Snow, A Christmas Tale

christmazzy-2016

 

Christmas morning whispered into my ear.

I wriggled and turned on my back, and though my eyes were still kissed down tight with delicious sleep, I let myself rise. Sat on my bed, I stretched and grinned, a grin made of home and comfort and Amma’s old hands. I must have been smiling like that for a long time, because soon I felt the edges of my room wanting to come apart, releasing me and everything in it into the air.

My eyes flickered open.

Something had changed.

I glanced around the room. Even in the grey dimness I saw that an immense stillness had entered the heart of objects. My copy of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the brass figurine of Horus, the bells from Nepal, each and all, now gazed at me in perfect pause. When I picked up the bedside clock and pressed it against my ear its ticks came out muffled, as though it had lived its previous life somewhere on a deep seabed.

With a sharp turn I eyed the chink between the curtains.

And there I saw what my heart had desired all year long. I knew of that rareness that glittered between the drapes.

Overnight, the world had grown a skin forged of starlight.

Leaping up from my bed I rushed to the curtains and opened them wide.

Snow! It was snow!

As far as the eye can see.

It was so thick and fresh and crisp, that I was certain that the whole world was covered in it.

I must have jumped a few times in excitement, then darted out of my bedroom door, and ran down the stairs, missing three steps at a time, before dunking my feet into my Wellington boots and pulling on my duffel coat.

‘Moni, where do you think you are going?’ Amma had one hand on her chubby hip whilst in the other she held an open box of cornflakes.

‘Amma, please –‘

‘You can’t go like that!’ She waddled over to the wooden chair and from under her shawl she grabbed her red woolly scarf and flung it at me. ‘We don’t want you catching a cold now.’

I caught the scarf and swiftly wrapped it round my neck. ‘Thank you, Amma!’ I beamed a smile at her.

She shook her head, chuckled and swung back to prepare breakfast.

Sliding the latch off, which seemed to take forever, I finally pulled the door open.

The air was clarity itself, laced in ice and quiet, as if history had not found it yet. Chimney tops and the tips of the highest branch, and even the sky itself, all sparkled pristine white.

I drew a long breath in and stepped foot onto the garden path, the sharp crunch under my boot the loudest sound for miles. I took another step and this time I dug my boots down further. I was curious to know if my other world still existed, whether it remained in slumber underneath the white.

As I was about to walk on I discovered that I was not alone. A robin redbreast dipped and dived overhead. It finally perched its tubby little body on the snow-cloaked needle of the spruce tree at the bottom of the garden. He looked in my direction and started to chirp, and with each note a few flakes, like chippings of stars, scattered down below.

I giggled and hopped over to the tree, my woolly red scarf bouncing along, and only once did I glance over my shoulder, just so to admire my trail of deep-set footprints.

The robin sang its sweet song.

And the scarf and I twirled underneath him.

Two red voices in a new world.

 

Words & Image by Masufa (‘Mazzy’) Khatun | Winchester | UK 2016

Old Pictures, New Story: How About I Put The Kettle On For You?

The winters in England can be brutishly cold, the winds serrated as like a dagger’s edge that is poised to slice through the slightest bit of skin it can see, and that is why it becomes extremely important that You ensure that when venturing outside You are wrapped up warm and in many layers so that You do not succumb to a nasty bout of frostbite. It is one of those horrid conditions that sends a pandemonium of panic into the victim affected which is understandable since as the skin changes colour and the sensation of touch diminishes away, one is forced to think of the worst. Limbs, without warning, fated to drop off due to poor or no blood circulation. Yikes!

But the savage sting and gnash of the freezing air did hardly made any headway in arresting our playful ways on that memorable day at the humble German markets, set up specifically in Winchester as part of the glittering festivities for Christmas time. Now, You must note that I cannot tolerate hours of shopping like my friend can, it bores and tires me out within minutes, unless of course the map to be navigated includes a few charming bookshops on route wherein I can indulge my ever voluptuous imagination to be drawn to scintillating synopses of new books! That sort of shopping is, as we Brits say, right up my street!

On the other hand, I have always found a cute charm in the little wooden cabins that pop up round by the Cathedral grounds at Christmas, they are a pleasure to explore on foot and I can spend a whole day gazing admiringly at the numerous splendidly handcrafted goods on offer. Typically, the enchanting array includes such wondrous things as like heavily aromatic wreathes of dried satsuma the colour of rustic autumnal leaves, beeswax candles that tempt the mind to eat them, and glass lanterns bejewelled in a mosaic of glass and mirror pieces. The whole place, once only grassy and watched on by the hushful walls of the Cathedral, suddenly transforms itself into an Aladdin’s cave, only that there is no canopy of a roof, and thus the many markets nestled with their intriguing trinkets are laid bare as much to eager-eyed collectors as to the swarming breath of icy winds. To shop here is not a luxury, it is an brave expedition to the Arctic and You were bound to return with something much more than You bargained for!

Now imagine how madly excited I must have seemed when out of all the many things that were seductively competing for our attentions my eyes should magnetically lock onto a bulky wooden barrel and atop rested two glass jars filled with teabags, sugar  and tiny sachets of milk. Though no map accompanied us, I could have sworn the exhilaration of my discovery was on par to that monumental moment when the bearer of the map finds themselves precisely on top of the point marked X! I had not set off to accrue treasure, but yet before us lay the basic molecules of tea preparation and hence, quite rightly, I went bonkers and, though I am no gymnast, my shoulders felt like initiating into a series wonky somersaults, a wobbly roly-poly, and a shaky cartwheel, just to top it off! Ask any friend of mine and they will quite heartily submit a testimony on Your request that tea really does do it for me! Giggle, giggle! If I could I would stash every variety of loose leaf tea in my buccaneering satchel before gallivanting off to the ice-clad North Pole, or trekking through the moist jungles of Peru, just so that I could enjoy that peace of mind that irrespective of where my shrivelled-up shoes cared to careen me, there would always be by my side that most beautiful reminder of the warm and cosy world of my home, that will indeed always be my home, wherever I trot and whoever I become.

