I saw your shadow you were dancing at the feet of the moon.

I did a thing I’ve been thinking about. I’ve been thinking about it for a while.

I realise this sounds very ominous or momentous or some other word that ends in -ous, but it’s not really.

I exercised. At work. I went up onto the roof, where I am sure there are no cameras, put my earbuds in under my hearing protection, and played some songs that I wanted to dance to. They were old songs by anyone’s standards but mine. To me, they feel like they just came out a few years ago. Waiting Room by Fugazi. All Lined Up by Shriekback. Dominion/Mother Russia by Sisters of Mercy.

And I danced with wild abandon under the full moon.

It was glorious.

I stopped and took a picture of the moon over my shoulder, back-lighting the steam from the still. And then I took a picture of my shadow, posing to make it look like I was dancing, which seems rather silly now. It’s a testament to how comfortable I’ve gotten with selfies and socials, that it didn’t seem silly when I was doing it.

But I digress. I danced and it felt good. It felt right. And i need to do it more often, even if it is just for a few songs.

Only the pomegranates are real

The Goddess of Spring sat on a woven blanket in a wild meadow, watching the bees and butterflies that flitted lazily among the wildflowers. The sun shone from a perfectly blue sky, warm and golden, and a light breeze set the tall grasses swaying, making a soft dry whispering noise to accompany the droning of insects.

Beside her on the blanket was a light picnic; a loaf of crusty bread, a wheel of soft cheese, a honeycomb spilling gold onto a plate, a bowl of grapes and pomegranates. A bottle of wine and two chalices rested in the basket nearby. All was untouched. 

The Goddess of Spring was waiting. She had been waiting for quite some time, long enough for delight and anticipation to fade and to be replaced by a grim certainty.

He wasn’t coming. He had promised, but he wasn’t coming.

She took a deep breath, and getting to her feet, breathed the word, “enough.” She turned and walked back to the palace, her re-creation of the place they had met fading away. Only the pomegranates were real, rolling away once the bowl vanished.

She didn’t have to go far to find him once she arrived at the palace. She could hear the sounds of revelry as soon as she walked through the front gate. She found herself walking slower as she made her way to the Great Hall to delay the inevitable confirmation of disappointment. Too soon she stood in front of the door. The guard hesitated before opening it, earning him a sharp glance from the Goddess. 

She paused, taking in the scene before her. Another bacchanalia. Or was it the same one? She took a deep breath and released it slowly as she took a step inside the Hall, wondering not for the first time how they could not have found another way to amuse themselves after two millenia.

She stopped short when she saw her husband, her rival on his lap. There was a time when this would have enraged her. There were stories of how she had ground the nymph into dust or turned her into her namesake plant. Now it was just another disappointment.

Minthe looked to the door and locked eyes with the Spring Goddess. She smiled and waggled her fingers in a sly wave. The Spring Goddess stared back, keeping her face impassive, until she sighed the word “enough” and turned on her heel. She motioned to the guard to close the door behind her.

She did not see that her husband had caught sight of her, and had stood, dumping Minthe to the ground. She did not see him take a half a dozen steps, see him shake off Minthe’s hand from where she had placed it on his arm, see look on his face when the door closed. It may not have made a difference if she had.

She wandered the palace grounds not really paying attention to where she was going. She was so tired of everything in this place. She knew her husband loved her, but she was tired of feeling as if she had to compete for his attention. She was tired of the parties, the gossip, the pettiness of gods and godlets with too much time on their hands. It was tedious. The days and days and days of the same thing, the same everything.

She found herself on the banks of the River Lethe, the river of forgetfulness, and watched its clear waters slide past her. She knelt on the bank and scooped water into her cupped hands. 

“Enough,” she said in a clear and strong voice, and drank the water in her hand.

Fifty words about my favourite word.

A piece I made back in the 90’s when I was obsessed with cross stitch.

I love this word.
I love how such a small word, only four letters, can be so grammatically useful as a noun, verb, adjective, or adverb.
I love how it rolls off the tongue so softly and breathily, then comes to a sudden, sharp stop. Definite. Emphatic.
NO, written large.

This time

I’m going to do this, this time. Or try very hard to do this. I’m going to write a story every day for 30 days. No rules about length, genre, or quality. Let’s see how it goes.


I really enjoy the way Google Photos likes to show me what I did on a certain day last year, 3 years ago, 5 years ago, although I suspect there may come a time in the future when it will break my heart. But for now, I both like and need the memory trigger.

5 years ago

On Friday, Google spat out the one above, Keith and I standing in the sunshine on top of Blue Mountain and smiling into the camera. I’d just finished an interview for Side Launch, and thought it had gone really well, and was hoping to get the gig with all my being.

I got the job. And while it had its downside, I can honestly say it was the best job I’d ever had in my life. Until it wasn’t.

I saw the photo come up, and felt again all the hope and need. The despair when I thought I’d fucked up the second interview. The joy when I got the offer. The shellshock of being “restructured” out of the building. So many joys and delights though. Making beer that people loved. Working with people who became pals. Moving to our yellow house, settling in and making friends, putting down roots. It became Home-with-a-capital-H in a way that I never felt in the city.

I smiled when I saw it, and walked in to see the new boss at Collingwood Distillery, who was my old boss at Side Launch, and said a happy anniversary.

“I’m sorry,” he said. Again.

He means it, but I can’t be sorry for coming up here. Life feels good, right, in a way I can’t really articulate. In the words of the late, great Douglas Adams,
 “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

“It’s all good,” I tell him. Again.

Day 21,974

Oh hi. It’s been a hot minute, and since I’m between tasks at work, I’d thought I’d write a blog post instead of any of the other writing sitting on my to do list (like I have a to do list…more like a list of suggested pleasurable activities that I take no pleasure at all in procrastinating).

I think the last time I wrote here, I was still working at Thornbury Cider, and still hoping to find a brewing job. So yeah, both of those situations have changed. After going through two bottles of extra strength ibuprofen and then moving on to prescription muscle relaxers and pain relief, I acknowledged my age and broke up with packaging. Then, I decided that the last brewing job application rejection would be the last brewing job application. I’ve applied at just about every spot up here, and I just cannot do that to myself anymore. Especially when I was told at the last brewery that they went with someone with more experience; they didn’t.

So it’s official; I’ve broken up with craft brewing as an occupation. I don’t know if it’s age, gender, my physique, my personality or what, but I am just not getting the gigs. Fuck it. They may be right. I have the qualifications, but I am also 60 and also getting arthritic…and maybe a tad weird now that I no longer give much of a fuck what people think of me.

So now, I work at Collingwood Distillery. Big production. Unionized. Great benefits. Good people. And the pay is above and beyond what craft beverages are willing or able to offer. And there’s pension matching.

I don’t love it, like I loved brewing. I don’t hate it either. There’s something to be said for making 30% more while doing about 50% less physical labour.