Thursday, September 29, 2016

Six Sentence Stories

Posted Thursday September 29




What is that dreadful smell?

I've checked the cupboard, I've sniffed inside the fridge,  I've stuck my head out of the window, I've  shoved the dog in the garden (he’s known as the Fartmaster!) and I've even checked my armpits but I just can’t work out where it’s coming from.

It’s absolutely rank.


I tried flapping a tea tray, I sprayed an aerosol, lighted a perfumed candle, heated up a spicy curry (I love the smell of a vindaloo, don’t you?) chucked the Fartmaster’s basket out the back door, brewed a pot of coffee (Columbian, my favourite) and  even played Natasha Bedingfield’s ‘Smell the Roses’ all to no avail.

Something really honks!


If you are expecting a fragrant end to this tarradiddle, then I'm afraid I'm going to disappoint you, and if this disgusting odour has infiltrated your pc/laptop/tablet/phone  I can only apologise on its behalf, whatever it is!


For Six Sentence Stories where the cue is Rank


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Sunday, September 25, 2016

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Posted Sunday September 25

For Sunday Photo Fiction where our  picture prompt features a border of beautiful narcissus blooms.









Some people are born narcissistic, others achieve it! Me? I tend to keep myself to myself. I don’t like to boast about my achievements.

How many people can claim to have climbed Everest un-accompanied? Not many of you I guess. And I’d bet none of you have swum the English Channel, then straight-away walked up a French beach and eaten a dish of frog‘s legs! If I asked you to recite a Shakespeare soliloquy backwards could you do it?

Right, let’s make it easier. Hands up all those who can bite their nails? Not finger nails – toe nails. Can you belch the national anthem or produce a rabbit from a hat?

Well I have to admit that I’ve never climbed a mountain – walking upstairs requires a half-way rest! As for swimming the channel, err, no. I‘ve eaten frog’s legs on a French beach though, and I love ‘em, but not dripping wet whilst wearing  speedos and covered in goose fat! And I have trouble reading Shakespeare forwards!


But the toe nails, the musical burping and magic tricks? Well, actually I can’t do those either.


So what I’m saying is, I couldn’t be a narcissist even if I wanted to.


Word count 200




Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Sunday Whirl

Posted Saturday September 24




It was a blind date. After all, I was free so I thought ‘why not?’ I was to meet Emma at a party. ‘It will be a scream' her text said. 'You’ll love it’


Standing outside the warehouse for a minute or two, I heard jangling music and merry laughter from within. Time to enter.

I pushed open the heavy metal door. The music stopped. I saw nothing, just blackness. I heard nothing but my heart pounding in my chest. Suddenly a beam of light shot toward me assaulting my eyes. I found myself creeping forward into the darkness. 

The door slammed closed behind me. A second dazzling shaft illuminated a macabre figure in a tailcoat seated at a piano, top hat upon his head and white gloved hands hovering above the keys. His ashen painted features faced me, bloodshot black-rimmed eyes staring into mine. His crimson mouth broke into a menacing toothless smile.

Another beam, and another creature stood before me; doll-like with little blonde pigtails tied with pink ribbons, a white face with blushing cheeks and little red rosebud lips. She tripped from foot to foot throwing petals from a basket into the air. 

'Emma? Is that... you?' I stammered. The lights went out. She disappeared. The pianist disappeared. I disappeared,

Someone unseen grabbed my arms, another my shoulders. I realised I was surrounded. They tugged and pushed and I tried to resist but then submitted. I found myself standing before a glowing crystal pot of swirling water. Somehow  I knew what I had to do. I rinsed my face and bathed my hands, then wandered into the pitch-black yonder. 


I’m holding a party tonight. Why don’t you come? It will be a scream, you’ll love it.






For The Sunday Whirl where the given words are - scream, date, will, mess, after, chest, you, rinse, submit, ashes, pot and free


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Friday, September 23, 2016

Sunday's Whirligig

Posted Saturday September 24





It was a scorching day and several of us where attempting to chill in the Bicycle Arms’ garden.

‘Did you hear what Katy did?’ panted a breathless Rosey as he rushed up to us. By the excited look on her face I guessed she was busily spreading the hottest news of the day.

‘Who’s Katy?’ asked Jim.

‘You know’ said Rosey ‘Katy the former’.

‘Former?’ I said.

‘Yes’ said Rosey ‘She used to be a farmer but she’s not any more’

We all groaned and grinned assuming it to be a joke. The confused look on Rosey’s face suggested it wasn’t.

 ‘So, what did Katy do?’ someone asked.

‘Shoplifted..err...you know...err...stole something from the supermarket’ said Rosey hopping from foot to foot.

‘Oh my gourd!’ muttered Posh Poppy.

‘Katy?’  intervened a chap slouched at the next table. ‘Surely not’

Rosey started rummaging through her bag scattering its contents all over the place.

