Probably Not Fairies

Whenever something confusing or odd happens, that isn’t immediately necessary to understand and has no money involved, I think it is important to go for the explanation that is most fun and interesting. Logic has it’s place, but it isn’t necessarily important in understanding the world of humans.

Last night DH put his glasses on the bookcase next to him, heard them slip off and immediately went to look for them. He couldn’t find them. He checked next to the bookcase, behind the bookcase, pulled out the bookcase and looked around corners, shook out the duvet covers, moved the mattress and eventually found the glasses had travelled from the top of the bookcase to the floor and then around and at an angle behind a heavy under the bed storage box. DH decided that it was fairies. 

I am not entirely convinced. Last week I lost a set of DH’s gym kit. I would swear that I had left the kit in the tumble dryer until I had washed his towel, but it wasn’t there. I can’t find it for love nor money. Fortunately DH has another set, but I’m going to have to pick the house apart to find this kit. I can’t imagine where it has gone because I took it out of the washer, and it’s only a few steps to the dryer but somewhere on the journey it disappeared. There is also the issue of the small drinking glasses. Over the years we have collected a lot of the small nutella jar/glasses that are awesome. They are a great size and are incredibly robust and never seem to break. We used to have dozens of them in the cupboard, but when I did a mental count, I think I could lay my hands on around four. I dragged out the spare bag of glasses (we got through a lot of nutella at one time) but it still begs the question – where did the other drinking glasses go? And where are all the forks. There should be around a dozen, but I only seem to have five. This is why I don’t think it’s fairies. Fairies may be the most interesting explanation, rather than chaotic housekeeping, but they don’t touch iron. 

I wonder what brownies can touch? They would be appalled at the state of the house, so it may be their way of insisting we get our act together. Or perhaps I could put down a saucer of milk, except we only have rice milk these days and I’m not sure an old fashioned brownie would approve.

I think I will still have a look on eBay for some horseshoes. And have a good sort out which will almost certainly solve the problem but be a lot less interesting.

Quiet Night In

Photo by Benjamin Massello on Unsplash

“So what is the problem now?” Steve carefully adjusted the mirror.

Fiona sipped her Earl Grey and watched with interest. “Lady Freydis has heard that it is unlucky to be married in green.”

“That’s right.” Steve unlocked the case over the switch and turned the side light on. “It’s in case the Fair Folk, the fairies, got jealous as green is their colour.”

“She’s decided against green after all.” Fiona said. “But now she’s not sure what she wants.”

“I thought she really wanted green.” Steve checked the angles between the mirror and the light and adjusted the mirror a little. “She was all for it.”

“Well now she worries that its unlucky for her.”

Steve stopped adjusting the mirror and turned to look at Fiona. “But she is a fairy.”

“I know.” Fiona said. “The trouble is, she doesn’t have much to worry about, so she’s looking for things to go wrong.”

Steve sighed and muttered a few words over the mirror. The surface shimmered a little, then reformed, with the reflected light a good deal dimmer than the real one. “She needs more hobbies.”

“Even Mrs Tuesday is getting stressed by it all.” Fiona said. “Lady Freydis can change the colour of a gown by magic, but Mrs Tuesday says that it isn’t quite the same, and she doesn’t want to start cutting out the wedding dress until Lady Freydis is certain. What’s the mirror?”

“It’s an insurance policy.” Steve watched as the reflected light gradually grew brighter. “Have you told Lady Freydis the rhyme?”

“What rhyme?” Fiona asked.

“You know, ‘Married in yellow, ashamed of your fellow. Married in green, ashamed to be seen. Married in white, you’ll do alright. Married in blue, your love will be true.’ I think it’s quite old.”

“That might work.” Fiona said. “And Lady Freydis looks amazing in blue.”

“She can look amazing in anything.” Steve watched the reflection in the mirror growing brighter. “But heaven knows how the rhyme fits us.”

“Married in hospital – what rhymes with hospital?” Fiona took another sip of tea as she looked back to their wedding. “I think I was wearing a pink top with jeans.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to do it again? Have a proper wedding with a dress and a cake?” Steve asked.

“Not a chance.” Fiona said. “It was a moment just for us. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Steve leant over and kissed her. “It was pretty perfect for me as well.” He checked over at the mirror. The reflected light was now as bright as the real one next to his head. “That’s done. I’ll get it put away.”

“I’ll fetch the wine.” Fiona said. “For our quiet night in.”

“Sounds ideal to me.” Steve said.

