Tuneless


Thankfully the rain has ceased, but now the bright, crisp, frosty mornings come as a shock to the system.  Where did I put that de-icer? I know there’s a can here somewhere…

Many thanks to Rochelle  for continuing to inspire us and, this week, thanks to her husband, Jan, for the photo prompt.

22 January

Copyright: Jan Fields

Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 100

Tuneless

‘I want to learn the piano.’

‘You would like to learn the piano.’

‘Sorry. I’d like to learn the piano.  Please?

‘We can only afford one lesson each week and your sister asked first.’

I remember that conversation so well, though it took place a lifetime ago. My sister was my mother’s favourite then, and could do no wrong.

I was a tomboy. I bit my nails, climbed trees, ran wild and played with the boys.  Definitely not mother’s idea of a pianist.

The piano took some punishment for a few months, until my sister discovered the local ballet class.

 

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Twenty years from now…


 

Quote for the day…

Penarth skyline

 

‘Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed with the things that you didn’t do  than with the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’

……………….Mark Twain

Life Reflected


This Friday Fictioneering is an addictive thing, miss one week and I feel dreadful. I have been trying to organise my time so I can do more writing -no, I am serious – and so far it has worked. Both last week and this I have managed to post something BEFORE Friday, very happy about that.

For those who are not yet aware and wondering what on earth I am blabbering on about, Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the one and only Rochelle you can read the rules on her post, then join us in our addiction. The photograph this week comes courtesy of the lovely Janet Webb

Copyright Janet Webb

Copyright Janet Webb

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

Life Reflected

The sky is a glorious palette of colour; the pale fluffy clouds, almost touching the treetops are tinged with a warm apricot blush. As the sun dips below the horizon, a deep orange glow spreads outwards, filling my room.

Birds are winging their way home, returning to safety in the thick branches of the tall oaks; their freedom strengthens my resolve.

My eyes focus on the reflection in the window and I smile. I’m not the frail old woman I see there, I am strong. I am ready now to find Jack and tell him why I couldn’t meet him.

Read more stories – 

PS  Something seemed to go wrong with WP apologies if you just got the background picture when i hit publish the first time.  Hopefully sorted out now.

We’ll Meet Again


I have been AWOL for a few weeks, I hope some of you have missed me…..

I have been busy working on a tender document which has proved much more difficult than I ever imagined when agreeing to do it. I mean, three weeks of my life is too much to spend on writing something that I didn’t enjoy. It has been submitted now, at 11.45 am to be precise so I’m free now to write something I do enjoy enormously…

Thank you to Rochelle for everything, loved your post and photographs about the Friday Fictioneers get together, so lovely to see you all in the flesh, so to speak!  Thanks also this week to Kelly Sands for the photograph.

11 July

 

Genre: Family History

Word Count: 100

We’ll Meet Again

Eight year-old Sheila skipped alongside her mother, so excited to be going on this adventure. They met other families on their way to the station. Some mothers were crying, Sheila idly wondered why.

Her mother, never one for showing much emotion, kissed her as she opened the door to the special carriage on the train.  She checked the gas mask was in its box and Sheila’s name tag was securely fastened to her coat.

‘Be a good girl. Say your prayers and do as you’re told.  I’ll see you soon.’

It would be four eventful years before they met again.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Notes:

Sheila is my aunt.  At the outbreak of WWII almost all the children of the city of Hull were evacuated to safety. Everyone knows how badly London and other cities were bombed, but for reasons explained below, the bombing of Hull was kept off the newsreels and out of the papers.

http://www.mylearning.org/the-hull-blitz/p-3047/

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Dad


Thanks as ever to Rochelle for guiding us towards another challenge and to Adam for his great photo this week.

Today would have been my father’s 90th birthday.  Due to the date, he has been in and out of my mind all day, when I saw the prompt this week, I knew I had to write about him and so I crave your indulgence.

Copyright - Adam Ickes

Copyright – Adam Ickes

Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 100

Happy Birthday Dad

 Some weekends he would take off on his motorbike, heading for the Lake District and the hills he had roamed since boyhood. He knew the places untouched by tourism, and would lose himself in the majestic beauty of the scenery; whatever worries he took with him, vanished into the clean, fresh, air.

