In Velvet Dreams – A Nostalgic Ghostly Tale

As you may know, I am currently taking a break, but wanted to share some of my earliest posts with you, that you may have missed. 

This was the first ghost story I ever wrote on the 5th of April 2018.

Quite appropriate now as Halloween was yesterday.  

All the best 🙂 

In Velvet Dreams

He couldn’t believe it. Ever since he was a little boy, he always wanted one of those grand Victorian houses, like the one in Mary Poppins. With the house prices in London sky high he could see his dream getting further and further away. It was surprising, but here it was for sale, the House of his dreams.

He worked as a freelance journalist and so money was not flowing and sometimes the stream dried up completely for a short time. He had just come to the end of a lucrative contract and he had saved every penny, living mainly on baked beans just so he could get the biggest deposit he could. He was quite lucky in that his Uncle owned the flat he lived in, in Clapton, and so he paid minimal rent.

Continue reading In Velvet Dreams – A Nostalgic Ghostly Tale

Light of Hope – Part 2.

Yesterday as part of a Tell the Story Challenge, I wrote this story below:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/tell-the-story-challenge-light-of-hope/

I received some lovely feedback about it and a request that I write some more, so here goes:

 

Not long after starting my new school something happened to me, that is quite common apparently, but completely took me by surprise.

Growing up in my tight-knit little community on my island with the lighthouse, I couldn’t recall having even one day’s illness. A slight cold was all I’d had. The first term of school is often called the ‘sick term’ because putting all those children together usually leads to an outbreak of some disease or other.

I remember feeling a bit tired in class that day. I was slowly adjusting to the fact that I wasn’t at home, but staying in ‘digs’ in a strange town. Mrs McAllister was my landlady and had let out her attic room for me. She used to cook light meals like scotch broth and every morning would make me a bowl of steaming porridge. I’d grown up with my morning oats but Mrs McAllister made hers a bit differently. On the island, we had a lot of sheep, and we used their milk to make the porridge. Mrs McAllister made hers with water. It was the colour of wallpaper paste and I’m sure just as tasty, but it was hot and it filled my belly. I remember sitting in the classroom, wishing someone would open the window and watching the teacher parade up and down the room, slapping his hand with his ruler. Then, all of a sudden, the room went black.

When I came too, I was lying in my bed in the little attic room. I was sweaty and I ached all over, but particularly around my face and neck.

“Now, Dear, Don’t fret, The doctor brought you back from school and we managed to get you into bed.” Mrs McAllister said from the doorway.

“I’ve brought you a bit of broth. The doctor said you had mumps. I can’t come too near, as I’ve not had it myself and I have two wee bairns to look after. I’ll just leave the broth here.”

She placed the bowl down on the small table by my bed and then ran out of the door as if the germs were chasing her.

I remember laying there, feeling all swollen and puffy and staring out the window to catch a glimpse of the light from home.

I was supposed to be a big boy, going to big school, but right then, I wanted more than anything to be home. To have my Mother to look after me. To cuddle me in her strong Baker’s arms, the smell of the bakery on her clothes. To this day, the smells of a bakery is my favourite perfume.

I admit it, I cried. I lay in that lonely attic and sobbed my heart out. I must have managed to doze off because when I heard the door creaking open I awoke with a start.

The room was completely dark, except the light that came flooding in from the door, the silhouette of a figure standing there.

Then the light from the Lighthouse briefly provided a glimpse. It was my Mother, standing there, wrapped up in a shawl and carrying a basket on her arm.

“There, there, my wee Dougie. Rest now” as she said it, she gently pushed me back into bed and pulled the covers up around me. Her cool hand rested on my forehead and seemed to miraculously take some the pain away.

I don’t know how she knew I needed her, but I was so relieved to see her.

I remember thinking, she must love me so very much to come all that way from the island in the middle of the night.

It took a few days before my puffy neck returned to normal but she nursed me through and stayed with me until I was well enough to go back to school.

It’s strange looking back, what the brain chooses to remember and what it forgets. I can’t remember much from those early days but I’ll never forget the feeling of my Mother’s healing touch.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 13/February/2019

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/puffy/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only A Memory – A Multiple Word Prompt Story

This story is inspired by the following word prompts:

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/08/31/pithy/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/08/31/friday-rdp-absent/

FOWC with Fandango — Bound

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/31/three-things-challenge-31-august-2018/

Today’s things are: cobra, goose, cherry pie

 

I still remember it to this day. It used to scare the hell out of me as a child. A stuffed Indian Cobra, with its neck flattened, as though ready to strike, used to sit bound to its wooden stand, next to the fireplace in my Grandfathers house.

I had a strange fascination with it, but it used to give me nightmares that it suddenly came alive and started chasing me. That never happened, of course.

Grandfather used to find it very amusing, he would lift me up on his lap and tell me pithy tales of growing up in India. The snake was a memento of his childhood.

