Monday 30 March 2009


Two hillbillies walk into a restaurant.   While having a bite to eat, they talk about their moonshine operation. Suddenly, a woman at a nearby table, who is eating a sandwich, begins to cough.   After a minute or so, it becomes apparent that she is in real distress.

One of the hillbillies looks at her and says, "Kin ya swallar?"  
The woman shakes her head, "no.."
Then he asks, "Kin ya breathe?"
The woman begins to turn blue, and again shakes her head, "no."
The hillbilly walks over to the woman, lifts up her dress, yanks down her drawers and quickly gives her right butt cheek a lick with his tongue.   The woman is so shocked that she has a violent spasm and the obstruction flies out of her mouth.

As she begins to breathe again, the Hillbilly walks slowly back to his table.

His partner says, "Ya know, I'd heerd of that there 'Hind Lick Maneuver' but I ain't niver seed nobody do it afore!"

Saturday 28 March 2009

Saturday Wordzzle # 56

The idea is, every week Raven (Views From 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's my efforts, complete with my doodles.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge is: partition, imagination, salvation, mirror image, green power, highway, roasting marshmallows, serial killer, autograph, cartography
Sitting in his cell , Henry Greenpower stared at his mirror image on the partition wall and contemplated his life. It could have been so different had he followed a different highway and pursued his love of cartography, used his imagination, he could have been anything he wanted to be instead of what he was – a serial killer.

True, people wanted his autograph but because he was infamous not famous.

He was beyond salvation now, no roasting marshmallows for him now, the only thing that would be roasting would be him in the electric chair!

Mini Challenge: cell phone, Big Mac, panther, legendary, poets corner

Jack, the vet at the county zoo, was sitting in the poet’s corner of the library reading a report in the paper about a big cat that had been seen roaming the countryside. Leaving the library he crossed the street to McDonanlds, he found a seat and was enjoying his burger when his cell phone rang. A voice said “Jack, we’ve captured the legendary spotted panther we’ve got it at the zoo, you have to come now!”

“It will have to wait until I’ve finished my lunch” said Jack, licking mayo from his fingers. “Big Cats can wait, Big Mac’s can’t” he said.

“We’ve got a serial killer on the loose” the Sheriff told Mac, “we need a map of the forest.”    "Big Mac" McGuinness was legendary in these parts, cartography was Mac’s thing. It seemed the police department thought the killer was hiding out in the forest but it was a huge place so they needed to section it off to search, hence the map. Mac knew about the twelve murders, which had been attributed to the person they were calling the "Black Panther".

“Sure thing” said Mac I’ll get on it straight away.

Mac worked for Green Power, a company developing renewable energy projects, something very close to his heart, he loved nature and the forest. He was also a valued member of the Salvation Army, he helped run the hostel that was open to walkers, who regularly came to the area because it was so beautiful.

The police believed the murdered men and women had been killed in the forest, then their bodies had been dumped on the highway, the partition between the two halves of the forest, to make sure they’d be found. All the victims had been marked by what looked like a star on the sole of their foot, other than that there didn’t seem to be any connection between them.
Once Mac had drawn up the map the Sheriff marked it into manageable areas, printed off some copies and handed them out to the search teams.

“Mac is coming along with me” he told the teams “I’ve written his cell phone number on the map, if you find anything give him a ring and he can guide me to where you are.”

Mac knew they wouldn’t find the killer in the forest and got annoyed when they would keep calling the mark on the victim’s soles a star. Why didn’t they just use their imagination. It’s wasn’t difficult to see what it was, it wasn’t a mirror image or anything, it was a wind turbine – his autograph. He thought back to his first victim and how annoyed he was to find the man roasting marshmallows over a fire in the forest and reading like he was in poet’s corner in the library. The man had left the fire smouldering when he moved on, they had no respect for nature these walkers!

Friday 27 March 2009

Friday 55 Flash Fiction # 68 Spring


Unruly grass, needing a first cut.

