Monday, 19 December 2011

50/50 Word Challenge Part 1 100WCGU Week 24

This is the prompt for the next fortnight.
These are my first 50 words

The Wrong Season

“Half a kilo of mince please” she said.
“No mince today” the butcher replied.
“Least ways not beef, can do you some sausage meat”. 
She sighed. “Why no mince?”
“No call for it, it’s not the season”
“But I’m calling for it...I’ve children to feed”
“Like I said, got none”...

Monday, 12 December 2011

100 word Challenge for Grownups #23

Below is our prompt...
Now for this week we are really getting into Christmas. I’m not going to be as prescriptive as I might be so don’t grumble! I want to to choose a favourite carol and re-write it with the theme of a Christmas Dinner. You have to tell your readers which carol it is and they have to be able to sing your version back to themselves. That means the right tempo and beat. You may not need 100 words but I’ll give you that many just in case! Generous aren’t I?!!

I chose 'God rest ye merry gentlemen'

No rest for busy womenfolk.

No rest for busy womenfolk,
No let up on this day.
Remember sprout and potato,
parsnips too, what'er they say.
This food will all soon be devoured,
No reason for dismay.

Oh tidings of dinner and joy,
Dinner and joy!
Oh tidings of dinner and joy!

Monday, 28 November 2011

100WCGU #21

100 Word Challenge No:21, our prompt this week is the picture below.

                                   On the outside looking in.

Leaning on the chair for support, she looked back at her shelter, or was it a prison. The sun warmed her back, easing the ache deep in her bones. How many more winters did she have in her battered body? How many times would she draw the shutters closed against the chill wind?  The birds in the trees managed more industry than she could imagine.  At least the windows were clean. She spoke a silent thank you to those responsible.  A tiny voice broke her reverie.
“ Granny, more juice”
The reason to go on contained in that small voice.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

What I've learnt this year.

This year has been very difficult. Mr G says he just wants it to finish. I must say that life threatening illness does definitely bring things into sharp focus. However, what positives have I got from all this?

Firstly, I now have three blogs, this one obviously, This and That and my professional one Mrs Green's RE Blog . I have discovered I really enjoy writing. I managed a little professional (as in pertaining to my job) writing too. I find the act of choosing words very carefully absorbing and oddly relaxing. I always enjoyed creating my sermons, in my previous life, and now I write on more subjects to a wider audience.

Another thing I discovered is that is that which does not finish you off makes you stronger. I am now stronger mentally, more compassionate, have more patience, greater depth of insight and above all a boundless love of living.

I have always loved my extended family. Now, I love and appreciate them almost more than words can express. My Mother in Law looked after me post op, and held me when I cried because I had to have chemotherapy. They have run with my name on their backs. I received pictures, photos and notes from my toddler granddaughter which lifted my spirits. They have all been amazing.

Lastly, I've rediscovered my religion. I'm not going to go into details, it is too small, nascent, and precious to discuss now. However to feel in touch with something that shaped my life for many years is exciting.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups #20

The 100 word challenge for grown ups contains this prompt this week:   …the powers that be /the apple of his eye /the writing on wall… We may choose one of these. I've chosen to use all three!

Mea Culpa

She stood beside the old weathered door. So, she thought, the powers that be have spoken. She knew each of them was the apple of his eye; the benevolence included them all, whoever they were. She did not care that the writing on the wall, she would do it her way. How dare they restrict her! She opened the creaking door and busied herself in the musty, dusty gloom. She continued confidently, hands familiar with tasks repeated over the years. She whispered her litany “Cow parsley is made by Him, so Cow Parsley I will keep in my flower arrangements”

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

100 Word Challenge for Grown-ups #19

Julia has set us a cracking new challenge The prompt is: …’Are you sure it should be that colour?’ …. using dialogue and we have 150 words.

Now or never ...

“Darling, are you nearly ready?” The call came from downstairs.
“I’ll be down in a minute”
She stood before the mirror.
“It’s now or never” she whispered with resolve.
“Sorry, darling, just finishing off” She carolled over the banister.
“OK, but we MUST leave in five minutes”
She busied herself, strong now she had made her decision. She fluffed and fussed, occasionally glancing sideways.
She gazed once more in her looking glass.
Satisfied, she strolled out of the room and sashayed down the stairs.
“Darling, are you nearly ready?” he pleaded.
“I’m here” she murmured, “I just need my coat and bag”
“I’ll get your bag” he said without turning.
He turned...
“Wow, I mean... that’s amazing...”
“Isn’t it” she said touching her new grown crop.
“Are you sure it should be that colour?”
“Ha, don’t you know that grey is the new blonde!”
She was glad she had left the wig upstairs.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups #18

I thought hard about this week's challenge and have not read all the other entries. I am emotionally fragile so will write mine before I read the rest.


