An Educated Walk

To join Rochelle’s prompt press ‘here’

A hundred miles I walked. Stinking dirty miles, in shoes that didn’t fit. The right too tight, reminding me, squeezing too much in leaves little space to breathe.

The left, two sizes too big, rubbed raw my foot. It made me bleed until it seeped through the lace holes and rolled back the skin, but on I walked.

It taught me to say no, to leave room to be kind, so I can grow a better man.

It taught me, never to be too proud to admit, this is too big for me.

It needn’t hurt to learn that lesson just take an educated walk.

Thanks for the Photo @Sarah Potter

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The bike.

Emily took her helmet and silently slid the bifolds back to reveal the garden. Her once warm face received a blast. left with pink cheeks and a pinched nose which she wiggled as she fastened the helmet neath her chin. She closed the doors, pleased to have paid extra for the silent sliders. Emily heard the first birds of the day and spied a squirrel munching below the hazel. She filled her nostrils with Autumn, felt the frost in the air; mingled with wood-smoke in the wind. Emily marched down the path to the back of the cart lodge. A light caught the handlebars, a ribbon of anticipation bubbled in her chest she smiled to herself. Her leg thrown over the saddle and fingerless gloves took the chill from the grips; she was away.

Slowly, she passed the Beech hedge its copper leaves dangled precariously from the boughs. A row of horse-chestnuts were almost naked. The huge trees ran fifty yards down the length of the beech hedging, interspersed with red Hazel. Emily could only smile on such a day as this, she knew there was something magical in the air and had always loved the first ride of the season.

Oblivious to the crunch of leaves quickening behind her, or the raggedy breath wheezing puffs of cloudy air. She meandered, gazing at the sunrise and its colours spread over the fields.

She sensed danger rather than saw him, the taste of fear on her tongue. Emily peddled faster but as speed picked up, her bike was tugged hard. Over the handlebars, she drifted slow motion it seemed. The thud was the last thing she remembered as the world spun blue and green.

With a twist of her head, pain shot up her spine as the darkness enveloped her. She didn’t know what hit her. The lining of her nose stung with the scent of bitumen and burned wood. Prone on a bed of coal she lay, tears ran freely into her hair and her ears filled. One shake of her head cleared her ears but caused spasms of pain to ricochet into her toes. All she could see were sun rays bursting through the grid, way above her head.

The photo/ prompt is Sue Vincents #writephoto to be found here. The gif is taken from a short animated Oscar-winning film called ‘Father and daughter’ to be found on youtube.

My short is open to an ending or maybe it is the beginning of what?

The End of Summer.

Especially for ‘A Scribble of writers’

I was distracted when it came in, what with moving house.

When Easter’s sun puddled chocolate; it seeped through the foil.

Life exhausted my bones, each sinew ached for rest, but on I’d toil.

Pleased to be in this lovely space where history would join with our taste, we’d make a home.

He’d gazed a face like this before. His eyes focused, periwinkle blue.

That doctor, one Summers day … he knew.

When sun and storms made gardens green, The well was clear and ducks shared our stream. I missed those days and slept it seems.

Through Summer, the missed paddles and golden dreams.

Summer season will be remembered,

As the one, I slept away.

The summer of

Misty minds

And forgotten

Days that was

The End Of Summer for me.

Autumn calls now, I hope not to miss the golden leaves the morning mists.

A bike to peddle the flab away on crisp voluptuous days like today.

I hope you enjoyed my freeform write, leave a word, I hope you might. #SundayBlogShare

Conversation With a Grandson

First, the name I answer to, when being called by five particular individuals in this world is, ‘Grandma Duck.’ Why, is a whole other story, that isn’t for now.

Grandson: ‘Grandma duck’

he said, while screwing up his ten year-old brow.

Me: ‘Yes love’

Grandson: ‘This thing, the Haemachroma thing that you have.’

Me: yes.

Grandson:

Well, Daddy said about the iron and the blood *screws fingers together in a spider-like fashion* and the … Jeans ( not typo), steps from one foot to another rapidly.

