Friday, January 24, 2020

#happen #vss365 #Space #Bio

When I was little I wanted to be an astronaut. Then I found out you had to be born American or Russian and, being British, that it was never going to #happen for me. I wish I’d had more vision and faith in myself. I could have been up there now instead of writing about it.

Although this was written as a "story" in response to today's #vss365 prompt, it is completely autobiographical

Thursday, January 23, 2020

#cacophony #vss365 #Space #Chris

When Chris arrived on the ISS the first thing she thought was there ought to be an odour equivalent of #cacophony, a noisome miasmic mix of machinery, body odour, antiseptic and garbage assaulted her nose.

It wasn't microgravity that made you space sick; it was the smell.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

#rigmarole #vss365 #Space #Chris

Chris thought learning everything in Russian a right palaver but now that #rigmarole saved her life. Being fluent when the fire broke out on the space station meant not pausing to translate in her head and those fractions of a second made the difference.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

#obstinate #vss365 #Bio

I decided to climb 4413ft Ben Nevis with my son. It took us 6 hours but, #obstinate old fool that I am, I wouldn’t give up even when i was in obvious pain. This is us at the top covered in snow and we still had to get down again. I was sore for days. It was worth it.

Although this was written as a "story" in response to today's #vss365 prompt, it is completely autobiographical.

It only took 3 hours to get down and I was running down the mountainside in the snow taking great leaps until we got below the snowline and back onto the scree. When we finally got back to Fort William we had the best curry ever.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Web Comics

In the past I've occasionally mentioned a webcomic or two and that I didn't read them all that regularly. This is my guilty pleasure and I still follow some of the ones I've been reading for years and a couple of new ones. The current list is

and the latest addition to the list

#jasmine #vss365

It was a beautiful early summer evening, the sky was a glorious pink and the smell of #Jasmine hung heavy in the air.
« Désolé pour ça » elle dit « C’est le faute aux haricots »

Yes, I am ashamed of this one but it still got a retweet and 7 likes so someone's sense of humour is as puerile as mine.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

#articulate #vss365 #Guru

He told the world that the guru said "Never put your happiness in someone else's hands."

"That's not what happened," the guru thought. "When he came and asked how to become happy I said 'Don't ask me' but what he said is very #articulate. I'll take it."

Saturday, January 18, 2020

#SatSplat #SlapdashSat oops sorry TJ

I got mugged. I wasn't paying attention walking & reading my iPhone. They ran off with my phone & wallet. I picked myself up & pulled another phone from my pocket. I called the police then made another call. The little buggers better hope the cops find them first. #SatSplat #SlapdashSat

This one is a fiction. My first for the #SatSplat and #SlapdashSat tags but it prompted a genuine reply of concern from one of my friends who thought I had actually been mugged. I decided that from now on I will put the hashtag first in order to reduce the risk of causing worry to people.

#muddled #Bio

I remember distinctly the first time I got my words #muddled.  I had gone blank on Air Conditioning Unit and has to say that thing at the back of the class that makes the room colder. I probably still do it but I notice don’t so often nowadays #vss375

This one is autobiographical and I even got the hashtag wrong. I hope people thought that was deliberate 'cause it totally was, honest.

Friday, January 17, 2020


"I'm not a real vegetarian, I eat fish sometimes", he replied.
"So, a pescatarian?"
"Yes, it's handy I live right next to a river. I catch my own."
"Oh, a #riparian pescatarian?"
"As we're discussing food, I'm a cibarian riparian pescatarian," he said, not to be outdone.

So this one caused me quite a pause. A word I have never seen or heard before.

Thursday, January 16, 2020


"No John, it should be 'pining for the fjords' not #yearning"
"What's the difference?"
"Well, Norway doesn't have any yearn trees for a start."
"You don't say much but when you're right, you're right Graham. Pet Shop not car salesman, parrot not dog, pining not yearning."

