Tag Archives: France



Well I guess it’s raining men!!


1 Comment

Filed under thought for the day (or the week or maybe even the year)

Connection at last. On and off and on and off and on and…

Well after one week on holiday and almost one week off line with a broken modem it seems like an age since I was last here.

I will now have to spend quite a time catching up etc.

So, for now I will upload a couple of our lovely, lovely holiday piccies and a story that I have just had published on Shortbread

The Northern Lights

(Fan Fic Alert – this has a bit of a nod to George RR Martin and his White Walkers.)

I don’t know who you are but there are things I must ask of you.  First though,   thank you for discovering these papers.  I can’t know what else you have found, what is left of me up here in this lonely place.  If what you have seen will haunt your nights and torment your mind then I am deeply sorry, I would not have wished for that.

Please, if you can, take the envelopes in this box and post them for me.  They are for my family in London.  My dear family who didn’t want me to come.  They never understood my need to travel alone to this remote part of Sweden.  They had long despaired of my incessant drive to seek out and see the wonder that is the Aurora Borealis.  Please send them my letters.  They carry my love and my regret for the hole I have torn in their quiet lives because of my obsession with natural phenomena.

I have been a seeker of nature’s blessings for years and have reaped bounty upon bounty.  I have thrilled at the vision of comets fizzing through the heavens.   I have watched burning dawns flood scarlet deserts, blue moons and dark eclipses of the sun that caused the birds to roost and the world to chill in the middle of a summer day.  I swam with rainbows of fish over reefs of glowing coral and I have walked into a glacier and marvelled at its cerulean beauty.  I have seen the green flash at sunset and the flight of cranes against the autumn sky.  My heart soared as I played with dolphins in tropical waters that twinkled with the glitter of magic.  Always alone, no dilution of the experience. There has been so much more and yet for me the crowning glory was to be the Northern Lights.

I meant no harm.  I wished to take nothing with me save my memories and photographs and, like the careful traveller I have always been I tried to tread gently on the precious earth. I don’t know what I did.  I don’t understand.

As I write this now, I can hear them.  The low, low hum of them coming and I have no more matches and the fire has died.  I have no light save that of the gibbous moon and I can hear them coming.

Last night I fended them off with burning brands.  They are afraid of flame.  I pray that whoever you are you have fire.  Guns are of no use, knives are helpless.  There was a rifle here when I arrived.  In a box and intended for protection.  It was no protection; only the blaze of living flame fought them back.

If you still have daylight, leave now.  Do not waste a second.  Do not believe that you will be safe, even if you are with a group.  Their numbers swell until the forest is obliterated by them and the air is alive with the thrum of their steps.

Oh leave, leave now and take my letters and tell them of the horror that is here and tell them that none must come.  Tell the world that these forests and these magnificent, sparkling fields are cursed and must be left to the terror that walks the snow.

May heaven help you and deliver you safely from here.  I am going to go out and face them tonight, I will not meet my fate cowering in the corner like a whipped dog but I am sore afraid.  Pray to your God for my soul.

I am going.

Holiday pics!!

sunset b


sunset a



Leave a comment

Filed under Serials, Shorts and Stuff, thought for the day (or the week or maybe even the year)

Hey Tonia

Arcachon is a big boating community and they do look gorgeous sailing out to the ocean.

I spotted this one and it made me think of your super book, Blue Diamonds. Tonia Marlowe – I bet this boat isn’t as beautiful as the one in your story but it was blue and it was a boat!!



Leave a comment

Filed under thought for the day (or the week or maybe even the year)

We’re back. A couple of poems and a picture.

So, arrived back from the seaside last night to find that the interweb was broke – it wasn’t me.

Tons of sorting out to do and the tent is covered in tree sap from the pine trees so that’ll need a clean.  However, one lovely surprise was that my little Poem The Wedding Gown got the most votes in the Flash Poesy competition on Authonomy so, without further ado here it is.  I was absolutely thrilled that it was so well liked.


