365 Ficlets – #83 ~ “Beach Fire”

The waves were lapping against his feet when he came to his senses. As he opened his eyes he saw the mist and the gentle swell, and he knew that he was on the beach. The problem was not having the slightest idea how he had come to be there.

He looked around, hoping amongst other things to see a pile of clothes, as the breeze cut into him like a knife. There were no clothes in a tidy little pile up the beach, though there was a fireplace built above the high water mark, and what looked like enough fuel for the night at least. He turned away from the waves and walked back across the wet sand, his feet sinking just a little with each step as if he were walking on a giant butterscotch blamance.

As the sand turned dry, the little camp area became much more obvious, and he could see places where the evidence of prior tenants was all too clear; empty Coke cans and pizza boxes strewn across the sand.

He stepped across to the makeshift hearth and filled it with kindling, then twigs, and then he lit it.

It blazed.

You can see the original post on Ficlets.com by clicking here.


Travels with my camera… Part II

(I realise that this is called ‘Travels with my camera…’ and as yet there are no pictures in the posts, but this __will__ change as I get my shit together… In the meantime, please look at this Flickr Set to see some pictures of San Francisco.)

So, after a night out with the boys, the day of the wedding was upon us. As previously stated my head was throbbing, keen to let me know that there had been too much Alpine in my life and I needed to get my shit together. Luckily Noel had seen this syndrome before and kindly offered me coffee and then the best anti-hangover breakfast that I have yet discovered; toasted english muffins with cheese-whizz and crispy bacon. Oh yeah, that sorted me out right good!

So that and a quick shower out of the way and I felt human again, and so I started taking pot shots (with the camera) at the various members of the bridal party as they got ready. Have you ever seen the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”? Well there is a scene in that on the day of the wedding with bridesmaids and mothers and brothers all running around, trying to get ready, and I had had the fear that I would be trying to take pictures in that kind of circumstance, but in truth it was a lot calmer. I mean there was still some of the attendant stress and nerves that probably should go along with the whole wedding day thing, but it was possible to talk to the people involved and I was able to get a few, nice, candid shots of their preparations.

It was around this point that a jolly nice fellow, whose name I have shamefully forgotten, who was up for the wedding from Halifax and had driven Noel, Dean and I home the night before, arrived outside the house with a cooler full of Alpine in his trunk / boot and I was able to finally consign the hangover monster to the pit of forgetting with the hair of the dog. If you ever get the chance to have some Alpine, take it – it really is the bomb.

Anyway, I grabbed some pictures quickly, for Noel, of him and his partner Laura, and then we were off to the races, photographing Sarah coming out of the house, then darting over to the church to photograph her arrival. At the church I touched base with Craig and we agreed on a strategy for shooting during the ceremony, which the presiding priest had said was perfectly acceptable as long as we didn’t blind him.

It was a lovely service, that would have brought a lump to the throat of any but the hardest of heart, and as an added bonus it was very short; all was done in twenty minutes. I was glad of the brevity, particularly because of the intense heat I was experiencing being in there – it may indeed have been my soul burning in response to my heretical ways, but I think it was actually because there was no air conditioning.

Next stop, after some candid shots by the church, was the beach near to Jim and Liz’s house that Sarah and Eric wanted to use for some of their wedding photos. Craig and I snapped and directed away for what must have been almost an hour in the end, trying to capture the fun, happiness and ‘Saint John-ness’ of the whole affair, which included shooting into the mist / fog. The thing that shone through all of this was Eric and Sarah’s capacity to not only have fun together, but to simply roll with things and be happy to just be together. There were minor tensions, and also some funny moments – like Sarah being toppled over on her arse by her little cousin Bridget, on the wet sand in her wedding dress – and yet through it all there was laughter and fun… It was very cool to see.

