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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Thre e Years On

24th May 2017

Three Years On

Today there was a "memory" waiting for me on facebook of the start of my blog . It told me that three years ago today I began my blog. It feels like so much longer !

Anyway, I lost it and couldn't retrieve it but it got me thinking. I clearly din't know how it was going to go - and I still don't, obviously .

 But I do have a lot of writing on the blog and over 30,000 visits , so it must be relatively successful.
I enjoy posting and will continue because it has been a wonderful tool to get me writing . Short stories, poetry and ramblings of various sorts.


There have been great comments from a host of lovely people who sometimes say encouraging things about what I write , which is wonderful.
I've had a few spin offs , one of them when I was to review an authors work, someone who is already well known . That gave me a bit of a boost. And getting involved in the napowrimo month which I love.
I get to read and comment on other poet's work and mine is also read by them.

So, from that shaky beginning I have not looked back.
I hope to improve how I work and to reach many more people.

Stay with me

Give me ideas

And share you writing too

Below is that first , uncertain post . The day I set out on my blogging adventure  with just a laptop and no idea what to do with it.



24th May 2014

Ok, so here goes. Let's see how I get on with a blog. No idea what I'm doing but I trust that  it will work.
And I hope, if anybody ( yes you) does come to read it, that they will enjoy it and enter into conversation with me. And maybe we can do some "putting the world to rights" or something.
Just heard on the news that they found the upturned boat that the four British sailors were on with the life raft still attached, which means that they are dead. Very sad news indeed. My heart goes out to the families whose hope has now been dashed.
But stars only shine in the darkness and I believe that even from this painful situation good will emerge.
I did shiver when I thought of them drowning, though. That would be my least favourite way to die, I have to say.
So, what will I write on this  blog?
I think I shall answer all sorts of dilemmas. The sort that they have in the women's magazines. And if you have a different opinion then by all means let me know. It could make for an interesting chat. It would be like you were in my kitchen joining in the debate. For today I just want to see if I can get started.
So God Bless.
Talk again soon.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Found

22nd May 2017

The birds are making a racket but I love it and am thankful. I don't think I can get to TTOT today ( Ten Things Of Thankfulness) 
One more though - I did do a book review for a magazine this morning and sent it off.
That'll do for now. 

A little story from the prompt "found". 


Found...

Sally rolled out of bed, stretched, took her pink dressing gown from behind the door and slowly put it on taking time to tie a neat bow at the front.  She loved its softness against her skin and hugged herself as she went to open the curtains.  The bright sunlight that entered the bedroom, showed up dust and untidiness, which she hated, so she set about making the bed and clearing the clothes from the floor, taking extra care with her husband’s things, folding everything neatly and putting them in his drawers. 
She arranged the items on his bedside table as she liked them:  the lamp with movable head so he could read in bed, the photo of him with a lump of rock - apparently a particularly important find.  She spat on it, then polished it with her sleeve and placed it back with delicate precision.  Lastly she picked up the book he’d been reading for over a week now, “Reading The Rocks” by Marcia Bjormerud, a present from her the previous Christmas.  
Instead of putting it back she took it with her downstairs to the kitchen, where, after filling the kettle, she sat and opened it.  On the inside of the cover she had written-
To my dear husband with much love.
Hope this gives you many rocky moments to remember.
Happy Christmas,
Sal
Rocky moments - she thought he would find that amusing, but, as with most things, he wasn’t moved at all. Apart from seeing him reading the book avidly night after night she would never have known if he appreciated it or not.
She flicked through a few pages aimlessly, then threw it down on the table and went to make herself a cup of coffee, switching on the radio as she went by.
And now the news where you are. – she pours water into the mug  - Early this morning the  body of a man was found in the  River Colne, three miles north of Watford.  – she puts sugar in, one, two, three, stirs, takes her cup and sits at the table -  The police haven’t released his name but say they are asking for witnesses and think it may be suicide. There have been two other deaths in the past year in this stretch of the river, both of which turned out to be suicides.  
Sally sips her coffee.

 Image result for free pictures of the river colne




  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Bees

19th May 2017 
 

I was enjoying watching the bees this morning. So...


Bees

Eight little bees around a rhododendron bush
Buzzing away, collecting nectar
So they can pollinate our food for us

free bumble bee picturesEighty percent of the food we eat is pollinated
By the bees
So, let's protect them and help them along

 heir work is immensely worthwhile
Without them
Where would we be

Could you invest in some plants
To encourage them to breed
Could you please




Photo courtesy of "publicdomain.com"


Here's a poem I found :

The Hive
The colony grew in my body all that summer.
The gaps between my bones filled
with honeycomb and my chest
vibrated and hummed. I knew
the brood was healthy, because
the pheromones sang through the hive
and the queen laid a good
two thousand eggs a day.
I smelled of bee bread and royal jelly,
my nails shone with propolis.
I spent my days freeing bees from my hair,
and planting clover and bee sage and
woundwort and teasel and borage.
I was a queendom unto myself.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Cue

18th May 2017

The word this week for the six sentence story challenge is  "cue". Where do I  go with that.

