After a five-year apprenticeship as a bootmaker and despite a lifelong limp, John Lobb walked 250 miles to London seeking to promote his skills to London society. He was turned down repeatedly, so journeyed to Australia during the gold rush, there creating hollow heeled boots for miners to hide contraband nuggets.
Still longing to establish himself in London, he made a speculative pair of riding boots for the Prince of Wales, returning from Australia in 1863 to great acclaim. He opened shops in London and Paris. He died in 1895 and is buried in Highgate Cemetery.
Daylight showed through the ill-fitting curtains. Annie saw it was snowing and the rubbish bin was still there.
On her way downstairs, she shouted to her husband, “Sam, are you awake? You forgot the bin. Again!
The headache she’d had all week was getting worse, there was pain behind her left eye too. She was annoyed about something, but couldn’t hold a thought in her head. A hand she didn’t recognise was shaking as it fumbled with the door.
Sam ran into the yard, “Annie, stop, I’ll do it now.”
Annie stopped, then fell to the ground, quietly, like the snow.
The book shelf is very much like my own at home. Spotting the book on Florence & Tuscany reminded me of a conference in Nice…
Word Count 100
Between the Covers
I was in Nice for a conference. Giovanni had invited me to a small Italian restaurant and hearing him talk about Florence was wonderful. I felt I had already climbed the Campanile, crossed the Arno to the Priti Palace, strolled through the amazing Boboli Gardens. I knew I had to visit
Later, he invited me to his room for a nightcap, I have to admit I was tempted, but one thing would surely lead to another and I was due to fly home tomorrow.
Flying home, I read the Eyewitness Guide bought at the airport. It was safer between these covers…
I have been lucky enough to visit Florence two or three times, I fell in love with it the first time. This book has been invaluable.
During these very worrying times, I felt I wanted to pause, take stock and count my blessings. I have a lot to be grateful for today, a good night’s sleep, family and friends who regularly keep in touch in a variety of ways, food on the table and good health. I am trying to make each day as good as I can make it.
“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning”
We were on what we thought of as ‘The Holiday of a Lifetime’ in Australia, when the lockdown due to COVID-19 occurred in the UK. I hope in years to come that we can remember the holiday for the great time we had, not for ‘the virus’.
It was quite stressful trying to get home. Our original flights were cancelled, as we were no longer allowed to transit through Singapore. Two other flights booked by our fantastic travel agent, were also cancelled. We slowly began to realise that we may be spending rather longer ‘down under’ than we expected. Eventually, we were told she had got us two seats on the last Quantas flight out of Perth to London and it goes without saying that we were incredibly relieved and arrived home to a very quiet airport.
I usually read quite a lot when I’m on holiday, but this holiday was very different. We visited Sydney, Tasmania and Perth; there was no lying on sun loungers by a swimming pool, there was so much to see, so much to do. Consequently, I only read one chapter of the book I had with me and, as I packed it to come home, told myself I would have loads of time to finish it and others during lockdown.
And here we come to the unexpected side effect I mentioned at the beginning… I find that I can only read books with happy endings. I don’t want murders, grisly thrillers or anything dark and disturbing. I have gone back through all the books I have and started to re-read the ones depicting happy times. There is perhaps the odd divorce or even an affair or two, or a wayward daughter who eventually returned safely to the bosom of her family.
I have always written short stories and I have enjoyed writing flash fiction, (I haven’t done much of either recently due to family issues & time restraints) but I am very aware that writers are urged to read widely and as much as possible of different genres. But at the moment I am stuck in my ‘happy’ rut.
I wonder if anyone else has experience something similar?
The four of us had met at the coffee shop for years. Every third Friday, you’d find us in the booth at the back. We had one coffee, making it last while we caught up on gossip, family dramas and recently, politics.
My father always said never to argue about politics or religion and I usually never did. But Monica got all fired up about the recent demonstrations, said if you believed in something you should stand up for it and she was going to do just that.
We met in the coffee shop today as usual.
She didn’t show.
(It’s been a while – but as ever, huge thanks to Rochelle for her constancy and support for Friday Fictioneers)