Creative Writing

If you are a professional, an amateur or a would-be writer, and would like to pursue your interest in writing in the company of like-minded people, please come and join us.

A group member's house
2nd Monday of the month
14:00 - 16:00
  • Leader: Sue Watkinson - 01695 422423

We are an informal group who enjoy writing in a variety of styles, from articles to stories and poems, with some friendly discussion and a few tips. Members’ suggestions are always welcome. Meetings take place on the second Monday of the month, 2pm – 4pm. Homework is optional!

Next Meeting: 10th June 2pm

June Writing Challenge: Val talked about ‘free writing’ to overcome writer’s block. She provided the start of a story and asked us to read it then immediately start to write, allowing the words to flow freely, regardless of spelling and punctuation. 500 words max. Please submit your writing at least a week in advance. 

Since this is, in the main, a discussion group, numbers are limited but if you are interested in joining us please contact Sue Watkinson on 01695 422423.

If you scroll down to the posts below you can read some of our completed stories, including recent challenges, our Lockdown antics and the winning entries from our 2020 competition.

Last Updated on May 20, 2024

March 2024 Writing

In March we wrote two short stories. The challenge was to have something happen in the second story that was a consequence of something that happened in the first. The time lag between the two stories could be minutes, millennia or anything in between. Sarah is one of the group’s newest members. Here are her stories:

Family History
10 Sept 1996
Rearly wierd tonight. We’ve got this new projekt at scool. Mr Harris said for the first few weeks of year 4 we’d be talking about Family and we could write what we wanted. So I toled Mum and Nan at teetime and I thort Mum looked a bit upset and gave Nan a funy look. So then I looked at Nan and asked if she could help me do a Family Tree because Tim and Jake are doing 1. Well, youd think I’d called her a rude name, the way Nan shouted at me. Ruth was nearly crying. I dont know What I did wrong but thats the last time I talk about Dad or family. I’ll make up a family tree – Mr Harris wont know any different and he did say we could write whatEver we wanted
10 Feb 2023
Ruth’s got it into her head she wants to do our family tree. After all the kerfuffle at home when I mentioned it years back, it’s a closed subject as far as I’m concerned. But Ruth doesn’t remember.  She loves “Who do you think you are?” and has always wondered whether we have royalty or scoundrels in our past. Nan’s gone now and it’s probably too late to ask Mum as she’s so wrapped up in her own little world.
Ruth’s found Mum and Dad’s birth certificates and their wedding certificate but she can’t find Dad’s death certificate, so she rang me for more information. She’s 18 months younger than me and seems to think I must remember a lot more than she can. How old were you when Dad died, she asked.
It’s all a bit hazy in my mind but I remember coming home from school one day to find the house really cold because Mum hadn’t lit a fire as she always did. She and Nan were sitting at the kitchen table and stopped talking as soon as I walked in. Mum’s eyes were red and puffy and Nan’s lips were set. I looked from one to the other and eventually Nan said “it’s your dad. He’s been in a serious accident. He…” Her voice tailed off and Mum’s shoulders shook. After that, they never really liked talking about Dad or how he died and eventually, I learnt not to mention him, what with  the awkward silence that would follow and then the quick change of topic. I must have been 5 or 6 then. Ruth had our Dad’s full name and said she couldn’t understand why no death certificate was coming up for those 2 years.
                       * * *
The doorbell rings. It’s Ruth, breathless. “I know I should’ve rung Paul, but I had to come straight away.” She pushes past me into the kitchen. “Dad’s not dead! Never was.”
“That’s not true” I stammer. “He died in an accident. Nan said”
“No!! He’s alive, down south. I’ve spoken to him.” I stare at Ruth open-mouthed. My mind is reeling. “But Mum…. Nan said….”

Last Updated on March 15, 2024

January 2024 Writing

We were set the challenge of writing about new year resolutions. Here are a couple of the submissions.