Dead foliage, needs removing to allow new growth.

Previously bare branches, now sprouting buds.

Daffodils pushing their heads through the earth.

Snowdrops braving the last of the snow and frost,

shaking their heads in the biting March winds.

Just a few weeks before the garden bursts into life again.

Don't you just love Spring? 

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 25 March 2009

Behind Closed Doors.....

Following the public outcry after the death of Baby P, who was tortured and killed by his so called mother and her lover...

From the Times online
After 17 months enduring abuse of an almost unimaginable cruelty, the boy had been reduced to a nervous wreck, his hair shaved to the scalp and his body covered in bruises and scabs. Physical injuries included eight broken ribs, a broken back and the missing top of a finger, while the emotional damage was almost incalculable. Despite it all, Baby P was said to have still attempted a smile. Read more here

many people here and abroad took to the streets in charity walks and fundraising events. One woman, Elaine Woolacott, decided to organise a March in her own town of Exeter and other fundraising events, then decided she wanted to publish a small booklet filled with poems which the public had donated. That was when Elaine Denning (Liebfraumilch & Lipstick) offered to help do it on a bigger scale, by publishing a book of stories, photographs, poetry and artwork from people young and old.   All their hard work has resulted in the book "Behind Closed Doors" being published and is available to buy from Blurb.   If you click here it will take you straight to the book where you can preview the first 15 pages and, of course, buy it if you want to. All proceeds are going to the NSPCC in memory of Baby P and all the other children who have lost their lives through abuse. If you do decide to buy the book, Blurb have kindly agreed to free p&p up to the value of £10.00. Just enter NSPCC (no spaces and in caps) into the promo box and remember to click the apply button.

I purchased a copy of the book and I can tell you it is beautiful. Some of the stories are harrowing, but all of them are honest and well written. The photographs are amazing and the whole thing has been put together with love and care. All the proceeds of the book go to the NSPCC, to help children like Baby P who are being abused, beaten, mistreated. Please take a look, hopefully you will buy a copy, every book sold will make a difference.

Congratulations to Elaine Woolacott, Elaine Denning and all the contributors – I hope you sell millions, you are all stars.

Monday 23 March 2009

Spain Part 5 - Torremilinos......

Our last day; we had planned to walk to Torremilinos and get the train back, but because of the late night and the fuzzy heads we decided to get the train there and back.

The weather was beautiful as we walked down the Spanish Steps to the Paseo and sat on the seawall. T and I even went for a paddle in the sea and despite me waving frantically to MWM indicating for him to take a photo he didn’t (fuzzy head I think). Anyway we did get some photos of us sitting on the seawall just to prove we were there.

After climbing back up the Spanish Steps exhausted we stopped at the first restaurant and ordered sandwiches and coffees. The service was terrible but the food was reasonable, satiated we set off looking for a tobacconist where I could buy my Dad a supply of cigarettes. Although cigarettes are not really as cheap in Spain as they once were, they’re still half the price they are in England, so I got him 1200.

We hopped on the train and stopped off at Spanish Square for one last brandy and coffee in the sunshine, then returned to the apartment as MWM and I were due to fly home the following morning and I had to pack. It didn’t take long and we relaxed with a cup of tea until it was time to shower and change for dinner.

We had booked a table at JJ’s for 8.30 pm, so we had a little walk before dinner to work up an appetite. After dinner we had another walk around Arroyo, we did have to wear a light jacket at night as it certainly went cooler and we couldn’t sit outside but it was still pleasant enough to walk about. We called in a bar and had a couple of drinks, no excesses this time as we had to be at the airport for 9 a.m., then went back to the apartment and to bed.

A friend of K&T’s who lives in a nearby apartment was taking us the airport so we didn’t have to leave until 8.45 a.m., as it’s only a 15 minute drive, which meant we didn’t have to get up too early. We said goodbye to K&T, who were spending another week there (lucky devils) and went to the airport. Booking in and the flight were absolutely painless and our youngest son picked us up at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, we were home for 2.30 p.m.

