It was just an ordinary day.
Logs arrived while I was out, so that was good planning.
When I got home, Mr HB had gone to get the children from school, stacking half done.
So I rolled up my sleeves. Figuratively of course, it’s winter –and started moving the logs from the lane to the wood shed.
I could see the children way down the lane when they came back and they stacked the wood too, one more willingly than the other, but they were both ‘encouraged’ to help.
Then the light deepened and pinkened and I knew it was sunset even though we hadn’t seen the sun all day.
Bathed in a rose tint we stacked wood, complained about having to help, blew on our painfully frozen fingers.
An ordinary day.
Wood, sky, children, work, cold, light.
I’ve been asked to judge a competition! SeaMab School are running a Pocket Money Stories writing competition and they are looking for tiny stories of no more than 350 words.
Did you get pocket money as a child? Do you have a childhood memory that centres around pocket money? Submit your story using this link here. The team are looking for original pieces of your writing – four prizes will be awarded. This is my offering here.
Seamab are a residential school for vulnerable children aged between five and thirteen who have complex needs. They are nationally recognised for their specialist work with child development, attachment, and the impact of trauma and loss. Donate, or learn a bit more on their website.
Please share with your writing pals, and let me know in the comments if you enter or have any questions.
Today I have been thinking about … fear.
These are not tinylife fears, they are fears of the bigger picture. Our whole world. Fears of biglife.
When people who divide, rather than unite, are given power, I fear. When men are accused of violence against women, and appear to get away with it, I fear. (What are we saying to those considering similar violences?)
When I hear about stickers promoting a Far Right group on the railings my children pass on their way to school, in this tiny village –
When it looks like we have forgotten, or don’t seem to care,
about how far we’ve come, about where we’ve been,
Today I hold my children,
and I try to be brave.
Because this fear is likely to deepen, to harden
and may split right open and apart.
I’m rarely on the bypass at that time of night, stopping and starting, bumper to headlight. I always remember my sister’s advice. ‘There’s nothing you can do about it,’ she said, circa 1997, ‘just listen to the music, and chill.’
Suddenly, there was a blue light, flashing behind. How on earth would they get through all this? Thankful that I was passing a place to pull in, it managed past me.
As the car behind me pulled in too, I noticed that the car behind that had already done so.
These selfless acts reminded me. People are kind and thoughtful. Society does work. Most people – even people in a traffic jam – care.
Then the cars in front peeled off to each side, like a pulled thread, we were joined in a communal goal. And together, we let the ambulance through.