Thursday, 30 August 2012

Visual Dare 20: Cascade

Time for another Visual Dare, wow that week went quick!

I've not used the picture prompt this week just the word "cascade" as inspiration for my writing.

Gnarled hands held the moneybag tightly, a twisted knot of last hope. With shuffling steps she reached the prime spot, face to face with her nemesis.

Awkwardly she took out a shiny silver coin and offered it.

There was no satisfaction. Her adversary extorted more, unashamedly trading for false promises.

She brought the last silver piece to her pursed lips and left a trace of Ruby Sunset.  A kiss for that elusive thing called “luck”.

Breath held expectantly, waiting for the last click of the wheel.

A shining cascade tumbled. 

She could almost taste her next bottle of cheap whiskey.

You can find links to more Visual Dare stories at Anonymous Legacy or why not try and write your own 100 word story, Angela is sure to give you a warm welcome!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

the end of summer but the start of something new

With one week left of the school summer holidays comes a chance to reflect back and look forward.

There's a re-post on unravelling-edges of how I felt this time last year.

September is a month of new beginnings as well as a time to pick up the usual routine. The boys will be back at school, a year older and hopefully wiser! Oldest son will be in year 11 with all the pressures of GCSEs to come. Youngest son will be year 8 - no longer the youngest year in the school.

New shoes, new uniform, more pens - all prepared!

This morning I've had a much needed haircut so I feel fab and look amazing ( my self confidence is riding high at the moment!). There are some good things on the horizon and I am ready for the next stage of my adventure.

This morning I wrote a little poem about coming to the end of the holidays, they've been a much needed pause in my busyness but everything comes to an end...

boat made by youngest son in year 6
     Set sail
            floating aimlessly
                            floating lazily

     Time to reel my sail boat in
     little by little to the shore
     feet on solid ground once more

     A plan
     some routine
     pick up my dreams 
     and set my compass

               Take hold before life sails right by

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Five Sentence Fiction - BLUSH

I'm trying something different here today in my five sentence story and I hope the Jane Austen fans are still speaking to me at the end because I've "borrowed" a couple of her characters...

Lillie's prompt this week was BLUSH.

Lillie McFerrin

Mr Bennet found the new Mrs Bennet perched on the end of the bed in a white nightgown; for a woman of so many forthright opinions she looked suddenly diminished.

Her face coloured when she saw him, like a blossoming red rose.

He remembered their first meeting at the ball, how she coyly hid her blushing face from him behind her fan, as was the custom of such young ladies.

Reaching out an unsteady hand he tenderly touched her flowing hair for the first time.

They looked at each other both knowing it to be a truth universally acknowledged, that Mr Bennet being in possession of property (and a wife), must now be in want of an heir.

Let me know what you think...
Would Jane be turning in her grave or blushing?

Monday, 27 August 2012


Yesterday I went out for the day with some friends to a scarecrow festival. Each one had a pig theme and we walked around the village working out which pig fitted the names on the sheet.

There were scarecrow pigs on bikes, Olympian cyclists Laura Trotter and Bradley Piggins, a very tall bearded giant of a pig called Hogrid and Boarglar Bill, complete with swag bag, who appears annually in different locations.

We had fun working out the cryptic clues and rewarded ourselves with a delicious pub lunch when we had finished.

Scarecrows seem to be the “in” thing at the moment because last weekend I visited my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and their village was staging its inaugural scarecrow day.

As my in-laws live in The Old Post Office they decided to make Postman Pat, Mrs Goggins and Ted Glen.

My brother-in-law had made wooden frames providing the basic shape; my sister-in-law had found some clothes, including a proper postman’s jacket and bag on loan from an undisclosed source!

All that needed doing when I arrived was making the heads and the finishing touches.

“I’m so glad you’ve come to help.” Said Sister-in-Law with a cheeky grin.

She knows I’m never one to turn down a creative challenge. I had a look at the materials to hand and set to work on my project.

Pat and Ted have very long heads so I made pillowcase style shapes to stuff with newspaper. I sewed some long noses into place and made some felt eyes. 

Pat’s spectacles had already been constructed from pipe cleaners, an old postman’s hat last seen worn by my nephew when he was three was taped on the head with straw for hair.

Ted Glen, the village handyman, has a black moustache and eyebrows stuck on and hair that I made from fabric stitched to his flat cap.

Mrs Goggins, the post mistress, has a different shaped head, perfectly round. 

“I’ve found some old socks, are they any use?”

