On A Lighter Note…

So much uncertainty.

I’ve found the last few weeks difficult. The weather has shifted, turning bitterly cold, and the News Headlines predict further problems with Covid, especially in the buildup to Christmas.

I try to remain busy, studying languages and playing the piano.

Sometimes, people just need to relax – impossible though that might be.

Below I attach a picture of an excitable dog that wouldn’t stop barking.

Stay safe, and best wishes!

Trapped Underground – A Fictional Depiction

Got to get out of here!
Can’t stand the dark and the damp and the dust.  
Claustrophobia; the imagination offering countless possibilities. The ceiling caving in, burying me. If the floor gave way as well, I would fall into blackness, panting and suffocating, knowing that I’d never escape. Certain death.
Buried alive.  Like in the famous Rachmaninoff Prelude. Pounding chords as the man attempts to fight his way out of a grave.  


Tormented And Restless

As a writer, I love placing myself in imaginary situations far removed from my own circumstances.

Inventing a scenario, then conveying the drama from my viewpoint. Experiencing the conflict as though it were mine, exploring the different mindsets from my emotional perspective.

Most of all, I enjoy scene setting expressed through immediacy.

Below, I include a cross between narrative and poem taken from a previous novel attempt, a psychological thriller based in Dorset, UK.

Happy reading!

All nights are bad, though some worse than others.
I can’t sleep.
The seconds and minutes pass in silence.
I long for winter.
For the damp and cold and rain and wind.
Snow and sleet and frost.
The summer heat is suffocating, reminding me of that other summer twenty years ago.

Tonight, I see them;
not only Dawn, but her sister as well, both fair skinned like their mother, hair the colour of hay.
The girls hurry along the lane above the coast, sandals scraping on tarmac in the July heat.
Ahead of them lies the sea, the tide out, water still and calm.
A beautiful day.

I shift position and glance at the clock.
Two o’clock in the morning.
I’m thirsty.

Dawn never returned, only her sister.
They had quarrelled, so it appeared.
Dawn, the younger, bored and restless and cross, provoking her sister.
The sister lashing out, catching Dawn in the eye, watching in spite as Dawn tore down the path to the shore, sobbing and screaming, into unseen danger.

We never saw her again.

Autumn – Again!

Another year has flown by. Autumn has come, although summer weather lingers. Life has returned to normal, although uncertainty persists, especially in regards to COVID.

Normal, yet not normal. I study languages from home and practise the piano.

Yesterday, I had a haircut. I needed to do something to cheer me up, as the prospect of six months of autumn and winter depresses me. Early evenings and grey skies. The stresses of Christmas and concerns over winter viruses.

I attach my latest selfie portrait below.

Till next time! And stay safe.

A Picture Of Pathos

At around this time I learnt Beethoven’s piano sonata, The Pathetique.

The dramatic opening reminded me of the opening in my novel Secrets.
The protagonist making his way up Whaley Hill in Lancashire in the November chill and fog in search of the man he’d helped put behind bars sixteen years earlier.
The angry, almost violent, chords that answer the pathos of the melody in the Pathetique. The build up of rain, the promise of a storm on Whaley Hill.
The continuing intensity of emotion in the Pathetique as lyrical despair alternates with irate harmonies and powerful pauses. 

A mist has settled. Going back for a torch, I take the pathway up the hill, like we did that other day, although it was hot and sunny then. Acrid, almost
I pass the row of trees where we hid that other time.
The tyre swing has gone now. 
The gust gets stronger, sweeping through the trees and shaking the bushes ahead.
 When I reach the bench near the reservoir, I shine the torch around.
A carpet of soaked leaves. Dead twigs.
Beyond lies the water, eerily still under the glow of the torch.   

© Lawrence Estrey 2021   fiction poetry

August Bank Holiday, and Mozart Sonata in C, K545

That time of year again. Summer is drawing to an end and dusk falls earlier each evening. Another year has passed, uncertainty persists.

Today, I made a piano recording of the Mozart Sonata in C, K545, sometimes dubbed “Beginner” – an odd description, given the technical demands throughout. This delightful work contains two movements reminiscent of a piano concerto ( hence, my questioning of the description “Beginner”), followed by a playful, though difficult, short final movement.

I really like this Sonata, and include the link to my recording here:

I think the main reason I chose to do the recording today rests with a novel I worked on regarding an August Bank Holiday back story. Ten years ago, I published my first novel, Secrets by Lawrence Estrey. The results were mixed, with a leading London Literary Agent describing the first 33,000 words as a page turner but later choosing not to represent me.

The story, a psychological thriller, starts with disjointed scenes that took place on a August Bank Holiday, which sees the protagonist as a boy of ten running from danger.

I’m not sure what to do with the novel after a decade, but still feel attached to the characters and Lancashire landscape in the North West of England. So I thought I’d share the opening of the novel. Happy reading and listening!

They say a group of teenagers saw me on the field that August Bank Holiday Monday. One called over, asked if I was all right. I didn’t answer, apparently. Just continued stumbling in the direction of home, sweat dripping from my face. The teenagers didn’t hang around. They assumed I had sunstroke. If I had seen myself, I would have probably thought the same.
Others noticed me wandering along the main road towards the estate where we lived. Drinkers in the pub watched me stagger like a drunk. I continued walking. Up the hill, through a ginnel, past the church. Down the hill, along alleyways of back-to-front houses, to the car park at the bottom of the estate.
Dad was out with your dad that afternoon. They say your mother saw me and came out. ‘Where’s Craig?’ she said. ‘What happened, Alan?’
They say I muttered two words.
A name.

Modern Day Woes

winter, spring, summer, autumn
one day slips into the next
the future uncertain
dreams troubled
an era of technology

time passes almost unnoticed
agitation, unrest, disaster
the world is full of fear
promises broken
a planet out of control
the pandemic halted –
but for how long?

© Lawrence Estrey 2021     poetry

Gazing Afar

He sits on a bench close to a line of cottages
halfway up the winding hill
staring out to sea
waves churning as the sun sets
splashing against rocks
soaking the sand
a lull that reminds him of nursery rhymes
and happier times

tomorrow’s a new day, he thinks
and wipes away a tear

© Lawrence Estrey 2021     poetry