18/11/2020

LOCKDOWN BLUES

 

LOCKDOWN BLUES

I fought to stay in my own home – the small flat Dennis and I shared holds such happy memories.

“You’d have company every day in the nursing home, Mum,” Fran said each time she visited.

“A load of geriatrics,” I’d replied, “And I’d miss my garden.”

She refrained from reminding me I was eighty-six, and dropped the subject.

But this virus has made my home a prison. No shopping trips, no Age Concern lunches, the library’s shut, and my garden is in shadow all day.

To top it all, there’s nobody to talk to since my cat died.

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Unfortunately, this is the situation many old people find themselves in - and some not so old, too. We bless the day, last January, when we moved my Mum into a nursing home. It's just up the road from me, so I can visit regularly. Even in Covid times they have allowed distanced visits in the conservatory, and although we can't hug, we can talk. Today is Mum's 96th birthday, and I've arranged to visit bearing gifts. Here she is talking to my son.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MUM XX

Thanks to Sarah Potter for the image and Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog:  https://rochellewisoff.com/  from whence you can follow the link to read other stories.

11/11/2020

THROUGH THE ARCHED WINDOW

 

THROUGH THE ARCHED WINDOW

That morning they’d woken up to the first snow-fall, but there’d been no time to play before work, and by the time they got home it was dark.

 Harvey’s mum switched on the TV to a recording of Playschool and began to vacuum the house, secure in the knowledge that he was engrossed in trying to guess which window Floella would choose.

 His scream sent her racing downstairs two at a time, but Harvey cried, “Look, Mum – we can make a snowman tomorrow!”

 And through the arched window she saw her husband, outlined in lights like a mirage, home from the war.

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Shamelessly sentimental, I know, but there were thousands upon thousands of servicemen and women who didn't make it home from the wars which we remembered in England this week. So this story is a tribute to them.

'We will remember them' the prayer says, and I also love a less well-known but very moving one - 'When you go home, tell them of us and say / for your tomorrow we gave our today.'

The TV programme Playschool was a favourite with my children, all now adult. Every week they were asked to guess which of three windows, square, round or arched, would take them to the next part of the programme. Mind you, I had to ask my elder daughter the name of a presenter!

04/11/2020

LAS GALLETAS

This photograph takes me back to Las Galletas, the seaside village in Tenerife where we did our shopping for fifteen years. 

The bricks cut from volcanic rock, the rough slabs underfoot - even the icecream adverts and boxes of oranges are the same.

We sat in a shaded street just like this one for coffee, admiring the plants on a house opposite, sheltering in the shade from the fierce sun that eventually drove us back to England.



Thanks to Rochelle for the photo which evoked some happy memories. To read fiction from other members of Friday Fictioneers, go to her blog and click on the frog!  https://rochellewisoff.com/
The rock from which those bricks were hewn is only one variety out of hundreds, and that inspired me to write my Living Rock books, so our time in Tenerife wasn't wasted.
Click on the link to read the first book, A Volcanic Race, or go direct to Amazon for more.


 

31/10/2020

SLEEP OF THE ROCKMEN

 

All over their vast continent the Rockmen slumbered. From the mountainous western shore to the white chalk cliffs of the far east, tribes of Humans moved more freely, confident in the knowledge that their giant neighbours would not wake until spring. From the wave-battered south coast to the frozen north, animals roamed forests and grassland, undisturbed by the large hunters that gave off no warning scent.

In the volcanoes that dotted this young land, lava simmered gently, waiting for the Mother to wake and send more children for Her volcanic race, but no tremors disturbed the Rockmen in their beds. The danger that threatened their lives lurked unseen – deep beneath the earth pressure was building, slowly and inexorably, between two continental plates – unheard by any ear, million-ton rocks groaned – and, hidden in a frozen lake, a glowing rift widened.

Extract of an early version of A VOLCANIC RACE - first book in my LIVING ROCK series. Click on the link to buy it from Amazon.

