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.

I’m Only Human After All

I called, but your name lodged below my voice box and like a bubble, it floated until it popped.  Slowly I turned back the bed, cotton sheets now held the smell of stale lovemaking sweat and perfume. Bare feet kissed the wooden floors leaving a mist; an impression of where I walked. Across the room down to the utility with my arms full. Once loaded I glanced down, my nose curled, my mouth sticky and memories flooded back. I peeled my dishevelled stained night shirt from my aching self and it joined the sheets. My mind was busy trying not to think as I scrubbed and soothed my flesh, steam covered the pointless tracks on my cheeks as Rag n Bone man’s lyrics pounded over the sound of the shower ‘I’m only human after all. I dropped a pill, swigged stale coffee left on the drainer and sat wrapped in a towel. The dusk alerted the back of my mind it snook in to disturb my … nothing, my emptiness.

This was ridiculous I am a grown woman Out loud I said ‘pull yourself together’. For the next week or so I was working on auto, walking to work doing my admin answering when I had no choice, until  Friday night backpack on ready for home I felt him watching. A damp trickle formed between my breasts as I scanned left to right, I knew he was there somewhere. Head down, my shoes slapped against the damp tarmac, three, four, slap slap, counting, walking determined not to be startled. ‘Hi toots, I thought it was you, fancy a drink’? His voice I was ready for I let a smile touch my lips. ‘No thanks, busy busy’ I strode on. Almost jogging now alongside me breathlessly he stopped me with  ‘Hey hey what’s the hurry, come on we can continue where we left off,’ he twisted a strand of hair by my cheek as he bent at the knees to peer into my face. ‘I said I am busy now please just’ I snatched my shoulder from his grasp and carried on. I didn’t look back, slow down or think about him I just allowed my feet to pound the pavement slap, slap, slap. Ashamed that’s what I was, ashamed and regretful and I couldn’t accept what it was I had done. Weeks had passed since he met me from work but I still felt uneasy, he hadn’t called or text or poked me on Facebook, but still, I was wary. Maybe he didn’t know my name either, I couldn’t remember him using it.

Angie and Jack had been arranged for months dinner with friends that would get some normality back. I tousled my hair and dressed casual but nice, I pouted in the mirror checking my lippy, that was the most relaxed I had been for a month or more. After fajitas, we had tequila and chilli chocolate buns with mallow topping her food amazing as always. Ange and I laughed and reminisced about school, Jack cleared up and Angie and I began to talk freely. ‘What’s doing girly? You have been somewhere else for a while, I thought we trusted each other, told every grizzly detail like we always have’. Jack called through, he was walking to the pub leaving us to our stuff while he indulged in a lairy game of pool. Ange followed for a kiss she grinned and mouthed thanks as she closed the door. ‘Well … I’m listening’. She did that thing, that glaring eye staring folding arm thing that she does when she’s mad.

‘Nothing to say really, I just, well I was stupid, a slut and I, I am ashamed. After Todd and I finished I felt lost, God that is so cliché, but I didn’t feel attractive or wanted…’ I dropped my head in my hands roughly rubbed my cropped hair and grunted.’ Ange plopped on the edge of the chair with me rubbed my shoulders as I released a  yowl so guttural  I startled myself. ‘C’mon you’ll feel better, I won’t judge you-you know me better than that’.  I scrubbed my face with my palms and wiped them down my thighs. ‘I went to that club on the corner the one with the tattooed bouncer the cut gay guy… I had some jagger bombs and I … began to dance winding myself round guys legs rubbing up behind them. They didn’t know me nor me them, it was sort of a freedom a liberating sexy I know, a slutty thing to do. The bouncer Jason pulled some guy off me for stuffing his hand up my skirt, he tried to call a cab but I wasn’t having any of that. In my head, I was showing Todd even though he wasn’t there. Next thing I know is I take this guy Marks mouth in mine and he mouthed a wafer under my tongue… don’t get me wrong I wanted, I was reckless. I’ve been having flashes come back to me of the stuff we did, the table the kitchen outside the front door for god’s sake. He met me from work one night a week or so later it freaked me out, how could I be so stupid, it was fine he just wanted … more he hasn’t been back. I’ve been petrified, I took him home, the things we did, don’t say anything I can’t cope with your disgust too.’ We sat for a while with a box of tissues between us Ange crying for and with me, me crying out of self-pity and shame. ‘I went to the clinic on Duke Street and had tests… well you just don’t know, do you. I find out in a fortnight but so far several are back and I’m clean just waiting on Hepatitis and HIV. I would not hold it against you if you never spoke to me again.’

