Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme using words and/or pictures as prompts. Bloggers are encouraged to make what they can from them. The prompts for May can be found here with Elephants’ Child

This is my contribution using the photographic prompts provided for this week.

Red Skies…

Joanne took another look at the photo.

‘No’ she said quietly, almost to herself ‘ I’m blowed if I can remember’

Her Aunt Dora had turned up that morning, mentioning how tired and weary she was from the long bus journey, complaining as usual about anything and everything.

The photograph had come out of her bag when they were at lunch.

‘Joanne, you were with me on that last trip to the old house. I know you’ll have the answer to my question. What time of the day was this one taken, is that a really colourful sunrise or an end of the day sunset?’

All Joanne could do was smile and look interested while inwardly groaning as she remembered what seemed like hundreds of photos Aunt Dora had taken over the two week stay. All of them on Dora’s old 35mm camera, all on film that didn’t have the time and date function ‘her’ new digital camera had.

Day after day they had walked for miles in the neighbouring countryside, Dora pouring out her pent up grief, Joanne accepting the responsibility of being the shoulder Dora needed to cry on.

Their shared loss of an only sister and a mother had been so traumatic for them both they had needed that time together, to mourn, to comfort each other and begin to reignite a relationship cut short many years previously when Joanne’s mother had taken umbrage at something her sister had said.

‘I see you’ve still got that short haired tabby cat Joanne. What’s it doing up on the window sill? Oh look at that grumpy looking grey haired one sitting outside. Do they like each other, they aren’t growling so I suppose they must do’

Oh by the way, I like your new short hair cut. I must see my hairdresser some time, mine’s getting quite long now, I really need a trim and must do something to cover up all this grey’

Joanne just sat back and smiled, yes she thought, you really can be a grumpy old so and so but I do like you!

Words for Wednesday…..

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme using words and/or pictures as prompts. Bloggers are encouraged to make what they can from them.  The prompts for May can be found here with  Elephants’ Child

Here’s my contribution using the suggested words for this week.

Cash back, what’s that?

“John, let me make this clear.  You are not buying another of those infernal machines. Do you hear me?”

John stood gazing out at the window, . All he wanted was a new electric mower, one of those little ones that used less power, energy efficient the salesman had called it.

Sheila had caught him looking through the catalogues – junk mail she called it. There were some really interesting models for sale, ones that would have done the job in half the time his old one took.

Why was she so dead set against it?

She kept on about money,and salesmen talking a load of tommy rot, who were filling his brain with (what she insisted were) unsubstantiated claims that this one is better than that one and things like that.

“Stop looking John!  You know we can’t afford it”

“Honestly, you’ve got a face as long as next week, you’re acting like a little kid looking in the window of a lolly shop, wanting everything you see but disappointed because you only have a penny in your pocket.”

John sighed, oh how he wished he could return to his much younger days, not a care in the world, hanging around with his rapper mates. His money was his, not to be shared with anyone else.  Of course that was long before he arrived in Australia, long he met Sheila, long before he had a house and a garden where he was sure the grass seemed to grow longer by the minute.

In those days it was his Granny who was the one who told him what he could do or couldn’t do. Mostly it was what she wanted him to – like filling the coal scuttle every day, a job he loathed. She’d sit in her chair right beside the fire, tossing her sweetie papers on the floor, complaining about his Mum and Dad never being home. What she couldn’t remember was they weren’t around because they were out working, trying to keep a business going so they’d have a roof over their heads.

His parents weren’t aware of the nightmares he had – Granny sent him down to the cellar that often he would dream of being in there when the coal man arrived, not knowing he was there and tipping the coal out of the sacks, down through the opening right on top of him.

The flowery scent Sheila used wafted over his way. He could hear her talking as well.

John, John, drop what you’re doing, come over here and see what I’ve found.  You’ll also need to get your coat because we’re going out for a while, and there’s a cold wind blowing so button it up.

I was about to put all those flyers in the bin when I saw one you missed. There’s a little mower on special, similar to the ones you’ve been mooning over. I know there’s nothing wrong with the one you’ve got but this one advertised comes with a cash back offer. Which will make it even cheaper!

With the money we save we might be able to afford pizza for dinner. What do you think about that??

Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme using words and/or pictures as prompts. Bloggers are encouraged to make what they can from them. Messimimi is hosting this month – April.

Here’s what I came up with using this week’s suggested words

Sign here please…

Here comes the delivery man, she said to herself. She could see him getting out of the truck, steadying himself before he jumped down onto the driveway.

Such a polite young man, always willing to bring large boxes right inside the front door. Not like the previous one who would hardly give you the time of the day apart from saying, ‘sign here’ – not even a please or thank you from him. And with that he’d drop whatever it was on the ground at her feet.

She was suddenly conscious of someone standing beside her in the hall.

And what have you ordered now Mum?

Oh, just something  for a project I have in mind.

But Mum you promised!

It’s not all for me silly one, it’s to share with others in the craft group.

