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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 5th Dec (final part added
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2015, 17:42 
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Arguing from cause to effect
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Thank you Robin, that was brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. You captured Hastings to the letter and the denouement was wonderful stuff!


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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 5th Dec (final part added
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2015, 18:10 
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Just got better and better! Thank you again.


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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 5th Dec (final part added
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2015, 19:20 
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That was really, really good and definitely different - I think I'm glad I didn't see it until the whole tale was posted, though. :)

Thank you Robin of the day.


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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 5th Dec (final part added
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2015, 21:04 
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What a fascinating tale! As for Madge with a gun! :lol:

Thank you, Robin.

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 5th Dec (final part added
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2015, 23:12 
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That was wonderful Robin. Thank you.

But I am wondering about the truth behind the Dennys!


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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 5th Dec (final part added
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2015, 01:11 
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Quote:
I was going to write a scene but the brain didn’t quite deliver it in time, so please accept some seasonal poems instead. (There may be more later in the day if inspiration strikes me.)


Christmas immediately following New/United or during the missing years
between New/United and Exile...technically.



Mistletoe (Walter de la Nightmare)

Sitting under the mistletoe,
(Die Rosen’s fairy mistletoe),
One last candle burning low,
All the sleepy children gone,
Just one candle burning on,
Shadows lurking everywhere:
Jack Maynard came, and kissed me there.

In bed were Robin, Juliet, Jo
Nodding under the mistletoe
(Die Rosen’s fairy mistletoe),
Madge and Jem asleep, and only
Me, Grizel, sleepy, lonely,
When in the still and shadowy air
Jack Maynard came, and kissed me there.


Good King Wenceslas (John Mason Neale-y What I Wrote But Not Quite)

Good Frau Monier looked out,
On the feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about,
Deep and crisp and even,
She looked down at the pail which her
Husband kindly brought her,
And said, “It’s far too cold for me -
Andreas, fetch the water!”


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (Johnny What-Mathis-Is-That-My-Lyric-Isn’t-Utterly-Destroyed, Ok?)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev’ry where you go;
Come home from my evening shift, get stuck in the deepest drift
Trying to lug a tree home through the snow!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Who could want for more?
But the prettiest sight to see is Madge waiting for me,
At our own front door.

(Altogther now: Ahhhh!)


On the night before Christmas (Clement Clarke Moore-Mulled-Wine-If-You-Please-Thank-You-Barman)

On the night before Christmas,
Deep in the house,
Something was stirring,
It was a mouse.

It nibbled Madge’s biscuits,
Sipped Jem’s whisky, and then,
It got into the shed,
And Rufus ate it. The End.

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 6th Dec
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2015, 08:05 
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I too am blown away by the variety and brilliance of all the contributions.

Simply stunning. Thank you Robins....

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 6th Dec
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2015, 09:21 
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:D Thank you, Robin!

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 6th Dec
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2015, 10:34 
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Catching on the brilliant murder mystery robin and the the wonderful poems (I'm in awe of anyone who can write poetry!). Thanks again to all the Robins :)


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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 6th Dec
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2015, 10:53 
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Ha ha - looks like you had fun with those, Robin. I wonder how many more forms and genres the Robins will manage to cover before Christmas :)


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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 6th Dec
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2015, 13:21 
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Those poems made good reading when I couldn't get back to sleep in the early hours. :D Thanks, Robin!


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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 6th Dec
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2015, 15:16 
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Robin these were lovely. If only we had had poems such as these to learn for homework at school, I am sure that the task would have been much easier.


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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 6th Dec
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2015, 18:34 
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Love the poems, Robin! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 5th Dec (final part added
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2015, 19:10 
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Round Robin wrote:

It got into the shed,
And Rufus ate it. The End.



A very loud and unladylike snort came from me when I read those lines.

I also loved the Poirot crossover.

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 6th Dec
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2015, 23:28 
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*happy sigh*

BRILLIANT ending to the Poirot story! That was perfectly splendid!

I had a good giggle over the poems too. I especially liked the Mistletoe one. Poor old Grizzer!

Thank you Robins!

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 6th Dec
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2015, 00:26 
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Have just read all of these and all are brilliant! Many thanks to all the Robins so far - I'm looking forward to what is to come.


