Today in Spain, residents have been allowed out for their first period of exercise and it makes me realise how lucky we are in the UK that we have been allowed outdoor exercise throughout our lockdown. The beautiful south coast beaches are nearby and it is a decent walk to the closest one. Adding a mile or so along the sands equals a walk guaranteed to maintain fitness.
And to my great delight, this afternoon, one of the beach cafes opened a new take away hatch so it was possible to enjoy a decent cappuccino and an ice cream as I walked. Small pleasures but important for bringing a smile to my face.
I hope you find something to raise a smile.
PS The cup was recycled so no environmental implications here.
It’s the last day of April and I hope the new month will bring some positive steps towards our future. Baby steps are fine, just something to give the UK people the will to shake off the gloom of April and anticipate better things. The restriction of our lockdown is not as severe as some countries, although more so than others, but the reality of separation from loved ones, an evaporating economic security and fear of the unknown challenge even the ‘glass half full’ personality at times.
Nature has eased the trauma for the British people with glorious weather and the daily allowed exercise enabled us to soak up sunlight and to breathe the fresh unpolluted air.
Then April showers arrived on the 28th. However, the daily exercise is a treat one cannot ignore and so, out came the mackintosh and the wellington boots, and we braved the elements. I sang Happy Birthday to my husband in the pouring rain and presented him with a soggy cake. Our family party took place on zoom and I was surprised how intimate it felt.
I can’t pretend to like this new normality but as a ‘glass half full’ person, I will do my best to treasure the special moments.
I am lucky to live close to a beach so my daily exercise reminds me of the earth’s beauty. While I walk near the waves, I picture the many who have walked and played here before the virus changed lives. It will fill my heart with joy to watch families playing on the sand once again.
For months, I have complained about lack of time and blamed my failure to complete my second novel on that and on personal circumstances.
Since the Lockdown, I have had time, but the onset of a virus (maybe THE VIRUS) succeeded in giving a justifiable reason for not writing. Serious coughing caused me to hit keys that transformed my carefully crafted words to farcical nonsense. 4 weeks have passed and I can no longer blame illness and so, I am ready to return to my second novel. The great thing about the break is that I have had distance from my book and its weaknesses are clear and can be addressed.
My teacher in the Dream Author Coaching Programme, Sophie Hannah, asks us to set our dream goal for the future and smaller goals to get there. My small goal is to write a short piece of fiction or non-fiction most days so I produce 5 pieces of work each week in addition to moving my second novel forward.
In the meantime, Silencio has been relisted in Ebook format on http://www.amazon.com and http://www.amazon.co.uk and is also available as in paperback through Amazon and at http://www.troubador.co.uk
This week, I wrote this in response to an exercise to write something about the clocks going back or forward. Just a bit of fun for these challenging days.
Mum Don’t frget to put tour clocks bick.
Sally Will do. For God’s sake, turn on predictive text Mother.
Mum How di I di ths>
Sally Don’t you remember. I wrote it down in your book.
Sally Your notebook. It’s by your calendar in the kitchen.
Mum Is it/
Sally Go there and look. Don’t hang up!!!!
Mum I@m here.
Sally Mother. Where have you gone? Answer the bloody phone.
Mum Hi. Beck agin.
Sally Why don’t you answer when it rings?
Sally Your phone. Answer it when it rings.
Mum How de I de tht
Sally Remember, I showed you the last time I came over. Press the button with the green telephone.
Mum Wher are yu
Sally I explained Mum. There’s a problem with a virus. I don’t want you to catch anything.
Mum I dnt car. I wnt to di anyway
Sally Don’t be ridiculous. What would I do without you to remind me to put the clocks back.
Mum Lov yu
Sally You too, Mum. I’ll call you in a minute. Remember press the green telephone.
Mum Ar u thre.
This is a piece of prose I am constructing for a writers’ group. The topic is pollution.
In November 1999
the ocean extended to the horizon.
From our bow, we saw
an endless bath
on which our vessel bobbed.
Climbing one watery hill
skiing down the other side.
Driven by the wind
towards the tropical islands
with exotic names
and white sandy beaches.
Midway the power of the wind
became a gentle whiff.
We were becalmed, drifting
as we awaited a change in pressure.
Let’s go for a swim, he suggested
and in I dove
to water that caressed my body like silk
and so clear I watched my toes wiggle.
I thought that I was in the purest place on the earth
in those days before our oceans became soiled.
The plastic was probably already drifting
causing death and destruction to our precious planet
suffocating the residents so that the ocean became a watery grave.
Another ocean crossing in 2019
on a ship that towers above the waves
and I look down on specs floating by.
Rubbish created by humans
that scar the blue pond.
Filed under poetry, prose
This is a short story I am working on. It is not finished but please feel free to comment.
In the middle of the ocean, the stars shine bright and the blue water takes on shades of purple, red and black. The hull slaps on the slopes of watery hills formed by the waves. At 38, Alice is the youngest of three crew, and the least experienced, nonetheless she takes responsibility for the yacht on her shifts of the rota. Each night, when the sun disappears behind the horizon, she stills the quivers in her stomach before reminding herself of the alternative. Her colleagues will be at their desks making relentless phone calls in the hope of hooking a deal. Survival and safety are her targets now.
Orion’s belt glows above and she uses it as the base from which to practise her knowledge, working to all sides and reciting the names of the constellations and planets in a whisper; she does not want to disturb the others. Fred is stretched out in the main cabin, on call he says but unlikely to wake unless thunder shakes the ship. Now that the night is set, the peace calms her fears, the wind strokes her face and its air fills her lungs.
It has been 10 days since they last encountered another ship – a tanker crept up behind, nearly running them over before gliding by to fade into the mist – and they were too far from land for wildlife. A seagull had hitched a lift but fled on day 3 and the dolphins had played for a few days but she had not seen a pod this week.
A sail flaps and Alice leaps to tighten the sheet. The wind is changing. She shivers and reaches for her fleece as she scans the skies. The stars have vanished. Should she wake Fred? Shorten the sail? Close the hatches? Or should she observe a little longer?