Tuesday 15th July 2014
⊕ Have you ever been a participant in a parade? What did you do?
Answer – Yes, I stood in line with 7 others, standing still for approximately 15 minutes then left. Being told all was okay and I could leave. I was in an identity parade line up.
ϖ If you were handed free opera tickets, would you go or sell them? Why?
Answer – I would definitely go, just to prove to myself why I am not a fan of this style of music and dance. I must stress however that I can only like it for its part in the world of art.
⇔Why did you start your blog?
Answer – I must admit I cannot really remember, but I do remember that blogging was interesting me and I was doing a fair bit of research. My research led me to Plinky first, my first posts were prompts from this. And it was Plinky that led me to WordPress and Blogger. As for why I started I am not sure, but can say have enjoyed the journey.
→What is your favorite tradition? (family tradition, church tradition, whatever)
Answer – I do not really have a favourite, I could say Christmas or Easter which probably be the normal thing. Halloween on 31st October and Guy Fawkes on 5th November take my preference for a different reason. Ghostly hauntings that make me laugh, Trick or Treat. Then there is Guy Fawkes, Bon Fire night, fireworks celebration, a British tradition which goes back to 1605 and the plotting of blowing up the House of Lords on the opening of the Houses of Parliament, on 5th November 1605. He was hanged, drawn and quartered on 31st January 1606.
⇒Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
Answer – I can only say the usual at this moment of time. My recent visit to my doctor and getting the results of my what seems like my millionth blood test. All is good and I have now reached my maximum medication that all heart patients are required to take. Having no re-actions to them I am now only to visit my doctor at four monthly intervals rather than every couple of weeks. I will not say ‘given the all clear – tempting fate. And no more blood tests. The other thing is I done a massive clear out of old dust collecting and space consuming rubbish.
Saturday 28th June 2014.
Things We Treasure.
It’s the final day of the challenge already?! Let’s make sure we end it with a bang — or, in our case, with some furious collective tapping on our keyboards. For this final assignment, lead us through the history of an object that bears a special meaning to you.
A family heirloom, a flea market find, a childhood memento — all are fair game. What matters is that, through your writing, you breathe life into that object, moving your readers enough to understand its value.
Today’s twist:We extolled the virtues of brevity back on day five, but now, let’s jump to the other side of the spectrum and turn to longform writing. Let’s celebrate the drawn-out, slowly cooked, wide-shot narrative.
Day 20 Things we Treasure.
This story has been recorded in similar forms before and because it suits this challenge perfectly I have decide to do it again.
I was playing my guitar alone, sitting on my bed, strumming away, if I remember right I hadn’t been playing long so would therefore be trying out some new exercises. These exercises would be scales, trying to loosen my fingers followed by chord progressions, and finishing with a couple of newly learnt songs.
Mother appeared at the door and stood listening for a few minutes, then she came in, “Here, I think it is the right time.” she then handed me a violin case.
“This violin has been with me since I was thirteen, and I played it many time in concerts with a small orchestra. I also played it at Southampton Guildhall in 1937 and 38 when I was about your age. I did a solo piece and a duet with a young man I used to know well at the time. His name is Norman Spracklin, unfortunately I believe he was killed in the war. And as you are following my interest in music by playing a guitar I want you to have my instrument and hope you will look after it but please do what you feel. I don’t think it worth in monetary terms, maybe you might learn to play it a little bit.” She took the violin out and handed it to me, and after looking it over and feeling it I gave it back to her, “Can you tune it for me?” I asked.
I then witnessed the most amazing thing ever, even to this day, my mother then proceeded to tune the violin, with no aids, and then played God save the Queen our National anthem. I was so knocked back and impressed I started to embarrass my mother.
“Not bad, it was over thirty years since I played anything on this violin, I am surprised the strings held out. Hang there for a moment I got something else I would like to pass over to you.” she left and returned about ten minutes later and handed me some documents. There were two music certificates and a three woodworking certificates.
“The music ones was for when I played in a competition and won the soloist section and came second in the duet category. I played with my friend Norman, that I have mentioned. He was an excellent violinist, I am sure if he survived the war he would have been famous in an orchestra travelling the world.” she then picked up the woodwork certificates. ” These I was awarded for my skills during the war where I was building gun boats at Bucklers Hard for the war effort. I learnt how to build the frames and interior and it was for these skills that the certificates were given to me. I had some lovely memories from that time, it was there I first met your dad.” She started to look a little emotional, sad maybe.
