her frayed diary told the story of unseen trapdoors and fairy-tale castles in the air

also of her truculent atonement for thieving Ptolemy’s polished iron looking glass

a scribbled note saying just, ‘Sorry’ mailed to Alexandria of yore; no postage stamp


the testament of an angry old god, and journeying the beaten path, well-nigh travelled

allegories the both of them, objectivity her contradiction, truth measured in chronology

recalcitrance her contentious virtue, such were the ways of his blinkered sweet historian


‘a no nonsense gentleman and a fly by night waif, a recipe for romance’ her rule of thumb

that ‘there is a beast in every cul-de-sac; a devil behind each door’ told of her cold sweat life

a tailor-made chronicler of fabrication, of event and substance reinterpreted from times’ annals


as he swept through the pages of her own account of her life a thought smacked him in the face

‘what if she was correct in her ascertains; what if control freak good old me had got it wrong?

what if the dissent of foreign tongue, foreign lands were worthy insurrection, self-preservation?’


that her quest to discover time’s secrets had been her ruin spoilt bloodletting contentious debate

no fist slam upon the table top; no valid point to make; opinion to challenge; conundrum to unravel

she once had said, ‘the written word; first-hand accounts, are timelines storm clouds, nothing more’


later, evening time, still balmy close on the balcony, a shy moon slips out of her reddest sunset frock

he sips from his wine glass, lights up another, wants to fight with her so bad, and she to fight him back

in sadness, it is not to be, all he has of his sweet historian are ‘written words and first-hand accounts’



    1. At least when Shirl and I fight it’s over in five minutes. We developed a system years ago where we exchange vile insults until the point comes when one of us comes up with an insult so bad that it’s funny…problem sorted. Everyone should try it!

      1. Theory! We insult each other every other day…the skill is to come up with the sickest remark…it breaks down barriers like I don’t know what…laughter is all!

    1. The lessons of history tell us that there are no certainties…indeed, the authenticity of history is always debatable…happy 40th anniversary to you both by the way.

  1. Quick index finger to the little blue “like” button one post after another, I wonder if you have any idea that you’re one of my favourite reads. Consistently insightful, quick-witted and deeply imagination. Wonderfully original writing Mike.

    1. Since the missus has quite ruined my day making me put up shelves and other things I am incapable of you will understand that your kind words are the only decent thing that’s happened to me thus far today. Cheers, Sir

    1. Trust you both had; are having; the finest break…I am sane again after 6 weeks of purgatory…utter bliss. Must check on her backyard though…we’re still waiting for the muscular chap with a chain saw insofar as I recall.

      1. Right… well chain saws are great things. I love them. Alas the big tree we have in this garden requires a proper firm to get at it. Too bad. We had a great break Mike. Weather was just fine for walking. We didn’t get the hill we wanted done cos—-for once it was not me—the instructions were wrong in terms of mileage and we were certainly were not up for a 7 hour thing, nor were we equipped for that. So we turned back but that was ok. We were still out five hours and covered a ton of ground. We did lots of other wanders too so it was great Thank you. Glad you are good.

      2. Happy anniversary by the way. Are you both off the celebrate? Chainsaw man never arrived, phoned and said, ‘I’ve been ‘on’ the toilet all night’! I suggested that if he’d gone to bed he might have got a better sleep!
        A walk admit highland and mountain must be the finest thing…I envy you both. Nothing beats a proper walk. When we lived in Devon we used to go up onto Dartmoor a bit yet it didn’t do it for me…you look up and see the sky on moorland, whereas I like to look up and see things bigger, higher than before…plus it is always either foggy or raining on Dartmoor. Have a splendid day.

  2. Mike thank you so much. We had the wee lad today and we have him again tomorrow. Very early start. And Mr has a cold. The there was the weekend which was tres busy and we had nice meals then. The food at the Clachaig is brilliant. SO when wee Riley went home we just got a takeaway pizza with all the trimmings from Pizza Hut, five mins walk and opened the vino. I did set the table up nice though. You need to come to Glencoe. You look up and you see towering crags. Cannae beat it x

    1. Nothing better than the impromptu scoff with a bottle of something red when cooking has scant appeal. And yes, the glen of romance sounds ideal…moreover I understand that one can squeeze history out of the air there…really must do Scotland one day. Shirl often craves for Edinburgh, plus she’s done the Highlands and Orkney and stuff, albeit many years ago. I shall add it to my list.
      Looked over my book yesterday. Hadn’t had even a peek since the referendum. I quickly became aware that I could tell the bits I enjoyed writing and how I rushed the scenes twixt those bits…needs a big revamp and as ever I remain in awe of those who can put a novel together and have it all blend together…not moaning mind…merely lessons I am learning on the hoof. The plus, I am ready to pick up where I left off at last…at bloody last!
      Enjoy your day.

