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Take control.

20 Sep


Try a cocktail.

19 Sep

Stay cool.

18 Sep

Sonia’s mum never missed a comp. She was always there in the same hot-pink coat. Usually she was hand-stitching the trim on a new costume, or repairing an old one. When Sonia was announced over the loudspeaker, her mum put the sewing down and paid attention.

Later in the car, she would set the air-conditioning on CHILL, and tilt the vent to her face. Winter or summer…she’d do the same thing.

It took Sonia nearly forty years to figure out why. You’d think she’d be quicker, seeing show good she was at figuring.


17 Sep

She liked to dry the dishes twice, once straight out of the dishwater, and again before putting them away. She was polishing really, not just drying them. There was something steady and reassuring about doing it that way.

After breakfast Andy liked to watch her from the table, while he smoked. Sometimes he asked her, “What are you thinking about?”

“Oh, this and that” she would say, without turning. To be truthful she wasn’t thinking about anything at all. Neither this nor that.



16 Sep

He expected he would soon be reunited with Bubbe and Zayde, his sister Hanni, and big Sam and Sara. What a party they’d have…the food..the dancing!”. He would borrow some nice clothes from his cousin, his old ones would be too large for him now.

He was in essence, an optimist. The world was a good place, and the people in it were kind. All would be well..and the family would be safe.

Hold your breath.

15 Sep

She never gave up. When her head slipped below the surface, she reached…and  a strong hand gripped her wrist.

When waiting for salvation, try to remain calm.

Stay home.

14 Sep

The hotel was lovely, but there was still something about the ceiling height that made her uneasy. Even in the luxury suite she felt the lowness of them. The ever-so-slight money saving, space cramping meanness of them.

If she sat very still, and focused very hard she could see her house. Her home with its comfortable sofas, windows that opened to the jasmine outside, and generous, lofty ceilings.


Do an honest day’s work.

10 Sep

This was it, the bare-knuckle fight of the century. After it was done, he would go home and take a bath while his mum cooked him a hot tea. Fight the good fight, Gypsy Joe.


Enjoy the ride.

9 Sep

Look up.

7 Sep

Ernie was home on shore-leave before redeployment…it was his idea. “Get up there” he said, “you haven’t lived until you’ve done it.” She had to admit the view was spectacular once she found her balance. A full moon hung in a clear sky and stars glimmered in the distance. Not a breath of wind blew.

Dad’s viewing platform was unfinished. His plan was to bring his telescope up to stargaze on clear nights, and that never happened. Now she was surprised to realise she felt closer to him up here than in the years since he died.

“Hello Dad.”

“Did you say something?” Ernie’s voice floated up from below.

 “IT’S ME, BETTY”, she was sitting now, looking up.

“I know who it is”, his face appeared now over the gutter. “Move over”, he sat down and lit a cigarette.

“Dust off the telescope, big brother.  It’s gonna be you, me, Dad and the universe.”