Getting Up

Every day lately seemed to be a struggle and this morning she woke with an empty feeling deep within and was not looking forward to what the echoes of all her yesterdays would bring.
She could hear cups clattering and the fridge door opening in the kitchen which meant her husband was making their morning tea and forcing  herself to get out of bed she reached for her pink dressing gown.
Not being up for much  conversation,  she took her laptop, started it up and hid in the anonymity of the words in her emails, hoping to find something to make everything worthwhile.
And that's when she spotted  the , email from  "Recording Life Under the Radar", with its cue for today, which, she just realised, must be Thursday and with that thought the daze was cleared,  and she prepared to busy herself with words, thinking , this day will be good after all. 
When she'd finished she got out her journal and started making plans, plans  to find more time to write as this was the only way she could save herself.

Image result for picture of someone writing


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Rome '92

17th May 2017 

Rome                                                              

Today's date, is always  a reminder to me of this day in 1992  when my husband and I went to Rome for a few days for the Beatification of,  the now, St Josemaria.

With a baby of three weeks in tow and after having had a cesarean section, it never occurred to me to question whether I should go or not. But, he was baby number eight and I had learnt what items are vitally important  how little was needed to travel with a tiny baby. However, I hadn't factored in my needs after the surgery, so we didn't run around Rome like we might otherwise have done. Now, after all these years, I am still waiting to make it back as a tourist rather than a pilgrim.

On the day of the celebration St Peter's Square was sweltering and to cool us down and stop people getting sun stroke they had organised water sprinklers, which cooled us down but almost instantly the sun  dried us.
A good job I brought a wide brimmed hat, I thought, as I snuggled the baby to feed under it's shade. He was amazingly content  the whole time, making things much easier for his parents than they might have been. We were with friends too who were happy to take him for a walk in his buggy for short periods, which again was much appreciated.


Image result for picture of st peters romeThe huge crowd of people that assembled were just a small number of the many who had been touched by the life of this one man. He is the founder of the Opus Dei Prelature which has members and friends all over the world since it's beginnings in 1928.  So those that were there were representing a whole multitude of others who would have liked to be there but couldn't. We felt privileged that we were able to make it.
There was a special family atmosphere in the square that day. It was a day of many blessings that are still being lived out in the lives of those who were there.

China

Today I am also thinking of the trip to China that I went on with my mum and my two sisters. Can that really be more than ten years ago in 2007. I wouldn't have said it was that long ago, but thankfully I have proof in a little notebook I wrote at the time.
There are so many things that happened . I can see my mother now climbing walking along the Great Wall. She was in her mid seventies but nothing was going to stop her. Always up for  an adventure.

I think I'll come back to this again . Would you like to hear more?

Bye for now



Friday, May 12, 2017

Wedding Day.

10th May


I have been away from my computer for nearly a week due to my husband and I attending the wedding of my grandaughter to her beloved . It was so beautiful, from the nuptial mass to the dress that she made herself, to the horse and carriage that was a surprise from her new husband .
And then, of course it's one of those rare times when all my family come together. So that was an added bonus.

Marriage - The Start

As they walked out of the sacristy after signing the register, she gave her long dress a little shake to the side to make it fall properly so she could walk.
They processed down the aisle of the church, smiling at family and friends, followed by parents and bridesmaids all linking arms with their opposites and all looking joyful.
They were now husband and wife, tied to each other in the wonderful bond of marriage, the future unknown but the adventure of it welcome by both.
What a day it was with all the photos, the sit down dinner, the speeches, the dancing, the many conversations and then it was over.
We know it won't be easy and this is just the beginning, but we wish them well and also we know that they are both used to hard work and waiting for things, so as long as they keep praying and loving all will be well.
It was such a special experience for us grandparents who could just go and enjoy the celebration without being responsible for it in any way as we have been for our own children.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

I Can't Help It

30th April  

Thought I'd just do the last day of napowrimo . The prompt : to write a poem about something that happens again and again...

I Can't Help it

It's only with the bathroom
The rest of the house I clean once a week
Or if it gets dirty and needs  it, a bit more often maybe,
But the bathroom I do every day

The changing of sheets I can leave for a fortnight,
And the oven gets done when it's grimy
Sometimes the food is baked on and crusty,
But the bathroom I do every day

Well no, that not quite true, I'll not lie
The bathroom I do at least ten times a day.
 It pops into my mind the moment I wake
And I have to get up there and then
Whether it's five or six or, if I'm lucky,
Nearer to seven - doesn't  matter when
I just have to get at it
It's a compulsion, you see.

I scrub and I spray and I polish
Till everything  gleams and I'm happy
Then, even when no one's been in it at all
And only an hour's gone by
I'm back and I start all over again
I can't resist though I try.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

SSS- Well

27th April.


