One step forward, one step back

It’s   ‘best foot forward’ and  one step closer to  the special occasion mentioned in my previous blog post , but before  we get there,

One step closer, best foot forward

I want to take one step (plus several hundred more) back to a  dear character who entered my life in 2012.  If you are a long time follower of my blog you will have met her before but I am sure you will agree that renewing acquaintances is often as much fun as making new ones.

So, let me introduce you to ~~~~~~~~

Mrs Cockalarum

who arrived  on  Christmas Day , complete with name.  She is, in her regular domestic life, a decorative paper weight, only, most of the time, she decorates a chest of drawers and no paper comes near her. A dull life

She has a few animals to keep her company, including some of her own kind. However, every now and again, even a paperweight can do with a change of scenery and a new point of view, so I decided to take Mrs Cockalarum on an autumnal excursion.

Starting indoors, we tried out the floor,How's it down there?

then a higher  peachy perch, At the High Table

but her view was obscured so we went outside, where she dusted her feathers with the light scent of alyssum andSweet Alyssum

pecked at the sweetest red berries. Berry Good

After which she looked at the world from a seat made of corn and silken tasselsA sweet corn spot

and took a swing in a hanging basket.Swinging along

Today, the world was full of surprises for me and Mrs Cockalarum, not the least of which was finding this in the tree outside my house!How surprising!

Footnote: The berries are called New Zealand cranberries. They are delicious but are not much like any  cranberries that  I have ever tasted. Their real name is Chilean Guava ( Ugni molinae (Mrytus ugni)). Apparently the berries were a favourite with Queen Victoria. Mrs Cockalarum and I have given our unroyal seal of approval, too.Chilean Guavas

© silkannthreades

Another footnote:  Are you wondering about the word, Cockalarum, like I was?  I am not sure I would like Mr Cockalarum (wherever he is), yet Google tells me that cockalarum heroes were popular in their day. I have seen  Seba Smith’s Major Jack Downing  referred to as a cockalarum hero. Whether or not that is true, he is certainly an interesting character, a  “beloved American hero, whose name was synonymous with Yankee Doodle…”.

 

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99 thoughts on “One step forward, one step back

  1. Kate Johnston

    Mrs. Cockalarum is divine! I love little crafts like that. I used to shop at craft fairs years ago, but since my son became hooked with soccer, his games are always on the weekends, and I miss the craft fairs! One day . . .

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, one day. 🙂 It’s great when a child has a passion like soccer. In NZ it is a winter sport though and I can’t say I miss those cold early morning games or cold late afternoon practices which consumed my son’s life for a few years. 🙂 Not to mention the muddy uniforms and boots!!!

      Reply
  2. Cynthia Reyes

    The thing I may like best about your blog is that I never know what to expect! The tale of Mrs. Cockalarum and her adventures made me grin. Thank you, and I hope she will be a recurring character.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you. Blue polish is fun, too. I see from your blog that you write about Kpop and K drama. My daughter is a fan, too, and we watch quite a few things together. We both love Taemin. She has been telling me about SuperM and wondering what the group will be like.

      Reply
  3. Pingback: The First Time Ever ….. or a folkloric tale with a fantasy leitmotif | silkannthreades

  4. utesmile

    Mrs Cockalarum surely enjoyed all these places. She looks beautiful in the outdoor places like the flowers and trees. I do think though it cannot be her permanent home and she might need to go indoors again. She should go on travels occasionally though. 🙂

    Reply
  5. insearchofitall

    Mrs. Cockalarum is adorable and especially pretty in the allysum. I’m sure she is enjoying her outings. I love the fabric you have your best foot on. I will have to go back and read the older post tomorrow. Eyes are done for tonight.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Hope your eyes are feeling better now. Your eyes ( and mine) would get very tired working on the fabric under my foot. It is fine Chinese silk embroidery. It is not normally under my feet. It is actually on a cushion cover.

      Reply
  6. Clanmother

    I remember the very first time that I met Mrs Cockalarum – shortly after we first met. Somehow she reminded me of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, the ever lovable hedgehog washerwoman. I love how you bring out marvelous truths in a few words. What came through your post was resilience, acceptance, community. In whatever situation Mrs Cockalarum was placed by an outside influence, she thrived and allowed her presence to grace wherever she went. Oh Gallivanta – may we share the spirit of the indomitable Mrs Cockalarum as we encounter the unexpected and the ambiguity in our lives. Thank you for starting my day brilliantly. Give Mrs Cockalarum a big hug for me.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Hug given. 🙂 Yes, Mrs Cockalarum and Mrs Tiggy Winkle are both women of character. The Little Red Hen is another. She might even be Mrs Cockalarum’s sister! Who knows? I am glad I added goodness to your day.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I do believe she could fit in anywhere! She has actually been in a storage box since we renovated the bedroom and ensuite in 2017. She was glad to be removed from the box last week.

      Reply
  7. shoreacres

    I really didn’t expect to be interested enough in Major Jack Downing to read that entire article, but I did. I rather enjoyed the tale, as well as the author’s sly note about decoding current political writing, but the mystery to me is why the name of Pardon Jones should be so familiar. It has to be due to my reading about Louisiana, but I haven’t a clue where I would have come across it. I’ve not read this book, or even heard about it, but now I’m intrigued.

    ‘Cockalarum’ has brought to mind Cock Robin, who met a sad end, as well as the phrase “cock of the walk” and the call of the rooster: “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” As for that beach ball, it reminded me that a Yale historian I follow on Twitter has an image at the top of his page of Sisyphus pushing a beach ball up the mountain. I laugh every time I see it.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Kevin Kruse has a very busy Twitter account but I found his opinion pieces easier to read. My eyes seem to struggle with Twitter ( or maybe it’s really my brain!). Have you read any of his books? Please let us know if you find out why Pardon Jones is familiar to you. I am curious. Wonder if Indiana Jones is related ( Just joking). Discussing Cockalarum with my daughter she suggested a modern day equivalent on social media might be a troll. She also reminded me of the letters which were part of Monty Python’s sketches. If you like Monty Python these letters may make you laugh as much as the Beach Ball. https://deadpani-ja.tumblr.com/post/45042954309/you-have-to-admit-that-monty-python-letters-were

      Reply
  8. Liz

    So charming! I really hope that Mr Cockalarum is out there somewhere, but am happy that in the meantime, Mrs C has such a lovely friend in you. 😀🐔

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Liz, I am sure Mr Cockalarum is around somewhere. In fact, if we don’t fuss too much about sensible time lines, I have an idea where he ( or perhaps one of his forbears) could be. (hint: in an old folder of memoir pieces) 😀

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          He certainly hasn’t been seen for awhile. But I do have another couple in my house. Chantecleer and Pertelote. They appear from time to time on my IG account. I believe Pertelote would be happy if Chantecleer absented himself from time to time. She has to put up with him sitting next to her, day after day. https://www.instagram.com/p/BuOY8OxA6Dy/

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, YC. It’s always intriguing to see things we are used to in a different light or a different place. We learn more about them, in that way, I think.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      So true, GP. A rose by any other name….etc, etc must apply to a friend as well. 🙂 🙂 Your comment reminds me of a lovely post by Lady Budd where she writes of friendship with commas, which ” means that, no matter how much time has passed, we pick up our conversation where we left off. There are no “periods” in our friendship timeline.” Names are almost an incidental part of the nature of friendship. https://ladybudd.com/2019/07/15/friendships-with-commas/#comment-17340

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I did have lots of fun when I first wrote this post, Kerry, and it was a lot of fun to revisit it. Sad to say, Mrs Cockalarum still doesn’t have any paper to weight down. Perhaps I need to shred some paper and make a comfy resting spot for her. 😀 Cockalarum is an intriguing word. Its origins may be as mysterious as cock- a- hoop and cock-a snook. Who knows? Not me. https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/cock-a-hoop.html

      Reply
  9. Mél@nie

    glad, honoured and thankful to have met lovely, generous and hospitable Mrs Cockalarum in person last February; “she” offered us those NZ “cranberries” aka Chilean Guava we hadn’t seen elsewhere… ❤ btw, we'll need to come back someday, but it's YOUR turn to visit us asap! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Come along, please do. Mind you, your adventures are always fascinating and are inclusive of cake! Cranberries and peaches and sweet alyssum are delicious but cake takes the cake, if it is on offer. 😀

      Reply

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