Archive | July 2014


‘Yes, she is a good daughter, mostly.’  Frank has a coughing fit.  When he settles, I ask him more questions.

‘You thought she would be better with you then?’

‘That damned husband of hers got hisselph killed.  She was just mopin’ back in the city.  Needed to be back home where she could be more useful.’  His eyes harden.

‘But she was mourning him.’

‘So she said.  She came back though.  Talked to her brother, he suggested it really.’

‘But then she met David!’

‘Useless piece of crap.  Caught ‘im, caught ‘im good.’ Franks eyes glisten. ‘Sleeping over, in her room.  Can yer believe that?”

‘She is a grown woman,’ I tell him.

‘Huh!  She may look grown, but she’s only seventeen.  Now would I be a good father if I let that happen, and unde my own roof too.?’

The nurse comes into the room.  ‘Now Frank, you telling tales again!’

She wheels him back to his own room.




Beaches. Most people think of beaches, All sand. Sea-lapping shore, But there are beaches everywhere With something more in store. The craggy, rocky headland, Is strewn with granite slabs, So waves can crash and feel no pain, When chasing hermit crabs. The flat rocks have striata Like so much flaky paste, Where salt-water lettuce can take root, And crawling things make haste. So too, the rounded pebbles, All tossed by roilling surf. Millions of them, laying deep Untouched by grassy turf. They come in different sizes, All jostling, one, two, three. Painful as you tread them down, As you approach the sea. Beaches that have sandy bays, Are more what folk might think, If you ask which they do prefer, They plump for sand in a blink. But sand’s a strange commodity, You think it’s soft like silk, But if you take a sample, It can turn, like tainted milk. Some Spanish beaches have the look Of peachy sand, so bright, But silica is textural, Not so much a delight. And gravel also tends to be Upon the coastal bay, But out in tropical beaches, It’s like powder all the way. Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. July, 2014 . Sent from my iPad

Once An Alien”……………part if a short storyOnce An Alien…! Radick’s flaming locks fanned his chiseled tace. Prominent eyebrows bristled pewter above deep-set eyes the colour of deep oceanic pools, the foreboding obsidian belied the warmth of his soul. Angular cheekbones in his swarthy countenance made him look like a quartz outcropping on the distant hills. He had adopted a solid stance, rock solid on the uneven ground. His muscled torso gleamed in the bright daylight, like a hunk of hewn granite. Some would have called his figure squat, but he came from a heavy gravity planet and was built almost square. The spike he held beside his frame was thick, heavy and a trusty weapon. He doubted the locals would even be able to lift such weapon, they were puny, these creatures. As an alien invader, the indigenous creatures were wary of his kind; he was not harsh, like his leader who whipped any being not adhering strictly to the Laws of Invasion, whereas Radick was somewhat more lenient and passed on the finer points, more for a happier life. He was tired of moving from planet to planet, subjugating the local population, if there was one, reaping the benefits that planet could offer his race then moving on. His partners were sat back on home world awaiting his return. That future seemed a world or twenty away. His children were growing without his guidence. He missed them. Gazing into the distance, Radick watched the star disappearing over the horizon of rolling hills. The fading light gathered in his deep eyes, turning them a lighter shade for a few heartbeats, then disappearing into darkest obsidian once more. His hair lost the colour that the star highlighted, becoming gnarled in the growing darkness. Soon it would be fully dark and he would rather be back at base, having sustenance and resting, discussing any events with the rest of his group of the invading force. Turning, squaring his impressive shoulders, he retraced his steps, leaping small rocks that strewed the terrain. It would be a short trek. He glanced at the skies filling with bright stars as the darkness approached. There were billions of them in various patterns, a lot different from home skies. Strange shrieks assaulted his ears. A night-flying bird called from one of the high black plants to his left. His eyes, growing accustomed to the dark around him, searched the black shapes, watching to see where the sound came from, what kind of bird it was. Some, if caught, were quite edible, in fact, tasted good. Trouble was, they were hard to bring down with a spike. On this planet, the indigens were adept at hunting, or so he had found. He had coaxed a couple a while back to catch one of the flying ones. Not bird, but furry. It wasn’t too good to ingest. They spiked him a bird later which tasted better. They indicated it was a ground dweller. Radick liked it and shared it with the others. The bright star breached the horizon. Winds blew across the plain where tall plants weaved from side to side. A time of great noise. Those birds calling to each other. Dagrit came in, a small furry creature on the end of his spike. It was not the first he had caught and was soon busy removing the entrails and outer coat. A small fire glowed and a hot stone to the side sat awaiting the meat. When they had eaten, the light was full. Radick waited instructions, listening for sounds from the distance. Dagrit grumbled. “We could be here all the day. The Leader should have been here during the dark phase. Why did we have to wait around getting tired, and with little to do?” “You moan too much, Dagrit,” complained Radick. “Things are going well. No need for training, it is an easy conquest.” “I want to be on the move. I desire to get back to Home world.” “And you think i do not?” Radick replied, wishing the Leader would turn up and give them all commands. The rest of the team, though speaking softly in the background, were agreeing with Dagrit. “Quiet the rest of you or you will be reported to the Leader when he comes.” Their voices became more like whispers, but they did not stop. He wasn’t second so he had no control to exert. Radick moved from the fire, stepping over to the perimeter. A wind had arisen and although the star had plenty of heat beating down, he felt a chill sweep through his chunky body. He shivered involuntarily, gathering his outer apparel close around his masive shoulders. It was worn, brought little comfort, was whipped as the wind blew stronger. Flames from the meager fire were battered, almost going out. “More kindling,” he called to one of the team. “The Leader will need a beacon. More kindling, quickly'” His comrades set to work, gathering a few twigs here and there. It was an open plain, not much burnable material. Every bit of burn material was shoved on the fire which burst into a blaze of light, only to die down once the flames had consumed it. ‘Not good enough,’ Radick yelled at them. ‘Go further, hurry!’ There was grumbling but the team got to their feet and loped off across the plain, searching for dead plants. Some covered the ground quite close to the camp site, making sure they had missed nothing. Others, in pairs, set off fa into the distance where tall branches grew around the base of low hills. Whilst they were gone, Radick stripped some if his under uniform and fed it slowly to the fire, trying to keep the flames going until the teams arrived back.