The Wedding Gown. 

It draws me from my slumber
A spectre in the night.
The moon has found the buttons
And sprinkled them with light.
I cross my lonely bedroom,
The boards are cold and bare
And I reach into the corner
For it still is hanging there.
My fingers stroke the satin,
The ancient, precious lace.
I hold it close against me
A cloud upon my face.
The train it falls in wavelets
Folds so pure and white
But the garland made of rosebuds
Is dark against the night.
Now tears of sadness blind me
As I turn and walk away
Never and forever will it be our wedding day.

Where we stayed at Pyla there are wonderful sunsets and the residents on the camp site gather on the top of the dunes to watch each night.  It is a special moment, often there is a particular atmosphere as many nationalities gather together to watch the display.

We have lots of photographs and I’m going to post some but here is just one taken at random for the collection. (If you want any of these as clean copies (without the teeny watermark, just drop me a line and I’ll email it to you)

sunset 1 web large

This made me think of the Villanelle that I did a week of so ago.


The geese are leaving in the evening light
I want to hold them and not have it so
Beat on beat on into the endless night

My life goes with them as they take to flight
Skeins and ribbons in the fading glow
The geese are leaving in the evening light

The stars are glimmering like diamonds bright
The moon will soon put on its magic show
Beat on beat on into the endless night

I watch them now until they’re out of sight
My eyes are streaming as I see them go
The geese are leaving in the evening light

I won’t be here to greet the new spring flight
I feel my heart now as it starts to slow
Beat on beat on into the endless night

I watched them soaring in the shadowed height
I feel the life force cease its vibrant flow
The geese are leaving in the evening light
Beat on beat on into the endless night.


1 Comment

Filed under thought for the day (or the week or maybe even the year)

passion flower

We took our coffee outside and there was a Passion Flower bud about to open.

In the time it took to have our drinks it went from bud to fully opened. It was amazing







Filed under thought for the day (or the week or maybe even the year)

Bikes on Water

So Le Tour went to Perigueux and they did this.  It’s so cool.  Of course there were bikes all over the place on traffic islands and up on building etc but I just had to share this.




Leave a comment

Filed under thought for the day (or the week or maybe even the year)

We Shall Remember Them

On the anniversary of D Day in humble thanks.

A Special Sort of Day 

Tommy let his head drop back against the sand. It was hard, cold and wet. He knew that in the dunes further up it was softer but couldn’t be bothered with the climb just now. The others seemed to have gone on without him, never mind, he could catch them later. He’d take a couple of minutes to rest here, nobody would mind surely and then he’d get back on the job.

He wondered where the noise had gone, a very short time ago it had been overwhelming, all the people and the boats and everything, but now it was beautifully quiet. His clothes were still a bit wet from where he had waded in the edge of the sea but all in all he wasn’t too uncomfortable. He was hungry though and really thirsty, but right now, with his head on the sand and his muscles unwinding, he couldn’t summon up the energy to open his pack and see if there was something to eat.

It wouldn’t seem right anyway, the others weren’t eating yet and it would be better to wait. He would wait until they were all ready, finished with what they had to do and then maybe they could all eat together. Just sit around and they could talk about the day, what had happened and what they would be doing tomorrow.

There was a gull now, sailing high, high above the dunes wheeling and turning in the grey sky, it was a lovely thing, so free and beautiful.

The rain had started again and so maybe he should get up, try and find some shelter but again the will was there yet the strength to undertake the task just failed him. For a moment that was a bit of a worry, why did he feel so very tired. It had been tough the last few days of course, it had been a long journey but he was young, surely it wasn’t right to feel this tired at nineteen after a bit of a trip. He pondered about it for a minute and then let it go, somehow it just didn’t matter any more.

He heard a shout, in the distance and raised his head, there were a couple of the others coming up towards him. He didn’t know them but they’d probably be able to tell him where his mates had gone and what he was supposed to do now. He’d just lay here and wait until they came over.

“There’s another one here Sarge, poor bugger. Both legs gone, thank God he’s dead, hopefully it were merciful and quick. Tags say he’s called Tommy. Are you ready, let’s get the poor sod moved.”

They were lifting him, NO, he didn’t want them to move him, he just wanted to stay here, on the cold, hard sand with the gull circling above him and the beautiful silence soothing his frightened spirit.

Read more: Short Story: A Special Sort Of Day | Shortbread


Filed under thought for the day (or the week or maybe even the year)

Under the Circumstances

I am working on the next chapter of the serial so don’t go away – but taking into account the 70th anniversary of D Day I thought I would post a couple of stories with grateful thanks to all of the brave men and women who have done for me what I don’t believe I could ever have done myself


A Good Day 


Today is a good day. We moved into a new trench last night. The flooding here isn’t as bad and the boards are still sound. The rain eased in the early hours and now the sky is a bright blue basin curving above us. From where I’m sitting with my mug of tea and a wedge of cake that was in the package from home, another reason it’s a good day, I can see the top of the mud wall and not too far off a green field. It’s spring green, that fresh new colour that is really gold, new shoots poking through the black soil, new life.

It I turn ninety degrees there’s a small wood, the early sun raised a faint mist from the trees, a miasma, floating upward and dispersing, like a prayer carried on the breeze. The leaves are unfurling and the whole is covered by green gauze anchored on the great dark limbs. There were pigs in there a while ago but they’ve gone now.

The birds are singing to the sunshine and one of the boys further down has a mouth organ. He’s good and every now and again someone will join in and sing a few bars.

I can hear the lads next to me murmuring together, I don’t try to listen. I know what they are talking about, home, family, jobs, mates. I take myself a little out of it and it becomes a quiet rumble, almost a lullaby.

My feet are dry, the parcel from home had socks in. I think Kitty made them, they’re not as neat as Mum’s but she put a couple of lines of red wool in to make them a bit fancy, it made me smile. Soon the damp from these old boots will seep through but right now my feet are dry.

I shaved my head again the day before yesterday so there’s no itch from the nits and lice. Me and Albert did it together. His looked better than mine. My head’s got a couple of funny bumps and that scar from when I fell out of the apple tree, yes his was much better.

We’ve always done things together, ever since the first day at school. We played truant together, scrumped apples and hid outside Mrs Wilmott’s to watch through the gap in the kitchen curtains and see Tilly have her bath. We wanked together then and shared our first cig after that. I don’t think there’s anything we haven’t done together, not until yesterday.

Look though, in this moment, in this hour I am warm and relaxed and I have a tin of jam for when the bread comes round. It’s as near to being happy as I could wish for. Yes today is a good day.

If I turn back forty five degrees I can look out the other way, the last view, the one straight ahead. I can see the wire there in the distance, some craters and two dead horses still harnessed to a wrecked gun carriage. Though I’m trying not to see, just a bit further over I can see Albert. He’s caught on the wire, he’s facing this way though I don’t understand why and his hand is hooked on the top. It looks as though he’s waving. He’s lost his helmet and I can see his bald head, it always was a better shape than mine.

Today is a good day but yesterday, ah yesterday.

Read more: Short Story: A Good Day | Shortbread


Filed under Serials, Shorts and Stuff


I just love these crazy looking birds and this year we have three – a little family I think visiting the garden regularly.  What a treat.


You have to wonder why though don't you!

You have to wonder why though don’t you!



Filed under thought for the day (or the week or maybe even the year)

A wonderful visitor

IMG_0911I just wanted to share this with you.  After yesterday’s storms this beautiful creature wandered into the garden for dinner.  He was totally unconcerned that we were stood on the patio watching him and in fact turned to look at us when he said hello.




Filed under thought for the day (or the week or maybe even the year)