Wednesday, 27 July 2011

SAD ........... (seasonal affective disorder)

Write On Wednesdays

It's Wednesday which means it's time for WoW, the write on Wednesday challenge where Gll over at inkpaperpen gives us a prompt each week.

Write On Wednesdays Exercise 7 - Sit under a tree and write: Find yourself a quiet spot. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Take a look at Kirsty's/ Tree Photo. Write the first words that come into your head. Keep writing whatever comes into your head. Stop when the buzzer rings. Do this exercise over and over if you wish. If like me, you struggle with visual prompts, perhaps try sitting under a tree to write. I have heard that changing your usual writing place can spark new inspiration. Try it and see. Do both if you please!

She woke as dawn was breaking, a faint smile lingering on her lips, her whole being was suffused with a feeling of contentment, of belonging, of rightness.

As she opened her eyes she realised, it was the dream again.  She loved the dream as much as she hated it. 

She hated the nightmare while preferring its honesty.

Eyes heavy with tiredness she longed to sink back into oblivion but sleep was rarely her friend these days.

The bangle sat on the dresser, the box still open.

Dressing quietly she carefully closing the door behind her, knowing that if she woke him he would ask to come with her. Not wanting to have to explain that she needed this time on her own. He tell her he understood while the hurt in his voice told her that he lied.  He didn't understand, he couldn't, she hadn't told him.

She welcomed the chill in the air, it cleared the fog from her mind. Her breath rose around her in a cloud of vapour. The sun shone weakly at this early hour but the cloudless blue sky held the promise of a beautiful day to come.

Making her way to the tree, her footprints left a trail in the damp grass behind her.  How long had the tree stood here? Maybe two hundred years. What secrets did it hold?

She touched the rough bark, tracing the grain with her fingertips and, in a moment of impulsiveness, stretched her arms as far around its wide trunk as she could, pressing the full length of her body into it as though by some process of osmosis she might share those secrets and gain the answers she so desperately craved.
The tree shared it's secret.

The secret was in the changing of the seasons.

The promise of new life and happiness in the Spring, delicate buds, gradually unfurling, reaching out towards the sun. 

The overblown joy of the Summer, basking in the warmth, the dappled light shining through the leaves. 

The Autumn, a time to acknowledge the passing of the Summer, to gather strength for the long days ahead. 

The Winter, a time to endure the cold and darkness whilst waiting for the promise of a new Spring.

It was Autumn for her now but the Summer was still vivid in her heart,  Winter was yet to come. 

She held on to the belief, the certain knowledge, that this was the natural order of things, the way things had always been. 

The Summer she had foolishly hoped might, just this once, last a lifetime had passed her by. But there would be a new  Spring and maybe, just maybe she would find that happiness and hope again one day.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

A Bit of a Ramble ......

Bizarre some of the keyword people put in that lead them to my blog.

Today so far it's been 'how to make lizards out of fudge' and 'people who eat fuller earth'!

I wonder if they stop for a while when they find me ...............

I had a text last night.  The person who sent it obviously had auto correct switched on  didn't check the text before they hit send. 12.36am I get a text saying 'I want to put cockles all over you'. Now I'm thinking, did they mean to say that and do I really look like the hull of a beat up old boat?...........

I'm still pondering my reply, any thoughts?

I was also told to 'go careful - old birds with dodgy knees shouldn't go climbing on rocks' when I told a 'friend' I was fossil hunting at Lyme on Sunday.  Hmmm, I sometimes wonder if I should find some new friends ;)

For the record, I broke my knee behaving in an outrageous manner whilst totally bladdered, nothing to do with advancing years at all!

I get quite a lot of texts, some thanks to O2 Lots of times!!  The other day my phone started re-sending messages I'd sent and deleting texts I wanted to save too.  A software update was the answer I was told but it still hasn't sorted the multiple text issue Guess I'll learn to live with it.

I had a text the other night saying 'naughty me', still trying to work out if it was a statement or a request, whatever happened to punctuation?  I can't DO text speak either although the odd lol does creep in now and then.

Feeling in a bit of a rambling mood, it's been a glorious day in Somerset, I went for a bike ride, watched a heron dive from the top of a pine into a lake to catch a fish and nearly bought a huge hammock that I have nowhere to put just because it was a beautiful deep blue colour.

I'm now going to lure the dog into the garden to turn the hose on him. The word bath sends him wide eyed and trembling under the table which is odd as he loves the water and swimming, hosing him down seems a little less traumatic for all of us.