New Year’s Resolution


My New Year’s Resolution was to be a more courteous driver. It was the 3rd January and I had reluctantly driven my wife to our local retail park for some ‘bargain hunting’. The car park was packed. I patiently drove round and round until I spotted a vacant space. I drove past it and began to reverse. A large BMW suddenly appeared in my rear view mirror and drove straight into MY SPACE! I felt my anger rising; I shouted abuse at the driver. He ignored me. My wife looked at me and tutted. Oh well! There’s always next year!


New Year Resolution


Preparing our New Year’s Day supper I listen with half an ear to Radio 4. Chatter, chatter ….Conflict resolution, chatter, chatter … We’ll finish with advice from our professional negotiator. What would you suggest listeners take away from this programme? A female voice replies and compels me to stop chopping.

‘Listening’, she says, ‘is the most important’,

Well that’s what I’m doing now.

‘Remember it’s not all about you.’ OK, that seems reasonable.

‘Wait your turn in the conversation.’ Well, that’s polite but is it so important?

I pause to write these down. The party, as well as being a ritual get-together for our group of friends, includes the setting of new year resolutions, not by the individual, but by the group. We’ve known each other so long and so well that we feel confident that we can predict an improvement for each other.

Much later the table is set, the food is ready. Just six of us will be eating together this year. We’ve done this for some twenty years. With some changes of course, that’s our modern world for you. We started with eight friends, all newly married couples. One couple emigrated and made a new home in Canada. A divorce took out one and brought a new partner in, that’s Rob and Emma. Changing jobs took two out and only one returned. Steve’s still single but is bringing a friend to meet us, all we know is the name – Sam. But is it a Samantha or a Samuel? More importantly, will he or she eat the beef casserole or not? And then there’s me, Mel, and husband Richard of course ready to celebrate our 25th anniversary this spring. If he stays sober, we’ll work as a team this evening, pouring, serving, clearing away then, with a plate of cheese in front of us, we’ll settle down to the Resolutions.

The guests arrive, hands full of gifts. I’m occupied with coats and welcoming drinks. Richard is full of bonhomie and greetings, complimenting the ladies on their dresses, hair, perfume, flirting with each of them in his familiar way, settling everyone down while I finish off the meal.

Sam is a pretty little woman, with curly hair and bright blue eyes. So unlike Steve’s tall, elegant first wife. Now it’s introductions all round for her benefit. Rob and Emma have been together for ages now and seem rock solid.

The meal is consumed with much enjoyment and lots of good conversation. No dissent over the beef – a relief, but my creme brûlée causes some concern over the creme content. Fortunately, there is a portion of trifle left, accepted as an alternative. Trifle, with cream and custard – I ask you!

Then we settle down with the cheese, more drinks and a big sheet of paper. This is the moment when I realise that Steve hasn’t mentioned our ritual to Sam and the explanation takes a few minutes. Her reaction is hostile. How, she says, can she join in when she’s only just met most of us: we don’t know her and she doesn’t know anything at all about us? She has a point so we give her a bye for this year and hope she enjoys the discussion.

Straws are drawn and Richard is first. His face by now is flushed and speech slurred. I know his drinking has increased but he usually knows his limits. I’m more than a little anxious.

The person on his left is Emma, who knows us all really well. ‘My resolution for you, my friend, is to cut down on your drinking. It’s getting out of hand.’ Richard looks annoyed but says nothing. Steve is in next. ‘I’m suggesting you take more exercise, join the gym, go swimming, ease up on the alcohol.’ Richard looks hostile now. ‘Don’t be ridiculous. I’m perfectly fit, there’s no problem with my drinking.’

Rob offers his suggestion. ‘I’m concerned about your drinking too mate, you’re getting so dogmatic and offensive after a few drinks, we’ve all noticed it. Sometimes you give Mel a really hard time.’ My husband looks round at me with pleading eyes, shall I put the dagger in as well? It was my turn in the conversation and I’d listened really carefully. He wouldn’t take it well but honesty was suddenly the most important thing.