Then on a final stop before heading to the Fowlers’ home (Eric’s parents’ place) in Westfield, we headed up to the house one more time to photograph Sarah and her Dad on one of the motorcycles that he had renovated from scratch. Oh yeah, did I mention that Jim is not only a Hot Air Balloon Pilot, but also a keen biker with an amazing collection of vintage bikes that he is restoring / working on? I know, the guy is a legend…

Anyway, we got the photos and then headed out to Westfield to spend some time at the Fowlers’ before the reception at six. What can I say the house and the view are just astounding, and their hospitality was more than in line with what I was now coming to expect – there really is something about Atlantic Canada. We hung out, took some more photos and chatted to people in the glorious sunshine, eating up the beautiful surroundings, and I added two more close-up portraits of women with amazing eyes to my growing collection – these will be posted at some point in the near future…

Then it was off to the reception, to eat, drink and generally be merry. Dinner was of interrupted by the tapping of forks on glasses, to demand that the happy couple stand and kiss – much to the delight of the gathered throng. The speeches were amusing, touching and not at all over the top, and then there was a chance to hear from the Happy Couple themselves – all of which were turned into photo opportunities by Craig and I.

We made a brief excursion onto the golf course to visit a memorial bell that had been erected for Noel and Sarah’s uncle when he passed away. We went out there in a convoy of golf carts, a hilarious proposition in and of itself, and it was a real joy to see the Rogers clan happy and joking and making a positive memorial to their missing member, and it was a real privilege to be asked by them to take photos of them all gathered at the bell.

Once we returned to the club house, the cake was cut, the first dances were had and then the party began in earnest. There is no doubt that these people know how to party… There was drinking, dancing, and even fireworks in the parking lot. I was dragged onto the dancefloor by Anne, Laura and Sarah on different occasions and it soon became apparent that it was time to stow the camera and just have fun. I even garnered a little interest from a young lady at the party, but decided in the end to gently and kindly demur, as she was more than a little drunk and I could not help but think that her interest would have evapourated come morning 😉

Among the many cool people I met, I spent a long time chatting with Noel’s cousin Alan and his partner Janet(?) about music and all things cool, and buying each other drinks. I also go to catch up with Janice, Adam’s (one of the groomsmen) partner, with whom I ended up dancing to Kid Rock before I bowed out at half one with the prospect of a couple of days of traveling ahead of me. Adam and Janice confirmed their offer to run me back to Halifax the next day and let me crash on Adam’s couch, and then I jumped in the car and Jim ran Liz and I back to Saint John.

My night would have ended there, had it not been for the Alan Factor

In chatting to the others later on Sunday morning I managed to piece the following together…

After I left, the party continued at the Westfield Golf Club for at least another hour and a half, during which time the whole affair became positively Roman in its debauchery, with the ladies (including the bride) dancing on tables and everyone generally consuming a lot of beer. Once the party left the club there was more drinking in the parking lot, and at some point in there Alan had stayed with the party and Janet(?) had headed home – this will become important. Anyway, at around 0330h the remaining revellers that were due to crash at Jim and Liz’s (where I was already sleeping) piled eight-up into a cab and came back to the house. They continued to party in dribs and drabs until the sun was starting to threaten to come up and it is at this point that I re-enter the story…

I was sleeping soundly, peacefully one might say until I was roused by the following shout from the foot of my bed (please imagine a strong(ish) Atlantic Canadian accent):

“Olly! You’re sleepin’ in my Nana’s bed! Come on, get up!!”

Alan had decided that I could not possibly need any more sleep, and that I was being denied fun… I was so shocked by this wake-up that I sprung out of bed and was on my feet in seconds. I then padded, bleary eyed, into the downstairs sitting room to find Laura trying to escape and sleep on the couch, and Alan and Noel drinking absinthe and listening to really quite loud music which I was immediately amazed had not woken me. I sat up with them for about half an hour, during which time Alan also managed to drop Laura flat on her back while attempting to transfer her to her / Noel’s bed so that she would not wake up all twisted up and stiff on the couch. I managed to escape back to my own bed when Alan headed upstairs calling to Noel over his shoulder:

“Let’s go and see what your Mum and Dad are up to…”

The next morning I awoke and rose to discover that Alan had in the end climbed on top of their bed, woken them both and then fallen out losing his money and cellphone all across their bedroom floor. It was at this point that Jim had taken Alan outside to watch the sunrise and play with Libby, their lovely, if manic, spaniel.