And tonight the plan is to be in bed and asleep BEFORE 4:30 am!

All I Want For Christmas

is a decent camera..........

Nothing flashy, I'd never read the manual anyway so it would be wasted on me.

My lack of a decent camera doesn't stop me taking photos even if they are on my (frankly not really up to it) phone and on Sunday I spent the day at Lyme Regis in West Dorset.

The original plan had been to spend Saturday at Woolacombe with it's seemingly endless beach and waves that bring surfers from miles around.

Sadly I wasn't too well on Saturday and Sunday wasn't really traditional beach weather (the joys of a UK Summer!).

How glad am I!!!

The joy of seeing my children revert to being children, clambering over rocks looking for fossils, dangling their feet in a stream, playing hide and seek in the woods.

No TV, no computer games, no commercial, over thought out, over priced , themed, 'fun' park.

Just us, the sea, the rocks, fresh air and laughter (and a huge homemade picnic).

We had the BEST day .............

one of the many large fossils we found

There's something about driftwood ...

my favorite photo of the day

amazing cliff formation

the fossil hunters

of course Gus came too!

boats in the harbour

Miss Mac and Gus cooling their feet after a VERY long climb

possibly why they call it the Jurassic coast

view from the hills high above the bay

my 'arty 'shot

Giant Gunnera (or so I'm informed)

Master Mac holding back coastal erosion

you may have already seen this one ;)
oops, couldn't resist, I'm baaad  

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Circle of Life

There’s a little mortuary building up outside of my bathroom window.

Tilly, my lovely, sweet, gentle kitty seems to have found a mouse nest somewhere nearby.

Miss Mac is distraught and wants me to rescue them and nurse them back to health (hmm, I’m thinking it might be a little late for that honey).

Master Mac is fascinated and wants to prod them with a stick.

Tilly is bewildered that her offerings are being met by a screaming harpy shouting at her to take the damned things back outside.

I am not a fan of mice running loose in my house.  Last winter one set up residence behind the fridge and used to pop out in the evenings, totally ignored by the cats and stroll around the place like he owned it!

I’m not so good at killing things and anyway, putting down poison was a no no with the other animals.  He laughed at the humane trap and got into the cupboard and pissed all over my Christmas lights!

One morning I took the lid off the bin to empty it and there he was, feasting on leftover pasta.  Well, what was I going to do?

He had three days to stuff himself stupid and think about how he brought about his own demise before the wheelie bin was emptied.  The small pang of guilt I may have felt soon dispersed when I discovered the hole he has chewed through the box of my hair straighteners so he could climb inside and crap on them!

My garden is tiny and fast filling up with little bodies.

There was Rascal the first of Miss Macs hamsters who lived to the old age of 2 ½.  He is buried under the bay tree in a straw lined box that used to hold toiletries.

Sir Frederick Fluffballs met his demise after an unfortunate incident involving teeth, Master Macs finger and the door.  Buried next to Rascal in an Orange phone box he occasionally makes reappearance as one of the cats has a dig about.

One day last summer I came home to find the big leather bound family bible given to Ex Lax and I as a wedding present on the coffee table.

In the back garden were Master Mac and a friend looking very solemn.

They had seen a bird hit by a car and crossed over to rescue it.  Unfortunately another car hit it and it was game over for the little birdy.

Rather than leave it on the roadside they decided to bring it home and give it a decent burial.

Knowing no funeral is complete without a few words being said over the deceased they got the Bible down and read a passage or two.

That’s incredibly caring of a couple of almost teenagers I said.

Yep, said Master Mac, we wanted to give Road Kill a proper send off!

That awkward moment

When someone goes in for the lunge and you accidentally head butt them.

Well, I say accidentally ………  he was bloody lucky I didn’t bitch slap him!

That approach might have succeeded when I was 16, which incidentally was the last time I went on a date with this particular person (the blast from the past I mentioned a few posts ago) but I didn’t even realise this WAS a date.

Perhaps I’m a bit thick when it comes to men. I work on the assumption that If I'm not interested in them then they probably aren't in me.

I think a black eye and a broken nose might have made my position clear this time (a slight exaggeration ..... but only slight).

I’m a bit overwhelmed by the male species at the moment.  I managed to fall out with two of them before 8am this morning.

The children’s school has had activity days for the last three days of term.  Master Mac has been doing football skills with Exeter City football club.  The first two days at school involved a 9:15am start.  Today they were travelling to Exeter for a tournament.

