Online Points of Interest
In authoring the Post Edwardian Mystery Novel, "Margot," we were inspired by many of our own life experiences. Thus, we have appropriately included lifestyles and places that were popular in the era when the fictional account of our heroine's story, would have actually taken place. You may follow this link to a selection of Points of Interest that we have created for Margot's adventures. Who knows, you may enjoy visiting these special places in your own travels to Britain one day...
Our Authors & Principals
Over the years, throughout their many journeys, the Moorhouses, Frances & Jeffrey, had become ardent observers of the human condition. After all, life unfolds everywhere, in airports, restaurants or on any of the boulevards one might travel in a lifetime. To them, their observations of life were an insightful study, and one not the least inhibited by the vagaries of language. So, when they figuratively put pen to paper on their first novel, they had a wealth of experiences to draw upon for inspiration. Both Frances and Jeffrey, seasoned travelers, observers of life and budding raconteurs, were able to draw upon vivid recollections of interesting places and intriguing people.
Their eventual entry into the world of fiction was simply a variation on a theme for a pair of travel and lifestyle editors. For well over a decade, they had written extensively about arts & cultural experiences for the European traveler. Their byline had appeared in print and on the internet. But, their first love was a fashionable online journal they created for a niche audience of cultured travelers. Over the years, they expanded their online resources to include a companion weblog and a podcast page. Today they also employ select social media to quickly distribute "news items" to their readers.
All this came about at a time when they learned that the sun would soon set on the British hotel group they had represented for over a generation. This London based hostelry group was founded in Victorian times and flourished notably thereafter in the fashionable Edwardian era. The company’s portfolio of properties included smart hotels in major British cities as well as former aristocratic mansions that now provided tweedy comforts to upscale guests on provincial holidays. The brand also extended to luxury golf resorts nestled in Scottish glens or on lands linked to the sea.
To Frances and Jeffrey, this had been more than a mere career path. Upon reflection, it almost seemed that they had lived an existence somewhere between "Downton Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs" and a world of Vintage Victorian elegance.
They recalled vividly, so long ago, when they had entered this new existence, filled with accents, from cultured English to regional Highland brogues. Above all, this special new world thrived on grand traditions of impeccable service in splendid hotels with colleagues who were eminently polished, and consummate professionals. Little wonder that Frances and Jeffrey, can so easily draw upon a legion of extraordinary experiences shared with a cadre of British and European colleagues. It is these memories, drawn from the Bel Epoque of their lifetime, that so inspire their literary pursuits to this day.
So it was, that at a time when others might be thinking of retirement, Frances and Jeffrey entered the world of online publishing, credentialed with a lifetime of experiences for inspiration.
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Intellectual Properties - Domain Names
Luxury Traveler (luxurytraveler.com)
Artsy Europe (ArtsyEurope.com)
Arts & Lifestyles (artsandlifestyles.com)
The Journal of Home Care email@example.com
Various intellectual properties of MuirHouse may be available for investment.
Frances & Jeffrey Moorhouse, Principals
www.MuirHouse.net / firstname.lastname@example.org
www.thejournalofhomecare.com / email@example.com
Copyright 1997 - 2018
© All rights reserved
Le Muse Erotique
“As we say in France, “bon jour mon ami.“ However, I sense that in this case it might be more appropriate to communicate in The Kings English .…and thusly, I say ”Good day my friend … . please allow me to introduce myself. I am the one and the only, Le Muse Erotique. Ah! As you so cleverly wonder, indeed I do not have a Christian name. Further, it is not for the sake of expediency that my persona, my social standing and occupation are mutually identified as one entity “Le Muse Erotique.”
“To say that I am unique is a more than generous understatement. For example, unlike you, I had no parents. And, you will be interested to learn that this body that I inhabit once belonged to a rather diminutive French peasant. He was an indigent soul who died in the harshness of winter in a gardeners tool shack. It took two days to thaw his corpse whereupon a sorcerer and refugee from the court of the Russian Czar, breathed new life into that lifeless body and thusly I was born in a matter of speaking.”
