Feathered Friendship

Since last year, I've been following a blogger who talks with his chickens. I've no problem with that – I have discussions with the family's dogs (mainly about whether it's feeding time yet – they're a pragmatic bunch) but back when we were between dogs I've been known to talk to fish in the fish tank … Continue reading Feathered Friendship

The Pond People – 2

Continuing the Mirlings' story. (Find part 1 here.) Something streaked past Molly, washing her aside and propelling the goldfish into the cover of reeds. The cat’s paw rose empty through the water. The bright blur swooped into a somersault before slowing to become an orange-and-black mirling. He landed with a flourish in front of Grandad … Continue reading The Pond People – 2

Mothers, Have Mercy On Us All

drip with ripples

Mercy – one of those words that has shades of meaning.
This poem by Carol J Forrester struck a chord with me. I hope you like it too.

Writing and Works

Is there a quota for mercy?

Do they give it to the younger angels,

take their hands on clear mornings,

and steer them to the edges of clouds

where they can peer over the banks

into the depths of blue beneath.

All our little prayers bubbling up

to be popped by small celestial palms

crumb dusted from the mercy

their mothers have parcelled out

so they can toss it to the mortals below.

And do some of us know the places

to stand on those clear mornings

where the young ones chatter

and rustle their down like tissue.

Which ones crumble mercy to dust

so it falls evenly and ripples far,

the others who wodge their palms

into pebbles that punch through

but settle far too soon.

Who’s voice calls them home.


Mary Mother of God have mercy, mercy on us all

Vertigo & Ghosts by Fiona Benson

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January – the longest month

January always seems the longest month of the year. Maybe it's because Christmas is like the culmination of December. The days after it finally arrives are filled with family catch-ups and travel between bases, and then there's New Year's Eve. By the time we settle back into "normality," it already seems an age since the … Continue reading January – the longest month

A cracker of an idea for Christmas

More about Christmas Crackers from Cabbieblog.com.


It’s the question soon to be asked at every table in Britain “Shall we pull the crackers before, or after dinner?”

This curious tradition of pulling on a roll of coloured paper was invented in London 165 years ago by Tom Smith.

Starting work at an ornamental confectioner’s Tom would experiment on producing more sophisticated designs of wedding cake decorations than was being sold by his employers. It wasn’t long before he branched out on his own setting up a business in Goswell Road producing confectionery products. Travelling widely in 1840 on a trip to Paris he discovered the ‘’Bon Bon’, a sugared almond wrapped in a twist of tissue paper. This simple confection which proved popular in London at Christmas would evolve into the cracker we know today.

His next improvement to the French ‘Bon Bon’ was to wrap a small love motto inside the tissue paper as a…

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A Story for Christmas

Christmas Presence Griller scrambled over the top of the skip and landed beside Shorty among the scrap. Dislodged rubbish splashed into puddles far beneath them. Footsteps pounded along the alley. They returned slowly. The blue lights flashing above them were turned off and the police car left. The alley was quiet apart from the scurrying … Continue reading A Story for Christmas

Shameless Plug for Witch Way

My first copy of Witch Way has finally arrived. I didn't order a proof copy. The one we ordered for Where the Wild Winds Blow came with a grey band printed around the cover, saying "Not for Resale", which kinda spoils the effect. For A Following Wind we ordered an author copy instead, which costs … Continue reading Shameless Plug for Witch Way