The Escape. #ShortStory

We trundled off in the motor home towards Dorset. A week in the West Country was just the ticket. Easy Rider belted out, Born to be Wild became the anthem of our trip. Four days in Dorset, parked at a clifftop campsite with wonderful views,

We caught up with the husband’s twin brother and wife; sharing food and stories. Laughs came thick and fast with our niece and her partner, we built new memories to last a lifetime. The sun beat down, dragon flies whizzed as stick insects sunned themselves in the bay tree; idyllic.

We Sat under the sunshade together reminiscing as we stuffed our faces, laughed and dozed. A woodpecker hid inside the hollowed Apple tree.

The days passed with a gusto we didn’t want to end.

We packed up and drove on to Salcombe Regis, on Devon’s beautiful coast. You couldn’t ask for a better spot, sunny, green, clean and friendly, a few miles from Sidmouth. We arrived the day of the ‘underwear revolution’ in Colyton (see link). A news worthy story that made us smile for the rest of the week.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/12/town-rallies-around-mother-told-not-hang-washing-launching-laundry/

Off to Sidmouth on the local hopper, it was so civilized and easy. We enjoyed wandering around the picturesque Regency seaside town.

Back at the motor home, we familiarised ourselves with the layout, checked out the shower and toilet blocks, putting green and shop. There was a vigorous but pleasant stroll to the view of Salcombe hill and the sea.

Morning arrived, overcast and breezy as Hurricane Hector’s tail whipped through. We chose to get ready and catch a later hopper, giving the weather time to calm. Off I strode to the nearest block.

Most people had long gone, jumped on the bus for their day out; despite the weather ( as we Brits do). I however had choices to make, a wet room or single shower, a cubicle block, toilets with basins and even a bath. The facilities were superb, spotlessly clean, the water hot and it was … empty.

Armed with bubbles and potions I chose the best space and I have to admit to feeling a tiniest bit smug.

(See Giffy image belowūüĒĹ)

This was where I found myself in a difficult situation. To bypass any visual parts of my ablutions … I sum up by saying, my bag was dropped in a cubicle and I rested my cheeks to porcelain; next door.

On the way in, I noticed the lock turned a couple of times before the latch closed. I ignored the fact that the lever dropped free and rocked as I released it. Both of the above should have made me aware that something was amiss. After a short sitting time, I used the beautifully scented hand foam and checked out the attractive smile of the older woman in the mirror; before moving on to the shower room.

My hand wrapped around the lever and turned … around and around it went, my finger twisted & it spun the lever as if it was a feather. My sports strap alerted me to the rise in my resting heartbeat. My breath gasped, my hands became clammy and a pulse rapidly tapped in my neck.

The bumbag that hung over my hip contained my meds, a phone, a change purse with a debit card and a hair grip. After a few seconds I shook myself and delved into the zips. Phone extracted I tried to call the husband; fifty yards away in the motor home. I stood on the seat with my four-foot eleven stature stretched to the extreme, trying to find a signal. No such luck, finding a phone signal in the countryside is hit or miss at the best of times. Inside a toilet block, in the most rural of spots in the west country is nigh on impossible.

Now serious stuff came into play! With all the prowess of an Enid Blyton famous five character I thrashed out a plan.

I set the WiFi to search on my smart phone. Soon it offered to sell me WiFi from the campsite. With the debit card extracted the purchase of WiFi complete, I sighed with relief. I sent a text to a friend via Facebook’s messenger. HELP. LOCKED IN LOO. Phone Jay urgently PLEASE. I pressed send as the light in the lavatory timed out.

Back up plan fell into place; “Enid Blyton I love you.”

Clutching a hair grip between my thumb and index finger, I poked as I twisted the lever, I shoved, rammed and scraped about in the vicinity of the latch by the light of my phone; which was clasped in my mouth. I had been incarcerated for fifty minutes! My sport’s strap vibrated and fireworks went off, it obviously believed me to be vigorously exercising. With the battery on my phone now showing five percent I had to move fast. Logged on to Face book I found the campsite page friended the site and sent a private message. Help! Plot 153 locked in toilet. Send! Help. Next I emailed my brother-in-law. Please. Help. Phone Jay. Trapped in the loo. The screen went off just after I pressed send, the room was in complete darkness now; my battery flat.