6:45am, I woke him up having forgotten to ask what time he had to leave.  “The usual time” he grunted.

“What, the usual time you go to school (for an 8:45 start) or the usual time you’ve had to leave for the activity days” I asked (quite reasonably I thought!)

“The usual time”

“Yes but, the usual time…………..”  you get my drift …….

This went on for several minutes, In the end I left him to it.  It was either that or jump on the bed, batter him with a pillow yelling in his face “which effing usual time!!!”

5 minutes later he stomped down the stairs.  “Did you have to wake me up by TALKING to me he growled”.

13 year olds REALLY hate it when you laugh at them!

27 year olds don’t like it much either.  I can’t remember what Big D and I had words about but his parting shot  of, “I’m going out for an hour to let you regain control of your hormones”, was fortunately as he closed the front door or they may well have been the last words he uttered!

Then there's the cat, Bear (he of little brain).  I've decided to cancel his op for the snip.  Why deny myself the pleasure?  In the last few days he has broken a plate, eaten a hole in a cake and, for good measure, shit in my bathroom!!!

Linking up with And then there were four for the Weekend Rewind

Thursday, 21 July 2011

“The first thing I'm buying when I get paid Friday is Jaguar Skills album”

Write On Wednesdays (part 4)

The final part of this weeks WoW.

“The first thing I'm buying when I get paid Friday is Jaguar Skills album"

The group of lads spilled from the fuggy warmth of the pub into the street scattering in different directions.

The cool night air made her shiver. He placed his jacket around her shoulder and she sank gratefully into the soft cloth.


She nodded feeling suddenly exhausted, the last remnants of alcohol leaving her body taking her defences with them.

She could feel the tears threatening to spill over her eyelids, her vision blurred, the lights from the pub windows fragmented and danced.  Angrily she blinked hard.  Who was she crying for?

“You’re a good friend” she said linking her arm with his, pulling him close so their shoulders touched.

“A friend” he repeated sadly, stopping and turning to face her.  They looked at each other, he touched his finger to the corner of her eye where a solitary tear had escaped.

“Always, I’ll always be your friend”

And so the evening ended as it had begun with her looking at herself in the mirror.

Make up slightly smudged, her lipstick long gone leaving her lips pale and full.

Her clothes lay on the chair beside the bed, a jumble of leather, denim and silk.

She held the bangle in both hands. The tears that had threatened earlier now softly falling. 

This wasn’t the  out pouring of grief that had gone before. The kind that made her nose run, her eyes red rimmed and swollen, that left her empty and sore and so, so cold.

She could hear him moving around beyond the door and the music quietly playing.  She knew that he was waiting for her.

She carefully placed the bangle in it’s box, her hand poised to snap it shut.

She sat on the edge of the bed, wrapping the warm woollen throw around her, not yet she thought, not yet, maybe never............

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

“Party Time!!!”

Write On Wednesdays (part 3)

I seem to have got a bit carried away with this weeks WoW.  The prompt was to take a status from FB or Twitter and write the first words that come into your head.

After my first post  there was more I wanted to say so I went back to FB and took another Status and, here we are for part 3 :)

Gill, my apologies for filling up your blog, I can't seem to let this one go and my friends keep posting the perfect follow on status updates!

“Party Time!!!”

The hands on her waist span her around pulling her close to his chest.

What the hell did she mean?  What did she know?  Did she really say that? Suddenly it seemed so important to know.

She could feel the heat from his body burning through the thin fabric of her top.  She inhaled the familiar scent of his aftershave and tasted the faint salt tang of his skin where her lips rested against his neck.

Pulling away from him slightly she looked over her shoulder, past the heaving mass of bodies towards the door, but it was firmly closed.  The woman would be long gone by now taking the answer with her.

She let him lead her through the crowded room, past the band and into the garden lit with fairy lights.  Smokers huddled in the far corner puffing frantically, the air alive with sound of laughter and anticipation.

“Let’s dance baby”, he smiled down at her, his face shone with fun, with laughter, and something else, something she didn’t want to think about right now. 

She shook her head needing some time out, time to breath.  He led her to a bench and sat, elbows on the table, chin resting in his cupped hands. Watching her, trying to guess her thoughts. She seemed so far away right now.

Absentmindedly she stroked the fine wire of the bangle, touching the stone as though it was some kind of talisman.

