Category Archives: Bits of this & that…

When Nobody Cared…

Following on from the previous post, ‘Sunset at The Forum’, I should have explained that few of the members used their actual name when publishing comments…

There was an array of pseudonyms but, somehow, even without meeting their owners, we could get a measure of each character’s personality from their style of writing…

This little poem was inspired by the story of an injured rat, contributed to the Forum by a gentleman who modestly called himself ‘Nobody’…


Once there lived a little ratty,
In a village near a town,
But the folk around disliked him,
And it got poor ratty down.

He was quite an entertainer,
And as chatty as could be,
But he talked his right hind leg off,
And was left with only three.

‘Twas underneath some decking,
He had built his little home,
But one day he was discovered,
Narked on by the garden gnome.

His shelter was demolished,
And the owner called out “Shoo!”
Chased him all across the garden,
Shouting “Nobody wants you!”

It took rat all that evening,
To track down his new master….
(If he’d only had his fourth foot,
He could have travelled faster!)

When Nobody espied him,
It filled his heart with joy,
Was ratty an escaped pet?
—Was it girl or was it boy?

In minutes they had bonded,
And poor rat had gained a name,
“I’m going to call you Yardy –
Because ‘three feet’ means the same.” ๐Ÿ˜‰

— and it was a conversation about Sarah and her Mum, Wendy, making a comfy nest out of a box lined with soft material for an injured Possum who has lost half his tail that led me to the parallel of how the kindness of humans towards the animal kingdom makes a difference right across the globe — ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx

Sunset at The Forum…

Until very recently (yesterday, in fact!) the little village in which I live had a vibrant online Forum…

The new laws in data protection, though, meant it would be difficult for the facility to continue…. so the curtain was drawn… the stage upon which we skipped around discussing the serious and the not-so-serious since the beginnings of the development of this village at the turn of the Millenium was, following a gentle finale, cast into oblivion ….

Such a shame …. but, on reflection, in the ten years since its inception, firm friendships developed and the community spirit here was built…

Woven into each of the hundreds of topics were little stories that I often couldn’t resist putting into verse… some of them I have managed to save and may find their way to these pages..

One, in particular came to mind today when I was chatting with my online Scrabble partner, Sarah, who lives in Brisbane … I shall reproduce it on here in a minute but first, I’d like to reiterate a tribute to the Forumโ€™s Administrator which, with the sun having set on his creation, has now been lost to the mists of time…

One day in two-thousand-and-seven,
A villager had an idea…
“Why don’t I just set up a Forum,
To help build up the neighbourhood here…?”

He’d no inkling when setting its format,
Of the journey through time it would take,
How the posts cov’ring allsorts of subjects,
Soon a treasured mosaic would make…

Some discussions of serious nature,
Brought forth many, and varied, a view,
As did light-hearted (rib-shaking!) comments,
Oft’ provided by……well……you-know-who…!! *

Through this website we’ve shared tears and laughter,
Been united in cares and concerns,
Learnt a lot from each other; made friendships,
…now from daybreak to dusk the hour turns…

As the sun sets, we’re left with reflections,
Of kaleidoscoped colour-rich gems,
Archived somewhere in space for forever,
‘Social Media’s Creme de la Creme’…

…so, eleven years on, we’ll say “Thank you”,
(Such small words can’t convey all we feel)
To the person whose virtual creation,
Breathed life into this village for real… ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx

(*… the 800 or so members of the Forum know who… and are all now left wondering whether he-who-so-deserved-to-have-the-last-word actually did …. ๐Ÿ˜‰


To ‘8813’…


—a while ago, I wrote this little poem:

‘If ever bored and lonely … (Who to talk to…? What to do…?)

I’d at last found a solution … I could simply turn to you…

We would take a seat together, always lingering for a while,

But to get a word in edgeways took a fair amount of guile…

It occurred to me one morning, that I didn’t know your name,

All we seemed to have in common was our online ‘Scrabble’ game…’

…so I used the little ‘Chat’ box in the top righthand corner of the screen and we now know each other quite well! ๐Ÿ˜‰

As opponents we are well-matched with little between our scores and I reckon there’s an equal total of each of us winning or losing a match …

We chat regularly about the happenings in our day-to-day lives and the main reason for me writing this now is because I’d been talking about the view from my window these past few days. I don’t do Facebook so the only way I can post a photo for you is on here …

…so, Sarah, while you’re enjoying temperatures of 34 degrees on the third day of Autumn in Australia, ours have crept up to 3 degrees on the third day of Spring …

…see you on the board later… ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx

ย ย 

The Kingfisher…


Sometimes it can take almost a whole lifetime for a desire of the heart to be realised…

