Christmas Sewing Marathon

My sewing machine looks longingly at me from my cutting table. It’s been relegated from my desk to the cutting table when I was finishing up my first semester of my MBA. I haven’t touched my favourite toy in 3 months. I’m definitely feeling it. Sewing is a balm to my stressful soul and for the last 4 months, my soul has been tearing its hair out over all the pressure.

bobbin-and-ink

So the weekend before I break from work for the holidays, I went through my stash…and that took a while. I think I have a serious stash problem. Some may call it hoarding but I think of it more as a collection! After I found the near-end of my stash and raked through my pattern collection, I made a Santa style list of things I wanted to make in the 2 and bit weeks I’m off. So I booked myself into Bobbin and Ink for a month subscription (they have a 5m cutting table!!!!) and it’s time to get cracking.

So the list is:

  1. Fix broken skirt zippers x 2
  2. Hem floral circle skirt…made 5 years ago!
  3. Thurlow Pants
  4. Vogue 8577 in blue confetti swap fabric
  5. Denim Maple Skirt in view A
  6. Vogue 1235 in purple Ponte
  7. Harlow Peplum by Violette Fields Patterns
  8. Vogue 1344 in polka dot swap material
  9. colour-block Sweetheart Dress by Pirates for Patterns in blue Ponte
  10. McCalls M7094 in View A
  11. Vogue 8950 in view B with slinky swap fabric (need to find stretch black lace :()
  12. Vinties Overalls by Tadah Patterns for a colleague’s wee boy
  13. Design a baby shoe pattern – because I need to keep my brain engaged

Ambitious? We’ll just have to find out…

The Streets

God, it was an awful day; wet, dank and cold. He watched as people’s boots went by, his head bowed and shoulders slumped. Defeat was written into his very being.

In the last two years, he’d been beaten, spat on and had pretty much everything stolen from him more than once. Everything but the one thing that never left his person. It was a photo of the two most important things in the world to him; his wife and daughter.

It wasn’t until he was in the shelter and everyone was asleep that he took out the picture and ran his thumb pad over their faces. His daughter with a gap-toothed grin and bouncy curls. His wife was caught mid-laugh, her eyes sparkling with mischief. His heart twisted; he missed them so much.

In the morning he was fortunate enough to catch a warm shower, his first in a couple of weeks. A few days before, he’d used some precious coins to wash his clothes at the laundrette, including a “new” shirt and pants he picked up at a clothing bank to wear today. After packing his meagre belongings, he headed for the train station for a three-hour trip North.

He made this trip twice a year, begging all hours for spare change, not matter what the weather, all to buy the ticket. It would be a 30-minute walk from the train station. He prayed the weather would hold, not that God was in a habit of actually listening to his prayers.

The route was familiar; he’d walked down this lane twice a year and plenty more times before he’d ended up on the streets. I hurt his heart that this was as close to home as he got these days. Finally, he’d reached the end.

All he had left of his family now were two stone markers. A drunk driver on a dark highway and his whole world was gone. His throat burned and eyes filled with tears. Time was no man’s friend and it certainly didn’t make the grief any easier to bear.

Some people talked to graves if the people were still there. Not him. What would he tell them? His wife would be so disappointed in him now, he couldn’t even get it together enough to buy her flowers. Instead, he pulled out the picture and just remembered.

Hours passed until finally he looked up and knew he’d have to have to hustle if he would make the last train. The picture went back to its spot beside his heart and he kissed his fingers before resting them against the cold stone.

“I’ll see you both again at Christmas.”

Words: 443 words
Prompt: Picture prompt

PSA: Did you know that were are more likely to ask a stranger on the tube about their life than say a simple “hello” to a homeless person. Why is that? We freely judge a person whom we know nothing about. As you rush in life, next time you see a person on the street, shoulders hunched over and watching boots go by, stop and say “hello”. You might the first person to speak to them in many, many days.

The Perfect Words

Never had an empty page been so infuriating. As an architect, a blank canvas was usually the opitomy of a good day. Any day except today. In 15 hours and 47 minutes, Mark would speak some of the most important words of his life – his wedding vows.

Just as he threw the pen down in frustration, the office door opened. His father stuck his head in, holding up a bottle of scotch and two crystal glasses hand his hand.

“I thought this might help,” he said putting bottle and glasses down on the desk.

“You think I have to be drunk to write my vows?” His voice incredulous.

“No, but it was this or a cigar and we both know your mother would have our hides if we lit up in the house.” He poured the scotch at least two fingers deep.

“How did you do it, Dad?”

“I’ll give you the same advice your grandmother gave me. Forget the vows and forget the wedding guests. If this was the last thing you ever said to her, what would you say?”

Mark’s father saw the confusion lift from Mark’s face. He left the room knowing everything would be okay.

Mark on the hand wasn’t so sure. It wasn’t that he didn’t know what to say, it was there was so much to say and, he only had 30 seconds to sum up the love he had for his wife-to-be.


“Mark and Maria have decided to write their own vows and will share them with us. Mark?”