Writing Challenge 16th December 2019

The reason I’m posting this prompt because I like writing a little flash fiction. It’s something I treat as going to the gym for my writing muscles. If you want to join in, that’s brilliant, but there’s no pressure. If you want to leave a comment with a link, that’s great, but if you don’t feel ready to share yet, that’s also great. Or you could decide that you had a good session at the ‘gym’ and want to submit it somewhere, or use it as the basis for other work, which would be amazing. It’s up to you how you use this prompt. The only thing I would like to insist on is that you enjoy yourself.

Here is a picture and a quotation. The challenge is to write something that is sparked off by one or both of them. It doesn’t have to be directly related to either, just the story you hear when you see them. It’s limited to 500 words (or less, lots less if you need to, or a little more, and I don’t check), and you should try and finish it by next week. It can be prose, poetry, fact or fiction – just have fun.

Photo by Benjamin Massello on Unsplash

If you scatter thorns, don’t go barefoot

Italian Proverb

If you wish, leave a link in the comments and I will drop in, read and comment, and I encourage everyone to do the same. I’ll also be sharing stuff on Facebook and wherever else I can think of. There are no prizes and no end goal, unless it is to have fun writing. I hope I get to see some awesome stuff sparked by this. Good luck!

Happy Cupboard

flat-lay photography of variety of beverage filled glasses
Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

This is my happy cupboard. Well, it’s not really a cupboard, more a corner of a shelf in a cupboard, but it’s mine, and it makes me happy and I’ll take that.

It’s not always easy. We all have times when it feels like you are barely catching your breath before the next big thing hits. Sometimes it’s excitement, like the bustle getting ready for Christmas. Sometimes it’s not so exciting, when you are frantically running around hospital visiting and trying to keep it all going. Sometimes you are just numb as you plan a funeral and sorted the loved one’s last belongings.

I hold on to my happy cupboard. This small packet is lemon and ginger tea. I remember first trying it at college as I tried to be a rebel. Of course, half the cafeteria was drinking herbal teas, just to be different from their parents, but that wasn’t the point. I drank it without any sweetener and thought myself alternative.

This packet is the brand of tea I discovered in my second year at college. It’s Irish Breakfast tea and an obscure stall on the market was the only place that sold it. It brewed dark, and strong and kept me awake through the hours of studying. It reminds me of the friends I had there and the good times – and sometimes it even reminds me of the facts I painfully learned.

This is green tea. I bought when I started work. I was trying to balance insane hours with healthy living. Switching brands felt like I was doing something when I was just adding a few pennies onto my grocery bill as a patch over too much fast food and alcohol. It always reminds me of the time the boss found what we had put in what he thought was his secret whiskey drawer.

They all have memories. This is camomile tea which I drank on my first holiday to France and I fell in love with my husband. This is a small tub of spicy chai tea bags, the same sort we drank during the caravan holiday on the East Coast where we couldn’t get warm and my husband proposed, blurting it all out after leaving the ring at home. This is peppermint tea which was all I could manage to drink when I was pregnant with my darling son – it was the only dratted liquid I could keep down. And this is a small box of loose Earl Grey because it reminds me of the first cup of proper tea I drank while I watched my newborn son sleep through his first morning.

This packet of tea in my hands, though, is a deliberate choice. Tomorrow is my son’s first day of school. I have everything laid out already, with the forms completed and the uniform ironed and named. And as I rush through tomorrow morning, I will have a cup of jasmine tea and make another memory for my happy cupboard.

Writing Challenge 9th December 2019

The reason I’m posting this prompt because I like writing a little flash fiction. It’s something I treat as going to the gym for my writing muscles. If you want to join in, that’s brilliant, but there’s no pressure. If you want to leave a comment with a link, that’s great, but if you don’t feel ready to share yet, that’s also great. Or you could decide that you had a good session at the ‘gym’ and want to submit it somewhere, or use it as the basis for other work, which would be amazing. It’s up to you how you use this prompt. The only thing I would like to insist on is that you enjoy yourself.

Here is a picture and a quotation. The challenge is to write something that is sparked off by one or both of them. It doesn’t have to be directly related to either, just the story you hear when you see them. It’s limited to 500 words (or less, lots less if you need to, or a little more, and I don’t check), and you should try and finish it by next week. It can be prose, poetry, fact or fiction – just have fun.

flat-lay photography of variety of beverage filled glasses
Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

…the old white haired/whitebearded man that is the Sint/who’d only heard of peppermint/and fennel tea before you taught/how one can flavour water hot/to titillate and tantalise/the tastbuds … it’s been paradise

A wonderful friend

A quick note about the quotation. In the Netherlands it is traditional to exchange gifts and a poem on Sinterklaas, 6th December. A wonderful woman (who spoils my son outrageously – thank you!) was kind enough to send me some goodies and a poem that included a reference to tea. The hug has kept me going all week and I thought it was too wonderful not to share.

