Painting Pebbles

Stevie Turner

I had a message from our daughter-in-law asking if we could look after our granddaughters so that she and Leon could do some Christmas shopping.  So this afternoon we took the two girls (aged 11 and 13) out to lunch at Frankie & Benny’s, and then took them to see The Grinch at our local cinema.  Following this we brought them home to ours for tea.

I’d been wondering which activities would appeal to both of them when I originally agreed to babysit, and so bought some acrylic paints and a selection of pebbles for painting.  I reckoned this activity would keep them amused until tea time.

Freed of their phones, we all sat around the table, chatted and painted pebbles.  This activity, simple as it was, seemed to go down very well.  The girls commented on how quiet our house is, and we replied how we like it that…

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When Petals Fall ~ #poetry of #winter

Night Owl Poetry - Dorinda Duclos

Petals fall in flakes of white

Winter calls, this frosted night

Whipping winds against the pane

Crystals form a frosty mane

Upon the glass that yields the cold

Yet, I shiver as the day grows old

Is it the day or is it me

Who ages like the barren tree

That shivers in the frosted night

When petals fall in flakes of white

©2015 Dorinda Duclos All Rights Reserved
Photo via Pixabay CC0

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Mary and Jo Day 11


Anya was busy she had three rooms left to do

Then another hallway after that she would be through.

Suddenly her vacuum died and went quiet,

Turning round she found the housekeep looking concerned and white!

“According to your records you were a doctor in your country, is that true.”

“Yes “said Anya , thinking that was another life, “just what is that to you. ”

“It is that young couple staying David’s room they have no money and she is not well. Could you check her out I will get Hannah to finish off your rooms.”

Without another word the two women made for David’s snug

Anya pleased to be able to use her given expertise, felt like giving the Jean a hug!

When they arrived Mares looked stressed with pain, fear in her eyes.

When she was told of Anya’s skills she was so relieved she cried.


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Multicultural dog in a manger

Jim Webster


Sal is a Border Collie, a working dog. Thus she does seem to get a bit tetchy about other dogs. It’s as if she cannot really see the point of them. But then she’s perfectly happy playing with the older lambs if the spirit moves them, and she and the cows have an interesting relationship. She has never had to do much with cattle. So she can meander among them and they don’t take offence, merely sniffing her as she wanders past.

The other thing that fascinates her is what the cattle and sheep eat. She quite likes sheep nuts, and when anybody feeds calves she always tags along in case there is some milk spare. (By spare she really means ‘left unattended’.)
But still when I was tidying up the silage at the feed barrier, I wasn’t surprised that she joined me.

As well as silage, the cows are…

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Voices in Your Head?



My first book, Nine Lives came into being mainly because I became intrigued by the notion that most of us hear voices in our heads at one time or another.

From Pinocchio to Joan of Arc, people have been hearing things and sometimes a little voice can change history, and not always for the best.

Kate Devereau, the ageing artist in my book, has been hearing a voice all her life. Never sure if this is good or evil, she makes a point of ignoring everything it says. Would her life have turned out differently if she hadn’t?

Some people call this the voice of our conscience, a bit like Jiminy Cricket, but how many of us really listen or even obey its commands?

I personally don’t hear any voices, but sometimes I just know I should have done things differently, and have suffered the consequences…

When I researched this topic, I was amazed by just how many famous people have heard voices, going back as far as Moses. Some of these people were convinced they were hearing the voice of God; some thought a heavenly host had visited them. Whereas, on the other side of the scale, if a voice talked you into committing a crime, they usually lock you up and throw away the key.

Personally, I like the idea of a wise voice, advising and helping us with life’s problems. Pointing out the error of our ways would be very handy in our house.

But how many of us would dare to trust it?


Excerpt from  Nine Lives

… as the pain rolled on and on, Kate just wanted to die. She knew no one was going to rescue her, they never had before and it was a little late to start believing they would now. For some reason, she knew it was her lot in life to suffer, to be alone and be miserable, no matter how hard she tried to make her life any different. Surely, it was time for the curse on her life to stop? The voice in her head had said otherwise, apparently, there was much worse to come. But what could be worse than this, she thought.

Once the pain started to make her want to push, it all became a little more bearable. At least she felt more in control of the situation, not just lying there helplessly, being tortured.

The baby, a boy, was born that evening and nobody could have been more pleased it was over than Kate herself.

Throughout the ordeal, the voice had kept up a running commentary about her life being ruined. How she had wasted every opportunity and how sorry it was. The last bit surprised her, for she had always thought it disliked her. It had never said anything with any hint of kindness in it before. If it was simply trying to depress her even more than she was already, it had succeeded…


Postscript to Sai Baba. Who or what was he anyway?


Twenty years after filming for US television the 50th birthday celebrations of Sri Sathya Sai Baba which took place at his ashram in Southern India, I was living in a tiny village tucked away among the South Downs, in the county of West Sussex, UK. One day, idling some time away in the small town of Petersfield, about ten miles from where I lived, I came across one of those holistic shops where they sell all sorts of ‘spiritual’ things – incense, books on the Tarot, CD’s of New Age music and a variety of what might be called ‘spiritual’ artefacts, including books by anybody from Aleistair Crowley to the Maharishi Mahesh.

The window display contained a number of books of this sort, among them two concerning Sai Baba. I can’t recall their titles, but I’d seen and read parts of both books while I was in India, and indeed during…

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Epiphany in the Park


At about eleven o’clock the other morning, I was coming back through the park from the shops. It was a morning like many we’ve had in London recently – quite cold, about 7C, slightly misty, and although not actually raining, the atmosphere was damp enough to make the metalled path wet.


There was no other person in sight. The children’s playground was silent and deserted. There was no wind to move the bare branches of the trees. The only birds I was aware of were a robin singing his poignant little song somewhere in a tree or hedge close by, and one of the park’s resident band of crows stalking imperiously through the damp grass.

I rounded a bend in the path and started to descend the slight hill towards my exit. As I did so I became aware of a figure at the bottom of the hill coming towards…

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