Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay

“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.”

Peter Drucker

Intentions are weird things, aren’t they?

But between making up your mind and getting around to doing anything, a whole world can and usually does, interfere. Leaving us wondering why we bother in the first place.

So many jobs (or at least the intention) have fallen by the wayside lately. Most can wait and the sky won’t fall on your head, but there is usually at least one that if not done, will have dire consequences.

Cutting the grass in our jungle of a garden is one of these. If I allow the grass to grow unchecked, it could be waist high before I know it and my ancient mower won’t be able to cope.

With this knowledge foremost in my mind, I intended to cut it last night once the sun had set, and coolness had returned. Not only didn’t the sun set, the heat showed no sign of abating either. I was already suffering from the heat and the thought of all that hard work nearly sent me into a proper meltdown.

That’s when Anita (the voice of reason) had a brilliant idea.

‘Why don’t you cut it in the morning before the heat builds up?’

So, that’s what I did.

By nine thirty this morning, I had finished, cool as a cucumber and considerably smug. Even the sight of all the new bramble growth couldn’t dampen my spirits.

Now, where is that list of intentions?

Jaye’s Days…

poster for daily journal by Jatye Marie

It is 7.30 in the morning. The air is still, and cool compared to yesterday, and the only sound I can hear is the repeated and annoying call of a wood pigeon. I counted twelve that time. It is 20 degrees already and we have been promised another hot day. Parts of the UK have seen 32 degrees in the past few days, something I have not enjoyed at all.

My swollen feet and ankles look like hobbit feet, and the arthritis is running riot. I live in a cotton nightdress and cannot bear to get dressed. Cool showers only work for a few minutes and drinking water makes me feel like a ripe peach, about to burst.

Torrential rain and thunderstorms were forecast for parts of the country, and you guessed it, nowhere near where we live.

Anita cannot stand the heat either, and is really suffering. Every day the angina attacks get worse, yet we have not heard from the hospital about the plans for a new treatment. Lockdown might be over, but it seems to make matters worse, not better.

On the work front, I am trying to keep busy in between moments of desperation and complete despair. What’s the point has taken up residence at the back of my mind, and ignoring it is becoming a full-time occupation.

To give my brain something else to bite on, I am trying to switch our subscriber list from Mailchimp to Mailerlite, as I have heard good things about them. For some reason, they just don’t like my email address so not getting very far with logging in. Stubborn is as stubborn does, so they say, so today I will try again. If your hear a loud explosion coming from the south of England, you will know I failed spectacularly!

I am also reading David Gaughran’s free course ‘Starting from Zero, to try and improve our marketing. You never know, we might even get around to doing some, once the dust settles…

This Book Funnel promotion ends at the end of the month, so thought I would mention it again. My book CrossFire is taking part and so far has been picked up well, so thank you to everyone who now has a FREE copy!

The Bubble… #Poetry

I am stuck inside her chewing gum bubble
I feel her hot air holding the shape
Becoming thinner
I can almost see the outside world
She’s blowing slow, hoping it won’t break
trying for the Guinness Book of Records
Man stands beside her, clipboard in hand
Stop clock ticking, time almost up
What happens to me when the bubble bursts?
As a small part of her sleeping mind
I direct her dream time
If I’m not there, I don’t know what will happen
I’m hoping she will hold her breath
Give me time to make a run for it,
get back inside.
She made the record, the pop was soft
I am now wrapped in pink bubble gum
Thrown in the bin where I cannot last long
I place my request with the universe
To return in a better disguise
I don’t think I have yet
earned the right to a whole life
A part of something or someone will do…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Jaye’s Days… The job I Really Hate!

This is the time of year when I cringe every time I open the freezer.

All that ice that has been slowly growing since the last time I hacked and removed the last lot. We have a Hotpoint fridge freezer, which I love, but do wish it had separate temperature controls, and separate auto defrost too, for I never have to worry about the fridge, it takes care of itself very nicely. But the freezer must have cousins in Antarctica, as its always trying to create an igloo in my kitchen.

So, today I have decided that the ice has to go, and I have developed a very clever way (at least I think so) of organising the frozen food while the power is off.