Samka, let us imagine that we had the power to share out this delicious tea to the world!” Cheery and bright-eyed, I elegantly gestured to my friend to take the helm of the stall and pretend that she was indeed an all-benevolent dispenser of warm and sweet cups of tea. From the corner of my eye I glimpsed at the soothing hiss of steam that rose from the cups held tightly by people who had purchased one earlier, and I could interpret in their faces that it made the world a livelier place, manageable and simple and slow, when in possession of such a fine milky molten concoction of leaves!

Let’s do it!” She did not think twice about it, only that like a happy kangaroo she jumped behind the barrel and the next minute I know there she was, impersonating to be the most kindly tea lady in the world! Without my cue, she unclipped the levers of the glass jars and lifted them as if to say to the cold and weary traveller that he or she had come to the right place and that here we may not make You rich or guarantee You safe passage, however, we have something else and it will help You because when we make this tea we make it with all the Love that we have glowing inside the warm glove of our hearts.

Naturally, members of the public giggled at our little stunt but we are so used to pulling theatrical displays wherever we go that it became a pleasing sight to witness that nothing of ours goes to waste! Our antics will be remembered because they made people smile and, I do hope most of all, that whoever did smile will have remembered that worries can be made to go away and a fat smile can come to stay, if there is someone who will put the kettle on and ask, “How many sugars did You say?” ♥♥♥

To Sweeten The Deal

“… for a few moments the both of us were busy dishing out our favourite beverage in the world – tea of course – with complimentary sachets of sugar and milk, to help soften the bitter brew of life into runny maple syrup,  melting the worries of the big world into a cup of milky molten goodness...”

 

Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester | UK 2016
Photography: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester | UK 2014

Bear Feet Need Not Always Be Bare!

In children’s books words are the deft-defying ambassadors of adventure, beauty, intrigue, delicious frightfulness and hope, the latter is as fantastically dogged and hard-nosed as a rhino who thinks he can beat anyone in the ring because he has just rummaged through a fresh bag of Haribos that has served to induce a huge energy surge in his legs! Whoopsee! Giggle, giggle!

So, with tea and cake in mind, but decidedly deferred till a little later in the day, Katie and I, who are both completely buffoon about books, skidded into Winchester’s only dedicated shop designed to cater for the appetites of those who cannot live without words, and we began to inhale, gulp and wash down the papery treasures neatly laid out in piles on various tables whose order somewhat defied logic. I prefer the exile of systematic pathways in such places, for books were meant to discover You as much as You are meant to discover them, an odd but comforting sentiment that is most effectively reinforced when there is an element of haphazardness in the layout of the fortress – a maze of sorts –  where You never quite know which literary mass will cross Your path. A bit like Life itself, since we never know who is walking round the corner, and  who on our path shall become ‘a star-cross Lover’, except I tend to take editorial liberties at such junctions, prodding Destiny to pen me something far more nicer than that of the tragic ending of Shakespeare’s masterpiece!

Well, today, of all days, a character born out of words swirled his fabulous attire of wonders in my path! Katie and I, in the middle of the bookshop, felt at once as if we were swept off our feet and placed in the very core of the capital itself! Whatever was it that made us believe that we had transported ourselves to one of the most bustling train stations of all of England?

Because and behold and be bewitched…

We had suddenly spotted a certain extremely cuddlesome, furry immigrant!

He told us that he came from Darkest Peru and that his Aunty Lucy had, with breaking heart, sent him to our world so that he may find a loving family and a new home.

A worrying marmalade habit he admitted to, this chap was in possession of the real artefact which he kept safely under his floppy hat in case of those nasty, disastrous moments of Code 5 emergencies!

And, incidentally, it was being found on a London train station that had inspired his rather exceedingly strange but affectionately poised name.

I speak of Paddington, of course!

I do have every right in the universe to whack You on the head with my Poppins umbrella should You have not correctly guessed the figure in question from the first clue alone! Ahem, ahem!

Katie and I jumped with strawberry-flavoured joy to see our dear old Paddy, a modest little bear, lost and unwanted in one of the largest cities in the world, and yet who eventually comes to realise that there was more to him than he had expected. A life of horrid rejection and loneliness is turned on its head thanks to a discovery more splendid than finding gold or diamonds or the lost world of Atlantis! A family to match the colour and bohemianism and outgoing spirit as his own, when the Browns open their doors and arms to the orphan bear, he promptly returns to being his happy self that at times he himself notices that it becomes incredibly tricky to tell the difference between love, marmalade and the sunrise! It was all the same to him because true happiness does that to a bear!

Katie, it is a Sign! We’ve found a rare Paddy Bear, look at those waterproof red wellies he’s got on!” The words blabbed out of my mouth at a speed of knots and if You remember we were in a bookshop, temples of respectable silence, that my rattling of the vocal chords stirred a few heads out of their trances to poke stares at me. I must say none of it was hostile, there were smiles of agreement and a few fond smirks that acknowledged that it was perfectly acceptable for two grown women to be thoroughly passionate about a children’s book character! That is Winchester for You! Giggle, giggle!

