Curling thoughts.

 This is part of  the DP challenge: Collecting Detail:  Being a writer isn’t something you can shuck off, like a hat or a coat — being a writer is a quality that lives inside you — a part of your brain you simply can’t shut off, doing the work of the writer regardless of whether you’re out and about during your day or you’re in front of your typewriter, your screen, or your notebook.

 My 3 details: Dark winter sky, Taut cobweb ready to net its prey, strength, see through deceptiveness, smell of smoke rushing curling  towards the ground

An elderly woman huffing along the road, children racing by calling, shouting, each to each other she is unseen, unnoticed – in a different world.

Pushing jostling crowds in the shopping centre, people smiling calling to friends, loud greetings hugs, closeness, warmth that dispells the cold bright air.


 Curling thoughts.

Tracey slouched against the seat in the shopping center. The walkway filled with jostling Christmas fueled shoppers. A glimpse of the Spirograph, cobweb design in the shop window brought memories rushing back to her. Time slipped back, allowing Tracey to smell the crayons. She loved the feel of the smooth wax in her chubby fingers. The crayons scent mingling with the more overpowering turkey aroma. Home made decorations adorned the ceilings, paper lanterns swung in the draught of the open door. Firelight reflected off bright baubles making them appear to dance on the tree.  Uncles, and aunts poured into the room, wet boots and jackets abandoned. Tobacco and perfume curled about her, tying everyone in one neat parcel. Jovial voices rose and faded, as though they were a choir. The warm atmosphere in the room continued, making the light brighter, the room smaller, voices louder. Suddenly it faded as time spiraled, Tracey landed in the present with a thud. Remembering where she was, who she was, and that home was wherever she managed to scurry into at night, a doorway, a warm vent. Standing up she smiled, a toothless warm smile, I’m alive and lets enjoy being here, she thought as she moved to the next bench. Her smile was rewarded when a security guard pressed a warm cup of tea in her hand. “No sugar, I’m sorry.” He whispered.

Traceys eye’s twinkled at him, “don’t be sorry there is always hope for the next time.” Together they chuckled at her absurd joke before he quietly slipped back to his post.

Further examples, can be found at :Dp Weekly Challenge


Two Days Sixteen hours and thirty three seconds

Photo by Michelle Weber.

I don’t get it , if grown ups can feel sad, why can’t we? Anyway, I don’t really feel sad, I just want this day to be over. My birthday is two days, sixteen hours and thirty three seconds – There is no point being smart if you can’t use it, and I do.

I know I drive my mum nuts but….. Amy sat and turned her back on Tigger, he was her favourite character and her best friend. It was her secret. If anyone else knew she had an invisible famous best friend she knew she would be laughed at and that wasn’t going to happen today when it was two days, fifteen hours, fifty minutes and fifty five seconds till BD.

She couldn’t wait until she was six years old. Then she would be allowed to do much more important and better stuff. She wanted to learn how to use an iPad, or a phone but everyone said five was too young. When she asked her bigger brother Josh how old she would have to be before that magic day arrived, he winked and whispered, “You will have to wait and see.”

At this moment in time with two days fifteen hours forty eight minutes and two seconds, she decided it was time to take a deep breath, suck it in and hope no one would remind her that her BD was happening. “Perhaps if I keep distracting them with silly questions then they will forget. I don’t want Josh to tease me again.” Amy said to the very stiff fat looking Winnie the Pooh.

She giggled and said, “You are just like Uncle George – you should go on a diet.”

For a while she sat there on the cool steel round-a-bout watching the other kids walk home with their mums. She wished her mum would hurry, but today was her day for volunteering in the kitchen. With any luck that would mean left over cookies for Amy and Josh.

She sat, with her feet dangling towards the ground flicking them backwards and forwards and trying not to think of anything at all. It was hard. Too hard, Amy decided.

She focused on solving the problem of Emma who had threatened to cut off Amy’s pig tails if she didn’t share her lunch with Emma tomorrow. Amy wondered what Josh would do, she would ask him.

Last time Josh had said, “you get in there first,” that was when Andre threatened to eat her icecream. Amy had swiped his and run away to eat it. She smiled at the memory it had been worth the tummy ache.

Cutting Emma’s pig tails was a scary thought but if it stopped Emma then it would be worth the punishment. She hoped.

“Hi Amy are you ready to leave?” Mum’s hand was warm after spending time washing dishes and pans.

Amy nodded and jumped off her round about seat.

“What were you thinking about?”

“Tigger and …. making some cards with my play sissors. ” She looked at her mum, “and trying not to  think what will happen in two days fifteen hours and….”

Mum smiled, “I have no idea, but it will be interesting to see. But remember you have to be on your best behaviour.”

Amy’s smile faded, ah no she thought. This will make the next two days even worse and I’ll have to keep out of Emma’s way.  Crossing her fingers of her free hand Amy smiled and said, “I’ll do my best.”


Minding Mum

Mum’s ten year struggle ended on 30th May 2013.

The turning point in her life was a freak accident. A horse box ramp fell back on her pinning her to the ground. Two operations later, she declared she was alright.

I noticed a change in her, she was still bossy, inquisitive and loving but no longer the driving force for family events. Gradually, she stopped doing the things she used to love, driving, going to the local historic society, watching her grand son run at athletic meetings, until her days were spent at home, reading the papers, cooking and watching tv.

Her decline continued,  she relinquished her cooking and cleaning duties to Dad, who was hopeless at both but did his best.  Questions like, “How do I cook a turkey?”, her answer, “Put it in the oven”, became the normal for him.

In late July 2012 she suffered numerous strokes. She was given the last rites and declared, “I don’t want to die.”

She didn’t.

Confined to bed by a body that was weak and wouldn’t work the way she wanted it to brought more change.  A liquid diet and constant attention meant that by October she was ready to be released.

She came home. My husband worked a miracle and transformed mum’s sitting room into her bedroom. Lizzie, my sister and me were dad’s support in his care of mum. Rolling up our sleeves we did so with great enthusiasm, and ignorance to the amount of work and vigilance that is needed. The house often shook with everyone’s laughter as we learnt to cope.

The decline of her health robbed us of time.  My parents were robbed of their daily banters, outings, visits to friends and  simple things like shopping. Most importantly she was robbed of her independence.

Dad’s life was stressful, watching for signs of infection, having carers arrive three times a day for  thirty minutes, nurses, doctors, travelling with her by ambulance to the hospital close to us  to be told she couldn’t be given the correct treatment but the hospital  ninety miles away could take her, sitting in a & e’s while teams of doctors discussed what could be done or travelling by taxi in one instance.

Mum’s wicked sense of humour helped.

Her stubborness frustrated.  I doubted everything I was doing.

My mental health was being thrashed. On impulse, I rang a lady who offers help, she claims to be neither a medium or clairvoyant. Her first words to me were, “Come see me now.” I didn’t hesitate.

She didn’t give me a magic formula or the winning lotto numbers, but the truth. She described relations who were surrounding me in her room and with  her first words, ” The old lady with the limp says your mum is the contrariest woman in Ireland and she wants to have a haircut.” I knew she would only tell me the truth, as she was talking about my grandmother who died when I was around six years old. And mum did need a haircut.

I left her house that day and sat in the car crying. Oddly it helped. I owe her a lot for giving me hope and strength.

Life didn’t get easier in the following eight weeks.

We are still dealing with the fall out of her ill health. I had many rough moments, my brother attempting to pick a fight with me,  and  an answer to the question, should we resusitate her if… being the toughest two moments I had to deal with in the past year.

Truthfully  your health is your wealth,  protect it and ..

Laugh frequently.