Saturday 30 May 2009

Saturday Wordzzle # 65

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: parasite, meals on wheels, crows, it's my fault, everything but the kitchen sink, on sale, patriotism, the love of my life, library card, common sense

Patricia enjoyed working for the meals on wheels service, she got to meet some lovely old people, full of patriotism and common sense. Patricia’s dedication didn’t stop at delivering meals, she was entrusted with their library cards and chose their books, she also did shopping for them and more often than not they wanted everything but the kitchen sink, but “It’s my fault” she told her friends, “I’m too accommodating.” She was very careful with their money getting items which were on sale or special offer and they said they appreciated it.

When Jack moved into the sheltered accommodation where she delivered meals, she couldn’t believe he was 70, he looked so much younger. Patricia was sixty but the ten years age difference meant nothing, she and Jack got along like a house on fire. Patricia never thought she would ever meet anyone she would be remotely interested in romantically after John her husband, the man she called ‘the love of my life’, had died. Now here she was with feelings for Jack that were definitely more than just friendly, it wasn’t long before romance blossomed.

Patricia was over the moon when Jack asked her to marry him and said ‘Yes’ without hesitation. Of course the other residents had their opinions on the romance calling her things like ‘parasite’ and accused her of ‘taking advantage of an old man’. Patricia was upset at first but Jack told her to ignore them.

“You’re right Jack, they’re nosey old crows” she said “sod ‘em!”

Jack moved into Patricia’s house and she gave up the job she’d adored, until the people she’d dedicated her time to had turned against her for daring to find love again.

And for the mini: blackmail, California, stethoscope, postage, crank

The letter arrived without a postage stamp to Liam’s house in California Avenue. He didn’t recognise the handwriting and was a little wary since he won the lottery, as he’d had lots of crank letters. Picking up a stethoscope he’d bought specifically for the purpose, he placed the round part onto the envelope to listen for ticking. No ticking, no bomb, he thought. Opening the envelope he was surprised by it’s content.

gIvE uS £1,000,000 oR wE tElL tHe pApErS
aBoUt yOuR wIfeS pOrN mOvIe

A blackmail letter! What the hell?

“Idiot, I don’t have a wife!” said Liam and promptly threw the letter onto the fire.


Babs and Tom had met when they were both taking a gap year from university and were backpacking round California. They had returned to England and completed their respective degrees and were now in their fourth year of marriage, living in a rented semi-detached in Manchester.

Tom had just been made redundant and was desperately trying to get Babs to agree to emigrate. He painted a wonderful picture of using his redundancy payoff to buy a little bar in Spain for them to run, living the high life in a country where the sun shone almost every day.

“How much better would that be rather than this incessant rain?” he pleaded.

Tom put forward a great argument - neither of them had any feelings of patriotism and they had no close family here now, so there was nothing to stop them. They didn’t want to grow old and end up relying on meals on wheels without having taken any chancesn in life. Everything was so much more relaxed in Spain, their friend Tina and Mike were making a packet with their bar, Tom went on and on about all the reasons for them emigrating, how old people here were almost considered parasites unless they were rich and it was unlikely they would ever be, unless they won the lottery. By the time he’d finished it was almost tantamount to blackmail, so Babs , feeling she would be letting Tom down if she didn’t agree ripped up her library card and throwing common sense to the wind said

“Tom, you’re the love of my life, blow in my ear and I’ll follow you anywhere!”

Decision made, they were selling up and moving to Spain. They bought two cheap return air tickets and went to stay with Tina and Mike while they looked at suitable businesses. It wasn’t long before they found just what they were looking for.
“OK the bar might only be the size of a postage stamp but it will get us started” Tom assured Babs.

Everything signed and sealed they returned to England and decided to have a yard sale to get rid of all their belongings, to make some more money to take with them. They splashed out and put an advert in the local paper and on the appointed day (which thankfully wasn’t a rainy one) they piled everything they owned on the front lawn. Tom stood on a box shouting

“Everything is on sale, well everything but the kitchen sink that is.”

“Tom you’ll have to crank up the volume, they will need a stethoscope to hear your sales patter at this rate, here use this megaphone” said Babs.

The crowds descended on the garden like crows round a carcass and within two hours they’d sold everything, pocketing quite a tidy sum for their Spanish fund.

The next day, after spending the night in a cheap hotel, Tom and Babs arrived at the airport to start their new life abroad. At the check in desk Tom handed over their tickets and passports and was mortified when the clerk said

“I’m sorry sir but your passport has expired!”

“Oh, shit, it’s my fault” cried Babs “I forgot to check them!”

Friday 29 May 2009

Friday 55 Flash Fiction # 77 Secret Lover

No-one knew about Mandy, he didn't want them to.

She was his secret lover, never to be shared.

Beautiful, uncomplaining, accommodating, she was just perfect.

He'd met her whilst pouring over a catalogue in the sex shop.

It was love at first sight.

Mandy may be a blow-up doll, but she's all mine he thought!

