Still Living at Bankside Farm

Another week, another photo prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for Friday Fictioneers. The photo this week is courtesy of Janet Webb and you can see how others have interpreted the prompt here


Still Living at Bankside Farm

“I did find it mum, it’s a ruin though. Look. I took a photo for you.”

She smiles up at me

“I’ve found your old home, it’s a ruin.”

She takes the photo and stares

“My room looks out over the bottom meadow, towards the mill.”

I sink down beside her, taking her hand

“Mum, remember. You live here now, not Bankside Farm. You haven’t lived there for years.”

She giggles then whispers,

“I saw Jed with the cows this morning, he blew me a kiss.”

My plan didn’t work.

I look up at the face I love, and smile.


( I am researching my family tree, and Bankside Farm was once home to some of my ancestors. It does look a bit like place in the photo now)




Always and forever

It’s Friday, well it is here in the UK, so it’s time for Friday Fictioneers. Each Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posts a photo prompt and writers from all over the world drop everything ( almost) to write 100 words and post by Friday.  It’s a great way to meet some great people, so why not give it a try?. Here is the photo for this week, courtesy of Rennee Homan Heath.

Genre – Memoir (99 words)

Path to the beach

Blue skies, warm soft air, white sand,

The days of love and longing here

Long ago, crowd my mind and bring a smile.

We are older now and unable

To run up sand dunes, or lie together

As we did back then, lost in wonder.

We walk more slowly across the sand

Still hand in hand, lovers still but not

That hectic, frantic love driven by need and lust,

A gentle touch, a smile, an embrace now speak

Our love, we will remember always those first days

When we made our pledge, one to the other,

Always and forever.

Follow the link to other stories here

Weekly photo challenge – Create – A Bird of Paradise

As soon as I read the topic for the challenge this week, I thought of my grandmother and a piece of work she created when she was 76, after signing up for a night school course to ‘learn something a bit different”. Her eyesight was getting worse and she was suffering with arthritis in her hands, but once she had started the embrodiery course she was determined to see it through. The result of her labours was framed and put on show in the town hall, causing her much embarrassment.

She had knitted, sewed and crocheted all her life; in the early days of her marriage it was through necessity, but in later life she enjoyed giving small gifts to friends and family.  Her’s is an incredible story of love and separation, of loss, betrayal and fortitude and perhaps one day I will write about her. In the meantime, although I appreciate it is not to everyone’s taste, I hope you enjoy her “Bird of Paradise”. I inherited it on her death and it is one of my most treasured possessions.

and a close up of the detail of the bird’s head

Sharing my writing journey

Last year, at an age when most of my contemporaries were retiring from work or at least thinking about it, I decided to join a creative writing class at a local university. The creative writing modules I enrolled in are part of an MA degree course, I haven’t  decided whether I want a degree, but I do know that I love writing.

I have written lots of things, since my first effort at writing a play when I was seven. The play was entitled “The Little White Bull” and was about a small china bull that a little girl saw in a second-hand shop, whilst out shopping with her grandmother.  She saw the bull “move” and although her grandmother didn’t believe her, she let the child think that she did in order to find out what would happen.

 I wrote until I wasn’t sure where to go next. I knew I should end the play but was unsure how to do that.  I couldn’t ask for help as  I had not told anyone and anyway the play was going to be a Christmas surprise for my teacher, Miss Fawcett. The script was put in a drawer in my dressing table while I thought about an ending, and somehow in all the Christmas excitement, I forgot all about it.  It lay undisturbed until we moved house a few years later and it was then thrown away. I had other interests now!


I was apprehensive as I went to my first class. Passing young students on various stairways all laughing and talking together, I became acutely aware that I was old enough to be their grandmother.  What was I doing here? Then one stopped to ask me directions.  He was very polite and friendly and when I had to admit that I too was new here and about to start my first class, he flashed a brilliant smile and said “Good for you, well done.”  I reached my classroom on a cloud of happiness and reassurance. (to be continued on my Writing Page…)

The bride wore something old…a 127 year old wedding dress

There has been a great deal of wedding coverage in the press recently; a certain William and Catherine made headlines round the world, last week it was the turn of Zara and Mike. I oohed and aahed over the wedding dresses like most females I know and made comments on design, fabric, fit etc.

Then, yesterday I saw the story of the bride who had worn a 127 year old wedding dress for her wedding.  The dress was bought in 1884 for her great-great-grandmother and has been worn by several generations of her family down the years.

