Saturday, 29 October 2011

It's life but ...

photo courtesy of  Lee Friedlander and Magpie Tales 

Okay, now what?

Dunno … it’s not quite what I was expecting. I thought it would be somewhere more upmarket.


I thought it would be more … more luxurious.

Luxurious? Don’t be fooled by the posh address. This is it, the place where ‘working late at the office again’ happens.

You sure?


Well are you going in or what?

What if she’s there?

You don’t have to say who you are.

I couldn’t lie.

I’m not suggesting that you do.

Will you wait here?

Sure, but the traffic cop may move me on.

I won’t be long.

Alright, I’ll drive around the block.

I’ll be as quick as I can.

Don’t worry take the time you need. He won’t be back for some time.

You sure?

Sure, I’m sure. Haven’t you forgotten something?

Thanks … don’t know why he can’t pick up his laundry like everyone else!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

The letter I wish I'd written

Last week our local library organised an evening event and invited us book lovers and writers along to listen to three new authors. For the princely sum of £4 a great evening was had by all. Lots of people turned up. There were several book clubs, people from neighbouring libraries and people like me an avid reader and collector of books. Who knows maybe one day I’ll have my own library! The Man does despair at times about the ever increasing ‘I’ll get round to reading that one day’ collection, but I will. One of my friends confessed recently that he has to sneak books into the house for fear of upsetting his wife about his ever increasing book collection. He does release a few books into the wild and to charity shops. However, he often returns home with one or two books that hurl themselves at him from the bookshelves! Strange that, isn’t it? I do love books; a girl can never have too many books or chocolate!

Anyway, back to the book evening, a fun event with glasses of wine, homemade cakes, book quizzes, author interviews and stories. I really enjoyed the evening and I was delighted with the ‘goodie bag’ which contained not one but three new books!

I particularly enjoyed reading a delightful publication from the Booktrust charity called ‘The Letter I wish I'd written,' – A selection of entries from the Bookbite writing competition. The competition ran in the spring of 2010 and encouraged older writers to write about life experiences and letters they wished they had written about said experiences. They were indeed 'Letters from the heart’.  As a keen letter writer, I found the letters in this publication inspiring, thought provoking, amusing and occasionally sad. I encourage you to stop by and read a few.  In light of my previous post about letter writing, I think this would make a good writing project for the long autumnal evenings.

If there was a letter you wish you’d written, what might it say?

Monday, 17 October 2011

The breathings of a heart

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
~William Wordsworth

What happens when an art dies or disappears or quite simply becomes redundant? Whilst I have no serious objection to the speed, efficiency and mastery of email, text and tweeting I must confess that my preferred method of communication is good old fashioned letter writing. There’s something about the sound of a letter dropping on the door mat. It sounds more  pleasing than the 'ping' of a message in the ‘inbox’. Don’t you agree?

As the recipient of the occasional letter, I do enjoy the chance to stop, pour a cup of tea and savour a good gossipy letter telling of family events and occasions. It’s a joy to hear from an old college friend getting in touch after several years. Even the old fashioned courtesy note of thanks for a birthday present from a nephew or niece comes as a pleasant surprise instead of a texted ‘thanks’ or indeed acknowledgement at all in the days of instant communication. Sometimes I think we are so busy being busy with life that we don’t take time to record any of it and share it. What if we did? What difference might that make? What relationships and friendships might grow as a result of this? What might be recorded for futures generations through pen and ink? Will our communication systems of today hold interest and intrigue for our readers of tomorrow?

On a recent visit to family in Canada, we shared a letter written many years ago from a grandfather to his son. I don’t suppose when grandfather wrote it he thought that this particular letter would be read by grand children long after he had gone. As several of the grand children had been born after grandfather died it was lovely to have some insight into this member of the family they did not have the opportunity to meet. His letter, an extremely well written and detailed missive not only told something of the day but also of the man himself. He wrote about his thoughts and observations of life and his good wishes for his family too. His letter prompted much discussion over dinner about grandfather, grandmother and the events of the day. His letter, no doubt had taken time and effort to write. It had been written by a generation who would never experience email and speedy communication. But in writing this letter and sending it to his son and being retained by the family, the next generation were able to learn something more about family. Questions were asked and a few gaps in family history were filled.

This month I’m launching a campaign to bring back the art of letter writing using pen and ink … very old fashioned I know, but I think it will be good practice for my letter writing. I encourage you to do the same. Set yourself a target to write least 3 letters this month. Let me know how it goes. Who knows what may come about as a result of this little project for the autumn months.

Monday, 10 October 2011

What's for breakfast?

Winter is coming...yes I appreciate that the autumnal days have just started but winter will follow sooner than you know. I can tell … not from the turning of green leaves to gold and brown but the change in the kitchen. Our kitchen. You see this morning launches the breakfast porridge pot in our household. Winter is on its way and it’s porridge for breakfast. Well its hardly a freezing cold day here in our neck of the woods … a little chill in the air perhaps and a little requirement for a more substantial breakfast. So porridge it is!

I have to say that I do enjoy porridge for breakfast, with a little cream (just a little) and even a teaspoon of sugar, much to the dismay of the Man a serious porridge maker of Scotland. However I have learned this weekend that the art of porridge making has taken on a more adventurous role in the culinary field. Tuning into the radio yesterday I learned all about The 18th Annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship which took place yesterday in Carrbridge, Scotland. As well as the traditional recipe for this good wholesome breakfast there is now an array of speciality porridges to try. Check out the recipes from the winners John and Neal on the Golden Spurtle website. Photos courtesy of the official Golden Spurtle website. I do wonder what Goldilocks and the three bears would have made of all this.

And did you know that today is - World Porridge Day.

Monday, 3 October 2011

How does your washing blow?

I’ve been 'blog dipping' again. Well the truth is I was seeking something to encourage and inspire me to write today. Sometimes when I haven’t blogged for a few days …well it’s an effort to start again. What to write about? What to say? Shall I begin with an inspirational quote? What about a photographic prompt or two? What have I heard or seen worth sharing? This ‘blank page, brain numb’ dilemma usually prompts me to have another look at the blogs I follow and enjoy.

Today I’ve stopped by cousin-in-law’s blog, The Red Shoes. I invite you to join me. Sarah shares a beautiful picture of a Monday morning wash. Something simple, something ordinary and something we all recognise, not unless of course, a weekly trip to the launderette denies such an a ordinary activity like hanging out the washing.   I can almost hear the autumnal breeze blowing those bright white clothes on the line. I can almost smell the freshness of the washing blowing in the breeze. And the sunshine, ahh … the sunshine. Hurrah for good old fashioned washing lines. I agree with Sarah, the washday experience is not quite the same with one of those whirly things.

Do stop by and have a look at Sarah’s artwork, I’m sure she won’t mind one little bit.

Happy Monday and may the autumn breeze blow all your washing dry!