Guest Post – I Don’t Put Money in the Bank

I don’t put money in the bank

I haven’t got any to spare

I’ve asked officials for some more

But they don’t want to know or care.

I don’t put money in the bank

I don’t pay rent on time,

The items of of furniture in my home

As yet, they are not mine.

I don’t money in the bank

I’m always late with bills,

They say I should have work by now

But I have got no skills.

~ Anon.


Father of the Bride

7 pound, 8 ounces. 17 inches long. You had brown eyes, the colour of chocolate, and a shock of red hair. Your skin was soft and tan, it shouldn’t have gone with your red hair, but it did. You were the most perfect thing I had ever seen in my life. And the most terrifying. I knew in that moment that I would do anything to protect you.

I held you close and counted your finger, all ten present and accounted for. You looked up at me as I kissed your tiny little hands and I knew that you knew everything that could be known in the universe. You knew who I was; you also knew where you had come from.  The next time I saw you, your skin had paled, your hair stripped of it redness. Your eyes were blue, your skin a creamy pinkish colour with chubby cheek the colour of roses, hair a soft, fine blonde.

You were four weeks old when you first smiled, and you smiled at me. Your mother said it was wind, but I knew it wasn’t. You had a special smile for me, it was the one lat nearly broke your face in half, and made your eyes so wide; it looked like the sky would come out of them.  I loved you more than I ever thought possible, every day I realised I loved you more and more.

Your first day of school was something. You cried, your mother cried. I cried, a little bit but I won’t go into too much detail about that. There you were in your little uniform, pleated knee length skirts, a white polo necked t-shirt and a red jumper with the logo of your school on. Your Aladdin lunchbox gripped tightly in your hand holding the jam sandwiches and Drifter bars you loved.

When you went to secondary school, a little piece of me died. My little girl was no longer my little girl. Soon she would be a dreaded teenager, temper tantrums, make-up, underwear. Ugh. Where had my baby gone? Surely she wasn’t this person in front of me giving me lip for wanting her home by 8.30. You’re 11 I would say, where are you going to go that you would need to stay out past 8.30? But no matter how much lip you gave me, and how many times you forged my signature to get out of P.E. you were always my little girl, and you used to prove that to me on Christmas.

You would always wake up at the crack of dawn and try and go and open your presents, but your mother and I would always send you back to bed. Something you may not remember, we always used to put the presents under the tree. Why don’t we know? You ask. Well one Christmas, your Nan and Granddad decided to stay for Christmas and who did we find at midnight trying to sneak down the stairs but you and granddad, setting up a trap for Santa. It was after that night that we told Father Christmas to leave the presents in our room and he obliged, he didn’t appreciate traps.

My biggest dread came when you were seventeen. You came home from work. Daddy, you said, I’ve met someone, I think he’s the one. And I closed my eyes and wished to go back seventeen years and do them all again.  Because I would gladly go through all of that again than for my little girl to come to me and tell me I’m not the only man in her life anymore. I told you that you were too young to be seeing anyone, but your mother told me not to be silly. She said that no matter what happens, women are still little girls and will always need their Dad’s to protect them, and it’s the same with boys and their mothers, before you go all feminist on me! You know what your Nan’s like to Mum when she’s had a few.

When I met this young fellow of yours, I told him, if you hurt one hair on my daughter’s head, I will string you up by your toes and leave you there. And I wasn’t joking, you know that don’t you, James? See, he knows.  But he turned to me and he said, Sir, I won’t hurt your daughter, because I love her, she is the most precious thing in the world to me. And a little more of me let go.

When he asked me for permission to marry you, I told him as long as you said yes, what I said didn’t matter. As long as you loved him, and you wanted to spend the rest of your life with him, I understood. But I went home that night to your mother and I cried, because you didn’t need me anymore. You had him, and you would have him a lot longer than you would have me.

When I saw you this morning, dressed to the nines in that beautiful dress and your makeup, you looked like an angel. Like the angel I saw in that hospital room twenty four years ago. And I realised then that it didn’t matter how old you are, how old you look or act, you will always be that baby they handed to me so many years ago. Even when you refused to do your top button up and wore your school tie round your belly button, even when I had a call from the head teacher to say you were in detention. To me, you will always be that little girl with the sky in your eyes and the world in your brain. And you will always be my little girl and I will always be your loving father. I love you so much, darling, I wouldn’t have you any other way.

To my daughter, the beautiful bride.

The Adventure of Lydia, Josephine and Caroline

This time I thought I’d share with you a quick story I wrote quite a while ago. Its a take on children’s story but with a twist.


