Daily Prompt – Flash Talk

You’re about to enter a room full of strangers, where you will have exactly four minutes to tell a story that would convey who you really are. What’s your story?

Hiiiii, I’m an alcoholic. Just kidding, I’m addicted to heroin. Again… Kidding. Continue reading

Daily Prompt – To Do? Done!

Quickly list five things you’d like to change in your life. Now, write a post about a day in your life once all five have been crossed off your to-do list.

1. Sleep More.

2. Exercise More.

3. Write a novel.

4. Create a better connection with my family

5. Finish all my video games

It’s been a terrible couple of days, truly. It really does feel like such a burden having to get out of bed at 11am, after thirteen hours sleep, only to go to the gym and see that it’s empty. Y’know, that really is one of the things I love about mid-morning workouts, not having to WAIT for any of the machines.

On my way home from the gym I called my mum, and she’s well. Enjoying her part-time job and semi-retirement. Doesn’t really know what she’s going to do with herself though. I’ve suggested that she should look into revisiting her plans for writing her book. She started it, and I reckon she should finish it. It’s been a couple of years, she could look at it with fresh eyes and completely change everything, or change nothing. Just write something! Then I called my brother, and we have decided to surprise mum in a couple of months time. I’m going to be in Brisbane for a few days, and he and mum are going to plan a lunch, and I’m just going to turn up ‘out of the blue’. I’m looking forward to it. We haven’t been together for quite some time.

But I’ll also be using it as a celebration. Today I’m going home to write the final chapter of my novel. It’s only taken two years, but I’ve chipped away at it bit, by bit, and now, BOOM, I have a novel. I kind of need Mum and my brother to read it, because they’re mentioned in it, but it’s nothing that isn’t particularly true. I’m kind of anxious about finishing it, because it’s taken so long, and I actually didn’t think that I’d ever finish it, but I’m going to. When I get home, I’m turning off the phone, turning on the music, locking the door, and enjoying some writing time and some sunshine and some fresh Spring air floating through the windows.

I’m excited. And nervous.

I may also have a cake waiting for me – it’s my incentive for finishing it. Just me, a fork, and a cake. I’m not planning a party or anything fancy, I’d rather just quietly celebrate on my own. Well, technically, the celebration will be after the bath. The bath will be a long, long soak in the tub, then I’m going to give myself a mani / pedi, a face mask, a hair mask and smother myself in moisturiser, then kick back on the couch, with my cake, a steaming pot of tea and my PlayStation game. In the spirit of completion, I’m almost ready to finish this one as well. I’m at 88%, and I’m determined to finish this one as well, so I can add that to the list… and who knows, that might require another cake as well.

And then once it’s all done… I’ve got a date with the ocean!!

…in HAWAII!!



Daily Prompt – Odd Trio Redux

Time for another Odd Trio prompt: write a post about any topic you want, in whatever form or genre, but make sure it features a slice of cake, a pair of flip-flops, and someone old and wise.

Mabel was the type of grandma who wasn’t taking anybody else’s shit; she had raised 6 kids, survived a war, and the great depression of the 1930’s. She had no reservations about being blunt, and that’s what made her ‘Mabel’.

She was 96 and still going strong. She spent the colder half of the year up north living with family in a warmer climate, and then in the warmer months she would head back south, and was always travelling up and down the east coast staying with various members of her family for a couple of weeks at a time – she was 96, she didn’t really have anything to do.

She would spend her days napping, or pottering around the house looking through books or magazine. Every now and the. She would get the energy to bake her infamous Apple Crumble Cake – a recipe which nobody was ever able to replicate, because Mabel did everything by hand and by touch. Then she would enjoy nothing more than seeing everybody come together for a slice of cake, topped with whipped cream, and served with a bit pot of tea. It was one of the very rare occasions when a household would all come together and actually talk to each other – Mabel was the only one who had actually realised this, and it was a revelation that she gladly kept to herself. She may have been old, but she was sharp as a tack and knew exactly what she was doing.

On a sunny Spring day, Mabel woke with a particular spring in her step. She was up before anybody else in the house and was heard clanging away in the kitchen. When I got up to see what all the noise was, I saw her standing there at the kitchen bench, in her dressing gown, wearing rollers in her hair, and a small mug of chamomile tea next to a small saucer with a half eaten piece of dry toast. The radio was playing in the background and she was softly singing to herself. Well, maybe not singing, as she didn’t seem to know any of the music that was playing, But moreso a soft humming – la de daah de doo doo de de hmm hmm hmm hmm de doo de dum dum la la laaah – which we often found her doing when she was by herself. I guess it was just something to occupy her mind. Maybe she was humming some Tchaikovsky or some Bach, like she was back in pre-war Germany or something, listening to classical radio on the wireless. I guess we’ll never know.

