Blog: Life in General

I have to remind myself to pick fruit as it ripens, if it is paw paw and when it’s ripe, if it’s citrus or custard apple. It’s seems easy enough to do but delay can mean the loss of choice fruit.

My current red paw paw is quite tall and the fruit is clustered near the top; large breast-shaped fruit, with large nipples, which is just starting to ripen up.

This tree does not produce like its parent tree which had never-ending delicious, red paw paws massed from low on the tree to high.

I don’t like to be without paw paw and I have a younger red paw paw tree growing which will eventually replace this one. My favourite paw paw is the red version as I find that it is always sweet.

So, I got the ladder out and with help from a long handled mop-stick (my long handled saw is missing a strategic nut and bolt at present and the paw paws won’t wait) was able to dislodge three paw paws streaked with yellow, indicating they were ripening.

A day sitting on the table and they were ready. Two, I stored in the fridge and the third smaller and most ripe pawpaw, I sliced open. It was beautifully orange-red in colour and my mouth salivated as I remembered the delicious taste of red paw paws.

I placed it in a bowl with a generous tablespoon of Greek yoghurt and spoon in hand, I went outside to enjoy my delicious treat in the garden, sitting under the Cempaka tree up top, where I could look out over much of the garden and enjoy the birdsong, while the dogs lay at my feet.

I knew there were more paw paws almost ready to pick but I didn’t want to be too hasty. If I was making paw paw salad, they would be perfect green, however I wanted to enjoy the ripe fruit.

I deliberated for a day or two watching the show of colour develop and overnight a bat or bird had a taste of two of them before me. I’m okay with that. There were more.

Likewise with citrus fruit. It is wise to check the readiness of fruit as in the event of a windy, Wet season night it is likely to be dislodged to lie on the damp ground for beetles to gnaw on. I’m not okay with that.

I can’t imagine what my diet was like before limes and lemons were in abundance, but I appreciate them.

Every day I start my morning with a hot lime/lemon with a dash of ginger and cinnamon.  Apart from the supposed health benefits, it quenches my thirst for quite a while, unlike my favourite tea drink. As well as hot or cold drinks, I squeeze the juice of either on my fish, which I enjoy several times a week.

Both lime and lemon fruit are very useful in culinary dishes, whether sweet or savoury and the skin grated as zest is a wonderful addition to cooking. I also have a small kaffir tree so that I can use the leaves in my cooking.

All in all, it can be a busy, but happy life in the garden with quite a lot of maintenance to keep it healthy and orderly. Many of my stories have begun in the garden, sitting at the table under the Bismarckia tree. I can’t think of anywhere I would rather be.

A Tale of Carey Clutter

Loud sobs disturbed the early morning quiet. Gerald stiffened, glancing at his wife, unsure which one of her was present yet, before her first orange juice. She chuckled, “Oh, don’t get anxious, Gerald! I know who it is.” The trouble was, he did too. “Well, go on then!” She prompted. “Find out what the problem is, so that we can get some quiet again” She added, as though an after thought.

He leaped out of bed before she changed her mind, noticing her shoulders were shaking. He hesitated, only until he realised that it was mirth. He shook his head, “Strange creatures, women! You never really knew what they were thinking”, but his thought was wisely unvoiced.

A quick change into shorts and shirt and he was on his way into next door. Carey was a bit different. Sometimes, she was transparent with her thoughts – too much so. It hadn’t endeared her to the neighbourhood wives, nor her now-departed husband.

Charlie Clutter had departed to find himself a woman like Gerald’s, Aggie. Gerald snorted with wry amusement. He deserved to find a She Dragon of like sort. That might fix what ailed him. Only a very special sort of man like himself was suited to She Dragons.

Gerald knew exactly where he would find her, even if the loud sobs hadn’t been a tell-tale. She was sitting in the garden, with Theodore perched on her shoulder and a fat, red hen balanced on the chair rim opposite her. Theodore was tut-tutting as only corellas can do in that non-committal noise that can mean almost anything that suits the occasion, Red Hen appeared to be listening to Carey’s noisy sobs with sympathy and Dog was lying at her feet, offering support by presence, as he, like Gerald, was quite used to Carey’s tears.