Even with the best will in the world, you can never run a freezer down to nothing, can you? And I won’t simply bin everything, just to make my life easier. So, the night before the ordeal, I root out those ice packs that you can freeze to put inside picnic boxes and stuff them in the freezer overnight.

The next morning, I simply pack all the frozen food into the (by now) empty salad bins at the bottom of the fridge, suitable laced with the ice packs, and remove all the trays from the freezer. I do use one of those de icer sprays, and it works fine, apart from the roof of the freezer. That ice is something else.

My trick for this awkward and time-consuming problem, is to find a container, a washing up bowl or baking dish that will slide on to the top shelf. Fill it up with boiling water, shove it in and wait to hear all that ice cracking. This avoids having to stand on your head to hack at the ice!

Over the years, I have discovered that if I take no longer than one hour removing all the ice, the food in the fridge will be fine, barely a change in the temperature (thanks to all my ice packs)

As I said at the beginning, this is a job I hate doing and usually put it off, but when it is done and everything safely back where it belongs, I do feel a little smug at a job well done…

The First Time… #Poetry

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I had just finished watching The One Show
When I thought of all the first moments
I can never get back.
My first time on a bike
Riding, standing on the pedals
Too small to reach the saddle
The boy you pestered for two weeks
To take you out on his motorbike
You’re wearing his sisters leather jacket
His mother’s helmet and goggles, his brothers gloves
Your arms wrapped around his waist
The speed, sheer heaven
Your first kiss, that cuddle
in the back row of the cinema in the dark
Straightening up when the usherette came past
More annoyingly, she would stand
Right there at the top of the aisle
Her eye on both sides of the back rows.
That first taste of alcohol
Yuck, never did that one again.
That first time, fumbling between the sheets
That moment we call lovemaking
Thank God that one got a lot better
Or I might not have had my first child!
My best moment, buying my first car
for ten pounds, passing my test first time.
So many firsts, some you wouldn’t want to repeat again
on pain of death. You get the idea.
I could go on, filling a book with first moments
Do you ever think about yours?

© Anita Dawes 2021

#BlogBattle ~ Myth ~ #Poetry

Billy was grandads neighbour when they were kids
Billy would be late for school, meeting his friends
They would get fed up waiting, leaving him to catch up
His mum said it was because he was a little behind the other kids.
He didn’t walk until he was two and a half
Even then, he would rather crawl, or sit where they left him.
Things didn’t get better with age, and he’s on a warning from work.
Those that know him will tell you he would be late for his own funeral.
No point telling him to pull his socks up.
His boss had blown those words into the wind
Did he feel the smack as they returned?

William, as he liked to be called, now he was all grown,
took up running, hoping it would help his timekeeping
William loved his job at the kennels, as the animals never judged him
Looking at his watch, he knew he would never make it
As he started running, his feet came up from the ground,
running faster than the wind, with two minutes to spare, he made it.
From that day on, he arrived on time, helped by the wind at his back
That was how grandad told the story.
When I asked if anyone had seen him with his feet above the ground
I did, he said. And Johnny Faux, my best mate

© Anita Dawes 2021

#Writephoto ~ The Cow ~ #Poetry

The Cow – Image by KL Caley

For visually challenged writers, the image shows a single cow on a cobbled beach sipping from the water.

Daisy has been the odd one out from day one
She became Jim’s favourite.
Calling the cows in for milking,
He would let her wander off to the river
She loved the water
Jim worried that she may fall in
That age was catching up on her
She could end up floating on the Hudson river
Getting snapped by the paparazzi
Finding herself on tv,
letting her head get turned around
Somehow, I knew that wouldn’t happen
Daisy just loved the water…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge



It’s the fifth Tuesday of the month! This is our chance to work with a specific syllabic poetry form. But let’s do something different this time.

  • First, choose your favorite syllabic poetry form. Write your poem.
  • Next, give your poem some different characteristics to make it something different. You can change the syllable count, rhyme scheme (add or get rid of it), anything you want to create a new form. Write this poem.
  • Give your new syllabic poetry form a name.

Anita has chosen to use the forms Senryu and Kindku to create what she calls a Kinsen poem…

Can we go back to
 first kiss, first taste remember
a good love gone by?