Me: Umm … Yes love, you know they aren’t jeans you put on your legs the sort that are cool and Grandmas shouldn’t wear. I pull him in under my armpit sqeeze gently and kiss the top of his ear … as Grandmas do.

Grandson:

*wipes ear and frowns* ‘I know that Grandma *sigh*.’ His brows shoot up and with staring eyes he faces me. ‘It is about science and cells and Genes, they group together, some from your Dad and some from your Mum when they are together’ … He stops for breath, pokes his top lip with his index finger and continues. ‘They made you, and both of them gave you a mutant Gene so you have two… mutants, to get the thing.’

Me:

Okay, sorry, you understand that nicely, well done. I squeeze again, just a tightening of my bicep to reinforce how proud I was of the grasp he had of a difficult subject.

Grandson:

So, now you have #Haemochromatosis. His face lit up, a smile spread like crunchy peanut butter on warm wholemeal toast. ‘Does that mean you are a real Mutant? an Alien, like from outer space?’

He looks like he would pee at any moment, I glance towards the front door, half expecting a dozen excited school friends armed with lazer light and nerf guns to burst through at any second, armed and ready to capture the mutant Alien Grandma.

Me:

I roll my eyes, ‘tsk’ ‘No!’ now wash your hands while I get your lunch.

Grandson:

Slaps loudly his unwilling feet on the floor, audibly sigh’s as he foams his delicate hands. With his bottom lip protruding in disappointment he tucks himself under the table.

Me:

Eat your soup then you can have a biscuit … *wink wink*

The things that children understand are I am certain much broader than when I was their age. But there is I think a special type of imagination when your almost all grown, which spans the years and defys definition.

Talk to me, what do you think, are they more grown up, knowledgable better informed … or does as I believe imagination still shine through tegardless.

Genetically Challenged.

Fourteen weeks ago we moved back to Suffolk. Those who follow me will know this and I won’t be boring you with the story I promise, just a reminder of how we moved away to Somerset, we didn’t find our forever place so after four and a half years we sold up and moved back.

We threw ourselves into the refurbishing of our house. Eventually, we thought to find a doctor, a dentist and an optician etc. A week of changing addresses, doing paperwork, joining electoral roles and collecting information took place.

During my new Doctor consultation (I thought him very thorough), a gamut of questions were fired at me, from under an arched and knowledgeable brow. Lots of poking and prodding, weighing, measuring and listening occurred. Squeezing, knocking and the questions went on for an exceedingly long time. Next, I was given bottles and forms to both fill and present to the hospital. This is where I cut to the chase and leave my usual shaggy dog story peacefully in its dog bed.

I had been to the doctors over the last four years with, the pains in my joints, falling asleep that we all laughed about, the getting lost and the misty or foggy headedness, the heartburn and the chills I had when everyone else was warm. All the above were individually poked fun at, none more so than by me. Silly me, getting old, winding down getting a bit quirkier than I was before. It seemed, the harder I tried to get myself fit, the slower and crappier I felt … the more often I stayed in my pyjamas the more it became an Ellen thing, to be laughed at.

I had my thyroid checked several times, my blood, cholesterol and sugars, to no avail. I was told to lose weight, about 20lb was suggested for optimum fitness. At this point the doctors (I had seen a few) I felt, were beginning to think I was lazy and maybe wasting their time. They said, maybe it was taking early retirement, or I was depressed missing family and familiarity, but losing weight and getting fit would help. So on I struggled a sleepy, chilly, foggy headed woman who was more and more muddled, weak and in pain.

Well, I can tell you that I am not lazy, fat or a hypochondriac, I have a genetic condition that has been very gratefully spotted by my new GP. How lucky was I to have moved back and to have seen someone who knew what he was looking at?

I have Haemachromatosis, basically, I store iron, my blood then chucks it into my organs, the brain, liver etc. This toxic stuff causes havoc where ever it lands. There is no cure … but there is a treatment for which I am very grateful. And though scared, I will suck it up and get on with it. I won’t let it win or change me, it won’t define who I am.

