Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck #FlashFiction Friday Flash Fiction 500 2018 – Biodegradable by Janet Gogerty

Today Sally Cronin makes her third choice from my archives with a topical flash fiction I had fun writing.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post:https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the third of the  posts that I have selected from the archives of author Janet Gogerty. This week I have chosen a short story by Janet, which will give you an idea of what you might expect from her collections that are available on Amazon. At the moment the topic of plastic shopping bags is very much in the news… and here is an alternative!!

 Friday Flash Fiction 500 – Biodegradable by Janet Gogerty

Cauldrons bubbled, paddles stirred, pumps rose and fell. The dye selector scurried along seeking indigo and sunflower to make that special shade of green…

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Escape to [another] Country

My local writer, blogger and REMAINER friend expresses what many of us feel and I know most of our US blogger friends will not be offended as they are enduring mirror feelings of disbelief and anger with their leaders.

Anecdotage

On Monday we are to escape this troubled isle for a couple of weeks. For although the current political squabbles in the UK are akin to observing a satirical comedy there will be some relief to be away from it all for a while.

Underneath the farcical antics of our politicians, however there is a ghastly, seeping horror of gradual decline; while they continue to wrangle, argue, bluster, lie and boast, most of us are powerless to intervene, still less to mitigate.

We know what our closest neighbours think. The Dutch, especially are incredulous at the decision of [some of] us to leave the European family. The French have held up their hands: ‘Zut alors!’ and then washed them of us-and who can blame them?

And then there is the USA. Those who’ve squawked about ‘slavery’ in a ridiculous diatribe about the EU [the increasingly mad witch-like Anne Widecombe] seem…

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Silly Saturday – Anon-E-Mouse

Today a poem from a guest blogger.

 

Droning On

 

I’m a drone

All alone

In the zone

Not a clone.

Sky above

Land below

Check speed

Too slow.

Follow the shore

Nothing more

Nothing before

Coast I saw.

Sky is blue

Land is green

I have view

I have seen.

Sea to port

Land to starboard

Check speed

Move forward

I’m a drone

All alone

Go this way

To survey

Coastline clear

Oceans near

I am here

With no fear.

I can fly

Up in the sky

I don’t know why

I am a spy.

Coastline clear

I can steer

Test my gear

Land is near.

Red port left

Starboard right

Mountains now

In my sight.

I am here

I was there

Am I a drone

Am I alone?

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Read more about the poet here

https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/friday-flash-fiction-digital-dialogue-droning-on/

sunshine-blogger

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Flash Fiction – Digital Dialogue – Droning On

What do you mean it’s gone AWOL?

We lost contact half an hour ago Prof.

Are you telling me Dianne, that we have lost our most advanced drone?

Not lost, just lost contact.

That is impossible, D1NA has the latest failsafe devices… we’ll have to contact the Ministry of  Defence, what was the last location?

North Wales coast, but he… I mean it, could be forty miles away by now.

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Hmm… hang back from contacting the MOD; at the altitude we set he should be well below any commercial or military flight paths. Besides, the new intelligent intervention software enables this drone to change its set course to avoid going within 500 meters of any aviation from swans to airbuses.

It could be the new software that’s the problem Prof, he… er it, can think.

Of course it doesn’t think, even the most advanced androids do not think, they merely process the data we give them.

But how does that account for the fact that, along with the ordnance survey of the coastline from Portsmouth to Anglesey, we also received a poem.

Is this your idea of a joke Diane, or are you trying to tell me someone has sabotaged the project, some environmental protester joker?

That’s what I thought at first, I was working on it, didn’t want to blame any of the team till I had evidence. There is no evidence, so I was sure today’s project was safe.

So what the hell went wrong?

D1NA made a bid for freedom; we have to understand how his mind works so we can persuade him to continue his plotting of the coastline till he arrives safely back at Portsmouth.

Dianne, you are the brightest of my interns so you of all people should know it does not have a mind, the only thinking going on is in this room and I have to take full responsibility. I have no choice but to inform the MOD; if they do manage to spot our drone they will have to bring it down before it poses any threat to aviation.

But we can’t let our amazing creation be destroyed, please let’s have one more attempt at establishing contact… oh that’s strange, are you seeing what I’m seeing on the screen Prof?

Sabotage?

No, D1NA has started  his own blog, ten minutes ago, hang on, he’s not quite that clever, he’s a guest on someone else’s blog Silly Saturday – Anon-E-Mouse…

Dianne, I’m calling the rest of the team in, I think you need a break, call it a day and go home.

