Jaye’s Disappointing Days… #Journal

I thought that posting about my difficulties in the post, The Snowball Effect, would help my perspective, and it did, up to a point.

My mind is still hunting for a way to do everything, even though you and I know this is impossible. Not without a lot of tweaks, anyway.

I read another post yesterday about the importance of taking a break from our writing. You have all read posts like this, too. That it can trigger new surges of brilliance and productivity.

All we have to do to achieve this miracle is put it all in a mental holding box and walk away.

I have done this many times with various WIPs, and I know that removing the thing with the blockage, even for a little while, does, in some peculiar way, help the flow to resume.

This method also works for impossibly hard-to-resolve situations, so I am betting that it might work on anything once you have isolated the problem.

Of course, and from experience, I know that once you have walked away from anything, there is always the fear that you won’t return, which is probably why most of us are reluctant to risk it.

I have ignored my status quo long enough; it is time to do something. Actually, I need to do a lot of somethings.

Most important is my health. So busy making sure my sister’s health is being carefully managed I have been neglecting my own needs. I hope that recent tests will answer many questions, and hopefully, I can get the good part of me back.

So, while all this is in the pipeline, I am taking a day or two off. My brain will continue to look for answers, even while I concentrate on writing my latest story…

I will figure this out, for I don’t want to do anything else, so I will see you soon…

Best Day of the Week!

This is not Francesca, but will have to do for now…

Yesterday morning, the time seemed to drag until it was finally time for us to leave to see the new baby. The traffic was terrible, and we avoided a queue of cars on the A30, only to find another traffic jam on another route.

The sun was shining, and the countryside looked fresh and green after all the rain. I was in the back seat with all the baby presents, wondering what our new baby would look like. Would she look like her sister?

When we arrived, the front door was open. It seemed like any other visit, and it wasn’t until I walked into the living room that I realised the new baby wasn’t in either of her parent’s arms.

I looked around and finally found what I was looking for, peacefully sleeping on a baby bean bag. I don’t know why I was surprised by how small she was, but she seemed so tiny. Still curled up tight, her little fists clenched, she looked so peaceful. She stretched her legs as I watched, barely breathing, not wanting to disturb her. I expected her to open her eyes and was disappointed when she didn’t. Apparently, she even fed with her eyes closed, so maybe she wasn’t ready to see the world yet.

I didn’t think we would get to hold her, as she wasn’t awake, but she was soon being passed around like a parcel. It was like holding a doll, a perfectly beautiful baby doll. I touched her hand, and she grabbed it, her tiny fist stronger than I expected. I didn’t want to remove my finger and was secretly pleased that no one else could hold her.

I took that time to study her face and the soft down-like hair on her head. Sometimes, when I look at a baby, I get a sense of their future life, but the only thing I could feel was perfect newness.  

The baby’s name is Francesca, and she was a long time coming. Looking at her mother’s serene face, I knew it had been worth the wait…

Silent Sunday…

Image by t 林 from Pixabay

I still haven’t managed to stand on the shore and be a part of it all… yet.

I love this image, but crave the sound, the smell, and that feeling of belonging…

Family Time…

Image by Terri Cnudde from Pixabay

Just when I thought the weekend would be totally ruined due to my latest disappointment with the terrible formatting of Nine Lives, something extraordinary happened.

We had planned to visit some ancient ruins as a family outing, but the Saturday weather had other ideas, and we thought it best to cancel. Instead of venturing into the rain, we all congregated in our granddaughter’s house for a family catch-up. Our granddaughter is expecting a baby in four weeks, and the air is thick with anticipation. After miscarrying five times, it was wonderful to see her so happy.

After many tests, they said she would be unlikely to conceive again.

Such a heartbreaking time; it looked like their daughter Cece would be an only child. They desperately wanted her to have a brother or sister, so they risked one last time.

And it worked. The first few months were stressful and unbearable, as their joy could have ended anytime.

Cece, our great-grandchild, has developed a relationship with the baby. When she speaks to it, the baby moves. I couldn’t believe my eyes the first time I witnessed this.

I was reminded of all those times when anything on my lap would be kicked to the floor.

As HEA go, this one takes some beating…

Image by Marjon Besteman from Pixabay

Tuesday Review… The Rat in the Python: Book 1 The Home # Cultural & Regional Biographies

Today is Tuesday Review Day, and we are really pleased to share our appreciation for Alex Craigie’s ( or Trish as we all know her) new book, The Rat in the Python. As I read this book, I relived so many memories, some I didn’t even know I remembered. It was good to actually see some of them again, as there are many illustrations. Memory Lane, big time!

If you haven’t heard of a liberty bodice, believe that half-a-crown is something to do with impoverished royalty and never had the experience of slapping a television to stop the grainy black and white picture from rolling, then this series might not be for you. Please give it a go, though – I suspect that most of it will still resonate no matter where you were brought up!

The Rat in the Python is about Baby Boomers who, in the stability following the Second World War, formed a statistical bulge in the population Python. It is a personal snapshot of a time that is as mystifying to my children as the Jurassic Era – and just as unrecognisable.