You know that Patsy next door is having some work done at the back of her house, well, she’s got this really nice labourer doing the jobs on an ad hoc basis.  Nothing definite arranged, just when and if she needs him.  Such a lovely young lad, very outgoing  and chatty, so polite and courteous, just like the delivery man. Has a beautiful voice and is always singing.  Lovely melodies and love songs, not bawdy ones like some of his mates come out with when they’re round there waiting for him to finish up.

I’ll introduce you to him sometime.

Mum, we’re supposed to be discussing this yarn problem you have. Always buying more when there’s loads still in the boxes up in the bedroom.

Oh, I really do have plans for it. You see Patsy’s worker and his friends are always complaining about their cold ears and hands, so I’m going to share some with my crafty friends and we are going to knit them beanies and fingerless gloves to wear when they’re working outside!

Oh, there’s the door bell. I need to go and answer it

Hello Mrs B, how are you today? I bet this is another delivery from the online wool shop.

Sign here please!

Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme using words and/or pictures as prompts. Bloggers are encouraged to make what they can from them. Messimimi is hosting this month – April.

Here’s what I made from her suggested words.

Money makes the world go around….

Tommy had gone down the paddock with his dad and had come back yelling about trees being chock a block with fruit. She thought (guiltily) how lucky they were…..unlike some on neighbouring properties….the dry conditions hadn’t affected them too much……..and it was a pleasure to walk through their orchard abounding in fruit filled trees.

So the decision was made.  Quince jelly it was to be!

‘Don’t make it too sloppy Mum – I like it to spread not pour!’

‘Come on Tom, time for a quick wash. Uncle Billy will be here soon honking the horn on his new truck; he’s going to give you a lift to school. Dad is getting the driveway graded today so it won’t be such a bouncy ride down to the bus stop from now on’

‘Oh and don’t forget to clean your teeth as well. Be careful when you squeeze that new tube of toothpaste, I don’t want to find it all over the sink. And don’t forget to turn the tap off, the water truck won’t be able to deliver until the driveway is finished.’

She knew she was sounding like a nagging mum but she had to remind them both, the handsome debonair man she married as well as her loveable son that money didn’t grow on trees and they couldn’t fritter away every cent they had in the bank.

Watching them leave she wondered how her grandparents had coped when Pa went blind.  Family lore had it he was so depressed after losing his sight he was unable to play his priceless violin, the instrument he loved and treasured, the one brought with him when they arrived as refugees all those many years ago; the one that was going to auction the next week. With luck, she thought, the proceeds would be enough to pay for the driveway…… but in the meantime she had to get on with the quince jelly.

Thanking her Gt Grandparents for planting the trees….. and Hoping money ‘did grow on them’ – she contemplated the sales she hoped to make at Farmers Market in a couple of weeks time.

Money that would go into the bank……. to help pay for the delivery of fresh household tank water!

Words for Wednesday…..

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme using words and/or pictures as prompts. Bloggers are encouraged to make what they can from them. Messimimi is hosting this month – April.

These are the words she’s chosen for for this week – use as many as you want.  Sustenance Street Booth Hint Syrup Drab  Older Cardboard Wounded Front Empty Astonished

Do you remember?

Long time friends Rosie, Annie and Maisie would meet for coffee many times during the year and as always discussed their childhood days and the lovely memories they evoked. “Do you remember the day…….” were words they were very familiar with.

Rosie and Annie were sisters- Rosie being the older of the two.

For as long as they could remember, when they were little they had lived in the same house, which was in the same street as Maisie. Maisie actually lived next door but her front door faced in a different direction to theirs, so the two fathers had fashioned a gate in the fence which allowed them to ‘visit each other’ without having to run up and down the street.

Annie was a bit of a clumsy clot, forever falling over, running home with scraped knees and other assorted injuries; so much so that her mother’s pet name for her was My Poor Little Wounded Soldier.

Which certainly didn’t endear her to older sister Rosie, who thought it was all a put on job to get extra attention.

But it was a nasty sore throat that actually caused an injury that Annie certainly hadn’t ‘cooked up’.

Bedridden and needing cough syrup to ease the pain, her mother told her to lie quietly while she popped next door to see if she could borrow some which would save her going down the street.

Annie had heard the other two girls laughing and giggling in the garden and was desperate to know what they were up to. Looking out the window all she could see was an enormous cardboard box on end with a hole cut out of the front.

“Wonder what they are up to now, I can hear them but can’t see them. They know I’m feeling poorly so I bet they are going to surprise me with a Punch and Judy show ‘cose that looks just like a booth we saw at the seaside. Although it’s a bit drab not bright and cheerful like those ones are”

Absolutely convinced the other girls were sitting inside the box planning their show, Annie being Annie, decided she wanted a better look – so out the window she leaned.

What she hadn’t bargained for was her mother returning and finding her out of bed. Flustered at having to decide whether it was Out the window or Back to bed she toppled over and fell – right on top of the box – which she was astonished to find was empty

Lots of tears, lots of telling off, lots of ice for her swollen ankle, lots of ribbing and lots of hugs from her mum. And of course with just a hint of a smile (and a giggle) there was lots of explaining from her sister. No Punch and Judy show, just two girls taking a break from pretending to be on tv.