“What is it with that damned bracelet?” The words burst from him in frustration, forcing her to look at him, to see the hurt in his eyes.

“It’s complicated” she said with a sigh ……..

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

What A Curious Pretty Thing This Is

Write On Wednesdays (part 2)

"What a curious, pretty thing this is"

Standing at the bar with one foot resting on the brass rail that ran around the bottom, her head buzzed with alcohol. 

Her hair dropping slightly in the heat gave her a halo of ringlets and wayward curls that tumbled over her shoulders. She held them away from her damp neck with one hand, the other clutching the money for the drink she so desperately needed to quench her thirst.

Despite her dry throat she stood with her eyes closed, lost in the music, swaying slightly to the beat while all around her drinks were being passed back and forth across the polished wood.

The brief touch on her wrist jerked her out of her reverie.  Opening her eyes she saw the woman she had noticed earlier standing in front of her.

A woman who stood out from the crowd. A little older than most but with a timeless beauty that caught the eye and held it captive.  Elegant and perfectly groomed. She didn’t belong in this crush. The loud rock music was surely an affront to those ears with the tiny diamond and pearl studs and yet, she had stayed...

“It was a present” she replied almost defensively, covering the bangle with her other hand, holding it close to her body, feeling the smooth, cool, turquoise stone under her fingers.

The woman's eyes softened with an emotion she didn't understand.

“I know” she thought she heard her say as she lightly brushed her shoulder with her hand and walked away towards the door and out into the night.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Dress code Rock Chick

The Write on Wednesday prompt for this week was to log in to Facebook or Twitter and write down the first update you see.  Set the timer for 5 minutes and write the first words that come into your head.

Write On Wednesdays

Gills prompts always make me want to sit down and write something straight away and that's what I tend to do with very little editing I write it, post it and then think about it.

“Dress code Rock Chick!!  Time for a wardrobe rethink …….”

She contemplated the outfit laid out on the bed.  Normally a fairly confident person she was unused to self doubt (well, in her personal appearance anyway).

There was a fine line between sexy and sad as you got older and, although she didn’t feel, it the truth was that there would probably be lots of twenty something’s out there.  She didn’t feel the need to compete with them. She was happy in her own skin. But getting this right suddenly seemed so important.

Studying herself in the mirror she touched the tousled hair untamed for just one night.  The smoky eyes dominated her face, her lips a soft red.  Dressed all in black, skin tight jeans and high heeled boots accentuated the length of her legs.  The silky top caressing her curves rather than exposing them and the wide leather belt with silver studs slung around her hips added that rock chick effect. 

All that was needed was her favourite jewellery, a mist of perfume and she was good to go. Picking up the delicate silver bangle with the turquoise stone she hesitated for just a moment before slipping it over her wrist.

With a deep breath and a bright smile she gently closed the door on the doubts in her mind.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Make It Count

I’m my own biggest critic.  I envy people who have unshakeable belief in themselves.  Maybe sometimes it’s misguided but how comforting must it be to know that you’ve done a good job without asking yourself how you could have done better.

This morning I baked a cake, nothing new there really BUT, this cake was for the judges of the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) who were judging the local parks for the Briton in Bloom awards.

I have some involvement in our local park along with a few other like minded locals.  Just little things that help keep the park a clean, safe and beautiful area for our children.

Anyway, the judges wanted somewhere to have mid morning coffee and cake and I was elected to make the cake. Of course the damned cake stuck to the tin, something that’s NEVER happened before.  I’d left it ‘til this morning to make as a sponge cake really doesn’t keep well. Both parts broke as I took them out.  I sandwiched them back together with buttercream and strawberry jam and a dusting of icing sugar on the top covered the cracks but I fretted about that damned cake all morning!

Anyway, the cake and the park were a hit and my fears were groundless BUT the point of telling you all this is that we often spend so much time analysing and critising ourselves that we forget to appreciate and congratulate ourselves on the things we do well.

Now Mila at Here Under the Rainbow thinks we should do that a little more often and I think she’s right.

She’s put it in the perspective of blogging and started a pay it forward kind of link to revisit what you’ve written and acknowledge its worth. Then you list 3 blogs you’d like to recognize.

The lovely Catherine from Inside Out   listed me to take part, thank you so much Catherine! x

Here are the rules:

1). Write a post base on the three categories below.
2). In your post, include a link for each category.
3). Then challenge three fellow bloggers to do the same.