The bride looks stunning, the dress amazing. The family should congratulate themselves for keeping this heirloom safe all this time. I feel privileged to have seen it.


(click on the photo to read the full article)

Ballooning over Bath

I admit it, I love to visit  Bath! It is a beautiful Georgian city, with buildings of mellow stone with wide windows; home to the Roman baths, Sally Lunn buns and Jane Austen heroines and, though I have walked around most of it, I have never ever seen it from the air!  So, for a recent “significant” birthday, this was where I set off on my birthday balloon flight with Virgin.

We arrived mid afternoon and while my husband watched, I joined my fellow balloonists as we went through the safety procedures and completed our forms. Next, we helped lay out the balloon on the ground, marvelling at the size of it, then, when all was ready, I clambered into the basket and assumed my crouching position as instructed, so that when the basket was righted, I would be sitting nicely in my place.

Eventually when the balloon was inflated and we had the final all clear from air traffic control at nearby Bristol airport, with a few controlled blasts on the burners, we slowly lifted skyward.  Up, up until we were level with the tops of the trees in the park; then up again till we caught the breeze and started to drift ever so slowlyover the city.

Looking down was a strange experience. There was no noise, no whoosh of air, but then we were hardly moving  and I suddenly remembered there were no engines either! The pilot was superb, handing out champagne once we were high enough for him to be free to do so, pointing out the sights below, The Circus, the famous Royal Crescent etc etc. He told us of other flights and how he worked out where to land.  He told us about the recovery team that were following below us and lots of other anecdotes.

The time passed slowly as we drifted on, I looked down as a startled deer broke cover and ran across an open meadow to the safety of the trees on the far side.  I watched horses running round a field, kicking and arching their backs as they frolicked about; I saw people washing their cars who waved to us as we went by, some running in for their cameras to capture the moment.  Then, as the sun started to disappear, the pilot starting looking for a landing spot.  We found that it was a bit of a hit and miss affair, as you never know where the wind will take you and the pilot  had to have permission from the owner to land in their field.

Finally, after lots of calls between the pilot and ground support, he found a suitable place to land.  I looked down and saw a group of people gathered round a bonfire in a field behind  a farm building, having a BBQ.  They waved to us very excitedly and motioned for the pilot to land.

He found a spot and put the balloon down as though he were placing a cup on a saucer.  Perfect.  The basket stayed upright as we landed, was dragged for a few feet across the long grass, before coming to a complete stop.  When we were allowed, we all clambered out, chatting away about what we had seen and how we felt and what an amzing experience it had been.  As my husband had been quite clever and followed behind the support team, meandering through the country lanes following the balloon, I didn’t have to make the journey back to the start point with the others, I could just get in the car and head home.  Which is what I did, clutching my flight certificate.  It was a brilliant experience, one that I would recommend to anyone, even people like me who don’t like heights!

Getting the balloon ready

Royal Crescent

Looking down on The Circus

Up a bit higher......

The one in front

Fish oils could be the “Elixir of Life”

During my search to find what’s best to eat while trying to lower my cholesterol, I find that apart from porridge oats, the omega-3 in fish oils can be another “super cholesterol reducer”

Not only that, it appears from recent research that an added bonus could be their anti-ageing properties too.  The report makes interesting reading and I shall certainly be increasing the amount of oily fish in my diet.

Read the report in the today’s ” Mail Online”

Start the week….

Back to work today. The weekend seemed to fly by, partly because the decorators arrived at 8.15am on Saturday morning in an attempt to beat the weather and get some paint on walls before the heavens opened again, they have been trying to get the outside of the house painted for the last three weeks, and partly because I had lots of shopping to do.

Now I say “had to” but really I didn’t! It is just that the older I get the less enthusiastic I am about shopping and so when I do feel the urge to hit the shops, I get out there before the feeling wears off! However, my shopping trip was not very productive. What is it with fashion at the minute? I don’t want shiny metallic tops that come down almost to my knees, I just wanted something nice and plain that I can wear with trousers, to the office, (I find trouser suits are much better for work)and everywhere I went, it all looked the same. Rack after rack of orange and lime green, and to make matters worse everywhere had sales on so there were lots of tops crammed onto rails which made them very difficult to see and so creased, just don’t understand how anyone could think that was the right way to sell anything.

I ended up in House of Fraser and although they had a sale too, it was much more civilised. Great bargains everywhere, I was really pleased with my purchases – four hand towels and three bath towels, well they were half price!!