We really enjoyed our break, of course I had to go back to work on the Monday but I felt refreshed, even after all the late nights.

We haven’t got another holiday booked now until our Cruise in January next year. No doubt we will have some weekends away but we’re not sure where yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Saturday 21 March 2009

Saturday Wordzzle # 55

The idea is, every week Raven (Views From 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.

Complete with my doodles.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge is: humanity, shadow, ricochet, wrong, pluralism, mathematics, personhood, printing press, ink spot, choral society
Sian was dreading the spelling test at school. She wasn’t very good at spelling, her forte was music and she was happiest when she was at the choral society.

As the teacher began to read out the words Sian attempted to write each one down; humanity, shadow, ricochet, little beads of perspiration began to form on her brow. The teacher’s voice droned on; pluralism, personhood, she’d never even heard of those before let alone know how to spell them; printing press, mathematics, ink spot, ah those weren’t too bad. At last it was over. The teacher instructed the students to swap papers so they could be marked as she wrote the words on the board. Sian wasn’t surprised to learn that she had got most of the words wrong.

Mini Challenge: kingdom, take names, best seller, three times, inner demons

Timothy Kingdom, three times winner of the Kiriyama Prize, was launching his latest novel, which would no doubt be a best seller. He was undoubtedly a great writer but one thing he couldn’t do was think up names for his characters. To solve this little problem he used to take names from the local gravestones and had no inner demons telling him it was wrong, it was all part of being an author.


Carlos was in a lot of trouble, he’d been in trouble before, but this time he really was innocent.

To all intent and purpose Carlos was a businessman with a vast kingdom but he was a shadowy figure whom the police believed was involved in all things illegal – drug/people trafficking, protection rackets etc., the only problem was they hadn’t been able prove it. To his friends and employees he was a benefactor, to anyone who crossed him he could be the devil himself, pluralism, being all things to all men, was not beyond him. One thing for sure – you wouldn’t want to cross him!

Carlos couldn’t believe he had been charged with Stuart Parker’s murder. It was like the plot of a best seller, almost unbelievable. Stuart Parker had worked for Carlos for many years as a publisher at Dozer Publications, which was one of Carlos Mendozer’s business interests that just happened to be legitimate.

Carlos had been with Stuart that afternoon and should have been going to a concert given by his wife’s choral society, unfortunately he never made it as he started feeling unwell, and he’d gone home instead. He had sent Rebecca, his wife, a text to tell her where he was. The rest of the staff at Dozer’s had left half an hour before Carlos and his parting words to Stuart were “See you at the end of the week.”

Now Stuart was dead. They found no weapon and the only fingerprints were those of Stuart, the rest of the staff and Carlos Mendozer. The killer had fired the gun three times, seemingly wild, and one bullet had ricocheted off the printing press and hit Stuart right between the eyes, leaving a stain like an ink spot on his forehead. The police were there to take names and check alibis and the only person who didn’t have an alibi was Carlos – if only he’d gone to the concert. The evidence against him wasn’t overwhelming but the prosecutor did a good job of convincing the jury that the mathematics added up to the killer being Carlos. They were wrong but he couldn’t prove it and no matter how much he protested they weren’t about to show him any humanity, they wanted him put away for life.

Rebecca said goodbye to Carlos, who was going into a harsh prison system that deprives prisoners of their personhood for something he hadn’t done. She was devastated. She was fighting her inner demons, how she wished she’d never started the affair with Stuart, then he wouldn’t have dumped her and she wouldn’t have gone after him with the gun.

Friday 20 March 2009

Friday 55 Flash Fiction # 67 Broken


I can’t do it anymore.

I try but after a few minutes I have to give up.

You keep pushing my buttons and I keep trying

But I just can’t do it.

No amount of swearing and cursing will make any difference.


Just get the repairman out….

I’m a dishwasher that needs a new 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.

Thursday 19 March 2009

I've got a dragon.........

award that is!  Here it is....

