We’re sat in his ground floor flat, listening to Dark Side Of The Moon.

“Words or music. Which is the greater part of a song?” he asks.

“Music. Definitely.”

“Really? So the story of the song is not important to you?”

“If I didn’t like the delivery of the words, I wouldn’t like the song. Besides the song is much more than the dialogue. Not all songs are dialogue, some convey feelings or moods. It’s the melody, chords and instrumentation that will catch my attention.”

“It’s the words that draw me to a song. Take Marillion’s ‘Warm Wet Circles’, there are so many clever meanings, it evokes so many scenes from a young man’s life.”

He quotes:

‘Like a mothers kiss on your first broken heart, a warm wet circle
Like a bullet hole in Central Park, a warm wet circle’.

“I’ll agree that’s clever, but I just can’t take to Fish’s delivery on this song, and the guitar solo is predictable….”

“But can’t you see the images?”

“I don’t give myself time to, because I don’t like the arrangement”.

I take a sip of wine. ‘The Great Gig In The Sky’ starts. A particular favourite of ours.

“What about this track?” I ask.

Ref: Writing101, Day 7 Prompt : Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.
Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue.



Catching The Worm

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Early Bird.”

Crisp Morning Light

Crisp Morning Light

It was the Sunday between Christmas and New Year, and many people were sleeping off their seasonal excesses. The cache had been launched the previous evening and we headed off to try our luck at being the first to find it.

Our dedication was not only rewarded with a clear log book, but also with crisp early morning views over the marshes towards Wales. The sun was still low when we took this shadow selfie.

I particularly liked how the light picked up the frost on the marsh reeds, and the subtle differences in the sky colour.


The Creator

Two adults please.

Grey-blue twinkling eyes greeted me and asked if we’d visited a model village before.

I explained that I used to live near one in Southport and had been taken there several times as a child. Nostalgic eyes smiled as he referred to as a particularly special collection, which he had visited on numerous occasions too.

We discussed various locations where fine villages could be found before the smile-wrinkles appeared again. With a mischievous grin, he asked if we would like to complete the treasure hunt. Yes please!

Walking round the from the ticket booth to be given directions, we were joined by a lean man who we estimated to be in his mid-sixties, dressed in tidy blue engineer’s overalls. Just one small smudge of grease on the front.

With muted pride he advised the best route and told us to watch out for the two model trains which ran at regular intervals.

We set off on our adventure, duly noting our answers on the quiz sheet. At the end of the route we were met by someone who introduced himself as the second in command.

The boss has gone to work on a spare motor for the windmill. He’s a perfectionist you know.

We enquired as to whether he had built the village. Yes, from scratch. And the trains. He used to be a cabinet-maker and couldn’t settle into retirement, so bought the land and created the village.

All by himself?

Yes. Pretty much. At the same time he renovated an out building which is now a holiday let.

Looking back at the village we were given an insight into the soul of its creator.

The paths were clean and free from weeds, as were the colourful flower beds which surrounded each tableau.

A lot of thought had gone into the character of each setting, right down to the contrast between the music playing from some. High Church of England hymns in the steepled church, quieter and more melodic praise from the Chapel of St Mary, while candy flossed barrel organ melodies rang out from the fair.

There was a pleasantly childish sense of humour in some of the signs, in Llangefni High Street you could visit from “Dan Druff’s Hair Salon”.

There was a keen eye to detail in the scale and architecture of the buildings, all based on local landmarks and surroundings. It was clear that he was as passionate about living on Anglesey as he was about his work.

And yet he was humble. Did he deliberately step into the workshop to avoid praise at the end of our visit?

We were surprised to hear that he was over seventy, and that he had decided to sell the enterprise. This could be our last visit to one man’s miniature Anglesey.

We hoped that someone would take it on and continue in the spirit that it was created, but if you read the original post relating to our visit, we also wondered whether this type of attraction is still popular.


