinting not so subtly that my being naked round the house inevitably arouses my father and brother in a sexual way. I then explain that my brother is 2-1/2 and really doesn't care what we look like, clothed or not (the exception is in my blog, 7 October). And I explain that my father now has three daughters and certainly knows the difference between the relationship he has with each of us and the one he has with his beautiful young, very legally married wife.

Nevertheless the men online all claim that I am lying or living in denial or else that Daddy is 'less than' a 'real man' because he doesn't find naked teenaged girls attractive. I always say that no 'real man', no Christian, and no GOOD parent would have any even remotely sexual attraction towards his own child. That's just sick, and I tell the men online who assume it is true that it's just them assuming that because they think weird sick stuff like that is sexy, or else because they would be guilty of it themselves and they don't want to feel like the only one who might be wrong. It's what my father calls the 'Hilary Clinton school of morality' --to blame the other party for what you yourself are guilty of-- but that's another issue altogether.

One guy online this afternoon, however, put it to me like this: 'I bet if you sat on your father's lap you'd find out.' This comment got me very distressed. I didn't like thinking about it in any way and yet I couldn't seem to forget about it. Finally tonight, after supper, for which I put on my robe (and socks of course), I ascended the steps to Daddy's little office in the third floor of our tower and knocked on the open door.

(I am of course not sure I have all my dad's words right, but I went over this and it's as close as I remember.)

'Hey,' he said, looking up from the computer screen.

'Hey,' I said, closing the robe round myself, and sat on the edge of the sofa there.

'This is just email,' he said, and leaving it on the screen he turned in the chair to face me. 'What's up?'

I shrugged, looking out the window at the black sky. It had gone dark more quickly because of the front coming in. It'll be raining in a few hours. 'I kind of had something to ask, but I'm not sure about it now.'

He nodded, leaning back in the chair and looking at the window too. 'Well, you don't have to feel uncomfortable asking me anything, but if you do, then don't ask me till you're not so uncomfortable about it.'

I shook my head and then bravely faced him. 'Do you mind it that Jessy and I are like this so much?'

He smiled. 'Like you were this afternoon, and, yesterday? No.'

I shook my head again. That wasn't the question I'd really wanted the answer to. 'Does it....' No, I couldn't ask it that way either. 'Do you like seeing us like that?'

Daddy smiled more, and then looked down, sort of at my knees in the robe. 'Well, I do,' he said, 'but I'm not sure it's how you think I do. Or, how you are afraid I do.'

I made half a smile then. 'What does that mean?'

He looked up then, not quite at me, and rocked a little in the chair. 'All men like to look at pretty girls. All men like to see naked girls. But there are two ways of looking at them.'

I was listening. 'Okay....'

'Some men are easily excited by anything that reminds them of sex, even if it's totally inappropriate. Like these guys will catch a glimpse of their own daughter in the shower, and then they turn away and go, "Oh, man, I want to look but I can't!" And they turn away in a second, like it hurts them to see her in there.'

I laughed. 'But you've seen us like that, even in the shower, and you always turn away too.'

'Of course I do, but it's not because I'm afraid to look at you.' He smiled. 'It's because I'm teaching you that that's what a gentleman would do, any gentleman, not just your father. It's form of showing you respect.'

I nodded. 'I know,' I said. 'You always show us respect.'

'You're my child,' he said. 'Would I not respect you?'

I smiled. 'No, you always would.'

'I would. But I would respect anyone's daughter if I inadvertently saw her naked in the shower or something like that. I would just think, that's some good man's daughter in there; if I have any respect at all for women, or for men and fathers, I don't treat her like a sex object. She doesn't belong to me, and there's no agreement about it.... It would just be a cowardly kind of Peeping-Tom thing to take advantage of the opportunity to see some poor girl like that against her will. Even a husband.... Would you marry a guy who stood there ogling you in the shower?'

'Ew, no.'

'Well, then, see? But you know this. A gentleman never imposes on a lady. I mean it's hardly noble.'

'No,' I said. 'It's not. It's like the opposite of noble.'

'And it goes both ways. If you choose to be naked in front of me, because you trust me and respect me, I have to show you the same level of trust and respect back. It's not about me and what I want. It's about what you feel comfortable with. And if that's what you feel comfortable with in front of me, I'm just going to respect you for showing how much you trust me. Does that make sense?'

