Meringue Dress


I Wish I Could Take It Back

I wish I could take it back: first time

I gushed and said, “I do.” 

But he was oh-so cute, you see,

we danced to the Cutting Crew, 

the decade was the eighties, so 

my dress was a meringue,

with puffy sleeves and hula hoop,

we drove off in a Mustang.

It wasn’t long before I knew

it wasn’t going to work, 

we were both too young to settle down,

and, besides, he was a jerk.

My second husband came at me

with oodles of sex appeal,

his olive skin and sea-green eyes, 

made me want to squeal,

the day he got onto one knee

and took my hand in his,

without a second thought, I swooned

and said, “Let’s order fizz!”

The wedding—paid for by his folks!—

was a dazzling, winter affair,

now in the nineties, at least there was no

Flock of Seagulls hair.

Instead, the gel he wore was thick,

his aftershave divine,

I could hardly wait for the honeymoon,

when he would be all mine.

This marriage soon fulfilled its course,

on account of how he strayed,

since quarter past committing to me,

he had played with my bridesmaid. 

Number three, I guess I should have known was wrong,

his eyes were close together,

he looked like he’d been caught in the wind,

his face frozen by the weather.

But he called me sugar, stroked my cheek,

his touch, it was electric

within six months, I walked the aisle, 

who cared about aesthetics? 

Our love affair was hot and fun,

it makes me blush to think,

but all too soon we fizzled out,

and our marriage started to sink. 

It’s been said I fall in love too quick,

I need to wait and see

if I really want to go the distance,

if our love is meant to be.

And so I waited for my current beau;

numbers four is the one, I know!


  • This is something I wrote a couple of years ago. I came across it yesterday, and thought I’d share it with you. I have to stress, this is not written from personal experience!


This is another of my zodiac pieces. This time, I’m writing about a few of the stereotypical Taurus traits.



21st April ~ 21st May

Taurus traits ~ Practical, dependable, frugal, materialistic, reliable, stubborn


Marcia clutched the box containing the shiny new coffee machine as she opened her front door. She could hear the sound of Nirvana on the stereo, telling her Phil had got home before her. Swallowing hard, she marched straight through to the kitchen.

She stopped dead when she saw the space where their old coffee machine used to sit. A chill spiralled through her core. Placing the shiny, new gadget on the pine table, she braced herself for more arguments with her husband.

When Phil said hello, she jumped and spun round to face him.

“Hey, honey. You’re home early.” The words stuck to the sides of her mouth.

“Yeah. I said I’d work from home this afternoon. I thought it would give me chance to fix the coffee machine that you love so much.”

With her heart in her mouth, Marcia prayed he had failed in his quest. “Oh. So, how did that go?”

“Piece of cake. Once I took it apart and figured out what was wrong with it, I—what’s that?”

Crap. Here we go. “Well. I thought the old machine was beyond help. So I stopped at Curry’s on the way home and picked up a new one.” She watched him fold his arms across his chest and take a step back.

“I told you I’d fix it.”

“I know, but—“

“But, what? Since when have I let you down in the past?”

Pulling out one of the pine kitchen chairs that her husband lovingly crafted in his garden workshop, she slumped into it and pinched the bridge of her nose.

“I’m not saying you ever let me down. It’s just that old coffee machine keeps breaking down. You’ve fixed it, like, three times already. It was a wedding present, Phil. We’ve had it for five years.”

“And? What’s to say it won’t last another five? It’s fine now, Marce. You need to take the new one back. It’s not necessary, and we can’t afford to spend money like it’s going out of fashion.” He shook his head and turned to walk away.

The sound of him tutting flipped a switch in Marcia. She always acquiesced to whatever argument they were having. Not so much because she wanted to keep the peace, but because she just didn’t have the energy to fight Phil’s stubbornness. He would argue the grass was purple with blue spots if he felt like it . . . and probably win!

“No.” One word. Her voice faltered only slightly. She breathed quickly as she waited for her husband to turn to face her. When he did, she couldn’t read his face. Why does he have to be so bloody steady?

“We went through all of this this morning. We don’t need a new coffee machine. Especially, when it’s . . . “ He stopped speaking as his eyes fell on the machine for the first time. “When it’s, ugh. Is it one of those Italian jobs; the ones that grind the beans?”

A smile crept over her face. “Yes. It’s an espresso machine, as well as latte, cappuccino, Americano; everything you could want in one.”

As he moved closer to the kitchen table, he reached out a hand, and the tremor in it told Marcia she was onto a winner. “It looks very . . . professional.” He touched the box and breathed deeply. “But, professional means expensive. How much did this set us back?” His eyes narrowed and he withdrew his hand.