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 There was chaos at Scottish airports today as all flights were grounded after at least half a dozen sightings of a drone deemed to be compromising aircraft safety.

sunshine-blogger

 Find out if a drone can blog

at Silly Saturday here

https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com/2019/07/13/silly-saturday-anon-e-mouse/

 

 

Class Pets

Did you have a class pet? Pete Springer was inspired by my archive blog, shared by Sally Cronin on Monday, to write about his teaching years. There is a picture of the most adorable rat who English readers will recognise as Roland Rat!

Pete Springer

Who could resist that face?

I recently enjoyed reading writer Janet Gogerty’s entertaining post entitled Llamas and Labradoodles on Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Blog Magazine.   https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-writerspets-llamas-and-labradoodles-2017-by-janet-gogerty/

Janet’s
thoughts got me thinking about my own experiences with animals when I was an
elementary teacher in California. Many
years my students had the joy of caring for animals in our classroom. (I taught thirty-one years in grades 2-6.)

I was rummaging around in the garage the other day (anything to distract me from my current project of painting the interior of the house) and came across the twin-level cage that was the home for many of the rats we raised.  It is now rusty and showing wear, but at the time I felt like our rats had it pretty good—as good as rats can have it.

My classroom rat cage.

Not only was
it fun to have a class pet, but the…

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Going To The Dentist.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that most people don’t want to go to the dentist. It is also true there is nothing worse than toothache, so there are occasions when you may be glad to visit. Another mystery is why anyone would want to BE a dentist, but that’s for another blog (perhaps a blogging dentist.)

Dental tales abound among three groups of people; those who never go to the dentist, those who will travel miles to visit the one and only dentist they trust in the whole world and those who change dentists as often as their clothes. The last group doesn’t always reflect on the dentist; how many of us put off going for a check up, then are too embarrassed to face our dentist; you can’t fake it for he will look up his records…

‘Sorry I missed my last check up.’

‘It’s actually eight years since you were last here…’

So we seek out a new dentist who must go through the whole procedure – dictating to his assistant in a strange language.

4 upper missing, 6 right lower decay, front left 7 amalgam, back lower 15 gold crown…

Just put this sharp piece of plastic in your mouth so we can take an XRay…  and the other side, open even wider for this extra large piece of plastic. Okay, that’s all for today

Sigh of relief.

Make an appointment for next week for three fillings and a three hour appointment in a fortnight to remove those four teeth…

I knew someone who would ring round dentists asking ‘Do you knock people out?’

The answer is usually No as dentists do not want to be responsible for a patient dying under general anaesthetic.

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My frequent attendance at dentists as a child was through no fault of my parents, except genetically. I was not allowed to have ice lollies, only ice cream, sweets carefully rationed. It was the orthodontist I had to visit at nine years old. At the time it was thought it was necessary to act quickly before it was too late, but nowadays plenty of adults have their teeth straightened and braces are an accessory.

I had teeth too large and too many to fit in my mouth; nearly a dozen first and second teeth had to be removed to give the remaining teeth room to grow straight. In those days cocaine was something injected into your gum at the dentist, the local anaesthetic. There was also gas, general anaesthetic. I sampled both, how it was decided I don’t know; I recall gas required the dentist to have a doctor present. The first time I was to have gas I walked into the room and was horrified to see a huge tank with a large skull and cross bones on. My first sensation on waking up was feeling the dentist was trying to yank my mouth open.

In between all this I wore a single wire on my teeth, a removable plate. Visits to the orthodontist were to tighten the wire, a cause for aching mouth during the night, but probably not as sore as after tooth extraction.

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Why do we have such fear of dentists?  People unlucky with ill health or accident have surely endured much worse suffering. Perhaps it is because it is our head, an intrusion into the part of our body we need for speaking and more vitally, breathing. We can’t talk or protest. I’ve had three caesareans and two carpal tunnel operations awake; lying helpless in the dentist’s chair is definitely more daunting.

But don’t be scared, it’s not really that bad. A handy hint; the older the building, the narrower the wooden staircase, the higher up the winding stairs you go, the better the dentist.  My current dentist is in an edgy part of town, a nice young man at the very top of the building, unlike my previous dentist he discusses everything with you first. I had a tooth out on Monday, it’s not fun having the first needle go in, but better than the alternative! Luckily he asked if I could still feel anything – YES – so he gave me a third shot.

Tell us your best – or worst dental story.

sunshine-blogger

 

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #PotLuck #writerspets – Llamas and Labradoodles 2017 by Janet Gogerty

This is the second of my blogs to be shared by Sally Cronin at Smorgasbord – in this series she dips into the archives of fellow bloggers.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post:https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the second of the  posts that I have selected from the archives of author Janet Gogerty. We are currently pet less, but certainly the one dog that we did have made a huge pawprint on our lives and did inspire a book all about himself. Do you have a pet that lies across your keyboard or has inspired you to write?