I nodded. 'Yes, of course. I mean, it's not like we think you would treat us any differently like that, because we're still your daughters.'

'Well, yes. And you do know me, Janine. I have always treated all your friends the same as I treat you, with the same kind of respect. I mean we laugh and joke around a lot, but really the fact is still that I'm still a gentleman and you are still ladies, and there is always a line to be drawn; but believe me, Janine, it's not because you and your friends are potential... I don't know, "conquests" for me, but precisely because you are not.'

I nodded. 'I know,' I said, feeling much better about this whole topic now.

'I mean, you know, I can't watch porn. I can't watch it at all.'

'Daddy--!' I giggled-- and blushed.

'I mean, I have seen some of it, not so much watched it, really--' he saw me looking wryly at him-- 'other people's bachelor parties, when I was younger-- okay, Uncle Rick's-- and it always makes me think that that poor girl there is some guy's daughter, who used to have her school pictures taped on the refrigerator and brought home cardboard cutouts of the Easter Bunny and had a beautiful new dress for Confirmation and curls in her hair and dimples in her smile. How could I ever think of someone like that as a sex object?'

I smiled, but I had tears in my eyes from that. 'I know what you mean,' I said.

'And I know people talk about your stepmother,' he said, 'being so young and beautiful and all, and that I must be some kind of perverted old fool. But I swear to you, her age had nothing to do with it at all-- I might have married her if she were ten or twenty years older than she is, because I married her because she's such a good teammate and so unselfish and so positive of a person, and that's what I needed seven years ago and that's what I want for the rest of my life. And the fact that she was committed to staying a virgin until marriage didn't make me want to rush things at all, not how people said, but it did make me value her like nothing else in the world. It takes a special kind of woman to commit to something like that, and that's something that she and I have always tried to impress upon you, and your sister, you know.'

'I know, Daddy. You know how I feel about that.'

'I just hope you will keep to it.'

I nodded. 'I promise I will.'

He sighed. 'And so, in answer to your question, I do like seeing you and your sister's bare bottoms out there--' I laughed then, still blushing-- 'because you represent to me two happy girls, good girls, who aren't afraid of anything, especially not their own family. There isn't anything sexual or inappropriate about it, not to me. I know what naked girls look like. I've seen a couple of them myself, you know.' He smiled a little.

I know there were probably more than two, more than Mommy and our stepmother, because of what I have heard. No matter how hard a parent tries, if he is well-known enough someone will have said something about him that he wouldn't want his kids to hear someday. (At least Daddy is no Billy Ray Cyrus!)

'It's just that I would be a bad parent indeed, Janine, if you DIDN'T feel comfortable lying out there like that. It's your way of showing you trust me, and this family; and I always draw myself up to anyone's trust in me. It's just what I feel is right. It's noble, it's respectful, it's gentlemanly, it's Christian. What kind of father can't be trusted by his own child to accept her as she is, unconditionally?'

'Yes. I know, Daddy.'

He smiled at me. 'Besides, you know, you and Jessy are just so cute--!'

I laughed and pretended to swing at him.


Conversation (August)

The problem with this blog is that it's all keyed by date, so if I neglect to type up something in time and enter another blog text first, the earlier entry will get shuffled in the calendar. This is a conversation that happened in late August, less than a month after we came to this house and the whole nudity thing was still new for Jessy and me, and in light of some recent AOL chat topics I have decided to (finish it first and) include it now.

Something had been on my mind for a while and I needed to ask Mother (my stepmother, who is only 10 years older than I am) about it. The text is from my journal at the time which was not online yet.

Tuesday 19 August 2008

Jessy and I have been lying out beside the pool for about three weeks now, but I was not naked this evening when I went in to the kitchen for a glass of iced tea. I was, however, not totally dressed at all-- I was in plain pink panties and a black t-shirt.

Mother was in there finishing up her kitchen things and I offered to help, so I picked up a damp cloth and began wiping down the counters. 'Did you two have a pleasant afternoon, today?' she asked. 'I saw you two out there looking like pampered princesses.'

I laughed. 'I'm sorry, Mother. Do you mind that we do that?'

'No, no, of course not,' she said. 'You're exploring yourselves. That's your right as girls.'

I know what she meant, and it isn't anything risque at all, you know, just the idea of two sisters who have discovered the innocent pleasure of lying naked under the warm summer sun. But it did make me think of something else. 'Mother? Can I ask you something? I really don't know how to say this, but....'

