Here is a story set in the year 2057.
It focuses on Cynthia Beattie as she enjoys the first day of Festimas, the four-month festival of shopping which commences on 24 October 2057.
In a way, this tale is a trip down memory lane with a list of golden oldies which I hope you will look up on YouTube.
Could this be the near future which some of us oldies might see, helped by leaps forward in medicine, pharmaceuticals and care robots enabled by artificial intelligence?
I offer this with particular thanks to Kareth Paterson, my friend and editor who has stuck with it, advising and correcting, at times mystified by my flights of fancy. Without her input I doubt this piece would have been readable.
This little tale is a response to a Writers’ Circus challenge:
“I said I’m sorry. What more do you want?”
In this tale, as my Muse took me on a voyage of discovery to distant lands, we visit Shoppers’ Paradise, which could be a shopping centre near you.
Although not set at Christmas, perhaps this story should have been, with a Salvation Army brass band intoning “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.
Which, actually, we do!
This is a boy meets girl tale set in 1962/63 at the start of the Swinging Sixties.
The main action takes place in Benidorm, the new Costa Clyde of its day.
This is a ‘true romance’ in which Bettina Tazzina (Betty Teacup) gets another outing!
My Mum (Betty Teacup) read stories like this endlessly, and by osmosis clearly I was affected.
Nothing here to frighten the horses!
Candy Floss. Go on, go on, go on!
(Hardened readers my recognise this as a re-worked and improved version (!!) of another tale from my early days.)
This tale is has been written under the pen-name of Bettina Tazzina, after my mother, who was often called “Betty the Tea Jenny”.
Her real name was Bettina, an aberration from my Grandmother.
“Tazzina” is a tea-cup in Italian.
My mother was a great reader of the “Woman’s Own” and the “Woman’s Realm”.
I hope she might have enjoyed this tale, had she lived in our times!
Go on, enjoy some Candy Floss! A little won’t hurt you!
This tale has its roots in an chance encounter.
We were on holiday in New Zealand. We stood high above Hastings, at a Viewpoint. A very elderly, dapper gentleman joined us.
As we chatted he revealed that he was originally from England, that he had emigrated to NZ as a £10 Pom in the 1950’s, travelling by boat. He found a girl, made a happy life, although there had been no children.
Two years earlier, after a long illness, his wife had died.
He had been lonely, cast adrift, and haunted by the thought of an old flame, a girl he had once loved but lost to another man, someone he knew well, a rival.
The idea that this lady might still be alive, and perhaps open to an approach, nagged and nagged. Eventually he had hopped on a plane and returned to Blighty, to search for her.
This lady, now a widow of many years, was living alone, her children scattered around the globe.
“Did you hit it off, after all those years?” my lips blurted, as they do.
“Oh Yes. And she decided to come back with me, for a holiday.”
“Did she like it?”
“Oh yes, I think so, she’s still here, that’s nine months now. She’s sitting in the car, just over there, having a snooze.”
This little soppy story is (very) loosely based on my parents.
It is in the “People’s Friend” style.
I have classified it under Romance.
The genesis of this little tale was a ‘five minute challenge’ to warm us up, at a Creative Writing Class.
Initially it was only about the bad tempered surgeon abusing his ‘minions’.
But, when I revisited it much later, the Muse provided this other tale, about two nice people ‘finding each other’.
Get out your box of tissues!
My friend Sheila is keen on ‘Women’s Rights for Lady Golfers’. And so am I!
Her daughter-in-law Lindsey, now a full-time Mum, was until recently a Theatre Nurse.
This tale is for them.
And for my friend Brian of the Morning Papers, and for Richard my brother, both of whom have had recent triple by-pass operations, both ‘doing well’.
Most mornings I daunder along our busy suburban streets heading for Murdo’s Corner Shop.
I am armed with my voucher, aiming to swap it for a print copy of “The (Glasgow) Herald”, without which M cannot digest her plate of porridge!
Outside Murdo’s, Linda Lollipop, and her erstwhile colleague Jim the Fish, are ‘herding’ their ‘sheep’ across the busy double crossing, speeding their ‘flocks’ safely onward to our local schools.
In the lulls I usually have a wee chat with one or both.
Linda Lollipop, an avid Kindler, is my top ‘encourager’, ever willing to drop nectar words of compliment into John Bee’s ears.
One day she revealed, by chance, that she had always longed for a ‘double-barreled name’.
I scooted straight home and and fired up Lenny (III), my faithful Laptop.
This is what the Muse provided. Short, sharp and tongue-in-cheek.
This is 1,000 words, a rapid read of around 5 minutes.
We were on holiday, in Rosemarkie, with our caravan.
Whizzing along in our car one day, I saw a sign advertising a “Car Share Club”.
I started to write this piece, with no idea what would come from the Muse.
This is a piece which has drawn criticism.
It contains dark material.
I defend myself by pointing readers to the nightly news.
In my mind, however, this story is a ‘true romance’, albeit involving strange bedfellows.
I spotted some anomalies and revised it in February 2016.