LATE SPRING 

FRIDAY 14th MAY 2021 ~ BLOG POST

LATE SPRING 

  My photograph shows some of the remaining blooms on our Camelia shrub in the foreground. This has been a wonderful year for this shrub, with a dazzling, continuous array of beautiful blooms. It is unusual to see blooms remaining on the branches at this time of the year. In the background, looking exquisite, is one of our two Tree Peony shrubs. These are in flower a little later than usual but happily just as brilliant and luxurious as ever. Fronted by some Forget-me-nots and  bright yellow Wallflowers.

 I was busy mowing our lawn this afternoon and I was privileged to have this chirpy little Robin as a companion.

© Written by John Yeo 

AUSTRALIAN RAINFOREST BIRDS

SUNDAY 9th MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION 

This is a writing prompt provided by WordPress

PROMPT ~ Landscape
When you gaze out your window — real or figurative — do you see the forest first, or the trees?

Rainbow Lorikeets 

AUSTRALIAN RAINFOREST BIRDS

by John Yeo

  I always look beyond the fringe of trees at the edge of the forest and imagine the birdlife living and existing within. Some of my favourite early morning walks within a forest have been during our visits to our family in Australia. I would take a small video camera and wander around the trails, overawed with the colourful variety of the native bird life.

My walk in the forest this morning was interesting and rewarding. My first encounter was with one of my old friends, a Brush Turkey.

I came across this turkey walking straight towards me along the track, I got a wonderful close-up photograph of him, until he saw me and ran off into the forest. Then as I got to a bridge over a little brook near the main road, I spotted an Ibis and an unusual Heron type wading bird fishing in the brook beneath the bridge at the same time.

   

I took a good photo of the wader and I should be able to research and identify this bird later.   Easily the highlight of my walk came next, when there was a chorus of very loud screeching from a flock of five or six Sulphur Crested Cockatoos that landed on some tall Eucalyptus and Paperbark Tea trees high above where I was standing.

I was able to stand and get some very good pictures of this wonderful sight. A sight that will live in my memory and I will relive over and over again when we get back home to England, through these photographs. The panorama of bird life on display today was not complete even then, as I encountered a pair of Kookaburras high up in the tree canopy and I got some very good photographs of the pair of them together. 

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

SUCCESS

SATURDAY 8th MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ POETRY 

This is a writing prompt provided by WordPress

PROMPT ~ Success
Tell us about a time where everything you’d hoped would happen actually did.

IF ONLY I’D REMEMBERED……..

by John Yeo

Work has been stressful without a break

I’ll feel better when I get home.

The flight was late, I had a horrendous wait,

It’ll be good to surprise the family.

It’s been a hard week but I’m early.

My wife will be delighted

When she knows I’ve been successful.

I’ll be taking her out to dinner tonight.

~

The taxi pulled up behind a posh new car.

There’s another one parked in the drive.

My children must have some visitors.

Two brand new matching luxury cars.

~

Mary, my wife rushed out of the house.

‘Welcome home! Our luck finally changed!

Isn’t the windfall exciting?

Thirteen million pounds is a massive amount..

I knew our numbers would come up in the end!

Come inside, relax, put your feet up,

Your work is now a thing of the past.

We have many plans to make.

I have rung the family, everyone knows.

We’re having a party.to celebrate.’

~

My face must have mirrored my confusion 

When my wife grinned and continued.

‘Don’t tell me you’ve been so busy

You haven’t heard the news.

Our regular lottery numbers have won,

We are now multi-millionaires.

We just need the ticket to prove it.’

~

My face went white in shocked surprise.

Reality took seconds to surface.

Thirteen million pounds; a huge,amount

That sadly we can never claim.

I certainly would have celebrated,

If only I’d remembered to buy the ticket.

~

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

SUCCESS 

 I wrote the above poem in a way that illustrates the dangers of spending money that hasn’t actually arrived. The elation at the success of winning could lead to some unfortunate decisions. The unfortunate person who forgot to invest in the winning ticket is obviously in dire straits with the family.

 Yet although I’m sure winning a massive amount of money would be welcome, I can’t help thinking this sort of success can often be something of a double-edged sword.

 Success will always be a difficult concept to recognise and to write about. Anyone’s first thoughts about suddenly winning 13 million pounds on the lottery, would obviously be extreme delight and excitement. However on reflection a massive sum such as this carries many hidden disadvantages, not the least being the sudden, certain, changes of lifestyle. 

 Obviously the members of the family would be the most uncomplicated beneficiaries. The mere fact of the initial delight of receiving what would be a reasonable sum would certainly lead to an easing of life’s pressures. Then, human nature, being as egotistical as it certainly is, would throw up all manner of complicated psychological reasons on the way the spreading of the winners good fortune could have been done differently.