A group of dragons decided they needed their own blog and so Dragon's Lair is born.   The first post on this bright new blog reads:

Nine valid entries today. The choice was very hard. We used a different system. We read the stories out loud in groups of two and kept the one we thought best.

We continued that process until we had four blogs left. Then each dragon took a blog and read the entry out loud telling the others what he or she thought was best about that blog entry.

Then we voted.

After several rounds of voting we finally picked the best wordzzle this week.

It has humor, a suprise ending, and did all three challenges. It also made good use of pictures.

And the winner of this week's dragon award is.


Congratulations Akelamalu.

Thank you to Dr. John's grandsons for helping us poor dragons with the judging.

WOW!  This came as a complete surprise, I had no idea Wordzzles were being judged for an award, I am honoured as there are so many fantastic wordzzles out there.  If you haven't already, do visit Raven the founder of Wordzzles and click on the Mr. Linky to see who has joined in the weekly Wordzzle challenge. We know that most bloggers are budding writers and love a challenge, so why not have a go yourself ? 

Dr. John, whose grandsons helped to judge the wordzzles, has his own blog called Dr. John's Fortress where he writes about all manner of things and in particular about Pigeon Falls - The little town in his basement where the trains still run and dragons fly.  Do pay him a visit you won't regret it!

Thank you Fandango and the Dragons for this most prestidgious award - I am truly honoured.

Wednesday 18 March 2009


Recently my grandson Kai (5 on Thursday) had a little altercation with his Dad, my son, and said he wanted to go home to his Mum.    His Dad said OK I'll give you some money for bus fares, you need to get the number blah to blah, then the number blah to blah etc., etc.   Kai ignored him.

I thought this was the ideal opportunity to make Kai understand the importance of knowing his address (he lives with Mum) so I told him "If you got lost and a policeman/woman asked you where you live would you be able to tell them?"

He shook his head, so the lesson began.  After about 10 minutes of repeating his name, age and address I said

"Let's pretend you're lost and I'm a policewoman.   What's your name little boy?"

He answered as practiced.

"How old are you?"

Again he answered correctly.

"Where do you live sweetheart?"  I asked him.

"I don't need to know all this 'cause I'm not going on the bus!" he said.

Good news though, the following week I asked him his address and he remembered!

Monday 16 March 2009

Portrait of Words # 7

Jeff (A Word in Edgewise POW) has started up this monthly challenge, derived from a previous challenge from R.E.H.'s "Picture Fiction Challenge". Do pop over to Jeff's to read the other entries, you won't be disappointed.   You can get the portraits for this month's challenge here.

The object is to:
Write a story of any length or style. Long or short, comedy or tragedy, fact or fiction, etc,etc... it's up to you.
Use each of the picture representations in your story. (one from the wild card options)

Here's my story:

Main Character:
Your story can be told through or about this person, i.e. first or third person. Either way, his involvement in the story should be a focal point. Feel free to have as many or as few additional characters as you wish.

Jack was no fan of Pete Doherty but he was Pete's dealer and Peter was his best customer and he recommended Jack to his friends.    Jack was no mug, he only sold the stuff, he’d never consider taking it, he had seen the damage it could do addled brains, rotting teeth, collapsed veins but customers like Doherty kept his family in luxury.   Doherty thought Jack was his friend.


This will create the setting for your story. It can take place at the location depicted, be a destination to it, or be a journey from it.

Jack had a trusted network of runners who did the deals for him on the buses, less chance of them getting caught because of the crowds; he never did the deal himself.   Except for Doherty, none of Jack's customers had ever seen him; it was just his mobile number that was passed on but only with his permission.


This is what drives or motivates the main character to action. It can also be viewed as the objective of the story.

Jack was a respected dentist with a thriving practice in the best part of town. He was happily married with two boys who both went to private school, mainly funded by Jack’s drugs money. Jack’s wife didn’t know about the seedier side of his career she just presumed their lifestyle was funded by his dental practice.