After the accident, his motorbike was sold. He was 58 and my mother judged him too old to be in charge of such a powerful machine.

He sulked.

He died at 67; we scattered his ashes into the wind on Scafell Pike.

I’m sure I heard him laughing.

 

I wrote more about my father here, I still miss him.  https://40again.com/2010/06/20/thinking-about-my-father-today/

Making a Scene


Greek mythology has always been of great interest, I love the way the stories that have been handed down through the generations, are part myth, part magic and part history. The photo this week, courtesy of Al Forbes was always going to inspire one Greek tragedy or another.  I decided to take a slightly different view, but I think I have managed to get some of the attributes of Hermes into my effort this week.  So, a fanfare for the goddess of Friday Fictioneers Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, as she summons us all once more to the podium.

Courtesy of Al Forbes

Courtesy of Al Forbes

Fleeing the Scene

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

Waking from a deep sleep I stretch feline-like

And then relax into the deep comforting mattress

Unbidden the memory returns.

The words cut deep, wounding us both,

Hateful bile spilled out of our mouths as we paced the room,

I cursed you for taking my love and trampling it underfoot,

For cheating and betraying me.

You grabbed my arms and roughly twisted one behind me

Trying to force me down onto the floor,

I felt excitement first then fury, that sheer strength could overcome me

Where words had failed

Shaken by your intentions you ran, fleeing the scene

And me

 

 

I’ve just found out that this is my 200th post and I have to admit I’m rather chuffed to have got this far.

Timeless


Suddenly, it’s Wednesday again and time for Friday Fictioneers (don’t ask, just accept it, we do) ~Writers from all over the globe come together to submit their 100 word stories or poems, inspired by the weekly prompt sent out by our lovely purple leader Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  It is her birthday today so join me in sending her the warmest of birthday wishes.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROCHELLE.   The photo this week comes courtesy of the lady herself, my story follows the photo.

    

Copyright - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

Timeless

“It’s just clutter, nothing of value, why can’t I throw it out?”

“That’s my grandmother’s button tin you’re holding.  Remember how we used the big buttons to teach you to count?”

Laura glared at her mother and sighed.

 “You don’t need any of it.”

“How do you know what I need?”

“I look after you mother, I think I know.”

Isobel watched as her daughter walked around, calculating  how many boxes they’d need.

“Laura, you pop in briefly, collect my prescription, get my groceries, but you can’t give me what I need.”

“And what would that be?”

Isobel smiled

“Time.”

 

 

 

The Train


This week’s photo comes courtesy of Dawn Miller and is taken inside Union Station, Washington D.C.  The marble and columns speak of times gone by and thinking of this led me to my story for Friday Fictioneers. I was delighted to have at least come up with something this week, I failed miserably last week as I was so involved with work, I never seemed to find time to myself to write. Thanks as always to Rochelle 🙂

30 August

The Train

Genre: Fiction

Word Count: 100

Bathed in silvery moonlight, the train waits in the siding. It is empty, except for the ghosts.  Their fingers linger over highly polished mahogany. Fine silks and satins glide over heavily carpeted corridors. Thousands of stories have unfolded in the confines of these sumptuously elegant carriages.

It is morning. Highly trained staff will soon board, the ghosts will vanish and the magic will begin.  Windows will gleam, crystal will sparkle, silver will shine and crisp table linen bearing the world-famous cypher will be laid. The Venice Simplon-Orient Express will be made ready to beguile and charm; another adventure will begin

 

http://www.orient-express.com/web/vsoe/cabins.jsp

 

PS I have just realised that I ‘liked’ this post – I did think it was alright, but never intended to ‘like’ it publicly.  Please excuse my arthritic fingers attempting to get to grips with the new mobile App for WordPress, I promise to take more care in future and only ‘like’ your posts. (02/09/13)

Mistaken Identity


A little later than usual, here is my effort for Friday Fictioneers this week. A big thank you to the lovely Renee Heath for the photograph this week and to Rochelle for all the time and effort she devotes to FF – we are all truly grateful. Bow, curtsey…

copyright-renee-heath

Genre: Memoir

Word Count: 100

Mistaken Identity

“Stop, stop. Stop!”

My son tightens his grip, his little nails dig into my hand.

