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Updated: Feb 8, 2021

A painting by Denmark's Peder Severin Krøyer (1893) is this week's writing prompt

One cold July day in London, Carol heard the rain pelting against the Victorian window-frames in her home and shivered. She nearly didn’t venture out, but when her friend Mary told her a local gallery was open for a few short hours each day, she jumped at the opportunity.

Anything to take her mind off Covid-19 for a brief time. Boris on the screen, pontificating with that wild hair of his - such balderdash. He didn’t live in the real world at all. She was sick of it! And she so missed seeing her grandchildren up north. They should have been with her now for their summer visit.

The small gallery allowed five visitors in at a time, and she was allotted a brief half hour. I’d better get a move on, she thought.

Entering a high-ceilinged room, only dimly lit by an elegant chandelier, she noticed an Impressionist-style painting in the corner and was lured over by its light. She stood transfixed and studied it carefully. In a beautiful garden, a chic lady sat peacefully on her deck chair, head bent as if studying a crossword on her lap. She was draped in the type of cool crisp broderie anglaise linen that Carol so admired on continental holidays, but could never picture herself wearing in the damp London climate.

A red heeler lay slumbering at the lady’s feet and both dog and mistress looked blissfully content, without a care in the world. The morning sun was slowly creeping towards their shady bower and the lady might soon raise her face to embrace its welcome rays.

Carol marvelled at the rose bush in the foreground, each creamy rose bursting with vigour and vitality, at blossom’s peak, and each ready to expel ripe petals into the summer air at a touch. The rosebush evoked everything she missed about the summer she hadn’t had.

As the spatter of rain on the panes lessened, Carol felt a warmth creep over her, of southern climes, and wiggled her nose just a little ... That exquisite perfume!

Copyright Gerdette Rooney

Another response to the writing prompt took a different approach. Instead of writing a piece of fiction, Carole Ingram (yes, same first name as the fictional character above!) offered some advice in this coronavirus climate.


This troubled time is a time for reflection, to find our inner voice. A time to be creative.

Let your spirit guide your heart. Love beauty in all shapes and forms.

Walk in nature and you will see and feel its energy.

Look up at the stars' splendour in the night sky.

It's time to dream our most enchanting dreams.

We have noticed the air is clearer, fresher. The water cleaner.

Nature is able to take a rest from humans' unconscious thinking.

Maybe we will see a new consciousness awaken for a better future.

If we are compassionate and reach out to others, we will be okay - as we really are all in this together.

Copyright Carole Ingram

SSOA writers' blogs are made possible through the support of City of Sydney grant assistance.


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