What is it all about.




I try to do my best

like I suppose, do all the rest.

so why do things go wrong

even if I sing my song?


So what, you say, does it matter?

if I stop and have a natter

With friends that I have found,

On Internet, and around.


Time will just stand still

Whilst I talk and laugh my fill.

The days will not swing by

If I idle, I tell a lie.


Of course, the time is gone

When I realise my song

Should have ended long ago,

For now, a tale of woe.


For time does not stand stil,

Not even to my will,

And, very sad to say

That my life just ebbs away.

Copyright. Evelyn J. Steward.  July, 2014


Summer Poem – Late June Observations When a perfect summer morning With heat to calm your soul, And a cooling breeze that fans you, Begins to wain. And flees. Grey clouds loom adorning, The wind starts getting bold, The sky grows dark, hear the silent coo Of pigeons in the breeze. No time to sit there yawning, Get out your breakfast bowl, Start working, there is much to do, Peel carrots, shuck the peas. No sitting under the awning, Just go and feed the fowl, The cat has jumped onto the roof, A tasty bird he sees. Later on the sun is joining Chooks. The dog gives howl When clip clop goes the horse’s hoof, Harness jingles, merrily. So do not come a’moaning, Be like the wise old owl, When rainclouds come, be quite aloof, And dream of woods and seas. Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. June, 2014

Summer PoemfNature’s Summer People. There are mute swans, down in the wallow, The canal has a few swimming by, And little Moorhens swim along by the barge, Black coots, with their little ones, nigh. Above on a branch, the kingfisher Is watching the glittering fish, His bright turquoise feathers and orange, get wet, When he catches the tastiest dish. No worries, the droplets fly outwards, As he flexes his wings, like a shower, They hang in the sunshine to dry out, Whilst he sits in his summmertime bower. The trees that are shading the tow bank, Are glistening, and dappled with sun, They’re hiding the drowsy old barn owl, Resting before his night fun. Starlings fly over the meadow That borders the fields and the streams, And down in the grass, there lies sleeping, Field mice, and hares having dreams. A slithering sound, like a whisper, Wreathes inside and out of the grass. His harmless meander, his wander, Frights none, as they watch him pass. Soft breezes sigh as the goshawk Flies quietly over the ground, And high in the sky there are swallows, Singing a wonderful sound. As rosehips glisten, and berries Grow ripe on the prickly bough, The squirrel is busy, just gathering, No time to dally, not now. For winter will soon be upon them, The birds and the rabbits and mice, Food will be scarce in the winter, But spring will be here, in a trice. Copyright. Evelyn J. Steward. june 2015