"It's sad" she sighed.
They sat on the carpet, bright faces as daisies turned to the sun, gazing at her.
"It all happened long ago, when my Grandad was just a boy. There was a big fight, a great war, many young men went to fight, but only a few returned. The poppies grew where the fighting had been, in the fields. After the First World War, it was decided to remember those who died every single year. We do this lest we forget.”
“Miss, isn’t your husband a soldier fighting in Afghanistan?”
“Yes” she whispered “Lest we forget...”

Monday, 31 October 2011

100 Word Challenge for Grown ups #17

Well, Julia has excelled herself! 21 words and a rhyme!
This is the prompt:
Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…
Now it has a rhythm to it – yes? Your challenge this week is to write something with the same rhythm using only 21 words that include ‘ …in winter we shiver…‘ Easy!

Got to keep moving

November, November, in winter we shiver
Overcoat, muffler and hat.
On crunchy white path way
We eagerly race to the mat.

All I can say is I tried...

Saturday, 29 October 2011

I had a lovely time.

This week, after yet ANOTHER hospital procedure on Tuesday, we went to Hastings on Wednesday for a little rest and recuperation. I ought to use the word 'rest' advisedly as we walked miles!
 We visited Batemans on the way down. The house was stunning and the setting was very peaceful. However I do wish some parents would realise how adversely the behaviour of their children affects others. I am less mobile than I was, and find children running in confined places (and I might add running, where it was expressly forbidden) unsettling. The running about where not allowed continued as a theme all through my break!

After Batemans, we continued down to Hasting via Bexhill on Sea, (mostly closed) and St Leonards (also mostly closed). I had never been to Hastings before. It must have been glorious in its heyday when all the large properties along the Sea Front were all shiny and prosperous. Old Hastings is fascinating with all the creosoted wooden fishermen's net huts. They were very atmospheric as it got darker before sunset.

Photo from BBC

We had a delicious evening meal at the Trattoria Italiana  It was some of the best Italian food I have eaten outside Italy. Super friendly service too. 
The next day, we went first to Winchelsea. This is an amazing town (the size of a small village) built on a grid pattern. It is quiet and very pretty indeed. We enjoyed tea and cake in a teashop that was warm and welcoming. Later, we explored around Rye and Romney Marsh. We went out to Dungeness where Mr G climbed the Lighthouse. I don't do high, so I kept warm in the car. The wind and rain rendered a bleak place even more so. The weather improved in the afternoon so we went into Rye. We found a little cafe that served doorstep toasties, we both had cheese and onion - they were fab.
We travelled home on Friday via the The Historic Dockyard, Chatham.  This was amazing. The Ropery guided tour was enthralling. We then got to see the Master Ropemakers at work in the longest brick building I've ever seen. I could not see the ends even when in the middle! Mr G enjoyed the Submarine visit and the steep ladder access bits of HMS Cavalier (a destroyer) and HMS Gannet (a sloop). I enjoyed the level bits! The historic Lifeboat Exhibition was really good with a varying height walkway that meant I could easily have fear free access to all the boats. This visit was marred by unchecked 'running about'. 

 I do apologise if I am coming across as a grumpy old woman, but my own children were never allowed to run about spoiling things for other people. If they did not stop misbehaving, we went home, this soon stopped the problem.

These few days away have been a much needed break for both of us. Thanks to a big refund from British Gas (I told them we were paying too much!) we were able to have lots of treats too. I feel less stressed and better able to face returning to work. Now I'm looking forward to my I'm Alive and Nearly 55 Party next Saturday

Monday, 24 October 2011

Week #16 - this just gets more interesting!

 Ways to win her heart #1

She said “Make me a sculpture that speaks to my heart”.

Being the sort of man he was, he immediately had an idea.
An idea close to his heart.

 He laboured, he drew, he tore, he layered, he squelched, he squeezed, he moulded, he refined, he painted,  he rested, he tore, he layered, he squelched, he squeezed, he painted and he rested again. He made a sculpture that spoke to his heart.
Carefully, he carried that which amounted to his life’s work, to his heart’s desire.
She unwrapped his gift.
“Oh, honey, if only you had made it a beanburger!”

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

50 Word Challenge for Grown Ups

 This week's challenge is for 50 words added to ... the autumn leaves... I decided to go with verse, not a genre with which I feel particularly comfortable. Here is my effort anyway.

Through my eyes.

The autumn leaves swirl, gyrate
as if in a death dance.                                                              
Slowly a pearly white presence
 eases through the collected remains
of countless year's dancers.       