Llamas and Labradoodles 2017 by Janet Gogerty

Image pixabay.com

Help, I need a llama.

Most writers would rather not be seen or heard, but just read. Unfortunately readers are unlikely to read your books if they don’t know…

View original post 871 more words

Silly Saturday – How to Cheat at Wimbledon

No, not how to cheat playing tennis at Wimbledon…

Nor how to cheat your way to the front of the queue the night before the gates open at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, or how to get a cheap ticket for Centre Court on Finals Day…

I have been to Wimbledon the railway station ( many times ), the town hall ( amateur dramatics ), but not the tennis. How do you cheat at Wimbledon without going there?

My best Wimbledon was played when I was at junior school. Our friends round the corner had six children in their family. The eldest girl no longer a child, but a sophisticated ( to my eyes ) teenager at the local secondary modern. One year she was going with the school to Wimbledon and had made her own tennis racquet brooch, properly strung with cotton sewing thread; a perfect miniature that fitted in the palm of her hand. The excitement filtered down through sister two and sister three, my best friend and with wooden racquets we played tennis in the middle of our little road. The sophisticated game consisted of seeing how many times we could hit the ball back and forth without dropping it; no referees, no losers.

Learning tennis at high school was quite fun and a friend and I cycled to a Saturday morning tennis club, where the height of our achievement was a certificate for doing 20 forehands and 20 backhands in a row.

green tennis ball on court
Photo by Bogdan Glisik on Pexels.com

For most adults, tennis means watching Wimbledon on television. This is where some of us have to cheat. I dread the frequent question at this special fortnight of the summer. Not how is your novel going or have you been busy in the garden but

‘Have you been watching the tennis?’

I cringe in shame, I could simply say NO, but find myself apologising… not yet or just caught the end of er um oh how about that fifteen year old who beat Serena or was it Venus.

It is very difficult to cheat at watching tennis on television, you cannot pretend you watched Venus Williams being beaten by Coco Gauff; even if you get the names right you need to recount how play went. You cannot claim to have watched avidly every day without knowing every name, who played who and for how long. Some people book their annual leave so they can watch it all properly, so why don’t I get around to viewing?

Perhaps the protestant work ethic, watching television during the day? Or the sunshine; I may live one hundred miles from Wimbledon, but if it’s sunny there it will probably be sunny at home and how could I stay indoors on a nice day. I have tried to watch, I like the notion of tennis and have a fair idea of what they are supposed to be doing; hitting the ball before it hits the court or not hitting the ball before it lands outside the court. It is exciting when players make horizontal leaps and lob the ball two inches over the net, five yards from their opponent. But you have to concentrate; don’t tackle a complicated knitting pattern, sneak a look at your smart phone, doze off, or pop to the kitchen to make a sandwich, for you will miss the shock defeat or the fastest volley in history.

If you have not been glued to teletennis you can cheat by catching up with the sport highlights on television in the evening. Write down the relevant names and scores and memorise them so at work the next day when someone asks if  you saw the tennis you can reply

‘Did you see Selina Kalashnikov in that last set?’

sunshine-blogger

 

Have you been watching Wimbledon?

Have you been there for real?

 

 

 

Friday Flash Fiction – Reaching The Moon

For a moment he couldn’t remember where he was, not unusual as he was increasingly losing touch with reality. The long June days and sudden spell of sunshine had made the short nights warm and dry and he had been sleeping better. If an alcohol and drug induced coma could be called sleep.

Churchyard, graveyard, still above the ground; that’s where he was, for weeks, or months perhaps. He turned his head with difficulty, had the other two already gone? It wasn’t always easy to tell. His dreams were hard to recall, staring up at the full moon in the clear sky, that could be real, but there was a little girl who loved the moon. He read her favourite moon stories; bears who couldn’t sleep looking up at the moon, daughters who asked their daddies to give them the moon. Jono hadn’t given her the moon, or much at all. His daughter, that’s right, he had a daughter once. Moon stories was all he could remember; when did he leave or was it they who left? Such a long time ago.

Christmas, he gave her a moon book. Christmas was for children. Christmas was for shelter, how many. One year they found his sister, the last person he wanted to see, he left before she could come and fetch him, left before he had even had his feet seen to. After that he just made up his name and now he didn’t even recall what his real name was.

Jono did not even recall what his daughter’s name had been. Grown up now, did she go to the moon, had anyone been back to the moon since that first time on his tenth birthday? A ladder to the moon, he told the little girl daughter he would find the longest ladder in the world and they would climb to the moon, not tell anybody, be back by morning.

