#FlashFiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community: Mashed Potatoes #FlashFiction

This weeks 99 word challenge prompt is Mashed Potatoes…

 

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Mashed Potatoes

When I read these words this morning, I was taken back to my childhood, reading the Dandy comic. Desperate Dan with his huge plate of mashed potato with two large sausages sticking out, looking like a bull had landed there.

I have to tell you that no one does mash like Jaye does! The minute she begins peeling the spuds, I swear my kids pick up some strange signal. They come knocking from all over Hampshire, just popping in, big smiles on their faces. They know there’s mash on the go and they say it is just a coincidence…

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You Couldn’t Make it Up…

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

I have been having a lot of trouble concentrating on anything lately.

The week started with one hell of a noise in our road, culminating right outside our door. The local water board were fitting water meters or something all along our road, and we had several workmen, looking at the hole they had just made, looking at each other then back at the hole.  We wondered what the problem was for they seemed to have successfully finished several of our neighbour’s installations, but ours was obviously a problem of some sort.
After much head scratching and worried expressions (reminding me of one of those comedy sketches), they all went away, leaving us none the wiser.

We found out that some idiot had tried to chop their way through a gas pipe, so we were subjected to more workmen (gas board this time) doing the same head-scratching, worried look routine as they tried to figure out what to do about it. Finally, the problem was sorted, the pipe was replaced and the hole partially filled in. But not with what came out of it… what did that mean?

We did wonder why they hadn’t finished filling in the hole, but we weren’t prepared for the next turn of events. It began to unravel like one of those Monty Python routines.
Two men came and put some of the dirt back, an hour later two different men used an angle grinder to make the hole in the pavement nice and square. Then they finished filling the hole.
Oh good, we thought, nearly finished.

Not a bit of it.

Nothing else happened that day, and we supposed they might have forgotten all about it.

Two days later a huge lorry turned up and proceeded to tarmac the hole with much song and dance. This job needed three workmen. I might point out that said hole was all of 15 inches square!
We were in stitches wondering how long we would have to put up with all the barriers that were beginning to look like a fixture if the week’s activities were anything to go by!

Another day passed and first thing the next morning a van arrived (was it my imagination, or did the driver look a bit sheepish?) and took all the barriers away and the saga of the hole was finally over.
It only took 9 workmen and 4 days…

You couldn’t make it up, could you? And if you did, would anyone believe you?

And despite the comedy/drama unfolding right outside our door, I actually managed to do quite a lot of writing. (and I didn’t need 9 workmen either!)

How about that!

Yesterday Today Tomorrow…

 

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

Yesterday

Yesterday my life felt as though it was hanging on a hair. What could go wrong, did.  I couldn’t think straight, I dropped things, walked into doorways.

One of those days when I should have stayed in bed. Mind you, I probably would have fallen out of that. Thank God yesterday is over.

Today

I have the bull by the horns, or so I think. I start by tidying up, do the washing while the drying is good, then read a good book before trying to write a bit. So far so good, the washing is on the line, kettle on, coffee made. I do my best thinking while reading a good book.

Tomorrow

Let tomorrow take care of itself. But we don’t. We try to lasso it into place. Make it what we want it to be. It rarely turns out to plan and we can thank the cosmos for that, then fate steps in. The future is already out there, how else could we walk into it? Nowadays I don’t plan ahead too much. I let the cosmos surprise me…

©Anita Dawes

#Flights of Fancy: Wrong Side of the Bed… #Poetry

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The wrong side of the bed

Me myself and I,

Really? The Trinity, the God spark?

Or should I say, the speck?

We see so little of Him

He must be very small.

Like bird shit on my windscreen

What’s that about?

Why have them in the first place?

Make them ground dwelling, so they can’t shit on your head.

Don’t get me wrong, I love birds

I have bird feeders in the garden.

But really, flying shit balls.

Sorry, I think I got out of the wrong side of the bed

I had better keep the rest of the moaning to myself…

©Anita Dawes

Season of Mist…

 

and cobwebs…

 

 

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Image by Jaye Marie

 

 

This morning was a typical autumn morning, misty and damp. And usually the way with weather like this, every fence, plant and bush was covered in lacy, fairy-like spider webs.

Each one soaked with dew and very visible.

 

 

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Image by Jaye Marie

 

 

Despite what other people say about the tensile strength of spider silk, all of these magical webs always seem to vanish the minute the sun appears.

