Tag Archives: chaos

Another Day

You’d like to write, but your cupboards are empty, so you pick up your bag and dash to town.

On the way you decide to drop into Oxfam, but once there you find work to do, so you set to. Soon, all else is forgotten. You buy lunch and carry on.

Someone called Rose phones. You’ve missed a meeting. You say you don’t know a Rose, and no one told you about a meeting.
She mentions the Job Centre
and it sends you


“The meeting is on Friday,”
you wheeze, but no, it was today,
and now it’s too late to attend, but
you get away with the mistake
since she knows you’re
halfway to


She generously
tells you it’s okay,
and arranges to see
you when you come
back from

While helping
carry donations from
a car to the shop you spot a man
slumped senseless on step across the road,
so you check to see he’s not dead,
and discover he’s dead


Soon after five o’clock
Karen locks the shop. You check that the man across
the road is still breathing, then go home, where the cupboards
are still bare. You can go shopping after you’ve composed a poem.
The phone rings. You’re supposed to be at a family dinner.
Leaving the flat, you take a route past the Oxfam shop.
You’re pleased that the slumped drunk is gone.

You have a riotous evening,
returning home after


and you try to write;
try to expand on an idea which
only moments ago


you need to
take your


so you go to the kitchen and
reach for the pills but
the phone rings
you press the
green icon


what to do next.
A distant voice brings you
to your senses and you hold
the phone to your ear for

fifty-five minutes.

For almost an hour
you must be the oracle,
the one who has the answers
no matter how hard the questions
No matter how your brain
may doubt your


You are Mother.
You have struggled forever to
see your children well
so you must


all the thoughts in your daughter’s brain, and if she can cope
with the unexpected change she made to her care plan three hours ago.
Is she being over-confident? Will her heart stand the strain, will she
collapse, will she weaken, will she sink, or will she rise to the
occasion in the amazing way you think she can? What is she
really thinking, and will the doctor support her
decision, or will he say she must carry
out her plan with precision?
Is it all going wrong, or
is it proving better
than you could have
possibly hoped?
How will it go
You don’t


You don’t know,
but the questioner must not know that.
Once off the phone,
you start to




you will




Words for Peace #4



You can find the pronunciation HERE.

©Jane Paterson Basil



Now that spring is neatly out of the way, It’s time to spring clean my blog. The plan is to have a routine – something like this:

  • Monday: Start off easy with a little poem for The Daily Post’s One Word Prompt.
  • Tuesday: Write an amusing little piece about the stupid things I have done lately – that shouldn’t be difficult. + The Daily Post’s One Word Prompt.
  • Wednesday: Write up and post for Calen’s challenge. The Daily Post’s One Word Prompt
  • Thursday: Pot Luck – when I don’t mistake it for Wednesday or even Sunday, Thursday tends to be busy, and I don’t always find the time to write.
  • Friday:Esther Newton’s Thursday challenge. The Daily Post’s One Word Prompt.
  • Saturday: A bit of flash fiction, probably involving blood and guts. The Daily Post’s One Word Prompt.
  • Sunday: Some sort of a thing.

Please note:

Sometimes I wake up on a Monday and think it’s Wednesday, so I could find myself writing a post for Calen’s Challenge from the previous week, and wondering why it seems so familiar, or I may think it’s Saturday, and write some gory flash fiction in addition to The Daily Post’s prompt.

Even when I know what day it is, my lifestyle is erratic – I can’t guarantee to post the correct piece on the requisite day, so I may post it the following day, or never.

I may feel inspired on a Tuesday to write a rant about the disgusting concrete eyesore which still blocks my vies of a small portion of the horizon even though it was due for demolition months ago, and that could set me up for a week of ranting – about small-minded neighbours who keep complaining about a resident who is unwell,  about the failing NHS, pollution, recycling, people who never think about prevention and then aggressively demand a cure… you get the gist

There will be times when I know what day it is, but I don’t feel like sticking to my calender, so I’ll list every length of fabric I’ve ever bought with the intention of making something, AND I’ll expect my readers to be fascinated. Then I’ll get behind, and everything will be a day late – except it won’t, because by that time I’ll have lost track of the days all over again and think it’s Sunday when in fact it’s Friday.

Other times I won’t feel like doing the Word Prompt because it doesn’t inspire me, and I’ll go off and paint the bedside cabinets which I picked up a couple of weeks ago with that optimistic plan in mind. If you’ve drawn the short straw, and turned out to be me, the idea of covering the Word Prompt every day is pretty unrealistic anyway.

I could get bored with the whole idea after three days and give up on it, but not tell anyone.

In brief:

Monday may arrive on a Friday, Thursday could be on a Tuesday, on Wednesday I may be bored with the agenda, on Saturday I could be moved to write about the role of armadillos in tree surgery, and Sunday may never come.

Although it isn’t yet finalised, I think my plan of making the blog more user-friendly is coming together well. I’ll have it shipshape in no time at all. In the unlikely event that you can see any flaws in it I’d be grateful for your advice.

©Jane Paterson Basil


Reminders to self



Kitchen is not self-cleaning

Neither is fridge

Bees don’t understand the concept of windows

Hornets get angry when I try to explain

Can’t spend the same £20 twice

Cleaning the fridge doesn’t always get rid of the smell of cheese

Have to eat the stinky cheese

Eating stinky cheese makes me stinky

Can’t go to the gym because I stink of camembert

Moths don’t understand the concept of windows either

Can’t spend the same £20 (that I tried to spend twice) three times

Find out why the dirt flies out of the hoover, under the cupdoard door and back onto the floor 21 minutes after I’ve vacuumed.

Put a note to bees, hornets, moths AND wasps on the window, explaining concept of glass

Cleaned the fridge. Kitchen still stinky

Dust on floor not dust from hoover bag. Find out where dust comes from

Hoover bag full. Empty hoover bag.

Next time be more careful.

Hoover dust back into hoover bag.

Find out about self-cleaning carpets

buy more cheese

It’s not the fridge, it’s the dishcloth

Find a language that bees, hornets, moths, wasps AND birds can read

It’s not the dishcloth. It’s the stinky cheese wrappers in the bin

What did I do with that £20 note?

Keep a beer glass and a bit of card by the window. Bees, hornets, moths, wasps and birds can’t read

Sparrows are impossible to trap in beer glasses

At night, moths fly back in, attracted by the light

Train eyes to see in the dark

Borrow £20. Pay it back when I find that other £20

buy more cheese

Maybe some milk I spilled on the floor last week splashed under the fridge

Behind cooker?

Get self-cleaning kitchen

Ditto fridge

Large yellow and black striped wasp-like thing battering window. Flying cat? Check online

buy more cheese

Clean bathroom tomorrow, after good night’s sleep

©Jane Paterson Basil