Friday 24 April 2020

Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge: Outdoor Ways to Move Up and Down

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Outdoor ways to move up or down

I don't know why the ladder is on the ceiling on this pub. 

Whee! down the dry ski slope.

Thursday 16 April 2020


It's time for our bi-monthly challenge.  Here are the short guidelines for anybody who wants to join in or read talented writers' entries.

1. SUBMIT your name to the list below on the publication of your entry. Add DL after your name. (DirectLink) We will no longer add your Direct Link.
2. POST your edited entry, making sure 'WEP' is in the TITLE along with the Antique Vase badge within your entry.
3. STATE feedback preferences and word count at the end of your entry.
4. READ other entries, giving feedback if requested.
5. SHARE THE CHALLENGE on social media. Tweets are ready on the WEP blog.
PLEASE NOTE: ENTRIES CLOSE April 18 (NY Time - check WEP blog clock)
ALL GENRES WELCOME except erotica - 1,000 words maximum 

FURTHER ENQUIRIES: and leave a comment or email: or contact Renee at

Here is my entry:

*** there is a short description at the end of British ‘old money’ i.e. pre-dissimilation (pre-1971). ****


‘Good morning, Mrs. Davis.’

‘Morning, Mrs. Powell,’ replied Hetty.

‘It’s a nice morning.’

‘Yes, it is.  I’ll soon have these weeds out!’  

Hetty sighed inwardly and turned back to her garden in the hope her nosy neighbour would take the hint and return to her own house.  No such luck.

‘Your blue vase isn’t in the window anymore.  I could have sworn I saw it in the shop window for 2/6d when I was in town the other day.’

Was that a slight sneer she heard in Mrs. Powell’s voice?  Straightening up, Hetty looked her neighbour in the eye.  

‘I’ve moved it, so it doesn’t fade with the sun.’

Mrs. Powell sniffed and shuffled away towards her own front door.

Hetty fumed over the exchange for the rest of the morning.  What business was it of that old biddy’s where her blue vase was?  She swiped away a lone tear.  It had been a tough decision to sell it to Falstaff Antiques in the nearby town but she’d needed the money to pay the coal man and the rent was due at the end of the week. Then she thought about the price old man Falstaff had paid her and what it was in the window for.  Fred wouldn’t notice it had gone.  It wasn't his fault that his work had dried up.  He was walking in to town to see a man about a job today.  Hetty only hoped he returned with good news.  Back indoors she took the bread dough, which had risen nicely, and started to knead it with a vengeance.  A nice crusty loaf with a smattering of home-made gooseberry jam would go down a treat. 

Every so often Hetty thought about her beautiful blue vase.  Every time she went in to town she looked in the antique shop, she browsed the shelves, brushing off the owner’s attempts to sell her some tatty old thing.  She never found her vase.  As the years passed there were more things she had to think about, grandchildren came along, Fred passed away and she had to build her life again.  The vase was never very far from her mind, especially at night when it appeared in her dreams.  Being a very stalwart and practical lady, she didn’t believe she actually heard the words in her dreams. 

Find me
Save me
Bring me home

In the cold light of morning as she raked the ashes out from the grate and re-laid the fire ready to light in the evening, she dismissed such stuff as nonsense.  Her mind was playing tricks on her.

Buy me!
Take me!
Anna heard these two phrases in her dreams, in her every waking moment.  She couldn’t shake them out of her head.

She mentioned it to her husband who just looked at her with disdain.  ‘You’re losing the plot,’ was his response. 

She mentioned it to her best friend who looked at her with a raised eyebrow.

‘Right, really, come on, don’t be stupid.’

She stopped mentioning the voice to others but the voice didn’t stop.  As the weeks went by the thoughts became stronger.  The voice became louder.   It stopped being a whisper, a sibilant hiss permeating her brainwaves, it became urgent, pleading, imploring.

Then one day the voice stopped.  Anna missed hearing those words.  She felt guilty that she had ignored them for all these months.  She got on with her life.

