Ponte Vecchio – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #81

Good Thursday afternoon, my peeps!  I haven’t played in a while but when I saw this photo and knew I would this week.  Crispina is most generous in her rules and regulations and to find out just what she expects of those of us who participate, just click here. You’ll see, just about the only thing she stresses is not more than 150 words, which I, phew! did not surpass.

Ponte Vecchio

Diana and Anne sat on the wall beside the river, under the bridge, and watched the slow flow of the river.  Anne was regaling Diana with her stories filled with imagination.

“Let’s pretend we are in Florence, or, like they say in Italy, Firenze!  We are walking along the Arno River and come upon the Ponte Vecchio.  Isn’t it just the most romantic thing, Diana?”

Diana could only nod her head, unable to add a thing.

“You’d have your beau and I’d have mine—”

“Gilbert Blythe!”

“Bite your tongue, Diana! He’s vile and I’ll have nothing to do with him!” Anne’s eyes flashed.

“You doth protest too much, my friend. But please, do continue with your story.”

“Hmph! As I was saying, you have your beau and I have,” she looked at Diana with warning, “mine.  We would secure our love forever with padlocks.”

“What a silly thing to do!”

 

Word count: 150

The above picture is the central part of one of the bridges crossing the Arno, and the one that inspired my little visit with Anne of Green Gables.  (Don’t ask, it’s a mystery what goes on up in my noggin, at times.  For those unfamiliar, Diana is Anne’s best and bosom friend and kindred spirit.)  The story went in a whole ‘nother direction than planned.  As can happen, right?

Below are two pictures of the real Ponte Vecchio I took during my dream trip in 2016 and I cannot believe I have NONE with all the locks!  There were so many people in front of it, I thought I’d pass by later but guess I didn’t. Oh well. Thought you’d enjoy nevertheless.

 

 

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #158 – Downpour

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

I almost didn’t play this week, then remembered an August evening in 2018…  Even though I wrote about it here, I figured it was worth a little redo.  Thanks for hosting Sammi!

 

Who Needs an Umbrella?

The two friends walked twenty blocks from the restaurant to the theatre.  Summer in Montreal meant Ste. Catherine Street was closed to cars and filled with pedestrians enjoying the warm summer evening.

After the show, they made their way to the exits, talking about their favourite parts, stepped out…

It was not a drizzle, nor a sprinkle. It was a veritable downpour!

“You game?”

“Absolutely!”

Laughing, they walked and skipped like young girls, arriving completely soaked.

“You know, I have an umbrella in my car.”

“So do I!”

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #156 – Home

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Wow. Congrats to Sammi for doing this prompt for three years already!  Looking forward to what’s to come!

There is always that one house on the block where people congregate. As kids, it is the meet-up or the hang-out place – if the mom says it is okay – and if she says ‘no’ today, it will not stop you from coming back tomorrow. There is nothing obviously special about this house. It is like everyone else’s in size and shape and number of rooms. And yet, the kids know. Here, they are welcome. Here, they can be kids, and whether related or not, will be yelled at if they get too much. Here, they feel like they belong, part of a family. Here, this is not a house. It is a home.

Mine.

 

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #155 – Tune

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments. Sammi, you wild thing, you. TEN WORDS??

There’s nothing better

Than finding someone

In tune with you

Rainbows, Smiles and Sunday Everyday

My last day of quarantine was yesterday. Thank goodness because, much as I am quite creative in the kitchen, I was starting to worry that things would turn drab as I was running low on pretty much everything.  You see, my family and I were fortunate to go on a cruise together. (Post about it to follow soon as I kinda got distracted on my return, for some reason.)  Yes, there was talk but it was faint and precautions were taken upon boarding and we sanitized everywhere we went so we felt pretty outside of the situation. Till we hit New York. Waiting for our plane the drone overhead was relentless as were all the TV screens.  We thought, shit… what the eff is going on?

Took it easy on Tuesday (11th) and worked Wednesday through Friday, receiving the stink-eye from a couple of the cooks.  Sorry, mates. We were not told to self-quarantine.  Until we were.  On Saturday, my boss called me to ask me to stay home just as I was texting him to say I had to stay home for two weeks from the arrival date, meaning, until the 23rd. All good.

I try to go out daily with Zeke for a walk, choosing less populated streets of which there are many.  Distances are kept and every “hello” is not only received but returned with a smile, to boot.  No one tries to get in ayone else’s space and that is fabulous. There are a few “rainbows in windows” campaigns going on and I have seen the proof. It is precious and beautiful to see. Most are handmade and even if not, who cares? It’s a lovely way of uniting us.

Speaking of uniting, it’s a mixture of disconcerting and heartwarming to see all the cars parked in the driveways, making every day seem like a Sunday, with people walking about, cycling, playing hockey (I had to assume this was a family who lives together).  You can see the distance between groups or individuals – a good sign that rules are being respected.

