The Soil of Verdun | Short Story

We children used to watch Mr. Mason from our bedroom window. Our house overlooked his garden, and it was there that the old man could be found come sun or shower, dawn or dusk. Mr. Mason’s garden was as fine an example of composted soil as could be seen anywhere in England, I’ll be bound. So it should have been. The soil was worked relentlessly with pitchfork and spade, a churned mass of aerated, loamy mulch. Once he had worked his way from one wooden fence to the other, Mr. Mason would simply take a sip from the canteen in his trouser pocket and begin working his way back again. Penelope, my sister, said he was mad.

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The Town Centre – a Place Worth Fighting For? | Opinion

As we appear to be approaching another general election in the UK, it is time for the re-emergence of an oft-kicked political football – the regeneration of town and city centres around the country. This particular topic never fails to mildly irritate me; footage of politicians bemoaning the state of our high streets is spliced with interviews with dour shoppers, each telling tales of a halcyon era where delivery boys rode their bicycles over cobbles and when shoppers were on first name terms with the butcher, the baker, and the long-lost candlestick maker. Sentiments such as revitalising our towns obviously test well – politicians of all persuasions would not keep using them otherwise. Nevertheless, my initial instinct is to scoff. Why, after all, should we spend money on persuading people to return to somewhere they do not wish to frequent? Continue reading “The Town Centre – a Place Worth Fighting For? | Opinion”

The Son I Raised | Short Story

‘Your first responsibility is here, Charlie.’

Piece of toast in his mouth, Charlie snapped his toolbox shut and reached for his coat. Evelyn stood with their infant son in her arms and a challenge on her face. She waited whilst her husband filled a thermos from the kettle, clingfilmed his sandwiches, and finished chewing.

‘You’re doing just fine with him,’ he answered eventually. ‘Mum’s getting on a bit; she can’t look after herself so well.’

‘She can look after herself a lot better than she makes out.’

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