This is a response to a prompt provided by WordPress



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



This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’.
Which can be found by following the link below..



by John Yeo

  Bob Simpkins planned to celebrate his eightieth birthday in style. He’d always been a popular man in the village with a quick sense of humour and impish blue eyes with crinkly laughter lines, people were drawn to him. Bob’s wife Lil was excitedly calling up their local friends and neighbours, spreading the word. 

  Lil and Bob had been married for forty years. Lil was Bob’s pride and joy, they were so close, people who knew them thought they were possessed of one mind, sharing each other’s every thought and feeling. Lil was a splendid-looking, matronly lady with blonde curls and a charming smile that lit up her face. Her youthful looks wildly belied her 79 years of age.

   Bob would brag to all and sundry. ‘She was a stunner when I met her and she hasn’t changed a bit.’

   Lil would blush instantly if she happened to be present.
Their three children had arranged to set the celebrations up, and left the invitations to Bob and Lil.

  Bob and Lil were soon excitedly discussing who to invite from their numerous friends and acquaintances and filling in the invitation cards together.

 Finally when the big day arrived the family were surprised to see so few people present apart from the family.

‘Bob! Did you remember to post the invites?’

‘Of course Lil! I’m not daft!’

At that moment the postman arrived with a bundle of returned mail. mostly marked deceased or gone away. 

Dr Blake, the local GP, happened to have attended the party and pricked his ears up when he realized what had happened. 

He asked Bob and Lil and their son to attend the surgery.

After a long examination of both Bob and Lil with many questions, the Doctor had this to say to Bill.

     ‘I’m sorry to say, I suspect your parents are both in the early stages of dementia. They are both living under the influence of a misshapen reality, it’s unusual for a married couple to both suffer together. The misshapen reality usually applies to one or the other. Interestingly they are both living in the same timeframe located many years ago when these friends they invited to the party were still alive.’

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

A Special Birthday

This is a piece of Flash Fiction I wrote yesterday for our church magazine, in response to the theme of Birthdays.



Image courtesy of


A Special Birthday

by John Yeo

   It was a special occasion for Em. she would be 70 years of age today. She was quite philosophical about reaching this grand old age, threescore years and ten, a milestone in her life.
    As she woke in the clean comfortable cabin aboard the luxury cruise liner, she mused on the implications and the meaning of this grand age.
      “Who would have thought I would get to be as old as this? When I was a little girl I remember thinking 40 was really quite ancient. Both my parents lived to be well into their nineties. My Mum used to say they were blessed to have lived so long. She would sometimes quote the passage in the bible….
Psalms 90:
‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten
and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years,
yet is their strength labor and sorrow;
for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.’

     At this point, there was a knock at the cabin door, “Room service!” The cabin steward had arrived, with their early morning cup of tea.
Jay answered the door and came back with a tray of tea that was conspicuous by the birthday cards that were balanced against the teapot.
    “Happy Birthday Darling! We have a special day ahead. Lunch in a waterside pavement cafe. Then we return to the ship to lounge in the sun on the deck, before we change into our formal evening clothes for dinner on the Captain’s table. We will dance your birthday night away together in the Ballroom.”

    “Wow! I hope I can keep up the pace Jay,” said Em, smiling broadly. “I know exactly which dress I intend to wear for our dinner tonight with the Captain.”

      “Of course you will be the star of the evening my beautiful birthday girl.” Replied her husband grinning broadly.

  The day passed slowly in the sun-drenched French port and the evening found Jay and Em, busily preparing for the night of celebrations ahead.

  Soon there was a transformation.
Em looked stunning in a royal blue dress and Jay wore a white dinner jacket, complete with a blue bow tie and cummerbund to match.

  They attended a pre-dinner cocktail party in the lounge, then met up with Sally, the social hostess, and four other couples.
 Sally introduced everyone and led the party to the Captain’s table.
  A richly decorated round table with an ornate floral arrangement and individual place names of each of the invited guests.
  The Captain arrived with apologies, grinning broadly and took his seat at the table.
A pleasant meal followed as the waiters and the wine stewards, served six courses with wine to taste.
  The conversation flowed freely, and the Captain and Sally managed to converse freely with everyone at the table.
 After the plates from the main course had been cleared away and despatched to the galley. The Head waiter appeared with a guitarist and eight smartly attired waiters. Then followed an amazing performance of Happy Birthday, sung loudly and enthusiastically by the waiters as the surrounding diners clapped along and joined in. The ship’s photographer was present snapping away to record the moment as Em smiled. The Captain offered congratulations and everyone clapped to recognize this special moment.
As everyone was leaving the table after this splendid meal, the Captain said, smiling.
     “If I ever write a book I will call it, ‘Tales from the Captain’s table.” There was a momentary silence before anyone noticed the twinkle in the Captain’s eye as he uttered these words.
  Em and Jay then made their way to the ballroom, where they had a wonderful evening dancing and celebrating.

   Em turned to her husband Jay and said, “I’m tired now. I will never forget my special 70th birthday celebrations. Thanks, darling.”
  Jay smiled and said, “You wait until you see what I have planned for when you are 71 next year. Life begins at threescore years and ten.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.