Thursday, 16 August 2012

Cue digression - a Dolls House Drabble sneaks in...

Apologies to those of you coming to the site expecting another dolls house reveal.   Next post, I promise.....

I know that many following this journey to a dolls house museum of my very own will be more than familiar with drabbles - yes, I mean you, Chalet School Bulletin Board members!  And for those who have no clue what or where the Chalet School is, wiki for once provides a coherent and accurate answer. 

One definition of a drabble is "a short piece of writing (usually fanfiction but sometimes original), usually no more than 100 words (although length is debatable) and often not bearing any real direction or plot. Drabbles are more often used to make a point about the characters or events involved, or to provide an introspection or specific point of view."

Chalet School drabbles (and those for other Girls Own authors) are many and various) and if anyone is interested, Chalet School ones can be found in abundance here and here

So why am I rabbiting on about drabbles and other apparently unconnected subjects?

Well, those of you who read the previous post will know that I invited suggestions on how to decorate and furnish this not terribly inspiring house.   I floated the idea of some sort of school and one blog follower, my friend Andrea Small, singing leader extraordinaire, has got rather carried away.

She is struggling with the posting of comments - blogger seems to have taken against her browser - and so having suggested a dance school - that comment posted okay - she has sent me her further developing thoughts by email.

Reading them, they resemble nothing so much as the plot lines for an excellent crossover drabble!   Since I know how many Girls Own fans are following this blog, I cannot resist posting it on here in its present entirety, though knowing Andrea I suspect there may be more to come.   

It started with Andrea 
commenting on the 15th August: Ooh ooh ooh as soon as I saw ground floor I thought "dance school". 

And the attics would house trunks full of long-forgotten but immensely valuable costumes, which would be discovered by The Naughtiest Girl in the School (such a trial to Madame) when she was hiding up there, and save the school from bankruptcy.

I responded by objecting to having to create a)people and b)valuable costumes.   (I reduced my own sewing teachers at school to tears on more than one occasion.)

Andrea came back with:  

The fabulous costumes could be suggested by glimpses of gorgeous material, rather than actual garments. Madame would need a study, of course, lined with photographs of herself as a young prima ballerina. And a drinks cabinet - perhaps that's why the school gets into financial trouble (er - perhaps not - she just needs a medicinal brandy when particularly vexed by The Naughtiest Girl). And the place could be deserted - a whole school performance at the Alhambra - with just a pair of discarded point shoes lying in the corner (more trouble for TNG on her return). Any more objections I can brush aside?

And the flow continued this morning:

The reason the school falls into financial problems is that Madame has a weakness - not The Drink, as I first thought, but her ne'er do well nephew. Haven't got his name yet. He is a cad and a bounder, not to mention a rake, but he is all she has left to remind her of her dear dead sister, tragically taken at a young age by TB.

Nephew appears once the story has been established (excited gossip amongst the girls - and most of the boys- who is that dashing stranger?) he sets his cap at a rich girl, hoping to get his hands on her fortune ( ooh Matron) and she, of course, falls heavily for him. Rich but dim. 

TNG, obviously, sees right through him, but no-one will believe her (she has a penchant for Tall Tales) and disaster nearly strikes. Perhaps he has managed to con some money out of Rich Girl and Madame is honour bound to repay once it all comes out (device as yet unknown) and then she is faced with Ruin...

Then there is the accompanist, who I feel sure has a backstory...perhaps she is The Drinker (tragic life, etc). So we need another character who is secretly a brilliant pianist who can step in when she falls down - a nice young man, I fancy, who also has a head for business and who ends up as Madame's right-hand person...

And yet more:

Oh oh oh - the Rakish Nephew arrives, of course, when the school is deserted - so you could have him standing in the middle of the studio, coolly assessing his chances. His mother, by the way, was a far more brilliant dancer than Madame, but she fell for a chap who whisked her away with promises of All Sorts (not the sweets, you understand), only to be revealed as firmly married.

By that time, she is heavily pregnant and just manages to get to Madame in time to deliver the boy, and then promptly dies ( so not TB, after all). Madame is all set to give up her dancing career to raise the child, but the dreadful father tracks the baby down and takes him away, to be raised as a servant on his estate. When the boy is older, he finds out about his father and is immediately embittered and turns to the bad. So we could summon up a bit of sympathy for him later, if necessary. Perhaps he has an epiphany. Perhaps he is the brilliant many possibilities...

So there we have it - the story so far!  

All suggestions are more than welcome as to how on earth I am supposed to produce all these subtle plot twists and turns in miniature?   Preferably without using any people since they are not my strong point!

Anyone who would like to add to this melodramatic version of Ballet Shoes could email me their contributions to and I will in due course produce a further digressive (is this a word I wonder?) blog post.....


  1. well, the problems of the accompanist can be suggested by a brandy bottle in the piano stool - carelessly left open in the dash to the Alhambra...

  2. Oh I like this idea!!! Can I help make some things? Pleeeassseee?!!!!I love the idea of creating some ballet costumes, suitcases, ballet shoes...I would LOVE to make the drinks cabinet :o) Superb idea Andrea - that ground floor is perfect for a dance floor xxxx

  3. Why on earth has my comment labelled me as 'Lawart'!!! For heavens sake - I finally am able to leave a comment and it gives me a stupid name! ;o) xxxxx

    1. All help gratefully received as long as the scale is correct :-) No idea who you are??? Are you by any chance Laura? (The one that is now truly my daughter-in-law? ;-))

  4. LOL...Yes, It is I, the now truly daughter-in-law and everything would be absolutely to scale! xxxx

  5. Maybe I could try and help as well? looking out for some fabrics and bits and pieces? If you explain more about the scale maybe I could attempt some costumes? The idea is brilliant:)