“I’m glad you asked, honey. It was on sale; the last one in the shop. They’re getting all the new stock in for Christmas next week, so this one had to go.” She paused, watching her husband’s eyes widen.

“On sale? I love a good sale. But I bet it was still too expensive for us to be wasting our money on.” He licked his lips, and the air between the two of them thrummed with tension.

“£125. Down from an original price of £400.” She sat, crossing her legs and tucking her chin into her chest. “What do you think of that, then?”

In an instant, his hand returned to the box. “Oh, that’s good. Did you take it from our first savings account? We had £25,000 in there, so £125 would have only made a small dent in that.”

“Yes. I used that account. Now, can we please get this thing unpacked and try it out?”

A grin took over his face, animating his features. “Yes! I’m gonna have an espresso. I want to hear the beans percolating.” He ripped open the box and set up the new machine. While the beans were doing their thing, he draped his arms around Marcia and nuzzled her neck. “You’re the best. You know that?” As he moved to stand in front of her, he cupped her face in his hands and kissed her mouth. “I love you.”

She giggled and kissed him back. When he pulled away, she knew where he was going. He returned to the kitchen with the old coffee machine in hand. “I’ll put this in the new box, and we can keep it for emergencies. You never know when these new-fangled gadgets might break down.”

She watched him walk out to his workshop, where all other useless, no-longer-working items were stored. “I love you too,” she whispered.

Married In New York


Married in New York

Swamped in dripping heat
two lovers stand
hand in hand,
they move
to cross
the road
to marriage,
on the other
side, they make their vows



Butterfly Form

This form was first created by Michael Degenhardt
Meter is syllabic and in this order: 5/4/3/2/2/2/3/4/5.
Stanza length: 9 lines.

An Intercontinental Union



There is so much hatred and bad blood being spilt in the press these days. As human beings, it used to be that we had an inmate desire to be with others. That doesn’t seem to be the case any more.

Brexit, Trump, extreme nationalism. It all comes back to one thing: we only want to care for ourselves. There is no togetherness any more. We don’t trust anyone. A lot of this is due to the perpetuation in the media of horror stories that vilify certain groups of people. They incite fear, and in doing that, they incite hatred. And it scares me. It really scares me.

So, for today, I decided to write a story about how wonderful it can be to work together, even when you are from different cultures. You see, I’m British, and my husband is American. Okay, so they aren’t the most diverse cultures in the world. But,trust me, you would be surprised at how different they are. We work, though. We are best friends and we love each other to bits. It’s our differences that make our relationship extra special. So I wrote this story. It’s not a true story, but it is based heavily on my own relationship. I hope you enjoy it.



“Nana, Nana,” said Poppy as she bounced into her grandmother’s front room. “I’ve got a project from school.”

“Sorry, Mum. She’s been excited about this project for the last few days,” Anna said, placing her hands around her young daughter’s shoulders and squeezing.

“Oh, that’s alright, darling,” said Kathleen. Smiling, she turned to her granddaughter and said, “ So, you’ve got an exciting project have you, pumpkin?”

“Yes, Nana. America. I must do America.” The rosy-cheeked little girl clambered onto her grandmother’s lap. She swiped away the rogue strands of dark hair that didn’t quite reach her ponytail.

Once she was comfortable, she grabbed her favourite treasure; the gold locket with which Kathleen never parted. Poppy opened the locket and studied the pictures inside. “Grampy?” she said; her honest, blue eyes searching her grandmother’s face for confirmation.

“Yes, Poppy. Grampy Bill.”

“He’s in Heaven now? But he used to be in America, didn’t he, Nana?” Poppy fiddled with the gold chain while she waited for her answer.

“Yes. That’s right, pumpkin,” Kathleen’s voice faltered. Clearing her throat, she said, “So, what is your project? What do you have to write about America?”

“Lots. I’ve got to do a project.” She scrunched up her face and looked to her mother. “That’s right, Mummy, isn’t it? A project?”

Anna nodded, then turned to her mother. “She has to create a folder about another country and she’s chosen the U.S. You know how she’s been obsessed with it, ever since she found out Dad was from there.”

Kathleen chuckled and, when she smiled, the lines around her eyes highlighted the clear blue, passed down from generation to generation. “She does talk about it a lot. What kind of things does she need to know?”

“I think it’s pretty much anything goes. Things like geography we can do at home from the internet, but it would be really good if you have any photos to spare. Anecdotes as well; anything about the cultural differences between the U.S. and the U.K.”

“Nana, I’ll record you,” said Poppy, “Mummy has a recorder.”

“It’s just a phone, Mum, that’s all. I can record your voice on there.”