Clearing the dinner debris and emptying the dishwasher although together, it was completed in silence. We made coffee and Jack came in the front door pink-faced, smiling and relaxed, he pulled a face pouted his bottom lip and said ‘I am going up bye then’ and he gently closed the door. Red-eyed and nervous I said ‘I can not cope without your friendship please don’t hate me’. I held both her hands and stared into her face. ‘For the last time I will not ever hate you, but I am hurt, hurt because I was too busy to see the effect Todd’s affair had on you because  you felt you couldn’t come to me, I  let you down and you put yourself at risk’. Sometimes we do stupid things, sometimes it is no one’s fault but our own… and sometimes we are lucky enough to walk away unscathed. I Jane Masters, head of finance, single thirtysomething female, should have known better but I won’t get it wrong twice, but as the song says … I’m only human after all.

Flower photo borrowed /thieved temporarily from Geoff LePard I thank you, Geoff. Press here to visit the master🔜 here🔚

A new venture into a different genre yet again inspired by the magnificent  Rag n Bone man song I hope you enjoyed both the song and the story I look forward to your comments *waves*.

The Arrogance Of Eleanore

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Her hair she brushed / one hundred strokes

Until it shone of gold, / having suffered for her beauty.

She tied it with a strand of silk/ Eleanor preened half the night

Creamed her skin with Mother’s milk/ in preparation of her duty.

Her eyes were of the brightest hue/yet a smile false and tight

Not a glimmer of desire /no kindness did it show

As cold as cinder in the fire/as a torch without its amber glow.

 

Just in case it is new to you : How to read a Cleave. Read it vertically left, or bold in my case, then vertically right, or in italics, finally read the poem horizontally as a whole.

Jane Dougherty posted a poem called a ‘Cleave’ not having heard of a poem which is constructed in two halves but read as three pieces I just had to give it a crack… pardon the pun. Press Here to read Jane’s far superior Cleave and let her know what you think.

“How did I do?”

“Are you familiar with this form?”

Please comment I will respond soonest.

(if any one knows who to credit for this picture please let me know. )

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW DINING EXPERIENCE (A YouTube Video) …

One bit of technology I wouldn’t object to in a restaurant, watch and enjoy.
Thank you re blogged from christhereadingape .

Plaese go to chris’s page and leave a comment.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

This is simply just too cool!

The French restaurant “Le Petit Chef (Little Chef)” came up with an original way to entertain guests while waiting for their order by using an overhead projector on the ceiling.

The animation appears on the table and your plate.

There is a small chef who appears on your plate,… watch what he does

Bon Appetite’!!

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All in a lunch stop.

