Happy Coral Anniversary by Ms Paige Turner

19/09/2020 // by Jan Moran Neil

Bored Husband

‘Your husband has just called
to say you can buy anything in this shop,’
the plaque reads.

But my husband stares out to sea;
examines the mainsails of catamarans
whilst I examine the ‘Just Cruisin’’
swimwear.

We know everything in life
carries a price tag.

Amongst the bric-a-brac
there is another plaque which reads
‘Bored Husband.’

I turn to check the price tag.
On the flip side reads …
‘Not for Sale.’

Jan Moran Neil

Ah for the sea …
Deadline coming up at the end of September for the anthology ‘When This is All Over’ – up to 200 words for the Rennie Grove Nurses. Send through my website.

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The Magic and Madness of 2020

06/09/2020 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘The Magic and Madness of 2020…’ by Ms Paige Turner.
Last night Mr Justin Case and I had a gander round some Amazon Prime films as we had signed up. Within minutes we had decided on viewing ‘The Professor and the Madman’ – the story of the laborious making of the Oxford Dictionary. That caught my eye. We had dinner and sat down and viewed.
How swift that all was. As a child my mother, sister and I would regularly trundle on several buses to stand in a queue stretching round corners at the Granada in Thornton Heath or the Odeon in South Norwood. It always rained. But the umbrellas seemed to be part of ‘going to the pictures’. We could never be sure there were tickets available when we reached the kiosk but were truly grateful for our efforts when we managed to get seats. We could be sure we would see Fred MacMurray magnified and that we would have to queue yet again for a Lyons choc ice which was always sold by a uniformed girl during the interval, probably after the B film in anticipation of the A. We three would then queue for several buses and trundle home. (Dad would have been on a late shift at Clapham Junction railway station and anyway his arthritis wouldn’t permit cinema seats.)
Of course, if I was sick in the night from too much choc ice, Mum could always phone Doctor James or Doctor Crouch and one or other would appear in minutes as if by magic.
I pondered on all this when I didn’t like to take my GP’s time in booking a telephonic appointment this week. I was truly grateful to get a text message from the medical surgery reception passing on a piece of advice from a GP I didn’t know about my broken toe.
What has been happening to you this wonderful and mad 2020? Write me under 200 words for the anthology ‘When This is All Over …’ in aid of the Rennie Grove Nurses and send to info@janmoranneil.co.uk

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Overstrung by Ms Paige Turner

25/08/2020 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘Overstrung’ by Ms Paige Turner

Overstrung

My moistened cloth
dabs discord
on your cream keys,
which you have oiled
with finger grease
over years
spilling tears,
plodding keys
to please.

My veined fingers
make amusical nonsense,
like my wired voice
post breakfasts
tuned into “scales”.

Here have we both played
imperfect harmonies,
plodding keys
to please.

You know,
this piano
is bigger than both of us.

1997

There has been a piano in our home for almost thirty years but as you can hear in the poem above, I never played but polished. This morning two gentlemen came to lift her away, covering her black spruce in a shroud. Tomorrow I shall hear her in tune when my daughter plays what she learnt so well at Chorleywood piano lessons whilst I sat marking words in the car. I have earned the music but she is moved now to a new home.

The poem was published in my collection ‘Serving Bluebird Pie’ which the talented Heather Scott illustrated with such acute observation. I wish I could display her picture here: it’s of black crotchets splashing tears on to keys. I hear a new poem coming on …

Here’s to you sending me new words for the new anthology ‘When This is All Over’. Up to 200 words for the Rennie Grove Nurses please. To info@janmoranneil.co.uk and don’t forget a sentence or two of who you are and where you are from.

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A Triolet for Laurie Lee

10/08/2020 // by Jan Moran Neil

A Triolet for Laurie Lee – 14.5.97 by Ms Paige Turner
In last bi-month’s blog I wrote about the nine VIPs I had met and clean forgot about getting drunk with Laurie Lee. I tried to sell a feature to ‘The Oldie’ outlining this experience but the editor told me, ‘It’s difficult to find someone who hasn’t got drunk with Laurie Lee, Jan’.

A Triolet for Laurie Lee – 14.5.97

When I shared scotch on the rocks with Laurie Lee
it was a cold November night but now Laurie’s dead.
I asked, “Did you do it with Rosie?”
when I shared scotch on the rocks with Laurie Lee.
He wasn’t sharing any secrets and unfortunately
he was sixty eight. My fate. Too late. “Cider is sweeter,” he said
when I shared scotch on the rocks with Laurie Lee.
It was a cold November night, but now? – Laurie’s dead.

First and second lines are repeated throughout this eight line verse. Any number of syllables can be used. The repeated lines should take on new meaning and form a different part of the sentence each time.
Short thought provoking.

PLEASE KEEP SENDING YOUR 200 WORDS OR LESS IN TO ME FOR THE ‘WHEN THIS IS ALL OVER’ ANTHOLOGY. GOD SPEED THE VERITABLE VACCINE.

