About ellacraigwrites

Ella Craig was born in Bristol and raised in South Gloucestershire where she trained as a lab technician. Fancying a change, she moved to Devon and worked in call centres, shops, and as an office temp along with a brief stint as an artist’s model (she kept her clothes on). Ella now lives on a farm in Bulgaria with her husband, three dogs, two cats and a flock of feral chickens. She published her first novel, Sunday Girl, in March 2019.

Song Lyric Sunday: Gold and Silver Shine

Jim Adams is the host for SLS. This week’s theme: Money, Gold, Silver, Rich suggested by Paula of Light Motifs II. The song should reference the prompt in the title or lyrics. If it doesn’t, please explain why you chose it.


This week’s choice, pop pickers, is Shiny Happy People by R.E.M. with guest vocalist Kate Pierson of the B-52s. I had such a girl crush on her back in the day!

Bit of a contentious choice, because for all their astounding back catalogue of some truly remarkable music, the band will be primarily remembered for this bubbly three-minute pop song. Lead singer, Michael Stipe is quoted as saying:

“It’s a fruity pop song written for children … If there was one song that was sent into outer space to represent R.E.M. for the rest of time, I would not want it to be ‘Shiny Happy People.”

But there is an edge to the song. The phrase “shiny happy people holding hands” derives from a Chinese propaganda poster used after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

However, it’s hard to remember the message when the music starts. If this doesn’t lift your mood, then it’s time to call the undertakers in.

And here’s a version of the song in rehearsal for a show. Sorry, no idea from which show, but to make up here’s a link to R.E.M. on Sesame Street singing Happy Furry Monsters. I kid you not.

Shiny happy people laughing

Meet me in the crowd, people, people
Throw your love around, love me, love me
Take it into town, happy, happy
Put it in the ground where the flowers grow
Gold and silver shine

Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing

Everyone around, love them, love them
Put it in your hands, take it, take it
There’s no time to cry, happy, happy
Put it in your heart where tomorrow shines
Gold and silver shine

Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing

Whoa, here we go

Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing

Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing

Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing

Shiny happy people holding hands (people, happy people)
Shiny happy people holding hands (people, happy people)
Shiny happy people holding hands (people, happy people)

Songwriters: Michael Stipe / Mike Mills / Peter Buck / William Berry
© Universal Music Publishing Group

Fibbing Friday – Back to Square One

Frank (PCGuy) and Di (Pensitivity101) alternate as hosts for Fibbing Friday, but this week Melanie (Sparks) is standing in for Frank. To join in, write a post with your answers to the 10 questions below and tag it #FibbingFriday. Then link back to Fibbing Friday so others can enjoy the answers and join in too!


What’s behind the 8 ball?
The dangly bits of a well-hung octopus.

What’s up the creek?
A mermaid when Poseidon gets her pregnant.

What is hanging when one says, “Hang ten”?
Green bottles.

What size pole is it that you wouldn’t touch someone with?
He’s six foot six and built like a brick outhouse.

How do you feel when you’re on cloud nine?
Higher than a kite on the fourth of July!

What does “at sixes and sevens” mean?
This is how those of a superstitious bent refer to the number between 11 and 12.

Do you take five?
No, because that would be greedy.

Which sport is referenced when the term “four bagger” is used?
Shoplifting – specifically trying to get through the self-service tills without paying.

How many rings in the circus?
Five: did you see any of the last Olympics – sheesh!

What is the loneliest number?
69 due to paranoia – everyone laughs when it’s mentioned.

One-Liner Wednesday: Separate But Not Equal

LindaGHill hosts One-Liner Wednesday. This is not a prompt so there’s no need to stick to the theme. Check out her blog for the rules, read other one-liners, and join in the fun!

Image source: pinterest.com
Image source: melissablakeblog.com

Song Lyric Sunday: The Baffled King Composing

Jim Adams is the host for SLS. This week’s theme: Head, Hat, Hair, Scarf suggested by Paula of Light Motifs II. The song should reference the prompt in the title or lyrics. If it doesn’t, please explain why you chose it.


Written by Leonard Cohen in 1984, Hallelujah must be the most poignant and painful pop song ever composed. But what do you expect from a singer-songwriter and poet whose work explored religion, politics, mental health, sexuality, death, and romantic relationships?