This object should have a significant value to the main character, backdrop or purpose of the story.

Jack’s beginnings were very different to what he had now. He was the son of a scrap metal merchant, his school holidays had been spent working in his father’s scrap yard surrounded by old cars and tins of rusty screws. He was determined to get out and make a better life for himself. He worked hard at school, went to university and embarked on a career in dentistry. Cathy, his wife, had been the receptionist at his very first dental practice, they married and Cathy helped him build it into the empire it was today. Unfortunately the practice couldn’t totally fund the lifestyle Jack wanted and when Sam, his best friend since dental school, told him how he made more money dealing drugs than he ever could fixing teeth, Jack was sucked in.  

Sam introduced Jack to Doherty and before too long Jack had taken over supplying Doherty.    Eventually Jack put Sam out of business, as far as his drug dealing was concerned, as he got a reputation for supplying good stuff at reasonable prices.  He refused to be part of Doherty's clique, his home life was too important to him but he kept in Doherty's good books by always being able to supply what he needed.

Wednesday dawned like any other day and Jack jumped in his car to go to the surgery. As he entered the reception area he was surprised to see a policeman and a detective standing there.

“Can I help you?” asked Jack.

“Mr Nichols we’d like you to come down to the station to help us with out enquiries” said the detective.

“Please come into my surgery gentlemen, what’s this about?” enquired Jack.

Closing the door behind him the police constable stood in front of it as if to prevent anyone leaving. The detective said “We have reason to believe you have been supplying drugs.”

Wild Cards:

Writers choice here. Choose *one* of the three options to use in your story anyway you see fit.

Jack was taken aback but wasn’t really worried, they couldn’t possibly have any proof. Keeping a calm exterior he agreed to go with them after phoning his solicitor, who said he would meet him down at the station. He sat relaxed in the interview room sitting facing two detectives, with his solicitor at his side. After the preliminaries of introducing themselves for the benefit of the tape, the detective who had come to Jack’s surgery spoke.
“We have you on CCTV supplying drugs in the Bowling Alley” he said.
Jack laughed, “That’s impossible” he said.
“You were in the bowling alley on Saturday afternoon with your children?” asked the detective.
“Yes” replied Jack.
“I’d like you to watch this CCTV footage” said the detective.

Jack put on his glasses and concentrated on the television screen. He could see his two boys and there he was, coaching them on their bowling. He then left them for a few minutes whilst he went to get them a drink. He saw himself waiting at the bar and the man in front of him turning with a drink in his hand bump into him splashing himself with the liquid.   The man was flustered trying to brush the liquid off his clothes, Jack recognised the man as a friend of Doherty's so he took his handkerchief out of his pocket and handed it to the man for him to wipe his clothes.   He vaguely remembered telling the man to keep the handkerchief, which the man then put in his pocket and then he shook Jack’s hand. The detective turned off the video.

Jack looked bemused. “I don’t understand, what am I supposed to be seeing?” he asked.

“That man is one of your runners, you passed him some drugs in your handkerchief and he passed you payment when he shook your hand” said the detective.

“That’s ridiculous” said Jack “it didn’t happen and even if it did what proof have you got?”

“That man is well known to us as a drug runner, we’ve been watching him for months. We picked him up later that day selling on the drugs you supplied him with and he told us he got them from you, confirming the CCTV footage” replied the detective. “You’re under arrest.”

Jack realised he’d been set up, probably by Doherty, but why he didn't know. It was all over. Had the detective let the video run on 10 minutes longer, Jack may have noticed the man who had set him up talking to his ex friend Sam and things would have been a whole lot clearer.

Photo Credits: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License
(From commons, unless otherwise noted)
Main Character- nico
Backdrop- L A Ward
Item- P Doodle
Wild Card #1- kcolwel
Wild Card #2- alex-pl
Wild card #3- mag3737

Saturday 14 March 2009

Saturday Wordzzle # 54

The idea is, every week Raven (Views From 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.

