Sunday 20 July 2008

Remembering a Birthday.....

Our Grandaughter

Would have been 15 years old today.

Remembering you on your birthday sweetheart

and every day

Love you always

Nanna & Granddad


Saturday 19 July 2008

Saturday Wordzzle # 22

The idea is, every week Raven (View From A Raven's Nest) gives you between 8 and 10 words/phrases and you have to create a small but coherent paragraph using every one of them and the same with the mini challenge. You can do either, both or a megawordzzle using all the words, or even all three, it's up to you, you can post them on your blog or email them to Raven. If you join in go to Raven's and put your name on the Mr. Linky so other participants can come visit you.

Here are my efforts - complete with my doodles.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge is: cardboard box, liquor cabinet, ostrich feathers, longitudinal, hamburger helper, partnership, laundry detergent, magnificent, San Francisco, prognosis

Shane helped himself to a drink from the liquor cabinet; he was spitting ostrich feathers as he’d been out riding the range all morning checking on the longitudinal fences that bordered his magnificent ranch. Throwing back the whisky he poured himself another just as Emma walked in from the kitchen carrying a bottle of laundry detergent.

“Want one?” he asked

“Yes please, and can you carry that cardboard box upstairs for me later?”

He’d been riding in the rodeo when he met Emma, who was still in a state of shock from losing her husband to cancer. He had only been diagnosed two months before and the prognosis had been good but the doctors had obviously made a mistake. After her husband’s death Emma decided to leave San Francisco and do some travelling, taking any job that came up, which at the moment was as a hamburger helper at the rodeo.He had recently purchased the ranch, having saved for years, and this would be his last rodeo. He and Emma got on well together so he offered her the job of housekeeper and cook on the ranch, and two years down the line the partnership became more than business when they admitted they’d got feelings for each other. All the ranch hands laughed when Shane told them he and Emma were going to be married. Of course they weren’t surprised they had noticed the signs.On the night of their wedding Emma said “I have something to tell you, please don’t be mad that I didn’t tell you before the wedding but I had to be sure you were marrying me because you love me.”“Of course I love you, what is it you have to tell me?”“I’m rich Shane, very rich, my husband was a ranching tycoon and I am the sole beneficiary of his estate!”The look of disbelief on Shane’s face was very convincing.Of course he’d known all along.

Now he could pay off the mortgage.

And for the Mini Challenge: worst case scenario, marginalia, water fountain, specialized, fortitude

Agnes checked the marginalia on the job description to remind herself what she wanted to ask at the interview. She desperately wanted the job, it was just up her street being quite a specialized area, she would not let herself imagine the worst case scenario of not getting it. Not many people had her talents and fortitude, it had taken years of practice to perfect the art of entertaining children and they just loved it when she took a whole glass of water into her mouth and projected it up into the air like a water fountain.


Patsy’s life has taken a turn for the worse. She had gone from being a celebrated actress, who’s life was a constant round of Lear jets travelling longitudinal southern hemisphere and yacht parties to living in a downtown San Francisco apartment that was not much bigger than a cardboard box. Her dependency on the contents of the liquor cabinet had resulted in her belief that she was beyond reproach when she didn’t turn up for filming because she had a hangover, or behaved impossibly when on the film set. The industry could no longer afford the spiralling cost of delays caused by Patsy’s unreliability.Patsy had received the “you’ll be dead in two years if you don’t give up the booze” prognosis from her doctor. That was the worst case scenario he’d told her, and he had recommended she go to a clinic that specialized in alcohol dependency. She spent two months in the clinic where each patient was given specific duties to keep them occupied and allow them to function with some normality; Patsy became an expert on laundry detergent during her time there.

The day arrived for Patsy to leave the clinic and before exiting the door into the bright sunshine she stooped to take a drink from the water fountain reflecting on the fact that she was drinking water instead of vodka now. She felt ready to face the world. No longer resplendent in magnificent satin and ostrich feathers Patsy took a job working as a hamburger helper. Her time in show business was over, she realised that but she had shown great fortitude in turning her life around, helped by Ben who she had met in the laundry at the clinic and with whom she now enjoyed a loving partnership.

