Story Starter: Cactus In Flower

Cactus in flower

Hello! Some of you will know I’ve been on holiday. I don’t publicise it here – no point in advertising that my house is empty for two weeks – and by the wonders of technology I can schedule all my blog posts to carry on seamlessly in my absence. See, you didn’t even know I’d gone, did you? You thought I was still here, feet on the desk, reading….

While I was on holiday – 17 days, Crete and very sunny; lovely time, thanks – I was, of course, thinking about you all. Oh, well, perhaps not. After all, what’s the point of a holiday if it’s not to get away from it all? But I did find it hard to switch off that creative instinct that we all share, and it kicked in when I saw this cactus.

My routine is to walk down to the beach each morning, to get in a good hour or so’s exercise before I spend the rest of the day in complete idleness. And one morning these stunning cactus flowers caught my eye. I would swear they weren’t there the day before.

I couldn’t resist snapping them with my phone, just because they were so pretty, not because I saw them as a story starter. No, that notion came next day when they’d wilted. So…. they hadn’t been there the day before I saw them, and they didn’t revive afterwards. Which means the day I took the photograph was their one day of glorious beauty.

And that’s the story starter theme, of course. Carpe Diem. Seize the day. Or perhaps it’s that beauty can be fleeting. Or spring from the most unexpected places. After all, a cactus is hardly a pretty thing usually.

Maybe it’s about being in the right place at the right time. Or always having your phone with you. Or even the benefits of taking regular exercise…!

As always there is actually no right or wrong theme. It’s whatever the picture says to you.


Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.