Gently, Gerald touched her shoulder briefly, just to let her know that someone always cared. Her sobs died down enough to choke out the revealing words, “I killed it!” before resuming louder than before. Carefully, he posed a safe question. “Was it accidental, Carey?”

Anyone who knew Carey, also knew that in those generous curves, there was a very generous heart and she would not be able to kill anything deliberately. Her round pink-flushed face raised toward him, dark eyes drowned with tears, “I was trying to improve my ways, no more clutter, no long-legged spiders and crickets scuttling around in my house – and that’s how I did it!”

Gerald was a patient man. God knows he had needed to be over the years with his beloved She Dragon, but it was becoming difficult to restrain his urge to fix the problem and return to the safe confines of his home where the only danger was from Aggie, his wife.

“And?” he prompted. “I sprayed! This morning, I found it under a stool, all shrivelled and dead.” Sobs shook her shoulders. “Shh now! ” he soothed. “What was it?” he dared. “A baby gecko!”

“Oh! ” he nodded wisely, the irony not lost on him of the two women on either side of the fence, opposites in every way. “Oh, Gerald!” she burst out, “I do hope that I do not return to this life as a gecko. They are so vulnerable!”

Carey believed in reincarnation. Gerald stifled a snort of mirth as he had a vision of his She Dragon as a gecko, dodging a broom. He was not a believer of reincarnation.

“Come on, then!” he encouraged Carey and her menagerie toward the kitchen for the cure of all her ills so far, a hot cup of good English breakfast tea. With a bit of luck, he might have time for a generous rasher of bacon as a reward for his sympathetic ear before he hastened back to report to Aggie.

His taste buds moistened in eager anticipation. Aggie had faith in him, knowing her man well. Food was his only temptation.

Copyright, Glenda Colling.

Mrs Pernickety

Swish! The cloth arced through the air and landed with a splat on the unsuspecting gecko. Startled it fell to the floor, then regaining its feet, it scuttled out the door, just ahead of the swiftly moving broom.

With a satisfied expression attached to her angular face, Mrs Pernickety closed the door behind it, “No more gecko splats marking these walls! “ She voiced her pleasure.

Mr Pernickety kept his gaze on the newsprint although the content had lost all comprehension from the time he watched the cloth leave her fingers before making contact with the intended victim.

He knew better than to comment or he would be next to feel her displeasure, however he could not help but think of the soft night calls of the swift footed lizard as it darted about the ceiling, snatching up flies and mosquitoes brave enough to enter the lair of the dragon, he called wife.

With a swish and a mop, she hurried about the small, sparklingly clean kitchen/lounge area, never hesitating in her bustle for a soft word or a caress of the small, defeated man with the receding hairline and tired blue eyes, shielded from the dazzle by his rimless spectacles.

Finally, with a last approving glance of the order she expected in her home, Mrs Pernickety disposed of the cleaning equipment in a hall cupboard, before taking a leisurely shower.

Mr Pernickety’s stomach grumbled hungrily as he dared to dream of the forbidden sizzle of bacon with sunny side up eggs, washed down with steaming hot, black coffee, liberally laced with real sugar and door stopper slabs of fresh white bread spread thickly with butter.

It was but a dream. His wife would never allow such chaos in her kitchen. He sighed wistfully as Mrs Pernickety flounced into the room, wearing a figure flattering green dress, that accentuated the emerald green of her eyes. A touch of pink lip gloss shone on her plump, curved lips and her blonde curls bounced about her face as she moved toward him. She smiled happily at him now, “I’m a bit hungry, Gerald! Please take me out for breakfast.”

He jumped to his feet with alacrity, enjoying the transformation while it lasted, knowing many would envy him – if only they knew! His lips were sealed. His She-dragon was an unforgiving wife.