She smiled and looked at me. 'You may always ask me anything. I might not know the answer, but....'

'Do you think it's a sin to masturbate?'

Of course no one would expect that question! The poor lady really thought about it and then managed to say, 'Well, what do you think?'

I thought too. 'I don't know what to think,' I said. 'The Bible says Osiris sinned by spilling seed on the ground. But that's not the same for girls... women. We're not wasting anything that's needed.'

Mother nodded, thinking seriously about that. 'That's a good point,' she said.

'But it's also the sin of pride,' I said.

Mother nodded at once, knowing exactly what I meant. 'Yes,' she said, 'it is.'

'It's pride,' I said, 'because God has put me in a state of life, a situation, where sexual gratification isn't called for. And I defy God if I say that doesn't matter, like if I come up with a way to get around what He wants for me. It isn't much different than premarital sex.'

She looked at me. 'Well, it isn't, but there is still a difference.'

I shrugged. 'Maybe....'

'In premarital sex you sin with someone. You both take advantage of this way of getting around what He wants for you, and, what's worse, you take undue risks upon yourself. Besides if you felt that strongly about each other, if you were that much in love, He has already provided a way for you to take. Right?'

I nodded. 'Yes.'

'And, of course, if you really don't feel that strongly about each other, it's only lust, and lust is a sin.'

'Yes,' I said.

She leaned in the corner of the kitchen, folded her arms across her tummy, and looked at me. 'Why do you-- Why would you masturbate? Why... might anyone do it?'

I leaned back on the opposite counter and thought. 'Well... some people might do it because they're sexually frustrated.'

She was still looking at me. 'Are you sexually frustrated?'

I blushed. 'I don't think so,' I said carefully. 'I mean... there could be other reasons for it.'

'Of course,' she said.

'I mean, people might just be curious about it, about their bodies, about what happens when... well, when some things happen.'

She nodded intelligently. She's not an idiot, you know. 'Do you think it's wrong to be curious?'

I looked at her. 'No.'

'Then, you would have to decide which it is,' she said. 'If it's lust, it's certainly wrong; you won't ever hear me countenance sheer lust, Janine, no matter what form it takes. We've all been guilty of it at least a little bit; maybe even you have, but we acknowledge our sin and atone, in our own ways, and we move on, relying on our faith in God to guide us away from sin, and we should not be lustful people in general. But if it's just a young person trying to find out a little about the body God has given her, and some things happen, how is that wrong?'

'I guess it's not,' I said. 'But what if it starts out that way, and then changes into something else? And the person does it too much, and likes it too much, and then starts thinking that maybe it's just a sin and a way to get round what God has given her, and then she feels guilty all the time about it. And she can't stop thinking that she is guilty of cheating on God, and cheating on her husband some day, because she is denying her husband the one thing he has a right to, and that she is no longer pure and good, but sort of naughty and bad. Because she already knows what she will feel like on her wedding night now, and you can never go back once you know, as you told me once. You can't un-ring a bell. And that can't be a good thing, Mother... can it?'

Mother looked down sadly. For a long moment I couldn't ask her why and yet I wanted her to answer me, to just give me some answer, any answer, because I would have done whatever she told me is right to do at that moment. She even sniffled, and all at once I felt like we would both burst out crying. Then she finally said, 'Oh, Janine, you sound like me when I was your age!' And she turned round and snatched a tissue out of the box on the counter, looking away from me as she blotted her eyes and nose.

I had tears in my eyes too. I couldn't move from the counter and just leaned there, trembling all over. 'I'm sorry, Mother,' I said softly.

'No,' she said away from me, 'don't be. Don't be sorry at all. Don't think of yourself as anyone who ever has to feel sorry for doing what you think is right, Janine.' She turned and looked at me with her eyes full. 'You are a precious, beautiful person, sweetheart. Don't be so hard on yourself. God doesn't punish you for being curious, or for feeling weak, or for feeling sexually frustrated. A good God wouldn't do that.' She sniffled and then blew her nose a little. She is so cute that when she blows her nose she makes a little squeak. 'You are a good angel, Janine. Go and be the good angel God already knows you are, and don't be hard on yourself if you feel curious or frustrated and you slip up and fall into the temptation sometimes. I promise you your husband some day will forgive you, God will forgive you, and I am not anyone you should ever ask forgiveness from.'