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Name Drop In Centre by Ms Paige Turner

02/08/2020 // by Jan Moran Neil

1. Chris Biggins
2. Kate O’Mara
3. Dr Liam Fox
4. James Corden
5. Elton John
6. Carrie Fisher
7. David Essex
8. Kenneth Branagh
9. Christine Keeler
10. The Queen
I once drove Chris Biggins round Trafalgar Square in my mini whilst he opened the window and shouted, ‘Help. I’m being kidnapped’. Kate O’Mara once drove me home when I was in tears, nursing a bunch of red roses a cheating boyfriend had sent me and she told me to shove them up his arse. Dr Liam Fox told me to put a plaster on my daughter’s chicken pox spot. (I’m so pleased he went into politics.) I told James Corden in Costas that a TV Sit Com featuring a girl from Cardiff called Stacey and a boy from Essex called Gavin would never work. I stood right next to Elton John one Saturday night when he played the song by that name back to front from the top of his piano at the Shaw Theatre. Carrie Fisher loved a boy whose best friend once loved me. The Queen asked me how the weather had been that summer in Regent’s Park but she didn’t wait for a reply. I told Kenneth Branagh that I couldn’t hear a syllable of the dialogue in ‘Another Country’ from the back of the stalls and I’m sure he cannot recollect. And no, alas, I did never film those scenes on the beach and on a roller coaster in the film ‘That’ll Be the Day’ with the gorgeous David Essex as the Central School of Screech and Trauma wouldn’t let me go and collect my Equity Card on the Isle of Wight. But that was all another country.
PS I once served tea to Christine Keeler

Spread your Lovely Words and Not the Virus.

An Anthology entitled ‘When This is All Over …’ in aid of the Rennie Grove Hospice Care which is a charity providing specialist nursing care and support for adults and children with a life-limiting illness.

Please send me any poems (Haiku? Limericks? Clerihew? Sonnets? Freestyle?) fiction or creative non-fiction up to 200 words for the anthology.  Do write about your thoughts, wishes, hopes, reflections, experiences at this time: what is happening in your world and what is happening to the world out there. Submissions free and from all ages welcome to info@janmoranneil.co.uk

There is no limit to submissions and published successes are welcome too. The closing date for now is September 30th. I’ve had submissions from 9 to 90 year olds and from Dublin, Spain, South Africa, USA, Holland, New Zealand and Birmingham.

Also, give me one sentence describing yourself and where you come from.

www.janmoranneil.co.uk

 

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Name Drop in Centre by Ms Paige Turner

09/07/2020 // by Jan Moran Neil

Which one of these celebrities have I never met? Free assessment (up to 200 words) for the first one in with the correct answer!
1. Chris Biggins
2. Kate O’Mara
3. Dr Liam Fox
4. James Corden
5. Elton John
6. Carrie Fisher
7. David Essex
8. Kenneth Branagh
9. Christine Keeler
10. The Queen

Spread your Lovely Words and Not the Virus.

An Anthology entitled ‘When This is All Over …’ in aid of the Rennie Grove Hospice Care which is a charity providing specialist nursing care and support for adults and children with a life-limiting illness.

Please send me any poems (Haiku? Limericks? Clerihew? Sonnets? Freestyle?) fiction or creative non-fiction up to 200 words for the anthology. Do write about your thoughts, wishes, hopes, reflections, experiences at this time: what is happening in your world and what is happening to the world out there. Submissions free and from all ages welcome to info@janmoranneil.co.uk

There is no limit to submissions and published successes are welcome too. The closing date for now is September 30th. I’ve had submissions from 9 to 90 year olds and from Dublin, Spain, South Africa, USA, Holland, India and Birmingham.

Also, give me one sentence describing yourself and where you come from.

What do you want to do ?

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‘Shakespeare’s Clock’ by Jan Moran Neil

30/06/2020 // by Jan Moran Neil

This is the title of my next novel and I have just signed with Cranthorpe Millner Publishers. It will be out next year. Let’s hope I will be able to launch in person.

Spread your Lovely Words and Not the Virus.

An Anthology entitled ‘When This is All Over …’ in aid of the Rennie Grove Hospice Care which is a charity providing specialist nursing care and support for adults and children with a life-limiting illness.

Please send me any poems (Haiku? Limericks? Clerihew? Sonnets? Freestyle?) fiction or creative non-fiction up to 200 words for the anthology. Do write about your thoughts, wishes, hopes, reflections, experiences at this time: what is happening in your world and what is happening to the world out there. Submissions free and from all ages welcome to info@janmoranneil.co.uk

There is no limit to submissions and published successes are welcome too. The closing date for now is September 30th. I’ve had submissions from 9 to 90 year olds and from Dublin, Spain, South Africa, USA, Holland and Birmingham.