We sat around the table downstairs, reminiscing about the night before, looking at some of my pictures, drinking coffee and eating fantastic French Toast (try it with Maple Syrup – amazing!) that Laura very kindly made, and again I was struck by the easy familiarity and friendliness of these great people who had known me for all of 48 hours. I was pleased to be able to honestly say that it reminded me of my own home life, and I could not help but be put in mind of big group breakfasts in my parents’ home when my brother or I had filled the place with friends. Sarah and Eric came back from the hotel and we got to spend an hour or so together before I was picked up by Adam and Janice and once more I was on the road. As we drove away from Saint John, back towards Halifax, I knew that I was going to come back and spend more time with my new friends there, and see more of the beautiful country that surrounds their home. If you have the chance to visit the Maritimes, do it; there is no greater welcome, no more beautiful country, and no better local beer 😉

The drive back to Halifax was filled with good conversation, good music and full-fat Coke out of the bottle – Awesome! Adam and Janice were the perfect travelling companions, the chat roaming from food to music to partying and even into areas of politics and the world at large. We even stopped off in Truro to visit Janice’s research project so that she could collect samples that she would need later in the week. She is involved in a research project about using sand filters to filter septic tank outflow, and that is as much as I really understood, but it was cool too see the research centre, which was set in the most gorgeous grounds that were lovely to just take in, in the evening sun.

We got back to Adam’s place and ate together; peperoni, brie and an excellent corn and black bean salsa, and we split a Fullers ESB (I was really not expecting to drink beer from Chiswick in Canada) and then finished off some spare cans of Alpine. I waved them off as they went to crash at Janice’s place (more convenient for their morning requirements of getting to work etc.) and set up my alarms and set about getting some sleep before being up at five to shower and catch a taxi to the airport. The only other excitement of the night was being awoken just after midnight byt he unexpected return of Shawn, Adam’s housemate, who I had been briefed might appear, but most likely was in Ontario. We briefly said ‘hello’, and he assured me that Adam had let him know I would be there, and then I went back to sleep.

Rising at 0500h was still sooo much better than staying up all night in the airport, so thanks again to Adam and Janice, and I felt almost completely human when I climbed into the cab for the ride down to the airport. The time until my flight to Edmonton flew right by and soon I was in the air once again, leaving the Maritimes behind and chasing the sun; go west my son!

The flight to Edmonton was uneventful, but that is no bad thing let’s be honest, and we arrived on schedule, giving me plenty of time to make my connection to SFO. The weird thing about entering the US from Canada is that you actually, legally enter the US before you leave Canada physically, and so the entire rigmarole of getting into the US was already dealt with before I even set foot on the plane. I spent the flight down to SF with a lovely lady called Chris who was accompanying a friend of hers to SF for a marathon later this week, and they were making a little “girls’ trip” out of it, which I thought was cool. We spoke of ships and shoes and ceiling wax, of cabbages and kings, and then it was all over and I was on the ground in San Francisco.

I left the plane, collected my case and headed out onto the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), to catch a train to Mission / 24th and to meet Kendal for the very first time. Kendal and I have been in touch, corresponding occasionally and blogging near to each other on Vox since late summer of 2006. I may have mentioned the table, chopsicks, platter (that I bought for my parents) and spanking paddle (called LoveTap(tm) ) that I have bought from her during that time, as she is a carpenter and furniture maker by passion, and when I first got to know her she was doing that full time in Hawaii. Well anyway, last year she made the decision to move to San Francisco to be with her fellah, Steve, and early this year they became engaged. I don’t think that it’s any state secret that they are planning to move back out to the islands, but for now their lives are here, living just off Mission and working in the City. Kendal told me that she would meet me in Carlos’s, a cool bar just by the BART station, and so I wandered in there, ordered a beer and waited for her to arrive…


365 Ficlets – #82 ~ “Journalism Can Be Murder”

“What are you doing here?”

The fear in Dalton’s voice was evident; to hear it was a real excitement for Langdon.

“I’m meeting Denlow; Why are you here?”

Langdon laughed quietly. There was an unmistakably manic smile on his face that looked reptilian with his mouth slightly open and his tongue protruding between his teeth.

