Three Children, a Sheet and a Little Imagination

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Enveloped.”

DSC_6910My eldest grandson, Rio, grabbed the sheet being used as a tent by his young cousins, and enveloped himself in it, before tearing round the garden, wailing like a ghost.  Sonny and Millie were highly amused and quite happy for the versatile sheet to be converted into ghostly attire.

Who needs expensive toys when grandma’s got a forty year old sheet requiring only a little imagination?


Freshly Dried

Just before my granddaughter was born, I found some lovely clothes in a local charity shop, washed, dried and folded them, photographed them – and put the pictures on Facebook.  It turned out that a good friend of my daughter’s had reluctantly donated the clothes to the shop, feeling sad as her daughters had outgrown them. She was thrilled they would be worn again by a new baby in our family.  I love a happy ending.



Freshly Dried

Grandma’s Cakes

My 86 year old mum, still in her dressing gown, making eccles cakes for breakfast – fresh from the oven and smelling delicious.  These have been a family favourite for years, and are produced at every celebration. This time the occasion was a visit from us Golden Girls, all the way from Blackpool to the Big Smoke.

Grandma’s Famous Eccles Cakes



Grandma’s Cakes

Life on Reidy Street – A Sonny Delight and Millie Moo Day

Today was a day of repetitions. From Millie.  And Sonny.  And Millie.  And Sonny.  And Millie….you get the picture.  It started at breakfast, when Grandma had a piece of melon, and went something like this:

Sonny: What’s that?  Grandma: Melon.  Millie: What’s that?  Grandma: Melon.  Sonny: what’s that? Grandma: Melon.  Millie: What’s that?  Grandma: Melon.  Sonny: What’s that?  Grandma: Banana.  Long pause.  Millie and Sonny stare at the melon. Sonny: No not banana, grandma, it’s a melon.  Millie (nodding emphatically and looking at Grandma as if she’s mad): Yes, it’s a melon, grandma.

(to add to the sense of farce there is also a bit of a Carry On moment when Grandma accuses Granddad of pinching a piece of her melon whilst she was occupied with scooping egg out of shells, and Granddad replies indignantly, “I never touched your melon!”DSC_6474DSC_6481DSC_6488DSC_6485DSC_6494

There’s stamping pictures, wild trampolining on the Sooper Dooper sun bed, followed by elevenses and when things all get too much just before lunch, Grandma suggests a lie down on the sofa, with herself in the middle – dummies allowed (sleep hoped for, especially for Grandma, who can do it dummyless).  They lie down, Granddad covers them with a blanket and skuttles back to his computer, and Grandma starts a story which contains Sonny, Millie, Squeaky Mouse and fireworks (all by request).  Sonny and Millie are mesmerised, sucking on their dummies like cartoon babies – but sleep (for them) is not forthcoming, despite Grandma’s voice growing ever more faint, like an old tape recording where the speech gets slower and slower and more and more distorted. In desperation Grandma suggests they all take turns to tell the next part of the story.  This goes down remarkably well and turns into something that sounds as though all storytellers are high on LSD – a fish called Ratty, mice wearing socks and fireworks that eat sweeties….

Off on a tram after lunch.  Having been beside herself with excitement, Millie decides she really doesn’t like trams after all as we reach the tram stop. She screams as we bundle her through the door and only calms down when Grandma tells her, excitedly, that its like being on a roundabout (what??!).  For the rest of the journey Millie repeats at regular intervals (to the puzzlement of Sonny and all surrounding passengers), “Like a roundabout, Grandma,”  This, along with, “We like trams, Grandma,” and “Stopping again,” at each of the 15 stops. Sonny, meanwhile, spends the whole journey pulling his hat over his face and shouting, “Where’s Sonny?!”  As they get off the tram at the Solaris an elderly woman smiles at them and tells Grandma and Granddad how well behaved they’ve been.  Sonny turns and growls loudly at her (“like a lion, Grandma.”) and they are bundled off just as they had been bundled on earlier.DSC03986 DSC03988 DSC03992 DSC03981

The exhibition is a big hit with Sonny and Millie, who find the toys, shift chairs and chase each other up and down the corridors and round the pillars, grabbing business cards and scattering them like confetti.  A drink and a biscuit and its time to reverse the whole process.  Grandma has a meeting in town so Granddad is in charge of the two monkeys the rest of the way home.  The last thing Grandma hears, as the tram door closes, is “Like a roundabout, Granddad,” quickly followed by, “Where’s Sonny?” She taps on the window as the tram sets off.  Two little red cheeked faces grin out, blowing kisses, and Granddad has that look that says, “Beam me up Scottie…’

It was all worth it in the end.  After telling Granddad she’s a bit hungry, followed by a bit dizzy, Millie gives a big sigh and says, “Having fun granddad….happy day.”





Life on Reidy Street – A Sonny Delight and Millie Moo Day

Scenarios of Daily Lies

Another little poem I wrote after being inspired by the poetry evening.