Anna felt the bed shift
She felt her mind drift

Buy me
Take me
Save me

The words shouted in her mind
She desperately tried to find
She groped and searched
As the bed lurched
She gathered her energies
A tickle, a trickle, a soft breeze
Whispers of her name
Calling, again and again

Anna, Anna, Anna

She felt their souls bonding
Their hearts blending
A joyous merging
Driving Anna forward
She quivered
With unexpected emotion
She felt her mind exhibit caution
Caught it on the wind
Intangible as it slipped
Lost like a postscript
Her life passed by in snapshots
Her family caught up in the plots
It happened in milliseconds
Images sparkling like diamonds
But yet others were as dull as dishwater
Some were as light as a feather
Passing by in a blur.

There was nobody she could talk to, everybody laughed at her silly thoughts but she knew, deep down she knew, she had to find this vase.  It was imperative otherwise why would she have these dreams?

On a visit to her Great-Aunt Margaret, who sometimes went off at tangents, their conversation became a little more interesting.  Anna’s ears pricked up.

‘Of course, mother thought we didn’t know she’d sold the vase but we all knew.  It was one of those unspoken family secrets.  Even dad knew – sort of.  We were just grateful she kept us fed and warm every day.’

Great-Aunt Margaret pointed to her bookcase.  ‘Take that photo album down dear, for me please.’

Anna complied with her wishes and passed the album over, surreptitiously wiping the dust off the cover with her sleeve.

‘Pfft, a bit of dust didn’t hurt anybody.’

Her Great-aunt was still sharp with eagle eyes.  Anna smiled.

Turning the pages, she stopped at a photo.

There it was.

The blue vase.

The family heirloom as was.

In the back of her mind Anna heard the plaintive cry again.

Buy me!
Save me!

Two weeks later Anna was revisiting the quaint little market town near to where her family had lived all those years ago.  She let Ken go and sit in the cafĂ© for a coffee, he would be quite happy ensconced with his Kindle, a cup of coffee and a slice of cake.

There it was.

Falstaff Antiques. 

She knew she had to go in.

She purchased the vase. 

She held it tightly to her chest, breathed a big sigh and felt/heard a responding sigh. 

The whisper came, thank you for bringing me home.

The story of the antique vase will live on in the family.  

Word count: 999

*** Pre-decimal currency (before 1971) was calculated as follows:
  • Threepence = 3d
  • Sixpence = 6d
  • Shilling = 1/-
  • 12 pennies = 1 shilling
  • 20 shillings = £1
  • 240 pennies = £1
  • Florin = 2/-
  • Half Crown = 2/6
  • Crown = 5/-
Prices would be written in pounds, shillings and pennies. For example, an item which cost 9 shillings and 4 pennies would be marked 9/4 in the shops (or could be written 9s 4d). The ‘s’ stood for the Latin word ‘solidus’ and the ‘d’ represented the Latin word ‘denarius’

Friday 10 April 2020

Cee's Black and White Photo Challenge - Anything with a Motor or an Engine

It's time for Cee's Black and White Challenge.

This week Cee has challenged us to find photos (probably from our archives) that denotes Anything with a Motor or an Engine.

To join in:

Here is my entry for this week:
Steam train

1012 7hp Blackstone Oil Engine

Tractor showing the engine

Propeller and engine

Mounted on springs

Wednesday 8 April 2020

Hodgepodge Wednesday 8 April 2020

It's time for the weekly Hodgepodge questions and answers, hosted by the lovely Joyce. 

If you want to join in

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 363

1.        How will you celebrate Easter this year?

So very differently from last year when we hosted a family dinner, roast beef and all the trimmings with a home-made raspberry cheesecake for dessert and unusually for Easter the weather was beautiful.

Roast beef, Yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings

Home-made Raspberry cheesecake

This year it will just be hubby and myself.  I’ll be ringing my family.

Oh, we might indulge in an Easter Egg or two.

2.       Is it easier for you to receive grace offered or extend grace to another? Explain.

Not quite sure whether I’ve ever received grace but I always try to extend grace to others.
I think the word ‘grace’ means something different to me.

 I had an aunt whose name was Grace, a lovely lady.
My granddaughter’s name is Grace, a lovely young lady who will turn 16 in June, but although she is lovely and beautiful and kind hearted, unfortunately, she is not very graceful.  Hopefully she still has time to achieve this – she’s nearly 6’ tall and towers above me.