Standing on the dais six months later, Cameron’s eyes filled with tears as she accepted the Oscar. The part of Patsy in the film “Riches to Rags” had been an overwhelming success. The script for the film containing her marginalia had been auctioned off for charity and raised $100,000. Returning to her seat to thunderous applause, Cameron smiled and took hold of Ben’s hand.

Hope you enjoyed my efforts. Please don’t forget I’m away on holiday until the end of the month, so I’ll catch up with you when I get back.

Friday 18 July 2008

Friday 55 Flash Fiction # 36 Spiked?


He’d insisted she had a drink, though they’d only just met.

She’d gone along with a friend who knew him.

She was enjoying herself dancing and flirting.

Suddenly she felt sick…… the room spinning……..

It must have been the drink!

Luckily her Mum had just arrived to take her home from Johnny’s 10th Birthday party.

Friday 55 Flash Fiction is brought to you by G-man (Mr Knowitall). The idea is you write a story in exactly 55 words. If you want to take part pop over and let G-man know when you've posted your 55.

Wednesday 16 July 2008

Bye, bye.....

We are off to sunnier climes at 3.30 a.m. in the morning. We have two weeks on the Greek island of Kefalonia to look forward to – go on admit it, you’re jealous.

The film ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ was filmed in Sami on the north east coast of Kefalonia. For those of you who don’t know Captain Corelli's Mandolin, a 1993 novel written by Louis de Bernières, is a story about an Italian captain (Antonio Corelli) and the daughter (Pelagia) of the local physician (Dr. Iannis) on the island of Kefalonia set against the background of the Italian and German occupation of the island during World War II. It is 1941 and Captain Antonio Corelli, a young Italian officer, is posted to the Greek island of Cephallonia as part of the occupying forces. At first he is ostracised by the locals, but as a conscientious but far from fanatical soldier, whose main aim is to have a peaceful war, he proves in time to be civilised, humorous and a consummate musician.

When the local Doctor's daughter's letters to her fiancé - and members of the underground - go unanswered, the working of the eternal triangle seems inevitable. But can this fragile love survive as a war of bestial savagery gets closer and the lines are drawn between invader and defender?

We are staying in Skala in the south of Kefalonia. The current village was built in 1956 and replaces the old village which was leveled during a devastating earthquake in August 1953, killing 36 and injuring hundreds of villagers. The original village was located on the hill behind the present one, as many of the island's were, in order to avoid invasion from raiders and pirates during the previous centuries. The name 'Skala' originates from the Greek word for stairs. It was given this name because when it was in its original place, the houses seemed to ascend almost as though they were a set of stairs.

Of course there will be plenty of photographs so make sure you come back in August to see what we’ve been up to.

I will be scheduling my Flash 55 and Saturday Wordzzle to post this week, though I won’t be able to visit other participants until I get back.

I'll be busy reading (I'm taking six books), sunbathing, eating and drinking, but I will catch up when I get back I promise. 

Be good while I’m gone.


PS  Any Queenie fans - she's back posting.

Monday 14 July 2008

Presidents in drag 1.....

George W Bush

Jimmy Carter

John Kerry

John Kerry / George W Bush

Jimmy Carter

George W Bush

Saturday 12 July 2008

Saturday Wordzzle # 21

The idea is, every week Raven (View From A Raven's Nest) gives you between 8 and 10 words/phrases and you have to create a small but coherent paragraph using every one of them and the same with the mini challenge. You can do either, both or a megawordzzle using all the words, or even all three, it's up to you, you can post them on your blog or email them to Raven. If you join in go to Raven's and put your name on the Mr. Linky so other participants can come visit you.

