Friday, 22 May 2015

Back to the Future

Earning A Crust | BIOGRAPHY
by Derek Rosser

Anyone who has read the story of ‘A Reluctant Recruit’ will realise that my adventures as a member of the Royal Air Force had, eventually, to come to an end. For two years I had been looking forward to that happy day, the day when I would be demobilised and returned to life in Civvy Street.
Jean (My loving wife and the light of my life) was, of course, overjoyed that I had been returned to the comfort and privileges of marriage. She would, no longer, need to sport ten shillings (50p) to fund the train ticket which would carry me back to camp on Sunday evenings. She would, no longer, need to provide my favourite homemade cake by packing it into a cardboard box and relying on the auspices of the Royal Mail to get it to me in one piece.
She had, moreover, warned me that her hot water bottle was beginning to show the ravages of time and I was required to provide a nice warm spot for her feet. I had had some prior knowledge of this particular aspect of married life and was not too enthusiastic about repeating the experience. She pointed out that if her feet were cold, she could not concentrate on any other subject so I reluctantly agreed to take the place of the rubber bottle.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

In Search of Ireland Again - XLII

In Search of Ireland Again | TRAVEL
by John Butler

On Sunday night the town is deserted. It appears plague-stricken. There are lines of parked cars but no sign of a living soul.
Accommodation was not difficult to find. The hotel overlooking the harbour seemed quiet and empty but on entering the dining-room there was a sharp contrast.
The large room was full of diners. Waiters and waitresses in traditional black and white, darted about attending to every need, while concealed speakers blasted out the same aggressive, cacophony of discordant ‘musak’ as one meets in England.
If there is depression in N. Ireland, it is certainly ‘not here’ in this room.
I remember my history. Here in 1778, a ship disguised as a merchantman appeared off Carrckfergus. It was the notorious ‘Ranger’ commanded by that son of a Scottish gardener, Paul Jones. The crew of a fishing smack boarded her and Paul Jones, on learning that they were pilots, detained them. They told him that the ship he could see lying in Belfast Lough was the British Sloop-o-war, ‘Drake’ of twenty guns. Paul Jones then planned an attack that was to reverberate all over Britain, and, incidentally lead to the independence of Ireland.

Friday, 15 May 2015

A Bomber’s Moon

Wild Strawberries | HISTORY/War
by Derek Smith

It was not the bombing that had driven young James to aspire to become an evacuee, for indeed, he had probably survived the worst of it. Air raids had become part of his nine year old life and he accepted them with the same resignation with which he accepted rain on a Saturday morning after a week of fine sunny days when he had been at school, or the loss of a favourite marble down a drain - they were part of the ‘sod’s law’ of life and you just got on with it.
The tail fins of the falling bombs made a screaming noise as they fell, but panic attacks were to be an invention that would not come along until much later. You didn’t have panic attacks because you didn’t know that you could have one; you just kept your head down and hoped that the bomb that you could hear screaming down did not have your name on it.
James had two younger brothers and a sister. At first their air raid shelter had been the dining table with two armchairs tipped up over the ends and the settee pushed up against one side. The theory was that should the house come down around your ears, then at least you stood a chance of not being completely buried and had some air-space where you could survive until hopefully, someone came to dig you out.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Small things in life

Poems and Rhymes for all Times | POETRY
by Natalie Mason

Small things in life; stop and think of the small things!
Sight, hearing, sense of smell, to have what each sense brings
Arms, legs, you have all of your limbs,
See, hear, smell and touch, enjoy daylight until it dims

Feel the sunshine as you walk through a park,
Watch the moon and stars in a sky so dark
Watching loved ones, see children growing up around you each day,
Enjoy colour, all surroundings, using your eyes to find your way

Blue sky, sunshine, a white fluffy cloud,
Birds singing, hearing noises, quiet and loud

Friday, 8 May 2015

Pomp & Circumstances - Chapter One

Book Title: Pomp & Circumstances
Genre: FICTION: Children/YA
Author: Sue Hampton

James woke without the usual help. No shouts from downstairs, no knock on the door and no complaints or threats. He breathed out hard, as if the night had been an effort. But in fact he’d crashed out and slept through in one long stretch. Effort didn’t cover an evening with Eleanor Langridge, one-to-one. It was his first date, and he’d needed to blank it. As far as Eleanor was concerned, it was definitely the last.

At eight twenty-nine, outside the restaurant, came the first missed kiss. Standing aside for Eleanor to walk in ahead, James noticed her hesitation. With a clientele as young as the waiters and music to fit, he’d thought the place was safe. The last tomato-stained high chair was being wiped and folded up as families made way for groups of student-age friends, and couples who seemed casual, established, easy. But from the start, his evening was full of empty pauses, pricked now and then by jagged conversation.
“I don’t normally go to pizza places,” she said, to the cutlery.
James let his eyebrows do the talking. It was a trick that amused his sister Faith, but Eleanor didn’t seem to notice. Mainly because she was preoccupied with the fork, angling it like a diamond – found in a cesspit.
“It’s dirty,” she said.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The Julius Falconer Style, an in-depth analysis



A Review by Margaret, BooksPlease blog
Style is often a matter of taste. I daresay that the Falconer style, for reasons that are beyond me, is not to everyone’s taste, but at least his writing:
  • is clear and unambiguous
  • is grammatically, syntactically and orthographically correct in every detail
  • has (I like to think) a certain elegance
  • evinces an old-world charm too often lacking in today’s writing
  • springs no surprises (no sex, profanities or violence)
  • in short, provides good, wholesome, family entertainment!

Friday, 1 May 2015

The Two Lands - Chapter One

The Two Lands | Fiction: fantasy
by Paul Purday

Peter Freeman was running furiously, breathlessly. Fifty metres behind, a bunch of young thugs appeared to be closing in on him; he was not a coward but he knew the odds of six to one were not positive.
With his sense, sharpened in the adrenalin rush of the hunted, he found himself thinking clearly – in fact not unlike someone who is drowning – his mind was as crystal and his life flashed before him. Like a gazelle side-stepping a cheetah he ducked through gates; swerved down side-turnings and then thought – Whitefoot Lane! Quiet and hedge-lined with no entrance from the road he was on. A large oak planted nearby concealed a gap in a garden hedge. He was able to squeeze one-side of the oak and nearly fall through the narrow gap that he had observed there in the past. Hopefully his pursuers (who were not reviewing their lives) would pass the oak on the easy side and would not realize his short, diagonal cut across a well-manicured lawn into Whitefoot Lane. Frantically, wrecking another hedge he fell into the lane and listened to the satisfactory diminishing of his pursuers’ cries.