Free writing: Good Friday in London and some writing by others

Good Friday in London


Hope all is well where you are. Thank you for taking the time to give this a look – the idea is that it should be a little distraction from the stresses beyond us.

Around us here the City of London is very quiet. The colours are sharp and the air clear, so clean now that when I go out to exercise or shop my eyes do not dissolve into weeping buckets. Today is especially beautiful, with blue skies and the perfect temperature. Perfect for being outdoors, except we can’t. All of us have to #StayHome #SaveLives … and it’s clearly good for the planet too.

Anyway, here are a few more word pictures to take you away. Again these are written by others – the first three from Leonie Bedford in Canada, and two more from Denmark – all of them word doodles, writing as it happens, within a set amount of time. Huge thanks to the authors.

If anyone would like to have a go please don’t hesitate to get in touch. The idea is to distract and entertain. None of it has to even try to be perfect, and the hope always is that the ‘time out’ will work for any writer, reader, painter, ponderer, or worrier … basically all of us.

Here goes with this week’s collection.


Probably one of the most memorable circuses I ever attended was a performance by the Cirque du soleil here in Toronto; it was a good 10 years ago and my two nephews who were aged 5 and 8 at the time were with me along with my brother, sister-in-law, mother and my husband. While the performers were extremely skilled acrobats and undertook amazing feats, it was the clowns that stole the show, at least for my nephews. They could not stop laughing especially at some of the cruder elements such as any farting sequences. Our family ended up laughing more at my younger nephew’s laughter, it was so infectious. I think my nephew thought he’d died and gone to heaven that such crudeness was allowed, tolerated and to be enjoyed. A memorable afternoon that even now brings a smile to my face.

(Leonie Bedford)


The concept of a graveyard tends to be one of negativity…the graveyard shift, the graveyard of ideas and so on. Yet, graveyards can be places of great tranquility where one can find a sense of peace. Some feel more like parks such as Mount Pleasant Cemetery here in Toronto. This cemetery or graveyard has lovely winding roads and paths with flowering shrubs, mature trees as well as many monuments dedicated to the great and good as well as smaller tributes to those who are no longer here. It is a graveyard where many runners, walkers and dog owners can go and commune with nature and escape from the madding crowd if only for a short while.

(Leonie Bedford)

Her Secret Garden

It was the garden of her dreams stretching as far as the eye could see and yet it had many hidden places. What was immediately visible were the climbing roses covering the entrance to the garden and from there the thyme pathway. The roses, a soft peach colour, gave off a delicate sweet scent while the thyme released its smell as she stepped on it.

The best way for her to feel the garden and its many secrets was to wander through barefoot. This was easy to do as there were no jagged edges just softness like stepping on velvet. A myriad of sounds filled the garden: the sounds of a distant water fountain as well as those of cardinals, finches, blue jays, orioles and many others as they flitted in among the trees.

Aside from the climbing roses at the entrance, the garden contained an enormous bouquet of flowers, herbs and vegetables. Of particular enjoyment were the cherry tomatoes that could be easily plucked and popped into her mouth, it felt like tasting the sun when biting into them.

Like all good gardens, hers had many places for sitting and contemplating; there were places that only someone with knowledge would find while there were others that were easily visible. She preferred the more hidden spots as they were places where she could truly relax and forget about whatever it was that was on her mind at that moment and be alone with her thoughts.

As she sat in one of her favourite garden retreats, she started to feel tired and closed her eyes. Next thing she knew, her father was sitting next to her. She asked him “How did you find me?”

“Oh, I’ve always known where you were but I thought this time I’d say ‘hello’.”

She looked at him closely. He looked much the same as the last time she’d seen him, but he did seem younger. “So, where have you been and why are you only now saying hello? You’ve been gone such a long time.”

“Yes I know I’ve been away a long time but I really wanted to see your garden and to tell you that as beautiful as it is it could be even better.”

When she heard this, she bristled and thought how dare he come and start telling her how it could be better when she’d worked so hard to make it her own Eden. However, rather than saying anything she waited for him to continue.

“To make your garden truly wonderful, you need to share the space with those who don’t have such a place. If you do this, you will increase its beauty tenfold and expand your own horizons. You will bring joy to many as well as to yourself,” he said.

She thought about what he had to say and wondered if there might be some truth in it. Yet, at the same time, this was her place. Where would people go? What would happen when they found her secret place? How would she retain her privacy? What more did she have to do for others? Wasn’t it enough that she help others less fortunate than herself in other ways?

“Well, you’ve given me something to think about but I don’t know if I want to share this space. It’s taken me so long to create something of my own that it would be hard to give it up.”

Next thing, she woke up and realized that there was no way should could ever have the garden of her dreams and would have to make do with her suburban backyard and that her father was long gone, although she thought he would have said how important it was to share what she had with those less fortunate.

(Leonie Bedford)



“Circus” was said sharply and my father’s reaction was immediate as he swerved into the side road which in theory we had almost passed but somehow the car found it. Flung to the other side of the car,  I was eager to see a real circus and have the magic world of my latest book turn into reality. A marquee with performing elephants, clowns, jugglers, acrobats, flying trapeze artists, chimpanzees and best of all a ring full of beautiful well trained horses. My imagination was working overtime as I disappeared into the marquee of my circus. Just as I was about to ask if we could go to the circus, I looked out of the back window and saw blue lights flashing in the distance. With a loud roar motorbikes zoomed past followed by black limousines and more motorbikes. Sinister and impersonal, the cars arrogantly zoomed past impervious to the havoc created by their passage. Bikes and cars scattered into ditches, puddles and bushes slowly re-emerged. In silent fury, life continued.

(a writer based in Denmark)


Local and well tendered, the graveyard transfers symmetry into serenity and order. An air of historical mystery and calm shrouds headstones and monuments. However chaotic one’s life might have been, order reigns. The stillness is challenged only by the occasional bird call and flash of colour from visitors or mourners laying flowers. The sombre cypress trees sternly guard the solemnity against the frivolous beauty of the cherry trees in spring.
The stillness is broken only by church bells marking the passage of time.

(a writer based in Denmark)


‘That’s all folks.’ Hope to see you tomorrow with some more ideas – until then stay well and please remember I would love to hear from you any time.

All the best


Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2020

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