Family holiday3

We may well have left the Summer equinox far behind us here in the UK, but for many the holiday season is still taking up much of our spare time. But your more detailed comments on any or all of the July entries are very welcome, and much appreciated by our writers. Please try to find time to post your thoughts on the July stories while they are still fresh in your mind.

July was a particularly tight contest for first place and here is your opportunity to explain the reasons for choosing your top three selections, and also to comment on the many good stories that just missed out.

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7 thoughts on “This is the place to post your July 2017 TCWG competition reviews.

  1. Thank you for your kind review, Angie. Although the problems of the woman are fictional, the experience of walking my dogs with my husband is not. I do find that when we take these walks (almost daily in the summer, but more infrequently now that I am back at work) my problems melt away and I “live in the moment.”

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  2. Hello everyone and congratulations to the joint winner and everyone else for their lovely stories.
    Here are my quick thoughts on the July stories

    Tokyo Sadness by Christophertrier
    taking in two countries and two different cultures with very impressive writing style, a great piece of writing which seemed to hold much more than what was actually written.

    Summer REunion by Colmore
    i have got very fond of these Father Christmas stories and this one was written with the same warmth and humour. A lovely story with well drawn characters and a nice mix of dialogue and narrative.

    Salou by Giselle
    A beautifully written story about a little boy coming to terms with a baby sister in his life and on holiday with his grandma who turned out to be the highlight of his holiday. The scenes in the funfair were beautiful, brought back many memories of going on frightening rides merely to keep someone company and then finding that all the screaming was a real release of tension and emotions. As always you manage to convey so much in one short story, lovely

    Holiday Time by Fizzeerascal
    A funny, warm and wild fantasy about custard creams, this was really short but sweet and it is always a joy to read your stories, always.

    The thirty-five minute vacation by Americanmum
    Absolutely beautiful descriptive writing of a woman walking her two beloved dogs in stunning scenery and reflecting on the lives of her two sons. We so often find solace in a walk and comfort in our pets which can heal and make us stronger to help those around us.
    There were some magical turns of phrase, such as ‘ The splashes warmth on my face’.
    The descriptions of the countryside took me back to my New England in the fall trip which was pure magic and wonder. I will never forget the lakes and forests and mountains and you described the wonder of their beauty with such delight. A real treat.

    Bella’s First Holiday by Araminta

    A beautiful, heartwarming tale of the healing power of dogs and children, told in your wonderful, delicate and compassionate style. A friend of mine loves the word ‘cathartic’ and I think she would use it here. Always love your stories and they seem like a window into a very sweet and kind heart.

    Life is Bound in Shallows and Miseries by Atilier
    This story romped along from the beginning with humour and warmth . Lovely contrasts between Diana and her designer gear and then being being to whip up sausages and bacon to cheer everyone up. It seemed to be a story of success and failure and fun and despair and a family who would stick together through thick and thin.
    I’m sure we all have met a Mr Jolly Good, we had a Monsieur Ca va who our children still laugh about., and the confident successful business man who becomes an amateur behind the helm.
    A lovely story written with aplomb about a disappointing holiday.

    The Adit by Lostinwords
    A lovely story about Cornish folklore seen through the eyes of a child. You have a great gift for story telling and always an enjoyable read.

    Used to be by Seadams
    Impeccable writing and story telling with a perfect mix of past and present, dialogue and narrative.
    A family reluctantly taking their grandmother to celebrate her 80th birthday in the South of France, no-one really wanted to take her, no-one really wanted to sit next to her, then at the end when she sings the French anthem that’s it. It’s very personal, of course, but I would much rather she hadn’t died and there had been a reconciliation and maybe a real awareness that everyone was re evaluating her and she could carry on living a few years at least with a more enriched and joyful relationship with her family. Maybe I missed the point because anyway it was beautifully written with great description, and a well deserved winner.

