Office Scrooge

 

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Ian and Gina met in the break room around ten o clock! It has been a rough morning and coffee was needed. The talk around the coffee machine was animated. The room was buzzing with excitement. Gina inserted herself into the group.
“What’s going on?”
Fred, the droll accountant looked at her, a smile on his usually serious face.
“Didn’t you check your emails, we’re getting a visitor today.”
“A visitor, who’s coming Santa Claus?” Gina laughed at her own joke.
“No Valerie is paying us a visit.”
“Valerie Street? No way! Have you met her before?”
Fred’s eyes filled with tears, “Not since before George and Ethel died. She used to play with my kids at the company picnic.”
Ian joined them, “What do you think she wants?”
“Maybe she’s going to sell the Company?”
“Maybe she will,” Fred replied
The noise in the break room escalated as folks talked about the purpose of the long overdue visit.
“Don’t you have anything to do?” The piercing voice was that of the Desiree, the CFO. It commanded instant silence.
“I don’t want to ask anyone to work over Christmas, but I will if I have to.”
Fred spoke up. “We’re excited to see Valerie this afternoon. She’s been away too long.”
Desiree rolled her eyes, “For goodness sake, do you really think she want’s to talk to you folks. She’ll be coming to check on the company profits. I’ve arranged a meeting with leadership, headed by me. You won’t see her. Now get back to work, I want her to see a well run ship, not a gossip shop.”
“We would all like to…”
Desiree held her hand up. “I believe I said get back to work, now do it!”
Ian, Fred and Gina walked along the hallway together. A miserable silence replaced the excited buzz.
“She’s unbelievable!” Ian said. “A real life Scrooge!”

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Street Talk – A Christmas Story

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The office of Street Talk Magazine sat on the edge of George Street Memorial Park in a small town in Northern England. The Park was named after George Street, founder of Street Talk Magazine. It was dedicated to him in 2001 after he and his wife were killed in a car crash. The drunk driver, who hit them head on escaped unhurt, so did Valerie, the Street’s ten-year old daughter.

George and Ethel Street had only one child and thankfully they’d left a very detailed will to make sure she was taken care of. All profits from the thriving magazine went into to a trust until she was old enough to make decisions. The Magazine was run by a trusted team of long time employees in the meantime and continued to be successful. After the tragedy, Valerie fell off the face of the earth. Local media were interested in her for a while, and tried to track her down, but they soon lost moved on to other stories.

*************

It was a cold December morning. Small particles of ice fell from clouds that looked so full they wanted to burst.
“Snows coming!”
“What, oh Morning Ian, I thought you were on vacation this week.”
“Should be, but our new CFO needed me here to go over some figures for last year.”
The two Street Talk employees hurried through the park, clouds of breath escaped their mouthes as the talked.
“Jesus its cold!” Gina said “Look, that homeless woman is under the bridge. Surely she’ll die out here.”
At the edge of the park, on the cold stone ground, sat the solitary figure of a woman. Her hood was pulled over her face. Neither Ian nor Gina knew what she looked like. They knew she was female because of her voice.
“I’m going to give her enough money to go and buy breakfast somewhere, she needs to get out of this cold.”
Gina took a ten pound note from her wallet. Crouching down she handed it to the pitiful figure. A grateful voice floated from the hood of the old coat she wore. “Thank you and God bless you”
“Here, take my coffee, I haven’t touched it” Ian said as he gave her his Starbucks.”
The woman looked up at them and for the first time they saw her face. It was grimy and tired looking, but it was young. They were both taken aback.
“Merry Christmas!” She said.
Neither of them spoke until they were out of earshot.
“She’s our age, ” Ian said. “I wonder what happened to her.”
A voice from behind interrupted them, loud and thoughtless
“You shouldn’t give money to street people, they’re likely to have all sorts of diseases. I’m going to call the Tim in Security and see about getting here removed. She has no right being here. It’s a disgrace. They should find a place to put people like her.”
It was Desiree, the new CFO. She bulldozed past them, her expensive high-heeled boots piercing the morning silence as they stabbed the ground.
“Bitch!” Gina whispered as the followed her into the building.
“Careful, she’ll hear you, she already fired her analyst for less.”

Jingle Bell Rock – Footprints in the Snow

We sat by the fire drinking hot cider infused with rum. A perfect drink for a snowy December evening. It was Christmas in a glass. Les was engrossed in a noisy car chase on the television. So tense was his body, he might as well driving the cop car. It never ceases to amaze me how guys lose themselves in television. Isn’t real live much more fun?

I gazed at the Christmas tree. It was full of ornaments and memories. Many of the decorations were older than me, passed down from my grandmother to my mam, and then to me. My mam was still alive so they could have hung on her tree, but she ‘didn’t like clutter’. To me those old faded baubles weren’t clutter, they were history. When I touched them my body tingled as though they were trying to reach out to me, trying to tell me a story.

