Monthly Archives: September 2011

Camil the Swimmer

It is Friday night. The air is cool and light. Much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

Camil was always drawn to water. Even as an infant, she would crawl towards puddles and used to cry when pulled from her bath each night. She even swam the English Channel when she was only 4 years old. Imagine – just a tiny little girl in a tiny little bathing outfit (bright blue top) pushing through the waves. You might say that swimming was a compulsion – Camil once said that even if she wanted to, she couldn’t stop because swimming was in her blood.

She didn’t know how true that was; her great-, great-, great grandmother had been a viking warrior nicknamed The Seal. The Seal had been responsible for more sneak attacks on ships than any full ship of Nordic men. Legend has it that when her funeral pyre was sent out to sea, the body of The Seal mysteriously rolled off the wooden boat before the flames ever touched it and the tides never brought it back to shore.

Camil was also an excellent student, and was offered a number of scholarships – but all to universities in land-locked areas. So she didn’t go to school. She instead joined a sea-circus, dressing as a mermaid and performing water ballet for children along the beaches of the American east coast. She was always recognized by her bright blue bathing top.

She was kidnapped by pirates once; they felt they were unable to recruit enough youngsters into a life of sea crimes if Camil and her fellow performers kept allowing kids to join their water ballets. Too much happiness means not enough piracy, apparently. What the pirates didn’t realize was that Camil always wore her bathing outfit beneath her town clothes and that beneath her straw hat was her bathing cap and her goggles were in her handbag. Once aboard the foul-smelling ship, locked in the hold and ignored, Camil slipped out of her town clothes and out a porthole. With the aid of a family of loggerhead turtles, Camil returned just in time for the 4 o’clock show.

This portrait was taken before she swam around each of the Hawaiian Islands, trailing yellow silks behind her.

Always be true to yourselves. Do not be afraid to celebrate the odd and the miraculous. Slip into the pool anytime.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

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Flivvervaat Fall

Apparently, flivvervaat juveniles love this weather. And muddy leather boots. I never thought I’d say dragons make better house guests.

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Cuppa Moss

Last night’s spurt of rain caused an odd silver moss to grow on the south side of the house. It feels like chenille, smells like earl grey.

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It does feel a bit like Autumn, doesn’t it? Leaves have been tumbling in the garden and there’s a lovely chill wind whispering around the house.

This house does love fall, you know. Creaking corners, gargoyles, fireplaces…

With summer truly waning, we will surely be nostalgic for the warm and lazy days covered in ice cream and lemonade.

Which, naturally, brings me to today’s word.

Aestival (also estival) is an adjective that means of, relating to, or occurring in summer.

The etymologies are rather straight forward, wouldn’t you know. It stems from the Middle English, in turn from the Old French, in turn from the Latin aestīvālis, from aestīvus, from aestās, summer.

Perhaps we should begin planning our Aestival Festival for next June now, eh?

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