Sunday, 21 August 2016

Connect #developingyoureye 5


Connections come in all shapes and forms. I have been mocked occasionally for my references to friends who I know only online. But those connections have proved more enduring than some so called "irl" ones. The connections are no less real just because they are rooted in the ether.
This poem came to me at work through the post (mail) from the other side of the world - from a connection made online. A palimpsest of sorts. I love that.
The poem is by Jodi Cleghorn. She's a Twitter mate.
To be fair, the photograph is not great. But the connection is.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Bliss #developingyoureye 4

coffee in bed
Morning coffee in bed, drunk at leisure, in peace, undisturbed except for the purring of the cat. #bliss

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Water #developingyoureye 3

Day 3 - you'll notice I am running a little behind!
Our day in Arundel started sunny but with the promise of rain - by the end of the day we had seen more water than we would have liked.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Home #developingyoureye 1

I'm on holiday at the moment so difficult to take a picture that represents home. So am cheating a little bit and posting one from last week. It is very apposite though.
This is what we look out for on the way home. Once you spot this on the horizon you know you're almost there...

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Photo Challenges

A couple of weeks ago I came across a photo challenge blog on wordpress. I've been doing quite a few daily challenges that call for nothing more than to post a picture on a theme each day - which is fun. But this weekly challenge posed a problem. It required a pingback to the original post...which would have been fine if a photo challenge fitted in with my wordpress blog. Dabblewords is all about the words. It has poetry and flash fiction...made up stuff. It does not have the introverted meanderings from the mind of a social network addict. So if I wanted to join in I either posted on blogger and shared it unofficially in the comments...which means not many people will even see it let alone read it...or I found a means to make it about words as well as pictures. And I think I may have cracked it. Taking the weekly theme, I choose a photograph and then I use that as the prompt for a piece of fiction. Presto...Not sure why I didn't think of it sooner! Perfect way to combine my two interests! My first two are up already on . Feel free to mosey on over and have a look, leave a comment, or even join in with your own weekly photo...
You can find the link to the Weekly challenge in my previous post... (that's my sneaky way of getting you to read another!)

Sunday, 10 July 2016


Looking Up

Last week I went to a university open day with my youngest son. We wandered round among fine old victorian and edwardian architecture and I listened to the excitement in his voice as he planned and hoped that this is where he will be come September. He has the desire, and the enthusiasm and the ability, He just needs the grades. 
In amongst all the red brick grandeur there are one or two concrete and brick boxes. Not so pretty to look at at first glance - but if you look up, you'll be amazed at what you can see. 

Friday, 14 August 2015

Crossing boundaries and breaking barriers

One Day?

The first tourists had started to arrive, their cars pulled smugly into parking spaces so early in the day. Later there would be more of them, frazzled, touring the town in search of a space, especially if the weather brightened. But looking out across the bay, at the castle dark against the grey skies, it was hard to imagine the day would brighten at all.
It was hard really to think that another May was already upon them. Before long the little town would be awash with tourists, bursting with excitement and enthusiasm, laden with  fractious children, grumbling grandparents and tourist information.
Very soon there would be little time to stare at the view and dream. There would be endless drinks to serve, meals to cook, rooms to clean.
A sudden gust of wind tugged at the door, opening it a few inches. Just enough to allow in a brief tantalising breath of air, heavy with the sweet scent of new mown grass and the tang of sea spray, with it came the sound of waves crashing on the shore and a gull shrieking as it  wheeled overhead.
A tentative thought surfaced - today, maybe today would be the day to step outside?
Almost as soon as the thought was formed, the wind dropped and the door clashed back on its hinges, clattering the glass in its frame and shattering the dream.

Originally written for Crossing the Tees and published as a podcast on

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


I have been trying to get on top of this writing lark lately. Not very successfully, I might add. As always I have ideas but they never seem to transform themselves into words on a page...and I know!! the words won't actually write themselves, I do have to put some effort in myself. So I have taken myself in hand and am currently submitting to a number of regular challenges. As well as my old favourite Paragraph Planet, I am trying my hand at Three Line Thursday and Ad Hoc Fiction.
PP is a 75 word flash challenge. You can submit to it anytime, on any subject, as the
muse moves you, but your story must be precisely 75 words - no more, no less.

TLT is a weekly picture challenge. You have one day to submit three lines of no more than 10 words per line, inspired by the
featured image. Winners are announced the following Saturday. It's quite a challenge and the standard of entries is high. It is however a very supportive community of writers.

Adhoc is another weekly challenge. This one gives you a generous 150 word maximum, and the only requirement is that you must include the prompt word in your
tale. Winning stories for Adhoc Fiction recieve a free chance to enter the longer Bath Flash Fiction Award.

In addition to all these I am also trying to write a poem inspired by science. That's not going so well just yet but it may get there. I have found my friendly scientist (I didn't have to look far to be fair, he's on my friends list!)and we have had a chat about why he thinks science is fab. Now I have a week to kick it into touch and string together some half decent words and ideas. It might happen. Watch this space!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Bank Holiday Black and Blues...

End of May.
Spring Bank Holiday.
Another one.
Have I mentioned that I really don't like bank holidays?

This time around the Other Half was not working, instead he was off with his cycling gang, riding Hadrian's Way from west to east. So left to my own devices, I hatched a cunning plan of my own...bit of an accidental one actually due to an earlier postponement, but that is not the point! The point is this bank holiday I would be busy doing something. I would not be sitting about waitning, I would be out, doing!
And the thing I would be doing would be a beginner's archery course. Two days of aiming, firing* and mostly missing the target, with my two sons. Seems I may have found something we are all interested in.
The boys were a little bit better than me at hitting the target, surprising for a pair of nocturnal creatures, dragged from their pits for a 10 o'clock start at the weekend!

So after two days holed up in the Church Hall at Newbottle I now know how to string a recurve bow. How to notch the arrow, aim and release it. I know how to fit a sight to the bow and adjust it to allow for my weird vision. And I also now know that my youngest son can't close his left eye. He can close the right one, and he can close them both together, but he can't close the left one on it's own! And, I now know that I bruise very easily and spectacularlym that it is very important to keep your elbow tucked in and the importance of having the correct posture when shooting. You get the stance wrong and my word! you get bruises! You also get aching shoulders, and sore fingers -especially if you are shooting pretty much all day for two days! But hey, what's a little discomfort when you're having fun and learning new stuff!?

And we did have a load of fun! We met new people who are enthusiastic about their sport and new archers who were just as nervous as us at the start of it all. We learnt about friendly competitiveness and rivalry, and team work, and fun. There was also plenty of coffee available - thank goodness. Houghton Archers had all the essentials covered as far as I was concerned!
I may have have left a tad tired and a wee bit black and blue - but I had a brilliant bank holiday weekend. Roll on the next one - any suggstions for an August bank holiday activity?

Tonight, by the way, is our first visit to the archery club since the course. Lets see how much we remember...

*I'm told one doesn't fire arrows. One fires bullets, and shoots arrows. I am uncertain of the correct grammar...was I shooting arrows or shooting a bow? Is it the gun or the bullet that is fired? NOTE TO SELF: investigate this.