As for the writing, if you wish, leave a link in the comments and I will drop in, read and comment, and I encourage everyone to do the same. I’ll also be sharing stuff on Facebook and wherever else I can think of. There are no prizes and no end goal, unless it is to have fun writing. I hope I get to see some awesome stuff sparked by this. Good luck!

Hanging Around

Photo by Ram Gopal on Unsplash

Steve raced on to the landing. “Fiona, are you alright?”

“No, I am not alright.” Fiona’s voice echoed in the attic. “I am stuck floating with my head in the attic and my legs several feet above the stairs.”

Steve stared. “What happened?”

“I was getting the Christmas decorations down, and the ladder slipped.” Fiona said. “And I’m not complaining. I didn’t fall. It’s just that I’m stuck.”

Armani flapped up to the hatch and stared at the space between the frame of the attic entrance and Fiona’s waist. “I’ve never seen anything like this, boss.” The imp said.

“You promised you had got rid of all the magic in the house.” Fiona said. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy I didn’t land on my…” She glanced at Armani. “All I’m saying is that I thought you had cleared the house.”

Steve stared up at her. “Why the hell were you going into the attic with no-one else in the house?”

“Can we skip that part?” Fiona said. “It’s draughty up here.”

“We didn’t even put the decorations up there.” Steve said. “They’re in the cupboard in the spare room.”

Fiona sighed. “I realised that when I got up here, but I’ve always kept decorations in the attic.”

“We haven’t even been in there.” Steve said, staring up at his wife. “Fiona, are you comfortable?”

Fiona bit back her instinctive reply. “Actually, I’m really comfortable, like I’m floating in water. There’s no strain. I just want to come down now.”

“What’s up there?” Steve asked.

“I don’t know.” Fiona said. “I dropped the torch and it’s pitch black up here. If I could just come down now, please.”

Steve eyed the hatch and rummaged in his pocket. He pulled out a small, plain silver ring. “I’m not sure I can get you down.”

“What do you mean?” Fiona tried to wriggle to glare at her husband. “I thought you were the great magician?”

“I am a great magician.” Steve said. “I mean, I’m good at magic, but this is something else.” He frowned. “I don’t know where to start.”

“We could start with a ladder, boss.” Armani said.

Steve looked through the ring. “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen magic like this.”

“The ladder, boss?” Armani said. The small imp flapped down and tried to tug the ladder into place.

“Hang on.” Steve said, thrusting the ring back into his pocket and picking up the ladder. “I’ve not seen this before.” He set the step ladder against Fiona’s legs then checked the ring out again. “I wonder if I need a different filter.”

Fiona sighed as she was gently lowered onto the ladder. “Thank you.” She said to the air in general. She looked at her husband. “Why don’t you work out a way to say thank you to the magic that saved me while I go and get the Christmas decorations?”

Steve held the ladder as Fiona slowly stepped down. “At least you’re no longer hanging around.” He ducked.

Writing Challenge 2nd December 2019

The reason I’m posting this prompt because I like writing a little flash fiction. It’s something I treat as going to the gym for my writing muscles. If you want to join in, that’s brilliant, but there’s no pressure. If you want to leave a comment with a link, that’s great, but if you don’t feel ready to share yet, that’s also great. Or you could decide that you had a good session at the ‘gym’ and want to submit it somewhere, or use it as the basis for other work, which would be amazing. It’s up to you how you use this prompt. The only thing I would like to insist on is that you enjoy yourself.

Here is a picture and a quotation. The challenge is to write something that is sparked off by one or both of them. It doesn’t have to be directly related to either, just the story you hear when you see them. It’s limited to 500 words (or less, lots less if you need to, or a little more, and I don’t check), and you should try and finish it by next week. It can be prose, poetry, fact or fiction – just have fun.

Photo by Ram Gopal on Unsplash

“Whom are you?” he asked, for he had attended business college.

George Ade

If you wish, leave a link in the comments and I will drop in, read and comment, and I encourage everyone to do the same. I’ll also be sharing stuff on Facebook and wherever else I can think of. There are no prizes and no end goal, unless it is to have fun writing. I hope I get to see some awesome stuff sparked by this. Good luck!