Here's our responses to the Together project - thank you to everyone who's sent things in - enjoy!
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The Adventures of Timmykins and Ted
By Liz Carter-Jones
Timmykins was happy. He’d had a wonderful day, playing in the sunshine with his best friend, Ted. Timmykins was a lovely blue kitten who had a red ribbon bow that was the same as Ted’s. Their owner, Molly looked after them very well and today there had been a picnic and they had played on the swing and the slide but now Molly’s mummy had shouted,
“Molly, it’s bathtime!”
Timmykins knew that it was the end of their fun for the day.
Molly picked them up and took them into her room, she sat them on the little rocking chair in the corner and went off to the bathroom.
Soon Molly was back, changed and ready for bed. Mum sang her a sleepytime song and turned on the nightlight. She kissed Molly and crept quietly out of the room. Molly whispered,
“Goodnight TImmykins,goodnight Ted” and snuggled down with her ragdoll, Adeline.
“I’m not sleepy” said Ted
“I’m not either” replied Timmykins “but what can we do, we never go anywhere without Molly.”
“Well,” said Ted, in a determined voice ”I think we should!”
Timmykins looked around the room and spotted a wizard ornament up on a high shelf.
“If only the wizard could help us, then I’m sure we could have some brilliant adventures,” he sighed “but he’s just an ornament”
“Oi!” came a shout from above “oo are you callin’ a blinkin’ hornament, I is a hwizard, first class!”
Timmykins and Ted looked up and there, looking down at them, was the wizard.
“Did I hear you correctalike, is it a hadventure you be after? I’s can help you.”
“Um, sorry,” said Timmykins, “we didn’t know that anyone else here talked”
“We really would like an adventure though,” Ted squeaked excitedly “we can’t sleep, we had so much fun with Molly today.”
“My name is Wilson. I is a wizard of wondrous talent and I can be sortin’ out adventures for cats and bears, no trouble! Easy peasy magic is for a wizard of my skill, now what sort of adventure do you be a wantin’?”
“Well,” replied Ted “We’d like to go somewhere different”
“Yes, away from here but we don’t want to be too tired to play with Molly tomorrow either” said Timmykins, he loved spending time with Molly, she was always so kind to him.
“Ahhhh……” said Wilson the Wizard, with a far away look “My Wizarding whiskers! I is knowing just the place for you!”
He pulled his wand from his pocket and a beam of rainbow light shot out of it.
“This rainbow be making magical pathways to places where you can have adventures, they be different everytime, I hasn’t quite worked out how to go to the same place twice yet, tis quite compulacated and beffudling magic I’m findin’ but you can try it if you wants. The rainbow always brings you back to your startin’ place, so it’s perfickly safe and adventurous magic”
Timmkins and Ted looked at each other,
“Let’s go!” they sang out together and they waved to Wilson and set off along the rainbow path.
It wasn’t long until they passed through a balloon arch into a world of fluffiness. The ground was made of clouds, the houses were cushiony soft and fluffy pastel coloured sheep were bouncing everywhere.
It was very quiet and pretty.
A little pink kangaroo bounced up to them
“Wotcha maties,” she said,with a big grin “Welcome to Fluffton, the comfiest place in the entire universe. Look around, ride on our cloud-plane carousel, climb up Duvet mountain and look at the views over comfort creek. Feel free to pick candyfloss from the trees and drink cocoa from the fountain. Everything is free and we love visitors!”
She put beautiful daisy necklaces around their necks and hopped away, without a sound.
Timmykins and Ted looked around Fluffton, as two sheep rubbed up against their legs.
“Look” gasped Ted, as he read a sign “The bouncing bed. Bounce as much as you like, mum and dad won’t shout!”
They ran to the enormous bed and bounced and bounced until they were too tired to bounce anymore. Then the sheep appeared and carried them off to the carousel where they rode the cloud-planes before snacking on candy floss and cocoa.
After their snack they felt ready to take on Duvet Mountain, and they soon made it to the top.
They looked down over Comfort creek and could see herds of unicorns and oojamaflips, and flocks of thingummy birds flew overhead.
Timmykins sat on the mountain and yawned to Ted
“This has been a wonderful adventure but I’m really sleepy now”
“Me too” replied Ted, rubbing his eyes.
Two thingummy birds appeared, wearing saddles and said
“Hop aboard, we are the express flight team and we welcome you on this flight to Molly’s room. Please fasten your seatbelts, the in flight film is “Fluffton dreams” starring our very own Kylie Kangaroo”
Before they knew it they were in Molly’s room. They went to thank Wilson the Wizard but he didn’t move. They sat on their chair, ate the last of the candyfloss from their pockets and were soon fast asleep.