      1. The main thing is to keep writing…at bloody last. Don’t stop to go over bits you think need sorted, just note them down and go back to them later. Everyone has bits like that and let’s face it , when you start you have no idea of how long the book will be, what the pacing may be like, things that also need tweaking and things it is best not to think about. Later you can ask yourself why did you rush that bit, see what the answer is and focus on that. Lol, we did enjoy the impromptu scoff. Where we live we are totally spoilt for choice in terms of food and drink, ranging from cheap pub grub to gourmet stuff so we can go out any time. but as you say sometimes it is nice not to. You need to come to the glen of romance. What was so nice that we avoided the biggies in walking terms cos of the time of year. We knew they would be stowed oot. But it is possible to find plenty to do and spend hours wandering, not seeing another soul. Gonna share some pix next blog.

      2. I think that’s what I also concluded…just get it written and…likely in drink (!) later on go a bit surreal twixt major scenes. I was thumbing through Simon Mawes, ‘The Glass Room’ today and note he handles ‘building scenes’ with genius…brilliant book by the way. Wanted to write today but chainsaw man turned up and he made me stand nearby watching him because he has a lifetime propensity to faint! Rather ruined my creativity. Yes, Scotland is a must, and by the same token, this corner of forgotten England (few tourists and oddly charming…so much history) is a thing to visit also. Ms S and Mr Q, as I think I mentioned previous are most welcome any time the fancy takes. A glass of red looks me in the eye…splendid evening to you both.

    2. A great evening to you too Mike and mind what I said re if you ever come north. Will check out The Glass Room. Yir chain saw man is surreal. Squirrel that one away. Just get it written then you beat it into shape.

      1. Carol, the Scottish BBC Weather Gal tells lies…she said 23 degrees and sunny here…’tis pouring with rain and I’ve got a woolly jumper on!

      2. Well Scotland is a funny place and weather readers are funny places too. I guess she wants us all to hate you for your weather cos routinely it is bollocksing freezing here and down south it is stewing. Sunday we left pouring rain on the west coast and drove into sunshine here. Often too where we are so close to the North Sea, we see the rest of Scotland is basking in a heat wave while we are shiv’ring oor pimples aff under metallic clouds. They say Dundee is the sunniest city in Scotland. I think by that they surely mean that it gets less rainfall, cos here’s to the rest of Scotland if that is so. They must spend their days in darkened caves huddled aboot fires. Okay the Ferry is a wee bit further oot to sea than Dundee but hell. SO funny yesterday, we took wee Riley doon to his fav spot at the castle to play and the beach was totally deserted cos it was baltic. Anyway, comes onto the beach these two grandparents…plainly not from here or they would have had more sense…for a jolly day at the beach with their two grandkids AND the picnic which they tried setting up. It was really hard not to laugh but we were mesmerised by the retreat. First it was back to the crop of rocks where they stood shivering to eat with what food hadn’t been blown skyhigh. Then it was get the big coats and wooly hats and scarves on. Then it was retreat round behind the rocks. Probably they wer just waiting for us hearty souls to go so they could make a quick exit.

      3. This day here has now turned rather lovely, a tad windy yet t-shirt only hot! So there! I shall forgive Carol this once (my cousin works for the BBC and tells me Carol is a diamond girl, very popular around the place.
        Sounds as if those you spotted on the beach were English I reckon…a hardy Scot would be at his/her BBQ, set up at the shoreline, dressed only in a sporran whatever the temperature and notwithstanding whether the tide was coming in or out. Still was it not for the Scots where would our woolly jumpers come from?
        Incidentally, I was in a shop in the High Street just the other day when the messages that get sent shop to shop through radio waves (I presume) telling staff of ‘incoming shoplifter types’ announced that heading toward the harbour was a 6ft 6inch red headed man, with a long red beard quaffing a can of Special Brew. Possibly one of your own? Still, I’ll lay odds a better bloke than the shaven headed, fat boy, tattooed English scum that haunts this land and package holiday places abroad!

      4. Lol…He probably was but yeah I take on board re some of the …er…scum. ‘What can one expect on a package holiday?’ said Milady Muck. . Eh well wherever that crowd were from they were not locals. As Mr said, they are o needing thir coats ah buttoned up, their hoods up and their scarves. It is summer here….

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