In the past few weeks, I have had needles and cameras in orifices I would have preferred not to, I’ve seen pictures of a few places … even I hadn’t seen before. I have been humbled by the kindness of medical people and scared by the condition and the vast amount of knowledge that I am unable to take in, but I am loved thoroughly by those who matter.

Here is the joke, you knew there would be one … I have a needle phobia, always have had and the treatment, the only treatment is Venesection. Blood letting, phlebotomy, removal of my toxic blood. Before we left for the first treatment the husband thought he would … relax me, he wore a wicked grin when he searched you tube and had to wipe his eyes for the thirty minutes he played me Handcocks Half Hour, a comedy radio skit from 1961, where Tony Handcock donates blood.

One Venesection down and I didn’t disgrace myself, I am sucking it up! What the hell else can I do? So I guess right now, according to Tony Handcock I have an empty arm ‘Tah Dah boom!’

Every ten days a pint has to be removed until numbers stabilise (how long is a piece of vein/ string). Then the gaps will widen to monthly and in a few years, maybe I can get to four times a year with monthly blood tests. But basically … ‘If you want to live, you got to bleed, forever.’

The husband, he suggested leeches, we have a well in the garden so it could be an option. Someone actually said ‘You must wish you could self-harm.’ Then some people are sick! I became upset when a family member said ‘So what, it’s not a biggie,’ easy to say when it’s not you, said from that place of comfort. Another writer/ bloggy person unbeknown to him gave me an idea *Thinks*.

An advert!

Wanted! A Gentle Male Vampire with sharp teeth.

The successful applicant would be required to come to my home under his own steam. To be dressed in traditional uniform and to specifically partake of dinner twice a month, until further notice.

Wages will be in the form of warm B rhesus negative

Iron enriched the oxygenated blood.

Conversation will not be necessary,

Though good oral hygiene is a must.

The applicant/ Sanguineoue being, will not be permitted, in fact, will be forbidden to partake of any other beverage from any source whilst in my employ, or my home.

Once the task has been completed he will depart the way he arrived, leaving no sign that he ever attended.

If interested in this position please reply by email/ sonar or echolocation … at your soonest opportunity. Only experienced thirsty practitioners need reply.

P.s. no sympathy required I am lucky, I at least can be helped.

My explanation for erratic posting and absence needed explaining. Sometimes I can’t focus enough to grab my words and writing or talking coherently is not happening. It hopefully will improve and I will be back, talking, writing and reading regularly.

P.S. When the specialist said, “You’ll see, we will get you back feeling normal, it will take time; we will improve things.” He was looking into my eyes holding my hand. That’s when the husband laughed aloud and said: “That will be novel, nobody’s accused Ellen of normality in years.” Both men were in hysterics, I think that says it all. I have always risen to a challenge and Genetically challenged will be no different.

Absent.

Wait for me when I’m gone,

Don’t forget I was here.

Come and read a while

There’s nothing to fear.

Life has other idea’s

That keep me away.

But please don’t

stop coming,

I still have a lot

To say.

I am having to take a break for a while. I can’t say for how long, but I hope to pop back and read any comments and reply when I can. I look forward to continuing to read your posts and banter on your blogs where possible. I will be back once I am fit and able.

But when life gives you lemons … you need to stand back and take in the scent, look at the whole tree; not just the fruit.

A Suffolk Festival.

The motorhome thumped up the lane rocking and jerking over the hardened earth that shook our jaws. As the last curve was negotiated the campsite spread before us. Flags flapped against the mackerel sky. Swags and flags swirly Twizzlers rattled and spun as did novelty air filled sperm. Campers tugged miniature trailers, all polished looking their best. Unicorns flapped, bunting tangled and faces lit up and grinned.

We strolled around, caught a knowing look or two. Smiles and nods tossed our way, a greeting of strangers linked by destination and sounds. Kids and pups were happily pulled along in trailers packed with stuff for the day.