The next morning when Molly got up and opened her curtains, she saw Timmykins and Ted sitting just where she’d left them but she was a little surprised
“Boys, where did you get those beautiful daisy necklaces?” she asked
Timmykins and Ted said nothing, because toys don’t talk. Do they?
Building characters – Myrtle Wilson from The Great Gatsby
By Karen Picton
The Great Gatsby is one of my favourite novels and I loved being part of the community cast for the Theatr Clwyd production, staged in the Dolphin Hotel a couple of years ago. In that adaptation, the characters of Myrtle and George Wilson were given a more prominent role than in the original novel. Although she is “the other woman”, the audience sympathises with Myrtle. Here are some thoughts about her:
If she were an animal, Myrtle would be a French poodle, picking her way as daintily as she can through her sordid surroundings. In her mind, she is out of place amongst the railroad tracks and ash heaps, and deserves to be somewhere altogether more glamorous.
Myrtle’s song is The Man I Love by George Gershwin. All her life, she has waited to be swept off her feet. At first she thought that George Wilson, the man she married, was the answer to her prayers. When disappointment and disillusion set in, she pinned her hopes on Tom Buchanan. Sadly, only heartbreak and a violent death lie ahead.
Here is Myrtle’s letter to Tom, written the day after he hit her and broke her nose.
You told me not to call you up at home so I am writing instead. I want you to know that I don’t hold a grudge over what happened. I know I provoked you and I’m sorry. It don’t hurt so much now the swelling is going down and most of the blood came out of the carpet. Of course, George noticed something was up, so I told him the elevator door closed too quick and I walked into it. He didn’t say nothing, but now I keep catching him looking at me. Maybe he suspects.
Tom sweetheart, when are we going to get away from here so I can see all those places you told me about? Like Chicago and L.A. or even Paris. I spend the days looking out of the window, thinking of you. I remember that day we first met on the train. I thought you were as handsome as a movie star and I was so excited when you asked me for a drink. Please say we can be together soon.
Your ever loving,
P.S. The dog died. Sorry.
Something beginning with “a”
by Karen Picton
You’ll find me in every fruit bowl,
One of your five a day.
I’m the go-to healthy snack, to
Keep the doctor away.
Pink Lady, Braeburn and Gala,
I’ll name you just a few;
Granny Smith and Cox’s Pippin,
Golden Delicious too
My varieties are many,
My history is long.
I’m a memory from your childhood,
A half-forgotten song.
I’m the brand name on your i-phone,
A nickname for New York.
You can simmer me with sugar
And serve me up with pork.
The downfall of Snow White and Eve;
You might call me a tart.
If you want to keep things happy,
Then don’t upset my cart.
Eat me sliced with a piece of cheese,
Or put me in a pie.
I’m the name you call your loved one –
The apple of your eye.
I’m every day, I’m commonplace –
It’s just how apples are.
But cut me open carefully
To find a secret star.
by Karen Picton
Out of my window, I can see New York;
The Manhattan skyline taking shape, and
Gatsby’s car crossing the Queensboro Bridge.
The Bennett sisters are out for a walk –
Chattering voices: Is Netherfield let?
And across the street stands the Radley House;
Three children play, as Tom awaits his fate.
Under a silver moon, a lone wolf howls;
Footprints leading north mark the pristine snow.
When the sap rises and the sukebind blossoms -
I saw something nasty in the woodshed!
Frodo travels to the Mountain of Doom.
Apparitions are seen in border towns.
All this through the window of my mind’s eye.
A short scene for our times
By Karen Picton
Laura: Edward? Can you hear me? Make sure your audio isn’t on mute.
Laura: There you are. Good. How are you?
Edward: OK, I suppose. Not really sleeping well, but…
Laura: Let’s get started, shall we. As you know from my email, during the current situation I’ll be
carrying out the monthly sales reviews via Zoom. And I have to say, your performance over the last month has been…disappointing.
Edward: Things are difficult.
Laura: We’re selling online advertising! People are spending more time than ever before on the internet. And yet your figures are down almost 40% on the previous month.
Edward: Some people still prefer face to face contact.
Laura: We’re in a unique position at present – we should be capitalising on it. So what’s been going wrong?
Edward: Julie’s in work in the mornings, so I have to have the kids. What with Joe Wicks, and then trying to get them to do some school work…..
Laura: Is Julie still stacking shelves? She’d be better off at home.