Words for Wednesday(on Thursday)

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme using words and/or pictures as prompts.  Bloggers are encouraged to make what they can from them.  Lissa from ‘the memory of rain’ is hosting January – these are the ones for this week

Beginning* New Year* Wonder* Ritual* Kiss* Faith*
Seven* Remember* Adventure* Miles* 88* Heart*

I wonder wonder who…..

Rosie got to the end of the row and sighed.

She tried to remember* whose idea it was for her to knit the grandchild a new pullover for school

88* stitches to a row – that child had grown so much he was almost a man. Ate like a man, her daughter, his mother kept saying. It’s no wonder* he is the size he is when you look at his father and extended family on that side.

Life for him was an adventure* he was on the go from getting up time until going to bed time. Not a quiet sit read a book child but one who was constantly moving at what seemed like 100 miles* an hour.

Hello Gran! Caught you with your eyes shut!

She opened her eyes to see a young man standing in front of her chair. I just popped round to sit with you for a while, put your knitting away, and I’ll tell you my latest news.

She welcomed the ritual* of a kiss* on each cheek followed by a long look in each other’s eyes. Eyes that reminded her of a man gone seven* years now, one she had loved with all her heart* and one her faith* told her, she would be reunited with in time.

Then she smiled, she couldn’t remember who suggested it, but she did remember who it was she knit the school pullover for all those years ago.  The now not so chubby but lean and lanky grandson sitting opposite her bursting to speak just as he did as an eight year old.

There’s this new job I’m beginning* in the New Year*…..it’s in Canada….at a ski resort!

Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

Words for wednesday is a weekly meme using words or pictures as prompts.
Bloggers are encouraged to make what they will of them

Lee has chosen these words to use on this second Wednesday in June
Attitude, Uphill, Insight, Lessons, Upheaval, Canopy
Patience, Engage, Humility, Strategy, Fortitude, Forbearance

This is what I’ve made of them – using one set or both, why don’t you have a go
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Old love – New love

‘If you have the right attitude you can’t fail to obtain the degree you applied for, said the facilitator of Heather’s class.

Leaving the lecture the three friends pottered over to the Uni cafe, grinning at each other as they stood in line.

Heather listened quietly as the other two chatted on, ‘Old Higgins must have the patience of a saint having to deal with a new intake of students every March’

She knew that her Pa had been chums with ‘Old Higgins’ at Melbourne – Father’s constant companion had been Higgin’s son jokingly called Higgins Minor by all and sundry. Although of similar ages Mother had had a fling with ‘young Higgins’ as she called him but father won through because…..in her mind…..he rode and played tennis in a far superior manner and didn’t talk about excavations, artifacts or midden heaps.

Heather couldn’t understand her mother’s reasoning because she herself disliked horses intensely and as long as she could remember all she’d wanted to do was go on a dig, walk uphill and down dale to visit an archeological site and maybe find something of interest. Each time he visited she would constantly engage with her father’s friend, trying to gain an insight into the lives of those who’d gone before.

Family all agreed she had faced the upheaval caused by her father’s death with strength and fortitude beyond her years. Her mother had shown great humility in coming up with a plan of action that would allow Heather to continue attending her prestigious city school. This strategy had involved asking the school for forbearance on school fees, then organising in association with the local club a summer programme of tennis lessons on their personal court at home.

All through this Heather, much to her mother’s chagrin, had kept alive her desire to study archaeology. And here she was, about to begin her first year, and she just knew dear Old Higgins would become her favourite professor.

There was just one thing she couldn’t understand though.

On one of the recent hot days she’d wandered down to the tennis court and even further on towards the back of the block where some trees with high branches had formed a shady overhead canopy; she’d stopped in her tracks when she saw her mother and ‘young Higgins’ sitting together on one of the wooden benches – holding hands and looking longingly into each others eyes.

Now what was that all about she wondered??

Words for Wednesday

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme using words or pictures as prompts            Bloggers are encouraged to make what they will of them

These are the words Lee has provided for the first Wednesday in June
Comedy – Shadows- Loss – Rainbow – Emotional – Heart 
Contradictions – Sensitive- Legendary- Engage – Forever – Never ending 

And this is what I made of them – perhaps you’d like to have a go also
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Thoughts of an old Thespian

Paul stood outside the doors of the local Little Theatre company thinking of all the times he had been onstage relishing the applause that came as the curtain dropped.

The night before he’d been to a special performance of the current production. A revival showcasing one of his favourite roles; a comedy about a young man in a country village who seemed to have all the young girls trying to catch his eye. The young man is portrayed as being sensitive and understanding but also a little slow on the uptake.

Paul’s thoughts went back to his time as leading man remembering how difficult that role had actually been. There were the never ending rehearsals, constant script revisions, a director whose instructions were full of contradictions; there was no wonder he, who was legendary for breaking the heart of more than one young actress had suffered the indignity of having taken forever to engage with ‘that woman’.

He had never forgiven his agent, he was the one who had been responsible for introducing her to the director, which resulted in Paul’s latest ‘young lady’ not getting the part. In his mind there was nothing worse than an emotional female and there he was having to cope with two of them!

