Beneath ~ Di #writephoto

I touch glass,
Tiptoeing into the chill,
I see my reflection
In water so still.
My arms reach
Tentatively seeking
Forms of life from
Under pebbles peeking.

Continue reading at pensitivity101

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Ani’s Advent Calendar 2018! Indiscretions, Mylo’s Advent Calendar and Geoff Le Pard

Living with another species is a bit of a learning curve. When you are a pup and the two-legses take you  home, you not only have to learn to be a dog, you have to do it with a load of silly rules even your own mother wouldn’t expect you to obey!

You start teething…your teeth itch, so you chew. Perfectly natural. But they get picky about what you chew… and how is a small dog to know what’s what? The only way to find out is to chew it anyway… and see whether they shriek. Same with the whole bathroom business… though most of us have been pretty well educated by the time we leave our mothers, human nights are loooong for small dogs, and accidents might happen.

Food is the biggy though. Two-legses are weird about food. If it is in the white metal prison thing, it is theirs… ‘cept when they let you have some of it anyway. Same applies to cupboards and tables… unless you can kidnap anything…

Mine was pretty strict when I was little. No two-legs food except in my own bowl.No scraps at table, no sneaky tidbits underneath it… though I was allowed to ‘hoover’ any crumbs. But visitors didn’t know that, did they? 😀

Some of them were easy to train… and she soon gave in after that. Now, I have her where I want her… well trained.

There have been several incidents over which I will draw a veil where food is concerned, though… ‘specially at Christmas. There was that year she left presents wrapped under the tree… and if she didn’t know what was in that box, I did! That’s when I found out dogs weren’t allowed chocolate. Boy, did she shriek! So I have every sympathy with Mylo who looks after Geoff Le Pard…. Let me just find a nice photo for him, though… he’s a partickler friend of mine…

Mylo and the Advent Calendar

Dearest Ani,

This is hard. You are a sweetie to invite we of the superior minds and better fur to join you on your blog for a Christmas snifter but, well, that title. It… hurts. Three years ago I’d have been bouncing like a newly minted Slazenger 50 but now, with experience, not so much.

I know you’ll understand and you may have some sage advice because, see, the thing is I have a bit of a blind spot about Advent calendars.

My two leges didn’t realise – or maybe they chose to ignore it. I mean food left out where I can reach it is meant for me, right? If they don’t want me to eat it, then they’d put it in their cold box thingy.

So when they left this square flat box thing on the table they must have known I’d smell its essential deliciousness and… investigate.

Now, if there’s one thing I like more than food… no, scrap that. Ha! As if!!. One thing I like nearly as much as food it’s a puzzle and this box was a puzzle. It smelt scrummy but it didn’t have a lid, or at least the little lids didn’t give onto to the essential eatableness of the contents. Well, girl, you know the answer to that. We aren’t named after a specific set of gnashers for nothing so out came the canines and it’s PAAARTAAAAY time. In moments the cardboard, silver paper and plastic housing were toast… do you like toast? I’m not big on sourdough, myself but a nicely browned granary and lashings of butter and…

What? Distracted? Moi? Soz. See, there were twenty-four little morsels of yum which disappeared in a trice. There should have been twenty-five but someone had nabbed the first one.

It felt good. Until they came home.

Now, ok, they can get a tad arsy when I eat off the table. He wasn’t happy when I finished off his Chicken Tikka that time, and she definitely didn’t enjoy it when I saved her from that orange polenta cake she’d just made – have you tried warm cake? It is sensational. But their reaction this time was a tad OTT, know what I mean? Words like ‘chocolate’ and ‘poison’ were banded around in that tone; you know. that tone – the one that ends in *shudders* ‘off to the Vet.’

Sure enough I’m bundled away, made to be sick, kept there in that torture suite overnight and left utterly miserable. I mean, if it’s so bad, why do they have it in the house? I suppose they may have wanted the cats to eat it – in which case I thoroughly applaud their motives. It’s about time they got rid of those two raddled old cushions.

That was two years ago and they did say something about learning lessons only… the next year one of the younger two leges was staying – my crew were off on some jolly… and there was that smell again. That ‘draw you in and force you to rip open the box to see what’s there’ smell. It wasn’t my fault. I mean, when they said ‘lessons had to be learnt’ I thought that meant them, not me.

So here we were again. Ashen faces, ‘chocolate’ and ‘poison’ being thrown around like a sour ball and I could just sense the ‘V’ word was about to be uttered when… they smiled. They took me to these scale things and we played ‘if you pick me up, I’ll force you to put me down’ game while they found out my weight (no, I can’t say; a gentledog doesn’t). They then printed this table off the interwebby, worked out that, for my weight I could eat one and a half calendars without having to go to… to that place and cuddled me all day! Result.

Still, it was touch and go as to whether I had to visit The House Of The Latex Finger and I’m not risking that again, thank you very much.

So, Ani, I hope you’ll understand about my reluctance to join in. I want to really…


PS, in other news, I’ve found out that Thorntons have been trying out an advent calendar just for me. Here’s a video of the Beautician opening hers. Apologies for the rude word at the end but see how clever they’ve been. If I ate this one then I’d have no worries about the … gulp… you know. That Place.

Much love and Merry Christmas, Ani.

About Mylo’s two-legsGeoff Le Pard

Geoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blogs at He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls. He also cooks with passion if not precision.

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Apprenticed To My Mother

When my father died in 2005, I assumed my mother would need more support and someone to help with decisions she previously shared with her husband. What I didn’t realise was the role she had in mind for me: a sort of Desmond 2.0. Over the five years until her death, I played the role of apprentice, learning more about her and her relationship with my father than I had gleaned in my previous 50 years. We laughed, we cried and, occasionally we disagreed, and throughout she manipulated me as, I learnt, she had my father. Neither of us minded much; we were both her so willing fools, for she was an extraordinary woman and we both knew we were in the presence of someone very special.

‘Do you want my opinion?’
Will you listen to it?’
‘If it accords with my own, yes.’
‘And if not?’
‘I have spent nearly fifty-five years, apparently moderating my views to allow your father to think he was in charge of the big decisions and I’m not wasting time training you up only for you to let me down. I need reinforcement, not resistance.’

“I kept trying to ‘figure it out’. This was a memoir, right? A biography of someone who wasn’t on TV, wasn’t quoted on the news, wasn’t famous outside of a few incredibly lucky households. Only…it wasn’t that at all. The more I thought about this little book, the more I realized what it really is—a love story.” Extract of a review by Barb Taub.

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Moons of Mountain Ana: Nestle… Stuart France


Gemma’s warmth as

she links my arm and

the world stops screaming…


You are an island dark with life;

A swan-hatched dream, taking flight;

A blue-shot cormorant, nestled in night.


Continue reading at Stuart France

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Cycle #midnighthaiku

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Beneath ~ Trent P. McDonald #writephoto

This is now the 23rd chapter of “Of Wind and Wings”.  See the table of contents here.

“You seem awfully distracted this evening.”

Ed jolted himself back to the present and smiled.

“You have a good day with The Grubb, then?” Liza asked.

“Yes.  We went up into the mountains this afternoon.  It was lovely.”

Ed’s mind drifted back to the mountains, to the little lake with its pure, clear waters reflecting the high peaks.  He had sat beneath a tree just enjoying the peace and quiet while The Grubb studied a leaf.  Ed decided that this would forever be the place he would go in his mind when he needed to relax, his happy place.

Thinking of The Grubb, Ed remembered a question he had for Liza.

“Are there caves around here?”

“What?  Caves?”

“Yes.  A cavern system.  If not, perhaps mines or tunnels or something?”