May I remind You that Paddy Bear in the film DOES NOT wear any sturdy footwear throughout his time on screen which was a little let down for those of us who had grown up with the books, though it must be said, his pudgy paws all exposed allowed me to admire them in a way I had never done so in the past. He does have the most adorable set of feet, dear Reader, and no matter the grossness of the terrains he must clamber and climb I can never imagine those little digits of his – no not numbers – to ever be smote with stinky feet! It is a bare – sorry – bear thing to be endowed with such stench-busting traits!

Mazzy darling, take the photograph!” Katie was on all stations go! An auspicious acquisition, a bear with no bare feet, equipped with hardy footwear and ready to take on the barbaric temperaments of the British weather system, my friend urged me not to hesitate a second more and I gladly obliged her legitimate whim and took the shot!

The moral of this short tale, as short as the hero in it and the heroine who wrote it, is that time NEVER stands still and nor does Destiny, with a dinky self-sprinkle of Faith in oneself, You never know of all the places You will go. If You do not believe me then ask Yourself, why are YOU reading my words?

Words have the power to hold Your hands even if the weather to be walked under is wet and windy, and by reading this story – that happens to be about a story – tonight You have travelled a little closer to my Home, courtesy of a pair of Wellington boots blessed by the colours that You have already REaD of in the breast of the winter robin and in the strokes of Lata ji’s pen…  ♥♥♥

LINK [A big giver but never did he ask from anyone for a pair of Wellington boots!] https://www.facebook.com/PaddingtonBear/photos/a.157585777634955.33066.125079994218867/1002772773116247/?type=3&theater   

 

Bear Feet Need Not Always Be Bare!

“… Words have the power to hold Your hands even if the weather to be walked under is wet and windy, and by reading this story about a story tonight You have travelled a little closer to my Home, courtesy of a pair of Wellington boots…”

 

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester| UK 2015

 

 

Christmas Month Puzzle Box FINALE: On The Matter Of Acquiring The RIGHT Number To Reach Me!

Ah, so You have made it to the last and most gloriously sumptuous festive puzzle box of the series! Hurrah, hurrah!

Before I might proceed with the means by which You may succeed in unveiling the veil of my heart allow me to shake Your hand in the humblest of appreciation and thanks for taking the time to pore over my words, and not only that, I can sense that a particular ‘Someone’ waits upon my storytelling Voice like an eager child with elbows pressed down on the windowsill, eyes seeking for the footfalls of my mucky shoes to appear…

Perhaps it is due to the fact that I have always, with utmost diligence, stuck by my Faith in times bright and in times dark that my Allah and his penmanship in action, what we call ‘Destiny’, have bestowed on me blessings spooned of honey and milk that wrap around my authorial aura,  smilingly His Guardianship has become my consort on paper so that what I write of forever shall seek to find ways to blossom into spectacular colours on the stage of reality. So beautiful are these blossoms that one passing by would think that butterflies and roses had at last become as One.

So what highest honour and Love could I possibly gift You today, on Christmas Day, as a mark of my ancient, starry and blazing connection to You. Well, while we did enjoy a very late night here at the hobbit house I was in bed by the time Mr Tim Peake, British Astronaut, luckily aboard the ISS, committed his little act of comical boo-boo, accidental in nature but genuinely funny, a rufescent error that was DESTINED to happen because the red bauble of my hobbity heart prayed for it!

All splattered over the British papers today, Mr Peake, at the peak of his astronomical career and who made a rare starlit swoosh past my house last evening, missed his family so much – and one would do so at this particularly special time of the year – that he attempted to call home.

And he did!

EXCEPT, he dialled the WRONG NUMBER and instead it reached another lady whom he refers to as PLANET EARTH! Mmmm, I wonder who she is?! Giggle, giggle and wink wink! ♥ 

So, my Dear Reader, are You READY? Lets see if You can solve this Puzzle Box!

You MUST click on this link and read the entire article about Mr Peake’s blunder:

LINK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35178210

Done? Good!

Now, cast Your dodgy memory back to one of my earlier posts – CHRISTMAS MONTH PUZZLE BOX 11 – and read it with extreme thoroughness, INCLUDING the comment stream under it:

LINK: https://mazzykhatunphotostories.wordpress.com/2015/12/14/christmas-month-puzzle-box-11-on-the-matter-of-using-light-to-live-in-the-moment/

How on EARTH did you know this would happen to me?” I write in flabbergasted breathlessness in response to my honourable friend’s astronomical praises for my dazzling storytelling craftsmanship! My honourable friend, somewhat perplexed, has not the slightest clue to what is going on and I step away from the brooding atmosphere of Mystery that I have planted in his imagination with a smug twinkle in my toes! With dignified resignation, my honourable friends replies with a capitalised but mildly miffed, “ALRIGHT”.

WRONG! Well, in Mr Peake’s case it was! Giggle, giggle!

Ahem, ahem, the time has come for You to flip open the notepad and draft in the pencil to thy bidding.

Note down the Puzzle Box Number of the article that You have just read. Now place the NUMBER OF COMMENTS at the end of the number that You have written – do not count any additional comments that may be added today.

If You have a morsel of intelligence left in the old brain after all this enigmatic navigating then You should have a generated a 3 DIGIT NUMBER!

The first two numbers of this sequence equates to the MONTH and the end number is the DAY. You must seek out the post that was composed on this day and month. The only clue that I shall be munificent enough to reveal is that the title of the article in question will put everything RIGHT! Oh stop moaning like a spoilt brat, off You go! Giggle, giggle!