Six sentences and using the cue n- "well"

Packing

Jackie sat on his bed and helped Daniel to  pack his suitcase, slowly folding each jumper and t shirt and handing them to him, brushing her fingers against his and wondering how they had lived  together in the same flat for the last three years without getting close romantically.
"Pass me those books, please," he put out his hand without looking at her, seemingly oblivious to her grief, which, to be fair she was trying to hide.
Why hadn't she done something before, she thought as she passed him the book of poems they used to read on rainy evenings whilst drinking a glass of Rose. 
Was it too late now,  she thought, after all the train to Doncaster would leave Bath at four o'clock and then he would be gone forever.
"I'll miss you," she whispered, reaching for his hand, their eyes meeting, each pouring into the other the longing that, secretly, they held between them.  
"Well,"  he said softly, pulling her towards  him, "you can always get a job in Bath and follow me down and do you know what, I'd like nothing better"

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

On The Practice of Writing

26th April 2017





On The Practice Of Writing


There is a lot of advice out there for writers.
From where to, when to and for how long ...



  • Read everything you can lay your hands on - I'm not actually keen on fiction, but love memoir and poetry.
  • Always carry a notebook - when I want it I've always left it at home. I very rarely need to use it when I do carry it.
  • Protect the time and space in which you write - Having a large family there's no point in trying that one. Sunday afternoon, when everybody is happy I might let myself do something for me ( I am getting better at that one)
  • Have a writing room or at least a designated place                      of your own - I thought this one would solve all my problems of leaving my work somewhere where I could go back to and mean that I would be "left to do my work". It hasn't happened. Even though I have a purpose built writing room, I am often found writing at the dining room table on my laptop or in a chair by the window ( the sun streaming in) 
  • Write at least five hundred ( 200, 1000, etc etc)                            words a day  - well actually, if I can get started , the numbers of words don't seem at all relevant and it seems more important to get down what needs to come out.
  • Write for one ( two, three , etc etc ) hours a day - and again, Sometimes I can write for half an hour and I've done what I set out to do and other times I will write for nearly two hours. I never get to three or more. 
These are just a few of the ways I fail at writing . 
No wonder I'm getting nowhere.
No wonder there is no book to boast about
No wonder I feel that I am lying to call myself a writer at all.

But, I do have nearly 30,000 visits to my blog.
So someone is reading some of the things that I share .
And that is good, isn't it.
So, I will start tomorrow. 
I will plan to write 500 words in 2 hours .
I will write in my writing space .
When I go and have coffee with my friend I will take my note book.
And I will do the same the next day and the day after that , until I have something worthwhile written.
I will 
I will...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Emotions

25th April 2017


This was some fun in writing group this morning.
Working to the pattern :

ABAB, ABAB, ABAB
   s    t   s  c t     c                When s= square, t=triangle, c=circle
  

Using the emotion "Fear"

It makes my hands clammy,
This feeling of fear,
It has me running to the loo,
My stomach churning

This feeling of fear,
I'm rooted to the spot
My stomach churning
I can't gather my thoughts

I'm rooted to the spot
Can't wait to get out of here
Can't wait till this is over
Can't wait till things are clear.

Same thing, but using the emotion "Joy"

It makes my heart sing
This felling of joy
Makes me want to dance
And run through a meadow

This feeling of joy,
Puts a spring in my step
And run through a meadow
Looking up to the skies

Puts a spring in my step
If only It could last
But I know it's a fleeting spark
But I'll take it while I can.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Elevenie - Sun /Goldfish

23 rd April

The challenge for napowrimo today is to write an elevenie poem. Eleven words. Here's my double elevenie, which now makes twenty two words.



Sun / Goldfish

Sun
shining brightly
in clear sky
caressing earth and bones
warmly



Goldfish
circling around
lily pond chasing newts
swimming



Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Studio

22nd April
A day behind but this is for a prompt from napowrimo - "Overheard Speech".

The Studio

No, the studio's great man - I've got it three days a week
And that's enough for you, enough time to fit in your,
you know, your creativity.
Yeah, I sit in the armchair and ponder,
I look at the canvas, then my eye sees the brush,
And then, I close my eyes.
And then you start painting?
Grief, no man, no painting, just sleeping, thinking and maybe,
Smoking...
Smoking?
Yeah, smoking, y'know, getting mellow, that's when it happens...
It happens?
Yeah, it happens...
What, what happens?
Well, I see things, things that will be my paintings
That's great. And then you start painting?
No , man, then I go home and have a bath and maybe,
maybe the next day I might remember something
And bring out a piece of paper
A small piece of paper,
And draw something.


how do you work

Friday, April 21, 2017

Question - SSS

21st April

I'm afraid I haven't done much writing on my blog lately .
I will be back soon.
I was at the  funeral today of our dear friend Fr Charles. He was a very busy apostle, making friends wherever he went. That was evident in how many people came to celebrate his life and pray for his soul.
He was chaplain of our little catholic school, giving of himself to the children, the staff and the parents without a care for himself. They all loved him dearly and wanted to be there for him.
So we had two services.
The first last night when the body was brought into the church  and when nearly all the staff turned up as well as many of the children and their families. Maybe about 250-300 altogether. It was such wonderful mass, full of joy and singing.
And then today for the requiem mass. Again a packed church- 300-400 people again. And again such joy. Fr Charles had chosen the hymns and readings . It was fabulous .I've rarely  seen anything like it.
As part of our parish lunch club team I was with a small group preparing food from 8.30 this morning, which we served to a huge crowd this afternoon, finishing about 5.50 pm.
We are exhausted, but happy.