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    1. Thank you for your kind and generous review,Angie, and here is a bit more information about the holiday on which the story was based.
      It was mostly true except for the part about the scattered handbag contents and the flood at home. The police intrusion was simply a fiction in order to bring the story to a premature end, as otherwise I would have required twenty thousand words to adequately describe the chaotic happenings on that holiday. 🙂
      Two other highlights were the 36 point turn that I managed to carry out at the top end of a ‘cul-de-sac’ mooring, and the circumstances surrounding the hole that we (the Royal We), that we picked up in the sharp end of our vessel.
      The 36 point turn episode came about as follows.
      We entered a rather attractive inlet with a couple of vacant moorings only to find that it was a ‘dead end’ and that the only way back out was to go to the far end and turn around.
      Simple … slow ahead.
      Each side of the inlet had boats already moored up with the occupants enjoying the evening sun … on deck, and drinks to hand. A multitude of eyes followed our passage, some curious and others, (probably fore-seeing what was to follow), slightly amused. Having reached the end I realised that the inlet was only about eight feet wider than the length of the boat so turning was going to be a complicated manoeuvre and my newly acquired seamanship skills were about to be scrutinised under the gaze of well over a couple of dozen possibly well-seasoned skippers.
      Adopting a slightly supercilious pose of ‘seen it-done it before’ confidence, I let the nose of the vessel nestle into the corner of the end quay and reversed back  … first point of the turn.
      Apart from churning up a lot of mud, not much happened. I then remembered Mr. Jolly-Good’s ‘No speed-No steering’ advice and realised that this was not going to be quite as simple as I thought.
      I will draw a veil over the next embarrassing half hour other than to say that eventually I managed to end up facing in the right direction. As we headed back to one of the (thankfully) still vacant moorings, a ripple of applause followed me as my audience desperately fought off what must have been an almost impossible urge to fall about laughing. Had I not been so embarrassed I would probably acknowledged their applause with a regal wave in response, but having been abandoned by my crew (who had all slunk away below decks), I simply gritted my teeth and feigned indifference.
      So what should I have done, you might say.
      The answer came shortly afterwards when another boat appeared and took up the last available mooring.
      By this time we had reassembled on deck and were anxious to look and learn.
      They headed to the end of the inlet more or less just like us. Having shut off the engine and come to a halt against the bank, one of the crew took the bow mooring rope,stepped ashore, and as easily as you like strolled around the end bank towing the bow and the vessel neatly turned on it’s axis until it was facing the other way … simples!
      Long before they reached their mooring we had retreated below with a cheerful chorus of “and that’s the way to turn a boat!” ringing in our ears.
      Happy, happy, days.:)
      Finally to the hole in the bow, which once again was due to “No-speed-No steering”.
      In attempting to move off from a mooring in a restricted space, the wind caught us broadside on and swung our bow against the steel protected rear corner of the adjacent boat and put a six inch diameter hole in our bow, fortunately well above the water line.
      Seeing that the other boat was unscathed it was head down and pretend nothing had happened.
      Here I was helped out by my crew, because as the other boat’s crew scrambled on deck to find out what had hit them, my lot returned their angry waves with a nonchalance that I could only admire.
      ‘Us? Never’.
      But as this was the last night of our holiday it did lead to a sleepless night worrying about the consequences that might follow when Mr. J-G was informed on the following day. And not being able to include this in my original tale robbed me of my story punch line.
      We arrived back at the boat yard as early as we could next day, tied up, and my crew prepared to disembark whilst I went off in search of Mr. J-G.
      I found him in his little hut …
      “Ah! There you are, I didn’t expect you for another hour or so”.
      “I’m afraid there is a small problem”, said I.
      Before I had got half way through my explanation of why his boat had picked up an extra port hole, he whipped out an insurance claim form, handed me a pen, and said … “Jolly good, not to worry, worse things happen at sea, just sign it at the bottom and I’ll fill it in later, that’s what insurance is for”.
      Even before we had left he had disappeared into the boat with a fibre-glass repair kit.
      I stuck my head down into the cabin where he was joyfully singing whilst he brushed away at the fast curing fibre-glass repair.
      “Thank you for a wonderful holiday” said I, “Sorry again about the damage”.
      “Not a problem”, he said brightly, “have a jolly good journey home and come back and see us again some day”.
      Sadly, we jolly well never got around to it.

      p.s. I’ve added a few pictures to the original story on https://atiller16.wordpress.com/the-july-2017-tcwg-competition-an-entry-life-is-bound-in-shallows-and-in-miseries/

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      1. This is wonderful, like another short story, thank you for sharing and for the family photos, precious memories x

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