12/11/2014

ANTS - 100 word fiction

ANTS

“What do they look like to you?”
“Ants,” Jin said instantly.
“That’s the standard answer,” the examiner replied, “You’ll have to do better if you want to be allowed to land on this planet.”
Jin tried again. “A migrating herd.”
“They’re not migrating – they’re not actually going anywhere.”
“But they are animals and there’s a lot of them.”
The examiner sighed. “I’m looking for a much simpler word. Look at them again and what’s your gut reaction?”
Jin realised she was trying to help him and the penny dropped. “Food.”
“Finally!” she smiled. “Pack your weapon and let’s go.”

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Thanks again to  http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  for the photo that prompted this story, which I wrote in a tearing hurry because I should be packing!
We are off the England tomorrow for two weeks to help my mother celebrate her 90th birthday and to catch up with children and grandchildren. Fortunately my daughter here will water the garden, because the little rain we've had isn't enough.


11/11/2014

TUESDAY NEWSDAY - 1914-2014

This is the official crest of the Royal British Legion, of which there are branches all over the world - even here in the Canary Islands. The actual branch is in Tenerife  and we have less than 20 members, but our Welfare Officers cover the entire archipelago. They have occasionally had to fly to other islands to assist an ex-serviceman or -woman in difficulties.

The Royal British Legion is a charity that exists solely to aid British ex-Servicemen and their dependants, and the poppy is sold in memory of the poppies that sprang up after WW1 on the devastated ground over which so many thousands of young lives had been lost. BUT it is important to remember that the RBL caters for ALL ex-service personnel, not just WW veterans - there are still men and women being injured and killed today, and they or their dependants need our help.

This year 2014 is the Centenary Year of which much has been made on the media, but for anyone who doesn't know what it's all about by now - 1914 was the start of the Great War, which subsequently became known as World War One. It was billed then as "The war to end all wars" - would that this were true!

My husband Don has been Chairman of the Tenerife branch of the Royal British Legion for the past twelve years but is now about to hand over the reins to some (slightly) younger hands. It is fitting that Don's last act as Chairman was to oversee the 2014 Poppy Appeal in which we hope - fairly confidently - that we have again won the Noel Rogers Trophy for the branch which raises the most money per member. Last year we raised around eleven thousand euros - yes, you read that right - 11,000+ euros!

I took the following photographs at our Remembrance Service which was attended by around 450 people, including the British Vice-Consul Helen Keating, a representative of the Tenerife Government, Jesus Morales Martinez, many ex-servicemen living out their retirement in the sun, some who fly out specially each year to join us, and hundreds of people of many nationalities including British, Spanish, Belgian, French and German.
You had to arrive early to get a seat

An ex-Royal Marine conducted the service

I read the Act of Commitment in Spanish

Isn't this a beautiful setting? Westhaven Bay holiday complex in Costa del Silencio, Tenerife. The Belgian owners make us welcome every year in memory of the help given to their country by Britain in WW2.

The Last Post and Reveille still give me goosebumps!

Having no Cenotaph, we cast a wreath on the waters in memory of those lost at sea.

Helen Keating, British Vice-Consul, with a group of Marines
A lovely surprise - the local Spanish under-16s Rugby Team turned up!

Duncan wasn't the only Scot but his was the only kilt.

Jesus Morales of the Tenerife Cabildo, Helen Keating, Vice-Consul, Paul Grey, RBL Vice-Chariman, and Don Young, RBL Chairman, standing beneath a Standard 'liberated' from Gibralter, which we all thought was too good a photo opportunity to miss!
Meanwhile back in England my younger grandson Leo carried his Cub Group Standard in procession through the village. There is hope for the future if the youngsters are taught what the results of war really are.
LEST WE FORGET




06/11/2014

BROTHERS - a 100 word story


BROTHERS

Jake could beat Billy every time in a fist fight, but Billy was smarter and was always talking Jake into trouble. Once Jake came in from the woods covered in dirt, crying, “Billy made me dig a tunnel but it collapsed and I got buried.” Billy just shrugged.

Years passed and Billy’s saloon parked beside Jake’s truck proved Billy had the better job, but the brothers still got drunk together after work. 
Until one night Jake staggered home alone.
“Where’s my Billy?” Mam shrieked.
Jake just shrugged. “We were drinking in the quarry and a heap collapsed – Billy got buried.”

Word count = 100

Thanks to http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  for this week's photo prompt. My first thought was to write about a race but then this darker idea took over. I hope you like it - and please leave a comment to prove you've read it!


05/11/2014

WEDNESDAY WHINGE

THEY'RE BACK!!
The cycling tourists have landed, with their skintight team outfits and paper-thin wheels, and we residents groan.
In our view they should be handed a leaflet at the airport informing them in no uncertain terms about the rules of the road and how to be courteous to drivers and pedestrians. It would also help if the policia fined a few of them for their misbehaviour.

For drivers, the solo cyclist breaking the speed-limit in a personal challenge isn't a problem - it's the teams which spread out to cover the same area as an articulated lorry and trundle along at 20kph, chatting as they go and swapping places indiscriminately. They clearly don't give a damn about other road users or any pedestrians at the side of our pavement-less roads.

They leave their homelands in the Frozen North and come for the Tenerife weather, which is understandable, although we have never seen them wearing this little - at least, not yet. Anyone undressed like this could end up with sunburn in some very delicate places!





They also come from flat countries such as Holland to practise 'el bici' on mountain roads such as ours - and you have to admire their stoical masochism -












 but when you meet that same lone rider hogging the centre line at walking pace, after you've already shifted down to second gear, you can be stuck behind him* for hours. There are few passing spaces on roads carved out of a mountain.

*Sorry, but it's always a man.



They also fly in from foreign parts for views such as these, and who can blame them for that? Mount Teide is beautiful.


So if you come to Tenerife to ride a bicycle, please remember we live here. And check your brakes - our mountain is the highest in Spanish territories, and the roads are steep!


Please leave a comment, but I am already aware of the typo in the link - I could find no way to change it once posted!