What Is The Colour of Christmas Mummy? And Finding My Sanity in Lockdown.

Inside a tiny house, 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? The grass, with Daddy and Mummy, it is grass colour… isn’t it?” A frown shaped her face as she waited for an answer.”That Orange” Emma poked the pencil into the paper, “It Is an orange Orange isn’t it.” Emma’s neck was stretched to its full length, her lips pursed and a chubby hand holding a colouring pencil was pointed at her drawing. Mary dropped to her knees beside her daughter. Intently, she looked into her eyes and explained about colour and how a few had the same name as the things she drew; like Orange and lemon. Emma and her Mother drew and labelled a colour chart, while her little brother straddled Mary’s hip. They learned the colours of the clothes in the laundry bag and the cushions on the sofa; though Emma’s wings threw in some confusion. During the day they sang songs and told stories, together glued tissue paper rainbows to add to the already crowded fridge door. Mary and Joe Carpenter, went to bed that night almost as tired as the children. They were both happy, knowing that tomorrow would be Christmas. The anticipation of the excitement on their children’s faces, the reactions to the parcels beneath the tree. Though not many, each one had been chosen with love, and need in mind.

On Christmas morning Emma skipped into the Kitchen. “What colour is today mummy?” Mary lifted her head, wearing a huge smile. Her eyes crinkled as they met that face. Her five-year-old was clutching pencils and pursing her lips. Her hair knotted from sleep; her giraffe under her arm. Mary’s pride shone from her face, as she wiped her forehead with the back of her flour encrusted hand and bent to her daughter’s height. “What colour do you think it is?” Emma screwed her brow and as if contemplating the world and left the room.

Within the hour Mary had worked her magic, children clean, fed and playing nicely. Food cooking nicely and preparation almost complete. Mary wriggled and hummed to the music on the radio as she cut the last sausage roll. She 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 little girl’s question forgot; in the excitement of the day.

Tom crawled up the hall chasing his new train blowing spit bubbles; 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. 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. It looked a perfect Christmas to him.
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 Mother’s eyes and quietly said
” I think the colour is Christmas mummy.”

During the weirdness of 2020 when the world went a little bit mad, and I admit during the lockdowns I did too, and needed a way to refocus like many did, I took to Zoom.

my own scribbled picture

I joined the Theatre for my first ever virtual workshop. With guidance of our creative director, actor and teacher Lynn Whitehead We wrote scripts and radio plays.

Some of us narrated, some were characters and others of us wrote. All of us worked as a team. We made soundbooths under duvets, in wardrobes, or padded dens. Tim our ( on loan) sound magician, stitched and spliced the recorded voices, added the backing tracks and effects. He worked on it for days to transform our groups efforts into a complete piece.

The writing, producing, directing etc, all happened in different places. Not once did we leave our homes or meet in person. ( To be rectified at a later date)

We fulfilled the remit set to deliver a 45 min recording for people to listen to over the Christmas period,( possibly, huddled around a snapping fire). We planned to finish with a collection, something for everyone, and let people see the Theatre still came alive, despite 2020s pandemic.

A group of tales linked in a framework that visitors to the Theatre website, and the local radio could log on and listen to. This story became one of the tales we turned into a dramatized piece.

Below is the finished article I hope you take the time to enjoy it. Tap the next three words to listen.

Merry Belated Christmas.

Here I raise a glass to you all, co-co-conspirators, followers, friends and visiting readers. Supporters of the arts.

Do leave me a comment I love to chat.

A Covid-19 Poem To Remind Us How We Made It Thus Far.

For all the people facing the dread,

standing tall making it possible to stay home instead.

For The packers and stackers

the fund raisers and the backers.

Clap for the Teachers for all they do

for the frontliners and vulnerable kids.

For those that are shattered

but still turned up to assist.

The cleaners and porters,

their sons and daughters.

The refuse collectors

the postie delivering parcels and letters.

The Care workers holding loved ones hands.

Together on Thursdays We’d clap.

The trades that are on standby for

emergency plumming and heating.

The door knockers with boxes and

a happy greeting, ready with smiles

For the people they are meeting.

The aged alone, some scared isolating.

The police the firemen the ambulance drivers,

To the paramedics, the nurses, doctors and cleaners, we give thanks.

To the politicians who try to sort it all out,

We clapped for the Vets who cared for our pets.

The chemist the grocer the butcher the baker.
We are proud of the Mums and the dads,

Temporarily wearing teachers hats.