Edward: She says it’s really important work now. She’s never felt so valued. I can’t take that away from her. Especially after what I’ve done.
Laura: You need to set aside time for your own work.
Edward: When I saw your email, I thought you wanted to talk about us.
Laura: There is no us.
(aside) NOT NOW, TOBY! Mummy’s working. Go and find Daddy.
Edward: I keep thinking about that night. That’s why I can’t sleep. Your fingers in my hair, the smell of your perfume. Oh God!
Laura: You should forget it.
Edward: Not seeing you since then has been torture.
Laura: It was a one-off, you must realise that. Surprisingly good, but it won’t be repeated. Now, let’s get on, shall we? I’ve got three more reviews to do before lunch. I hope to see an improvement in your figures over the next month. Goodbye.
Edward: Laura, I…..
HOST HAS ENDED MEETING
by Karen Picton
There isn’t a pop song called Karen:
I don’t know the reason why.
Too few syllables, maybe
And no good rhymes.
Through the charts and the years
Come the girls and their songs:
Sweet Mary Lou, Michelle ma belle and Sylvia – who?
(not to mention her mother.)
Jessie’s calling from Vegas,
While Alice is leaving next door,
(Twenty four years being too long to wait
To be asked out on a date.)
Valerie is across the water
And won’t come over, no matter who calls her.
(Zutons or Amy.)
I could go on but you know what I mean –
Karen is nowhere to be seen.
Karens were born in the sixties,
Along with the mini – skirt and car.
Too young for parties and swinging,
Our childhood memories are
Of family days out at the seaside,
Which ended with fish and chips;
Sunburnt shoulders and faces,
Salt and vinegar lips.
We came of age in the seventies,
Somewhere between glam rock and punk.
Sixth form parties with Cinzano Bianco,
The novelty of being drunk.
Now, memories of teenage excitement fade,
And the years since then seem long.
But somewhere in my imagination,
I’m the inspiration
For a song.
The Lockdown Mum 💙
by Steph Noonan
The world right now is in a strange bizarre state.
We don't know what will happen, we just have to wait.
But for all of us Mums on lockdown stuck inside.
It probably means day time wine and finding new places to hide! 🍷
Because, oh don't be fooled by that smiley angelic face
It's all a facade, a pretence, a way to win his case!
And don't be taken in by those big beautiful eyes
This toddler is really a devil in disguise! 😈
We've been lucky to have sun, blue skies so serene!
That is until you hear that dreaded scream...
Of "Mummy, mummy, mummy!" It's like he's aiming for a world record,
For how many times you can say 'Mummy' in a second! 🏆
You are awoken from your tiny peaceful moment of quiet,
"Yes, Mummy's coming now, hold on don't cause a riot!"
You run through the list - nap time, a drink, some food??
"Mummy, mummy, I think I've pooed!" 🤦🏻♀️
This lockdown our back garden has become our saving grace.
How fortunate we are to have such a place!
Where the monkey can play, shout, sing and run wild.
Oops sorry neighbours for disturbing your peace and quiet 🙈
That daily allowance of one local exercise,
Holds so much value with a toddler so energised!
"I want to go on my scooter or bike" he shouts full of glee.
But we all know who will end up carrying it, yes silly old Mummy! 🛴
But really through all of this I joke and I jest
This lockdown Mum has totally got it the best!
This monkey, my best friend, my sidekick, my shadow
Has made lockdown more entertaining than I ever imagined! 😂
And yes, when life finally returns to normal
I may not be quite so crazy and hormonal!
However, I will always treasure the memories and the fun
That I have had as a Lockdown Mum! 💙🔒
The Lockdown Life
By Jean Kendrick
It’s all so strange, what’s happening here.
We’re shielding now, no one comes near.
We’re all at home, we’re all on line,
The WiFi's working overtime.
Normal seems a long way off,
I’m scared to breathe, afraid to cough.
I’m learning new terms all the time,
Like PPE and C-1-9.
I Zoom, Tik Tok and bake a cake,
I’m sick of cooking, need a break.
It’s good to hear the clanging pans
On doorsteps while we’re clapping hands
For our new heroes once a week.
A weekly highlight, so to speak.
This virus took us by surprise,
I hope we learn to recognise
That “back to normal” might not be
The finest way to set us free.
In fact, I like the way things are
In some respects, not all, by far.
But kindness, shown by friends and neighbours,
Family, sharing, doing favours.
All these things I now hold dear,
They’ve overtaken thoughts of fear.
The lockdown life is not for me
But actually it’s made me see
That freedom is a state of mind
And fun and joy and being kind
Beat normal into a cocked hat
I hope I will remember that.