A second blind (pardon the pun) attempt with the hair grip eventually bore fruit. By now I had been in the loo for an hour! My bladder was swollen, my cheeks damp and my grip ruined as I rushed out and towards the motor home. I thought to sympathy and maybe a touch of pride at my ingenuity.

I heard the ringtone on my approach, then the unnecessary laugher. Soon I looked into the eyes of a very jovial husband. One who pressed his Samsung closer to his ear as I passed him. Relieved to be relieved of the contents of my bladder in the safety of the motor home … with my foot used as a lock on the door. Only the music emanating from the other side of the door was to puncture the relief I felt.

Standing tall (as tall as a four-foot eleven woman can) I walked past ‘The Husband,’ I pushed the charger into my phone. Bleep bleep! My friend answered with ‘are you free yet?

Ring ring!

My brother-in-law howled in unison with his wife on speaker phone.

All the time … ‘The Husband’ sang along to, “Oh dear what can the matter be, three old ladies were locked in the lavatory” whilst wrapping his arms around his aching ribs and wearing the most ridiculous grin.

Once composed, I walked to the reception, reported a faulty toilet lock. Numerous apologies later and the promise of fresh croissants to soften the edges of ‘The Escape.’ I found my own funny. Shhhh! *whispers* We won’t let on at least for a while *Huge grin*.

All photographs are mine taken on location … except the Gif from . https://giphy.com/explore/images

The news link from the telegraph UK. (the link in above text).

The Enid Blyton vintage first edition cover lifted kindly from the internet.

Have you ever used a book you read as a child, for such a good reason as I … ? Leave me something to smile at in the comments, I just love to chat.

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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.

A Ballet of Books.

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Words I read dance on my tongue
Library books join in the fun.
A myriad of majestic lust
Move in a flurry of mite dust.

Turning pages straightening spines,
Composure coreographed in lines.
Come watch the Pas de deux
Girls Pirruette in clasic tutu.

A library putting on a ballet
Watched by books in the alley.
It began with the arabesque
Pointe at librarians desk.

They Gathered all in croisè
Danseur with a grande jetè
Prima ballerina took a bow
Books that dance holy cow.

I Can’t Begin To Tell You.

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I Can’t Begin To Tell You,
I can’t begin to know.
What lay betwixt the pages
Of every book on show.

We have to read the story,
Let it seep beneath the skin
Of each person looking
And make them delve within.

I became a booknight giver
A sharer of the written word
A gifter of the present
And to a stranger, how absurd.

I gave away on street corners,
In shelters and in shops
I took one in the station
Left one for the Cop’s.

I acossted in the doctors
I took one to the school.
I was chased from a book shop
Looking like a fool.

Diligently, I gave them
They promised all to read.
One wanted three!
To sell and buy some weed.

I am feeling quite exhausted
But virtuous and bright.
One day it will be my book
Someone gives out on book night.

Please follow @worldbooknight on twitter.

I will review the book on my blog when I return from a short holiday in a couple of weeks.
Please let me know if you joined in were a giver a receiver or just liked my ditty.

A Pleasurable Book Review

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The lovely Kim Gosselin award winning author and member of the society of children’s book writers and illustrators,¬† sent across the great sea her newest book¬† ” Babies Of Two”. I was thrilled to be sent the book the signed first edition will have pride of place in my forever bookcase.
The art work is superb the illustrations  fit each page perfectly thanks to Alisa Belzil.
The story flows with wonderful fluidity in a poetic form that is clear and holds a childs attention beautifully. The book speaks with the voices of the unborn twins, a unique depiction of childbirth tastefully portrayed.
I gave the book to my daughter in law to test out on my granddaughter Ivy, it is with Ivy’s seal of approval that I say… A fab book that would be enjoyed by all who read it including potential sibling of twins and any other child who loves reading and or looking at beautiful pictures, it covers both the entertainment value and the educational.

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Words from a woman who writes

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I am she the woman who writes.

I begin about six and end around ten thirty. Sorry that was a lie, it isn’t about it is at.

Unless of course we are away and other things get a look in. Things like babies to hold, people asleep, conversations to make or reminiscing to take part in.