Copyright, Glenda Colling.

I Believe…

Some mornings, I look around at my organised (mostly😆) clutter and I wonder why I can not toss it all out and enjoy the orderliness and more time it would allow.

I recycle: bins for this and bins for that and as it is used left overs go to the appropriate receptacle- compost bin, recycling bin (or dogs/ chickens).

Sounds simple but it’s not; I wash my cans, ensuring lids are removed safely; convenience food containers are washed; paper and cardboard boxes are recycled (some directly to my garden where it serves two purposes 😁much enjoyment for my hens and retards weed growth while retaining moisture; bottles/jars are washed and used or placed in recycling bin.

I recycle the girls waste products into the garden where the effect is almost immediate. 😊

I recycle my aviary birds leftover seed to the wild birds – aviary birds are not called seed wasters without reason. Needless to say there is quite a regular following of wild birds waiting on their seed each morning. 😊❤️🙏

I hoard things I don’t use anymore because you never can tell when you might need it again despite the overflow. 😆That’s a habit inherited and I’m still trying to minimise my hoarding. 🤣😂😆

Why do I do all of this? There are no easy answers however it is a similar reason for why I rarely cut my flowers to bring inside despite their beauty.

I guess it could be started with ‘I believe…’.

Have a wonderful morning! 🤗

These lovely orange flowers had fallen and needed to be rescued.

Blog: Cooking for Enjoyment

I enjoy cooking – for one! Once upon a time, it seems a lifetime away, I enjoyed cooking for my family; husband and children. At that time I laboured in the kitchen for many hours to produce delicious meals for the family to feast on. It was a labour of love.

I avidly read recipes to find appropriate choices for our slender budget, with a large family of four children. Recipes with too many expensive and hard to source ingredients were quickly discarded.

I collected appropriate recipes and glued them into a scrapbook to refer to again. I also built up a collection of recipe books. It was an enjoyable pastime just reading through the different recipes that I might cook.

The downside of cooking creatively was that there were mounds of dishes for me, whilst tending to the needs of the children, supervising homework and disagreements; and after the meal was consumed there were many dishes again.

Still, at the time, I did not complain. It was reward enough if the meal was enjoyed by all; the children were easy to please, the husband not so.

At the time of marriage, both of my in-laws had passed on a little gem of information to help the marriage go smoothly, my husband was a difficult man to please with his food preferences. They said it with a smile as their first-born was a much favoured son.

Having had an early experience of his displeasure at my creativity with scrambled eggs and a dash of garlic, I was not brave enough to be too creative again. The dear man had a way of turning an experience like that into a personal hurt intended for him alone and he never let me forget about my error.

I learned to cook at the shoulder of my mother as a young woman, prior to marriage. My mother was a wonderful cook, skilled at producing tasty meals for a large family of eight. She taught me the basics of cooking and allowed me to practice on our family, with her guidance, whilst she retrieved her treadle sewing machine from its retirement and sewed many garments for my infant son.

I have never seriously developed that skill, unlike my sisters who are adept at such things. I have much admiration for those who sew their own clothes, and absolute admiration for my mother with her many skills.

Thus, prepared I felt competent to cook for my husband. It took some tears, but he trained me in preparing food as he preferred it. I had always been partial to a variety of vegetables and meat, but with a growing family, it became too difficult to prepare individual meals and so, we followed his preference.

Imagine my surprise much later in life, when he reminded me of how long it had been since I had cooked dishes unmentioned that took hours to prepare. I had been unaware how much he enjoyed these at the time.

I had grown some by then and I quickly reminded him that was a time when I was not employed elsewhere and perhaps with some help with the many chores I now had, additional to my paid employment, these special meals would still be possible.

Perhaps the meal was not special enough as assistance was not forthcoming.

A working mother has a busy lifestyle juggling many roles and convenience foods very quickly replace the meals that take longer to prepare. As children grow older, they are not always there for meals and they were not alone with that.