Years ago, (probably around the time of my tenth birthday) I was given an album filled with pictures of British Nature. Although I’m no Twitcher, my favourite full-page, glossy photo was of a majestic looking Kingfisher perched on a branch above a stream, the colours of its plumage vibrant and shimmering in the dappled sunlight…


For the next more-than-five-decades, catching sight of this bird in real-life seemed as elusive to me as the happily-ever-after stories trapped between the jackets of the rest of the books on my shelf—

—until the middle of last week—-

For the occassion of a friend’s birthday, we were taken for a drive through Devon countryside to the Seaton Wetlands, marvelling on the way at the Autumn scenery with its gold and copper tones—

At our destination, we found a round wooden shack serving as a bird-hide overlooking a lagoon where our binoculars brought the sight of gulls, curlews and other waders pecking at the mudflats and bays of the islands as they sought nourishment, closer to us— Sweeping our gaze across the tranquil water we watched ducks and geese dipping and diving in their search for tasty fish—

The posters around the walls of the hide helped us to identify each species and indicated that Kingfishers were also natives of this idyllic habitat—

“I’d so love to see one—” I remarked to my friend—

“Over there on the sandy inlet—” softly spoke a gentleman further along the bench, his eye fixed to his telescope—

Following his direction, we focused on the ridge of the little island, my idea being that we were looking for something about the size of an owl as the image in the treasured book of my childhood came back to my mind—

“I can’t see it—” I told our guide—

“Come and look through here—” he invited—

As I concentrated on gazing through the eye-piece, there, nestled amongst the grasses enjoying the afternoon sunshine, was a little feathered ball of electric-blue and green, hardly bigger than a sparrow! The Kingfisher I’d waited all these years to see—-

(Photos courtesy of Google ‘cos I’m not adept at juggling binos and camera at the same time!)

—sometimes it really is the smallest things that fill the biggest place in one’s heart— so much so, that the enthusing over retelling the tale resulted in this gift being presented to me at the weekend—

— and you remember I spoke about the happy-ever-after tales being as elusive as the Kingfisher—well— no sooner had this little fella come into my home than quite a catch of happiness arrived my gate— but that’s an entirely different story—- ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx


There’s always been an Ann….

Once upon a very-long-ago-time, I had a friend called Ann who helped me through a particularly turbulent time of my adolescence— because of her, I found that clouds really do have silver linings —- in a period when I could have been filled with despair, she lifted me and helped me to skip through adversities—

Right now, when circumstances could have me feeling that I’m stuck fast in quicksand, I find that there are a whole bevy of ‘Anns’ who cup my chin and save me from sinking—-

With much love and heartfelt thanks — xxxx



Only Believe…

All it takes is a closed door to set imagination on a whirling flight of fancy—-

One day, a few months ago, firmly fixed into the gnarled bark of an ancient Lime tree and partly sheltered by a stray sprig of sprouting Laurel, a little door appeared—-

Within days, one of the children using the footpath route alongside the parkland must have noticed it as they walked home from the village primary school, perhaps as they veered from the tarmac-ed path with their friends, enticed by the carpet of bronze and amber Autumn leaves inviting them to scuff their feet through Nature’s scrunchy fallen produce—

News of such magical occurrences travels fast and it has since become a three-thirty custom to see crowds of little ones, school bags slung across their shoulders, examining the tree trunk, tapping on the door, cocking their heads as they listen for sounds of fairies going about their business inside the tree’s chambers, while Mums wait patiently with prams—

Evidence that the fairy folk have chosen this site as their dwelling place has been apparent with the occassional sighting of their pretty dresses, freshly washed, fluttering on a clothes line in the breeze; tinkling bells adorning the Laurel’s dainty branches through the festive period; sprinklings of tiny glimmering stars at the tree trunk’s base.

Observing the children’s delight as they engross themselves in the mysteries of another kingdom, is pure enchantment—

Imagine then, my dismay yesterday morning as I watched a young girl, a little later than her comrades on the school-run, pull away from her mother so that she could check on the fairies’ activity and whose expression demonstrated that all was not well —- the door had disappeared—-!

She moved on to the next tree and circled its trunk, seeming to think she had made a mistake and checked the wrong tree—- but, no, she had been right, so back to Fairy Hollow and her foot struck something on the ground—

She stooped and picked it up— half a door!

It had been rent asunder and left lying as if a piece of trash —

She let it fall from her hand, her slumped posture an indication of her bitter disappointment—

I almost heard the Bubble burst—!

Back to Mum, then, to continue the few minutes’ heavy-hearted journey to school—

What to do—?