She started to leave when she turned and said, “I have never told anyone before but Norman very nearly became my husband, if he returned from his war effort,” she paused, “Well never mind he never came back. Anyway, I have had some good moments with the instrument. It is yours to do as you wish, just promise me you will look after it and give it a new home.” she then left and I was sitting on my bed alone with all sorts of thoughts going on in my head. I still have her violin and certificates after 45 years, the instrument is nearly a 100 years old, and I still cannot play it.
Gaa/C© Saturday 28th June 2014.
Friday 27th June 2014.
Don’t Stop the Rockin’
Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.
On this free writing day, remember the words of author Anne Lamott: “I don’t think you have time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won’t be good at it.”
Write 101-Don’t Stop the Rockin’
My car had broken down and I was in need of help. My friend and I was going nowhere unless one or both of us went to seek help. We had been caught out by the weather, the snow was falling hard, this was not in the forecast when we left for our home journey. We both decided to set off and look for help, whether it be a garage or phone to get a garage out to repair my car or the finding of somewhere to stay. With this weather getting worse the finding somewhere to stay was a better idea. We walked a few miles and noticed a sign post pointing to our left telling us of a village, Wolfriding, two miles. I said to my friend that I have never heard of this place, and he said the same, but we must see if there is a hotel or phone hopefully both. The snow was getting heavier and making our walking harder. It was laying on the ground and getting deeper.
We came upon a small log cabin set across the river, a very picturesque cabin, covered in snow, surrounded by a small wooden fence. The small bridge spanning the river leading onto a path that led up to a small gate. We could see lights on in the cabin, we paused and no words needed we both headed for the cabin.
“There is someone in, see these prints.” I said pointing to the markings in the snow leading up to the front door. The odd thing was the prints came from the direction of the woods. I kept this thought to myself, but I expect he thought the same.
I knocked on the door, I could hear noises inside, but no one was opening the door. I knocked the door again, a little louder the second time.
“Why aren’t they opening?” I said but expecting a reply.
Then we both heard a voice from behind, on looking to see who it was, a little girl standing close. “Hello, grandma is a little slow, she is old you see. My name is Red, I don’t know you do I? I must give this stew to gran before it gets cold. Mummy will not be pleased.” she spoke fast and worried. She opened the door and went inside, we both followed, “We was wondering if you had a phone we could use!”
Before we could react a man tried running past us, carrying a holdall, but as he ran through the doorway he slipped on the snow and ended up on his back. I ran after him and after a short tussle I had overpowered him. My friend and I then tied him to a chair.
The little girl found her grandma tied to her bed blindfolded and gagged, she was a little scared but otherwise unharmed.
I made a phone call to the police and to a garage, who would get to my car in a couple of hours. The little girls grandma said we could stay there until it is repaired.
The police arrived shortly and took him away, “Did you see how ugly that guy was, his teeth and ears so large, not being nasty but he certainly looked scary with his wiry dirty hair as well.” I said to my friend.
The little girl came and spoke to us, “I am going home now, grandma has dished up some stew for you both. Thanks, see ya.” hurrying out she pulled her hood over her head as she went.
Gaa/C© “Thursday6th June 2014
Thursday 26th June 2014
Write 101 – Day 18. The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years.
Write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.
Today’s twist: For those of you who want an extra challenge, think about more than simply writing in first-person point of view — build this twelve-year-old as a character. Reveal at least one personality quirk, for example, either through spoken dialogue or inner monologue.
Gaa/C© June 2014
Mother brought me a lemonade while I was watching the events unfolding across the road. She asked me if there was anything exciting going on, “Yeh, those men and the police have turned up at Mrs Pauley’s again. That is three times in three days now.” I said watching the men busying themselves around the house of Mrs Pauley. The police were banging her door, but Mrs Pauley was not opening up to them. I finished my lemonade, and got up and walked over to the men at her door. “Hey mister, what’s going on, why you pestering old Mrs Pauley?”
“Go away boy, none of your business.” said the policeman that was leading the group. There were four policemen and four other men, I don’t know who they were.
“She an old lady, what harm she done anyone?”
“I said go away boy, stay out the way.”
“Can’t do that mister, Mrs Pauley is a friend of mine.” I said and trying to get in their way. They wouldn’t hurt a young kid I was thinking. But I was wrong. The policeman that was telling me get out his way grabbed me by the arm and pushed me away, I fell to the ground, and I rolled about pretending it hurt and that I was in pain.
“Hey kid I will really hurt you if you don’t go away, move on, go getaway.” he shouted at me not believing I was in pain.