And now, for the six sentence story challenge for this week:

Question




Monday, April 10, 2017

In Praise Of Sound.

10th April 

Unfortunately I'm still a day behind.  Hopefully I'll get two poems written today .
So the first one, for yesterday :

9th April :
For a few months I have been troubled with poor hearing. It was probably wax and has since cleared up - well almost. Whilst not being able to hear that well I discovered how much I value ( or should value) that particular sense.

In Praise Of Sound

It occurs to me to be thankful 
That I can hear those sounds.
The voice of my husband,
A whisper,
"Are you awake?"
Delicate song of birds greeting 
The day.
Welcome sound of water running 
In the kitchen,
Kettle boiling,
Cups clattering, 
Soft steps on the stair,
When he  brings the tray
With morning tea.

Buzz of a bee circling the garden,
Water bubbling in pond 
Disturbed by fish.
Engine of aeroplane 
In distant blue.
Revving of neighbours car
Like clockwork.
Fluttering sound of trees 
Rustling in the breeze.
Screams of joy from children 
Two garden down.
And the doorbell ringing
Calling me urgently 
To come and answer 

For all the above 
And much, much, more,
I am so thankful









Saturday, April 8, 2017

7th April The Mountain

7th April ( but written on the 8th)

A bit late. Preoccupied yesterday with family coming to stay.

The Mountain

I build a mountain , a monument to passions,
Daily piling on more earth,
The soil of attachments,
Keeping me from getting close
To you

So much stands now in the space between us
The space that isn't space
Filled as it is with life's distractions
Cannot even get close enough
To see you

And all of a sudden it all seems like dust
A pile of nothing but rubbish
And what's important I see now
Is how will  I get  close
To you

So, with a teaspoon I begin to dig at the face
Of the huge mountainside
And little by little with each swing of my arm
I Throw the dirt behind until I get
To you





Thursday, April 6, 2017

6th April- Strangled

6th April


Strangled

Ivy and brambles grow tight into the structure,
Roots going deep into mud walls
Concealing the entrance.
With hacksaw and pain in equal measure,
I attack the wildness with vigour,
Thorns tearing at my flesh.
Driven by an impulse I can't ignore, success
Depends on this challenge and though blood
Drips all around,
I carry on.
I fight my way through the years of misery
And with every cut, with every root discarded,
I get nearer to the self I lost.
Then a gap, a small hole and I peer inside,
Squint to see what is there  in the dark
And carry on, renewed.
I will find my way in, the way to the present moment
And with God, find peace.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April 5th Walk By The Beach

April 5th 2017


Walk By The Beach

Two boys, about eight maybe, kicking up the pebbles,
A dog paddling  in shimmering water, black head stretching
Towards a red ball thrown out to entice.

Gulls squawking madly, fighting over luncheon remains,
Fly away suddenly when a lone teenager gives them the chase
Firing stones at them - not at all nice

And we walk on, hand in hand along  the beach,
On towards Reculver,  the sun warming our cheeks,
Evening threatening to come too soon.

We share stories as we go and talk with more ease,
Sorting the differences that will always be there,
In the sky the sun  joined by the moon.

The rhythm in our steps mirrored by the shushing of waves
Keeping time unconsciously with the gentle ebb and flow
Our bodies one with  nature around us

Moving further out of the town , two figures travelling alone
Scent of sweet lavender  -  an old aunt comes to mind,
Quiet reveals winged insects,  unknown to us.






Tuesday, April 4, 2017

4th April- Burgundy Red

4th April

Burgundy Red

The  pile of clothes grows on the bed
And with it, deep inside , so does my dread.
I want to go, yes, I want to,  that's for sure
But how am I going to get out the door?

A fiftieth birthday a milestone to celebrate
So I have to be there, she is a best mate .
And I know when I manage to get myself out,
I'll enjoy the whole thing , of that there's no doubt.

So I find some trousers  stretchy, comfy and black,
At least I'll be sitting - won't look like a sack
And and old, but fancy top, my colour-burgundy red
The lipstick that matches, yes, it's there by my bed

So I'm ready, but I don't want to be the first one there,
Not know whether to stand and wait or go sit on a chair.
So I leave the house at the time we have set
To meet at the restaurant, so I know I'll be met.

What a greeting I get when I walk in the door,
Champagne on the table and more on the floor.
The intention , it's clear, is to have a good crack
Laughing all evening to the moon and back












Monday, April 3, 2017

Past Bones

3rd April

Day 3 - poem a day:
                                                 

                                               Past Bones


Keep hold of that thread,
Let it hang form those past bones
Giving meaning to who we become
Every movement has its reason,
The flower, growing its timely season,
Where what has been
Has come to this,
And this is the softness
of the present
The delight of now
Hold on to that thread,
Though not too tightly
For each moment inform's the next,
Each thread must be broken,
Left behind 

To free the mind

Sunday, April 2, 2017

In The Garden

2nd April 2017


Day 2 of the poem a day in April .


