Wednesday 26 December 2012

More on Christmas Past...

I remember my dad sitting at the open stove with me and my sister and shouting up the chimney to Father Christmas. "They've both been good. They want...." Then he'd list things like books, chocolate, and whatever we'd asked for. It was such a magical time. I think we believed he was actually speaking to him because the reply would come back soon after. "okay!" As we got a bit older we noticed Dad's mouth moving ventriloquist fashion and we kind of guessed it had been him all along. But the fun was just as real. We never had turkey. Mum used to buy a large capon and we'd have that with all the trimmings. Funny how I could always manage a full Terry's Orange afterwards...well, later in the afternoon. Now, I just can't face anything other than Christmas dinner and perhaps a cold meat sandwich later. These days I tend to pick at bits of things like left-over roast potatoes, and pickles and crisps. This year the family went out for Christmas lunch. It was very nice, very festive and very filling!

Tuesday 18 December 2012

The Ghost of Christmas Past

I've always loved Charles Dickens' Scrooge, but although I want to talk about Christmas past, it's not the Christmases portrayed by Dickens, but my very own 1965 blast from the past. On waking up on Christmas morning, cold and sleepy, my sister and I would feel at the end of our beds and if we touched lumpy cloth we knew beyond doubt that Father Christmas had been! Our pillowcases were the first sites of exploration. We'd have an apple, a tangerine, chocolate coins, a tube of smarties or Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles, a card game like Happy Families: Mr Bacon anyone? Crayons and colouring books. I have a memory of being about eight years old. I still played with dolls and my main present was a pram (Silvercross style) and a (big) doll. My sister got the same (slight variation) and we called the dolls big dolls, because they were baby sized. Yes, I know babies come in different sizes, especially as they grow a bit, but let's just say I could bounce the doll on my knee like you might a six-month-old baby. We loved and cherished those dolls, proudly walking out with our shiny new prams, along to our auntie's house on Christmas day to show her what fine specimens of dolls we had! I can remember tucking her up (doll) underneath lovely new soft blankets. We didn't get many more presents, not large ones anyway, but what we got was thrilling to us, such as the huge bar of Dairy Milk, kaleidoscope (watch those beads swirl and twirl into colourful patterns), selection box, annual (Bunty for me - Judy for Sis), Monopoly (or some such game). Pretty Peach Avon perhaps? Or was that later on? Bath-salts or cubes to dissolve in frothy warmth on bath-night. People tried so hard to make Christmas special as they still do today. But you know, I'm sort of glad that technology hadn't soared like it has today. I like the memories of dolls and prams and nothing to interfere with a quiet Christmas (except for our squeals of delight). No pings or bells or ringtones. No getting in touch with all and sundry. Just lovely family communication. Now that's what I call Christmas.

Writers' Office Christmas Party

My party begins NOW! Hello to all you writers out there! Happy Christmas! Enjoy a mince pie and a glass of something spicy. It can be quite a lonely time for us writers, especially if we don't have another job to go to. I do have another job, but I'm home at the moment writing my heart out. Some of us live alone, so being in company from time to time, even virtual company is a great help to many. I'll be writing a Christmas piece later. Meanwhile, keep the party-poppers going, and go on, have a slice of Christmas cake! Check out Quillers Place! Sally thought up this wonderful idea.

Friday 14 December 2012

Yet another Submission...

Short story this time to The Weekly News. Whoooo!

Thursday 13 December 2012

One MW pocket Novel Submission in the Bag!

Yes, it's only a sub in the bag, but at least I'll know if it's what they're looking for! First piece I've subbed anywhere for ages. I've started now this space.