Sunday, 1 November 2015

A short story for Halloween

It was a dark and stormy night , I was snuggled under the duvet in the old bedroom where I stayed as a child in the holidays, listening to the heavy rain as it hit the window panes. I had not been back here for 20 years, but was now here to visit my mum's sister, she had taken over this house after our aunt, our Great Aunt Ivy had died. My mind drifted back to a similar stormy night many years earlier when my sister, Becky & I had been sharing this room on a visit to Great Aunty Ivy's. How old would I have been? 8? maybe 9? Becky would have been 4. Mum and Dad had gone out leaving us in the care of Great Aunt Ivy, who smelt of moth balls and had the strangest of clothes, long skirts with pantaloons which showed when she sat down. Great Aunt Ivy didn't have children of her own, just a black dog that followed her everywhere. Great Aunt Ivy, we often went to visit her so my parents could go out and she would baby sit us. We hated it. She was so creepy and the smell just lingered wherever she went. She lived alone, she had once been married, but he had gone away years ago, I heard mum talking about him, he was a "bad'un and a drunk" and "glad to be rid" The thought of that particular night is making me shake with fear again, did it really happen? I still don't know for sure. Becky was too young to remember. We were in bed, Mum came in all dressed up in her long colourful evening gown, her hair piled up in a bun, she looked so beautiful, she kissed us goodnight and and told Great Aunt Ivy was downstairs if we needed anything and she'd see us in the morning. I was drifting off to sleep, when I woke with a start, there was shouting coming from somewhere, a man's voice, then a scream that would waken the dead. High pitched and persistent. Then the sound of something hitting the house wall, the house shook. Becky woke up too and started to cry. I was in a panic and shouted out " Aunty Ivy!!!". No one came. The house became quiet again. Becky had jumped in bed with me and I cuddled her. I called again "Aunty Ivy", just then the door opened and I could smell the moth balls before I saw her, Aunty Ivy was standing in the doorway, there a kind of flashing lights behind her coming from the road and she looked startled, flushed and what looked like blood running down her face . "Whatever is the matter?" she stuttered. I said about the screaming and the banging on the house. She looked at me in strange way and said " No, No, it's alright, You must have been dreaming my dear, there's been no noise here, I was watching the television, maybe that's what you heard, now come on dears let's settle back down to sleep." Her little dog wandered in and sat at the foot of my bed, he was covered in mud. Maybe I had been dreaming. Becky and I went back to sleep and in the morning, everything was normal, or so I thought. Mum & Dad were there making breakfast, they were talking quietly under their breath, like they didn't want me to hear. Aunty Ivy was in the garden planting up the vegetables so she said. She seemed to have done a lot of digging, the ground was freshly dug in a big rectangle and she was putting in Potatoes. She came back in and said, "There should be a good crop of potatoes there in a few weeks, got some good manure" I watched as the dog was digging into the soil, I thought I saw something sticking out of the ground like a thumb. Suddenly Aunty jumped out and chased the dog away and the "thumb" was seen no more. I blinked did I see that? Aunty came in and told the dog off for digging up her potatoes, she brought in a damaged potato, she said the dog had bitten off the potato sprouting root, so it was no good and she threw it away. My mind is back in the present, did that happen? What was the screaming and the banging against the house? I jumped out of bed, my heart banging in my chest, I grabbed my clothes, it was still pouring with rain and the wind was battering against me as I ran into the garden. But, where was the vegetable plot? The garden was completely changed. The area where the potatoes used to grow was now a large patio with a brick BBQ. I just stood and thought, well this is ridiculous, no one is going to believe me if I said I think there is a body under the patio. So I was about to go back indoors, I was getting soaked through but suddenly I thought I heard a sound, a sound of scratching and moaning it seemed to be coming from under the patio............... No, this cannot be , my mind is playing tricks , it must be the wind roaring through the trees......... a branch was scratching against the wall..I ran indoors and started crying...................... I caught my breathe, What was that smell, pungent and strong- mothballs! and I felt a breeze as if someone had passed by and from the corner of my eye I saw the shadow of a black dog coming in through the garden carrying a bone. Copyright E.Waight 2016

Monday, 12 October 2015

Empty nesting but still Life like "The Waltons" !

How can it be that the last time I wrote on my blog was Aug 2012? Where has that time gone? What have I done in that space of time? I think it is indicative of the increased work load I now have and the simplicity of using Face Book for brief updates on my daily life. I am what is known now as an Empty nester, yet the nest is far from empty! There are more people living at our address than before and more are due.Yet the house is empty and only one of the bedrooms is being used. How so? Well, that is because my middle daughter with her husband and 2 children with another on the way live in the garden! They have built a mobile flat packed home in the garden. It is very superior accommodation with 2 bedrooms, a lovely living /kitchen area, bathroom and hallway, and a Verandah. I also loved the idea of a verandah, loved the idea of house like the "Waltons", with Grandma on a rocking chair on the verandah, loads of children running around, Grandparents, parents and children all living, working and eating together. How close have we come to that ideal lifestyle? The answer is "yes", we have a really lovely family lifestyle, the grandchildren spend so much time at our house they feel as comfortable with us as they do their parents.We have dogs, cats, chickens. A large garden with a wood to play in and have adventures. Never a dull moment. We have big family meals together at the weekends but do our own separate thing during the week. We pop into each others all the time. We share milk, sugar, bread eggs and bacon, cheese whatever one hasn't got but the other has, so there is constant too-ing and froo-ing from the 2 houses. We cross the "car park" to get to each other's house. I say "Car park" advisedly as my husband Stan and son- in- law Nick have filled the drive way with cars, not just the ones they drive, but about 25 in total that they do up to sell, sometimes it's like a maze to get round the cars and we need a map to show us the way. This is us on a good day, covered in snow they look quite nice! I used to work from home which was the perfect solution but now I work from an office so do not spend so much time at home and miss my garden. This summer I hardly sat out in the garden.Though I know the rest of the family did. I am missing out, so not so much Waltons for me, only at the weekends. My eldest lives about an hour away and the youngest has just gone off to Uni, but as she met a young man from near home before she went we see her home more than she intended! So the nest is never quite empty. It is strange but nice to have some space to be us after all these years.Hubby and I are getting to know one another again. But being parents & grandparents is never far away.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Man bench