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.
I'm out on a jaunt today so I'll catch up with you all over the weekend - have a good one!  

Thursday 28 May 2009

Great News.....

Some of you may remember or have noticed on my sidebar references to me having published my Dad's book 'KIT - A Biography Of My Mother' on in 2007.

I've just had an email from LULU saying:

Dear Lulu Author,
Congratulations, your book has been selected for listing on's Marketplace! As a result, your book will now be easily found on the world's largest online bookseller.

I am over the moon.

My only intention in getting it published was to keep my promise to my Dad to get his book published, so that he could keep his promise to his Mother to tell the story of her life so that 'in a hundred years people will know that KIT lived!'.

You can read about how I went about it here and here. I first set up a webpage and published it there but I really wanted my Dad to see it in print hence my publishing it through LULU.

You can buy it here from, if you're interested, though it is cheaper to buy it straight from here. I don't make any profit from sales of the book, my only intention was for as many people as possible to read about my remarkable grandmother.

I'm not touting for sales, if you just want to read without buying please feel free and look on my webpage here, I'm just so pleased that it will be available to a wider audience. If you read it on the webpage please leave a comment, I'd love to know what you think.

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Unimportant meme.....

Thom (Thoms Place 4 Well Whatever) tagged me for this meme.

Here is how it works. I mention the person who tagged me, which happened above, list 6 unimportant things that make me happy, to follow, and after that tag 6 more bloggers. So without further ado:

6 unimportant things that make me happy:

1. Gardening, when I have time.

2. Shopping.

3. Looking through old photographs.

4. A good hair day.

5. Listening to music.

6. Watching my favourite TV programmes.

Now I have to tag six other bloggers,so step up if you want to do it:

Ron (Vent)

Monday 25 May 2009


A farmer stopped by the local mechanic shop to have his truck fixed. They couldn't do it while he waited, so he said he didn't live far and would just walk home. On the way home he stopped at the hardware store and bought a bucket and a gallon of paint. He then stopped by the feed store and picked up a couple of chickens and a goose. However, struggling outside the store he now had a problem - how to carry his entire purchases home.

While he was scratching his head he was approached by a little old lady who told him she was lost. She asked, 'Can you tell me how to get to 1603 Mockingbird Lane ?' The farmer said, 'Well, as a matter of fact, my farm is very close to that house I would walk you there but I can't carry this lot.' The old lady suggested,

'Why don't you put the can of paint in the bucket. Carry the bucket in one hand, put a chicken under each arm and carry the goose in your other hand?'

'Why thank you very much,' he said and proceeded to walk the old girl home. On the way he says 'Let's take my short cut and go down this alley. We'll be there in no time.'

The little old lady looked him over cautiously then said, I am a lonely widow without a husband to defend me.. How do I know that when we get in the alley you won't hold me up against the wall, pull up my skirt, and have your way with me?'

The farmer said, 'Holy smokes lady! I'm carrying a bucket, a gallon of paint, two chickens, and a goose. How in the world could I possibly hold you up against the wall and do that?'

The old lady replied, 'Set the goose down, cover him with the bucket, put the paint on top of the bucket, and I'll hold the chickens

Saturday 23 May 2009

Saturday Wordzzle # 64

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: albino, trench, marble, assistant, Indian, What's that supposed to mean?, sound first principles, the key thing, moat, curtain

“Pull up the drawbridge and let the crocodiles into the moat” said the Indian Swami.

What’s that supposed to mean?” asked his albino assistant Marble.

“Lock the door and prepare for battle if anyone tries to get in while we’re testing the new trick” he replied.

Closing the curtain on the cabinet, which was positioned over a trench into which Swami would disappear, Marble asked “Are you sure you know what you’re doing Swami?”

“Of course I do, I have sound first principles and the key thing is to say the magic words in the right order” Swami replied.

Marble stood back and listened to Swami bellowing out the incantation, then all was quiet. Pulling the curtain back Marble was amazed to see a frog where Swami had previously stood.

“Hey, it worked Swami” cried Marble. “Swami, it worked you can come out now, Swami, Swami.”

“Riddip, riddip, riddip” was the reply.

The mini challenge: under the surface, doomed, grand design, temple, aspirin

Martin thought his grand design for the temple was doomed when he saw the other entries to the competition. He popped the aspirin in his mouth and took and gulp of water. He appeared confident but under the surface he was paddling like a duck as he started his presentation.


Trench McIver was not what he seemed. Most people thought he was a member of the Scottish upper classes but in fact he was an albino Indian brought up in the Gorbals who had gone to University to study ancient history and made a name for himself as an explorer.

McIver had discovered many ancient scripts and artefacts but there was one thing he desperately wanted to find, he had seen mention of a treatment that could reverse albinism and his quest was to find it.

McIver had spent twenty years searching for the recipe for the treatment and had recently come across a clue as to where he might find it. He booked a flight to Borneo.