Lydia, Josephine and Caroline were very good friends, and so they decided to go for a hot air balloon ride for some fun.

But they began to lose height, so first they threw out the food. But it made no difference.

So they threw out Caroline, because she was the biggest and least important.

Just as they began to get high up in the air again.


The balloon popped and Lydia and Josephine tumbled from the sky…

BUT because their dresses were SOO big, they turned into parachutes and they floated down safely.

Lydia and Josephine made it safely to Earth and just in time for dear old Caroline’s Funeral too.

What luck!

However, because of the shock, their faces never returned to their original shapes.

Poor old things. How will they do anything now?

Poor Little Lambs

The Days of Amelia Rose

The first time I saw Amelia Rose, it was in the cafeteria. I had looked up to give George a sarcastic stare and she was there just behind her. She wore a black top, loose grey jogging bottoms and her hair tied up in a knot on the top of her head.

She didn’t wear any makeup and she carried very little on her tray. She glanced around the room and then made her way to an empty table. She put her tray down carefully and dumped her grey duffle bag on the seat next to her and pulled out a battered book and opened it.  She read with one hand and ate an apple with another. I watched for a few minutes, marvelling at how she could turn the page with one hand.

George waved her hand in front of my face. She had been speaking to me and I had been ignoring her.  Not ignoring. I didn’t know she was speaking. I turned my face away from Amelia and forced myself to regain the conversation with George.

The second time I saw her, I didn’t see her. She bumped into me and we both dropped our books. I scrambled to the floor to pick them up, I handed her a book that wasn’t mine and she thanked me. She was wearing the same jogging bottoms but this time a loose fitted t-shirt with the words “Made in 1993”.

“I’m Jack,” I said. “Holden.”

“Amelia Rose,” she replied. Her voice did not match her face. It was quite deep and husky like she was a smoker, I knew from later she had never smoked a cigarette in her life, she valued her body and throat.  Her face was sweet, like a Sindy doll, with large eyes and small rosebud lips, but with less of a forehead. I thought she was beautiful.

I offered to walk her to her class and she accepted. Her class was in the Art Department, Dance Studio. Her clothes made sense she was a dancer.

On the third day I learned she wore tights under her jogging bottoms and a leotard under her t-shirt.  I would later learn she fell asleep on her right side and slept on her left side, she wore her makeup only when she was on stage or on a date. She had eighteen freckles spattered on her nose and cheeks, thirty on her shoulders and back. She was ticklish on her left foot and both of her sides.  Her toes all but crippled from the amount of time she spent on them.

The fourth time I saw her she needed help with finding a book in the library, I offered to help her. We ended up talking about books for three hours, and I walked her to class again and plucked up the courage to ask her out. She smiled shyly and agreed.  I had a free period so she asked if I wanted to stay. I watched her dance. It was like she was on a cloud, her feet barely touched the ground. She moved with air and grace.

The fifth day was the first time I saw her with make-up, I told her she looked beautiful. I thought she had looked beautiful the first time I saw her, but my pride wouldn’t allow me to say that yet.  She was wearing a floaty yellow dress that contrasted well with her chestnut hair. She smiled and took my arm. We walked to the restaurant and spoke well into the night.

Those first five days were the beginning of our relationship, her father would later comment that we were like a fine wine, getting better with age. Amelia Rose was a kind person, who wasn’t popular but wasn’t unpopular. She was a recluse, but pleasantly so. She spoke to those who spoke to her and a very chosen few were classed as her friends. She was beautiful without make-up, inside and out, her children were just as beautiful. I was thankful for those five days with her.

Our First Christmas

Do you guys know how long I’ve been wanted to write a Christmas story?! Since last January that’s when!!

Here we go…

Snow was falling. It was the first snowfall of the year. It was late this year. But Sophie smiled all the same. She knew what this meant. She looked at the clock on her computer. Four more hours until she could finish work and skip merrily to home to Gregg.

How she managed the four hours she had no idea, but she did. She smiled pleasantly at awkward customers, spoke calmly on the phone when people were shouting. All because she was one step closer to Christmas. It was Christmas Eve, and was going to be Gregg and Sophie’s first as a couple living in sin.

Sophie had already planned the day. Morning at her parents for breakfast and gifts while the dinner was cooking. Back to theirs for dinner and their gifts to each other, then round to his parents for the Christmas Tea Buffet and their gifts. Everything was planned with precision timing. But of course something would go wrong, Sophie knew and accepted that fact.

She walked out of the front doors and in the car park was Gregg’s silver Ford. She smiled as she saw his Christmas hat and jumper and the goofy grin on his face. She all but ran over to the car, got in and gave him a quick kiss before he handed her a hat and jumper. She grinned and put them on.