‘It’s lovely.’
Her friend tugs at the stretchy fabric
Glances shyly in the mirror
Turns and squints over her shoulder at the tightly encased behind
‘Suits you…..’ follows her back to the fitting room
Too tight, too short
And the colour drains her
“It’s lovely.”

‘Great to see you.’
Face half in darkness, smile like weak tea
The door opens wider, slow and reluctant
Traces an arc on the hall carpet
She glides past, eyes down
Trailing wafts of that old musky perfume
A wasted evening beckons
“Great to see you.’

‘Ah no trouble.’
He sighs imperceptibly
Diversion at the first junction
Series of red lights
Bottleneck by the roundabout
Grandma fumbling in her bag for things long gone
Ninety minutes of his life never to be repaid
“No trouble.”

‘Yes, it was good.’
She rolls over
Recalling the trembling fingers as the bra snapped undone
The hesitant wet kisses
A slight whiff of sweat as his shirt was removed
His face, red and contorted
Never drinking again
‘It was good.’
‘I love you’
I want you
‘I love you.’


Scenarios of Daily Lies

Small Temptations


I’ve always loved poetry, and came back to writing it shortly after being asked to photograph a local poetry reading.  This was one of the first poems I wrote after I became enthused again.  It was sparked by a real incident.

She is telling me about her husband’s affair
Shakes out the paper napkin
Places it neatly on her lap
All the while eyes lowered
As though ashamed
A necklace of red blotches at her throat
Belying anger
It should hold my attention
And in normal circumstances
I would have stopped
Mid forkful
To stare at her, open mouthed
As she describes
The final explosive row.

I would have tutted
At his boldness, his lies
As she repeats them word for practised word
Mouth forming a series of ugly shapes
I would not have noticed
The tiny piece of lettuce stuck between her teeth
The mayonnaise that flecks her chin
As she spews out his misdemeanours
I would have carefully replaced my knife and fork
On the just wiped table
Out of deference to her pain
Dabbed at my mouth with the crumpled napkin
Nodded sympathetically
Left the food a partly finished work of art.

Sadly I do none of these –
These things that would have shown
What a caring, sympathetic friend I was
How wisely she had chosen me
As her lunch companion
Someone who would listen and support
Recoil in horror
Stretch an arm across the table, pat her hand.
My fork transports thin slivers of ham
Posting them at intervals through open lips
A cherry tomato pops between my teeth
Adding a sweetness to the salty meat
I pause and grind black pepper
Dreamily watch it fall and settle

I do care about the affair
I try to listen
As her voice rises in indignation
Want to be mesmerised
By the revelations
But the reflection in the window
Behind the chattering friend
Draws my eyes like a magnet
My taste buds, dull with salad, start to tingle
Two large vanilla slices sit proudly side by side
Pastry, golden, flaky, promises some buttery delight
Whilst its counterpart, the bulging custard filling, dense and yellow
Trembles slightly as the diners eat,
Sun shimmers on the lightly dusted tops
Multi layered temptation on a plate.


Small Temptations

Life on Reidy Street: A Sonny Delight and Millie Moo Day

I wish I could bottle the conversations between two year olds Sonny and Millie on a SD and MM Day.

First, they are in the bath when I hear Sonny say, ‘Look, Millie.” I glance across to see Sonny pulling up his willy to expose the underside of his scrotum, upon which there is a tiny scar (the remains of his ‘chicken pops’ the other week).


Millie is peering at the offending spot, her nose about a cm from it. “Hmmm….,” she says, considering it for a few seconds, then, like a concerned GP, she asks sensitively, “is it itchy, Sonny?”  Yes, says Sonny, nodding miserably. Millie, fed up with this activity and anxious to set the wind up duck going, says brusquely, “well, scratch it then.”  She turns away and Sonny, realises this is the end of the consultation, lets go of his willy and picks up the watering can….

Ready to go
Ready to go

Later, off to Sainsburys with Grandad, Lianne and daddy/uncle Joe.  Sonny, marching ahead, turns to Millie and asks, with an air of superiority, “Do you know where we’re going, Millie?”  Millie stares at him, ‘Yes,” she says confidently, “we’re going to Raspberries.” After a few seconds of looking slightly confused, Sonny agrees, ‘That’s right Millie,” he says with a nod, “we’re going to Raspberries.” So we do.

In Raspberries
In Raspberries

On the way home there is some discussion on lunch. “My having cheese on toast with dippies,*” announces Millie.  Sonny looks puzzled, “Not dippies,” he says, “it’s smackeroo.*” There is a stand off.  Sonny says, “My have cheese on toast too?” Millie looks at him solicitously, “Of COURSE you can, darling,” she tells him.

Back home there is an awful smell emanating from one of them. “OK,” says grandma, “who’s trumped?” “Millie,” says Sonny. “Sonny,” says Millie.  Another stand off.  I love my SD and MM Days…..


* tomato sauce of course

Life on Reidy Street: A Sonny Delight and Millie Moo Day