Tag Archives: memories

Empty Rooms

It’s Music Monday!


I hope you all had a great weekend! I’m still recovering from the ‘rock chick’ reveal of last Friday ~ what a reaction! I never thought you’d all get so excited on my behalf and join in with the voting fun in quite such large numbers. But I thank you all, you truly made me feel like a rock star! 🙂

Many of you will know that I’m working on my next full-length novel, titled Fallen For Rock. It features professional high-flyer Emily, who is anything but a rock chick. Owing to her disdain for all things rock, she’s made quite a hash out of her relationship with aspiring rock singer Nate and she’s just discovering… well, let’s say she might have made a mistake.

I was listening to Planet Rock in between bouts of writing last week, and this song came up. The lyrics don’t quite fit in every regard, but the mood…oh the mood is perfect for the opening of Fallen For Rock.

Moreover, I had flashbacks to my own life so vivid and unexpected that I’m still reeling. In particular, I see myself in the car with my then boyfriend, driving through the night towards France, and seeing the sun coming up over the horizon. He was asleep in the passenger seat***, but I was singing along to that song, and it struck a chord, even though I couldn’t figure out there and then why it would, or should. Ha! The power of music, right?

Anyway, sit back and enjoy the legacy of the one and only Gary Moore!

So ~ what’s your instant response to Empty Rooms? Have you ever had this…empty kind of feeling?

***If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll remember my post about not driving in good company. And that totally applies. However, for a very short period of about 12 months, I did actually make use of my driving license, LOL. And this  memory harks back to that time… #JustSaying

The Mummy-Fount-of-Wisdom: A Golden Moment

“Where does water come from?”

My six-year-old contemplates his glass of water, then looks at me with serious eyes. I gulp. (No joke intended). This is one of those moments… one of those opportunities for in-the-moment learning. Think, Nicky, think. How can you answer his question properly while keeping his interest?

And then I realise that I have a golden opportunity. The house is quiet as my husband and other son have gone out. The chores are done. There are no distractions. We have time, my six-year-old and I. I can do this. Where normally, the humdrum of dinner routine would derail any attempt at answering such a question, for once, today, the stage is properly set.

“Well,” I begin, feeling my way carefully. “You know how we go to the seaside…?”

And together, bit by bit, we piece together the great water cycle. I resist the temptation to Google the whole thing because that would spoil the moment. We just sit and talk, and my six-year-old engages.

“That’s like a big circle, I think,” he suddenly offers. “Can you draw it?”

Well, heck yes, I can. Okay, my rendering isn’t perfect, and my scrawly handwriting is rather embarrassing (as he duly hastens to point out). But it does the job. We get the ‘circle’ idea firmly embedded in his brain.

And there’s more.

“But mummy,” he says, having contemplated the drawing. “You can’t drink sea water, it’s salty.”

Enter the next level of complexity, and we talk about how the evaporation of sea water by the sun takes out the salt.

“So rain water is drinking water?” he concludes.
“Yes, rain water is drinking water,” I confirm, feeling proud.


At his insistence, we add a well and a reservoir to my rudimentary drawing. We also look at Africa (on a different drawing on a different scrap of paper) and how the rain water clouds never quite reach the inland deserts. The connections are coming thick and fast, and I can practically see the little cogs in his brain turning.

When my husband returns, he gets a quick lecture on water cycles by my six-year-old.  Ever since, steam rising from the kettle or the shower has been identified as ‘another piece of evaporation.’ How’s that for passing on learning?

This was a really golden moment for me. Not because I felt proud of recalling my science lessons; in fact, I’m sure I forgot some critical piece of information somewhere along the way, but it’ll do for now.

No, it was a golden moment because he accepted my words, digested them, and applied them.

It was golden because I know, in my heart of hearts, that in a few years’ time, he’ll discover that I’m not always right (far from it!), and that in fact, his mummy-fount-of-wisdom has clay feet.

Add on another few years, and he’ll know things far beyond my horizon of learning. He’ll acquire that sublime arrogance of teenage youth where he’ll be confident he owns the world and rules everybody in it. Sitting down with his mummy to talk about stuff will be the totally uncoolest thing imaginable.

And that’s why I treasured this moment and stored it in my happy-bank. And that’s also why I shared it with you. I hope that’s okay.

Rock on!

All too often, I don’t realise that I had a golden moment until after the fact, when I think back to it a few days later. But this one I grasped by the horns and squeezed every last little bit of enjoyment out of it right there and then.

Do you have golden moments like this? What kind of occasion goes in your happy-bank?

