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.

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.

‘My Scared

The picture prompt is on loan from Michelle Terry. Many thanks and good luck to the scribblers.

A thousand nightmares and endless councillors later…  I faced the elephant in the room, or maybe it was the room in the elephant.

Mum’s eyes were huge and I remember thinking that it would be awful if they popped right out. I am not sure how old I was back then when she tied a tea towel around my face. But I can recall it clearly, It had white lettering across a blue band on a pure white unstained cloth, I remember it hanging in the kitchen but never used, it was special, a for looking at cloth. So I couldn’t see and with my legs straddling her hip, she clutched me tight as the cold air made me shiver. There was a frantic juggling of my bones as she ran for what felt like hours; maybe in circles. Eventually, she stopped and whispered, ‘I have to hide you to make you safe’, I couldn’t stop my teeth from tapping but I thought if she took the cloth off she wouldn’t have left me. I know, she would have seen ‘my scared’ and taken me back home.’My scared’ as I remember calling it, was the way I felt and it was huge that day when she said, ‘best not to make a noise’ she didn’t sound like Mum, her voice was cracked and growling.  As she lowered me to the floor I felt my legs get warm and wet which made her dig her nails in the tops of my arms her breath was damp on my cheek as she snarled “Filthy bitch’. I heard the door close, rattle and a click. Some memories are precise almost intricate, while others are feelings, like wisps of smoke I can’t hold on to.

As clear as day I remember how my belly ached, my throat burned and my tongue had stuck to my own mouth before she returned. Many dark visits with no words followed,  I had noticed her hair became matted and often covered her face,  she would push a cup across the floor and quickly she left. I learned to do my toilet in the farthest corner of my room but after five or so cups of lukewarm soup or oats my waste travelled across the mud floor; eventually covering me. My hair got stiff, I scratched my head until it bled and scabbed…I had sores on my sores.

I can’t, doctors say, (or I refuse) to remember much more; until the end. I told them how It was never day or night just dark and dank. It sometimes would just come, a memory that is,  swooping from nowhere. One such memory was how I once I grabbed her, I tried to kiss her, how she screamed and punched me, my chest hurt as my back made contact with the wall. A long time passed maybe weeks, I couldn’t tell, but when she returned, my stomach hurt so much that I couldn’t crawl to my dirt corner or lift my head. Mother, I stopped thinking of her as that a long time before, but on that visit, I thought she had come back to me. I had awoken to a damp warm cloth scrubbing my face, then she spoiled it. She pulled my lids apart stared at me, her face crumpled as she swore, and phlegm hit my full in the face before she left. I thought at the time she didn’t want me to look back. Later, a tin mug of thin soup and a huge crust of bread was put through the door. I opened one of my eyes; the other was stuck and didn’t want to, I saw her dirty bony hand bring them in,  just her hand as she pushed them across the soiled floor, but couldn’t move, so never ate them.

Now fourteen years on my fully grown up self, on my twenty-first birthday, I am a stronger woman, a woman who mostly dreams of the arms of the paramedic who came to my Mothers aid, who found more than expected, who undoubtedly was my knight in shining armour.

I return to my prison to face what went before.  Bile fills my throat, my eyes begin to involuntarily leak and I vomit behind the swing frame over and over. In the garden, I scan the scene and wonder who if anyone played there while I was away with ‘My scared’ in that place. What shocks me most is the proximity to the house, she would have seen my room from the back door, could have stopped ‘my scared’ in a second… had she been well enough.

I enjoyed the prompt and felt a snapshot was enough but I may return to this for a bigger project at a later date.Did you feel her fear? Did I help you visualise her surroundings? Leave me a comment I will reply as soon as I can.

A Short Stream Of Consciousness.

Linda Hills stream of conciousness prompt please press 🔜 here 🔚  to read and join,  it Is fun #SOCS  No editing just pouring onto the page.