The Gold Cape
by Peter K Jones
standing in splendour
perhaps on that bailey
summer sun glinting off the cape
great warrior’s hand
gentle on his daughter’s head
painted faces below
kneel and encircle
she raises her arms
they raise their spears
the warrior urges
the girl blesses
the cape’s magic stills their fears
they turn to face the foe
The Gold Cape is an ancient artefact found in a field in Mold, Flintshire. It is on display in the British Museum.
Window View 55
I waited for a grey day to take the picture. Well anyone can have a nice view on a sunny one.
Top Right: With the Clwydian hills as your backdrop, life is worth living even when things are not so good.
St Michaels Church has stood there for 800 hundred years. The tower was built as a bolt hole for the English settlers to hide from the Welsh. We haven’t used it yet.
To the Left: Those graves show the deceased address so you can tell them apart because there is such a shortage of names in Wales. Someone should do something about it!
Below that: Our neighbours’ garden – Do you know, she stopped talking to us when we put up a shed! So, we invited her to our party. She fell over and couldn’t stop apologising.
To the Right: The garage we turned into a studio. Well, art needs more protection than cars.
Centre: Our garden looking so colourful and its only April. All due to my wife, Sonia. Me? I would just sit there and read my book.
The Bottom Third of the Picture: Our conservatory. Why not? We must spend a third of our lives in there.
Poem For Drama Workshop
When I look out of my kitchen window
The forget-me-nots are all in bloom
As is the the yellow broom
The grass needs mowing once again
It seems to grow so quickly, oh what a pain
The patio needs a clean
But to do this I’m not very keen
As this virus keeps me within the gate
I love to sit in the garden and meditate
Through My Window
By Gwyneth Ann Dillon
We are in ‘lockdown’, in a season for change
But a look through the window gives joy.
For life goes on, though we appear to stand still
We have all got the time now to ‘stare’.
My grassy bank in the sunlight glows green,
Insects already make swarm
Dandelions, bowing their golden heads can be seen
As daisies and crocus creep out in the warm.
Take a deep breath, small steps, it’s the virus we blame
On the outside of the window, the world will never be the same.
View from a window in the past
Birdsong dismissing the dark of the night
Colour returns at the call from the sun
All grey is gone and the green holds the eye
The dew harbours scent of freshly cut grass
Calling up memories of childhood days
Sounds that are windswept from distant time lines
As my eyes close the present is now past
I am elsewhere with the sun on my face
Still the same colours and smells fill my head
Memories disturbing my sense of place
Through A Darkling Glass
Behind this window I am safe
Out there the wild world burgeons
Purple wisteria wands bursting out of their corsets
Aquilegia thrusting upwards to praise the sun
Feathery tulips bend down their heavy heads
Rhododendrons boast of their brilliance
Peonies pop, lilies languorously leap, azaleas zing, clematis clambers, foxgloves fight
Forget-me-nots creep through each crevice demanding not to be forgotten
A blackbird exults in his stone bath tossing his body in sparkly spray
But if I venture beyond the glass to steal out of the garden
The unseen enemy lurks in wait craving to pierce my lungs with shards of glass
I shelter behind glass wrapped in the cotton wool stillness of my home
But will I ever get out?
Weren’t we lucky -
Views from all those special windows:
Across to Notre Dame from the ancient hotel;
Down over the orange trees in the riad courtyard;
Over the sunlit lake.
And yet - what could be better
Than this view from this window:
A wide blue sky that’s run out of clouds;
Apple blossom at its best;
New spring growth - and the time to enjoy it -
The tree stands tall in the early morning mist
But it is the bridge with its narrow wooden planks and rope sides that dominate the scene
It looks safe, both fascinating and terrifying
I hear the river flowing below but the mist hides how high up we are
The soft ground beneath my feet smells sweet and fresh
Stepping slowly onto the bridge it sways gently as move
Clammy hands gripping tightly to the rope on either side - my heart thumping
I am nearly there
I step off relieved and exhilarated
Just as the mist starts to lift
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The road underfoot feels hard stoney and unforgiving as the sharp biting night air swirls around.
Darkness lit by a bright white street lamp casting blue black shadows.
The atmosphere outside the empty pavement cafe is still and quiet .
I sit down nervously at a lonely table -shiny reflective cold and smooth - a red and white umbrella shade sitting out of place in the middle.
Smells of earlier cigarette smoke linger mixed with the sweet citrus aroma of wine/ empty larger cans stale food.
Things - people - been and gone.