I wiped my eyes with my finger, sniffling. 'I love you, Mother.'

'And I love you!' And we stood in the kitchen and held onto each other for as long as we could.


Naked gardening

Saturday 15 November 2008

The weather is still nice and I am still naked. We got up earlier than usual, had toast and tea on the back terrace, and set to work with Mother on the gardens, pulling weeds, raking a bit, sweeping up, even little J.J. who had a broom and a trowel and worked pretty hard... warm and happy enough in his Pull-Up pants and work boots and, for a while, a t-shirt. Mother was in a cute black sleeveless t-shirt and denim shorts and of course the kneepads. The three of us girls, Lisa, Jessy and me, wore aprons and sneakers and that's pretty much it.

Of course Daddy was gone away to Lewes again for work with the new band. They have pretty much given over trying to wait for sources of income and have gone off for part-time jobs to support themselves, meaning Saturdays and one or two days in the week available for studio work. This frustrates Daddy because once he gets excited about a project he doesn't like to stop, and now he would be idle three or four days a week now if not the new project with Jessy and me.... Anyway he was away pretty much all day, which left the three of us feeling comfortable enough to not get dressed.

Mother was a pretty efficient taskmaster ('taskmistress'?) and kept us all working through lunch. It was really only the damage done by blowing leaves and so forth, and we got some of the beds covered with this heavy green plastic for the winter which will help keep them soft and damp. We got started late enough in the morning that we did not break for tea, and then Mother rang the pizza place for sandwiches and let us play in the garden while she went out to the front door to pay for them. She really does not mind our being naked as long as we are able to actually function in the family. She insists that we are modest about it, and we are.

When we were sitting round the table on the terrace having our sandwiches she made a not-so-subtle gesture at Jessy that only got us all to look over at Jessy, who saw the gesture last of all. Jessy had been sitting there slouched way down on the chair with her sandwich paper on her tummy and her legs apart underneath... not a very modest pose for anyone and she was certainly showing a lot more than anyone ever should! Lisa stared. Mother frowned. Jessy blushed and brought her legs back together. I hid a laugh.

Then again, you know, any mother or stepmother would not want her daughter sitting like that, clothed or not. This is what I mean when I say Jessy is so innocent. She really does not think about anything inappropriate.

I just love her to death, you know.

We worked most of the afternoon, and then those of us who are under six got weary. Jessy tucked in J.J. for a nap and I took Lisa up to her room. 'I don't want to put pyjamas on,' she said.

I laughed. 'Who was going to make you put on pyjamas for a nap?'

'I usually have to when I sleep.'

I smiled, patting her back as I steered her in to her room. 'This is just a nap,' I said, 'because you worked so hard. This doesn't count.'

She dove on the bed, naked, dirty, probably sticky from the garden stuff, and curled right up in the centre of it. 'I don't want any covers on,' she said.

'It will get cold,' I told her. 'No use being all bare if we're going to be stupid about it, and catch cold.' I prised the sheets out from under her and draped one sheet over her body. 'Now rest well, and we'll all have a nice shower together before supper.'

She nodded eagerly, her head against the pillow, and I pulled her door closed most of the way and made sure the gallery lights were out before going down for tea.

Just before five Daddy came home, pretending to be angry about having laid up the boat so early (though there was a hurricane coming that week and it was only sensible). 'We should be out sailing!' he called up the stair hall. 'Girls! Let's get the boat out!'

I laughed, leaning over the mezzanine railing to him. 'You are nuts!'

He looked up, not having heard my bare feet on the floor above him. 'Ah-hah, I see you guys get to enjoy the nice weather, but what about me?'

Jessy was at the front stair hall and leaned over to call down the steps, 'We worked all day, Daddy! What did you do?'

'Hah!' he laughed. 'I worked too! And it seems like some of us had more fun working outside than I had inside!'

We all laughed.

Now I've done typing this and have to shower with my sisters (as promised) and be dressed for dinner!


A reprieve

Friday 14 November 2008

The weather has gone warm again... who knows why? Living here on the edge of the ocean you get to notice it quite a lot. Like people of old, sailors and fishermen and farmers here on the peninsula, both empowered and encumbered by water, the Pocomoke to the north and the Chesapeake to the west and the Atlantic to the east, we are affected by whatever the western chills and southern breezes and ocean storms must give us.

