Autumn 🍂 by Ali Smith: Does it mirror Dicken’s a Tale of Two Cities?

This was a book club choice. After buying the book in preparation, Ali Smith’s name came up later in the year, when I was in Edinburgh, thinking about Edinburgh books / authors.

My copy of Autumn does not have a blurb in; I had bought it so long before I started reading that when I started I made incorrect assumption it was a historical novel. It is actually very contemporary, set in 2016 (with reflections back from there). The page made me fear it could be a historical novel and be too wordy for me (book club choices sometimes are too wordy and worthy for me!) I feared this despite being impressed by the opening lube ‘It was the worse of times, it was the worse of times’. Straight away to me that echoed ‘It was the best of times, it was the worse of times’; although I could not really place where I knew this from. After researching, it is the start of Charles Dicken’s a Tale of Two Cities. I have never read Tale of Two cities, so don’t know how I knew that. I therefore I also don’t know if the two books mirror each other in other ways.

Has anyone read both books?

FRIENDSHIP. What makes a good friend? Friend suggestions from fiction

The topic of this week’s 6 word story is FRIENDSHIP.

What to you makes a good friend?

The post below links to different people’s thoughts about who they most want as friends from fiction.

Bionic Book Worm

We’re all bookworms here, right? I think we are, so I can admit something and I know you won’t judge me. *deep breath* Here we go………. I don’t get out much. I’m a bit of an introvert. So going out with friends on a regular basis is rare. Instead, I sit on my couch under a warm blanket, snuggling with my puppy, and I wish that the people I read about in books were real so that I could be friends with them. There. I said it, it’s out in the open, and I feel much better.

All kidding aside, I really do wish that characters in books were real! It’s so easy to find people that you immediately relate to and wish you could go on adventures with. I have quite a few that I wish I could be friends with, and they’re all for different reasons.


View original post 686 more words

Sleeping out to raise awareness of homelessness

I ‘slept’ outside Sheffield cathedral to raise awareness of homeless, so writing this post to share that awareness.


We started with a meeting about the sleepout / Archer project. Then went outside about 8pm to set up. About 10 we had a tour of the facilities the Archer project has at the cathedral; kitchen, laundry and showers. Then I went out for the night.

Of course, this was not an authentic experience as we could have gone inside cathedral at anytime. Really on streets at night, would have no access to toilets or running water to wash hands. I had my house keys in bag and could have jumped into taxi at anytime and been in my bed in 15minutes. Also got to sleep in a group, so I did not feel scared. We laid in row against cathedral wall to shelter us, between two places where wall jutted out either side of stained glass window; it was cosy! It was my first time sleeping directly under stars. Looking up could see architecture of the cathedral and stars. Therefore for us this really was about an experience rather than real hardship.

The biggest discomfort for me was the hardness of the floor. I had a camping mat, which could feel concrete through. The zip of borrowed sleeping bag would not connect so, did not have a bag to get in. Most of night bag was on top, skewed to side of me. After many hours I did try, putting sleeping bag underneath me for extra padding. I was wrapped in cosy fleece blanket. Then had a plastic sheet over to keep it all dry. I was so uncomfortable, that constantly wanted to change position. Rather awkward as sandwiched between two people and when moved plastic sheet rustled, so did not want to disturb people. We were lucky not colder and barely rained. People sleepout in much worse conditions. I may have felt like could have had better equipment, but people sleepout on cardboard with no sleeping bag.

I did not feel vulnerable as we were in a group, with people awake keeping an eye on us. We had our bags between the cathedral wall and sleeping bags. As we were all in a row in front of bags; no one could get to them without stepping over us. Whereas on the street alone, it would be much harder to protect belongings.

There is not necessarily a shortage of accommodation, but people can not always make use of it. People may feel safer on the street than in a hostel. There were some spice users around who, were up all night rather than being in accommodation. Rules in accommodation surrounding being sober; are a barrier to addicts.

It was not as noisy as I had been dreading; but, it was never quiet. It was mainly the discomfort that kept me awake. At about 6 we were all forced to pack up. A message that the Archer project was keen to get across was how tough dealing with life is when sleep deprived. We all the next day did not feel very motivated to do anything; therefore organising things like benefits is a really difficult task for rough sleepers who are sleep deprived. Of course the more sleep deprived, get harder it is to function. This is where the Archer project comes into support clients in contacting the people they need to, completing forms, allowing them to use the address to receive post, phone access, access to electric to charge mobile if have one, along with more basic services like food and washing facilities. On the tour we also saw medical room where doctors, dentists, chiropodists etc… come to on different days, giving time for free to treat people.

In summary, it was an enlightening experience. However despite this and my research into homelessness for lent posts in 2017, it is still a complex subject.

6 word story FRIENDSHIP playlist

1. Friends theme tune by the Rembrandt’s.

2. The hymn One More Step along the way; which is about supporting someone through life. Of course being a hymn it is God providing the support; but it could apply to a friend.

3. Let’s face the music and dance. For the line ‘There may be trouble ahead, but let’s face the music and dance’. I love dancing with friends but; sharing someone’s journey also means sharing problems; it is not always dancing. The song was originally written by Irving Berlin in 1936 for the film Follow the fleet. It has been covered by several artists including Frank Sinartro and Nat King Cole. The Nat King Cole version reached number 30 in UK charts in March 1994, due to Torvil and Dean dancing to it.

4. Pure Morning, Placebo ‘…A friend in needs a friend indeed’ it highlights how not all friends are permanent features.

Follow this link to write 6 word story for prompt FRIENDSHIP.

What other songs could be on the playlist?

#SixWordStoryChallenge 15th September 2018

This week as the prompt Kirsty has chosen the good ship FRIENDSHIP.

What does friendship mean to you? Do you have the friendships you desire?


Challenge open Saturday 15th September 2018 – Thursday 20th September 2018

Welcome to the Six Word Story Challenge.

For those who have never dropped by before, a new prompt is posted every Saturday morning at 9am GMT, either on this site or that of fellow blogger Wonderwall. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to plot a story on that subject… in just six words.

I’ve been rescued this weekend, by a good friend who gave up her Friday night to help me tackle some unpacking in my new home. So in honour of her, your prompt for this week is:


And here’s my attempt to get you started:

Shopping, drinking, partying. Besties at 80!

See what you can come up with, and enter your six-word story in the comments below.

So how does it work?

  1. Leave your story in the comments until Thursday 9.30pm GMT

View original post 273 more words

Winners 6word Story prompt: SCHOOL

Well done to all of this week’s writers.

The winners

First day back Nervous classes Quiz

by Jason A Muckley

World of six-year-old : Home, School, Park

By Ramya Tantry

Without teachers, fun spiralled into terror

By Kirstywrites who will provide prompt for next week.

Voting Time 6word story Prompt:SCHOOL

This week there are stories based around classrooms. One about a school of fish. No poker schools. All 6 words. Well done all. It is now time for writers and readers to vote for three favourite stories, until 9pm GMT Friday 14th September.

It  may be Saturday morning before I’m able to reveal winner as I’m sleeping on street tomorrow (for charity).

Roll of honour



trE at

Sheryl at http://biaatlas.wordpress.

Peter’s Pondering