Even then I am watching, trying to change it around. I am not writing at these times but researching. I am collecting mannerisms, tones of voice, dialect, a laugh or the tilt of a head, maybe a funny walk.

Recently we had a weekend away and my husband was asked if I was unwell. I had been nipping in and out of the bathroom to scribble. Having a pen or pencil concealed about my person for use at all times is  law.

I often have a character or two with my mother’s words, my father’s hat and yesterday my character had my doctor’s gait. I write storylines with my neighbour’s hen house. I will also include her cackling laugh so what I am saying is,I am writing.

To relax I read, but do I? Reading is for me how other people eat, reading is sustenance, fuel or a thing that I do; so I can write. There you go! I am writing again. I read everything, I read novels, science fiction, comedy, horror and dystopian thrillers. I devour books of all kinds, romantic comedy, chic lit, true life, biographies and fantasy, ancient books, historical drama, I even read birthday greetings and cereal packs. I think¬†I don’t read Genre`s, I read words, stories, adventures but mostly I read because I can.

Now, when I read I am seeing how the author altered the flow, how did he make me know she was scared, loved or sick? With a slight change I was led to feel the way that character felt. “You know what?” I am still writing.

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(Picture belongs to My Elephant – http://wp.me/p4NJtM-iY and I thank themomfred for the loan.)

When all at once, someone, somewhere asks, “The” question, yes that old chestnut, the elephant that enters the room. The question that once answered makes the poser of such a question, leave the room. The answer makes seemingly interested parties friends and family, oh yes even family, skedaddle, Vamoose or Huff and grunt.
Seemingly polite individuals suddenly lose their manners. Question “Are you published?” Answer I’ve had a short story a piece of flash fiction published but not a book no¬†“Not yet”. Now I am no more than a mad deranged woman who lives in cloud cuckoo land, I am now someone not worth listening to.
But I do, I write, I was told it wasn’t enough, I needed twitter and a blog, a platform to promote my book, the one that isn’t yet finished.¬† I then began learning, posting, and making connections. I have asked myself “isn’t writing hard enough?” Now over the last few months I have created¬†this Blog, of course if you are reading this you already know. For me this meant wrestling daily with an alien species. You may realise I am not so‚Ķ technical or computer skilled as many are. Did I struggle? I didn’t have a clue. There are urls, dms, tweets and re tweets, pingbacks, re-blogs¬†and¬†what the‚Ķ now I have to learn a new language. It has stretched me this blog, taken up precious time and challenged my [very flimsy] sanity. I have struggled and fought and¬† Percy weered, as my dear departed mother in law once said.

Even the day I finished this piece, in a technical fart! It was gone, I lost it, vamoose! I do not have a clue, the lot gone before my very eyes and never to be seen again. But I plod on, learn from mistakes, I ask others for advice and in this blogging place there are experts, friendly helpful ones.

Today I continue to post, while holding my one day book close like a suckling child, trying not to use the blog and twitter as my procrastinators.

Ellen is now Blogging snippets of stuff, as often as she can.
Not knowing if I am doing the right thing or not. I wait and watch send and lose, yes I still lose about forty percent of all my posts. Who knows it maybe a divine intervention, making me do it over once more, to make it worthy.

A naysayer I am not but neither am I a technophobe. I haven’t yet found the word for tablets and computers hate me, when I do I will let you know. I have it on hopefully good authority that a blog I must have.

But according to most, I am just a loon, an unpublished loon with desires of grandeur. Six hundred words down yesterday, my re read today demolished most of it. I use this as another positive lesson a learning tool.

Crap happens and if I can save one paragraph, one piece to plop expectantly in to my book then it is ok by me.

My Dad said “you need the crap, so you can recognise the good stuff.”
Sometimes I feel I am helping my characters come alive, and other times they dictate what is written. I have disobedient characters that wander far from my now defunct storyline, with minds of their own.
Other times the words just flow and work, they fall from my head like hair from a dog with alopecia. This twitter and blog a ma gig, has made me richer rounder and confident enough to try.
And yes! I am writing, because I am a woman who writes.


This has been re-posted because as a new blogger I knew nothing of tags or categories and had four followers, so today I hope it has a place and is relevant enough to warrant being reblogged. “How do you feel about the elephant in the room? ” Do you as I do still dread the question? I would love to hear your view.