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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 7th Dec
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2015, 01:29 
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Christmas in Innsbruck, 1938

Sophie sighed deeply as she pressed the down arrow to call the newly installed lift. She stood back as she waited for it to arrive, contemplating the ornately inlaid doors, the highly polished gold leaves and curlicues of the Art Nouveau design glimmering in the half light – a little old-fashioned for 1938 she thought.

She usually loved being in the department store just after closing time, when all but the emergency lighting had been extinguished for the night. But today, on the 24th December 1938, Heilig Abend, when she should have been looking forward joyfully to returning home to the festive evening meal of carp, followed by a visit to midnight mass in the Hofkirche, her heart was heavy. She would go so far as to say she was filled with despair as she thought of what had come to her beloved Austria.

The lift arrived and she got in, then abruptly changed her mind and decided to take the stairs which swept their way through all the floors, allowing her to see many of the departments as she descended. She had argued with her father when he told her of his plan to have a new lift installed to replace the old, rather creaky one that had served the Warenhaus Hamel so well for decades.

“But Vati,” she had said, “why not be truly modern and install moving stairs as they have in other department stores? When we were in Salzburg last year I remember how much you admired the Fahrtreppe in Kaufhaus Ornstein. It’s not even as if people are still afraid of them”. She had read in a trade magazine of how when “escalators” were first introduced in that greatest of all department stores, Harrods of Knightsbridge, “customers unnerved by the experience were revived by shopmen dispensing free smelling salts and cognac.” But that had been forty years earlier.

“Surely,” she urged her father, “even in the Tyrol we are now far enough advanced to brave such innovation”. Her father remained unmoved. His Warenhaus was almost dearer to him than his only child, Sophie. Yes, she would one day inherit it, since his marriage had not been blessed with a son, but until that time she should not interfere in business decisions of great moment. She was having the best possible training to make her fit to take over. He had sent her to an English school and she had blossomed there. But to make important decisions? No, not yet. That was inconceivable. Enough that she, a woman, would eventually run the Warenhaus Hamel. For now she should be content with learning all there was to know about the business he had built up from nothing.

Sophie was immensely proud of her father and what he had achieved, but just now, in this most difficult of times for Austria, she was beginning to feel she did not understand him at all. She looked around as she went down the giant staircase. On her left she could see the porcelain and glass department, with the cut glass decanters, covered dishes and tumblers from Bohemia glittering in the half-light. There were imposing Christmas trees scattered around the department, all decked with glass balls and enchanting beaded tree decorations, again from Bohemia. For a moment her heart lifted at the sight, but then she had another terrifying thought.

Would Bohemia suffer the same fate as her beloved Austria? There were certainly rumours that Hitler was determined to “free” the large German population in Czechoslovakia. It was said that the agreement signed in Munich two months back would protect the Czechs, but Sophie did not believe it. She had been taught history differently at the Chalet School. Not simply to learn and recite dates and facts by rote as was common in Austrian schools - but to think and reason, to look at cause and effect. It had made her very sceptical of politicians and all their works.

She shuddered, her mind going back inexorably to the devastating events of the spring of this year. How had it all started? Who could have believed that proud Austria, an independent state for just two decades following the chaos and collapse of the Empire in 1918, could now be a subject nation? Not even Austria anymore but just the “Ostmark”, a part of the Greater German Reich. How could her fellow countrymen have allowed this to happen? And not just to allow it, but in fact to acclaim Hitler in their hundreds of thousands as he marched into Austria in triumph.

She thought back to that terrible day last April when the window-dressers of the Warenhaus Hamel were instructed by her father to deck the frontage with the red, black and white banners of the Nazis, making it seem to all the world that he approved of Hitler’s triumphal visit to Innsbruck. In vain he tried to explain to Sophie that he had to comply with the instructions issued to every building along Hitler’s route to the Landhaus, where he was due to make yet another ranting speech.

“If we don’t do this, my Sophie, we will suffer the same fate as our Jewish counterparts. Look what has happened to our friends the Ornsteins in Salzburg, and to many others in Wien - and even closer to home. Consider how last Christmas all Austrians were told that to shop in Jewish stores was unpatriotic. That was even before the Anschluss. How can I, a humble shopkeeper when all is said and done, withstand such powerful forces? If I do not comply, and hang the swastika as others do, we will be carted off as sympathizers, dragged off to who knows what horrors.”

