Mayhem and Mystery on the High Seas

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La Donna Mobile

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Sep 28, 2005, 11:35:00 AM9/28/05
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A Modern Cautionary Tale

Prologue

Further episodes will not be cross-posted to rmc, rmcc, rmcr, rmcp. Only to rmo.

Further episodes will not be work-safe, and will not be suitable for Under-18s or those of a prudish disposition.

Any similarity to any person, living or undead will be completely intentional.

Copyright Geraldine Curtis 2005

All rights reserved

(oh boy will I have to work late tonight to make up for time lost...!)

Life had not been kind to me. My blue-collar wages barely met the cost of my frugal existence. I rented a modest bedsit in Tooting Bec. Fortunately, I had been there so many years, the landlord had not increased the rent in ten  years. Careful budgeting, and eating a mainly vegetarian diet, bought at the Asian greengrocers near Tooting Broadway and in Lidl’s bargain supermarket meant I had just about enough to fund my annual holiday – a week in a caravan in Essex’s Thorpe Bay. And my hobby, my only real reason for living – Plácido Domingo. For so many years he had brought me so much pleasure. I had so many books about him, and tried to buy every magazine and newspaper that featured him. But most of all, I had a large collection of his CDs and videos, and increasingly, DVDs. If only I could afford a decent hi-fi on which to play them.

My bedsit was a shrine to Plácido: the walls were covered with pictures of him, dating back to his debut as a baritone in his parents’ zarzuela company in Mexico City, aged 16, to a picture of him as Samson I had printed out from the New York Times just last week. I risked getting sacked from my blue-collar job for pleasure-surfing the internet, but for Plácido I would risk all. It was so difficult at work. None of my colleagues were interested in opera, or any of the Arts, preferring to spend our teabreaks discussing the stars of Reality TV shows. I wished I could go and see Plácido perform, but there was no way that my blue-collar wages could purchase a ticket for the Royal Opera House. I had hoped to see him sing in Die Walküre at the Proms, but my blue-collar job would not allow me to leave early for the 5pm start time; by the time I was able to get to the Albert Hall, all the Promming tickets would have been long sold out. Fortunately, it was being broadcast on BBC4 with a delayed start. I can’t afford Digital TV, but, fortunately for me, I was on cat-sitting duties for the nice couple across the road. They’re rich, they have satellite TV, so I was able to record a video of the broadcast.

Each night I fall asleep in my meagre bed in my poor bedsit, my mind full of dreams of Plácido. Sometimes I replay some of his great performances in my mind. Other times I imagine a scenario, an unachievable scenario, where I would finally get to see him perform. Even more unattainable, my dream that I will one day meet him. I start by imagining that we go to dinner at a top West End restaurant, the sort of I have often passed and dreamed of entering. I would quiz him about his career, ask him what he regards as his best roles, ask him about the other singers he has performed with. Not that I am interested in the other singers, but anything to hear his beautiful voice, as sexy when talking as when singing.

But my mind soon skips to the end of dinner, and my fantasies take me to bed with him. In my mundane real existence I have little experience of sex; in my fantasies, I have night after night of mind-blowing sex with Plácido. Soon my hand wanders between my leg, and I have to do myself what I ache for him to do to me. But I know however much I dream about him, I will never meet him. And if I do, why would he give a second glance to a dowdy spinster from Tooting Bec. He can choose from so many beautiful women, divas, fans, you name it. Not Blue Collar Donna from Tooting Bec.

One Wednesday morning, at the end of July I was walking on Tooting Common on my way to Tooting Bec Underground Station. On the floor I spotted a penny. “See a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck.” At lunchtime I was sitting in the pocket park near my office, eating the sandwiches I always brought from home. I saw three magpies. One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl.” Hmm. Oh, two more. “Four for a boy. Five for silver…”. I glanced to my feet and saw a pound coin at my feet. Not very silver, I thought. Nevertheless, I picked it up. On the way back to the office, I passed a newsagent. My eyes were drawn by the poster advertising the National Lottery. I knew it was wrong, but I was tempted. I bought a ticket, a Lucky Dip. I knew it was futile, just another tax on poor people like me. But, at least, some of the proceeds go to Good Causes.

I forgot my lottery ticket, but that evening, just before the 10 o’clock news, I caught the update. I checked my numbers. I had matched five plus the bonus. I could not believe my luck. I had (almost) won the lottery.

And that was why, just over two months later, I was able to submit a Friends of Covent Garden booking form with an application for tickets for Cyrano de Bergerac. Please god, I would finally get to see and hear my Plácido perform. I knew that the tickets would be over-subscribed, and if I did get lucky, I did not know how I would survive until May. But it would be a dream come true.

I had decided I deserved a holiday, and had booked myself a trip on the luxury cruise liner MS Europa for a cruise around the Aegean and Black Seas, with musical entertainment on board every night, part of the world famous Lucerne Festival. Topping the musical bill was Legendary Star Soprano, Sherry Strudel. I am a firm believer that the soprano is there to support the tenor; nevertheless I liked Sherry Strudel. My CD collection included discs of Otello, Lucia di Lammermoor, Tannhauser, and Fliegende Hollander, where she supported the tenor ably.

And that was why I found myself gazing in wonder as I sat in the Departure lounge at Gatwick Terminal South. A world which I had previously only ever seen on the TV was not at feet. Soon I would be taking my first trip on aeroplane. Before the day was out, I would land at Athens airport and be transported to the MS Europa, the only ship in the world to achieve a Five-Stars-Plus rating from the world-respected Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships 2004.






-- 
http://www.madmusingsof.me.uk/weblog/
http://www.geraldine-curtis.me.uk/photoblog/

Raving Loonie

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Sep 28, 2005, 1:29:44 PM9/28/05
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La Donna Mobile wrote:
> A Modern Cautionary Tale
>
> Prologue
>
> Further episodes will *not* be cross-posted to rmc, rmcc, rmcr, rmcp.
> Only to rmo.
>
> Further episodes will *not* be work-safe, and will *not* be suitable for

> Under-18s or those of a prudish disposition.
>
> Any similarity to any person, living or undead will be completely
> intentional.
>
> Copyright Geraldine Curtis 2005
>
> All rights reserved
>
> /(oh boy will I have to work late tonight to make up for time lost...!)/

>
> Life had not been kind to me. My blue-collar wages barely met the cost
> of my frugal existence. I rented a modest bedsit in Tooting Bec.
> Fortunately, I had been there so many years, the landlord had not
> increased the rent in ten years. Careful budgeting, and eating a mainly
> vegetarian diet, bought at the Asian greengrocers near Tooting Broadway
> and in Lidl's bargain supermarket meant I had just about enough to fund
> my annual holiday - a week in a caravan in Essex's Thorpe Bay. And my
> hobby, my only real reason for living - Plácido Domingo. For so many
> for a boy. Five for silver...". I glanced to my feet and saw a pound


Studer troll **Alert**

Mrs Terfel

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Sep 28, 2005, 3:10:44 PM9/28/05
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Oh brava, La Donna - this is brilliant. When do we get Part 2 ????

Mrs T xx

Matthew B. Tepper

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Sep 28, 2005, 3:19:27 PM9/28/05
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"Raving Loonie" <raving...@gmail.com> appears to have caused the
following letters to be typed in news:1127928584.634148.84360
@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com:

> Studer troll **Alert**

And for this you quoted the entirety of the post?

30-day PLONK!

--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ~ FDR (attrib.)

La Donna Mobile

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Sep 28, 2005, 4:35:22 PM9/28/05
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Mrs Terfel wrote:

>Oh brava, La Donna - this is brilliant. When do we get Part 2 ????
>
>Mrs T xx
>
>

Patience my friend. I have some work work to complete.

And I need a good dose of Tristan und Isolde for erotic stimulation.

Mrs Terfel

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Sep 28, 2005, 4:46:16 PM9/28/05
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Ah yes, *real* work. That nasty thing we have to do in order to afford
our little trips to Covent Garden....

OK, I'll be patient. But don't leave it too long in case SJT decides
to jump on the bandwagon and write a very smutty chapter 2 on your
behalf....

Mrs T xx

La Donna Mobile

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Sep 28, 2005, 6:01:38 PM9/28/05
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I woke slowly. Against my naked skin was the sensual feel of crisp fresh
quality linen. To feel it caress my skin made me shiver in delight. I
had been woken out of a beautiful dream about Plácido. I told myself I
had no need to dream, to live in my imagination. I was finally having an
adventure. I stretched luxuriously revelling in a bed with a firmer
mattress than I had ever slept on before.

Light streamed into my bedroom – my suite. The butler was opening the
curtains. I could smell coffee. “Good morning madam,” he greeted me.
“It’s a beautiful day today, look.” He pointed to the sea view. Excited,
I sat up and reclined against the firm pillows and cushions. He tried to
avert his eyes from my naked breasts, but one glance below his waist I
knew that he was finding it, er, hard. Flustered, he pointed to my
breakfast tray on the table. “Orange juice, smoked salmon and scrambled
egg, and coffee, as Madam ordered. If Madam requires anything else, just
lift the telephone and I will bring it for Madam. I’m Bobby Lasagna,” he
added. I realised he expected a tip.

I gave him a good look, and was shocked at my thoughts. Would it be very
bad to attempt to seduce him? This was not me thinking! Would I know how
to do so? But for the first time in my life I had men at my
beck-and-call. Perhaps I could live a little whilst on the cruise. But,
I thought, that would be tantamount to infidelity. Although I would
remain faithful in my heart.

After a lazy breakfast, I dressed in a simple sundress. Simple, but more
expensive than any dress I had previously bought. I thought I would
explore the ship. We had boarded yesterday evening. I had eaten a light
dinner and retired early to my room, tired from the journey and from my
excitement.

There were few people about. Here and there, people reclined in
deckchairs. I investigated the Beauty Salon and Spa on Deck 7. They were
practically deserted, except for one woman, young blonde and thin,
receiving a massage. I was not young, or blonde, or thin, but the scene
looked enticing.

I looked at the noticeboard. There was a list of the spa staff. The
masseurs were called Brian Taffy, Jeremy Funlay, Clarissa Bartholomew
and Rhiann Flaherty. Judging from the photos, this masseur was Brian
Taffy. I rather liked the look of Jeremy Funlay.

