The Ancient Streets of London for #Willow Poetry…

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Weekly challenge

Weekly Challenge  (June 4 to June 10/2019)

How to join: write a post on your own blog,  your choice of poetry or a story.

Link back to this prompt:  leave a link of your post (or Pingback)  in the comment section –  (Do check that your link shows up in the comment section).

Monday “Round-up” includes all links posted in the comment section of this post.

Photo prompt June 4 to June 10, 2019:

Image by Willow Poetry

 

The ancient streets of London, under a full moon

A story old as time was playing out of the feline variety

Lola, a beautiful white Persian had fallen for the ginger tom cat

Whose master had once called him Phillip

Before moving away, leaving him on the streets

Her father, having searched the rooftops

Found her on her own with the chocolates

Phillip had half inched from an open window

She sat, holding his tattered hat

He gave the lecture that so many fathers have done

Little knowing Phillip hung by his claws from the gutter.

Should he take note of these very words coming from her father

That she will end up in the gutter should she continue the courtship

Phillip had washed and pressed his best tie

Worn his only hat which she now clutches

He hangs from the gutter feeling like a criminal

He has no home and lives in the dark alleys of London

He cannot ask her to do the same

Her father is right, she deserves better

With her father’s words ringing in his ear

He wondered, could he find a good place to call home

Elope with his beloved Lola

He heard her say, “Father, I will follow Phillip anywhere.

He will look after me. Love finds a way.”

Phillip had the answer his heart wanted to hear

From the lips of one who loved him…

AAAAA

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#WednesdayWriters ~ Nine Lives ~ Chapter 24 #MysteryThriller #Fiction

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Kate has welcomed death from an early age. With no family to speak of and a brother she hates, she waits for death to take her away.

It speaks to her. Teases her, yet will not come for her.

Death takes those around her, making her desire for it greater than ever.

She wonders how much longer it will take for her time to run out…

Chapter Twenty-four

On the way home, Kate picked up some lamb chops and some white wine for her lunch with Sam, inwardly still trying not to be angry with Michael. Who did he think he was? Regardless of the fact him turning up was something she had dreamed of for years, he still had the cheek of the devil.

There was an ambulance outside Janet’s house and Kate’s heartbeat accelerated as she walked towards it, wondering who it was for. As she drew closer, she saw Janet’s door was open and as she watched, a paramedic in a reflective yellow striped jacket was wheeling Janet out of her house in a wheelchair. She appeared to be asleep, her face pale and peaceful. What had happened?

She approached the ambulance. ‘Hello, how is Mrs Goldman? I’m her neighbour.’

The paramedic stopped for a second and looked at her. ‘The old dear took a tumble and we’re just taking her in to be checked over.’

‘How did she tumble, she has no stairs?’ Kate asked.

‘She must have been up on a chair, there was one overturned when we turned up.’  He grinned at her and climbed into the back of the ambulance. ‘She’ll be fine, see if she’s not.’

Kate had the strangest feeling Janet wouldn’t be ‘fine’.  She was far too old to be taking a tumble.

She decided to spend the rest of the day in her studio after she had something to eat and if Janet wasn’t home by tomorrow morning, she would go and see how she was.

The rest of the afternoon was spent preparing the next canvas. This one was going to be a night scene, with the moonlight like a pathway across the water. That was the plan anyway, and that sometimes changed as her paintbrush often had a mind of its own.

As the afternoon faded into early evening, Kate found herself thinking about Michael a little more fondly than she had that morning. She had almost seemed rude, hadn’t she?  God knows what he made of it.

She was in the kitchen, waiting for the kettle to boil when there was a knock at the front door. Who could have that be, she thought, wondering if it was something to do with Janet.

Kate’s heart was in her mouth as she opened the door to find Michael standing there with a small bunch of carnations clutched to his chest. She almost choked, and her first instinct was to slam the door, but for some strange reason, she couldn’t.