“Are you ready?” He smiled. They had done this last year after the first snowfall and promised to do it again, every year. He cranked up the radio which was pouring out the Christmas tunes and they set off singing as loudly as they could.

They drove around the town looking at all the Christmas decorations that people had put up and took pictures of the busiest ones to remember. Sophie’s mother never put the decorations outside for people to gawp at, she always said Christmas was a family affair and should be shared with family. Not strangers.

The sun had long since set when Sophie’s legs began to itch. She told Gregg she was ready for the next bit if he was. And so they drove to the next stop on their snowfall tour. The town high-street.

They pulled up into the car park and got out, wrapping their coats and scarves around them. Linking hands, they walked to the café, open late for Christmas Shoppers and ordered two speciality Hot Chocolates and sat down.

The two of them couldn’t be more suited. They both looked equally as mad sat in a café with Santa Hats perched on their heads and moustaches of squirty cream on their upper lips, hands wrapped around Santa mugs. Gregg reached over and tenderly wiped the cream off her nose and lip, making Sophie’s heart flutter. The two spoke about their days and memories of Christmases’ past. They drained their mugs and wrapped their coats around them.

Sophie took Gregg’s hand as they walked down the high-street and into the park. The council had put Christmas Lights in the trees to light the way through the park, it was so quaint and lovely and Sophie’s favourite thing about Christmas. It just so happened as they were walking along that they stopped for Sophie to rearrange her scarf.

Gregg offered to do it for her, wrapping it twice around her neck and tying it in front. Ad she had always done. When he tucked the ends into her coat, he tugged the lapel gently to pull her close to him and kissed her gently, softly, lovingly. Sophie pulled away and he gestured upwards with his eyes. They had stopped under Mistletoe.

Snow had begun to fall again as the two walked back to their car. Sophie glanced at her phone. 00.01.

“Merry Christmas,” she whispered as she sat in the car. Shd leaned over and kissed his cheek.

“Merry Christmas to you too,” he smiled. “I guess it’s officially a white one.”

Dear Beanie

Dear Beanie

So, I’m not going to lie. This is perhaps the first time I’ve put pen to paper since I left school. I fear for the next generation. The world is becoming over powered by electricity, computers, laptops, Ipads or tablets are the only things that we use. People sit around the sofa texting each other instead of speaking. I hope that doesn’t happen to me.  I make time to speak to my family. I’m going to start writing more of physical things. Diaries, journals, letters that sort of thing. There is just something personal about a letter written by hand. Emails and texts can be crash and time is not spent telling the people around you how you feel.

I will write soon, but I’m so tired I can’t hold the pen up any longer.

Love me x

Dear Beanie

The subject of this letter is food. I can’t get enough. Food, food, food, food. Burgers and chips, crisps, olives, chocolate. I’m trying to learn how to cook, but I end up eating all of the ingredients before they are actually cooked. I tell you, raw carrots DO NOT help you see in the dark. I’ve lost count of the times that I have stubbed my toe on the bedside table after turning off my light. The only things I can cook at the minute are pasta, toast and beans, and sometimes eggs if I’m on a roll.

My Mum bought me cookery book for my last birthday of ten minutes meals, I have got it out and dusted it off and plan on using it to its potential. Maybe I’ll invited Mum over. Then again maybe not. She may critique it too harshly and I’ll probably end up in tears.

Oh dear! Must dash! My pasta is burning!

Love me x

Dear Beanie

I’m getting fat. I know its supposed to happen as time progresses. I know I can’t complain. Getting fat means I’m healthy. Things are going as they should. I lay here and eat pasta, and beans, and toast and I get fat and I think of you.  I wonder what you look like now. Have you changed since I last saw you? You probably have.

See you soon

Love me x

Dear Beanie

I am so sick of people telling me how great I look. I don’t look great. I’m fat, I’m breaking out, I’m wearing clothes from the ‘larger women’ section. I’m just sick of telling me I look beautiful when I’m wearing Pete’s t-shirt and jogging bottoms and trainers.

Rant over

Love me x

Dear Beanie

Today I may or may not have had a breakdown in the middle of the supermarket because they didn’t have any melons. Pete, who was in the fridge section, had to come and pick me up off the floor where I had collapsed on my knees in despair. I don’t know what happened, one minute I had squatted down to look for melons and the next I was on my knees sobbing.

I just wanted a melon.

Love Me x

Dear Beanie

I’m including a picture in this one. You may not be able to see it properly, but when I see you I will you show you what it all is. Pete signed up for netflix so while I’m off work I wont be so bored. But I will still find the time to write to you. I want you to know me. I hope these letters will help you.