There are oodles of versions out there, but my favourite is the stripped back one from Jeff Buckley. His take puts you through an emotional wringer and then hangs you out to dry. Unlike Alexandra Burke’s attempt.

In 2008, she won British X-Factor, and some idiot decided Hallelujah would be perfect for her debut single. This so outraged fans of Jeff and Len that they started a campaign to get Jeff’s version to the number one spot. Unfortunately, the power of the people wasn’t enough; Ms Burke got to the top spot with Bucky-Boy at number two.

By 2009, the people were ready and willing to take down the next X-Factor winner after years of pap hogging the coveted Christmas number one spot. The song of mass destruction selected for this task was Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine. This time, it worked. The song took number one, and the band were so chuffed they performed a free concert in London as a thank you to their fans.

But enough of the waffle, time for an assault on your senses, which will be as cathartic as it is beautiful.

I heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
Well it goes like this the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to her kitchen chair
She broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips, she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby, I’ve been here before
I’ve seen this room and I’ve walked this floor
You know, I used to live alone before I knew you
And I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
And Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Well, there was a time when you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show that to me, do you?
But remember, when I moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath, we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there’s a God above
But, all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you?
And it’s not a cry, that you hear at night
It’s not somebody, who’s seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah [repeat to fade]

Songwriter: Leonard Cohen
© Sony/ATV Songs LLC

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Keep it Under Your Hat

LindaGHill hosts SOCS, today’s prompt is HAT. Use it literally or metaphorically.
Click HERE for the rest of the rules, and to play along.


Rat-a-tat-tat-tat… tat… tat-tat.

My heart sank. Only one person on this planet knocks like that.

“This had better be good,” I muttered before yanking open the front door to reveal Gus wearing a duffel coat, furry gloves and a bobble hat. I blinked. Only the lightest of breezes kept me this side of sweating, whilst he was dressed up like Nanook of the North.

Still, it was an improvement on his last look: a diamanté studded Stetson and a pair of cerise hot pants. His ability to make it across town in one piece amazes me. But he usually only comes out during school hours or at night. Apart from today, this was an unexpected, but not a pleasant surprise. I beckoned him in and sat at the bottom of the stairs, watching his ritual spin, star-jump, spin routine. I keep the dresser in the hall clear for this reason.

“Why are—”

Gus shook his head, the pompom on his hat bouncing in agitation. He tapped his nose, cupped his hands over his ears and pointed towards the back garden. Right, today we were obviously at home to Mr Paranoid. I nodded, and we set off towards the shed, stopping only to collect the tin helmets from the cupboard under the kitchen sink.

I went in first and set up the shower curtains while Gus performed the five ballet positions. Where he picked up that skill is a mystery, and thank god, I don’t have to join him in these rituals.

“Are you all right, Gus?” I said when we were both settled, then sat back, waiting for him to talk. He’d tell me why he’d come without an appointment in his own sweet time.

“Would you like a coffee?” I asked after twenty minutes of silence.

“You watched the meteor shower, didn’t you?” said Gus, the master of the non sequitur.

“Only for ten minutes,” I assured him, hoping he would change the subject.

“I warned you!” His hands beat a metallic tattoo on his head. “You told me you’d read The Day of the Triffids.”

“That’s a work of fiction.”

“Never heard of life imitating art?” He gave me a reproachful glare. “Now tell me what happened?”

“I ended up with one hell of a migraine and spent the next twenty-four hours lying in a darkened room with a damp flannel over my eyes.”

“And?”

“And what?” I snapped at him.

“The flowers? What about the flowers?”

I was about to ask how he knew about them but realised I’d be wasting my time, so I told him how I threw out a vase of lilies because the smell made me as sick as a pig.

“Thought as much,” he nodded and then lowered his voice to a whisper. “I had to come and make sure you were okay. They came and told me about it this morning.”

“Did they come in person?” I never humour Gus: his grip on reality may be a little shaky, but he deserves to be treated with dignity.

“Yes, but they were very nice to me, and I did the cognitive training thing like you said, and they promised to give me plenty of warning next time.”

“Good.” My smile was genuine. These techniques were helping him more than the medication he took. I just hoped they wouldn’t put too many barriers up in his mind. When he’s on form, Gus helps me immensely. How else do you think I could afford my new car?