At the end of this week the cold has all but vanished and we bask in the high 60s and sunshine and light breezes. I came home from school, dragging my windcheater behind me, and stomped up stairs. Within three minutes I had my room windows open and all my clothes off. I cast myself into my chair and opened a book, but I could scarcely concentrate; it was nearly 80 in the room. I happened to glance outside once and saw them just before I heard them, Jessy and Lisa squealing like excited squirrels, running out through the garden with their hands in the air, both of them stark naked in the bright sun. Jessy danced, twirling on her toes, pretending she would dive into the (covered) pool, and Lisa followed her, giggling incessantly. They chased each other round the potted trees and the dormant flower gardens, sometimes at full speed, singing and laughing as though they had not a care in the world. When they went out the side garden gate I had to join them.

Down in the small parlour Mother sat on the short sofa with a book. Little J.J. played at her feet, oblivious to the beautiful weather just outside the open French windows. 'They're out there,' I said.

Mother looked up and smiled at me. 'Yes. I let them; but not for long. This weather changes fast.'

I nodded and stepped calmly past her to the open window. The breeze was scarcely anything at all; it was more like a late-spring afternoon than one in mid-November. From beyond the garden wall I heard Lisa squeal in glee.

'Well,' Mother said, 'you'd better go, Janine.'

I looked back at her, smiled, and then flung myself out into the garden.

The three of us cavorted like much smaller children, swinging on the bench swing, climbing in trees, rolling in the wet grass and just plain running around. It was delightful, maybe the most fun I've had since school started. The air did not grow cold and only when it had begun to get dark did we start back to the house. We came in through the side gate, taking care to latch it again, and tromped up the steps to the garden, panting, sweaty, covered in bits of grass and dirt, all three of us exhausted and elated with the unexpected opportunity we had discovered. It could not have been better-- unless of course we'd had all day like this.

Mother was gone from the parlour, certainly no longer worried about anything happening to little Lisa once I had gone out with her. From the kitchen wafted the scents of apple-cinnamon bread. 'Mmm!' Jessy sighed deeply. 'What is that?'

'Is that dinner?' Lisa marvelled.

We went through the little parlour to the front stair hall and Jessy turned towards the kitchen to investigate tonight's menu. Just then Daddy came up from the basement, coming round the railing and coming face-to-face with Jessy, with Lisa and me in the front hall beyond. 'Oh,' he said, holding back a laugh, 'are we back to this? I might have guessed, with this weather....'

We all blushed. Daddy bent a little to peer out the front window whilst Jessy stood awkwardly in front of him, eyes down, fingers locked loosely before herself. 'We were... just playing,' she tried.

Lisa bounded forwards from me then. 'We were playing outside, Daddy!' she said exuberantly.

'Outside! Really, now!' But he was hardly upset with us. 'Hm, and filthy too, from the look of it.' He caught Lisa and wiped away a bit of tree dropping from her bare shoulder. 'Well, that's it then. No dinner for any of you till you've all washed up. Off you go, then.'

I stepped through the opening to the stair hall and grabbed Lisa's arm to tow her up stairs. I didn't even stop at my room-- there was no point. In the common bathroom I started the water and bodily picked up Lisa and lowered her to her feet in the bath. Jessy stepped in with her and together we lathered her head and body and ourselves into the bargain.

We didn't really dress for dinner, all of us attending in soft robes and socks. Lisa said Grace and we had a good supper of crab cakes and rice and broccoli, and for dessert we had Mother's homemade apple-cinnamon bread. Needless to say the robes came off when we left the dining room. Jessy and Lisa played with J.J. on the floor in his room, both of them bare as babies and he in only his Pull-Ups. I retired to my room to read, typed a little, even hold a pleasant conversation with Brett about tomorrow night, and especially savour the sensation of being naked, with the windows wide open, as though it were summer all over again.


12 November 2008

Long time gone

Wednesday 12 November 2008

I have not been away from this blog so long since I started it. The truth is that I have been very busy and that means even this won't be a long entry.

