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suzannebowditch

Writer of historical fiction, blogger, mum, pet lover :)

Month

April 2016

Garden City

Garden City

We discovered a new shopping mall near Brisbane on the weekend. Well, I say it was a new discovery, but we had driven past the area several times and had always remarked ‘We have to visit here!’ but never had. Well, we did.

The image is of Eight street, made to look like a real life food street in any part of Asia. I like Japanese, so had Chicken Teriyaki, fried rice and an egg on the side. Lovely. Liam chose the sweeter dish of honey chicken with Japanese mayo on the top, which I preferred – will have that next time.

The place rocked, with a heap of shops that I hadn’t heard of before. My daughter and I spent three hours in a H&M store alone – the last time I was at one of those was down in Sydney at Christmas.

We drank sweet cappuccinos, and shopped some more, and left footsore, but glad that we’d finally shopped there.:)

The Jungle Book

I took my daughter and husband to see the new Disney film The Jungle Book. Jeff insisted that we arrive early, and he was right. Even though I grumbled in the car on the way that ‘I was NOT ready yet!’ the queue in the cinema lobby convinced me other wise. We went into Screen 4, which was already half full, and sat watching people fumble to get seats together.

It was worthy of the crowd of enthusiastic families and children though; the film was fabulous. It kept to the original film by Disney (or should I say, the book by Mr Rudyard Kipling himself?!), and the CGI was amazing. I particularly loved Baloo the bear (who was Bill Murray, as funny as ever). The little boy who played Mowgli did a real good job and was cute as.

We left the cinema happy bunnies. 🙂

Well worth 5/5 for me.

PS. This is Percy the pelican who resides in Sea World 🙂DSCF0205

Arthur’s Seat

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The wind was blowing up the mountain at a fair speed. Josh pulled his hood over his head and tucked his cold hands into the pockets in the front of the jacket. Up ahead he could see a bench just beyond the ruins, and a small figure huddled up on it. He knew that it was Anna; even at this distance he recognized the turn of her head, the way she sat, small and delicate against the grey sky. Clouds scuttled above him, and he quickened his pace, although the ground was solid and unyielding. He stumbled on a sharp clump of thistles that were happily growing on the side of the path as a sudden ‘toot’ behind him meant that the van had left.

So, he was all alone to face what ever Anna had to tell him. After the text message from her at lunchtime, he felt that it was time to face her; to put right whatever relationship they had. It was hit or miss with them; he could feel it in his bones. He’d told the other lads to drop him here on Arthur’s Seat, which afforded the best views of  Edinburgh. If he looked to his left, he could see the city before him; Holyrood House, the main streets of elegant Georgian houses, and the castle, perched on a volcanic outcrop that dominated the city.

The van disappeared out of sight, smoke billowing from it’s exhaust. Just behind him, he could hear a rustling, and a small terrier dog appeared from a huge gorse bush. It looked up at him and barked, as if Josh were invading its space.

‘Jack! Come here, and stop bothering the gentleman!’ a figure rushed towards him; a young girl wearing a pink hoodie and matching pink trainers.

‘I hope your okay? He means no harm; his bark is bigger than his bite!’

Josh nodded. They were now at the bench, and Anna looked at the two of them inquisitively.The young woman disappeared behind the curve in the mountain, and he and Anna were left alone.

Josh sat down next to her, and ruffled her hair, trying to lighten her mood, although his heart was racing in his chest.’What’s this about then? I had your text this morning. What’s so urgent that I have to leave the lads and come see you?’ His voice sounded a lot braver than he felt.

Anna did not reply, but pulled out a slim object from her pocket.

‘I’m pregnant.’

Copyright: Suzanne Bowditch, 2016

PS The image is of my black and white terrier Billy, who is as feisty as Jack. 🙂

 

Edinburgh gig

Josh loved Scotland. As a child, his dad would take him fishing on Loch Awe, under the shadow of Kilchurn Castle. They would spend hours on their small tug in the middle of the loch, searching for the biggest pike that they could find. Then they would go back to their hired stone cottage, wet and cold but happy, and fry their catch on a small skillet until they were stuffed.

Josh sighed at the memory. A happier time in his life; now gone. His dad had passed away several years back; it was just him and his mum at home now. He suddenly felt very alone. Jazz had not spoken since their debacle hours earlier. His face had been set straight ahead, just focused on the road ahead.

Luke sidled up behind him, and grabbed his shoulder. Josh was grateful for the distraction.

‘Hey guys, let’s stop for something to eat. There’s a cafe up ahead that does a real mean burger and chips.’

Jazz turned his head and grunted. ‘I’ll take that as a yes, then!’

Moments later they pulled up outside a row of low slung cottages sat on the side of the road. The end cottage had a couple of tables and chairs outside, with umbrellas blowing in the wind. A sign swung from the cottage, with ‘Cocoa Cola’ etched onto it in white and red. A board stood alone, held down with a couple of stones. It read ‘Maggie’s Cafe.’

‘There’s no Maggie here that I know of, but they’ve kept the sign the same.’ Luke noted, as they piled into the small doorway. Inside, it was even gloomier than out. The sun had decided to hid behind the neighboring trees, casting a shadow over the interior.

Just two men were in the cafe, sitting in a corner table against the window. They nodded as the lads entered. After ordering his meal, Josh went back outside and sat on a narrow stone wall. He pulled a a clump of weeds absentmindedly and tried not too think too hard. He could not face Jazz and had no desire to sit at a table with him. This tour was starting to turn into a nightmare.

The door to the cafe slammed shut, and Luke joined him.