In The Garden

Sitting in the garden 
coffee and birdsong bring peace
 to the soul while bones
 are warmed
rhythm of water trickling 
into pond sends ears tickling
leads the mind to meditation
a butterfly- red admiral maybe
whiffs past nose 
lands gently on Budleia 
pink and yellow tulips 
stand tall in front of her
giving homage
lavender also gives of itself 
an aroma - sweet - memories
of female ancestors
and we sit
just a bit longer.








Saturday, April 1, 2017

April 1st

1st April

Going to try and join in with the poem a day in April. I managed last year. 30 poems in 30 days with napowrimo . So here goes, the first one , trying to go with the prompt -  with Kay Ryan in mind "short, tight lines, rhymes interwoven throughout, maybe an animal or two, and, if you can manage to stuff it in, a sharp little philosophical conclusion."


Tiptoeing Around .

The bear sits
in his chair
asleep for now
unaware of those
tiptoeing around
hardly putting
feet to ground
pale faces
sunken
minds race
drunken
soon the beast will
wake
soon the beast will
take
from the souls
of those
those he loves
the very
spirit
of each one
breath by breath
til all is gone


See you tomorrow ...




Friday, March 31, 2017

Fault.

30th March 2017

Where The Fault Lies 


Apologies to all my loyal readers for the relative silence with regard to posts on my blog over the last few weeks.
The fault lies with the fact that I have a "new" laptop ( from my son - second hand,  not so old), which I am trying, when I feel motivated, to move all my working files to.
I can't access my blog on the new model as I don't remember my password and the old contraption has it saved for me so I never needed it.
Needless to say I am writing now on that computer, which is getting hot and will probably burst into flames at any moment leaving my blog floating round in the "clouds" with no chance of me ever getting to see it again, which would be hugely disappointing and frustrating.
But I am going to throw caution to the wind and carry on writing and hope that I am not unrecognisable and  buried in a pile of ash when someone comes looking for me tomorrow.
I am looking forward to a visit from my son next week and he assures me that he will be able to help me to sort it.


It is now 20th May and I'm still getting a hot leg with the old laptop on my leg. I just feel comfortable with this one .




Friday, March 24, 2017

Butter


24th March 2017

Just want to wish my lovely husband a very Happy Birthday today.

Haven't written much on my blog lately . But here is a Six Sentence challenge for this week, using the prompt : Point

Butter

Do you use butter or margarine and why do you make that choice  and is there any point in spending at least twice as much to have real butter?
I lick my lips and fingers as butter melts and drips from  my toasted rolls, while I ponder that for years when we were bringing up the children we chose, for reasons of cost and many mouths to feed, to buy cheap margarine.
Because, isn't it true that you wouldn't want your margarine dripping down your chin or to bite into thick lumps of it in your sandwich, which means that you eat less or none at all,  being as it's not the tastiest accompaniment to your fresh bread.
But  the children have left home and so now we spoil ourselves, eating nearly half a pound of butter each every week.
My mother and my grandmother both had butter in their pantry or fridge all the time, having no time at all for the unnatural alternative and mum would bring her own with her ( only Kerrygold would do) whenever she came to visit.
It has become, for me, one of the pleasures of life, which I don't want to give up but which I have to watch carefully because I am eating a lot more bread and new potatoes, both tasting so delicious with the added knob of butter.



Saturday, March 11, 2017

Silence


11th March 2017

It is heartwarming to see that my blog has had over 28,100 visits. Thank you to all those who read and comment. 

Enjoyed the writing workshop this morning.

So this six sentence challenge incorporates the cue word "will" and one of the themes of the workshop.


Silence

She would not be known by that name anymore- Philomena - the name they gave her when aged five and an orphan she was taken to the convent in Eniscorthy.
Although her will was nearly broken, working everyday in the the laundry with  little food, no conversation, or any time for childlike activities, something deep inside her clung to a hope of new beginnings and a better life.
The secret silence had become as loud as thunder, a silence that separated, a silence that pulled a chain tight around her soul and now Marie was going to shatter that silence.
Even before she spoke and although she was worried how her family would react she felt the fetters fall and a longed for freedom fill her lungs with promise.
So, after supper one day , when her husband and children were bantering about whose turn it was to do the washing up, she sat them down and spilled it out and tears fell and bathed the hurt that all of them felt.
Not one of them spoke for a moment or two but when they did they said everything would be ok and they hugged her, while she said, "my name is Marie" and they nodded.




And out in the garden just now plants seem to be growing as you look at them and there are four goldfish in the pond.
Today was definitely a bit spring like.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Ash Wednesday

3rd Mar 2017

The cue for this week's six sentence story is the word  "return".




