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LITERARY STYLE INSPIRATION: THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN

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ROLLING WITH JAMES JOYCE ON AN IRISH HILL

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ODE TO THE BOOKISH GIRLS

The story of the accident

story accidentI told you the story of how Wells taught me how to ride a bicycle darling. Well, I had an accident yesterday. I thought I had learnt the mechanics of cycling and I wanted to bike around the village rather than walk for a change. In hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have worn my long white skirt but it felt so light on that warm day. Look at my legs and arms darling they’re all bruised. Ah well, at least the bruises remind me of blue velvet.

I was doing rather well, cycling just outside the village; the weather was sunny so most of the villagers were indoors, hanging their couture or taking siestas. I could feel my hair skimming my back while my smoking slippers covered feet intensified their pedalling when this car suddenly approached and in my attempt to avoid collision I tumbled and hit a pole, and more than one rose.

Cars had never before been seen around the village, so you must imagine my surprise. The two women came out of the car and ran towards me to see if I was alright. I was lying on the roses, recalling what Milton wrote in Paradise Lost about, “Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose,” while my back bore the pricks of each thorn.

They asked if I was alright while their gowns brushed my bruised skin. They looked like summer; one with the whitest of gowns and the other in a light blue dress, and for a moment there I went back to Paradise Lost and the time when everything was untainted.

They wanted to help me up but I was enjoying lying there amid English roses shielding me from the sun. I told them I was alright and after apologising for a good while, they left me to lie there, which I did, for an immeasurable time.

Story credit: Tim Walker for British Vogue (image).

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2 Responses to The story of the accident

  • That quote from Milton shows how perfectly untainted the world was before the fall. I love how he used a rose to show such perfection!

    Lovely blog! You’ve combined literature and fashion, two of my favourite things! – Sophie

    • Thanks Sophie. I agree with what you said about Milton and how now, we can never know a world without that thorn…

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