Sorry to be  a little late, but I was called away to lend a hand with a new baby and only returned, rather shattered yesterday : tired but happy.

There were very few entrants to both competitions: in fact only one in the short story section. But what a story, Mr Royal! I’ll never be able to see a giraffe again without thinking of you.
SO, although you had no competitors, you are the worthy winner of the short story competition, and I look forward to a theme set by you for the next round.

There were a few more entrants for the photography side of things – I had expected photographs of little hands clasping larger hands, hands undertaking tasks, such as cooking, knitting, painting…. but no, you had other ideas…

OZ had this contribution: viar amoozing take on the ‘hands’ theme, and viar topical on the equine theme!

Ara posted this a beautifully side lit picture of Alice, Duchess of Suffolk who resides in her resting state in the church where PapaG was Christened, no less!

Christopher posted this, though sadly the hands were not very clear in the size of image.

Last, but not least, JM posted here with a vair amoozing piece, full of puns and several pictures – (the bananas nearly won, hands down, but for the misplaced figure in the background which to my eye spoiled the composition)

But in the end the prize does go to JM for the most unusual take on the theme: the graffiti handwriting of Clarice Cliffe (nee Shorter).

So I  hand the baton to you, John: your turn to set the next photography competition.


Oxfordshire sunset, tonight

‘All Hands on Deck’ – photo competition and short story competition: – closing 15th February 2013

My challenge for the photo competition this time is to submit photographs of hands – resting or active, aged or very young, or anywhere in between, singly or in pairs, working collaboratively or alone, helping hands or not… do feel free to submit a series, if you wish.

The closing date is midnight (UK) on 15th February, to give you a chance to include romantic Valentine gestures in your submissions. (nothing smutty of course)

And I thought I’d see if anyone wants to take up the challenge of making this the theme for the short story competition too? Same deadline.

January 2012 Short Story, Marking Time.

Marking time

Margot had found it rather comforting, after the turmoil of the previous few days, to lie awake in the dark, waiting in the pause before the weighty inevitability of the funeral. It had been restless night: her sleep interspersed with vivid dreams and it was pitch black when she woke, no light yet edging in around the curtains.  Once awake she had just lain there inert, but acutely alert, with every cell of her body tuned into the emptiness beside her in the large double bed. Eventually she had reached out into the chill air for the light, and peered at the clock. Not yet five.

Continue reading “January 2012 Short Story, Marking Time.”

’Things are seldom what they seem…’, Writing Competition November 2010

The major turning point in Dennis’s life started with an innocuous enough comment.
“We should get a dog,” said his wife Madeleine one Wednesday morning over breakfast. Continue reading “’Things are seldom what they seem…’, Writing Competition November 2010”

October Short Story Competition: Pandemic

Science News: Pandemic, exclusive interview.

Unlike the 2009/2010 ‘Swine Flu’ epidemic which was long predicted, over-hyped and claimed many months of media attention, the virus that mutated abruptly into a potential worldwide killer in December 2010 was almost completely unpredicted and until now not reported. Experts we consulted with these newly disclosed facts about the ‘Measles Mutation’ estimate that this virus had the potential to wipe out 75 -80% of the population worldwide. Continue reading “October Short Story Competition: Pandemic”

Short story for Bilby’s Competition: My Sister’s Lover

My sister’s lover

The snow is thick on the ground. Four or five inches of it have built up around the window frames. It is piled up on top of the car and over the roofs, lit up by the sulphurous yellow of the street lamps. It gives me an excited child like feeling in the base of my belly. Ellen and I used to love playing in the snow, but there weren’t many years in our lives with enough snow to play in properly. Continue reading “Short story for Bilby’s Competition: My Sister’s Lover”

Cupboard Love

The rumour was that Miss Rosenthal had been found in the chemistry lab store cupboard with Mr Armitage with her blouse undone, and buttons missing, and her hair all over the place, and that the headmistress had called them into her office to discuss their future prospects at the school. Continue reading “Cupboard Love”

Miss Polly (Short story Competition)

Josie looked out at the rain with an air of frustration. Squally showers and a buffeting wind had arrived since lunch time: not ideal weather to encourage Polly to come out of her shell and let go of her ragdoll. She seemed to be permanently attached to the thing lately, not wanting to join in with anything or anyone, wearing a subdued mood like a cloak. Continue reading “Miss Polly (Short story Competition)”

Short story, “Coming up for Air.”

Once under the water she always tried to reach the grill at the bottom of the deep end before completing the length – without coming up for air. The dive had taken her right down through the chlorinated water which stung her eyes and reflected blue from the cracked ancient tiles until she nearly reached the bottom. Two deliberate kicks and she propelled herself further down. Continue reading “Short story, “Coming up for Air.””