‘I’ve come to apologise, Kate. I shouldn’t have carried on as though nothing was wrong between us. No wonder you had nothing to say. Please let me in, so we can start again and talk properly.’

She glared at him. ‘How do you know where I live?’

‘I felt so bad after you left, I had to find you so I could apologise in person. I had no way of knowing if you would turn up tomorrow.’

‘But how did you know where I live?’

He had the grace to look sheepish. ‘I looked you up on the electoral roll. Lucky you still use your old name, or I would never have found you.’

Kate still hesitated, unsure whether to let him in or not. This was her private space; did she want him touching everything?

She already knew she would let him in, the effect he had on her was the same as ever, regardless of the history between them. ‘You had better come in then,’ she said, standing aside so he could pass. ‘And don’t think I have forgiven you because I haven’t.’

He turned and offered her the flowers. ‘They’re not a peace offering Kate; I just thought you would like them.’

She tried to accept them gracefully, knowing she would prefer to wrap them around his neck, and made her way to the kitchen to put them in water.

He stood in the doorway watching her, and it all seemed the most natural thing in the world as if he had done exactly that dozens of times before.

It suddenly occurred to her just how much she resented him showing up on her doorstep.

‘Nice place you have here, Kate. Been here long?’

Why did she automatically think he already knew the answer to that?

‘Not long ‘, she said, non-committedly. ‘And I will soon be moving on, anyway’.

He smiled, and there was just a hint of nervousness in his smile. Was it possible he was a little unsure of his reception?

He nodded at the back door. ‘What happened to the cat?’

The hair on the back of her neck twitched and it was all she could do not to march up to him and slap his face hard. ‘Why assume something happened to my cat? He could be sleeping in another room.’

His smile vanished, and she could see he was trying to think of a suitable answer. Whatever he said, she wouldn’t believe a word.  It was as if he knew what had happened to Dylan, and how could he, unless… The possibilities that presented themselves didn’t bear thinking about, and she knew something was wrong. Nobody would say a thing like that by chance.

‘Come on Michael, say something to convince me you meant nothing sinister.’

‘I don’t know why I said that, Kate. The way you’re carrying on, something did happen to the cat. What was it?

The cheek of the man took her breath away, which was just as well for she had no intention of telling him anything.

‘It doesn’t matter, come and sit down and tell me the real reason you showed up here tonight.’

He followed her out of the kitchen and paused outside her studio. ‘Can I have a look?’

The door was open, so he already had a good look in her opinion. She leaned past him and closed the door. ‘I would rather you didn’t if you don’t mind,’ she said, not caring she came across as more than a little angry.

He looked surprised, but what did he expect? Had he forgotten how badly he had let her down, not to mention walking out on the child they had made together?

Her temper finally snapped and she turned on him angrily. ‘Don’t bother getting comfortable, Michael. I want you to leave, now.’

‘And…’

‘No buts, did you think I would fall into your arms again? You must be more stupid than I thought.  Please, just go.’

For a moment, he managed to look sad, but if that was supposed to mean anything to her, he was badly mistaken. Although a small part of her still loved him, a bigger part resented him for turning up like this, assuming she would forgive and forget.  She hadn’t been able to do it then and certainly wasn’t about to do it now.

Kate went to open the front door, desperate to get him out of her flat.  Just as well I’m leaving, she thought, as knowing he knew where to find her was annoying her a lot more than she thought it would.

‘Can’t we just talk about this, Kate,’ he said, trying to look sheepish.

She came up to him and shoved him not too gently towards the door. ‘Go away Michael, I don’t want you here.’

As he walked away, she waited for him to turn around, to appeal to her one more time. He didn’t, he kept on walking and for a split second it was all so sad she felt like crying.

He didn’t appear to have come by car. If he had, it must be parked somewhere else. Why would he do that?

As Kate stood on the doorstep, she noticed there were no lights showing at Janet’s house. Did that mean she was still in the hospital?  She would have to ring them in the morning and find out what was going on.

