Dark branches released cherry blossoms, awash with pale pink and deep magenta, and sent them floating upon the subtle mountain breeze.

The dragon’s tail flicked, dusting the landscape with a glitter of red as it gazed through an orb laden with four yellow stars, tendrils of smoke drifted skyward from its mouth.

An orange form darted past, the dragon’s eyes followed its flash of colour for a moment before a cascade of turquoise enveloped the koi and carried it down the mountain stream.

A man sat tall upon the peak, eyes trained as he painted his dreams of colour.

I feel I must explain this piece.
First of all, it’s inspired by Charli Mills’ prompt “Turquoise” over at CarrotRanch.com. A prompt for which I struggled to find inspiration. I wanted to write something different, something close to my heart and thus I discovered this piece.
I had a not-often-enough opportunity to spend some time out with the other half this weekend, thanks to his mother’s offer to babysit the little ones; and we had an amazing time bonding and having fun together.
The other half loves to wear his heart on his sleeve, and thus is in the long process of having a sleeve tattoo beautifully etched onto his skin by the incredible Matty at Dizzmattix Tattoos. It is inspired by his passions in life, and so I was inspired by him this week;
The dragon symbolises strength and honour with the orb of 4 stars, one for he, myself and our two little ones (a fifth to be added soon), in the dragon’s care.
The koi – with the Chinese symbols for Courage, Discipline, Strength and Dream – utilises these to swim down a stream of water, and symbolise his strength and perseverance through challenges in life.
Finally, the koi is thus surrounded by cherry blossoms, symbolising his inspiration and love for his daughters.

When I think of colours, I think of happiness and life, and though this piece may not be a ‘story,’ I wanted portray the inspiration I find in colour.

Thank you for reading :)


Mind cycling through the daily routine, I slowly slide off the bed. I waddle around with my swollen belly, pain erupting from inconveniently placed baby kicks.
I feed the animals, step back inside, breathe. Head spins from standing too long washing dishes. Turn on washing machine, more pain; crouch down, turn, bend, breathe.
I waddle up the stairs. Panting at the top, I head toward the girls’ room.
“Good-morning Mum-mum!” my three year old squeaks, “cuddle please!”
I embrace her.
She nuzzles into my chest “I love you thousands and millions!”
My heart swells and I feel invincible again.

Life cycle of a book

Each printed marking felt warm on my leaves. Though the binding hurt a little, it was finished soon after and I was in darkness.
Rumbling, stop, start, up and down, until the light came again and I saw many others like me.
Many, many others.
Light and dark cycled, until a creature held me.
The creature opened me, our souls linking all through the wondrous moments it spent with me and my leaves became well worn.

There was darkness for a while, until one day, more light though this time, a smaller creature, with big eyes and soft hands.

So So Clever

I braced myself and lifted my two year old daughter out of her cot. She rubbed her eyes. I cuddled her close, the warmth from being curled under her blankets radiated from her. Her ringlets had lost their form, a scruffy mass of hair stuck out at all angles. Her big eyes, damp and a little red, gazed up at me.
She wrapped her tiny arms around my neck, cuddling in close. Her words muffled against my jumper, “I love you Mum-Mum,” she said, and my heart melted. I never tire of hearing her say that.
“Look at me,” I said, and she looked me in the eyes, waiting for what I wanted to say.
“You are so beautiful,” I said.
She cuddled back into my neck. “Thank you Mum-Mum,” she said.
“You’re welcome my darling,” I said, holding her tight, “Bubba, look at me.”
She did.
“You are so clever,” I said.
“Thank you Mum-Mum.” She smiled, cuddling into my neck once again.
But I had one more thing to say to my sleepy little girl before I let her run off to play.
“You’re welcome my darling. Last one Bubba, look at me please,” I said.
She did, but instead of waiting, she said, “I’m so so tired,” as she rubbed her eyes, before I could get a word out.
I laughed, and she laughed along with me before she grabbed my cheeks and gave me a super big kiss.
“I love you Bubba,” I said.
“Thank you Mum-Mum.”