 The main problems would surely arrive, with the certain lifestyle changes for the winners that would arrive the minute the cheque is cashed and the money becomes available. The sheer danger of the ability to indulge in everything in excess would be incredibly stressful. 

 However the positive aspects of a large win would certainly outweigh the negative aspects. All I can say is keep buying the ticket, as you can’t win without the investment of the entrance fee.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

THE TIDE OF TIME

TUESDAY 4th MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION 

This is a response to a prompt provided by WordPress

PROMPT TIDE 

THE TIDE OF TIME

by  John Yeo

  The tide of life had flowed for quite a number of years before this particular birthday arrived. The circumstances were definitely weighted against it being an overwhelming experience. We were still securely locked-down, sheltering from the dangers of catching the dreaded Covid virus. Most restaurants were closed to diners eating-in and holidays were certainly out of the question due to worldwide restrictions on entry to most ports of call around the world. In the past we have been able to book a short term break in our favourite little bolt hole here in the U.K., not far from home, where we were able to celebrate with  catering provided and some entertainment.

 Firstly, I had to solve the problem of purchasing a greeting card without exposing myself to the possibility of contracting this abominable virus. I decided to buy an online card and I proceeded to put together a great card using a couple of photographs together with one of my poems. Whilst I was on this useful site, I discovered that the firm also delivers flowers and I added a bunch of thirty stems of beautiful roses. I then postponed this delivery until three days before the upcoming birthday.

  The card and the flowers arrived on the prearranged day and the flowers were spectacularly beautiful. These were placed into a couple of vases straight away and the card was checked and prematurely displayed.

 I had dreamed up several ideas for the actual birthday celebration. I put together an online greeting card and displayed it on both of our timelines on social media in the early hours., I woke early and served tea and toasted homemade bread to the birthday celebrant while I was tunelessly singing, ‘Happy Birthday to You,’ Several early birthday cards had arrived and these were quickly opened to the accompaniment of surprise and murmurs of appreciation.

 I planned to order a delivery of an Indian/Asian meal and we had a lot of fun choosing our selection of dishes from the online menu of our local restaurant and we plan to indulge in a slap up meal this evening.

 The final strand to this unusual birthday present will be a shopping voucher or cash to be spent in the near future when the pandemic restrictions are removed.

© Written by John Yeo

TOAST

MONDAY 3rd MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ BLOG POST

This is a response to a prompt provided by WordPress

PROMPT ~ The little things
Describe a little thing — one of the things you love that defines your world but is often overlooked.

TOAST

  It’s the early morning slice of toast that springs to mind first, when I consider the little things that would certainly be overlooked in any analysis of my early morning world. I’m always awake early and I make my way to our kitchen to prepare the early morning tea for both of us. I open the fridge door and select a slice of bread, preferably Margaret’s home-baked, although a slice of supermarket sunflower and pumpkin bread is an acceptable alternative.

I place the bread in the toaster, which is set for a light toasting cycle, meanwhile, I switch the kettle on, in preparation to make the tea.

  My slice of toast pops up in the toaster and I remove it and place it onto a small side plate. I liberally coat the bread with olive spread, which immediately begins to melt into the hot bread. Then I add a small amount of marmite; yes! Marmite, the spread which apparently is universally loved or hated by everyone. The category I fall into is obvious. I then cut the slice of bread into four squares and I pop one piece into my mouth immediately. I never chew the bread, I allow it to soften and literally melt into my mouth. I savour the flavour of the strong taste of marmite mingling with the taste of the spread and the flour that makes up the bread. The homemade flour is exceptionally tasty. In the meantime I prepare the tea, at the same time slowly inserting a second square of heavenly marmite-flavoured toast into my mouth. When this has been successfully savoured and consumed I repeat the process until I’ve consumed my morning slice of paradise. 

  The hardest thing is to resist placing a second slice in the toaster and repeating the process all over again.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

ABRUPT DEPARTURE 

SUNDAY 2nd MAY 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ BLOG POST 

This is a response to a prompt on The Last Post on WordPress

PROMPT ~ ABRUPT 

ABRUPT DEPARTURE 

by John Yeo

  We had been invited to tea at the vicarage, the vicar was new to our parish. We were keen to get to know him and to make a good impression. Matilda and I had been warned to expect something of a third degree interrogation as he was keen to familiarize himself with everyone and everything connected to his new duties.
  We arrived at the vicarage, slightly early for our appointment, the pathway leading to the front door was untidy and somewhat overgrown with weeds and uncultivated. Matilda was dressed in her nicest clothes, to make a good initial Impression, and she clicked her tongue with an audible tut-tut. She was wearing a pair of brilliant white gloves that were far  too nice to spoil by pushing a grubby bell push. I politely stepped up and ignoring the bell, I gave the grubby door-knocker a comprehensive bang.
  After we had waited for a few minutes, a cheerful buxom lady with permed dark brown hair kept in place with a hairband, opened the door. She had a brightly coloured floral apron over a neatly tailored two piece suit.
  ‘Ah! You must be Mr. and Mrs. Smithers. Come in; I’m Constance, my husband is expecting you.’