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Having a break my best half (pardon the pun) and me, Motorhome travel, the Norfolk coastline, sun, sea, boats and all interspersed  with family visiting.
We had moved on from Wells next the Sea, and pulled over for a stretch and a cup of tea , somewhere near Mumford where a huge wooden Stag stands on the edge of the forests. That was when the  four wheel drive towing a horsebox pulled in.
A crunch of gravel announced their arrival and a lady mirroring our earler stretching  and the sounds that go with it climbed out. She had undone the box door, and as I watched, soothed and stroked the neck of her animal. Alert as i am, I grasped my pencil… “well you just never know” She proceeded to take him out, I presume her thinking was, if I need a stretch then so does he. Hooking the hay net on to the back then tying him up behind the box while she was gently crooning and patting his neck. Now I am very used to being around horse flesh, (my Father was a jockey) the love a child has for her pony, a competitor for their steed, the rider for his mount, they all have strong connections with their animal. But the unadulterated affection was palpable, she could have been feeding her child or presenting her husband with the most delectable of treats.
I being me, wandered over and asked to photograph him, Jill as I now know her name , was happy to chat and spend a few moments with us; not that I gave her much choice. Her self and her Welsh cob Majic were on their way through the forest; to an Arboretum in Norfolk, I learned  that she hadn’t  had him long, and had a task ahead as he wanted to gallop full pelt the moment hooves met grass; so hopefully the forest slowed him down. The whole time we spoke she watched him chew, and when he shook his head and whinnied she told him she was still near. I took several photo’s  but… he was pleased to see me! Or stressed as Jill laughingly said, so I popped on this head shot, and hoped you would like him too.
Just a lunch stop with a little Majic,  we made a friend, and plan to catch up with her next month as she visits her beach hut in Lyme Regis , (25 min from our home) a huge coincidence  in a small world..
People never stop amazing me, I thought my moment watching the love care and compassion, needed to be shared. In a world that is quick to write of hate , conflict and death. “Jill if you’re reading this, it was a pleasure to meet you both and thank you .
Reader, Maybe you have had an unusual unsuspected lunch break and captured a moment, (as long as it’s clean ) share it with me… I’d  love to read it.
P.s.  the cob won’t be accompanying  Jill when we next meet.

Solstice.

Our journey home to Somerset takes us within a fifth of a mile of the stones. Tonight the date is Saturday the twentieth  of June, the time eleven twenty pm, the night of the Summer solstice.
Sadness surrounds me as my mind clicks relentlessly through memories of Dad. It is almost morning and that means I face my first fatherless father’s day. At that moment the traffic stops and I wipe my eyes to look where all the people are walking. Hundreds of bodies wrapped up for the Solstice, moving like a huge snake on it’s  determined journey home. I hear a hum of energy and glimps the smiles on expectant faces. A huge foglit space that cast eerie shaddows from the stones; across the grassy space. Lighting up portaloos with queues far too long to have suited my bladder had I been waiting.
Druids, new agers, travellers, and some i swear were dressed as Dr Who, trooped across the makeshift temporary crossing, giving access to the Henge.
A perfect crescent hung in the sky, and as if by magic the clouds gathered and navigated around it; not wanting to marr the atmosphere or steal the moon’s limelight.
I was reminded of the times we came with our Dad, hide and seek around the stones followed by a  picnic,of smiths crisps with a knot of salt in the bag ,and cheese and chutney sandwiches; eaten with ghusto so we had time to be fairies , witches and warlocks.
We lived by the smaller Henge not far away in Avebury, where at least once a day we’d  play, imagine, and create an escape into lands that only live in childrens heads… unless of course the child grows to be like me.
Soon the traffic cleared and so did any sad thoughts of mine. Dad passed in October 2014, but at this moment I can say without a tear or a doubt, Happy Fathers day Dad; because i know he can hear.

Stone Henge Somerset.

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Avebury’s Henge  in wiltshire

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Calypso

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She rode the back of a wave like a professional surfer, lifting and curling arching her back. Moving through the water and powering through tubes. When the winds dropped and waters were once again calm; she disappeared. Calypso is exhilarating to watch and watched she was.

On the coast set high in the cliff is a house. The Mariner, as the name suggests, was owned by a seaman and had been for centuries. The young occupant, Andrew, was passed the legacy from his grandfather. The house more or less looked the same as it did a hundred years before. Andrew was recovering from an awful accident, and for the past year, he spent hours looking out the panoramic window to the sea. Andrew sat and watched; he seemed to be searching. In fact he was hoping for a glimpse of her. With his powerful Harbour master’s antique spy glass, raised on a platform in front of the window; he watched. The glass had been his saving, since his accident. Much of his recuperation was taken up at the window watching and waiting.

