Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Madam Crowl's Ghost

5 O'Clock Tea by David Comba Adamson

Madam Crowl's Ghost is a 1923 short story by Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu. You can read it here, and since it starts with the brewing and sharing of tea, let's keep each other company with a cuppa and gather around for the tale. It begins,
Twenty years have passed since you last saw Mrs. Jolliffe’s tall slim figure. She is now past seventy, and can’t have many mile-stones more to count on the journey that will bring her to her long home. The hair has grown white as snow, that is parted under her cap, over her shrewd, but kindly face. But her figure is still straight, and her step light and active.

She has taken of late years to the care of adult invalids, having surrendered to younger hands the little people who inhabit cradles, and crawl on all-fours. Those who remember that good-natured face among the earliest that emerge from the darkness of non-entity, and who owe to their first lessons in the accomplishment of walking, and a delighted appreciation of their first babblings and earliest teeth, have “spired up” into tall lads and lasses, now. Some of them shew streaks of white by this time, in brown locks, “the bonny gouden” hair, that she was so proud to brush and shew to admiring mothers, who are seen no more on the green of Golden Friars, and whose names are traced now on the flat grey stones in the church-yard.

So the time is ripening some, and searing others; and the saddening and tender sunset hour has come; and it is evening with the kind old north-country dame, who nursed pretty Laura Mildmay, who now stepping into the room, smiles so gladly, and throws her arms round the old woman’s neck, and kisses her twice.

“Now, this is so lucky!” said Mrs. Jenner, “you have just come in time to hear a story.”

“Really! That’s delightful.”

“Na, na, od wite it! no story, ouer true for that, I sid it a wi my aan eyen. But the barn here, would not like, at these hours, just goin’ to her bed, to hear tell of freets and boggarts.”

“Ghosts? The very thing of all others I should most likely to hear of.”

“Well, dear,” said Mrs. Jenner, “if you are not afraid, sit ye down here, with us.”

“She was just going to tell me all about her first engagement to attend a dying old woman,” says Mrs. Jenner, “and of the ghost she saw there. Now, Mrs. Jolliffe, make your tea first, and then begin.”

The good woman obeyed, and having prepared a cup of that companionable nectar, she sipped a little, drew her brows slightly together to collect her thoughts, and then looked up with a wondrous solemn face to begin.


I'm out of town today and won't be able to participate (if I get back in time I'll link to the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering, but it'll be later), but I am pleased about the new-to-me thrift store purchase of a one-cup French press coffee maker and thought I'd take this opportunity to share it here:

A couple of you may have already seen it on Facebook, but everything gets shared on Facebook first and in real time since I share way more than one thing a day there. Each social media outlet has its strengths and weaknesses, and each one is suited to a different type of sharing.

1.) Blog: I post once a day on blogger, scheduling posts well in advance so that movies are not on consecutive days. That means I'm already scheduling horror movies for October of 2020, but that's the way I have chosen to deal with the number of movies I watch.

2) Facebook: I post on Facebook as I do things so there might be posts on 3 or 4 movies on some days but without the video embeds or descriptions/reviews. I share articles and images as I see them, and I'm much more politically vocal on Facebook.

3) Twitter: I am on Twitter but just as a follower and reader, and I haven't tweeted since those first few just to show I am a real person and not a bot.

4) Instagram: I'm not on Instagram at all, mainly because I find it a bit intimidating with all the folks sharing such good photos there.

5) Youtube: I use YouTube and post videos there that I've taken myself and want to embed on my blog, and I subscribe to many of the fitness and garden channels.

6) Reddit: I follow the local Reddit but have never posted and rarely comment there.

7) Pinterest: I used to use Pinterest but never found it particularly engaging. Except for pinning the occasional image to my "Hats" board, I don't use it.

8) I set up accounts at Tumblr, LiveJournal, Google+, MySpace, GoodReads, Letterboxd, and maybe more -who remembers. I have used email "lists" and online message boards and the chat rooms that used to be set up for real-time discussions among members of email listserve communities. I either didn't find these useful and/or they're not around any more. I've been curious about Second Life but have never tried it.