He took a deep breath, brushing back a stray hair from Maria’s face.

“I remember when I told you I didn’t believe in soul mates. God, how wrong was I? A feeling hit me like a train as we made eye contact across the law library and I was gone! Since then, you’ve been my friend, my confidant and my be all and end all.

“I love you more than I ever thought possible. I love you beyond the moon to infinity.”

He paused to wipe away the tears tracking down Maria’s face, the pad of his thumb caressing her cheek.

“I’m truely blessed to be a part of your world and there’s still a part of me that can’t believe I get to spend the rest of my life with you. There’s no luckier man. I love you.”

Prompt: Word Prompt “I do.”
Word Count: 397 words

Pinch me, please

I’ve lived in Australia for 8 1/2 years. I swear sometimes it’s passed in the blink of an eye and others, usually in Winter, it slows to a normal pace. Today isn’t Winter. In fact, today was a 39 degree Summer day that pushed my reasoning of “I moved here for the weather,” to the limit. As I sit here at 9pm, boiling in my own skin as it is still 27 degrees, I’m still surprised that I actually live in Sydney.

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I left the UK for a fresh start, coming out to Australia on what was meant to be an extended holiday! Turns out I fell in love with Sydney and the rest is history. Sydney became that elusive, Nicholas Sparks-type turning point for me – a fresh start. After more than a couple of hellish years living in Edinburgh, culminating in redundancy and losing someone close to me. I struggled with depression and migraines that debilitated me at least once a week. I wasn’t living, I was just getting from one day to the next.

Coogee.jpg

Sydney for me has been a balm that started to heal me – it didn’t fix me, but living here has certainly taught me how to breathe again, how to start to find self-worth and all the things I had lost along the way. I have to pinch myself sometimes, usually when I catch a glimpse of the Harbour Bridge or one of the many beaches in the city. I did it – I moved 11,000 miles away from what I knew and started again. I live in an amazing country and live a life nine years ago I didn’t think I would ever live. Though my opinion on this might completely change tomorrow after a night’s sleep in 27C and another day at 38C – Hell might be cooler!

While You Were Sleeping

The lights were off as the end-titles of the movie faded to black leaving my room in a pale wash. Just enough light to see watch my best friend as she lay slumbering beside me.

Laura Wait had been a part of my life since we were six years old, and her mother Margaret blew into town and blew back out leaving Laura with her father while she “found herself”.

sleeping

Her eyelashes fluttered against her flushed cheeks. Only Laura could blush in her sleep. I longed to delve inside her mind and find out exactly what – or who – she saw. I was in complete stalker mode as I watched her, but I couldn’t help it. I’d watched her every night she was in my bed. That was nothing new; Laura and I’d been sharing a bed for as long as we’d know each other.

Things had changed though. I might have been fifteen, but I wasn’t stupid. Waking up covered in cum after a dream involving Laura, naked and spread out in front of me was the first sign. I noticed things. Things like how her ass looked in a pair of skinny jeans, or how my fingers itched to run through her long, chestnut hair. Mostly, it was how I would get semi-hard every time she was near…like now.

She murmured in her sleep; unintelligible mutterings that made me love her more. Laura shuffled closer to me, some of her hair falling in her face. I gave into my wants and moved it back, so I could see her flushed cheeks again.

My beautiful best friend.

“The thing is, Laura Wait, I want to be more than friends.”

Prompt: Picture Prompt
Word Count: 280 words

 

In My Dreams

dreams

I dream of you. Every night, I lay my head on the pillow, your pillow, and smile. It’s my favourite time of day. I know that in a few short minutes, the sleeping pills will kick in and I’ll be with you.

As always, we’re sitting on a beach. Today it’s Waikiki, from the last trip we took together. The soles of my feet sting in the heat as I walk towards you, your back to me. I can still see the faint red lines from where I raked my nails down it last night.

You hiss as I press the ice cool bottle of water against those scratches. Tugging, you pull me down into the sand, rolling to near on top of me but mindful of the families nearby.

“You minx,” you growl, but your eyes sparkle in playfulness, so full of laughter.

I may have seen your face a thousand times but I can’t help but stare. You’re beautiful and you’re mine.

“What?”

“Nothing,” I smile. “I was just wondering what I did so right to have you wander into my life?”

Your hand reaches up to caress my cheek, you gold band glinting in the bright light. “You were you; perfect in every way.”

A beat or two passes before I burst into laughter. “God, that was the cheesiest of cheesy!”

You blush, and I can’t help but kiss you. “Just as well I love you, your cheesy lines and all!”

We lie there, cocooned in our own bubble, talking about everything and nothing at all. The sun starts to descend, and I know we have to leave soon.

The beach scene begins to fade, taking you with it. I wake to another day where you are no longer in my world. At least until tonight.

Prompt: Picture Prompt
Word Count: 299 words

Tease

I’ve been bleeding chips all night, but it’s a small price to pay to watch her.

