The Red Blur

big red ballThe red balls bounce and thump and careen around the park. They’re so huge that it’s impossible to grab hold of them.

Freddie’s mom, efficient as ever, gets everyone organized and together they manage to corral the balls in the wading pool. Bobbing on the water’s surface seems to calm the balls down.

At last the Continue reading


I was crossing the park on my way to the library when I saw the poppy-man. I was so excited. I just had to snap a quick photo.

poppy-man, Festival St Jean Baptiste, Montréal 2015

This was the first poppy-person I’d ever seen. I knew others had seen them – my next door neighbour had seen two poppy-kids several weeks before, and then the guy at the dépanneur told me he’d seen a poppy-couple. So I wasn’t the first, but I couldn’t help marveling.

What an experience. Extraordinary. Such joyful shoulders, such happy elbows. His feet! They gave a little skip. They did! I swear!

So then I felt badly about my plan, the one I’d thought up the moment I saw on the news that there was to be a cull of poppy-people.

When they’d first returned – an extinct species, who would have believed it! – they’d Continue reading

Guarding The Narrow Path

"Site/Interlude" by David Moore, 1994, Parc René-Lévesque, QC

Stone Boots guard the narrow path. For this is the path leading to the King’s garden.

If the rumours about the King’s garden are true, then the blossoms are larger than soup tureens and explode in every possible colour, the lawns of fragrant herbs are softer and thicker than the most skilfully woven Persian carpets, and if you so desire you can swing in a hammock of luxurious twining vines or walk among leafy trees from whose boughs come the most exquisite birdsong.

To reach the garden you have to go to the very end of the narrow path where you will need to search for a small wrought iron gate entirely hidden by a thicket of blackberry bushes covered with thorns the size of pitchforks and berries larger than soccer balls. (These berries are  luscious beyond belief. Do not be tempted! Trust me on this.)

Beyond the gate, once you find it, is a thick wooden door reinforced with iron studs and locked on each side with twenty-three heavy duty bolts.

Beyond that, a fifty-foot wall topped with broken glass and barbed wire.

Inside is the garden.

But even before you get to the gate and door and wall, Continue reading

Life is a Blue Cloud

In the café, a motley assortment of furniture: mismatched wooden kitchen chairs, a leather arm chair worn through in places to the horsehair, old school desks, ancient sofas.

arm chair

On the wall faded maps show countries and boundaries that disappeared decades ago.

That table reminds her of the one they’d had at home when she was a kid, square with flaps on opposite sides that you pulled out for birthdays and Christmas.

She chooses the green velvet loveseat. The springs have gone and she sinks further down than she expected.

The coffeemaker launches into action, grinding and thumping and hissing. Used to be Continue reading

Prunella Plume, in the Bedroom, with Sulphate of Zinc?


The devil is in the details.

Mrs. DeLacey was found in her bedroom at 08.28 by her housekeeper Dolores Pritchitt when she brought Mrs. DeLacey her morning coffee. On the bedside table were the cup containing the remains of Mrs. DeLacey’s hot chocolate and two digestive biscuits. Dolores Pritchitt says she knew mischief was afoot the moment she saw the digestive biscuits. Mrs. Delacey was not one to let a digestive biscuit go uneaten.

Prunella Plume is missing. So too is her new green car. IMG_5581

This much we know for a fact.

A quick deduction would lead us to the logical assumption that Prunella Plume was the perpetrator of this vile, heinous and despicable act.


Let us examine the details:

Item 1: The keys. Did Prunella Plume use them to let herself out of the house after committing the dastardly crime? If so, why did she go back inside to Continue reading

Walking Down Walls

Invisible Theater, Bristol

Looking up, he saw the girl half-open a window on the sixth floor, squeeze through it and walk down the wall to the street.

“The party was a bust,” she explained.

Her voice was flat, thin, a little nasal. He wondered if that was caused by her having walked down the wall. Resistance to gravity must surely have an effect on the nasal passages. She was extraordinarily pale under the streetlights.

“Do you need special shoes to do that?” he asked.

“Do what?” She walked with an easy stride that seemed to cover inordinate Continue reading

The Opposite End of the Rainbow


When she arrived at the end of the rainbow, she immediately pulled a shovel out of her backpack and started digging.

“Excuse me,” the sheep said. “I know this is going to be upsetting…” His voice was sympathetic and kindly. “But…”

She dug furiously. Her t-shirt was already stained with sweat.

“I should tell you right away that…”

She threw the shovel aside and crouched down to scoop out the earth with her hands.

“…this is Continue reading

Mirror, Mirror, You’re So Mean

mirror, Georgian House, Edinburgh


Mirror, Mirror on the wall,
My most constant companion and partner of all,
Tell me I’ll win my handsome rich love
And make his heart flutter like the wings of a dove.

My Lady, you’ll snag the gent you desire
For your beauty enchants like sweet songs from a lyre.

Then why do you show me this hideous face –
Grim, haggard, addled and lacking all grace?

My Lady, I’m trying my very best,
But it’s not at all easy to fulfill your request.

Mirror, Mirror, you’re so mean and unkind
To show me this face like a donkey’s behind.

Lady, the problem’s not mine if the truth be told,
For I shine most brilliantly in my frame of gold.


Inspired by The Weekly Photo Challenge: Partners

The mirror was photographed in The Georgian House, Edinburgh.

Today I Feel Like Singing



I do not sing often. I
do not have a sweet
tone nor do I recognize
notes but today
I feel like singing.
An ode, I think. Yes, an ode
will be perfect. An ode to
joy. Are you ready? You must
brace yourself. You can’t say
I didn’t warn you that my tone
is not the most harmonious or
dulcet. Indeed, it has
been compared to a summer’s
rake drawn savagely across a Continue reading

Cat of Malice

Alice snatched Mr. Sporratt’s cat when he went inside his house to fetch the clippers to trim his prize rose bush.

She was surprised at herself.IMG_4631

She knew she hated Mr. Sporratt’s cat, the way it sat on the wall staring at her, flicking its tail from side to side. She felt in her bones it was a cat of pure malice.

But there had been no plan to snatch the cat, no premeditation.

The problem was, now that she had Mr. Sporratt’s cat, what was she to do with it?

And why was it not trying to escape? Why was it Continue reading