If you've come here looking for my taphophile and graveyard posts, they can now be found at my new blog, Beneath Thy Feet. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Writing Workshop - Childhood Memories

This week's theme for Sleep is for the Weak's Writing workshop is, Childhood Memories.

Here is my entry.


It was nothing more then a glimpse, a childhood memory. Fluttering moments of fleeting images stretched tightly across the empty pages of his mind, warming the senses like comforting rays of mid-summer sun. A memory of happier times, of love and laughter, when the world was less black and white but a riot of beautiful cascading colours cocooned deeply within the endless bounds of safety.

At first it had been so clear and vibrant, as if peering through polished glass. Now it was worn and faded like an old, well loved photograph. Dog-eared, torn and tattered in placed but the time weary faces still remained.

How he longed to dip his hands into the shimmering opaline swirls and to be able to pull their brother back to them. Back, as he was then, effervescent innocence barely contained. So full of wonder, of colour, love. Of life.

Filthy shadows simmered and scratched their way into the image, greying the edges and smearing the colours as acid bright flecks of the present burnt through, bleaching out the memories as the embers slowly crackled and died.

To view more entries, please click here.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Gallery - Sparkle

This week's theme for The Gallery over at Sticky Fingers blog, is Sparkle.

Below are some pictures I took on Bonfire Night at a large display we took the girls to. That night the sky literally sparkled. Ana loved it, Amy hated it. Oh well, there's always next year.

If you would like to see more entries for The Gallery, please click here.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

The picture below is for Shadow Shot Sunday over at Hey Harriet.

Not the greatest or most awe inspiring picture but I love the way mid-morning winter sun elongates shadows, making us all into giants.

Myself and Amy

To see more entries for Shadow Shot Sunday, please click here.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Gallery - White

This week's theme for The Gallery over at Sticky Fingers, is white.

For the past few weeks large areas of the UK have been blanketed under several inches of snow. Schools closed, public transport ground to a halt and panic buying ensued.

Here in Berkshire we escaped pretty unscathed, yet Thursday we had the dreaded fall out. A total of 4 mm of snow. As you can see my cat Charlie O'Marley from The Paw Relations blog was less then impressed with Mother Nature's glittering show.

Wha? Who the hell put all that white stuff there?

To see more entries for The Gallery, please click here.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Lola Fannola

The picture below is for Shadow Shot Sunday over at Hey Harriet. Lola Fannola from The Paw Relations in shadow.

To see more entries for Shadow Shot Saturday, please click here.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Camera Critters

Grey Squirrel eating Hawtorn berries

Roosting Starlings

Camera Critters

These pictures are part of the Camera Critters Meme

Friday, 3 December 2010

The Brutal Honesty of Children

The picture of innocence. Yeah, right!

My youngest daughter Amy, who is four, was describing a picture she had recently drawn in her excitement at the run up to Christmas.

'These are the presents and kisses for you and daddy,' she pointed to an area of the picture, I oohed and ahhed suitably, then came the cruncher.

'Daddy's are the biggest because he's big and yours are the smallest because you're a bit smaller then daddy. *pause for dramatic effect* But you're still fat, aren't you?'

I love the fact that my daughter feels that she can be brutally honest with me at all times. At least she left the dark circles under my eyes out of the conversation this time!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Writing Workshop - Let's Get Lyrical

This weeks theme for Sleep is for the Weak's Writing workshop is, Lets Get Lyrical or Inspired by Songs.

I have to say that a lot of my writing is either inspired by or helped along by song, either with the lyrics or generally getting in the right frame of mind or mood for the piece I wish to right.

This week I am submitting a small piece from a Fan Fiction I am currently writing for a Fan Fiction Challenge - Taphephobia or the fear of being buried alive. With this particular piece of writing it was more the mood of the songs I was listening to at the time then the actually lyrics. The main two albums I was listening to at the time were Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory and Minutes to Midnight, which is reflected in the title.

Minutes to Midnight

"Have the courage to live. Anyone can die." ~ Robert Cody

Darkness. It started with darkness and silence. Silence punctuated only by the sound of shuddering breath. Movement was painfully stiff, muscle screamed as he tried to sit up but something solid prevented him. Fumbling blindly he tried to paint a picture of his surroundings with his hands, his fingertips brushed against the rough wood imprisoning him. A box? No a wooden casket!

