The Time of his Life – Friday Fictioneers, 21 April 2021

“Why would you want to walk on the beach when it’s a challenge for you to even walk on the pavement,” she’d said sharply this morning.

He’d bitten his lip, turning to gaze out to sea.

As ever, in hearing “I want” she’d missed the nuance of what he wished for and what he intended.

Or had she?

This evening, after supper, he’d slipped quietly away and meandered unsteadily towards the beach.

It had been worth the effort, if only to watch these lights bobbing on the water.

And now, he wondered, was it really worth the effort to go back?

Thanks to Rochelle, for her continued leadership of Friday Fictioneers. This post is a first for me, the first created with the WordPress Block Editor. If the Classic is to be discontinued in December this year, I thought I needed to start getting my brain into gear. And now I’m seriously tee’d off with WordPress. More than I ever thought possible, because as sure as eggs are eggs, I won’t have the faintest notion how the hell I did this by this time next week. Grrr… 😦

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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61 Responses to The Time of his Life – Friday Fictioneers, 21 April 2021

  1. GHLearner says:

    Great interaction and description of the misunderstandings between them. She does’t get him.
    Like your MC you took the effort and managed to do what you set out to do. It looks great!
    I’ve posted a walk-through for the blocks on my blog (https://ghlearner.wordpress.com/2021/04/20/block-editor-my-way/). If you are happy with your post above, maybe my method of copying a post and editing can help you, too.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Many thanks for that. Rochelle mentioned you’d posted something and I was waiting for you to post today so I could follow back to your site. Will take a look shortly. I also trialled whether I can post a photo montage – FF and posting photo montages are about the only things I do on WP. And that worked too. I’m glad I took the bull by the horns. Thanks a lot for the additional help. 🙂

      Like

  2. neilmacdon says:

    The “Or had she” is ominous. Maybe he should stay where he’s at peace

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anita says:

    Glad he took the effort and went.
    Lights and darkness and happiness and pace- he got to experience as these.
    Maybe she will find him and follow him to the beach.
    Accepting another person’s wishes is a must in relationships.

    Like

  4. Reena Saxena says:

    I’d prefer not to go back.

    Like

  5. Dear Sandra,

    She obviously doesn’t understand him. How often this happens with couples. Good for you taking the block editor plunge. I’m still clinging tenaciously to classic editor. Sooner or later I’ll do it. Good writing as always. (And I’ve been reading you now for 9 years!)

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I heard a middle-aged daughter say that opening line to her elderly father as I was walking along the sea front a few weeks ago. I glanced at his face, and was quite broken up by what appeared to be sadness/irritation not just at what he couldn’t do anymore, but that someone couldn’t understand what I think he was really saying. I’ve got to stop listening to/observing other people’s interactions. 🙂 Thanks for reading, and has it really been that long?

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Iain Kelly says:

    It doesn’t seem like he has much to go back for, but perhaps that’s being unfair to her.

    Like

  7. Sometimes we hide our concern behind gruffness. Good slice-of-life, Sandra.

    Like

  8. Tannille says:

    Hope the lights offer him some people. Sometimes it’s hard going back.

    Like

  9. Bear says:

    Shalom, dear one, Shalom. I hate the new WP format, too, but we’re just little minions that they don’t care about as long as they make a profit. Lovely story this week.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I can’t imagine how many older people will just give up. It’s ten years since I figured out how to set up this website. I know I couldn’t do it again now. And I gave up modifying it five years ago – too scary now. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bear says:

        I noticed this week that Ceayr gave up. I will miss his writings. I found a teenager to help me this last go round. I’m slowly getting it. I can’t get my poetry to work right so I don’t share it, though.

        Like

  10. Dale says:

    This is so sad. I read your comment to Rochelle and it is made all the more poignant.
    I wonder if she will even bother looking for him?
    Beautifully written.
    And kudos to you for managing. I did read Gabi’s WP post and honestly? It did not encourage me, whatsoever. I think the powers that be at WP are fools. I know many who will simply stop using it because no one likes to be forced. Why the hell not keep the classic for those who want it?

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      It’s the older people I feel sorry for. I made my mind up a long time ago that I’d do my best to keep abreast of technology, you just can’t afford to slip behind. But it really takes some effort. Thanks for reading the story, and good luck with the Block Editor when you get round to it. Luck that I will need next week as I try to figure out what it was I did this week. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dale says:

        Yes. The older people who have trouble keeping up. And smart of you.
        Honestly, I have tried it… I just typed without using a block and then added a picture block. Done. But they don’t seem to have a word count? That’s a pain in the ass.
        You’ll be fine! 🙂

        Like

  11. Oh, wow. That’s a lot of emotion and backstory in this 100 word story! They have some work to do. Or not.

    Like

  12. elmowrites says:

    Yeah, I can see his point, but where else to go… into the water?