Time was of the essence, so I grabbed my camera and rushed outside. I have long wanted to capture a web in all of its intricate beauty, so there I was, running around the garden in bare feet and a nightgown, trying to capture the best of these webs.

We marvelled at the patience and intelligence, even the ingenuity of all these spiders. Such complicated ways of anchoring their masterpieces.

All that work, and in the space of half an hour, nothing left to show for it.

Now, where have I heard that before?

 

Then I remembered.

I had just finished uploading several chapters of the current WIP when the computer crashed. I prayed that it had automatically saved my work, as Word does have this capability, but once the dust settled, I couldn’t find these new chapters anywhere.

Then there was the time a while ago now when floppy discs were being replaced by far better ways of saving data. As if ours had heard the word, they suddenly became corrupt, taking several manuscripts with them. Despite expert help to retrieve these files, we never saw them again.

I can understand losing something as delicate and fragile as a spider’s web, but technology should be more robust, in my opinion…

This got me thinking about my own footprint. Would I vanish without a trace when it’s my turn to shuffle off? Would anything I have ever done, remain? Live on somehow, without me?

Today’s world doesn’t seem to support longevity. Technology moves on, leaving things outmoded and obsolete, so fat chance anyone remembering me unless I manage to do something totally memorable, or achieve greatness in the next few years!

 

 

Death on the Stairs!

 

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When I first saw this photograph, I was shocked at the stupidity of it.

Trying such a death-defying stunt just to decorate a stairway seemed a very stupid thing to do.

Then my mind took me back to the early days when we did so many silly things, trying to put food on the table when the kids were small. I remembered the house that we were hired to decorate. Gloss paint on all the woodwork and a very expensive wallpaper on all the downstairs walls and of course, the stairs. Nothing very complicated, we thought. A piece of cake…

Now, I am very tall, but that doesn’t help with old houses with high ceiling

We had a ladder, but that wouldn’t be any good on the stairs. Then I remembered the exercise bar that I had at home. The kind that spans a doorway so you can do pull-ups. With a bit of luck and a following wind, we could clamp it across the stairs to take the other end of our scaffold board. Make sure it is firmly fixed and level, then we could balance the stepladder on it to reach the top of the wall.

At this stage, I have to confess that I don’t like heights. I get nauseous and more than a bit giddy, but we needed the money.

Praying to all that was Holy, and armed with a carefully pasted and folded length of wallpaper, I ascended the ladder. It was very wobbly and I fully expected to fall and end up in a heap at the bottom of the stairs, wrapped up like a parcel in soggy wallpaper.

Those of you who have papered a wall will know that a fair bit of stretching goes on as you align the paper, trim the top and smooth all the bumps and air bubbles away. Several times, I swayed precariously on one leg but managed to complete my mission.

What I didn’t know at the time, was all the near heart attack moments that Anita was having as she tried to keep the ladder steady. She was in the perfect position to see just how dangerous it was and how close we came to disaster.

We had a lot of fun in those days, taking incredible risks, and some impossible jobs. This particular job was memorable for another reason too.

The owner of the house had several celebrity friends and they would often have to duck under our ladders as they came and went. The best day of all was when Bucks Fizz visited, and Mike Nolan signed his name on Anita’s arm! They signed their latest record for us and told the world about the crazy girls who were decorating their friend’s house!

So, taking risks was worth it that day!

Not every job had such high spots. Like the time Anita knocked over a tin of white gloss paint all over a dark chocolate coloured carpet! The owner caught us trying to scoop up the paint with spoons, and we expected our marching orders (or worse!) But they couldn’t have been nicer about it.

By the way, how are you supposed to wallpaper stairs?

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We want to send a very big THANK YOU to those readers who boosted our follower list to 1000 last week…

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Our Cat Merlin…

 

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My daughter and granddaughters gave him to us and he has been a great blessing. Each day he greets you when you rise, very vocally.

He talks a lot and sits on the arm of my chair, his face too close to mine. I have the feeling he wants to get inside my head. I cannot reach for my coffee, so I shoo him away.

My son says he doesn’t know why he loves me so much. I am told that whenever I leave the house, he howls, for he doesn’t like me to go away.

I call him dog because he acts like one. There are times he follows me so closely that I trip over him.

But he is a shadow I cannot do without…

©Anita Dawes

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