This last image was taken shortly before the ambulance arrived. You can see a person sitting on the ground with one helping her while others look like they want to go close to help (or snoop) but don’t dare – a good thing at this time.  I hope it was nothing serious.

In some places, I have finally seen signs of spring flowers working their way out of the frozen ground!  Not at my house just yet, but still. And, I’m surprised this photo turned out as it was so bright outside, I could not see a darn thing!

Speaking of every day being like a Sunday, that includes Sunday meals en famille, of which we have not been able to partake in a dog’s age because we all work different shifts and most of the time are at work when it should be suppertime. Sundays especially.  Soooo… with my “Empty the fride/freezer/pantry” campaign, I was doing a bang-up job…

Which brings me back to my opening paragraph.  Now that I was allowed to go shop, I did.  All in one fell swoop as I do not want to have to go out and expose myself more than necessary until it is necessary.  I was pleased to see that Costco had organised the lines – and were counting how many they let in: one goes out, one allowed in, keeping the numbers at, well, I don’t know how many, but judging by the space in there, it was quite low.  However, as you can see below, the peeps in front of me were certainly NOT keeping six feet between them.  I did and let the guy behind me know when he was in my bubble.

Got my goods and the staff did no bagging so I figured, no big whup, once I get to my car, I’ll do it there.  However. DISASTER! My case of beer was on the cat food bag and, unbenownst to me, and slipped forward until CRASH! It fell to its side and made like the Caesar’s Palace Fountain Show only sans lights and music!  I got a good beer shower as I righted the damn thing and waited as it did its thing. A kind samaritan gave me a half roll of paper towels and said he hoped I was thirsty. Um… These cans are 500 ml (17 oz) each!  Even if all six, yes, SIX, of them emptied half-way, that represents 1.5 l (3 pints) of beer – Not saying I couldn’t if push came to shove but yanno… it was a “bit” much and plus, they were room temp. So. I put a couple in the fridge and drank them – they were flat by then. Blech. and the rest is put aside for more beer bread…

Victims, a sad state of affairs.

After the horror of putting all my stuff away into the car, I had two more stops to make.  Some fruit and herbs and stuff that I can’t get at Costo. And what up, peeps? Has everyone decided to bake their own bread?  Not an ounce of flour to be found at either store I went to. And fuggedabout yeast… Yep. Looks like I’ll be making more beer bread should I run out of the store bought one.

The snow started to fall ever so lightly during my last stop.  The boys helped me empty my car and put away the groceries. By then, forget about cooking. I was spent and it became leftover time. And we had a variety (see above).

I was settled into an evening of watching “Lion” when I got a text from Linda: “Yo, Outside your window.”  Took a peak and waved, then opened the door, shouted for her to hang on, I’d get redressed and join her – yes, yes, six feet apart – with Zeke.  It was a winter wonderland!

Neither of us was upset with the snowfall. We know that March snows never last.  This was just about the prettiest snowfall we had all winter!  Of course, it’s officially Spring, so that must be it.

Nothing lasts forever…

 

 

 

Dinner and a Late Show – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday-Friday and, though I thought for sure I wouldn’t play, here I am. Kinda hard to diss when Rochelle chooses my photo, eh?  I am going to aplogise in advance for anyone whose story I do not get to.  I’m getting away for a vacay and will do my best to get to you all before I leave. Gonna be weird to not participate next week but there is no way in hell I am bringing any technology with me (except my phone – for camera reasons, only!) That said, click on the frog below if you wish to read more stories…

This is a completely true story, zero fiction.  Sorry, Cathy 😉

Click me!

Dinner and a Late Show

“Delicious!  Glad you introduced me to this restaurant.  We better move it as we have a good fifteen-minute walk ahead of us.”

“Yep, time to high-tail it over to Place-des-Arts to see “The Phantom”.  Thanks for asking me to join you!  Even though I saw it ages ago, I’m glad to see it again.”

***

“Jeez… we’re fifteen minutes early and there is no one in the lobby? That doesn’t make sense…”

Cathy looked at the tickets, “Shoot! Omigosh! It started at 7:30, not 8:00.  We are late not early!”

“This blows…”

“I’m so sorry!”

“Please, I’ve seen it.  Sucks more for you!”

Not Yet – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday so it’s Friday Fictioneers!  Time to tell a 100-word story based on a picture, this week supplied by Ted Strutz.  Our fearless leader, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields always manages to keep us coming back for more week after week. I don’t know how she made us take the Kool-Aid but she did and now we are all addicted.  She hasn’t poisoned us. Yet.  Do come and play with us by clicking on Rochelle‘s name for the howsits or on the frog below to add the link to your story. G’wan… you know you want to!

©Ted Strutz

Click me!

Not Yet

The toe of a boot nudged him awake.  “C’mon, Frank, time to go.”

