Thursday, May 28, 2009

Book reviews

To try and keep my blogs and my thoughts easily managed I am now using this blog as a place to showcase my (hopefully) literary creative talents. Book reviews can be found at;, stories about my kids and life in general are at; and random thoughts about the media, newsworthy issues, stories of the day and so on are at;

Monday, May 18, 2009

WAG #12 Memory Lane

The lawn is immense, newly mown, the greenhouse is huge and filled with tomatoes that seem to me like beanstalks. The house is a treasure trove filled to the brim with game and cards and the sound of a new bottle of cherryade being opened as well as my favourite salt and vinegar chip sticks.

In the midst of all this is my Grandad, his voice booms, he chases us eager to tickle us. The creaking door in the upstairs airing cupboard with its red night light is governed by Charlie Harry, a dalek who punishes naughty children when they creep about at night. Grandad comes to greet us as we arrive for a weekend, his golden navy blazer buttons glinting in the sunlight. His white hair shiny and his eyes twinkling with mischief. His strong arms envelop us in hugs as we hurl ourselves towards him as excitement engulf us.

The weekend passes by quickly and it will seem like years until the next visit, although in reality it will only be a couple of weeks. Laughter fills the air as we are chased by a cold hose pipe wielded by Grandad and we dodge the ball on the swingball set. To ensure we are completely worn out we are entertained with a croquet set and a game on the 'new Spectrum.' Grandads has discs rather than cassettes.

That was then, now diabetes and heart problems have wasted his once ample proportions and as I take my own children to visit him I am shocked by how small he has become. He seems so small for a man who could once fill a room with just his voice. His oversized jewellery is now in danger of slipping from his fingers. The house which once seemed as if it was miles from anywhere and huge has now been sold to a family with children as young as I was when we used to visit. The lawn where we used to play croquet now covered with swings and slides. Grandad now how a more managable bungalow, only a minute is required to explore its confines, but when my children visit I see the same sense of wonder on their faces as they discover the new rooms, the garden although smaller than their own still elicits excitement and I imagine them in their own minds remembering Grandad.

WAG results 11 and instrctions for #12

Writing Adventure Group: Results #11 / Instructions #12
by Nixy ~ May 13th, 2009

WAG #11 Results and WAG #12 instructions below. All are welcome to join next week’s adventure!

The theme for the Writing Adventure Group #11 was “Scaredy-Cat” Choose a stranger and observe him/her for a little while. Now give them a phobia. A full-on, jump on the chair, scream like a little girl, unreasonable fear.

The Writing Adventure Group is on Facebook. Join us there too, and get weekly reminders so you never miss an adventure.

For those who participated, please cut and paste the links below (and instructions for next week, if you wish) to your own blogs. This will help promote the group and give some linky love to each other, creating a fantastic cross-promotional network of WAGs!


How to Join the Writing Adventure Group

Dan Powell (New WAG Member!)

Alexia Brown (New WAG Member!)

Nancy Parra

Peter Spalton

Frances Wookey (New WAG Member!)

Christine Kirchoff

Nixy Valentine

Sharon Donovan

Melanie Trevelyan (New WAG Member!)

Iain Martin

J. M. Strother - Mad Utopia



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

WAG # 11 Fear Factor

The sun is shining and that means that in the high street all the coffee places are emptying tables onto the street in a bid to entice customers to take a break and samples their wares. Being the type to be easily persuaded I plump for an outside table and settle back.

A man catches my eye, he is tall and has a rounded tummy, he seems to be looking for something as his eyes are swerving from side to side. It crosses my mind that he may be under the influence as his path is less than straight. He makes his way towards the coffee shop and stumbles through the door, reappearing a couple of minutes later. He sits at a nearby table, breaking pieces from his muffin away and eating them quickly, still looking all around him, he seems nervous, as if someone will move him along, or maybe he doesn't want to be found and is looking for the hunter.

I lost interest and return to the rather tasty muffin in front of me. Suddenly a loud scraping comes from beside me, the man I had been watching moment before has swept his chair back and is hunching on top of it, considerably amusing many of his fellow diners. He seems to be trying to say something and is gesticulating wildly towards something under the table, the only sound he can make is a strangling cooing sound. How ironic then that the cause of this hullabaloo would seem to be a few pigeons that have gathered in the vain hope of swiping a few crumbs. As the pigeons strut along, looking this way and that they remind me of the way the man was walking, expecting to be moved on or shooed away. A member of staff persuades the man down, clearly concerned about the health and safety elements of the man's actions and escorts him to an inside table. I can't help feeling a little guilty as I regard my empty plate and the crumbs scattered on the floor for the birds.