The two children stood at the gate, stroking Bella, my Cockapoo. I knew the house next door had been let for the summer but this was the first time I’d met any of the family. I called to Bella and the children followed her into the kitchen. This furry bundle of joy is irresistible!

“Do your parents know you are here?” I enquired.

“Mummy’s dead, Daddy won’t get up. He thinks he killed her.”

The boy looked down at his sister, who was now kneeling on the tiled floor with her arms round Bella, and she just nodded, silent tears falling into the puppy’s soft coat.

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The mice collected nuts and seeds
To cater for their winter needs.
It was a perfect place to stay,
A stable where a manger lay.

Warm, safe and cosy, room to spare
Nothing to disturb them there.
The rodent choir sang joyous sweet,
The mice enthralled enjoyed the treat.

A robin sang, and bells were pealing,
Monty’s eyes rose to the ceiling.
High above the owl was sitting,
Eyes half closed and as was fitting

At this time of peace to all
Had taken time to pay a call.
On silent wings he soared away
Whilst hooting Happy Christmas Day.

Images from here and here with grateful thanks.

You’re the one…


Temple Island – start of the regatta course

It started when I was about three, but I don’t really remember the incident. The family, however, have never let me forget it. Apparently, if my mother is to be believed, she  took me to to lunch with a famous author of cookery books who according to my mother was a rather large lady.  My first words on stepping over the threshold were “That’s a very large dress you are wearing.”  The author, who was apparently rather too fond of her own cooking, laughed a bit too loudly, and declared, “what a charmingly tactful child”. I took this as a compliment but my mother didn’t quite see it like that.

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Red Kites

Free Spirits

If I can see them, why can’t you ?
Do I sense what shadows weave
And in some fashion, draw them close.
Have you seen the spirits?

It was January when death entered the house. It wasn’t obvious at first. It slithered through the sash windows, despite the heavy curtains, seeped through the floorboards and lingered in the darkest nooks and crannies of the old house. They didn’t recognise it for what it was that long freezing January but that is when it started. She noticed it first, the fine hairs on the back of her neck reacted as the air stirred but they piled more logs on the open fire and thought of Spring.

In February he confessed to an uncharacteristic lack of energy, a discomfort which he put down to the long winter, dark nights and his seventieth birthday which Continue Reading »

Crossing Over


Dark thunder clouds were gathering as Mabel and Frank arrived at the river bank. They both appeared dazed, the ambulance sirens echoing in their ears but fainter now than before, and nowhere in sight. Frank’s face was covered in cuts streaming with blood, his clothes in tatters. Mabel was fussing with her newly permed hair, but Frank noticed that her left arm was hanging at an odd angle, and her glasses were missing.

“What happened, Mabel?” groaned Frank. “Where the hell are we?”

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It was love at first sight. The moment I set eyes on Cordelia I wanted her with a passion my wife neither understood nor forgave for years. Cordelia was resting on the mud, her distress obvious to me, yet her lines were classically beautiful. She had aged well, but neglect has taken its toll. She looked like a proud old lady who had fallen on hard times. She was, in fact, stronger than she appeared and cradled gently, she made the journey by road to her new home on the banks of the Thames.

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A Bloodless Revolution?

1-Light Fantastic_005_Llanddwyn Island Lighthouse_16x9Flickr-001From Melanie:

It was never my intention to start a revolution – it simply wasn’t my style.  My parents were Alphas and the Betas were just, well there! We  accepted their ministrations as normal. In fact, although we were taught as children to be polite to those who served us, we really did not consider them as anything other than slaves, which in fact, was their destiny.  It was only when I was older that I experienced an incident that made me aware they were human beings and not entirely without feelings.  Our household, although it only consisted of two adults and two children, required at least ten Betas to enable us to eat, wear clean clothing and live a life free from domestic trivia.

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