People, so many people going in the church, but not Jono, he never went in there in case they wanted to help him. Most people ignored him, but do-gooders wouldn’t leave you alone. He struggled to stand, good thing about gravestones, they helped you up… one day they would push him down.

Jono found his feet taking him up the stone steps, with the people, excitement, chatter, something was happening; happening to the church, to the people going in or to him. Mostly he looked at the ground, but today something made him look up and there it was, the Moon, hanging there motionless, hanging above them all. How could it be inside the church instead of up in the sky?

At last he had fetched his daughter the Moon, but how could he show her? There she was, a little girl, but there was another child and another, how could he tell which one was his. Looking up made him dizzy, he sat in a pew and drifted into a moon dream.

29

‘A moon in the church?’ said Chris.

‘Yes, I saw it on Facebook, we must go and look, some kind of art installation, but it’s accurate, NASA and all that scientific stuff. I used to love the moon when I was little, that’s the only thing I can remember about my father, reading to me at bedtime. He said if he couldn’t find a ladder long enough to reach the moon I would have to wait till I was grown up and become an astronaut.’

Chris laughed. ‘My mother thought we would be living on the moon in the Twenty First Century.’

28

The church was humming, everyone looking up; a real moon suspended above the nave, huge, still and silent except for the Apollo voices and moon music. She was surprised how affected she was and hoped Chris wouldn’t rush her. They took pictures, posted them on Instagram and Facebook.

Chris was ready to go, they were meeting friends for lunch, she paused halfway down the aisle, whispered to him.

‘That old tramp, do you think he’s alright, he looks like he might be dead.’

‘Come on, we’ll be late for the others, he’s probably out of his head on drugs. Always a few homeless sleeping in the churchyard. One of their street team can sort him out.

 

Inspired by Museum Of The Moon

https://my-moon.org/about/

Read more about my visit to the moon here.

https://www.ccsidewriter.co.uk/chapter-five-beach-writer-s-blog/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beachwriter’s Blog

sunshine-blogger

There is plenty to enjoy living by the sea, even if you never set a toe in the water. But there is so much to do involving seawater that it’s a shame if you don’t dip your toes or whole body in.

You need nothing if you have a naturist beach nearby or you can go to the other extreme and encase you body in a wet suit and acquire lots of equipment.

Paddling is the first introduction for most of us to the ocean and waves, warm and soothing at low tide on a sunny day, cold and daring at high tide on a windy day.

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But swimming is the ultimate, leaving the land to which you are bound, seeing the coast from a different view point. On a hot day with the sun sparkling on the ripples it is bliss, on colder days it’s invigorating with the initial shock turning to a burning glow. I have never worn a wet suit, assuming it would take away the feeling of freedom and more importantly I don’t think I could manage to pull one on, let alone peel it off again.

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A beach hut doesn’t involve water and many enjoy sitting outside their huts with the kettle boiling enjoying the view and watching the world go by. On a hot summer weekend the whole world does go past your beach hut if you are on the promenade, so a snooze in peace is unlikely. But for the swimmer a beach hut is a great luxury, even if it’s only a six foot wooden box – six foot square, not the six foot long other kind of wooden box. You don’t have to lug your towels, folding chairs, buckets and spades and wind breaks down to the beach each time and you have somewhere to get changed.

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Renting our little square of concrete from the council (we own the hut ) is not cheap, but probably cheaper than the many sea sports which involve getting all the gear. From paddle boarding on a calm day to owning your own sailing boat there are many ways to be on the ocean. For some, their boat is a part of family life just as a dog is for other families. I am a touch envious of people who can sail over and drop anchor just off Studland Beach, a lovely stretch of natural coast unspoiled by groynes or promenades, it also includes the nudist beach. The rest of us face a slow bus trip or drive across the conurbation of Bournemouth and Poole and a £4.50 trip on the chain ferry ( £1 for pedestrians and bikes ). But a boat owner told me the trouble with owning a boat is, you feel compelled to go out in it if the weather is good, so you never get to do other things on a sunny day.

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If you are adventurous you can go surfing – big board, kite surfing – little board or wind surfing. All of them involve falling in the sea a lot and being watched by other people and photographers. These sports also involve lugging around equipment and spending ages getting ready and deciding if the wind or waves are right.

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So I shall stick to swimming; after the days of torrential rain and changeable weather, I finally had my first swim of the year on Saturday. Sea temperature 16 degrees. It was lovely, but there is one piece of equipment I would like; a waterproof camera for a real sea view.

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Visit my website for more coastal views.

https://www.ccsidewriter.co.uk/chapter-two-coastal-views/

Some of the stories in Times and Tides are set at the seaside.