The temple where he hoped he would find the recipe had been discovered only five years earlier in the deepest part of the jungles of Borneo. He had been given contact details for a guide, who had been with the explorer who had discovered the temple, so he was confident he would be able to get to it.

After two days trekking they eventually came to the temple, it was of a grand design with a moat. Trying not to think about what could be under the surface of the moat he crossed the bridge into the temple.

The recipe was carved on one of the walls of the temple, in a room which had apparently been something like a pharmacy in it’s time. He had no problem finding it and reading the recipe he thought it had sound first principles but then, apparently, the key thing in it was ground marble and bark from some tree or other. He wasn’t feeling too confident when he read that. Desperation spurred McIver on. With the help of his guide he found the ingredients needed and packed them carefully into his backpack and within four days he was back at his office.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” asked his assistant, as McIver mixed the ingredients together into a mud coloured liquid.

What’s that supposed to mean?” asked McIver.

“You’re unique McIver, why would you want to be just ordinary?” he replied. “If it works you’ll look just like every other Indian.”

McIver had never thought of it that way but he had searched for so long he wasn’t going to back out now. He pulled a curtain across the doubts in his mind and downed the concoction.

Within minutes he began sweating and could feel his pulse pounding in his head, he was scared but if it worked he would be the happiest man alive. He wouldn’t let himself think that he may be doomed not just to failure but possible death!

His assistant stood watching him, ready to ring for an ambulance should the worst happen. Five minutes later McIver asked “Well do I look any different?”

“No, I’m afraid not boss” said his assistant

“I may as well have just taken an aspirin for all the good that’s done, what a waste of time!” muttered McIver.

Friday 22 May 2009

Friday 55 Flash Fiction # 76 Torture

He was being tortured.

He sniffed as cooking smells drifted tantalizingly around his nostrils.

He'd been in this room now for three hours.

He'd not been allowed food or drink.

He'd had no breakfast and he was starving now.

He looked at the clock, another thirty minutes

to the end of the exam and lunchtime.

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 20 May 2009

What's the point?........

Someone sent me this so I thought I'd share.

What's the Point?
A list of ten things the world could do without.

1. Male Nipples
Beating off stiff competition from underarm hair and wisdom teeth, male nipples sit proudly at the top of our most useless body parts list. We know why men have nipples (find out here), but that doesn’t negate the fact that they serve no practical purpose—they do not, ordinarily, produce milk.

2. Unicycle
As its name suggests, a unicycle is similar to a bicycle but it only has one wheel. The effects of removing a wheel are all negative. Balancing on a unicycle requires much more effort and leads to a much greater likelihood of falling off. Taking away a wheel is also much slower. The maximum speed reached on a unicycle is approximately 35 km/h (22 mph), while Chris Hoy (pictured above) has reached speeds of 70 km/h (40 mph) on his bicycle.

3. Spam
The chances of someone responding to spam is approximately one in 12.5 million. It may be extremely cheap to market a product by sending out junk e-mails, but surely such an enormous failure rate should deter even the most persistent person... Please?

4. Denton railway station
As dead as a station in the Australian outback, the unstaffed railway station in Denton, Manchester has got to be Britain’s most redundant railway stop. One train per week stops at Denton on Saturday mornings. But be warned: Denton is a request stop, so it may be necessary to flag the train down using your arms. To make matters worse, there are no return tickets to Denton—the weekly service runs only in one direction. You can leave, but you won’t be coming back again in a hurry.

5. Four-poster beds
Bedrooms are a relatively modern concept: before the eighteenth century, beds simply stood in the living room, being used as couches by day. Four-poster beds were by-products of this dual function, for they allowed curtains to hang around the bed during the night to keep out draughts and to offer privacy.Needless to say, 21st-century houses come equipped with both bedrooms and insulation, making the four-post element of these beds redundant. Yet they remain popular, with almost all furniture shops offering various forms of curtained, elaborate and ornate four-poster beds.

6. Capital letters
We all know that capital letters indicate the start of each sentence. But why do we need to mark the start of a sentence when the humble full stop has already marked the end? The limited use of capital letters in text speak or in casual emails indicates that capitals are a superfluity to the language, rather than a necessity. In fact, the majority of writing systems—including Georgian, Arabic, Hebrew and Chinese—do not have an upper and lower case system.

7. All the varieties of pasta shapes
Various shapes of pasta have different flavours, textures, cooking times, and each must be used in the appropriate context. Obviously, it’s important to get the right pasta for the right sauce. After all, lasagne wouldn’t be lasagne if it weren’t for those thin layers of baked pasta nestled between the sauce and cheese.However, is there really any point to lasagnette (a narrower version of lasagne) or lasagnotte (a longer version of lasagna)? Or does the average person really care whether they’re eating penne rigate (penne with ridged sides), penne lisce (penne with smooth sides), penne zita (penne with a slightly wider hole), or pennette (penne that is slightly shorter and thinner)? I would hazard a guess at no.