I paused for a while to watch the massage. The young woman lay on her
front, her arms crossed casually in front of her. As far as I could
tell, she was naked except for a towel draped decorously across her,
covering her lower back to halfway down her thighs. Brian seemed deep in
concentration as he used his large hands expertly to massage the oil
into her back; the palms of his hands pummelled her shoulders, his
fingers, so surprisingly delicate for such a big man, built like a rugby
player, caressed her spine. Her moans of pleasure and relaxation told me
she was enjoying it. He took his hands away from her back, and moved to
her calves, using an upward and circular motion, moving up her legs,
nudging the bottom edge of the towel moving up her thighs. “Oh yes!” she
exclaimed. Breezily, he suggested that she turned over. I realised that
I could watch this no more, it was too much like voyeurism. To my
consternation, I realised I was turned-on by the sight.

I continued on my walk, ignoring the Fitness Centre, but pausing briefly
to watch a game of deck quoits being played at a leisurely pace by some
older gentlemen. Up one flight of steps and I found myself in the Lido
Café, next to the Lido Pool. There were two waiters and a waitress on
duty, all wearing their name badges. Ronald Vee, JohnJim Garden and
Amber George. Amber suggested I took a seat by the pool and whenever I
wanted anything, a drink or snack, they would bring it to me.

The lifeguard strolled over to me and held a hand to introduce himself.
“Hi,” he said, “I’m Norton Gatling.” He was wearing a very short pair of
navy shorts, that showed off his assets to great advantage –
well-developed pecs, a washboard stomach. I wondered whether that was
baby-oil that made his bronze chest gleam. No, it was probably suntan
lotion. Unless he had a massage earlier. From Clarissa or Rhiann, or
from Brian or Jeremy, I wondered. He saw me looking, but was unfazed, no
doubt he has many women, and not a few men, admiring his physique on
every cruise. He explained that if I wanted, I could be sprinkled with
Evian Water to keep me cool. Or he could help me apply my sun lotion if
I wished.

I lay back on my recliner and began to read my book, Jilly Cooper’s
Score. I had read the first few chapters on the flight, but I found it
unsettling to be reading of this evil but sexy conductor. All I could do
was think of my favourite very sexy but not at all evil conductor.
Perhaps it was time to cool off in the Pool.
I jumped in gingerly, used to the bracing cold of Tooting Bec Lido, with
South trains thundering past every few minutes, en route for Croydon,
Crawley and Brighton. This water was gloriously warm, with no
interruptions from the everyday world. My every need attended to by two
gorgeous waiters and a hunk of a lifeguard, and a waitress who I
realised, was easy on the eye.

I splashed around for a while, playing like a water baby, aware that the
eyes of all four were on me. The normal me, back home, would have been
embarrassed, mortified, even, to have four people looking at me
cavorting. But to my surprise, I found I enjoyed it. Exhilarated by the
sense of freedom I surface dived to the bottom of the pool and slowly
rose to the surface. In the process, my bikini slipped and my breasts
spilled out. I am ambivalent about my breasts. 36GG means they are
conspicuous. They attract looks. Sometimes I think that men are more
interested in my breasts than my mind. But lying in my lonely bedsit bed
at nights, I love to grasp them in my hands, run my fingers over the
nipples, caress the silky soft skin of their underside, and sometimes, I
lean forward and take my own my nipples in my mouth. All the time
wishing I was not alone in bed, but that it was Plácido playing with my
breasts. Sometimes I can bring myself almost to orgasm by this alone.
Before I had set off on my journey, I had told myself “No one on board
will know you. You will never see any of them again. Enjoy yourself,
girl. Do everything you wouldn’t dare do in Tooting Bec.” I reminded
myself of this mantra.

I looked Ronald straight in the eye and tossed back my wet hair,
hopefully provocatively. With one deft arm movement, I removed my bikini
top and flung it to my sunlounger. Norton the lifeguard scurried to pick
it up. Clearly flustered, he knocked into a table. For a moment the
table wobbled, it seemed to stabilise, then, it wobbled precariously. To
my amusement, and to Norton’s obvious embarrassment, it fell over,
knocking over a chair which fell into the pool with an impressive
splash. Norton dived in, a confident straight-bodied dive, reminiscent
of an Olympian. He retrieved the chair, and righted it and the table.
His pristine navy shorts were now soaked through. I was shocked. They
were not suitable attire for a lifeguard, the damp material setting a
perfect silhouette around his manhood. I smiled at him, expressing my
gratitude that he had done all this just to hang my bikini top up to
dry. Barely perceptibly, but unquestionably, I saw a slight stiffening
of his manhood. I was surprised. I did not normally have this effect on men.

Discomforted, I began to swim. Never was the breaststroke so aptly
named. What an amazing sensation! I had never before swum topless. It
was as if the water was caressing my breasts, holding them buoyant,
tenderly stroking them. Idly, I wondered how it would feel to swim
entirely naked.

Slowly I paddled, reaching the poolside bar, with bar stools submerged
below the surface of the water. “Do take a seat!” said Amber. Politely,
I asked for a mango juice. As Amber placed the glass in front of me on
the bar, I saw her look wistfully at my breasts. I looked at hers,
hidden though they were under a Hawaiian shirt. Little wonder she was
envious. She was more of a hip than boob woman. She reached out her
hand, and hurriedly withdrew it again. I felt myself blushing. I think
she wanted to touch my breasts. And to my surprise, I liked that
thought. I pondered whether to be brave enough to invite her to be my
guest when her attention was distracted by a male voice on the dryside
of the Lido Bar. Loudly demanding to be served. No please or thank you,
ordering, condescending. I felt myself cringing at his superior
attitude. And Amber looked resentful.

Then he looked at me. His mouth curled almost into a snarl, an ugly
distortion of an already ugly face. A fat ugly face, red with high blood
pressure and injudicious sunbathing. I would have called him corpulent,
but that word had an air of dignity about it. He was just fat, gross,
obese. Greedy and ugly. Looking like he might just burst a blood vessel
as he gesticulated wildly and growled at me in an unmistakably Bostonian
accent, “You! You whore! Bitch. How dare you? Exposing yourself in
public like that!”

Should I be confrontational? I asked. No, I vowed. No confrontations.
Confrontation is bad. I’m here on holiday, to relax. I smiled my
sweetest most saccharine smile at him, and in my best Received
Pronunciation, I said, “Welcome to Europe Old Chap! Anything Goes!” I
raised my glass of mango juice. “Bottoms up, my Good Man.” He waved his
fist in impotent anger, like a baddie in a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.

Goodness, I thought, that bloke has a lot of unresolved issues and
pent-up frustrations. Closet self-hating gay, I wondered. Then
reprimanded myself. This was not the time nor place for cod psychology.

I spent the rest of the morning in and out of the pool. It was rather
splendid. Unfortunately, I was not alone for long, as gradually more
passengers arranged themselves round the pool. However, most were
significantly older than me, all in couples or trios or quartets, and
most of them seemed just to want to sleep. No others ventured into the
pool to swim, and Norton Gatling was kept busy spraying them with Evian.
Everytime I went in to the pool I enjoyed the knowledge that Ronald,
JohnJim, Amber and Norton were surreptitiously watching me. The more I
was aware of being watched, the more I wanted to show off, yet,
something held me back. It was not in my nature to be an exhibitionist.

All too soon, the gong rang, warning that it was twenty minutes until
luncheon, just enough time to shower, towel dry my hair, and to change
back into my dress.
At lunch I was invited to join the Captain’s Table. His name badge said
Capt. Simon J Turner. Idly I speculated what the ‘J’ stood for. Julian?
Jolian? John? James? Joseph? José, maybe. (José was Plácido’s first
name, according to his birth certificate.) The Purser, Diana Vaughan,
explained that everybody addressed Captain Turner as ‘Sir’. The woman
next to me introduced herself. “I’m Fiona, I’m from Hertfordshire. And
this is my friend, Serafina.” I realised that Fiona was the young, thin,
blonde woman I had earlier seen so enjoying her massage with Brian Taffy.

Then Captain Turner – Sir – introduced me to the guest of honour at the
Top Table, none other than Divissima Suprema, Ms Sherry Strudel. I felt
honoured to be in her company. I so wanted the chance to speak to her,
girl to girl, one on one, to ask her about her life in the world of
opera. But there were a dozen of us around the table, and the talk was
mostly ‘small’. Sir kept Ms Strudel entertained, lavishing his attention
and charm on her. I could not demand conversation with such important
persons. I knew my place.

Instead, I asked Fiona how her massage with Brian had been. She said “It
was fine. Fine.” For a moment, I wondered whether I had asked an
inappropriate question. Then I realised she was colouring an impressive
shade of blush pink and seemed flustered. Serafina grinned and said,

“I think it’s safe to say that Fiona will be back for more of Brian
Taffy’s massages.”

We continued the small talk during lunch, chatting about what we were
going to do for the afternoon. Serafina and Fiona said they would try
out the Fitness Centre. That was really not my idea of fun. I decided
instead to have a manicure and pedicure, and elaborate decoration of my
nails, in the Beauty Salon, and then spend the rest of the afternoon
chilling on the balcony of my State Room, perhaps reading my novel, and
allowing Bobby Lasagna attend to my every need, resting before the
evening's festivities began.

Or perhaps not quite every need.

Mrs Terfel

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Sep 28, 2005, 6:20:34 PM9/28/05
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Gosh, that was rather racy.

I rather like the sound of this Brian Taffy character....not to mention
the attractive Bobby Lasagna

Mrs T xx

alanwa...@aol.com

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Sep 28, 2005, 6:28:28 PM9/28/05
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Blimey! How the other half live. Off tomorrow to the National Theatre
Prague to do Jenufa, apparently live for the, wait for it, British
Broadcasting Corporation among others.

Smoked salmon, scrambled egg? First percussion will have a bowl of
soup before this epic event.

I thought I digressed but I am beginning to wonder.....

Kind regards,
Alan M. Watkins

Mrs Terfel

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Sep 29, 2005, 4:23:05 AM9/29/05
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It's a good job that I'm not involved with writing this story,
otherwise everyone would suddenly start talking like characters out of
a Jane Austen novel and there would be no smut whatsoever.

But of course in my version you'd get to read the romantic subplot
concerning how lovely blonde Fiona's cruel father forces her to reject
the marriage proposal of her beloved Brian on grounds that he is merely
the penniless working-class son of a sheep farmer and far beneath her
in social rank. Driven to despair, Brian knocks over every chair,
table and sunlounger on the promenade deck and then threatens to shoot
himself during what is undoubtedly the musical highlight of the cruise
- namely the Grand G&S Gala Concert starring the renowned American
soprano Sherry Strudel. However, in a surprise turn of events it is
suddenly revealed that due to an NHS blunder 39 years ago in the
maternity ward, Brian Taffy was accidentally switched with another baby
and given to the wrong family. The other infant is none other than
Captain SJ Turner, who is also 39 years old of course. Brian is now
revealed as the rightful son of Lord Darcy of Pemberley and heir to a
hundred thousand a year and a large estate in Derbyshire. Naturally a
big white wedding follows - with Serafina, Donna and Sherry as
bridesmaids and fifteen pages of colour photos in next week's edition
of Hello magazine........