“I thought that you wanted an end to all of this, Dalton. Why did you arrange a meeting on the Pier of all places? Did you think that a public space would offer you some protection?”

The sights and sounds of Brighton Pier had been a comfort to Dalton, while he had waited, but now they suddenly seemed to be a noisy background that might cover any kind of mischief, rather than expose it.

Suddenly Langdon closed the gap between them and thrust a stiletto between Dalton’s ribs, perfectly bisecting the aorta; he would be dead soon, and with limited mess. Langdon sat Dalton down on a nearby bench, lay him down and then opened his copy of the Daily Mail and laid it across his victim’s face.

You can see the original post on Ficlets.com by clicking here.

This Ficlet was inspired by the contribution of a Place, an Item and an Activity on Livejournal by childeric. They were; Brighton Pier, a copy of the Daily Mail, Murder.


Travels with my camera… Part I

So this post has been a long time coming, but what with the traveling and the planes and the excitement there has been NO TIME!!

So the whole story starts a few days ago on the 24th of August. I headed out to Heathrow to catch my first flight, out to Newark, NJ. I had only flown Trans Atlantic once before, but I loved it back then, and I have to say that this time was no different. I know that for some, the idea of being on an airplane for a couple of hours is horrible enough, so seven to eight might seem like hell, but I just love to fly.

In Heathrow, before we left, I met some cool people… The first was a guy called Dan. He was a geography teacher with a cool side-project, making stop-motion films of cities by walking through them on a calculated route designed to show the spectrum of wealth, taking a photograph every 5 metres. He was on his way to Mexico City to do his first foreign trip for the project, and chatting to him about photography, cities and adventures was a load of fun. You can see the stuff about the project here at his site Urban Earth, but the films will not be up until later this year… Just before we got onto the plane I also met Marshall Berman, author of the book “All That Is Solid Melts Into Air”, and his wife. They had been flown over from New York by the South Bank Centre so that he could address the Literary Festival that they were hosting. We chatted for a short while about cities and the way people and their urban environments affect each other – was cool and oddly apposite to meet this relatively celebrated author of books about cities while sitting there with Dan.

Arriving in Newark we came in with an amazing view of NYC on the port side of the aircraft, and much as it was cool to see, it was also a little cruel, because I did not feel confident that I would have time to go in and out of the city before my next flight up to Halifax, Nova Scotia. As it turned out there was a pretty funky delay and I could have done, but you can’t plan for such things…

Anyway on arrival at Newark I got myself through US Border Sec and Customs, picked up my checked suitcase and passed it back to the baggage handlers for my flight north. Once all of that official business was out of the way I needed a beer… The only bar in Terminal A was a TGI Friday’s, so I headed in and scored a spot at the bar, next to a very nice lady, called Erica, who was a CPA (American equivalent of a Chartered Accountant) from Colorado Springs. We passed the time chatting about America, and how much she traveled for work and other smalltalk, and then she had to go and catch her flight and I wanted to find some WiFi to try and get some final arrival instructions from Sarah. Of course the WiFi was not working in Terminal A, so I had to catch the monorail (The Air Train) to Terminal B, where I ended up sitting on the floor in the concourse to get a strong enough signal. All of that, and a video blog, out of the way I headed back to Terminal A and passed through security in search of another beer… I met a really cool guy, called Don, who was a fellow techie and former USAF engineer who was on his way home. It turned out that he had visited the UK for work and we chatted about the differences between the US and England specifically, and he gave me a couple of tips for San Francisco.

Eventually, only two and a half hours late, I was on a little fifty-seater jet on my way to Halifax, already forewarned that I was not going to get a ride down to Saint John that night, as the people who were going to give me a lift were not going to be able to wait around until after two a.m. – a fact that I can totally understand. I ended up on the flight with a fellow Brit, albeit now a naturalised US citizen. Mike was an anaesthetist who had grown up in North London, but had been living with his American wife in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for twenty years. We chatted almost the whole way to Halifax, about his experiences of becoming an American and living in Florida, and about his kids who he was on the way to visit at their summer camp outside Halifax. It was remarkably reassuring to speak to someone basically British, and I had only been away from home for about eighteen hours. Don’t get me wrong, the people that I had met and chatted to in Newark were lovely, but there was still something very odd about hearing American accents everywhere at that point.