Cinema……… Your favourite memories.Sixth July Blog. Cinema! ……..What was it like for you? I suppose my earliest memories of cinema were when I was quite a dot. My dad took me and I was held in his arms. No! I do not know what was playing, but my dad said at one stage, I made a rude noises, and very loudly, blamed my father as the cause. I could see that happening in my minds eye, and dad and I often laughed about it in later years I did visit the nearest cinema when i was maybe eight to ten or so years. They had Saturday Morning pictures where they played all sorts of kids films for a couple of hours every Saturday morning. I do not remember going every weekend, but I went to several to see all kinds of films, probably The Lone Ranger was one recurring film genre. I should imagine there were also comedies, like Laurel and Hardy and also, I should imagine, cartoons. I love cartoons. Tom and Jerry, to name but one. now to be seen on Netflix and other such t.v. showings. Later, as I got a little older, I was able to go in the afternoon, provided that what was showing was an all U Certificate. Sometimes they had specials where you could go to the upstairs seats. Mighty posh! It was much better sitting in Circle seats, and less crowded and less noisy too. At that time your admission price gave you a feature film, a second feature, a newsreel, and several cartoons, plus the advertisments for the coming week. The showings only lasted one week (occasionally there could be three films at three different cinemas in the town and it was an effort to work out how to get to see each film that week. On the very odd i Occaion, there might be a fourth film at a cinema much further away. This would make schedulling very difficult indeed, but was accomplished, nevertheless.) One time, we were taken from school one morning and walked down to the town cinema, further from my home but do-able. At the time, I had no idea what was going on. But it was a treat for us school kids, the cinema put on a special showing of ‘Scott of the Antarctic.’ I suppose they deemed it an extra-mural history lesson about Captain Scott and his officers trying to reach the South Pole before Ammunson and his men did. Tragically, they were beaten to the Pole by the Norwegians, and they died, or some did, I do not remember too much about the expedition, although, as it was our men, I suppose I should. So, the cinema became a tool of education as well as entertainment. I must admit, with so many cinemas in my general area, let alone the ones slightly further afield as well, I was spoilt for choice. OK, so sometimes the films were not as good, but often, that did not matter. Going to the cinema was the thing to do. Oh yes, there was the odd dance hall, some distance away by bus, and in the local town, for a while, there was a theatre. I went there a few times. Now, that town has a much larger theatre, in a different location. Although the seats are infinitely more expensive, it is available. The town no longer has a cinema. Which is a shame, I think. There is a multiplex in a town farther away, a bit more than 4 miles. So a visit to that cinema has to be planned and booked in advance, usually. I really cannot count how many films I have seen, at the cinema, in my lifetime (let alone all the films I have seen since on t.v. and Netflix etc.) . I guess, all the big important films and the less important ones too. I saw ‘Soylent Green’ in the cinema, so many years ago. ‘Grease’ was another cinema viewing, and more than once there. I saw ‘The Robe’ in the new wide screen, as it was then. Oh, and so many, many more, too numerous to even think of them all. Come to think of it, when I was single, I saw a great many small Western films. They were usually the second feature. Roy Rogers, countless others whose titles escape me. Then, my favourite B movies, the sci/fi genre that gave value for your ticket money. I loved these, mostly black and white. Titles like ‘I Married A Monster from Outer Space’, ‘THEM’, and many more, mostly now forgotten, I guess. The cartoons were a favourite of mine. ‘Tom and Jerry’, I have mentioned before, but there was also ‘Wily Coyote’, Tweetie Pie’, and though the name escapes me, there was one series about a Rooster, and another one, partly Tom and Jerry, about a bulldog and his little pup son. These films, all of them, provide a rich pageant for me to draw on, when writing my stories. I do not copy them, that would be silly and also illegal, but this all becomes ways of good writing to adhere to, use of colour and imagination and so on, all there in my head, of course. Do you have a favourite film from the past? Do please mention it in your comments. Take it easy, friends, Evelyn