Can't help thinking people would rather read your smutty version
though, La Donna........

Mrs T xx

Silverfin

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Sep 29, 2005, 8:24:47 AM9/29/05
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You're a bit good at this... not your first time, I presume?

Silverfin


La Donna Mobile wrote:
> I woke slowly. Against my naked skin was the sensual feel of crisp fresh
> quality linen. To feel it caress my skin made me shiver in delight. I
> had been woken out of a beautiful dream about Plácido. I told myself I
> had no need to dream, to live in my imagination. I was finally having an
> adventure. I stretched luxuriously revelling in a bed with a firmer
> mattress than I had ever slept on before.
>

> Light streamed into my bedroom - my suite. The butler was opening the

> navy shorts, that showed off his assets to great advantage -

> Then Captain Turner - Sir - introduced me to the guest of honour at the

REG

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Sep 29, 2005, 8:33:27 AM9/29/05
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Yes, I think it's great. I personally loved the Gatling pun or allusion;
very witty. I personally am wondering if the cruise will continue on its
merry way, or whether the ship itself might get highjacked and require the
emergency services of a superstar to rescue it. Perhaps coded messages could
be sent in badly-accented German?

I hope she will continue.

Best


"Silverfin" <goog...@finesilver.info> wrote in message
news:1127996687.6...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...

REG

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Sep 29, 2005, 8:37:56 AM9/29/05
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Or perhaps they could communicate in a code where all the c's, b's and a's
were eliminated. :)

Someone, and I am embarrassed not to remember the name right now, wrote a
book without the letter "e" - one of the French nouvelle vague, I thought,
but maybe not.

Best

"Silverfin" <goog...@finesilver.info> wrote in message
news:1127996687.6...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...

You're a bit good at this... not your first time, I presume?

LJO

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Sep 29, 2005, 10:13:45 AM9/29/05
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"REG" <Rich...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:EeR_e.2850$Fc4....@twister.nyc.rr.com...

> Or perhaps they could communicate in a code where all the c's, b's and a's
> were eliminated. :)
>
> Someone, and I am embarrassed not to remember the name right now, wrote a
> book without the letter "e" - one of the French nouvelle vague, I thought,
> but maybe not.
>

"Gadsby" (1939) by Ernest Vincent Wright.
Wright also eschewed abbreviations which would, if expanded or spoken, use
the letter "e", as well as numerals greater than six and less than thirty.
And, of course, the story ended with "Finis" instead of "The End".


David Melnick

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Sep 29, 2005, 12:02:33 PM9/29/05
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Isy for you to say!

Try this one, too:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Void

Aage Johansen

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Sep 29, 2005, 3:57:12 PM9/29/05
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alanwa...@aol.com wrote:
> Blimey! How the other half live. Off tomorrow to the National Theatre
> Prague to do Jenufa, apparently live for the, wait for it, British
> Broadcasting Corporation among others.

Alan, offTopic for this thread, of course, but I'm going to Prague in
November. Regrettably, I didn't check the schedule at the opera so my
only opportunity is Butterfly (Nov. 15th) - I cannot (easily) change the
flight.
Will you be playing? Any comment on the cast?

The cast is (if I understood it correctly):
* Conductor: F. Drs
* Stage director: K. Jernek
* Set designer: O. Šimáček
* Costume designer: O. Filipi
* Madama Butterfly (Cio-Cio-San): K. Teshima, E. Dřízgová (which?)
* Suzuki, her maid: A. Kalivodová
* Kate Pinkerton: J. Levicová
* F.B. Pinkerton, navy officer: T. Černý
* Sharpless, US consul in Nagasaki: M. Bárta
* Goro, match-maker: J. Hruška
* Prince Yamadori: M. Matoušek
* Uncle Bonzo: O. Korotkov
* Yakuside: N. Nikolov
* Imperial commissar: R. Vocel,
* Librarian: S. Lehmann
* Mother of Cio-Cio-San: L. Jereminová
* Aunt: L. Hilscherová
* Cousin: D. Radosa

(?) Somewhere else it says:
Madama Butterfly (Cio-Cio-San): La, K.-H.
- what? who?


This house has yet to discover the credit card. Or, rather, they know
about it but refuse to accept it. "Admission to the Prague State Opera
can only be paid in cash."


--
Aage J.

Hans Christian Hoff

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Sep 29, 2005, 6:02:28 PM9/29/05
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If you go to

http://www.ticketportal.cz/

you can order tickets both for the National theatre, its subsidiary the
Estates theatre (the theatre where Don G. was first performed and which
was prominently featured in the Losey film) and the State Opera with an
option to pay by credit card via the net. The page is however
unreliable, and I ended up with the alternative to pay with my credit
card when arriving in Prague (on Oct. 4th, to see le Nozze on the 6th at
the Estates theatre).

Regards

Hans


La Donna Mobile

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Sep 29, 2005, 7:46:38 PM9/29/05
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Chapter Two

© Geraldine Curtis 2005

(Worksafe: even Freya North doesn't have raw sex in every chapter...)


Although dinner was not until seven, I was ready before six o’clock.
Ready, and anxiously scrutinising my appearance in the mirror. I barely
recognised myself in my new evening dress. I thought it was gorgeous –
chocolate coloured silk, sleeveless, plunging neckline and a
semi-diaphanous skirt. And it suited me. But, at the end of the day, it
was from Marks and Sparks. I was only too conscious that there were some
seriously rich people on board for whom M&S would be too common. But to
me, it was a glamour I had never previously experienced.

I decided the best way to conquer my nerves was to venture into the
heart of the ship. I had been on board a musical cruise for nearly
twenty-four hours and had not yet experienced any of the live music. I
consulted my information pack and realised that the ship’s cellist was
due to give a pre-dinner recital with piano accompaniment any minute in
the piano bar. I do so love the sound of the cello. And this was all
part of what I had paid for.

The cello recital was pleasant, if brief. It was annoying that there was
no announcement of which pieces were being played, and some were
familiar but I could not place them. I did recognise a Faure Sicilienne
and some Schumann and Mendelssohn. I was very conscious that it was
probably not concert-hall standard, and certainly not Rostropovich,
Tortelier or even Isserlis. But it was rather beautiful to hear the rich
plangent tones of the cello in an intimate setting, in a bar, no less.
At dinner I found myself in delightful conversation with an interesting
group of people. It seemed that some of them knew each other, whilst
others, like me, were travelling alone. The group was friendly to us
lonesome people, although inevitably, they occasionally fell into ‘in’
conversation.

I was almost overwhelmed by the amount of food served up. I had been
warned that on cruises the only thing to do is to eat, eat and then eat
again. With pauses in between for drinking. I had also been warned that
the food was not necessarily very good – a little like hotel food, it
caters for the lowest common denominator of taste. Little chance of
Vindaloo or even a chicken tikka masala.

But I though the feast was sumptuous. I think there were eight courses,
although I rather lost count. Hors d’oeuvres, a starter and soup, and
then a sorbet before we even reached the main course. And after pudding
we had cheese and biscuits, and petits fours, and coffee and liqueurs,
to follow on from a complex sequence of wines. I did not think I would
ever eat again.

There was still some time before the highlight of the evening, for me at
any rate, a recital by the wonderful Sherry Strudel. At a loose end, I
found myself in the Havana Bar. I felt self-conscious, it seemed that
everyone in there, except me was male. Many of them were enjoying an
after-dinner cigar. I hesitated and nearly walked away, recalling all
those Victorian novels, where the ladies were expected to retire whilst
the gentlemen relaxed with cigars and port (and probably shared bawdy
stories and burped freely). I thought that maybe I would be breaching
etiquette by entering the Havana Bar. But emboldened by drink – not that
I was drunk, I had been careful – I concluded that there was no sign
saying ‘Men Only’. And certainly I did not sense any hostility. A
handsome gentleman offered me a cigar. “Cuban,” he said gleefully.
“We’re not suppose to smoke these back home.” I assumed ‘home’ to be
the US.

I hesitated, but then thought “Why not!” My uncle had been a cigar
smoker, and I had always loved the smell, even as a child. As a
teenager, when my parents weren’t looking, he would let me have the
occasional drag. I resolved that when I was an adult, I would be a cigar
smoker. It had always seemed so unfair that it was just not the done
thing for women to smoke cigars, not unless they wanted to be thought
dykes. And I didn’t.

A man with a cigar is sexy. One of the most erotic scenes in any film is
in Carmen, my Plácido with a cigar. And my companion, my new friend, was
certainly sexy. I like older men. Confident without the arrogant need to
prove himself. Wise. Witty. I asked him who he was. Enigmatically, he
replied that he was a reporter, of a sort. I was intrigued as to what
sort, but he explained that it was essential that nobody ever knew his
real identity. I was intrigued. Handsome, charming, and an International
Man of Mystery. Idly, I wondered whether I should try to get him to know
him better. Who am I trying to kid? I was wondering whether I should
try to seduce him. I was disappointed when he made reference to his
wife, a sweet little minx. For a moment, I hoped that maybe she was back
home and he was a lone traveller. But then he mentioned that she was in
the shipboard library. I hope my disappointment was not too obvious on
my face.

He observed that it would soon be time for Ms Strudel’s recital to
begin, and suggested we walked together to the Belvedere Club. Almost as
an afterthought, he said “I guess Mrs Li…my wife will join us momentarily.”

We had a good vantage point for the vocal recital. I glanced around and
saw some faces that already seemed familiar. Captain Simon J Turner –
Sir – seemed engrossed in conversation with Norton Gatling and JohnJim
Garden. I was surprised that a lifeguard and a barman were permitted to
mingle with the officer class and guests for the evening’s
entertainment, but what did I know? I nodded or smiled at people who
greeted me, but I was hesitant to treat them as bosom friends when we
were, after all, just slight acquaintances. I noticed Serafina looking a
bit lost, and with no sign of her friend Fiona. I tried unsuccessfully
to catch her eye to suggest she joined me and the charming American
reporter – of a sort – who would, no doubt, soon be joined by his wife.

The recital began. I was so unbelievably excited. A real Opera Star! Of
course, I had heard many singers live, but never anybody which such a
name and reputation, and such a posterity of recordings. I was
trembling. I did wonder whether she would sing any Wagner. After all,
she was due to sing Sieglinde in Pyongyang later in the month, and again
in Bishkek in the New Year. And this was, indeed, a German ship. But it
takes chutzpah to include Wagner in a recital intended as light
entertainment.

