Category Archives: Yeah Write writing challenge

Do you see her much?

The bed-sheets are soaked from my sweat. The vision of her intense gaze lingers in my wakeful haze.

The lights blink, as if to remind me. I see her every night when she comes to taunt me – for letting her get away.

This post was written for submission to the Yeah Write Gargle Blaster Challenge 157. The question this week was

‘Do you see her much?’

Cluedo

“I’m not playing anymore, you’re cheating,” Jacob screamed, sending the Cluedo board flying, pieces scattering like confetti across the carpet.

Scarlett looked at the miniature candlestick, as her brother stomped into the kitchen. Hhhhm, Miss Scarlett in the kitchen with the candlestick.

 

This post was originally written for the Yeah Write Gargle Blaster challenge 156, but the grid filled up so quick I missed out! This post has been submitted to the Yeah Write Moonshine Grid 156 instead.

The question this week was ‘Who dunnit?’

 

The Hunger Games

Sometimes you find a story that pulls you in and makes you feel part of a special little world, where you are gripped to the edge of your seat waiting to see what fate awaits the characters in it. It’s a rare quality and sometimes I find it where I least expect it. This is one of those times.

It might have been getting rave reviews since hitting the big time, but for some reason ‘The Hunger Games’ just didn’t seem all that appealing. I snubbed it on the basis of ‘here comes another teen fiction trilogy’. If I’m honest, I didn’t have the stomach for another Twilight saga (and that’s saying a lot from a bit of a Vampire fan!) – especially if I had to put up with miserable faced teenagers trying to look sexy and moody and only really succeeding at the latter. Trilogies can be hard to wade through. It takes some real talent to keep a story interesting and suspenseful for that length of time and there have been numerous cases where I have been completely lost by the third instalment. So, you can keep your teen lit to yourself this time round – I’m over it …. or so I thought ….

Roll on … me incapacitated on the sofa and in desperate need of some semi-adult entertainment (not that type of entertainment! Just non-toddler cartoon related). Flicking aimlessly through my Sky channels in search of a good movie to get my teeth sunk into, ‘The Hunger Games’ popped up on the screen. I uhmmed, I aaahhed. I decided no. Then I wondered if I should give it a shot, especially as there was bugger all else on. Then I googled some reviews just to make sure I wasn’t paying for a complete crock of poop. Oh, what the hell – and the rest is history, so to speak ….

After the first film I was a goner, left hanging in anticipation for the next. I even resorted to Wikipedia to reveal the rest of the story line as I’m that impatient. Then I had a wonderful surprise – the second instalment ‘Catching Fire’ was also on Sky – and so I kissed goodbye to the rest of the afternoon. But then that came to an end and with no third film yet made …. there was only one solution – hit Amazon and download the full literary version of the trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and the Mockingjay). Cue me, with nose firmly planted in my Kindle for the next two weeks as I became further absorbed by the ordeals, tribulations and love issues of Katniss, Peeta and Gale and ventured onto the final instalment to get the full lowdown on the end.

In all honesty it wasn’t the most eloquent book I’ve ever read, but what Suzanne Collins does manage to do is make you care what happens. I have no idea why, cause at times the heroine Katniss is not even all that likeable, in fact she can be quite annoying. As one of her fellow victors says, she ‘can be ‘hard to stomach’ and Peetas adoration is beyond sickening at times. Why everyone follows this girl around I have no idea, but maybe it’s because she’s so human that you can relate to her on some level. It’s not really a love story, it is so much more – a story of dictatorship, civil unrest, death and rebellion – all dealt with in a fairly light fashion, but the moral is there nonetheless. But at the end of the day, what I really wanted to know was who ended up with who. I knew the ending before I read it thanks to Wikipedia and it wasn’t what I had hoped for by a long shot. However, by the end of the last book the grande finale felt completely right …. Suzanne Collins did such a good job of weaving an ever-growing divide between two of the main characters, even I changed my mind on who she should be with!

