There was once a woman who gathered worries as others gather flowers, beer steins or antique cars.
She lived in a pretty house with a pretty garden full of pretty flowers and scrumptious vegetables. She loved her beets and marrows and dahlias, but most of all she loved her worries. She couldn’t get enough of them.
She’d even borrow worries from friends, beg for their cast-off worries.
Word spread and soon people came from far and wide to give her their worries.
She kept the ones she liked best under her bed, in a rectangular wicker basket. Those worries she didn’t care for she burned on the bonfire on Saturday mornings when the wind was blowing in a southeasterly direction, away from her house.
She only gathered women’s worries. She made this decision reluctantly, but as she told herself, she did know her limits. Anyway, the men were perfectly capable of looking after themselves.
Every morning she sifted through the worries in her basket and decided Continue reading →
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 →
Beware the half-light, was what her grandma used to say. ‘Tis the time of mystery and nefarious shenanigans.
Beware the broken mirror, her grandma also used to say. ‘Tis only the five minutes you have to make good.
And yet here she was, in the garden in the half-light, hacking at the hard, frozen ground with Grandma’s old trowel. Five minutes to bury the broken shards of the mirror.
Not even a crumb of earth could she dislodge.
Five minutes. More like four minutes. She must have used up at least a minute throwing salt over her left shoulder, turning around three times widdershins, and grabbing – carefully – shards of the broken mirror and running to the potting shed for Grandma’s trowel.
The wind sighed Continue reading →