I did not know the first song, but my delightful companion whispered
that it was by Samuel Barber. I decided not to mention that the only
Barber I knew was the ubiquitous Adagio. From there she launched into a
range of familiar arias – Casta Diva, Una voce poca fa, Io son l'umile
ancella, I Know that my Redeemer liveth, and Mild und leise, amongst
others.

She took a pause halfway through, and the pianist played an interlude of
something or other. It was nice enough, and received warm applause, but
it merely served as a contrast to the main event. She brought the
recital to a fantastic finale with E strano ... Follie! ... Sempre
libera. I was just blown away, this was singing like I had never heard,
live, before. I just love live music. I love my CDs, too, but the
atmosphere of a live performance is unbeatable.

Although most of the audience was applauding warmly enough, I wondered
whether most had truly appreciated it as I had done. I was moved to my
feet, applauding wildly. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the fat,
ugly man I had met at the Lido Bar earlier that day. He, too, was
applauding wildly. I felt uncomfortable – it seems to tarnish something
when you realise you share the enthusiasm with someone you find
repellent. Not that it was necessarily wise to judge someone so quickly.
But I trusted my instincts.

I decided to take some air on deck, and when I returned to the bar, I
was surprised to find it nearly deserted. I checked the event schedule,
but there was no more entertainment for the evening. I thought maybe if
I sat in a discrete corner I would not look as if I was on the pull. I
was glad I had my novel in my bag.

I had not been sitting for long when a female voice said, “Do you mind
if I join you?” I looked up and to my surprise I realised that it was
her, Sherry Strudel, asking to join me. I found myself blushing. And
trembling. Of course I didn’t mind!

She called a waiter over and suggested we shared a bottle of champagne.
I felt awkward, not knowing what to say. To my surprise, she seemed shy.
I had assumed that people in the public eye were used to dealing with
fans, the public. But I suppose they have the same self-doubts and
vulnerabilities as the rest of us. She asked me my name. For some
strange reason, I decided to say “Gilda…”

“Care nome,” she said softly, and gave me a smile, a smile that made me
feel warm inside. I found this woman to be beautiful. I smiled back,
suddenly quite shy myself.

For a while, we chatted, shyly, cautiously. She asked me a few questions
about myself, I answered, truthfully, but economically. There was no
need for anyone on this ship to know my real background. It wasn’t lying
to say that I lived in an apartment in SouthWest London. I was conscious
that the conversation was all about me, and I knew that was rude.
Apologetically, I commented on this, adding that I would love to ask her
so many questions about life as a diva. Modestly, she said “I’m not a
diva, I’m a singer, it’s what I do for a living.” She shrugged.

I persisted. “I have this image, this preconception, that the world of
opera is glamorous.”

“That’s what we want you to think,” she said. “When you go to the Opera
House, you want to escape into another world, an illusion, a fantasy.
You don’t want to know about the greasepaint, the dusty sets, the
bitchiness backstage, the egos, the hours of tedium sitting around
rehearsals, the loneliness of life on the road –or the sea,” she added,
glancing towards the window.

Then she seemed to freeze. “It’s him!” she hissed. A steeliness had
entered her voice and she seemed to go white. She took a hurried sip of
champagne. “It’s gone flat!” she said angrily.

“What’s the matter?” I asked, concerned.

“It’s him. It’s Gaaby Boccapinhead. My nemesis.”

“Oh, I see,” I said, although I didn’t.

“I thought…I thought I was safe from him. He’s dangerous…” Suddenly, the
room felt icy.

“Oh!” I exclaimed. “How’s he dangerous?”

“I thought he was a fan, but he’s obsessed…”

“There’s a fine line between fandom and obsession,” I observed, thinking
back to my bedsit in Tooting Bec, lined as it was with pictures of
Plácido. My sister, on her rare fleeting visits tells me I’m obsessed.

“No there isn’t!” I was shocked. This lady, who just a few minutes ago
had seemed so serene and sweet, was almost spitting fire.

I took a deep breath. “The thing is, Ms Strudel, most of us, most of the
time, are stuck in jobs we don’t especially like, doing the same
repetitive thing, frustrated, wondering what life’s about. As you said,
when we go the opera, we want to escape from the mundane. The characters
are magic, and we build you singers up to be heroes. I am a big fan of
Plácido Domingo. When I’m having a bad day at work, it’s a comfort to
know when I get home, I can pop a DVD or CD on, and become absorbed in
the performance, enjoy the music, luxuriate in the gorgeousness of his
voice.”

She managed a smile. “But that’s normal!” she exclaimed.

“And, um, I often have fantasies about him. You know, like, sexual
fantasies.”

She chuckled. “I think a lot of women do, you know…!”

“But if you think about it, it’s not really normal. It is a bit
obsessive,” I said.

“I’m sure Pláci doesn’t mind,” she said. “There’s no harm in what you
do.” She paused. “Is there?” she asked abruptly. “How many times have
you met him?” she asked hesitantly.

“Never,” I admitted. “I wish…”

“And he’s a big strong guy. He can look after himself. I’m a woman, a
vulnerable woman. And Gaaby Boccapinhead plays on my vulnerability.”

I could see she was disturbed. “Look,” I said, “if you want to talk
about it, I’m a good listener. But if you’d rather not, well, it’s none
of my business…”

She sighed. “It’s a long story. And it started a long time ago. No, it’s
probably best if I do talk about it. But not here. I feel a bit jumpy,
as if he’s watching me. I don’t know where he went. But I’m paranoid
that he’s somewhere. Can we go to your suite – I’d feel a lot safer
there, feel more able to talk?”

I agreed that that would be a good idea. When we got to my suite, she
immediately spotted the framed picture of Plácido I had placed on the
coffee table. She paused to look at it, and smiled, the first time her
eyes had lit up since she had spotted this Gaaby Boccapinhead character.

I suggested we got another bottle of champagne. For a moment she
hesitated; then she said, “Oh why not!”

I summoned the butler, hoping that I would see Bobbie Lasagna again. I
was disappointed that he wasn’t him bringing the champagne, but a
well-built, somewhat swarthy man, who introduced himself as Marshall
Allwood. I suppressed a childish giggle at his unfortunate name. He
opened the champagne, and poured it into our glasses, asking how we
wanted the French windows onto the verandah, adjusting the
air-conditioning. I could not help thinking that his name suited his
awkwardness in moving.

Finally, he left Sherry and me alone, for Sherry to tell me the tale of
Gaaby Boccapinhead.

La Donna Mobile

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Sep 29, 2005, 7:50:57 PM9/29/05
to

Mrs Terfel wrote:

>It's a good job that I'm not involved with writing this story,
>otherwise everyone would suddenly start talking like characters out of
>a Jane Austen novel and there would be no smut whatsoever.
>
>But of course in my version you'd get to read the romantic subplot
>concerning how lovely blonde Fiona's cruel father forces her to reject
>the marriage proposal of her beloved Brian on grounds that he is merely
>the penniless working-class son of a sheep farmer and far beneath her
>in social rank. Driven to despair, Brian knocks over every chair,
>table and sunlounger on the promenade deck and then threatens to shoot
>himself during what is undoubtedly the musical highlight of the cruise
>- namely the Grand G&S Gala Concert starring the renowned American
>soprano Sherry Strudel. However, in a surprise turn of events it is
>suddenly revealed that due to an NHS blunder 39 years ago in the
>maternity ward, Brian Taffy was accidentally switched with another baby
>and given to the wrong family. The other infant is none other than
>Captain SJ Turner, who is also 39 years old of course.
>

So Sir now has to become quickly familiar with sheep???

>Brian is now
>revealed as the rightful son of Lord Darcy of Pemberley and heir to a
>hundred thousand a year and a large estate in Derbyshire. Naturally a
>big white wedding follows - with Serafina, Donna and Sherry as
>bridesmaids and fifteen pages of colour photos in next week's edition
>of Hello magazine........
>
>

Just beware the curse of Hello. I'd go for Okay, that's what Posh and
Becks did. And Jordan and Thingy. Much more classy

>Can't help thinking people would rather read your smutty version
>though, La Donna........
>
>Mrs T xx
>
>
>

--
http://www.madmusingsof.me.uk/weblog/
http://www.geraldine-curtis.me.uk/photoblog/

La Donna Mobile

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Sep 29, 2005, 7:51:43 PM9/29/05
to
Not exactly. I've been at this twenty five years now. But it's mostly too obscene to publish...

La Donna Mobile

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Sep 29, 2005, 7:53:46 PM9/29/05
to
Are you referring to that famous opera singer P Ngo (the la, ci, do, do, and mi have all gone?).

REG

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Sep 29, 2005, 7:53:01 PM9/29/05
to
Brilliant, and this part funny beyond belief


"La Donna Mobile" <ladonn...@REMOVEbrixton.fsworld.co.uk> wrote in
message news:dhhuct$7sf$1...@nwrdmz01.dmz.ncs.ea.ibs-infra.bt.com...
> Chapter Two
>
> Š Geraldine Curtis 2005

REG

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Sep 29, 2005, 7:55:35 PM9/29/05
to
Ah, but see David's post....

IwasrightIwasrightIwasrightneverwrongneverwrongneverwrong
FidelioFidelioFidelio

Of course, I knew nothing about the Gadsby book, and wonder what it's
about....


"LJO" <seniorcu...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:tES_e.5789$QE1....@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...

REG

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Sep 29, 2005, 7:58:02 PM9/29/05
to

Richard Loeb

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Sep 29, 2005, 8:19:26 PM9/29/05
to
"La Donna Mobile" <ladonn...@REMOVEbrixton.fsworld.co.uk> wrote in
message news:dhhuct$7sf$1...@nwrdmz01.dmz.ncs.ea.ibs-infra.bt.com...

OMG the second part is hysterically funny!!!!!!

Richard


LJO

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Sep 30, 2005, 11:20:41 AM9/30/05
to

"REG" <Rich...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:X9%_e.2823$wf6.6...@twister.nyc.rr.com...

> Ah, but see David's post....
>
> IwasrightIwasrightIwasrightneverwrongneverwrongneverwrong
> FidelioFidelioFidelio
>

As usual. But it was only "Gadsby" that sprang to mind as a work that omits
all icons twixt d and f.

> Of course, I knew nothing about the Gadsby book, and wonder what it's
> about....
>

It's about 50,000 words. Go to:

http://tinyurl.com/bquay

Lipogramatically yours,
Small Jimmy


Aage Johansen

unread,
Sep 30, 2005, 4:14:46 PM9/30/05
to
Hans Christian Hoff wrote:
> Aage Johansen wrote:
> ...