My Best Humor Post

Well, I like to think that many of my post have an element of humour, the silly, ridiculous and sometimes frankly bizarre ‘things’ that happen to me but my best?  Hmmm, well, this is the one that makes me laugh (retrospectively!) the most.

My Best How-To Post

Now with this one I was in a little trouble, I don’t think I HAVE a ‘how to’ post.  Mostly I think I read as a guide to ‘how not to’!!!  So I think I’m going to have to go with that.  Not strictly following the guidelines but this is my favourite.

My Best Charlie Brown Post
According to Mila, "This post may be one that you worked very hard on, but it was overlooked. Yet, you love it like Charlie Brown loved that scrawny Christmas tree."

Again, which one to choose ….. Possibly an early one when I was blogging in bulk and into oblivion.  One that got a little lost in time before I was discovered by those people lovely enough to want to read me.  I’m going to choose … this one:

Now, that’s me done so the next thing is to choose the 3 people that I would love to see carry this on and to tell them that for me (and many others) You do make it count!

So here goes:

Gemma from My Big Nutshell

Lou from waiting to emigrate and

Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Curates Egg

It's late, I'm tired and I should really go to bed.

But, as usual, my head is buzzing and I'm pretty sure that I won't sleep until I get the words out whatever they may be.

The last couple of weeks have been pretty highly charged and I've been all over the place.  Nothing much was going right and I was wondering where the next blow was going to fall.

Well, it hasn't, if fact things are evening out a little.

Yesterday I was on the receiving end of possibly THE best chat up line ever, 'been to any ......... jumble sales lately?'  It wasn't successful but it was original so full credit for that!

Miss Mac got great marks for two projects she'd worked really hard on at school.

Master Mac gave me a big hug (the first he'd been able to give me in a week due to his burns).

The cat (Bear of little brain) caught the fuck off great moth flapping around my dining room thus saving me the dilemma of what the hell to do about it.  Spiders, snakes, mice, you name it, I'll deal with it but moths? NO THANK YOU!!!

Big D (son no 1) cooked me the best brunch ever.

And I spoke to my best friend and we understand each other and we are still friends.

It may be the 13th today  but suddenly, I feel pretty lucky.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Something’s gotta give Aerosmith

This is my second attempt at this weeks WoW.

The  exercise was to write down the first line of lyrics to your favorite song OR to turn on the radio and write down the first line of lyrics you hear. Set your timer for 5 minutes and write 
down the first words that come into your head after writing the prompt.

This isn’t my favourite song and it’s also not the first line of lyrics from a song although it is a recurring theme throughout the song. 

It’s a status update from one of my friends on FB.

Possibly it means absolutely nothing to him, it's just a line from a song he likes and there is no hidden message. I don’t know but it’s been playing on my mind ……

For some reason I feel a little uncomfortable hitting the publish button but I'm not sure why so I'm going to do it anyway.

"Does the noise in my head bother you?"

Do you drown it out with your own noise?
Do you hear me?  Do you understand? Do you care, do I count?

Does the noise in my head bother you?

Do you talk a little louder to cover the sound?
Do you know? Do you feel? Do you hurt, do I matter?

Does the noise in YOUR head bother you?

I hear it mixed with mine
I know,  I understand, I care, you count

Does the noise in your head bother you?

It bothers me ..........

Monday, 11 July 2011

“Sail away with me honey”

Write On Wednesdays

This weeks WoW writing exercise was to write down the first line of lyrics to your favorite song OR to turn on the radio and write down the first line of lyrics you hear. Set your timer for 5 minutes and write down the first words that come into your head after writing the prompt.

In one of those strange twists of fate, as I turned on the radio this morning, BEFORE reading about this weeks challenge my favorite song was playing:

Sail Away - David Grey ........

'Sail away with me honey'.

She kept her head bowed, focussing on their entwined hands.  She didn’t need to look up to know the expression on his face, to see the love in his eyes or the way his bottom lip was caught between his teeth.

She could hear the tremor in his voice, the pleading he tried so hard to hide, the ache that echoed in her own heart.

Have the courage the voice in her head screamed but she knew she wouldn’t listen.

‘I’m doing this for you’ she whispered.

She felt his fingers loosen in hers as slowly he pulled them from her grasp.

Her every instinct was to hold on but she was afraid.

‘Keep telling yourself that honey’ he said as he turned and walked into the future alone.