‘It’s true, they are all right, you’ve crossed a line with your drinking and I’m worried about the way it’s affecting your health.’ He swears horribly and pours himself another large glass of port. His fingers are clumsy, the glass tips over, port trickling down towards Sam’s chair. Richard stumbles from the room as she snatches up two napkins and mops the flood. ‘May I say something?’ she says and her voice is low. ‘This is developing into a conflict. You all have the best intentions but the conversation must be managed. You must listen to what Richard says. Remember that it’s not about you.’

‘And we must wait our turn in the conversation – I heard you on the radio this morning.’ I say, ‘I recognise your voice now. Will you help us to get the message across?’

‘He needs professional support and I’m going to give you a contact number for Alcoholics Anonymous. He must accept that he has a problem, then he must say it aloud in front of a group who will understand and guide him.’ Silence – as we take in the implications of her words. Then she says quietly, ‘I know what I’m talking about, I’m not just the driver this evening, or a Conflict Resolution expert, I’m also a recovering alcoholic.’ 

Last Updated on January 8, 2024

June 2023 Writing

Mike M set us the task of writing a piece up to 500 words that had to include words that we’d each picked randomly from the dictionary. The words were:

Question, Dialogue, Lithe, Premium, Misunderstanding, Puffin, Wall-to-wall, Integral


Duncan and Phylis had first met at the athletics club. Both were keen runners and trained three times a week. Duncan was immediately attracted to Phylis. She was a very good 800 metres runner. Extremely fit and lithe, the result of many hours exercise and training. Initially their conversation and dialogue was faltering. They were both shy but after a few misunderstandings their friendship eventually blossomed into more than that of training partners. After 18 months Duncan ‘popped to the question’ and Phylis accepted.
They decided to honeymoon in Iceland. Iceland is notoriously expensive but after much research they decided to pay a premium for their accommodation in a classy downtown hotel. Their room was amazing and beautifully appointed and it even had its own integral sauna.
On their second evening they chose a very traditional restaurant. The dining area was like a baronial hall with wall-to-wall elk antlers jutting from the wooden panelled walls.
They browsed the menu but were none the wiser because it was all in Icelandic. Although the waitress obviously appeared to speak English they decided to be daring and choose unaided. Phylis saw ‘Lunda’ as an option and liked the sound of the word. Duncan agreed and so that’s what they ordered.
It had an unusual taste and was similar to chicken or even pork and they thoroughly enjoyed it.
Back in their hotel they looked the word up on their mobile phones and discovered that it was puffin.


How Can Elephants and Puffins Be Friends?


‘The question is’ the elephant said,

As he pranced from wall to wall,

‘Is whether animals and birds can really mix

A little or never at all?’

‘This’ said the puffins extending their chests

And chunnering through the fog

‘To create no misunderstanding

We must have a dialogue.’

‘An integral meeting is what you need’

Sang a premium voice from outside.

‘Puffins and elephants must make up a dance

To prove that they both can be lithe.’

‘A jigging together can be quite upbeat

To help them enjoy feeling nice

Yes, a good old feathery fling together

Will certainly break any ice.’


Last Updated on June 13, 2023

March 2023 Writing

In March we wrote short stories of 100 words, maximum. Here is a selection:

A Nice Cup of Tea


She waited with her sister, seeking reassurance. “It will be alright.”  Her sister replied sympathetically. “What if she wakes up?” She fidgeted nervously.” We’ll stay up all night, watch TV and drink tea.” Her sister replied. “She said some terrible things.” Tears welled up in her eyes. “It’s the illness, she can’t help it.” They talked about the past, particularly their childhood, and their mother’s illness.

A noise came from above. A creak, a shuffle of slippered feet on the linoleum floor. The door opened. “Hello girls. You’re up late. Got a nice cup of tea for your old Mum?”



Avril suspected Brian was up to something when he claimed he had taken up jogging. She followed him but he only got as far as the High Street when he went into a flat above the haberdashers. The Perspex sign next to the door that led to the flat above said ‘Miss Jenkins Piano Tutor, phone number Melton 62145’. The following evening Brian claimed he was going jogging. Twenty minutes later Avril phoned Miss Jenkins on the home phone and simultaneously phoned Brian’s mobile using her mobile. As Miss Jenkins said ‘Good evening’ Brian’s mobile rang in the background.