The home workers that keep the economy fed,

For the corner shops, serving, doing their best

Clap for the garage mechanics delivering goods,

With no engines to build or MOT’s to test.

To Morticians and undertakers, the funeral directors.

The Churches and councillors stepping up to the plate

The volunteer groups working till late,

Those building temporary mortuaries and hospitals,

To pick up the slack, without you we couldn’t see a way back.

We clapped for our Forces who stand up for us all,

always prepared to answer the call.

Simple steps helped us to survive,

I composed this poem in April 2020 when the first wave of the virus took so many lives. October arrived, people had become complacent, believing themselves to be invincible. Once again, the numbers began to rise. I have posted this poem to remind us how keeping your distance, washing your hands and wearing a mask was not hard, it flattened the curve. Businesses then re-opened and Schools trickled back. People flouted the guidelines by coming together, parties were had, masks discarded like old chip-paper in the streets. Many were defiant and selfish, they screamed abuse at the ones still complying with the guidelines. Masses of people said, their civil liberties were being eroded, they caused uproar and refused to comply.

And here we are now! In our Winter of discontent. Made by covid-19 and exacerbated by selfishness and greed. But we know when we come together and care like before, we kept the pandemic from entering our door. I ask you this, “What good are jobs? if we are dead in our beds.” So this Christmas, when governments have tried to relax some of the rules … just remember, if you go too far we will pay for it in lives, not just tax.

Be kind and leave comments, but remember this is my home, and my opinions. I wish for you all to be safe.

Tell it to the muse, because she is not listening to me.

Photo by Lum3n on Pexels.com

My muse loves to surprise me! She won’t be wrangled or shoved in a slot for my writing needs. It was three in the morning, I was poked from behind closed eyelids, her pencil sharpened to the stabbiest point.

from Pixabay

Did she not hear me say, “I will write from 11/4 three days a week,” I had thought about it long and hard. Once I decided on the most beneficial time I began.

At this point I will admit that since stopping work, I never plan anything but medical appointments, and family visits.  I no longer wear a watch, except for my fitbit, again I admit, I never look at that, except to see if I actually got up from my desk in the last eight hours. I eat when hungry, or when the husband feeds me. I  get up when I need a pee, or the dog squeaks a toy at my feet and presses her nose into my knee.  Oh, and I prefer ‘pantsing’ when I write, which I know,  makes for a much more difficult editing process.

On days that I am unable to write, unwell, preoccupied, fatigued or just not in the space, I read. Scrabble, the word game is also my thing. But even, then my procrastination involves me writing on my blog. So what you have learnt, is that I write to rest, I read and blog and scrabble to procrastinate. There is a theme going here, I am just a wordy bird.

So, lets get back on point.  I made the decision to be,  … more organised. The Husband laughed raucously at that bit. I shaded sections of my spanking new planner, set reminders and post-it notes on the fridge, my phone and laptop. Dog walking poop picking (a fur mummies job) and feeding 6.30 /7.30 bin sorting, (eco freaking the husband calls it). Shower and clean myself and the bathroom and sort the washing and kitchen  by 10.30. Thirty minute catch up with ‘The Husband’ shared kisses and moans, laughter and news, then settle to write.

Well that was the plan. I think that word, … plan is what done it, scuppered the whole thing. 3 am poke poke, my muse awoke. At first, I ignored her mutterings, but she was persistent. It started with faint whispers, ones I had to listen to with great care. The next thing I knew, was that there was absolutely no use in staying in bed.

from Pixabay

So that was that, wrapped in pyjamas with my lucky pen, at my desk my day began. Before I knew it, it was dusk my mind was empty my muse asleep. So you see there is no use planning without the agreement of your muse. Mine refuses to comply or to enter into any discussion. I rise, when I am woke by the mutterings. I sleep when they sleep and then there is life.

Myself, Gardening, … along with my muse.

Are you a planner? or a seat of your pants type of person? Do you have a muse? answer please in the comments. I love to chat.

Ellen’s intention is to Persevere.

To make it through this year, as I am determined to do. I will strive to fight. The statement to show how I will get to the final day of this extraordinary year, Is “Ellen, Perseveres.” That is my intention.

Wearing an anti covid-19 mask,

I vow to set myself the task

that each day from now until then.

I will rise above the parapet

and repeat it time and again,

until it rings in my ears

and all can see,

she persevere’s.