Over the Hedge

At the very bottom of the garden hidden away behind the chicken house was a gap in the fuchsia hedge. If you scrambled up the slippery moss covered bank and pushed the branches aside it was possible to jump down into the field below.

In the early autumn there is a magical moment just as the sun rises when a mist steals up from the sea and rolls across the field like waves breaking on the shore.

As the sun grows in strength the mist shimmers and evaporates.

Autumn is the season for mushroom picking. Overnight delicate white capped field mushrooms with velvety brown pleated underside spring up on the brow of the hill that leads to the valley

Beyond the brow of the hill a swathe of green sweeps down towards the sea.

From a very young age I would take off across this field and head for the beach.  Many of the beaches on the South Devon coast are linked by cliff paths and so I would beach hop between the two closest to where we lived.

Challaborough, the smaller of the two beaches is set in a deep rift at the bottom of the valley a patchwork of fields dotted with sheep stretching high above.  Challaborough also boasted a Caravan park.  

The caravans when I was young were mostly small and a little dingy but for me the place held the thrall of the holiday maker!  People from all over the country, from towns and cities, people with different accents, some from different countries.

It was exciting, vibrant, different and for a couple of months each year I would savour that difference. 

These were people who didn’t know my name.  People who didn’t know I wasn’t one of them. People who weren’t one of us.

There was little to do in Challaborough other than sit on the sand or swim in the sea but there was a small café, The Dolphin and as I grew older the influx of summer workers to the area became part of the lure.  

Summer meant new faces. Summer meant boys!  Teenagers working through the summer, Boys to practise newly acquired flirting skills on and, sometimes, to share an illicit, innocent kiss.

Along the steep, sandy cliff path bordered by rocks lay the next cove.  

This was the third part of the village I've spoken of before, Bigbury on Sea.

By the carpark  was a large café  where I spent the summer after my 14th birthday working.  A few gift shops set in the rock beside the steep stone steps that led to the sands and, to one side, the Tom Crocker, a restaurant at the end of an indoor walkway in which a village scene had been fabricated.  Little cottages with roses around the door but through the windows all that could be seen was the blank wall of the walkway behind.  

On the outside, a holiday makers village idyll, on the inside, bare brick.

When the tide was out the sand stretched in a wide golden band across to the jewel in the crown of our little seaside village.  

Burgh Island is approximately 2 miles square.  It boasts the most beautiful 1920’s Art Deco hotel.  The Pilchard, a quaint stone built pub and, at that time a small gift shop come café.

There is a path running past all of this and it winds it way around the island to a ruined chapel at the top which was at one time part of a Monastery.

Burgh Island is deserving of a post of it's own.  It's history is fascinating.  It's been visited by the rich and the famous from The Beatles to Churchill (who it is said met Eisenhower there in the run up to the D- Day invasion) Edward and Mrs Simpson, Noel Coward and many more as well as being the location for many films and drama series.

When the tide is out you can walk the mile across the sand to the island and, when the tide is in, you take the sea tractor!  The sea tractor is a mighty beast with steps up to the open platform, just a couple of railings to stop you falling the 15 feet into the sea below.

When I was very young the Island was owned by my best friend Lucy's parents.  The hotel was a very different place to the beautifully restored, very exclusive 1030's retreat it is now but it had a certain shabby charm and was a part of the community in a way that sadly seems to have been lost.

Many of the things from my childhood have disappeared.  The scramble of eclectic gift shops no longer line the stone steps.  The Tom Crocker and village street are long gone, converted into exclusive and very expensive holiday apartments.  The hotel on the island is surrounded by security fencing and no longer accessible to the curious holiday maker but the sea tractor remains and, if you look past the modernisation and 'improvement' you can still see the Bigbury of my childhood.  The rocks around the island where we used to take out a boat to fish for mackerel and sea bass, the rock pools teaming with sea life, the golden sands remain unchanged and the tide still sweeps in from both sides of the island twice a day.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Room With a View

The windows in the house where I grew up were big, old fashioned sash windows.

They rattled in the wind that whipped around the house in winter. The cold air would seep through the gaps and we would wake up to a beautiful tracing of hoar frost on the glass panes.

In the Summer I would throw up the sash and climb over the sill dropping down into the back garden.
The house, as I’ve explained before was a long bungalow.  At the back, to one end, was a short extension which gave the house an almost L shape.

The extension was to my left as I jumped out of the window.  It housed the kitchen which overlooked the garden and also what was referred to as the outhouse. Below the window grew great bushes of Hydrangea and sweet smelling Daphne.