He rubbed his eyes with the palms of his grubby hands and blinked.  “Jaysus, Mary, and Joseph! It’s finally happened! I died and de Lord’s come to take me to heaven.”

“You eejit. They ain’t angels. School choir off to some show. And you ain’t dead yet! Hurry up and get yer shite before we both get into trouble.”

Frank took the proffered flask of scotch. “Thanks, Bob. Gotta spot for me tonight?”

“Yeah. Can’t have your sorry ass freezing in the street.”

“You’re the best.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

Driving East on Notre-Dame, With Odario

Yeah, that’s right, DK… I’m stealing your style. (My favourite posts of yours, as you well know.)

I met my friend France downtown at 6:30 at The Eaton’s Centre for drinks and dinner. The place is under a mega-renovation so we were lucky we found each other!  France’s friend had told her about the new Timeout Market that had opened.  Call it the Bougie (Bourgeois) Food Court, if you will. (Thanks, B, for such a great term). Instead of your usual, Greek, hot dog, Chinese, etc. counters, these are all from some of our fancier restaurants like Le Club Chasse et Pêche or T Burger which is the baby of Toqué or Olive et Gourmando, to name a few.  They have a bar for mixed drinks or beer, a soda bar and a wine bar where you can buy by the glass or the bottle.  The concept is simple.  Get yourself a drink, stand somewhere while you pray for a couple of seats to liberate and, should you be lucky, grab ’em as soon as you find ’em.  Then, you leave your coat on your seat, tell the person(s) sitting across from or beside you that you are just going to choose your meal (not that anyone would consider moving your coat or stealing your spot, so really, it’s just an unnecessary added assurance) and go peruse the possibilities.  There are tables outside of the bar area but you can’t bring your booze there so, needless to say, not an option for us.

Everything is made to order so, once you have chosen what you want, they give you one of those light buzzer doohickeys (mine was no. 40) that let you know your food is ready.  So off you go, back to your now-precious seat, sip your wine and chat while you wait. Or, as was our case, by the time we had our first glass of wine and found a seat, it was close to 8:00 pm so we chose to just wait near the counter for our food as there were no line-ups.  We both ended up getting our eats at “Charles-Antoine Crête and Cheryl Johnson”.  France went for the char tartare served with popcorn and shrimp “croutons” and I went for the Yaki-katsu which is a big bowl of Boston lettuce, fried beef, paper-thin pineapple and kimchi.

Our meals were tasty, and at $17/plate before taxes and tip, we ate every last crumb, and managed to refrain from licking the bowl.  The wine was wonderful – at $20 for a 9 oz glass (tax and tip included), not a drop was left. The place is happening and loud. Way too loud. We were both glad we could say we have been and neither one of us is in any hurry to return. It’s a great concept to give you a taste of a restaurant you would love to go to but that you know you need to sell your first-born to pay for the meal.

Despite the insane noise decibel, we did manage to catch up and promised each other we would not wait another year for our next one.  I had parked a few blocks away to get my steps in, but France went even further so we walked to my car and I drove her the good six blocks (at least) to her car.  Just as we got close to my car, I had to stop and grab a picture of the Cathédrale Marie-Reine du Monde (Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral). She’s a beauty though this nighttime shot of crappy quality barely shows it. What are you gonna do? You do what you can with what you have! However, I am now wanting to return during the day and try again.

Whenever I go downtown, I like to drive back towards the Jacques-Cartier bridge via Notre-Dame Street.  It’s just so pretty with its boutiques and antique dealers.  Odario Williams is the “Afterdark” host on CBC Music from 8 till midnight, Monday to Friday, turning out the music for our “nighttimes feels” as he says. From 8 ’til 10 there is a mix that is groovy and has good beats but come 10 pm, he slows it down.  Just so happens it was close to 11 by the time I got to my car.  My drive home was dreamy, starting with Imogen Heaps’ “Hide and Seek” then the very lovely “The City Holds My Heart” by Ghostly Kisses

A sweet French song “Les animaux” by Klô Pelgag and finally, bringing me to the last leg of my drive, “Stay Going Nowhere” by Jodie Landau & Wild Up, for which, unfortunately, no YouTube exists.  Well, it does, but not the studio recording, but the one I’ve provided is with Valgeir Sigurðsson, a close enough match. All songs I had never heard, some a little more ‘new-agey’ than I normally listen to but felt just perfect to bring things down from the buzz in my head brought on by the noise and loud talking we were obliged to do. Thanks, Odario… you never disappoint!

 

Not Talenti – Friday Fictioneers

It is Wednesday which not only means Hump Day and mid-week, it also means Friday Fictioneers.  I just had to have a little fun with my blogging buddies.  Thank you Na’ama for allowing us to use this photo. And Thank you, Rochelle, for being here week after week with nary a complaint!  G’head, peeps, add your 100-word story by clicking on the frog below!

