Just Deserts?

1024px-Commons_Division_2012Two months before their fortieth wedding anniversary he left.  Jill was in shock and found she couldn’t focus on practical details. Her eldest son cancelled all the party arrangements and arranged an appointment with the solicitor.

She refused to attend.  The reality of the situation was something she chose to ignore however much her children urged her to protect her own interests. She ignored phone calls from her husband, and flatly declined to discuss the situation with her friends or family. She snubbed the press, and likewise, increasingly frantic communications from the PM’s Office.

It was a frustrating time for all of them but every time they visited their mother, she was pottering around as usual in the garden or walking the dogs.  She was not in the slightest bit curious to know where he was or what he was doing. After years of ignoring his various infidelities and petty cruelties she simply carried on as normal.  Of course, she was on some level aware that her life would change in the future, but she wanted to face that in her own time, and at her own pace.

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A Match made in Heaven

Scene One: Castel Sant’Angelo, the Library.

Edward looked at Simon, his elbows resting on the other side of the desk, his head in his hands.

What the hell are you going to do, Simon? It’s make your mind up time, I need some sleep. Are you going to marry her or what? Frankly, it’s a bit bloody late in the day to be having this conversation. We’re supposed to be at the church in precisely seven hours.

Ed, I just wanted to be normal, you know, not the target for bigoted nutters. Jesus, I haven’t done it since I was seventeen. You what that feels like, always hiding, pretending to be something I’m not. Look, Edward, just give me the bloody key; this may be my last chance to do it.”

Edward shook his head sadly as Simon just groaned again and poured himself another brandy. Edward took the key from the desk, opening the windows and raising his eyebrows, stood clear, and tried again to get through to his brother.

“Who was it said ‘The one charm about marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties? Just don’t do anything stupid. But I really think you confess to Kate if you are determined to go through with this. It’s her life too, you know.”

“Oscar Wilde?” Simon responded automatically. But it didn’t distract him from his anguish.

“No, I can’t live without her, but how can I tell her?  What a bloody mess.”

Simon hurled the glass in the direction of the fireplace , unfurled his wings and flew slightly unsteadily out of the open window. Continue Reading »


Belinda shuffled her way along the pavement. She had no particular destination in mind. A walk would pass the time. To the casual observer, she looked elderly and frail, her clothes nondescript and threadbare. She veered towards the curb and suddenly her arm was gripped tightly as she was firmly guided through the busy traffic to the other side of the street. She didn’t actually want to cross but thanked the young woman politely after explaining this. Belinda raised her hand to protest as her now irritated helper slipped back into the traffic. She lowered it, then raised it to her mouth in shock as the young woman was hit by a speeding motorbike.

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Pas de Deux

“But is it art?” she paused, peering through narrowed eyes at the abstract in front of her.

“Do you like it?” I countered, knowing where this was going. She took a step forward and examined the price tag.

“Not at that price, or any price.” She moved on to the next painting.

“Now this one is more promising.” She took a step backwards and continued to gaze.
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Of Love and Honour


Merlin watched over affairs of the court from afar. Camelot fared well under Arthur, Guinevere and his knights. Long may it last, but Merlin knew that how easily the peace could be shattered.  As long as Arthur and his knights observed the Rules of Courtly Love and the Code of Chivalry Merlin’s tragic prophecy would not be fulfilled.  Guinevere, so skilled at chess – the mistress of the bold move, was the wild card.  He watched her play carefully, and so far she had not misstepped, but the game continued.

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It is what it is



My childhood was pretty normal  although I wasn’t in the best position to judge. It was the only one I’d had. I remember happy times: we lived in a nice house. I don’t remember any arguments: my parents were good people.  They told me they loved me. My siblings, a brother and sister, were a bit older so I was the baby of the family. An afterthought, and as I learnt later, adopted. So far, as I said, all pretty normal.

So really it’s hard to imagine that my parents, or rather the first parents I recall, would be the first of many.  So when did it all go wrong?  I’d always known I was adopted but it wasn’t until I was in my early  teens that I found out a little more about the real circumstances of my birth. my mother abandoned me shortly after I was born. I was  then adopted when I was a few months old.  That’s it – nothing more was known.

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Grandma Brown

David, my seven year old was chattering as usual as I changed his sister’s nappy. We’d just got back from visiting my father-in-law and the baby needed her nap.

“So why does Grandma look so sad today?”

I tuned back in to the conversation, looking through to the kitchen where my mother was singing as usual as she unloaded the dishwasher. She liked being busy when she came to stay with us.

“I don’t think she does, David. She seems happy enough pottering around in the kitchen.”

“No, Grandma Brown, I mean. She looked unhappy today.”

Since my mother in law had been dead for two years, I was somewhat startled by this observation.

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