Category Archives: Writing

One of Those little dilemmas

This morning as I walked up the road towards work, I noticed a lady ahead of me who I know by sight, as someone who heads the same way each day. She walks slower than I, so I quickly caught up with her. She was wearing a mid calf length, floral summer dress, of rather limp fabric. It had a split up the centre back.

You’ve guessed haven’t you? The split was not the discreet vent to knee that allows for movement. Nope, it was a full on unravelled seam that went right up to her btm. Still behind her I thought quickly, was this how it was meant to be? no way, did she know and if so was she unconcerned, surely not? She is middle aged and how shall I put it? a substantial lady.

What to do, what to do? I’ve never spoken to her before, but if the tables were turned I’d hope someone would point it out to me, there was no-one else around.  I reached her side.

‘Excuse me, I hope you don’t mind me saying, but I think the seam of your dress has come apart at the back.’

‘Oh, how far up? ‘she asked, reaching around to feel for herself.

‘Sorry’, I said ‘If it was me I’d rather know!’

‘Yes, okay uh thanks uh It will just have to do for today’ she replied.

I wanted the pavement to swallow me up. I KNOW she lives somewhere around the corner from me, no more than five minutes walk, but she had no intention of turning back to deal with it. I scurried ahead. Five minutes later I looked back and she was indeed continuing on her way to work, wherever that is.

Now, the dress she was wearing was so flimsy, that the slightest waft of breeze would have lifted it, and there is no way on God’s earth that she could lean her body more than an inch, without showing everyone what she had for breakfast. I’m still cringing twelve hours later and I think I will every time I see her again.

Was I wrong to tell her? surely not, at least it gave her the option of popping back home to sort it. I’m mystified, what do you think, would you have said anything or left her to it?

Farewell Christine my Dear Friend

Each day this year I have been tearing off a page of my calendar and writing a few words to go in a gratitude jar. On June 9th I wrote that I was grateful for spending two wonderful days with Christine and Stuart. Today, through my tears, I wrote that I was grateful to have walked beside this beautiful lady.
I’ve known Christine for three years and in that time she has been the loveliest, most supportive blogging sister I could wish for. At the end of last year she emailed me to say that she was planning to be in Paris this summer and would I be available if she and Stuart made the trip across the channel. Would I? Too right I would, it was a dream come true and I wrote back happily saying so.
In the week leading up to their arrival I lost quite a bit of sleep as, like a child at Christmas, I was so excited. Where could I take them? Would Christine actually like me once we met? Even little things like would they be comfortable enough squeezed into my tiny car. And then the day arrived. We met at a pub car park just outside Exeter and she was amused by its name, the George and Dragon. I was amused by her accent, not as Aussie as I’d expected, instead her voice was like an English lady with a touch of Australian, apparently from her grandfather.
I whisked them off for lunch at a riverside café where Stuart drew the garden where we ate, laughed and shared stories. They both loved the food and the stroll along the quayside, it was wonderful to have such appreciative visitors! Next a promised trip to Dartmoor, with Christine taking photos through the car window. We stopped at Chagford and explored the ancient church with its rood screen before driving high up the narrow winding lanes to Scorhill.
I chose Scorhill because I knew she would love both the stone circle and the hole stone in the North Teign river with its links to the feminine spirit. She was so at home in the big sky landscape where sheep and lambs nibbled at the sparse moorland grass, and oh how the sun shone for us as we walked. I dropped them back to their car, tired and happy – they had after all climbed Glastonbury Tor before reaching me that morning, with a plan to collect them bright and early on Sunday.
Stuart had half planned to do his own thing, so I was touched that he had enjoyed our day so much that he decided not to, despite it being partly day of garden visits! Our first stop was especially for him, to satisfy his passion for sustainable agriculture, we went to Riverford Farm where he was able to chat to someone and learn how Devon does it. We stopped to buy some local chilli chocolate which she was still eating a week later! Next, a quick stop at Dartington hall to see one of my favourite gardens,

At Dartington Hall garden
At Dartington Hall garden

 

and then a nice lunch in Totnes, with local food and cider.
A drive through the South Hams led us to Coleton Fishacre and the rain, never mind there was the house to explore and then tea and cake. By the time we’d devoured it the showers had passed so we strolled through the garden where they both found plants and trees native to Australia as well as many surprises that were new to them.

Christine and Stuart at Coleton Fishacre
Christine and Stuart at Coleton Fishacre

Not wanting the day to end I drove the scenic way home along the coast. Stuart was hilarious when we reached Torquay, ‘I can’t believe I’m actually at Torquay, he said before launching into a Fawlty Towers sketch. These special places of mine are even more precious now, a wonderful layer of memories have been added. When I left them at their B&B that evening I cried. ‘Now you must come to Australia’ they said, ‘you’re welcome any time’.
This is from an email I received soon after,
‘We had such an amazing time with you, it was really special, and just meeting was so wonderful … I feel we are heart sisters dear one!’