Knocking the door of Mrs Pauley’s harder now and another man shouted, “Mrs Pauley, you have to leave, you have been warned and given time to pay up and you have chosen to ignore. So if you don’t let us in we will force entry as soon as the papers arrive from the court.” He pinned a piece of paper on the door.
“You are nothing but bullies, picking on an old lady, big hard men.” I ran and kicked the big policeman on the shin and ran away, and when at a safe distance I stopped and laughed at him. I then ran in to my house and asked my mum what the time is, she told it was just past midday. “They are late.” I said as I ran out into the road again.
The sun was high and I could see the men sweating, they were continuously wiping their foreheads, some looked like they might explode. Red puffy faces, and damp patches under their arm, they all looked rather unwell. I ran back to mum and asked if she could give me a jug of lemonade and some glasses, and after explaining she duly obliged. I needed to disrupt them and give Mrs Pauley a little time.
“Hey, you nasty people do you want some nice ice-cold lemonade?”
They turned and stared at me, tongues hanging, they all came to get a glass of mums best lemonade.
It was when handing their glasses back to me they all came walking down the street, heading towards Mrs Pauley’s house. The whole street had united and came marching to the old ladies help. Mr Bridge leading the way headed straight to the landlord of Mrs Pauley’s house. “We believe you are seeking back rents, and you are showing how cold hearted and selfish you are by wanting to evict an old lady and put her onto the street. She has been loyal to you for many years and this is how you treat her. So we as friends of hers and the community, we have untied and collected the back rent and more. We believe you intended to sell this house once the old lady had been removed, well, you have sold it, to us the community and we are letting Mrs Pauley see out her days.” Mr Bridge slapped a wad of money into the landlords hands and some other papers, I learnt later they were the legal papers of the sale. Everyone applauded and booed at the same time, the landlord no longer walked away to loud chants of ‘good riddance’
The following weeks we the community and myself helped Mrs Pauley redecorate her house, and after I often visited to make sure she was well.
Gaa/C© 26th June 2014.
Wednesday 25th June 2014.
Personality on a Page.
Gaa/C© June 2014
Water, water everywhere and I steer clear of it. Well not quite true, I just remain a safe distance from the liquid. While my friends, in the past, would arrange and go swimming whether it be swimming pools or the beach, I would always remain home, making my excuses. As it was swimming bored me, and sun bathing on the beach was and still is to me a complete and utter waste of time. Nothing is more boring than sitting on the beach trying to get skin cancer. But my fear is water and has been for as long as I can remember.
One hot summers day my mother packed a picnic and took us down to the river, this part of our local river was like a mini beach, pebble shingle and a variety of depths to paddle or swim. The water was clean fresh and cool, and was a very popular meeting place for local families and very safe for their children. The main advantage of this part of the river was that the parents always had their children in view.
I was about eight years of age, and playing happily in the water with friends and my brother. All was going well, laughing and enjoying the water, running in and of the water, stopping for a sandwich and a drink and back into the water. I was happy in the water until an accident happened and I think it was this that put me off water ever since. I fell and lost control and submerged, completely underwater, I then scrambled about in a panic. A friend nearby pulled me up out of the water and I went and sat on the river bank. Not really knowing or understanding what had happened, all I do know is, I never went near water again. Needless to say I have never learnt to swim, I did however make sure my daughter learnt to swim and she loves the water. She swims well, like a fish as the saying goes. Yeh right!
A little contradiction is I love boats and being on the water in boats, the small ones can be scary, but the bigger ones, like ferries and cruise liners and yachts I love and enjoy the sailing. Not sure what would happen if the boats hit a problem, how I would react, my calm and relaxed persona would possibly fly out the porthole.
For awhile I fitted cookers and heaters into boats of various sizes and getting to some were a little risky to say the least. To get to some of these yachts the supply of small rubber dinghy or inflatable crafts were used and these frightened the pants off me. Walking along beaches and coast lines is a hobby of mine enjoying the views and looking out to the sea, but I always remain a good distance.
I use to enjoy walking in the rain, that cool refreshing feeling was so invigorating. But swimming pools and coastal beach bathing is not for me, much else about water is okay.
Gaa/C June 25th 2014
Monday 23rd June 2014
Writing 101, Day Sixteen: Serial Killer III
Imagine you had a job in which you had to sift through forgotten or lost belongings. Describe a day in which you come upon something peculiar, or tell a story about something interesting you find in a pile.
On day four, you wrote about losing something. On day thirteen, you then wrote about finding something. So, today’s twist: If you’d like to continue our serial challenge, also reflect on the theme of “lost and found” more generally in this post.