Ah, You have found it! Now, listen very berry merry carefully…

Read the entire post with the most scrutinizing eyes You could possibly muster, for I have sneaked inside it, somewhere amid the forest of my wordings, a WEB LINK, and if You have braved it this far into my kingdom of Puzzles then You are indeed deserve-worthy to open the DOOR and beyond it a MESSAGE from my heart to Yours, only for You, on this Christmas Day… ♥♥♥

With every word and world hidden in my heart, Merry Christmas!
Your Guiding Star Always, Mazzy ♥♥♥

Christmas Month Puzzle Box FINALE: On The Matter Of Acquiring The RIGHT Number To Reach Me!

“… if You have braved it this far into my kingdom of Puzzles then You are indeed deserve-worthy to open the DOOR and beyond it a MESSAGE from my heart to Yours, only for You, on this Christmas Day… “

 

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester| UK 2015

 

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 20: On The Matter Of The First Light This Evening Over Southern England Is Courtesy Of Santa & His Rain-Dears!

If You are perspicacious enough You will most likely wriggle Your eyebrows a little with the appearance of this post since my normal routine in the day does not allow for composing storytelling treats so early on, however, it is CHRISTMAS EVE and there is plenty to be done so before I am flamboyantly swept off my feet I thought I would launch into the virtual world and provide a moist slice of sweet enchantment before I disappear! Of course, I shall endeavour to make a brief entrance tomorrow – the surprise finale to the CHRISTMAS PUZZLE BOX for which I advise that You prepare tonight by recruiting a notepad and pencil to Your side. Your Jedi Mind tricks are sadly futile against my leather-bound cognitive defences, You cannot extract what I have in store for You, only I shall add that You must adopt patience for the meanwhile, without chiselling through those nails that have already fallen prey to gnawed and bitten bombardments by Your anxious teeth! Giggle, giggle!

A jolly splendiferous LIGHT phenomenon is to sign its way through the evening skies tonight over my house and the surrounding counties in the South of England! At approximately 5.21pm (GMT) a fatty-bombatty chap by the name of Santa Claus shall be whizzing through the twilight firmament with the trusty help of his team of smiling Rain-Dears – sorry – Rein Deers, and You’d be unforgivably dull in the head if You had not a clue in the world as to what such a bubbly chap would be doing up there, on top of the roof of the planet!

Why, he is on course to deliver presents to all the children of the world!

I cannot wait to receive mine, and something tells me that like every year he has packed a nice hard-back edition of a classic novel under my name! Oh, how very exciting indeed!

But, underlying such magical feats of Light in the skies there is also a more let us say ‘grown-up’ explanation for what we are to witness tonight. A little something called ‘The International Space Station’ has been announced by NASA for a scheduled fly-over the Southern shires of England, so all the big people around me shall be pointing to the skies and exclaiming highly realistic comments along the lines of, “Just look at that, there goes Mr Tim Peake and his astronaut crew and I bet they are missing their families”, or “Such a huge piece of metal and it only looks like a pin-point scudding along at snail speed!

On the contrary, the little people – especially Hobbits and children – shan’t be shackled indoors, instead racing out into our gardens or on the street with arms waving out to the indigo cloak of the night, shouting and screaming in smiling and joyful and exuberant ecstasy, “SANTA, SANTA!! Oh my God, it’s SANTA!” You know me all too well, yes, that is exactly how my scripted madness shall unfold tonight! Giggle, giggle!

And, when I see that skimming Light of his beautiful sleigh tonight, in undaunted adventuress panache, my eyes shall be in prayer towards that horizon to the South as it was once so for a certain Skywalker, and after a still pause I will say to that red-coated chap so far, far away, “To go to the North Pole and to sit by the trinkets and toys and gold-kissed colours of your humble wooden workshop, now that would be an awfully big adventure…” ♥♥♥

A Merry Christmas Eve to You, my Dearest Reader!
A twinkle in the sky, Mazzy Hobbit xxx         

LINK: http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/leisure/news/14164699.See__Santa__in_the_sky_on_Christmas_Eve_over_Southampton/

 

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 20: On The Matter Of The First Light This Evening Over Southern England Courtesy Of Santa & His Rain-Dears!

“… To go to the North Pole and to sit by the trinkets and toys and gold-kissed colours of your humble wooden workshop, now that would be an awfully big adventure…”

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester| UK 2015

 

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 19: On The Matter Of A Rain-Dear That Tells The Time!

The swell of excitable electrical charges have bubbled up in everyone’s hearts as we draw closer to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day when I shall be spending my time with my cheery family, doing constructive nothingness and playing games all day, tired feet pleasantly to be upheld by jelly-belly bean bags we have dotted around the living room and to eat but rich truffles and mince pies and candied cake! I thought today would be such a day but, to my even fonder delight, my students from college called me up and made a cheeky demand that I join them for a tea time spell in our favourite café in town before I retired home! How could I resist?! I jumped out of the house, bags of presents in tow, and caught up with them all!

When I got there I was greeted with loud Victorious shouts and some of the elderly folks who were unwittingly sat nearby momentarily saw their fragile hearts leap out of their chests to plummet, kamikaze style, into the tea cup in front of them! Poor chaps, I did not mean for my presence to startle them out of the complacency of their peace, but my students are famously known to create unrestrained and extravagant shows of their enthusiasm for my Force! Giggle, giggle!

An AMAZING time was had, and my teapot saw many refills that it began to think of itself as a warm Assamese ocean, miniature in size and bordered by a stainless steel shore that shared a riverine passage to a land known as a tea cup! I was so absorbed with the festive atmosphere alit by the beautiful souls of these pure-hearted individuals, my adorable students, that the thought of taking a photograph only struck me at the last minute before I distributed out my farewells!