My Dad used to say “Nice things come in small parcels” he said it mostly to cheer me up…  Mum said “so does poison”  If as she often pointed out every family has their cross to bear, then it is possible I was it.

I am one of four girls who were all… a slighter build than me, they had dainty feet and were bor… fortunate with prettier eyes and full lashes and without double chins. All three had wavy or curling hair, they were popular, and taller than me, all three were in the top choice when teams were picked, and all three had tone, rythm and speed.

wpid-cymera_20141201_190627.jpg

Where,  I never grew into my large clumsy feet or had the ability to beautifully sing and dance. My bum was always big in this … whatever this happened to be. My singing voice… well least said and all that.  I swear someone put my eyes on upside down and stole my midriff… seriously, how is it that I have a standard leg length, a six foot arm span *holds head* “really” and am four foot eleven and a half. I was the girl that the netball captain dreaded having to take, the sister that the vicar told “god had better things than the choir on his mind when he made me” ! Promptly giving the collection plate over ( my then new job). And just in case you think like a butterfly I morphed into my wonderful self… No!

Singing is my passion and I could still win X factor the voice and be a singing sensation, but no one other than me hears the way my ears do… I still have straight as a poker hair, bigger feet,  shorter body, upside down eyes,  two chins, weigh more than them, I hide from the ball, miss with a bat and in comparison my bum is still big in that.

In case you think I feel sorry for myself NO! You see I am unique, I am an anomaly. I can laugh at myself, make others happy, I am kind and generous.  If I don’t compare myself to my sisters, I am average weight and fitness with a standard sized foot. My siblings are smaller (not shorter) and lighter than the norm. They are…  they, and I am me, a friendly, happy, quirky woman who writes. My husband, who by the way insists my differences drew him to me, loves this bonkers loon and wouldn’t alter a bit of me.. except maybe my  penchant for singing and being bouncy as I wake.

 

There I kept it short and shared pieces of me.

Do you fit neatly into your family have you grown into your space? I am dying to hear.

A Present that made them smile.

I traipsed along the high street looking for  something cool,

Wanting to find the perfect thing the exception to the rule.

Searching for a talking point the item that would hold pride of place,

After fourteen shops I was sure to be losing face.

 

Tired from a six hour journey and legs that no longer wanted to walk.

I dialled my daughters number…   for a probing talk.

We beat around the bushes side swiped at my subtle plan

Then she asked me what I wanted “just say it if you can”.

 

Reluctantly I asked what the heck could I buy?

She said “a hat, you silly” I thought that I would cry.

Armed with an idea for the item I marched on once again,

On cobbled surfaces that would floor many weakened men.

 

A mother on a mission to deliver the perfect style,

It had to be special … after trying all this while.

I returned to my husband to update him on the task

He pretended he understood but his face was a blank mask!

 

It’s Christmas eve at three O’clock the sky is turning dark

My feet are burning and There’s one shop left across the park.

So I returned to the old town to the shop where I first began,

Where I asked for the hat, from a very puzzled man.

 

You see he told me quietly as his lip took on a twitch,

He wouldn’t disappoint me, pulling at his sleeve he broke a stitch.

But it isn’t a fashion statement, a cool item that is hot,

But a tea cosy that is worn upon a plump teapot.

 

“I know ” I shouted wildly, but it is all that you have got

That would look special on her head and not a pot.

So Christmas went with a giggle as my tale took a life of it’s  own,

Even two weeks later she is still laughing down the phone.

 

She stitched up the spout hole and the handle space too

And sent me a picture NOT! to show to you.

Her cosy is real cosy, her smile is more than just a smile

As she dons her new hat and wears it with panache and style.

 

 

This silly ditty is a true story! And the cosy was purchased from http://www.whitestuff.com/ … shh! We won’t let on that I posted her photo… will we? 

    

Have you ever given a better talking point at Christmas?  Do let me know  what it was and how it was received. I will get back quick smart with a response. Happy 2017. X

Merry Merry Christmas.

For my virtual friends all over the world “Merry Christmas” Happy Holiday’s whatever your beliefs be kind to each other. To you all “Peace on Earth”.

I will be away for a while but will See you next year. Xxx.

Our Christmas tree.

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=video&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjU0p3zlvzQAhVYNVAKHdp9AJMQtwIIIDAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DJKJExBXRorA&usg=AFQjCNGwQn0b_e4u8wmmelaZYT0v55eqnQ&sig2=50zeOoKehYeOiiJSy0nO7Q&bvm=bv.142059868,d.ZWM

Enjoy festive music if you can keep your eyes off Mariah’s chest… ooooherrr missus.

The Colour is Christmas.

Sue Vincents photo prompt press here to join in the fun. Use the image below to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, by noon (GMT)  Wednesday 21st December and link back to this post with a pingback. Please make sure that the pingback works and if not, copy and paste your link into the comments section of this post.

Inside the tiny house that is home to the Carpenter family, nestled in the suburbs of London Emma looked up at her Mum. “Mummy the sunshine in my picture, ” she said pointing to the drawing on the fridge door “it is sunshine colour, isn’t it? And the grass with Daddy and Mummy it is grass colour isn’t it”? A frown sat on her face as she pursed her lips while waiting for an answer. Mary crouched beside her daughter and explained about colour and name, she drew her a colour chart while her little brother straddled Mary’s hip. Mary told her the colours of their clothes and the cushions on the sofa. During the day they sang colour songs and told rainbow stories, drew rainbows to add to the already crowded fridge door.  Emma and Tom went to bed that night tired and happy,  knowing that tomorrow would be Christmas.

On Christmas morning Emma skipped into the Kitchen. “What colour is today mummy? ” She lifted her head and wearing a huge smile Mary looked at the five-year-old who was clutching pencils and pursing her lips. Mary smiled, wiped her forehead with the back of her flour encrusted hand and bent to her daughter’s height “what colour do you think Emma”?

Mary wiggled and hummed to the music on the radio as she cut the last sausage roll and wiped her hands on the tea towel stuck in her waistband. Throughout the house, the air was thick with the scent of pastry and cinnamon and the sounds of happiness. The question forgot in the excitement of the day.

Tom crawled up the hall chasing his new train giggling as he went.
Dad burst through the front door stamped his feet and brushed a light dusting of snow from his hair. Joe’s nose was red and he rubbed his hands briskly to warm them.”Kisses” he called as he smacked his lips and waved mistletoe above his head.”Kisses I want kisses” he roared as Emma and Tom rushed to be lifted in a sloppy lip smacking embrace.
There were lanterns, twinkling lights and paper decorations dangling from every space in the little house. Carols rang out from the kitchen radio and sparks snapped against the guard on their open fire.
Dropping everything Mary ran to join Joe for a kiss; Singing as she went. Flour covered kisses ended in chuckling and tickles. With all four sat breathlessly on the floor. Emma looked up into her Mothers eyes and quietly said
” I think the colour is Christmas mummy”.

This is a story I wrote last year re vamped, extended and wearing its very best party frock. I hope you like it and it gives you all you need to be put you firmly in the seasonal mood. 

Do leave me a  comment I love to chat.

A Favorite Christmas Decoration.

My idea for this came from here go check out her blog and handsome decoration.
Lindsey left a question on a post yesterday, asking “what is your favourite Christmas decoration and why”.

I thought about the Xmas pud my daughter made at four and the Santa boot my eldest made some thirty years or more ago. The snowflake, it was from my youngest son all white and sparkly made when five; I remember them well, their memories are the ones I treasure with a motherly equality and a sadness when each year I find them gone. The jointed Father Christmas who has pride of place stands two foot tall, he was my own first decoration. My daughter thought I’d like him as I had left so much behind; the beginning of a new life new Christmases to come.

But my own favourite, the one chosen by me… the me I am now, the one I purchased and placed here that is my best.  An angel in a red coat with sparkles on her wooden wings dark neat painted hair with a gold halo and a heart shaped cross body bag. I purchased her at a pop-up shop; a locally crafted display of all things Christmas. My visit was a surprise as I didn’t know it was there… it just popped up. She silently called me, at one point I do believe she winked; that part could be put down to artistic licence *sniff* but none the less drawn we were. At first, I stood her alone in the picture window facing the outside world, when I re-entered the room I turned her facing us. I have had her ten days now and we are getting the measure of each other, up to now she has been the only Christmas adornment to our home but today I will decorate the tree. And my scarlet angel will find her place as I have mine.

After Christmas, I may swap her heart shaped bag for a muff and make a fluffy headband to hide her halo but the wings elude me, maybe a classy fabric draped like a wrap to gently secrete them out of sight. I could put her betwixt my books in a bookcase to watch over us when Christmas has gone. I am not sure why I have become so attached to my scarlet angel but there it is; I am naming her as my favourite Christmas decoration.
What is yours? And why? Leave me a comment or just let me know what you think… And Merry Christmas.

Being Thankful 24

Bernadette at Haddon musings is challenging us with a writers quote asking how we are thankful press 🔜here🔙 to join in or read others thankful stories and quotes.

If everyone could not sweat the small stuff they would be happier and their families would benefit from the peace and would learn from the example.

Yesterday my husband worked on the motorhome. He changed the back brake pads put on new callipers adjusted the torque and all manner of things that took up most of the day. By ten at night, he came in looking shattered and wore oil and earth in the most alluring way “Not”. He hadn’t eaten and only stopped for drinks when I coerced him into it.  While I gathered him some food he fell into the bath to recover.

It was when I went up to get ready for bed… I noticed the mud where he had trod up the stairs, on following the trail like the one Hansel and Gretel once left; I came upon a pile of clothes outside the bathroom. Gingerly I entered where I found that we had been broken into by a muddy Walrus who had left a ring around the bath, splashes up the white paintwork and millions of tiny hairs, soap and froth stuck to the mirror and windowsill, towels were now sodden on the floor. Oh, I forgot to say this was our new bathroom the one finished less than a week ago.  We now have a beautifully designed bathroom with everything fresh and new.  A white suite, towels and designer blind and mat, a bespoke cabinet and vanity, all put in and decorated by my husband.
For a moment I stood looking around me,  (it is fair to say stunned)  I took a deep breath and counted to ten, then slumped to the toilet seat shaking my head. That was when I stopped sweating the small stuff. I wouldn’t have a beautiful bathroom if he hadn’t ripped out the old; plumbed fitted and tiled the new one. He mends, builds, designs and has refurbished the house, my husband does all the mechanical and electrical repairs on our cars and motorhome, he services cleans and maintains them too… oh and cooks the most amazing food. If the worst thing he ever does is leave a mess I don’t think that would be the worst thing.
So today I am giving Thanks for my lovely, clever, messy husband that I wouldn’t change for the world. He is pleased that I don’t sweat the small stuff.

A Taste of Freedom.

#Fridayfictioneers  are here once again, in 100 words use the picture as the prompt, (picture to be used for fridayfictioneers only) Thank you for the loan Jan Wayne fields.

My guy drove us through France, stopped to sample the Volvic water, and take in the spent volcanoes. We camped on the edge of the Tarn under some lime trees. The grass scorched and brown, the water coming from the Gorge was numbingly cold; after the eighty-degree heat of the day. Water sloshed over the huge smooth pebbles and gurgled its way under the arched bridge. Together, skinny dipping without a care. Bravely we swam with the Beavers under the arches and warmed our bones on the stones while slurping cold beer and humming along with the cicada’s closing notes; enjoying the taste of freedom.

Photograph taken with my own hand Ellen Best.

Did you attempt “Risqué camping”? Let me know in the comments… surely we weren’t the only ones to bare our skin in a place where nobody knows you?