Posted on 4th October, 2016





Hermitage Castle, Borders - acrylic : Elizabeth Waugh



Holiday self-catering 1


Mere words are not enough, dear home-owner offering a romantic self-catering hideaway.  In the internet age, show me a picture - of your bathroom.


The views from the Juliet balcony are all very well, as are the pictures of local attractions, but I want to know the size and equipage of your ablution resource.  Bath only? bath with shower over? shower cubicle? walk-in shower in wet room? Upstairs with the bedroom? downstairs with the kitchen?


The ideal, of course, is one up and one down.


Trawling sites to find the best fit for two crumblies who enjoy comfort, the novelty of walking out of their front door into a village or small town, a handy pub or late-opening shop for a bottle of something I see cottage after cosy cottage in an array of styles from House and Garden to god-blooming-awful dark red cut moquette and flowery patterned sheets, but very few adequately show their bathrooms.  If I'm lucky the "facilities" column tells me something, but not always the whole story.


And sometimes, you can't see the whole story, because the photos are out of focus, or the owner has happily uploaded them more than once, so the "10 photos" comprise three exteriors, one interior living room, and either bedroom or kitchen, or possibly, again, a glimpse of a green field out of a window.


For there has come a time in my life (actually, it arrived when I was 34, and my rented house had room only for a shower) when I don't want to fold into a hot bath I can't get out of because it's too shiny, I'm too fat or there's nothing like a handle to help, but I do want the comfort of a hot shower, cleanliness and space.   Walk-in replicates my home, and is the shower of choice; cubicle, if pictured, may also answer the need.  The ones that don't are those upright wet coffins with a flimsy curtain keen to swaddle or strangle the user, or the over bath solution which rarely has adequate pressure.


So, after five days net-crawling, I found one.  It is yet to be tested, but one up and one down came good.







Northern Gannet : Tom Langlands



                                                              Eagles Over Schiehallion


                                                              Like a Japanese artist

                                                              Painting beneath his mountain

                                                              At easel in his paper house


                                                              Above the snow capped mountain soars

                                                              After rain the burn roars

                                                              It's way to the Loch

                                                              Carrying its burden of foaming melt

                                                              From the snow peaked mountain above


                                                              In search of peace

                                                              We take the narrow road North

                                                             Journeying for all we are worth, until

                                                             Beneath this mountain we pause


                                                             The value of a poem can be weighed

                                                             Metre assayed  rhythms played

                                                             All fear allayed


                                                            As a Japanese poet might

                                                            I consider writing Haiku:


                                                            Capture the essence 

                                                            Above the mountain warm air

                                                            Eagles uprising 


                                                            Here, where mountains are

                                                            Weighed and found not wanting

                                                            A certain calm descends

                                                            As eyes are raised to the hills


                                                           Geoff Smith





Love letter prompt


"For the love of death"


No matter 

how close we get, 

our skeletons will 

never touch. 

We will rot together 

but be together no more. 

Our dust and bone 

will become friends, 

hold hands and 

settle in the earth. 

Our love is undying, 

our love is real.


Daniel Gillespie




Harvest of Bliss



I remember the day so well, when first we kissed:

conveying its intimacy

conveying tenderness

Throughout my body,heart,mind and soul...

...A kiss of life

which left me whole.


I remember your touch still;

the gentleness of the caress:

The tingling of skin, as we slowly undressed;

to explore deeper, that; which cannot be seen,

and lost myself

within a dream...

....For the dream was of Heaven,

and its light- therein;

guiding our movements,closer; akin...

...A joining: becoming soulmates,

a harvest of bliss,

All created with the touch of a kiss.


Kath J Rennie

Lockerbie Writers



Dragons prompt


Of Mice and Men


Dad's at it again. 

I wish he'd stop

but he won't listen. 

Mind you he was right,

the last guy was a numpty,

all armourchest beating.

Wanted a feather for 

for his helmet. Do me

a favour. But this one,

oh this one's fine, looks

delicate, but I've felt 

his hard core and he can 

read.. Aye read – hard 

to believe. Doesn't even

move his sweet red lips.

So Dad's challenge. Kill 

the dragon -again. We're 

nearly out of dragons. So

I've slipped him one 

of my potions. Smear 

his javelin, stab the beast.

Its scales aren't what 

they're cracked up to be. 

Is anything?

                                          Then we're off. 

He's got a wee castle

 in Burgundy.

What's not to love?


Finola Scott



Fighting fire.


mighty dragon,

your fire, tradition tells

consumes with searing heat

the love Nietzsche ascribed to the wise.

yet I see your impotence cloaked in nauseous gas,

fetid as the breath of any master of violation.


I would stifle your fiery breath,

deflate your bellows,

snuff out your furnace;

melt your abyss of inexhaustible heat

into eternity.

but my greatest fear is in defeat.

by banishing fear I’ll destroy your power,

be free, able to love all creatures, even you.

denial of your existence does not work,

you exist in all;

to pretend you are fictional, 

merely mythical, unhinges me.

I’ll not revel in the loss of myth,

I'll see beauty in your tarnished scales,

sceptical I may be

yet I am wise so fight your fire with love.


Steph Newham





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