Complete with my doodles.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge is: sugar bowl, cotton, wizard, fund-raising, Ben Hur, salmonella, lukewarm, telescope, bank, walk-a-thon

Picking up a cotton bud out of the sugar bowl on side of the sink Amanda soaked it in some lukewarm water before correcting the smudge of mascara. Brendan was getting ready to go to his job at the bank but stopped to peer through the telescope into their neighbour’s property.

“I’m sure that’s Charlton Heston, the star of Ben Hur, living there” he told Amanda. “Do you think he could be persuaded to lend his name to help promote the walk-a-thon? How are you getting on with organising the catering for the event?” he asked her.

“It’s all organised. Charton Heston died last year, that’s just a lookalike.” she replied.

Brendan was a wizard when it came to fund-raising but she’d taken over organising the catering after the last event, when huge numbers of people contracted salmonella because he’d decided to do the barbeque himself and hadn’t cooked the chicken properly.

Mini Challenge: challenge, sparkling cider, melancholy, snail mail, master carpenter

“I challenge you to a sparkling cider drinking competition” shouted the newcomer to the melancholy master carpenter sitting in the corner of the country pub.

“Bog off, I’m already drunk. Ask the snail mail, sorry I mean the mail snail, the postman, he’s always up for a challenge!” said the carpenter.

Joe was watching ‘Ben Hur’ on the TV when the adverts came on and a report about the Walk-a-thon that was being planned in the town. As a master carpenter with his own lucrative business, he liked to put something back into the community and this was as good a way to do that as any other, so he telephoned asking for details and was told the information would be sent by snail mail. He was always willing to do anything to help fund-raising events; unfortunately it usually involved him volunteering his staff for any challenges.

“You can enter as a team” he told the men “you could all dress up as wizards!”

The men didn’t look too keen.

“Don’t look so melancholy, I’ll pay for bit of a party for you after the event, with plenty of food and drink” Joe offered.

This was enough to spur the men into action, they organised costumes and collected sponsors from friends, relatives and local businesses, who were all extremely generous in their pledges. They went out training in the evening and at weekends until the big day arrived.

The party Joe had promised turned out to be a lukewarm affair. Curled up sandwiches and sparkling cider, hardly a reward for all their hard work, they were annoyed to say the least and especially when they were all taken ill the following day with something akin to salmonella.

A month later they’d collected all the sponsor money which totalled £30,000, and they entrusted it to Mrs Cotton, Joe’s secretary to bank. They were shocked when, a couple of weeks later, Mrs Cotton didn’t turn up for work and they found out the walk-a-thon money had disappeared. They didn’t need a telescope to see what had happened - Mrs Cotton had done a runner with the proceeds of the walk-a-thon! How low could one stoop?

Joe was mortified, he couldn’t believe it he told them, he’d trusted her implicitly! There was no way he could replace the missing money it was just too much but as a gesture of goodwill he offered to make a donation of £200.

In the suite at the hotel Mrs. Cotton answered the door to room service. She had fled abroad with the money and had met up with her lover. He wouldn’t be able to stay with her permanently but she was happy to enjoy a life in the sun, whilst he carried on working and visited her every few months.

“Shall I be mother? “How many lumps” she asked Joe, as she poised the tongs over the sugar bowl.

Friday 13 March 2009

Friday 55 Flash Fiction # 66 Power


You had the power,

So you gave me a hard time

You made me feel unhappy and angry.

I didn’t deserve it.

Now I’m the only one with the information you need.

The only one with the knowledge,

to make sure what needs to be done is done.
I’m the one with the power now!

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 11 March 2009

Spain Part 4 - Fuengirola

photo courtesy of Google images

Friday is market day in Arroyo so hoping for a bargain, though not looking for anything in particular, K and I set off to the market which just happens to be a five minute walk from the apartment. MWM and T were dispatched to the supermarket for some more supplies which didn’t include beer but miraculously some appeared in the fridge after they got back.