I took my empty glass to the sink and stared out of the kitchen window. It was snowing again. Christmas twinkled in the distance from the local bar. I faintly heard music, “Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock” sang with a country twang. It was a Saturday night, live music night. “Lets go down to the bar,” I said to Les. “It’s live music night, should be fun.” No answer! He was of course, on the edge of his seat, avoiding a collision with a school bus that had somehow gotten between the cop car and the bad guy.

I smiled. I wish my mind switched off from real life so easily.

I was drawn again to the Christmas tree, and the old clutter that hung there. Smiling I touched one of my Grandma’s ornaments, balancing it in the palm of my hand. It was a golden bauble, so worn and shiny it was like looking in a mirror. It moved slightly in my hand, or did I imagine it? Carefully taking it from the branch I held it up to my face and gazed into its smooth surface. My own face looked back at me, slightly distorted because of its shape. I closed my eyes and thought about my Grandma. When I opened them again my face no longer looked back at me, instead I saw the image of a child with blonde curly hair.

She smiled at me and waved, before turning around and walking away, leaving only footprints in the snow!

 

 

One Last Christmas – A Whisper and a Sigh!

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Christmas Eve is alway special to me. I remember as a child being allowed to stay up late and watch for Santa as he sped across the sky. I alway saw him. “Mum, look, there he is,” I’d say. To which my Mum would reply. “Quick, get ready for bed. Santa only leaves Christmas presents for children who are asleep.

SantaAs fast as I could I would run up the stairs and get ready for bed. I’d peep from under the covers, but was ALWAYS asleep before Santa made his delivery.

Last Christmas eve I sat alone in front of the fire and thought about my mum. She’s been dead over ten years and I miss her. Everyone else was in bed and I was enjoying the peace and quiet, and one last glass of wine.

I whispered to my mother, hoping she was listening from above, “Mum, I miss you. I wish you were here for just one more Christmas. I remember how flustered you used to be as you prepared for Christmas day. You were so eager to make every year the best Christmas ever. Your mince pies were the best, your sage and onion stuffing was to die for and your tearful hug on Christmas morning always made everything right.”

I heard the sound of tinkling bells, where did it come from, I wondered. I looked out of the window and gasped as I saw a familiar image in the night sky far above. It couldn’t be Santa could it?

I heard a sigh from behind me, and turned to see who was there. I was no one, but smelled ‘Lily of the Valley’, my mothers favorite fragrance. Inhaling deeply I stepped forward and closed my eyes. Briefly I felt warm arms envelop me, just for a moment, and then they were gone.

I got my wish. My mother shared one last Christmas with me.

Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy your family while you can. 

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TRAVEL TALES AND MISHAPS

To purchase my new novel from Amazon, click on the link below.

A German Ghost Story

 

Life measured by Christmas.

DSC01447The first Christmas I remember came with plastic roller skates. I knocked over the Christmas tree learning how to skate. That was in 1962. I was young!

A stereo was special in 1975. David Bowie sounded much better in stereo. It was a good year.

In 1988 I was a mother with a child of my own. A child who spent all day jumping on her Christmas gift, a trampoline, it was the best year ever. 

The Christmases have quickly passed me by, from child, to bride, to mother. Each filled with different types of joy only a family can share.

This year is the last one my baby, my child, my only daughter, will share our last name. She will be married before the next Christmas rolls around. How time flies. What next? Grandchildren I suppose and the cycle starts again. 

Merry Christmas to One and All. 

Enjoy the present, look forward to the future and remember the past.

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TRAVEL TALES AND MISHAPS

I have a new book out for Christmas. If you have time over the holidays, give it a try. Set in Germany in 1982, it is a fun read. A German Ghost Story and the adventures of a British Army Wife. 

Click on the cover to purchase from Amazon.

A German Ghost Story

 

AND SO THIS IS CHRISTMAS – AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?

Christmas seems to come around quickly now. Is it because I am getting old?

Every year I look back and look at my achievements. More often than not I am disappointed and always vow to do better next year.

What have I done this year? I finally finished my novel. On the grand scale of world events, that isn’t a big deal, but in my world, its huge. What makes it even better is the fact people are reading and enjoying it.

I didn’t write my book to make a fortune, merely to entertain, to leave my mark on the world. Its my legacy. It would be nice to make a little money in the process, but if I don’t, I still fulfilled my ambition. If you decide to give it a try, please, please, leave a comment and let me know what you think. Eager for feedback and reviews on Amazon. Happy Christmas everyone.

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A German Ghost Story

A German Ghost Story

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THE WINE LOVING GHOST!

It was Christmas of aound 2003. My husband had gone to bed, leaving my daughter and I downstairs infront of the fire, talking and drinking wine. A cosy scene!