Here are my efforts - complete with my doodles.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge is: gouged, symmetrical, Spanish moss, ATV, parallel parking, Luscious, origami, amphibian, turkey, gravy train

Cathryn’s head was buzzing with things she had to do as she sat in her dining room eating her Sunday lunch, which consisted of roast potatoes, vegetables, turkey and gravy – “train the Spanish moss up the pergola, plant the lettuces so that they were symmetrical in the vegetable plot she had gouged out of the lawn, cut the grass…..” She’d been watching a programme on ATV about origami, which had reminded her she had a lesson with a driving instructor later to learn parallel parking. Cathryn had passed her driving test a few weeks ago, after two years of lessons. She could have passed a lot earlier but she fancied the driving instructor, he was just luscious, he’d served his time as an Army Amphibian Engineer and was now settled in civvy street. She would have to make a move on him soon, she was running out of ideas for more lessons and it was costing a fortune!

And for the Mini Challenge: pouring rain, mastiff, church bells, wedding dress, stock car races

Walking Oscar, her bull mastiff, Jenny stopped at the church to watch what was taking place. She felt sorry for the girl in the simple wedding dress running down the path hand in hand with her new husband in the pouring rain to the sound of the church bells, then throwing herself onto the back seat of a car that was only fit to be entered into stock car races. Jenny’s wedding would be so different, only the best would do. First she had to find a man though.


Joanna smoothed the luscious silk of the wedding dress against her body, this was the one she decided. She had won a competition on the ATV television station, which was an all expenses paid wedding anywhere in the world and, as it included the wedding finery, she was having the best dress money could buy. She and Erkan had decided on Turkey as the venue because his family lived there so that would solve the problem of them being able to attend the ceremony.Most of her friends had been shocked when she told them she was marrying Erkan. It was true she’d only known him six months, after meeting him at the stock car races, but she didn’t believe what they were saying about him jumping aboard the ‘gravy train’ because he made a good living breeding bull mastiffs, so he definitely wasn’t after her money.

She could hear the peal of the church bells over the thunderous sound of the pouring rain as it clattered on the windows of her room. Joanna was thankful that the rain had ceased and the sun had made an appearance, there was a point where she thought she might have to arrive at church in some sort of amphibian landing craft instead of a sleek limousine. Luckily it was driven by a chauffeur who was a master at parallel parking, because there was barely enough room left by the guests at the entrance to the church for him to park.

Walking through the avenue of trees leading to the door of the little church, Joanna thought how pretty the curly Spanish moss type plant hanging from the trees looked. She looked down at the well trodden path gouged out of the cobbles wondering if all the brides who had entered this church had been as happy as she. As Joanna walked down the aisle she was pleased to see that the decorations on the end of the pews were perfectly symmetrical, some people thought she was too fussy about things like that but she was a master at origami so what did they expect. Erkan was waiting for her, looking handsome in his suit, the church was filled with family and friends, everything was perfect. There was just one tiny niggle at the back of her mind. Why had Erkan insisted on a pre-nuptial agreement?

Friday 11 July 2008

Friday 55 Flash Fiction # 35 Just a Job

Just A Job

Hello darlin’, lookin’ for a good time? she said peering seductively through heavily mascaraed eyes.

I’m doing a special offer at the moment only £20.

'Ere open the door and we’ll go somewhere quiet.

It’s not far and we won’t be disturbed.

She waited for his answer.

“Fantastic” said the director “You got the part”.

Friday 55 Flash Fiction is brought to you by G-man (Mr Knowitall). The idea is you write a story in exactly 55 words. If you want to take part pop over and let G-man know when you've posted your 55.

Wednesday 9 July 2008

I'm dead 'ard me............

David’s (Authorblog) Weekend Wandering question this week is:

What brings tears to your eyes?

If you want to join in here’s what David would like you to do:

Please answer today's question on your own blog, any time until next weekend. Just link to this blog (or to this post) so I can follow the progress of the discussion.

There are lots of things that will bring tears to my eyes.

A bang on the nose, slamming the car door shut on my thumb, stubbing my toe, poking myself in the eye with a mascara wand, banging my head on the boot of the car whilst removing the shopping, dropping something heavy on my foot, the price of petrol, energy, food, clothes – all guaranteed to bring a tear to my eye.

