Allow Me To Ramble On Once More…

I’m full of cold and DamLOL is consuming my life! Of course DamLOL is only the most recent in my series on procrastinator tools but it’s pretty effective at sucking up hours. Does this mean I delete the app from my ipod? Of course not. I miss out on the funny pictures then and what use would that be?

On the whole I’ve not been that unproductive. I’ve written a couple thousand more words for Darkened Daughter, and the plot-line is really starting to emerge. I also don’t seem to hate everything I wrote. I’m going to count that as a win for my skill as a writer. If I can stand my work then I must be improving right?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m regularly re-reading pieces of flash-fiction and thinking to myself wow, I’m really awesome at this, but for anyone who read this blog at the start you will know that there are chunks of writing I removed because they simply are not good enough to reach the standard anymore. Especially as I started churning out flash fiction more regularly my ability has a written has improved dramatically. The secret? I wrote. A lot! You think this blog is full of words then you should check the poor dying hard-drive of my laptop for all the bits I don’t put up or don’t finish. And as I write more I’ll no doubt improve further. That’s the way it works.

So to all you writers out there reading this, how do you feel about practice makes perfect? (Or at least a hell of a lot better.)



The grief felt guilty.

Clawing it’s way up, dragging lung and trachea with it, it seemed confused. Why now, why this loss, why not some other more easily explained? They had through the same trauma, felt their own grief and worry, dealt with it in their own way. They had not been there to see the way in which you dealt, the way in which you coped, the things that kept you grounded. Title explains it all, and my gosh is it fun and infuriating. No need to worry about the word count, instead you need to craft your sentences to perfection.

When my Grandfather was very ill a few years ago I stayed at my Gran’s to look after the dogs and my Great-Gran while she spent her time with Grandad at the hospital. My Grandfather’s accident was probably the most traumatic experience of my life so far, and he was very, very lucky to have pulled through. During that time at my Gran’s there weren’t many people to talk to, and instead it was the older dog Bessy who provided the most comfort and reassurance by simply cuddling up next to me on the settee or being in the room. Last night I found out that due to illness she’d passed away. She had a wonderful life with my Gran and was one of the softest, cuddliest dogs you could have met. I will miss the quiet reassurance of her presence.

Bessy Dog


I remember you warning me about candles.

It was Christmas,

(well just before)

and I’d used a cardboard trophy box

to make my own advent calendar.

The sort with a candle for the Sundays

and two more for Christmas Eve and the event itself.

I think Joanna had made one too

and we brought them to show you and Granny,

proud of ourselves for putting them together.


You let us light them.

But probably only because everyone was stood there

and if something went wrong there were grownups

ready to leap in and save the day.


I learnt about France after you were gone.

Twenty-one with two friends and bikes

roaring across the country by yourselves.

Gran found the picture,

asked for it to be framed.


Seeing you young is strange.

It reminds me that my Grandfather

was not my father’s father

or the man my gran married,

he was someone else.

Someone who I never saw because I was born too late

and the sickness had set in

and children that age

don’t ask the questions

that you think about after someone’s gone.

I’ve been on a poetry binge for the last few days and last night I started think about how most of my family poems are written about my mother and her side. So this is me righting the balance somewhat and drafting up a piece for my Grandfather from my father’s side.

Home (Daily Prompt)

I’ve been raiding Antonia’s photo albums on facebook again and found this!

Meghan (Antonia Brennan)

She is watching you.

Glow Sticks (Antonia Brennan)I will say now, as most of you will already have realised, this is not a photo of Antonia. This is my dog Meghan and a slightly strange camera angle from Toni’s experiments during one of few walks we’ve been on during our friendship. When you live on a farm you tend to find that walking is one of the few options you have for a pastime. Though the space provided in a large garden and open fields do mean you can have a pretty kick-ass party now and again.


As I mentioned, I was trailing through Miss Brennan and my Miss Joanna Forrester’s photo collections in the hope of finding something that shows “where I live” for today’s Daily Prompt. What I realised was that the place I grew up in is quite different now than Garden Gate (Antonia Brennan)the place my parent’s brought newborn baby me home to all those years ago. This hedge for example:, the one behind the gate on the other side of what was supposed the be a vegetable patch once upon a time. I remember my mother pulling the trees for that hedge out of the back of a Land Rover and planting them along the paddock. The hedge doesn’t extend the full length of the paddock, there was supposed to be a gate at the end but it has spent the last, oh I don’t know… ten years? leaning against a fence which is possibly more likely to fall down than the unattached gate. Apple Tree (Antonia Brennan)

The little gate that you can see replaced a stile, and for a couple of years we had a vegetable garden and a sort of orchard. The four apple trees survived but the pear trees sadly did not. You have to watch out for the stumps if you’re brave enough to go and mow the lawn in there. (Those are the shoes which earned Antonia the title of Pink Boots, the only name for her that my Grandfather ever remembers. Don’t ask why they are in an apple tree, neither she or my sister would explain what they were up to that day.)

What was left of the paddock became The overgrown garden. This was where my sister and I went on archaeological digs, which turned into the attempted construction of an underground lair. (i.e a very large hole in the ground.) We had the trampoline which turned all our socks filthy, got singed during a bonfire one November and then finally taken apart so that it could be stored away during a party in case any drunk people decided to go bouncing. Three years on and none of us have bother to put it back together again. Maybe this summer though. (Probably not.)

For a less than outdoorsy person, I had quite an outdoorsy childhood. If the weather was warm enough my sister and I would go paddling in the brook just down the drive. All you had to do was avoid the peat bogs that dotted the stream and avoid taking The Brook (Joanna Forrester)the dog anywhere near it because she hates water and is quite happy to tip you into it if she thinks you’re trying to make her go in. Of course at this time of year the brook would be freezing… though I do think one of my friends did go paddling in January one year just to prove she could… As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I hang out with unusual individuals. Orchard (Antonia Brennan)

Everything changes though. Now the vegetable garden looks more like the overgrown garden, we never took out branches from out apple trees so the branches always attack you and the mover if you get too close and the rabbits invaded. The overgrown garden has that many warrens that we deem it best to stay out of there than risk total cave in these days. Twemlows is still my home but since I learnt how to drive and started uni I spent less and less time in the gardens or walking the farm. (Not that I walked the farm that much to begin with.)

Maybe this summer, instead of a garden party I’ll organise a small poetry BBQ of something of the sort? It’s been nice looking back at old photographs.

Cup Of Tea Anyone?

photo 1

Determined not to be beaten by the power cuts here in Shropshire my mother decided that she could boil water on top of our little log burner in the sitting room. After about three hours of playing cards by candlelight the water was just about hot enough to make a cuppa.

photo 2 (1)

Not the best tasting tea apparently, but it was something.