‘What are looking for Rosey’ asked Jim.

‘My hay fever capsules’ she said‘ ‘I’ve had a pollen overload’ 

'An excitement overload more like' chuckled Charlie.

'Aaa...chooo! Ewww, sorry Sam. Oh dear, you can't drink that. I'd better  get you fresh one' 

That was a week ago. It seems that Katy inadvertently failed to pay for one item in her basket at the self service checkout. Rosey was there at the time and watched from a distance as a security guard approached Katy. Needless to say, my friend Rosey jumped to the wrong conclusion. Apparently it was all sorted out amicably and Rosey bought Katy a large Chardonnay and a packet of salt and vinegar crisps by way of apology!



For Sunday's Whirligig where this week's given words are - spreading, hops, gourd, capsules, pollen, hottest, crooked, former, intervene, shoplifting, katydids and scorched.


To read 66 more tales about My Friend Rosey click HERE!


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Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Sunday Whirl

Posted Sunday September 18


We are not fooled by your guise sir. ‘Tis you, as certain as 'tis day. Try as you might sir, we have your number. For ‘twas you that laid the straw; that set the fire this Spring past.

Poor Ned still bears the scars of that dreadful day. Though smitten by your jagged rock then gagged and bound, he writhed free. Champion though he be, he had not the means to quench the terpsichorous flames that cruelly robbed him of his dwelling place, his wife, his beloved family.

You imagined we would not discern you sir. Did you not? How wrong could you have been? For you, deplorable sir, the die was cast that fateful day. And now, the nethermost depths of your repugnant basket are reached. ‘Tis us who will strike the final blow; 'tis us.

Take this.....sir!


The Sunday Whirl. This week's given words are basket, deplorable, fire, spring, straw, us,writhe, smite, try, guise, champion and dye



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Saturday, September 10, 2016

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I'm not really an animal person, so it came as a bit of a surprise to my friends when I announced I was heading off to Africa for a safari! But now, having been up close to creatures I’ve only ever seen in zoos or in pictures, I’m something of a convert.





Starting in Johannesburg we headed north through spectacular mountain scenery. Stopping off at the Blyde River Canyon, we  viewed the odd looking Three Rondavels rock creations.

Click on pictures to view larger and in better quality 







Our accommodation for the first couple of days in the wild was Nsele Lodge, a compact and tranquil haven deep in a game park.  I had my own thatched lodge complete with an enormous bed and a mosquito net! Not only did hosts Olaf and Stephanie cook delicious food and entertain us, they also took us on our safari within Kruger National Park. Apparently, we were extremely fortunate in having seen all of ‘the big five’ not once but several times. A rare achievement! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.





























































































Our next stop was the Polokwane Game reserve where we travelled on foot. This was the only disappointing part of the whole trip as we didn’t manage to up close to many animals at all. The termite nests and trees were interesting though! I stayed in a lodge on stilts there.



















Then it was time for the long drive to cross the Limpopo and to Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. The less said about the border crossing the better. I have never been pushed and shoved as much in my life. An absolute nightmare!

Matobo National park could not be more different from Kruger. We travelled on foot accompanied by a chap with a rifle to get up really close to some rhinos who seemed completely oblivious to our presence.


















We drove to a village and visited the homestead which came first in the best-decorated property contest. The prize? A wheelbarrow and some pots and pans!



























Then it was time to visit the Silozwane cave paintings. ‘They are just up there’ said our guide pointing to the top of a mountain. We clambered crawled, slipped and slithered our way skyward. What awaited us was worth ever puff and every pant. Amazing to think that these images have survived between 1200 and 1500  years exposed as they are to the elements.






























Norman our guide was also the leader of a Boy Scout troop based in the park. Baden-Powel wrote Scouting for Boys there, so setting in place the world-wide organisation which still thrives today. We went to the camp for a buffet lunch. Nice.































Matobo National contains many gravity derying balancing rocks. I kept well clear!
















We stayed in the Travellers Guest House, a simple yet delightful lodge decorated with fantastic modern art.



Time to move on again, this time to Victoria Falls. We stayed at the Sprayview hotel, a bit of luxury and opulence that was most welcome. He first night we enjoyed a wonderful sunset cruise along the Zambeze and were treated to a gourmet meal and unlimited alcohol!















Spot the aligator!








What can I say about the Victoria Falls? Words can’t do it justice. Neither can my photos. The grandeur, the noise, the spray that soaked us to the skin...!

























































An African adventure that ended too soon.

I can't finish without  sending a huge thankyou to my travelling companions You made this trip extra special! Kevin and Ann Marie from the US, Derek and Michele from Australia, and of course my new friend  Izzy from New Zealand via Leeds UK!, Thanks also to our host, guide and companion Simon.









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