When she turned around to grab her mug, she let out a small gasp, perhaps surprised to see me standing there watching her, or perhaps out of embarrassment for her ‘singing’. I said good morning, and apologised for startling her, then walked over to her and gave her a great big hug. She had a scent to her – not like some kind of unpleasant smell, but it was more like a constant perfume that permeated from within her; it was that ‘nanna’ smell that I had known ever since I was a child. She stepped back and grabbed my shoulders, and said something loudly in German, and then gave me a big kiss on each cheek, then turned back to the bench and continued her ‘singing’. Whilst she had her back to me, I quickly sniffed her tea, just to make sure she hadn’t snuck some brandy into it – not that she was like that, but just be doubly sure.

I walked over to the bench and stood next to her, and saw the mess she had made – there was a sink full of apple peel, flour all over the bench, several bowls, opened packets of butter, spilt sugar – it all meant one thing: Apple crumble. A giant smile washed over my face, just as she turned to ask me if I wanted a hot drink. Acknowledging her idea, I politely told her that I would make it, so as not to disrupt her any more. I flicked the switch on the kettle and prepared my tea, and as I waited for the kettle to boil, I sat there contently, watching nan do her thing.

She looked over her shoulder to ask what I was doing and told her that I was just watching her create. She smiled and said she would teach me one day – I agreed, suggesting that she show me next time she decides to make it. The kettle began to whistle and I flicked it off, pouring my tea. As I sat down at the bench with my giant cup in both my hands, I heard the clanging of oven shelves, as she put her massive cake into the oven to bake.

It didn’t take long for the smell of apple and cinnamon to fill the kitchen and begin wafting through the house – soon enough my younger brother stumbled out into the kitchen half asleep, investigating the smell. I made him a big cup of hot chocolate, as he staggered over to greet nan the same way I had done earlier.

He asked her why she was baking so early, and she replied simply saying that she was awake and in a great mood, and decided that today was going to be a baking day. A baking day? Now we’re talking. I asked what else she would be baking today and she stood there with a confused expression on her petite, wrinkly face. At that point I realised that she had only intended to make her apple crumble, and then she realised that same point and then leant in and whispered, ‘we make something else, but we do it together instead – just me and you!’ I grinned for ear to like a kid on Christmas morning.

Without hesitation the bowls were in the sink being washed and she started having a conversation with herself whilst she looked out the window as her hands swirled through the soapy water in the sink. I stood beside her with a dry tea towel, waiting eagerly to help dry up in preparation for the next mysterious creation.

As soon as she pulled down the jar of cocoa, I got excited, ‘mmm chocolate!’ And nan just smiled at me and winked. I help sift flour, and crack eggs and do all the mixing, and then she says ‘right, now you put that one aside and we make another batter’. Um, what?! Another batter? Another cake? This just got even better! we went through the process again, but instead of cocoa, adding orange zest and juice. I was in control of the wooden spoon, which also entitled me to the licking of the bowls as well – I did all the work, I get the bowls!

Then something magical happened, she pulled out a big cake tin and poured in half of the chocolate mix, and then half of the orange mix, and then more chocolate and more orange. I couldn’t understand what was happening! Mixing cake flavours, this was madness! Cakey, chocolatey, orangey madness! As I stood there licking one of the wooden spoons, she yanked it out of my hand and grabbed the slobbery end, and used the actual handle to swirl all the mixtures amongst each other. I had already decided this was going to be the best cake ever as I’d never seen her make one like this before. I was far too excited!

I watched her intently as she carried the cake tin over to the oven. She opened the door and the smell of apple and cinnamon enveloped the entire kitchen, like some kind of delicious cloud bomb.

Mabel stood up and looked at me, clearly noticing my excitement and eagerness to have some nice hot cake, fresh out of the oven. ‘You have to be patient, darling, but guess what we still haven’t done yet?…’ I could feel my pupils full dilating in anticipation, ‘we still have to whip cream. You know you can’t have apple crumble without a big dollop of cream!’ OH MY GOD, YES!! ‘And if you help me clean up, I’ll let you lick the beaters!’ The really was becoming the best day ever; just when I thought it wouldn’t, *BLAM* she drops a bomb that I didn’t see coming. *BLAM* a second cake! *BLAM* and whipped cream! I don’t actually think she finished her sentence before I had bowls in the sink, soaking in the warm soapy water.