Still, I persevered and continued to have a meal prepared for those who were there for it though none of these meals were culinary masterpieces, nor did I gain much enjoyment in the process.

To my absolute joy, I hung up my apron and left behind the dishwashing and wiping when I gained employment overseas once my children had grown up and I was alone.

This was a wonderful time of learning about other cultures and their culinary practices; often simple and very tasty meals that were readily available for an affordable price. Why would I cook when I could buy so easily?

I learned much from my experience of culinary practices elsewhere and nowadays, I rarely cook an elaborate meal unless dining with family. I am more likely to cook a simple, tasty meal that meets my needs.

I still enjoy learning about other cultures and their food, however these days I ‘travel the world’ whilst watching cooking programs that are of interest to me.

Copyright © Glenda Colling

Teapot

Kara held the old blue teapot lovingly in her hands; chipped and stained, it had once held pride of place in her mother’s kitchen beside the stove, ready to pour a soothing cup of tea for those in need.

An image of her mother flashed into her mind, always welcoming, big, comfortable and a willing ear for those in need. Confidences never left her mother’s kitchen. Many a tear had been shed in Mum’s arms, woes poured out and somehow, without saying anything much, it was alright again.

She had that calming effect. All the family had their turn; the boys and the girls and following them, their cousins and friends. She was Mum to Kara and her siblings, Auntie Marg to her nieces and nephews and all the friends, but Grannie Brown to their children.

Grannie Brown’s lap was wide; she could hold two or three squirming bodies comfortably while they quizzed her about what life used to be like in the old days. It was a popular topic and they never seemed to get bored with hearing about how their Mum or Dad never had a television or a computer when they were children.

“But what did they do, Grannie?” her grandchildren would ask, wide-eyed in their amazement. It was inconceivable to them. Everywhere they went, they would take their Ipads, except to Grannie’s. Grannie didn’t have an internet connection.

Grannie Brown would laugh uproariously as was her way, “What do you do when you come here?” she would reply, when her belly had stopped heaving with mirth.

That always got the grandchildren thinking. It was a busy life at Grannie’s. There were the three dogs; Bo, Moe and Slow, each with their own personalities but all equally loved and they in turn loved Grannie, faithfully sleeping near at hand with ears cocked, on guard of their precious person.

Then the two fat cats; Mouser and Miaow, purring lap companions for many a teary faced visitor, almost as though Grannie had asked them to, for they came in from sunning themselves in the garden whenever the kettle was on the boil and climbed up into the nearest accommodating lap.

Big Ted would never allow them to sit on Grannie’s lap. He would shriek up a storm of cat calls if they protested.  Big Ted, Grannie’s precious Corella was cage-free and roamed in and out of the house, but often sat on his perch in the kitchen near to Grannie, a perfect mimic of her favourite expressions;  so much so, that sometimes it was hard to tell which one was speaking .

“ Wanna cup of tea?” was his most popular and not without reason as Grannie’s kettle was always on the boil for the steady stream of visitors who came to chat and confide and most of all, to take away a piece of the magic that was Grannie.

No one really remembered Grandpa Ted. Their six children had a vague memory of him in the early days, flitting in and out of their life as it suited him, demanding all of Grannie’s attention. Then one day he didn’t return.

For a while it was as though the sun went out of Grannie’s days but she picked herself up and got on with caring for her children. That was what mattered.

Her life went on and the years passed as Grannie Brown devoted herself to raising her children and sometimes others in need, whilst the steady stream of visitors to her kitchen continued, with the blue teapot in constant use.

At first, it wasn’t apparent that Grannie was ill. She wasn’t one to complain. It wasn’t until she stopped doing the things that mattered most to her, that her extended family realized that all was not well with Grannie Brown. By then, her big body had become gaunt and she was hollow-eyed.

 It was cancer and it struck aggressively, taking the life from Grannie in mere months. They had not been prepared for her loss but Grannie being Grannie, had expected this and left them a letter telling them not to grieve as she would always be with them, and to take care of her beloved pets.

