Remembering Robert


For a precious time, we were inseparable.

Our hair grew as the months went by, full of dreams and hope.

Pale moonlight would filter through those dusty velvet curtains, as we listened reverentially to Dark Star, while outside, Edinburgh awaited it’s damp nocturnal embrace.

Sometimes I’d squeeze some notes from the upright piano, deliciously out of tune, while you strummed magic chords from that battered guitar.

And if John or Jim were there, they’d bang on something, anything, to round out the melodies that wandered, as they wished, between raga and blues.

Then somewhere between three and four in the morning, hunger would overtake us, and we’d pay a visit to the bakery down the road and cajole them to part with a few warm rolls, fresh from the oven.

Those were the best of times.

Rest in Peace.

I left home in the late sixties to seek adventure in Scotland where I met some amazing people. We had extraordinary experiences together that shaped a lot more than our tastes in music.

A Photo a Day : St Aiden, Lindisfarne

Today’s photo was taken in Lindisfarne, Northumberland which is a fascinating place to visit. Careful not to venture out when the tide is low however because the road is flooded.

You can obtain Mead at the local shop, it’s a wonderful beverage!


This is a statue of St. Aiden which can be found in the shadow of Lindisfarne Priory.

T. Rex : Sunday Photo Fiction

T. Rex

My first love Deborah and I used to get it on. We were living the teenage dream.

“I love to boogie!” she would say, “I was born to boogie!!”

She left me for the Jeepster.

“At least he gives me Hot Love, which is a lot more than you gave me.”

She extinguished our light of love. I was miserable.

After the jeepster she bedded a guy known as Telegram Sam. It was more of a solid gold easy action sexual relationship than a hearts and flowers romance, if you see what I mean.

I still felt lost and abandoned and almost made out with a London Boy called the Groover, but realised that guys weren’t really my thing.

Then that whole era faded away.

Deborah married a chartered accountant called Marc and I met you, my dreamy lady, at the zoo and took you to see the Peregrine falcons.

“Shall we ride a white swan on the boating lake?” You asked, and the band played Rock on. “Let’s celebrate summer together!”

We were the children of the revolution. A 20th century boy and girl.

Sunday Photo Fiction is back again! How many song titles can you find in my story?

Photo prompt is © A mixed bag, 2014.

Fireside Melodies : Tuneful Thursdays

Fireside Melodies

I stream Erik Satie to the speakers and Gymnopédie Number 1 starts to play.

Freya and I are listening, together, in front of the fireplace, as the flames curl and sway, licking the dry wood and making it pop and crackle.

It’s turning into a perfect evening. The chilled champagne, and the dark Swiss pralines, await us on the round polished walnut table.

Freya is curled up on the sofa and I am lying on the fur rug.

After a long moment Freya says, ”It’s a sad tune”.

I nod of my head vaguely, and continue to listen, with eyes closed.

I haven’t been able to listen to Satie with anybody else since you left, but after 3 years, I realise that a lot of the pain seems to have dissipated.

“It’s very beautiful”, Freya adds, her voice seeming softer and very enticing.

The pianist continues to play, as you dance before me in my mind. Coming slowly to a halt, you lean over and whisper in my ear softly, “It’s time to let go”.

Yes, I think, it is time to move on.

As I sit up, I reach for Freya’s hand.

“What would you like to listen to now?”

This is my third week of Tuneful Thursdays where I pick some music from my collection and use it to write some Flash Fiction.

I hope you enjoy both the music and my words.

Love Castle : Tuneful Thursdays

Love Castle

We saw the Tower on the waterfront, from the top deck of the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus, and rushed down the steps to alight before it continued it’s tour.

It was warm in the sun, but colder than we had expected. I’d always equated Lisbon with a much warmer climate and was a little disappointed although it was mid-November.

“The Belem Tower!” I exclaimed

“Let’s get closer and take some photos,” Helen said enthusiastically, as we strolled arm in arm across the grass.

“Don’t run, hun,” she added.

“I’m not running!”

I felt her resistance as I attempted to quicken her pace in harmony with mine.

There was a lovely wooden bridge leading to the Tower Gates and a few steps leading to the water’s edge just below. I’d get a much better perspective of the bridge and the tower from there, I thought, and started to make my way.

Helen saw where I was headed.

“Be careful,” she shouted as we separated.