“So you see, I had no parents or siblings. To this very day, I doubt seriously that I have a soul. All that aside, my long life’s journey and it’s exploits, as dictated by my master, God rest his soul, Le Marquis de Noire, oblige me to chronicle sexual exploits from all manners of society. In my long lifetime I have witnessed the sexual morays of beggars, farmers and workmen of all trades. Interestingly, I can also state without contradiction that there are throughout the hierarchy of society, the professions, artists and troubadours who joyfully engage in sexual antics of all sorts.”
“Not surprisingly, there are those in the governing classes, and members of high society that dwell in the deepest, darkest cellars of sexual prowess. And then, thankfully, we have the purity of genuine innocence. A youthful boy exploring an exciting new world and opportunities that abound in the innocent charms of a equally young woman. All of these contribute to, and define, the boundaries of my domain.”
“Long ago, my master the marquis, was absorbed into an afterlife of his heavenly reward. In his will and testament he provided me with a small chateaux and vineyard near Biaritz in the south of France. These assets are mine as long as I continue to chronicle extraordinary sexuality as it is manifest in society today. And thusly so, it is with pleasure that I welcome you to this, the long awaited first edition of my memoirs.”
“Thusly, in the future I shall regale you with tales of sexual prowess, dexterity and decadence. Further, some of these firsthand accounts just might be considered veritable sexual artistry. I have witnessed each and all of these tales throughout the millennia. For this, our initial account, I have selected a most recent scenario unique in that it involves two adults, a man and a woman, both of whom are capable of sexual acts. Further, they are mutually attractive and eager to exploit the desires of their counterpart in this, their budding relationship or more to the point, her sexual voyage of discovery.“
“Since each of them is over the age of fifty, they are in fact, if only technically, senior citizens. This in itself is a first, for yours truly. And so it is, that we find ourselves in a unique situation whereupon one of our participants, barely an elder, is just now showing peppery traces in his forelocks. Thusly, we could name this journal for the impending shades of gray on the brow of one of our principal characters. But that would be a odd colloquialism, both foolhardy and not the least elemental to the tale we are obliged to tell. “Est-ce pas si mon ami – is that not so my friend?”
“You will note I am sure, that I entitle most of my tales with the female’s ‘nom de plume” Ladies are indeed more complicated and thusly exceedingly more interesting than their male counterparts. It also seems that actions and situational outcomes within a relationship might well focus on the male, but actually, they often originate from the deep rooted psyche of the distaff member of any tryst. And thus, I introduce you to ……
“By way of introduction, our Gwen, lives life as a curatorial academic in the magical world that is The Fine Arts. Having said that, she can also weather the times when stark reality collides with the more scholarly and gentle happenstance of her alternate world. Most generally she is well regarded for her expertise especially on the Impressionist movement as it existed in late 18th century France. Notably, she also pursued a scholarly interest in the “Secession movement” in 1800’s Vienna. Her interests in this movement are focused on the art and life of Gustav Klimpt, one of the Secession’s main proponents.”
“Interestingly, Klimpt was known for his portraits of beautiful women. For years it was rumored within Viennese society circles, that Herr Klimpt initially painted portraits of his female subjects in the nude. Only after he had captured the essence of these charming socialites, all lady’s of leisure and considerable means, did he clutter the evidence by adorning his high society subjects in the most fashionable haut couture. Klimpt’s colleague and rather notorious protégé Egon Scheile gathered considerable notoriety for his art as well as his highly stylized lifestyle.”