It was nice to see that the film stayed true to the story line of the book – which often isn’t the case. It may not be the most in-depth plot, but there are some nice little twists along the way which keep you guessing. The choice of actors works well and for young actors they are surprisingly charismatic and entertaining. The film really pulls out the stops when it comes to the flamboyance of the Capital and some of the costumes and make-up are truly spectacular. Jennifer Lawrence plays the role of Katniss Everdeen well, portraying the emotionally drained, somewhat confused and distant girl on fire, who has enough spark to get us following along for the ride along with her other devotees.

I’m a little sad I have finished the books, but am waiting eagerly for the last film to get my final fix. Somehow I have become another one of the trilogy’s latest fans!

This post was written for the Yeah Write Moonshine Grid 155.

 

I want a Shelfie!

20140401_170215Bleary eyed, I sip on my much needed caffeine fix for the morning and log into my Gmail account. A Google advert for ‘Introducing Shelfies: Selfies with personality’ pops up in the middle of my screen.

Ooooh! Never one to turn my nose up at a new feature, I read on …. Google declares: “Selfie custom themes are incredibly popular in Gmail and they just got better. With Shelfies (Shareable Selfies) you can set your own photo as a Gmail custom theme and share it with your friends so they can enjoy looking at you as much as you do.”

Maybe I am inherently too vain, but I felt compelled to set myself up with one of these straight away. I liked the idea of personalising my Gmail a bit and I proceeded to take a big smiley close up to plaster all over my background. Hey, and then I was going to share it with the OH, so he could have my ‘lusciousness’ (ahem!) gazing at him as he works and plays! 🙂 A constant reminder to him that he is ‘being watched!’

So, selfie all prepped and ready to go ….. ‘upload failed’. Sad face ensues and me searching around to find out what I did wrong. During my search I stumble upon a nice little article about Google’s latest April Fools prank.

I think I got reeled in hook, line and sinker……

This post was written for the Yeah Write Challenge #155.

Gargle Blaster Challenge

The dark night sky is alight with the streaming sparkles of a shooting star.

I feel the warm wriggle of my blanketed new-born in my arms. I look down into his huge eyes, the miracle of new life twinkling back at me.

This post has been written as part of the exciting new Yeah Write challenge – The Gargle Blaster! It is not only the Best Drink in Existence, it’s also a high-intensity 42-word micro challenge. Here’s how it works: we give you a question, you give us your answer in 42 words. No more, no less. It’s pretty simple.

This week’s gargleblaster prompt was:

What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing?

I’m in love with another man

I’ve never paid by the hour for the company of men. But for this man, I could make an exception – he has the most amazing hands.

As he tells me to strip off to my underwear and lay on the bed, I think for £35 this better be good. He spends the next hour kneading, manipulating and sticking pins in me like I’m a voodoo doll. Whatever his magic, he’s weaved some kind of spell. I think I’m in love, no one has managed to make me feel like this before. I am floating.

This man is my Osteopath and he is worth every penny. After months of back, hip and leg pain – he has managed what no-one else could. He has started to make me whole again. I thought the light would never be in sight, but now the dark walls of the tunnel are steadily passing me by. Doctors, sports therapists and pilates instructors have nothing on him – he well and truly deserves the pedestal I have quickly ascended him to. As the pain subsides, I start to see my weekends of wistfully watching other runners being a thing of the past. Finally I could be out there again soon. He may never know the impact he is having on my life already – with eased muscles I feel reinvigorated, the motivation returning.

When my work colleague suggested, ‘You need an Osteopath,’ he had no idea he was instigating a match made in heaven.

I have another meeting with him on Tuesday … I am already counting down the hours. I told the OH I’m leaving him for another man – only for an hour a week. He hardly glanced up from his iPad as he murmured an ‘okay’. I can embark on this new affair, safe in the knowledge I have his approval. I can see it being a long-term thing. I need this man in my life …. he’s making me feel like a new woman …. I’m never letting him go.

 

This post has been written for the Yeah Write Writing Challenge #154.