8. The word inflammable
The in- prefix of inflammable means ‘into’, rather than ‘not’, leaving us with two words—flammable and inflammable—with exactly the same meaning. But not only is the word inflammable needless, it is also dangerous. When labelling commercial and industrial products, ‘flammable’ is considered to be the safer choice because of the potentially disastrous consequences of misinterpreting ‘inflammable’. To add to the confusion, the word most frequently used to convey the opposite meaning to flammable is nonflammable, but noninflammable also exists.

9. The SysRq key on your keyboard
The system request key (SysRq), which now shares its place with the Print Screen button, has sat on the top row of keyboards since the very first PCs were made. Way back then, it was included on the keyboard in case anyone wanted to reach the main operating system without interrupting the running software. Nobody ever did. It is a redundant fixture, serving no purpose in Windows or any other operating system.

10. Ties
Ties once served a sociological purpose: archaeological evidence in China suggests that the ancient elite hung fabric around their necks as a means of marking their elevated status. But now that mankind has invented other ways of exhibiting wealth—the Ferrari parked in the driveway, or the penthouse in Park Lane—ties no longer serve such a function. So dangling coloured material from around the neck does what, exactly?
The pointlessness of the tie is perhaps beaten only by that sixteenth-century folly: the neck ruff. At their most extreme, starched ruffs could reach a foot or more in diameter and had to be propped by specially made wires. Fortunately, they fell out of fashion as quickly as they entered it.

Are there any more things you think 'what's the point' of?

Monday 18 May 2009

Portrait Of Words #9 .......

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.

Jeff says the rules this month are:
Same general idea as the other months, but with a slight variation this time. Instead of me dictating specific categories for each photograph, I'm going to display five pictures with the following guidelines:You may use all of the photos if you like, but please choose at least three of them to incorporate into your story. Your story can be factual or a work of fiction. It can be told in first or third person. Your story can be of any length or style. Long or short, comedy or tragedy, etc. . . it's up to you. The most important thing to remember is this: It's supposed to be a fun experience for everyone, and viewed simply as a writing exercise designed to stimulate creativity and camaraderie between fellow Bloggers. Make it enjoyable and let your creativity be your guide.

Hope you enjoy my story:

Adrian Logan picked up his luggage, consisting of a holdall, off the carousel at San Francisco Airport. Heading towards the Avis desk to pick up his hire car he looked around noticing how much it had changed since he’d last been here thirty years ago. He could hardly believe he’d been away so long.

Carrying the holdall he made his way through the airport to find his hire car, a VW Beetle. He could have easily afforded a bigger, flashier car but he had particularly asked for a Beetle. Climbing in the Beetle he familiarised himself once again with the controls then headed towards the Golden Gate Bridge and on to Marin County and Sleepy Hollow.

The traffic was manic over the bridge, though it didn’t bother him much, he was happy to take in the views of San Francisco Bay. He’d missed it.

Finding himself on Sir Francis Drake Blvd he realised he was only about five minutes from Butterfield Road, Sleepy Hollow’s main street.

Since he left, thirty years ago, he had been working all over the world in his chosen field of computers. He was successful, at least in his working life, but his love life had left a lot to be desired. He’d never married or had children, he’d been too busy making money. Now he was returning to the stomping ground of his youth, the place where the flower children had ruled, where LOVE had been the buzz word, where no-one thought they would ever grow old. The place where he’d spent his days in his uncle’s vineyard and his nights enjoying the golden liquid the grapes yielded. Now he owned the largest vineyard in the area, having been left it by his uncle, and he had given up computers and travelling, he just wanted to go back to the land and enjoy his remaining years where he’d been happiest, hopefully with the friends he’d left behind.

His departure from Sleepy Hollow had been swift. His uncle had brought him up when his parents had died in a road accident and then, when he was 21, told him he must make his own way in the world. He bought him a plane ticket to New York and gave him some money and a contact there, someone who would help him get started. Adrian hadn’t wanted to go but his uncle didn’t give him a choice. Saying goodbye to his friends had been hard but he told them he’d be back. He kept in touch with some but others had fallen by the wayside. Now he was back, he’d done some research and found that some of his old friends were still living in Sleepy Hollow and he intended to do some catching up.

A couple of days later, after settling into the house his uncle had also left him, he took out the list of names and numbers he’d brought with him and picked up the telephone. Within an hour he’d contacted half a dozen of his friends and arranged a reunion at the country club – “wear all your old gear if you’ve still got it” he told them.

He took a shower then went into the bedroom where he opened the holdall took out a pair of flared jeans, a multicoloured jacket, bandana and matching hat, and a pair of sunglasses and put them on. Gazing in the mirror he mused he didn’t look much older than when he’d left and his waistline hadn’t expanded that much, the jeans still fastened.

There was much backslapping and questions all round at the reunion. Lots of “do you remember whens” and “whatever happened tos”.

“Is Francesca still living here?” he asked Bernie, his oldest friend.

“She sure is Ade, she actually works here at the Country Club” Bernie told him “I’ll go get her.”

Within minutes Bernie was leading Francesca by the hand to Adrian’s side and they were sitting reminiscing like it was just yesterday.

“Remember the old Beetle I had?” he asked Francesca.

“How could I forget?” she said, blushing slightly. “Why didn’t you say goodbye Adrian? I came to meet you and you’d gone, no-one could, or would, tell me where.”

“I couldn’t bear to say goodbye to you Frannie, I didn’t want to leave you but I had no choice” he pleaded “can we start again? I never stopped loving you!”

“I’m happily married now Adrian so there’s no way for us to be together. I’m sorry it’s too late.”

“I understand Frannie, I hope we can still be friends though?” he asked.

“We can be more than that Adrian, we have something very much in common, it’s time you met your daughter. I was going to tell you the night you left but I didn’t get a chance. You also have a grandson.”

Guy in the hat - lovestruck
GG Bridge - pave_m
Grapes - iam_photography
VW Beetle - marie-11

Saturday 16 May 2009

Saturday Wordzzle # 63

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: Green goddess, shampoo, filibuster, please and thank you, Operation Marigold, throw pillows, up the creek without a paddle, spandex, ubiquitous, wedding ring,

Recovering from the operation Marigold pottered about the house straightening the throw pillows and tidying the shampoo bottles in the bathroom. She couldn’t believe she had been reduced to this, her, the Green Goddess, the spandex queen, up the creek without a paddle. It was such a silly accident – she’d slipped off the stepper and broken her leg. Now she was reduced to endlessly muttering please and thank you every time she wanted anything from the man who had put the wedding ring on her finger. Until her leg healed she had to spend her days doing crosswords, still she had learned some new words like ‘filibuster’ and ‘ubiquitous’ so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

Mini Challenge: Skittles, lamb chops, stingray, chagrin, clever devil

Snorkeling through the crystal clear water Kelly marvelled at how close the stingray was getting to her and the different colours of the coral on the ocean bed – like Skittles she thought. The next thing she knew she was being dragged down by her feet. Panic set in as she tried to kick away from whatever had hold of her. The next thing she knew Lamb Chops, her boyfriend James, was there beside her laughing, much to her chagrin. It was him, being a clever devil, who had grabbed her feet and given her the fright of her life. He’d suffer later, she would make sure of that!


Sian popped a couple of Skittles into her mouth then chastised herself. Eating sweets wasn’t part of her normal routine, she was usually so careful about what she ate. Today, however, she was stressed. The management of the Green Goddess gym, where she gave daily aerobic work-out sessions, were contemplating making changes to the way the place was run and she wasn’t happy about them. There was a meeting at the end of the week and she had every intention of attending and having her say, she would be giving the speech of her life, she’d be a regular filibuster she’d decided.

She had been living with Brian, the owner of the gym, for some time and originally thought she would be able to persuade him round to her way of thinking privately, but he wasn’t having any of it. She’d tried please and thank you, parading about in spandex, gave him a massage, she was all over him like a rash, “ubiquitous” he called her as he fell about laughing on the throw pillows on the sofa. She thought she was being a clever devil but none of it was working, much to her chagrin. She wasn’t up the creek without a paddle yet, she decided, she would have one last try before the meeting, putting her plan, ‘Operation Marigold’, into action.

The following day she rushed home from work and jumped in the shower, primping and preening herself, using her most expensive shampoo and toiletries, taking an age doing her hair and makeup and wore the dress she knew was Brian’s favourite. She cooked his favourite meal of lamb chops and had everything just so when he arrived home. She was feeling really pleased with herself.

“About the changes at the gym” Sian said sweetly, “I hope they’re not going to happen now?”

“Why should I have changed my mind? It’s happening, get used to it!” said Brian.

Stamping her feet in fury Sian delivered her stingray.

“Right, if you won’t change your mind you can forget the wedding ring you were hoping to put on my finger and you can do the washing up” she said throwing the rubber gloves at him.

“Ok, you win, you know how much I hate washing up!” said Brian.

Friday 15 May 2009

Friday 55 Flash Fiction # 75 Fit

Mike told her about Jason at the gym.

"Tell me more" she said.

He told her everything he knew - his name, age, where he lived.

"Is he fit?" she asked.

"Fitter than me!" replied Mike.

Watching Jason on the treadmill and lifting weights, she smiled.

"Hi Jason, I'm from the Benefits Fraud Office" she said.

Members of Parliament here are claiming on their allowances for cleaning moats, hanging chandeliers, paying housekeepers and gardeners, bath plugs, barbecues, plasma TVs etc., etc! MP say their claims are within the rules - that may be so but they are abusing the system. One rule for them and another for everyone else! I'm not condoning people cheating the benefits system but the ordinary man in the street gets hauled over hot coals for doing exactly what the MPs are doing. Where is the fairness in that?

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 13 May 2009

tHe fAmOuS FiVe.......