My croupier is my downfall. Her body encased in leather like a second skin. My fingers ache to catch the laces that hold her corset together. To pull them loose until her tantalising skin is revealed.

“Place your beds, gentleman.”

tease

Even her voice is sin. It melts over me like chocolate; smooth and pours to my core. My eyes never leave her face as I lay down chips. Those hazel orbs are watching me too; she looks at no other. Her teeth tease her lower lips and I feel myself harden for her.

“Thirty-two red.”

I blink as she calls out. Looking down at the board, I see my chips on black twenty, and all my chips are almost gone.

Grabbing a business card, I write down my room number. Her come-hither stares and the way I’ve been the centre of her attention all night has me sure of the night ahead.

I leave my last $500 chip on top of my card. My intent is clear.

The sun has fully risen, and I sit alone. All I have is the fantasy.

Prompt: picture prompt
Word Count: 193 words

Do a postgrad they said…

One of the big reasons I stopped blogging in March was that I decided to go back to university and get my Masters. University the first time around for me was about as far from fun as you can get. It ended up being the toughest four years of my life so far.

Growing up, I was an independent girl. I started working at 16 and had lived in different countries across Europe. I thought going to uni would be me some time so I could figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Unfortunately, I didn’t cope well with uni; the pressures and trying to fit in drove me to depression which I’ve battled ever since.

study

I’ve never been particularly career orientated, instead preferring to use work as a way to pay for the more fun stuff. So when someone suggested that I should look at doing an MBA, I laughed; like full-on, deep in the belly folded-over laughed. There is no way little old me was getting into an MBA program. It took 6-months of tooing and froing before I actually put in an application and had my interview. Even after I got in, I kept expecting them to call me and say “Sorry, we made a mistake.”

Nobody called and the online system even let me enrol for units of study! I started my MBA just over three months ago and it’s been absolutely mental! I’ve just finished this semester and can finally come up for some non-MBA air. I have over 25 hours of recorded TV (most of it trash) to watch and at least five weeks of washing to do.

Fun Times!

It’s All in the Lyrics

How dare he?

How fucking dare he?!

I slammed down on the emergency exit door in anger, relishing at the sting in my hands at the contact.

I stumbled out into the rain, cold on my skin from the close heat of the packed bar.

How could he do that? To me?

Had I been misreading him this whole time?

I paced as the stone-cold rain soaked me to the bone, until the exit door slammed open behind me.

“For fucks sake, Bella, why did you storm off like that?”

His eyes flashed in the pale light of the “EXIT” sign. For a second my body thrilled at the emotion but it was gone too fast, replaced with anger and confusion.

“You lied!” I pummeled my fists against his chest, feeling the solid muscle underneath.

“You said it was just for me, and then you played…” I drew a breath, my voice shaking. “In front of all those people.”

“What the hell are you going on about, Bella?”

Was he for real?

“Ah” I pounded Edward’s chest again.

Strong hands clamped down on my wrists, restraining me. Edward walked us backwards until my back met the wall.

“Stop hitting me!” He growled. “Now, what the fuck are you shouting about?”

My gaze met his. “That song,” I spat, “is my song. You said you wrote it only for me.”

“I did!”

“Why did you play it to the entire club then?” My anger dissolved and my heart broke. “How could you do that?”

Edward released my wrists, instead caging me with his hands by my head.

“If you’d have stuck around, you would have heard the dedication.” His voice grew soft. “I dedicated to the girl I’ve fallen in love. I sung it for you…to you.”

Prompt: bar, song, live
Word Count: 297 words

Skinny Dipping in September

skinny-dipping-forest

I yanked the shirt over my head, allowing the midday breeze to kiss my skin. Peter’s already ahead of me, trying to pull off his shorts while still running. He trips over the fabric before landing in a heap on the ground.

A loud laugh echoes around us, bouncing off the surrounding trees.

“Come on, Fuller!” I yell as I dash past him.

I have the good sense to stop to remove my own bottoms, leaving me in my underwear, my shoes left somewhere near the car. I take off at full pelt again.

“Jesus, Cassie, slow down!”

Concern colours his voice, but I’m too free to pay much heed. We’ve been here thousands of times before; I know the land well.

Not even slowing down, I hurl myself over the small outcrop and down into the deep pool below. I surface laughing as the coldish water stings my skin. Looking up, Peter is staring down at me. Such a worry wart.

Without a second thought, he joins me, dragging me down for an under the water for a kiss that makes my body hunger. We horse around, enjoying the freedom to just be for a while. Our play turns heated, hands pulling each other closer. Our love is clumsy and awkward in the water, but it’s all us.

Eventually, we make our way back to the car as the day begins to wane. I can’t resist straddling Edward as he sits in the passenger seat tying his shoes.

Despite earlier, our kisses grow more passionate, more frantic. His cell phone ringing interrupts us. I groan.

“That was mom. The kids are ready.”

I go to climb off him, but he holds me still for a second.

“Promise me it will always be like this,” he whispers.

“Always.”

Prompt: Picture prompt
Word Count: 298 words