“And so, it is 8:40, Monday, and the streets of Manhattan are stirring. Horns are blaring, jays are walking. Observers who occupy the buildings that line these blackish asphalt pathways are treated to a morning and evening rugby-like crush of New Yorkers seeking the safety of their own destination. Oddly enough, this same ritual passing of Manhatanites vs Manhattanites will play out once again in the evening hours. Our Gwen is among this throng of pedestrians and indeed is on the last leg of her morning legacy. She has survived the 24 odd blocks on the subway and is now better than midway in her 3 block trek to the Smythe Gallery. “
“Gwen is looking forward to a late morning meeting with Arthur Simpson, a highly respected scholar, critic and curator of fine art. The topic for this particular meeting revolves around Gwen’s opinion of a dubious provenance for a equally curious work of art, attributed to Modigliani by it’s present owner. Arthur’s client in this instance is the Manhattan District’s Attorney’s Office. The ugly face of fraud is casting a shadow on the claim of damage to a portrait on the edge of a scandalous financial redemption.”
“Just as Gwen is hanging her coat and scarf, Polly the receptionist pops her head in the doorway of Gwen’s office and… “Hi kiddo, happy Monday morning. Soooo how’d it go.” Gwen looked confused “Oh that!” “Yes my dear how was the date with Earnest?” “Well, it started out fine. A good play by Pinter, and then supper at Crosby’s. It started out great No taxi hassles,. A Town Car. OK? Nice touch and a good way to start the evening. Sad to say, we didn’t get 100 feet from the curb and Old Ernie has his hand in my blouse that’s missing a popped button by now and he is pinching the nipple of my left breast. All the while, he’s trying to kiss me, but he only manages to get my cheek wet with Ernie stuff. And, I’m not kidding. It was from some sort of breath mint or whatever.”
“He persisted and the driver of the Town Car pulled over to the curb, opened the door and told Ernie, “Out! This command was followed by a pointed gesture and a hint for a certain person named Ernie to get out of his limo. “Now get this, I’m in the back seat, I put my boob back in it’s cup and I’m wiping saliva off my cheek. Ernie’s on the sidewalk calling me to get out of the car in a hurry. His rationale? We’ll be late for the play” “I just could not believe it, Ernie turned into a monster. He was still calling me when we drove away. The driver was a perfect gentleman. He had an accent, maybe Russian, but he offered his apologies as said he would take me anywhere I wanted. I thanked him and asked him to take me home. He refused a tip but gave me his card and said when I need transport to please call him. Now how’s that for a swell guy. And the say that chivalry is dead.”
Polly turned back to Gwen’s office…I almost forgot, it seems that Arthur is down with a cold soooo, someone else will be by to pick up your assessment of that painting that someone is passing off as a Modigliani.“ Gwen is quick to express her disappointment about her canceled appointment with Arthur. “I’m sorry about that I was looking forward to Arthur’s opinion. Do we know who’s going to pick up the report. Polly shrugs and tells Gwen “Well someone from the District Attorney’s office will be here hopefully, before noon, they just don’t know who that will be….as yet.”
“You know Polly, that was the worst evening since Larry and I split up. I remember asking him, really out of curiosity, what does she have that I don’t? He didn’t have an answer. Not a word. To me, that silence actually said everything. Before that night was over. I was over him. Good riddance. Even Todd told me that I would be better off alone and his dad was just a big disappointment to him.
Gwen is thinking aloud as she gives her report a cursory and final quick read. “This poor fellow lived his life in a long dark shadow cast by Picasso. Sadly his art gained notoriety only after he died. Even that was really tragic. Dying itself is one thing. Dying alone, in poverty, in a snow covered alley in Paris, well that’s a horse of a different color.” At about 11:45 Polly intercoms Gwen. a whispery message that she “will be accompanying a very good looking man from the DA’s office to meet with Gwen.”
Derek introduces himself to Gwen and apologizes for the awkward handling of this matter by the DA’s office. By now, it is past noon and Derek suggests they adjourn to a restaurant so that Gwen can explain her judgment concerning the authenticity of the work of art in question. Gwen counters with the suggestion that they enjoy a light lunch at the museum’s coffee shop.
So indeed, they adjourn to a mini but quaint Euro flavored bistro, Derek is mesmerized by this extraordinary and gloriously attractive woman. Luncheon chit chat covers a number of topics. She is bright, centered and secure in a personality that is nothing short of incredible. Derek has also noticed that his lunch partner is witty, charming and drop dead gorgeous. As they are about to finish lunch, Derek apologizes for not sticking to the script and the intricacies of Gwen’s report.