They had done this willingly but no one was prepared then to sort out Grannie’s possessions; too many memories.

Now Kara had started and the blue teapot was the first of Grannie’s most loved possessions that she had picked up. Grannie wasn’t wealthy in a traditional sense but she was rich with her love of the people and animals so dear to her. She would be remembered.

Copyright © Glenda Colling 2019

Refuge in a Storm – a letter to a dear friend.

Content Warning: Violence

Though we are now far apart, geographically and otherwise, we will always share that moment in time when you gave me back my strength to go forward.


Looking back over the years, it is as clear as if it were yesterday. I came to you, battered, broken, with my young children in tow and you were there for us, as he had not been.

You may have wondered at the time, though few words needed to be said.

I was running, broken-hearted and disillusioned from a narcissistic and violent husband; calling myself all kinds of stupid for being taken in by his charm and lies, time and time again.

I shudder to think of how easily he deceived me, lied to me and manipulated me until I began to wonder if I was going insane.

I could not see events as he described them and somehow, despite his fault, I was ridiculed and made to feel as though it were me.

I pinned a smile on my face, hiding my tears and bruises from his adoring audience, for he had the ability to sound so very sincere when minutes before he had been battering me with a barrage of hurtful abuse, hair pulled painfully back and his other big hand cruelly squeezing the breath from my throat, as he shoved me about.


I was so very young and naive; believing wives endure and stay strong but lost the inclination when my children were hurt.


Through the maelstrom of my emotions, you held me strong with your gentle, caring, kindness and good humour; and like a shipwrecked survivor, I clung to your strength, with both hands.


It was never meant to be more than a deep friendship, but in the middle of a storm, it seemed as though it were meant to be.


Lightning cracked and thunder rumbled above, rain lashing about us as we sheltered in the old house, ignoring the maniacal ranting of the other, crazy occupant, secure in his room.


I revelled in the powerful elements raging that cold Winter’s night, for I was warm and safe in your arms, as you would stay in my heart forever; and whenever I needed to be strong, I took out my memories of that time.

Thank you, my friend.

Glenda Colling © 2021

Blog: Navigating the Internet Safely

As a young girl, I grew up without many of the technological devices my children and grandchildren take for granted. We did not have mobile phones, Ipads and Play Stations or Xboxes to keep us entertained in those days.

Television was not available in our small town, on the edge of the Goldfields, until I was almost a teenager; we did not have a telephone although it was available via an operator connection service. There was little privacy to these calls as the operator heard all. It was a different lifestyle to the one I am comfortable with now.

Like many people, I am now accustomed to having a mobile phone and television connected to the internet. Initially, I was reluctant to acquire a phone that connected to the internet but over time its usefulness has overcome my concerns, likewise with the television.

 Internet usage has become a normal part of my life and it has many conveniences attached to it; like paying accounts without having to leave my home and communicating with friends and family via social media.

While social media has been a wonderful way of keeping in contact, many of us are more vulnerable than we may have been previously. We like to chat with our family and friends, and often share lifestyle information and photographs. The more we divulge, the more vulnerable we become for those who prey on the innocent and unwary.

 Unfortunately, this is the downside to the conveniences afforded by the internet and that is due to hackers; people who are skilled at using the internet and technological devices for criminal purposes.

With the exploitation of the internet by these criminals, there are new crimes to contend with: stolen identities; hacking into accounts and ‘stealing’ personal information for criminal purposes, to mention some.

These are things my generation did not have to contend with; I have more passwords buzzing about in my head than a person should need. Oh, yes, there are password storing apps etcetera, if one chooses to avail themselves of the service and believe me, these could be useful with the recommendation of changing your passwords monthly to prevent hackers from accessing accounts.

 I am doubly suspicious of anything involving passwords since my primary email account was breached without me being aware of it. My virus protection service notified me of the breach. Apparently, my password was accessible in the Deep Dark Web!!! I had to research this on the internet to find out what it entailed and how I was at risk.