As diamonds, strung on gossamer thread
 the tiny beads of icy dew,
await the tentative warming
of the rising sun.

In all this glorious beauty,
I walk on,


Monday, 10 October 2011

100 Word Challenge for Grownups Week 14

The prompt this week was to use 'The Alphabet' in some form...

One in a million...

He thoughtfully turned the can opener. All he had found was one tin of soup in the cupboard. That will change, he mused, eventually. He poured the soup into a pan, set it on the small gas burner. Humming gently, he busied himself with knife and board. The scent of warming soup began to fill the room like unseen anticipation.. When he was satisfied all was well, he carefully finished his task.

“Oh”, she cried, “Yes, yes, I will”. She flung her arms around him 

She was amazed, surprised and delighted he had proposed using the can of Alphabet soup.


21st Century living and computermabobs...

I read this blog recently and it got me thinking. Is the tech I use like a toaster? How much knowledge and training do I have that I use like second nature?

I'm 54, and consider myself quite 'tech' savvy. I believe this stems partly from undertaking distance learning in the early 1990's. I was training as a Lay Minister and used the family computer to write essays and conduct research. We were connected to the Internet via dial-up. I became adept at reformatting the hard drive as my family invited viruses in via music downloading and games. I could achieve this in a day - it was reinstalling all the software that took time. We graduated, in time, to a better computer, a more reliable operating system, and broadband. When I set up home for myself in 2006, I had a desk top PC and a notebook. I must admit I needed my son to set up my wireless for me, but in my defence it was because my ISP would not support my router! As time has passed, I equipped my home with freeview (easy peasy), games consoles etc. I have an ipod (damn you itunes), a Nintendo DS and a basic mobile phone. I have not bothered with a smart phone - I don't really need one. Mr G and I currently have a laptop each and have a desk top pc too. The processor was too slow in my notebook and it had insufficient RAM for my needs so it went to laptop heaven about two years ago.
At work, I have a laptop. This connects to a Smart Interactive White Board (IWB). I am not as good at using this as I would like, this is largely because I don't have time just to play on it. We have access to visualisers, and the school owns 3 Wii consoles. I have used the Wii's a lot - having one at home helps.
I have toyed with the idea of owning an ipad and/or a Kindle. We own a Sony Reader, so don't need a Kindle really and I'm not convinced by an ipad, largely due to the high cost. I've heard that the Kindle is being reworked as a tablet, this may interest me more.
 I guess all this proves that I am interested in things technological. I would be very interested to know how many other women of my generation are using these tools daily as I do. I know my contacts on Twitter, Google+, and facebook must be using tech as otherwise they would not be in these online communities.
I probably will not get an answer to my question via this blog. Personally I feel my life is enriched by my use of tech and my interaction with online communities. I love online shopping. I adore seeing my granddaughter's antics on video. I like the immediacy of email. I do know that there are those who are fearful both of tech and the perceived danger on 'online life'. Referring back to the blog above - maybe we need to explain that toasters and washing machines contain many similar parts to computers (they are just in a different order and do a different job). All my gadgets, gizmo's and computermabobs are not dangerous in themselves. I protect myself online by not responding to dodgy requests from people I don't know - just like in real life. I take care to keep private things private - as I do in real life. Many new computer based products are being offered as having intuitive operating systems, as they can still baffle me, perhaps not intuitive the way I am. The next step must be the development of a better type of bluetooth that removes the need for wires and connectors. To be truly 'toaster' functional, we need to be able to press a button, add a passcode and be able to move 'stuff' from one device to another easily.
However, despite my love of tech, I still prefer a paper and print book. I use a fountain pen daily. I still like mooching around and purchasing things in shops.
I like to think I've got the best of 21st century living with the bits I love from the past.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The spare bed song...

Our spare bed is comfy,
We made sure of that.
Oft have I slept there
Because of this and that.

Never from a cross word
Or a falling out.
But from puking or
Mewling all about.

Last night it was from coughing,
Or sniffling perhaps...
I'm fairly sure it was both,
What a terrible mishap!

Tonight, I do fear,
I shall be there again.
Everything I do you see
To spare Mr G my pain!


Monday, 3 October 2011

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups

The prompt this week is ...the unseasonal weather...

Near the Arctic Circle...

She crept silently around the building, trapped by the unseasonal weather. Hunger burned deep in her belly, and tantalising odours drew her closer to danger. Her normal behaviour was transformed by desperation. She was taking greater and greater risks to try to assuage the dreadful gnawing pain, still she remained trapped.
Her massive head lifted, the air heralded a change. She turned and sniffed again.
All day and all night she travelled, impervious to distraction. Breasting the ridge, she saw she had reached her goal.
There before her, stretched miles of sea ice and the chance of food at last.