>>
>>
>> This house has yet to discover the credit card. Or, rather, they know
>> about it but refuse to accept it. "Admission to the Prague State
>> Opera can only be paid in cash."
>>
>>
>
> If you go to
>
> http://www.ticketportal.cz/
>
> you can order tickets both for the National theatre, its subsidiary the
> Estates theatre (the theatre where Don G. was first performed and which
> was prominently featured in the Losey film) and the State Opera with an
> option to pay by credit card via the net. The page is however
> unreliable, and I ended up with the alternative to pay with my credit
> card when arriving in Prague (on Oct. 4th, to see le Nozze on the 6th at
> the Estates theatre).
>

Did you find out how to get that thing (ticketportal.cz) in English?


In 2003 I bought through some independant vendor. Through the web, I
think (with credit card). I had to pick up the tickets in an office
downtown, and pay an additional amount for every ticket <grumble>. When
I ordered I didn't even realize that I didn't buy directly from "Statni
Opera", so tried to pick up my tickets at the opera! After some help
from someone being able to translate from my receipt printout (in
English) I was given further directions ...


--
Aage J.

Mrs Terfel

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Sep 30, 2005, 7:06:10 PM9/30/05
to

La Donna Mobile wrote:
>
> I summoned the butler, hoping that I would see Bobbie Lasagna again. I
> was disappointed that he wasn't him bringing the champagne, but a
> well-built, somewhat swarthy man, who introduced himself as Marshall
> Allwood. I suppressed a childish giggle at his unfortunate name. He
> opened the champagne, and poured it into our glasses, asking how we
> wanted the French windows onto the verandah, adjusting the
> air-conditioning. I could not help thinking that his name suited his
> awkwardness in moving.
>

Ah...poor Marshall Allwood - the only waiter on this cruise ship that
our tarty heroine *hasn't* wanted to seduce.

I fear dear Mr Allwood may be in considerable danger of being mistaken
for a rather overpriced piece of South American furniture and getting
knocked over by Brian Taffy....

Mrs T xx

REG

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Sep 30, 2005, 8:48:29 PM9/30/05
to
Published by Baskerville, isn't it?

"LJO" <seniorcu...@earthlink.net> wrote in message

news:dJc%e.6111$vw6....@newsread1.news.atl.earthlink.net...

La Donna Mobile

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Oct 1, 2005, 8:35:20 PM10/1/05
to
Perpetuum's getting quite paranoid. Now he doesn't just have to lie awake in case I call out the name of That Man in my sleep, but he also has to listen out for That Woman.

Chapter Three

At first, conversation between Sherry and me was awkward. We had come back to my suite so that she could talk about Gaaby Boccapinhead, but now we were alone, she seemed to want to talk about anything but. I lit a few candles, sprinkled with a few drops of bergamot, an excellent antidote for anxiety. It was important to put some music on. I had brought a few CDs with me, although I knew that more were available to borrow from the ship’s library. I rejected all vocal music, choosing, instead, a compilation called Baroque Classics, which had been a favourite in my collection for years. To follow, I lined up a selection of piano music – Mozart, Schubert, Liszt, Chopin and Beethoven. These were the typical of what I termed the Easy Listening part of my collection.

We sat at each end of the sofa, her rather awkward and straight-backed, me with my legs tucked under me and hugging a cushion. It was up to me to kick-start the discussion.

“So, this Gaaby Boccapinhead – you say he’s dangerous…and he’s on this ship…?”

She nodded. “Yes, dangerous…sinister…”

“You suggested he was a fan of yours, obsessed. Is he a stalker?”

“Yeah, I guess so. But people use that word stalker, they don’t really know what it means. I was shopping a few weeks ago and I overheard some people talking – one said to another – I’m stalking you. All they meant was that they had met a few times by chance in different parts of the store. That isn’t stalking. When you’ve been stalked, it’s the most frightening experience ever…”

I nodded. “I can imagine.” I couldn’t, really, but there had been a story in the papers, a shop assistant in Harvey Nicholls shot dead by a stalker. That’s scary, that’s way beyond infatuation. “When did it start – how?”

“It was a long time ago…I was still in my Twenties. I had been singing for a while in Germany and Austria, part of the house companies of small regional companies and then the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. It’s hard work, and not very glamorous, but it’s a great way to learn a wide variety of roles. Then, before I was thirty, I made my debut in Chicago. It was Micaela, a great role for a young soprano. Not very long, little more than the duet and the one aria, but it’s a great showcase. And I knew I had sung it well, I knew that the audience really appreciated me. I was on a high, and I came out of the stage door, and there was a man there, asking for my autograph. I couldn’t believe it – someone wanted my autograph. I felt  I had the hit big time.”

“That must be a wonderful feeling!” I agreed.

“I began to see him a few times when I was performing, always waiting outside the stage door, asking me to sign programmes and so on. I felt a bit sorry for him. I knew, really, he just wanted to speak to me, but maybe, he was nervous, perhaps to him, I was this big star, but to me I was just me.” She gave a self-conscious shrug.

She continued, “I was giving a concert once, in the States. It finished quite early, and I was at a loose end, not wanting just to go back to my hotel. I saw him hanging around outside and, impulsively, I suggested that we went for a drink. It was a strange evening. He talked a lot about himself. I couldn’t work him out, at all. It seemed he was quite successful – a psychologist at Harvard, which is a top school – but he didn’t seem quite right. You know sometimes you meet people, and they’re very intelligent, but, somehow, you think they’re not good with people, which seemed odd for a psychologist…”

“…oh heavens, yes, I've met people like that – I think they think nowadays it’s borderline Aspergers. Or, apparently, they’ve done some research that some of these people, and, apparently, it’s overwhelmingly men, they lack a gene that reads other people’s body language, they don’t notice when someone’s eyes are glazing over…”

“Whatever the reason, that was him. I thought it a bit rude, but then, I thought, he’s probably quite shy, and he was probably quite lonely. I just felt sorry for him. I didn’t stay late, went back to my hotel and marked it down to experience.”

I laughed, “I used to date men when I was younger. And I could tell you a few stories. But I decided in the end they weren’t worth it. I’d far rather be single.”

“I can't imagine any were as bad as Gaaby,” she said darkly. “Have we any more champagne?”

I stood up and fetched the bottle from the side table. I leaned over to pick up her glass, and inadvertently brushed her arm with my hand. She started and looked intensely at me. I felt myself blushing and stammered, “Oops, sorry…”. She gave me a slight, awkward smile.

“So, what happened next?”

“Well, I didn’t see him for a long time, then, one day I was singing in San Francisco, and there he was, outside the Stage Door. I wanted to ignore him, but I couldn’t be so rude. Over the next few months, it seemed that every I was, so was he. Not just in the States, but in Europe. It was strange. He had been around long before most people had ever heard of me, but now, I was famous. Not household name, of course, but Opera Famous, which is a nice sort of famous. It means that you can go about everyday life in peace, but opera fans like you – it’s nice to be worshipped. Fan letters, nice people saying nice things, applause, acclaim, flowers, attention. I was loving it. And more importantly, I got to sing what I wanted wherever I wanted. I got the chance to explore all sorts of repertory – I have over seventy roles in my repertoire – Rossini and Donizetti, Mozart and Verdi, Wagner and Strauss, I've sung at the Met, La Scala, Vienna, your Covent Garden. I've sung with the very best – other singers, great conductors, great orchestras, recordings – you name it. I've won prizes and awards…”

She looked proud, defiant. From some people this would sound like boasting. From her, a statement of fact. Or perhaps a necessary reminder to herself as much as to me. How did she get from La Scala to being a cabaret turn on a cruise ship? I knew there was a story there, but I dared not ask it.

Instead, I just said, “I know, I've got some of your recordings…”

“Yes, but you only bought them for Plácido,” she said. I was embarrassed, it was true. But that was me, it didn’t mean anything. She laughed, “Don’t look so alarmed. I’m not complaining. Some of those recordings will live on for ever…?”

“What’s he like?” I asked. I know my timing was out, but I could not resist.

“Plácido? Ah!” Her eyes had a dreamy far away expression, her face looked the picture of bliss. “He’s the best!” she said, and gave me a mischievous smile. I would have loved to have asked more, but really did not dare. Maybe another time…

She continued, “The thing was, I was at the top and I had hundreds, maybe thousands of fans. I’d come out the Stage Door and they’d be waiting for me. It’s only fair that you give attention to each of them, but you can’t give any one of them too much attention. Maybe Gaaby thought, he’d been there from early on…he sent me a lot of flowers, which is nice, but not unusual. And then chocolates, champagne, little objets d’art – it started to get embarrassing. So I thought I had better write him, try and explain gently that it was very sweet but out of proportion. I didn’t want to encourage him.

“Then, I was in Vienna – I had just got back to my hotel from rehearsal, and he was there in the lobby. He asked me to dinner. I knew I shouldn’t and it was a misjudgement on my part, but I thought maybe I’d be able to explain, he meant nothing to me. And actually, it wasn’t all bad. I think I might have been a bit lonely  - you know, surrounded all the time by people but no one really to have a proper chinwag with. And strangely, I thought I could relax with him. The worst mistake I ever made.” She looked at me, a mixture of fear and embarrassment. I pulled a sympathetic face,  cautiously, put out my hand and gingerly, patted her forearm in sympathy. She moved along the sofa, closer to me, so that we were nearly touching.

Nervously, she continued. “I was so stupid. Can you believe it? I actually dated the guy! He was quite fun to be with, knowledgeable about opera, about music in general, drama, art, literature and other subjects. He could be quite funny. And he had an instinct for knowing exactly the right restaurant to go to – not always the big flashy ones, small, exclusive exquisite places off the beaten track. And he had impeccable manners.” She twisted her hands round each other in obvious anguish. I gave her shoulder a comforting rub, and commented lightly,

“What more can anyone want from a guy?”

She shrugged. “That’s what I figured. He was never Mr Right, but he seemed like Mr Will-Do-for-Now,” I giggled. “And one night, we got drunk. Not very drunk, not so I was out of control, but my inhibitions were down, and we ended up in bed. It wasn’t anything. A bit disappointing. Embarrassingly disappointing, in fact. But I did feel a bit…used? Inadequate? I’m not sure…” I put my arm around her shoulder, and she moved closer to me. This felt really rather nice, two girls together, talking about men, over a few glasses of wine. We were almost cuddling. It was a long time since I had had a cuddle with anyone.