Vapour not Smoke

Lets talk numbers …. 27 years, 40 a day, £6 per packet, £84 per week, 11 mins loss of life per cigarette, 8.24 years lost. No wonder we never have any money (and should the OH technically be dead yet?).

Seriously though, he’s had a nasty habit for far too long. 13 years together I have lost count of the times he’s tried to ‘give up’. There was time when I gave birth, then when he had pneumonia … needless to say he’s worked his way through most of the quitting aids out there. Every morning, as I lay in bed listening to his retching cough, he sounds like an 80 year old with COPD (he’s only 40).

Here’s another number for you ….. 4 weeks, 1 day and 30 minutes …. since he last had a cigarette. The longest time he has ever gone without and a momentous achievement. Already his cough is subsiding and his lungs are less short of breath. If the figures are correct, he has just saved himself 8.8 days of his life already.

What can I thank for this life changing event? E-cigarettes! Now those hard earned pennies are being spent on new ‘atomisers, coils and modulators’ (whatever the hell they are)! I can’t say I was ‘up’ on the whole e-cigarette thing until the OH brought one home, but they are the first thing that has enabled him to turn his back on the tobacco industry. It’s not a full 100% improvement, after all he’s still inhaling nicotine – but everything has to be put into perspective. There isn’t much research available on the potential effects of e-cigarettes, so a sense of the unknown is present. There may be some detrimental effects along the way, but they have to be a darn sight safer than inhaling vast quantities of cigarette smoke into your lungs year on year – so for the OH, this has got to be an improvement.

I am still in shock he is not a ‘smoker’ anymore – apparently now he is a ‘Vaper’. Something has happened that I thought I would never see and I am feeling immensely proud. I hope this means he is clocking up more precious minutes, hours, days and years to spend with us.

This post was submitted to the Yeah Write Moonshine Grid #152.

 

Poker Face

Nandos is a place of sorrow for me, overshadowed by the death of my aunt. I was in the midst of a teenage date when I got the dreaded call. She was like my second mum and was going to leave a huge void behind – I was heartbroken.

‘Are you okay? Come on lets get out of here,’ my boyfriend said.

‘No, no finish your chips, there’s no rush,’ I responded calmly.

‘Are you sure?’

‘Yes, I’m fine.’

I patiently waited for him to finish eating, willing the chips on his plate to hurry up and disappear, whilst perfectly holding myself together until I got home.

Public displays of emotion do not come naturally to me, preferring to keep the intricacies of my private life at home, safe from the false sympathies of strangers. Only the OH sees my tears, frustrations and true emotions, things I do not share freely with others.

Rarely able to call on others for help, for fear of showing weakness – now a desperate woman, my life-long friend came rushing to my side. Relocated to the other side of the country and with a young son to look after, the hospitalisation of both my OH and father at the same time, I caved in and asked for some support. One night she relayed to me a conversation with her family, who were asking how I was coping. Her response to them – ‘it’s tough on her, but she’s not crying on my shoulder or anything – that’s not her style!’ The tears I shed that week were done in complete privacy.

In times gone past I wouldn’t even talk about personal matters with close friends. Increasingly I have recognised this attribute of my character and something strange happened a few years ago – I started to open up a little bit. You still won’t get true emotion out of me often, but beginning to share my frustrations is strangely therapeutic.

I used to think it was brave to not show emotion, but in reality it is worse than letting it all out with a good cry. All those bottled up feelings, with nowhere to escape, feels like I might implode. In some ways our characters are set from an early age, but I am seeing small improvements and maybe one day I won’t be ashamed to cry in the middle of Nandos.

This post was written for submission to the Yeah Write Writing Challenge #152.

Little Sponge Ears

imagesEnjoying the chill of the freezers, I meander up and down the frozen food aisle of the Coles supermarket. The cool air is a welcome relief and I eye up the ice-cream cones longingly. A feral looking woman walks past me, scruffy in her tracksuit bottoms and flip flops. A young girl is being dragged along by her side, dirty blonde hair scraped into pig tails at the sides of her head. A few feet behind them follows a small boy on his scooter, in no particular hurry.

