Showing posts from March, 2018

Van Life? Really?

I am scared.  We have worked hard and scrimped and saved and now we’re spending the money. Like a magic trick: pouff!! It will be gone. Now we pray to the Universe that we are not mistaken. We open our eyes wide to see the curviness of the learning ahead. Those are some hourglass figures! We have paid the deposit, made the necessary investigations concerning insurance, and the specific details of conversions.  A long wheel base Ford Transit ex-fleet highway maintenance van stands on a forecourt with a SOLD sign. It has a head dent and it smells of a diesel spill. It has a chem-loo which you’ll thank me for not describing. Low mileage, service history in full. Fair price. Is this really happening?  I’m lurching into this experience like a learner driver kangarooing their clutch control. It seems that we have bought a van, yes.  The man who puts windows in is about to be booked. From collection we have 90 days to convert it to

Blue Sludge Blues: supporting my fellow blog writers!

Blue Sludge Blues & Other Abominations by Shannon Lawrence Release Date: March 15, 2018 Horror short story collection A collection of frights, from the psychological to the monstrous. These tales are a reminder of how much we have to fear: A creature lurking in the blue, sludgy depths of a rest area toilet; a friendly neighbor with a dark secret hidden in his basement; a woman with nothing more to lose hellbent on vengeance; a hike gone terribly wrong for three friends; a man cursed to clean up the bodies left behind by an inhuman force. These and other stories prowl the pages of this short story collection. Excerpt From Maelstrom : "As I sit listening to the crash of waves outside my hotel window, the fan tap-tapping away above my head, I wait for it to come for me." Buy the Book Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon Australia | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Also available from Apple and other countries t

Subterfuge And Weather

The lying was done. We had a surprise party, as suspected. That surprise, during which the weather was exceptional sunshine, meant Mr would not suspect further. So, confused but knowing family life can be confusing, he arrived at the address in Jacobstow prepared to babysit. But we had blithely lied. We had Friday night fajitas instead, with moderate beers, and the tired children (fed earlier) had moderate tears, and the grownups fell asleep in chairs. Saturday we mustered to Widemouth Bay, to walk on the beach with teeny whirls of snow. It was bound to happen, so Grandchild 3 fell in a pool to fill up her boots and go back to the car to shiver. Grandchild 4 opened bare hands, bright pink, showing his collection - sea snails, he said, and helmet crabs - they don’t have their own houses, they wear other shells like hats, he said, that’s helmet crabs. Grandchild 1 was feral on rocks. Grandchild 5 cried, we guessed she was cold. On the way back to warmth we took a wrong tu

Pop Home And Put The Kettle On

(Friday was quiet... Saturday had a surprise birthday barbecue in it.) Granma (aka Mummy) Grace in her wheelchair, layered in coat, hat, scarf, gloves, mittens, light filtering glasses and blanket; she grins, showing a gap, proving over and over that real beauty and perfection are not the same. Mr does the chair pushing, to the Post Office on Cowick Street, and joins a queue. It is sixty years to the day since our Grace had waddled up the snow littered street to fetch the midwife and the midwife said you’ve got one coming have you, well pop home and put the kettle on, I’ll be down in a bit. Grace laughs: yes, she says, it was snowing. Dog and me wander, she is nose to ground, head full of information she gleans from urine. (A little collie greets her, but she’s barely distracted, chasing a story peed into brick.) Drizzle hovers. The wind is pushing it down the neck of my coat. It sticks in my hair. Then Mr takes Dog, and I take Grace, and she balances a basket

Snow Bones At The Beach

Frozen old snow-bones gather in the shade, slanted lumps in whites and greys. (Think of Mae West: I used to be Snow White - but I drifted.) Sun at midday reminds us of heat.  The night sky is brittle, clear, the stars can be seen here, where the dark is let be. Mornings bloom frost, and also flowers, tender flowers reviving. Bees wake. They fly like they have winter aches, holding out legs in the noon warmth. Down at the beach there is snow hiding under sand, and cliff icicles, and melt water flowing, tugging at our boots, tumbling, all the way to the low tide edge.

Spring's Wild Start

‘In like a lion, out like a lamb’ is the weather saying for March, the roar of the lion being usually equated with storms. We have snow. Kittenish at first, growing pouncier and slicier, as the roads get icier. Red weather warnings flagged all over, venues shut, shops shut, schools shut. Here, as the wind chill gets dangerous, we layer up, we take a walk - a sensible, across some fields amble, not a survival route. We are hoping that a walk out will be brisk and keep our circulation functional. With both fires lit, the house is not warm. The bathroom is like outdoors, less the wind chill, plus a strong draft. I always claim to like the outdoor nature of our bathroom, it keeps you connected to the seasons, to the weather. I do like that - yet also wary of being frozen to the toilet seat. Snow flurries, evenly spaced, pleasing to the eye, all the air filled with this pretty dance. Down the lane we make first footprints. Dog looks grubby in the pristine drift. T