Tarn Swan: Stardust Tales

Stardust Tales

More extracts from my life with Stardust Twinkles

(The Stardust Diaries Series)

Tarn Swan

Copyright © Tarn Swan 2015

All Rights Reserved

Stardust Tales

More extracts from my life with Stardust Twinkles



January 2nd - New Year Felicitations


A Happy 2008 to you all from Tarn the scribe, purveyor of tales about life, love and domesticity with my husband, I would say my civil husband, but he isn’t always, civil I mean. Anyway, to qualify our legal union by use of the term ‘Civil’ is to somehow suggest it’s a second-class arrangement in comparison to a full-blooded marriage with religious approval and I personally refute that. The Church may not have endorsed our union, but then I don’t endorse the ‘Church’ so its narrow and prejudicial opinion doesn’t matter to me. He is my husband, Jonathan, aka Stardust Twinkles, or Twinks, as we who love him are apt to call him (amongst other things and dependent on how much he’s outraged us.)


To get back to my starting point, Happy New Year! May all your troubles be small ones and your blessings many. Well, that’s my New Year social obligations fulfilled. Felicitations done. Let’s get on with everyday life now. It’s January the second already and the year is primed and waiting to happen. Spring is limbering in the wings ready to take centre stage, followed by summer, which will bloom and then fade all too soon. It will be Christmas again before you know it.


Talking of Christmas, Twinks and I had a very hectic but nice one, barring the odd hiccup. You can’t have Christmas without hiccups of one sort or another, not when you live with someone like Twinks. Hiccups are part and parcel of life, and not just at Christmas. I’ve experienced them on a regular basis since the day I met him, summer and winter alike. I’ve tried holding my breath, drinking water, breathing into paper bags, but none of it works. Those hiccups keep on coming. I wouldn’t have it any other way. My life would be dull indeed without Stardust hiccups. I neither need nor want a cure, not once I’ve gotten over a bout anyway. They can be irksome while they’re happening. Fortunately, I have alternative methods at hand when it comes to dealing with hiccups that go beyond irksome.


Moving on to the subject of this diary, my best beloved, him in frocks, he’s chock full of cold at the moment. I mean really full of cold, a positive snot fest.  Poor Twinks. His lips are dry and chapped and his throat sore. His nose is so stuffed up that he’s breathing through his mouth all the time. He sounds like Darth Vader. (Lulu, I am your father.)


Those of you familiar with Twinks will know that he’s emotional enough when he’s hale and hearty. Throw a virus into the mix and it’s like jiggling a pin out of a hand grenade, his moods have the potential to explode all over the place. He isn’t a patient patient, not by any stretch of the imagination. I have my work cut out keeping him calm I can tell you. He’s had the vapours several times, including this morning when I didn’t put enough milk in his breakfast coffee. He interpreted this as a sign of waning love on my part. It was no such thing. We’d run out of milk, simple as that. Cue the drama queen. It wasn’t good enough. Apparently I should never have allowed household milk supplies to dwindle to such dangerously low levels. It was scandalous.

I pointed out that he’d supped off most of the milk the night before when he decided to have several shots of brandy in a large mug of hot milk by way of a nightcap to help him sleep, like he needed more alcohol after the New Year binge. He treated me to lemon lips, crossed arms and a sniff of disdain by way of response. No way was he accepting responsibility for our milkless status.


To make matters worse, he watched Big Cat Diary on television this evening, a programme following the progress of a pride of lions in the wild. I was hoping that watching a bit of nature would soothe and calm him, and take his mind off his cold misery. Not a chance. One of the lion cubs died. He was alternately devastated and enraged, sobbing that one of the commentators or camera people or wildlife wardens should have intervened to save it. Let me quote his exact words:

‘BASTARDS! Those cruel, heartless BASTARDS just watched it die, Tarn. They let it die. I’m going to write to the BBC and the WWF. I want an investigation carrying out. I want those heartless BASTARDS bringing to trial. I want them charged as accessories to murder. I want justice for that poor, sweet baby cub.’


By the time he was done ranting he could barely breathe for coughing and spluttering and I was all but drowned in snot and tears. I doled out tissues while reminding him that when it comes to wildlife documentaries, there’s a special ‘no interfering with nature’ rule. Not that he listened, he never does. He just goes with his feelings.

