We had a lovely Christmas Day - drinks with friends at the local bar followed by dinner with my daughter and son-in-law.

We had a lot to talk about - we're hoping to move back to England next year and they plan to retire early and grow potatoes in Ireland!

We shared the cooking, ate our starters on the terrace and retired there after dinner for more drinks by candlelight. Next year we hope to be drinking our brandies by an open fire.

On Boxing Day we caught up with the rest of the family over thousands of miles thanks to the miracle of Skype, and then we ate a Mexican supper with Venezuelan and Italian friends - a truy international Christmas.

And now life can return to what passes for normal in our neck of the woods. First I must post this week's 100 worder for the Friday Fictioneers - see http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ for the link to other writers. Then I shall send off the short story I wrote for a competition over the holiday, and finally return to the rewrite that seems to be taking forever!

If you're still here, thanks for sticking with me, and I wish you a happy and successful 2015.

My story follows this lovely photo taken by a fellow Friday Fictioneer Bjorn Rudberg.

The tsunami didn’t care that Felicity was a celebrity and Maria a servant – it swept them both off the terrace. Maria clung to a tree, holding Felicity with her strong old arms, until the next wave dragged them away.
As they stood in line for the golden stairs Felicity said, “You can’t come this way, Maria – use the servants’ entrance.”
In a little cove Maria discovered the worn steps of her childhood and ran lightly up them, straight into her mother’s arms, and at the gates she heard Felicity desperately demanding; “I’m a celebrity – let me in here!”


B4911 - a 100-word story

They marched past the citizens in proud ranks, their armour polished to a shine even the General couldn’t fault. The only sounds were thousands of feet hitting the ground and the rustle of the watching crowd. Glancing left, B4911 saw his brothers and sisters waving and stood taller.

The General called a halt at the upper level and spoke.  “Troops! On this momentous day you have nothing to fear. The ancient records say that we are the only species able to survive a nuclear blast.”

B4911 swallowed nervously and stepped outside. Whoever wrote the records hadn’t known about arachnid mutation.
I very nearly wimped out of this week's 100-word challenge when I saw the photo prompt, but then this story popped into my mind. I hope you like it - do please leave a comment, even if it's only "Ugh!"
Thanks (I think!) to http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ for the disgusting photo. Follow the blue frog link on her blog to see what other writers made of it.


CHOICES - a 100-word story

“Marry me, Hanna,” Yakob begged daily, “And we will make many beautiful babies.”
Yakob had dark, expressive eyes, but he was only a fisherman, whose hut crouched on the beach with its roof weighted by rocks. Aaron was ugly, but he would inherit his family’s bar.
“Build me a house first,” Hanna said, “And I’ll think about it.”
Then a storm spread Yakob’s hut all along the beach, and Hanna searched frantically through the debris until she found him.

Now their daughters take tourists on fishing trips and their sons run a beach bar where Yakob’s hut once stood. 
Thanks again to http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/ for the photo that prompted this story.
Follow the blue frog link on her blog to read many other interpretations of the image.
Our Tenerife apartment is for sale - click on the page on the right to look at the photographs. We plan to return to England before our grandchildren are too much older!


The Plumber - a 100-word story

I'm back after a lovely fortnight in England visiting family. We stayed with my brother in the country - log fires and wine every evening - and helped my mother to celebrate her 90th birthday with a posh pub lunch of pheasant pie.
The OH popped down to Folkestone and saw most of his family there, while I spent time with my children and grandsons - and saw, via the modern miracle of a scan, one of my two grandchildren who are due early next year.
I also had to buy a new laptop, which my elder grandson helped me to get started on, and today my brother-in-law installed Word for me - isn't my family wonderful?
So here I am, at last, able to return to my blog with a 100 word story inspired by a photo prompt - which portrays accurately the weather we encountered in England. Thanks to Rochelle for posting the prompt on her blog -


Sandra was checking Pauline’s shopping through the till when her hands froze in mid-swipe. “Is that Vanessa?” she hissed.
Pauline looked down the shop at the well-dressed woman. “It can’t be.” But it was.
“Hello, girls!” Vanessa chirped and emptied her basket – steak, gourmet salad, wine.
“Supper for two?” Pauline ventured. “Stephen’s back then?”

