Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Willow 2 'Matchbox troubles

Thank you for being patient - I've been quite busy(all will be revealed at the weekend)But here is my piece for this week , hope you like it.

Mary was singing to herself as she got the washing ready to put in the machine. It was a lovely sunny day with a good drying wind . The twins Julie and Jane where safely in playgroup till 12 and she had the morning to herself once the washing was in.
She’d bought a magazine that morning - a bit expensive , but her weekly treat. She wanted to read the problem page so she could laugh at all these silly women who just didn't have a happy home life like hers.
John had got back yesterday from the job in Russia - He was a heart (thoracic) surgeon and had been away for a fortnight learning a new heart bypass technique.
He looked so tired poor love but had still gone in to do a clinic .
Emptying his case and suit back , she couldn't help thinking back to when they had first met when she was a student nurse and he was a Houseman , now he was a senior consultant and he’d insisted she gave up nursing when the twins where born.
Truth be told , she missed the nursing a bit , the friendship and the helping people but he was right , the twins where a handful . Maybe when they’re older she’ll be able to go back part time - we’ll see .
For now the washing needs doing and it’s not going to do itself !!
Once the shirts and underwear were in the machine , she turned her attention to the suit holder. Shaking out the jacket and trousers she checked whether they needed to go to the cleaners . She noticed that the jacket breast pocket appeared to have something in it. John was always writing little notes on things then losing them , he really was forgetful at times !
She put her hand into the pocket and took out a pack of matches.

Strange - John doesn’t smoke ,why would he have a packet of matches in his pocket ?
She turned them over and written in lavender coloured ink was :
KATYA 657382.
Mary’s stomach turned and her heart skipped a beat.
What could it mean ? Who was Katya and why had her husband kept a pack of matches with her name on ? Should she ask him ? Did she really want to know ?
The rest of the day passed with Mary in a daze. She hardly noticed when the twins showed her the pictures they’d painted and she gave them their tea and bathed them , putting them to bed without even the usual story.
At 7pm she was sitting staring into space with a glass of wine (her third) in her hand as John’s key turned in the lock . ‘Hi my lovely - can you pour me a whiskey please, it’s been a hellish day and I’m just going to have a bath before tea’.
Mary didn’t move , she just sat trying to get her head straight and decide what to do , the pack of matches on the table in front of her. She was still sitting in the same position when the shower stopped and John came downstairs drying his hair . ‘What’s for tea , I’m starving’
Pulling herself out of her trance , Mary said’ I haven’t thought about it yet, I need to ask you something’
‘That sounds serious , can I get my drink first and we can probably order in a Chinese if you want . Have you got the menu anywhere ?’
‘Bugger the Chinese !!! Who’s Katya and why have you got her phone number’
John laughed painfully ‘ Oh dear , you cleared out my suit didn’t you ? Well I’ll tell you , but your not going to like it’
Mary was filled with dread as John poured a drink and sat down .
With his head lowered , looking into his glass as if it held all the answers, John began.
‘On the second day of the trip , we where staying at the Hotel Forum and the rooms were a bit basic so I went down to the bar to get a drink. I was the only one there and I was missing you and the twins . The others had gone to bed early as we where going to Chernobyl the next day to visit a hospital and an orphanage. The girl serving at the bar looked very thin and tired and her eyes where sad . I hoped she spoke enough English for a conversation and indeed she did. She said she was known as Masha (a Russian equivalent of Mary) and I immediately thought of you. We talked about the weather and the places to visit and I told her we where visiting Chernobyl the next day. She looked at me with hauntingly sad eyes and asked me why and I told her we where doctors and nurses and we where interested in seeing how the people had coped since the disaster. She bit her lip and you could see that she was trying to decide whether to tell me or not but then she obviously decided I was ‘safe’.
‘I am from Chernobyl’ but I am - at the moment- one of the lucky ones’ she said’ I don’t appear to have been affected , but my little sister has’ her eyes darkened as she carried on ‘ Her name is Katya and she’s 15 years old . Her heart is very weak and she has not been able to run and play . I’m trying to earn the money to pay for her treatment but the pay is not good here and I fear I will need to work somewhere else . Some men will pay a little extra for a women to be a ‘friend ‘ for the night and I fear I must take this route if I am to save my beautiful Katya.If you go to the hospital tomorrow , will you look at her and tell me how much I will need to find to get her help ? Here is her hospital number this will help you see her, please ?’
‘Finishing my drink I went up to my room to think about Masha and Katya and how different their life was from ours.
The next day we did indeed go to the hospital and I asked to see Katya I was led into a room the size of our bathroom in which where crammed 10 beds . The one up against the wall held what looked to be a little girl no more than 10 years old.’ ‘This is Katya said the nurse in charge’ I thought she must be mistaken but no the date of birth worked out to 15 years . The girl looked at me with tired eyes, her lips where tinged blue and she was unable to lift her head from the pillow .’Can I examine her I said expecting at least a screen to be drawn across ‘ ‘ Yes of course’ said the nurse , undoing the thin night dress before she’d finished speaking . Wishing to save a little of Katya’s dignity I asked for a sheet. The nurse shrugged and went off to get one . I smiled at Katya and tried to reassure her , unsure whether she understood or not . As I examined her her poor little thin body almost moved with the strain her gently fluttering heart caused’ I asked the nurse if her notes could be translated , the nurse nodded with resignation as if to say ‘if you must’
I held Katya’s hand and still not knowing if she understood , I said ‘I will help you’
We left then and went on to see many more sad scenes . My heart was aching by the time I ‘d finished ‘
You can’t save everyone you know said Peter (the medical consultant who’d been my friend for many years)
No but I can damn well try ‘, I thought..
When I got back to my room , I made a few phone calls and it turned out that in order to bring someone over here for an operation , we had to prove they had a sponsor and somewhere to stay before and after the treatment in case of problems.
Mary , I knew I could help Katya but I also knew that I would need your help . I know you’re busy with the twins but you where a brilliant nurse , would you be able to help with Katya and could we do it.
Mary hesitated only to finish her wine in one gulp.
‘Masha and Katya can have the spare room. Mum can always help with the twins or even Masha if she’s up for it while I carry out the nursing. Of course we can do it - why did you ever doubt it ?’
Mary’s eyes regained their softness as she suddenly realised that she loved her sweet husband more than anything else in the world and realised all that could have been lost because of a box of matches.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Magpie Tales - Mother's Day , part 2

Okay so It's my 100th post and I have some more of my story for you - this is proving to be a long one and still it's not finished !!!!!
Tonight I'll put the 2nd story here (a shorter one , I promise !!!)
But for now , Hannah's story part 2
As they dug into the trunk - two curly dark heads together , suddenly they both took hold of a smooth metallic object and pulled it from under the shawls.
It was a vase or jug about 6 inches tall with engraving , a bit dull and old looking . ‘That’s pewter ‘ said Hannah ‘ it’ll shine up nicely , she’ll love it’ ‘ Oh said the boy , I was just thinking the same for my special lady’ . His face dropped and Hannah made a quick decision , ‘you have it , I’ll find something else - she’d love one of these Indian shawls’ ‘ But I couldn’t , you found it first’ ‘No I didn’t , we found it together , besides , you’ll need to do a lot of polishing before you can give that’
‘Oh thanks so much , if you really don’t mind . Can I buy you a coffee by way of thanks - I saw a place just down the road.’
‘ I have to get back to work I’m afraid but there’s no need , thanks anyway’
‘Oh okay , maybe we can meet up some other time , let me write my phone number down , I’m staying here a couple of weeks before I have to go back down south to work’
‘Thanks I’ll call you’ Hannah slipped the paper into her pocket guessing she’d probably never see him again. Ooops she didn’t even know his name , ah well never mind , the dream was there.
Sunday dawned bright and sunny and Hannah woke mum up with a cup of tea and a kiss ‘ Happy Mother’s Day . I’m doing the fussing today so what would you like for breakfast?’ ‘ Mmm egg and bacon would be nice if you don’t mind’ ‘Course I don’t mind - you go and have your shower and it’ll be ready when you come down’
As Hannah put the food out on a plate and made a fresh pot of tea she could hear mum coming down stairs .
‘Are you going over to see Nan today ?’ asked mum
‘Yes , I’m dropping you off at Anna Mays then going on to Nan’s’
‘Anna May’s , what for?’
‘You’re booked in for a full body aromatherapy massage’
‘But isn’t that expensive?’
‘Don’t worry about that , you deserve it’
‘Will you be back for tea?’
‘Yes and I’m cooking it so don’t you dare touch anything - right I’m going to get dressed , see you in a bit’
Hannah dropped mum off still protesting at the expense and drove on to Nan’s, prettily wrapped shawl in the back.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A bell ring for Barry

I chose a special bell for Barry
It's Big Ben - my blackberry reminded my as well - a small vibration rather than a bell . Hope all's well Barry

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Magpie Tales

Okay , I know I'm late and I haven't even finished my story but I ThoughtI'd give you the beginning and I will do more later this week.

Hannah loved visiting Nan’s she told such wonderful tales and had such beautiful things around her. Ever since she was a little girl she’d look forward to Sunday tea at Nan’s and the chance to escape from the reality of home with her four brothers and poor mum who’d always struggled to make ends meet.
It was Nan that she’d been named for as mum and Nan had been friends as girls, but now both Nan and mum where getting older and Hannah was no longer ‘a spring chicken’ herself.
Most of all Hannah loved to escape into Nan’s tales of mum and herself courting different boy’s and mum settling for Dad (Nan never liked him but wouldn’t hurt mum by saying so) .Dad left when Graham ( little brother - not so little now - a strapping 23 year old rugby player , lol ! )
Nan never married - she said through choice , but who knows ?
Anyway , Sunday was Mothers Day and Hannah had already bought mum some flowers and chocolates and booked her in for a massage - she was always on the go helping people and doing things that she needed some pampering for herself.
But what to get for Nan ? She already had such beautiful things and went for massages and hairdo’s regularly - she was quite well off from some money her father (a banker) had left. She did wonder how her and mum had become friends as they where from such different backgrounds - granddad was a docker and grandma took in ironing. Mum had done whatever jobs would fit in with the children - she was always scared they’d be taken away.
There was a little antique shop tucked away up one of the back streets on the way to work maybe she’d look in there in her lunch hour and find something - she couldn’t afford much as she was still paying for Christmas and her pay wasn’t much as an office junior.
Lunchtime came and Hannah dashed out , hoping the shop wasn’t shut for dinner - oh it wasn’t , thank goodness. Just inside the door there was a big old trunk which was filled with allsorts of things from jewellery and shawls to pots and pans - perhaps there’d be something there . She was so busy digging in that she didn’t notice the door opening , it smacked her rump and she shot head first into the trunk . As she emerged with an angry glare she spied a very long pair of legs which where topped by a very good looking boy of about the same age . He was trying very hard and not succeeding in hiding a laugh. ‘So sorry’ , he said ‘I didn’t expect anybody to be hiding behind the door’. She tried to stay angry but as her eyes met his she couldn’t and burst into laughter herself ‘that’s okay , I was just looking for something - I shouldn’t have been so close to the door’
‘I’ve come to get something for a very special lady for Mothers Day but I’m not sure what to get - I’ve never met her you see and it’s sort of a peace offering - perhaps you could give me some ideas ?’ he said.
‘Oh , I don’t work here ‘Hannah said ‘ I’m looking for something as well for Mother’s Day , perhaps we could look together’

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Magpie Tales

I've just signed up to a weekly Literary challenge at .The idea is that starting Tuesday the 16th I will post a short story or a poem based on the picture below

from then on a new picture will be posted on Fridays and my piece will be posted on Tuesdays so wish me luck !!!!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

She's done it again !!!!

This morning a letter arrived addressed to Ellinor from the hallowed halls of English childhood Blue Peter . She's been awarded a Blue Peter Badge for a poem she wrote about the Blue Peter dog Barney.
I yearned for a Blue Peter badge as a child and DH got an inferior (to my mind ) Magpie badge. Well done Ellie.
Now a catch up on the last week or so. I had my Hep B injection without incidence but boy did my arm ache for a couple of days.Yesterday I went on the first day of my Smoking Cessation course - not for me but so that I can set up sessions in the pharmacy. It was very interesting , I have another session next week and we have been given some homework !!!
Although the weather has brightened a little , I still feel cold to my bones - just can't seem to get warm.
Just introduced ellie to the television series 'Lark Rise to Candleford'
and she loved it so may get the books (it's a trilogy based in Oxfordshire / Buckinghamshire an area I lived in while serving in the WRAF)
On the stitching front will probably have a show and tell of something I've stitched next week once it's been received !!!
I got my Blackberry phone and love it !!! The picture quality is excellent so I may put more photos on.
oh well , must get on
Bye for now