Trying not to slip on the wet pathway he was all smiles as he made his way down to the coffee shop. It was a foggy damp day and there waiting for him, walking towards him, no, almost floating towards him, from out of the misty shadows was Rosie.

Once again they chuckled and recalled how on the night the show closed all those years ago, he had dropped into the jazz club to ‘drown his sorrows’ as well as ‘heal his wounds’ and there she was!

Sitting on the edge of the stage a la Judy Garland; singing her heart out; loving every minute of it.

Her loss went on to be his (and her) gain – she hadn’t left town but stayed to persue a different career.

Oh yes, there really was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and he’d had no trouble engaging with it!

Words for Wednesday……

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme using word or picture prompts           Bloggers are encouraged to make what they can of them

This month (May) Elephant’s Child is providing the prompts on behalf of a friend        And these two pictures are this week’s prompts 😊

The photos are provided by Bill Dodds – visit his blog HERE

And this is my very meagre contribution

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Mother and Daughter

But Mum…..

I don’t care what the Girly Gull Gang are going to do. You aren’t going to go there.

But Mum…..

No buts about it, chips are bad for you.

But Mum…..

Hanging around the pop up chip shop at the rocky end of the breakwater is not what I want for my girl.

But Mum….

How many times do I have to tell you, fish is what we eat.

But Mum….

Come on, stop your squawking, I’m in a hurry.  I need to nip down the dock and see what they’re tossing off the boats.  Best free feed in town!

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Now it’s over to you – this week I’d really like to hear/read what you could come up with using these picture prompts.  I’m sure it would be a better effort than mine!

Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme with words or picture prompts given
Bloggers are encouraged to make what they can of them

This month (May) Elephant’s Child is providing the prompts on behalf of a friend
This is how I used them this week

Off one’s rocker – Hit the sack

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Family Memories 

Where did you find it? Joe asked
Tucked right up the back of one of the drawers.
It must have been there for years – look at the dress Grandma’s wearing!
All the rage back then replied Susie. Mum said she called it a Sack!

Joe went off to find his sax, happy to be spending an evening with his mates playing old rock and roll numbers at the community centre while Susie made herself comfortable on the old chair and reopened the exercise book she’d discovered earlier in the day.

She and Joe had been sharing a house and like most youngsters never said no to ‘free things’ especially serviceable furniture. The latest being an old chest of drawers from Grandma’s old house.

‘Dear Diary’ were the first words she read – what followed were pages and pages of what seemed like happy memories of a fun loving family. There were lots of girlish day to day writings, school, boys, music, trivial to some but obviously important to Grandma. Then there were later thoughts and recollections some of which Susie had never heard before.

“Dad worked hard at the fodder shop, trying to earn enough to allow me and Tommy to get a good education. I’d shown him some pictures in the papers of Mods and Rockers over in England and he reminded me I’d need good marks to get a good job to allow me to travel”

Just before I showed him the picture of one of the girls in a ‘sack dress’ (sort of like a straight up and down shift) the shop cat had been nosing around some of the empty sacks so Dad was sorting them out – shaking and hitting them to make sure they were empty. Last thing we need round here is vermin he’d say.

When I told him how much I’d love to have a dress like that, he laughed and jokingly said, Tell you what, give me a hand and I’ll give you a sack to make a dress out of”. That was Dad, he knew how much I wanted one and thought he was doing me a favour. When I finally made it to England, each time I had a sack of coal delivered or saw a sack of potatoes my mind returned to that day in the feed shop”

Oh, this must be about Grandad thought Susie when she turned the page

” My dearest Johnny would sometimes pop into the shop – on the pretext of having a yarn with Dad but later I discovered it was with the hope of seeing me – he’d just begun his motor mechanics apprenticeship and was forever talking it over with Dad.

Rockers, he said one day, I’ve been learning about rockers.

Trying to keep a straight face Dad teased him and asked if he meant rock and rolling rockers – no, not them a very earnest Johnny replied. Rockers on cars. Did you know there are rocker arms, rocker covers, rocker panels and roller rockers? We’ve spent all day taking them off and putting them back on again.”

Susie closed the book, smiling as she remembered her Grandad’s love of cars, then getting up out of the comfy chair she looked down at the wooden rockers and wondered how many hours Grandma had rocked away while nursing her and Joe’s Mum.

You still up? Joe yelled.
Yes, I’m going to read a bit more. There’s something here about meeting up with Grandad in London. Want to hear about it?

You’ve got to be joking, I’ve got a plane to catch in the morning.
Come on, it’s time to HIT THE SACK

You’ve really got to be OFF YOUR ROCKER to think I’m staying up to listen to that.

Make it into a Vlog and post it on your blog – then I can listen to you reading it after I’ve been to the car show in London

Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme with words or picture prompts given
Bloggers are encouraged to make what they can of them

This month (May) Elephant’s Child is providing the prompts on behalf a friend
This is how I used them this week

Baptism – Dregs – Pinafore – Exploring – Sugar – Beehive
Heart – Meddling – Primary – Contrary – Mug – Kitchen
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Family Baptism Day

All Mary could think of as she cleaned the kitchen was how upset Aunty Josie had been at the church after the baptism of her youngest daughter’s first child.

By all accounts her cousin had arrived at the airport (no overnight ferry for her) beaming with the babe in her arms but no man there to stand at the font alongside her and the baby.  From what she gathered it seems a short explanation was given and there were smiles all round.

They’d all come back to her place for the afternoon tea she’d prepared early that morning.

There’d been so many invited that when her aunt was pointedly heard wondering about where was everyone going to sit, and didn’t Mary have such a lovely big house, she hadn’t the heart to say no and had offered her house in lieu of going back to her aunt’s  – which of course meant the rooms were filled with uncles and aunties and cousins galore along with their tribes of little horrors who thankfully stayed outside in the back yard.

Mary wasn’t shy in voicing her feelings to her extended family so she’d told them (the wee ones that was) in no uncertain manner that – to use one of her father’s choice expressions – she’d have their ‘guts for garters’ if she saw them near the chicken run or  exploring the vegetable garden

Standing there by the sink, she noticed a silver coin on the bench.  One of the family would have put it into the baby’s hand and in the confusion of gathering up all the bits and pieces it been left behind.  I’ll take it round to Aunty Josie’s later, she thought as she put it into the pocket of the pinafore that covered her best frock.

Sipping on another mug of tea (no sugar, it’s fattening, she heard her late mother say) and as if to annoy her contrary Mary added a spoonful before mentally comparing herself to her cousin, the new mother.

Noticeably her hair hung long and loose, there was no beehive hairdo for her – the only beehives in her life were the ones she’d tended all those years ago with Jimmy.  Thanks to her mother’s meddling Jimmy was long gone and no one had ever appeared to take his place.

These days after she’d seen all the little ones on their way and the school closed for the day her primary aim in life was to be content and at peace with herself.  Jimmy always said she needed to be close to nature- not deal with the dregs of society like he did.

All evening her mind kept replaying the scene at the church.  She knew in her heart the words she’d heard coming from her aunt’s mouth weren’t really the truth.

But even so, was Uncle Billy really ‘a silly old eejit who after a few drinks wouldn’t think twice about telling the world the real reason why the child’s father wasn’t there that afternoon’?

Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme with words or picture prompts given   Bloggers are encouraged to make what they can of them

This month (February) it is River who will be providing the prompts
And this is how I used them this week

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John’s Dream House

Looking at the exterior of the house and seeing the flicker of interest in the woman’s eyes John felt he was on to a winner.

His wife, this stunning madwoman standing beside him, had been after him to view the dilapidated property ever since it came onto the market but so far he had resisted.

The hilly approach road had to be considered, it’s proximity to the mountain lake was a worry, his grandfather’s prediction about a drowning was still ringing in his ears yet the thought of the show those beautiful rare white lilac trees would put on in the Spring was just too much for him to bear

Of course, all those beastly plane trees would have to go. He’d had enough problems with them in town when his eyes watered and his nose twitched courtesy of the pollen they produced.

Years later, sitting at the undertaker’s desk with so many houghts going through his mind he reminisced about the many seasons they enjoyed there – she gathering raw materials for her art and craft classes; he trying to write ‘the novel he had in him’ all the while laughing and joking and telling each other ‘if music be the food of love play on’ or giggling as they made sure ‘they had their love to keep them warm’

He remembered her concern for his health.  It didn’t matter what time of the year they drove up she had always been particular about food preparation and hygiene.  No nasty bugs or bacteria would have dared to show their face in her kitchen.

Also the way his crazy loveable zany wife would carefully boil the water drawn from the rain water tank they had installed to ensure it was safe for him to drink.

Unfortunately it was a bacterial infection that took her from him.

Well the result of one to be precise.

While she was recovering from a bout of bacterial pneumonia John had slowly walked her down for one last look at the lake, turned his back to gaze at their home and in her frail condition she wandered too close to the waters edge.

For a long time before that, even as both their healths had deteriorated, so many locals tried to approach John with a view to buying the house up in the hills.  He had refused to sell their ‘lakeside shack’ as he called it; saying there wasn’t enough cash in all the bank vaults in the world that would persuade him to part with it.

Once he realised his grandfather’s prediction had come true he reneged, saying it was time for new eyes to look at the old place.  It needed young lovers to once again live their lives there and fill the house with their dreams.

Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme with words or pictures prompts given   Bloggers are encouraged to make what they can of them

This month (October) Cindi is providing the prompts
And this is how I used them this week

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Tom and Tim 7 – The time is right.

‘Heard about your loss, come visit us some time. Lots of tales to tell you about the family’. Tom looked at the envelope and then once again at the card. I know the service can be bad at times, he thought, but the mystery still remains on how on earth it could have taken seven years for a letter to come from England.

Tom conceded seven years had been a long time to be haunted by pain and memories. Emotions that would swing like a pendulum between outward happiness and inward depression – his counsellor had advised him to try keeping a diary to record those sad invisible thoughts and feelings and that was the turning point. There was no need to silently rant and scream out in the paddocks, now he was able to voice those thoughts on paper.