‘Fuck frigging nature and fuck frigging rules! That cub could and should have been saved. I hope that big, butch lioness; her with the psychotic eyes, bites the balls off the cameramen and eats them. Let’s see who interferes with nature then.’


His voice has suffered as a result of his outpouring. He can barely speak above a whisper, which is a mixed blessing. He's communicating his needs (demands) via notepad and pen, accompanied by the tinkling of a little brass bell, which he pinched off my Christmas tree. So far, I've had tinkles and notes to make him Lemsip, get him Strepsils, fetch him a hot water bottle, phone his best friend Lulu for him, etc and so on. His last note was a spitty demand for me to take down the Christmas cards, as they were looking warped, dusty and sorry for themselves, and they were getting on his tits. They should have been taken down on New Years’ Day, if not Boxing Day. I suppose he had a point. They were looking a bit sad and past it, relics of the dead year. I’ve bagged them up ready to pop in a recycling bin and be resurrected into something else.


I'm getting a catchy feeling in my throat now. His days as a bell ringer could be numbered. It won't be for me that the bell tolls, it'll be me tolling it for him to answer my demands for a change.


There it goes again, the bell, tinkle, tinkle. How can a pretty little trinket sound such an officious note? He obviously has another written instruction/demand for me to read. It’s almost dinnertime. Being sick hasn’t interfered with his appetite, not so you’d notice anyway. He’s probably hungry and has written out a menu suitable for an invalid, or what he considers suitable for an invalid. I don’t mind, as long as it contains easily accessible ingredients. Knowing him, it’ll be for something with caviar and quail eggs, and we’re fresh out of both. He’ll have to make do with crabsticks, a boiled hen’s egg and some toast soldiers. At least I’ve got plenty of milk in now, so he can have a glass of that as well. I nipped to the shop earlier on and bought a good supply of semi-skimmed. There’s enough for him to bathe in, should he so desire, and don’t think he hasn’t tried it before. Cleopatra has, or had, she being long dead, nothing on Twinks when it comes to beauty routines.


January 4th - Decapitating Santa


I'm considering reversing my non-religious stance by approaching the Pope or the Archbishop, or if push comes to shove, the Dalai Lama with a request for pre-death canonisation. I can’t afford to wait until I pass on to be nominated. Why? Because living with Twinkles requires the patience of a saint, in fact an entire battalion of saints, and patience, believe me, is something I’m fast running out of. He's been moaning about festive weight gain, as he does every January, and rabidly complaining that I don't do enough to stop him overindulging over the festive period. I’ve had the whole griping, moaning, passing the buck: what kind of Dominant allows his sub, etc, etc, routine.


What did he do yesterday? He only went and bought a carrier bag full of edible Christmas goodies from Sainsbury's because they were selling them off at prices you couldn't ignore. I told him they could easily be ignored. All it took was a little willpower.


I wouldn't mind so much but he goes totally overboard. I mean it’s fair enough buying one or two items. We all like a bargain. One or two isn’t good enough for my man. He doesn’t know the meaning of restraint. He bought no less than ten Lindt chocolate reindeer and ten Lindt Santa's because they were reduced by seventy-five percent. They were practically giving them away, he said, trying to justify his actions when confronted with my disapproval.


Lindt chocolate wasn’t all he brought home in his overloaded carrier bag. He’d also bought a host of other stuff at prices that couldn’t be ignored. He'd have bought more if it wasn't for greedy buggers grabbing things off the shelves before he could get to them. Good luck and well done to them I say. I have nothing but admiration for shoppers brave enough to take on Twinks in bargain hunting mode. He’s not above tackling people to the ground when it comes to securing a bargain, or at least jostling past them. Elbows can be dangerous things in a Sale situation.


My boy might not be athletic as such, but he has a competitive streak to match any sports person in the world. He’s also a ruthless cheat if he feels the situation requires it. He’s been known to employ some pretty devious tactics to get what his impulsive heart desires. He accidentally on purpose set off the fire alarm in Debenhams once, after a Chinese lady snatched the bright orange batik dress he was reaching for on the summer sale rail, dragging it into the changing rooms like a lioness with its prey.

