Never Again!

<a href=””>Never Again</a>

“I’ve won!” I shouted.

“All right, no need to deafen us,” said Dad.

“What have you won?” asked Mum

“Not sure, till take the ticket in and get in checked. “

Some of the prizes in our school fund-raising raffle were really good: a day trip to London, a slap-up meal at a posh restaurant, that sort of thing. Even if I only got a book token or a box of chocolates I’d be pleased. I’d never won anything before.

“So what did you win? “Mum asked next day.

“You’re never going to believe this: two tickets for the opera.”

“But you don’t…you’ve never…”

The prizes are given out in turn. The holder of the first ticket drawn gets to pick whatever they chose, the second picks from what is left. By the time my turn came there were only a small selection of prizes, mostly things I didn’t want – a tickets for rugby match, a day’s free access to the local gym. (I get enough gym lessons at school.) A pair of tickets for the opera sounded grand. Anyway I could take my boyfriend Dan and it would be a nice romantic evening. We might even be able to go on Valentine’s Day.

Things don’t always work out to way you’ve planned. Dan sounded enthusiastic until he discovered that the opera season clashed with the school cadet force’s summer camp, something he’s been looking forward to all term. The only solution was to take someone else and the only person available was my Dad.

I’ve never appreciated opera. Yes, the costumes are splendid but the whole thing was in Italian and I hadn’t had time to read the story so hadn’t a clue what the characters were talking or rather singing about. Disappointing was my verdict and I came home with a headache from all the loud music. (I’d be told off  if I played music at that volume in my room.)

“So did you enjoy yourselves?” said Mum when we got home.

“Well,  opera isn’t really my sort of thing.”

“And you?” she asked Dad.

“Oh I quite enjoyed it,” he said, “Once I’d switched off my hearing aid.”

So now you can understand why I have vowed never to go to an opera again.

Note: This is fiction. But it is true that I don’t appreciate opera – or most other form of musical entertainment.





Places I’ve always wanted to vist

<a href=””>The Wanderer</a>

Many places I’ve not been
Strange and lovely still unseen:
Rivendell, the Shire as well
The grey Havens by the sea
Jotunheim and Valhalla,
These names all call to me.

Alas! I’ll never vist them
They’re all in stories, see?















Character from Fiction

Tell us about a favorite character from film, theater, or literature, with whom you’d like to have a heart-to-heart. What would you talk about?

<a href=””>It Builds Character</a>

The character I’d most like to meet and talk to is Jane Eyre from Charlotte Bronte’s novel of the same name.

One of the questions I would ask is whether she wasn’t tempted to marry St John Rivers when it seemed she wouldn’t ever see Rochester again. As I read the story St John was a good man preparing to go off to be a missionary. Jane liked and admired him and would have made a good wife for a missionary. In the story she offers to go as his assistant – nowadays when we have female curates and even bishops, I don’t suppose this would have caused any difficulties. In the story and I suppose at that time in history it would have caused almost as much scandal as eloping with Rochester and living with him as his mistress.

I know I would have been tempted to settle for St John and missionary work in India, even as a second best option. (No doubt there would have been an even more interesting story if Jane had married St John and then found out Rochester was now a widower and she faced the choice between a rather dull marriage and running away with the man she loves.)

One single line from the scene on the moors where St John proposes sticks in my mind. He looks at the river and says “I will see it again in dreams when I sleep by the Ganges” . To my mind this one bit of near-poetry redeems this rather dull character. Reader, I could have married him for that line alone!

Poet ar work


Secret Admirer

<a href=””>Secret Admirers</a

There it was sitting on the doorstep. A huge floral display, the sort of thing you see on the altar at a wedding, as a centrepiece  on the top table as a banquet. Definitely not my kind of thing. I hunted all round it, beside and beneath. No card, nothing to say who it came from. Perhaps the card had blown away? Today was a perfectly still day.

I pondered the possibilities: it wasn’t my birthday or any significant anniversary, I couldn’t have won a writing or any other competition – I hadn’t entered any recently. I couldn’t think of anyone who would send me such a massive display – such a monstrosity.  What on earth could I do with the damn thing? Far too big for my tiny cottage. Perhaps the church would like it? Only problem out village has no less than three churches and bestowing it on any one would offend the others!

The nursing home, perhaps? But how would I transport it there on my bike? I couldn’t just leave it there. could I?

Suddenly I heard a vehicle. A van labelled “Flowers R Us” drew up. The driver leapt out. “Thank goodness, ” he said, “This isn’t Riversdale Hall, is it?

“No, it’s Riversdale Cottage, the Hall is half a mile along the road.

“That idiot of a trainee florist delivered this to the wrong place, didn’t get a signature and didn’t even remember the card.” He waved an elaborate envelope. “This is for the big do up at the Hall, the twenty-first birthday of lady something or other.  I’d have been in real trouble it that – that monstrosity – had gone missing. Thanks for looking after it.”

“No problem.”

Funny how things turn out. The driver insisted on sending me a small posy as a thank-you, though I hadn’t done anything. When he delivered it I offered him a cup of tea, we got talking…and one thing led to another. Next year we’ll be choosing the flowers for our silver wedding.