The Christmas Post

It didn’t take long for word to get around. The residents of Lingonberry Lane felt that Mrs Richards of number 7 had finally lost her marbles.  Early on Christmas Eve she had set a table, a chair and a big beach umbrella in vivid shades of purple at the end of her driveway, right next to her letterbox.  A tablecloth in bright red and yellow spots draped across the table, a jug of iced water and a plate of homemade fruit mince pies sat upon it, and an esky, by her side, was full of ice. When Darrell Simpson of number 8 cheekily asked her where she would go to the loo she answered “Never you mind. I’ve got it sorted!” But no one could see how it could be done with dignity.

Around ten o’clock, Mrs. Simpson said to Mr. Simpson, “I’m going to see Muriel and find out what she’s up to. I’ll take a pot of tea and some of your mum’s fruitcake. “

With that, she marched across the road, straw hat on her head, laden tray in her hands. Behind her came Darrell carrying a folding chair as if it was a complicated bomb. Gingerly he set it down and went back home before Mrs Richards told his mum about the toilet remark.

“Now what are you up to Muriel?” asked Fionnula Simpson as she poured two cups of tea, before settling down in the chair. “Everyone thinks you’ve gone doolally!”

“I’m waiting for the post, Fee,” she answered sipping her tea and helping herself to a piece of fruitcake, “Here, have a mince pie. I made them myself.”

Fionnula helped herself to a pie and the two ladies relaxed under the purple umbrella, happy in the comforting silence.

Later, Ms Dodemaide, from number 11, banged her folding chair down with a bump.  “What are you doing out here??” she asked, fanning herself with her hat.

“Waiting for the post!”

“I’ll wait with you” said Melissa Dodemaide as she sat down and reached for the water.

“You’ll need more ice in that” said Muriel. She grabbed ice from her esky and the three of them sat back, safe from the sizzling sun, in the shade of the purple beach umbrella waiting for the post to arrive.

When the Postie arrived, she gave her bell a little jingle as she drove on by. “Merry Christmas Ladies!” she called, “No post for you today Mrs. Richardson.”

They watched as she drove up the lane, brakes clicking on and off as she went.

“I suppose my lot will be wanting their lunch” said Fee. She collected her stuff and crossed the road.

“I’d better go too” said Melissa, “Mum said she’d call.”

Muriel sat for a moment before taking her things inside.

The phone was ringing as she walked in the front door.

“Hello Mum. I didn’t post your parcel in time. How would you like a visit?”

“That’d be lovely!”



Copyright December 2019



Dreaded December

Lately I’ve had trouble writing. Usually ideas pester me for days {and nights!} until I write them down, capture those little suckers and turn them into poetry or stories, or both. For the last few weeks I’ve barely managed a good haiku or two. My mind has been full of birthdays and my cat’s arthritis and perfecting the art of housework avoidance. Now Dreaded December is only minutes away and I’m hanging on tightly to November.


“Don’t leave me oh beautiful November full of birthdays and sunshine and time!! “

The 1st of December laughs cruelly, “Mwah ha ha ha ha! Only three weeks till Christmas!! Please….step into my December Parlour where time flies as fast as the speed of light, the sun beats down relentlessly and the storms….Oh the storms…..destroy everything in their path. I am glorious December full of humidity and shopping and crowds and stodgy English meals and ……..visitors!! Mwah ha ha ha ha!!”

I sink to my knees and sob!


Today I bought a small plastic Christmas tree. Hopefully it will fit in the smaller gap next to the two-person sofa, which has replaced the one-person chair, with a larger gap. Tomorrow I shall put up this tree, bake the Christmas cake and begin on my Christmas letters and cards. For I know that these stories and poems, all my crazy ideas, are waiting for December to leave before they come out to play again. They do not thrive on stress, so the quicker I move through December, the faster they shall return.


If I had a Time Machine, or was good friends with an incarnation of The Doctor, then I could wake up tomorrow and it would be January the 1st of next year. I would have a brand new notebook and pen, my ideas would be back from their holiday and I wouldn’t be writing rubbish about sentient months and Christmas stress. Oh well, I suppose ideas do need a holiday every now and then to keep themselves fresh and I need to make contact with the outside world occasionally. If only December wasn’t so …………Dreadfully Decemberish!!



Copyright Dec 2014

The Taking of the Annual Cat Christmas Photo

Advent Poems Day Eighteen


Miaowy Christmas from Amber


She stares at the camera

Somehow she knows that the flash

Will reflect the back of her eyes

Ruining each photograph taken

So she stares at the camera

Daring me to take another shot


This year she sits on the stuffed dog

Bought in a brief fit of Xmas cheer

Cheaply made in a Chinese factory

Signifying everything commercial

And monetarily connected


As she stares at the camera

I snap shot after shot after shot

All exactly the same as the last

Green alien eyes glowing

Santa’s cat gone mad


A sudden snap of fingers

Makes her look to the side

A quick snap of the camera

A frenzied snap of my brain

At last I have the perfect shot



The taking of the Annual Cat Christmas Photo

Is done



Copyright December 2013






Tourist Season



Barriers move and stretch and sometimes snap

As more and more is stuffed in

Willy Nilly

Don’t be silly

They pays their money


Little metal boxes on wheels

Multiply under the summer sun

Heads nailed on tight

As Bing sings in air conditioned white

And the native species fight

For parking spaces


The whole world swells

A bulge, a press, a stress

Such a heat stroked mess

BUT they pays their money


Copyright November 2013