F is for Foreign travels 

So a day late but at least I am persistent… Looking at the marvellous effort many people are making in crafting beautiful blogs I hope that my efforts may make someone smile.  

Back to Story Cubes Originals for my prompt. 


Sammi stared out across the Castle battlements at the crescent moon. She was exhausted after five days travelling by bus in the heat. But she was finally here. Wherever here was. 

The night she came home to find her boyfriend and sister road testing his hot tub she grabbed her rucksack, her passport and a compass and headed to the airport. She didn’t care where she went as long as it was far from her life. She placed a map on the table in Starbucks and spun the compass. The arrow settled to North and pointed at a destination. Morocco. 

Since then she had flown for hours, bused for over a day in an airless bone shaker with pink fluffy dice in the window, waited in fly-infested roadside coffee bars and finally hitched a lift with a insane learner driver to this ancient moorish castle.

As she stared at the cloudless night sky a shooting star caught her eye. She blinked away the tears. The betrayal by the two people closest to her was like being shot in the heart. She mentally grabbed the arrow shaft with both hands and ripped it out letting the warm air scented with spices and dreams seal the wound. Tomorrow a new day would dawn and a new life beckoned. 


E is for An Enchanting Evening

A day late but here it comes. Today’s blog is inspired by a random throw of Rory’s Storycubes Voyages Edition. 
The Cubes can be interpreted any way you want but today I see an elephant, a bag or satchel, an axe, an octopus, a crown, a skull and crossbones, a treasure chest, a pagoda, and a decanter half full of wine. 

It certainly hadn’t been the greatest date. From the start Denise was unsure about agreeing to go out with Luther but he was persistent to the point of  stalking. She probably should have taken that as a sign but his promises of treating her like a princess had finally swayed her. (In an odd way he was on the right track. Denise was a minor blue-blood and 659th in line to the throne but she was pretty sure Luther had not known that!)

So here she was, sitting in the overgrown pagoda staring at the half-empty carafe of wine and wishing it was more palatable. She would have downed the rest of it if she could stomach it. 

When Luther had suggested a movie and a drink  it had seemed like a safe bet. At least they would have something to talk about afterwards no matter how bad the film. But Denise started to feel uncomfortable when he picked her up and headed to a housing estate rather than the Cineplex. Had she gotten into a car with an axe-murderer?!?!! 

Luther smugly announced that he would never go to the cinema when he had every comfort at home. Okay. So a DVD or download at his house  was a bit skinflint but maybe he was trying to be romantic on a budget. Five minutes into the movie it became obvious that it was a pirated copy of the latest rom-com currently in the cinema and Denise’s heart sank. The silhouette of the feet of some person at the original screening popped up in front of the camera and obscured the bottom right corner of the screen.  Denise looked at Luther to see if his reaction matched her own. Perhaps it was an honest mistake?

But Luther was clearly not embarrassed and his mind was now set on ‘romance’. A limp arm slithered over Denise’s shoulder and fumbled in the general direction of her chest. Determined to protect her treasures from this waste of space she grabbed her handbag and swung it at him to stop the advances. 

There was a loud crunch as the overloaded handbag connected with Luther’s face. He groaned and fell sideways, blood pumping from his nose. And then he just lay there. Not moving. Or groaning. Or breathing. 

Denise grabbed the carafe of wine and a glass from the dining table and stumbled out the French door into the overgrown once-landscaped garden.  Sloshing a large measure of the red wine into the glass she drained it and plonked down on bench in the pagoda. The foul aftertaste hit her along with the shock and she giggled to herself. She had bought that bag on a White Elephant Stall  at the local fête and presumed it was plastic. Going by the damage she had just caused she figured it must be real hide!!

D is for Delayed

Because sometimes we don’t get to do things when we intend to….life or mishap or misstep or just plain old exhaustion get in the way. 

So my entry for Saturday 4 April was detained en route and did not make it to the big (or little) screen until today. Back to Rory’s Storycubes original for my prompt:

Here’s my starter for six-

“Justice delayed is Justice denied” my grandma used to say. It was a real bugbear of hers. It was what prompted her to set up the Sunflower Club, a group of her elegant pensioner friends, that met three times a week. The Sunflower was a reference to brightness – the shining of a torch on the dark recesses of life and illuminating the cobwebs. In many ways they were a crossover between the Sunlight and Innocence projects.

They would meet in each other’s homes and have tea and scones and dainty treats while they would account for the injustices in the world around them. In the beginning it was just about discussing bad behaviour in the neighbourhood, but after a while grandma realised that they could do something to help, with a little bit of common sense and some mild amateur sleuthing. The key to their success was the huge swathe of knowledge and experience in their combined lives. However those sweet old ladies were a magnet for trouble and soon they were knee-deep in the credit-card fraud case. …

C is for contemplation

Tonight I take a break from the cubes..because of an old convention. You never gamble or throw a dice on this day. And I know the cubes contain pictograms but the symbolism is there for me. Lots were cast under the cross for his clothes.

Today is Good Friday. A solemn day when you realise how much was given for your small and sometimes meaningless existence. Tonight I sat through a reading of the Passion and for a short while I was there. I saw the pain and the wrong done and spoke the words of betrayal with all those around me.