A squeal from the stage shocked our ears as the thump thump of a base backed the ‘ one two, one two’, called over the mike.

Flowers and glitter in hair and on faces caught the light as hula hoop girls spun in tiny sequined shorts. Toned bodies of aerial dancers arced and rolled precariously. Dancing under steel frames, suspended on strands of purple ribbon.

Goods displayed on trestle tables and rails spewed from the mouths of canvas shops. Old tut from dusty lofts became prized merchandise once more. Hats, bags, wigs and wings, wands and make believe; all at a price. Clothes from eras past with stories sewn into the weave. Love’s lost and consummated in the seams of an old mini skirt and psychedelic clothes. Cheese-cloth shirts and bell-bottom jeans, wait in hope as rushing winds flap at hems, like silent adverts vying for attention.

Giant robotic installations jerked and flashed to the beat. Bubbles shot across the giggling crowds and flames intermittently roared from an arm that shot skyward. Ooh’s and ahh’s join the music at each glow of the flame.

A folly watches from her view point snuggled in the trees. The festival and its entourage playing at her feet. Not so far from the days of Jousts and Jesters that took place in times gone by.

Girls danced with a freedom I long since lost. Dreadlocks and rainbow dyed hair mingled, with the French plaited girlies. Shaved heads bump and grind with hipster bearded men. Some smoke weed or swig artisan gin together. One place, one time, a shared experience. The music built up and bodies moved in unity, the youth and the aged together. All made new connections and memories alike.

Rain splashed bodies ran for shelter and kids tried to catch drops on their tongues. Even the weather became a game. Sticky and tired we turn in and watch the sun setting over Suffolk.

Until sizzling bacon awakened our taste buds then the enthusiasm bubbled up, begging us to do it once more, at a Suffolk festival.

#WhiteNoiseVwFestival #EaustonHallSuffolk

Reviewing ‘Not Thomas’ By Sara Gethin.

I purchased this book and had been looking forward to reading it, after twenty or so e-books that I had promised I’d read were finally finished. The books had been clogging my tablet and sitting heavily; as guilt does on my mind. Life gets in the way of promises and dreams and is oblivious to anything interrupting it. So we sold up in Somerset and relocated back once more to Suffolk, the doing of that move left things undone, books unread, friends uncalled, my blog bereft of fresh stories and my manuscript on hold.

So I purchased Not Thomas and was excited to read something fresh by a name I didn’t know. I was drawn to the cover, the boy at the window looked thoughtful the colours inviting. I had spotted the promotion popping up on Facebook and Twitter, I followed her name to see who she was on WordPress. I read it, the cover, ‘Imagine You’re Five, Alone In The House, And Someone Gets In’.

I purchased and waited for it to arrive. We are refurbishing and I may have waited, but in my head, as I say life cracks on. People are not always honest about their rituals on receiving a parcel of a book, but I read the outside of my package, stroked it a little *sigh* and removed the cardboard. Number one, I am not odd, or certifiable but I do love a book. Two, trusting my rituals to followers may make them ‘come out’, admit they have some as … diverse as mine, but hopefully won’t make them scarper. So, I now have my very own copy in my hands, I caress it with my eyes , sniff its perfume, ooh i love to smell books.

Well then things went a bit skewed the surveyor turned up and round two began, my reading time vanished with talk of bi-fold doors, dry-rot and bathrooms. To cut a story short; which really isn’t the way Ellen rocks, Thomas was put on hold. A bout of illness slowed my progress on the house as the husband put down his size nines and firmly but kindly made me stop. So amidst the dust and noise, I picked up Thomas and recovered by reading.

Firstly no spoilers! Just my thoughts and opinions.

The scariest thing is the way this five-year-old boy tells his story/nightmare as if it is normal. Although the fear is palpable there are moments of pure gold like his letters and post scripts. While you read, if you’re not careful you will need tissues both ends, because you can’t put it down even to pee.