Ash Wednesday

"You have some dirt on your forehead," the young girl at the supermarket checkout announced whilst efficiently scanning the contents on of my shopping basket.
"Yes, it's ashes in the form of a cross," I replied and that was all I could say as the customer behind me had already taken her attention with stories of where she was going later and why she was in such a hurry.
In actual fact the little cross, which we receive on Ash Wednesday, the start of lent,  did look  more like a thumb sized blob, a bit of dirt.
It made me think that this muck, this easy way of life that I've slipped into where I think only of myself and my own concerns, is precisely what I need to clean up during these forty days.
So, I will return to the narrow way, spending time in prayer and trying and come closer to The Lord.
I will look foreward to living the Easter story with joy as a brighter, more spiritual me.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Mooring


23rd Feb 2017 

We are busily getting ready to have visitors at the weekend  for the celebration of our Sapphire Wedding. My health has not been so good , so my dear hubby has been working hard doing it all.
I am so looking forward to seeing family and friends. I can't wait.





Six sentences .  Prompt word - second


Mooring

Henry put his beer can down next to the tiller and concentrated  on easing  the old girl gently into her mooring, trying to avoid colliding with the towpath as she bobbed about in the early evening breeze.

He crawled along on all fours thinking,  this is not to do with my drinking, it's just that the ruddy wreck can't be still, just like her previous owner.

He got the rope and tumbled out, managing after a few tries and some frustrated remarks to secure the barge to it's post.

He'd inherited the boat sixteen  months previously when his wife died, murdered actually, and he'd wanted to get away for a bit, which the money from her will provided for nicely.

The investigation was ongoing as the police, although they'd interviewed one man for a second time, hadn't arrested anyone yet.

Good luck with that, thought Henry as he went back on the boat, all the evidence is underwater now and maybe I'll get a new boat and start over .

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Washing Up

16th Feb 2017

Another six sentence story:
The cue is "sink".



Washing Up

Walking in the front door, she picked up the post and her gaze went straight through to the kitchen, to the sink, piled high with dishes, the sound of a plop from the  tap ,  mirroring the drip from the overflowing sink onto the floor.
Oh my goodness, she thought,  I’ve only been away two nights helping Sarah with the new baby he could at least have the kitchen tidy for when I get back.
Turning the tap off she went to take her bag up the stairs wondering where he was and deciding that he was probably with his mates down at the allotment.
Wearily, she climbed the stairs, glad to have time to herself so they didn’t have a row about his lazy behaviour, which she was just not up for today.
“That bloody man, left the ruddy toilet for me as well,” she said out loud, as a strange smell caught her unawares at the top of the stairs.

In their bedroom she stared in disbelief as she saw her husband lying there and going  over to him found his cheek ice cold to her touch.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Coffee Cream

14th Feb 2017

A short Valentine's Day story . Hope you like it.


Coffee Cream

“That was so good. We should do it more often,” Paul smiled, raising his glass of red wine, clinking it with his wife’s, “cheers love.”
“Yes, we will, we will,” Lucy  hoped she wasn’t over enthusiastic in agreeing.  She looked around at dirty plates, waning candles - evidence of their special Valentine’s Day meal and she didn’t look forward to another effort so soon.  All she could think of was being with Josh.
“Look, there’s a chocolate left, you have it dear,” leaning across the table he handed her the heart shaped box.
“No, it’s for you, you have it,” her eyes held his in a warm, knowing gaze as she pushed it back to him. How could she love both at the same time? And when she was with one, always wanting to be with the other? But that’s the way it was. He was speaking again.
“Come on, Luce, it’s coffee cream, your favourite.” he took it out of the box and tenderly offered it to her. She didn’t take it.  He put it on her side plate.
“ I want you to have it,” she said, “ you always let me have the last one. It’s your turn. And I won’t hear another word about it.” She picked up the plate and placed it in front of him. She tried to be a good wife. And she did love him.  A heart shaped chocolate was such a little renunciation compared to all the times she had been too distracted with Josh to even get his dinner on time.  Even now she wondered how he was. Was he pining after her like she was him.
“Shall we sit on the sofa?” his soft words coaxed her and his arm reached out for hers.  “We’ll sort it out like when we were courting.  You remember?”  She wasn’t quite sure she did. He took the plate with him.
“ Mmmm,” sighing  she slumped down next to him.
“Here,” looking into her eyes he bit the chocolate in two. He ate one half. The other he slowly, seductively eased into her mouth, “share and share alike, that’s what I say, just like the old days.” He moved his hand from her mouth to her cheeks and to her eyes, that touch of his that always sent waves through her body making her feel fluttery and thrilled at the same time.
“How long have we got?” he drew her closer.   
“She said she’d have him all night as long as he slept.”

“He’ll be fine then.”  He pulled her off the sofa, “He’s over a year and your mother’s good with him. Let’s go...” and taking her hand, he climbed the stairs ahead of her. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Our Daily Bread

8th Feb 2017


Just to say, the visits to my blog have just gone past 27000. Thank you loyal followers . And all those who write such encouraging messages either on the blog itself or on facebook or google, know that you give me the greatest lift when I read your words.