It was a bit overcast and out of the sun the wind was chilly but K & I looked at practically every stall on the market – shoes, bags, pottery, spices, watches, jewellery and the most delicious looking fruit and vegetables – you name it, it was there! However neither of us were tempted so we returned to the apartment and the boys were really surprised when they came back that not only had we beaten them back we hadn’t bought anything!

We decided to hop on the train to Fuengirola as K & T wanted to see the apartment that my FIL had owned there. It’s only a 15 minute ride from Benalmadena and it brought back many lovely memories of the time we had spent there in FIL’s apartment. It is right on the Paseo (promenade) facing the sea with beautiful views. How we wish he hadn’t sold it!

Hungry now we stopped off at a little café for a toastie and a coffee before having a mooch about the town. We had arranged to stop off to visit some friends of K&Ts at Torremuelle on the way back, where we sat by their pool admiring the views out to sea whilst sipping a cool beer in the warmth of the sun, which had suddenly reappeared.

An hour later we were back on the train to Arroyo and guess what? Yep, it was time to get showered and changed for dinner again!

Tonight’s feast was at a traditional Spanish restaurant which was offering a three course meal and half a bottle of wine each for 12 Euros! The food was delicious and we then went to JJ’s for a brandy, which turned into a few and yes, you’ve guessed it, another late night.   You're getting worried about me now aren't you?

Part 5 coming soon.

Monday 9 March 2009

Spain Part 3 - Nerja....

photo courtesy of Google images

Thursday dawned bright and we set off for Nerja. Once again MWM and T had poured over the map planning the route. This was a 45minute drive along the motorway.

After an hour on the motorway someone ventured we might be going the wrong way, MWM said he couldn’t find any of the places that were signposted on the route they’d planned! K and I sat quietly in the back of the car until the boys decided they needed to come off the motorway and study the map.

A few minutes later we were sitting in the car on an almost empty industrial estate until MWM and T decided we needed to be heading back the way we came and turn off at a certain point which would head us towards the coast. This is what we did and once off the motorway, heading in the right direction, the scenery was breathtaking. We saw a lot of Spain we wouldn’t have seen had we taken the correct route in the first place, but it did take us four hours to do the 45 minutes journey.

We drove straight through the actual town of Nerja so haven't actually got any photos, hence the use of the Google image above.    We came to a place called La Herradura, where we parked on the beach road and went into the nearest restaurant for a very late lunch.

La Sardina Restaurant was right on the beach and we bagged a table right there on the sand, where we had a lovely lunch and a coffee whilst looking out to sea.

After some discussion MWM and T decided they knew how to get back onto the motorway for our return journey and were adamant that it would take only 45 minutes – it did, thankfully, and we got back just in time to shower and change for dinner with four friends of K&T’s who live in the area. Dinner was at their favourite restaurant the Honeypot, Arroyo, which served the most delicious food, the wine flowed freely and the company was superb!     You may have guessed by now – it was another late night, God help my liver!

Part 4 coming soon

Saturday 7 March 2009

Saturday Wordzzle #53

The idea is, every week Raven (Views From 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.

Complete with my doodles.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge are: chopping block, reading list, bangles, oracle, plan, fandango, spelling bee, calendar, utilitarian, flower pot

Tina checked the calendar for the time of the spelling bee her children were taking part in. Her mother, the oracle as she called her, was taking them as Tina didn’t have any transport at the moment her very old, utilitarian car being in dock. She guessed there wouldn’t be much the mechanic could do with it and it was probably destined for the chopping block. Whilst the children were out Tina’s plan was to catch up on some little jobs like sorting out her bangles, compiling a reading list and cleaning the flower pots ready for planting some seeds. Unfortunately, like most best laid plans, Tina had to take the children herself by bus, as her mother rang to say she’d broken her leg and wouldn’t be doing a fandango any time soon.

