Monday, 23 June 2008

Mad as a hatter


Besotted as she was with her dear departed pussy, soon after his disappearance the already odd behavior of Madmoiselle Delcaourt has taken a strange turn and she has fallen , if that were possible , even further into foolishness. In an effort to divert her Madame Grognonne has been feeding her dishes of rabbit in exceptional sauces , all to no avail and she has taken to rambling the byways , wearing a fur trimmed hat, fashioned by herself from an old military helmet of Loics and what appeared to be some discarded animal skin of vaguely familiar markings, to which she has attached , a brids wing, species unspecified, a large blue ribbon, twisted into a ostentatious bow, and a somewhat avant-garde red flower made of the torn remnants of what appear to be flannel petticoats.

Regardless of the weather Miss Delacourt can be seen tramping the lanes and calling piteously for Fleur and her behaviour has begun to attract comment about the commune. Monsieur le Mairee , in a rare sober moment, called upon Chief Patissier at the biscuiterie and suggested some thing must be done to curb her excesses. But here lies the dilemma. we, having no return address for her, and thus being unable to dispatch her back to the shores of Tooting Beck from whence she came , have become by default, utterly responsible for her. Madame Grogonne has kindly offered to take her for a short walk in the woods and return alone, but alas it is too late, should she dissapear now her absence might prove difficult to explain. She has become like one of those foul plaster ornaments depicting a vaguely obese cherub frolicing amongst badly formed flowers and holding an impossibly large cornucopia above its head in whihc the artist intends one should dispaly fruit or flowers. A gift given to one fro Christmas by an affluent but annoying aunt. One cannot bear to look at the thing but can not risk parting with it incase awkard questions are asked later.
I fear the time is fast approaching for steps to be taken to be provide her with suitable lodgings at the local mental hospital and very probably at our expense , since, despite our extensive enquiries, and the pacing of adverts in the Tooting Chronicle, she appears to possess no living relatives willing to claim her.
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The painting above is by Henri Matisse of his wife who , alas, seems to have ungone an unfortuante millinary experience. simular to that of Madmoiselle Delacourt. Madame Matisse, one hopes was lucky enough to recieve suitable help form a local habidasher before it was too late. Although one might well imagine being married to an Artist madness may well be an occupational hazard. No doubt he inadvertantly cleaned his brushes on her best lace collar uthinkingly mistaking it for a rag. That at leat would explain the strange splodges of colour on her face and neck and teh utter contempt in her eyes.

11 comments:

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

I love the way that Mme G offer to go out for a walk and return alone - was met with - now is too late . . . not with outraged horror . . .

I wonder what will happen to Ms Delacourt . . .

Leatherdykeuk said...

Perhaps a shooting accident? "Tragic, but there it is," and all that.

Mei Del said...

perhaps a sprightly young kitten could be introduced to distract all, especially Madmoiselle D?

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I have many such objects in my house of which I would gladly place somewhere and hope they had been lost forever. Unfortunately, they would probably turn up again.

CJ xx

Fennie said...

Matisse a hatter! Mmmm! How your family is beset with problems. I suggest that you employ a littl Feng Shui at the Chateau, which, probably as a result of the depredations of war, is probably missing most of its corners. Still, looking on the brightside, Mlle D has taken your mind of other things for a while and the neighbourhood has smelt a lot sweeter since the fish-filleters of Paimpol gave up their quest for bits of the sainted Loic's nether limbs. Now the cat has gone too and the sweet peas are climbing the low walls of the Chateau and the lavender bursting into bud around the pottager, the air must be positively perfumed. I would imagine that even the lingering scents of cordite, horse lineament and absinthe have evaporated in the mid-summer languor. And eldest, presumbably, is still deep into her Latin verbs or whatever it was she had to do to keep La Delacourt at bay. So let's get things in perspective. All is not lost. Another cat may yet be found and even if it isn't, M. Matisse perhaps can be sent a telegram and prevailed upon to descend upon the Chateau, brushes in hand, to continue his fine line in millinary portraiture with an outstanding and feline example of the entente cordiale. Mlle Delacourt may yet be famous and immortalized in oils.

Grouse said...

My dear, I do hope I can persuade you from the idea of funding La Delacourt's incarceration.......I'm sure were she to be pushed a little closer to the edge of reason....

Well the authorities mght just whisk her off for the safety of the community. Perhaps Madame G could be aquainted with the idea that the disappearance of more cats- and even the odd small child- might hasten this eventuality?

Frances said...

Bon jour,

So many helpful suggestions have already appeared, that I will refrain from any silly ones.

However, do you think that La Delacourt might be some sort of time traveler ... her hat may be a glimpse of a fashion to be seen in Paris, or even London in the future ... say ca. 2008? Perhaps her family and loved ones are just in another time and place?

xo

Elizabethd said...

I think she looks a very sad lady, grieving for something, I feel. Or maybe it's just that she hates the hat.

jackofall said...

A millinery masterpiece it may not be, but the story, as ever, is as good as ever.

But what is it that Mlle Delacourt actually does now? A non-governing governess sounds to me like good cause to sack her for not meeting her contractural obligations - could she not be foisted off on the curée as a lost cause?

lampworkbeader said...

Does your Aunt live in our village 'cos I know exactly where she bought that cornucopia?
Could you not display Miss Delacourt to the public and make yourself a few sous?

CAMILLA said...

What will happen to Ms Delacourt I wonder?

I have been given the title by various people, suits me.!!

Brilliant writing as ever Un Peu.

xx