Suffice to say, I changed all of my passwords immediately and checked with my protection to ensure that there were not anymore ‘leaks’ from my accounts. This is something that I now do on a regular basis despite still receiving occasional junk mail threatening to expose me for various things that do not exist in my life and advising me that they got my password from the Deep Dark Web.

Thus, it was with some interest that I read a recent news article (The Guardian, Jan 12, 2021) informing that German police had arrested an Australian man operating ‘DarkMarket’ via the Deep Dark Web where he was alleged ‘to facilitate the sale of drugs, stolen credit card data and malware’, with a following of 500 000 users. In the Deep Web crime is rife because people are anonymous and cannot be traced.

So many new concerns! I even need to consider whether I should answer the phone when it is an unknown number or no caller id call; is it a hacker or some other person who is not to be trusted? Few of us have not been targeted by these scammers and we all need to take precautions for our financial safety, at the very least.

My advice for using the internet would be to take care, use reliable protection and not to take risks. If something seems too good to be true, it is too good to be true. If you receive strange or threatening emails or messages, never click on links. Do check them out very carefully via other sources before you take any action. Good luck!

© Glenda Colling

Just a Pickle

All Ellie wanted was a pickle. She could see it in her mind; small, green, fat, lumpy – just the right size to pop in her mouth and swallow in a few bites. Yum! Ellie was beginning to salivate as she fixated on the pickle she didn’t have in her empty refrigerator. She gazed speculatively at her partner, sleeping blissfully, undisturbed by nocturnal yearnings for pickles.

“Joe”, she nudged him, calling softly, “Joe”.

“Wh wh what?” he mumbled, and then, horror-struck, sleep deserting him, he sat up, “Is it time?”

“Nothing like that”, she reassured him, “not yet. But I really need to eat a pickle”, she implored him, green eyes wide in her entreaty. 

“Oh, Ellie!” Joe pleaded, “It’s three o’clock. Can’t you go back to sleep?”

“The baby is moving about too much,” she complained, “Please Joe.”

He lay back for a moment, and then sat up suddenly, resigning himself to the inevitable – she wasn’t going to sleep if she wanted a damn pickle. Getting up out of bed he went into the kitchen and opened up the refrigerator.

”Ellie!” he called, annoyance in his voice,” There’s nothing in the fridge”.

“You were supposed to do the shopping”, she reminded him.

“Oh!” Joe cursed his forgetfulness.

There was only one thing to do. He would have to get dressed and go out to look for an overnight store and pray that it sold pickles; otherwise he wasn’t going to be getting back to sleep anytime soon.

As luck would have it, he found the pickle without any problems. Upon his return to the unit, all was quiet.

“Ellie!” he called softly.

No answer. In the bedroom, Joe saw that Ellie was fast asleep. Joe considered waking her up, but thought better of it. The peace was wonderful. He’d make sure that there were plenty of pickles in the fridge for next time.

Glenda Colling ©

Intent

Content Warning: Implied violence

Face long, the woman sits and stares at the television screen, eyes blank, body stiff and uncompromising in her dejection. She is buffeted by explosions of tank shells and distant artillery fire, the deafening sound briefly punctuated by an occasional shout, ‘It’s like we’re shooting spit balls. We’re not denting their armour’.


The man leans forward, hunched, as he peers intently at the battlefield, controller held firmly between his large hands, cigarette caught in his lips, almost all ash. He curses crudely when his tank is destroyed in a loud explosion of red fireball. “Where are they all when I need back up? Hiding somewhere; useless pricks!”


She hears his words but does not respond. The time for talking is over. It was over when she was thrown up against the wall, choked in the cruel grip of his fingers. It was over when she was flung to the floor and subjected to a violent tirade of her physical shortcomings, sexual interests, and mental incapacity, imagined or perceived, before he aimed the last blow with a kick to the stomach. Then he lurched away, drunk but arrogant, with no remorse.


