The Upper Forty Seven

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 17 June 2021, fault.

After quake which rang up 10.3
California fell into the sea,
The whole place, it trembled,
Like a jelly resembled,
Now in congress there’s one absentee.

Sorry, you guys 🤣

Prompt image for the Fandango One Word Challenge prompt

Reblog: Thursday Retro #9

Okay, I posted it, so I’m bound to say it’s good, aren’t I? But this track is not just a good one from Dinah Washington, it’s a really, really, *really* good one.

This is the retro track on the music blog I share with mt writing partner KK, Songshine Sounds. So why not check it out and prepare to start tapping those feet?

Songshine Sounds

Each Thursday I wanted to present a “golden oldie” track. I’m not going to place any bounds on genre, neither am I going to define exactly what “oldie” means to me, but I will try to keep to that description of “golden”. I hope you think so, too.

My pick this week:

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Fandango’s Provocative Question (16 June 2021)

Today’s Provocative Question, Fandango asks:

What is your biggest regret in life?

There are one or two stand-out candidates, head and shoulders above everything else.

  • Fatherhood. My daughter accused me of abusing her when she was fifteen
  • my stroke, six months later.

Let’s look at these. My daughter has had mental health diagnoses, I still see (from a distance) how she struggles through life. Sure, she hurt me badly, but I have seen with my own eyes, the additional effort she must expend, just to appear “normal”. I have a big, ongoing struggle with this, because she did hurt me so badly, and my natural reaction is to disengage. But, how can I regret her?

The stroke has left me disabled. I wish, of course, that things had been different. Only an idiot would volunteer to be disabled.

But because of the stroke, I got to see how our health service works. It leaves so much to be desired, it routinely fails the people to whom it bears an absolute responsibility. I will continue to preach about what is wrong, and how it can be improved, to anybody who will listen.

Same thing goes for the Benefits system. I’d never have seen that, if it weren’t for the stroke. How it traps people into undignified poverty, through no fault of their own. Something else I am happy to campaign on.

Okay, the stroke was shitty, but I am only 53. I have sufficient life in me to at least talk about these injustices. I’d have been ignorant of all of that, were it not for the stroke. Most of the time, people only find out how bad things are when it is too late to do anything about them, so with my relative youthfulness, I’m privileged.

I’m less able, but it feels like there is more to do than ever.

Again through the stroke, I got myself into voluntary work. The many stroke survivors I visited at the hospital, say. Most of the time I am sure it meant nothing, but once or twice, maybe I helped? Not to mention the dozen people who have a marginally better time each week because I have befriended them. That’s what they say, anyhow.

And I appreciate the value of that friendship. I posted the other day about the people I’ve loved. Man, I am so lucky to have known them – and, in most cases, to still know them, present tense. Those people, and the few whose identity I protected.

So, my answer is easy.

No regrets.


For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #122, where we write about this image from Nicolae_Balt at Pixabay:

John Hall was enjoying the morning, in a state somewhere between awake and risen. “Enjoying” is the wrong word, for John was nervous. Today would be big, he’d been told, decisive. Something had to be. Nothing yet had changed any of this madness. He gazed into the darkness of the early morning through the open tent flap. A stiff breeze blew in, and for a second, John hoped it might dampen Paul’s resolve.

Continue reading “Offensive”

Forgot Something

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 16 June 2021, hack.

A tall, handsome surgeon athletic,
Made a fortune consulting cosmetic,
As he started to hack,
Patient kicked him right back,
“I think this guy requires anaesthetic”

Prompt image for the Fandango One Word Challenge prompt


inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 15 June 2021, juncture.

I was half an hour later for our meet,
Then I kissed her and trod on her feet,
She was gasping in shock,
I spilled wine down her frock,
And at that point I bid my retreat.

Prompt image for the Fandango One Word Challenge prompt

Reblog: Tiny Tuesday #9

A few hours ago KK shared this “tiny concert” on our blog, Songshine Sounds.

I must admit I haven’t heard of this chap but I assume he is a known name in music. It started off sounding like a jamming session but each song grew on me more and more.

Songshine Sounds

Graphic graphic for the "Tiny Tuesdays" post

If you’re anything like us, you’re missing your regular drip of live music to keep you going. Luckily, lots of mini-concerts are still happening online, and we can tune into to get an intimate musical fix.

In November of 2019, Jon Batiste performed his tiny desk concert for NPR with a special twist. Instead of his regular band, he performed this four song concert with all-female collaborators — Endea Owens on acoustic bass, Negah Santos on percussion, Sarah Thawer on drums, and Celisse Henderson on guitar and vocals — and the outcome was outstanding.

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Mrs Bump and I visited a place called Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth yesterday. The word “quay” gives away the former use, for Portsmouth was (and is) a major port on the south coast of England. The word “gun” also tells you something, because Portsmouth had a big naval presence, although their footprint is much smaller now. Charles Dickens was born here in the early 19th century.

As the ports declined, so too the quays fell into disuse. Until some bright spart decided that there was money in it, and turned the place into a swanky shopping outlet village. You might know them as something different – designer stores which kid you that they are selling you the goods you’d find in their regular, High Street outlets, but a lot cheaper.

That’s where we went today. But I really don’t like shopping so I left that to Mrs Bump, and opted to take a bunch of photos instead.

The big tower you see in the photos is the Spinnaker Tower. I’ve featured it before on my “Life Through the Lens” series. It was a millenium project (opened in 2005, go figure!) which, as far as I know, is purely ornamental. There is an elevator to ascend to a viewing platform, which affords panoramic views. We went up there once – the viewing platform’s floor is partially made of glass, so you can take the opportunity to look vertically down. It’s only about 400 feet (120m) – anyone fancy that?

Anyway I really enjoyed my day out in the sunshine, although I was tired at the end. I probably took too many photos, but what glorious weather!