August 1st, 2015
Another flashback to Meryl Taylor’s youth recalling the incident that sparked the beginning of her Nursing career.
By Tara Patterson
Mr Rose, the Deputy Headmaster of Queen Anne’s, stood at the lectern at the end of morning prayers on this May 1968 morning and addressed the school.
“You will be pleased to know that your Headmistress is recovering well after her surgery following her unfortunate riding accident. She is expected to make a full recovery and return to her duties soon but in the mean time I will be acting headmaster.”
Mr Rose then continued into a long lecture about reinforcing the school rules and discipline. Sixth form pupil Meryl Taylor wasn’t listening. Her mind wandered; she thought about her home in York and her recent locomotive footplate trip with her father during the Easter holiday. Suddenly something in the Headmasters speech snapped her out of her daze and grabbed her attention.
July 23rd, 2015
The manager of a failing estate agency is encouraged to do better.
Philip Norton was a very angry man. For years he had built up a string of Estate Agencies, working on the principle of maximum delegation to the local managers. These managers and their staff were expected to acquire an intimate knowledge of their areas, to become involved with community events, and to cultivate an almost personal relationship with their clients. It required dedication on their part beyond any nine-to-five job and it had paid off in every case – except one. Philip had no doubt the fault in that one case lay in staff attitude. He would have to pay them an urgent visit, and he would go equipped with the means to secure better performance in the future.
July 3rd, 2015
A professional disciplinarian gets an unusual call
By Kenny Walters
Samantha Livingstone looked out from her kitchen window down the mews garage lined street below. Rain was lashing down and washing over the old cobbled road. Her phone rang.
When the caller didn’t answer immediately, Samantha remained silent. New clients did sometimes take a few moments to work up enough courage to speak.
“I’m sorry…” The caller hesitated.
“Can I help you?” Samantha enquired gently, rather surprised by the female voice.
“I, um, saw your advert.”
“My advert? Yes.”
“I was wondering, would you be prepared to see me?”
“Yes, I can see you. You’ve been a naughty girl, presumably?”
June 29th, 2015
A visit to the circus leads to a strange experience (told from two viewpoints)
By Lorna Brand
The most absurd situation I have ever found myself in was lying over the lap of Mrs Tickles the clown in the middle of a circus ring while she chastise me with an over-sized comedy slipper!
Although I am twenty now, to mark the start of summer every year the circus comes to our town and it became an odd tradition for my parents to take me which I secretly looked forward to.
This year it was a little different as we were not able to go to the matinee show like we normally do, which gave me a bit more time on my hands for an extra glass of wine with our afternoon tea. This extra little glass gave me just the right amount of sass and cheek to get me noticed by the clowns. Somewhere in the middle of the show I guess I was being quite loud when the clowns started their act.
June 4th, 2015
Struggling with diets amid sweet temptations leads a woman to seek special help.
By Lorna Brand
“We all have a self-destruct button hidden within us but some are more obvious than others. A quick trigger-temper, laziness, low motivation, they all have the same result. You don’t achieve your goal, your potential; you end up stuck, not going any further. You literally stop yourself from doing the best you can.”
Heather listened intently to the charismatic speaker. She had only come along as a favour to her friend who went to these ‘life coach’ talks as often as she could, but these words resonated within Heather as they left the theatre.
May 26th, 2015
Three friends go on one last camping trip
By Lorna Brand
The clatter of poles and the dank smell of farm animals filled the air as Melanie, Hanna and Sonya struggled to put up their old family sized tent as the storm approached. The hills they chose to make their home for the weekend looked so inviting from the ground below; fresh and green, with the sun moving along from one to the other, changing the seasons instantly with a magical touch. The rocky heather and bracken covered hills were occupied only by sheep, rabbits and the odd kestrel, making it the perfect retreat for the girls to catch up with each other.
May 9th, 2015
A security guard deals with a young woman rather well known to him.
By Lorna Brand
Dave was proud of his job. It wasn’t the most prestigious but Dave had been unemployed for 8 months and after applying for every job under the sun he was finally in the 10th week of his new job, and officially that marked the end of his probation.
The relief was amazing. Dave never thought he would love being a security guard as much as he did. He worked for a discount store doing 3 weeks on day shifts followed by 3 weeks on nights. Although he was moved to different stores when needed, he mostly stayed at his local shop situated in the centre of town and just a stone’s throw from his local pub.
May 5th, 2015
In an interview with a reporter, an engineer discusses an old discovery.
By Lorna Brand
“How did I find my inner spanko?” George repeated with a chuckle. “Well it’s quite a story. I can tell you if you have the time?”
“For you, I have all the time in the world,” laughed the rather lovely young lady.
As she moved closer, perching herself at the edge of a footstool in front of the silver fox gentleman, leaning in to grasp every detail.
“I came to the joys of spanking late in life compared to most. It wasn’t until I was clearing out my late great granddad’s attic that I found something that caught my interest. My great granddad was a hoarder of epic proportions, not in the empty milk bottles and piles of newspapers way you may think off but he had collected everything from every relative that had passed away in our family. It was as though it would be tremendously disrespectful to pass on a souvenir snow globe that great aunt Hilda picked up on her travels.
April 12th, 2015
Eating out at one of the best restaurants in town can get you more than a good meal.
By Lorna Brand
Ricardo’s was a very busy Italian Restaurant in the main city centre. It was always packed out especially, around the weekend. Booking ahead was essential if you wanted a table but even then if you turned up in anything less than smart attire you would not be seated. Ricardo’s was a third generation Italian restaurant owned by a very proud, handsome head chef, Marcus. Like his father and grandfather before, he would not suffer fools gladly and had a firm but fair way about him. He treated his staff like family, as most of them were, but as such he expected them to conduct themselves in a manner fitting for his restaurant’s reputation, or they would be swiftly dealt with in the same way staff had for generations.
March 26th, 2015
Drama during World War One, where we meet again the character of Jennifer Franklin
By Jane Fairweather
“My dear Mrs Franklin,” said Miss Anne Archibald with a gracious air. “We are so glad to have you among us. So brave of you in the middle of a war to declare yourself a pacifist and leave your warrior husband. And you have made such an impression among us. But did you not say it was your birthday today? And indeed the post has brought you some parcels.”
Jennifer Franklin blushed, for she felt a just little guilty at the scale of her deception, thinking of that very gallant and patriotic naval officer who was her husband; he was no doubt as busy as a naval attaché in the British embassy in Paris in the midst of a great war would be expected to be.