“Did you kill it, Grandpa?” I once asked him. I remember his face creasing up and he laughed a great belly laugh.

“Goodness me! No. It used to belong to my Father. He bought it in the marketplace in Bombay.”

My Grandfather always had a huge fondness for India although he’d left behind that life as a young man and came to England for work. Something else he brought with him was a love of Mango chutney. At Christmas, we always had a Goose and he used to smother his in Mango chutney.

I don’t have goose anymore, it’s not easy to come by, but after Christmas, I use up any leftover turkey by making sandwiches with mango chutney. The smell and the taste always remind me of my Grandfather, he may be absent, but he’ll always be with me.

Another memory from childhood was visiting my other living grandparent. Both my father’s mother and my mother’s father died before I was born. When I was small I used to think, ‘Why doesn’t Grandfather marry Granny then they could live in the same house and look after each other and we’d only have to visit the one place’. I never voiced that opinion, which is just as well because I can hear both my Grandfather and my Granny laughing their heads off at the thought of it.

Granny had cherry trees growing in her garden and we always used to visit her in September and she’d bake the best cherry pie I’d ever eaten. I have searched high and low ever since, but I can never find a cherry pie to match it. If only she’d written down the recipe or showed one of us how she made it, but she didn’t. The recipe is lost to the mists of time. It’s only a memory now, along with Grandfather, Granny and that horrible Cobra.

I wonder what ever happened to that horrible thing?

The End

 

Kristian Fogarty 31/August/2018

3 Days 3 Quotes Challenge – Day 1

The rules are simple:

1. Thank the person who nominates you

2. Post one quote per day for 3 consecutive days

3. Nominate three new bloggers each day

I would like to thank Confessions of an Irish Procrastinator for nominating me for this challenge. Please click on the link below and check out their blog, it is always great fun to read!

https://confessionsofanirishprocrastinator.wordpress.com/2018/04/24/3-days-3-quotes-day-1/

Anyone who knows me, or has read my blog probably knows that I have a tendency towards the nostalgic. I tend to live too much in the past.

Several great quotes came to mind as worthwhile:

“The Past is a good place to visit but not a great place to stay.”

“Dear Past, Thank you for all your lessons. Dear Future, I’m ready.”

“Inhale the future, exhale the past”

But as it was his birthday the other day, I will go with this quote from William Shakespeare. After all, he had a way with words.

What is past is prologue. - William Shakespeare

 

There are so many fantastic blogs and it is so difficult to choose.

I will only nominate one each day, because otherwise it gets messy.

Today I’ll nominate:

https://violableu.com/

What’s in a name – the stork’s been! 🥂

You don’t have to take part if you are busy or don’t want to.

 

Tender rose of youth – A story in 60 words

I thought I would try my hand at writing a story in just 60 words. This is my attempt…..

 

I remember the roses, so lovingly tended.

You cared so much about them. You prepared the soil. You carefully pruned them and removed each damaged leaf. You sprayed them to keep the bugs away, so they would always look their best.

Now you are gone. So are your roses.

I am still here.

If only you’d tended me as well.

 

copyright: Kristian Fogarty 07/April/2018

 

Picture of the Day – The Rotunda at Ixworth

This is a picture of Ixworth House in Suffolk, England.

It is a very interesting house, not only because it had this fantastic rotunda and had two large wings either side of it. One is still lived in today by the same family that has lived on the estate for many years. Most of it is now owned by the National Trust and as such is open to visitors.

One of the things that marked it out was the servants quarters. I have been to many stately homes, I like to wallow in the ‘upstairs downstairs’ or ‘Downton Abbey’ experience. They all had an army of servants to run these big houses in their heyday.

What marks this one is that the servants were so well-respected that after the first world war when the few men that did return refused to go back into service, Ixworth retained its staff right up until the 1930’s.

I remember the servants hall with its upright Piano, so evocative of evenings singing along to the latest music hall tunes (still on the piano waiting to be played.)

This was a really lovely place to visit.

 

 

My Uncle Pat – A portrait poem

I remember back when I was small

and foolish, though I’m still not tall

and just as daft, I remember him,

my Uncle Pat, seemed tall and thin.

As clear as day, he stands looming.

His voice was kind and clear, not booming.

The Kitchen, plain and brown and square

and neat and clean, as I stood there.

“Would you like something to drink and eat?”

My Uncle asks, I shuffle my feet.

Nervously I said “Yes please, I would,

Some of this fizzy orange would be good.”

And then I said, and I still regret it,

“You have to shake the drink to wake it.”

He took me at my word and shook

the bottle, up and down, I cried “Wait Look!”

The cap came off and fizzed, Oh Lor!

all over the nice clean kitchen floor.

And then behind me I heard a sound,

Through the open serving hatch, I found

My Mother and my Aunty too

laughing heartily at this much ado.

I still look back with thoughts quite grim,

My Uncle thought I’d played a joke on him.

 

Copyright Kristian Fogarty 23/March/2018