The Sweater


“That is the ugliest sweater I have ever seen,” Erin said dismissively.

“I kind of like it,” Wanda said. “What’s wrong with it?”

“Well first of all, it is baby poop green.”

“It’s ‘mustard’ actually,” Wanda said a bit defensively.

“Well, whatever you call it, it looks like it belongs in a nappy.  And what is that design on it?  A moldy doughnut?”

“It’s a wreath,” Wanda humphed.

“Ah, that’s what it is?  So it’s a Christmas jumper then.”

“Well, dah,” Wanda retorted.

“Well in that case, I have seen worse.  Sorry.”




First Line Friday: December 20th, 2019

Hearths and Hearts Aglow


Fireplace, Mantel, Living Room, Cozy


Home fires burn with welcoming glow

‘Tis the season for harmony to grow.

Cares and strife for a time set aside

In a spirit of good will – for us to abide

Warm regards – though winter winds may blow

Affinity for all – our hearts aglow




written for d’Verse



Supermarket, Fridge, Produce, Food


Down freezer-lined aisles,  we did tread

In search of a feast for festivities ahead

Frozen turkey, sprouts, and even corn

All to be thawed by Christmas morn

We stock up on Yorkshires

And blanketed pigs – to eat

And a chocolate gateau – our meal to complete

It’s convenient – with storage-time extensive

We’ve even prepared for New Year’s

It wasn’t expensive




Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge December 10, 2019: Frozen





The Queue: An Etheree

Father Christmas, Christmas, December


My daughters have recently posted photos of my grandchildren in the company of Santa.  With that in mind and with this week’s Colleen’s Challenge  to write a syllabic poem which uses synonyms for give and shake; I, in the holiday spirit, came up with the following Etheree poem.  The form consists of ten lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables.

The children wait.
And glad expectation
Causing little limbs to quake;
The promise of presents to come
When their turn in line finally comes
And they sit upon Saint Nicholas’ knee.




While Shepherds Watched



Humble men flocks keeping
Guarding sheep when others are sleeping
The stillness broken by glorious sight
Angelic hosts fill up the night
And why to these humble go?
A birth to announce so the world could know
One greater than kings had been born
But he lay in a manger – wrapped in cloths torn
This little child – then fast asleep
Two millennia on – the humble still He seeks


Ecclefechan (or Border) Tart

imageedit_1_9629501426 (1).jpg


I wasn’t aware of this dessert until it was mentioned to me by a dear friend.  The name seemed interesting so I looked it up.  It did seem a yummy confection, so I gave it a go.  The tart is named after a village in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland.  It is indeed yummy,  and it is a great alternative to mince pies.


The Crust:

  • Plain or All-Purpose Flour 1 1/4 cups
  • Butter 1/4 cup chilled and cubed
  • Stork (or similar) Shortening 1/4 cup
  • Salt 1/4 tsp
  • Chilled Water 3 to 5 Tbs

The Filling:

  • Butter 1/2 cup  (unsalted is best), melted
  • Dark Brown Sugar 1/2 cup (packed)
  • Treacle 1 tsp
  • Eggs 2 large
  • Lemon Juice 1 Tbs (fresh is best)
  • Lemon Peel 1 tsp (packed), grated
  • Ground Cinnamon 1/2 tsp
  • Raisins 2 cups
  • Walnuts 1 cup (chopped)



The Crust:

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the water about a tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork after each splash. Continue adding water until the dough starts to hold together. Roll the dough into a ball and chill for at least half and hour before rolling out to fill a pie pan. It should make enough for a 9 inch single crust pie.

Then, preheat oven to 190 C/375 F. Line crust with foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake until sides are set and slightly brown (about 30 minutes). Remove foil and beans. Continue to bake until golden brown. Cool crust in pan on a rack for 30 minutes.