She didn’t feel in the least like painting, and went to the studio and stared at the canvas. She should work on it a bit more, after all, Sam was coming for lunch tomorrow and the more progress she could see, the better. It might help to get all thoughts of Michael out of her head, so she would have no trouble sleeping tonight.

She tried to empty her mind of him as she spent the next few hours pushing paint onto the canvas, and one question kept rattling around in her head. Why had he assumed something happened to her cat?  It might have just been a coincidence; after all, there was a cat flap in the back door. It could have been for the previous tenant’s cat. It was almost as if he knew something bad had happened, but how could he have done?

She decided to call it a night when her arm was so stiff she could hardly hold the paintbrush. Canvas number three was almost finished and Kate liked the way this one was turning out. Probably because it was such a peaceful, serene scene, it had gone a long way to soothing the savage beast Michael had awakened with his impromptu visit…

What does Michael want?

Did he kill her cat?

 

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The Clockwork Lion

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Not sure what I was looking for, but during my browsing the other day, I came across an article about a clockwork lion. The picture intrigued me, being a lifelong visitor of the lions in Trafalgar Square in London.

When I was a small child, I remember visiting Trafalgar Square a lot. It seemed like a magical place to me, what with the water fountains, thousands of pigeons and those enormous black lion statues.

So when I saw this article, I knew I had to know more about it.

“The four bronze lions of London’s central Trafalgar Square got a temporary addition on 28 January, with a clockwork sculpture of the animal unveiled to highlight the plight of big cats. The statue, made of clockwork mechanics, will stand in the square for just a day before being auctioned off to raise money for National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative, which says it aims to halt the decline of big cats in the wild.”

Time is beginning to run out for all of the big cats, and to put it into perspective, there are apparently more statues of lions in London than still roaming in the wild.

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The clockwork lion was designed by Sculptor Iain Prendergast, to deliver a poignant message about the plight of the big cats.  “On the body, mainly as if it was the inner workings of a clock, so it was cogs, levers and coils and all sorts of things like that,” he said at his workshop. “And then up to, obviously the eyes, we’ve got clocks in them, clock faces but yeah, it’s just looking at each little part of the clock, obviously the hands for the mane, just seeing whatever sort of links in with the actual physical resemblance of the cat.”

I was upset when I heard about the killing of Cecil, the famous African lion, but maybe something good could come out of it after all, for it sparked a global controversy and set off a backlash against the African hunting industry. Inspiring the creation of this incredible piece of art at the same time.

I think the gaunt frame, torn hide, and wide, harrowed eyes of the Clockwork Lion give a drastically different impression than the steady, powerful look of the famous Landseer Lions around him, dramatically illustrating the decline wild lions have experienced since the original statues were installed in 1867. The sculptor has made the lion seem very real, the agony on its face almost too painful to see. If I look at it for too long, it makes me cry.

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I have tried to discover what has happened to the lion, as it was only in Trafalgar Square for the one day. It was auctioned off to raise money for the Big Cats Initiative  but I could find no coverage of that. It would be a shame if it vanishes into obscurity, as I think it is an emotional piece of art…

(photographs the propert of National Geographic Big Cats Initiative)

 

 

 

 

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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Jaye’s Journal 1~ 6 August

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The recent hot weather has finally eased and I for one am delighted.

Now, I can resume normal duties without running the risk of collapsing in a soggy heap!

There was a point when the heat was at its hottest when I almost lost the will to do anything, and being unable to sleep at night wasn’t helping at all.

On one of the unbearably hot days, I made the mistake of asking the family what they wanted for dinner. When they requested pasties, my heart sank.  We usually had them for picnic meals with salad, perfect for a hot day, but first I had to make them, then cook them in a hot oven!

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I nearly melted in my scorching hot kitchen, but the pasties went down a treat…

Another reason I am so glad the weather is cooler now is for Merlin, our aged black and white cat. He really has been suffering and watching him as he tried to find a cool place to lie down has been distressing for us as well as him. There were moments when he looked as though he couldn’t last much longer. In fact, there were times when he looked dead and my heart was in my mouth until he moved or flicked an ear.

What passes as a lawn in our garden has suffered too, and won’t need cutting any time soon as all we have at the moment are funny green tufts sprouting through the straw coloured dead grass.

This is more than I can say about the dreaded forty-foot long, seven-foot-high hedge. It has gone more than a bit crazy, with long branches shooting out in all directions. It will need a trim soon.

Not much writing was done during the heatwave unfortunately, something I am trying to remedy now it’s cooler.  I’m not sure why they call it a wave, wouldn’t that imply that it passes quickly, and that definitely didn’t happen. We were all being forced to live in a world that had turned into an unbearably hot oven, and it wasn’t funny.

I love a bit of good weather, but don’t appreciate being cooked the minute I step outside. So keep it down to a comfortable level, please?

You just know that life is returning to normal when computers find new ways to annoy. The latest game is ditching any comments I make on other people’s websites. You go to the bother of commenting, and not just ‘nice post!’ only to have it vanish without a trace. And I don’t know about anyone else, but my brain never remembers exactly what I just typed, so the second attempt is usually not as good or as long. Not acceptable, right?

Wishing to avoid frustration, I came up with the idea of commenting, as usual, then copy and paste it, just in case it does a runner before posting it.  Not exactly in the rulebook, but works for me…

And last but not least, something I have finally managed to do this week.      Yay! (cause for celebration!)

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We have claimed a BookBub profile and all of our books are locked and loaded!

Not sure how any of it works (no change there then) but if anyone wants to follow us on there, here are the links to Jaye’s BookBub and Anita’s BookBub.

Have a Wonderful Weekend Everybody!

 

Jaye’s Journal ~25-31 July

 

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I listened to the thunder approaching as I caught up with writing the next chapter of my WIP. It sounded slightly ominous, but in a half-hearted way, if you know what I mean. We seem to get a lot of this half-hearted weather down here in Hampshire. They say it has something to do with being so close to the South Downs. It kind of messes with the wind currents or something.

At this stage, there was no way of knowing if it the storm would ever reach us, or veer off somewhere else. In the end, we had a few more rumbles and that was it.

On to the next disappointment. The eclipse.

Wall to wall cloud made sure we didn’t see anything, either the moon or the eclipse. We had been watching the moon all week as it slowly became full, only to have nothing at all to see on the night in question. We were in good company, for no one else in the UK saw it either, but the awful sticky heat had gone, and I could really concentrate on my writing. Word count has gone up by nearly 5000 words this week!

They promised rain, which would be more than welcome, as I could hear the garden screaming for moisture all way inside my office.

But when it did rain, it wasn’t the deluge they promised, just a quick half-hearted shower, but better than nothing, I suppose.

After a damp and slightly chilly weekend, I had the opportunity to play truant, and I didn’t hesitate. It was like the Prisoner of Zenda escaping, as I ran and jumped in the car, ready for the off. An afternoon walking around The New Forest? What’s not to like?

There will be lots of pictures and post to follow!

 A Surprise and Unwelcome Visitor

During the heatwave, we had an unwanted disturbance late one night.

We had not long been in bed and couldn’t sleep as the heat was stifling. We heard a commotion downstairs and thought we were being burgled. We were about to investigate when we heard bottles clinking. A thirsty burglar? What was going on?

The culprit turned out to be Merlin, our beloved black and white cat. He tried to look innocent, but we knew what was going on. Somewhere in our house was a very small but unwelcome visitor. After crawling around on my hands and knees, looking in all his favourite places, I managed to track it down to the dining room, where Merlin had the tiny mouse cornered under the table. I managed to grab it with an old tea towel and take it out to the garden.

It was while I was out there, I decided it was the perfect place to sit and enjoy a coffee, even though it was two in the morning. I wasn’t having any luck sleeping anyway…