We have two ears and one mouth…

so we should listen more than we say.” ― Zeno of Citium
I don’t know who he was but he is certainly right! How many of you have been in this situation – which one are you?

It was like some sort of talking competition. Three women sitting at a table in a small, out of the way bar, drinking coffee.

The oldest one who sat in the middle, overweight and badly wrinkled from years of smoking maybe, or years of retirement in the spanish sun, was dressed in the wrong colours for her sallow complexion and weight and nearing seventy at a guess. She became red in the face with the effort of exaggerating her stories to make the other two, younger women laugh. And they did laugh a little and so the wilder her hands gesticulated and the more dramatic her facial expressions became.

Two had children, that much was obvious as they prattled on, each anxious to let the other know whose grandchildren were the worst behaved, or the cleverest, whose children had given them the most problems during adolescence, whose marriages were the most messy, whose divorces were the most acrimonious.

Each husband’s faults were described in detail – how similar they were – was this a coincidence – after all they hardly knew each other, and health issues, they soon came into the conversation – one had had her fair share of serious problems but did she have to regale them all with such great detail?
On and on the oldest one prattled, and when she paused for breath – the second of the two took the opportunity to jump in,  and the younger woman with no children became quieter by the minute.

She was perhaps in her late fifties – lithe and well dressed – her make up was subtle and she soon stopped listening over the second coffee and let her eyes glaze over as she looked around the bar. ‘Would they never stop’ she thought – ‘the express train had certainly built up steam that morning…’

OK so maybe I’ve missed the boat for being a writer in this lifetime! Hola! But I’m still out of the coffin!


and now for something completely different…the passion flower has flowered! The winter here was the mildest for years and this is the first time it has flowered after the first and only time it did about 5 years ago. My neighbours haven’t seen anything like it! Its a good talking point – so from my friend’s garden near York to the depths of rural France, how good is that?


and we have had the internal doors stripped! Yes ten years ago we would have done them ourselves – as we did with the stairs – ye gods what a job that was – himself watching Le Tour in Yorkshire still remarks on it occasionally! More than likely they are the original doors – what stories could they tell if they could speak.

And now a poem for the letterbook for my sister:

Why tears?

Today I spent a long

time in the cupboard 

in the loft,

head banging,

head hanging low


of my life.

I read some poems,

yours mostly 

and some of mine

and the tears 

are not yet dry.

Tears not for me,

nor you

but lost

forgotten, vanished time

Tears because my

memories are fading

tears because all my

dreams are done.