And I felt ashamed. For the days where I grumbled about everything, and the slights I felt too deeply, for the burdens so small they should not have been noticed.

So tonight I sit and contemplate the miniscule nature of my existence. And thank god for it.

B is for Brainstorm 

B is for that brilliant bonkers basic process that kickstarts any writing project. A brainstorm session to throw ideas in the air and see where they all settle.  An I Ching for writers.


Continuing my theme for the #AtoZChallenge of using Rory’s Story Cubes (original set) as a kick off point I threw the dice and got this…


Nine pictograms that can be taken literally or to represent something larger. Depending on how you read them they can take you in so many directions. So this is what I see :

Parachute + Bee + Turtle + Learner plate + Arrow + Eye + Apple + Key + Phone.

A simple interpretation could be:

The bee was young and wasn’t good at flying yet.  In the beginning his wings hadn’t opened properly and his mother had made him wear a parachute to keep his safe. He had to wear ‘L’ plates every time he took off but practice was key to getting better. He blinked at a flashing light in the corner.  It was his friend tortoise phoning him to ask if he want to come over for tea. There would be apple pie after and perhaps ice cream. So he forgot his nerves and flew straight  as an arrow to his friend’s place.

Starting slowly on the AtoZChallenge, over the next few days I will keep throwing the dice and stretching the imagination muscle. What do you think and where would these pictograms lead you???

If you want to visit some other blogs taking the challenge  you can find them here

Thanks for visiting. 

A is for Another Throw of the Dice



Day one of the challenge and I have decided my theme… A free throw of the dice will give me a start and I must write something inspired by it. But these are no ordinary dice folks.  Let me introduce Rory’s Story Cubes, a devilishly simple, beautifully executed game or tool depending on what you want to use it for. Aaaaand here is today’s throw.  From Story Cubes Voyages edition.

Nine cubes. Nine pictures. So many ways to read them. Let’s see where they take us..

Finding a way to start your story can be as elusive as some HOLY GRAIL. There is no magic MAP to decipher , no trail to follow. You must simply put your THINKING CAP on on and let your mind take you where it will. Everyone has a different way of attacking the writing process. Some lock themselves away in a den or an office – a modern day protected space or CAVE. While some folks need perfect silence to work some people like to listen to MUSIC that helps them evoke an atmosphere. It can be FRUSTRATING when the COGS won’t fit into place but perseverance leads to the literary NIRVANA. Stick with it and you will find your CROCK OF GOLD. 

Preparing to challenge myself

The A to Z challenge starts in a few hours. I am not sure I will manage it this year (last year I did it unofficially and have hardly blogged since, but then life got in the way).

Quick hello to anyone checking in here and wondering if this is an active blog… Well it hopefully will be for the next month. Looking forward to reading along and making some new friends.

Let the games begin!

Picture perfect

I put together my wedding in just three months. I had to fit in with someone else’s timeline. Long story – no funny punch line – plenty of odd side stories. Anyhow I was never the sort of girl to dream about my wedding day. I just presumed there might be one at some time and if there was not, well then I was obviously going to be just fine on my own. My future never depended on having a man in my life.

So apart from exhaustion after the frenzied truncated preparations I didn’t get to feel the come down or hangover that some girls get post wedding. They build up to the event, but I just saw it as a stepping stone to married life.

Only one disappointment registered afterwards. When I looked at the photos. Don’t get me wrong – the photos were lovely, beautifully taken and capturing the day perfectly. But there were some shots that I, as an amateur photographer, would have loved to have had. Because of the rush to arrange everything else I had never asked anyone to capture them for me. Silly things such as a shot of my dress from behind to fully show off the puddle train, or a family shot of just me, my mum and my brother on our own. But I put it behind me because you cannot redo these things any more than you can undo the past.

Four months and four days after our wedding we got word that my sister-in-law had passed away. The baffling shock that surrounds Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. We took out the photos to pick something suitable for her memorial. And then it hit me.
The one photo I really should have got but had missed. Me and my new sister on my wedding day. We always had photos of the two of us whenever we got together. But no. There were loads of us in group shots but not one of just the two of us smiling together in all our finery. All the other missing pictures faded into insignificance against this one missed opportunity. The last shot of my husband’s family all together was taken on the night of our wedding. They all look so happy. Frozen in time. A moment to cherish.

Picture perfect

Zzzzzzzz is all I want

Bone-weary, shattered, knackered and sore
I’m tired I’m bleary
Could sleep on the floor
I feel so exhausted. What a day
What a night
Or a lack of a night
– Yes I must look a sight!
My eyes are dry and burning
And fused in my head
My skin is crawling, itching
I just want my bed
I thought I could do this
I knew I’d survive
It’s not forever, I’ll endure it
Sure at least I’m alive.
But my battery is not charging
My energy stores gone
My sense of humor depleting
As each night has gone on.
I know that I love her
More than life itself
And I may just end proving that
With the loss of my health.
She catnaps for Ireland!
A wee doze here and there
Keeps her wound like a watch
And alert as the care
Of the President’s security
On hostile ground
– she’s made me a wreck
And mentally unsound.
I’m falling to pieces
Can’t restitch my head
Unless I catch a few Zzzzs
Now I’m heading to bed.

Sometimes it just pours out..

Elaina Barbieri

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