We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in our Spring Writers Competition, we have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your submissions. It was a close decision but we're delighted to announce Steve Hoey as the Winner! His heartwarming rendition of a Saturday night memory shared with his Dad was emotive and engaging. Congratulations, Steve!
Steve is a stay at home dad with four young daughters. This short story is the first thing he has written but he has plans to write more, remembering my life growing up. He would dedicate these stories to his daughters.
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The Runner-Up is 'My Granny from Up North', written by Jill Wilson. This funny short story is told from the perspective of a little girl who is visiting her Grandmother. Jill's writing is filled with fun, rhyme and crawly creatures - complete with her very own illustrations! Fantastic work, Jill!
Daisa & Co will be announcing upcoming Writers Competitions throughout the year... Watch this space and please keep writing!
by Steve Hoey
Carefully selecting a small blue pen borrowed from the bookies, my Dad wrote the note on a scrap of paper torn from the edge of his newspaper. Just the date and a list – 2 bottles of lemonade, 2 quavers, 1 fruit and nut and 40 B&H. A quick, illegible signature and that was it, the note was ready, and I was swiftly sent on my way. No money was given, just the scribbled note from my Dad to Mr Barlow, the shop keeper.
It was a strange relationship. I don’t think my Dad actually ever set foot in the corner shop and he certainly never spoke to Mr Barlow. The whole relationship was one based on trust and IOU's. Thinking back now I am astounded that ciggies would be handed out to a 10-year-old boy, but things were different in those glorious days.
I was fast in those days just like Billy the Whizz and all I wanted was to please my Dad. Getting to the shop and back with all the snacks and ciggies to see my Dad through a Saturday night in front of the box was all that mattered.
Four minutes and I was pushing open the door to the shop with the jingle-jangle of the bell above to warn of my entry. Shelves full of tins of soup and packets of custard, jars and jars of assorted sweets and a small empty counter waited. I wasn’t even out of breath. Like a ghost, Mr Barlow appeared from behind the curtain that separated the shop from what lay behind. No smile, no cheery hello, nothing but an outstretched hand to grab the note.
I could hear him rummaging out the back getting the bottles of Barr’s lemonade, so I helped myself to some penny sweets from the shop window. I wasn’t a thief, but it was an opportunity to pay the miserable bugger back!
He carefully put the selected items on his counter and ticked them off the list. We didn’t have carrier bags in those days, so I stuffed the cigs and chocolate in my pockets, the quavers in my bobble hat and a bottle in each hand. No money had been exchanged just a sum-total written carefully on the bottom of the paper. I can't remember ever taking any money to the shop to repay the IOU's but then again, life was much simpler in the 1970's.
Seven minutes to get home laden with my Dad’s goodies. Scoffing the stolen sweets had slowed me down but all trace had to disappear before I entered 19 Tulip Avenue. Goods delivered, the IOU handed to my lounging Dad and not even a thank you, but it didn’t really matter. All that mattered was that a task had been done to please my Dad... A task I wish I could do every Saturday night still.