What have I to share with You?

Mr Ben flaunting his expertise in impersonating a RAIN DEAR – sorry – REIN DEER!

When one orders food from the counter, the waiters issue wooden spoons with numbers painted in red on the bowl section of the utensil which is then lodged inside tiny glass bottles that You take to Your table so that whatever You have ordered from the menu is delivered to the right person. Mr Ben and one of his peers were assigned the numbers ‘7’ and ‘6’ respectively. He simply could not contain himself, the mischief molecules in his system are extraordinarily high, and thus he reached out to pick both spoons and then proceeded to stick them on each side of his head!

Hey presto, a RAIN DEAR – sorry – a REIN DEER endowed with a pair of wooden antlers!

Ah, just admire that sparky smile on his giggling face! Many things there are in this world but somethings are of such magical buoyancy that when they make me tremendously happy I defy gravity itself and float, float and float…

At the time of writing this piece, tonight, a salient icon of enigma and puzzles, Mr Sherlock demonstrates that he and I share a psionic connection, for he too has FLAGGED up the numbers ‘7’ and ‘6’ on his pocket watch! Please click on the link below and pay particular attention to the wording in the caption. Might every Sherlock FAN in every city in the world, all awake at the same time, be causing that gentle breeze in the air where You are, enough to tickle and flutter into Technicolor life, rainbow jigsaws of the sky… ♥♥♥     

LINK: https://www.facebook.com/ModernSherlock/photos/a.181867198528012.40626.118473861534013/905217102859681/?type=3&theater

 

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 19: On The Matter Of A Rain-Dear That Tells The Time!

“… He simply could not contain himself, the mischief molecules in his system are extraordinarily high, and thus he reached out to pick both spoons and then proceeded to stick them on each side of his head…”

 

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester| UK 2015

 

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 18: On The Matter Of A Pair Of Jedi Fighters Chilling Out!

May shame blight You down like a splattered pancake on that twig and straw pile that You call Your head should You tell me that You have yet to be inundated with the earthly paradise of viewing the latest slice of Star Wars magic on the big screen! I sense Your lack of Faith in the Force most disturbing, and what is this I behold, the pancake beside me is indeed quivering ever so forward, an imminent launch I suspect and one that I foresee heading straight towards You! Thou may redeem Yourself if You take immediate precautionary measures, primarily that of assembling a camping kit and scooting down to your nearest cinema, hoist the tent up and wait until the doors open for the next show! What is that You mumble with pity awkwardness? Ah, it gets cold at night out here? Well, You should have thought about that in the first place? Ahem, ahem! Giggle, giggle – followed by my imitating a highly serious and scrutinising ‘Alec Guinness’ face!

Me and my entire gang scored well today, for after an epic military operation that involved stealth manoeuvres in shops as to avoid catching sight of each other, sizeable amounts of dodging to make a football team drool with uncontrollable lust, and huge exercise of discipline not to proton torpedo customers shoving and pushing in front of my little hobbity frame, the entire crew managed to succeed in completing our Christmas shopping! Hurrah! What did we do next, You ask with investigative eyes as squinty as the snout holes of the harvest mouse!

We hurried to my brother’s cinema to watch the FORCE AWAKENS of course!

Yes, I cannot get enough of this film and shall be watching it again next week with another team of sci-fi salivating bandits! Oh do quit blurting out sighs of pathetic boredom, when the Force has been as strong in me since I first laid my eyes and heart on Luke Skywalker stood alone on the sand wastelands of Tatooine, yearningly looking out over the horizon embellished by the mighty Light of a binary sunset, I knew that was it! The year was 1983, I believe, and while cinematic history was permanently and refreshingly altered forever, something feisty blossomed inside my Visionary faculties, an unwavering belief in Destiny that will be my loyal companion till the end chapters of this lifetime.

A brief history, if I may! Mr Lucas went on to make a new trilogy of Star Wars films – Episode 1 -3 beginning in the late nineties and, without the intrusion of any sympathetic euphemisms because it does not warrant it so, these films were absolutely RUBBISH! Die-hard fans like myself were let down in more ways than one, the films were pretentious and horridly cheesy and not to mention the pimped-up purple lightsaber that Mr Jackson acquired simply by clicking his fingers with the justification that a ‘black brother’ deserved this so-called slick colour flipped Lucas over the Dark Side and he obeyed to the whims of an actor who blatantly had no idea what he had gone and done! What a load of codswallop, as we British like to say!

THANK GOODNESS, I can say with euphoric fortitude that the FORCE AWAKENS, EPISODE 7 is one of the most spectacular acts of filmic reparation ever to roll, for fans will be delighted by it in every way conceivable! It is a modern classic, a fitting homage to the original three films to the extent that at times I felt like shedding a tear of joy to see just how much it meant to Mr J.J. to express directorial salutations to the legend that had preceded it. I was also awestruck and relieved to see that pretty much the entire cast list was made up of British actors who, in general, tend to come from a training lineage that arms them to bring method, thoughtfulness, subtlety and quiet charisma to any role to which they are assigned. CGI has been kept to a minimum, thank the Lords! Old fashion puppetry, the sense of texture and wide-angle panoramas of scenes filled with compelling quietude as opposed to having every frame filled with raucous pandemonium creates a theatrical dimension worthy of high acclaim. Indeed, some scenes deserved to be turned into wall art! I kid You not, dear Reader!