My initial thought was that I needed to get hold of some Police ticker tape and bind it around the tree with a bold ‘Crime Scene’ notice to attract the attention of the culprit who prised the little icon from its mooring—

In the meantime, I retrieved the fragments—

—-just in time—

—-a group of toddlers were now running towards the tree on their way to Nursery and their reaction was the same as the little schoolgirl’s—they checked the next tree in case they had the wrong address—-

Now I knew that my idea of sealing off the site with a cautionary notice would be the wrong thing to do—

I had to use the children’s imagination to my advantage—- so, off to source a replacement replica, install it and wait for half-past-three—-

All fairy tales have happy endings— the first child to come along the path after school, diverting to the location, was the one who witnessed the broken door—- The only words to describe her reaction now are ‘sheer glee’! Jumping up and down, arms flailing wildly, a beaming smile—-

Methinks she may have passed on the details of the dismal sight that morning to her friends who soon joined her and shared her excitement—-

More knuckles tapping on the door, more ears to the trunk just listening—

Oh, the simple pleasures of life which become real adventures when one only believes—– ๐Ÿ˜‰

Spoiler Alert…!


Yesterday, a friend spoke to me of her concerns that I haven’t written on my blog for a while—

Having presented my excuses, I decided that I should put her mind at rest and update my journal—

Never mind the debatable issues of Brexit and U.S. Elections — in my household there are more serious matters to consider—

A kind gesture from another friend last week had me wondering just what lies behind closed doors. Although I was tempted to take a peek, I knew this would be contravening the rules of etiquette so I resisted — until yesterday —

Sheer curiosity, coupled with the date, had me gently unlatching the door with ‘1’ marked as its address—

The sweet greeting that awaited was a real treat and left me yearning to revisit the site and find out what secrets are hidden behind the twenty-three neighbouring doors —

—and then I saw it! Hence the title of this post — ‘Spoiler Alert’!

There, emblazoned on a corner, was the message “Mini Reindeer for Christmas Eve”—


— although, maybe, just maybe, in this season of surprises, it’s a ploy and there’s a diamond or golden trinket behind its cardboard portal —

After all, try as I might, I cannot imagine how a reindeer, miniature or otherwise, could be included in the contents of my Maltesers Advent Calendar—

— especially in view of the fact that so much fuss is being made about traces of animal product in the new ยฃ5 notes— ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx



The little light…

coffee table, cake and candle

Who could have known that the little light of the candle two weeks ago was not only giving a glimmer of hope after a sorrowful fortnight but was also to serve as that same fuel for the two weeks ahead in which history would repeat itself—–?

—-and that’s it — in life’s darkest moments, there is an oasis in the company of friends who care — a place where we can take refreshment and have our spirits lifted as we travel life’s journey and be strengthened to deal with the unexpected scenarios which awaitย around any given corner—- xx

The language of flowers…


When anyone’s been feeling as though they’re under a bit of a cloud, nothing speaks as loudly, as softly, as the vibrancy, the gentleness, of the sweet and fragrant blooms of flowers —

This particular bouquet of cheer, I found on my doorstep yesterday —

There was no card to tell me who had made such a kind gesture — but sometimes there is no need for words —

—- their petals say it all —-

(Thank you so much! ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx)

“…, she needs me…”


“…she needs me; she needs me not; she needs me…”

—and it was proven in the changing rooms of a local department store yesterday—

My daughter in law went clothes shopping without me—ย shocked smiley

She needed to choose a dress to wear to a wedding and picked a pretty, lacy style from the rail of summer fashions—

“Please could I try this on?” she asked the assistant responsible for supervising the fitting room—

“Of course,” the sales girl replied— “Just give me a call if you need any help—“

(To retain her anonymity I’ll just refer to her as “Em”)… pulled off her leggings and top and slid herself into the frock —

“Perfect!” she thought as she examined her every profile in the mirror—

She reached across her shoulder to fasten the zip at the back—

Oooops! As it reached the highest point of its ascent, it jammed—

“Oh, darn it— the cord from the price-tag has jammed itself—“

Gently, she jiggled the tiny metal zip-pull — to no avail—

She applied firmer pressure— nope—it wouldn’t budge—

“How the heck am I going to get out of it now—?” she quizzed herself, feeling distinctly hot under the place where the collar would have been had it been included in the garment’s design—-

Desperate needs call for desperate measures and incredible strength can be found in moments of panic so she yanked at the mechanism keeping her trapped—

Ping, ping, ping, ping, ping —

One by one, the top two inches of the zip’s teeth extracted themselves and ricocheted across the cubicle—

Now the rest of the fastener slid down easily allowing her to step out of the material which had her bound—

“Any good?” asked the assistant as Em emerged from behind the curtain—

“Um—yes, it’s lovely— but—-errr—um—the zip’s broken—“

“Oh, that’s always happening! I’ll fetch you another one—” was the kindly reply—

Relief is the sweetest dish but, hopefully, a lesson will have been learnt and next time she’ll take me with her— She knows that, really, deep down, she needs me—ย ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx