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They’ve Had To Become Creative

After listening to a BBC Radio 4 series recently on the art of storytelling, I realised how fortunate I am to be able to have this blog to express my opinions, view of life and even my values; albeit creatively. For some, they would agree that the speech in our society has become too free and that people believe anything that is posted on social media without question. Those that post an alternative view, are trolled into submission. Yet for many, there is no free speech … still. And when they do speak, it has to be written in a way that the meaning is hidden; understanding only for the sympathetic. The questioner is facing imprisonment and death. They’ve had to become creative, where we choose to. So as we welcome in 2021, perhaps we should be grateful we can express ourselves without fear, and support those that … can’t. To listen to the BBC Radio 4 series, What is a Story? written by Marina Warner, please go to:  
Recent posts

Covid Christmas

With the Christmas season being celebrated under the ‘new normal’, I do wonder what Santa and his elves have made of all this. So, I have a few questions: Has every child been placed on the ‘nice list’ this year? Have the presents been quarantined for 72 hours before the drop? How will the reindeer take to their blue plastic overhooves and will they still be able to keep traction on the roof? How big a sign do we need to remind Santa to sanitise his hands before and after the present drop? (probably a large one). Will Santa’s face covering match his outfit? Will Santa’s belt notch drop a few from his socially distanced fireside buffet? Will we need to disinfect the chimney after use? (with only bathroom wipes). Answers on a hermetically sealed postcard to Deckywriting. Have a great and safe Christmas, whoever you celebrate it with. Photo by LuAnn Hunt on Unsplash

The Fourth Sister Of Eskrigg And Other Poems

Book Week Scotland is nearly upon us, and as well as running around in my day job enticing teenagers to talk about books and convincing five year olds that voting for their favourite book is their constitutional right, a poem I’ve penned will be soaking up the wildlife at Eskrigg Nature Reserve all this week. This is part of a Scottish Book Trust and Muirhall Energy funded project where my local writing group worked with the writer, Eryl Gasper Dick of Curious Authentic Ink , to create nine poems on the theme of future and the natural environment. They are all placed around a 3km one way route at the reserve. If you can’t face donning your wellies and firing up a flask of coffee to wander around the reserve in the wind and the rain (or you live too far away), here is my contribution. It was inspired by a row of trees at Eskrigg Nature Reserve nicknamed ‘The Four Sisters’ by visitors, and also by natural burials and their symbiotic relationship with trees that mark a grave. Sadly, The

It’s A Sheep’s Bleat

Yesterday was sheep shearing day at the farm next door.  The ewes, rams and lambs in the shed became a choir; a cacophony of cries. But to themselves, they understood completely what they were bleating on about and perhaps it was something along the lines of: ‘Careful Doris, don’t step on my hooves. I’ve only just had them filed!’ ‘I’ll try, but it’s a bit of a squeeze in this queue.’ ‘Well try losing some of that lambing weight.’ ‘Speak for yourself! Anyway, looks like we’re due for a shave today.’ ‘About time! I’ve had to drag this coat through the mud all winter and I can barely see through my fringe. I was voted the worst coat in the flock the other day.’ ‘I’m going to ask for a complete all-over shave; a makeover. That’ll show Roger for going off with another ewe.’ ‘Betsy had a few swirls put in last time, so I’m going to ask for that.’ ‘That’ll look bleatin' lovely!’ ‘But do you think the shearers really listen? They just shave their own way most of the time

I'm Sure Jesus Liked Cheese

As a mum, we’ve all had those moments with our children that make our heart melt; just like mozzarella on a pizza, cheddar cheese on toast and in a 1970’s cheese fondue set – get my drift? There was one such moment for me (among many) when my daughter was just learning to read and write. And she kindly gave me permission to share it as a story which was recently accepted for publication on Mum Life Stories .  If you’d like to read it, just click here ! PS Jesus was not hurt in the writing of this story, only the skill of spelling. Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

Lockdown Lycra®

As I bend sideways, I realise my body just won’t stretch that far. Lycra ® will though. Lycra is my friend: it doesn’t need ironing, it’s blended with cotton to produce bulge containing skinnies, and it’s the only time I can get away with wearing pink with orange. Along with Lycra, Mr Motivator and Rosemary Conley have become my new gym buddies during the lockdown. I’ve become a master of the step-ball-change and the box-step. Shapes are thrown while pulling a few weights as my cat sleeps, oblivious to the creak of my knee joints and the splatters of sweat. If only I could do as good a cat stretch as him. On non-keep-fit video day, it’s the cross trainer. Handy when it’s raining and can be performed while watching my favourite box sets (but don’t have the sound up high when watching Normal People). Another quick word of advice: don’t cross train to any Ibiza club classics; in some warped primaeval trigger, your heart, body and mind will keep in time with its 150 beats per mi

Cats Don’t Have Owners, They Have Staff

Our six-month-old cat would like to lodge a complaint against his members of staff.   After spending all day outside in the garden (which, by the way, is in the middle of the countryside) pouncing on flies, salivating over passing birds and watching the cows in the neighbouring field (yes, he loves cows), being a teenager he is then locked in for the night with the minions. Despite bribery with cat treats and leftover meat, he still howls to be let out. What follows is a court jester routine of distraction with a pink, no other colour acceptable, ping pong ball. If that fails, the multi-coloured mouse that used to be at the end of an elastic cord is rolled out. I say used to be, as he ate the cord and then puked it up a few hours later (the cord went in the bin). Then it’s a quick look at the TV: ice hockey games, football and Star Trek are all acceptable. He’ll even watch a murder mystery, at a push. Around about 9pm, it’s a you-couldn’t-wake-him-up-with-a-nuclear-ex