My intention is to nudge some long-forgotten memories to the surface, test your own recollections and provide information and statistics to put it all in context.

Are you sitting comfortably?

Then I’ll begin…

Alex Craigie

Alex Craigie is the pen name of Trish Power.

Trish was ten when her first play was performed at school. It was in rhyming couplets and written in pencil in a book with imperial weights and measures printed on the back.

When her children were young, she wrote short stories for magazines before returning to the teaching job that she loved.

Trish has had three books published under the pen name of Alex Craigie. The first two books cross genre boundaries and feature elements of romance, thriller and suspense against a backdrop of social issues. Someone Close to Home highlights the problems affecting care homes while Acts of Convenience has issues concerning the health service at its heart. Her third book. Means to Deceive, is a psychological thriller.

Someone Close to Home has won a Chill with a Book award and a Chill with the Book of the Month award. In 2019 it was one of the top ten bestsellers in its category on Amazon.

Book lovers are welcome to contact her on alexcraigie@aol.com

Our Review

Not exactly sure of the significance of the title, but reading this story really took me back to the golden years, for despite how difficult they were at the time, they still evoke such happy moments.

My first washing machine was a Hotpoint (as shown in the book) with a mangle on the top. I can’t tell you how often those rubber rollers used to grab my fingers!

I loved my whistling kettle, too, right up to the day I let it boil dry, and the bottom fell out. And as for that special kitchen drawer, the one that contained everything that didn’t belong anywhere else, I still have one of those.

Things that I still miss?

Good old-fashioned pillow ticking, these days, nothing stops those feathers from poking you in the eye. Pears soap, I loved the smell.

And my Cannon gas stove with the eye-level grill. These days I must bend double to make cheese on toast.

Those were the days?

Maybe, but I am so grateful the toilet paper improved!

#Silent Sunday… Well, almost!

This week has been a bit depressing, and not just because of the relentless heat.

In the bird world, it is time for fledglings to leave their nest. Only most of them seem to be doing this a little early, creating a sad scenario for the mothers. Mother Blackbird started her distress call earlier this week, the sad, plaintive note repeated continuously until the baby in question managed to convince her that he/she can fly. The feeling of joy when she stops calling, is fleeting until the next fledgling takes the leap of doom and ends up on the ground.

Late last night, at dusk, I went for a walk in our slowly cooling garden. I was not alone. Mother Blackbird was sitting on the gutter above my head, her cry feeble and pathetic as she called to her baby. I hoped this would be the last of her brood, as she was breaking my heart as well as her own…

If there weren’t so many cats out there, I wouldn’t worry so much, but we have already been gifted with the sad body of one unlucky baby bird. For some reason, Milo, our own cat, thought we should have it. I don’t think he hurt it, as it was undamaged. I just don’t want any more; thank you, Milo…

We are learning so much about our crazy cat now he has introduced himself to the great outdoors. He still can’t use the catflap to leave the house, so that’s an ongoing story.

I was busy preparing supper the other day. Mother Blackbird calling just outside my window when I heard an answering call. Instant panic descended as I realised the fledgling could be close, and Milo was out there too. I reached the back door and stopped in my tracks. Milo was lying in our yard; he was answering Mother Blackbird with a sound I had never heard him use before. Every time she called, he answered, and it was the saddest conversation I ever heard…

This poor mother seems to have run herself ragged looking after her offspring…

#Six on Saturday… (sorry there are no flowers…)

This week there were no new flowers to be seen in our garden, but everything was happening in the growing area.

Mainly dahlias because I have been meaning to grow these for ages, and three of the ones I planted in April are getting on with the business in spectacular form.

I tried to be professional with these dahlias. I brought new labels and a posh marker pen, so I would know what colour they were.

But… the pen was rubbish. The first time I watered the pots, the ink ran away. I have no idea which is which, so I can’t wait to see them bloom…

These seeds were an impulse buy. Everyone in my family loves sunflowers, but I was getting fed up with the usual spindly 12 feet high specimens that never seem to stay upright. Last year I grew supposedly dwarf specimens which were an improvement…

2022 Look at all those flower buds!

So when I saw seeds for a blood-red sunflower, I knew I had to have them.

If the snails can leave them alone long enough, we might get to see them in all their glory!

While I was buying seeds, I picked up some Alysum and Aubretia, just because.

I have never been very lucky with seeds, as sometimes they grow but often do not, so time will tell…

Finally, I am becoming very fond of this cutting of a weeping willow from our local pond.

Three years old already, and I think I have persuaded it to weep a little…

It has a very promising future, I think…

This post is inspired by Jim Stevens, who really knows all about #SixonSaturday: https://gardenruminations.co.uk/2023/05/27/six-on-saturday-27-5-2023

#Silent Sunday… I need some Sea!

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay 

Image by Pexels from Pixabay 

I think it is time that I twist someone’s arm to drive me the twenty miles to my favourite beach…

If I don’t go soon, I will probably go nuts!