Steampunk fiction, reviews and interviews

Frost Fair: Collin’s Memoirs part 4…

Thankyou, friends, for joining me this morning on board the Harlequin Ladybird, do pull up a cat.. er, sorry, I mean a cushion… and make yourselves comfortable as I, Collin The Octopus, read to you all from my marvellous journal of extremely exciting adventures… a-hem…
February 1824…
Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome once again to Max and Collin’s splendidly Siberian – themed parlour located within the spectacularly frosted-over city of Lancaster.
True, some have called it a frigid flophouse belonging to chilling individuals whom you would not wish to meet down a dark alley, but we consider that such people are merely embittered that they have not yet received an invitation.
You find me this afternoon feeling a little foolish, a little sorry for myself and a little disappointed that ice skating isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Certainly ice skating with tentacles is not a thing I shall ever be attempting again. I’m afraid I got a little over excited at the Street Pageant … the Masala Chai punch…you know…
So here I lie, my tentacles in splints, attempting to suck chips of frozen tea through a straw while Max reads to me and the cats do their best to irritate me to distraction. Mrs B has kindly made up some foul smelling brown goo to rub into my wounds but it does nothing for my pride, I’m afraid; I am a fallen creature indeed….oh do shut up Max I am in no fit state to suffer your dubious wit.
Fortunately our soothing tea this morning is a beautiful and gentle blend of Sencha with sea buckthorn, spearmint and lemon verbena which reminds me of my ocean home and a lesson learned that not all forms of water provide an octopus with his element!
Still we did manage to take something of a stroll around the fair this morning.
I say stroll, which implies a leisurely pace, but my Very Quiet Gentleman Friend was doing an embarrassing amount of huffing and puffing and gasping for breath which was quite off putting I can tell you and leads me, once again, to question exactly what constitutes ‘Very Quiet’ in the realm above the waves.
I say stroll, but perhaps that is a misnomer for the exercise as in fact my tentacles were, as I said, all in splints from the ice skating affair and so Mrs B kindly rustled up an old wheelchair from somewhere and we strapped a couple of floor board planks to the wheels so that Max could push me through the snowy cobbled streets and over the icy river with ease.
Oh the joy! I cannot tell you how immeasurably more enjoyable it is to experience a winter’s walk from the cozy comfort of an armchair…there were fire eaters and jugglers, oh my goodness they even had an elephant! I’m amazed the ice does not crack! Mind you, they were roasting spit an ox with impunity over near the centre and I am certain it is going to lead to disaster.
There were so many things for sale, most of which are double the price one would expect to pay for them because they have the word ‘souvenir’ and a date scratched onto them. Luckily Max is a bit of a Finger Smith and we managed to procure some excellent spiced buns and treacle toffee before slipping away into one of the ‘fuddling tents’. These are made of the barge sails propped up haphazardly with poles and inside you will find some of the most lethal chai-cocktails to be mixed this side of a Tiffin Den.
We sampled ‘Purl’ (a steaming black brew made with lapsang and wormwood) which the vendor told us would have a man gibbering for days, and ‘The Spiky Mother’ (A pungent Assam with chilli and dark chocolate) which had apparently already hospitalised a crowd of eight, but we must be candid and say that, even after four or five cups of each, Max still had the wherewithal to hot foot it out of the tent and away before the angry vendor could catch up with us an extract his payment.  (no mean feat pushing an octopus in a make-shift sled)
He almost cornered us but luckily Max employed a pocket full of escapological marbles (if you are naive to the uses of escapological marbles to thwart a pursuer just ask the nearest five year old) and we left him cursing in the gutter.
So here we are again, back in the parlour, and eager to tuck in to our sticky treats – once Max has got his breath back.

Ah yes, I still suffer a little with rheumatism in my tentacles after that terrible episode – nevermore! Is now my mantra when it comes to the ice skating, but I do so love watching you humans go about the business, all the same. So I’ll leave you with this lovely lady doing a far better job of it than I did and until we meet again, tread with care and remain always,
Utterly Yourself

6 responses

  1. Love the video. Women did well to skate in that get up! Unfortunately, large chunks of your post seem to be missing today, or maybe it’s just my Kindle acting up.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 24, 2020 at 11:30 am

  2. smithandskarry1

    They totally did! Eep! Thanks so much for the heads up – it’s utterly my fault (again! XD ) BecauseI had the *marvellous* idea of having a black blog with white writing, if I don’t remember to format the text properly before I cut and paste from anywhere (as I am with Collin’s diary) the black text on the black background is invisible. Doh! Usually I catch it by previewing but when I’m scheduling so many posts on advance (trying to be organised, lol) sometimes I forget. Hugest thanks for letting me know! XD xx

    Liked by 1 person

    February 25, 2020 at 8:36 am

  3. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    February 25, 2020 at 4:26 pm

  4. Oh I loved the video…I can think of no finer occasion on which to wear a bustle…or stuff a muff down the back of your bloomers. 😁
    I’m glad Collin enjoyed his winter’s walk from the cozy comfort of his armchair-on-planks and had such a fine old time in the fuddling tent.🥰 I hope he enjoyed his sticky toffee treats and that his poor aching tentacles don’t give him too much grief afore we meet again.❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    February 26, 2020 at 6:35 am

    • smithandskarry1

      🤣🤣 tee hee, he’s resting up on the armchair as we speak! Lol, I think the rheumatism may be in his imagination… but i don’t want to hurt his feelings, poor chap 😉❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      February 28, 2020 at 10:35 am

      • 😂😂Aw…poor little mite😆 I’m glad he’s getting his rest.😘I suspect that lashings of lemonade, tea and tasty sticky treats may prove essential…to aid his speedy recovery😇

        Liked by 1 person

        February 28, 2020 at 5:00 pm

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