I arrived in Halifax at just after half two in the morning and set about the task of waiting nearly six hours for the only bus that would get me to Saint John in time to attend the wedding. This is not as easy as it may sound when you have already gone the better part of twenty-four hours without sleep and gained six hours as well at this point. Luckily Tim Hortons (Canada’s home-grown answer to Starbucks) came to my rescue and provided me with coffee and empty calories, in the form of a Dutchie (a square donut filled with sultanas), and I powered through the night using the much more reliable and FREE WiFi access in the airport. I also met another fellow traveller at this unseemly time in the morning. Sulaiman was born in the US, but had lived in Gaza through most of the Intifada and then moved to Canada two years before. An engineering student and young man he was filled with contradictions for me. Clearly a proud muslim and a proud Palestinian at that, he nonetheless displayed very Western, non-muslim behaviour quite comfortably. I realise that this observation is coloured by my own ignorance of muslim societies around the world and by prejudice, so I hestitate slightly to talk about it in this blog, but hell it was what I was thinking at the time. I have muslim family (by marriage), and none of them or their wider family has ever (for example) made sexual comments about a passing girl, more specifically a non-muslim woman showing more than a little flesh (Halifax Airport is not really a hotbed of hot, sexy women – at least not in the early hours – but she was incredibly hot). Now of course, men are men and we like what we like, so I’m sure that I should not be surprised, but I have always (in my limited experience) found muslim men to be more reserved in this area. Also he was talking to me about his girlfriend back in Edmonton (where he was heading) and it became clear that she was non-muslim and that their relationship was intimate. Again, I have tended to find that although I am sure that muslim men all over the world have pre and extra marital sexual encounters and relationships, they are rarely comfortable discussing them (again in my limited experience), even in the most general of terms. This was all thrown into sharp relief by his passionate railing against Israel and the Israeli approach to his people, their land and so forth. I could not help agreeing with him on a lot of points, particularly his assertion that while he understood the frustration of the martyrs that he could not agree with their approach, but I was still struck by a palpable level of hatred for Israelis. He took great pains to make it clear that it was not Jews that he had a problem with, but Israelis that were not Arabs / Palestinians, who wanted to take control all of his homeland and stop his people from working or even surviving in the land where they have always lived. It was an interesting conversation, peppered with watching each others’ bags for coffee runs, cigarette breaks and toilet trips, and I’m glad that I met him. In fact this chance encounter made for the most contentious, random encounter of my trip, most of the rest had been smalltalk and pleasantries, which while nice and interesting on a trivial level had not really shown me anything new about the people that I met.

Morning finally broke over Halifax about half an hour after Sulaiman had headed through security and I threw a BK breakfast down my neck before heading out to the bus-stop to make sure that I did not miss the Arcadien Line to Saint John. Out at the bus-stop I met a lovely older couple from Ontario who were on their way home from their hideaway in the countryside near to Halifax. They were lovely and welcoming, and tried their hardest to have my next Tim’s as a ‘double, double’ (double cream, double sugar), despite my protestations that coffee should not have additives.

Finally the bus showed up and yet it was full, so the driver put me and the four other new passengers into two cabs out to Truro (the first stop), where he exhorted us to buy tickets for the rest of our journeys as well. It turns out that the bus is not technically supposed to stop at the airport because they have not secured a contract with the airport’s operating company, but all this means in practice is that they don’t sell tickets there. It took four hours to get to Monckton (where I had to change buses) and I slept for the vast majority of that leg of the journey, but once I was on the last leg from Monckton to Saint John I could not sleep any more – excitement was really kicking in at that point.