The Filling:

Mix the butter and sugar in bowl.  Whisk in eggs 1 at a time.  Add the lemon juice, lemon peel, and cinnamon. Stir in raisins and the chopped nuts.  Pour filling into crust. Bake the tart [still at 190 C/375 F] until filling is deep brown and set in center, covering crust edges with foil if browning too quickly (about 30 minutes). Cool tart.



Simple Celebrations: An Etheree Poem

Appetite, Broiled, Calories, Catering

image: Pixabay


To a close
Autumn rushes
Towards turkey feasts
Thanksgiving and Advent
And then merry Christmastide
Full of joy, indulgence and gifts
Our bank accounts strain from the effort
I prefer a sweet mistletoe kiss


This week  COLLEEN M. CHESEBRO has challenged us to write a syllabic poem using synonyms for the words “End & Hurry,” and on the theme of thanksgiving.  One of the forms she notes it the Etheree.   “An Etheree poem consists of ten lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables. Etheree can also be reversed and written 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.  The trick is to create a memorable message within the required format.”


Living in the UK, Thanksgiving Day is just another Thursday, but the theme of holidays and family get-togethers does fill this time of year.  Please excuse my clumsy attempt to form the poem into a Christmas tree.





Silver Bells

Horses, Horse, Truck, Mare, Stallion


John and Irene climbed aboard and the driver urged the horses into motion.  The ringing of the jingle bells and the clip-clop of the horses’ hooves gave the journey a magical quality.  They took in the lights and the bright decorations, and on a couple of occasions Irene commented on the advertisements for Christmas bargains at the shops they passed.

“Wasn’t that marvelous?” Irene asked as the climbed down at the end of the ride.

“Yeah, it was pretty amazing,” he conceded. “The only hiccup, for me is that I wish it wasn’t still August.”


Saturday Mix – Sound Bite, 23 November 2019 Our three words, using onomatopoeia are:

  • ring
  • clip-clop
  • hiccup 

All That Are Holy


image: Padre’s Ramblings

“What is this place?” Tillie asked.

“It’s All Saints,” Helen responded.

“Like St Peter and St Paul?” Tillie questioned.

“Why yes, they are included, but its more than that.  It’s a place to remember all the holy saints from the past.”

“That would take a lot of stained glass to get them all in,” Tillie reflected.

“It’s not really about all that.  In fact, it isn’t even about the ‘named’ saints from the past.  You see the Bible says all Christians are saints, and there isn’t just this place to remember them, but there is a day for it too.”

“What day is that?” Tillie asked.

“All Holies Day, the day of all holy people.”

“When is that?” Tillie asked, not being able to place it.

“November first, right after All Holies Eve. You call that Halloween.”

“That’s spooky,” Tillie said.

“No just holy.”

(144 Words)


Written for d’Verse Prosery 5 “All Hallows”


Now For Something Different


– David Kovalenko

The Sams were unique in their sameness.  Samuel and Samantha were both born on 3 August 1978.  They were both 5′ 6 ” tall with brown hair and blue eyes.  The had met while both were first year Geography students at Durham University.  With so much in common it seemed in the stars, Leo in this case, that they belonged together.

They married, got jobs at the same environmental research firm, and even had twins – Amy and Anny.  They had their favorite restaurant – LuLu’s, and took their holidays predictably at the same beach resort in Pago Pago.

“Now that the girls have gone to uni, let’s do something different,” Samantha said out of the blue.

“What do you have in mind?” Sam replied.

“How about a cabin in Scandinavia or Canada for holiday this year?” she said.

“I don’t know,” he said.  “We have always gone with summer sun and a beach,” he reminded her.

“Exactly the point,” she said.

“Okay,” he said, “But it needs to be a good one.”

After some searching on the internet she said, “I found one in Finland.  The Google translate says ‘First Class Cabin’ in wooded location.  It says it is a unique venue.”

“I don’t know,” he said unconvinced.

“Wow, doing the conversion, it’s half the price of our usual holiday.  Can’t we give it a go?”

“Okay, book it.  First Class sounds good at that price,” he said.

The holiday was truly something different.  Shame about the English-Finnish translation.




Photo Challenge #276