If You have yet to harness the nerdy affection of my words then perhaps I could put a cherry on top of this cake and submit to You a series of photographs which I took of one of my most sprightly crew members, Miss Jenny Woodsprite! The little munchkin is the daughter of my good friend Samka, however I get along with Jenny as if I were more her age than her mother’s! A tomboy at heart, a no-frills girl who is magnetised towards theatre and action and adventure, Jenny also shares an uncanny resemblance to Daisy Ridley, the lead female protagonist in the FORCE AWAKENS! In the galaxy of floating lights suspended in the giant Christmas tree propped up in the middle of our shopping centre, Jenny could have been mistaken for the Jedi girl of the film, a member of the Resistance taking a respite from her galactic odysseys to admire the twinkling of stars whose gaps shan’t require quick-step manoeuvring of the Millennium Falcon from hot-on-the-heels TIE Fighters! I hung out with Jenny whilst Samka saw to other business and turned the opportunity into a golden one, an artful and shrewd photographic slice of sugary fun that gives a smiling thumbs up to the FORCE as we made the most out of our chill out session, and while You are it, do click on the link to read about Daisy Ridley’s preferred method of chilling out – and in case I have never told You, I love baking cakes, too… ♥♥♥

LINK: http://www.marieclaire.com/celebrity/news/a17625/daisy-ridley-fun-facts/

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 18: On The Matter Of A Jedi Fighter Chilling Out By Baking Cakes!

“… A tomboy at heart, a no-frills girl who is magnetised towards theatre and action and adventure, Jenny also shares an uncanny resemblance to Daisy Ridley, the lead female protagonist in the FORCE AWAKENS…”

 

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 18: On The Matter Of A Jedi Fighter Chilling Out By Baking Cakes!

“… In the galaxy of floating lights suspended in the giant Christmas tree propped up in the middle of our shopping centre, Jenny could have been mistaken for the Jedi girl of the film…”

 

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 18: On The Matter Of A Jedi Fighter Chilling Out By Baking Cakes!

“… taking a respite from her galactic odysseys to admire the twinkling of stars whose gaps shan’t require quick-step manoeuvring of the Millennium Falcon from hot-on-the-heels TIE Fighters…”

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester| UK 2015

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 16: The Joy Of Basking In The Ray of Loved Ones!

Steadfast is my passion for gobbling up the wordy nectar of books that it has even come to the hilariously unpleasant point of it posing a nuisance for those who live with me in my tiny hobbit home, of particular I stress my Amma as one of my more unfortunate victims! It drives her crazy to see so many books splayed all over the carpet that the poor carpet itself is no longer visible to the eyes. I have to be honest, inadvertently my bookworm ways have supplied the floor with mountainous literary padding, yet from this I am able to derive my crafty defence when replying to my cuddly Amma of my quirky mishaps, “Can you not feel how cold it is, Amma? The walls have radiators and we have jumpers but look at the awfully meagre floor, nothing to keep it warm so I thought it would be a nice thing to lend the carpet a thick layering of jackets, kindly donated by my books!

She is not impressed, of course! Giggle, giggle!

But did You know that if the written word is a primary love of my life then it has a cousin that I treat with equal respect and respond to with comparable awe.  The art of illustration! Tonight I am in animated spirits knowing that I am about to introduce to You one of my most treasured illustrators to have come out of the British Isles and she is Jane Ray! My bookshelves are plumply stocked in children’s books whose pages sparkle with prints glimmering with gold-leaf paintings, delicate brush strokes and aflame with an atmosphere that is magical, contemplative, nurturing and dreamily reassuring. To absorb her visual vocabulary is to invite the heart to make tender journeys into the imagination of the child, led by a caring hand that seeks to take You to places and people who will leave a mark of smiling presence in Your soul long after the book and its illustrations have been put away.

Today, the prestigious Guardian paper published some of Ray’s beautifully festive illustrations that were commissioned to accompany their partner tales penned in words. Take delight as ‘The Twelve Days Of Christmas’ comes to colourful life, aching to be read and admired in front of a roaring open log fire, preferably with a circle of wide-eyed and knee-high hobbits – an appetising pleasure which I shall be delivering over Christmas, of course! On the other hand, if sweets are Your calling, as it is most definably mine, then begin to lick those lips as You pore over the marshmallow-soft dreaminess of Ray’s illustrations for ‘The Nutcracker’, a love story that sees its protagonists make passage on a boat to a land enchanted in the shininess of sweets and all things wonderfully sensorial to the curious mind of an adventuress! And, finally, in ‘Heartsong’ You are met with a gloriously touching image as two souls share a warm and affecting embrace that is timely in its message since it tells us exactly what we ought to do with our hearts this Christmas, not to only extend it out for our friends and family but, in any way possible, to those souls too who may not have a roof to sleep under this festive season.

Ray’s illustrative compendium is masterful and fantastical to say the least, and I have learnt much from her that has fed directly into my own storytelling and visual orientations to photography. She is one of many monumental sources of inspiration to my rising as an artist and tonight, roused in Christmassy joy, I would like to pay tribute to this fine, fellow visual dreamer by submitting a photograph of what would have been an empty and monotonous canvas of a stone wall, barren as like the plain piece of paper that yearns to be christened with a word and picture, but I have on this canvas placed my two good friends, and look what happens! Take the plunge to stand back and pay heed to Your eyes as they play in tune with the biological routine of the retinal carpet to register the greyness of the day, but that ambience does not dominate for too long. The ray of Friendship and Love swiftly pushes back the lingering greyness right over the edge of the four sides of the horizon of the frame. What is left is that my heart finds itself joyfully basking in the golden sweet ray of these two people who matter to me very much and to say that in words more often rather than giving credit for the more fundamental building blocks of life, such breathing and eating, tells me vividly and completely than ever, that Love is indeed the hidden encasement of God in a Word.