Six sentences:

Our Daily Bread

She whispered a prayer to herself,  Give us this day our daily bread, as she put one foot in front of the other, covered head bent against the wind.
The baby on her back was hungry and whimpering whilst the toddler stumbling  beside her battled the mud in his bare feet, hardly able to keep going
Her home a heap of rubble, her husband killed,  Maria with hundreds of others,  now headed for Calais, where they hoped to find shelter and safety.
She repeated her prayer many times as each mile they went seemed more difficult and all she wanted to do was stop and rest, but she had to go on.
Every night the whole group would huddle together for warmth and some would go and beg for food if they were near a village, sometimes coming back with a meager portion to share between them.
On the last day Maria was cheered because the weather had picked up, and when they got to the camp volunteers came out to meet them and greeted them warmly, giving them a meal, clean clothes and shelter, for now....



Monday, February 6, 2017

Coastal Walk - 13 Miles

6th Feb 2017


Coastal Walk from Herne Bay to Margate - 13 miles.

We sat on a stone seat just before Birchington, about five miles into our walk, to have a coffee.  I was not sure that I could carry on and was working out in my mind how far we were from the nearest train station.
My feet were sore and I was convinced that if I went much further I'd get blisters.

However after a warm drink and a rest I was revived and decided to go on if my husband wanted to. The previous three miles had been tough - the open sea with wind almost picking you up off the ground added to the thought of another three hours to go . But he was up for it so off we went.

Now all we needed was to find the toilets. Birchington  turned out to be further on than we'd thought. No toilets to be seen .
                                          About half an hour later, we found some
at West Bay. I would not have used them had I not been desperate.

It was a spur of the moment decision to do a practice walk last Friday and it took a while to get ourselves out of the house. Although the sun was shining, the forecast  for the rest of the day wasn't good. So we said we'd play it by ear.

The way to Reculver was familiar to us and there were some interesting things to see along the way, mainly little communities of dog walkers. The humans standing in a huddle with their "friends" while all their the canine pets ran about, happy to be out. And people taking their leave saying " Got to go, see you tomorrow. Hope Jinny feels better, give her my love", at which point they all decide to disperse. Yes, a proper unified group.
It's true what they say, if you move to a new area, you either need a new baby or a dog to  make friends. People speak to you if you have one or the other.  Having had children around me for many years, it seems to me that the dog option is preferable for that.
   



So we said goodbye to Reculver and after a while trod uncharted territory - well, for us anyway. We prayed as we went along silently and also did the rosary. This will be part of our Camino later.

Just further along in West Bay we came to a cafe . A beautiful spot where people were eating lunch and enjoying the sheltered bay to get a bit of warmth from the sun.
We find a spot on the wall near the cafe and sit down to have another coffee. Hubby gets out his sketch book and we while away a half hour or so, watching people coming and going . Here is hubby with cafe in the background . You can just see his sketch book.

And here is what he was looking at.



And so, we're off again. And it seems to be bay after bay, in and out of the shade and on and on.

Walking has a meditative effect after a while and you just keep putting one foot in front of the other. And as you do your senses start to pick up the natural world around you . You become aware of the whooshing in and out of the sea, of the gulls squawking, and when the path takes you a little way off from the sea, of crickets in the grass and the sweet sound of the more delicate smaller birds.
       The rythym takes over and you give way to it.

At last we see a view of Magate. And we keep walking. And walking . The white boxlike building that is the Turner Centre gets no closer it seems.
But,
 five hours later ( should have been four by our calculations, but at least it wasn't six) we get there. I am so chuffed we made it .

Are we glad to get the train back to Herne Bay and walk the final mile home. 

When we do our Camino this will be the daily length of our walk  - or even a little bit further. More practice is needed , I think.


   









Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Six sentence / share




31st Jan 2017

Hi everyone I'd like to share something with you, not because the word for the six sentence challenge this week is "share" but because it's good writing and will resound with a lot of you mums out there. It's my daughter's blog. She has only just started but her writing is brill. Hope you agree.
Please read and comment

GODWHERESTHEMANUAL.WORDPRESS.COM

Also , here's this week's six sentence challenge :



Share



Di walked slowly into the beautifully decorated hall, her eyes scanning the roomful  of noisy, happy  people for the couple whose 25th wedding anniversary the celebration was for.
She nearly didn't come, knowing how difficult it would be to face John with his wife after having spent the last year or so being his confidant, listening to his "my wife doesn't understand me" stories, but as Debbie and John were her good friends she didn't want to let them down and found herself edging closer to where they were, surrounded by friends and family.
She had loved John, without him ever guessing,  since her first week with Bolings Solicitors, so when John came to her after work one evening and asked if he could share some secrets with her, she knew immediately that she had to make the decision whether to encourage his disillusionment  or to give him back his marriage.
As he hugged his wife close he spotted Di coming towards them and gave her a wink, a wink that said "thank you for today" , a wink she hoped nobody else had spotted .
She smiled back, deeply happy for them both but empty inside, remembering how conscientiously he'd followed her advice that it was the little things that mattered , like putting the bin out,  listening to her tell about her day, cooking her a meal and putting a candle on the table, and making time for her, to really love her.