She washed, and I dried and when she handed me the last thing to be dried, I slowly place it on the bench, and slowly turned back to her. She looked at me and giggled. ‘Oh alright, already. Come on…’ And she rolled her eyes as she took my hand and walked me over to the fridge. She opened the door and handed me two big cartons of cream. I placed them on the bench and she opened the pantry to get the vanilla and the icing sugar. She held onto the icing sugar a little longer and she handed it to me, waiting to lock eyes with me. As I looked at her, she winked again, confusing me somewhat as I placed it on the bench. Mabel foraged around in the cupboard and pulled out two more bowls – a big one and a small one, and a small sieve. More trickery!

As she plugged in the electric mixer, she asked me to pop the life off the cream containers and pour both of them into the big bowl. I struggled with the first lid, and as it popped off, a small bubble of cream splattered out the top and all over my face. I stood there shocked, and Mabel began laughing at me, before coming over and wiping the mess off my face. I didn’t really know what was so funny, but if nan thought it was funny, then it really must be, so I started to laugh as well, even though I wasn’t actually sure why.

She measured out some icing sugar and pushed it through the sieve as I stared in amazement. Cream icing?! This I was just getting more and more crazy. Nan looked at me, ‘for the sweetness’, and then dropped a few drops of vanilla into the mixture as well, ‘for the yumminess!’ Then turned on the beaters. I stood there completely fixated on the cream swirling around the beaters and the ripple patterns it was making. I so desperately wanted to stick my finger in to taste it, and without promoting, I heard ‘don’t even think about it’, in a very stern German voice. I glanced sideways and slowly moved away from the bowl.

Mabel let out a small chuckle and put her free arm around me, and switched off the beaters. She must have sensed the desire for me to grab those beaters and race off to a corner to savour the creamy delights like Gollum from Lord of the Rings, and as she pressed the button to eject the beaters, I feel my hands start twitching in anticipation. Just as she turned to hand both the beaters over to me, my brother casually strolled into the kitchen, half asleep and nan just handed over one of the beaters to him. He didn’t really understand what was happening as he just looked too confused. I was beside myself, and stood there with my mouth gaping open in sheer disbelief at what was happening. He took two or three licks of the beater, and then tossed it into the sink and walked off. Still standing there holding my beater with my jaw on the ground, I just wanted to scream. HE DIDN’T EVEN DESERVE ONE!! YOU JUST WASTED THAT ON HIM. HE DIDN’T EVEN WANT IT!! Mabel must have noticed my gaping mouth and my ever-increasing death grip on my beater and stood behind me with her hands on my shoulders, and leant in, whispering, ‘he’s your brother and you have to share’. She kissed me on the cheek and gave me a tap on the bum, ushering me off to go and enjoy my cream-covered beater.

I walked off to the lounge room, standing behind the couch licking he beater watching a cartoon on television. it wasn’t long before i heard the ‘ding’ of the oven timer, and without hesitation, literally ran into the kitchen with anticipation of what was about to come out of the oven. I walked in to see the oven door open, and nan pulling out a baking dish. She placed it on the bench and the smell of the hot apple and cinnamon-y, buttery crumble filled the kitchen. There were plates and forks already out in preparation. The kettle was steaming, and the teapot sat next to it, waiting to be filled.

Mabel handed me the wet tea-towel, suggesting I go outside and wipe down the outdoor setting. I walked out the back door, wondering why she had asked me to do this, and as I wiped all the grime off one of the chairs, I felt a warming glow on my back, only to turn around and look up to the sky and see the sunshine starting to peek out from behind some dark rain clouds. Standing there momentarily enjoying the sunshine, I heard a rather shrill voice coming from the backdoor. As I shielded my eyes to see who it was, I saw nan walking towards me holding a serving tray – containing some small plates, and the apple crumble. Following nan, mum walked out carrying another serving tray with the pot of tea, and some teacups and milk. The serving plates were all set down onto the outside table, and my brother walked out, his arms full of throw blankets.