Ref: Writing101, Day 6 Prompt “Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?”


This is a response to the most recent Writing101 prompt:

Today’s Prompt: You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.

I have struggled with this post. Not least because I am unlikely to read a letter found on a path. When I imagined myself as someone who would, my closest reference point wouldn’t have been affected, just inappropriately interested. So again, no apologies, I will bend the rules…..


We first viewed the house in late August. It was empty due to a relocation and, as we had a cash buyer, moving in should be straightforward. 

Without the burden of an occupant seller we enjoyed inspecting every nook and cranny.  In “Bedroom 2” we stumbled across a message scrawled on the inside of a fitted wardrobe door:

I          miss          mummy



Had mummy been relocated in a high-powered career move?  Or was the separation more permanent?  What pain was the child going through?  We shall never know, but we still wonder.

Two months later, we arrived with removal van, kettle, milk, sugar and biscuits.  When we came to hang up our clothes in the wardrobe, the message had gone.



Geocaching Bubbles

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Afloat.”

But could also have been included in the photo challenge : “Blur”

I had been searching for this photo when the Blur challenge was posted, but it was only this week when I was considering Afloat that I stumbled across it.

We were on a short geocaching trail and had found the third of the morning. Geocaching so much more than just finding and logging. It is also about the journey, local history and geology. And TREASURE.

It is possible leave or trade “stash” (as it is sometimes known), and we have some physical mementos with personal connections or which can transport us back to the find.

Some of the best stash is meant to be shared but left at the cache. On this occasion, a bubble blower tube.

So, there you have it, two “middle aged”, should know-betters, hiding the bushes and blowing bubbles, unbeknownst to the dog walkers passing by just yards away…

If you go down to the woods today....

If you go down to the woods today….


A Room With A View. And a Stairway to My Heaven

“If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?”

“We’re nearly there”, I said as we headed around the next headland.

“Good thing too, the fish and chips will be cold soon”.

 We were on a brief road trip around the north west of Scotland, stopping at small Bed and Breakfasts each night before moving on. Our budget wouldn’t stretch to dining out, so we would purchase food from the local grocery shop and either sneak back into the B&B for a surreptitious supper, or head out to a local beauty spot and dine almost alfresco. This limited our menu for the week, and on the evening that we stayed in Mellon Charles we decided to treat ourselves to takeaway fish and chips. The layout of our overnight residence would have meant transporting our dinner through the lounge to get to our room. The landlady could have been on guard and might not have taken to well to our rather aromatic dinner being consumed in a tiny space which had been adorned with swags, cushions and tie-backs galore. All just waiting to absorb the scent of salt and vinegar.

So we headed out to Gruinard Bay. Si was new to being this far north, but I had visited there two years earlier.

The road between Poolewe and Ullapool almost hugs the coast, allowing you glimpses of inlets and islets on one side, and contrasting rugged mountains on the other. This makes for pleasant journeys, but can result in your oasis being further away than you first envisaged. Mirage like it appears in the distance, only to disappear, reappear then disappear again.

But we did reach our destination and stopped in the deserted car park across the road from the bay. It was odd to see it empty. When I had visited with my parents in that lovely summer, it was jam packed with families wanting to make the most of the sunshine and beach. At the time that Si switched off the engine, most wise people would be indoors, secured away from the midges, which can ruin an otherwise pleasant evening with their incessant biting.

Somehow, we were lucky and the midges had headed off to the nearest campsite to wreak havoc, leaving us to enjoy the view across the bay to Gruinard Island. Beyond that was the peninsula where we were stopping. It looked so close.

We had dinner uninterrupted by man or midge, crossed the road and made our way down the rickety wooden steps which allow access to the beach. The sun was setting but we had time for a quick stroll along the shore. Again, I was struck by the contrast to my previous visit. The sands are a pale gold and there is shelter from the band of coast which is slightly raised. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that there are cliffs, the drop from the road ranges between ten and twenty feet. This makes it a haven for beach lovers, the only dark cloud being the ominous shadow of Gruinard Island, which was used for biological weapon testing in the cold war and which was only decontaminated in the late 20th century.