“What’s the matter Sam, whatever’s wrong?”

I pick him up. His face is ashen. Two perfectly shaped teardrops hover in the corners of his brilliant blue eyes, threatening to spill over any moment.

I hold him tight.

“What is it? Tell me what’s wrong. Do you have a pain? Just tell me.”

Removing one arm from around my neck and a wet cheek from mine, he points at the fire hydrant and, in the smallest voice, whispers

“There’s a Dalek and I don’t like him.”

 

Click on the little blue froggy thing to read more stories        

 

By way of explanation…

We don’t have fire hydrants in the UK like the ones in the photograph.

In the mid-eighties we made our first visit to America. My husband is a film buff and a Western fanatic; the thought that he could see Monument Valley and walk in the steps of John Wayne had a lot to do with planning our vacation.  In the event we never got to Monument Valley, but did see some amazing and wonderful places on that first trip.

During the stopover in San Francisco, which was much cooler than the weather we had left behind in Los Angeles, our youngest son complained that his legs were cold.  My husband and elder son went off to find a shop where we could get him some trousers instead of the shorts we had with us, and we trailed somewhere behind.  I think we were approaching Union Square when the incident I have written about happened.

A new series of Dr Who had just been screened at home and while my eldest loved it, my younger son and I would hide behind the sofa when there was a scene with the Daleks. They could be pretty scary.

 

 

A summer beach in Cardiff Bay… and a little bit of history


According to statistics, the summer of 2013 is the best in the UK for seven years. Making the most of the lovely weather is the Cardiff Beach, a new attraction that has transformed Roald Dahl Plass in Mermaid Quay.  There are live bands, lots of eating places, traditional seaside rides and stalls, for the energetic amongst the crowds there is also beach volleyball in the specially created beach area. The atmosphere was fantastic the day we visited, everyone seemed to be having lots of fun.

Cardiff Bay 2013

Cardiff Bay 2013

IMG_0156

Cardiff Bay Fair 2013

A little bit of history…

Across the water, you can see the tiny Norwegian Church. In the 19th century, Cardiff was one of largest sea ports in the world. Ships from Norway transported Scandinavian timber to South Wales, for use  in the mines as pit props, they would then take back coal to Norway. To serve the religious needs of the Norwegian sailors and many expats who came to live in and around the dock area, The Norwegian Church was founded by Carl Herman Lund from Oslo in 1868, on land donated by the Marquis of Bute at the entrance of Bute West Dock. It became known as “The Little White Church” a well-known navigation point and home from home for sailors.

The Church also acted as a seaman’s mission, offering food and shelter, Scandinavian newspapers, magazines and facilities for them to write letters to loved ones back home. During WWII many Norwegian seamen could not return to their homeland as it was occupied and as many as 70,000 Scandinavians were said to have worshipped in the little church every year.

In the 1950’s shipping trade had moved away from Cardiff and the mission’s work was discontinued. Eventually, in the early 1960’s the Norwegian Seamen’s Mission withdrew its patronage and the church was closed. It was finally de-consecrated in 1974.

But, that’s not the end of the story.

With the planned development of Cardiff Bay in the late 1980’s, the proposed building of new roads around Atlantic Wharf threatened the destruction of the now derelict and vandalised church. The community however, was not prepared the see the little  church demolished and so the Norwegian Church Preservation Trust was formed to try to save the building and have it relocated to another part of the dock. The children’s writer Roald Dahl, who was baptised in the church in 1916, became the first President of the Trust.  In partnership with the Norwegian Support Committee in Bergen, the trust raised over £250,000 which enabled the church to be dismantled in 1987.  It was preserved and stored pending reassembly on its new site. The remaining original features were rescued, the pulpit, one side window, the chandelier and the model ship were all returned to the church.

In the early 1990’s reconstruction of the church began, on land gifted by Associated British Ports.  In April 1992 the church was re-opened by Princess Martha Louise of Norway in a ceremony attended by VIPs and local people who were  delighted that the doors to the “Little White Church” were open once again.

Today, after considerable refurbishment, including the gift of external wooden decking by the town council of Hordaland, the centre now offers exhibition space in the Dahl gallery, a great coffee shop and function rooms used for weddings, concerts and other events. You can find more information here