Social media should not be feared but used in the way that is most appropriate for each of us. I'd just like to say: You, be you. Don't condemn online activity you either fear, don't understand, or don't find enjoyable. Different strokes, and all that. I find judgmentalism to be the worst part of any social media experience just as I do when involved in face-to-face interaction.


  1. I admire that you post so regularly on your blog, let alone all the other mediums. I think the perfect Insta photos are a real contributor to people being so unhappy with their less than the Insta perceived perfect life.

  2. I like your tea image.Though I love those dresses with the leg o'mutton sleeves, I'm glad I don't have to wear those dresses or the folderol that goes underneath.😺 Cheers to you for scoring your coffee press. I play on Facebook as a lot of friends are calligraphers so a good way to keep up with what everyone is doing or new toys. I blog daily and like you have scheduled posts ahead of time. I'm on Twitter but pretty much just use that to share my blog link. I do that on Facebook, too. I have an Instagram account, but only used that to post stuff for the Inktober challenge. I'm thinking of joining the challenge again this year. Tumblr is where I host my electronic portfolio. I "met" a lot of my calligrapher friends in a calligraphy listserv chat room and was able to meet a lot of them face to face at conferences and workshops. I have made a lot of friendships through social media. I find it a good way to keep up with family, friends, and colleagues that are not close by.

    1. FB has been a god-send for me in re-establishing contacts with old friends and in meeting new like-minded people. Mine just stays open on my computer all day lol, and I can see if there's been activity.

  3. Hey there dear friend. Don't be surprised if some people drop by whether you link or not. I'm sure I'm not alone. The painting you found to go with the photo is beautiful and absolutely perfect for T, too.

    Lucky you to find that amazing one cup French Press. I may have told you before, I was given a French Press for Christmas one year. I found it incredibly difficult to clean, so after a couple of times using it, I stopped. I still think my coffee maker makes the best coffee ever.

    I admire your use of all the social media. I am not opposed to any of it, nor do I condemn it. I just don't have time for anything but my blog. I, like you, post daily. You know how hard (time consuming) it is to simply write the post, much less do research or create art on a daily basis, and photograph it too. I'd give anything for an extra two hours daily, but as it is, I only sleep five hours a day, so that's why I'm strictly a blogger.

    1. The French Press is definitely messier than my one-cup pour-over. I do have a garbage disposal, and though I try not to give it much to do, that's where the French Press coffee grounds go. It makes stronger coffee than my drip and pour-over options.

      I'm never just doing FB but have it open while I'm doing other things. And the blog is the same way. I tend to write posts on the movies while I'm watching the movies, for example, lol, so it doesn't take any extra time to do that. Writing my posts doesn't take me much time, but I'm not creating and photographing art like you are. I can see how creating the art, taking the photos, selecting the right ones, describing them, etc. would be much more time-consuming than my usual daily posts and would be more like my vacation posts. Those take much longer. I always get more sleep than that. 5 hours wouldn't do for me.

    2. I KNEW friends would visit, whether you linked or not. I'm just glad you made it back in time to link and leave a lovely comment. BTW, you will NEVER have to worry about me changing the rules and having themes. That was so taxing and was not fun at all. I remember one time we had to show an ANNIVERSARY mug or tea cup. I had to go to the thrift store to look for something. Thankfully, I found a tea cup and saucer that had 40 on it. It was also the same year Earth Day turned 40, so it did double duty for me. I didn't buy the cup and saucer, but I took a BUNCH of photos of it.

      I like to multi-task, too. I'm leaving comments while I download photos off my camera. Sometimes I take 40 photos and end up using five or six. Then, when these photos are uploading into blogger, I visit someone else. By the time they have made it onto the blog (my computer is lightening speed, but my internet speed is slower than Dorian was over the Bahamas), I've had time to leave a comment to someone else.

