Contents of a Creative Juice Box
Today is a new day and I try again. I wanted to tell you about my friends over at The Loving Heart Cafe and their wonderful Creative Juice Boxes. They contain all sorts of creative things - old photos, bits of paper and string, a scented candle, coloured pencils and beads, a page from a book, part of an old map ... various prompts to encourage a little creativity. For me, it was an invitation to use my imagination and write a new story. Allow me to introduce Lottie, created from the Creative Juice box. The Loving Heart Cafe. I should mention that the opening line is from the page of an old book, author unknown.
Any thoughts on extending the story?
As he drove, Gerald was talking about the car. He had always liked to talk about cars. “She won’t pull, of course,” he was saying. “This petrol knocks hell out of the cylinders. Just muck, really.”
But she wasn’t listening. Her thoughts were elsewhere. They drifted back to the long weekend at the Saunton Downs Hotel. The hotel overlooked the beautiful Croyde Bay. They both loved Devon. When they reached the hotel, they registered as Mr. & Mrs. Gerald Stanford. She remembered the excitement when they pulled up at the beautiful, old country hotel set in gardens of trimmed box hedges and aromatic French lavender. She loved how the evening wind gently wafted the scent in her direction. How exciting. How romantic. And a whole weekend away from her overbearing mother. She noted how the receptionist greeted them with warmth and good grace as Gerald signed the hotel register. The sight of Gerald, twenty years her senior did raise a few eyebrows as the hotel staff helped them with their luggage. He booked the honeymoon suite. The shiny band on the finger of her left hand hadn’t fooled the staff. Charlotte guessed the hotel accommodated many couples like them.
“Here, you had better put this on” said Gerald as he handed over the brass coloured band. It looked like a curtain ring from one of Mama’s dining room drapes. Perhaps it was, but she didn’t care.
She didn’t care because she knew that she would have to deal with the consequences when she returned to London. Her parents would be appalled. Her mother would be humiliated. It was bad enough that she had run way with a married man, but that she had run off with Gerald Stanford, a man of the cloth and he only recently widowed. The pious congregation at St John’s would have much to say about this. She smiled a wicked smile to herself. What the hell, she was after all eighteen years old. She wondered what Madame Lidelle, her French governess would say. Madame Lidelle was her heroine, a woman who fought, sometimes quite literally for her beliefs and values. Mama hadn’t been too pleased when Charlotte announced that she and Madame Lidelle were planning to march to Hyde Park campaigning for the rights of women. Father doubted the intentions of the demure Madame Lidelle and wondered if his choice of governess had been a wise one.
“You’re very quiet Charlotte Park-Knowles” interrupted Gerald. “You okay?”
“Lottie … it’s Lottie” she shouted. “I hate when you call me Charlotte.”
“Didn’t you enjoy the weekend?”
“I did. I loved every single part of it, the walks along the Sands, the early morning swims in Croyde Bay and the little chapel where we secretly vowed to be lovers forever. I don’t wish it to end. I don’t want to return to London. Let’s go somewhere else?’
“I’m afraid not, my love. Time to return and face the music!”
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