Holidays………Fifth July Blog. Holidays………..have you had yours? It is a long time since I went on a holiday/vacation of any kind. I suppose, if I think back hard enough, my last holiday was when my daughter was about ten or twelve. They were pretty unremarkable. Coastal caravans in various places, east coast, Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, one week at a time. We took the dogs so we had to accomodate their needs. I liked the areas we stayed in, all different in their own way. All very English too. Mostly the time was early September and the weather is not always kind at that time of year. Our cat had to stay home, but do not worry folks, my father went to the house every single day and fed and watered him, played with him for a while. He was fine with that, and safe too. That was quite a few years back, like about 36 years. The East Coast was bracing and not my favourite. Kent was OK, and we went there more than once. I think, of this series of holidays, I preferred Hampshire, The New Forest, to be precise. It isn’t all forest, as you may assume, there is scrubland where low-growing yellow gorse dots the somewhat sandy soil. Lots of small creatures live in these areas, grass snakes, vipers ( England’s only venomous snake), lots of unusual butterflies, birds and othe insects. This is where the New Forest ponies live. Not wild, as one may assumre. They are owned by local farmers who round up the ponies at certain times of year, brand the new babies and set them loose again or sell some on. They have a legal right to graze their animals on common land. This is why there are often horses and cattle along the various roads in the area. I have seen small ponds surrounded by woodland too, very quiet, very still with May flies and dragonflies hovering above the water. Dotted with pond weed too. Birds in the treetops above are silent in the heat of the sun. There are lovely little towns in and around the New Forest. Pleasant little places that take you back in time. This wa all so many years ago. These holidays leave markings in the memory. My fondest memories though, are of when I was single. My first trip on my own, was to Canada. I have a friend who used to work for the same Company. Lunch times, we would take our sandwiches, walk across the road and sit on grassy lumps of earth ( the area used to be brick fields in its day). We would talk and eat and then go back to our respective departments. Good sunny days then in the late 1950s. Then her family decided to emmigrate to Canada. I became very ill, getting Meningitis. About a year later, i moved to another Company. After three years. I qualified to get special air rate reductions. This meant I could go and see my friend in Toronto, Ontario, where they had set up home. This was my very first holiday on my own, my first air flight, my first travelling across the Atlantic. Suffice it to say that due to an Olympic Games coinciding with my planned flight, I did not get a seat on this particular aircraft. I was not senior enough to get the only seat left. I managed to get a seat on a flight the following evening. London (Heathrow ) Airport, was quite small then, and I boarded from a comparatively small building on the North Side. Long since demolished to make way for better prmises. The aviailable seat was upin First Class, because that was where the space was. Believe me, it was the way to travel. However, it was a jet prop aircraft and there were lots of stops all the way to the north of England and finally, to Scotland before heading north west to Canada. It was magical, the dark skies, the lights on the ground far below where there were towns and cities, the dark spaces inbetween, where only countryside existed. I cannot remember the A la Carte meal, but I did have a wonderful starter, real caviar and little biscuits with champagne. I felt like a queen. The first stop on the other side of the Atlantic was Quebec. I had seen the sunrise behind the aircraft and it chased us ll the way to Quebec. The aircraft flew low over a suspension bridge, lit up like fairyland, or so it seemed. To my eye, it looked magical. We all had to disembark and go through customs. As I was going on to Toronto, I just had to hang around the airport until it was time to board again for the last leg of my flight.. I was worried because my friends thought I would arrive the previous day. But it was OK, they queried it with the airport and found that I would arrive 24 hrs later. They were there to greet me, I was so pleased to see them all. Thought I was going to have to try and find them myself. Much of what we did escapes me. But we did drive to Niagara Falls. Go on the Maid Of The Mist boat that took us all fairly close to the Falls, covered in heavy black rubber coats to the ground, to keep us dry. (The boats have different names now, I believe, and when I was there in 1997, we had short blue plastic covers which really did not keep one dry. My friend and I slept late, had enormous breakfasts of cereals, raspberries and canned squirty cream, which did not squirt very well. Then very thinly sliced belly bacon, fried crispy, lots of rashers and eggs etc. We went to High Park in Toronto, the Toronto Zoo and York castle where we saw the huts used by soldiers and saw their beds. Very short, as men were mosly short in the late 1700s. Another trip we made was 600 miles north to North Bay. We passed through Muskoka, a wonderful natural area of rocky outcrops along the side of the highway. We saw woods and streams that led to narrow but high waterfalls. We followed one to where it cascaded down the rocks into quite a large lake. There were people camping in the distance on a sandy spit of land. We could see a camp fire, its lazy tendils of smoke wending its way up into the sky. Another magical scene. We stopped at the house belonging to the Dionne Quins, then at relatives of my friend’s boyfriend and their farm. This meant a night time woodland bear hunt. Yes, I know. We never saw or heard a bear. Would have had trouble running away in the trees, in 60s clothes and heeled shoes. But it was fun, for the guys anyway. And something to write home about. I had many other holidays in the 1960s, but that is all for now. Do you have fond memories of special holidays/vacations. Why not mention them in the comments section? Be good to each other and to yourself, until my next blog. Evelyn

