25/09/2014

HARRY'S PLACE - Fiction in 100 words

HARRY’S PLACE


Bryony’s nose wrinkled when they entered the shabby café but Albert headed confidently for a table. The barman flicked a switch and the wall of empty bottles glowed suddenly with colour. Albert’s hand shook slightly as he touched one.


“Your Nan and I shared this on our Golden Wedding – we always came to Harry’s. Saved my life in France, Harry did – kept his hand on that hole in my chest till the medics came. I thought I was dying but he said we’d live to be ninety. He never made it, but I’ve come to his place tonight so he knows I did.”

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Thanks to http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  for th photo that prompted this latest in a long line of 100 word stories. Floow the link on her blog to read some of the others from Friday Fictioneers,

23/09/2014

ONLY IN TENERIFE?

Returning for a brief visit to one of my original intentions for this blog, here are a few things that make me shake my head in amusement.

It's a lighthouse, right? Not really.
You could see the sea if you stood on the balcony at the top, perhaps - it's only about 10 kilometres away - but it makes a good location point in a place where street names are a metre long.



Isn't this fun - a knitted snake wrapped around a tree in the main seafront area of Santa Cruz.

It cheered us up on the way to a hospital appointment, which was presumably the intention - to put a smile on people's faces.
It worked for me!


This sign was on the boot of a car parked near our apartment -

?
- the mind boggles.
Some graffiti on the wall of the ruiined bull-ring - "FATTY I LOVE YOU"
- which could refer to any one of the dozens of obese youngsters we see around. It's good to know they're not missing out despite their bad eating habits.


Roundabouts were introduced in Tenerife about ten years ago. They were obviously designed to create handy parking for the shops nearby. This is only a mini roundabout but I've seen the same disregard for common sense in the centre of Los Cristianos!




And finally -
where else would you find melons growing on the beach?

Only in Tenerife -

- unless you know otherwise?

17/09/2014

BLACK v WHITE - a 100-word story

BLACK v WHITE

In the old days, Royalty from neighbouring kingdoms would come to look down from the battlements and play the Game, but the trained peasants gradually died off and the younger generation refused to learn.

The King tried cajolery and then force, but the villagers fought off the soldiers. When two men died the village got its way and the Royal Game was abandoned.

 Now the old Princess inhabits the Castle alone. Sometimes she descends the steep steps to the Playing Fields and walks the moves in solitary thought, remembering the human chessmen who played at her father’s command.
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Another 100 words story prompted by a photo posted on Rochelle's blog at:
http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/   Friday Fictioneers is an online group, most of whom beat the Friday deadline thses days! to read their stories follow the link on Rochelle's blog - it's well worth it.

15/09/2014

WORD GAMES in the CAR

When I was a little girl - a very long time ago! - my parents bought a car. It was a Standard Ten, I believe, for the afficionados among you.

Back then we would see another car on the road perhaps once every five minutes, and we'd play a game with the registration letters.

It was a simple game - keeping those three letters in the same order, add more letters to make a word.




Our car was RDU244 - yes, I still remember it after all these years - but I don't think I would have thought of CREDULITY at such a tender age. We had that car a long time, though, so my 14-year-old self possibly did.

We resurrected the game when my children were growing up, and I still occasionally make up words as I'm driving.
Today I saw two cars in sequence - FRH followd by HRF - now what would you make of those?

11/09/2014

LOOKING AFTER MOTHER - 100 word fiction

LOOKING AFTER MOTHER      

My world has shrunk to this.
I should be grateful – they’ve decorated the room and hung pretty curtains, but the window’s double-glazed, and although I can see the children having a snowball fight I can’t hear them.
I'm afraid to look in the mirror in case I've disappeared.

I wanted to go outside yesterday but I couldn’t find my boots, and I knew Edith had hidden them when she said, “You could break your hip, Mum, and then where would you be?”
In a nursing home is where I’d be, with other people to talk to.

I think I’ll get my coat.

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This lovely photo prompted my story, thanks to Rochelle at:
http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/
Follow the link on her blog to read a hundred other stories - all free!
And my Tenerife apartment's still for sale - see the link at the top of my blog.

09/09/2014

THE OTHER SIDE OF TENERIFE

You don't have to go very far to find the other side of Tenerife - the side tourists don't often see.

Only a few years ago these ruins were inhabited by banana plantation workers - their kitchens were shared between several houses and their laundry room was an outside concrete sink with built-in scrubbing board. You can still buy a version of those sinks today.


Now people live in these modern blocks, but they are constructed in much the same way. Beneath the plaster the building blocks are made of cement rather than cut from volcanic rock, but I wonder if they will still be recognizable as housing sixty years from now?


You might have seen street sweepers carrying a palm leaf on their trolleys - there is even a special slot for them! They are unbeatable for cleaning great swathes of paving in one sweep, and when they wear out there are plenty more where they came from!



This alleyway, with its unrailed stairway to an upper apartment, is across the road from where I live, and likely to remain for some time. The several families who live there refused to move when the Cabildo widened and straightened the road, which is why there's a huge bump in the middle of an otherwise even stretch of road.




You only have to go for a walk to find evidence of the old ways - such as this water-channel made from hollowed-out lengths of volcanic rock, or the collapsing walls of rough brown rocks that once held back the earth in small terraced fields. Alas, the south of Tenerife no longer has the rainfall to sustain such subsistence farming.
But some people still grow their own, and this elderly woman walks a kilometer several times a week to the next village to trade her garden produce for groceries. I think she shops for several neighbours, because I have seen her carrying a huge sack of potatoes on her head and a box under each arm with apparent ease!

Next time you're out and about in Tenerife, look past the hotels and bars for the simpler things that make this island different, and go home with another aspect of Tenerife etched on your memory.

06/09/2014

THE POWER OF "THE GAME"


LAS GALLETAS  seafront road is too narrow for the traffic that uses it. There isn't really room for the cars that park by the beach, and meeting a Titsa bus coming the other way can be nerve-wracking.
A couple of years ago the road was closed sporadically for months while the Cabildo installed vast pipes to take the local sewage out to sea. They even used gravel and stones from the beach to create a very dodgy-looking temporary pier on which the heavy diggers teetered dangerously.
When the pipes had gone beyond the harbour the beach was reformed, but Man cannot match Nature.



Last year's floods washed the beach back into the sea and destabilised the sea wall. They repaired it.

Then last week we had big seas, even inside the harbour, and the beach vanished again, along with some of the pavement and a bit of road. We had to drive the long way round or park in El Fraile and walk.

 This was the scene on Thursday morning - you can see El Fraile beyond the palm trees in the background of the second photograph. It looked to me as if workmen needed to drive pilings into the beach to shore the road up safely, which would mean months more work at Tenerife speed. 

But yesterday the traffic was flowing smoothly again and a neat patch of tarmac covered everything. This was unprecedented! What had happened? I came home and looked up Arona's calendar of events and the answer was staring me in the face. 

A football match - today at 6pm - in the Sports Centre in El Fraile. 

04/09/2014

THE WORD - Flash fiction in 100 words


THE WORD

One candle illuminated the small cave, giving just enough light for the priest to read. Shadowy figures listened intently to his words, which were all the more precious for being forbidden, but then the lookout hissed. Instantly the flame was extinguished, but too late – hatred and bloody violence contaminated their place of worship.

Yelling men herded them into a truck, leaving the priest’s battered body in his church. Looking back as they were driven away, a woman cried, “They are burning the Holy Book!” but her father said, “We need no Book, daughter – God writes His Word in our hearts.”

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Another photo from http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ prompted me to write this story for Friday Fictioneers . Do follow the link on her page to read some of the others.