The Lake Keeper

I’m trying something new, I’ve dabbled with fiction here and there on this blog, and the recent November Blogging challenge made me realise that I enjoyed the freedom a simple prompt can bring. So, let’s see how it goes. The post is written in response to a prompt from Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #24 โ€” Lake. It was always known as the Lake Keepers cottage when I was growing up, although I never recalled seeing anyone living there, just the occasional signs of people passing through, more bothy than home. Most of the Lake Keepers kept to their boats, all the better to do their job, so as I walked nearby early one morning I was startled to …

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The Blip

I’m standing in the room. It’s a room I’ve heard described by many others but here I am, finally. I can’t quite believe what’s happening, it feels surreal, like I’m still in a dream, which is oddly apt I suppose. The message was waiting for me when I woke, as I rose from my bed the everyscreen on the wall chirruped its notification and up popped the message “YOUR BLIP DAY IS HERE” in the official corporament lettering, large and bold in the middle of the screen. It’s odd seeing something you’ve seen so often before, all those images posted to social feeds over and over, suddenly there in front of you, on your screen, in your reality, in front …

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Deck the halls

It is December, let the festive season begin! There are many parts of this time of year that I enjoy, the sparkly lights that make the darkness a little more bearable, the abundance of hot chocolate options, stodgy foods, and the fact that for many of us it’s a holiday and a chance to have a few days off with few expectations. It is a time for friends and family, first and foremost. After that, if you are lucky enough, there is simply a few days of doing comparably nothing except staying warm and eating too much food. This year, as we have for the last few years, my family are limiting the number of presents we buy. None of …

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November challenges

November is over and I no longer need to write a new post every day. It’s finished, done, finito. Looking back at what I’ve published and there are some posts in there that I’m pretty proud of, and others that I’m well aware I cobbled together even though I didn’t really have the motivation. But it was a month long challenge and I did it. Kudos and self fives to me! It’s been a long time since I did something like this; it’s one thing blogging to a schedule as I did in 2018 (3 posts a week), quite another to do it every single day. To that end, having a list of titles provided was more liberating than I …

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Politics

The UK is facing a general election, driven by a vote two years ago that saw the UK vote for something they didn’t understand, that wasn’t defined, and still isn’t. In the US, the President is facing impeachment, having lied, blustered, and stoked hatred at every turn. And today I’ve to write about politics? Back in the UK the current ruling party have been directly to blame for austerity and the death of those at the margins of our society, homelessness has risen, the NHS has been decimated, amongst other measures, whilst the self-serving, insufferable, uncaring, leaders of the party continue to perpetuate a vicious dereliction of compassion. It’s hard to consider politics as it should be when these days …

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Religion

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. I can still recite this prayer, word for word, despite not having actively set foot inside a church for the best part of 30 years. I’m not sure if that is awe-inspiring (the power of the human mind!) or terrifying (mind washed chanting), but there you have it. My childhood was dominated by time spent in the church and in the church halls. Sunday School before the main service on a Sunday morning, Saturday clubs, and the Boys Brigade, all meant that for a while I spent most of my ‘organised’ leisure time there. It was great fun, aside from the boring God stuff of course. I also joined Scripture …

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Hope

Isn’t the world a wonderful place? Aren’t these trees, that grass, those bushes and flowers, amazing in so many ways? Is there anything better than a baby smiling at you? Or the perpetual joy with which your dog greets you when you get home, every night? It’s very easy to look at the world we live in today with negativity. It’s overwhelming at times, a constant barrage of awful news, or pain and suffering, of disease and decay, of natural disasters, and man-made catastrophes. In the UK the headlines serve only to inform us of the corrupt and dishonesty that our political system is built upon, in the US a white nationalist moron is President, and round the world evil …

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Loss

The hurt of loss, the longing of one, the distance from those, the untouchable. I wrote those words a long time ago. Time is a great healer yet those who have lost loved ones will know, all too well, that it only takes a tiny moment to bring memories snapping back into vivid view in a heartbeat, all to remind you once again of the gap they have left in your life. It hurts, and while that hurt softens it never leaves you. I can’t really remember all that much about my Grandpa passing. He’d been ill most of my life, suffering a number of strokes that left him in a wheelchair and able to speak. He remained a presence …

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Shoes

There is an old joke that goes: “Before you judge a person, walk a mile in their shoes. After that who cares? They’re a mile away and you’ve got their shoes.” Badummtshhh! It is, of course, a riff on the idiom that is typically stated as “Before you judge a person, walk a mile in their shoes” the idea being that you shouldn’t judge people until you better understand their life experiences, the challenges they carry every day, and how they view the world. It’s about developing empathy and perspective or, to put it another way, it’s about learning to manage your own emotions. To wit, the shoes in question don’t really matter (history suggests the idiom originates with native …

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Money

I don’t like talking about money. I find it similar to discussing religion or politics, it’s can be a very divisive topic and you can soon find yourself dragged into the long grass as emotions start to kick in. I mostly don’t like talking about it because I’ve not been that great with money for a long time and, whilst I’m lucky to earn a steady wage, there is always an element of shame in admitting this. Over the past couple of years, and especially in the last year, I’ve wisened up and gotten a much better handle on both my spending habits (top tip: start here!) and started to reduce my debt, debt I’ve been carrying for a long …

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