Liza shook her head. “There are some shallow caves here and abouts, but nothing I would consider a ‘cavern system’.  There wasn’t any mining and no tunnels.  No.”

“What of Richard Barrow’s cave?”

“If such a place existed, it was most likely little more than a shelter from the storm, not a deep cavern.  Why this interest in caves all of sudden?  Have a strong urge to go spelunking?”

“No, it was something The Grubb said.  I asked if what he calls ‘The Others’ lived in the mountains.  He said they might visit, but they lived other places.  He said they didn’t live where we could see them.  He said they lived beneath.  When I asked ‘beneath what’, he shrugged and said ‘beneath’ again. So I was wondering if they were supposed to live in caves or what.”

Continue reading at Trent’s World

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Striguil, December 1171 ~ Jane Dougherty #writephoto

The December lake is still, and the woods are bleak and leafless. Deer drift among the black trunks, and Evienne watches their shadows dappling the pale pebbles in the shallows. No one will come here until the spring, Richard not even then. But he will send her news of Chimâne’s young man and how he has acquitted himself. Aline, she will send across the sea to be married, to take up her role as chatelaine on the lands her betrothed has won. She will sail with Henry who is besotted enough with his Rosamund to make a safe escort.

William le Maréchal will whisper in Henry’s ear, as a favour, that Richard de Clare’s bastard daughter requires a passage to Ireland. As a favour, he will do it. There is something repugnant in William’s humourless manner, his utter rigidity. So much younger than Richard, but with the mien of an old man. He will never be seduced beneath the willows; he is not Richard. But he has the king’s ear.

Continue reading at Jane Dougherty Writes

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Chief Prince of Pen Rhionydd…


D: Before Merlin was a soothsayer he was a miraculous child who solved the mystery of Vortigern’s Tower.

W: What mystery was that?

D: Every time the tower was raised by Vortigern the hill on which it was built swallowed the tower whole.

W: And the answer to that mystery?

Continue reading at The Silent Eye

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Intercepted ~Maria #writephoto

Photo by Sue Vincent

Ebele opened the door.  “This is a surprise,” she remarked, stepping aside so that he could go inside.  After she closed the door she turned to face him.  “Let’s go into the living-room.”  She led the way.

They stood beside the fireplace.  Rhys met her gaze.  “I wanted to check and make sure that you’re all right.” It occurred to him that she could be in danger because of her husband.   Those who were responsible for his murder might assume that she knew more than she did and it was only a matter of time before they contacted her.  He should probably post a couple of officers to keep an eye on her.

“I’m fine.  Is that the only reason why you’re here?”

“No,” he admitted.  “I had to see you.  I was a fool to walk away from you—from what we had.  I hope it isn’t too late to start over.”

Continue reading at A Heart for Africa

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Songs for the seasonally challenged III…

To the tune of God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen:

Related image

God rest ye merry gentlemen…

There’ll be no rest for me!

I’ve got to cook and clean and wrap

And then put up the tree…

For Christmas cheer won’t make itself

That I can guarantee…

Oh, oh, we’ll bake the ‘comfort and joy’,

Wrap up a toy,

And that ruddy Christmas song will soon annoy…


“A woman’s work is never done”

And Christmas time is worst!

You never get a chance to breathe

For putting others first;

You cook and roast and decorate…

They eat until they burst!

Oh, all diets one Christmas will destroy,

Can you enjoy

Knowing e-e-lastic waistbands are a ploy..?


God rest ye merry gentlemen…

You ate the ruddy lot!

You stripped the turkey, ate the cheese,

And cleaned out every pot!

You drank the wine and fell asleep

After that second ‘shot’…

Oh, oh, tidying up is not a joy

Never a joy…

And sometimes I wish that I had been a boy.

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Beneath ~ Willow Willers #writephoto

What Lies Beneath

They say still waters run deep

Hiding the secrets that they keep.

Who knows what magic there might sleep.

Calling to you to take the leap.

Continue reading at willowdot21

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