We walked and talked, and talked and walked. Before we knew it, the sun had gone and the moon was reflecting gently on the still bay waters. Temperatures can fall quite quickly in this area and, not knowing the road that well, we decided to head back to our over-upholstered abode for the night.

Halfway up the steps to the road we turned back to take in the view. It was then that we spotted the seal. We hadn’t seen any whilst walking on the beach, but there it was, bobbing up and down, appearing to watch us.

 “Goodbye Gruinard Bay. Goodbye Mr Seal”  I whispered as I waved. Incredibly, the seal raised a flipper and appear to wave back. It was probably just scratching its nose, but to us, on that magical evening, we had been bid farewell. This was before the days of mobile phones with cameras, and we weren’t carrying the 35mm, so I cannot share a picture, but I can still see it clearly in my mind over 25 years later.

The following morning we drove past the parking as we headed north for our next destination. We didn’t stop, it would have broken the spell of the previous evening. Despite observing this taboo, I would love to return to the area, smell the sea and dodge the midges. Who knows, we might even do some seal spotting.

With my eyes still on the horizon,


Post Haste

I do apologise, but I’m not going to have much access today for the blogging101 assignment, so I opted for a photo post format.


(can you spot the geocache?)

And here’s another photo of a post.


Sorry – couldn’t help myself!


ps On another day I will tell their stories….

Un-Themely Behaviour

Ok, so I’m a little late posting about Friday’s assignment (“Love Your Theme”), but this smug student tried out several themes last Sunday.

I had reduced a long list of eleven down to two, and opted for the Hemingway Rewritten theme. Clean, tidy and with my preferred size of font (although I know that there ways of changing this).

I didn’t want to get over concerned about colours. A suggested palette which can take minor tweaks will do. The exception being my  “About Me” page, which I have opted to change colours of key words. I found the following link useful for coding colours:

I so very nearly moved to Twenty Eleven this morning. Purely because I could move the side bar to the left, Crikey! I could lose days of my life playing here, so enough. Hemingway Rewritten it is.

More later


Dear Sweet Impossible You



Dear Dream Reader, my sweet impossible you.


You cannot exist. Or can you?


You are the person in the office who knows that this blog is mine, but you don’t mention that to me because you know that I would prefer that it remains anonymous. You never change your manner towards me if I write about a contentious matter or if I launch an blog-attack on a workmate.


You are the person in the café that I do not have time to visit on my way to work. You blog too, and we pass each other knowing smiles as we huddle over our notebooks and cappuccino.


You have walked along the same beach as the one in “day 6 on the island” You already knew that the arrangement of pebbles was called a berm.


You have the same sense of humour as me and you laugh at my references to cows and broccoli.


You sometimes reply to my posts, and frequently like them.


I read your blog and I am in awe of your inner strength.


You don’t mind that I am not given to writing long posts. You too appreciate that sometimes there isn’t much so say. Sometimes a picture will do. And if I haven’t written for several weeks, you are still out there, waiting.


You are my father. Long gone but never forgotten. Stolen from this world before the technology that you loved so much really became interesting. How you would have loved the gadgets available to us now. How much fun we could have had together.


Stay with me …


… until the next time we meet.



blogging101 : A new beginning?

Have signed up for blogging101 and I am currently waiting for the first assignment.

 Looking at some of the other participants entries, I felt admiration, welcomed, kinship and relief that there are many out there who, like me, are looking for inspiration and guidance to get re-started.

I have to confess that I feel a mixture of excitement and resignation. What new tricks will I learn? Will I manage to fit it into my day? What on earth do I have to say that anyone else would want to read?

One thing I do know, it’s time to revisit my theme. So it’s time for a little background research – deliberate pun there, sorry!

More later.