Nostalgia Before the Fact

You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone, or so they say.  I’m currently discovering that this isn’t a wholly accurate statement!

Ever had that weird feeling of missing something before it’s even gone?  That’s me all over at the moment.

It’s no secret that the Wells family will be moving house soon.  In fact, after more than ten weeks of nail-biting, hair-tearing anxiety, we have finally exchanged contracts and confirmed a moving date.  19th June is ‘M’ day for us!

But this isn’t simply a move up the road (not that there’s anything simple about any move, but there’s little moves and big moves.  This is definitely a big move).  The Wells family, including this here author, will be moving to the Middle East.

Eeeeek, got ya! Well, sort of.  Technically, we are moving to the middle east—of England.  Our new home is a three-and-a-half hour drive up north east in sunny (or so I’m told) Lincolnshire.

Even though I’m plenty used to moving, this is a different experience.  I have been settled here like I haven’t been settled anywhere since I left home at nineteen.  Specifically, I will be leaving behind eight years of building friendships.  A house that my husband and I lovingly painted and painted all over again (on the inside, I hasten to add).  A house that saw the arrival of two children, two years apart.  With everything that entails:  wee on the walls (well, how was I supposed to know that a boy infant can pee in every which position, every which way, in every direction?), sleepless nights, first steps, first foods, bumped heads, dents in walls and floors from thrown toys.  Laughter and joy, sickness, tears and frustrations.  Many a tantrum.

Memories, in short.  A house and a life filled with memories, and we’re leaving it all behind.  Although arguably, we’re taking the memories with us–we’re just leaving the setting behind.

So as I go about my daily business, I find myself in the throes of premature nostalgia.  “I’ll miss the walk down the lane to school,” I was thinking this morning.  “Look at those lovely daffs nodding their heads over that wall.”

“I’ll miss the village and the river Trym, sometimes so docile, and sometimes offering a bit more oomph in the fast-flow department.”

“I’ll miss the coffee shop on the corner that does the best tuna melts.”

And so on.  Nostalgia before the fact.  A sense of heightened perception that seems to make everything clearer, sharper, more in focus.  I suspect that that’s the purpose of the phenomenon, a kind of memory-factory to ensure that you take with you all those feelings and impressions that mattered to you in a certain environment (and some that don’t, presumably).

Anyway, there it is, and it’s getting steadily more pronounced as we are counting down the days now.  The children are feeling it, too, probably even more so than me.

So my question to you is:  what’s your instance of nostalgia before the fact?

PS: of course I wiped the wee off the walls.  I even repainted the offending patch, the very same day, having previously disinfected it.  And I fixed all the dents, too.  I’m emphasising this point just in case you happen to be our purchaser and you’re getting nervous about the house!

The Whole of the Moon

Remember The Waterboys?  That classic, The Whole of the Moon?  It’s one of my favourite songs, always there, often played, occasionally left in a mental drawer for a few months. Fantastic lyrics, of course!

It all came back to me after a lovely chat with the amazing Yasmin Selena, who reminded me of this much-loved favourite.  It’s been playing in my head on and off ever since, having plenty of poignant memories attached to it for me… not least one of the first dates with my now husband in a dingy little pub in Stockwell, London.

So ring in Music Monday!  Take a look at these lyrics and have a listen to the song (video below). I’ve highlighted my favourite bit for you in bold font–tell me, which part of these lyrics captures your imagination?  And do you have a special song that takes you right back in time, ten, fifteen years even, evoking feelings so real as though they’d only just happened?

The Whole of the Moon

I pictured a rainbow, you held it in your hands
I had flashes but you saw the plan
I wandered out in the world for years while you just stayed in your room
I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon

You were there in the turnstiles with the wind at your heels
You stretched for the starts and you know how it feels
To reach too high, too far, too soon
You saw the whole of the moon

I was grounded while you filled the skies
I was dumbfounded by truth, you cut through lies
I saw the rain-dirty valley, you saw Brigadoon
I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon

I spoke about wings
You just flew
I wondered I guessed and I tried
You just knew
I sighed
And you swooned
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon

With a torch in your pocket and the wind at your heels
You climbed on the ladder and you know how it feels
To get too high, too far, too soon
You saw the whole of the moon, the whole of the moon, hey yeah

Unicorns and cannonballs, palaces and piers
Trumpets, towers and tenements, wide oceans full of tears
Flags, rags, ferryboats, scimitars and scarves
Every precious dream and vision underneath the stars

Yes, you climbed on the ladder with the wind in your sails
You came like a comet, blazing your trail
Too high, too far, too soon
You saw the whole of the moon