Another Phone Call


“Oh Mum! Please don’t ring school.”

“You can’t go. It’s my bridge night and your father’s out.”

“But Mum I’m fourteen. I can walk home.”

“Not on a dark, winter’s night you can’t.” Justin cringed as he listened.

“Mr Marlowe? Mrs Carey here. I’m afraid Justin can’t attend your special rehearsal. There’s no-one to collect him. I see, but if he’s really needed, could you change to a more sensible time or arrange for him to be brought home. What’s that? You’ll run him home yourself. Fine. Good evening.”

Rehearsal over, Mr Marlowe pedalled off with Justin running beside him.


Last Updated on March 14, 2023

February 2023 Writing

In February our theme was ‘children’. Some wrote the first chapter of a children’s story, a couple of people wrote complete stories, one wrote a poem, and there were two articles about children’s authors. Here is Judy’s story:

The Rainbow Children


Ginta-Marie was eight years old with a rather unusual name and an extra-ordinarily difficult problem. Her close friend Betsy, also eight was blind. Betsy had moved in next door a year before and had become so familiar with both houses and gardens that it was easy to forget she couldn’t see.

Then, yesterday it had rained and when the sun shone through later, there was the most beautiful rainbow that Ginta-Marie had ever seen and without thinking she had shouted out to her friend, “Look, Betsy, see the rainbow and all those fantastic colours.”

Betsy couldn’t understand what she was talking about. Feeling sad for her friend Ginta-Marie tried to describe the rainbow but Betsy grew more and more tearful and cross and as she tripped over a stone running between the hedges to her garden, yelled, “Leave me alone, leave me alone!”

Ginta-Marie raced after her, crying, “Betsy, wait, I’m so sorry. I forgot you can’t see. Wait, Betsy.”

Betsy just rushed into her house and wouldn’t come out again.

Ginta-Marie was so unhappy, she couldn’t eat her tea, went to bed early and sobbed into her pillow.

She had always accepted Betsy’s blindness and even sometimes she’d closed her eyes and moved around as though she were blind too. It had even felt exciting to pretend she couldn’t see trying to enter into Betsy’s world. She found out that she could hear the birds more clearly. She didn’t just see the flowers she sniffed them and breathed in their scent. She’d shut her eyes at times when eating and had found she enjoyed the taste of food more. It had been like a game.

It had never seemed to occur to her that Betsy couldn’t see colours and her tears fell even more as she realised how black and dark her friend’s world really was. Very unhappily she at last fell asleep.

She awoke to a very noisy chorus of cats and birds. She kept her eyes shut listening and then shuddered as she remembered her dream of a black and white rainbow that kept following her, trapping her into corners of her room as she tried running away from it.

Sitting up in bed she thought of the real rainbow that Betsy couldn’t see or even imagine. She closed her eyes and thought and thought. Betsy could hear better than her, her sense of taste and identifying smells was more accurate and she was always good at guessing what an object was by touching it. Ginta-Marie felt she must help Betsy find a way to imagine a rainbow, so she thought and puzzled until she suddenly smiled to herself and then jumped out of bed.

Much later on, if her Mum was surprised at all the bundles and food from the kitchen, that kept disappearing into the playhouse, she said nothing, although she was curious, as she and Betsy’s Mum had both been upset by what had happened between the girls the day before.

After a quick lunch, Ginta-Marie called for Betsy.

“Please, come and play. I have something to share with you.”

Betsy wanted to refuse, “Its no use, I can’t see.”

“Please, Betsy I really have a nice surprise for you,”

Betsy’s Mum urged her to go.

Ginta-Marie, pulled her into the playhouse taking her hand and leading her to each corner. The first was filled with fruit, the second with flowers, the third had a mouth organ and a recorder and the fourth had some felt tips and paper. She made Betsy feel everything in each corner.