I do indeed feel like I’ve lost a heart sister, I am overwhelmed with sadness. Who would have imagined that less than a month later I would be writing this? My thoughts and prayers are with Stuart and their children and grandchildren at this time, I know I’m not alone.
We have lost a very special lady, an intuitive healer, a wise and loving soul. Christine sweet planet walker, you will be missed by so many, travel well.

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups Week# 138

Julia was a bit stuck or a prompt this week so she decided it would be, but what is the prompt? Here is my entry.

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Cleopatra

Philippa watched her rival adjust the jet black wig she wore for the role. Her role, the one she’d always dreamed of playing. Sybil gave her a snooty, sideways look, before the curtain parted. She took her place at the prow of the mock galleon in the centre of the stage and gathered her thoughts as a hush fell . . .

 . . . and gathered her thoughts,

. . . but not her lines.

 Philippa sucked in her cheeks as she watched Sybil’s discomfort grow.

‘But what is the prompt Philippa?’ whispered the stage director.

‘I wouldn’t need a prompt,’ she laughed as she walked away.

 

 

 

Construction Site Playground

‘Run Gill’ Linda and Delamie shouted in harmony.
I bent to tie my shoe lace and then dawdling, stood again, turned in the direction that all the noise was coming from, hand to my brow to shade the early evening sun from my vision. Then a stillness settled and that strange crescendo rose from the silence, just like it does before a storm is brewing. I watched as if outside myself. The biggest boy picked up a stone, weighed it in his hand.
‘BLACKIEEE’, he shouted. There was just him and me, at least that’s how it felt. That’s how it felt, him, me and the missile, cruising, impossibly slowly towards my third eye.
‘Come on, it’s going to hit you’ Linda Wright’s voice pierced my stasis, and in a split second the target became my brow bone instead of my eye. But it couldn’t have hit me, he was too far away. The red rain told a different story as it rippled through my lashes. In disbelief I placed my index finger to my head, saw the trickle of blood, and finally started running blindly, away from the building site, where we shouldn’t have been.
So very close to blinded.
A pale blue and cream police panda car took me to hospital, to three stitches and a scar I still bear. I don’t suppose the racist bully remembers. No-one punished him, a little nigger girl didn’t matter much in 1967.

Written in response to Bastet’s prompt,
”One of my favorite lines written by Maya Angelou is this:

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.

I’ve said that she’s best known for her autobiographies, so what I’d like you all to do is write a small autobiographical piece.”

http://wedrinkbecausewerepoets.com/2014/06/05/short-story-prompt-june-6-2014/

100 Word Challengefor Grown Ups Week# 131

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Julia is expecting some sombre entries this week because her prompt is, …when the night demons visit… here is my entry.

Creeping

Something’s moving in the grass by my feet. It stops for a few seconds and then sets off again. There is a sound, like an army of ants nibbling, every time it halts.

‘Fergus, did you hear that?’

‘Uh, go sleep,’ he groans in the sleeping bag beside me and turns over. On my own then. As I take my next breath my throat dries and closes over, I cough to clear it, and swallow the taste of sulphur. Raising my head an inch, I catch sight of the grass swirling.

When the night demons visit they ride on the back of a snake in the grass.

You can join in with a flash fiction at http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week-131/

 

 

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups Week# 126

 

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Julia says, ‘The prompt this week is:

…Family…

You can take it anywhere you like but only use 100 words.’
Here are mine.

Meeting Uzo

The familiar smell of coach station enveloped me and I pressed my nose against the window hoping to see another self. Nothing. The little belly flutters shifted up a notch, more like a train in a tunnel now. I realised I had to move from my seat, I was last.

There were many black faces in Birmingham coach station, but one stood out.

‘Sis,’ said the big black bear as he wrapped me up. I felt shy as I raised my eyes to meet his, but there was the mirror I’d waited so long for, in the eyes of my newly found brother.

http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week126/

 

The Offie

This morning I read a prompt from Oloriel at ‘We Drink Because We’re Poets’. It’s about remembering a place from your past and she said
‘This week I would like you to share with me a poem about a place – a place that was dear to you, but is no longer there. It can be a bar, a museum, a library, bookstore, your old school – anything. I invite you to tell me what changed, what got replaced and how did it make you feel. Form, length, rhyme, all is optional.’
Me, being me, read the prompt entirely wrong. Why I would read a prompt on a poetry blog and not catch on that I was supposed to write a poem I don’t now, but I’ve only just caught on. I’m posting anyway because the little memories were special for me.

