Steam Trains and Bunting


Steam Trains and Bunting, Red Flannel Petticoats and Buns for Tea

The 1970 film of the Railway Children (with the lovely Jenny Agutter as teenage Bobby/Roberta) transported me to the Edwardian countryside for a spiffing adventure of mild peril and temporary muddles.

Thirty years later Jenny Agutter played the mother in a television version. Are you enjoying it? I asked my small son. Yes, but Bobby is being very silly and pretending to be the mum. Confusing!

One day maybe, I’ll stoke up the old video player and chug off on a nostalgic journey with my grandchildren. And for Bobby’s famous line – Daddy, my Daddy! – it will be hankies all round once again.

Miranda Lewis 2019

(Genre: unreliable memoir)

Welcome to Friday Flash Fiction! (Yes I do know it’s still Thursday and I am aware this isn’t really fiction.) A big brass-band-and-bunting thanks to our host Rochelle and a wave from the platform to Sandra Crook who supplied the photographic inspiration.

Steam trains will always conjure up E. Nesbit’s The Railway Children for me: girls in white pinafores and ribbons, boys in britches and caps; happy endings and of course those buns for tea.

Thanks to all who visit and most especially to those who stay to comment. For a world of other stories step aboard here.

Spoiler alert, this is that famous tear-jerker of a scene form the 1970 film (Jenny Agutter as Bobby)…

And actually I won’t even need to preserve my old video of the 2000 TV version because it’s here in its entirety. An hour and a half well spent I’d say! (Confusingly Jenny Agutter as the Mum!)


In Search of Lost Mornings


In Search of Lost Mornings

Often then I’d wait at the bay window, nodding with fatigue, as the soft slow light of dawn filled the street. Trees – Horse Chestnut, I think – between soot-blackened brick; pigeons dozing on sills. Then – joy! – a distant figure, the familiar lilt of his walk, distinct even at  this time of day. My father’s muffled tread on the stairs, key in the lock.

My mother calls – Who’s there?

– Just me, m’dear.

Then a wink for me – Alright Sprout? – and scuttle back to bed, my secret safe.

And all the long years following, regretting that easy melding of souls.

MJ Lewis ©2015

Sometimes my computer annoys me and sometimes it amuses me – a normal working relationship then. This week when writing a comment about Proust’s sentences – it’s what the internet is for, and cats of course – my bad typing of Proust was creatively corrected to Sprout. Well it amused me!

PS I have in no way attempted to imitate Sprout’s – sorry Proust’s – prose style, but I will save the possibility of a 100-word one-sentence FF for another time. Could be fun to try.

Thanks as always to our host Rochelle (this week also for the evocative photo) and to all who visit.

Many more tales (wise, weird and wonderful, and sometimes all three) here.

London Girl

London Girl

I still have that photo somewhere, the one of you dancing on the bandstand in your new purple coat and matching lipstick, the day you had your hair bleached and shaved. You said people gave way to you on the tube and you kind of liked it. But then you never knew your own power.

Saw you once by chance, years later from the top of a bus and it still set my heart beating like a big bass drum. Don’t know why, but I let you slip away so easily, like a snatch of melody carried on the breeze.

M J Lewis ©2015


I wasn’t going to post this week (off to a college reunion and very busy) but then the muse of lost love and nostalgia visited – must be something in the air. For more Friday Fiction please click on the LINK. Thanks to our ever-attentive host Rochelle and to David Stewart for the photo.