I attended a few recording sessions of one of Daddy's new bands last week, at out old house in Delaware where the studio is. This was for me to contribute to backing-vocal tracks where they needed a female voice. I have always sung, even on stage in school and community things, and this was not something I was nervous about. I did not, however, like the song. I must admit I prefer the one Daddy gave them, one of his older things which they have redone for this CD. I have a sneaky feeling he asked me to contribute to this one because he wanted it to sound more grounded, in other words more like he had done more with it than he had. We recorded me three times and listened to a few early mixes and Daddy said he could use it like it is. That was two afternoons and nights of last week.

On one of the other nights Jessy came along and Daddy recorded us singing a duet of... I won't say but it was fun and very 'like' us, if that makes any sense, and of course Daddy got to play the instrument parts like he wanted. He seems to believe we should... no, I won't say that yet.

I have also started writing a novel, a very cute (so I hope) love story about young people who need to run away from home to escape harmful family situations, but because they are Catholic they insist on having a friend who wants to enter the priesthood 'conduct' the marriage ceremony for them, so they are 'married in the sight of God'. It actually gets very syrupy and very sexy at the same time. They sail off to The Bahamas and end up converting to the Anglican Church because the Catholics judge them as sinners for not having got married in the church in the first place. (I don't know if that's really how Catholics would be towards them. It's just literary licence.) Anyway I have been coming home on every free afternoon and hammering away at this keyboard for several hours each night. Mother told me about a novel-writing contest held every year in which you have to write a complete story of 50,000 words between the 1st and 30th of November. I am at 38,000 now. But I do not think this story will qualify because I am very fastidious about writing and may never consider it edited enough or good enough.

Also Jessy and I went to see 'HSM 3' again with some more people from school and a 3rd time with Mother and Lisa. We got our first-term report cards and I have a B in German and a B in Geometry. Jessy has a B in her history class and actually a B in PE because she just does not like to sweat in school. I can picture her only halfheartedly swatting at the ball in tennis or field hockey for fear of breaking a nail or mussing her hair, you know.

And about a week and a half ago we had snow flurries, but then it went warm enough to lie round naked in my room while typing and then it got cold again, and right now the sea breeze is very raw and chilling making me not want to be outside at all. As I write this I have a nice fire including some birch logs from the new property (more of that later) and a piece of driftwood from a load of logs we collected while up in Delaware. And I am dressed (more or less). And have a stiff neck and eye strain from using the computer. And am having fudge cookies Lisa and Jessy made yesterday. And, taking a break from the writing, will go online tonight to see who's chatting.


'Purple Rain'

Monday 3 November 2008

Jessy was over her friend's house watching 'HSM' 1 and 2 tonight, in preparation for taking this friend and like two others who have never seen either of them to the 3rd movie in VB this coming weekend. When Roger, our driver, brought her home, I had been paging through channels and stopped on the rock movie 'Purple Rain' with Prince. Jessy came in then, rolled her eyes, and went out. Next I heard some whining voice attempting to sing the notes of the song and called out, 'Hang it up!' --you know, like she could give it over now and spare us all. But it wasn't Jessy. Next I knew my dad came in, still whining through the notes of the song, really just to mimic it as he sings much better than this! 'Oh sheesh,' I said, pretending to complain more, and when I turned round I realised he had the unplugged Stratocaster on his knee, standing in the back of our TV room with the guitar, going almost not-for-note with Prince. I laughed.

'Hey,' he said, in between notes. 'This stuff is legendary.'

I laughed again. The thing I do not often enough say about my dad is that he's actually been there, you know-- there was a time he was up on the stage playing to packed houses, some a lot larger than I'd care to say. And the 'legend' of our own family is that Daddy actually met Prince, in New York, in about 1985, before he had even met Mommy. But then he's met a lot of people, and I'm sure a lot of people can say they've met him. Nowadays he never drops names-- you'd really have to prise it out of him, but during his heyday he was pretty influential and is able to rely on that now when he selects a new artiste to work with.

He sat down with me to watch the end of the movie, when the character played by Prince finds his confidence and performs the show of his career. The stage antics of this guy are amazing. He does a thing with the microphone stand where he lets it come falling back at him, lifts his leg and throws his whole foot over it, and catches it again as it rocks up again. I don't know how he does it.

Daddy commented that no Rickenbacker guitar actually sounds like the soundtrack where Wendy is playing. And you can't hear the bass at all, but it looks like the guy in the picture isn't really playing anyway. And the drums sound more like a machine than the live drums in the movie. And where are all the vocals coming from? And would that punk-rock-looking guy in the audience really clap so enthusiastically like that for an act like Prince in real life?