I’m a sucker for a sad film, one that needs a box of tissues on my knee, I get involved and have been known to sob throughout. I don’t like the after effects though, puffy eyes and a red nose. A story of courage, anyone overcoming a disability or the bravery of putting themselves in danger to save someone else, can have me so choked up I can’t breathe. Acts of random kindness, a hug, can reduce me to happy tears. Children just being cute, like in the school play, make me blubber. The first note your child writes for you – I still have a small slip of paper from my youngest son who wrote “I love you very mush” when he was four years old.

Reading or hearing of cruelty to defenceless animals makes my blood run cold and makes me cry. People starving, stories of genocide, the inhumanity of man to man make me despair. There is one thing guaranteed to make me cry unconsolably – cruelty to children. I will never understand what goes on in the mind of men and women who purposely abuse, maim and kill children. These crimes against children are the most abhorrent actions that anyone can commit and anyone guilty of such actions has no right to call themselves human.

Other than that “I’m dead ‘ard me”!

Monday 7 July 2008

Interesting Stuff........

In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have 'the rule of thumb'

Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled 'Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden'...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury.

Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David Hearts - Charlemagne Clubs -Alexander, the Great Diamonds - Julius Caesar

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?
A. Obsession

Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter 'A'?
A. One thousand

Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common?
A. All were invented by women.

Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes.
When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... 'goodnight, sleep tight.'

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England , when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them 'Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down.'
It's where we get the phrase 'mind your P's and Q's'

Many years ago in England , pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. 'Wet your whistle' is the phrase inspired by this practice.

At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow!

- Now....
Don't delete this just because it looks weird. Believe it or not, you can read it.

I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in what oredr the ltteers in a word are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is that the first and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it wouthit a porbelm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?

Saturday 5 July 2008

Saturday Wordzzle # 20

The idea is, every week Raven (View From A Raven's Nest) gives you between 8 and 10 words/phrases and you have to create a small but coherent paragraph using every one of them and the same with the mini challenge. You can do either, both or a megawordzzle using all the words, or even all three, it's up to you, you can post them on your blog or email them to Raven. If you join in go to Raven's and put your name on the Mr. Linky so other participants can come visit you.

Here are my efforts - complete with my doodles.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge is: handy, operation, gratitude, parallel bars, the color purple, manic depressive, Puget Sound, fragmentary, perpetual motion, secretive

Tamara lounged on the deck of the yacht, enjoying the perpetual motion of the water on Puget Sound. Her thoughts were fragmentary, as you might imagine of a manic depressive, but she looked at Carlos in gratitude, he’d shown her a different life to the one she had led working at ‘Parallel Bars’ in New York as a lap dancer. Peering at herself in the handy mirror, she looked at the scar on her cheek, it was usually pale but today it looked the colour purple. The scar was from a knife wound inflicted on her by a particularly nasty customer at the bar, luckily for her Carlos had been on hand to rescue her and he’d looked after her ever since. She would have to get ready soon Carlos liked her to dress for dinner and had provided her with the wherewithal to buy only the best in designer wear. They had guests for dinner tonight, though Carlos had been secretive about who they were, no doubt all would be revealed later. As Tamara teased her hair into a soft style which covered the scar she heard the sound of a motor launch approaching, that would be the guests she thought. Picking up her purse she made her way up to the deck where Carlos was greeting their guests.

“Tamara, come and meet Dr. Zinfandel"

“I’ve heard that name before’ thought Tamara.

“Tamara, Dr. Zinfandel is here to arrange your operation, he’s a cosmetic surgeon.”

“Oh thankyou Carlos” she cried “planting a huge kiss on his eager lips”.

Maybe she could get her boobs done at the same time!

And for the Mini Challenge: sympathetic, filet of sole, mysterious stranger, elephantine, music

Music fans at Glastonbury this year were treated to superb performances by ‘Mysterious Stranger’, ‘Elephantine’ and ‘Filet of Sole’ unfortunately the weather wasn’t very sympathetic to the event as it poured down with rain the whole time.


