Home Fires – SoCS June 11/16


Reconnecting with times gone by, my growing up years, the comforting rhythm of a warm and welcoming family home, the transistor radio on the kitchen table providing a constant, mellow-voiced background to my life, my parents, my sister and brother.

I listen now, some voices familiar, some new, the rhythm of their families entwined with mine. Rolling countryside, lives dictated by sowing crops, milking cattle, harvesting when the weather dictates. I can see, in my mind’s eye, the sun, the rain, the laughter, the tears, as if they were mine.

It feels like coming home, this fictitious place, this Ambridge. Fifteen minutes a day, six days a week, the longest running drama in history. It’s been a part of my life for decades. Thank you, Radio 4, for reminding me of home.

Here’s my entry into the lovely Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, where this week she invites us to write anything including a word using the letters ‘mb’. I was listening to The Archers on BBC Radio’s iPlayer when I saw her prompt and it just seemed to fit. For those of you outside the UK, The Archers, a radio drama, has been running since 1950 and the first producer, who had originally worked on agricultural programmes, hoped that farmers in particular would pick up ideas on how to feed a country that was still subject to food rationing post World War Two. It continued with this heavy emphasis on education until the early 1970s, when the drama began to take precedence. Personally speaking, I still learn a lot from it, and I can hear the echo of farming news in the storylines (Radio 4 also produces Farming Today at the crack of dawn, and many of the issues discussed in  this news programme are reflected in The Archers over time).

The Archers has a loyal fan base, of all ages. There is a blog here, if you are interested, and the lovely Stephen Fry has an introduction to what it’s about here.

Anyway, thank you to  Linda for hosting this prompt again this week. Do hop on over to her blog to read all the other entries – they are guaranteed to be extremely varied!

Cover-up – Five Sentence Fiction

Female applying red lipstick, close up

Female applying red lipstick, close up

They only see what they want to see; I don’t blame them really, it’s the way of the world, fast-paced, overwhelming, images of beauty everywhere – or at least what society tells us passes for beauty.

I look perfect, I make no bones about that, I’ve spent years and thousands of pounds adding, removing, refining, sculpting, enlarging, reducing and enhancing to become who, or what, I am now.

They get the shock of their lives when the truth sinks in, when they reach down below and find something extra that they didn’t expect, and to be honest, I get a perverse sort of pleasure out of that.

Sorry, you wanted my name for the interview didn’t you?

Yeah, it’s Steve.


Here is my latest entry into the lovely Lillie’s Five Sentence Fiction, where she has provided this photo for our inspiration.

Please do visit here to read the entries from other writers who love to keep it short too.

False Lights – Magpie Tales

boots (2)

We struggle for money, aye. It’s always hand to mouth and Mum says it was the same for her growing up, and for Granny and Grandad, and for their parents too, Old Sam Trelawney and his wife, Smiling Nell.

They called her Smiling Nell after the scar that pulled her mouth upwards into a grin. When she was just been married and carrying my Grandad in her belly, she tripped on a rope and cut her face on her filleting knife down at the wharf.

Dad didn’t want us to be short of money and didn’t see why we should just be poor. He always said that times needed to change.

Well, they have now, with him in a sailor’s uniform, firing cannon and all.

Thing is, we have even less than before – a sailor’s pay ain’t so grand, not even half he got for setting down to the shore with his men, waving his lights and pulling the boats on to the rocks. I followed them all, silent as a ghost, lying on the cliff top out of sight of the Wrecker’s Moon. Yes, he risked his life and liberty then, but the rewards were mighty fine. I still have a silk shawl to prove it – it smells of the sea.

Now he’s away, earning the King’s shilling, and he might never come back

Nan says he brought it on himself and he should be thankful he didn’t swing for it.

Nan’s not always right, just like Mum never wants to hear the truth. Wrecking is mighty exciting, I think. I’m going to be the best lady wrecker in all of Cornwall when I’m old enough.


Here’s my latest entry into Magpie Tales – I hope you enjoy it! If it feels like you’ve stepped part way into a story, you’ll be right! Here’s the first instalment submitted to VisDare, and then the second instalment submitted to Five Sentence Fiction.

This week, they are all told by the same young lady, and we are treated to her own firm but (probably) fair views on life, death, truths and falsehoods. I hope you enjoy the stories – please do visit Magpie Tales for more!