Writing 101: Dark Clouds on the (Virtual) Horizon

Still playing catch up.  Here’s Day 12’s challenge

Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation.

We don’t write in a bubble — we write in the world, and what we say is influenced by our experiences. Today, take a cue from something you’ve overheard and write a post inspired by a real-life conversation. Revisit a time when you wish you’d spoken up, reminisce about an important conversation that will always stick with you, or tune in to a conversation happening around you right now and write your reaction. Take time to listen — to what you hear around you, or what your memories stir up.

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.

– Ernest Hemingway

Today’s twist: include an element of foreshadowing in the beginning of your post.”

So here goes.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday had all been perfect spring days.  Sunny and warm the house was opened to the outside and our visitors and workmen were passing in and out of the garden easily.  Several seating and eating areas had been set up and we used one of these eating areas for lunch.

Sunday was the day on which we were giving my partner’s father in law a party for his 99th birthday.

Rain on leavesSunday brought the gale force winds and heavy rain as promised by the forecasters.   I have always lived in a cloud of sunshine, expecting only the best so I really didn’t believe the forecasts.  But woe is me, we had 24 invited guests coming at mid-day and they were all now having to mingle, chat, laugh and eat lunch inside.

A few of the guests arrived early and several were working away in our kitchen helping.  One glazed the ham, another made a salad and another put out plates and cutlery for the lunch.  I directed the help particularly as this is a new house, new kitchen and I was the only one who knew where anything was.

All went well.  The very wet guests arrived as did the guest of honour looking very dapper in his suit, tie and hat to ward off the rain.  He has three carers, ladies who come in and make sure he is OK and they all arrived shortly after he did.  He was given a glass of wine and ushered to his seat where all and sundry came up to him to congratulate him.  He was loving being the centre of attention.

The conversation ranged around many subjects and the guests mingled among each other as any well behaved, well schooled guests will.

I came upon two elderly gentlemen speaking, one with a marked Scottish accent “Well, how many more of these will we be going to do you think Rob” asked one man while the Scotsman replied “I really like going out to Sunday lunch, Bill. It means that Meg doesn’t have to cook”. “Well it can’t go on much longer. We are all getting older” said the first. “What will you have from the buffet?” asked the Scotsman. “I think I might be the first to go. After all I am nearing 90 and not in great health” said the other.

These two continued conversing, neither hearing what the other said and continuing in a conversation that only he could hear asking questions nobody would answer. Is this where we are all heading, I wondered.

Then I looked up and saw the two elderly gents at the buffet table each in earnest conversation with another person. I wonder what they were talking about.

Note – I found this challenge particularly difficult and had several attempts at writing it.  I still don’t know if what I have written meets this challenge.

11 responses to “Writing 101: Dark Clouds on the (Virtual) Horizon

  1. An inspiring post that reminds us to listen and pay attention. So many nowadays are too caught up with themselves and their gadgets. How many times we’ve seen people sitting next to each other, yet so busy on their phone, texting, browsing instead of making connections. Sometimes I’m guilty of that, I can hear but it’s not crossing through . I do need to try harder to be a better listener. Wonderful event that open up our eyes and ears. Thanks.


  2. I think you met the challenge very well indeed. Sadly, we often have or overhear conversations where no one is truly listening. What a waste.


    • Thanks. We often speak ad find that nobody is really listening to us. I am as guilty of this as the next person – but trying to remember 2 ears and oly one mouth. 🙂


  3. Well done! You made me want to know more about these gentlemen.


  4. On a lighter note, this reminded me of a joke I once heard…
    Three elderly ladies were sitting on a bench at the seaside deep in conversation…
    “Isn’t it windy”, commented the first…
    “Really? ” said the second, “I thought it was Thursday. “…
    the third answered, ” So am I, let’s go and get a cup of tea”.



  5. SO—–I’ve been gone a long time. I know! But we moved. It’s Ecuador. And we just got our internet TWO days ago! LONGGGGGGGG story!

    LOVE your response to the challenge!

    Hugs from Ecuador,


  6. Hi Kathy and Sarah. I have been gone from the internet for ages but just the other day I was talking about how brave you two were and wondering if I could contact you. And now here you are responding to one of my posts.
    I hope you are both still loving Ecuador. Love and hugs from the other side of the world.
    Judith XX


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