Before I knew it I was parked on one of the chairs, wrapped in a throw blanket, with cake in one hand and a freshly brewed cup of tea in the other. I looked over and both mum and nan had their sunglasses on and their thongs on, kicking back in the sunshine, and crisp winter air.

It truly was, one of the most perfect Sunday mornings I ever had, and one of my favourite memories of Mabel.


Daily Prompt – Sudden Shifts

You’re at the beach with some friends and/or family, enjoying the sun, nibbling on some watermelon. All of a sudden, within seconds, the weather shifts and hail starts descending from the sky. Write a post about what happens next.

When Hayley and Lucas ran towards the water, it was the absolute perfect summer day.

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Apr 18: So Much Guilt

Talk about a time when you’ve felt a lot of guilt.

Why is it that lately I’m starting to feel more guilty because I’m choosing not to be completely honest about some of the major instances from my life, instead, opting to share only those that I actually feel comfortable sharing?? It’s because of these damn prompts!

On that note, allow me to focus on something that I’ve actually felt guilty about for a while now… telling my brother that he’s adopted.

My brother is five years younger than I am, and when we were younger, I began to tell him that he was adopted. It was usually mentioned whenever he and I were fighting, or when people were commenting on how completely different we are – and I’m talking complete opposites! So I’d make snide comments about the reason we’re so different is because he’s adopted, and he would get so incredibly upset and just start bawling, ‘SHUT UP, SHUT UP!! I’M NOT ADOPTED! YOU’RE LYING!! YOU’RE SO MEAN TO ME’, and that was the sign that I’d taken it to far. I’d try and apologise to him, but it’s hard to try and apologise to somebody and come across as being sincere when you’re trying to stop laughing long enough to get an actual sentence out.

In all fairness though, even my mother would have a little giggle whenever my brother would run off crying because of me being such a bastard! Granted, it wasn’t every time, but she did laugh, so I’m not the only one here to blame. I think she can take some of the responsibility as well.

Since moving to Melbourne, my brother and I pretty much lost touch with each other. I kind of know what he’s up to through Facebook, but other than that, we don’t reach out to contact each other. It’s something that actually makes me feel quite bad, that I have somebody like my own brother, and yet, I don’t really know anything about him, because we never speak. He literally is the complete opposite of me – we have absolutely nothing in common except our parents, and even then, I only acknowledge having one parent. I refer to mum’s ex-husband as ‘my brother’s father’ for a multitude of reasons, but my brother keeps in regular contact with his father, and his father’s side of the family, whereas I have purposefully ex-communicated myself from all of them, and I’ve never been happier.

I feel guilty that my brother and I have nothing in common. I feel guilty that we don’t speak. I feel guilty that we never see each other. The last time I saw my brother was two years ago when I had to fly interstate for a few hours for my grandmothers funeral. Before that, we hadn’t seen each other for a few years. Now we live at completely opposite ends of the east coast of Australia. I want to be able to even just Skype with him and his, now, fiancee, but even then I just struggle to comprehend how that conversation would go. He’s never been able to have a conversation with anybody. Like, NEVER. He would go and visit his father during school holidays and I’d speak to him when mum called, and all you would ever get out of him were one-worded answers. ‘Yep. Fine. Good. Nope. Alright. Hot. Yep. I think so. Maybe. Not yet. Yep. Yep. Nup. Yep. I guess so.’ It was just a constant string of questions. He was never forthcoming with information, and would never actually go into detail. You’d ask him how his trip up there was. Good. What did you do on the train? Nothing. Did you play your gameboy? Yep. Which games did you play? Dunno. Did you play Mario Brothers? Yep. What level did you get up to? Dunno?

So by this stage, I’m ready to start bashing my head against the wall. Even two years ago when he picked me up from the airport, after not seeing each other for I-don’t-even-know how many years, it was still the exact same conversation. Everything was a question, and I only got the same simple answers. Knowing that I’d have a 30-40minute drive of this was enough to make me want to just turn around and come home again. It was just painful.

I don’t know what he’s like with Mum, or even his fiancee, but even the couple of times I’ve spoken to her, she was pretty much the same… although she was at least able to construct a sentence and elaborate a lot better than my brother seems to be able to.

Hmmm, perhaps I should change that, and see if they have Skype? Make a positive change, and put have more of an interaction with my brother?

Speaking of which… I still haven’t received a wedding invitation…!! I guess that speaks volumes. Ironic, really.

Perhaps this is the payback for all those years of tormenting him and saying he was adopted?