“Stephen?” Vanessa shrugged dismissively and tossed her newly-blonde hair. “He was a dried-up husk and I’m well rid of him. Being with Paul is like spring after a cold winter.”
She winked at the other women. “Paul’s a plumber – he’s unfrozen my pipes beautifully.”
Please leave a comment so that I know I haven't lost all my readers by my month's absence! And my apologies for the gap at the top which I can't seem to get rid of :(


ANTS - 100 word fiction


“What do they look like to you?”
“Ants,” Jin said instantly.
“That’s the standard answer,” the examiner replied, “You’ll have to do better if you want to be allowed to land on this planet.”
Jin tried again. “A migrating herd.”
“They’re not migrating – they’re not actually going anywhere.”
“But they are animals and there’s a lot of them.”
The examiner sighed. “I’m looking for a much simpler word. Look at them again and what’s your gut reaction?”
Jin realised she was trying to help him and the penny dropped. “Food.”
“Finally!” she smiled. “Pack your weapon and let’s go.”

Thanks again to  http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  for the photo that prompted this story, which I wrote in a tearing hurry because I should be packing!
We are off the England tomorrow for two weeks to help my mother celebrate her 90th birthday and to catch up with children and grandchildren. Fortunately my daughter here will water the garden, because the little rain we've had isn't enough.



This is the official crest of the Royal British Legion, of which there are branches all over the world - even here in the Canary Islands. The actual branch is in Tenerife  and we have less than 20 members, but our Welfare Officers cover the entire archipelago. They have occasionally had to fly to other islands to assist an ex-serviceman or -woman in difficulties.

The Royal British Legion is a charity that exists solely to aid British ex-Servicemen and their dependants, and the poppy is sold in memory of the poppies that sprang up after WW1 on the devastated ground over which so many thousands of young lives had been lost. BUT it is important to remember that the RBL caters for ALL ex-service personnel, not just WW veterans - there are still men and women being injured and killed today, and they or their dependants need our help.

This year 2014 is the Centenary Year of which much has been made on the media, but for anyone who doesn't know what it's all about by now - 1914 was the start of the Great War, which subsequently became known as World War One. It was billed then as "The war to end all wars" - would that this were true!

My husband Don has been Chairman of the Tenerife branch of the Royal British Legion for the past twelve years but is now about to hand over the reins to some (slightly) younger hands. It is fitting that Don's last act as Chairman was to oversee the 2014 Poppy Appeal in which we hope - fairly confidently - that we have again won the Noel Rogers Trophy for the branch which raises the most money per member. Last year we raised around eleven thousand euros - yes, you read that right - 11,000+ euros!

I took the following photographs at our Remembrance Service which was attended by around 450 people, including the British Vice-Consul Helen Keating, a representative of the Tenerife Government, Jesus Morales Martinez, many ex-servicemen living out their retirement in the sun, some who fly out specially each year to join us, and hundreds of people of many nationalities including British, Spanish, Belgian, French and German.
You had to arrive early to get a seat

An ex-Royal Marine conducted the service

I read the Act of Commitment in Spanish

Isn't this a beautiful setting? Westhaven Bay holiday complex in Costa del Silencio, Tenerife. The Belgian owners make us welcome every year in memory of the help given to their country by Britain in WW2.

The Last Post and Reveille still give me goosebumps!

Having no Cenotaph, we cast a wreath on the waters in memory of those lost at sea.

Helen Keating, British Vice-Consul, with a group of Marines
A lovely surprise - the local Spanish under-16s Rugby Team turned up!

Duncan wasn't the only Scot but his was the only kilt.

Jesus Morales of the Tenerife Cabildo, Helen Keating, Vice-Consul, Paul Grey, RBL Vice-Chariman, and Don Young, RBL Chairman, standing beneath a Standard 'liberated' from Gibralter, which we all thought was too good a photo opportunity to miss!
Meanwhile back in England my younger grandson Leo carried his Cub Group Standard in procession through the village. There is hope for the future if the youngsters are taught what the results of war really are.


BROTHERS - a 100 word story


Jake could beat Billy every time in a fist fight, but Billy was smarter and was always talking Jake into trouble. Once Jake came in from the woods covered in dirt, crying, “Billy made me dig a tunnel but it collapsed and I got buried.” Billy just shrugged.

Years passed and Billy’s saloon parked beside Jake’s truck proved Billy had the better job, but the brothers still got drunk together after work. 
Until one night Jake staggered home alone.
“Where’s my Billy?” Mam shrieked.
Jake just shrugged. “We were drinking in the quarry and a heap collapsed – Billy got buried.”

Word count = 100

Thanks to http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/  for this week's photo prompt. My first thought was to write about a race but then this darker idea took over. I hope you like it - and please leave a comment to prove you've read it!