Mini Challenge: Siberia, citrus fruit, roofer, shamrock, twinkle twinkle little star

On an education exchange visit to Siberia, Gill didn’t expect the little differences in culture she found, like the children didn’t know the nursery rhyme ‘twinkle, twinkle, little star’; had never seen a shamrock and didn’t know what a roofer was. She was pleased that citrus fruit was plentiful, even though it had to be imported.


Twinkle, twinkle, little star’ recited Mandy, this was the finale of her act, which had been put together by her mother, who was convinced Mandy had talent and was determined to do her best to make sure it was recognised. First she had displayed her prowess in the spelling bee, then danced the fandango before her rendition of the song in the talent competition. The crowd erupted in a deafening round of applause. Mandy was destined to be a star and earn fame and fortune so she could keep her mother, who had worked her hands to the bone since Mandy’s father had died, in luxury.   Paddy, her father, had been a roofer and had an unfortunate accident whilst on a job, the lucky shamrock found in his pocket was Mandy’s most sacred possession, even though it hadn’t proved lucky for Paddy.

Mother had a plan: she had a calendar on which she marked upcoming events that Mandy could take part; she made sure Mandy had a healthy diet with plenty of citrus fruit to guard again colds and flu; she had prepared a reading list for Mandy to improve her vocabulary, thereby improving her spelling and she spent all her spare time sewing various costumes and searching for pretty adornments such as bangles to go with the costumes. No utilitarian costumes and accessories for Mandy, her little flower pot, only the best would do and woe betide Mandy if she didn’t do her absolute best in the competitions, her neck would be on the chopping block.

Suddenly the alarm was buzzing and Mandy rubbed the sleep from her eyes. That was the third time this week she had had the same dream, what did it all mean? The fact was Mandy couldn’t sing a note or dance a step. She was thirty years old and had moved back in with her parents after her marriage had broken up six months ago; her Father was retired after working in Siberia as an engineer for the last five years and her mother fancied herself as a bit of an oracle giving Tarot readings to anyone who would listen.

Friday 6 March 2009

Friday 55 Flash Fiction #65 Too Late

Too late

“Hi” he said “how are you?”

Turning her head she looked at him quizzically.

He smiled, a familiar smile.

“I didn’t recognise you” she said. He’d changed, aged.

Fourteen years but he recognised her, even from the back.

Did that mean the spark was still there or she hadn’t changed?

She didn’t want to know.

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 4 March 2009

Spain Part 2 Ronda......

This car was being delivered at 10 a.m. so we were up early and had breakfast before it arrived. Our plan was to go to Ronda, MWM and T had poured over the map planning the route so we set off secure in the knowledge that we knew the way.

It took us two and a half hours to get to Ronda, the car was comfortable and the countryside was beautiful.

There seemed to be a lot of police patrols on the roads, we even got pulled over though they waved us on quite quickly when they looked in the car and saw us in shorts and tshirts obviously realising we were tourists.    We heard later that a bomb had exploded in Madrid that morning.

Not having been before we didn’t know where to park so stopped at the first available space and started walking. It took us about forty five minutes to get to the centre of Ronda by which time we were starving. We stopped at a little tapas bar but were disappointed that they were all out of tapas as it was well past lunchtime, so we settled for a sandwich instead.

When we were finished the owner of the tapas bar pointed us in the direction of the famous bridge over the gorge and we weren’t disappointed in the sight, once we got there.

Ronda is a myriad of little streets, shops, bars and restaurants and well worth the drive.

We set off and arrived back at the apartment just in time to have a cup of tea before it was time to have a shower and change again for dinner. We tried to get a table at JJ’s but it was fully booked because they have a quiz at 10 p.m. so we went to The Med, an Italian restaurant, where the food was absolutely delicious. After our meal we headed back to JJ’s for the quiz, which was great fun. We came next to last but as there weren’t a lot of points between any of the teams we did quite well, considering that all the other teams consisted of people that go in every week just for the quiz.

Another late night ensued, even though we had to be up early the following day for our car trip to Nerja. We’re gluttons for punishment!

Part 3 coming soon