Then she announced, “Betsy, here are four different rainbows. The first corner is the tasty rainbow,” and she giggled as she made her friend taste each fruit in turn, which were all in rainbow colours, strawberry for red, then an orange, banana for yellow and a green apple. The blueberries were from a tin. Finally she made her taste a purple grape and a deep dark plum which was rather squashy. When Betsy had tasted them all and said she would remember this as the Tasty Rainbow, Ginta-Marie led her to the second corner where all the flowers were.

“This,” she declared is “ The sniffy Rainbow corner.”

She giggled again and Betsy did, too, as she sniffed a bright red rose, an orange marigold, a yellow daffodil, some cut grass, a blue hyacinth in a pot, a sprig of lilac from the tree in the garden and finally a small bunch of deep purple Chrysanthemums. In fact the giggling led to sneezing as the leaves tickled Betsy’s nose.

In no time she was trundled to the third corner, where she was given the mouth organ while Ginta-Marie picked up the recorder. She insisted they play all seven notes together.

“ Doh ray me far so la tee “ and then she added the final doh, laughing out loud she said, “This is the Sound Rainbow.”

Betsy was soon laughing along before she was led to the final corner where there was paper and coloured pens.

“This is the Touching Rainbow,” she said solemnly.

She gave each of the pens to Betsy to hold, getting her to feel the notches she’d made on each, one on red, right up to seven on the purple one. Then she guided Betsy’s hand on each pen in turn so that she actually drew her own rainbow on the paper.

Ginta -Marie hugged Betsy, “ you are my bestest, bestest friend and you may not be able to see it, but I’ll help you draw a rainbow, if you want to on a card for your Mum’s birthday next week.”

Betsy hugged her back, very excited about all the different kinds of rainbows.

Together they ran for their mothers, who were already creeping down to the playhouse in search of all the giggling. The girls led them happily round the four corners of special rainbows.

Then Ginta-Marie’s Mum responded, “You mustn’t forget the most important rainbow of all, the Feely one!”

The girls looked puzzled, so she held each of their hands with Betsy’s Mum too, and said,

“Both of you were very sad yesterday, and you went through lots of different feelings.”

They both agreed the range of feelings they had both felt were, sadness, anger, fear, worry, love, excitement and finally happiness.

Then Betsy said holding on to her friend’s hand, “I want to call the Feely rainbow the Friendship Rainbow”

Both Mothers smiled at each other and gave both girls a hug before leaving them to carry on playing with all their new rainbows.

Last Updated on February 14, 2023

January 2023 Writing

Our challenge for January was to write something with the theme of ‘dilemma’. Below are two examples that were read and discussed at the January session.

Geoff’s Dilemma


‘Geoff, come and meet the latest newbies in the neighbourhood.’ Alan clapped a friendly hand on Geoff’s back and directed him across the grass to the couple who had recently moved into the area. ‘Geoff’s been here longer than us, haven’t you, Geoff? Must be nearly 40 years for you and Mary now!’

         Normally Geoff would have managed more than the mumbled agreement to Alan’s comment but he was feeling far from normal. His mind was all over the place. The neighbours often got together in one garden or another for a drink and a barbecue and whilst Geoff was never the ‘life and soul’ like Alan, he was usually sociable and chatty in a calm, understated way. But without anything to say on this occasion, he looked around and caught sight of Mary talking amiably to another neighbour. His heart sank. His beautiful plum cake (a name he occasionally used in public by mistake) might just have her whole world shattered very soon. Could he put her through that? Would it be worth it? He had no idea.

         Mary wandered over, her comfortable expression turning quizzical as she saw he was not himself. ‘Are you okay, Geoff, love? You look a bit peaky.’ He tried to assure her he was fine and only too happy to nip back home for her cardigan. She raised her eyebrows at the new neighbours as she exclaimed, totally unnecessarily, how unpredictable the British weather was. He left the three of them chatting and headed next door but Mary’s cardigan was the last thing on his mind. He slumped in his armchair and began picking over the agonising memory of his encounter with Amanda at work the previous day.

         Amanda had only joined the office team a month ago. She was good at her job – focused and reliable – but she seemed to find any excuse to talk things through with Geoff. He’d shrugged off the ‘Aye, aye, wink, wink’ comment from another colleague. Why were people in the office so interested in extra-marital gossip? Geoff was totally devoted to his plum pudding and their two amazing offspring, Robert and Claire, both in their late thirties with delightful young families of their own.

         ‘Just checking you’re still alive, love, you’ve been ages!’ Mary had breezed in, too chilly to wait any longer for him. ‘I’ve got to get back because I’ve promised Anita I’ll butter the rolls but if you’re not feeling well why don’t you go to bed.’ He certainly did feel ill, even if it was due to stress rather than a virus. God, he loved this woman so much. She joined in with Dusty Springfield singing ‘I Only Want to Be With You’ as she headed back towards the music and the party.

         Geoff’s head was in his hands. The bomb that had been dropped by Amanda was news that he had, unknowingly, fathered a child 42 years previously and that child was Amanda. She’d been given scant details by her mother but had painstakingly followed up every avenue to arrive at the conclusion Geoff was her dad. Once she was fairly convinced she’d found the right man she had planned to ask his permission to do a DNA test but she’d chickened out in case he’d refused and had gone ahead with it already. For this she was deeply apologetic. The DNA test was the least of his problems. He had seen Amanda as a smart, pleasant woman but now he was staring at another daughter. It excited him and terrified him equally. How on earth was he going to deal with this? He didn’t want to wreck the idyllic life he had with Mary and his children – his other children – but if he kept it a secret, would that betrayal be worse?

         Mary would be back in a couple of hours. Tormented, he took a pad and a pen out of the bureau to make some notes but he couldn’t bring himself to commit his thoughts to paper. Once he’d done that there’d be no going back. So he tried to bring some order to the bewilderment in his head and work out what he would say to Mary if he decided to come clean: He was sorry. It was a moment of irresponsible madness before he’d met her. He’d had no idea until yesterday. He was so sorry. He would understand if she wanted nothing to do with Amanda. He was sorry if she’d preferred not to know but he couldn’t hide it from her. What would they tell Robert and Claire? Please don’t hate me, Mary.

         He sat bolt upright when he heard Mary come in through the back door. His hands began to shake but, with his mind made up, he tried to steel himself for the conversation. ‘Oh, you’re still up, love. I thought you’d have gone to bed,’ she said brightly.

         ‘Mary I’m so sorry.’ But he didn’t have chance to say anything else because Claire came in behind Mary wittering away about how lucky they all were that she and her brother got on so well when many of her friends were indifferent or positively hostile towards their siblings.

         ‘Look who popped in to the party!’ Mary was beaming, happy to have had her daughter to herself for a short time without husbands and small children.

         ‘Hi Dad,’ said Claire. ‘How’re you feeling?’ He didn’t answer the question because all he could think about was that he couldn’t put this off any longer.

         ‘I need to talk to your mother,’ he said and suggested Claire made some tea in the kitchen, out of earshot. And so it began. The words came tumbling out in a jumble of phrases, less coherent than he’d planned but he just had to get them all out. Eventually he took a breath and looked up at Mary. She was stunned. Calm but stunned. The silence was broken by Claire bounding in.

         ‘A sister? I’ve got a sister!’ She was genuinely happy. Mary considered her thoughts for a moment and said quietly,

         ‘Geoff, I have no right to be upset about any of your liaisons before I met you.’ And after another moment’s pause, she said, ‘I reckon we can accommodate another daughter, don’t you?’ and for the first time ever, she saw him shed a tear.


What a Dilemma


I hardly ever go to Chorley but a friend told me about the curtain stall on the market so I thought I’d have a run out to get a new net curtain for my front window, freshen the place up for Easter. I’m not very familiar with the lay out of the place and got a bit lost coming out of the car park. I was on a quiet side street when I passed ‘Maisie’s Coffee Shop’ and happened to glance inside. Who did I see but Malcolm, you know, married to Lizzie who’s in the same Knit and Natter group as us. But he wasn’t with Lizzie, he was with a dark haired woman I’d never seen before. All long dangly earrings and shellac nails. They were having a good giggle over something or other but it wasn’t till the waitress brought their order over that I realised they’d been holding hands under the table. Well that had to stop so they could deal with their cappuccinos and all day breakfasts. Well, I didn’t know what to do for the best. I stood back so I couldn’t be seen, not that they were looking anywhere but into each other’s eyes. Anyway, I decided to risk a quick photo, which came out quite well considering.

Well, I spent a sleepless night that night, I can tell you! I tossed and turned. Shall I tell Lizzie what I saw I wondered? If my Len had been carrying on would I have wanted to know? In the morning my mind was made up, I knew I had to do the right thing. I messaged Lizzie and told her I was popping around. I decided the only thing I could do was give it to her straight. I told her exactly what happened and pulled the photo up on my phone. She said nothing at first but gave me a strange look then told me she did not want to see the photo and she was very sorry that I had seen Malcolm yesterday. I said to her I didn’t know how he could do such a terrible thing to her and she shouldn’t put up with it. I was outraged for her! She put her hand up, palm towards me and said,

‘Stop! You’ve no right to criticise Malcolm or judge my marriage. You know nothing about our private life. I wish it could stay that way but now I feel I have to explain something to you in order to keep my privacy. Will you promise to keep this absolutely confidential?’

‘Well’, I said ‘you know me, the soul of discretion. I won’t breathe a word’. Then she told me about the horrendous health problems she’d had a few years ago. Terrible operation which went badly wrong. Really everything was just a mess and Malcolm had been marvellous throughout. But it left her with no interest in sex at all.

‘I know, so sad. So, her and Malcolm have come to an agreement. He has a lady friend he sees from time to time, if you know what I mean and Lizzie and Malcolm carry on as before and they go on lovely holidays together and have you seen her new kitchen? Fabulous!’

‘What, should I have told you this? Oh my dear I know you’re just like me, the soul of discretion. I know you won’t tell anybody else, so telling you doesn’t count, does it’

Anyway, I’ve decided to put new nets all around now so I’ll just need to pop back to Chorley again next week. I wonder if I’ll come across that café again?

Last Updated on January 13, 2023

September 2022 Writing

For our September meeting, Sue challenged us to write an obituary. It could be for a real person (living or dead) or a fictional person. As usual, the resulting pieces varied tremendously. below are a couple of examples:



It is with sadness that I announce the passing of my middle age.  When it first made its presence known, sometime in my early forties I must admit I was not a welcoming host.   It blurred the jaw line and crinkled my décolletage, breasts and buttocks began to slowly slip southwards. The first time I ‘oophed’ upon sinking into an armchair I checked to see if anyone else had heard me.  Fortunately, there was no one else in the room.  This left me at liberty to undo the button on my jeans, while I watched the news.  Sometimes, I was able to ignore my middle aged alter ego, with skilful application of ever more expensive creams and make up I could recapture the bloom of youth, or that was the promise.  I bought ‘shaping underwear ‘ on line but by that time the menopause had kicked in so rolling latex knickers from knee to midriff was like pushing hot stuffing between breast and skin of the Christmas turkey but without the tasty end result.

Over time I got used to the middle aged years and grew to accept and even love the new me.  Sadly, they came to a sudden and shocking end when I had a cataract operation.  I looked forward to the big reveal.  The clarity of vision, being able to recognise a friend before actually bumping into them, or worse, walking past them. I woke the next morning and went to the bathroom.  I instantly realised my loss. My wonderful, liberating, middle years had died overnight. I was now staring old age in the face!  Without the milky, soft focus of my pre operation eyes I had to say goodbye to the middle years, which upon reflection had been marvellous.

Goodbye my middle aged self, we achieved much during our time.  Raised a family, enjoyed a successful career, looked after ageing parents and had some wonderful times together, I will miss you dearly.  I now embrace my new travelling companion, decrepitude.



The death has been announced of Lt Cdr Richard Horatio ‘Chalkie’ White who passed away peacefully at his home, overlooking the Beaulieu river at Bucklers Hard in Hampshire, on Tuesday 9th August 1986 at the age of 91.

Growing up, his home was never far from the sea and with his father and two uncles both serving Officers in the Royal Navy, he was naturally drawn towards a career afloat. He joined the Senior Service in 1909 at the age of fourteen, first training at HMS GANGES before being posted as a Midshipman to the First Destroyer Squadron, Mediterranean. He saw action in the First World War at Gallipoli and Alexandria. His classical nickname originated from a tour of duty in the Royal Chatham Dockyard during his training.

At the outbreak of the Second World War Richard was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and given command of HMS STORK, a Bittern Class long range escort sloop attached to the 32th Escort Group. His ship helped to protect convoys of merchant ships sailing from Plymouth across the North Atlantic as far as the Southern USA and South through the U-Boat infested waters of the Bay of Biscay to Gibraltar.

In 1941 he was transferred to command of HMS WHIMBREL, a Black Swan class sloop, based in the Port of Liverpool as part of Captain Johnnie Walker’s notorious Submarine Hunter Group. Under his command, HMS WHIMBREL scored one U-Boat ‘kill’ and assisted in two further ‘kills’. In 1945, at the age of fifty, Richard retired from the Royal Navy to take up the post of Harbourmaster at Lymington in Hampshire. It was here that his love of competitive sailing was nurtured.

A well respected and much loved amateur sailor Richard is perhaps best known in yachting circles for two of his many attributes; the first being his successful management of the 1953 America’s Cup Challenge in which the UK 12 metre yacht SOVEREIGN, won five out of the seven races to wrest the America’s Cup from the Americans. His rather unorthodox management style saw many young and inspiring amateur yacht designers and sailors replace the established ‘old guard’.

His second most revered attribute was his ability to create positivity whenever he was present. He had the happy knack of viewing life with the utmost optimism and was always able to induce a mood of positivity even under adverse conditions. After retiring at the age of sixty he took up after dinner and inspirational oration. Many a sombre occasion has erupted in peals of raucous laughter after Richard put his rather sardonic sense of humour to work.

A single man all his life, Richard is remembered by his two younger brothers, their wives and extensive families. His nephews and nieces will particularly miss his sharp wit, his sound advice, his comforting smile and the encouraging pat on the back.


Last Updated on September 13, 2022

Creative Writing Group During Lockdown

When we heard that we’d no longer be able to meet up for our usual monthly sessions, the Creative Writing Group decided that we’d still like to write something every month and share it via email. We knew it wouldn’t be half as enjoyable as getting together but it was better than nothing. However, with the next ‘meeting’ several weeks away, someone suggested we created a WhatsApp group so we could keep in touch in the meantime. What a great idea! National lockdown was looming but we were prepared.

We’ve got to know each other surprisingly well. Through the WhatsApp chat we’ve heard snippets of lives past and seen present day photos from daily walks. We’ve even had the odd glimpse into each other’s homes via Zoom. Strangely, during this time apart, acquaintances are becoming firm friends.

One day, a bit of banter on WhatsApp sparked a couple of lines of fiction and everyone joined in adding their own couple of lines. Before we knew it we had a page-worth of words that could have been lifted from a spy novel. It was a bit of fun so we decided we’d have a proper go with a new story. We’ve written seven so far, including one round of poetry. The six of us keeping ourselves amused with these exercises are set in a new order every time and then write two or three paragraphs each, usually two rounds per story.

Follow this link to see our most recent creation!

With all of this, plus our short story competition entries, we’ve done more writing in the last three months than most of us ever do under normal circumstances and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of lockdown.

Last Updated on February 3, 2022