Monday, 19 November 2012

What's Gone, and What's Past Help, Should Be Past Grief*

Good Afternoon Dear Friends! 

First of all, I must completely, totally and unreservedly apologise for the recent dearth of posts here; whilst it true there have been momentous difficulties and problems to deal with and still more to overcome, I have to say that  I have been a tad neglectful of you, my dear readers and loyal visitors to this verdant plot that is forever Myrtle House ...
... where, interestingly enough, were you to pop your ever-welcome phizzog around the door jamb you would find me not at my desk, head bowed in the waves of creative productivity but rather as an altogether more dishevelled creature, fleeced and somewhat forlorn on my bed as I seem to have succumbed to some viral visitation or other.  Anyhow, the lack of movement such infestations afford mean that I can attempt a tippytaptoe version of said blog on the lovely iPad whist attempting to focus and stop shivering long enough to compose a line of text!

Talking of which, and whilst we wait for the kettle to thrub and sing in order to allow us the excellence of a warming tisane, I can take the opportunity to tell you about a number of new works which have seen the light of day since last we spoke:

"Choosing" was written for and submitted to the Salt Short Story Prize and concerns two women and their lives as viewed on a rainy Wednesday evening in the car park of a local sports and leisure centre. It examines the choices - or lack of such - that they each feel they have and must make and I really rather like it! 

I've been doing some preliminary work on a community- memory project; I want to do a bit of a Cecil Sharp and collect the memories of local residents and weave them into a collection portraying the lives of people seventy plus years ago ... I feel one important aspect of this work is to persuade the contributors that their lives, their stories,  are as important and as worthwhile as anyone else's and deserve to be written down  In an attempt to introduce this concept, I quickly wrote a very short yet I feel timely piece entitled "Remembrance Day" which uses one tiny, momentary fragment of my life which I recall happening one Remembrance Day Sunday when I was nine or ten years old ...  And since that day so many moons in silence, have swum across the sky and gone below - as dear old Bertie Brecht said when remembering Maria A but it is the tiny things that make such memories fascinating and vital. 

Another such fragment of my memory was the starting point for a submission to the Book Week Scotland 2012 Flash Fiction competition; in less than five hundred words one was asked to consider one of four images from the special collections department from The University of Aberdeen and be thus inspired; the one I choose was entitled " On Thin Ice" which also became my story title. It showed a Victorian couple skating and was rather a bland image but for me the immediate feeling caused by memory was of blueness; that special blue of a midnight sky with snow; of frozen Norwegian landscapes from thirty years ago and of the colour of an illustration in an Andy Pandy annual I possessed as a child. The story is a brief, psychological insight into the female skaters thoughts and she follows the man silently across the thin ice.

I do believe I can hear the kettle whistling to attract my attention; not to mention the grumblings and rumblings surfacing from beneath my bed as The Famous Sally Dog tries to decide just what to do with a raw hide bone nearly half the length of her good self - simply eating it is not an option, of course, it must be carried around, hidden under cushions and behind tables, rediscovered and exhumed and carried about once more - along with the more amusing aspects such as leaving it in my bleary-eyed path whenever possible in order to watch me express myself in the terpsichorean mode whilst howling and holding my foot aloft ... Such are the joys of canine companionship!

Which reminds me, if you think you are beginning to see double and that images are repeating themselves on this bloggage, fear not! You are correct; it seems that Google who operate Blogger the software I use for blogging want me to download their atrocious Google+ software in order to upload pics from my iPhone or iPad; naturally this is not going to occur and so, for the time being at least, you may have to suffer a monotonous round of very familiar pictures, for which I can only apologise. 

Ah well, the light is fading in direct relation to my energy and so I shall take my leave of you; if you'd like to help yourself to tea on the way out please feel free, I won't join you just at the moment as I'm aching rather more than I want to and can feel the lure of a swift kip of the serene in the offing!

I hope you've enjoyed this brief sojourn at my bedside; and I hope not to have to do the same for you - may you be in rude and ruddy health, both hale and hearty and have a week simply overflowing with all possible love and sunshine. 

'Til next time

Be Seeing You !

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