Lessons In Love

Clipart image of an old man with a cane

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 20 January 2022, slip.

My poor, eighty-year-old grandpa was keen,
Met a slip of a girl, just eighteen,
But this worn-out old coot,
Collapsed while in pursuit,
And saw just how deluded he’d been.

Prompt image for the Fandango One Word Challenge prompt

Fandango’s Provocative Question (19 January 2022)

Prompt image for the Fandango's Provocative Question prompt

Fandango Provocatively asks:

What has been the most difficult, hardest, or most painful decision you’ve ever had to make in your life?

I thought this question was interesting, just because so many of my decisions have been easy.

Life-altering decisions such as:

  • whether to move to the USA or to stay put;
  • to get married. In fact, I knew it was right because it was so easy;
  • to have children

were all no-brainers.

I suppose in terms of difficult decisions, I think probably the most difficult is still ongoing.

Do I want my daughter to be a part of my life, going forward?

For those of you who don’t know my history, my daughter accused me of child abuse. 2015, when she would have been fifteen.

I resent that, mostly because I didn’t abuse her. In fact, Mrs Bump and I, like most parents, went out of our way to ensure that she had a better start in life than we had.

So not only did we endure my daughter’s behaviour for several years before, we endured police, social services, solicitors… for probably six months after. The only thing we were spared from was court, because there simply wasn’t any evidence. In fact, the case against us was dropped when my daughter shot herself in the foot, also accusing known, trusted foster carers of child abuse.

The other reason I resent her behaviour is that, six months after all this stress, I suffered a stroke. I blame her, at least partially. She gets to act like nothing ever happened, and I get to live the rest of my life disabled.

There were various special circumstances with my daughter, mental health diagnoses, which always meant that bringing her up would be a challenge, but ultimately she harmed me, caused permanent damage, and I’m veering toward thinking that what she did was unforgiveable.

Veering. We’re mostly not in contact, but there is a tiny thread there. Whether/when I sever that completely will be the toughest decision.

Made In Heaven

Logo for the Fandango Story Starter Prompt

For Fandango’s Story Starter #29, where we build something around the following phrase:

She had thought about and imagined this moment for years, but she’d never expected…
Continue reading “Made In Heaven”


clipart image of a trombone

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 18 January 2022, sassy.

In the brass band, I met her in June,
We made sweet music under the moon,
While I blew down the sassyphone,
She was there on the slide trombone,
Such a shame that we played different tunes.

Prompt image for the Fandango One Word Challenge prompt


Prompt image for the Fandango's Flash Fiction prompt

For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #152, where we write about the image below from EyeCandyDesignz @ Pixabay.

A picture containing grass, outdoor, nature, smoke

Description automatically generated

“Terry, is that you?”

Even as he closed the front door, Helen was onto him. There’s no let up, thought Terry. He responded, on autopilot, “Hi, hon, I’m home.”

Lately, though, he’d had to admit that the place they’d bought together just a year ago felt far from home. The question foremost in Terry’s mind now, every waking moment, had they done the right thing by moving in together?

As claustrophobic as he felt, Helen suspected nothing. But fortunately, Terry would get some space tonight. For this evening he could not only have a break from Helen, but was about to indulge in his favourite pastime, with his old high school buddies.

“You remembered I’m out tonight, didn’t you, sweetness?”, he called, in the direction of her voice.

Helen, short and blonde, clad only in a skimpy aquamarine dressing gown, emerged from the bathroom into the long hallway.

“Out? But, hon, you never said. I was hoping we could talk some more about the wedding tonight. I’ve been thinking about some places for the reception, wanted to run them by you.”

Terry gulped.

“Helen, I told you three weeks ago…”, he started, with a sigh. “I’m out with the boys tonight. I reminded you only last week, remember?”

But before he could continue, she was on him, lifting her arms around his neck, pulling him down toward her, kissing his dark beard. Instinctively, Terry pulled away, ostentatiously raising his wrist to check his watch.

“You remember, lovely? I told you last week. And what’s more,” he added for good measure, “I need to be out of here in like, thirty minutes, so I’m on a schedule.”

Helen backed off.

“I remember, honey bunny… I just forgot it was tonight, that’s all.”

Terry vanished into the kitchen, and Helen heard the freezer door, then the dull rumble as the microwave fired into action. Quickly reappearing, he skipped straight past.

“Is it okay if I use the shower? I’ll only be two minutes.”

“Course, hon. Don’t let me hold you up.” Her remaining nails could wait.

True to his word, Terry was out again shortly, disappearing into the bedroom to dress. “I’m just gonna fix me a ready meal, then I’ll be gone”, he called, over his shoulder, as Helen returned to the bathroom to resume.

A short while later, Terry was tucking into a microwaved vegetable lasagne, straight from the tray, when Helen entered the kitchen, wafting her hands to dry the fresh polish. Seeing Terry gulping the food, she chided, “I don’t know, you think more of that band than you do of me.”

Terry ate faster.

The Rebound

Clipart image of a red tent.

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 17 January 2022, maudlin.

When my friend met a woman called Kate,
One weekend they camped out for their date,
But his expression got maudlin,
Underneath that tarpaulin,
As he fondly remembered her mate.

Prompt image for the Fandango One Word Challenge prompt

Who Won the Week (16 January 2022)

Prompt image for the Fandango's Who Won The Week prompt

I base these posts on Fandango’s Who Won the Week posts, and I use the opportunity just to look at my own newsfeeds.

I wanted to highlight this week the story of Graham Reagan. Mr Reagan is from Malton, in North Yorkshire, and had been feeling rough for a few days with what he thought was indigestion. On this night in particular, Mr Reagan had felt ill enough to go to bed early, but unfortunately it got so bad that by the small hours, he dialled the emergency services.

Mr Reagan was advised to get himself to hospital. But… could he take a taxi, or get a lift?

Because that would be quicker than waiting for an ambulance!

Bearing in mind that it was about 2 AM, Mr Reagan fortunately roused his son to drive him the 20 miles to York Hospital, where he was diagnosed as having a heart attack.

I’ve included a link to my story below. The actual story is the ambulance service apologising after the case was made public.

But I have the deepest of sympathy for them (the ambulance service). I don’t think they have anything to apologise for. The operator simply reported to Mr Reagan that there was a large delay in responding. If there’s a large delay, there’s a large delay – the operator cannot magic ambulances out of thin air and I’m sure the crews are working as quickly as possible to get to people.

If you’re a UK taxpayer, however, or more importantly a voter, it might be worth asking yourself whether the service you think you’ll receive when you pay your taxes is accurate.

It wasn’t for Mr Reagan.

And… I don’t particularly want to make this post personal but when I presented with my stroke, the hospital… sent me home! It wasn’t until two days later, when I re-presented with symptoms that much worse, that they accepted that I was not a malingerer. By then the damage had been done.

But just think, all of you. Will you actually receive the level of care you’d want to receive? It might well be, you vote for tax cuts, and the service you one day need is no longer there.


Say Ahhh

clipart of a man in a dentist's chair

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 16 January 2022, instant.

When my best friend’s wife left him, unwilling,
He became a recluse, it was chilling,
Cigarettes… instant coffee…
Lots of smooth, creamy toffee…
When she went back he needed ten fillings

Prompt image for the Fandango One Word Challenge prompt

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