While the store was in process of being evacuated, Twinks nipped into the abandoned changing cubicle and retrieved ‘his’ dress, which he tossed into a basket and took outside with him until customers were given the all clear to return to the store. He had it bagged and paid for before the lady in question made it back to the changing cubicle.


We had serious words about his ‘alarmist’ antics on that occasion I can tell you. I did not approve. One does not set off fire alarms in public places simply to get one’s hands on a bargain dress. He is so naughty sometimes. He could have been arrested and jailed, and he just isn’t built for jail life. A drab cell with no access to the glam necessities would kill him. I felt a good dose of old-fashioned CP was called for. Me spanking him wasn’t the worst of it though, not from his point of view. The dress didn’t fit him. It was too tight on the hips. He was gutted. He had to take it back for a refund. I like to think the Chinese lady got her bargain in the end after all. 


Getting back to Christmas goodies. His main excuse for the sweet buying spree was that they'd make good little pressies for our guests this Saturday night. Yes, I’ve been talked into us hosting a bit of a do. Twinks thought it would be a nice idea to have a Twelfth Night party to celebrate the end of the festivities, you know, round them off in style. I wasn’t keen at first. I’ve had enough of Christmas to be honest. I’m ready to move on with plain old day-to-day life, but what the heck. Twinks does love a party and I love to see him happy, so I thought why not.


Last night I caught him slyly decapitating one of the reputed goodie bag presents with his teeth, a chocolate Santa. I promptly confiscated the remaining torso. As he'd quite rightly pointed out, it was my duty as his Top to stop him continuing to gorge on unhealthy rubbish. He wasn't too chuffed with me, especially when I binned the remains of the Santa he'd started gnawing on and hid all the other stuff. From being accused of allowing him to overindulge, I was accused of being mean, a cruel tyrant and always denying him pleasure. I can't win some days.


Our Twelfth Night party has provided Frank, our friend and next-door neighbour, with the perfect excuse NOT to take down his external Christmas decorations. He told his wife Katie that we'd requested he leave them up to add festive ambience to the do at our house. We did no such thing, but we men have to stick together, so we stayed quiet. Frank does love putting the decorations up, he’s becoming famed for them, they draw crowds, but taking them down is another kettle of fish. Katie is muttering darkly about scouring the Sales in search of a cattle prod to use on him as a means of incentive.


Frank’s house aside, most of the outside decorations in the close have now disappeared, which is a profound relief where some are concerned. I'm thinking especially of the giant Smurf that makes a regular Yule appearance. I cannot warm to the thing at all. It's a hideous apparition that has no festive connotations whatsoever, not for me anyway. We'll take down our modest outdoor lights and also the indoor Christmas trimmings on Sunday, after the party. I must say I really am looking forward to getting back to normal and regaining space from all the glitz and clutter.


On the weather front, we had a fall of snow yesterday, the heaviest one we've had in a few years in this part of the country. It looked very pretty, though it was hell to drive in. It was all gone this morning. Snow, like the sun in summer, can be a fleeting thing in England. However, it's still cold and the forecasters are prophesying more snow to come, but then they forecast a hot summer last year and look how that turned out.

It was a slow day at work today, so I flexed off early and came home. I spent some time transferring information and dates from last year’s calendar and diaries to this year’s. I have to do Twinks' diary as well, because he hates doing it. He says it's a chore, and depressing to boot. It makes you realise that another year of your life has irretrievably passed into history. Sadly, he has a point. I don't like doing the job either, but someone has to update the diaries and calendars or we'd be in a fine mess with regard to remembering birthdays and appointments.


I'm going to go and gargle with some soluble aspirin. I have indeed caught Twinks' cold and my throat is sore. I find the aspirin helpful. My cold isn't as bad as Twinks has been, and I'm grateful for that at least. His poor nose has gone from being blocked to dripping like a tap. It now matches his lips in the chapped department as a result of him having to continuously wipe it. He is not suited. How can one look or feel even remotely glamorous when the skin on one’s lips and nose is as rough as an alligator’s arse? He has a way with words, though I’m not sure it’s always the right way. I reassured him that chapped lips or not, he is still beautiful.

copyright Tarn Swan 2015