Love Me x

Dear Beanie,

I’m starting to see what all of the fuss is about. I’m feeling healthy, I feel good, I feel happy, I feel alert. But damn I need to pee alot! Although I do miss my heels and skinny jeans, the way I am I don’t think I’ll ever be able to wear them again!

But Maybe you will get to wear them.

Love Me x

Dear Beanie

I’m quite warming to the name. It was just a nickname at first, but now, I quite like it. I think about you often. What do you look like? Do you have blonde hair or brown? Thick or thin?

Oh god! I gotta go!

Love Me x

Dear Beanie

I can’t believe how beautiful you are. You have a round little face, and big blue eyes. Your hair is too thin to see its colour yet, but you have the most beautiful little hands and toes. I’d read all about what would happen but let me assure you that it is NOTHING like the books make it sound. It is agonising and you want to give up, but as soon as I saw your face I completely forgot all about that.

I love you like I’ve never loved anything else before. I can’t remember life before you, I don’t know who I was, but now I do. The name is going to stick I think, Beanie. Pete has warmed to it too.

I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.

I love you with all of my heart

Love Mum.


It was always his favourite time of year. The time when the days turned cold, and he could wrap up warm with the scarf she had so lovingly made, wrapped tight around his neck.

He would hold her hand, for his was always warm and hers icy cold. When they were young, he would have offered her his coat, but he felt the cold these days. His fingers were still warm though. His silvering hair peeked out of the wooly hat he had crammed on his head in his rush.

Autumn he decided was the season that was shadowed by her sisters, Winter demanded to be felt, cold and brisk, but with many holidays so one couldn’t forget about it. Spring, new life, Easter, another holiday. Spring was the new baby, being documented but instead of teeth, words and steps it was measure in Daffodils, Lilacs and Blossoms. Summer, hot and stifling, the over achiever, he pictures Summer studying away all year just to come out with something bolder and brasher than the year before. Autumn was the quiet sister, maybe a bit bookish, preferred to be quietly noticed rather than in your face. She was soft handed and kind hearted. She faded in when Summer had had enough and was pushed out when Winter decided.

He loved how colourful autumn was. The Reds and oranges, even though the rain turned the crisp autumn leaves into sludge, he did like the rain. As long as he had his huge “rainbow” umbrella as their daughter had called it. He had his favourite points of Autumn, in the dying days of September, the early October, when Autumn comes blinking out, not quite sure what to do. And in the last two weeks of November , when the rain had cleared and a perpetual frost lingered on the cars.

It has been Summer when he had first met her. But it had been Autumn that had realised their love for each other. At the Autumn fayre, still celebrating hallowe’en despite it being November, but also celebrating bonfire night. They stood by the bonfire, holding paper cups of hot chocolate in gloved hands, feeling the warmth of the fire on their faces, their toes still frozen from wearing Wellington boots.

Then the fireworks had started, and it felt as though they were transporting to another world. A world of night, where the fireworks dyed your hair a different colour every second, and the firelight set your heart of fire, where cold fingers and toes were a beautiful given. It was in the moment under the gunpowder that he kissed her for the first time.

The following Autumn, she had taken him coat shopping. He kicked up a fuss, what was wrong with his own coat? But he hasn’t minded really, especially when they found the perfect coat.

Their wedding had come the following year. He smiled as he remembered her running out into the grounds of the hotel as the sun set and letting off a lantern with wishes for their future and then fireworks. Neither of them felt the cold that year, not even her even though she didn’t have anything covering her bare arms. He pulled her close anyway, her hand with her new jewellery adorned on her finger, on his chest.

He remembered wrapping their children in their coats and scarves before sending them out to school, holding their hands as they walked to the park to see the fireworks. He remembered holding his wife’s hand as their daughter’s friend joined them one year and the year after, both of them smiling fondly after the two, even though she had insisted they were just friends.

It had been Autumn when he had been asked for permission for his daughters hand. He had wanted to say no, but the gentle hand on his leg made him see reason. They had been married in the dying hours of summer, and spent the best part of Autumn on their honeymoon, it was the first Autumn they had not spent as a family.

The wind had turned chilly as he walked, he pulled up the collar on his coat they had bought nearly thirty years ago, and walked briskly on trying to warm himself as he walked. He reached a cross roads in the path and wondered which way to go. Silently a hand slipped into his, the iciness of the fingers making him jump. He turned and looked, the small girl that held his hand looked just like her grandmother, he swallowed hard, but smiled all the same.

She tugged at his hand to tell him which path to follow. It was the one strewn with golden leaves. She had inherited her families love of Autumn.