  ‘Yes! That’s us, call us Roger and Matilda please.’

We were shown into a comfortable book-lined study complete with several comfortable leather chairs. Seated at a large desk smoking a decorative pipe was our new vicar. Except he looked altogether much different than the person we had envisaged. He had shoulder-length greying hair complete with a ginger-coloured, greying moustache and beard. He wore a black short-sleeved top that revealed numerous colourful tattoos on both arms. His clerical dog-collar was virtually invisible behind his thick beard.
With a cheerful, ‘Howdy-doo!’ the vicar immediately jumped out of his chair and extended his hand.

‘I’m so pleased to meet you! I’m the Reverend Randolph, please take a seat. You’ve met Constance my lady wife, no doubt she will appear in a few minutes with some tea and biscuits.’


  We were both taken aback by his unconventional appearance. I warmly shook the proffered hand although Matilda abruptly sat down on the nearest comfortable seat. I think she was in a mild state of shock. It was when he broke the news about the new order of service that finally shook her up.
  ‘We plan to get rid of the organ and establish a guitar-led musical service led by our son Randy and his gospel group.
There will be flags issued to the congregation to wave in time to the music. We will encourage much clapping and swaying to the beat of the drums.’

It was at this point we both got up and headed for the front door where we left in the most abrupt manner possible.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved 

HALLO, WHO’S THERE?

SUNDAY 18th APRIL 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ POETRY

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘The Last Post on WordPress’  

Prompt ~ UNKNOWN CALLER
You receive a call from an unexpected person. Who is it, and what is the conversation about? Go!

HALLO, WHO’S THERE?

by John Yeo

​   ’Hallo! who’s there?

Sorry, I’m a little hard of hearing lately, since my husband passed away. Can you speak up please dear?’ 

‘What’s that you say you’re not selling anything? That’s OK! I have nothing to spend my money on, I don’t need much.’

‘Oh! You say you want to make lots of money for me. I don’t need any more cash at the moment thanks.’

 ‘You sound like a nice young man. I bet you are wealthy, if you can show people how to get rich quickly. Are you married?’

  ‘It’s so good to have someone to talk to. I get lonely here on my own. I spoke to someone this morning and we had such a lovely long chat. He wanted to sell me something nice, I asked for more details. I explained my situation clearly, so nice to have a friendly ear. He asked for my bank details in such a nice helpful way.

I asked him if he was married and how things were with him.

He finally got exasperated and rudely slammed down the phone.’

’Hallo! who’s there?

   You say my computer needs a new service plan!

Tell me more, sounds interesting, so nice to have a chat.

What is your name and where do you live? I would love to meet you and get serviced by you. Are you a married man?’

‘You would like to have my bank details to start the service plan?

Great to hear a friendly voice. Give me your bank details first! We can then plan a future together.’

‘So nice to have someone to talk to. What’s your name and where do you live?’

 ‘Hello! Hello! Oh, he’s gone, I thought I heard the phone slam down only I’m a little hard of hearing now.’

’Hallo! who’s there?

“Hello! Yes, Double Glazing? That sounds so interesting .

I would love to hear more about that, you have such a friendly voice.

What? You haven’t got time for a chat? I love the sound of your voice. Who knows we could become really good friends. I might even buy some new windows, in a few years time.

Are you really going to cut me off before we get to know one another?

Call me again, just say hello. I promise to never hang up the phone;

It’s so good to have someone to talk to, I get lonely here on my own.

​Oh! Please don’t cut me off yet.

Bang!

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT?

WEDNESDAY 14th APRIL 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ POETRY 

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘The Last Post on WordPress’ ~ 

Prompt ~ WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT?

S/he said
Pause whatever you’re doing, and ask the person nearest you what they’re thinking about (call someone if you have to). Write a post based on it.

WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT?

by John Yeo

 The person seated next to me responded with ‘I’m reading the newspaper.’  Which happened to be an online version of the ‘Daily Mail.’  I am aware that one of the prime reasons for this  choice of newspaper is the crossword puzzles and mind games that go some way to the alleviation and defence against dementia. The news is almost a bi-product of the investment in purchasing the newspaper. I then asked,

‘What would you be reading if it wasn’t for the puzzles and mind games? In that particular newspaper?