One of my overwhelming memories of Junior School was Friday afternoons when our teacher would read us a story. This was when I was introduced to the wonder of Enid Blyton’s ‘The Famous Five’!

The first of the ‘The Famous Five’ books, Five on a Treasure Island was published in 1942. Blyton only intended to write about 6 to 8 books in the series but, owing to their high sales and immense commercial success, she went on to write 21 full-length books. By the end of 1953, more than 6 million copies of these books had been printed and sold. Today, more than two million copies of the books are sold each year, making them one of the biggest-selling series for children ever written. Nearly all of the novels have subsequently been adapted for television.

The Famous Five are a group of children who have the sort of adventures most kids dream about, in a world where ginger beer flows and ham rolls are a staple diet. Julian, Dick and Anne get together with their cousin George in the first adventure, Five On A Treasure Island.
George is actually a girl who wants so desperately to be a boy she crops her hair and struts about doing boy things. She hates it when people call her by her correct name, Georgina. She has a dog called Timmy—oh yes, and an island. Most kids just have a dog, but George's parents own Kirrin Island and let her run around on it as if it were her play-thing. Her parents are known to Julian, Dick and Anne as Uncle Quentin and Aunt Fanny.

The Five lived a life I could only dream of. I lived in a deprived inner city where our playground was the ‘croft’ opposite where I lived, where the slums had been demolished, and the only adventure I took part in was when I disobeyed my parents and went down to the canal, which was full of rubbish. Compared to the ‘Five’s’ adventures – messing about on boats, their own island and solving mysteries – my life was very boring. However, for an hour a week I could lose myself in the adventures of the ‘Five’ and pretend they were ‘Six’, with me as their leader.

Did you have a favourite book or series of books when you were growing up?

Monday 11 May 2009

Why Parents Drink.......

Someone sent this to me, so I thought I'd share these words of wisdom with all those of you with teenagers who are turning you to drink.

A father passing by his son's bedroom was astonished to see that his bed was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then he saw an

Envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow that was addressed to 'Dad.'

With the worst premonition he opened the envelope

with trembling hands and read the letter.

Dear Dad:

It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you.

I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is so nice.

But I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercing, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I am. But it' s not only the passion...Dad she's pregnant.

Stacy said that we will be very happy.

She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children.

Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone.

We'll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people that live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy.

In the meantime we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Stacy can get better. She deserves it.

Don't worry Dad. I'm 15 and I know how to take care of myself. Someday I'm sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren.
Love, Your Son John

PS. Dad, none of the above is true. I'm over at Tommy's house.
I Just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than a Report card That's in my center desk drawer.

I love you.
Call me when it's safe to come home.

Saturday 9 May 2009

Saturday Wordzzle # 62

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: gentle spring rain, mammoth, soap opera, worry, bubble gum, garden gate, seizure, of Biblical proportions, paralysis, wrinkles

Cindy Cartwright, the star of the soap operaBubble Gum Chronicles’, leaned on the garden gate getting soaking wet, in what was supposed to be gentle spring rain. She wanted to grimace but had succumbed to botox for wrinkles resulting in the paralysis of her facial muscles, which prevented her from making any expressions and made her look as though she’d had a seizure.

“Turn the damned rain off” she screeched to the director “I’m going to end up with a mammoth cold!”

“Don’t worry” shouted the director “it will stop in a jiffy.”

Unfortunately for Cindy and the director, the special effects technician had just discovered an electrical fault of biblical proportions, which meant the whole studio had to be shut down before it flooded.

Mini Challenge: operatic, stuffed animals, anger management, biographical, paint splatters

In her best operatic voice she boomed out the instructions for making the stuffed animals to the children in her craft class. Patience wasn’t one of her virtues, in fact there were times when she considered going to anger management classes because she lost her temper so often, especially when the children got covered in paint splatters. She was hoping the semi-biographical novel she was writing would be a best seller, if she ever got it published, and make her rich enough to give up teaching.


Sitting by the garden gate enjoying the sun Emily felt the first splashes of gentle spring rain. Quickly gathering up her book and folding her chair she made her way inside. It was only when she looked in the mirror that she discovered she was covered in paint splatters! Tut-tutting she went out into the garden again to see where the paint could have come from. There was the bubble gum kid from next door painting her window frames and managing to get the paint everywhere except where it should go.

Emily called Tina the bubble gum kid because she only looked about twelve and dressed the same age, in fact she was 25 years old with three children. When Tina and the children first moved in Emily, being the good neighbour that she was, called with a homemade cake as a housewarming gift. She couldn’t believe Tina was the children’s mother at first, as she looked so young, but after hearing Tina’s life story over a cup of tea she decided she really admired her and they would become friends.

Tina’s story had the magnitude of a soap opera. She had been pregnant at 16 and married to a man who, from all accounts, needed to go to anger management classes. She had three children in the space of four years, one of whom had seizures, another had slight paralysis and she’d had debts of biblical proportions. When the youngest was five she left her husband taking the three kids and moved to the south coast to this little run down cottage next door to Emily. She had taken on the mammoth task of renovating the place, whilst earning a living selling the stuffed animals she made herself whilst the children were at school.