The outhouse was where Grandad kept the food for the chickens, it had a warm oaty smell with an undertone of carbon from the coal bunker.  The coal bunker was attached to the outside of the outhouse and was filled to the brim with shiny black coal like black gold at the beginning of each winter. 

Inside the outhouse, under a wide shelf, was a small doorway which led to the coal bunker outside. Grandad would open the little door and shovel the coal into a big brass scuttle that sat beside the fire in the dining room.

Above the shelf, suspended from the ceiling were hooks where my Grandmother hung muslin bags full of fruit, a bowl underneath to catch the juice of the berries as it dripped through the cloth. She would transform the liquid into jellies and jams to store in the huge wooden wardrobe in the bedroom at the front of the house.

The garden was large and square, surrounded by a fuchsia hedge alive in the summer with the hum of bees gathering nectar from the beautiful vivid red flowers with the purple centres.

The back garden was Grandads kingdom. He could be found, flat cap on his head, digging and planting, tying up runner beans, the bamboo wigwams intercepted with bright orange marigolds because ‘the slugs would eat them first’ and sweet peas because, well, just because I think he liked them. 

He would plait onions into long ropes to hang in the garage, bring in the first of the tiny new potatoes, their waxy skins still covered in earth, a bunch of fragrant mint in his other hand. ‘Something for dinner’ he would say and lay his offering on the blue linoleum covering of the kitchen table.

The chickens lived in a large run at the bottom of the garden with a high wire fence surrounding it.  Grandad would cut the outer leaves from a cabbage and throw them in.  Whilst the chickens were feasting I would unlatch the gate and run to the henhouse opening the door to find the freshly laid eggs nestling in the hay filled boxes.  Carefully I would lay the still warm eggs in cloth lined basket and, tongue between my teeth, one eye on the hens, tiptoe carefully back to the gate breathing a sigh of relief as I dropped the catch behind me.

Around the edge of the garden grew gooseberry bushes, big, fat, sweet, yellow skinned goose berries I would pick warm from the bush and pop straight into my mouth.

There were always strawberries for pudding in the summer with bowls of thick crusted yellow clotted cream.  Red currents, black currents and white currents, cabbages, cauliflower and cucumbers.  We ate for the seasons and everything that couldn't be eaten was pickled and made into jams and chutneys to eat with the left over cold Sunday roast on Monday lunchtime along with a great pile of mashed potato.

The back garden was surrounded by a huge corn field, as far as the eye could see in the summer, the golden ears of corn rippled in the breeze, down through the valley to the blue sea beyond.

On a clear night the distant flash from the lighthouse could be seen from the window, guiding ships safely in to harbour, a reassuring twinkle in the inky blackness.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Tonight I made peace with myself.

I did a lot of thinking today.  A little bit of crying.  Far too much cleaning! But no cooking.

 Lovely D my eldest cooked a mean curry for us all and his soon to be live in Girlfriend L.

I’m not saying that eveything’s fine but I’ve reached a certain level of acceptance.  I accept the inevitable, I understand the reasons.  I acknowledge that I don’t have to like it or agree with it but my best friend really does have my best interests at heart (however misguided that may be).

I think I managed that pretty damned quick!!!

I probably wouldn’t have quite so quickly if it hadn’t been for the support and caring comments I got from you lot over the last week and a long chat with my long term best friend (and yes, I’m allowed more than one) Maggie tonight (I love you Maggiemoo).

Obviously I AM still a little emotional (hey, I’m not shallow you know!) so I’m allowed to also say how the support of people I now consider to be friends in our strange little cyber world really has made such a difference to me.

Tomorrow I’ve decided it’s time to get this blog back on track so I’m going to be working on part 2 of ‘where are you from’, it’s a bit overdue  and a trip down happy paths may be just what I need right now.

The gift that just keeps giving

Today I lost my best friend.

It’s funny.  I’m a really private person and yet, despite knowing that people I know read this I spill my guts in ways on here that I’d never do on somewhere like Face Book.

Maybe it’s that one step of detachment.  The lack of an immediate response.  The knowledge that before someone writes a comment on here they have probably given it some thought first, it’s not going to just be a throw away remark. That seems so unfair to my friends, they have been amazing and kept me going through some pretty tough times and I love them for it.

Maybe my defences are just low right now and I’ll regret opening up the private part of my life.

