Category Archives: Blog chain

Once a summer

This post is part of the July 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month’s prompt is “Dog Days of Summer.”

„Dog days“ of summer are literally translated into „Hundstage“ in German. We do not see them there every year, often as not summer in Germany is more a wish than a reality. But still, sometimes they happen.

Like in that summer when I had turned nine and we had moved into a new bought house. This came with a room for each of us two sisters and enough space to accomodate our cousins during the summer holidays. I loved it – having my two big cousins around who would treat me nicely and include me in everything made my day, no matter, what my elder sister and the youngest of the cousins were up to.

We would play crocket in the garden, although we had to fight the balls tendency to roll downhills, as the house is built into a hillside. Or we would search for the badminton set. Evenings would find us on the terrace with two sets of cards, for interminable rounds of canasta, under the sweet smell of the yasmine bushes and roses at the wall.

The weather grew warmer and warmer and saw us searching for a pool. The five of us would hardly fit into the family car, a beetle, because none was old enough to drive and my mother would not risk being caught with all of us on board. So the heat and lack of alternative forced us to use the local swimming pool. The entry fee was minimal, but so was the pool. Much too small, hardly a decent shower, raw stones on the edges. The lack of heating did not count in those hot days, we were happy enough with the temperature the sun had made raise to incredible 18° C. Then, the use of balls and other playthings were not yet forbidden, the water teemed with children, the heavily chlorinated water permeated the air with its acrid smell that we would take home in our wet bathing suits and towels.

Until one day, when in the morning we saw the sky covered with clouds and a cool wind greeted us as soon as we opened the door. But we had decided the evening before that we would go swimming again and I counted on another swimming lesson from my patient cousin. So, I would not hear of not going and the others also agreed that the clouds should not be a reason to deter us from enjoying another swim.

The water felt actually warmer under the leaden sky, as long as I did not leave a limb out to the wind. After one hour though we tried to dry up, my long hair still dripping with water I followed the others on the way home. I shivered, but tried not to show it for fear they would tell me it was my own mistake as I had been the one to insist on going.

I paid for this next morning when I woke up with a terrible headache, fever and a sore throat. The next week I had to spend confined in bed, while the others now could go everywhere as the four of them would fit into the car. To comfort me at least a little my cousins would buy sweets for me and, better, give me their own new books – that they had brought to read during the holidays – to read. They knew I would enjoy them.

The youngest had brought the „Winnetou“-Triology. Very famous in Germany I doubt my englishspeaking reades will ever had heard of their author, Karl May, who wrote a big number of storys from his fictous travels, a part of them set into the Wild West, another in the Middle East and Africa. Three big volumes kept my interest for a while and I cared less about being left alone after the fever abated sufficiently so I could concentrate on reading.

But it was the elder cousins book that I still remember best and that still helds a special place in my heart for the lasting effect it had on me: a German version of Lousia May Alcott’s „Little Women“. Never before I had thought about people who wrote the books I read, and I had started reading with four years of age and found my way through a number of books already. But Jo March did not only read them, she started writing stories and had them published, for others to enjoy them.

It needed years until I wrote my first story and still my first book waits to get published. But I always think of those dog days of summer that not only taught me to swim but also how to use my storytelling.


Check out this month’s other bloggers, all of whom have posted or will post their own responses:
Ralph Pines
Lady Cat


Bugs? – Bugs!


You do not know who I am? I am Miss Grey. I am the owner of the blog writing lady – well, she thinks, she owns me, but believe me, never, ever was a cat owned by a human being. But let her think whatever makes her happy!

And today, now, she wants to write about bugs. BUGS! Why not cats? We are nicer, smarter, more beautiful – okay, my dear, you say bugs, bugs it shall be.

We live in a nice flat on the slope of one of Amman’s many hills. Open the door and you will find a nice terrace and a small garden, where the said lady and her husband planted all kinds of trees and flowers. I am not really interested, the trees are still too small to climb on, but they smell good and give some shadow. The problem is, not only I enjoy the shadow, but a not so small number of other creatures also feel themselves attracted.

Other than my human family I don’t care about the mosquitoes. They are just noisy, too small to be of any interest. Spiders are something else. Earthbound, they cannot just fly away and laugh about me when I jump and miss them (like the pigeons do every day), they can only run and try to hide under a leaf or in a hole in the ground. Too many holes here, for my taste, all to give shelter to whatever small prey I see in the garden. But  the spiders, often as not, are stupid enough to come to the house – and there, on the shiny tiles of the floor, they cannot escape me. I follow them everywhere, push them with my paw so the roll all over the slippery surface. Then I wait a little, let them feel save and, when they start running again, I jump high in the air to drop on them before they see me coming.

But spiders, still, are minor prey. And just chasing them, often to the amusement of my audience, would not make me feel really useful in this house. Of course, my dear lady and her husband would still want me to stay, feed me, love me, cuddle me (if I consent to being touched), but the younger ones do not often feel that I am a necessary member of the house. They do not consider that, without my presence, every mouse or rat of the neighbourhood would like to sample their food in the kitchen or participate in the leftovers in their rooms – which often enough they forget to store away decently. And then, there are the most feared of all bugs, the sight of on of them would make every one of the youngsters scream and run. You know what I am talking of? The black, rustling, flying, running species, up to three inches long, stinking, … – cockroaches. Nothing else brings the place in a state of revolution faster than one of those ugly creatures. And then I have my big day, because I am the one who is not afraid to go after it, follow it wherever it might flee, toy with it, shuffle it right and left until its gleaming wings start to look a little bit frayed, it becomes slower, limps and I give it some time and space to recover. Then, again, I see it move. I hide behind a chair or a curtain, let it advance over the floor, attracted by the smell of my food on the kitchen floor. Close to the threshold it comes, and then I lift my backside, my head is stuck to the floor, my whiskers tremble – one big jump and I land on its back, crushing it to an unsavoury mess. No, I don’t eat it. I push the corpse around for a while, but it gets boring and eventually someone will come and pick it up with a piece of paper and throw it out. I lift my tail, go to the fridge and look at my lady: time for a reward. What’s on today, chicken or kebab?

This text is my contribution to June’s Blog chain on Absolute write:

This month’s prompt at Absolute Write Blog Chain: 

BugsYep. Bugs. Simple and easy. Prose, poetry, play. Fiction, nonfiction. It’s all good, all bugs.

Please read also the other participants’ blogtexts:
Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 – (link to post)
Diem_Allen – (link to post)
Ralph Pines – (link to post)
articshark – (link to post)
Lady Cat – (link to post)
U2Girl – (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – (link to post)
SuzanneSeese –
robynmackenzie –
milkweed – (link to post)
Sunwords – (link to post)
Angyl78 – (link to post)
susanielson – (link to post)
HistorySleuth – (link to post)