There were a few shallow steps and then the ground was greenish.

‘I’d better be caref …’ I thought but I was already on the way down, feet in front, as my backside headed rapidly towards the solid stone.


I tried to stifle my exclamation, as my coccyx arrived heavily on the wet green moss, and my whole body slipped forward several centimetres. My right elbow instinctively tried it’s best to cushion the fall. The end result was a strange mix of comic and tragic.

I bravely emitted a half laugh but couldn’t spontaneously find anything appropriate to say and just sat there trying to look as if it had been the plan all along. (I wished)

Helen had seen my acrobatics and was there by the time I’d got my breath back.

“I told you …”

“Of course you did” I gritted my teeth. Why was it that each time she emitted a warning, strange things occurred? Sometimes it felt like a jinx.

I got to my feet, making sure that I didn’t make both of us fall, and we made our way slowly to the wooden bridge.

I tried to cover up an awkward silence, “This could be our Love Castle, you know; that Chick Corea song.”

She looked at me, then laughed, “except it’s from the ‘Spanish Heart’ disc.”

“Well we could always imagine a Romeo and Juliet scene from the balcony.”

“Yes, but Verona is in Italy and I’d be too afraid of you falling!” she giggled.

Still giggling she took me in her arms and kissed me softly on the cheek while placing her hand on the small of my back.

“You OK?”

“Uh huh,” I replied, sheepishly, and added “I’ll live to fall another day.”

Helen didn’t reply, but I was sure that she’d already calculated the odds.

This is Tuneful Thursday #2 where I take a break from my weekly challenges and take inspiration from a tune that I’m fond of, to tell a tale.

Monsieur Albert : Friday Fictioneers

Monsieur Albert

When Monsieur Albert visited the UK, it was my job to entertain him. As the weather was uncertain I proposed a visit to a stately home.

“Somewhere with a music room?” He enquired.

“Yes, we could visit Chatsworth.” I replied eager to please.

So we drove up from London,  arriving later than planned, due to a traffic incident.

He headed directly to the music room.

“What a lovely harpsichord!” I exclaimed.

“No it’s a Spinet, look how it’s smaller.”

He sat down to play.

An attendant darted over but immediately recognised him.

“Maestro, Je vous en prie!” [1]

(98 words)

It’s Wednesday so it’s also Friday Fictioneers time. Yay!

[1] A few meanings for this :

Je vous en prie = by all means
Je vous en prie = you’re welcome

Entrez, je vous en prie = 1. Enter, please! 2. After you! 3. Please!

Over and Over Again : Tuneful Thursdays

Over and Over Again

From nowhere, comes somewhere; and finally just here.

Here. A cold and dark place. Devoid of light and of warmth.

Full of gut-wrenching pain and suffering.

I must escape.

Anywhere would do, but nowhere would be preferable.

Through the pain, I feel some warmth and pressure in my left hand.

I’m unable to open my eyes.

Is that you Olivia?

I try to say your name, over and over again, but no sound comes from my lips.

It goes round and round in my head.

Olivia. Olivia. Olivia.

Take me away into the light. Lay me down in the grass under the warm sun.


I slip away once more, falling back into the engulfing murkiness.

We’re dancing with the early morning sun and I’m singing your name as we laugh and spin, round and round we go.

Olivia. Olivia. Olivia.

The stench of vomit fills my nostrils, but only the odour and the acidic residues remain in my brittle, shrivelled, body.

Someone applies something cool and moist to my forehead.

A temporary respite.


I miss you more than life itself.

Olivia. Olivia. Olivia.

Perhaps if I call your name enough, over and over again, you’ll come back to me, and we’ll go into the light.


Did I hear a whisper in my ear?

“It’s ok to leave.”

Time stands still, while the suffering slowly dissipates.


Your name is on my last breath.

“Olivia …”



I’m setting myself a weekly task outside of my habitual challenges. Thursday is normally a quieter non-challenge day but who wants one of those!

This year my aim is to write every day.

So on Thursdays I’ll pick a musical inspiration and base a story around it. I’ll use the number of words I feel the story requires. Sometimes it will be short and other times it will be longer but I’ll fix the upper limit at 1000 max. I’ll add the song for you to listen to.

This week the song features Jon Lord and Ian Gillan, both ex-Deep Purple members.

Lovely vocals and great guitar too. Enjoy!