The last few months I have folded myself into a the smallest space. Closed my eyes and hid, I have begun to surrender to the empty. I feel me fade away as if a smudged pencil sketch. My shape is real enough, my face still there. The essence of me is fading … it feels like whisps, or steam from a cup of tea on a cold day. Not quite sure you saw it slipping silently away. The person that is left is no longer curious enough to find out. So it will be a case of finding … me.

My intention is to learn something new. Today, I signed up to an online class. Together, we the group, will learn how to write and produce an audio play, with the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds. I have also pledged to find myself within the words I write. To see it through, to excel the best way I can. Lock down and health issues have taken their toll, but not any more. Ellen will come through, As I Pledge to persevere.

I want to thank my blogging friend who encouraged me to set an intention and commit to it. https://youcanalwaysstartnow.wordpress.com/2020/09/14/setting-an-intention/

“If you were to chose a word to help you through the last four months, to inspire or motivate what would it be and why?” leave it in the comments I would love to chat.

Valentines 2020 Still giving.

Twisted sticks and grasses against a pinked Victorian wall.

No words were then needed, its simple shape said it all.

It’s weathered all the seasonal storms bashed against the brick,

Like our lives together, we hang on through thin and thick.

Our hearts won’t be weakened they will stay the test of time,

Joined in our forever, making our own sun, shine.

We are changing the colour of the house, and The husband got to the wall with my homemade heart and noticed, how bits and pieces had fared pretty well during this disheveled year.

Now, I am not a cutty sewy person, and the want to craft passed me by. So for me to put something together that he liked enough to still notice months later, is an exceptional feat. It is also our anniversary soon. These are the reasons for my poetic post. Sometimes it is the triffles that expresses our feelings the loudest.

Have you ever stepped out of the norm? to show how you feel. If so pop it in the comments, I would love to read and reply.

Thank you to Esme for sharing my link on her link sharing page press https://esmesalon.com/131-senior-salon/ the link to see many more or to join the fun and add yours

My Published Entry SPRING 2020 To Reflex fiction.com

                                           Hopscotch Best Served Cold

My palms are wet. I can’t stop the leg twitch. A silver trail glistens on my sleeve. I sniff and step up. My stone I polished smooth, under darkness when all stood still, and only stars watched. Between fingertips and thumb, I roll three times, kiss and release. A clink as my stone stops dead. I suck my breath and hop clean over. Both soles thump together, out and in, all eight slapped with plimsolls. A cheer lights my eyes and pinks my cheeks. A wobble threatens to bury me in a puff of chalk dust.

Me and Jed head to head. I’ll have him. He won my best Alley yesterday and won’t give me a rematch. I challenged him to the grid.  “It’s a kid’s game,” he said. A smile like the common lizard’s twitch escapes me. “Fourteen and still playing?”  He nodded at me as he wiped the drool from his chin. “Yeah, I’m just a dumb girl.”

His marbles come from his brother’s stash, he was a champ, before he left school to muck out stables. Too grown up now, thinks he’s special. A flick in my mind and we are back behind those bike sheds, fumbled hands and warm lips. I thought I wet my knickers; I know different now. No lad will get the better of me again.

A crowd gathers as I drop on eight: one, two, it’s over. Quick as a blink. A twist of my head and there’s Jed. He kicks the trim off his pumps, a glob of spit hits the ground. I grin, and nod; I got him good. They lift me and I float above the lot. My fingers grip at heads; greasy hair and dandruff will never feel so good again. Not bad for just a dumb girl.

This was published as a just missed the long-list, But I am proud to have got this far. please press this link to go to the article. https://www.reflexfiction.com/hopscotch-best-served-cold-flash-fiction-by-ellen-best/

The Water Monitor.

This is a monologue that I crafted for an exercise with the local theatre group. I have been part of the group for a while. It is called Act your age … which of course we never do.
Press here to find the workshop.

Throughout the covid-19 pandemic we continue to meet up; with the aid of Zoom. One of the things we were introduced to was writing monologues. The tale below is one of my attempts at yet another new writing firm. This, may not work as a reading piece as well as it does a listening one; because of the vernacular. The pronunciation such as words that finish with ‘ing’, were spoken but the ‘n’ was the last sound made. I hope you see a young boy of about nine years old who lived in rural Victorian England. I will attach a clip of me reading it, but bear in mind I am not either nine years old or a boy, so a modicum of imagination is required on part of the reader and listener.

