Ignore the old goat


Thanks to Jane at Making it Write for nominating me for this challenge.

‘Ignore the old goat. We’ve paid our money to stay here, ain’t we? You use the hot water if you want a bath.’

They’d just returned to the room after a baking day on the Sands and Gordon was flushed pink as a shrimp, the end of his nose just beginning to peel. Whatever Gordon said, Sylvie was loath to be on the receiving end of another fierce glare from the B & B’s owner, so out the bowl and jug came from the washstand. Another day sluicing in chilly water, cloudy as carbolic-scented lemonade.

‘You’ll see,’ said Gordon, leaning back against the pillows as she washed, ‘we’ll hear the old devil tonight, splashing around like a seal in that tub, singing ‘Mademoiselles from Armentieres’ while the rest of us are trying to get some shut-eye. A day in that tweed suit of his and he must be steaming like a Burmese jungle.’

Sylvie thought the Major looked rather dapper in his jacket and plus fours, as if he dressed especially to do battle with the crazy golf course or the penny slots.

Her new husband Gordon‒ ‘husband’ was still a strange word on her lips, though not as peculiar as ‘wife’‒ had spent the day in rolled up shirt sleeves and trouser legs, a knotted hanky perched on his head, while he sank his toes into the sludgy sand. He’d twined his fingers through hers, dragging her into the water, even when she screamed and protested that he’d ruin her sundress.

He was always relaxed, always smiling, always confident and she envied him for it. Perhaps over the years some of that confidence would rub off on her.

The Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge rules require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. I have chosen to use photographs from Pixabay as I’m terrible at taking them myself! It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph – it’s entirely up to you.

Then each day, nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge.

Accepting the challenge is entirely up to the person nominated, it is not a command. Today, I’m inviting Sonya from Only 100 Words to join the challenge.


Wednesday Word Tangle


Ever been stumped for the right word?

I don’t mean those days when your brain’s as thick as cold porridge, when you need three espressos and a Red Bull chaser just to get a few jaded synapses to sparkle into life. When you just know there’s a word out there that’s precisely right, that just fits what you want to say. It’s on the tip of your brain but every time you scrabble for it, it darts out of reach, a thought-beetle scurrying into the dark when you lift the rotting log of your memory.

No. I don’t mean that. I don’t mean that at all. Anyway, for me that’s an everyday occurrence. It’s a fact of life that keeps good company with walking into rooms and forgetting what I went in for, trying to remember that actor’s name- you know the one- he was in that thing with wotsit out of that other show and absent-mindedly putting the milk in the cupboard instead of the fridge. I have reached THAT age.

No, what I mean is those occasions when our brilliant, complex, varied language, used by literary geniuses over the centuries to describe shared emotions and experience, the wonderful, horrible feelings and thoughts that make up a human mind, that inform human existence, that describe what it is to live on this blue-green bauble rolling on the black velvet groundsheet of space-time- when all of that just isn’t enough.

You know what I mean. No matter how many billions of people have lived before, are living now, will ever live, sometimes it seems that what you feel is different- that what you’ve experienced is unique in some way. That existing wordage just isn’t enough.

What I mean is YOU JUST WANNA MAKE STUFF UP. You wanna snatch syllables from the air- ones that are nearly right, almost there- and squish them together, mash them so they fuse together like some hybrid mythical creature- a bit griffin, a bit sphinx- kind of weird and totally amazing.

And here’s where my word of the day comes in.


Isn’t it great? It’s the kind of word that eight year-old boys love to use to describe conkers or slugs or farts.

Enormous just isn’t big enough. What about gigantic? Yeah… good, but it needs to be bigger, like all the huge things you’ve ever seen or thought of rolled into one.


For days when BIG just won’t hack it.

A nod to Kittykat– the originator of W4W

Speak the speech, I pray you

‘What? Right, let’s have another look… No, it definitely says. But… Ah, I see now. Oh, yes, if I press that, that button thingy does that and… Gotcha!’

That’s what a house mouse would’ve heard, if there’d been one hiding behind my wainscoting yesterday afternoon. Ah, wainscoting… what a beautiful, beguiling word that is- file it beside flibbertigibbet and splodge. But I digress.

My muttering was prompted by yesterday’s WordPress Blogging 101 challenge- ‘Meet the neighbours.’ T Continue reading