That was Christmas Eve. But she has not forgotten. Nor forgiven. For the sake of family peace and good will, she got up and dragged her bruised and aching body through the motions of Christmas, drove to town and collected their son to share the Christmas meal with them.


Pasting a smile on her face, she greets him. “Merry Christmas, Son!”, as he stoops to accept the gift she passes to him. Awkwardness flashes across his face as he thanks her gruffly and apologizes, “I don’t have anything for you.” A wry smile tugs at her lips as unbidden the recollection of his last gift to her, many years ago, enters her mind – sweet smelling bees’ wax and a curved wooden massager. He loved her more dearly then, before the years of his misspent youth wore heavily on him. “It’ll be enough to have you share our meal”, she says, feeling safe in the knowledge that she would not be alone with his father that day.


At the house he opens the gate and shepherds the cavorting dogs safely away from the wheels of the car. The old dog is deaf and has cataracts on her eyes, but her sense of smell is as keen as ever and she frisks around her boy, man though he has become. The younger dog, fat around the girth, shoulders him affectionately as a reminder of how long it has been since he has walked her. A good scratch shared by both and he follows her up the stairs, grunting as his knees protest in pain. She notes it but does not comment today. Let it be a day of peace and good will.


The old man looks small beside his giant son, suddenly vulnerable in a way that only age can bring about. It wasn’t always like that but the boy has been replaced by a man and a reluctantly won respect. They exchange greetings and sit alongside one another on the three-seater lounge that he does not allow her to share, puffing away on their cigarettes.

Soon, his son goes down to the far room to set up the Xbox and then the quiet is replaced by the noise of the battlefield once more as they platoon up, communicating their battle strategy through headphones to one another.


The old woman prepares the roast pork, mindful of the old man’s fondness for crisp and crunchy crackle. With their son there, there will be no shortage of vegetables. The old man will remind her how he is not a big eater and not to load his plate up; but there will not be his usual complaints. The rum has flowed freely and he has spoken more kindly to her since the arrival of their son. Nothing has changed however. She knows the boundaries though she does not like them.


It was not always this way. He had loved her once. A very long time ago it seemed now. Sometimes she tries to remember the girl she had once been and wonders about how they had loved and laughed together then. It does not seem possible now. She looks over at the old man with his heavy jowl hanging where his chin once was and the swell of his big belly escaping over his trousers. She could not keep her hands from touching him then and it was how he wanted her to be. Now he would knock her to the floor if she fondled him like that. She sighs heavily and vacates the room.


The smell of roast pork wafted through the house and she knew it was time to serve it. She called the old man and as was his ritual, he sharpened the carving knife before he carved the roast up expertly. If it was left to her, she hacked at the meat in her impatience to be done with it. She set the trays of food out on the table for the men to take what they wanted.

The meal was eaten in silence. After the meal both men got up and left the clearing up. She was annoyed at their ignorance and even more so at their assumption that it was her gender role to do so. She realized it was time for her to make some changes in her life; and so, she made her plans.

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

Life aboard the cruise liner was proving to be very enjoyable: luxurious, entertaining, and most pleasing of all, she was well looked after, as opposed to looking after anyone else.

Everyone had been shocked when she had quietly made the necessary changes in her life; severing all ties with her husband after removing her furniture and belongings from the house and then using her money to make a few investments in a comfortable lifestyle for her return from the cruise.

There had not been any further discussion. Despite her husband’s complaints to their children that she had not discussed her plans with him, leaving him unprepared to fend for himself, she knew that he had already had too much of her time and assets and did not value the privilege until it was withdrawn.

‘Revenge is a dish best served cold,’ she mused as she lay face down on the lounger while the young massage therapist eased the aches in her old bones. “How does that feel, Madam?” he asked. “So good!” she moaned, “Couldn’t be better.”

Copyright © to Glenda Colling: No part of this story may be used, shared, reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author.

Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction; a product of the author’s imagination and any resemblance to real life is coincidental and not intended by the author.

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