3.      Do you say grace before meals? If so, do you have a standard dinnertime grace or is it more 'off the cuff’? Do you say grace when dining out? Do you have a favourite grace? Any special memory associated with 'saying grace'?

Sorry, folks never have said grace before meals.

4.     What are some challenges you think the next generation will face? (Generation Alpha-born between 2011 and 2025)

Oh my, this could turn in to quite an essay but I think I’ll just say I’m pretty worried about the next generation and all the challenges they will be facing.

5.      Share a favourite quote or lyric featuring the word faith.

I don’t have a favourite quote or a lyric but I certainly have faith in my love for my husband, faith in my family and my love for them and faith that ‘somehow’ we will all survive this horrible and unprecedented time we are all going through. 

My grandmother’s name was Faith, a hard-working, loyal, faithful woman who didn’t have an easy life or much money. 

Along with looking after her father and elder brother from the age of 13 after her mother passed away, she married at 16.

She looked after her invalid husband and then her youngest son who became bedridden in his late 20’s until he passed aged 50.  She lived in the same village all her life – it was more of a hamlet really although it boasted a pub and a church.

At age 16 she had long ginger hair.
My grandmother, Faith, at 16 years old

6.      Insert your own random thought here..

I hate putting fuel in my car and will do anything to get somebody else to do it, normally my hubby.   He filled my tank up the week before lock down and that tankful of fuel will last us for the next six months as I’m only going out once a week to collect groceries.

Friday 3 April 2020

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Wheels

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Wheels

This week our topic is Wheels.  

The steam engine with its wheel

Close up of a wheel from the above steam engine

A mill stone set into a wall of a house

A wooden wheel probably from a farm cart

Wheel on a stretcher WW1 from Margate Museum 

Wednesday 1 April 2020

Hodgepodge 1st April 2020

Every week Joyce poses five questions and the sixth question is for our own random thought.

     1.     Has spring sprung in your part of the world? How can you tell? Did March come in like a lion where you live? Going out like a lamb or something more ferocious?

On Sunday we had all four seasons in that one day, coinciding with moving the clocks forward one hour.   We started with rain, turning to sleet and then big snowflakes fell gently.  A couple of hours later we had a hail storm and in the afternoon, the sun shone through the window showing all the dust (see Q3).

We seem to be a bit behind this year in the UK.  The tree branches are still bare but I have primroses in my garden, a lovely splash of yellow and it always reminds of my youth when I and the other children in the village would go primrose picking over the fields which were then bundled up with wool and sent by train to Covent Garden in London. 

2.     The last thing that caused you to spring to your feet?

A huge black spider running across the living room floor.
My husband jumped out of his skin as I squealed, well I thought I squealed he said I ‘screamed like a girl.’  He came to the rescue with a jam jar and coaster and putting the beast outside.  My hero xx

3.     Do you have a spring clean to-do list? What's one chore on the list you've already managed to accomplish? What spring clean chore do you most dread?

I don’t have a list, although our daughter (who is on lockdown in New Zealand) sent me a list she was sent – it makes me feel a little guilty but not enough to buckle down and get on with them. 

I think the worst would be skirting boards and coving.

This is the list she sent!

4.    Tell us something you've learned about yourself or the wider world as a result of social distancing/the virus crisis.

How lovely and helpful family, friends and strangers are whilst we are sequestered indoors.

Our local Indian restaurant/takeaway shop in our road has been supplying 40 meals for the vulnerable in our street and 40 meals to be transported to our wonderful workers in our local hospital.  Well done them.

5.     Something you love that's the color pink?

Pink roses from hubby.

6.    Insert your own random thought here.

I’ve worn the same pairs of earrings since lockdown.
I haven’t worn any perfume since lockdown.


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Week 3 – Pick a Topic from this Photo

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Week 3 – Pick a Topic from this Photo

Week 3 -Pick a Topic from this Photo

The possible topics from this week’s photo (see photo to the right):  Public transportation, bus, RV, trees, bird, whale, tent, grass, bridge, water, white, green, window, or come up with your own topic.

Here are my photos: