Rhyme and No Reason!

Blogger, author and rhymester who likes to find the humour in life.

November 16th Flash Fiction Challenge – Mesh — November 17, 2017

November 16th Flash Fiction Challenge – Mesh

It is time for another foray into the world of Flash Fiction. This week, Charli from the Carrot Ranch has given us this image and mesh to use and here are the rules:

mesh

November 16, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) use the word mesh in a story. Mesh is both an object and a verb, which you can freely explore. You can play with its sound, too. Go where the prompt leads.

Respond by November 21, 2017 to be included in the compilation (published November 22). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

 

The metallic clanking appeared to be coming from the kitchen. “PETE, what are you doing?”

Silence, then more clanking with additional thudding.  Irritated, Sarah got out of bed, went to the bathroom then headed downstairs for some water to moisten her dry mouth.

“I’LL ALWAYS LOVE YOOOOOOO.” Dear God, not the singing!  Opening the kitchen door Sarah’s stomach growled at the aroma of frying bacon, her eyes then drawn to the discarded egg shells, and crumbs from a semi hacked loaf.

“Fanshy a shnack?” Sensing disapproval Pete apologised. “Shorry, I sheem to have made a bit of a mesh!”

As you can see, I decided to play around with the sound of the word this time.

Another Little Bit of Dirt Never Killed Anybody! — October 15, 2017

Another Little Bit of Dirt Never Killed Anybody!

Further the post I wrote here, my younger sister reminded me of a story that I had forgotten to include, and although it is pretty stomach-churning, it did make me laugh so here it is….

Mum had made a corned-beef hash, which although we didn’t have very often we were looking forward to. Anyway she had left it to cool off on the worktop for a little while. As she was about to dish up she suddenly screeched,

“Where’s me teeth”? She had this little plastic plate with 4 or 5 false teeth on which she used to take out now and again when they started to chafe, and they would sit on the table or window sill, wrapped in a tissue until she needed them to eat! My sister and I searched the kitchen without success, We couldn’t understand where they had gone As a last resort we decided to check the corned-beef hash, as it was not unusual for a bit of fag ash to land up in the food so why not a denture!

As it happened, the teeth were not in the hash, but the obligatory ants were! Yes, they had found their way into the hash that had been left uncovered, and had dived on in! Yuk! That was yet another meal that had no takers, fussy as we all were! Oh, and Mum’s teeth turned up in the kitchen rubbish bin! As a last resort we went through it, and there they were in a soggy filthy tissue, buried beneath tea bags, potato peelings and other assorted nasties. Mum was thrilled, a quick rinse under the tap, and she popped them back into place!

My nephew when he was young, also shared my mum’s casual attitude to dirt and used to love grubbing about in the mud as most kids do, However he liked to pick up slugs and worms as I think he liked their slimy feel. He wanted to share his treasures with the rest of us and would very often come up with us, hand outstretched grasping a writhing creature and say,

” Lug!”  he hadn’t mastered how to pronounce his ‘S’s yet, bless him. Myself and my sisters would recoil when he brought the slugs to us for inspection, and would try to swallow the scream, force a smile and tell him how lovely it was. He would amuse himself for some time playing in the dirt, making mud pies, and decorating them with the slugs and worms, singing away happily.

After a while he came up to us again

“Lug!” Only this time there was only a little bit of slug in this podgy little hand; not only that but he looked a bit mucky around the mouth. Yep, he had decided to taste his mud pies, but must have found them rather filling as he couldn’t manage a whole slug! It’s nice to know he has inherited the strong family constitution!

A Little Bit of Dirt Never Killed Anybody! — October 14, 2017

A Little Bit of Dirt Never Killed Anybody!

A bit of reminiscing….

I received a phone call from my daughter one day during her lunch break at school to let me know that there was a Craft Fair on Friday at school and “you have got to make some gingerbread men biscuits”.  Oh great! Well, I have to give her credit for telling me a little in advance, normally it is at bedtime the night before she has to take something home-made into school. (I know some supermarkets do a lovely range of ‘home-made’ cakes etc. but it does seem a bit naughty to do that; however needs must, and I have done it in the past)!

Anyway, as it was my day off today, and not only did I have the ingredients (and more importantly the recipe) for the gingers, but I enjoy making them (along with mince pies, that is about my festive repartee). I had already made the dough, and while that was ‘chilling’ in the fridge, I had a bit of time to myself to reflect on how different I am from my mum in the kitchen. I was thinking about Mum and what a fantastic cook she is, although nowadays she doesn’t bake so much. However, in her baking heyday, some of her practices in the kitchen left a little to be desired.

Two funny stories come to mind. The first one was when mum was making her famous ‘rock cakes’. Now, they were not ALWAYS as hard as a rock as the name implies, and she put currants or something in them as well, so they were quite tasty for a Sunday afternoon tea. This particular day she made the cakes with her usual method, chucking a bit of this in, sprinkling in a pinch of that, then a dollop of something else for good measure. Once cooked they looked lovely and golden brown and she turned them out onto the wire rack to cool for a bit.

My younger sister and I were there when she decided to have a little ‘taster’, and she bit off a huge chunk from a cake.

“Mmmm these are lovely” (Self-recommendation is no praise, but Mum was proud of her cooking). As I looked up at Mum I was horrified; there were loads of ants crawling around her mouth, my sister had noticed as well. We were screeching and pointing, but Mum had realised something was not right, and she rushed over to the sink to spit out the cake and brush away the ants that she had not ingested!  It transpired that Mum’s wire rack kept in the little alcove under the kitchen sink hadn’t been washed it (how the hell she didn’t notice the ants all over it is anybody’s guess)! Well, we went cakeless, and had something else!

The other occasion was a dinner Mum was cooking for the family. She had made a gorgeous stew and was preparing the dumplings to go with it, which she cooked in the pot with the stew. She went to one of the cupboards and got out her little box where she kept, her margarine, butter and lard. Anyway, she made the dumplings, but as I watched her, I said that they didn’t look right (Mrs Expert Chef poking her nose in)! She took no notice of me, and half an hour later we all sat down for our lovely dinner.

I took one mouthful of dumpling, and the rank taste hit me; the dumpling was expelled straight away as I retched and heaved. Some of the others followed suit, but the slow starters sat there stunned; dinner was ruined. That fat she used had been sitting opened in the packet for God knows how long, and was well and truly off! Mum told us to eat the stew anyway just leave the dumplings, but everyone’s appetite had suddenly disappeared!

I remember those two occasions so well, as my Mum never understood why we all made such a fuss about everything being clean, or that food was not past its ‘sell-by date’! I and some of my brothers and sisters used to go through the fridge and cupboards, and sure enough, there were tins there from  5 years previously. (‘tins last forever’), bottles where the date had rubbed off, or perhaps even before they dated foods, unwrapped food in the fridge, cooked and raw meat stored next to each other, and condiments that must have come from the Ark! Anything that was in the refrigerator was edible according to mum regardless of how long it had been in there!

I suppose growing up when food was rationed, they were not so picky about what they ate, being grateful to have anything. Also, I have seen her trying to sneak an errant spud in the roasting tin that had fallen on the floor when she strained them in the pan. Again, anything that went on the ground got either rinsed or brushed off and put on the plate! After all,
“A little bit of dirt never killed anyone.”
and my siblings and I have the cast iron stomachs to prove it!

Never ‘Just A Mum’ — March 6, 2016

Never ‘Just A Mum’

Mum 5
My Mum!

 

I wrote this poem last year, but thought it would be perfect for  Mother’s day and good to re-share it for those that haven’t seen it before.

Oh, and of course, you can also find this poem in my new book ‘Rhymes of the Times. which is now available on Amazon and Kindle!

Happy Mother’s Day for all those that are celebrating it today 🙂

 

You wake up constantly through the night

To each and every cry

You soothe, you feed, you  keep them clean

Then croon a lullaby

You take their hand as they take a step

Your face is filled with joy

You sing, you dance, you muck about

With your precious girls and boys

You nurse them when they are poorly

You kiss them when they weep

You fret, you stress, and you can’t relax

Until they are fast asleep

They sometimes drive you crazy

So you say you’ll smack their bum

You cook, you clean, you’re everything

But you’re never ‘Just a Mum’!

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 11 – Rust — February 4, 2016

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 11 – Rust

Rusty ring

This week I am pleased to be able to join in with Hugh’s Photo  Challenge.  The theme is ‘rust’, and I knew that I would be able to find something rusty somewhere around here! Well, actually I didn’t need to look very far at all.

Our poor old barbecue got rather knocked around this winter as it was pretty windy and it is looking rather sorry for itself. As you can see, the little extra ring at the side has got quite rusty too.