Cedric, a manic depressive from Puget Sound, spent his life in perpetual motion practising on the parallel bars in his handy home gym, it was the only thing that could lift his moods. Cedric was now 30 years old and had never been the outgoing type, but his mood swings meant he wasn’t very good company so girlfriends had been few and far between. He was a bit of a movie buff and had a huge collection of DVDs, his favourite film was ‘The Colour Purple’ though he could answer quiz questions on virtually any movie you cared to mention. His movie watching wasn’t confined to watching DVDs though, when he wasn’t in the gym you would find him at the cinema. It was there that he met a mysterious stranger who, as it turned out, was very sympathetic to his condition and she admired Cedric’s physique which was toned and muscular from all the gym work. Cedric began meeting Adrianne weekly and, over the months, got to know a lot about her, though she was very secretive at first. He discovered that her favourite food was filet of sole, she loved music and at one time she had been of elephantine proportions, but she’d had a gastric band operation which had enabled her to slim down to a size any model would envy. Gradually Adrianne and Cedric fell into a comfortable relationship and Cedric abandoned his parallel bars in favour of visits to restaurants and Jazz clubs with Adrianne. Cedric’s gratitude to Adrianne for lifting him from his depression knew no bounds so he asked her to marry him, unfortunately Adrianne interest in him had become fragmentary. Cedric had put a lot of weight on since he’d abandoned the gym and Adrianne couldn’t abide fat people.

Friday 4 July 2008

Friday 55 Flash Fiction # 34 The Agreement

The Agreement
"We need to draw up rules and regulations to be agreed and abided by" Baron said
It'll take a long time to get it agreed, but we must persevere."
The others agreed.
Finally finished, John signed the first draft....
In 1215
At Runneymede
The Magna Carta, (giving rights to the people of England), was Law.

In view of our Government's proposals to detain people without charge for 42 days, I wrote this to remind myself of what was agreed in 1215

No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions ... except by the lawful judgement of his peers.

''To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.'

Two clauses from Magna Carta became the fifth and sixth amendments of the American Constitution:

Amendment 5 - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment 6 - Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses. Ratified 12/15/1791.In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

You can read about the Magna Carta here.

Sorry not fiction this week but definitely 55 words.

Friday 55 Flash Fiction is brought to you by G-man (Mr Knowitall). The idea is you write a story in exactly 55 words. If you want to take part pop over and let G-man know when you've posted your 55.

Wednesday 2 July 2008

I'll do it tomorrow......

David’s (Authorblog) question for Weekend Wandering this week is:

Do you ever procrastinate?

If you would like to join in here’s what David would like you to do:
Please answer today's question on your own blog, any time until next weekend. Just link to this blog (or to this post) so I can follow the progress of the discussion.

Very rarely, If I need to do something I prefer to do it right away, well within a couple of days anyway.

For instance last Friday, when I was getting ready for work, all my shoe boxes fell out of the wardrobe and as I was on the last minute I hadn’t time to pick them up. I know, I know, I have too many shoes! I apologised to MWM and said I would tidy them as soon as I got home and have a good clear out. When I got home MWM had, very kindly, put them all back in the wardrobe, so I didn’t have to do it straight away. On Sunday evening I sorted through all my shoes and clothes and have now got two huge bags to take to the charity shop and room in my wardrobes for new things. You see, I did it within a couple of days!

MWM drives me batty because he is a procrastinator of the highest order – he’ll put things off for months, even years! However to save himself from my displeasure he will usually do whatever I ask of him straight away, but jobs he has thought of get forgotten, well until I remind him! He has been retired for 3 ½ years now and he promised that his first job would be to tidy the study and clear out all old papers, magazines etc. Guess what – he’s still not done it! He has made a start (recently), but it looks to me like he’s just moved stuff around and not actually thrown anything away because there’s still no room. I would have had it done in a day but it’s all his stuff so I can’t be ruthless with it.

It is a particular failing of mine that I expect others to do things straight away and I can become a bit of a ‘nag’ if they don’t comply. By the same token if someone asks me to do something I will do it as soon as I possibly can.

My Father told me “Never put of until tomorrow what you can do today” so I don’t, because I always did what Daddy told me!