Battle Lines

So here we are in Freezing February and my promise to commit failed spectacularly. But whilst you have seen no evidence here, there have been wheels in motion behind the scenes. Some have buckled under strain and  others rolling along quite pleasantly. Recently I discovered the Hour of Writes writing competition. It’s great. Entrants have a week to respond to a prompt but once they commit to entering – have only an hour to type it up.  Writers can respond to the prompt in any way, for instance Poetry or Flash and its quite challenging. It makes me write, when I have so many other goals I am working towards, which distract me from my writing. And so I thought I would share one of my attempts here with you.

I wrote this in response to the prompt – A Cup Of Tea – over at Hour of Writes. It gained 80% in marks so I was really pleased. Sadly I think the judge this week was looking for something a little more literary. But it makes me smile and so I hope it will you.


The Earl of Grey sat on the shelf and took stock of his regiment. Rows upon rows of tea, lined the shopping aisle. Most stood to attention in their various rank and uniform, whilst others let their company down, as they stood at ease or rested precariously on one another.

Did he and his comrades have what it took to win the battle for the accolade of Britain’s favourite drink, he wondered.  Clearing his throat, he felt reassured. He hadn’t lost it.  He was exactly what was printed on the back of his jacket – a blend with distinctive citrus tones and an aroma derived from extracted bergamot orange. Grey knew he was popular, of that he was sure. But the others…?

Miss Chamomile, for instance.  He really wasn’t sure she had any fight in her. She was such a pacifist – always harping on about peace and calm. She was enough to send anyone to sleep. And that chap, Green. Would he turn puce at the thought of the battle ahead?  And wasn’t he known for eradicating toxins, which meant they couldn’t play dirty with toxic warfare. He could rely on Nettle of course, Grey thought.  He had a real sting in his tail. He would be a great defender of the cause. And Miss Dandelion over there.  She was sure to have the enemy wetting their bed in fear – and that Fennel fella… he certainly had the digestion for the fight. Grey could smell that a mile off.

But what of the enemy? The Earl of Grey observed now, the coffee brigade, sitting on the shelves on the opposite side of the shopping aisle. The one relaxing, confidently in cap and chinos, for instance – was he battle fit? Or, as Grey suspected, was he just a lot of puff and wind, with no real substance. And that Latte woman. Hmm, well she couldn’t survive without her skinny mate by her side, so she couldn’t be a contender, surely? So perhaps his regiment might stand a chance after all. Grey was beginning to feel confident when he caught sight of that nifty Expresso who was flexing his caffeinated  muscles. Now he really was the big guns.  What chance did his comrades stand against him? He was well aware of what a good dose of caffeine could do. That stuff was enough to turn anyone into a fighting machine.

Grey started to fidget – the worry was starting to get to him, when a trolley rolled past and he caught the winking eye of the old English breakfast as his new, soon to be owner, made their way to the checkouts.   Of course, how could he have forgotten him, Grey admonished himself? Wasn’t he their strong arm? That expresso might be completely hyper, but it would only ever be short lived. He’d be flat on his back in no time. Not like the good old English breakfast. He had staying power. One could always count on him in a crisis. He really was worrying for nothing, Grey decided.

After all. What was their regiment’s motto?

Of course…Stay Calm and Drink Tea?

Well, Grey thought,  he’d jolly well do that. It was time to take some, of his own medicine.

Time to Commit

It really is quite scary – finally committing to uploading my work and my words, on a website – my website. This will be quite novel. It will mean taking my writing seriously, it will mean writing regularly and it will mean putting thought and effort into my own writing endeavours. I call myself a writer, and I believe it – but now it’s time to provide the evidence, to a wider audience. That’s you. You might well be a writer yourself, or perhaps you stumbled over a few www’s and found me. Whatever your reason for being here, I hope you will stay. I can’t offer coffee and cake, you’ll have to provide that for yourself, but hopefully you will find something of interest, something to inspire. If you do – please don’t leave the room without telling me. So – I’m plumping up the cushions and limbering up my tongue. Now all you have to do,  is make yourself at home.