Also, give me one sentence describing yourself and where you come from.

www.janmoranneil.co.uk

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‘God Speed the Vaccine …’

13/06/2020 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘God Speed the Vaccine’ by Ms Paige Turner – Blog 243

Karen Gray-Kilfoil who runs the Scribblers Writers’ group in Fish Hoek, Cape Town has asked me to help her out in a Live Webinair meeting next week. She would like a list of topics writers can tackle for my ‘When This is All Over’ anthology which I am putting together for the Rennie Grove nurses. I am anxious. Not about the topics which you can see below but by tuning in to Live Webinair and hitting on the right buttons. Like ‘Payees’ and ‘Amounts’ on bank transfers, where I always think what I have is going Lord Knows Where. Yep. Skype, Zoom and now Live Webinair gets me like that. Where is what I have going?
So if you are stuck for submissions (to info@janmoranneil.co.uk any age, free submission, just add a sentence or two about who you are and where you come from) here’s some ideas:
‘The World Inside You’: Cleaning your Home, Cleaning your Cupboards, Cleaning your Laptop Docs, Cleaning. Exercise, The Dog, Cyclists, Joggers, People Dodging, the Weather, Nature, The Sea, The Sky, The Garden, Finances, Health Issues, Washing our Hands, Home Arrest, Self-Isolation, Alcohol, The Evening Meal, Baking, Teeth, Hair, The Refuse, Working from Home, Home Schooling, Writing the Book, The People you Live With, Domestic Abuse, The Home, TV News, Wimbledon, The Memory of Sitting on Someone’s Knee, The Memory of Someone Sitting on Your Knee, Zoom, Skype, The Internet, Scams, Live Webinair.
‘The World out There’: The Germ, Plastic, Paper, Christenings, Weddings, Funerals, Car Batteries, Wimbledon, Protesters, Statues, Racism, Holidays, Frontline Workers, Carers, Refuse Collectors, Postal Workers, Cleaners, Bankers, Administrators, Taxi Drivers, Dentists, Shop Workers, Shopping for Food, Pollution, Planes, Trains, Boats, Cars, PPE, Ventilators, Public Lavatories, Hospital Visits, Private Worship, The New Vocabulary, Social Distancing, New Ways, The New Norm, Antibodies, The Vulnerable, The Two Metre Rule, Support Bubbles, The ‘R’ Factor, Lockdown, The Globe.
Phew – I must confess to a glass of wine at the 5.00 pm briefing every day which I watch as I long to hear, ‘There are no new Covid related deaths today and there is a vaccine you can access tomorrow.’
Do send your words in. Spread Your Lovely Words and Not the Virus as Lives Matter.

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‘Sunday Shoes’ Commendation

27/05/2020 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘Sunday Shoes’ Commendation.
I was delighted to be one of three commendations after three winners in the Enfield National Poetry Competition. There were a thousand entries and the comp was judged by Ruth Padel. You can view the poem here:
www.enfieldpoets.com

‘Spread your Lovely Words and Not the Virus.’
An Anthology entitled ‘When This is All Over …’ in aid of the Rennie Grove Hospice Care which is a charity providing specialist nursing care and support for adults and children with a life-limiting illness.
Please send me any poems (Haiku? Limericks? Clerihew? Sonnets? Freestyle?) fiction or creative non-fiction up to 200 words for the anthology. Do write about your thoughts, wishes, hopes, reflections, experiences at this time: what is happening in your world and what is happening to the world out there. Submissions free and from all ages welcome to info@janmoranneil.co.uk
There is no limit to submissions and published successes are welcome too. The closing date for now is September 30th. I’ve had submissions from 9 to 90 year olds and from Dublin, Spain, South Africa, USA, Holland and Birmingham.
Also, give me one sentence describing yourself and where you come from.

What do you want to do ?

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Born in the Time of Coronavirus

14/05/2020 // by Jan Moran Neil

Welcome to this extraordinary globe
Eleanor Rose.
And always remember, Ellie
there is a pharmacy inside your wonderful body.

Born Friday 1st May. 5 pounds 9 ounces.

Now we are into some more downtime, do send me your words.

Spread your Lovely Words and Not the Virus.

I am working on an anthology entitled ‘When This is All Over …’ in aid of the Rennie Grove Hospice Care which is a charity providing specialist nursing care and support for adults and children with a life-limiting illness.

Please send me any poems (Haiku? Limericks? Clerihew? Sonnets? Freestyle?) fiction or creative non-fiction up to 200 words for the anthology. Do write about your thoughts, wishes, hopes, reflections, experiences at this time: what is happening in your world and what is happening to the world out there. Look forward too. Submissions free and from all ages welcome. Send to info@janmoranneil.co.uk

There is no limit to submissions and published successes are welcome. The closing date for now is September 30th. I’ve had submissions from 9 to 90 year olds and from Dublin, Spain, South Africa, USA, Holland and Birmingham. We’re all in it together.

Also, give me one sentence describing yourself and where you come from.

Creative Ink News

Ruth Potts was one of my very first students in the late eighties. She sadly died last November. Those of you who attended classes with Ruth, and worked on Rhyme & Reason with her, will remember her as the kindest and sweetest of souls.

Pat Abercromby, along with other former Creative Inkers, has put together a delightful anthology called On Reflection which is available on Amazon.

Prolific poet Chris Johnson has been published in London Grip and Popshot and short listed for Acumen.

My poem ‘Sunday Shoes’ is one of six winners and commendations in the Enfield International Poetry Comp – 1000 entries and judged by Ruth Padel. You can read it here:

www.enfieldpoets.com

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