Derek offers this solution for not discussing the business at hand. “Since I strayed away from our intended dialogue, perhaps we could have diner and another opportunity to cover the authenticity of the painting in question.” Gwen realizes that she too is culpable for not covering all the bases on the item in question and agrees to have dinner with Derek the following evening. Thus giving Derek a chance to redeem his professionalism.
Thusly he makes a reservation at the “7th & 10th” restaurant on the corner of 7th Avenue and 10th Street. The next evening, Derek arrives at Gwen’s apartment at 7:30 on the dot and they head for the restaurant. In the taxi he tells her “This time, we’ll have an opportunity to cover your opinion of the painting in question”. Gwen responds, “Well, that really wont be necessary, I actually discussed it with Arthur this afternoon on the telephone. He told me not to cancel our diner engagement, because you are a great conversationalist and a true gentleman.”
Derek was delighted “You mean we don’t have to talk about art tonight?” Gwen nodded “That’s right. Arthur said the restaurant is really good and we’ll have a chance to get to know each other. So how’s that?” Derek is obviously pleased and cheerfully states “Well my good lady, that’s good enough that I’m going to get Arthur a box of those cigars he loves so much. Arthur is a true gentleman.”
The food that evening at “7&10” was, as always, superb. The conversation at the corner table for two, was wide ranging, bright and pertinent to the times. Derek could not get over this most attractive and charming woman who was a Yankee fan, but loves the Celtics, subscribes to the New Yorker and watches Fox news.
Gwen on the other hand, was enamored with this man who loved law and order, lived and spoke the truth, and protected those in need. Unfortunately he was a Cubs and Laker fan. Over coffee he asked “Can we do this again?” “Sure” said Gwen. He responded “How about Friday?” “Sorry about that one, just can’t,” “Okay” said Derek “How about this coming Saturday, and perhaps the next 100 Saturdays thereafter.” Gwen smiled. “I’ll have to consult my calendar on that one. That’s a lot of Saturdays. I’ll tell you what Derek, let’s enjoy this one and see how it goes. OK?”
That evening went so well that it led to a candle lit dinner in the bay window at the Inn on Frenchman’s Circle. On the following Wednesday, Derek played his trump card, box seats at Carnegie Hall for an evening with the Bolshoi Ballet of Moscow.
After the performance our Gwen was still beaming in the taxi ride to an after theatre supper, again at the “7th & 10th”. Gwen asked Derek if he enjoyed the performance. Surprisingly, he truly enjoyed his first experience as part of the ballet crowd “a tougher bunch, with a tour de force the likes of which 5th Avenue has never seen before.” And then Derek whispered that “anything I do in your company my dear I will enjoy to the fullest.” That response brought a tear to Gwen’s eye. Her response concerned Derek until she admonished him that “those were tears of happiness.”
Indeed the relationship between this couple of senior citizens was progressing very nicely indeed. So, it was no surprise that Derek rang up on Monday a.m. asking Gwen if she can clear Friday night for dinner at the hottest spot in Manhattan, the Patrician Hotel. Gwen was really impressed, “the Patrician is Manhattan’s newest and most exclusive hotel.”
After confirming in the affirmative, Gwen asks Derek ‘how do you have all these connections?” Derek replied, “There’s a cadre of retired ex NYPD officers or coppers who work part time or, retired coppers who work full time. And you’ll find them in all walks of life especially people places like hotels, condos, airports you name it. Actually, we are a highly regarded and very employable network of ex coppers in all manner of company’s throughout the City. Like before, we watch over each other and help when we can. It’s what we do”
“Ever since you found out what I do for a living you no longer tense up when we’re walking arm in arm and somebody who is a bit unsavory walks toward us. You know we’re covered. It’s all OK. Actually, every once in a while I get surprised when some real dirt bag gives me a wink or a sign that he‘s one of us. It should make you feel safer. That hippie or vagrant you’re avoiding just might protect you. But, don’t ever forget, you’re safer with old reliable Derek”
While the two of them are waiting for a traffic light to change, Gwen snuggles up to Derek and whispers “I like that you watch over me in ever so many ways.” He replies “I like that you like it. We’re becoming a couple I guess.”