The Offie

Sparkling white art deco instead of grubby cream. Now the future homes of well-heeled, aspiring middle class, first time buyers. Curved windows that will forever be a problem to curtain well, high ceilings that will keep the fuel bills high. I used to peep through those windows to see who was sitting on the curved seats inside them, all the time wondering what it would be like to sit there. By the time I was old enough to sit there, it was the last place I wanted to sit, not trendy enough for me, filled with old men and Laners have a night in the posh one instead of the Flying Horse. Me, I preferred the club scene, even if a Babycham was twice the price.
I wonder what happened to Ross, Mr Whitaker. He always had a soft spot for me and watched me grow from a toddler to an eighteen year old, who thought she was sophisticated. In the beginning it was Spangles, Maltesers or if I got lucky a big bar of Dairy Milk. Crisps were Smiths, and the salt came in a little blue paper twist, that you had to reach to the bottom of the bag to find. It was never enough to make the whole packet salty! I loved the salted peanuts as well, until a connection was made between eating them, and waking up an hour after bedtime with vomit in my hair.
The entrance was on the side, in, turn left, no dawdling to see what was up the corridor – barrels, boxes and a pay phone and then a choice of two doors side by side. I was only allowed in the first, the second was for adults. It was years before I was tall enough to lean on the tiny counter to ask for my own sweeties or bottle of fizzy pop. At weekends it was rowdy and when I stopped being a little girl, I’d get yelled at by the blokes who could see me from the other side, the dark side.
Years later I learnt that Ross and his wife had moved back to London. I felt sorry for him, she was a miserable old boot. I rarely went that way and when I did it had deteriorated badly, windows and doors boarded up and generally going to wrack and ruin. Rumours were that it was going to be demolished. Then last year, I was stuck in traffic at the bottom of the road, craning my neck I saw the dazzling white paint. The St Loyes had been converted into apartments. I wonder if there is any trace of the art deco left inside. I wonder if the beery, cidery, smoky smell has ever left the pub and if the Off Licence is someone’s bedroom.
If you’d like to check out the prompt and use it properly, it’s here.

http://wedrinkbecausewerepoets.com/2014/03/17/poetry-prompt-2-the-places-we-are/

Falling for A Quiz!

And finding it surprisingly accurate. Except for the fact that I’m too lazy. I wonder how many of you have a half written novel – or ten, stashed somewhere. I have, maybe one day I’ll finish it, but that will mean focussing in tightly. Trouble is I love life and I’ve got my finger in too many pies. What’s your excuse?
Perhaps it would spur you on if you tried the quiz, It’s here, http://www.playbuzz.com/morganf10/what-genre-of-fiction-should-you-write and this is the answer I got.4100b600-69b9-4037-844e-1b76c5cfa92d

I’d love to know your result, please share!

The Crescent Moon Bear Says No

Julia’s 100  word challenge this week is to take a fairy story and re-write the ending.  I’ve chosen a Japanese folk tale that I love,

The Crescent Moon Bear

‘But the wise woman told me to bring a hair from your throat,’ said Harumi, shaking with fear.

‘She always does,’ the Crescent Moon Bear roared, ‘now clear off.’

‘My husband will die, he’s been fighting wars for years and he’s . . .

‘Traumatised, yes, I’ve heard it a thousand times.’

‘So you’ll help, please? I’ve brought food.’

‘Look, plucking my hair hurts, I know you’ve been through hell to get here, it’s a test. Just be patient and loving. Eventually your husband will get better. GO!’ he shouted so loud that Harumi jumped, ‘leave my food behind, or I’ll eat you.’

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In the original, the bear gives the woman a hair from the crescent moon on his throat. When she arrives back down the mountain the wise woman throws it away and tells her to be patient with her husband.

Join in at http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week124/

 

I could disappear at any minute

but if I do please forgive me and hang in there, I will be back!

For a couple of months my PC  has been very poorly, you wouldn’t believe the number of hours I’ve spent fixing it, in fact I’ve lost whole days that I really can’t spare. The problem is that it’s just aging and I’m trying to make it last a little longer - because I’m poor!

I’m a very heavy computer user, it goes on with the kettle as soon as I’m out of bed and most evenings it goes off just before my bedside light.

I’ve been looking at possible replacements and can’t make  up my mind whether it will be another desktop – I read recently that they are going to be extinct soon, or a laptop. I spotted a very gorgeous HP laptop, available in purple and affordable but I’m not convinced that a lappy is heavy duty enough for my writing and photo editing etc. It would be nice to free up desk space and to stroke the luscious little beastie though!

Also a friend has recently bought a laptop with windows 8 and has struggled getting used to the changes, I’m using vista on my PC and windows 7 on a rarely used netbook.  The other issue is the time involved in getting set up again, transferring files and programs, and I’ll have to buy a new version of office. That means decisions about cloud storage, paying an annual subscription,  do I want to send my hard written documents off into the ether?

I’m intrigued to know what device YOU use for blogging, laptop or PC? phone or tablet?

Any comments or thought would be welcome, I actually can’t decide what would be best.

I also have a tablet, it’s a great toy and if my PC dies I’ll be using it to pop in to visit you as much as I can. I do find it limiting though, great for quick answers but nothing too serious.

Hope to see  you soon :-)