Sara manages the language perfectly, it is simple and pure, as a child’s voice is. Most of the book is told by Tomos clearly, concisely and in an earth shattering simplistic way. The absolute horror going on around him, the neglect so casually passed over by his Mum. The attitude ofturn the other cheek the neighbour had across the street, she who looks back at him from her window. It is as if they have not a clue that it’s wrong. Mum, loves him in her way, she doesn’t allow him to reach her paraphernalia hidden in full view in the bathroom, she takes away his ladder so he doesn’t come from his high bed and see stuff or get hurt. You can feel Thomos’s love as he cwutches up with her on the sofa.

This book is by far one of the best reads I have had in five years, the writer is the most exciting new thing to come out of Wales since the Severn Bridge. If you read nothing else this year you simply have to read ‘Not Thomas’.

P.S. I see another book ready to spring from the ending.

It is the day after I finished reading the book but I am not ready to let him go just yet. So Not Thomas joins me for breakfast, a feast I would have fed Tomos if I could.

My review I know is a little different from the norm but I hope you enjoyed it, I am not known for writing book reviews on my blog which must tell you how passionate I am about this one, and hope you will be too. #LoveTomos

Please leave me a comment below.

 Dr Who?

This week there were tweets and news reports, conversations and flips about the New! Doctor Who. For the first time ever, or so I have been led to believe, a woman is to take the starring role. I have watched many Dr Who’s come and go my favourite has to be John Pertwee, mostly because I adored Worzel Gummidge.


Anyway I digress, The lovely Jodie Whittiker, ‘I know her from Broadchurch’. Just saying, anyway she has got the title, won the coveted prize, stepped up to evolve the cult programme further into the realms of wonder. Now don’t shoot, my hands are up. I became bored witless at the naysayers, the chauvinistic complaints and the Agg-Gh ahh! It was everywhere, the moaning. So I switched off unplugged and refused to look any more.

Personally, I think she will be an iconic Dr Who. A conversation with a good friend had some days after the self-imposed ban,  was to bring up the question once more of should the Doctor be a woman? That was when we took it to the pub. Yes, two women took a convo to the village pub to do what men have done for centuries,  and why not! If a woman can be The Doctor… we ordered fizz as we would, a pint of John Smiths (any other beer could be substituted in this spot) is not our taste after all. The following is my version, maybe embellished, but mine none the less. Of an overheard conversation.


Two Men In A pub
.

Stan was slurping the froth from the top of his beer when this exchange took place.

Stan looks at Tom… ‘I suppose it will be exfoliate what they say now’. Wipes his mouth on his sleeve and sniffs loudly.

Tom. ‘What, what do ya mean’

Stan. ‘Them Dalek’s … now it’s a woman doctor’

Tom. ‘Ave you gone doolally, exfoliate’.

Stan. ‘Instead of sayin exterminate as they’ve  always done’.

Tom shakes his head slowly ‘Tha’s a daft bugger; exfoliate’.

A few minutes pass, both men finish their beers and Stan says. ‘You for another’?

Tom nods, and as Stan lurches unsteadily towards the bar you can hear a penny drop when Tom begins to guffaw.

Tom. ‘ Dalek’s exfoliate that’s reet funny that’.

I would like to thank a dear friend Anna, you know who you are, for the gift. Nuf said, “I owe you some fizz now we have moved back”. The pictures courtesy of pixabay  and unsplash and the land of lost internet photos. And you tube for the marvleous vid of Dr John Pertwee, forever in my heart as the undeniably wonderful Worzel Gummidge and in this bit Una Stubs as Aunt Sally.

P.S.

For Dr Who aficionados out there…  the relevance of John Smiths in the pub is that it  was the name the Dr took while being a human in The Family of Blood. Coincidence? Or did some helpful blogger (Gary Jefferies ) unaware of my dastardly dealings let my coincidence become a clever twist? Thank you  cue time lord music and …cut!

I couldn’t resist writing this post and I hope I captured the scene. What is your opinion on women taking it to the pub? Or woman being the lead in a cult programme? Have you ever overheard a gem when you least expected it. Leave me a comment I love to talk.