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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.

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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 minute. Cue lot…

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-explosion nap, preferabl…

Rainbows Are So Overrated

Is there a crock of gold or just sheep shit at the end of a rainbow? 
For Dorothy in the film Wizard of Oz, she was always looking for her dreams to come true whenever she saw one, but what if rainbows were overrated?

Rainbows Are So Overrated
Dorothy saw the cumulonimbus from her kitchen window – a tornado was on its way. ‘Oh man!’ she said to her dog, Toto. She was content with the pair of ruby slippers from her last trip and wicked witches were so tiresome; regardless of whether they came from the east or the west. But she took comfort in that her storm cellar had been reinforced by the tin man, scarecrow’s hay had plumped up her saggy mattress and she had a nice furry coat too; courtesy of the lion. As she packed her picnic basket she thought, rainbows are so overrated.

Never Cross-Off A Story

Never Cross A Dead Man
The woman knelt at her husband’s grave holding a drooping bunch of daffodils. She showed no remorse when she regaled her tales of holiday romances, a newly purchased diamond ring and fur coats.
But her laughter turned to screams when she saw his hand rise from the freshly tossed topsoil, and felt it grasping for her ankle.
As she was pulled sobbing and kicking into the grave, only the dead were a witness to her timely and suffocating reunion. Her disappearance became a local mystery, punctuated only by her diamond ring left behind at his graveside.
At the beginning of December 2019, I decided to enter Friday Flash Fiction’s website competition with a 96-word piece I wrote a couple of years ago: Never Cross A Dead Man. I was dubious of its success due to its horror content. However, it made the top ten shortlist for the public vote, and although it didn’t win, I’m pleased I submitted it.
So, writery lesson learnt: you’re most understated work, in your opinion, can …

Are You Ready For Christmas?

'Are you ready for Christmas?'
Those five words that are said in all innocence and with goodwill.
Sorry to break it to you, but I’m not one of those people that:
writes and sends out their Christmas cards at the end of November; buys all their Christmas presents for the coming year in the new year sale (only cards and wrapping paper); has a fridge laden with Christmas food two weeks beforehand.
Don’t get me wrong, I Iove Christmas. Log fires, good food and time spent with the family. Tick, tick, tick. But in the lead up to it, I’ll get there in my own time; not when folk expect me to be ready.
So, when you ask me if I’m ready for Christmas, the answer will always be, ‘Not until Christmas Eve.’ And for some years, it will be, ‘Good enough ready.’
Have a good Christmas in whatever way you like it; ready or not. xxxx

Chippies Are Always Shut On Sundays

Earlier this month, I was delighted to be invited to the launch of the Federation of Writers Scotland’s latest anthology of works: High Tide. This was because my flash fiction piece about a disgruntled teenager was chosen, amongst many other authors, for this publication. The book is a lovely collection of short stories, poetry and flash fiction from authors across Scotland.
After support from a friend on the day and a glass of wine, it wasn’t so bad reading my work out; and the audience laughed in the right place. Thanks go to Gordon Lawrie and Lockerbie Writers too: you’ve given me the confidence to carry on writing flash fiction.
So here it is …
Chippies Are Always Shut On Sundays
We moved into the first floor flat on a Tuesday. It wasn’t the best or the worst day to move. Mum normally moved on Sundays, but the chippy was always shut then, so we took to moving on Tuesdays. Uncle Dan, my mum’s latest boyfriend, had taken the day off work to help us. But he paid more attention to Mum than…