How long had he been unconscious? How much air did he have left? Minutes? Seconds? His brow furrowed as he tried to cut through the thick fog enveloping his mind. The past played back to him in fits and starts, flashes of fleeting moments. The moment of his capture flickered before him before the image faded and died, only to be replaced by the next. Visions of torture, of tight bindings and endless questions flooded his mind until he was stood once again in the cold misty acres of a New York cemetery.

Headstones scratched warped shadows into the moonlit sky, reaching relentlessly towards the heavens. A chilling breeze swept across the ground swirling and churning the mist about his feet as he stared into the yawning hole before him. He didn't remember shivering against the cold, in fact he didn't remember feeling anything, just raw emptiness.

"Take a good look around you." the voice came hot and thick against the bare skin of his neck. "You won't be seeing anything again anytime soon."

He didn't hear much more after that. A brilliant white pain exploded through his head before his world was swallowed into the boiling swells of darkness.

Buried? Alive? Placing the palms of his hands against the lid he tested for weakness. The wood complained bitterly but could not coaxed to move more then a few centimetres. There had to be at least six feet of compacted earth against the casket lid. Even if he did break through the lid, he would be sure to drown in the cloying dirt before being able to claw himself to freedom. His hand knocked against a small object laid upon his chest. Grasping it tightly he rain his fingers over the smooth hardness before finding a small crack that ran along most of it's length, separating it into two interlocking sections. A cell phone? Scraping his fingernails against the top section he attempted to pry it open. An unnatural light flooded the casket, bathing him in an eerie glow it banished the darkness to the furthest corners where it bubbled furiously. He stole a glace at the time in the right hand corner of the display. Minutes to midnight.

If you wish to read more of Minutes to Midnight, please read it here.

To read more entries for Writing Workshop, please click here.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Gallery - Celebrations

This weeks theme for The Gallery over at Sticky Fingers Blog, is Celebrations.

"Weddings, birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, divorces, first jobs, first pregnancy, proms, you name it."

The picture below was taken Christmas Day in 2009 around mid morning after the noisy and excitement of present opening and chocolate for breakfast.

It's a picture of the relative lull, the peace and quite before the big lunch. Amy playing with her Mega Blocks Father Christmas had not long wrestled down the chimney. To me a perfect picture of Christmas.

To view more pictures in The Gallery please click here.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Social Decay

The building above used to be a large and vibrant Community Centre that not only offered a Youth Club and Parent and Baby group but pottery and art clubs for adults. It has now been closed, boarded up and left to decay. There are rumours that the building itself will be converted into flats. So more community without a centre to provide for them.

Sadly I believe that this sight will become all the more common with the recent cuts and proposals. We will all witness the social decay of our community

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Gallery - Black and White

This week's theme for The Gallery is Black and White. I love black and white photography, more so then I love colour. I feel you get a much greater depth of detail and emotion with black and white. There is nothing I love more then getting out there with my camera and experimenting with the black and white function.

As ever I have mixed results most of the time but there are occasions, usually by accident, when I take a photograph that I am extremely pleased with. Below are two examples of such photographs.

I wish I could state that it was simply skill, but it's really more a case of being in the right place at the right time.

All Saints Cemetery on a misty morning

One for Sorrow - Magpie resting in a tree.

For more wonderful Gallery Pictures, please go here.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Eco-Unfriendly - Are we frightening our children?

I do my bit as I suppose everyone else does.

I reuse bags when I am shopping, I recycle anything and everything I can. I turn off electrical equipment when it's not in use, I keep the thermostat below 20 degrees and I never allow the tap to run needlessly. We've even recently had the loft insulation increased.

It seems that they may have been teaching the children at Amy's nursery school about being environmentally friendly and not wasting water or power. Only Amy is now terrified that we're going to end up with no water or electricity if we keep consuming it on an average day to day basis. She has become so wrapped up in this cause that she becomes hysterical if I turn on a tap (as I may use up all the water) and has taken to switching lights on and off at regular intervals, just to check they still work and we haven't used up all the electric.

I'm all for being economical and saving the world. But passing fear and guilt onto preschoolers?

Maybe it's more a case of the way it's taught rather then the actual teaching. I have seen some information adverts on the children's channels about saving water and energy that would give me the willies, let alone a 4 year old. Some even boarder on brainwashing.

Would this be the same electric that is produced by burning fossil fuels per chance?

I'd hate to think that we're going round frightening children in to saving water and energy because if they don't 'fiery doom shall reign down upon them'.

Hopefully Amy will calm down in time and I shall be able to do the washing up without being accused of bringing about the destruction of mankind.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Fishy Friday

Octopi by Amy aged 4

Is it octopi, octopus, octopuses, octopodes or octopussies? The possibilities are endless.

Every so often, Amy comes back from Nursery with something that simply begs to be framed and put on the wall. The picture above is of a mummy and her baby octopus. The exact reasons as to why the octopuses are missing several limbs and floating in the sky escapes me. Something fishy is going on.

I must say I do love Mrs Octopus's serene expression. "I'm minus four limbs and a 'fish out of water' but hey, I'll just roll with it."

The plurals of octopus are octopuses, octopi and octopodes.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Gallery - My Favourite Photos (and why)

This week's prompt over at Sticky Fingers is Favourite Photo. An almost impossible task and I am going to be especially cheeky during my first dip into The Gallery and show you two of my most favourite photos.

Taken 15th August 2009 during a trip to Beale Wildlife Park with my parents and the girls. It was a fantastic day and as usually I was there with my camera aimlessly taking out of focus shots of cage bars and odd bits of shrubbery. In short I sucked at taking pictures. The above photograph was a happy accident, but an accident that got me interested in photography as a hobby and spurred me on.

But the above has to be my all time favourite photograph, taken on 16th August 2010 and titled Fairy Princess. It is a black and white portrait of my youngest daughter Amy. A lovely day spent messing about in the sunshine with my camera and a very agreeable model. Who could ask for more?

To see other entries in The Gallery, please go here.

Wordless Wednesday (Almost)

I felt much the same upon learning that Tommy Bear the Nursery Bear was to be staying with us for the fourth time. That bear must really love it here!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Good Grief!

There are times in my life when I swear. No, when I know that I must sound like Charlie Brown's teacher to others.

When I speak, what leaves my mouth is a series of intelligent words strung together to form sentences. The very basis of language, a language we all understand. Yet when it reaches the ears of my husband and children, it has along the way mutated somehow into.

'Wah wah waah wawah wah wah wah waah wawah wah wah'

If the video doesn't load watch it on Youtube here.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Herding Cats - Happy Inside

If like me you love cats, then you'll love the Ikea television advertisment featuring them. The brain child of Mother London Ad Agency.

"The idea behind the work is that cats know better than anything what makes them feel happy inside, they live their lives in pursuit of their own comfort," said Feh Tarty, creative director at Mother. "So we released a hundred cats in to the Ikea Wembley store, for real, to see where they went and what furniture made them happy."

If the video fails to load, please watch it here.

If the video fail to load, please watch it here.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

The Elephant of Truth

My youngest daughter, Amy, is four years old and loves to insert sayings and phrases she hears into her everyday conversations. Today she heard me mention to her dad that there was an 'element of truth' in what someone was saying.

Later she ended a conversation with myself by saying. 'There's an Elephant of Truth in the room.'

He must have been very small. I couldn't see him.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Dear Second Born,

Dear Second Born,

Unfortunately I was not blessed with eyeballs up my nostrils. So please, when you're excitedly showing me the sticker/toy/dead fly you have found, kindly refrain from jamming it up my nose.

I currently do not speak 'whingese' and Muzzy has yet to add it to their repertoire. Any requests made in a high pitched whiny tone will be ignored until you speak in a manner I can understand. Throwing yourself on the floor and or sliding off the furniture does not get your point across any better.

People come in many different shapes and sizes. The more rotund, myself included, dislike being referred to as, 'that FAT, LARGE or ROUND LIKE A BALL lady over there.' Also, enquiries as to why the lady in front of us at the supermarket has a big bottom are generally not well received.

It is lovely when you decide to enlighten me as to what you did at Nursery school that afternoon but please, please do not point kids out in the playground to lament about how they do not share or hit, push and or 'do your head in'. Especially when their parent or grandparent is present.

Sometimes it is just nicer not to say things.

Your ever loving mummy xxxx

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Writing Workshop - Time

For this week's Writing Workshop, I decided to write a poem for the theme Time.

The inspiration behind this poem is the loss of my grandfather three years ago and the fact that, to me time is very much like a cat, in the way that is does as it pleases. This is the first piece I have written about personal experience as I usually write 'disconnected' fiction and fan fiction.

Enjoy and again any comments that can help me develop my writing are always gratefully received.


Time is a crying creature, crouching poised to fight
Sliding through the shadows and dancing in the light
Time is here to hunt us, trapped in her claws so tight

Time is a slender creature, stretching in a gentle sway
Stalking through the darkness and pacing out her prey
Suddenly silently, snatching precious ones away

Time is a cordial creature, kindly soothing tears
Warming up the memories and purring in your ears
Gliding through the twilight, chasing all your fears

Time is an aging creature, slowing in her gait
Greying at the corners and bidding us to wait
Reminding us so sweetly, we can't escape our fate

Monday, 7 June 2010


Odd things you find in a home with small children.

The other main food group.

What is it with children and eating foam, seriously? Does it taste good? Is it the interesting texture or something subconscious to replace an element lacking in their diet? Who knows.

All I know is the foam eating stage of childhood is currently under going a revival in my home.

Someone and I have my suspicions who, has currently chomped their way through the handle of the toddler trampoline, the padding on the net supports of the large trampoline and the scooter handlebars.

Odd, very odd indeed.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Quite why...

Mr Lightyear is compelled to end it all and quite why he feels the only course of action available is to offer himself up as the dog's dinner, eludes me.

(odd things you find in a home with small children)

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

New Beginnings

It is a time for new beginnings, to cast of the old and welcome in the shiny new.

As we leave spring behind and hopefully amble into a glorious summer, I thought I would share two families that have decided to call our house and garden home.

Mrs Blue Tit

First is Mr and Mrs Blue Tit, who decided to take up residence in a hole that used to house the overflow pipe for the upstairs toilet. Ana and Amy have enjoyed watching Mr and Mrs Tit's comings and goings and during the periods where they could actually stand still and quiet for longer then two seconds, they were able to hear the chicks calling in the nest.

Between them Mr and Mrs Tit raised two clutches of baby Tits. All of which have left the nest to start their new lives out in the big wide world. We're a little sad to see them go, early morning toilet visits now seem so quiet without the chittering of chicks.

Mrs Wood Pigeon

Next is Mr and Mrs Wood Pigeon, who have decided to build a nest in the small tree that grows in our back garden. Their nest is a recent discovery made by Ana. We didn't have pigeons nesting there in the previous two years, so we suspect that Mr and Mrs Wood Pigeon are first time parents.

Mrs Wood Pigeon is currently incubating her clutch of two eggs and will do so for the next 17 - 19 days. Mr Pigeon is a frequent visitor, bringing her food, offering company and the latest wood pigeon gossip to keep her morale up. Sitting in a tree all day must be terribly boring.

After hatching the chicks should fledge in 33 - 35 days.

Then starts the near impossible task of keeping the cats out of the garden.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Writing Workshop - Wanton Destruction and Chaos

This is my first attempt at The Sleep Is For The Weak Writing Workshop after the advice of a my friend Nickie from Typecast I decided to submit a recently written poem. As ever I am trying to develop my writing skills, so any feed back with be most appreciated.


Blood, that of my own or my enemies
It doesn't matter, it runs as one

Clothed in thunderous rage, warm slithers trickle
Caressing my body, drenching my soul
It whispers softly to me, feeding my aggression
Cleansing, soothing, the pain runs with it
Thick and black against the ebbing darkness of my mind

The dull metallic scent sears my senses
Wounding, piercing, bitter as bile
The blistering steel hisses, shrieking a perverse lullaby
It sings sweetly to me, drudging fetid flesh from broken bone
I can no longer hear their demented voices, drowning in boiling crimson seas

Adrenalin throbs, quickening
Tightening to blessed bursting relief
Death rises on hollow wings to greet me
Drawing the dark edges closer, following my fevered footsteps
With salivating jaws it calls gently to me, I no longer hear a sound
Save the guttered gurgle of those lain before me

Friday, 2 April 2010

The things that Amy says

I was discussing the weather with Amy when I asked her why she was wearing a long sleeved top today, fully expecting the answer to be, because it's chilly outside. 'So I can wipe my nose?' asked Amy

Talking about lightening during a storm. 'I don't want the lightening to come in through the window and poke me with it's sharp jabby bit.'

We need to fly my kite somewhere where there aren't trees, like outer space!


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