He acknowledged that his life was about to begin again – it was the arrival of that card from his distant cousin plus the follow up letters to each other that did it. Plus of course the change of attitude in his brother Tim which meant he was about to leave the family property and fly away to meet the ones who according to his mother, ‘had money and rather than sharing, decided to stay behind. Fat lot of good it did them though!’

The photo of a ruined house that had come with one of those letters had intrigued him. His architectural training told him nothing like that had ever been built in his little town or even the nearby city yet it was vaguely familiar.

Looks like a tingler doesn’t it, was Tim’s reaction to the photo. You know, a tingling up your spine place. Haunted house, ghosts and other creepy crawlies hanging around that make you scream in the night.  Would make a great film set.

Tom had imagined small birds making nests inside the ruined buildings, flying in and out of the non existent windows like invisible tour guides there to usher visiting migrating cousins from room to room relating the history as they flew about.

And as if reading (or maybe misreading) Tom’s mind, Tim in his own special way continued to muse out loud about the photo and his movie idea. Remember that poem dad used to recite about some bird banging on the window, with all those windows and doors you could call it The Raven; sounds like a good name.  Have loads of spooky props, wax the wooden floor so one of the stars goes head over heels in an effort to get out as fast as they can. Should be a ripper!

Picking up his suitcase Tom took one last look at the photo. His brother Tim had taken over the running of the property, his distant cousin was waiting in ‘the old country’, the clocks pendulum would continue to swing back and forth as his life took another turn.

Oh the tales he would have to tell on his return. That’s where my diary is going to come in handy was his last thought as he let Tim usher him out to the waiting car.

Previous episodes – 123 – 456

Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme with words or picture prompts given Bloggers are encouraged to make what they can of them.

This month (October) Cindi is providing the prompts

This is how I used the ones for this week

~ ~ ~ ~

Tom and Tim 6 – Tom makes a decision.

Tim suggested it and for once Tom agreed with him. Friends had also cautiously mentioned it to him. He realised he couldn’t hide from the truth any longer. Now was the time for him to accept the fact that he needed to pluck up the courage and seek some sort of grief counselling.

He blamed it on the dream. He had a vague idea but really couldn’t understand what had caused the recurrence of a dream he’d had years ago.

It was a pleasant dream – definitely not like the nightmares he’d had as a child.

They occurred when his father had continually threatened him with the belt if one of them left a gate open or a tap running. Living on a property dependent on rain, a bore or heavens forbid a truck to deliver their water supply was difficult. He envied his school friends, the children who lived in town, being able to play with a garden hose on a hot day.  Where he lived humans and stock were far more important.

As children the twins had listened to their mother recalling the nightmares she suffered after she discovered they had dug tunnels  near the sand quarry. She suffered from asthma and he could remember her huskily recounting the terrible visions she had seen in her dreams, visions of Tim messing about, being a bit of a clown causing the tunnels to collapse around them both.

After watching a rerun of ‘The Red Balloon’ Tom and Vera decided to make the trip to Paris for their honeymoon. She wanted to experience the sights she’d seen in the film, quite sure she would see children walking the streets holding those famous red and blue balloons. He had been so proud of his ‘vision of loveliness’ conquering her fear of flying. They drove to the airport on a cool misty morning, water dripping off the pine trees that lined the property’s driveway and it had certainly taken a great deal of courage for her to board the aircraft.

The dream first occurred not long after they arrived home.

In it he gazed off into the horizon watching red balloons floating away above a forest of pine trees shrouded in mist. At the time it was a beautiful reminder of that happy event.

He hadn’t experienced it again until this past week – uncannily, it was similar to the picture he saw in the travel section of the paper. The one that had him weeping uncontrollably, unable to hide his tears, when Tim arrived that morning.

 

Previous episodes – Tom And Tim 1234 – 5

Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme with words or picture prompts given bloggers are encouraged to make what they can of them.

This month (October) Cindi is providing the prompts

And here’s how I used the ones for this week

~ ~ ~ ~

Tom and Tim 5 – Tom recalls a tragedy

The town was slowly recovering from the loss of Mr T. He was so well known in the area the local paper had recorded that as well as local residents, family and friends, the amount of workers attending from various stations, cattle yards and the nearby slaughterhouse had caused the funeral home to overflow on to the street and it was the best send off anyone had had for many a year.

Even though it hurt, Tom smiled through his grief as he read the obituaries written about a man who had been like father to him.  Turning the page he noticed the photo of the recent lightning storm and his mind wandered back to that time in his life when he’d gone bush, gone upcountry, leaving his mother in Tim’s care, hoping his brother would be able to cope.

He had witnessed those dramatic scenes of a sky filled with huge great bolts of static electricity when he was all alone filled with melancholy and grief trying to get over the shock of his beautiful Vera’s violent death.

Vera, the love of his life, had worked in the laboratory at the slaughterhouse. It was an accident the authorities reported. Unseasonal storms had flooded the building, associated gales had damaged some electric cabling. As much as he wanted to believe otherwise Tom felt the company’s poor maintenance schedule was to blame, Vera who was electrocuted during the clear up, had previously mentioned tingling sensations in her hands and arms when opening doors.

Out there in the outback each night he’d gone to sleep with the words – ‘as well as murdering animals in my town they murder people – running through his mind’.

He so missed Vera’s laugh, he missed the way she would amuse him with a sneaky kiss, he longed to experience that thrilling sensation of desire lost to him forever.

Calling home one day Tim let slip that mother was ailing mentally, he’d found her out in the drive complaining about ruts deep enough to be called ravines and if Tom didn’t come home to fix them she’d throw herself down them. Then Tim (who had been on the maintenance team at the slaughterhouse) let it be known if Tom didn’t come back soon there’d be another murder in the town.

~ ~ ~ ~

Previous episodes – Tom And Tim 1234

Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme with word or picture prompts given
bloggers are encouraged to make what they can of them.

This month (October) Cindi is providing the prompts
And here’s how I used the ones for this week
~ ~ ~ ~

Tom and Tim 4 – Coffee break with Tom

Tom stood by open window of the farmhouse kitchen scanning the trees for any sign of the crows who had been cawing all morning long. He’d seen them perched up there early on when checking the stock destined for the sale yard.

There was one testy old beast he’d noticed, ‘might be best to warn Tim to watch him on loading’ he thought. Don’t want another disaster like the last time’.

That was the time he’d trusted Tim and old Trevor to transport his livestock into town.  Tim swore blind it wasn’t his fault but in the darkness old Trevor managed to get knocked about a bit and had to be carted off to the local hospital.

Thankfully the arm they all worried about was, as Trevor’s littlest grandson gleefully described, unbroken  not broke.

As Tom dropped his cup in the sink he felt the breeze come through the window and heard a rustling in the branches.  ‘There they go again’ he  said out loud, just as a half forgotten memory made its way into his early morning tired and weary brain.  His father had once told him that Crows Ravens and Rooks all belonged to the same ‘family’.   Also South Australia didn’t have crows, they only had ravens – but how true that was he didn’t know.

His father had been a poetry lover, a great reader, visiting the library in town whenever he could leave the property …….before his accident that was.

Then memories of his father reciting a poem called The Raven came flooding back, he could hear the mournful sorrow in his father’s voice as he began to speak the words about a dark night and the bird tapping at the door.  He looked again at the photograph he’d found on internet.  Seemingly linked in some way to that same poem the young girl (for surely that’s what she was) reminded Tom of someone, looking into her eyes he seemed to be able to see right down into her soul and he wondered what she was hiding.

A little while later he quietly put the phone down from speaking to Mrs T; digesting the sad news of old Trever’s sudden death was when it all came rushing back.  The forgotten grim months – years even – of sorrow that sunk deep down into his soul. He knew then whose eyes it was he saw in the photo.

Hearing the sound of the truck making its way up the long drive and knowing the reception he’d receive, he took one last look at the girl who reminded him of his lovely Vera and mentally prepared himself for the ominous task of relaying the sad sad news to his brother Tim.

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Don’t forget to pop over to Cindi’s blog and see how other bloggers have used the prompts this week – and mabe add your own contribution 😊

Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme in which words are used as a prompt – bloggers are encouraged to make what they can of them.

River has been providing the words this month and this is what I made of them this week 😊

Tom and Tim 3 – Trouble follows the twin named Tim (or was it Tom)

Tom had always been a complaisant child, appearing willing to help, doing as others wanted him to do. Never grumbling, just getting on with it – sometimes just to keep the peace, like when Tim objected to doing what their parents deemed to be shared jobs on the farm. It was this trait that got him into hot water or maybe it was this trait that helped Tim get him into trouble.

Many years beforehand the nuns at school welcomed Tom and his willing nature but had always had reservations about Tim and his bouts of bedevilment.  The subversive teasing and tormenting of younger ones in the playground or on the school bus was becoming a problem which didn’t seem to slow down no matter how many times his parents met with the parish priest and the bus driver.

‘That child will be the death of me’ his mother was often heard to exclaim. ‘He’ll change’ said his father ‘It’s just high jinks, I was the same at his age’. The parish priest silently thought the father was clutching at straws if he thought that was going to happen.

Now even though the boys accepted the companionship of being twins (a ready playmate when they were younger, someone to talk to about a new horse their father may have purchased) views and attitudes changed as time went by; that closeness disappearing to be replaced by a feeling of being in competition with each other.

Not long after the B&S Ball the local council decided the hall – which had previously been the Mechanics Institute – needed a new roof.  It was the same month the rates had been struck and many of the locals were not too happy with the new costs and constantly put forward hardship requests, being unable to pay due to (real or imagined) extenuating circumstances.

‘Tell you what’ Councillor Tim said, I’ll consult with Tom and see if he’s got a mate who can fix it.  He’ll be able to get someone to give us a quote by using his computer.’  Unfortunately Tom’s mates didn’t extend to roofing contractors but that didn’t deter his brother’s need to get the roof fixed – on the cheap.  ‘You can do it Tom, didn’t you learn all that stuff at Uni about houses and roofs’  ‘Architecture is not the same thing’ replied Tom knowing in his bones he would agree to do something he didn’t really want to do.