Although this is an imaginary convesation it has elements of truth in it, see

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

#flourish #Space #Niamh

With a #flourish Niamh removed the fusion splicer from the repaired cable bundle. “There you go, Jonesey everything’s back online. No harm done. What, no comment about how long it took?” She turned  to see his lifeless body and a flicker of movement by the door #vss365

I love it when the prompt lets me carry on a scene. story from the day before.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

#fibrous #Space #Niamh

The electrics were mostly OK but someone or something had sliced through the optical cables leaving a severed #fibrous bundle. All the computer and sensor systems were down and it would take ages to fix. Niamh hoped she had time before it struck again #vss365

Monday, January 13, 2020

#opaline #Zombies

It was hard to see through #opaline eyes but hearing and smell were heightened. Moving this dead flesh required economy of movement but somewhere close now there was warm, living flesh and that greatest of delicacies, braaaiiinnss! #vss365

Sometimes the prompt word just makes you think zombies

Sunday, January 12, 2020


“Ooh, that’s nasty. Let’s get you cleaned up. It looks like it’s going to need stitches. How did you get it?”
“The zookeeper said the wildcat was a wild animal not a big kitty & not to mistake its #langorous pose as an invitation to rub its belly. I thought I knew better”

and the typo sat there mocking me

Saturday, January 11, 2020

#lively #Xarn

It was warm, comfortable & soft but still a prison. For months Xarn punched & kicked the walls seeking freedom. He made it through the tunnel, roaring in triumph only to be captured. He writhed, struggling to escape.

“Whoa, we’ve got a #lively one here” said the midwife #vss365

and thus The Mighty Xarn was born although the first tweet story about him is two days ago

Friday, January 10, 2020

#inquisitive #Bio

Brad had never feared death, even here in this bed surrounded by machines and nurses and family #inquisitive to the last he stepped eagerly into the light #vss365

I've spent a lot of time in hospitals over the last few months for multiple reasons with my own and my Dad's health and my Mum died in November. I guess this is one way some of my thoughts have sought to express themselves.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

#kinetic #Xarn

The Mighty Xarn viewed a #kinetic sculpture above its nocturnal unconsciousness pod with disdain & howled epithets in frustration at this host body’s inability to destroy it.  A parental unit arrived, lifted Xarn & put something in its oral orifice. Sustenance. Silence #vss365

and thus The Mighty Xarn was born

Wednesday, January 08, 2020


Dave chugged a whole mug of root beer and then sucked air in at the same time as belching loudly.
"What a surp!"
"You surper!"
his friends cheered.
"That REALLY hurts" Dave croaked with tears in his eyes.
#usurper #vss365

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

#obviate #Space

In the early years of the 21st Century the only thing that could #obviate the damage to both visual and radio astronomy was to make the companies launching the satellites, like SpaceX and Amazon, to pay for high orbit telescopes but that just added more space junk #vss365

Monday, January 06, 2020


Jack hated #Yip #Yip, named because of the noises you made whilst high. How were the city’s homeless buying such an expensive drug and ODing so often? After 5 hours watching CCTV he saw a dark figure sneak away from the site of the latest victim. #vss365

Sunday, January 05, 2020


You didn’t #disinter bodies often enough to get good at it but making sure the digger’s bucket didn’t break the coffin and the chain of evidence while being watched by 2 police officers and a coroner wasn’t the hard part. Making it look accidental, that was the hard part #vss365

Saturday, January 04, 2020

#SlapDashSat #Jared

A small bead of sweat formed and ran down the centre of Jared's naked back. The heat of the late summer sun made working at the forge uncomfortably hot and the youth was glad when the partly formed iron he was holding in the coals was hot enough to work on the anvil #SlapDashSat

This was one of the first things I wrote many years ago when I thought I could write a fantasy novel. It's the first line of chapter one.


I put my arm round my son’s shoulders and agreed that no one should be saying hateful things like that in 2020. I told him that not all homophobes are #latent homosexuals, some are just nasty people but I would always be here for him. He smiled weakly through his tears. #vss365

Friday, January 03, 2020


“OK what’s your pitch”
“Everyone loves cats, right & look at the popularity of My Little #Unicorn. We could genetically engineer & sell them as pets.” 
“What’s the downside, cost?” 
“You can only bond with them while you’re still a virgin.” 
“If you can make it fly, I’m in” #vss365

Thursday, January 02, 2020

#obfuscate #Guru

“Why do I bother?” thought the guru. “Even when I speak plainly, people still #obfuscate and wilfully misunderstand my words so they don’t have to change.”
“I can’t help myself, that’s why. Some people have ears to hear and for them I will always try.” 

Wednesday, January 01, 2020


"It sounds French but #charlatan actually comes from Italian." "Gosh, no wonder they call you 'Dictionary Man', how do you know so much?" "I just do," he said, surreptitiously sliding his smartphone out of sight. 

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