Like I said before, this isn’t what I started blogging for.  My blog is lighthearted, a bit of fun, designed to make people laugh at the stupid ‘things’ that I do or that happen to me.

That is the real me too but there are some things I find I just can’t laugh about.

Losing my best friend ranks pretty high on the shit things that seem to be happening right now.

So, despite my positive thoughts yesterday I’ve realised that sometimes my belief isn’t enough.  Sometimes I need someone to believe in me.

My best friend doesn’t believe in me and it’s breaking my heart.

I read lots of blogs for many different reasons and I KNOW so many people are facing things that are so much harder than the things I have to deal with.  I see their courage alongside their pain and I admire them so much.

I keep telling myself how much I have to be thankful for but somehow, knowing that doesn’t make it all ok.

Time is a healer, I know that. I won’t be this unhappy forever. Maybe on day I’ll find a new best friend, seems inconceivable right now, no one could ever take my best friends place.

I want to be happy. But for now, the sun has gone off my rock.

So why am I telling you this?  I guess I just wanted to explain why I haven’t replied to all of the comments on other posts.  I have read them and I DO really appreciate them.  I’m just struggling to find the words at the moment.

I think I need to take a little time out. Maybe go and have a rant at 02 who still not only persist in sending me the message telling me to top up at least 10 times a day but have also decided that I need the message telling me my best friend doesn’t believe in me 8 times in the last fucking hour.

 Like I needed reminding!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The week that was

It's been a strange kind of week and surely it's lasted far more than 7 days?

I've had my world rocked, my brain turned to spaghetti, lost my mojo, been given flowers, told my toenails are beautiful, been chastised by a bowl of ice cream and jellybeans and confronted by a blast from the past.

I've been reminded of my mortality, dealt with 2nd degree burns, cooked and baked and sat in the sun.

I've tried my hand at fiction, at romance, reason, anger and despair.

I've been reflective and sad, I've looked forward and felt hopeful.

I've wanted to give the world a damn good kick up the backside.

Is it any wonder I'm confused?

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

In The Words of Cat Stevens - The First Cut ............

My second stab at this weeks WoW although I'm not sure it really counts as Romance.

"I can't stress how important it is that we behead this fiend.

A collective wince swept the room as, to a man, they crossed their legs.

Moments earlier there had been light hearted banter, nudging and winking, ‘well, WOULD you’??

Apart from the few serious boffins at the front intent on discussing the medical, ethical and of course religious connotations the general consensus had been ‘NO WAY JOSE!’

As an opening line it possibly was a little harsh she acknowledged. But hey, they were big boys (or so they would lead you to believe) and frankly she really wasn’t in the mood to humour them.

Enough time had been spent in this mans world for her to appreciate that the only way to survive was to hit ‘em hard and keep ‘em down.

Besides, it gave her a certain amount of quiet amusement. 

For all their bluff and bluster. All their sidelong looks. All the comments made just loud enough for her to hear. They needed reminding from time to time that this was HER platform, her area of expertise.

They needed to understand, you didn’t have to own the pony to know how to ride it. 

Monday, 4 July 2011

You make me lizard happy

Write On Wednesdays

For this weeks WoW  Gill has handed the reins to Allison over at The Fibro. Allison is a freelance writer and her dream is to be a novelist, she has given us a writing prompt: the first line from her current read, The Untamed Bride, by Stephanie Laurens.  The book is a Romance and thus, the theme this week is Romance:

"I can't stress how important it is that we behead this fiend."

When he looked at her quizzically she realised that she’d unwittingly uttered the sentence aloud.
‘It’s a figure of speech’ she said with a soft sigh, ‘a metaphor’, so afraid that the person who 
understood her better than anyone would fall at this hurdle.

Afraid that he hadn’t truly thought this through, had only recognised the difficulties and had lost sight of the future and all the joy it could bring. That he had closed his mind to the possibilities. That the person who meant everything to her had switched off emotionally from her.

Surely he couldn’t just walk away now, there had to be a way to make him see.

Do you remember she began only to be silenced by the look in his eyes.  Of course I remember said the look, do you think I could ever forget?

Every word seemed so important, but the words in her mind were jumbled so scared was she that the ones she uttered might not be the right ones. That they might confirm to him what he thought he already knew.

And so, she settled for the ones that she knew to be true.

'Then be with me' she said 'because anything else is unimaginable'.

“You make me understand how wonderful it is for little lizards when they find that one special rock that's perfect for sunning themselves on. You make me lizard happy