The Hands Have It

I’ve been binge-watching “Call the Midwife” – I swear, if you have not seen this one, check it out. It’s fantabulous. It starts in 1957, and takes place in East End London, more specifically in the town of Poplar. This is a very poor area of London and the residents count on the midwives of Nonnatus House, a convent run by nuns and housing both the sisters and nurses, all of whom are midwives. It is based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth. For once, nuns are shown in a beautifully positive light. The relationship between the young nurses and the nuns is a lovely and symbiotic one.

Where am I going with this?  One of the characters, Sister Julienne, played by Jenny Agutter, has the kindest eyes, the gentlest voice and most beautiful and expressive hands.  Which got me to thinking…

I am a ‘hands’ person. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a fetish but I will notice if you bite your nails or not, if your nails are well-manicured or not. Too-long nails on a man turns me right off, even if they are buffed and polished or, heaven help me, filed just so. I have come to the conclusion that I could never date a guitarist who doesn’t use a pick.  With one long finger-nailed hand to pluck the strings and the other one “normal”, I find myself shuddering. Sorry to my guitarist friends in this situation. It’s not you, it’s me…

And, obviously, as I have begun this post, it’s not just about the men’s hands, though I will definitely go into detail just below 😉

Have you seen Jane Fonda’s hands? Her fingers are so long and slim and arthritic-bump-free considering her age. Yes, they are old hands but they are still elegant.

I have a friend whose hands fascinate me. They are smooth, blemish and bump free. They are beautifully shaped and I cannot lie, I am a tad jealous. She keeps her nails short and natural and are just as nice as one who spends a fortune on manicures. I, on the other hand, have sadly inherited my mother’s and my grandmother’s hands, though my fingers are much longer (for which I am grateful). I wanted to think the bumps and marks were from years of misuse but alas, they are aflicted with arthritic joints. My index fingers, mostly. Crept up on me unnoticed ’til the day I banged my finger against something hard and shooting pain had me blinking back tears. As if that is not enough, I suffer from Raynaud’s Syndrome which is basically an allergic reaction to the cold.  This, too, has been a slowly creeping thing. If I hold anything cold for too long, I can feel my fingers start tingling and am usually too late to stop it. I end up with a few of my fingers looking like they belong on a cadaver! Two to three fingers per hand are affected so don’t be surprised to see me driving with ski mitts come November. That steering wheel causes me serious grief. And is one of the main reasons I have not opened my own restaurant or worked in a kitchen.  I cut a large piece of cold fish and every few minutes, I needs must run my hands under warm water.

Now, that said, when it comes to male hands, I take special note 🙂 I like a big strong hand with long fingers (nails kept short – and not by chewing, please).  A nice ring with a wide band enhances as well.  Where does this come from?  I cannot say.  Or can I?

My father had wonderful hands. They were exactly as I’ve described above: big, strong, long-fingered, capable… He wore a size 12 on his ring finger!  Even when he was ill and becoming ever more frail his hands still held a certain strength and could engulf mind in his. Those hands could build things yet could be gentle. They were eloquent yet stern.  A finger pointed in your direction when you did wrong was one thing and I got one smack from them that I’ll never forget! And he regretted it the second he did it.

They were always warm and I cannot say how many times he took my hands in his hands and warmed them.  Why, even in the days when we would snowmobile, he would switch mittens with each of us, warming them up and returning them when done. How he managed to squeeze those paws into our children-sized mitts is beyond me, but he did.

If I’m to psychoanalyse myself, I guess there is a comfort in knowing that strong hands mean I will be taken care of.  It’s silly, really. I know plenty of man who were not endowed with large hands but who are strong and very much take care of their significant others. The size of the hand does not measure it’s strength.  But I’ll still

Maybe This no doubt has influenced how I judge men’s hands today. I used to work with a man whom I’d tease every time I got a chance. At a Christmas party I told his wife he had the most beautiful hands ever – she laughed and said “Don’t I know it!” Richard just pshawed us, blushed and walked away, muttering “You ladies are weird.”  We ladies looked at each other and smiled. We knew what we were talking about.