Like the way I choose to keep my face hidden from the virtual world for most of the year, Love and God encourage You to take the seat of illustrator and beside You, the paints of Your imagination…  ♥♥♥   

LINK: http://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/gallery/2015/dec/20/the-joy-of-christmas-books-jane-ray

 

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 16: The Joy Of Basking In The Ray of Loved Ones!

“… for the ray of Friendship and Love swiftly pushes back the lingering greyness of the day right over the edge of the four sides of the horizon of the frame…”

 

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 16: The Joy Of Basking In The Ray of Loved Ones!

“… Like the way I choose to keep my face hidden from the virtual world for most of the year, Love and God encourage You to take the seat of illustrator and beside You, the paints of Your imagination…”

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester| UK 2015

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 15: On The Matter Of The Awesome Proton Beam Retaliation Against L’Oréal’s “You’re Worth it!” Campaign!

The sumptuously thick pastries of mince pies dusted with minute sprinkles of sugar glistened before us as did the seductive aroma of freshly siphoned mulled wine laced with its conjugal slice of citrus heaven – a smile of soaked orange – and I was made to feel like I had touched the first clouds of festive heaven because after a very long time I was in the company of two of my very, merry, berry best friends! Christmas time is a roost of a goldmine in my eyes, not for the presents or the shopping frenzy, but for the delicious imminence of reunions and when such meetings occur, especially if they have been agonisingly overdue, anyone looking upon our gatherings will inevitably conclude that they have been quite generously blessed to witness a hobbitina – yes, that would be me – wildly dancing in the throes of jumping joyfulness, as if I had stumbled across the greatest treasure ever come into possession! I love to bring friends together, to catch-up on time that has passed without having seen each other, to share interesting and funny and tender stories with the edifying licence of facial and gestural trimmings that no amount of social media could ever replicate.

So, let me tell You of who I had the ineffable pleasure of hanging out with in the last few days!

You have met Agnes before in my previous stories where we diligently and excitedly explored islands beyond the mainland of England. A Polish beauty in heart, a linguist in aspiration and a face as adorably radiant so as to comply beyond satisfactory levels with the stringent prerequisites of cuteness required by all of Santa’s elfin helpers! Giggle, giggle!

My other very good friend is Chiara who grew up in Michigan and is of German heritage. Since she has lived in America for most of her life, her definition of the word “naughty” was obviously more saucy and bawdy than the more child-friendly original that we British have preserved, hence every time I used the word in her presence – which is very common for a teacher of course –  she would lift an eyebrow worryingly, and only the Lord Almighty knows what thoughts of deepest concern must have shaken her from within to see a respectable lady like myself on occasion blurt out a word that is highly rude in the rudimentary ears of an American! Giggle, giggle! Thankfully, she trusted me enough to muster up a vortex of courage to investigate further what on earth was going on in my head. I laughed out so loud when she told me of her hilarious confusions that I had to make a rapid beeline for the loo! My bladder duties were on the verge of its biggest compromise but I managed to recompose myself, and thus I began to infuse her on the matter of how this particular word had an altogether more harmless meaning within the kingdom of British vocabulary! Whenever we now meet the first thing I say with proud affirmation, as if announcing the battle cry to advance troops to a newly opened shop dedicated to the selling of Haribos is, “Chiara, you have been a very naughty girl!” She giggles and blushes and obliges me oh so neatly by agreeing that she has indeed been a naughty poppet! It is all classic humour between us girls and I do not think that it will ever fade away, even in the days when we will be sprouting silvery hairs on our head and whizzing round the streets with our granny trolleys loaded with our respective granddad husbands! Giggle, giggle!

As You can gather by now we three ladies are endowed with the force-field prowess to deflect the gremlins of dullness from any party suffering from the hex of boredom, simply put, we know how to create shenanigans that lift the spirits and re-paint smiles on faces that have become close to forgetting what such a thing is! Tonight I offer such a sassy portrait of my two beloved chums, with a sleight of hand element thrown in for good measure and I am sure that by now You will want to know eagerly what I mean by that!

Since I am of tomboy construction, one of the most irritating adverts that plummets my telly now and again into a self-destructive buckling up and sizzle is that of the notoriously hideous L’Oréal hair product campaign. Celebrity women with CGI hair and CGI face paste the screen with their locks claiming that the brand could make Your hair look like something that (unfortunately) came out of the Disney windpipe! Hideous and enormously sleep-inducing, my inventive mind wished to combat the sulphuric acidity of these promotions of ultimate deception, deceivingly storm-trooped out of the Dark Side of the West’s capitalistic nature.

From under my sleeve I whip out a comical twist of my own!

Do not let a pink shampoo bottle decide whether “You are worth it!” – or not, for that matter! In other words, dear Reader, do not let the ownership of any sort of external material object become the barometer by which You judge whether You are a worthy giant, human or hobbit. I might have saved money, day and night, for a new camera, yet do not for a second be fooled into assuming that my identity and status rests with this device. It does not. I can live without it. But I cannot live without my imagination.
The things in life that ought to matter are the things that are invested with the magical persistence to exist as echoes in the river of eternity. That which can be packaged or price-tagged and for which the men and women of this world are willing to plunder and ambush are the fleeting illusions of a floating world. Their worth is defined on the competitive plane and the Soul does not speak such a language.

