When the air smell likes ice

Following on from my self-set challenge, here is the third in a series of seasonal flash-fiction. Again, I’m not going to tell what the season is, but I really hope that you can guess.

I love it when the air smells like ice. Dark green pine sways between barren branches and then mountains rise behind. Cars crunch salt, engines purring. It’s an experience, negotiating ice in six-inch heels; challenge accepted.  Coffee cup clutched tight to my chest. The bitter taste of rising steam is mellowed with double cream. Hat pulled low on burning ears and sunglasses paint the sky in gentler hues; lines of pink and gold across frozen blue. There’s another flurry on the horizon. Feet slip without warning. The ground is harder than it looks and less forgiving. Must buy boots.

Part One and Two can be found respectively.

Once part four is thrown up here then I’ll compile them together into a post. I’ll probably even tell you what seasons I was originally aiming for. Fingers-crossed that I’ve managed to avoid my natural inclination to the abstract. I have a tendency to think flash-fiction and then jump across to poetry. So you may have noticed some rhymes sneaking in.  The only problem is, that my abstract is often too abstract for most people to make any sense of it.  So what I’ve been learning is to write simply. Or rather…more simply. If I have an image in mind then just say what I see without trying (and usually failing) to be clever.

Daily Prompt – 1950’s Pirate Chic?

What do I love wearing? – Response to Daily Prompt which was ‘Tell us all about your best confidence outfit. Don’t leave out the shoes or the perfect accessories.’
Wow. Well I love my heels. I have a favourite 4 inch-platform pair which are gooooorgeous – see below.
shoes
See, they are lovely… pretty pretty shoes.
A couple of years back in my twenies (late teens, super early twenties) I had the ability to run in such shoes, in snow. It was pretty awesome. I’ve always been co-ordinationally challenged however had the theory that in the big heels I had to concentrate on walking and so fell over less often. 99% of the time this proved to be the case. But that skill is sadly slipping away and I’ve exchanged my 4 inchs for well, currently some rather lovely flip flops. (I’m taking advantage that today IS the British summertime)
On the other end of the spectrum, I also love wearing bandanas. When I’m really focused on getting some words down and getting some writing done, I bandana up!
bandana
It’s so useful to keep my hair out of my face. When you’re bent over a manuscript wrestling with the dreaded comma, the last thing you want is an all-out battle with your hair (which I never win). I was first introduced to the wonders of a bandana as a Girl Scout Camp Counsellor in New Hampshire, one summer many years ago.
But back to the confidence…
The best outfit.
If I had to go out somewhere right now and be dressed to impress. I’d run home and change into a knee length dress. It was an absolute bargain and was perfect for what I was looking for at the time. It’s a deep blue with a pale purple detail. It fits beautifully and works well for evening wear or work wear. I love it.
So combine all three items together?
I guess I’ll end up as some kind of strange 1950’s housewife-looking-pirate. Arrr!

Third Rate Romance – Surprise!

Another response to a daily prompt.

I used to make pancakes on a Sunday, for me and my flatmate. Slice up the strawberries, whip up a batch – not too much or it’ll lose all the air – and make myself a decent cup of coffee and hang over from my student year abroad in the states. Good coffee is hard to find, but pancakes for breakfast? Easy when you know how.
I was slouched in my hoodie, enjoying each creamy sip of caffeinated delight. The sunshine was streaming through the window, making the dust in the kitchen dance in the air. I had my nose in my coffee cup so I could inhale the sweet sweet nectre when she snuck through the kitchen door, turned in her socks and shut it behind her. It was a tiny room, with a cooker, fridge, sink and a singular cabinet as a worktop. Then squished in the corner was a fold-down wooden table for two, and a chair. The second chair lived in the hallway to save space. But it was such a small room. That as I sat, she stood right in front of me.
“Eh?” I’m not one for words in the morning…
She planted her hands on her hips, and frowned at me.
“Everything…okay?”
“Mmm…”
I was starting to worry. I put my coffee cup down on our tiny table. “Can I get you some tea?” Tea could fix everything.
“You know Mike?”
Mike? “The boy that was a bit…the one who you went on a date with?”
“Yeah. Mike…”
“Yes?”
“I think he’s my boyfriend…” The frown on her face deepened. I stood up and ushered her to the now vacant chair. I filled the kettle, splashing my hoody front and sweatpants with water. I flicked the switch on it and turned back to her.
“…really?”
“I think so?”
“How did that happen?”
“He stayed over – nothing happened but- …well…”
“Yeah?” I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She wore a hoody like me, but green and pyjamas tucked into fluffy blue socks. I hopped backwards, onto the cabinet and perched. Reaching for a mug and tea-bag.
“Well I was asleep-”
“Yeah?”
“He woke me up, in the middle of the night-”
“Oooh –ouch.”
“And he, well he asked if he could be my boyfriend!”
“What did you say?” The kettle boiled. I filled the mug and stirred it.
“Who does that to a person in the middle of the night?”
“Mike apparently.”
“I was asleep! I just wanted to go back to sleep!”
“What did you say?”
“I think-…I think I said yes?” She was running her hands over her forehead in confusion “Maybe it was just a dream?”
“What are you going to do?”
“I can’t ask him if he asked.”
“Noo…nono…”
“Yeah.”
I handed her the tea. Swapping it for my coffee. I cradled it again.
“Well…I guess – congratulations on your new…boyfriend-ness…”
“Thanks.”

10 Day Blogger Challenge – Half Way There!


day5

I’m currently at a point where I’m determined to keep up to date with my blog, so please find the fifth installment of the 10 Day Blogger Challenge to follow. It does feel a little like a cheap trick, I get to do some nifty self-promotion, with very little added work for today. But if it means I can rattle off a post and you’ll all find some amusement, I’m willing to make a sacrifice.

So, my best posts so far…well, there isn’t a huge amount to choose from; not that my posts are rubbish- I hope, but because I don’t exactly have an exorbitant amount to pick between.  I also run the risk of forcing readers to read the same old thing. However, for my first ‘best post’ I’m going to select something I find humorous and I feel that if you’ve stumbled across my blog, but not read this – than you may enjoy it.

First things first – The Great Pie Incident, a short story based on tragically true events.

This very brief story combines humour and an inability to cook. Fun for all the family! My sister apparently fell of the sofa laughing when she realised what I’d posted onto my blog. My mother was less impressed; but I’m yet to show you the ‘prawn cocktail’ she made at Christmas, or discuss or a cake which was a roll or the…you get the general idea. Like No Pie…

Second Post –

Family Orientated again. I like my story about pie, but I had a look at the stats and saw what other posts have been successful and deserve another airing out the cupboard.  I was delighted to find out that my post of celebration, for a very special lady had scored among the highest! –Whooopee! More people will realise just how amazing my sister is.  Daughter, Wife, Sister, Mother, Friend, Business Lady, Smart-alec… The daily prompt post I feel is worth a read. Also, another food related one. I’m starting to see a theme… Cake

Third Post –

What do I need to learn? Moving forward I’d like to be a better writer, I’d love to have greater style,  clarity and grace.  This post was also a response to a Daily Prompt and I was pleased with how it turned out. I find, sorry guys, that my blogs tend to wander off on their own tangents. But I don’t got no Gramma’ worked. Well, I feel it did anyway. I felt as though I was able to hit the daily prompt, say what I want to say, say it well, tie it up and move on. Success all round.

Let me know what you think, are these my best?

 

Daily Prompt: Drawing a Blank – Play your own game

Daily Prompt: When was the last time your walked away from a discussion, only to think of The Perfect Comeback hours later? Recreate the scene for us, and use your winning line.

We don’t argue, I just tell him when he’s wrong. – This was a brilliant quote from around the family table at the weekend. We all, at one point or another have sworn blind that we are the original inspiration for the television series, My Family – Susan, the ‘Mother’ really can’t cook, the siblings offer up the youngest as an offering to try experiment dishes, as he’ll react faster to any adverse effects. This is very familiar; and people wonder why my youngest brother is a fussy eater…

My actual family, not the series now, is fairly combustible at the best of times, and so this was a fitting representation.  After all, we’re all right, all the time…

Enough of my familial ramblings though, when did I last walk away from a discussion only to think of the perfect response later? I have to admit it’s been a while, I work in a fast-paced, fairly high-pressured role and I have to keep my wit as well as my wits about me.  To have walked away, and still be going over a discussion, also implies that you’d felt upset at the resolution – and frustration that you cannot say or do something can lead to severe unhappiness. Currently, and friends may explode into laughter at this point, I feel content, zen-like even. I am a temple of tranquility – except when I’ve eaten too much sugar and I can’t sit still.

The comeback:

I’ve always thought that ‘Pinch Punch, first of the Month’ as a stupid idea. Mainly because I had an unhappy time at school and didn’t relish the opportunity that it gave other students on a monthly basis. What I should have done, was approach them first and performed the ritual, before they got to me. But being the shy sort I never did. This caused a slight ball of rage. Poor Rob.

We were sat on the 1st of March, on the sofa, watching something innocuous on the television. He lent over and went “pinch, punch, first of the month” (Albeit, without any intention to cause discomfort on my part). I waited for three seconds, turned and punched him in the arm.

“I play my own game” I informed him.

I returned to watching the television. Rob roared with laughter, and I couldn’t help but join in.

I have since explained my aversion to the poor man, but from that point he has happily reminded me that ‘I play my own game’ at any appropriate opportunity. And I do, I irrevocably play my own game, sing to my own song sheet and dance to the tune that only I can hear.

It has been years since the pinch punch thing actually upset me, and the whole scene was actually just hilarious, to the pair of us at least. But don’t get caught up in rituals that you find pathetic and demeaning.  Play your own game.

Warning: This Blog May Contain Cats!

Warning: This Blog May Contain Cats!

I felt that this was probably an appropriate time to introduce two current stars of my short fiction and poetry. Please meet Lewis and Rosie, and be warned that if you have an adverse reaction to cute and fluffy creatures, this may not be the blog for you to follow.
My cats certainly provide a great deal of comfort and entertainment, but they’re both very different. Lewis is a possibly part Bengal, tabby with white feet and a superbly fluffy belly. His emotional range swings from desperately needy and affectionate to storming off in a huff and sitting alone in the bath. (Literally the bath, he’s very strange.) Rosie, who is black and white and a quarter Siamese, remains consistent in her affection.
I will refer to Lewis affectionately from time to time as a fluffy moron – as he is frequently ridiculous. He loves boxes! Put any box, or bag on the floor and he’ll climb straight in. (Very useful for taking him to the vets!) However Rob and I had an ice lolly each the other night, so imagine a standard size box for three ice lolly’s… This was left on the table. We heard a thump as we sat watching the TV. We looked around to the door and all we saw was this box skidding across the hallway floor, Lewis desperately trying to get in it! He’d managed to just about get his nose and half of his face inside and such was his determination, that he ran the box into the wall; KADUNK! Box and cat rebounded. He bounced away, shook himself and stalked away glaring at us both. As you can imagine we both dissolved into hysterical laughter.
Fortunately Rosie is much more intelligent.
I will do my best not to blog about the cats too often, but thought that everyone should have fair warning!