Through the window of the cafe there’s a buzz of life energy jollity shapes moving in harmony with each other.
Outside there’s a sense of freedom but I feel a growing tension an apprehension insecurity….
Help I need a coffee ....I’m going in.
I can see my washing on the line
Blowing in the wind and sun
There’s my red nightie and your red socks
They look like they are having fun
I wonder if I swopped them round
Would they look so happy do you think?
No! - they look like they both belong
And they only just met - in the sink
Ante Cleaning Windows
My windows they need cleaning, as I look through them and frown,
They'll get done there's still time,
In this unprecedented, elongated, safety first lockdown.
I can see my apple tree, espalier-trained against the wall,
Pyramidal, and classical, full-leaved and standing tall
This year the blossoms absent,
Save some upon the apex,
My gardening expert'll tell me why,
I'm waiting for her text.
I love red brick, it's strong and sure
It'll stand the test of time,
It's been here for sixty years
And I've written too many lines.
The View from my Window
Today I look , and I see blue sky
Even a bird or two flies by
The high-rise blocks stand tall and proud
I can smell the air which is thick with filth
The odour and stench make me wretch aloud
It's almost time fir my daily walk
I look forward to this but I must not talk
I remember the days when as bold as brass
You could just go outside and cut the grass
I reach up and touch the cold steel
The bars that encase me, the one way lock
Three meals a day, the ticking clock
“Guilty as charged, seven years, take her down".
By Karen C
Out the window
When I look out the window,
It is funny to think we’re now trapped.
It is us who can not fly free like the crow,
As I watched it go, it joyfully flapped.
When I look out the window,
I look at the old oak tree.
It’s been there my whole life y’know,
Watching squirrels go on their nuts shopping spree.
When I look out the window,
I think what we’re doing is for the good of us all.
But when we are free to go,
Let us ensure we all have a right good ball.
It’s like high definition living on a grand scale.
An array of colours popping as I look far into the infinite distance.
Deep dark vivid Azur pushing, pulling, rushing with every blink. A vast space, too far to touch and too far to smell.
Fresh rain has left my view steaming, the dry ground sucking in every last drop. The water feeding its vivid paint pallet colours.
Blinding yellows assault my tiered eyes. Sweet smell pulling into my nostrils with every exhausted breath sending me to hot holidays and coconut lotions. A distant memory which is now so far far away. I feel restricted, penned in despite the vastness of my view.
A wood pigeon coos, bringing back to the cold door step, cows are calling as I hug in my cup of tea and breath in my beautiful isolated view.
Outside the window
Outside the window not a person in sight
No one even flying a kite
It is a lot quieter now
The trees gently swaying in the light breeze
There are lots of bees
I love looking at the leaves
Every night when we go for walks I see blossom trees
The park is quiet The equipment creaking in the light wind
This is what I like
The bees are buzzing more than usual
The sounds get more unusual
The tweeting of the birds is louder
I don’t hear the sound of car engines starting
Or car doors shutting
I don’t hear children in the park
I don’t hear the rumble of airplanes above my head
Everything is quieter when I go to bed
Everything stops when I go to bed
Night night sleep tight
Clean; calm; buzz busy - Nature -
Closer to Normal ...
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Remembering the Mold Riots
by Mary Considine
Cymru am Byth we shouted together
Whilst we braved the freezing weather
Nothing could phase the brave rioters of Mold
We knew our story needed to be told.
And how we told it!
Loud and clear
Spurred on by Katie,
we showed no fear.
First to the market we merrily came
Holding our lanterns full of bright flame
There were poor little urchins and Pat who was lame
And everyone greeting each other by name
There were buyers and sellers, men rich and poor,
mothers with children and even a hoor
And then came the Lanci
and young Margaret too
And everything kicked off
What a hullabaloo!
The miners of Leeswood were starving and broke
But John Young didn’t care- he was that sort of bloke.
The people of Mold knew just what to do
They’d send him packing and his suitcases too.
Well, we all ended up in Daniel Owen Square
The audience were politely encouraged to follow us there
The court case was played out with brilliance and flair
But Robat, the miner, was having a mare
And so the famous riot began
And many joined in and after Robat they ran
The people threw rocks till shots they were fired
And four poor innocents had all but expired
Up to the church with the injured they go
And now the tears are starting to flow
To see Robat die with his young love by his side
Was enough to make the hardest soul cry
And Margaret, the innocent girl, her last words did say,
and fell down, crying out in the most pitiful way.
Those times they were tough and much wrong was done
But we ended it all with a beautiful song
And the spirit of Mold rang out loud and clear