As they approach the hotel entrance the doorman tips his hat, Derek asks “All quiet John?’ “Yes sir, Enjoy your evening.” Gwen pretends that she is unaware of what just took place. Down deep she thought that she really is in the company of someone truly special.
As they enter the reception lobby a young man in a tuxedo presents himself, says Good evening Sir, Madam, this way please.” While waiting for the elevator speaking ever so softly, he hands some thing to Derek and returns to the reception lobby. Derek steps back so Gwen can enter the elevator. The elevator operator says I believe you want the 12th floor sir?” To which Derek responds “Yes Thank you.” The elevator stops at the 12 floor. The operator bids the happy couple “Good evening” Derek walks a few steps to an unnumbered door. As they enter, Derek asks Gwen to close her eyes as he guides her into the room. They stop, and he asks Gwen to open her eyes. She opens them to a view of Central Park though a balcony, with French Doors opened just beyond a table set for two.”
Another tear of happiness.
The parlour is beautifully decorated: Provincial furnishings even the wall covering is a beautiful toile du jui, itself a stunning statement a la Francais. Gwen asks “So what shall we feast upon tonight?” Derek is on his game, “Well my dear to begin, we’ll enjoy a soupe aux la oignon, Tournedos Rossini, petit pois, and a delightful Burgundy on a very, very slight chill just enough to perk it up to it’s best. For desert, I’m hoping to have you, all to myself. Now for the moment, come stand here with me and enjoy phenomenon of Manhattan on a beautiful autumn evening. All the better my dear, because of your presence. Everything else pales by comparison.”
“Bon Jour…..It’s me your friend and colleague Le Muse Erotique once again. I confess, I’m a sucker for anything French. Well my friend, isn’t this a sight. Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn couldn’t have carried that scene off any better. The best thing of all? They are not acting! So now mon ami back to the next episode of Gwen and Derek. Trust me I think we might have a surprise or two in the wings.”
Gwen scoured the bar top for Derek's favorite item, "Well, there's nothing very interesting here. Oh wait a moment, there is something, Derek this is strange it's a glass jar, no, its in an apothecary jar of all things. "Humor me" Derek said "Let me be the judge about just how interesting your discovery might be."
"OK, my dear you are the boss" Derek is still seated in his favorite chair a Glenlivet with a splash of soda on the rocks still in his hand. He is memorized as he watches Gwen walk back to him. “ How does a woman over 50 carry this off he thinks? She's simply gorgeous as she walks toward him. She looks like a fashion model on a runway, one foot in front of the other, all the while she is trailing Derek's favorite thing behind her.
She was quite appetizing standing there in front of him, wearing only her Pradas, nylons and garter belt. His favorite thing was limp in her grasp. "So this is something my Derek likes. She feigns sarcasm when she says "Well I can hardly imagine what my Derek is going to do with it." Actually, she doesn't fully realize it yet, but she's already playing the game.
"Well, Gwen you are not only a very intelligent woman, you also possess a profound sense of the occasion. I'm sure you will work things out and that you will respond appropriately to question at hand "First things first," he says as he reaches out gently to take hold of his favorite thing. Gwen obliges by placing it in his outstretched hand and asks "OK, mister what's next?
"Well my dear, under the circumstances, that’s proobably a fair question. But, remember, everything at the moment is up to you. Your response will determine the direction our relationship will take from this point onward. Gwen dwells on what he has just said.
“So there we are now. You are calling the shots at this point. Give it a bit more thought. I'm sure you'll come to the right conclusion. "
For what seemed like an eternity Gwen stood there motionless. Actually, she was teasing Derek. Then she moved her arms behind her back very slowly and then placed her wrists together." Derek whispered "Are you sure about this my dear?