Do slightly out of the general run stories………..sell?

At rest.

At rest.

Second Fourth July Blog


Sorry folks, must be becaue I am ill.  Double posting of book link and picture gone awry.

Do slightly out of the general run stories………sell?

Without shame, I am going to put a reminder here of my novella, The Sand Writer. I will include the Amazon link when I post.


But what I really want to talk about are a set of short stories that, put together, can become a book. It is set back in time, so far so good. Lots of books are set in history, so what is different?

The difference is that the stories are about a jester. Someone quite lowly in the general scheme of things. Basically, I started with one short story, from Grinndle the jester’s point of view. Let a relative read it and she asked if I had written any more.

That was the start of Grinndle’s life. It grew and grew. Then something happened. I needed his young life to be told. He was a youth, bit of a wag, got in the way. The Lord of the castle decided he shoud be put to good use. And so Grinndle was apprenticed to the current jester who was getting a bit long in the tooth. Two birds, one proverbial stone. One jester in the making, one lad who was taken out of everyone’s hair and his time wisely used.

The stories kept coming. I think it is about ten now, enough for a book. Problem is, they are all on the old computer (I say old, meaning about four years, definitely old by computer standards) and need to get transferred to borrowed laptop for the time being.

I suppose that what I am asking here is, would it be wise, at some point in time to go to all the effort it takes to make a book ready for epublishing, if no one would look at it? I do write some odd stories from time to time, not reall odd but slightly out of the ordinary. At one time, early on in my writing career, I always thought that having a different slant would make my work more interesting, cult following, possibly.

But now, I am not so sure, reading posts about what sells and what does not sell makes me hesitant to use valuable time when I coukd use that time fir something with more of a chance. I never thought I would make a fortune at writing, getting ahead too late in life, what I did aspire to was for peope to read my work and get some enjoyment from it. I still have those thoughts.

Short post for me. So, be good, peoples,


Pets ……..the pros and cons, … are we better for having them around?

Fluffing, Twoey and  Miss Melon.

Third July Blog

Pets……….the pros and cons, are we better for having them?

When I was a very little girl, mum and dad got a cat. You did not go out and buy them in those days, so I guess someone’s cat must have had kittens, and they got one. Far too long ago to know for sure. I vaguely remember she had a single kitten that did not live. We did not have this cat for long, and I cannot remember the reason, but she was put to sleep.

When I was around five years of age, they got a puppy from next door’s brood. He was a quarter rough collie. Toby was his name. I loved him and he loved me. When dad or my older brother would pretend to threaten me, he would bark at them and protect me. Fun for them, serious business for Toby. He had his bad side though. Well, not bad but… difficult. The back garden was half fenced in and at times, Toby would get out and dad would call him back. He would come up to just beyond the fence, then when dad moved towards the fence, he would run back down the garden. A sort of game for him, I suppose. Dad always said that if he had had a gun, he would have shot him ( in jest, of course, but it was so maddening for him and time wasting) . He always came back in evetually.

During the bombing in the times of the second World War, when the sirens went, we, as a family, had to get down into the Anderson Shelter in the back garden. I always cried for Toby to be with me, but that plan was vetoed. Still, we all survived. I had Toby until I was fifteen and coming home one day, I found that Toby was not there, (something I later rectified with all subsequent pets, everyone I took to be put to sleep because they had bad illnesses, I always took them myself and said goodbye, even though it often broke my heart – just thinking about it has brought tears to my eyes -{our last cat went ftom us only three years ago}, did not think it could still hurt that much but it is a bad morning)

When thinking about getting a pet, one had to realise that it is for life, their life, and their lives are so much shorter than most. We should love them, look after them the very best we can, and I suppose most if us do. We need to show them that we care for them. There are so many bad tales around of animal cruelty. You would have thought the human race by now, would have come to realise we should treat all animals, wild or pets, how we would wish to be treated, but no. This does not happen in many cases. Plenty of horror stories abound. I see pictures on The Net where dogs and cats have been so badly abused, it make me sick to my stomach. The same happens with wild creatures, seal clubbing for one, elephants with wires around their legs to die in agony or be shot for their tusks. Rhinos for their horms. There is NOTHING medically theraputic in rhino horn. All these poachers are doing is drastically reducing winderful animals to the point of extinction. Same with wild cats and their coats. Mountain leopards, tigers, ocelots, jaguars and so on.

Sorry, bit of a rant there, but it has to be said, some members of the human race are still so barbaric, they are two thousand years behind the times. What gives them the right to act in such indecent and inhumanic ways? They should learn by now to respect the other species that share this planet.

No, I am not a vegetarian, yet. We raise animals to kill them for food. That is the way of things as there are too many if us to hunt our food. And nature made it so that we needed meat in our systems. Cannot odds that as a basic Paleo diet. Thousands of years cannot be wiped out overnight, I see that, though many vegetarians amongst us would disagree, I am sure.

OK, it has been found that taking a dog or cat into an old peoples’ home can be beneficial and theraputic to the elderly who, born of a different era, find time hangs on their hands. Bingo and card games are all very well, but I am sure they pall after a bit. And many of these people would have had pets of one kind or another before they got old and needed a care home, some often having given up longstanding pets to do so. It has long been said that stroking furry animals calms a body in many ways. I have always loved to stroke cats or dogs whether they belonged to me, or not. I think I am a better person for it. I hope others agree with me.

At one time I had six cats all a once. No, it was not mayhem in the house. I have also had two dogs and two cats at the same time. It works, it really cn work if you set your mind to it. They usually got on pretty well together, the cats and the dogs. Just a matter of training the dogs to accept new members of the family.

But, and this is a big but, never get n animal if (a) you have no space for one – say, a medium to large dog in a flat/apartment, (b) you cannot afford, not only the day to day requirements like food, toiletry stuff but future Veterinary payments as you will almost certainly have at some stage, some more than others and (c) last but not least, where you do not properly love and care them. ( I am including birds, fish, reptiles, turtles/terrapins) .

I do not set myself up as some really knowledgeable pet person, I just speak from the heart and a certain mount of experience. If I could still own pets, I would prefer cats. Dogs, of any description, have to be walked. They need exercise (another reason to think very carefully when you plunge into ownership), and if, like me, walking had now become a no no, then dogs ar not for you. Cats can nd do troll about all on their own. But, people, think on this, there are creatures out there that are quite willing to take your cat and dispense with it.

For England, plenty of foxes have now become urbanised. They have come into my garden on several occasions, right up to the back door. Now I do have a friend that welcomes these wild animals. This should not be! They are country dwellers by right. It is just that food has become easy pickings in urban areas. They are not wanted here and have, on several occasions, entered households and bitten babies and children.? A wild creature us NOT a pet! In my case, I think they one for birds that drink and bathe in tubs of rainwater. I can think of no other reason. Unless someone in other houses has rabbits? (I am told that rabbits bite?). Not for me, nor gerbils and also not hamsters or guinea pigs. A realitive has one left and, they really do not do anything but eat. Not an interactive pet in my book.

Be good to yourselves and others,