No one else was in the room when we heard something that couldn’t be explained.

Behind us, in the dining room someone was pouring a glass of wine.

We both froze and looked around.

No one was there but we clearly heard what could only be wine being poured into a glass. The noise stopped and then, after a few seconds, we heard the appreciative “ahhh” that someone makes after their first taste of a good vintage.

Someone was sharing our Christmas and hopefully enjoying it. I wonder if they come back this year. They are more than welcome. Anyone who can appreciate a good glass of wine is OK with me!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF YOU!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read about my other visitations by downloading my e-books:

Girl on the Beach (UK) (eighty-six pence)

Girl on the Beach (US) (FREE)

Guy at the Bar Amazon ($0.99)

Guy at the Bar Amazon UK (eighty-six pence)

These books are also available in France (FREE), Italy, Germany and Spain, thanks to Amazon.

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A Christmas Tale – My Guardian Angel

As a little girl I loved traveling on trains.

The building to the left is ‘Bank Top Station’.  I knew this place well as a child.

The train from ‘Bank Top Station’ took us to the local seaside, which was also where my brother lived.

At Christmas my mother would take me to the train station for another reason. She took me there because between the two main platforms, there would be a huge Christmas tree. Under the tree were lots of slightly used, unwrapped Christmas gifts. The gifts were donated by kind travelers, and given to the poor. Every year we took the bus, which was almost an hour’s ride from our village, and walked up the hill to the Station to leave our gifts. My mother sometimes shed a tear and said a prayer as we laid our gifts under the tree. We were poor too, but said there was always someone worse off that we were.

It was a cold drizzly day in December of 1964. My mother and I had climbed the long exhausting hill to leave our Christmas donation. My mother looked tired, she had worked hard all day helping prepare for a huge Christmas Party at the manor house in which she worked, and really didn’t have time for this trip. She made time though, because there were people worse off than us.

As we approached the huge tree I felt something touch my hand and looked down. Beside me was a little girl. She had long blonde hair tied back with a pink ribbon. I had seen her before, in Blackpool. The little girl was smiling at me. She looked like an angel.

I smiled at the little girl beside me and was glad she was there. I knew my mother couldn’t see her, no one could see her but me. She often visited me, but usually before something happened. I knew nothing bad was going to happen today, she was there to take care of me.

As we lay our gifts under the tree, my mother stumbled, she fell hard onto her knee. I went to help her. “I’m OK honey” she said. “Just being clumsy”

My mother looked exhausted and I was worried. We had to get the bus home soon because she had to go back to work. I didn’t think she was going to make it.

My little angel girl was sitting on the ground looking up at my mother, her big blue eyes full of concern. She kissed my mother’s forehead and then disappeared under the tree.

My mother got to her feet and helped me place the books under the tree. She had no gloves and stuffed her hands into her coat pocket to keep them warm. I saw a puzzled expression on her face as she pulled her hand out of her pocket. She was holding a ten pound note. That was a lot of money. The expression on her face was comical. “Where did that come from?” she said.

I knew where it came from and looked under the tree to see my little blonde friend rummaging through the toys and books, she turned and smiled at me. My mother couldn’t see her.

“Lets go and get a bite to eat” my mother said. I knew she hadn’t eaten all day. We went into the little cafe in ‘Bank Top Station’ and shared some fish and chips. They were delicious. We were about to leave when a man shouted over to my mother. It was Michael, Mrs Hodges son. Mrs. Hodges was the lady my mother worked for. “Are you going back home now? Would you like a ride?”

It was a miracle. We rode home in a fancy Rover with Michael, and his sister Judy. Judy had caught the train from her ‘Boarding School’ in Scarborough.

We arrived home much earlier than we would have and as Michael’s car crunched its way over the gravel outside his house, Mrs Hodges came out, all smiles to see her daughter Judy, home for the Christmas. My mother and I got out of the car and were about to go home when Mrs. Hodges beckoned us.

“Everything is ready for the party now, no more work to do. Go home and put on your party clothes and join us. Lets celebrate Christmas”

I looked up a my mother, hoping she would say yes. I wanted to go to a party in the big house. There would be lots of lovely Christmas treats, and ladies in fancy dresses. My mum looked down at my face and smiled.

“We would love to come, thank you very much”

She looked at me and said “I think your Guardian Angel visited again today didn’t she”

I looked into her eyes and smiled. I wasn’t sure if my mother was playing with me, or if she really saw her. It was a good day and it was going to be a good Christmas. My Guardian Angel took care of me.

The first family

A blanket of white feathers falls from the sky, it’s snowing

 

Stars like diamonds on a blue velvet gown

Shine from above

The majesty of the season is everywhere

 

Christmas is all around us

Not in gifts or parties, but in spirit

You feel Christmas from deep within

Christmas is family and love, Christmas was never lost, just mislaid.

Happy Christmas!