How perfect is this: A man bench outside a shop. Hubby Stan dislikes shopping with us girls intensely, but he doesn't like to be left out, so we shop he stands around outside, getting bored, and even more bored as we walk from shop to shop, looking and occasionally buying. In Sheringham recently we were doing just that when we came to a delightful little shop selling second hand children's clothes and new toys, it was in a little house and in the garden was this Man Bench. So Stan could sit and read his paper whilst we went in browsing and Emma bought a perfect little coat.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Well, was that summer?

The weather man seems to think summer is over on 31 August? What happened to the equinoxes? Do the weather bods think we can't cope with changes in seasons mid month? My birthday is 18 Sept and I've always believed it was in the summer still but apparently not now, apparently now it's in Autumn. Well that is not good, I want to still be a Summer baby. My hubby Stan's birthday is a week later and his is definitely in Autumn. But did we get a summer at all this year, did we go straight from Spring into Autumn? That is what it seems like to be honest. How many evenings have we been able to sit out in the garden? How many days have we've been able to be in the garden? BBQ's what are they ? We had 2 both indoors. Though I did go to my friends BBQ and that was a lovely warm evening.
Here I am cooking the kebabs.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Desert Island Books

On Purple Coo we had to choose what books we would take to our desert island (we did music the week before)

This is my list and I gained a Gold Star for it!

1)The Complete works of Charles Dickens- I'm ashamed to admit I've only ever read A Christmas carol & David Copperfield. So this will give me hours of entertainment.

2) Over the years I 've been a great fan of Joanna Trollops books so I have found the Trollop Omnibus which has 3 of my favourites; Village Affair, Passionate Man & Rector's Wife. For when I want an easy read and something to remind me of comfier times!

3) And I've got to have some Maeve Binchy too, there are several onmibuses of her works so I'll just choose Onmibus 2 Firefly Summer and Echoes.

4) Has to be Stephen Fry's Moab is my washpot- both growing up in Norfolk, sharing the same spaces but about 5yrs between us, I love reading of his early life.

5) Terry Wait Taken on trust- this book had a profound effect on me, I was so deeply moved by his account of being kidnapped.

6) Victoria Hislop The Island- loved the book, I have visited the island off Crete she wrote about where the lepers lived.

7) Annie Hawes Ripe for the picking- wonderful true story of woman settling in Italy, she was living my dream.

8) Mary Wesley Camomile Lawn- just adored this book and gave me love of Cornwall

So that's the 8- but as a luxury could I have a Bird book and binoculars

What would be your list and why?

Friday, 17 February 2012

My beautiful new dresser

Some of you will have noticed the top of a dresser in my header, so thought I would tell you about it.
This a an ebay find, I'd been looking for something a bit special for the blank wall in the Orangery and then I spotted this. I showed it to my hubby who didn't like it at all, saying it was too fancy, but that didn't stop me. I keep looking at it. Then I measured the space between the wall lights and wasn't sure if it would fit as dresser said it was 131cm and my space was 131cm too :-(
But I couldn't get it out of my mind, so I emailed the seller and asked her to measure that exact spot across where lights go and she came back with 130cm! Fantastic! It would fit.
I realised the seller lived in Hove and my HQ is also in Hove, so I asked the seller whereabouts she lived and it turned out to be less than a 2 minute walk from my office, so I just had to go and see it and of course once I'd seen it I was smitten and just had to have it. I gave a deposit and said I would sort out delivery with hubby.
That was the hard part, he wasn't that keen as he didn't really like it anyway. So I couldn't pin him down to a day to borrow the van and go and get it. Over a week went by and he wouldn't give me a time, then he said Thursday evening, so I tell the seller that day, then he couldn't do, I was so disappointed. he eventually agreed on Monday the next week and we did collect it then.
The seller is an amazing person, very artistic and lives in an amazingly creative, decorative home which she opens for Open House Art month in the summer.
I wish I had her skill. She bought this old dresser and completely reburbished it into shabby chic and I Love it! Hope you do too!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

A Year has passed since I last wrote a post....

This is the scary thing, a whole year has gone by in a blink of an eye and I haven't had time to write a blog. I used to really enjoy doing my blogs, but somehow, life, Face book and twitter have taken over and longer, more meaningful comments have not happened.
The friend I wrote the letter to last year is with us no more, she passed away in November after struggling a very long time with her alcohol addiction, she was a lovely person but the drink ruined her. It was a bitter sweet death, many of us so relieved that she would suffer no more but that still doesn't prevent us feeling the loss.
But many good things have happened too. I have a new grandson and he is beautiful, it's such a joy having the young family living with us, we get to share all the ups and downs of having young children again, without the full responsibility.
It's also nearly 5 years since I was diagnosed with Breast cancer and had my mastectomy, that day 5 years ago when I received that news seems like it happened to another person. I am one of the fortunate ones, I'm still here and God Willing the Consultant will give the the All Clear in May when I next see him, though how I will cope without my 6 monthly checkups I do not know. The reaasurance is good but also the build up to the check up not knowing what they may find and he will probably say to stop taking the Tamoxifen which has also been part of my life for 5 years, I'm quite nervous about stopping the medication, again it gives me reassurance.