Tina was a worry to Emily, she joked that it was Tina’s madcap ways which had resulted in the extra wrinkles on her 68 year old face. Emily didn’t have any children, in fact she’d never been married, and she loved Tina’s children with a passion, her life had been made richer the day Tina and the children moved in next door. She took pleasure in taking the children to school for Tina and looking after them when Tina was out at fayres trying to sell her toys. She encouraged Tina to join the operatic society because she discovered she had a beautiful singing voice and suggested she write a semi-biographical story, which Emily then took to a friend who got it published, giving Tina another income.

Emily and Tina were like mother and daughter – a situation that pleased them both. Tina and the children were inconsolable when Emily had a heart attack and died. They owed her so much and truly loved her.

Two weeks after the funeral Tina received a letter from a solicitor asking her to make an appointment to see him regarding Emily’s will. No-one was more surprised than Tina to learn that Emily had left her cottage and all her worldly goods to Tina. What was even more surprising was that Emily was in fact an heiress who owned properties all over the country – Tina was now a very rich woman and Emily had died happy.

Friday 8 May 2009

Friday 55 Flash Fiction # 74 Addicted..

Shelly knew she was addicted.

She was doing it four times a week now.

She'd read and heard all the horror stories.

She'd never believed them but now the proof was visible.

The doctor had confirmed the damage it had caused.

She had to do it, give it up.

Had to stop...

the sunbed treatments.

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 6 May 2009

A Looooong Weekend......

Lucky for me I finished work last Thursday for a long weekend – back to work yesterday. Of course MWM and I made the most of it, here’s what we did.

Thursday evening we went to our local pub where they were holding a quiz night. We don’t usually go out during the week because I have to be up for work at 6 a.m., so we thought we’d take advantage of my extra day off. We pitted out wits against just another two teams, consisting of five and seven members. We did exceedingly well coming second to the 7 member team but when we suggested the other teams divided their scores by the number of team members to get a more realistic score, they weren’t having any of it. Anyway, we won four free pints for our trouble but as we’d already had three each we put them on ice for another time.

Friday we did some gardening. Unfortunately our front lawn had been covered in moss and the weed and feed we’d put down showed just how much moss when it killed it all. We decided we would have to re-seed the lawn so had to rake all the dead moss up – this took two hours and it still wasn’t all up! We decided to have another go at it on Saturday and as we’d worked so hard we decided we deserved a treat so went to the pub again to claim our four free pints. It turned out to be a great evening as some friends we haven’t seen for a while arrived and there was a great singing artist on at the pub.

On Saturday after visiting my Dad and in-laws we set to work on the lawn again and managed to get all the moss up, so now we have to sow the grass seed. I’m not sure when we’ll get that done as the weather is abysmal here at the moment, hopefully next weekend will be fine so we can do it then. In the evening we went to a local club with our friends K&T and had a great evening.

Sunday our youngest son and his two boys came for lunch, we had a roast dinner with Yorkshire puddings, the boys adore them. We don’t usually go out on Sunday evenings but of course I didn’t have to get up for work on Monday so what the hell – we met up with K&T again at the pub. Our eldest son and DIL arrived too, unexpectedly, which was really nice.

Yesterday MWM and I cleaned the house from top to bottom and then we picked K&T up at 4 p.m. to go to Nont Sarah’s, a lovely pub/restaurant in Huddersfield, for tea. I made an absolute pig of myself with a starter of Spicy Crab Cakes with Chilli Dip and Salad, then a main course of Pork Chop and apple sauce, mushrooms, onion rings, grilled tomatoes, carrots, peas and chips, all washed down with a glass of white wine. Then to finish off a Cappuccino and a slice of treacle tart with custard. I tell you I could barely move when I finished eating! MWM’s, K&T’s meals were as huge as mine, so I wasn’t the only one being a pig honest.

We arrived home about 6.30 p.m. and just lounged about watching TV until 11 p.m. when we went to bed.

So there you go, that was my weekend, what did you do?

Tuesday 5 May 2009


Is anyone having difficulty uploading images or photographs to their posts in blogger?

Whenever I try I get the message

Do you want to save this file, or find a program online to open it?
Type: unknown file type

What's that all about? I've never had these messages before. I've tried the FIND and the SAVE but I still can't upload any photos!

Please someone HELP!

PS I have just discovered this problem only exists if I use the New Post in Blogger Dashboard. If I use the old style New Post I can upload photos! WTF????

Monday 4 May 2009

Another meme......

I saw this at CG's blog (The Compulsive Worrier) and  she offered it out to anyone who cared to take it.  So, as I'm stuck for blogfodder, I took it!   If you’d like to do the meme, here’s how it works.

1. Answer the questions on your blog, replace one question you dislike with a question of your own invention; add a question of your own.

