Monthly Archives: November 2022

The Coming Dawn

Last week I told Sylvie’s life story – it was interesting to see two perspectives on her experiences – some of you saw the hope and others the misery. She’s popped back this week with a single moment in time, inspired by this photo from Roger Bultot.

The Coming Dawn

In the distance, Sylvie watched the day arrive. Layers of crimson, magenta and gold brightened into white and then blue. Over there, people could already see the way ahead.

For her, it was still night. The baby was just asleep, but not enough to put down. Her eyelids drooped, but she daren’t let them – and him – fall. Instead, she watched the sun rise and hope creeping across the sleeping city.

When Glenn’s alarm chimed, she felt him take the baby. He kissed her forehead as she finally let sleep take over, knowing it would be light when she woke up.

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FF – When…

Photo credit Sandra Crook

When…

Sylvie sat at her desk, ignoring the quadratics that swirled across the books there. “When I grow up, I’ll never do Maths again,” she said to the man singing on her radio.

At college, she told her friends “When I leave here, I’m going to travel the world,”

“When I get married, I’ll put my feet up,” she said, elbows-deep in suds at the job she got afterwards.

Now she tries to calculate the bills, ignoring the sink full of dishes, staring at the calendar photo of a place she’s never been. “When the kids leave home,” she sighs.

Extroduction

There’s a path going up that hill in the photo, and it caught my eye because it looks really challenging. This last few months we’ve done a lot of just getting through, but I’m also aware that while the view from the top of that cliff is probably stunning, but it’s the climb that makes the experience memorable and worthwhile.

There are loads of songs that try to capture this sentiment, “The Climb” being one of the more famous. The link below is another. And as a mother, I’m used to being told to enjoy the moment, so I know how deeply upsetting that type of advice can be and how important hope is. That being said, I hope we can all learn to live in the moment, even when we don’t enjoy it. After all, tomorrow never comes.

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FF – Doing The Right Thing

Photo credit © Starsinclayjars

Doing The Right Thing

“They haven’t cut the straps.” Luke kicks disapprovingly at the third discarded mask we’ve seen in the one mile walk to school.

“Huh?” I’m not really listening. I’m wondering what we’re going to do on Monday. The third strike day of his first ‘normal’ school year since Grade 1.

“Animals can get tangled in them and die.”

“In the discarded mask?”

“Yes. It’s serious, Mom.”

One of us is missing the point. “You want the careless idiots who drop their mask on the side of the road to carefully cut the straps first?”

“It’s environmentally caring.”

“Ah, environmentally caring littering.”

Extroduction

Today’s photo put me in mind of a song from my childhood, The Bedstead Men, by comedy duo Flanders and Swann. You can enjoy it on the link below (2:25 for the relevant verse). It occurred to me that 80 years on, the specific items listed in the final chorus would have changed considerably, and in the last few years, one piece of litter has taken over from the prophylactic as the most ubiquitous: the single-use mask.

I toyed with the idea of amending the lyrics for our times, but at 352 words, it’s a little over the limit and most of them wouldn’t change. My own Luke recently took on board an important lesson about mask disposal, and my own Matty is currently sprawled on the couch with ‘flu … likely to recover just in time to miss school for yet another strike.

And so today’s snippet was born. If you enjoy stories featuring the fictional Luke and Matty, you can find more of them here.

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FF – Aunt Selina’s Church

Melanie’s back! This photo immediately brought to mind the phrase ‘through a glass darkly’. I’ve used that before for a prompt, so I took a different part of the same verse for Melanie to muse on this week. If you enjoy her thoughts, you can find others here.

Aunt Selina’s Church

Before Mummy got sick, she wore a pretty dress and spoke at Aunt Selina and Puncle Eter’s wedding. They go to a weird church. Their priest smiles a lot and when they sing, they clap their hands and dance around.

Mummy said 1 Corinthians 13, but she changed it. She said “When I became a woman, I put childish things behind me.” Father Andrew wouldn’t like that, but their priest nodded and smiled.

And then, at the end, when he said “I now pronounce you husband and wife,” everybody cheered. Loudly.

I liked their church; I wonder what God thinks.

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FF – Family Road Trip

Thank you to Brenda Cox for the photo prompt. Not sure why WordPress isn’t in the mood to caption it today.

Family Road Trip

“The frogs always drive 2CVs,” my husband jokes as we pass our fifth that day.  

“Wearing a blue beret, with garlic round their neck and a baguette? You’ve been watching too much old TV, Dad.” Luke’s suspicious of our inclination to stereotype.

“If it was properly old, you wouldn’t be able to see the colour.”

Matty looks up then. “Black and white TV ended before you were born.” His voice is slick with disdain.

“That one’s green!” I say, trying to lighten the mood. “It looks like a frog!”

“How apt,” sighs Luke, “A frog car for a frog driver.”

*** Translation notes ***

In case you aren’t familiar, British people tend to call French people “frogs” or “froggies”. It’s generally innocent and affectionate and there’s some debate about where it came from (a summary can be found here), but like most of the national stereotypes and nicknames we grew up on, it probably wouldn’t be approved of by younger, woker generations like Luke.

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