Time to bring back lost ages
echoes break on glass
blood running on broken fields
hidden pain and lies
stolen luck running wild, lost
cries of despair, loud
tears fill empty coffee cups…

© Anita Dawes 2021

#MLMM ~ #Wordle246 ~#Poetry

My everlasting gobstopper hinders speech
Taking it in and out of my mouth to speak
becomes a sticky mess
I would endow it with the gift
of keeping your enemies quiet
Give them all one to stop their gossip
Mother said it was quite improper
To speak with your mouth full
My cheeks are too weary to try
I think there is a good possibility
That I could maim myself by trying
in the form of losing my teeth
It really is vast. I think its impressive
getting it in my mouth in the first place
It’s not useful, it doesn’t refresh
Then again, it’s only a penny gobstopper
that lasts three days
plus, I have not become immune to them yet…

© Anita Dawes 2021

#Friday FlashBack: Jaye’s Week

After much searching, comparing and pulling my hair out, I finally found a PC that had everything I wanted at a price I could almost afford. I have this problem with shopping online, as I never seem to end up liking what I buy. Never been any good choosing anything and always get it wrong.

It arrived yesterday, and my old friend nagging doubt turned up with it.

Much smaller than I thought it would be, although I believe this is the new trend, and still managed to look pretty scary. Immediately, I found a possible problem. The activation label clearly said Windows 7, even though I thought I ordered Windows 10.

So, I might have done it again and chosen the wrong one.

Because of the Bank Holiday, I had to wait until Tuesday to telephone the company, for there was no way I would start switching over until they reassure me.

Switching over PCs is not something I enjoy or am any good at, as my tech skills are dismal at best, so at this stage I was still asking myself why I had actually volunteered to do this.

One of the reviews stated enthusiastically that all I had to do is take it out of the box, plug in all the cables and then switch it on.

That I just cannot believe.

The way things are going though, I may never get that far to find out.

While I waited, it was business as usual on my old less than faithful pc, despite the frequent crashing, freezing and crazy spelling games it plays. But it gave me a nasty moment this morning.

I switched it on, and instead of my pretty screensaver, the screen was plain blue. There was no icons and no Wi-Fi. I feared the worst. Had it beaten me to the punch?

That would be ironic, wouldn’t it?

A brand-new PC that I don’t want to install and my old one commits Hara Kiri on me!

After a reboot, everything was fine again, at least for the moment…

Moving swiftly on to the designated torture day…

I had been dreading this day for so long and was one of the reasons I delayed doing anything about it. I heard so many bad reports about Windows 10 and was more than happy with my old faithful Windows 7, but as they say, all good things must come to an end.

The new computer came with it already installed, so I had no choice but to hunt for my thinking cap, put it on and see what, if anything I could do with it. There was quite a long wait for the new pc to load or whatever it had to do. They said it would take time but wasn’t expecting three hours of thumb twiddling!

What followed was one of the worst moments of my life. I stared at the alien screen, trying not to feel as sick as a parrot by the sheer enormity of what I had done. (and still had to do!) And what was rapidly turning into what I might not be able to do.

I retired wounded for the day, not having mastered any of it.

I have a book, aptly called Windows 10 for Seniors, so I spent the evening going further into the depths of insanity, reading anything that sounded helpful. But none made any sense to me.

The following day, inspired by my refusal to quit, I switched the offending machine back on and played around, pressing everything in sight and seeing what happened. I found help screens that weren’t very, then tried to connect using my Microsoft account password.

You don’t want to know how long that took.

One day on, and I have surprised myself. Things are magically beginning to work!

There have been a pile of things I had to fix, one of them involved the speakers, which for some reason didn’t want to work. The sound, when I found out how to turn it on, came out of the tower thingy and sounded as though there was an idiot trapped in there.

Basically, and this really hurts to admit, I think I like my new computer and can foresee a bright future. A poor future, for along with the cost of the thing, I had to cough up for a brand-new version of Microsoft Word too…

I’m off to start uploading thousands of my images and files, so not going anywhere this weekend.

I hope everyone else has a good one though…

FlashBack from May 2019