I cannot really begin to describe the sheer size of the New Brunswick countryside. I have been up to the wide open spaces of Scotland and the Lake District, and all I can say is that there is nothing the in the UK that can properly prepare one for the sheer scale of Canada. For much of the first hour out from Monckton I was able to look out of the bus window and see no sign of humans at all, apart from the road that we were on. No power lines, no roads, no houses – just trees as far as the eye could see. I spoke to a few people later on after I arrived in Saint John about this, and here is the best way I came up with to explain the overwhelming difference; New Brunswick is a small province in Canadian terms, and yet you can fit England into New Brunswick, in terms of land mass. Add to that the fact that there are only about 33Mn people in Canada as a whole, while there are an estimated 60-61Mn people in the UK and you start to get some idea of the different scales we are talking about. It just totally HUGE, there is no way to bend your melon around it.

Anyway, I arrived in Saint John just after two p.m. and was picked up at the bus station by Eric (the bridegroom) and Scott (the best man). They drove me up to Sarah’s parents’ place on the West Side, into the fog, and there I was met with a welcome of such warmth and generosity that my poor British self could barely take it. Sarah, and her parents Liz and Jim, and her sister Jen with nephew Gabe, and her Aunt Anne and her husband Brian were all filled with interest about my trip and offers of beer, coffee and all the sandwiches in the world. As I settled down to enjoy the feeling of coming to rest I started to realise that I was in the middle of some of the final preparations for the wedding. There were flowers and programmes and place setting markers and all kinds of wedding-based goodness flying around. I wandered out to the corner store about an hour later, having also been introduced to Sarah’s brother Noel and his girlfriend Laura, only to get utterly drenched in a flash shower that was so bad Noel came to get me in his car! With a view to waiting out the rain he drove me around the neighbourhood and showed me as much of the place as he could through the driving rain and fog.

The rest of the afternoon, once the rain stopped, was taken up with meeting Dean, Sarah and Eric’s Aussie mate from London who had also made it over for the wedding, and then going up to the home of one of Jim’s friends to borrow a car for the wedding. Doug and Sue’s place looks right down over the Grand Bay where the Kennebecasis River joins the Saint John River for the last few miles of its journey to the Bay of Fundy – I have never seen such a spectacular view from someone’s front room – ever. Doug is a Hot Air Balloon Pilot, as is Jim, and we saw some cool photos of balloons and also of Doug’s semi-tame deer that come up onto his lawn from the surrounding woods. On the way back to the house Noel, Dean and I stopped at Noel’s friend Dana’s house to borrow a jacket for the wedding from Dana, as Noel was lacking an appropriate jacket after a particularly exciting wedding a month earlier. Dana and his partner Robin showed us around their new place – they were just moving in – and I was struck by just how much you can get for your money in Canada at the moment. A lovely three bedroom house, standing in its own ground, with a basement that was frankly huge, and roughly a quarter of the asking price that such a property would have in the UK at the moment. It may well become a recurring theme of these posts that I would like to live in Canada, particularly in the Maritimes, if I get the chance.

That evening was a chance to go out into Saint John’s night-life and meet the rest of ‘the guys’, specifically the other Groomsmen and the other guy who was going to be taking photographs. We had a great time at a bar called the Alehouse, and I now know why the local beer is called Moosehead, because the next morning I felt as though someone had hit me in the head with a Moose.

Ok, I need to head out into San Francisco and not spend the entire day at the computer, so there will be more about Canada later / tomorrow, and hopefully another Video Blog at some point too… For now, tata!


365 Ficlets – #81 ~ “Real Mexican Food”

The smell of chilli and sizzling meat washed over him like a wave as he walked into the taqueria, and it smelled really good. he cast his mind back to the last time he had eaten ‘Mexican’ food back at home in England and started to realise that all of the stories may well be true. Soon he would never be able to eat Mexican at home ever again.

The chefs were moving like a well oiled machine, this one tossing the meat on a flat, wide griddle, the other preparing a tortilla with salsa and beans, avocado and sour cream. People in the line were chatting to one another, pointing at the menu, and in the back there was the low hum of diners’ conversations over their food. He turned to his host and guide;

“So what’s good here, Dan?”

“Well, pretty much everything, but if you want a tip, I’m going to get the Super Shrimp Burrito.”

He turned the idea over in his mind, and could see no bad aspects to the idea of Pacific shrimp, griddle fried with chilli and onions and then wrapped up in a tortilla with rice and beans.

