Small Stone – 5th Dec 2014

Hello to the seagull on the beach, who calmly walks into the water, bobbing on the tiny waves. Tess wants to bark, but there’s no point.
Hello to the man repairing the sea wall. Again. Like every winter. Tess sniffs. No food.
Hello to the man in his 80s, with the thinning hair and a Shelty. He forgets our names. Always. And Tess is a ‘he’. But Tess loves his dog, and they bark excitedly at each other.
Hello to the woman, walking slowly, with the overweight white Labrador. Her dog is over-amorous, and a nuisance. Tess walks on by, very quickly, tail pulled down.
Hello to the man with the irritable and antisocial brown Labrador. She wants her ball, and no dogs around her. Tess views her with suspicion. She’s been snarled at before.
Hello to the man walking back from the gym, his two border collies in the house. He has a biscuit for Tess. She is grateful, but wants more. Always.
Hello to the fit man who works from home on Fridays, leaving his van parked by the side of the house. His dog, a mongrel, belongs to his brother-in-law, but seems to live with him. Tess wants to play. His dog doesn’t, because there is a stick.
Hello to the woman who is working on her house. She doesn’t have a dog. “Bleedin’ nuisance, they are.” But Tess is always friendly, and she gets a pat on her head from the woman who doesn’t like dogs.
We are back at the house. Tess looks up. “Is that it?”

I love the walks with the dog, and we meet so many nice people. Never enough for Tess, of course.


Small Stone – 4th Dec 2014

Creased-white hands circle the plastic cup, steam rising into the cold damp air. Matching scarf and hat, woollen, fir trees, Christmas is due soon. “All right, mate? What’s it to be?” I can’t decide whether to go for the baking potatoes or the butternut squash. I settle on an apple strudel from the stall next door. And a small focaccia. I am nothing if not cosmopolitan.

A trip to the market.


Small Stone – 2nd Dec 2014

A solitary bird, a crow.
My dog, Golden Retriever.
Bird hops, jumps, comes near.
Dog sniffs, investigates.

She wants to play.
It doesn’t.
She barks.
It flies.

A solitary crow, sitting on a breakwater.

It’s the first time I’ve seen a bird actually deliberately bait her. As soon as she started barking, off it flew. But only to a breakwater, where it watched from a safe distance until we had passed.

NaNo+ continues, with over 1,000 words yesterday, taking our main characters closer to their destiny.



Mindful Writing

Strong sea forces have begun the long shore drift, moving tons of sand to heaven-knows-where, and exposing bases of rusting metal, rotting wood and crumbling concrete. How will these misshapen and broken objects protect our houses, our possessions, our families? But somehow, they do. The TV shows other areas, where the sea has broken through inadequate defences, and amongst the feel-good stories of pets rescued and Dunkirk spirit, are sad faces, gazing at ruined homes.