The sound clip is here. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gHPtCWbMaL60X9NZH5QLn8V26T0eRVn9/view?usp=drivesdk

The Water Monitor.

Good day, I am Walter, you can see I’m standin next to the well outside the schoolhouse. The teacher’s house. This week I am water monitor (whispers) for my sins. I slake the thirsts with my bucket, Miss tied the tin mug on a piece of string to my trousers. I am skinny after graftin all Winter, so the cup it pulls em down … my trousers that is.

This is my job now because the mister kept me too long catching the piglets, doing that made me late. These lug holes still burn where they was cuffed; look at it, it’s fat an sore …  Mr Pickles says, it will be blue the morrow.

Any way me cheeks glow under these rough trousers from Miss McCreedy’s split-cane, she is fierce is Miss … she don’t like the lateness of us urchins. Miss says it is ungrate\nfulness, that breads tardy children. She Pulls her arm high when dishin out punishment, swings harder than Mam when beatin her rug. See her arm go, with that cane. I ave hot ears, a hot backside and the rest o’ me is freezing.

The punishment of water monitor aint so nice in the cold, (Walter shivers) when you already done a day’s work before you get to the raggedy school.

I am standin , stampin my boots, tryin to get the chill off, waitin for another waif to want a drink. Then I show my strength, like a strongman at the Freak show. Liftin the lid, turnin that barrel to wind the chain, I hoist the bucket an fill the cup for thirty mouths. It is man’s work, (raises arm and flexes his muscles) specially when yer fingers is blue with cold.  I saw it once … that strongman, aint that the truth, with these very eyes I seen. In Piccadilly, Grandma took me … ‘The Harvey’s Freak show’ not many of these raggedy kids as been I know; Walter here (pokes his chest) will not forget that day.

At school we is taught writin readin an rithmatic. Miss McCready bangs a tune with her laced boots against the wooden floor, One Two, One Two, she keeps time as we chant like the old monks in the Abbey did. The only differing thing is, we chant tables and godly sayins. Miss McCready, every day she raises her voice to say, ‘cleanliness is next to godliness, and ‘the mills of God grind slowly but they grind exceedingly far.’ Those words make us raggedy’s fearful, so we are good. We has the reverend in on Fridays. The reverend puts the fear of God into us … for us own good of course. The word of God is so loud he makes the ink dance in the wells when he shouts it. My sister Winnie got er legs caned, four strokes, for peeing with fright at him. Miss called her filth, an stood her on the desk so all could see her shame.

 We work at school to be learn-ned. One day when she is six, Winnie will be doin the chickens, wringing necks, plucking and collecting eggs. The numbers learned will be needed then. At sunup, I get old Tom ready, he is the plough horse. I feed, groom and tack him up for work, then I feed the pigs, mend the boundary fences. In winter I breaks ice off the troughs and fill them.  Harvest time I cut the hay, work all night, till my eyes pain with the dust of it. Paa does the ploughing, plantin and such. If the Mister is pleased, he lets us use our house and small oldin as wage. Teacher hates market day, cause her schoolroom is empty. So Here we lives, we works and does family proud. Years will bye and still, when I have curled bones and no teeth or hair, this well will still give ice cold water.  I am knowin, it will still stand … next to Miss McCready’s house. But some other spinster will be Mistress of the learnin. I know this for there aint none over fifty in the church yard.

the church yard is from pixabay.

Have you learnt anything new in lockdown? did you enjoy my attempt at a Monologue? I love replies they are especially needed at this time xx thank you in advance, answers in the comments and I will reply quick smart.

My Tits Looked At My Bottom.

My Tits live in a nest hidden in a tree,
I like to watch them daily
They also take a peep at me.

They caught sight of my bottom
when I stepped upon my skirt
I tripped and heard them chortle
my pride was really heart.




My Tits looked at my bottom
and I will never be the same
I know I heard the Raven
Calling out my name.

The Raven told the Robin
that he saw my bum
The Robin told the Lark
that all the birds should come.

They tapped beaks on the window,
One even shared his worm.
It was like being on the telly,
I felt my body squirm.

The Tits shall not get any supper
or a lardy meal-worm for desert
I believe it’s a fitting punishment
for my pride being sorely hurt.




I was the WINNER! 

Thank you Chelsea Owens for the challenge the weekly hilarity contest press the link to read more. PRESS HERE

Thanks to Pixaby.com for use of photos.

Chelsea said it must be clean and fun … “Did my Poem hit the spot?” answers in the comments I love when you twitter back too.