    3. I was out of town a few days for Labor Day :) Well, if your rules do ever change I'm still in :) I can see creative interpretation ruling the day ;)

  4. I'd like to join those ladies for their 5 o'clock tea 😁. Your one cup French press coffee maker is wonderful, just the thing and I love your yellow cup and saucer too, very stylish! I so enjoyed reading your information about the different social media platforms as you say it's different horses to courses 😁. Happy T Day wishes and have a lovely week! Hugs, Jo x

  5. Good morning, great post-I love my french press so I am sure you will enjoy yours-makes really good coffee, my chicory and teas as well.
    I love pinterest for saving recipes and other things so easier for me to find later-I have lots of boards for different crafts, recipes and much more. I really don't care for facebook but I am there mainly for the different groups now that I use for inspiration/
    never could get into twitter I have kept that only so I could vote on the voice show. Happy T wishes Kathy

  6. The painting is wonderful. You manage a lot more than I do on social media, I just do my blog 3-4 times a week and more would be too much for me. I spend a lot of time out walking. Love the French press, enjoy your coffee! Happy T Day, Valerie

    1. I should definitely spend more time out walking.

  7. Gorgeous painting you have shared today!! You must be very well organized to keep so many social media accounts up to date. Your thoughts on it all are so very well said! It's not that I have anything against it , as you said each format serves a purpose and it may or may not be a fit for you. If I was selling my art I certainly would join in several more platforms. But since I don't, I just don't find it necessary for me. I'm more about making art:):)
    I have a French Press too, but like Elizabeth have not used it much although I do enjoy French Press coffee when I'm out somewhere for a meal. Missed your ATC art today;) Happy T day!

  8. Just stopping by to say Happy T Day! I love that beautiful painting, and your wonderful French Press Coffee pot. I think I have one somewhere. Or , maybe that was mine at the thrift store! LOL Love your list of movies and books on the side of your blog. We just watched Pride & Prejudice last night with Donald Sutherland. So, now I have seen that movie , the PBS series and read the book. I think there is an older B&W movie version , though. See you next week!

    1. I'll be updating my film lists before I start focusing on horror in October. I used to add films to the lists as I watched them, but that just got to be one step too many. Pride and Prejudice has been so popular! I've just seen one of the adaptations, I think...

  9. It is a beautiful painting you shared today, for sure a lovely setting for afternoon tea. You will enjoy the coffee from your new press, it is so easy to use this style of maker.
    Happy T day wishes.
    Yvonne xx

  10. I read the title and looked at the photo and was expecting a ghost in it. Oh you can tell it is still early AM when I read this. And nice find at a thrift store. You are also use a lot of social media. I go on facebook occasionally and post rarely, but I find I get too addicted to the internet otherwise and nothing else gets done. Happy Wednesday. Hugs-Erika

    1. It's a fun pastime for me :) or I'd spend all my time with my head stuck in a book or movie lol These are my social outlets :)

  11. That French press coffee maker looks handy. I liked your description of which social media platforms you use, and how you use them. I'm only on blogger, and nothing else by choice, but I agree with your outlook: to each his/her own, live and let live. I've scheduled a few blogger posts for this week, so I mix live posts with scheduled ones.

  12. P.S. I forgot to say: Happy (belated) T-Day! (I'm late commenting.)

  13. I love the 5 o'clock tea painting. It must have been nice to sit and relax with your best friends for a cup of tea and a natter.
    I also liked the beginning of the story. Got me intrigued.
    The best bit of your blog was the French coffee maker. That was a good buy. You are allowed to be proud, lol.
    Sorry for the late comment.
    Happy belated T-Day,

  14. I found your social media comments very interesting. I don't know where you find the time!

    I love blogging and the many blogoshpere friends I have. I visit Facebook infrequently just to check on family. I rarely post. Never used Twitter or Reddit. Signed up for Instagram but rarely go there. Find YouTube very helpful for many things!

    Like you, I lost interest in Pinterest.

    Happy T-day! Eileen xx

    1. The blog takes very little time except on Tuesdays. Facebook is how I keep up with people. Twitter and the local Reddit are just things I take a daily scroll through to keep up on current events. Youtube is where I get my exercise videos. This isn't time-consuming lol This is just one of my daily activities. We all have the same amount of time but prioritize different things.

  15. Wooowww I admire you can use all these social medias !! spectacular!! This painting is really beautiful, I don´t know Madam crowls, and it may be interesting. Lovely coffee maker.
    I wish you a very nice weekend, and send big hugs,