‘Get a move on you little c**t,’ a female Australian voice shrieks.

I realise it is the woman who has just walked past, calling to her young son. It doesn’t happen often, but I am momentarily lost for words. A young, childless, twenty-something, with idealistic views, I can’t help but pass judgement on her bad-parenting.

A few years pass and I now have a toddler of my own. Those rose-tinted spectacles have been discarded, as I’ve learnt that parenting is far more fluid in nature.

Becoming a mum and with young ears now in my presence I make deliberate steps to reign in my pre-mummy swearing. After all, I don’t want my son to be that little boy in the supermarket, who then goes on to shout obscenities at others. It might have been slightly amusing in the early days, when the cute garbled baby noises sounded like ‘bugger’, but now as toddler years are here, we have a little parrot in our midst.

There was the time we took our 18-month-old son to the local country show. The OH took him over to look at the remote controlled boats. Within minutes they were quickly shuffling back, little one with a big smile on his face. The OH’s head hung in embarrassment. The tale was re-told of how, at the top of his voice, our son had announced to all and sundry ‘ Snap, crackle, bollocks.’

I have never laughed so hard … but deep down I knew it would come back to bite me!

Now 3 years old, my son’s speech is developing day by day, with him desperately seeking out new words to add to his growing repertoire. We went for lunch last week in the local diner. After stuffing our faces with burgers, we headed over to the bar area to pay. My son perched on the bar stool, chatting away to himself whilst I swipe my plastic and settle the bill. As he climbs down from the stool, he loses his footing and stumbles a little. He looks up at me, huge grin on his face and announces, in perfect context, ‘I’m pissed!’

I hang my head in shame and shoo him out of there as fast as his little legs can carry him. I pray that no-one heard. I can just imagine the wagging tongues – tutting at such shocking language, labelling me a terrible mother!

Now, as I impatiently drag my son round the supermarket, moaning at him to get a move on, I’m not sure if it’s the freezer aisle or the memories of the scruffy Australian woman that makes my neck hair stand on end. ‘Come on you little monkey,’ I call. A huge grin lights up his face as he cheekily responds, ‘coming Mama.’

This post was written for the Yeah Write Weekly Challenge #151.

The Gypsy in me

‘Hey, come and look at this one,’ the OH calls from the kitchen.

I push myself tentatively up from the sofa, pain coursing down my left calf. Feeling like an old granny I hobble into the kitchen, struggling with the sharp jab in my leg. I peer over Rob’s shoulder to see the pictures of an attractive three bedroom house on his iPad. ‘That looks nice,’ I comment.

‘There are plenty of rentals out there for the same as what we pay now.’

It has been six months since we moved into our new home, excited at the prospect of being the first people to live in it. As the trucks and diggers rumbled past, we were confident that within a couple of months we would be amidst a brand spanking new housing estate, with prime position opposite the new park area.

This morning, I lost my footing on the half tarmaced driveway of the building site we still live on. A rather undignified fall and a few pulled muscles later, I feel like it might be the final nail in the coffin. Frustrated at the constant stream of mud, work machinery and builders, home isn’t feeling all that homely!

I think me and the OH must have some Gypsy heritage running through our veins, unable to settle anywhere for too long. Six to twelve months is the norm. We did manage a whole two years in one place once. Then there was the time we moved into a caravan as a temporary measure for a couple of weeks – a good few months later, we were still living in our cosy little home.

It’s been six months now …. are our feet getting jittery again, all under the guise of frustration at living amongst the outside mess and chaos. I think some seeds have been planted, the first steps of keeping our options open. Another couple of years and we will be tied to the strings of a local school for our little boy. Perhaps we should pack up, buy a caravan and wear off some of the jittery feelings! Or maybe we should just move house again – one last time! 🙂

This post was written for the Yeah Write Moonshine Grid no. 150.