A funny thing happened after Mick passed away. I put his wedding ring next to my father’s. Exactly the same size.  Although his hand was a worker’s hand, strong and big, his fingers were not as long…go figure

Comparing Zeke’s paw to Mick’s hand

 

Keeping me safe

Without Words – Weekend Writing Prompt #130

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Word Prompt

Ineffable

Challenge

I canna lie… I struggled with this one.  Thank you, Sammi, for making me struggle week after week! Okay, some weeks more than others 😉

 

Without Words

There are those who cannot speak the words

To describe the ineffable beauty before them

While the phrases flow beautifully in their mind

The words clog in their throat, or

Tumble out as incoherent gibberish

 

Oh, but give them pen and paper

And witness the magic they create

By turning mere words into visions

That tickle your imagination

So it is now you, dear reader

Who is left without words

 

Where Has Our Collective Patience Gone?

I had a ten o’clock appointment this morning – a way overdue oil change and inspection for the special price of $57.45, which we KNOW will never cost just that because there will be this and the other.  A whole nother story.

I leave my house at 9:25, giving myself more than ample time to get there. I take the exit to get on Highway 132 to head west. This exit, like most, if not all, the ones in Quebec, is beyond annoying. It means peeps have to criss-cross each other to get to where they want to go.  Those coming out of the tunnel and wanting to go east must try to squeeze in by those coming from Hwy 20 (like me) who want to go west. There are three lanes going into two, the middle one being used for either east or west. Heaven forbid the guy going in the same direction as you actually lets you in. No, no, we don’t want that so we force them to slow down by turning towards them. It is quite the spectacle. Of course the two lanes leading west will merge into one so the ones on the right must find their way into the left before reaching the highway itself.  Again, fun stuff.

Once on the hightway, the speed limit is 100 km/h which most of us figure means minimum.  Ahem. And so we drive at 110-119 (because rumour has it the cops won’t waste their time before you hit 120). I am driving along, listening to my music and the traffic slows. The guy behind me is so far up my ass I figure he’d like me to pop the trunk so he could hitch a ride.  There are cars ahead of me and beside me. It is obvious I could not even try to move over and let him fly by. I raise my hand to him in a “what the fuck do you want from me?” manner and ignore him.  The reason the traffic had slowed? There was a truck in the right lane behind a tree that had just blown over INTO THE HIGHWAY! Did I forget to mention the wind is beyond fierce today?

We pass said situation and I can move over. “Honda-Casquette” – We call the young pups with their Hondas and their baseball caps (“casquette”) this endearing term – because they all have the same bad driving habits. My son is one though he doesn’t wear baseball caps.  Anyhoo… Honda-Casquette speeds past me, swerves in front of me and then, get this, slams on the brakes so he can take the same exit I am.  Dude. He is then stuck behind others making their way towards another highway (see merging scenario above).  Soon as he gets a chance, he once again swerves in front of me and takes off like a bat outta hell. I see him flying between cars ahead zipping in and out. I do not wish ill on these drivers because of karma. But if I did…

I pull into my dealer’s garage, greet my service guy, at 9:50, by the way, and regale him and his cohorts with my tale. He then tells me that this morning the peeps with appointments seemed to think the time given was just a “guideline” of sorts.

As if your 7:30 appointment means any time between 7:30 and 8:30.  Sigh. My one-hour appointment was going to be longer, I am afraid.  “No worries, J-F, I had planned on going for a leisurely breakfast and brought my book.”  And off I go, practically blown across the street. Of course it starts to rain and of course, I have no hood on my jacket but I make my way – a good, I dunno 1000 feet away? and arrive rather wet.  Get my booth and my coffee and am promptly forgotten by my waitress.

Two chapters and an empty cup later, my waitress sheepishly comes by and says, so sorry, we’re not busy, which ironically I understand as I now am in the bidness. We make more mistakes and forget more things when we have too much time on our hands. Good thing her colleague noticed me sitting there.  She takes my order, brings me another coffee and I’m happy.

By 11:45, I make my way back to the dealership and sit down, figuring my car should be ready.  I decide to get up to get the wifi password and can see into the garage where I note my car is up in the air. Groovy. I am so glad my book is good.

Jean-François comes to get me sometime close to one o’clock. Total bill? $161.58. A little of this and a little of that.

I had plans to go do some shopping and whatnot but frankly, I just wanted to get home. I drive out of the lot and some doofus has blocked an entrance to another business so the guy coming towards us cannot get in and is blocking his lane. I shake my head and wait for the light, let the guy pass and miss my own light. Fine.  The guy behind me starts honking because we are allowed to turn right on red after 9 am. However, I do not feel inclined to run over the pedestrian who is making his way across. Again my WTF hands go up. The man makes it to the curb so I turn onto my street.  Guy behind me drives to my right on the shoulder only to see there is a truck parked in the way so now he has to come back in. And is lucky the guy in front of me did coz no way in hell I would have.  I am laughing in my car all by myself, lemme tell you.  We pass the truck and the guy once again goes onto the shoulder to take the same exit as I am, which is a grand total of 25 feet (maybe, I may exaggerate) away.  Patience. Zilch.

 

All Hallow’s Eve – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #51

In honour of Hallowe’en, my participation in Crispina’s challenge…

All Hallow’s Eve

“That’s a mighty fine web you’ve woven.”

“Thanks, I’m trying a new material.”

“Looks fine but I don’t see it working out.”

“Whyever not?”

“Not sticky.”

“Not meant to be. Do you not find it represents a Samhain’s Wheel better than our silky webs would?”

“Well, yes. But why?”

“It’s Hallowe’en, silly!”

“So?”

“Samhain is the origin of today’s Hallowe’en festivities.”

“Oh… I see, sorta…”

“I just wanted to put a positive spin on things!”

“So, you are NOT trying to capture any food, then.”

“Nope, not tonight.  Just want to celebrate the new year, the end of the harvest, the beginning of the dark half. You know, like the ancient Celts did.”

“But we’re not ancient, nor are we celts.”

“You suck, you know that?”

“I can’t. You’ve no bugs for me.”

 

Word count: 133

And for our cranky, hungry spider, my photo 😉

And because I took this photo this morning and it has its own spookiness and I just wanted to share it… here’s looking at you…

 

Decision Time – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday, my peeps. I know this doesn’t really fall into “story” category but rather a vignette but it’s what came to me so I’m sticking to it 🙂

If you want to play along, click on the frog below and add your link. If you need to learn the rules and regs, click on Rochelle‘s name – she gives the what’s what.

©Fatime Fakir Deria

Click to play

Decision Time

“Do you ever miss those days of working in an office, nine to five, no overtime, no running around ’til your feet fall off?”

“Sometimes. It’s nice knowing what time you finish work. And I miss the fringe benefits like dental, medical and such. And wearing nice clothes.”

“Would you consider going back?”

“The thought of being tied to a desk and phone makes me want to puke.”

“So, that’s a ‘no’, then. What are you going to do?”

“Not sure, honestly. I’m hoping to find a juste-milieu where I can move and put my people skills to good use.”

Bewitching Hours – Weekend Writing Prompt #129

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments. A thank you to Sammi for issuing this weekly challenge.

Word Prompt

Twilight

Challenge

 

Bewitching Hours

It is a gift

To be able to witness

A light so enchanting

It can only be found in the in-betweens of

Dawn and sunrise or

Sunset and dusk

Twilight

When the Earth’s Sun

Scatters light into the atmosphere

Leaving us bewitched, not once, but twice

 

Big Plans – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #50

Welcome to Crispina’s FUN, FUN, FUN challenge. There are no rules.  Well, there is but one, which Crispina herself totally broke this week, and that is the maximum word count.  Supposed to not go past 150. I guess like any rules, some are made to broken, occasionally. If you want to see the list of possibilities for this prompt, just click here.  I, once again, tried to find a “matching” photo which kinda comes into play in my story 😉

Big Plans

She had a grand plans for the house. She was going to renovate it and make it hers. She’d remodel the kitchen, moving a wall, adding extra cabinets and much needed counter space. Once she was done there, she’d redo the bathroom, change the tiles and replace that God-awful toilet and sink. Following that, she’d strip the floors and restain them a nice dark colour. She had ideas for the landscaping too, including installing a beatiful gate to replace the horrid wood one. Her humble abode was going to become her haven.

Oh the visions she had!

Oh, the funds she had not!

What she needed to do was scale down her ideas into smaller, more manageable jobs. Things like adding a coat of paint…

***

Word count: 125