Kathleen sat back in her chair, sucking air in through her teeth. “Oh, I don’t know, darling. I don’t want everyone listening to my voice.”

“No, it’s okay, Mum. They won’t. It’s just so we can remember what you say.” Anna set the phone on the worn out arm of her mother’s chair and said, “I’ll make some tea. I’ll just set this recording and you can go. Thanks, Mum.”

Eyes wide with uncertainty, Kathleen pressed herself against the back of her chair. “So, you want me to talk about America, Poppy?”

“Yes! America,” her little granddaughter replied.

“Hmm. Okay, let me think.” The sitting room faded away as memories of her late husband and their home in Arizona came to the forefront. Her nose twitched as she smelt the dust that had a habit of stopping by.

“America is sunshine,” Kathleen eventually said. “Blue skies, freedom, and happiness. Long, open roads and lazy days stretching in front of you. Laughter, love. People who are welcoming and friendly. But, I guess that can be true wherever you are.”

Kathleen hugged her granddaughter. “You would love it there, pumpkin. You are very much like Grampy Bill.”

“You always say that, Nana.” Poppy was eager for new information. “Mummy said it’s different to here. She said you speak different.”

“It’s differently, Poppy. And yes, we do.” Memories of discussions over the pronunciations of so many words flashed through Kathleen’s mind. Her face animated as she reminisce. “Americans pronounce their vowels differently, that’s the main change. Like the word pen. It’s spelt pen, isn’t it? Spelt with an e, but your Grampy always pronounced it pin, with an i. It was a running joke between us, we always argued about who was right.”

Anna walked in and agreed that she remembered her parents constantly arguing over words. “You always thought you were right, Mum, and Dad would wind you up so tightly.”

“Yes, but in the end we laughed, Anna. Hover, that’s another word, Poppy. Hover, he pronounced huvver, like it was spelt with a u in the middle. I never understood that. Compost was compowst, elongating the o. Really rather strange. Your Grampy used to call it the ‘New Improved English’. But he was just wrong.”

“I’d forgotten how much you argued about language, Mum. I miss that.”

“Me too, darling. But it wasn’t just the language that was different. As long as I live, I will never understand American sandwiches which are described as ‘chicken salad’ or ‘tuna salad’. Poppy, what that means is they are chicken and mayonnaise, or tuna and mayonnaise. There is not one item of salad involved. It would be like me saying I am a twenty year old man. Just for the sake of it.”

Poppy giggled and said, “Don’t be silly, Nana. You’re not a man.”

“That’s right, Poppy. And for that reason, I don’t call myself one. There are different words for lots of things in the U.S. as well. You know jelly, Poppy? Like you have with ice cream?”

Poppy nodded her head.

“Well, Americans call it Jell-o. But jam, like you spread on your toast, that is jelly. It’s all very confusing.”

Anna noted the way her mother’s eyes sparkled and her face lit up as she spoke about her dear, late husband. New life seemed to flow from her fill her body. Tired, arthritic arms gestured wildly, and her words tripped over one another in her rush to relay every single memory.

“Come on, Mum. You shouldn’t get so worked up. Drink your tea and calm down a little.”

Kathleen took a sip, then continued. “Television is different in the States. There seem to be adverts every five minutes or so. And they advertise things like prescription drugs. That was a big shock, the first time I saw an advert for anti depressants. It reminded me that it’s all a big business.”

Kathleen paused to take a deep breath. “That aspect, I didn’t like so much. But I got used to it. There were lots of good shows, but the sense of humour is different to ours. They don’t really understand sarcasm, as a general rule. Things are a lot more literal. Humour tends to be more visual in the U.S., whereas over here, we used words more. They also have shows called roasts where they take a celebrity and have people who know them belittle them and make fun of them in front of an audience. I just don’t understand how that’s funny.”

Anna watched her mother’s face smile, then fall, and she wondered what was really going on behind her eyes. “All right, Poppy. I think that’s enough for now. Your Nana is getting tired.”

“They were such happy times, Anna.” Kathleen grabbed her daughter’s hand. “I’d go back to them, if I could. You know, all these differences made our time together more interesting and exciting. We laughed so much of the time. Do you remember that, Anna?”

“Yes, Mum, I do. You and Dad were always happy. It was lovely to grow up with.”

“Yes,” said Kathleen, feeling far away.

“Come on, Poppy, we have to pick Daddy up from football practice soon.”

“Football, that’s another one, you know? In America, football is called soccer. The game they call football is one where feet rarely go anywhere near the ball, let alone touch it. Very, very strange.”

Laughing, Anna said, “We really should go, Mum. Will you be all right?”

“Yes, darling. I’ll be just fine. I’ve got my memories.”