 The unsurprising reply came as, ‘I’m not sure, probably The Independent.’ This reply was obviously based on the more serious aspect of buying a newspaper as an independent slant on the news.

   This response got me thinking about the influences that shape the mind. Most people’s habits of thought and inspiration come from the newspapers that we tend to devour on a daily basis. A constant flow of opinion and the slants on what is happening in the world is ingested and percolated from our reading habits. Usually our choice of newspaper is not so much dictated by our parents, but largely influenced by their choice of newspaper. Until we get to our further education establishment where we develop our own instinctual choices. 

 The wide variety of news sources today allows us to ingest the news in many different ways including the single daily take of our regular morning newspapers.

WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT?

by John Yeo



‘What are you thinking about?’

‘The trail is very obscure,
Many twists and turns
Millions have come this way
The path is very well worn.’

~

‘What are you thinking about?’

‘Across the seas, another shore,
There are many signs,
Many corners, many directions,
Many examples to follow.’

~

‘What are you thinking about?’

‘One door unlocks another door,
The instinct quickly learns
The only way is forward,
Be kind, be gentle, be firm.’

~


‘What are you thinking about?’

‘Your trail began at birth,
Already the myriad clues and signs
Were building a pattern to follow.
The learning never ends.’



© Written by John Yeo, All rights reserved.

DECISIONS? ~ DECISIONS?

 MONDAY 12th APRIL 2021 ~ FLASH FICTION ~ POETRY 

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘The Last Post on WordPress’ ~ Prompt ~ DECISIONS, DECISIONS


How are you more likely to make an important decision — by reasoning through it, or by going with your gut?


Personally I tend to tailor my decisions to the situation I am making the decision about, as I humorously describe in my little piece of poetic Flash Fiction below.

DECISIONS? ~ DECISIONS?

by John Yeo

   The fictional garden needs a lot of work and we are at the planning stage. I would say this internal dialogue suggests that in this case there was a lot of reasoning through the problem involved.

  ‘I think if we cut the trees down, we can lay lawns and have a lake for wild-fowl, with flower beds and borders. We can build a summer-house with many arbours and marble statues everywhere. Nature can be modelled, shaped and controlled.’

   ‘No! Why not have a forest garden and encourage wildlife with deer, squirrels and much birdlife. A natural garden would be best, we don’t need the artificiality of manicured lawns and borders, that is too much like hard work. Nature always wins in the end, whatever we do.’

  “We can always concrete the whole area over and build high-rise flats, we could make a lot of money that way. Nature would take a long time to win then!’

  ‘Now you are being silly, I know you don’t like to be overlooked and feel crowded, I see a natural garden, where we keep the trees and shrubs. We would have our isolation with privacy to write and create. We will have a vegetable plot with chickens in the middle of our own forest. Nature would be our friend and we would both win then.’

  ‘Yes! We can build a small gallery with workshops and encourage a community of artists and writers. We will build cabins in the yard and sell our work in the gallery shop. Nature would be our partner and our friend.’

  © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

EASTERN AUSTRALIA

FRIDAY 9th APRIL 2021

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘The Last Post on WordPress’

PROMPT DO-OVER

Go back to a blog post you always thought could be better, or were unsatisfied with – now, fix it.

( Blog post resurrected from Wednesday 6th March 2018)

  This post was deficient in that there was no indication that it took place in Eastern Australia and it was lacking any photographs. I hope this has fixed those unsatisfactory problems.

I had a habit of getting up early and walking along in the local nature reserve. I went for my first walk through the natural woodland in the park with the camera, the weather was cloudy and threatening to rain, I had decided to risk a soaking. There were not many birds around to photograph, although I was aware of the usual cacophony of sound from the trees and scrub in the woods. 

  The first bird I came across was my old friend the brush turkey who was in the process of building a nest in exactly the same spot as he did fourteen months ago when we were here last. I shot some photographs of him hard at work and wandered along the track which was quite muddy from the incredible rainfall here of late and I was forced to turn back and retrace my steps. 

On the way I was met by my friend the dog walker, a man who I had met in the same place walking his dog when we were here last. Then the rain suddenly came and I was soaked to the skin, within minutes I sheltered under some enormous Palm tree leaves and waited for it to stop. I heard a rustle behind me and I was just in time to  photograph another brush turkey. 

The rain stopped and I was able to continue on my way.   As I was nearing home I noticed some movement in a beautiful Golden Penda tree which was in full bloom and covered with lovely yellow flowers. These trees are everywhere in this area, and they are all covered with pretty yellow blossom at this time of the year. To my surprise and delight there were several rainbow lorikeets feeding on the nectar produced by these wonderful flowers, and I quickly snapped a photograph of the lorikeets feeding, until I was noticed by the birds and they flew off.

© ~ Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.