Gwen was grinning as she nodded in the affirmative. In a moment, the suspense was over and Derek's intentions had become abundantly clear. He was securely binding Gwen's wrists behind her back. For her part, she breathed a sigh of relief knowing she had responded correctly to Derek's wishes.
As she turned to face the still seated Derek she moved her wrists to find out if he was playing some parlor game or if his intentions might be more sinister. There was no question about it, she was not going to escape his handiwork. She looked down at her new master and asked "Well my Dear what's next Whips? Gags? Branding irons? He smiled, "You're correct on two of the three my dear. But there are a few procedural matters to deal with. For one, get rid of those heels. She fussed a bit but removed her heels and pushed them aside with her foot.
Gwen looked down at still seated Derek to learn what her new fate held for her. A smiling Derek looked up, and asked softly "Well my dear, what do you think? She pondered that question for a moment. First of all Derek, I think I just became , what do they call them "a Submissive?" "But it makes sense doesn't it? Let's face it Derek you’re the dominant figure in this relationship. You call the all the shots. Actually, you decide the what, when, and where of everything we do. I like the fact that you take charge and that you watch over me. No question about it you're the boss. I'm the other one, standing here nearly naked with my hands tied behind my back." “Something just crossed my mind, do you have a lot of beautiful women bound hand and foot buried in your back yard? “Oh Gwen, you are so charming. Of course I do not have a lot of beautiful women, bound and gagged buried in my back yard. Gwen, think about it. My home is between Lexington and Park Avenue. There are no back yards here.”
“Gwen you are marvelous. No, I sold all of your predecessors to Brazilian gangsters. In fact, they are all white slaves and prostitutes in Rio de Janeiro. You’re going to love Rio there’s so much you can do living in a Barrio. “ She nods, brightens her outlook an suggests “By the way Derek old boy, why don’t you untie me now?"
No my dear. But I do want another Glenlivit. But first, we need to secure you a bit more." Gwen looked perplexed "How could I be more secure?" “Oh I'll show you. You do have a lot to learn my dear. Now, let me help you to your knees." Gwen is now kneeling in front of Derek's empty chair.
"Now" he whispers, "cross your ankles." She does as she is told as he takes the loose end of the silky rope and binds her crossed ankles thus connecting them securely to her bound wrists. This arches her back in a rather uncomfortable position." She mentions this to Derek who acknowledges that he knows that she is uncomfortable and that he actually did that on purpose.
As she begins to speak again, Derek reached in the drawer of the table next to his chair. He withdraws something round and red. She is still talking when he places a red object in her open mouth then buckles it's strap behind her head. At this point Gwen is now kneeling on the floor. She is securely bound hand and foot and now, is gagged. “That thing in you mouth is the third thing you asked about. It seems that you’re in a bit of a predicament. Wouldn’t you say?”
As Derek pours his drink he marvels the sight before him as Gwen struggles to remain upright. As he poured his drink Derek admonishes Gwen that her” orders are remain still as she kneels and that if she falls or sits she will punished.” He returns to his chair, sips his drink and toys with the nipples on Gwen’s breasts and then he toys lightly with that glorious sweet spot in between her legs. He teases "Should I untie you now? Still gagged she nods enthusiastically in the affirmative. Then she falls on her side. He knew she would. "Oh Gwen you're such a naughty girl. I give you one simple thing to do and you disobey me. Well, it's clear to me that you must be punished. But first, I must reset you.”
He gets up and lifts Gwen back to her kneeling position. As he unties the rope that connects her wrists and her ankles she has a sigh of relief. To her disappointment Derek is retying her ankles once again but much tighter and closer. So now, she is back on her knees once again, but her back is now arched more uncomfortably than it was before. He turns on the TV, and tells her that he is going to watch the news while he decides what her punishment is going to be. For her part Nan is mulling her role in this evenings activities. First as a friend invited for a social evening, then as dinner guest, and now she finds herself in the role of Derek's love slave or worse.
To be continued . . . . .