Weekly writing challenge: Snapshots

Rather than giving into the urge to take a picture, write down your impressions of the scene. Who’s around? How does the air feel? What sounds do you hear? What emotions are you experiencing?

Using words only, take a snapshot of the experience.

dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/weekly-writing-challenge-snapshots   (Freshly Pressed)



and I’m awake. What time is it? – there’s very little light coming through the blind …

Surely it wasn’t Lui Stringer who woke me?

I listen for repeated sounds of feline claws scratching at the bedroom door, but hear nothing. Lying there, swearing roundly and knowing something must’ve disturbed my sleep, I’m suddenly made aware of what it was, as a trembling, swelling, avian cry is repeated.

Koel. A bloody KOEL. Bummer: koel season just keeps coming ’round. I’m listening to the first – the harbinger of many more interrupted nights. Sighh …

It has a call you wouldn’t believe – guaranteed to wake you from even the deepest sleep (for the males are known to yell from trees for mates at all hours, and I mean ALL hours!) and drive you mad with the repetitiveness of their call.

So. I heave myself out of bed, knowing that’s it for sleeping, and stagger forth to greet the new … ahh, day? Well, very early morning. In fact, it’s damn well 4 o’clock! Curses!!!

Lui is surprised and pleased to see me: what, breakfast time already? Short pause while I realise I forgot to take his 30 grams of chopped meat (ugh!) out of the freezer last night, so it has to be microwaved. What else, on a morning of being awoken by a bloody koel?!

But then there is the real pleasure of pulling my first shot of the day. Having just splurged on a new grinder and spent the last few days on the Gaggia Users’ Group site – to the great improvement of my espresso knowledge – I can now do it RIGHT: 14g of ground beans in 25 seconds to give me 28g of liquid espresso, with faaabulous crema. Oh, that smell! Oh, the joy!

I wander out onto the balcony carrying liquid heaven and stand sipping it, looking out from the 4th floor over my odd little suburb. There’s only the faintest sign of light to the north-east: sunup due in something less than an hour. But the city is a hop, skip and jump away to my right, so there’s lots of light from the conglomeration of skyscraper office buildings to let me see everything.

I love this time of morning, truth to tell, when there’s no smell of diesel/no engine noise from the trucks and buses. It’s clean. It’s quiet.

Well, for a moment or two: but then … a-woo, awoooo, a-woooooo, a-WOOOOO, AWOOOOOOOO !!!

Bloody koels. I hate the damned things.

Well, OK, I don’t, really. They’re not having loud parties on their balconies, or playing hideous ‘music’ at strength 10, or shouting into their smartphones as they stagger past at 2 am. They’re just doing what nature tells ‘em to, and who am I to complain about that?!



Sunday: Am I forgiven for adding the koel’s call ? – I mean, this post was ever so long ago. [grin] 

If I am, click here.

84 thoughts on “Weekly writing challenge: Snapshots

  1. Great piece…I once had a Gaggia makes great espresso! The important thing is the torrefazione (I think toasting) of the coffee beans…most American coffee is too “green” to make good espresso and of course it has to be ground properly…I’m lucky, all I have to do is go to the store and buy a ready mix for espresso…my problem is finding proper coffee to make American drip. ;-)


    1. Ain’t it GREAT? – I’m tickled pink that someone has registered how bloody clever I finally became. Took an awful lot of beans, I have to tell you … But it was worth it!


            1. So, coming in May 29, 2014, I had to go see the picture, the banner and found CrossFit Nation. I loved it and the sound of your beliefs. I’ve marked it and will be back to check it out.


    1. Nonono! [grin] You are NEVER permitted to refer to a photograph taken by someone who made his living from ‘em (he was a Stills Photog. on feature films) as ‘snapshots’! I jest: he viewed his travel photography in exactly the same way. :-)


    1. Thank you! – I am deeply complimented. I believe I shall now be smug for the rest of the day. Happily, there’s no-one around to have to put up with me. [grin]


  2. I enjoyed your description of the diesel-less, quiet morning; and then how that moment of peace was rudely interrupted by the cry of the koel. Which, interestingly enough, was the very reason your protagonist was up early enough to enjoy the diesel-less morning in the first place. Great job!