Our eldest daughter slept like a baby as I peered into her cot, her baby sister in another cot beside her. The eldest was on her side, legs sprawled and mouth open, with tiny toddler hands tucked against her cheek. Her eyelids flickered as invisible dreams danced through her mind. Oh how I wish I could see inside. Her Dad-O and I are the ones who know her best but even we don’t understand everything.
All too often we find ourselves calling through the house for each other’s support.
“Bub, do you know what she is trying to say?”
“I’m not sure,” I reply, “I’m sorry darling, what’s wrong? What are you trying to say?”
I scan the room for hints on what she might be thinking; was it something on the TV? Is she hungry? Is she thirsty? Is she in pain? Has she invented a new way to play and she’s trying to show us? Has she remembered something we used to do with her? Is she confused? Is she asking us to clarify something for her? To make her life easier?
Her brow furrows as she gets lost in thought, trying to find the right words from her limited toddler vocabulary.
“We’re sorry baby, we don’t understand.”
All too often we see her give up, realising that she just cannot explain what she needs. Though others say that her speech is wonderful for her age, on the few times she struggles, my heart breaks, as I’m sure her Dad-O’s does too.
Granted, she’s an incredible toddler and rarely loses her temper, but she is so young, so innocent, isn’t it wrong for her needs to go unmet?
These are the things that I stress over when I leave her in another’s care.
Now, it may just be my anxiety and my need to be organised and to follow a strict plan – so everyone knows what to expect of each other, I tell myself. Or it may just be that I care for my daughter, and that this stress is another normal part of parenthood, for me at least. Who knows?
I struggled to resist stroking her hair or touching her cheek as she slept so peacefully, but my logical mind told me not to, that it would only make the evening that much more difficult if she were to wake.
You see, Dad-O and I are leaving now, mid-afternoon, for a late lunch, a dinner and a drink with old mates from his previous workplace. We’ve spent evenings together without our daughters before, but never from the afternoon onwards. Never in the middle of her nap time until well past her night bed time.
My anxiety starts to peak as I frantically think through everything that they’ll need for their lunch, their dinner and their bath and bed routine.
Did I explain which nappies were whose? Did I explain the correct amount of hot water to add to the youngest’s bottles? What if something happens to the pre-mixed bottles? Maybe I should make another bottle, just in case. Did I leave enough food for the eldest? Maybe I should prepare more food too, just in case. Did I get out everything for their bath time? What if they dirty those clothes? Should I get out another couple of sets of clothes out? Did I demonstrate how to tuck the baby into bed? What if she doesn’t want to sleep? What if she gets cranky and struggles through the evening routine? What if the eldest gets stressed from the baby being upset? What if she’s stressed that we’re not home? That we’ve just disappeared while she was sleeping. What if she thinks we’re not coming back?
I fight back tears as one thing piles onto another, and a simple covering of the bases blows up into me potentially foregoing the entire night.
I snap out of it and regain my composure. I do this every time. It’s something I’ve been working hard to control, and Dad-O does really well in supporting me, though I know I’ll never overcome it completely. It’ll always be there, in the back of my mind, telling me to turn around and go back, to protect them, to make sure that I know what’s happening and that I’ll have the control to make the best decision if something goes wrong. So I won’t regret leaving them if something does go wrong.
I leave their room, and walk down the hall, constantly cycling worries through my mind, trying to counter them in any way possible.
A new thought appears, one that has taken a lot of push and pull, but one that appears more often nowadays than it ever used to; they adore their nanny. They know what to expect from her and she knows what I need to feel assured that they’ll be okay. And they will be okay.
I step into the lounge, all spruced up with make-up and hair done, some pretty evening clothes on and maybe some lingerie underneath – something I don’t do often enough – and reluctantly announce that I’m ready to leave.
I take a seat in the car, breathing deep and telling myself over and over, they’ll be okay.
As a cherry on top, Dad-O leans over from the driver side, kisses me softly and – as though he read my mind – says, “they’ll be okay,” before he starts the car and we head off for what will be the longest I’ve ever been without the girls.

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