Ruby snuggled up to her husband as they lay together, placing her arm gently over his back, not wanting to disturb him. She loved the smell of his aftershave. It reminded her of when they first met, mixed up with the joy and anticipation of first love.
He was her rock: physically larger than her but also a stable presence in her often tumultuous life. It was something that most people didn’t admit to, but she had always loved him more than he loved her. He denied it of course, but she knew. She needed him more than he needed her. And she doubted that she would have ever married had she not met Harry. She had never been good with men, never knew what to say. But her friends loved him, always going on about how handsome and charming he was and ‘innocently’ flirting- she didn’t blame them- he just had that effect on women. Her friends weren’t who she was worried about anyway, it was his female work colleagues who she didn’t really know, and who took drunken selfies with him on work nights out, draping themselves over him and ruffling his thick wavy hair.
They weren’t a threat now. She felt his arm muscles – he liked working out at the gym. Ruby leaned over and kissed his cheek, bristly with a couple of days’ growth- he never shaved at the weekend.
She smiled to herself. She really was very lucky to have him. She pulled up the duvet least he get cold. His empty hot chocolate mug still sat on his bedside table from the night before. He loved it before bed, just like a child. He had not tasted the extra ingredient that she had bought online and added to the drink when he wasn’t looking.
He had kissed her goodnight like he always did and told her how much he loved her. She was glad that he would never know the pain of old age and illness: he would always be beautiful, always be hers.
She closed her eyes and drifted back to sleep just as the dawn chorus began to sing outside.
Later she would have to call the police and report the terrible news, but for now she would enjoy lying with him, one last time.


If another hour was added to every day, I think that I would be very boring and sleep. I do have an excuse – I have a 16 month old and I work.

But if I couldn’t have this luxury, I would love to use this bonus time for reading a good book or catching up on my scrapbooking (which I haven’t done for months because life is rushing by too quickly. I have so many good photos to scrap, it’s such a pity that Summer’s memories won’t be recorded until at least next Spring.)


Doris was teaching her granddaughter to cook. Tonight they were doing bangers and mash with peas and gravy.

“Always be very careful with sharp knives,” Doris instructed as she chopped up a potato to show Lauren how best to do it.

“Yes Gran,” nodded Lauren seriously.

“Please get the peas out the freezer for me,” asked Doris, “they are behind the ice-cream.”

Lauran ran to the freezer, eager to help.

“Oooh, can we please have ice-cream for dessert, Gran?” She asked, eyeing up the expensive chocolate treat.

“Well, I have made an apple pie…”


“But you can ice-cream with it, instead of cream if you like.”

“Yes please!”

Lauren brought the large bag of peas over, and Doris showed her how to carefully tip it into the pot of hot water.

“You need about a handful of peas per person…” well, your hands are quite small, so maybe two hands full if you are measuring.” Smiled Doris.

Lauren nodded sagely. She popped a pea into her mouth. It was freezing cold but delicious.

“Now it’s time to wash the potatoes. Can you see that I have chopped them all into a similar size?”


“Good. Give them all a quick wash in the sink while I…”

The phone rang and Doris went to answer it. It was her friend Muriel. Muriel was having husband trouble again. She was on her forth and still couldn’t seem to work men out. Doris kept telling her that she shouldn’t over think marriage – men are very simple creatures after all – but Muriel never listened.

“I must go, Muriel,” Doris interrupted her friend’s tale of a recent holiday to Rome that had gone sour after her husband’s argument with a greengrocer over the correct colour of aubergines.

“My granddaughter Lauren is here and I’m teaching her to cook.”

“How delightful!” Replied Muriel. “All of my grandchildren are complete ruffians. I blame their parents, of course.”

“Of course, well, nice to speak to you again. And good luck with the lawsuit.”

“Thanks Doris. Bye.”

Doris hung up the phone and rubbed her eyes wearily. She must check on Lauren, she really shouldn’t have left her with a kitchen full of sharp knives and bubbling pots…

“Hi Gran. I put the potatoes in the water to boil. I hope you don’t mind?”

“Not at all. You’ve done a great job.” Doris was just relieved that there hadn’t been any accidents.

She switched off the peas; put the sausages under the grill; and showed Lauren how to make gravy. She used the packed stuff, even if it wasn’t the ‘proper’ way to do it. Life’s too short after all.

When the potatoes had cooked, Lauren enjoyed mashing them.

“It’s quite difficult, isn’t it Gran?” She asked.

“Yes, it’s a good workout for your arm muscles,” she agreed.

Doris added a little ground black pepper and sea salt to the potatoes, as well as some butter and milk.

“I can’t wait to try those potatoes!” Grinned Lauren.

“They do look lovely, don’t they?” Agreed Doris.

Lauren set the table while Doris called Granddad and Lauren’s little sister Jo to the table.

“Bless this food to our bodies and bless Gran and Lauren for making it, and thank you Jesus for ice-cream too.” Prayed Jo before they all tucked in.

Doris was very pleased with her first attempt at teaching her grandchild to cook. She took a forkful of mash and gravy. Mmm… yuk!

Doris spat out the mouthful, much to Jo’s delight.

“Gran! You spat out your food! That is very naughty!” Screeched the little girl.

Lauren pulled a face and also spat her food out.


“Um Lauren dear, when you washed the potatoes earlier, did you use soap as well?” Doris asked.

“Yes Gran. Mummy taught me how to wash dishes, so I know how to do it.” Replied Lauren with a frown. “But they don’t taste very good ,do they?”

“No darling. Not to worry – Charlie, I think we’ll order a takeaway pizza for dinner instead.”

“Good idea.” Agreed her husband.

“Don’t worry Gran, Daddy says that not everyone can teach.” Smiled Lauren.

Only 17

I didn’t ask for you but you chose me anyway.
I know that I’m too young,
I’m not ready (is anybody?)
And your Daddy has already dumped me.
I’ll keep you anyway.
I don’t care what they say.
I didn’t ask for you but I’ll never give you away.
It’s going to be incredibly tough
And we’ll have to learn together.
But I’m going to be there for you, forever.