Season’s Greetings

Sunday was cold, really cold. When the wind blew, it blew straight through you. But it was the perfect day for a family walk to the Christmas Markets. It’s just not the same, if it’s not cold. So with the temperature hovering just above zero, off we went.

First, walking next to the river, the children playing and being cheeky. Not too cold yet, it was still light at this stage. But you could feel it coming. As we walked, the occasional gust would give us a shiver and make us glad of all the layers which we were wearing.

The closer we got to the town centre, the more the festive spirit grew. We started to see decorations, on lamp posts and bridges. And more people, not too crowded yet but others heading in the same direction as us. Our children were getting more excited. They had some money from their piggy banks to spend, their own choice, what would it be?

As we approached the markets themselves we could see the crowds, not too many people, but enough. Stalls containing all the usual goods. Hot wine, to warm my cockles, food both hot and cold. Seasonal decorations and gifts for all ages. Songs were being sung, children were dancing and the excitement of the season was upon us.

And then for the walk home. Via the old square and it’s Christmas tree, a beautiful sight standing next to the historical buildings contained there. Could the children make it? Both tired and cold now, but of course they could. Then, it was so nice to get home and begin to thaw out. And after dinner, some traditional Christmas biscuits and a cup of tea. Perfect.

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

Flashbacks

Senses overload

Reading the words, smelling the paper

Memories triggered

Childhood mealtimes

Smiling, relaxed, content

Sounds, smells, colours of the kitchen

Neighbours heads popping through the back door

Safety

Comfort

Home

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© Neil Hayes and neilhayeswriter

The Age of Benightedness

Sometimes it seems that the world is running in reverse gear. The search for knowledge and improvement, as a species, grinding to a halt. Meanwhile, old-fashioned beliefs are coming back to the fore.

Whether it be the return to religious fundamentalism, isolationism or authoritarian rule, there is a movement happening. It is a small movement, for now, but is has a wide appeal.

In the West, people call it populism, but doesn’t every politician wish to be popular? Doesn’t populism just mean pandering? Pandering to the masses. But the problem is, where do the masses get their information from? Can their opinions be trusted? Now this isn’t me calling people stupid, but there is a mass of misinformation out there. None of us are immune, we must be on our guard.

Whatever you may think of countries, and regimes, such as China and Russia, they are run by intelligent people. These people know what they want, and how to get it. Unfortunately other countries, like The United Kingdom and The United States of America, are not quite so organised. Pandering to popular attitudes and fears is at the root of both countries problems.

Britain went for Brexit, with no clear plan of how to achieve it. Now it is floundering, not wishing to reverse course, but just circling the waters, seemingly hoping to run into an idea or solution.

Meanwhile, in America, chaos reigns. A powerful country run by, what? Opinion is split as to whether he is stupid, senile or both. Certainly he is totally lacking in understanding, both of policy and people. A man with no heart, who believes he is the boss and everyone should jump.

So, what do we do? We can all fight our own corner, stand up to ignorance and abhorent ideas. Welcome enquiry and suspicion. Think, before the monsters creep up behind us and it is too late.

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

via Daily Prompt: Enlighten

Another Day: Fiction

When I wake up, it feels like the world has stopped. No movement, only my breath. Stale air in, stale air out. No change, only stagnancy.

From my point of view, nothing much does change. The same journey every day, the same job, the same tasks. “Clean this, move that, do it better, do it different”, says the boss. Yes, even all in one sentence.

All I want is a surprise, just something small,along the way. Someone to treat me differently, a chance encounter or even an adventure. Wouldn’t that be nice?

I honestly don’t think that I have ever had an adventure. Even when I was young, my parents were so careful. And now, that seems to be ingrained in me. Approaching 30 and still treading water. I spend so much time thinking, and worrying about it. But it seems so hard to make the change. I can only watch so many motivational videos before I have to think, maybe I am just one of life’s failures.

We are told we are all special, but I don’t believe it. We are certainly unique. But what can we do to make ourselves exceptional, to shine, to be remembered? Well, people will remember this day. They will remember my name. I will not disappear.

Standing here, looking out of this window, I can already feel it. Maybe I won’t be around for much longer, but I know that I will finally be noticed today. Click.

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© Neil Hayes and neilhayeswriter