A VOLCANIC RACE: a LIVING ROCK book: Amazon.co.uk: YOUNG, LIZ: 9798679889521: Books

29/10/2020

EARLY TO SCHOOL

 

EARLY TO SCHOOL

Sally’s hard-won custody battle came at a price – new name, different area, change of school, and a menial job that meant she had to drop Josie at school early, with only the janitor to watch her.

 Tired of waiting alone, Josie left her bag by the door while she used the toilets in the yard. Half an hour later the other kids lined up behind her bag, sliding it backwards as they shuffled along.

 It was still there at break time, and the teacher phoned Sally – an hour too late to follow the trail. Josie’s father had won after all.

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It's an unwritten rule, isn't it, that a bag, or a full trolley, marks a place in the queue - at least, in those countries where people queue rather than scramble for places. 

I missed last week, being unable to come up with a story that felt original enough. Well done to those of you who wrote one. Thanks to J Hardy Carroll for this week's photo and to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/

On the subject of writing, my 5 yr old granddaughter decided Sunday lunch at Nan's warranted a menu - here is the result. The phonetic spelling must be read aloud to get its full meaning!

NB - we made the lemn coocees to accompany the  I screem.

PS - click on the book cover (top right on this page) to buy the last book in my Living Rock series. The whole series would make a neat Christmas present for anyone - teen to adult - who enjoys stories where reality is slightly askew but the people, their hopes and fears, are as real as ever.

14/10/2020

MARINA SAN MIGUEL

 

MARINA SAN MIGUEL

Craig rode past the security guard, ignoring his shout, and cycled through the marina, admiring the yachts with a connoisseur’s eye.

The A VENDRE sign seemed to be aimed directly at him, but as he leaned his bike against the lamp-post a head popped out of the hatch. ‘You can’t leave that there.’

Craig grinned. ‘Not even if I’m a buyer?’

The man barked a laugh. ‘Oddest-looking sports car I’ve ever seen.’

‘Appearances can be deceptive,’ Craig said, pulling a supermarket bag full of cash from his basket. ‘I’ve just won the lottery – want to show me round?’

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There are many marinas in Tenerife, where we lived for fifteen years. Our friends owned a lovely old ocean-going boat, so this story is a tribute to Knotts Gypsy, in whom Dave sailed single-handed across the Atlantic. For 40 days we had no word - no indication whether he was alive or dead - then he came within mobile phone signal range and we watched from the beach in Las Galletas as he sailed past to San Miguel.

Thanks to CEAyr for the photo which prompted my memory and this story, and to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers. If you want to read other stories, or even to join in, go to her blog and click on the frog.  https://rochellewisoff.com/

07/10/2020

QUAY-SIDE CAFE - a story in 100 words

 

QUAY-SIDE CAFE

Lockdown hit our quay-side cafė hard – most of our regulars began making their coffee at home, and our usual lunch-time office workers simply vanished.

 When regulations eased we invested the last of our capital in outside tables and managed until the weather turned sour. Storm-force winds, waves crashing right over the sea-wall – we were lucky not to lose the hut.

 On the first calm, sunny day we put the tables back out and advertised on Facebook – ‘Meals Half Price’ – we couldn’t waste all the fish we'd found tangled in the seaweed, could we?

 It was all gone before the Health Inspectors arrived.

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I'm all in favour of entrepreneurs, even those who bend the rules a bit as long as they don't actually break the law!

Thanks to Sandra Crook for the photograph - I wonder where it was taken? - and to Rochelle for hosting us on her blog:- 

https://rochellewisoff.com/

I was interviewed this morning for an article called 'Village People' in a local magazine, and managed to mention my books a few times :) Have you bought yours yet? They're all on Amazon, and a link to the latest is at the top of this page. If you live in UK and would like the complete Living Rock series at the author's rate of £15, just contact me via FB. They would make great Christmas presents!