Campfire Stories

cropped-boken1.pngWhen glass gets broken

I am reading a note, in my husband’s thin blue handwriting, it starts.

  • ask about prescription
  • appointment at doctors?
  • sick days?

I feel the familiar prickly sting start at the back of my eyes, I do not want to cry so I put his list back down on the table by the bed and continue to hoover.  My husband is in the shower and I have a few minutes to clean up a little, take away old flowers, change the sheets and suck away crumbs.  He can not tolerate the noise, so I work quickly.  The water stops and I turn the hoover off and hit the button that pulls back the chord.  The black line pulls the plug back quickly, the machine and I feel we should not be here. I pull the door shut quietly and wince at the loud click of the lock as I leave.  I do not want him to see how upset I am. Continue reading “Campfire Stories”

Campfire Stories


Top 20 family games and how to play them

in no particular order and according to us.

I am a game fanatic, love, love, love to play family games.  I will pull in anyone who stands around long enough at a gathering, to play whatever game I am obsessed with at the time. We have 6 shelves of games,  more in another room, which I played with the children when they were young, just waiting, I will play them again. My husband and daughter mostly groan, roll their eyes and move into another room when they see me heading to the boxes of entertainment, but my son enjoys the cut and thrust of a good strategy game as much as I do.  We often play, just the two of us, but now he groans and rolls his eyes because he can beat me at almost everything and it is boring to win at everything.

I could have written about my top 100 family games, to compile a list of only 20 has been enormously difficult for me.  In the end, the games I have chosen are the ones that we play again and again.  I have tried to include a bit of everything. Looking at them on the table in front of me, most of them share the same traits. (spoiler alert I couldn’t do it, there are 21 here).

  1. They are easy to learn
  2. Quick to play
  3. Luck is just as important as strategy
  4. They make us laugh
  5. I do not win at any of them!!

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Campfire Stories


Surprisingly the letter d ran away

I was messing around on the beach the other day, the sun was blowing warm kisses and I had nothing much else to do. The dog took advantage and ran around begging for food and stole other dog’s balls, while I paid no attention and dallied. People have begun to think of summer,  I stood and watched a lone stand up paddle boarder underline the place where sea meets sky. I squinted and took a picture with my phone unsure if I had captured the moment.  It didn’t really matter I had seen it, so it was captured in a way.  I love the way nature and man collide on the beach, the constant struggle by both to win amuses me.  People have built houses on the cliffs here, I assume they look out onto the most beautiful view, they have to pay a toll to the sea, corrosion and salt. I sat on a rock and watched builders abseiling with a belt full of tools hanging above signs that said warning falling rocks.  I read the sign again lazily and got up quickly remembering that the rocks can ricochet, turning themselves into bullets capable of hitting me as I sat reading the warning.

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Campfire Story


I am a Nightwalker

I woke up early this morning, was it my husband’s, or did the snore belong to me? I was uncertain.  Was my daughter in her bed? I had not heard her come home.  Was my son doing OK? I was unsure, he was hours away, road racing. I could only be certain of one thing, it would be between 3:50 and 4:10 am, as I am a Nightwalker, and it is my time to rise. I groped around in the dark for my watch, 4:03 am.

Sometimes I try to deny my fate, close my eyes and will myself back to sleep.

Sometimes I get up straight away, resigned to my fate, plod down the hall to find a cosy spot.  The quiet cold air and change of scene sometimes soothes me back to sleep.

Sometimes I lie awake and stare into the blackness and imagine.

Sometimes I flip back the cover of my laptop and write.

Always I wake. Always I leave my bed.  I am a Nightwalker.


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Campfire Story


Just a moment to myself

Summer is coming. I’ve just finished cleaning the toilets, the windows are all open and I have sat down for a minute. I keep catching a breeze on the back of my neck,  it feels like someone is trying to get my attention.  My boney cat is coming up to join me up on the sofa.  I watch her, like a climber in a crevasse, she front points with her claws between the seat squab and the pouffe. She can no longer jump.  Our clocks are about to spring forward and we have been hit with a weird weather burp from Australia.  The forecasters have promised 30°.  I have put about six loads of washing on in preparation, middle age thinking.

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Campfire Story



I woke up on the morning before my son’s 16th Birthday and realised that I should have organised something by now. I had tried, the problem, communication with my son, he is like a sunflower. Sometimes he turns his head towards me and I am dazzled, by happy yellow but mostly it is turned away.  I cross my fingers and hope that the sunflower I am growing, will be what was promised on the packet when my husband and I planted it.


I listened at an organised breakfast recently that this might not actually be the case, he might become a radish instead. Continue reading “Campfire Story”

Campfire Story


Please remember

I remember this picture, I had been sunbathing and someone shouted smile.  I jumped up and tried to cover myself.  The shutter clicked, a second of my life, captured.  I screamed and ran around the beach laughing trying to get my image back.  There was no delete button then, it was done, I hid my camera.  I must have been about 20, embarrassed by everything.   I throw the picture back into the pile and rifle through the others, my past has paused my present.

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Campfire Stories


You Have Runners Legs

I don’t know why I run.  It started at school.  I was tall and skinny, a matchstick girl with runners legs. I would always come 2nd or 3rd in the sprints but a convincing first at any distance over 800m.  My school athletics future was set at 9, middle distance running and high jump, spaghetti legs scissor kicked me to first place until the flosbry flop, I just could not commit.

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