Blast from the Distant Past

I’m having something of a shake up. Traditionally I bite off more than I can chew in September. This year is no exception. You would think that at my age I would know better, but here we are.

I will be posting spooky stories and poems every day this October, just as I always do. There will be plenty of old favourites with some new stories sprinkled in. I’ll also be taking part in the October Frights Blog Hop Oct 10th-15th, which once again is organised by the amazing Anita Stewart. There are always great stories shared in that.

I’m rejigging the old ‘Tales of the White Hart’ stories. I should be able to get them into book form soon, but I have found an old, free blog that means that I can make them easily available, just as they used to be. I’d love to hear your opinions, and you can go to that blog and give your (polite) suggestions here. You, the person reading this and the one who may be interested in the stories, have the most important views.

This means that I am armpit deep in all sorts of things and a little distracted. Rather than not post, though, I thought I would share a story I wrote and put on an old blog back on the 21st May 2014. I hope that you enjoy it. And please let me know if you have any ideas, suggestions or just want to say hello. I am grateful for all who read this blog.

“Did you see her, the one with the dress?” Angie asked as she splashed the dirty cups through the water at speed.

“Her with the dress and the handbag?” Betty said. She switched to a dry cloth for the next batch of cups.  They had been washing up together after the meetings for thirty four years this June and they had perfected the routine.

“No, the one with the dress and the handbag is Zoe. She reckons that the handbag is designer and cost a fortune. But you can’t tell me that handbag is designer, I saw one just like it on the market,” Angie sniffed.

“Well she said that he was doing alright and had got a bonus at Christmas. I told her that everyone gets a bonus at Christmas but she wouldn’t have it.” Betty rattled the teacups into a stack and slotted them neatly into a cupboard.

“My Den said that he was doing well, but they aren’t spending that much. You should see the state of her sofa.  I’d be ashamed.”

“You do like your furniture nice,” Betty nodded. “Of course, he could be spending some money on her at the corner, you know, just past Mrs Henderson.  She always has nice things.”

“Her at the corner, she’s the one with the dress. She said that it was a charity shop find, but you can’t fool me. That dress cost a fortune, and her with her car in the garage.”

“She spends her money on something. There must be some money going into that house with them both working and I know they ask the lad to tip up now he’s started at the call centre, but they still have that old car.”

Angie sniffed again. “My Jim said that it was a scandal that car, they’ve had it for four years now. But I saw her in the supermarket and she had a bottle of wine in her basket.” 

Betty nodded knowingly as she switched drying cloths again. “Mind you, I heard that her aunt was the same, you know, the one who married the plumber and moved to Brighton.”

“Is it her aunt that married the plumber? Well that explains it.” There was a pause as Angie changed the washing up water.

“I see Mary’s got new curtains.” Betty rattled some more cups into the cupboard. “I would have thought she would have done something with her kitchen first. I don’t know how she cooks.”

“Mary told me that she got them second hand. You can’t tell me that they are second hand, not with those seams. And as for cooking, she buys frozen veg. I pity her husband.”

“Of course he makes up for it with the darts team. They were out again last night. Ted from two doors down came in at midnight.”

“By the way, what was the talk today?” Angie rinsed out the washing up bowl.

“The dangers of gossip.” Betty gathered her cloths for the wash.  “See you next week.”

I have never, ever known a function where the washing up wasn’t a chance for a full exchange of views.  I did ‘hear’ it in the local accent, but I am confident that the sentiments expressed are universal.  

Please Hold

person holding ballpoint pen writing on notebook
Image from Unsplash, taken by Thought Catalog

I’ve missed quite a few Mondays recently, and I apologise. I like to keep the little bits of flash fiction going as it’s a writing version of going to the gym for me. I have had something of a fail on that recently.

I also am incredibly grateful to anyone who looks in on this blog, and I don’t want to let you down in any way.

The long gap gave me time to think, and to consider what the blog is actually for. I mean, I put my flash fiction up, and I put up information about anything I’m publishing, but it feels a little limp. Is it entertaining enough? I’m not so sure.

October will be on us in 23 days at time of typing, and, as in the last few years, I’ll be posting something vaguely supernatural every day for the month. There will be a lot of old favourites, but I’m hoping to put in a few new bits as well. This is a chance for me to gear up, but also a chance for me to reset the blog.

It won’t actually be much different. You will still see the flash fiction, and I’ve been making a few notes so hopefully there will be less gaps. There will be the usual stuff about anything being published. I’m also hoping to get more into book reviews, and take some time to reflect on what writing means to me.

There is also a risk of me adding in some of the jokes, curiosities and peculiarities I see around me. The world is a strange and wonderful place, and I hope I can share.

It should start changing after the spooky October posts end on 31st October. Any and all (family friendly) suggestions will be carefully considered, but no guarantees.

Sincere thank you to all who visit this blog. You are awesome. The kindness on here has been amazing and I am always grateful. Hugs and good vibes to you all.