You can see the original post on Ficlets.com by clicking here.


365 Ficlets – #80 ~ “A Day to Remember”

“Here it is at last.”

These were the words that accompanied my father dropping the paper on the breakfast table in front of me.

I looked up and caught the headline:

‘IRA Announces formal end to conflict’

I nodded and went back to eating. There was nothing to say. In the end it was what we all wanted, on both sides of the argument, most people just wanted to get on with their lives, for their kids to be safe. The old hatreds were dying out, and even where they were hanging on, like ticks on a dog, the truth was that even the most hard line soldiers were losing their stomach for it.

“Is that all y’re goin’ ta say?”

“Yes, Da.”

I could feel his eyes burning into my head, almost hear him trying to decide whether or not to start something with me about it, and then it came;

“Those bastards took yer Ma, and even then we won. Do you know what this means son? It means we’re right, we’re better.”

I looked up into his eyes;

“No, Da, it means that less boys will grow up without their Ma. That’s what it means.”

You can see the original post on Ficlets.com by clicking here.

This Ficlet was inspired by the English Front Page of Wikipedia reminding me that on this day 3 years ago (28/07/2005) the Provisional IRA officially announced the end to it’s use of pursuit of armed conflict in the effort to achieve a United Ireland.


365 Ficlets – #79 ~ Wake-up Call

“Get up! You’re sleepin’ when there is a party goin’ on out here, man! Get up!”

That was woke me at six a.m. Todd is a great guy; friendly, generous, fun. The thing is he had taken quite a few drinks by the time he got to six in the morning and he wanted everyone else to be up still too.

I shot out of bed like there was a fire or something; scared out of sleep. I followed the sounds out of the room I was staying in and wandered into the living room to find Todd holding forth on the joys of Absinthe and exhorting other, bleary eyed people to have fun.

“There you are. Come and have a drink!”

He motioned to the empty seat by the table and pointed at a shot of Absinthe that was sitting there, waiting for me like a little green devil. I knew that I had more than a skinful before I had crashed out at half one. I knew that I should not, under any circumstances, take the shot. I looked at him and was about to say ‘no thanks’ when the green fairy took me by the hand and explained that I needed to have more fun…

You can see the original post on Ficlets.com by clicking here.


365 Ficlets – #78 ~ Martello Tower

The fog was sitting on the line as they drove up the hill towards the Martello Tower. Franklin loved the way that it always sat at a predictable height, the warm air and the cold bay conspiring to shroud the headland in a soft white blanket, safe from the world.

Jenna pulled the car into the side of the road and they headed up to the tower on foot. It was a long standing tradition of homecoming that they had kept since leaving for college. On the first day that they were both back in town they would head up to the Martello and blaze one up and tell each other the whole truth about everything that happened since the last time they had said their goodbyes at the bus station.

They found somewhere to sit, and Jenna pulled a loose joint out of her glasses case. She put it into her mouth, reversed, to gently wet the paper and make the joint burn slow, then turned it back and lit it, the zippo that she had always used sheltered by her left hand.

Franklin could feel himself being at home; it had been a long road.

You can see the original post on Ficlets.com by clicking here.


365 Ficlets – #77 ~ “Monkey Rebellion…”

David backed away, on instinct he wanted to be further away from the ape. The open jaws, the sharp pointy canine teeth seeming to glisten in the bright light. There was an anger in the creature’s eyes that he could never remember having seen before in the otherwise docile beast’s behaviour.

Backing away was not helping, however. The ape started to advance quite quickly in fits and starts, not as if it were trying to catch up with David, but simply as if to maintain the distance between them. This was completely out of character, as far as David was concerned. He started to look around for why it might have come on.

He could not see any young that might have come along since had last been in that part of the jungle. Looking around the clearing he could not see any blood or evidence of injury, and the the ape was moving apparently effortlessly, not as though she were injured.

Then it dawned upon him; she may have been attacked by a human since he was last here. He hoped not; that would be most inconvenient.

You can see the original post on Ficlets.com by clicking here.

This Ficlet was inspired by the following image:


Photo by dboy (on Flickr)


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