‘Thought you’d be out here.’ Luke sat down and pulled out a cigarette. For a few minutes, there was silence, just the rushing of the wind in the tall firs behind them. Then Luke spoke, and his voice seemed to startle Josh from his reverie.

‘Me and the other lads have been talking. It’s no good having a atmosphere like there’s been. Mikey thinks we should bale and pick up a few gigs elsewhere.’

‘Split up the band you mean?’ Josh looked shocked. ‘It’ll blow over between me and Jazz; you’ll see. He’s a bully, but has a short temper. I’d hate to see us split ‘cos of this. I can handle him. Known him since school, and he hasn’t changed. But he’ll never get a decent lass if he acts like that; Sophie will lose interest; he can’t cover up his temper forever.’

Just then, his mobile buzzed. Josh reached into the pocket of his hoodie, and looked at the screen. It said ‘Anna.’ He groaned inside, then retrieved the message.

Hi Josh. I don’t know where you are, somewhere outside Edinburgh, Luke told me. I have to meet up with you. I have something to tell you; it’s important. Anna.

Copyright Suzanne Bowditch, 2016

 

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Memory Lane

12920380_247505245596780_2031494827428401234_nThis is a picture of my grandparents and aunt, taken around 1944/5. My granddad Thomas Morley died a few years after this photo, from the result of shrapnel in his legs.My grandma Jenny Morley never re married. I named my daughter after her. My aunt Pam is around 9/10 years old here.

This is an extract from  a book I have started writing, based on my mother’s family during and after WW2  –

May 1945

‘Come on everyone, we have to get a move on; get ourselves down to the air raid shelter. The bombs are coming!’

Fourteen year old Megan looked up in horror at her Uncle Trevor’s words. She quickly crammed a fairy cake into her mouth, and reached for another. The table cloth slid as she reached across, and the plate holding a large blancmange bunny wobbled in protest.

‘Don’t frighten the children today of all days!’

Her mother’s voice could be heard over her head, admonishing her uncle. They were in the front room of her Aunt’s house, crammed together like sardines. It was her cousin Violet and her sister Phoebe’s joint birthday party; although the families were so close that Violet was more like a sister to her. Megan’s younger sister Daisy sat one side of her whilst her cousin Annie sat to her left. At the head of the table sat the birthday girls themselves. Violet and Phoebe were giggling to themselves, dressed in their best party clothes. Violet had a satin pink bow arranged to the side of her head, whilst Phyllis had a matching bow in a pale green shade. Both girls had been born days apart from each other, in the same front room that was now the venue for the party.

‘Oh, this is exciting!  Her younger cousin Albert squealed.

As the only boy present at the party Albert sat on the opposite side of the table. He gave Megan a kick under the table, and she rubbed at her sore shin. He had on rimless glasses which he hated, and his blonde hair stuck up on both sides of his ears, despite Aunt Dilys’ attempts at smoothing them down with the back of her hand. Just that morning, Uncle Trevor had pulled out the center of the table to accommodate the party, and had borrowed some chairs from his brother David who lived next door, and was also Megan and Phoebes’ dad. The only adult in the room was their grandmother, who sat in the overstuffed armchair in the corner of the room in front of the fire. She had a plate of food on her lap, and a cup of tea was going cold on the small round corner table. At the other corner of the room was the record player. It was Trevor’s pride and joy, and no child was allowed to place any sticky fingers on it or there would be hell to play.  It had a smart walnut veneer, and wrap around doors that pushed open to reveal the record player itself. There were notches along the wood that allowed the records to stand upright, and a small shelf for any bits and bobs. Trevor had his 45’s laid out on this shelf; Elvis Presley, Bill Haley and anything rock ’n’ roll were the favorites.

The birthday party was in full swing when Uncle Trevor made his announcement. Aunt Dilys had put on a good spread, to be sure. There were egg and cress sandwiches, ham and tangy mustard rolls, a pink blancmange rabbit with green jelly grass and a huge pile of Welsh cakes freshly baked that morning. Megan knew they were baked fresh, as she had helped cut them out. The table was literally groaning with delicious food; all arranged perfectly on Aunt Dilys’ white tablecloth. It was not the best fancy table cloth, but her second best; the one with a fine pattern of blue cornflowers on the edges that swayed as if in a breezy field when the cloth moved. There were jugs of diluted orange juice for the children, and Dilys had saved up her rations to buy some decent coffee. A bottle of Camp chicory sat in the glass fronted dresser in her kitchen at that very moment, waiting for Aunt Dilys to open it. Megan had already sneaked into the kitchen to peek under the pristine tea cloth that hide a large round object; the birthday cake. She had not been allowed to have any part in the baking of this delicious concoction, but she and her cousin Annie had watched in awe, as Dilys spread the white icing on top of the Victoria sponge cake, her aunt’s face intense with concentration as if she were organizing the next military campaign. She had adorned it with pink iced flowers, and a few candles that had been found in the back drawer of the dresser.

‘All my ration money gone in an instance – but it’s worth it!’ Dilys had stood back to admire her work, shooed them out of the kitchen and pulled out the bread for the sandwiches. ‘Out you go, you two! Go and find your cousins, but there is to be no dirt on your party dresses, or no cake! I mean it!’

‘Trust the Krauts to spoil good knees up!’ Megan’s gran, known as Nana Florrie, spoke up from the corner of the room.

Down the lane at the bottom of the garden they had run, trying to find a safe place to avoid the bombs. Trevor had been last, as he’d had to practically carry Florrie. The old woman grumbled and groaned, mumbling and swearing to herself.  It was another typical war day as far as she was concerned.

Copyright Suzanne Bowditch, 2016

 

 

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