Hearing her father say such things felt utterly wrong to Sophie. But at least she knew that she was not alone in feeling that way. There was the Chalet School Peace League. She treasured the news from one of her old school friends telling her of its founding. It seemed that all the girls still in the school had sworn a vow. Sophie had destroyed her friend’s letter but she had committed the vow to memory and recited it to herself for comfort after the conversation with her father. “We, the girls of the Chalet School, hereby vow ourselves members of the Chalet School League. We swear faithfully to do all we can to promote peace between all our countries. We will not believe any lies spoken about evil doings, but we will try to get others to work for peace as we do. We will not betray this League to any enemy, whatever may happen to us. If it is possible we will meet at least once a year. And we will always remember that though we belong to different lands, we are members of the Chalet School League of Peace.”

Although she had not been able to sign the document in person, she knew she would draw much strength from that vow in the days, maybe years, to come.

The next floor, the toy department, was also aglimmer with Christmas decorations. She thought of the wooden toys she had sent the previous year to the nursery at Die Rosen. Where were they all now - those little children, her much-loved former headmistress, the dedicated doctors from the great sanatorium on the Sonnalpe? Had they all got away safely? Was this the end for both the Chalet School and the San? Would she ever learn what had happened to them and to all her friends?

This thought brought her to an even more terrible night, the night she had been trying desperately to forget since it had happened – the Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, just over a month ago. That was when Wilhelm Bauer, one of the owners of their great rival, the Kaufhaus Bauer & Schwarz - who had not decked their store in the required Nazi regalia - was brutally murdered, and his brother Karl left for dead. So many of Innsbruck’s leading Jews had died, their property destroyed; no one yet knew whether Karl Bauer would survive.

Sophie had broken the news to her father and to her horror realized that his initial response, before he collected himself, was a gleam in his eye at the fate of their competitors. Could he possibly be thinking that what had happened to Bauer & Schwarz, which was the biggest department store in the Tyrol, with its prestigious location in the Maria-Theresien-Straße, would also be the fate of most other department stores in Austria since they too were owned by Jews? And that this could only be of benefit to an Aryan-owned store such as theirs?

Sophie shrank from the idea that her beloved father could perhaps, like so many Austrians, have been seduced by the terrible, relentless propaganda spewed out by the Nazis. After all, Innsbruck, and with it the Tyrol, was the first part of Austria to welcome their arrival. What had that Gauleiter said back in March, to the roaring cheers of the crowds? “We are proud and happy to be able to lay that most beautiful pearl, the garden of Germany, our homeland the Tyrol, at the feet of our beloved Fuhrer“.

She came slowly down to the ground floor. What possible hope was there for any of them?

And even as she had that despairing thought, she turned to look at the great window display to the right of the main doors. A giant Christmas crèche was set out in the window, gently lit from all sides and visible both from the pavement outside, and from within the store. The shepherds were in place, Mary and Joseph knelt by the crib, a donkey, goats and sheep stood waiting in the straw. But as yet there was no baby in the manger. It was Sophie’s task to place the Christ Child in his bed of straw before she closed the doors that Christmas Eve.

As she bent to pick up the Baby Jesus a memory of the Nativity plays at the Chalet School passed through her mind. The simple play that they had performed first – The Youngest Shepherd; then the one where she had taken the part of Goodwill, with Carla von Flügen as Peace; and finally, the last one she had attended, after she had left school, the play with the Spirit of the Bells. Some scattered phrases from the final scene had always remained with her:

“…when their music swells, it bears a message unto every heart;
It reaches through the world to every part.
And that ye ne’er forget the tale they sing,
That they their joy and peace to you may bring...

...And still the silent stars shine overhead.
Down to the earth, drifted on sleeping wings,
The herald angel still his message brings,
Of love and peace, goodwill from man to man…

Oh Bells of Christmas, ring – ring out all strife,
And sing to us of Him who gives us life!”

With the tears pouring down her cheeks she laid the Christ Child gently in the manger, and left the store.

_________________
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Last edited by Round Robin on 16 Jan 2016, 19:47, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 7th Dec
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2015, 02:57 
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This is very poignant and moving, and surely realistic as well. A hard time to live through for Sophie.

Thank you, Robin.


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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 7th Dec
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2015, 08:37 
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Wow. That sent a shiver down my spine.

Thank Robin.

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 Post subject: Re: Advent Drabbles 2015 - updated 7th Dec
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2015, 08:58 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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Thank you, Robin. That nearly had me in tears - very moving.

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http://setinthepast.wordpress.com/




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