Part 3 and Final Part!
They stood over their parents grave, looking and reading the inscription, trying to make sense of the words.
“Do you suppose it is actually our parents grave the scry and words are referring to?” Issy asked unconvinced as to why they were there.
Graham was kneeling down and looking closely at the head stone, running his fingers over it. “For the age of the stone it still looks brand new, after ten years I would expect a fair bit of dirt and grime.” Graham was saying while still investigating. He stood up and took out the paper that he had written the verses on and started to read them through.
“Can anyone see a bow, the verse says low and see and press a bow. But there is nothing on the stone to resemble a bow.” Graham was muttering to himself not expecting a reply. Angie bent down to look with him, she lifted the centre metal flower vase from its holding and looked in, “Hey Gray do you think this is what is meant by bow?” Graham quickly moved to look in. “I think you have found it.”
On the base was a carving of cupid and his bow, it was circular and the size of a two inch medal making it difficult to see at first. Angie put her hand in and felt about and then pressed, it went downwards like a switch. All three heard a click followed by a hiss.
The rear of the head stone opened up exposing a small doorway, which had small stone steps leading down wards into the dark. Where Angie had pressed the button a small diamond appeared at the bottom of the cup. She held it up for the others to see.
“What the …!” Angela never finished. Graham pulled a torch from his coat and said, “Okay, so it looks like we have an invite, let me have the diamond it might have a use.”
“No way am I going down there, I’ll stay here, keep watch if you like.” Angela said rather scared of the thought.
“Issy and I will go and see what we can find.” Graham said looking at Issy. She nodded her okay.
Graham took out a torch from his pocket, led the way down into the darkness and lit the way for Issy to ease downwards. There was enough room to stand up as they both slowly moved forward, along the narrow tunnel.
“This place looks pretty clean for somewhere underground and unused.” Graham said as he was walking slowly through the dark tunnel.
“Wonder where it leads!” Issy said.
Further along the tunnel Graham halted and said, “This looks like a door.” standing in front of the blockage and feeling his way around the door. “No visible handle or lock.”
Issy moved to his side and searched with him.
“On the floor, shine your torch down here.” Issy said with enthusiasm, and knelt on the floor. The torch light illuminated a knob protruding from the floor, completely dust free as the rest of this place.
Issy pressed her foot on the knob and the door slowly swung open. “If I knew no different I would think this place is being maintained and oiled and cleaned regularly.” Graham said while bending and pausing at the door.
“Or it could be magic.” Issy said not really sure if she meant her words.
Before entering Graham shone his torch around the small chamber, a room of about twelve feet square and the same in height. Again this chamber looked very clean, no dust or spider webs anywhere to be seen.
“You hang back by the door while I look around, it does look empty but there maybe some hidden button or switch or something.” Issy nodded in agreement as she could understand Grahams caution.
When he stepped into the chamber, a light came on, illuminating the room with no visible source. Turning his torch off Graham proceeded hesitantly and with caution to search the small chamber. Twice he walked slowly around the room, and zigzagging across the floor but he did not see anything. Issy at the door shouted, “can you see anything, obviously the violin is not here but maybe a sign, there must be something.”
It was on his third run he noticed something small in the centre of the room, bending to inspect, he noticed a small square marked on the floor. In the false light it was very difficult to see, he started to brush the floor with his fingers. There was no dust, and he realised what he saw was exactly as he saw it. Looking closer he found an indentation, a hollowed out shape, not very deep almost invisible. Smoothing his fingers over it and pushing it and pressing, trying everything he could think of.
“There is something in the floor here and it has an indentation but I cannot work it out or what is does.” Graham said aloud to Issy.
“Does it have a specific shape, the indent I mean?”
“Slightly pear shaped with a jagged edge.”
“What about the diamond, it must have a reason to being.” Issy was saying.
“Good idea I’ll try it.” Graham replied.
He then placed the diamond in the marking, fiddled with it until he found the correct seating and let go of it. Nothing happen for a moment. Graham was about to pick it up and try again there suddenly appeared a bright blue light. Small square beams on the floor and growing larger and brighter. A pillar the size of the square markings rose up from the floor. It was a glass cabinet, a blue light shining from the inside making it difficult to see what was inside it. The cabinet came to a halt, the light slowly dissolved, revealing its contents. Automatically a door opened, and Graham walked round and removed the violin, held it up showing Issy.
“I have no idea, trying to explain this, I don’t think so.” Graham said walking back through the door and heading back along the small tunnel to Angela.
Gaa/C© Monday 23rd June 2014