Andrew was sailing just off the coast, when a freak storm lifted his vessel and tossed him overboard. He was found on the beach by a local; walking his dog. The man saw him, lying face down; with most of his clothes ripped from his form. Wounds bled from almost every part of him, and bones protruded from his leg arm and shoulder. Swollen and unrecognisable, Doctors didn’t hold out much hope, as he lay comatose for several weeks.

Slowly he mended, and other than the strange hallucinations about that night; he soon was at full strength. He couldn’t get Calypso out of his mind.” How did he know her name? Was he going mad? Did she really kick up the storm that almost killed him?” He couldn’t fathom why he would believe this? Not only his mind, but even his own eyes were challenging him. Being a down to earth man as he was, he struggled with the memories. So why? Every night that the moon was bright and the sky clear; did he search the sea? With the old spy glass propped on its plinth.

Like a magnet, he was drawn towards the window that dominated the room. Calypso was there. She put on a display that made him verbally groan, his masculinity stoked, desire was pumping in every pore. Knowing his sanity was at stake he forced himself away from the sight. Moments later he twitched and was drawn back. Andrew picked up his eye glass, a powerful modern piece; hoping to get a closer view. He could see nothing but rippling sea. That was when he knew the catalyst was the antique, as if she were inside it. Quickly he went to it, lifted the glass to his eye and searched. Andrew’s breathing became ragged and his hand shook; as once again he saw her. It was like she was calling him, Andrew heard the soft lilting song travelling through the air all around him. Calypso arched her back and whipped her hair over her head it seemed as if she was looking straight at him, when she beckoned him with her hand. Afraid for his sanity, he stepped back. Shaking his head in disbelief, he went to splash his face and compose himself. Logically she could only be a figment of his imagination, that’s what he had to believe.

Pulling on his coat as he went down to the Jetty. The wind whipped up a squall from nowhere, the sky darkened and the shingle rattled as the waves came bounding over it. Andrew’s vision was obscured by the weather, so he climbed wearily back the way he came. Taking himself to bed he hesitated at the medication on his bedside; then swallowed them down. He had a lousy night and decided this rubbish had to stop. Next morning he packed the glass in a box in the loft. He finished his healing at his Mothers house, and soon Calypso was forgotten.

But sometimes he hears an eerie song; which catches him unawares. Just sometimes, the call of the Mermaid challenges his sanity. On the nights of a bright moon, a flash of colour can be seen out at sea. And once in a while, he returns tired from days on the waves, the spy glass stands there in the window and he can’t resist; one last gaze.

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Come on in, we will have a smashing time.

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Image art work by Andrea Bozzo

I am making a noise!
Usually I am quiet, well that’s  not strictly true
often I talk to much;  but not on here to you.
Breaking plates is all greek to me,
A waste of good crockery.
But make a noise, have a scream,
Now that is just a smashing thing.
Releasing  pent up frustration
All across the nation.
This is what I want to see
Not Greek philosophy.
I am glad  you dropped in today,
Let me know what you have to say.
Do try to pop back  soon
You can see there’s lots of room.

Take the blame you are British!

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( Picture from dreamstime.com stock photos )
We, ( the royal one obviously ) blame and punish ourselves constantly , for what? .

A person bangs into the back of my legs with her unweildly shopping trolley, what do I do? Appologise, smile, and limp away. I cross the road at a zebra crossings, dodge the lycra clad helmetted lunatic on a bike as he swerves to miss me. Um…  I am on the crossing, embarassed I shout “sorry” and scuttle to the otherside. A young child of seven or eight, wobbles and looks a funny colour, I lean over to check he is okay; as he vomits on my shoes. An exhausted parent arrives from nowhere and drags him away as she shouts, “It serves you right for interfering”.  Guilt coloured  my cheeks as once again I justify my actions… Why?

Is this a British trait, are we known for taking the blame and being overly appologetic? The examples here have happened, and I could have written more. Is this politeness gone mad? Are we just Pants at standing our ground?  Leave your answers in the comments , I will probably tug my forelock  in thanks, or curtsey… Try responding and see.