Our barbecue is our best friend during the warmer weather. We use it quite a lot, and it is always lovely when we invite some of the family over to join us. Mr Grump is in his element taking charge of the cooking, and he does a damn fine job of it too. Roll on spring!

 

Episode 322: A Tough Old Bird! — May 10, 2015

Episode 322: A Tough Old Bird!

As it is International Mother’s day today, I thought that I would share a story about my mum despite the fact that we celebrated our Mother’s Day in March.

About 12 years ago, just before my own daughter was born,(I was about 6 months pregnant), I had moved back in with my mum and step-dad. They were both about 70 years old at the time. Anyway I had gone off to work as usual (I worked in an office then) and about halfway through the day I had a call at work telling me that mum had a bad fall and was in hospital.

Luckily the hospital was only a five-minute drive away so I went straight to see her as soon as I could. She looked dreadful, and was obviously in quite a bit of pain. It had turned out that mum was pottering about in the kitchen that morning, and my step-dad had some jobs he had to do, so he went out.

Apparently there was a bit of water on the kitchen floor which mum didn’t see. She skidded in it and went down with a bang on the floor. Unusually, my step-dad was out for longer than normal as he had also called in to see one of my sisters. When he came back Mum was on her hands and knees in the kitchen where she had been for 3 hours.

She is rather well-covered is my mum and my step-dad couldn’t get her up, coupled with that she was in a tremendous amount of pain. An ambulance was called, mum and Len (my step-dad) went to the hospital where it transpired Mum had broken her hip and would require surgery.

She didn’t actually get operated on until the evening after she was admitted for one reason or another, but she never complained at all. When she came home, initially she would use a wheelchair which either Len or I would bump about, carting her around until she could walk, which actually was not that long afterward.

Three months later I gave birth to my daughter and when I came home the next day with precious little bundle, mum was there helping me to bathe her and give me bits of advice.

Unfortunately. I was taken ill myself when my daughter was 2 days old, and I went back into hospital with my daughter, and was there for a week. During this time poor and mum and Len came up every day, wheeling me out for a cigarette and bringing me in home-cooked food (I have always been greedy)!

Despite Mum still waddling unevenly, with her healing hip, she still managed to make the effort to come and see me and make sure me and my daughter were ok.

She is nearly 83 and still hobbling about looking after herself. She is one tough old bird!

I

Episode 216: Mum’s The Word! — March 12, 2015

Episode 216: Mum’s The Word!

On Sunday, here in the UK it is Mother’ s Day. My Mum is quite a character and I have written about her a few times over the last six months, which is no surprise of course, seeing as she is one of the biggest influences in my life! I thought I would share a few more snippets of her wise and wonderful ways!

She is 82 years old, yet refers to both of her neighbours and others younger than her as ‘old ladies’! That always makes me laugh. How old do you have to be before you consider yourself old?

She is the worst ‘re-gifter’ in the world! I think most of the girls in my family have been on the receiving end of something we recognised giving her for a previous birthday or Christmas present!

On a similar theme. She leaves the prices on all the presents and also forgets to label them, so sometimes you open a present which you really like only to have it snatched out of your hand and told it isn’t meant for you! Or worse still, you might get a rather snazzy pair of boxer shorts, which despite most things being unisex these days, some women are not so keen on the front opening!

When you phone her up if she does actually hear it and pick it up, you can barely hear her voice over the racket of the TV. It is positively BLARING! When you go round there, you are almost sent reeling with the assault on your eardrums!

She is one of the best cooks I know! Although my Mum does not do as much baking as she used to, she still makes a damn good roast dinner. As long as you can overlook the fact that the meat might have been cooked the day before and left in the microwave overnight as she put it there to cool down as it ‘is covered’ and then forgot about it!

She has a tissue permanently up her sleeve! What is it with old ladies and their tissues? I thought it was only little kids that had permanently snotty noses, (and they never have a tissue handy preferring to wipe it on whatever is to hand). Every room you go in there will be a crumpled up tissue!

Starts a sentence with, “I don’t want to be a pain but…” and you know you are not going to like what you hear next! She has just done all of her shopping and when you go to put it away she realises that she forgot to get milk or some other necessity that you had reminded her about constantly whilst in the supermarket! Or Another one…. you are all going out somewhere, a few miles away, you are nearly there when she tells you she has ‘forgotten her purse’. You tell her it doesn’t matter but no, you have to go all the way back to get it!

Those are just a few of the little ways my mum has that drive us all mad! However, she has been there for us all at some time or another over the years, and having six children could not have been easy for her, I hope she realises that she is appreciated!

Episode 140: Under My feet… — February 4, 2015

Episode 140: Under My feet…

Mr Grump has had a rare day off work today (he is trying to use up all of his leftover holiday before April)and it is driving me mad! I am enjoying my days off thank you very much and I don’t want them interfered with!

Firstly, he dared to have a lie-in until 8am! Oh yes, it’s alright for some. I was up at bloody dark o’clock as usual (5am) leaving him and the dog snoring happily. He only got up then because I couldn’t find Miss Hap’s phone, and had to wake him up to find out where it was (It turned out it was behind my laptop, oh dear)!

I had asked him yesterday to phone up about my car as it was taken away Monday to be fitted with a catalytic converter by one of his ‘mechanic friends’ (regular readers might remember he resembles ‘Einstein’ with  his wild grey hair and mad professor persona. He apparently couldn’t get through, so I asked him again to do it today.

He huffed and puffed about it, but he has to get up tomorrow to take me to work . so it is to his advantage that I get the car back. He did eventually phone whilst we were in town having a coffee, then had the audacity to show me up, by telling ‘Einstein’ that I was nagging about my car! He didn’t even ask him anything and was off the phone in  no time telling me it will be ready by the end of the week.

Oh that is very helpful! Still I know he will be phoning up every 5 minutes on Friday to see if its ready. Oh yes. I am working at 7.30am Saturday morning, and the Rugby 6 nations is on Friday night, which he wants to watch whilst having a few beers! It is a bit of a grudge match in that England are paying Wales (he is Welsh). No doubt he will be drowning his sorrows when Wales lose and will not be wanting to get up early on Saturday to take me to work).

He then puts his crappy TV on and settles himself down, but luckily my niece came over to visit, and we had a nice girly chat whilst he tried to listen to his programme. He had to go out and start dinner anyway as he had prepared his wonderful ‘cow pie’ and wanted to make sure it was cooked properly!

Once my niece had left  Mr Grump wanted me to finish off making my daughter’s tuna pasta salad (she won’t eat the pie).  Normally he doesn’t like help in the kitchen and I was cross because I had just got myself comfy in my pyjamas.

I reluctantly ventured into the kitchen. to see to the pasta salad. I couldn’t get the stupid mayonnaise out of the squeezy bottle, so I shook it viciously, clouted it a couple of times…..and ended up spraying it all over my hair, face and pyjamas as it spurted flatulently out of the bottle……I wish he would bugger off back to work!!!

Episode 76: An Unexpected Treat! — December 15, 2014

Episode 76: An Unexpected Treat!

Miss Hap came home from her Nanny’s yesterday afternoon after spending the night there, and informed me that she HAD to make some cupcakes that very evening. I asked what the urgency was and she told me that her class had actually made them in school last week and as she had forgotten her ingredients she was unable to participate, but she needed to make them, and take a picture in order for her to be able to complete her course work.

I was quite cross as she had told me she was making cup cakes THIS week! We even had all  the ingredients ready for once as well! Honestly, that girl is more scatter-brained than I am and that is saying something! (I had to go to a training course one day whilst I was on annual leave, and turned up a day early to be greeted with a dark and locked training room)! .

Anyway, although we did have the ingredients, we had no cupcake cases. Mr Grump was already out so I phoned him to pick some up, which he was delighted about, and meanwhile, I got out the bits and pieces needed to make the cakes. My daughter was to make these all by herself with NO help from me whatsoever! Now, I have mentioned before in Episode 70 that I am concerned about letting Miss Hap loose on certain things like certain chores and cooking, due to her tendency to be a little bit accident prone, and I was worried about things getting broken or her getting burnt! However,she is 11 now, my little sister lets her do it, fellow bloggers have advised me that she is old enough to do it, and school insists that she does do it, I have to curb the control instinct and let her get on with it!

Luckily for me, the cupcakes were made using the all-in-one method, so it didn’t matter that she is (like me) heavy-handed! She carefully and meticulously weighed out her ingredients a few grams at a time until she had the exact amount, and the finished mixture had a lovely consistency, in no time at all. We had the cases now so she arranged them in the baking tin, ensuring that she used all of the coloured cases. The mix was enough for six cakes so she doled it out equally, and made a good job of it.