Thursday, January 26, 2017

Sinking ( given)

Thursday 26th January 2017

Six sentence challenge:

The prompt  today is : "given"

Staring at Tamara sitting quietly, playing with a jigsaw puzzle, Tracy asked Lisa what she had given her.
Although it was said in jest, seeing her daughter calm and happy just made her feel more inadequate as a mother.
Tracy had decided it would be easier to go back to work than wear herself out trying to cope, by herself, with her hyperactive daughter.
Finding Lisa was easy and although she assured Tracy that, having had five children of her own, she would have no problem with three year old Tamara, Tracy was not convinced.
But now, as she walked home in the rain, she struggled with feelings of failure , overwhelmed her, even though in her work she was a respected, highly motivated professional.
She might well be able to hold her own in a firm of solicitors, but what good was that when, in the one area of her life that mattered to her most, she felt completely out of her depth.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Walking





The fire, the music, the variety of other customers, were all most welcome  after our hour long walk to Reculver in the biting cold. Even the coffee was reasonable and not Costa, which was it's overriding  good point. We sat and relaxed, me observing and listening, and my other half sketching the regulars at the bar. Later we discussed how they might be able to afford to prop the bar up , buying rounds for their friends and doing the same again the next day. Most ordinary people couldn't manage it. So we thought maybe we were in the company of lottery winners or people with inheritance left them or maybe even bank robbers.

24th Jan 2017


We'd planned our walk as part of our practice for walking the Camino Way, which we hope to do this summer We want to be fit enough to do the 500 (I think) odd miles over six weeks. 
And we do need lots of practice. 
We are thinking of walking from Herne Bay to Margate in the near future and getting the train back. That would be a four hour walk - more than we've completed so far.
But apart from all that there is the fact that we really enjoy the walking. Being out together, chatting as we go along, spotting things along the way. 
There is something that touches the spirit too. Hard to put into words.
And isn't the world full of dog walkers. You feel a bit strange just walking for the sheer pleasure of it.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted.

If you've done the Santiago de Compostella Pilgrimage I'd certainly like to hear from you.
Also, if you intend to do it - especially this summer.







Thursday, January 19, 2017

Six sentences prompt - Turn

19th January.

Good morning everyone. What jot this morning to see a little blue tit on the tree in my garden. With the blue sky behind and beautiful through the branches it was just glorious. So, on went my walking boots and out I went to enjoy it more.

I'm going with a prompt today . Six sentences with the cue, turn.

Overturned

Steve carefully started packing the box, the one the warden had given him, with books , pens, personal possessions and the few photos that had been posted up on his cell wall for the last three years.
One of the pictures caught his attention and picking it up he slumped on his bed, staring at it, remembering a happier time with his wife and daughter when life was carefree and full of hope.
A tear fell on the image as he recalled how difficult the last few years had been for them all as they fought together to have the verdict overturned.
Fighting the appeal had taken its toll and the joy that he should have felt on this day, the day they had all been waiting for when he was to walk out into the world a free man, was buried in a tired preoccupation with the mundane  details of getting out.
As he taped up the box he wondered how he might pick up his life again, how he get would get work, and most importantly how he would make things right with his wife, who had struggled so much to keep things together.
Carrying his few belongings, he stepped purposefully out of his cell, walked down the long corridors lined with noisy inmates wishing him well, out through the great main doors of the prison and didn't even turn to glance back as he headed for the car that was waiting for him with its engine running.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Creeping into 2017

17th Jan 2017

That is officially the first time I have written 2017 in my blog. I know, I know, it's already the 17th day of January, so where was I, especially when I promised to be more active with my posts.

I have no excuse. Life has been busy as the Christmas holidays always are. We try to see all the children in the twelve days and by the the time the Feast of the Epiphany comes round we're pretty much exhausted and need to recharge our batteries. And then comes my birthday less than a week later and, of course, I want to have another chance of getting some of my brood together again ( seventeen this time) for a celebration . So, that having just happened last weekend I am crawling back to my words, albeit a little slowly. Not that I've left them behind altogether. I am still keeping my journal - almost daily. But I've been so tired that's all I've been able to cope with .

So I am just creeping into this New Year, on my knees, very slowly . What are my goals, what do I hope to have done by the time 2018 ( ouch, that was painful...) comes around? I looked back at the dreams I had for the year 2016 and most of them have not materialised, but they are the same ones for this year. One of them is to get an anthology of my poems printed/published . This is quite achievable if I am willing to do the work. So, maybe this is the year that will happen.

There are a few other things I'd like to achieve - Running 5k , swimming the crawl ....and more that I'll keep to myself for now. And I'm looking forward to the better weather to be able to go out running and walking more.

What would you like to achieve in 2017???  Share your dreams with the rest of us.