Monthly Archives: June 2015

The House That Hugs Built

I don’t often post purely personal stuff to my blog; I prefer to keep this place as an outlet for fiction. Recently,I’ve bent that rule to announce Dominic’s arrival, and before that Sebastian’s. Today, I feel like sharing something equally personal, but feel free to move along if it’s not your bag. I promise not to do this often!

People measure love in different ways. I know some people who measure it with food – if you refuse an offer of food from them, they take it more personally than most because in their worldview you’re refusing love, and who refuses love? Other people measure it in hours spent, words said, money expended or effort taken. Sebastian seems to be a bit like me – I know I value being listened to more than most people; which is unhelpfully accompanied by a propensity to talk a lot. Pity my less word-centric husband. My tom-cat, Max, measures it in food; my she-cat, Pepsi, values peace and space. Pity her too, she now has three brothers, so she doesn’t get much of either! It’s hard to say with Dominic yet, but I’m sure he’ll have his own priorities as he grows up.

But there’s one thing that everyone agrees on in this house, and that’s the value of the hug. From the three-week old who hates to be put down, to the grown ups who grab a moment as they pass, exhausted and ship-like, in the night, we all appreciate the declaration of love (and support and forgiveness and all manner of other positives) that comes from a hug.

Even Pepsi, my aloof and private girl, is happier, calmer and better-behaved if she gets a dose of laptime. When Sebastian arrived, I remember the wrench she and I went through at giving up our daily snuggles; now she is more used to sneaking cuddles when she can and it’s Sebastian who has lost out as I became unable to lift him, to fit him on my lap, and then to hold him without us both having to be careful not to squash Dominic. Max (who is sitting on my leg as I type this) has discovered 3am to be a perfect time for attention; I’m hoping Sebastian won’t think of that.

Like Pepsi, I’m not a touchy-feely person. I’ve never been big on hugs from friends or relatives, let alone people I hardly know, and I generally prefer my personal space. But that doesn’t seem to apply to these five. My little family, I could hold all day and all night long.

These days, between them, I frequently do.


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Friday Fiction – All The Way Turnt Up

First day home alone with my two little balls of wonder – wish me luck!




Today’s FF prompt is from Kent Bonham. I wasn’t instantly inspired, but a google search for inspiration turned up this video and the story was born. Your comments and critique are welcome and encouraged.



All The Way Turnt Up

Sophie couldn’t remember how she’d gotten to the club. Did she know this boy grinding against her? Where was the entrance? And what was this music, pounding against her head like a jackhammer and making it hard to think or remember or see? The walls pulsed like they were breathing – rapid and ragged like she was.

His hand swept around her. It felt warm and sticky against her skin. What had happened to her favourite jacket? Had she put it down somewhere?

“Let’s clear out of here,” he said, in a voice like treacle. “I have a place for you.”


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Friday Fiction – A Spiteful God

Thank you for so many lovely, supportive comments over the past couple of weeks. I continue to have my hands literally and metaphorically full with the boys, but I love writing and your support means a lot. Today’s FF picture is Rochelle’s own; the words are mine and come with a slight language / blasphemy warning.


A Spiteful God

Janey was superstitious about them things; went f’in’ crazy if I said anythin’ was good.

“Nice weather, eh, Janey?”

“Don’t spoil it,” she’d say, like God might hear an’ send rain just t’spite me. I thought she was being soft.

It was her what said it in the end. “Job for life,” she said when them toffs took ‘er on to clean house. “Just the lights’ll take a decade,” she said.

“Aye, life,” said God, rubbin’ ‘is hands at catchin’ ‘er out. Eight days on, she’s up a ladder polishin’ one minute, stone cold on the marble floor the next.


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Friday Fiction – Summer re-run

Rochelle has offered us a break this week – an old picture from FF long ago. I’d be crazy not to take the gift, so here is the link to my old story. Names aside, it could be another chapter in the lives of my fictional boys, Matty and Luke, but I wrote it before they were created. I’m not sure I’d write it quite the same way now; the last line feels a touch forced, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I also have a warning for you. Although I hope to continue writing and posting during this newborn phase for my own sanity, my reading / commenting time is likely to be severely restricted. I believe in the FF principle that we should join in on both sides of the fence, so if it upsets you that I’m not reading many (even any) other stories at the moment, please feel free to skip mine. I totally understand that blogging should be reciprocal and I appreciate your time is precious. I’ll be back properly as soon as I’m able. Thanks!


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Friday Fiction – The Link

On this occasion, you will forgive  me, I hope, for one or two things: a little sentimentality, a couple of my favourite recurring characters, and an interpretation of the picture that is both incredibly literal and heavily metaphorical. Three days into my own mother-of-two adventure, I’ve somehow squeezed in time for Friday Fiction (thanks to Grandma who is ironing, hubby who is gardening and simultaneously-sleeping boys) not least because I want to thank Rochelle for her lovely message on the FF homepage.

For those who missed it, the announcement of Dominic’s arrival is here. I now have my very own Matty and Luke. Thanks to C.Hase for a picture that couldn’t be more evocative for this week. Now, though, a story. Of sorts. c-hase

The Link

Matty threw his arms out to the sides for balance, then jumped expertly to the next link on the old anchor chain.

“The slimy blackness of the serpent oozed up, then disappeared under the ripples for mile upon mile,” Luke intoned, studying the links undulating in and out of the sand.

I half-watched one, half-listened to the other and thought about two mornings, eleven and nine years ago when life-giving cords from me to each of them had been irrevocably cut, and replaced by something longer, stronger and invisible to the eye: a mighty chain stretching endlessly into our futures.


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The Sea Dragon Has Surfaced!

We interrupt normal programming – possibly for some time 😉 – to bring you a special announcement.

Dominic Rilian Pendergast was born on Sunday morning to very proud parents and a wonderful big brother! We’re all feeling OK and settling into a new family life.




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