They laughed about it later.  A little familiarity had returned to their relationship.

Tim had come up with a weird scaffolding concoction instead of a ladder to give them a sideways view of the roof.  Mr and Mrs T lived next door to the hall and unfortunately Tim hadn’t noticed Mrs Ts car was parked nearby, so when his foot slipped the plastic bag containing the meat pies and takeaway coffee which he’d picked up earlier with the intention of killing two birds with one stone (lunch and getting Tom to look at the roof) landed with a big splat right there on the roof.

Mrs Ts husband Trevor was not happy – he was cleaning out their gutters in preparation for painting the eaves below and only saw Tom looking down from the hall’s rooftop.  Tom was the one who ended up paying for the cleaning and polishing of the car – Tim had said he’d go halves but there was always some reason why the money never eventuated.  A bit like the local rate payers and their pleas of extenuating circumstances.

Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme where words are provided as prompts – bloggers are encouraged to make what they can of them.

This month River is providing the words.  Here is my effort for this week

Tom and Tim 2 – More Time with the Twins

Tom was in a very pensive mood that evening. It was near dusk – that time of the day when it is neither day nor dark – and as he looked out of the window his mind slipped back many years to another dusky evening. His mother and Tim featured in his thoughts as well as Vera.

Vera, who later was to become the love of his life, had first appeared on Tim’s arm at the B&S Ball in the country town where they were living at the time.

Their father had been thrown from a horse and being unable to work meant their mother had to turn her hand to all sorts of things to pay the bills. Her love of knitting enabled her to spin from the fleece of their own sheep and sell the hand knits on market day. She was also a talented seamstress having the knack of being able to look at a picture in a magazine, take some measurements, agree on a day, and at the allocated time hand over a perfectly fitting finished garment

Reflecting on their turbulent upbringing trying to cope with an angry invalid father Tom remembered that however slapdash and indifferent his mother to them she was well known for her love of unusual fabrics as well as her desire to give her customers ‘perfection to die for’. That was her slogan – unfortunately perfection, unusual fabrics along with curiosity would cause havoc on the night of the ball.

The twin’s mother had made most of the dresses the local girls wore but not Vera’s.  So when, just as the light was failing at dusk on a warm summer’s evening, this vision of loveliness dressed in the most exquisite amethyst coloured silk gown made from fabric so fine it resembled gossamer floated into the hall on Tim’s arm there was gasp from all the local girls.

Right there and then Tom had a funny feeling something was going to happen – and sure enough it did.

Tim introduced Vera to all and sundry knowing his mother was over in the kitchen and would be itching to find out what was happening. The committee had decided pork roasts were to be cooked for supper and she, as well as chatting away with the other kitchen helpers, was supervising some youngsters who were slicing apples to make the accompanying sauce.

Making their way round the room they had stopped by the kitchen door to talk with old Trevor about the security that had been arranged for all the utes (and dogs) out in the paddock serving as a car park when Vera let out a scream.

Tom rushed over to find that Mother, fortified by a couple of port and lemons drunk earlier with the other ladies, had lifted the hem of Vera’s exquisite dress to examine the fine gossamer like material just as Mrs T walking past with a roasting pan slipped on some of the apple sauce dropped by one of youngsters and deposited one rather large pork roast onto the back of the dress by way of bouncing off the top of Vera’s very modern back combed beehive hairdo!

Oh it was perfect! Mother Vera and Mrs T cried in unison.

What was perfect? cried Tom

The dress – cried Mother.

My hair – cried Vera.

The roast – cried Mrs T

Why don’t you make your way over to River’s and see what other have contributed.

Words for Wednesday (on Thursday)

Words for Wednesday is a weekly meme where words are provided and bloggers make what they can of them.

This month River is providing the words.  This is my effort 😊

Tom and Tim 1 – Time with the Twins

Tom was puffing so much when he got to the top of the hill he really thought he was about to pass out. He once again told himself he must lose some weight especially now Tim had suggested a few days away together would be a good thing for them both.

These past few days as he readied himself for his morning shave he had stood there looking at himself in the mirror, frowning as he noticed how much further back his hairline had receded.

His brother Tim had confused him by talking about a fishing  trip in The Territory when he was under the impression they were going to South Australia. Seems the fish were bigger and better up there and you could catch something almost every time you put your rod in the water.

Once upon a time Tim had been the Supreme Champion in the fly fishing club but had conceded defeat after the terrible goings on at last year’s championship event.

Each fisher was supposed to make their own flies but because the arthritis in his fingers had become a problem he had done a despicable deed and got a youngster to make them (under my tutorage he protested when the truth came out)

Oh well, thought Tom, maybe this trip will do us both good. We both deserve a treat. Being twins meant they’d shared so much during their lives, another birthday together wasn’t going to harm them.

He thought of the fun they’d had on the last one his mother had organised for them with a banner over the door and candles on each of their cakes. That had been eight years ago – maybe he’d better put some flowers on her grave before they went away.

Why don’t you pop over to River’s and see what other bloggers have contributed