Love and Friendship, two very modestly small words but when they find You in life they angelically remould the world so that it grows inwards, a slow imploding blossom, comfortably smaller, a world whose borders are canvased by the person or people in front of You. I have Faith that You shall see the integrity of these thoughts of mine brilliantly captured in the photograph that I present to You, where the smooth, flowing locks of these maiden friends of mine send out a cheeky but noble proton beam of retaliation against the monster machine of corporative bewitchment, a gentle bit of advertising on our part that sparkles with defiance the message that some things in this short life of ours are worth the battle because, at the end of Eternity, they are “worth it”… ♥♥♥

LINK [Chewie Rallies To Our Cause!]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U9fEv1ld8A

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 15: On The Matter Of The Awesome Proton Beam Retaliation Against L’Oréal’s “You’re Worth it!” Campaign!

“… Love and Friendship, two very modestly small words but when they find You in life they angelically remould the world so that it grows inwards, a slow imploding blossom, comfortably smaller, a world whose borders are canvased by the person or people in front of You…”


Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester| UK 2015

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 13: On The Matter Of Counting Down To ‘The Force Awakens’ And The Curious Case Of My Honourable Bald-Scalped Friend, Sir Thomas!

Only the last piddling dregs of hours remain before the intergalactic touchdown of ‘The Force Awakens’ is unlocked and unleashed into UK cinemas, and even here, in the midget-proportioned abode of Winchester, a fantastical and hugely anticipated midnight screening has been organised by my brother to which we are at this very moment pacing the room with electrical sizzles tingling on the ends of our fingers and toes! This is going to be one very, berry, merry epic night and that is why I scooted over to the laptop to post this slice of cheekiness at an earlier time, engineered thanks to my ALLIANCE with Destiny and that I wish to share with You before I take to the cinematic skies of a galaxy far, far away!

Canons – sorry – cannons based on advanced blaster laser technology, Light-sabers that lovingly express a firm nod of affection to Arthurian combat, characters that hail from distant worlds but whose odysseys we can all relate to and the all-pervasive and sacred sense of Destiny and the Force coursing through the narrative like a master of prescient knowledge, the only ingredient arguably  missing from this fantastical canvas of sci-film mythology is, of course, the speak of tea – or coffee for those plagued with a confused constitution! Giggle, giggle!

It was not long ago that a certain unmet “honourable friend” of mine here on WordPress had begun a rather dramatic and colourful conversational thread with me that had been stimulated as a result of his response to a news piece that concerned a historical war scene: a tense and hair-raising battle out at sea between the British and the Spanish hundreds of years ago. Canon – sorry – cannon fire went ballistic and the Spanish ship had sunk along with its hoard of treasures, and it was the re-discovery of this loot in the submerged remains of the wreckage that prompted international reportage. In the conversational stream that followed between myself and my “honourable friend”, he was most kind enough to lay down a segment of his family history, stating that his lineage had once seen a certain ‘Sir Thomas’ – no, not ‘Thomas The Tank Engine’, that is another steamy story, remember? – and that this chap had fled from the British and the House of Lords because the situation had turned insufferably ‘hot’, heading to a galaxy far far away, in other words, he hopped over that little pond called the Atlantic to set up a new life in the Americas.

Where am I going with this convoluted discussion?

It has made HEAD-LINE NEWS today in British politics, on a day that is but a few hours away from the dramatization of a maritime scuffle of cannons and artifice taken to whole new intergalactic level, that it follows that here in the HOUSE OF LORDS where everyone is addressed as an “honourable friend”, the Prime Minister went head-to-head with a sheepish opponent, a scene that could have easily outwit the best SOAPS ON TELLY!

BUT, that is NOT what has me transfixed!

What has me in a loopy fit of joy and raucous giggles is that among all this hullaballoo, a NUTMEG-TINTED and beautifully BALD-SCALPED chap has his face twice honed in and whose smooth head is of the perfect curvature and surface sheen to fry an egg IF the weather was hot enough here in Britain and, yet, alas, we haven’t the foggiest idea as to who and why he receives this strange dosage of attention?!

I know!

The flighty spirit of Sir Thomas consented to a cameo, lavishing us with a homecoming to his roots and with nutmeg tan in tow to instil a NEW HOPE that the weather is not always so bad on the other side of the pond!

Are You feeling grotesquely discombobulated? I advise an extra strong cup of tea to help settle Your nerves down and if that is no consolation then may I be as audacious enough to submit the following photograph of my “honourable friend” Samka, who has very kindly volunteered to apply a remedial face-lift to the baldy and shiny RED BAUBLE, gently letting them hang on the branches of the CHRISTMAS TREE so as to not let them lose face! Ah, I just pray that she will hold back from squeezing them too hard with the Force of her hands! To come this far and then for things to suddenly go “POP” would be an awful way for You to have Your BUBBLE BURST! Giggle, giggle!

Oh no, wait, on second thoughts, “POP” is an AMERICAN SOUND that translates into “Father”. Could the baldy chap in the House of Lords, our Sir Thomas wannabe, be contemplating defection to the ‘DARK SIDE’?! Yikes!

MARY – sorry – May the Force be with You, my “honourable friend”!
Mazzy xxx

LINK: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-cameron-makes-star-wars-joke-during-prime-ministers-questions-a6775401.html

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 13: On The Matter Of Counting Down To ‘The Force Awakens’ And The Curious Case Of My Honourable Bald-Scalped Friend, Sir Thomas!

“Ah, I just pray that she will hold back from squeezing them too hard with the Force of her hands! To come this far and then for things to suddenly go “POP” would be an awful way for You to have Your BUBBLE BURST! Giggle, giggle!”


Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Sparsholt Countryside| Hampshire | UK 2015