    I share your frustrations with the block editor. It seems like a fix for a problem that didn’t exist.

    Like

  13. Martin Cororan says:

    A subtly hellish existence! Time to fake his own death and get back on the dating websites.

    Like

  14. pennygadd51 says:

    You catch so many nuances in your story; the unintended (or perhaps intended) cruelty; the half-serious thought of not returning; the spiritual calm of the lights on the water. You even conjure up the feel of sand underfoot by comparing the beach with the pavement. Super writing!

    Like

  15. notestowomen says:

    I really feel for him, Sandra. Poor man.

    Like

  16. granonine says:

    Wow, Sandra. One too many sharp retorts may leave this woman a widow. I hope she realizes what she’s done.

    Like

  17. jenne49 says:

    What a great portrayal of a sad and penetrating glimpse into a relationship where communication has fallen by the way.

    Like

  18. msjadeli says:

    He’s learned to manage on his own, but it’s not what could be contentment in old age. I fear he will die alone in spirit. 😦

    Like

  19. Yes, we hold others back when we dash their hopes. As for walking, that’s a use it or lose it thing on many occasions.

    Like

  20. I felt so sad for your character. It seems she deliberately misunderstood what he intended, and where does that leave him? Wonderfully written as always, Sandra.

    The last line of your comment is also how I feel each week. “Now what did I do last week?” Oy!

    Like

  21. draliman says:

    I imagine if he doesn’t go back, sooner or later she’ll go looking. Or will she…?

    Like

  22. ceayr says:

    Please don’t ever stop listening to/observing other people’s interactions.
    Your ability to translate that acuity into exactly the right words is what sets you apart from the rest of us mere mortals.
    Thank you for your support, advice and friendship over these many years.
    À plus, j’espère.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I wish you weren’t leaving. Are you sure you’re doing the right thing there? I don’t know what has discouraged you, but someone once told me my work was predictable and macabre, (someone no longer with FF – they ran out of inspiration 🙂 ) and after some thought I diversified. Now I’m predictably absorbed by dysfunctional relationships and very aware of that, so I throw in a predictably macabre one every now and then just to keep my hand in. Don’t be a stranger. Particularly not the one behind me in the park at midnight…

      Liked by 2 people

      • ceayr says:

        Thank you for your kindness and support, Sandra, but it is time for a break for, I think, my readers as well as myself.
        I still write every day, and I’m always finding different outlets for different styles.
        I am also involved in the Scottish Independence movement, not because of any nonsensical anti-English bias, but in pursuit of social justice and self-determination in Scotland.
        I know this is greatly misunderstood by many south of the border, largely due to media misdirection, but it is a cause dear to my heart, and recent events have made it increasingly urgent.
        You know my views on your writing, you now own all my chapeaux, so I hope to visit frequently.
        And you have a standing invitation chez moi.
        Bisous

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Will he or won’t he? It seems his patience has finally run out.

    Like

  24. I’m glad he ignored her put-down and took his walk.

    Like

  25. plaridel says:

    why not go to the beach if it made him happy? at the same time, i think she was only concern for his own safety.

    Like

  26. Poor guy, although it’s good he got a moment of freedom.

    As for the block editor, I can say that I did not like it at all at first but I’ve made my peace with it mostly as I’ve used it more. Still not my favorite though.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks for reading David, and for the inspirational photo. Yes, like all things I guess I’ll get used to it. I hated the new stats page when it came out two or three years ago, and never saw it as an improvement. Luckily I had a bookmark on my toolbar to the old page and I continued to use that. Then a couple of weeks ago the link was terminated. I had visions of Classic Editor disappearing as suddenly as that and thought I’d better get on with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Nobbinmaug says:

    The nuance is what’s always so great about your stories.

    Don’t get frustrated with the block editor. It just takes some getting used to. Play with it. You’ll get the hang of it in no time.

    Like

  28. subroto says:

    Always a treat to read your wonderful observational vignettes. One day he is not going to come back, perhaps it starts today.

    Like

  29. I felt moved by the elegiac mood you create, and how they don’t fully connect with each other. A good story Sandra.

    Like

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