I made her check the cakes to see that they were ready and she prodded the top to ensure that they were. I was roped in to help make the butter cream icing once she weighed out the ingredients and I said I would start her off. Of course I made a hell of a mess; the icing sugar went everywhere as I tried to beat it in. Anyway, Miss Hap wanted to decorate the cakes which I was happy for her to do.

The end results looked  so lovely I had to have one. I was impressed, she is obviously much more capable than I give her credit for.

Episode 64: A Little Bit of Dirt Never Killed Anybody…. — December 3, 2014

Episode 64: A Little Bit of Dirt Never Killed Anybody….

I received a phone call from Miss Hap today during her lunch break at school to let me know that there is a Craft Fair on Friday at school and “you have got to make some gingerbread men biscuits”.  Oh great! Well I have to give her credit for telling me a little in advance, normally it is at bedtime the night before she has to take something home-made into school. (I know some supermarkets do a lovely range of ‘home-made’ cakes etc but it does seem a bit naughty to do that; However needs must, and I have done it in the past)!

Anyway, as it is my day off today, and not only have I got the ingredients (and more importantly the recipe) for the gingers, but I actually enjoy making them (along with mince pies, that is about my festive repartee). I have already made the dough, and whilst that is ‘chilling’ in the fridge, I get a bit of time to myself to reflect on how different I am from my mum in the kitchen, I was thinking about Mum and what a fantastic cook she is, although nowadays she doesn’t bake so much. However, in her baking heyday some of her practices in the kitchen left a little to be desired…..

Two funny stories come to mind. the first one was when mum was making her famous ‘rock cakes’. Now, they were not ALWAYS as hard as rock as the name implies, and she put currants or something in them as well, so they were quite tasty for a Sunday afternoon tea. This particular day she made the cakes with her usual method, chucking a bit of this in, sprinkling in a pinch of that, then a dollop of something else for good measure. Once cooked they looked lovely and golden brown and she turned them out onto the wire rack to cool for a bit.

My younger sister and I were there when she decided to have a little ‘taster’ and she bit off a huge chunk from a cake.

“Mmmm these are lovely” (Self-recommendation is no praise, but Mum was proud of her cooking). As I looked up at Mum I was horrified; there were loads of ants crawling around her mouth, my sister had noticed as well. We were screeching and pointing but Mum had realised something was not right, and she rushed over to the sink to spit out the cake, and brush away the ants that she had not ingested!  It transpired that Mum’s wire rack was kept in the little alcove under the kitchen sink, and she had not washed it (how the hell she didn’t notice the ants all over it is anybody’s guess)! Well needless to say we went cakeless, and had something else!

The other occasion, was a dinner Mum was cooking for the family. She had made a gorgeous stew, and was preparing the dumplings to go with it, which she cooked in the pot with the stew. She went to one of the cupboards and got out her little box where she kept, her margarine, butter and lard. Anyway, she made the dumplings, but as I watched her , I said that they didn’t look right (Mrs Expert Chef poking her nose in)! Needless to say she took no notice of me, and half an hour later we all sat down for our lovely dinner. I took one mouthful of dumpling, and the rank taste hit me; the dumpling was expelled straight away.as I retched and heaved. Some of the others followed suit but the slow starters sat there stunned; dinner was ruined. That fat she used had been sitting opened in the packet for God knows how long, and was well and truly off! Mum told us to eat the stew anyway just leave the dumplings, but everyone’s appetite had suddenly disappeared!

I remember those two occasions so well, as my Mum never understood why we all made such a fuss about everything being clean, or that food was not past it’s ‘sell-by date’! Myself, plus some of my brothers and sisters used to go through the fridge and cupboards and sure enough there were tins there from  5 years previously (“tins last forever”), bottles where the date had rubbed off, or perhaps even before they dated foods, unwrapped food in the fridge, cooked and raw meat stored in close proximity, and condiments from the ark! Anything that was in the fridge was edible according to mum regardless of how long it had been in there!

I suppose growing up when food was rationed, they were not so picky about what they ate, being grateful to have anything. Also I have seen her trying  to sneak an errant spud in the roasting tin that had fallen on the floor when she strained them in the pan. Again, anything that went on the floor got either rinsed or brushed off and put on the plate! After all, “A little bit of dirt never killed anyone” and me, and my siblings have the cast iron stomachs to prove it!

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