Friday Flash Fiction – Virtual Christmas Card

Post Office

Post Office Lady: ‘Six pounds ninety six pence please.’

Alan: ‘Sorry, I only wanted a book of TWELVE SECOND CLASS stamps.’

Post Office Lady: ‘Yes, six pounds ninety six pence…’

Alan: ‘What! How much are… never mind, just give me one stamp to post this letter.’



Lynne: ‘What do you mean Alan, virtual Christmas Cards?’

Alan: ‘I can design my own card, e-mail it.’

Lynne: ‘But I’ve already bought the cards.’

Alan: ‘Use those for the hand deliveries. We’re not posting at that price.’

Lynne: ‘What about mother?’

Alan: ‘She’s got e-mail.’

Lynne: ‘She only looks at it once a month, she wouldn’t know how to download or whatever it is you do.’

Alan: ‘She’ll manage, it will be in Jay PeG  – JPG.’

Lynne: ‘How will you design a card?’

Alan: ‘Use one of my photos, that nice snowy scene I took on the golf course.’

Lynne: ‘The week before they found that body in the copse after the snow melted? That’s not very nice.’

Alan: ‘Your mother won’t know.’

Lynne: ‘They never found who did it, did they?’


Xmas Day at Lynne’s mother’s house

 Lynne: ‘Oh, you’ve got a new painting Mother, is it an Impressionist?’

Lynne’s mother: ‘It’s the Christmas card you sent.’

Alan: ‘It can’t be, that wasn’t real.’

Lynne’s mother: ‘Sean next door came round to help me with my e-mails, I didn’t know what all those higgledy piggledy letters and numbers were. He put it on a stick and took it to work; they’ve got an A2 printer. Hey presto, the biggest card I’ve ever had.’

Lynne: ‘Your photograph doesn’t look very good blown up Alan. Oh who’s that near the trees in a red jumper, I thought nobody was out playing that day. No hang on, that’s not a golf club he’s got in his hand, it’s a spade, I don’t think that’s a red jumper, it looks like blood!’

Silly Saturday

I have loved taking photographs since I was eight, though I have never been interested in the technical side; merely pointing and shooting my way through black and white, colour slides, Polaroid and back to colour prints until digital changed photography for all of us. Suddenly we could take lots and lots of pictures and I became addicted. When I finally succumbed to a smart phone I was even more obsessed; joining those I had previously sneered at as they gave everyone a pictorial commentary on their meals or child’s tantrums. 29026303_2009414072421706_3591610815813255168_o(1)

Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, my Website… all waiting to be filled with pictures. Here are this week’s silly selection. A week of all weathers made it especially fun.28584870_2000526599977120_2006830012_o

The phenomenum of freezing rain created real frosted windows.28641119_2000128503350263_185788723_o28642842_1996678273695286_74645765_oAll Fired Up Cafe provided a winter retreat.


Then suddenly the snow melted and the sun shone.

Boscombe Pier is full of musical instruments.


On Friday we had torrential rain and more photo opportunities…

28872393_2010324878997292_623618002859851776_o…on the bus. What luck that the first bus to come along was…




Back into town to ‘All Fired Up’ to collect my fired camper van; a money box to save my author earnings and a reminder to get on with writing my camper van detective’s novel.


Every chapter of my website is full of photographs.

You can read two novellas and a short story featuring  Tobias Elliot Channing, the young camper van detective, in Someone Somewhere.

Virgin Snow and Virgin Boxes

There was more disruption in our house this past week due to upgrading of the Virgin Box than there was due to the Beast from the East. The new box had been safely delivered before snow. Cyberspouse was waiting for an open ended day to unplug the life support system and replace the old box; Virgin claimed two hours should be allowed, he wanted five hours to be on the safe side, but there is never a good time to detach the umbilical cord to the outside world and the ether we writers need to breathe.

Thursday night brought freezing rain on top of the day’s continuous snow. Friday morning was a white delight, but the beautiful virgin snow was now frozen hard. We were not going to starve if we stayed home, would probably not get scurvy if we relied on baked beans and frozen peas. But with local shops so handy we’re used to daily shopping, more importantly I did not want to miss out on Day 2 Snow Experience and more pictures for Instagram, Facebook and my website. We planned a circular walk to the cliff top and down Grand Avenue to the Grove for coffee and shopping.

It was a foolish mission that could have ended in disaster; impossible to walk on the icy crust of snow, hanging on to garden walls was not an option as they were covered in ice. We weren’t the only ones who made it to the cliff top, just the only ones without dogs or children. It wasn’t as cold as Thursday, the sky was heavy laden, insulating us and I could just about take my gloves off without getting frostbite and operate my smart phone.

Our favourite Ludo Lounge was open and it was packed. With schools closed and parents unable or unwilling to go to work it was like summer holidays, but with ice and slush. A waitress said they had received twenty eight phone calls before 9.30 am checking if they were open; people had their priorities right.

The greengrocers’ was closed, however Sainsburys’ was open with enough veggies for a good stir fry. But something was wrong, there was no milk on the shelves. It hadn’t occurred to us that out in the real world milk tankers would be unable to get to farms or back to dairies, nor would delivery lorries be able to get to supermarkets or corner shops. With only enough milk left for me to have two cups of tea this was a First World Problem of mega proportions, but Cyberspouse takes everything black and we have a Tassimo coffee machine. Worse was yet to come.

Saturday the snow melted, I bookmarked everything appearing on line and the WiFi was switched off; as predicted by me, the new box did not work. The help line was rung, the engineer would come out on Tuesday. No Saturday night Swedish Noir on television, no Facetiming Australia early on Sunday morning and no blogging.

This big First World problem had a First World solution, our smart phones would keep us in touch with the outside world and I could still put pictures on Instagram and Facebook, but phone screens are small. If I was a Borrower it would be fine… The Borrowers, by the English author Mary Norton, published in 1952, features a family of tiny people who live secretly in the walls and floors of an English house and “borrow” from the big people in order to survive. How they would have loved to borrow my Samsung phone to use as an interactive big screen TV.

Smart phones are great when you are out or on holiday, people can’t resist checking them at five minute intervals. But with minute writing and the perils of predictive texting it is not the way I like to read, enjoy and comment on blogs and photographs. If anyone has received any strange comments from me I apologise.

I did at least get more of my novel written with no distractions. By the time I got home on Tuesday evening all was restored. I’m blogging again, but my Bookmarked list is longer than ever. Visit my website to see snowy pictures.