“And we got into this habit of sleeping together.” She shuddered. “I hate even to think about it now, I feel so…ashamed.” I was concerned, I was not sure how long ago this was, but it was clear that it still haunted her. I put my other arm round her and held her closer to me. She looked directly into my eyes. To my surprise there was a frisson I could not explain.

She sighed, “I've probably said too much – why would you be interested in my woes…?”

“Because I care about you?” What was I saying?

“This is a nice CD, isn’t it. Pleasant background music, but if you listen more carefully, you can hear so much in it.” I smiled. That was why I liked it so much.

She stood up and walked over to the French windows.

“It looks so calm, so serene.” She walked out on the veranda. I stood up and followed her.  We stood together, leaning over the railings, watching the waves far below lap around the hull, lit up by hundreds of lights from this mighty ship ploughing its way through the Aegean Sea through the night. Tomorrow we would be passing through the Dardanelles, which seemed extraordinarily romantic to me, and the following day we would, geographically, be in Asia, which was so exciting. Apart from childhood holidays in Ireland and camping in France, and a few Booze-Cruises to Calais and Boulogne organised by the Sports and Social at work, I had never really been abroad, so Turkey seemed unbelievably exotic. And the diffused lights falling on the water seemed to cast an aura of magic. In the still night, the only sound was the reassuring purr of the engines.

“It would be so easy to push him overboard,” she mused. “No one would notice…” I giggled nervously. She laughed, but there was a tone of bitterness in her voice. “No, I’d be Prime Suspect.”

We stood there for half an hour or more. Not really saying much, certainly not about Boccapinhead. Then, she said, “I’m getting a bit chilly. Shall we go in?” I put my arm round her.

“I’ll warm you up!” I said. What was going on? This wasn’t typical of me, at all. She turned and stroked my cheek softly.

“You’re so kind. Thanks for listening. Thanks for being a friend.” Then, to my surprise, she kissed me. Just softly, just on the lips. Then hurriedly, she backed away from me, apologising.

“That was nice,” I said.

She put her arms around me and drew me to her, and kissed me again, this time, more lingering, Our lips parted and we were kissing passionately, our bodies entwined together. I had never kissed a woman before, well, other than when I was at Primary School, and my best friend and I had experimented, at the bottom of the school field, under the big tree. But we were ten at the time, it barely counted. It didn’t count.

And so what! It was rather delicious to be kissing Sherry. Did it matter that we were both women? Breathless, we drew apart. Self-consciously, she said, “We’d best go inside”

We sat down, me on the sofa, her on an armchair. We looked at each other, neither of us saying anything. She looked as embarrassed as I felt. We sat there, just gazing intently at each other. Then, slowly, provocatively, she ran her tongue round her lips. I gasped, and felt a surge a libido. I glanced at her breasts. The curve of them was strangely attractive to me. She wore a pendant necklace, and it suddenly seemed to point provocatively to her cleavage. Driven by an inexplicable lust I stood up and walked the few paces to her armchair. I kissed the top of her head, drinking in the delicious smell and feeling the softness of her hair. Gently, I placed my hands on her shoulders, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath. I kissed her lips, and then plunged down, landing kiss after kiss on her neck and cleavage. She took my breasts in her hands and breathlessly said,

“On the sofa!”

Somehow, we made our way to the sofa, and fell onto it, entwined in a passionate kiss, caressing each other’s breasts, fondling each other’s bums. I was enjoying this amazing physical sensation, feeling an advanced stage of arousal. Frantically, she pushed my dress off my shoulders. I wriggled out of it, and she unfastened my bra, then took one of my nipples in her mouth. I gasped with pleasure, and, equally frantically, I reached round her back, and unzipped her dress, unhooked her bra, and helped her to slip out of them. We were almost naked, naked flesh next to naked flesh. I tingled with sensuality and my body wanted to do more, but my brain did not know what to do.

Finally, she wriggled out from under me, and dishevelled, clearly excited, and uncertainly, she said, “I ought to go my own suite…”

“Is it wise for you to be wandering around alone at this time of night, if that stalker’s on the loose?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe not. I’d ask you to walk with me, but that’s not fair…”

“I know! I’ll call that chap – what’s his name? Marshall Allwood. I’m sure he’d be happy to escort you back…not that I want to get rid of you…you’re welcome to stay…but if you’d rather go, I’ll call Marshall.”

She smiled at me, and my pulse raced. “I’d like to stay – I've really enjoyed myself. Only, I’m not sure – maybe we shouldn’t rush things.”  I was disappointed, but what she said made sense. I was surprised at how disappointed I was. I was very aroused, and I would have been entirely happy going further. Except that I didn’t know how.

She dressed again, and I put on my bathrobe. We called Marshall Allwood and I explained how Ms Strudel would appreciate being escorted back to her suite. I asked if he could bring me a cocoa on the way back.

I sat up in bed sipping my cocoa, trying to sort out my thoughts. It had certainly been an eventful day, and there was over a week yet to go. I think I had just had my first lesbian encounter, but I wasn't sure. I had set out with the intention of shagging as many men as possible. Not because that was in my nature, but because I had never had that sort of experience before, and probably would never again. If the truth be told, though, however much I might look at men, and see their attractiveness, I was too shy and retiring to actually make a move.  And yet, maybe, I was in with a chance, with a woman. And not just any woman. A superstar soprano who had sung at La Scala, the Met, Vienna and Covent Garden. Who would have thought it!

When I had finished my cocoa and put out the light, I realised that I was still very sexually aroused, and needed to deal with that. I got very confused, not really knowing who to fantasise about. I eventually climaxed to thoughts of a very physical threesome. In my dreams, I thought, as I calmed down.

REG

unread,
Oct 1, 2005, 11:33:56 PM10/1/05
to
Great, but we're going to be VERY disappointed if Mr. Gatling doesn't have a little "chinwag" with Robin Tailor.
 
 

Mrs Terfel

unread,
Oct 2, 2005, 5:00:49 AM10/2/05
to
I'm shocked, La Donna.

Shocked, disgusted and horrified to read such filthy smut.

When do we get Chapter 4???

Mrs T xx

P.S: Who else was in the threesome? You, Sherry and Marshall Allwood
perhaps???

raffe

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Oct 2, 2005, 7:37:47 AM10/2/05
to
ROFL. Shouldn't this ship be heading for Cyprus soon? Home of a certain
Acapulco poolside tanned Moor?

;-) raffe
***************************************'

La Donna Mobile

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Oct 2, 2005, 9:14:02 AM10/2/05
to
I haven't quite decided what to do with you-know-who. At the moment, a
fevered exchange of 'Tristan!' 'Isolde!' (repeat ad copulatum)

raffe wrote:

--
http://www.madmusingsof.me.uk/weblog/
http://www.geraldine-curtis.me.uk/photoblog/

Mrs Terfel

unread,
Oct 2, 2005, 9:23:15 AM10/2/05
to
Well, I think we all probably have a pretty good idea of what you'd
*like* to do with you-know-who.......

Although if this story ends happily with a wedding then I reserve the
right to a nice dress and a pretty tiara. (And so does Bryn)

Mrs T xx

Richard Loeb

unread,
Oct 2, 2005, 10:02:42 AM10/2/05
to
Geraldine Curtis: a pitiful, disgusting, execrable, indescribably
filthy, white-trash Brit.

La Donna Mobile

unread,
Oct 2, 2005, 10:12:16 AM10/2/05
to
Flattery will get you nowhere, my friend

Troll wrote:

>Geraldine Curtis: a pitiful, disgusting, execrable, indescribably
>filthy, white-trash Brit.
>
>
>

--
http://www.madmusingsof.me.uk/weblog/
http://www.geraldine-curtis.me.uk/photoblog/

REG

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Oct 2, 2005, 10:17:29 AM10/2/05
to
You know you've hit the mark when you get that kind of response....


"La Donna Mobile" <ladonn...@REMOVEbrixton.fsworld.co.uk> wrote in

message news:dhoprv$a3f$2...@nwrdmz02.dmz.ncs.ea.ibs-infra.bt.com...

La Donna Mobile

unread,
Oct 2, 2005, 10:15:30 AM10/2/05
to

Mrs Terfel wrote:

Possibly Marta - ''Víbora'' - might have something to say about that...
;-)

Mrs Terfel

unread,
Oct 2, 2005, 10:25:39 AM10/2/05
to
Oops - think you've upset a certain person. Quelle dommage!

Anybody know if trolls can swim???

Mrs T xx

Hans Christian Hoff

unread,
Oct 2, 2005, 10:35:42 AM10/2/05
to

The page is really a shambles, but if you click on the little Union Jack
in the upper right corner much of the text transsubstantiates into a
rather awkward English, (may be translated by some Taiwanese with
experience from translating user manuals.

Regards

Hans

Small Jimmy Olsen

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Oct 2, 2005, 11:56:48 AM10/2/05
to

"Richard Loeb" <ricardol...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1128261762....@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...

> Geraldine Curtis: a pitiful, disgusting, execrable, indescribably
> filthy, white-trash Brit.
>

One of the reasons I love her so...

Small Jimmy


Aage Johansen

unread,
Oct 2, 2005, 2:23:50 PM10/2/05
to
Hans Christian Hoff wrote:
> Aage Johansen wrote:
>>
>> Did you find out how to get that thing (ticketportal.cz) in English?
>>
>> ...
>>
>
> The page is really a shambles, but if you click on the little Union Jack
> in the upper right corner much of the text transsubstantiates into a
> rather awkward English, (may be translated by some Taiwanese with
> experience from translating user manuals.
>

Thanks - I missed that flag!

"Bohemia Ticket" might be an option, or the hotel, or ...


--
Aage J.

Mrs Terfel

unread,
Oct 3, 2005, 5:59:19 PM10/3/05
to
Seeing how La Donna is very busy at the moment then I thought I'd
take the liberty of starting off Chapter 4 on her behalf.....(I'm
sure she won't mind)

CHAPTER 4

Donna stepped out of the shower, her mind still reeling from her
passionate encounter with Sherry on the sofa. She had been on the
ship for days now, but so far her original plan of shagging as many men
as possible had not exactly been a success. She felt so frustrated
that it was driving her crazy. If only she had the courage to go to
Sherry's suite and beg her to finish what she had started. But she
was unsure of herself and confused by these strange new feelings that
Sherry's caresses had aroused in her. Fantasizing about Placi just
wasn't enough - she needed a real person . Even if just for ten
minutes. But it was 2am and what were the chances of someone suddenly
knocking on her door with the intention of throwing her down and
shagging her senseless?

She went to the bedroom and put on a satin dressing gown. Suddenly she
was startled to hear a timid knock at her door. Who could it possibly
be?

"Entrez!" she called out, leaning her body against the table in
what she hoped was a seductive pose.

It was Marshall Allwood, the waiter who had so kindly escorted Sherry
back to her suite some fifteen minutes earlier. Donna looked at him
and smiled. OK, he wasn't exactly ideal but she needed someone -
anyone. Besides, she found his clumsiness rather cute and his Latin
looks and accent reminded her of a younger version of Placido. If she
closed her eyes then she could imagine he was the true love of her
life....

"Senora, is there anything I can do for you?" he asked, perfectly
innocently.
"As a matter of fact, there is" she smiled, undoing her dressing
gown and letting it fall to the floor.

He needed no further encouragement. Marshall rushed towards her, his
passion unhindered by the three chairs that stood in his path. He
merely sent the furniture crashing to the floor and a few seconds later
was in her arms, crushing her against the wall in a fervent embrace.
"Oh Marshall," she sighed, "I want you - take me now!"
She could feel something pushing against her, something so hard that
it was almost wooden....

He picked her up and carried her towards the sofa, inadvertently
knocking over the coffee table and the vase of roses, which smashed
onto the ground into a thousand pieces. She could see that the coffee
table was broken too but she was too turned on to even care...
"Adieu, notre petite table...." she sighed.

(To be continued) ...............

************


I'm sure La Donna will be very happy to continue from where I've left
off, and she'll no doubt do a much better job of it than me, who is
rather inexperienced when it comes to writing smutty stories..........

Mrs T xx

La Donna Mobile

unread,
Oct 3, 2005, 6:05:43 PM10/3/05
to

Mrs Terfel wrote:

Excise me, is this the coffee table with the framed picture of Pláci on it?

>************
>
>
>I'm sure La Donna will be very happy to continue from where I've left
>off, and she'll no doubt do a much better job of it than me, who is
>rather inexperienced when it comes to writing smutty stories..........
>
>Mrs T xx
>
>
>

--
http://www.madmusingsof.me.uk/weblog/
http://www.geraldine-curtis.me.uk/photoblog/

Mrs Terfel

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Oct 3, 2005, 6:10:48 PM10/3/05
to
Don't ask me - I had nothing to do with writing this filth.

It was one of the Mrs Terfel trolls.........honest

Mrs T xx

La Donna Mobile

unread,
Oct 3, 2005, 6:28:11 PM10/3/05
to
This might be the last update for a few days. I'm afraid the
requirements of paid employment will be occupying my time in the next
three days.


Chapter Four

I did not wake early in the morning; when I did, I did not feel great. I
could only manage a liquid breakfast – lots of coffee and apple juice,
although Bobby Lasagne did try and persuade me to eat a banana. Looking
at him again through the bleary eyes of a hangover, he did not seem
quite so attractive as he had a day earlier. Or perhaps I had moved on a
long way in those twenty four hours.

I felt that the only thing I could manage was to lie under shade by the
Pool, with heavy sunglasses shading my eyes from the brightness of the
sun. But when I reached the Pool, To my dismay, I realised that there
was activity going on. I squinted at the notice board: “Aquarobics with
Stuart Barkingside”. Aquarobics seemed far too energetic for me. On any
day, not just today. I squinted at the youngish man who was leading a
group of pensioners through their paces. I could see that he had a fine
body, in particular a muscular hairy chest. I could look at him and,
objectively judge him to be attractive, yet I could shrug my shoulders
and think ‘so what’. I had geared myself on this trip to keep an eye out
for tasty men. Perhaps it was my hangover, or perhaps there were other
aspects of last night that had affected me.

The water looked inviting, but I really could not face what looked like
forced merriment, and aquarobics. I decided to wander along to the Spa
and see if I could book a massage. I was in luck: Jeremy Funlay would be
free in half an hour. Whilst I was waiting I flicked through a magazine,
until the man sitting opposite me struck up conversation, introducing
himself as Rick. I immediately thought Casablanca, probably because of
his resemblance to a young Humphrey Bogart. He said had been in the
Fitness Centre and was booked for a sauna shortly. I did not want to
admit that I had never been in a sauna. I quite fancied doing so, but
was not sure what the etiquette was: perhaps I could make discrete
enquiries with one of the staff.

Soon it was time for my massage. I was nervous. But Jeremy Funlay soon
put me at ease. Such a soothing voice and a gentle manner. When I had
undressed and was in a robe, he suggested that I lay down on my front
and relax.

At first, I could not relax. I was almost naked, and being massaged - by
a man. There was a part of me of me that felt that there was something
a bit kinky about this, but people at work who had been on holiday to
exotic locations had mentioned the availability of massages on the
beaches at the hotel pools, and in many locations it was generally done
by men. I suppose that was why the massage room was so open – to make it
clear that it was purely therapeutic, to avoid misunderstandings. I
suppose there would be some sleazy people who would, misunderstand –
deliberately? – the purpose of the massage.
I felt his strong fingers stroking my back, firm strokes pushing up my
spine and sweeping round below my neck and round to my lower back. Then,
he pushed the heels of his hands up my spine. In a way it hurt, but it
was a pleasant hurt. Softly, he told me I had a lot of tension in my
muscles. I could feel his hands glide along the oil that was soaking
into my skin, warming me. Then, I felt his thumbs working on the muscles
near my ribcage. Slowly I began to relax, no longer conscious of the
environment, blocking out the sound of passing conversation, just
wallowing in the sensuality of feeling these safe warm hands playing
with my body, and his voice caressing my ears.

He moved down to my legs, circular strokes on my calves, which are one
of the most sensitive parts of my body. As his hands caressed then I
felt myself quivering, almost trembling. I wanted him to stay for ever
caressing my calves, but I wanted him to move higher.

I could tell that his massage of my thighs was highly professional. His
hands concentrated on the main muscle down the back of my thighs. As he
worked higher, I so wanted his hand to slip, accidentally or
deliberately. I wanted to ask him to let his hand slip: just the thought
of his hands caressing the inside of my thighs made me damp with
excitement. Softly, he asked whether I wanted a buttock massage. I
stammered a yes in reply. Oh, did I want that! First he moved his hands
quickly, sending a pulsing vibrating feeling through my body. Then he
slowed to a deep but slow stroke. That was amazing! I was fearful that I
would start to respond in an obvious physical way. But I did not want to
hold back, I wanted to lose control. I did not care who was watching.
This was an amazing physical experience!
He suggested that I turned over. I was a little nervous. Perhaps now I
would have to look him in the eye. I had not been so intimate with a man
for a long time. Not for real, anyway. In my dreams, of course.

But I complied. I could hardly refuse. It was wonderful what he did to
the front of my calves, pushing up the muscles, making my blood zing
round my body. Up past my knees, up my thigh. I took a deep breath – how
far would he go? Not far enough, as his hands turned and worked the
muscle downward. He did this five, maybe six times. Each time I hoped he
would go higher, each time I knew he wouldn’t. This was better than any
sex I had ever had. My body was consumed with sensuality, my head empty
of all thoughts except what was happening in my body. And the man stood
just inches from eyes. What a beautiful sight to match the beautiful
feeling.

He asked me whether I wanted a chest massage. I wished the treatment
centre was not open plan. Of course I anted a chest massage. I would
instruct him not to careful where he put his hands; as far as I was
concerned, no part of my body was out of reach. But I did not think I
would be able to control myself. “Maybe another time,” I stammered
nervously. He helped me down off the treatment table and I donned my
robe. As I was about to walk back to the changing area, I shyly asked,

“Do you ever get passengers asking for a more…personal…treatment?”

“Yeah!” he replied. “But there are strict rules…” He paused. “In working
hours…” My heart skipped a beat. Was he suggesting, implying? I was not
sure how to react!

It was nearly lunchtime, but still suffering the remnants of my
hangover, and feeling strangely enervated after the massage I could not
face the formal sit-down of the main restaurant. I knew that light
snacks were available in the Lido Bar.

When I arrived there, JohnJim Garden and Ronald Vee were behind the bar,
looking bored. There were not many people there, but I recognised the
dashing reporter from the previous evening, and Rick, with whom I had
spoken earlier. With them were two of the men who had been at my dinner
table last night. I remembered one was called Professor Charisma. The
reporter chap beckoned to me and invited me to join them. That was very
kind of them, I did feel as though as I was intruding. But it turned out
that they were as much strangers to each other as they were to me. It
was rather nice the way we were all making friendships so quickly.
Having forgotten the other chap’s name, I was relieved when the
Professor addressed him as Robert.

They all departed after lunch, and I was at a loose end. There would be
another day after today on board, before we had an excursion in Sinop. I
didn’t know much about Sinop, other than it was the birthplace of
Diogenes. But I was eager to learn.

As I had my swimsuit with me, I felt I might as well take a dip in the
pool. I noticed that the aquarobics instructor from the morning, Stuart
Barkingside, was still there, in conversation with Norton Gatling.
Together they made a fine pair. I have an eye for handsome men myself,
(I look, but I never touch) but I couldn’t help thinking that it would
be a delight for gay men. I wasn’t sure if there were any gay men
aboard. There was one or two that I thought might be. Still, they could
have Norton and Stuart, as far as I was concerned, I would be most happy
with Jeremy Funlay.

And then there were those two gorgeous barmen, JohnJim and Ronald. I
wondered where Amber George was. Ronald commented that she had cancelled
today, she was indisposed.

When I emerged from the changing area, wearing just my bikini, JohnJim
approached me. As he spoke to me, I could not help notice his eyelashes.
They were so dusky. I found the way they swept his face, and framed his
penetrating brown eyes to be so alluring. He was a good looking man, no
question, although perhaps a little precious for my tastes. And, when he
spoke, his voice seemed surprisingly high pitched. I noticed he had a
small Paddington Bear badge on his jacket. “Cute,” I thought.

And he had something to say to me. He seemed apologetic and embarrassed,
as he explained that it would be sensible if I didn’t remove my bikini
top. He understood that many Ladies liked to do so, but, it seemed to
offend some people. I have to say I was a bit upset; if men could do so,
I did feel that women should be able to, as well. Just round the
swimming pool, of course, it would be entirely inappropriate elsewhere.
But I thought it better not to argue.

I had a splash around in the pool, discovering that floating on my back
and letting my head sink below the horizontal of my body was doing
marvels for my hangover, which was now all but gone. But I bored all too
soon, and decided that I would retire to my sun-lounger and try and
catch up on Jilly Cooper’s tale of murder on the Don Carlos film-set. I
really wasn’t making much progress.

I had managed a chapter when a voice asked whether I minded him joining
me. It was the man I had seen yesterday, the one who had called me a
whore. I was not sure I wanted him to join me, but perhaps he was here
to make peace. So I nodded, and he pulled his chair up close to mine. He
didn’t introduce himself, which struck me as odd. It was almost a
shipboard ritual that everybody introduced themselves on meeting.

“It took a lot of effort for me to get here,” he said, pensively.

“Oh yeah?” I asked, dreading this. He was the MS Eureka’s version of the
pub bore, I’ll bet.

“It hasn’t been easy,” he continued. “The past few years. I'm a
diagnosed agoraphobic.”

“Isn’t that fear of farmers?” I asked, absent-mindedly.

He looked furious. “No! It’s a serious illness. It’s an inability to
leave the house.”

“My apologies, schoolgirl Latin. Agricola. Fourth declension, if I
remember rightly. Or was it an exception to the rule that first
declension is female.”

He glared at me. “I was forced to stay in my apartment. For years I
never went out. There was I, living in Boston, not in some small-town
nightmare, but Boston. Massachusetts,” he added, presumably in case I
thought he meant Boston, Lincolnshire.

“I’m sorry to hear that,” I said sympathetically. “So, it’s a real
victory that you’re here – so far from home. I suppose a ship must be
safe – it’s not like you have to wander round strange places, finding
your way, dealing with foreign languages and customs.”

“I’m here for a reason,” he said. “A specific reason. She broke my
heart. She ruined my life.”

“A woman?” I asked.

“Yes, the only woman for me. My angel, the most beautiful woman in the
world.”

“I’m sorry,” I said. “Sometimes, though, that’s the way things are.
People move on, things come to an end.”

“She was the only woman I loved, and she I loved her like no one has
ever done before. And what she did to me was plain pure evil…”

“Oh?”

“She, that bitch, that angel, she did it. She put a restraining order on
me. She had me locked away in the asylum. I was not allowed to leave the
States. I was not allowed within a hundred miles of her.”

“But you’re recovering now,” I said soothingly. “You’re enjoying the
cruise?”

“I’m here with one purpose in mind and one only. I want her back in my
life. She will come back to me. And this time, she will marry me. The
bitch. The angel. My love.”

I was feeling uneasy. This did not seem right. Restraining orders,
asylum…maybe the woman over-reacted. But I would guess, Massachusetts,
that’s quite a liberal state, that’s where Ally McBeal’s based. They
wouldn’t just lock someone away, not for no reason. I was about to ask
him more about the woman, perhaps she was on board the ship, perhaps I
ought to warn her. No, it wasn’t my problem. Maybe I should speak to the
captain. My head was hurting again. This time, I don’t think it was
anything to do with last night’s champagne.

We were disturbed by a commotion. Two men arguing, ferociously, at the
tops of their voices. I tried to make out what the argument was about. I
realised that the men were Brian Taffy, the ‘other’ masseur and Bobby
Lasagne, one of my butlers. Brian looked furious. In his anger, he
kicked over a chair. I half expected it to fall into the pool, as had
happened the previous day with Norton. But it just fell over. Then Amber
George, the barmaid who was ‘indisposed’ came along and started yelling
at Bobby.

My companion expressed his disgust that the staff should put on such a
display in front of the guests. He was going to complain. “Whatever,” I
said. It was a useful distraction. I really wanted to get away from this
man.

“I’m going to the bar,” I said.

“I shall go straight to the top man and complain,” he said.

“Yeah, you do that,” I encouraged him, and made my escape. I ended up in
the Clipper Lounge on Deck 4. I thought I would have a cup of tea,
having decided I would never drink again. Out of the corner of my eye I
spotted Fiona. She looked distraught, I could see she was crying. I
wondered whether I should go over and comfort her. But I was not sure I
could cope with being Agony Aunt to everybody on the ship. On the other
hand, she did look upset.

I was still dithering when I saw Sherry walking into the bar. Memories
of last night came flooding back. I wondered how she felt. I think I
would like to go there again, maybe take it further, but, perhaps, in
the cold light of day, it did not seem such a good idea to her. After
all, she was a Superstar Soprano, and me, well, I was just Blue Collar
Donna from Tooting Bec.

Sherry walked over to me, I smiled, a smile of welcome, a smile to
signify that I certainly wasn’t having second thoughts after last night.
To my horror, she looked furious.

“You traitor!” she exclaimed. “You treacherous little…!”

I think my jaw fell open in surprise. I stammered. “I-I-I d-d-don’t
understand…”

“You were to talking to – HIM!”

I wracked my brain, going over all the men I had spoken to that day. All
had been casual conversations. Except for Jeremy Funlay, of course.
Maybe she had the hots for Jeremy; it wouldn’t be surprising.

“What did you tell Boccapinhead? Did you tell him what I told you last
might? Did you tell him about us? Was he getting all sweaty and creepy
as you told him what we did? He’s such a pervert - he’d get his rocks
off that way.”

“Boccapinhead?” I asked, confused. Then, slowly, I began to process
information.

“That man you were with at the pool,” she said venomously.

“Oh my god – that was Boccapinhead. I had no idea…if I had, oh shit.
Honest, I promise, I didn’t say anything to him at all. Certainly not
about you. Definitely not about us.” I thought rapidly. It was all
beginning to make frightening sense. I would not be surprised if she was
the woman who had put the restraining order on him, had him committed.
And now he was back, wanting her back. And if he didn’t get her back,
would he take his revenge? And was I in danger?

“We need to talk,” I said firmly.

Mrs Terfel

unread,
Oct 3, 2005, 6:46:26 PM10/3/05
to

La Donna Mobile wrote:
> >
> I did not wake early in the morning; when I did, I did not feel great.

Look, I said I'm sorry about breaking the coffee table with the photo
of Placi on it, ok??? I'll buy you another one for Christmas....


> "It hasn't been easy," he continued. "The past few years. I'm a
> diagnosed agoraphobic."
>
> "Isn't that fear of farmers?" I asked, absent-mindedly.

(Mrs Terfel falls off her chair from laughing so much.....)

>>> We were disturbed by a commotion. Two men arguing, ferociously, at the
> tops of their voices. I tried to make out what the argument was about. I
> realised that the men were Brian Taffy, the 'other' masseur and Bobby
> Lasagne, one of my butlers.

Gosh, has Fiona been having a secret affair with Bobby behind Brian's
back??? No wonder that silly cow Amber's upset too.

La Donna - you are much better than Jilly Cooper. You've clearly
missed your true vocation in life.

Mrs T xx

REG

unread,
Oct 3, 2005, 8:36:49 PM10/3/05
to
“It hasn’t been easy,” he continued. “The past few years. I'm a
diagnosed agoraphobic.”

“Isn’t that fear of farmers?” I asked, absent-mindedly


Brilliant


"La Donna Mobile" <ladonn...@REMOVEbrixton.fsworld.co.uk> wrote in

message news:dhsb9r$lc1$1...@nwrdmz02.dmz.ncs.ea.ibs-infra.bt.com...

Silverfin

unread,
Oct 3, 2005, 8:52:16 PM10/3/05
to

REG wrote:
> "It hasn't been easy," he continued. "The past few years. I'm a
> diagnosed agoraphobic."
>
> "Isn't that fear of farmers?" I asked, absent-mindedly
>

I was once having a conversation with someone, and she said that her
brother had "been inside for the last 3 years".
"What, is he agoraphobic?" I asked, with genuine concern.

Silverfin

La Donna Mobile

unread,
Oct 5, 2005, 6:55:59 PM10/5/05
to
You jest, but I've just noticed who's doing a concert in Cyprus on the
19th. Looks like Blue Collar Donna might have to hijack the ship herself
and demand it takes her to Cyprus, rather than Sevastopol...

raffe wrote:

--
http://www.madmusingsof.me.uk/weblog/
http://www.geraldine-curtis.me.uk/photoblog/

Silverfin

unread,
Oct 6, 2005, 7:23:22 AM10/6/05
to

Mrs Terfel wrote:

> La Donna Mobile wrote:
> >>> We were disturbed by a commotion. Two men arguing, ferociously, at the
> > tops of their voices. I tried to make out what the argument was about. I
> > realised that the men were Brian Taffy, the 'other' masseur and Bobby
> > Lasagne, one of my butlers.
>
> Gosh, has Fiona been having a secret affair with Bobby behind Brian's
> back??? No wonder that silly cow Amber's upset too.
>

Well, if Fiona treats Brian too badly perhaps Serafina will comfort
him...


> La Donna - you are much better than Jilly Cooper. You've clearly
> missed your true vocation in life.
>

I agree.

Silverfin

Mrs Terfel

unread,
Oct 6, 2005, 8:02:31 AM10/6/05
to
Ah, but I thought Fiona and Serafina had already come to a Ladies'
Agreement concerning the aforementoned Brian?

If I remember rightly, Serafina is only allowed to comfort Brian if
Fiona is no longer interested in him and has given her friend written
permission first.

Mrs T xx

La Donna Mobile

unread,
Oct 6, 2005, 8:40:52 AM10/6/05
to

>
> Mrs T xx

Jilly already has her revenge planned
...http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0593052994/qid=1128602301/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_11_1/202-6747636-0726259

"At Bagley Hall, fashionable alma mater to many dashing and glamorous
denizens of Larkshire, including Rupert Campbell-Black's children,
trouble is afoot. The ambitious and fatally attractive headmaster,
Hengist Brett-Taylor, hatches a plan to share the highly superior
facilities of his school with the students at Larkminster Comprehensive
- known locally, as 'Larks'. His reasons for doing so are purely
financial, but he is encouraged by the opportunities the scheme gives
him for frequent meetings with Janna Curtis, the dynamic new head of
Larks, who has been drafted in to save what is a fast-sinking school
from closure. Janna is young, pretty, enthusiastic, determined - and
she will do anything to rescue her demoralised, run-down and
cash-strapped school."

Mrs Terfel

unread,
Oct 6, 2005, 8:54:44 AM10/6/05
to
Janna Curtis??? She doesn't happen to have a Placido Domingo
obsession, does she???

Mrs T xx

Silverfin

unread,
Oct 6, 2005, 9:15:33 AM10/6/05
to

Only teasing... Even my fictional self wouldn't dream of laying a
finger on your ficitonal man.

xSilverfin (aka. Serafina)

Silverfin

unread,
Oct 6, 2005, 9:19:54 AM10/6/05
to

La Donna Mobile wrote:
> The ambitious and fatally attractive headmaster,
> Hengist Brett-Taylor,
>

Do what?
I once worked with a hea