2. You may tag others or leave it open to anyone who feels like giving it a go.

What is your current obsession? Eating Healthily and exercising so I can lose weight.

Good coffee place? I don't go out for coffee but if I did anywhere they sold Cappuccino would do.

Do you nap a lot?  No not at all.

Who was the last person you hugged? MyWonderfulMan

What’s for dinner? Salmon en Croute

What are you listening to right now?  the radio

What is your favourite weather? Sun and more Sun.

What’s on your bedside table? My alarm clock and a sea shell.

Say something to the person/s who tagged you.  I wasn't tagged, I pinched this from another blog!

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be?  Juan-les-Pins in the South of France.

What is the last song you listened to? Stoned Love - Diana Ross & The Supremes on the radio

Favourite vacation spot? The Maldives

Name the things you can’t live without.  MWM and my family.

What were the happiest two years of your life?  The last 37 years that MWM and I have been together.

What would you like to get rid of?  This two stone of extra weight I'm carrying

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? I'd like to visit my friend Queenie.

What did you want to become as a child?   I wanted to be a ballerina.

What do you miss?   My Mum.

What are you reading right now? Endal by Allen and Sandra Parton

What do you fear the most? Losing loved ones.

What designer piece of clothing would you most like to own (new or vintage)?  A pair of Jimmy Choo killer heels - though I doubt I could walk in them.

What did you last watch on television?  Countryfile on BBC 1

If you're stuck for Blodfodder feel free to have a go.

Saturday 2 May 2009

Saturday Wordzzle # 61

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: translation, crunchy, cat’s paw, trunk, I love raspberry tarts, global warming, star struck, the midnight ride of Paul Revere, fragile, Spring fever

I love raspberry tarts, how do you make them crunchy?” Jilly asked her mother as she shifted the cat’s paw off her plate.

“I’ll let you have the recipe if you’ll read the midnight ride of Paul Revere to me in French” replied her mother.

“I’ll read it in English, you know it loses so much in translation” said Jilly.

They were in the garden enjoying the sunshine Jilly eating and her mother was making a garden feature by planting up an old trunk.

“Do you think summers will get warmer?” her mother asked. “I do, I think it’s down to global warming, what do you think?”

“For sure the eco system is fragile Mum. Have you got a touch of spring fever, you seem to have bought a lot of bedding plants?” asked Jilly.

“Mmmmm, I did go a bit mad but there was a television star promoting something at the garden centre and I lost track of what I was putting in the trolley. I think I was a bit star struck!”

“What are you like Mum?” said Jilly “Have you got any more raspberry tarts?”

Mini Challenge: pancakes and syrup, flat tire, mongoose, this place looks like a bordello, first dance

Jimmy asked the pretty girl for the first dance. Four dances later they were getting along like a house on fire.

This place looks like a bordello, the way they’ve decorated it” he told her “how about we go for some pancakes and syrup at a little place I know?”

“That would be nice” she replied, so off they went.

They were only halfway there when Jimmy ran over a mongoose in his car and got a flat tyre – the girl was less than amused!


This place looks like a bordello!” exclaimed Mongoose Trunk, the author, as he took in his surroundings. He was here at the ‘The Cat’s Paw Club’, in Marrakesh, on a relaxing holiday after the launch of his new book, ‘Spring Fever’.

His publisher had arranged the holiday and promised him everyone would be star struck when they found out who he was. He was sitting in the club’s equivalent of the VIP area, though it left a lot to be desired decided Mongoose. Everyone was sitting on cushions on the floor, around low tables laden with food. He was picking at something crunchy and just happened to mention to his host “I love raspberry tarts, I don’t suppose you can get them here can you?”

“Of course” replied his host, who clapped his hands and spoke quickly in his own language to the waiter who attended. Unfortunately this was lost in translation and they brought him pancakes and syrup instead. Suddenly there was a flurry of activity and a belly dancer appeared. Her first dance was quite tame but subsequent dances got Mongoose hot under the collar.

“If you like we can go to a traditional Bedouin camp where you can see more dancers” offered his host. Mongoose was keen so his host quickly made the arrangements.

There were lots of other people at the Bedouin camp and Mongoose thoroughly enjoyed himself, unfortunately, on the way to the Bedouin camp, the car got a flat tyre so the host said they would have to make the return journey by camel. “I can’t ride a camel” said Mongoose “can’t you get me a horse and I can pretend I’m re-enacting the midnight ride of Paul Revere?”

“No, horses fart too much and contribute to global warming” said the host.

A camel ride through the desert, after an evening of excess, left Mongoose feeling rather fragile.

Friday 1 May 2009

Friday 55 Flash Fiction # 73 The Artist

He carefully sketched the outline before transferring it onto the waiting canvas.

The picture would be black and white, so he would have to pay attention to detail.

Some didn't consider it art, but his work was very intricate.

Everything was prepared.

She jumped......

as the needle in the tattoo machine first pricked her skin.

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.