    1. Yer a madman! [grin] I’ve just been reading about your moustachioed panel of selectors. I have to say I like your style, whoever you are – person of so many aliases it’s confusing …
      Can I call myself “my protagonist”? Hmm. Did you get to hear it on the Soundcloud file?


    1. Now, that is VERY civil! – and much appreciated.
      I was fairly amazed, I can tell you … but extremely pleased, as you may imagine. Tomorrow I will’ve been writing this blog for seven weeks, and I can’t find anything on-line to liken a 7-week anniversary to. [sob!] ;-)


      1. Why, I’m not surprised at all! The post was beautifully written and totally deserved to be pressed :-)

        Congratulations on completing seven weeks, too! I’m sure you’ll think of something! ;-)


    1. Purveyor of dreams, that would be my guess. WHATTA TITLE! Congratulations! I shall get over there later (I have an appointment fairly shortly) and see about all that.


        1. Alas, no. My husband and I never once availed ourselves of a travel package of any kind. We did all our planning on our computers; and I can tell you without exaggeration that this was almost as enjoyable as the actual travels! Best of luck with yours, though: not everyone is as we were.


        1. I’ve been there before, and it’s a perfectly fine blog! The reason I haven’t participated in it is a personal one: you have faith, and you believe – and that’s wonderful for you. I have none. I believe in nothing since I lost my husband (but I have to admit that neither of us was religious). I don’t feel it right to ‘appear’ on the blogs of the many, many bloggers like you; I visit them and often enjoy them; but I remain silent.


    1. It’s nothing to do with your site, or whether I would be offering good or bad feedback; it’s simply a position I feel I’ve had to adopt regarding others’ strong beliefs.


  3. Impressed always by writing that can do much with few words. And that bird! Seems like it should be fairly innocuous, but then the intervals immediately grow too closely-spaced, and the pitches rise too sharply. Beaks on a blackboard!


  4. Thank you : )

    Vindicated? As if you require it…hah!
    Would have googled to find the sound had you not included it, and was very glad you DID include it. Odd little beast.

    (The bird, dear, not you.)


  5. So great that you came back and added the link in again! As soon as you wrote the name of the bird, I googled it and shot off to YouTube to listen to their sounds. Honestly, is there nothing that isn’t on YouTube – what a world we live in! I started grinning listening to the sound even though it is painful – imagining you waking, your feet thumping the floor, grinding those salvation beans just so, and sucking down your espresso. That sound is hellacious, plus their beady red eyes…. Shiver – chalkboard and nails. Months of that sound? And you’re sane?

    You were fresh pressed at 7 weeks, M.R. – whoa! WELL DONE, m’amiga. WELL DONE.

    Our friendship began with a query from you about pingbacks – and now, I know why. Laughter. Well done, M.R.


    1. But Huntie – there’s a link to SoundCloud at the bottom of the post, containing the dreaded call ! You coulda saved yourself the trouble, me old china. ;-)


        1. Oh ! – I had NO IDEA, Sucheta ! How superior of me. [grin]
          But had anyone asked me what language I thought it might be, I might’ve said … no, I have no idea what I would’ve said, to be honest.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. :D Well, I am glad I don’t have to listen to koel’s mating sounds at all hours. Thank you for adding your SoundCloud link :) I thought you were exaggerating, but no :D


  7. Firstly, I’m at least 3 times older than you are, which means that I have a lot of experience in reading and using words.
    Secondly, I have total confidence in being able to use words absolutely correctly – to put them together in the right way.
    Thirdly, I don’t believe I know enough to advise ANYONE about blogging, as I have been doing it only since the end of October. Ask me again in another two years or so.
    And lastly, I suggest you have a good read of this article in WordPress’ own support pages – http://en.support.wordpress.com/getting-more-views-and-traffic/


Comments welcomed. Well, how about encouraged …? Would you believe, demanded ? [grin]

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