Then over the end credits he started picking away at the guitar so much that I got up and left the room. I'm not sure but I think he is still down there!


The haunted castle.

Friday 21 October 2008

Plans have come together and the big Terncote 'haunted' Hallowe'en party is reality. The guest list included all of Lisa's classmates, their parents, a few of their siblings, and us-- including little J.J. in his cute little Cupid costume, Daddy in his tuxedo with tails, and Mother, Jessy, Lisa and me in our angel costumes.

Now the angel costume is a long-standing tradition in this family. Mommy and Daddy designed it when Jessy and I were just little. The costume is basically a shiny white ballet leotard and textured-to-waist tights and plain white ballet slippers (or sometimes pumps with heels). The wings are appropriately shaped, not too big to move round the house, made of stiff wire with translucent white film and decorated with glitter, sequins, and so on. The wings' harness, which also holds up the halo, fits round the shoulders and hooks together at the breastbone. To cover it up Mommy concocted a little jacket, made out of plain white linen, with no collar and three-quarter sleeves and one button to close at the chest, which is provided with slots in the back for the harness to slip through. So we look like angels wearing little jackets like the ones Regency-era girls wore with their off-the-shoulder gowns. It's elegant and cute and solves the problem of having all the wire and straps with buckles showing.

Mommy herself never wore the angel costume, but long ago when our stepmother was our nanny, she and Mommy made two of them for us and two of them for our stepmother and her girlfriend at the time who escorted us round the neighbourhood. Now there are three of us in the big-girl version and only one of us wearing Jessy's old wings and little jacket.

Needless to say the four of us in our angel costumes were a hit. ALL of the parents had positive things to say about us, or to us-- 'How appropriate!' --or 'That's adorable!' --and so on. We all took turns in various places but our job was to greet people as they came in the front doors, take coats if necessary, and guide people to the front stairway. Down stairs another of us would guide people to the party room, in the end of the basement under my room. On top of the billiard table, which is under the dining room, Daddy had put a board and a table cloth with all the food and drinks as a kind of buffet. Under the little back parlour is a bar with a counter and two little tables where people could sit and nibble. In the big party room were the games-- beanbag toss, apples spooning, pin the tail on the donkey and guessing games like charades. Most of them were chaperoned by Mother, who has a lovely way with small children, much like Mommy had. Well-- she often admits Mommy was her big influence.

Daddy sat on a stool with the kids round him and told spooky stories, some true, about the haunted house in Barnegat Light and the Jersey Devil and the great Pinelands train wreck of 1935, finally ending with Mother's own four-page 'for younger audiences' version of 'Frankenstein' in which she left nothing out and made no changes to the plot, which is unusual among retellings of 'Frankenstein', you know. It was a project she did for a class at UD (and got an A on). Jessy and I each took turns taking Lisa in to the toilet, which necessitated taking off the entire costume (needless to say Mother, Jessy and I had very little to drink till people had gone home). Jessy and I each took a turn relieving Mother at the activities so that Mother could visit with some of the parents-- still in costume, of course, and looking quite cute (and appropriate) in it too. Daddy looked on quite proudly and stepped in only as needed. He really likes to see Mother handle these things, you know, mainly because she is so good at it all.

Of course, Brett was here too, in a pretty good mad-scientist costume, and I was happy to see that rather than follow me round all night he was able to circulate, helping younger people and even spending some quality time talking with Daddy... which can only be good, you know. We also made a friend in Christa. the elder sister of one of Lisa's classmates, who is thirteen and in 8th grade and admitted she had come along, in a pretty good witch-in-miniskirt outfit, because she was interested in the house. So I led several people on a short tour round the first floor, mostly in the dark with only our flickering 'candle' bulbs in the sconces on to lend the feeling of a haunted castle. We went down the side stairs and rejoined the party in the big room of the basement.

This was really the first time we have shown off this house or even ourselves-- I am sure most of Lisa's classmates' families had no idea how many there are of us or where we are from or anything. People commented on or asked us about the house, about the costumes, about going to school in England, about Mommy and how our nanny got to be our new mother, and like tour guides at Williamsburg we were able to stay 'in character' as angels and provide all this information about the house and its family's history with smiles and good cheer. In all I think the house did as well as we did for making us all look good and I am happy to say we made plenty of new friends.