They were the right grey colour for her hair, when cut in half and placed over a basketball it looked perfect. The ball was an old one so it was skewered and the socks were fixed with glue, I added a few stiches here and there to keep her tightly pulled back hair style and bun in place. A ping pong ball nose inserted under the fabric of her face gave her the bulbous nose just right to balance her specs on!

Here’s the finished trio complete with Jess the Cat.

I’ve been thinking all week of some profound words of wisdom to add to the pictures on my blog which is why I’ve not posted something earlier.

A scarecrow according to Wikipedia is “traditionally a human figure dressed in old clothes and placed in fields by farmers to discourage birds such as crows or sparrows from disturbing and feeding on recently cast seed and growing crops.”

The scarecrows I have seen and helped create over the past few weeks have served a very different purpose.

These mannequins have raised a chuckle, made people smile in wonder at the ingenuity of their creators.

They have banished the blues, discouraging the doom and gloom from stealing away our laughter.

Scaring off the depression that steals our hope.

Frightening the grief from stealing our future.

Am I being too fanciful?

I don’t usually put photos of me on the blog, trying to keep my anonymity, but today I will make an exception. These are the happiest photos I have seen of me in a long while. My eyes are once more sparkling and you can clearly see my delight.

Mrs Goggins and her sock hair do!

Ted Glen - the new man in my life? haha
Maybe I am just in a better place emotionally, the grief and sadness is no longer as raw as it once was. It eases over time but only if you unclench your fist and let go of the pain. Slowly, bit by bit the hurt subsides and looking back you see it is a myriad of tiny happy, proud and hopeful moments that have got you here.

At last the smile is natural and the joy very real.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Visual Dare 19: Depth

Time to get my imagination back into gear and try another visual dare from Angela at Anonymous Legacy.

This weeks prompt is DEPTH with the picture prompt below.

“You know I hate heights!” She squealed as they stepped onto the high bridge.

“I won’t let go. Promise!”

His eyes were somewhere between a shade of dazzling green and solid earthy brown, sparkling yet dependable.

How did she get to be so lucky? Whisked half way round the world seeing sights she only ever dreamed of.

Cautiously she looked around her; this really was a view to take her breath away.

He stopped suddenly dropping to one knee, she thought to tie an unruly shoelace, but when he held out his hand she saw something glint in the sunlight…

Youngest son says "he pulls out a gun and shoots her in the head and she falls off the bridge well and truly dead!"

But what do you think?

Friday, 24 August 2012

The train now leaving the station…

A couple of facts about Andrew

  1. He loved trains
  2. He was engaged, about 10 years before I met him, in his early twenties
His love of trains was lifelong but his engagement ended when his fiancée went away to university and met someone else.

Before she decided switch platforms for another train in a different direction she started a tapestry of a train for Andrew.

Now I can’t honestly say how much she did but the story goes that although she started the project she never completed her handiwork and Andrew’s mum finished it off. It was framed by Andrew’s not-to-be father-in-law who always had a soft spot for him and it has always hung in our house.

When we moved I decided if it was staying it should be professionally framed. Andrew loved it too much to part with it.

Oh the things we do for love.

I even cross stitched my own train masterpiece while we were “courting” and I admit to liking some of the train pictures on our walls, particularly a black and white photo of some train points that we chose together, very arty!

However the large train tapestry, now beautifully framed, has been taken down for good. It was always going when we moved, a gift for Andrew’s brother to remember Andrew by. Now the house is off the market I have decided to make the home my own. A splash of paint here and there and a change of artwork to reflect my taste. 

It’s amazing how refreshing it is and how much of a lift I get titivating my own home and adding personal touches.

I always had a lot of say in the decorating. I usually won Andrew over with my choice of paint colours but now I have complete free reign and don’t have to consider anyone else in my decisions. OK so the boys still live here but ultimately it’s my house, my money and cushions and paint charts don’t excite them as much as they do me.

It’s one of the delights of being on your own and I’m going to enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

One day I hope I’m not single but married again, then I shall live in the land of compromise once more. However I want to be satisfied that for this season I have coloured the world with my own unique style. Why? Well to borrow a well known popular phrase “because I'm worth it”!

So far it hasn’t involved a great deal of expense, I’ve just been moving things around a bit and hanging a couple of pictures I already had – just the joy of hammering in a nail is exhilarating.

As is painting and stripping wallpaper ... there are so many ideas in my head and I promise there will be more pictures to follow.

For now here’s a photo of the old train departing for pastures new...

off the wall and waiting on the floor in the hall!

... meanwhile it’s full steam ahead for my own new adventures, even if they are taking place in the comfort of my own home!