Na’ama Yehuda

Not Talenti

I am so glad you let me know you were coming to Montreal and were able to stop by for a visit, DK. I’ve been dying to meet you in the flesh for so long.

Well, you did hound me and after you got to meet Sawsan, I was a tad jealous.

I believe I said “If ever you find yourself in Montreal, do please let me know”. That is hardly a hounding.

Same difference.

And, I even have some mint chocolate chip ice cream just for you!

Talenti?

Um. No. Häagen Dazs.

Look at the time! Gotta go!

Really?

2019 Attitude of Gratitude Challenge

Funny how things work, sometimes.  I can’t remember if it was Thursday or Friday (2nd or 3rd of January) when I thought to myself: I wonder if Dawn is doing her Attitude of Gratitude thing this year. Not two days later (or three) what do I get in my inbox but Dawn’s post! Serendipity at its best. Let’s just say that if she hadn’t, I would have been sad and maybe, just maybe, I would have done my own anyway. It’s kinda nice to be part of something that already exists, dontcha think?

The rules are really simple.  Set the timer for 15 minutes and start listing – very stream of consciousness, this thing.  I will do exactly that by listing whatever pops into my head and at the end, shall return to my list and clean up typos, remove duplicates or even maybe cheat by adding more deets to the items, because, well, if I stop to write all the whys, then my list will be shorter.  Then again, this isn’t a contest so, does it matter just how many I have? Maybe cheating won’t even be necessary!  Okay, Rogerson, just shut up and write already.

The following are the things for which I am grateful or simply bring me joy and peace:

  1. B – for what you give and what you agree to receive;
  2. My sisters – no matter what’s what, they will be there
  3. Mom – same thing, without you, I’d not be here
  4. Dad – no longer here, you still influence some of my decisions
  5. Mick – no matter that you’ve been gone five years, you are still a huge presence, not to mention a great muse for my writing
  6. Writing – the ability to share what I want to say and have people receive it
  7. Reading – we learn so much about life, the world when we open ourselves to reading
  8. Friday Fictioneers and Rochelle in particular for being the first challenge that opened me up to writing more
  9. Blogosphere – for introducing me to so many fantastic writers
  10. Friends made over the blogosphere – it’s amazing how close we can become, like you, Sawsan, now a flesh and blood friend
  11. Julie, Giselle, Linda, Cathy – my girlfriends who are there to drink, eat and be merry with
  12. My guy friends – who keep me laughing
  13. My boys – for keeping me real – whether I like it or not
  14. The scent of petrichor in the summer
  15. The sound of rain on a window when lying in bed
  16. Being able to sit outside on a covered porch when it rains
  17. Big fluffy snow in winter, especially on Christmas Day
  18. Zeke – for giving me a reason to get out and enjoy the fresh air
  19. Standing outside, and realising all is silent and being in the moment
  20. Coffee!
  21. Wine (and beer or spirits 😉 )!
  22. The sound of the wind in the marcescent leaves
  23. My house – it keeps me safe from the elements
  24. My health – it might have blips from colds but otherwise, I’m healthy
  25. DK – for introducing me to soooo many books and for being you, who shares such beautiful things
  26. My laptop – which keeps me connected to so many people
  27. Hang Outs – which allows me to chat with my bestie face-to-face
  28. Warm thick socks in the winter
  29. Dresses in the summer
  30. My capacity (capability?) to smile through the tough stuff
  31. My ability to love freely
  32. Photography – a way to capture everything that grabs my attention
  33. Sunsets
  34. Being by the water – lake, river, ocean
  35. Travel – introducing me to cultures and broadening my horizons
  36. Cooking – not only to nourish but also to show my creativity
  37. Discovering my creativity, which I was so sure I didn’t have till it was pointed out to me
  38. Movies – being able to escape into another world for a couple of hours
  39. Merril – for introducing me to poetry and inspiring me to keep trying it
  40. Frank – because you introduced me to sooo many fabulous bloggers and your concerts were the best that I was honoured to act as your Maître D’ and because I want you to know that I am going to miss you – blogging. I shall hound you elsewhere 😉
  41. Light to see
  42. Dark to rest
  43. Love, in general – amorous or friendly
  44. Sex and the joy of sharing intimacy
  45. My eyes – so I can appreciate what is out there
  46. My ears – listening to the sounds around me, music, my loved ones’ voices
  47. My limbs – though they sometimes let me know they need more limbering
  48. My sense of humour – which helps keep me out of trouble
  49. My ability to connect with people of all stations
  50. My intellect – which permits me to have proper conversations on all sorts of things
  51. My curiosity – which keeps me learning always
  52. My snarkiness, which keeps me from not being taken seriously
  53. To you authors who trusted me with your works and allowed me to be a beta reader – I am beyond chuffed