Flight Of The Tiger Moth: Black And White, Secrets And Flash Fiction

Meanwhile, back at the Summerhouse…

Yesterday, my plan was to kick-start day one of the Black & White 5 day Photo Challenge for which I was tagged by Lilka  at BBlessed! and then by Jude at Travel Worlds. It’s a fun challenge and there are only 2 simple rules:

  1. On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in B&W.
  2. Each day invite another blog friend to join in the fun.

Obviously, this didn’t happen (apologies to Lilka and Jude) but I do have a good excuse, since it was Hubby’s birthday yesterday (and I so hoped to surprise him with this post on his actual birthday, darn.  You’ll see why shortly).

Then Sarah at Lemon Shark also recently tagged me for a Tell 5 Secrets Blog Hop for which I have to spill the beans reveal 5 secrets and then tag 5 other bloggers to do the same.

So here’s the thing.  I thought it would be fun to merge both challenges by posting a B&W photo for the next 4 days (the fifth next week since I’m now off schedule) with a sort-of-a-secret to go with it.

I should say now though, my secrets are far from juicy (in fact, I had trouble thinking of any). Sorry to disappoint, but there’ll be fifty shades of big fat nothing going on in my Summerhouse.

Each day, I will tag two people, one for each challenge and the first two are:

Pat at Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom for the Tell 5 Secrets Blog Hop and for the B&W 5 day Photo Challenge, I am tagging  Atreyee and Jesse who are Bespoke Traveller.

One more thing – still with me, I hope! It being Tuesday already, it’s also time for the Flash Fiction challenge. Charli’s prompt this week is to ‘colour your story turquoise’. I had no idea how I was going to do this at first, but then that’s the beauty of writing flash fiction: you never know what you’re gonna get.  And trust me, your guess is as good as mine.

Onto the challenges, but first I want to thank Lilka, Jude and Sarah so much for thinking of me (how could I say no?). All lovely friends and gifted writers and photographers, whose wonderful blogs are well worth a visit, as well the lovely friends I’ve tagged.

I’ve posted three photos here for the B&W challenge as a present for Hubby.

Five year’s ago, Hubby fulfilled a life-long dream: a flight on a Tiger Moth.  I planned secretly with the family so that we could all chip in for his birthday present to make his dream a reality.

On the very last day of the season that October, a small group of family and close friends gathered to watch Hubby take flight out of Compton Abbas Airfield in Wiltshire.

Hubby preparing for take off, thrilled at the prospect of the amazing flight he was about to 'pilot'  (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Hubby preparing for take off, thrilled at the prospect of the flight he was about to ‘pilot’
(c) Sherri Matthews 2015

I was so happy for him, but secretly, I was very nervous as I watched him take off into the foreboding looking sky.  A storm was brewing: he was cutting it fine and had a small window of opportunity to complete his flight.

Airborne at last.  Hubby said the views of the surrounding Wiltshire contryside were spectacular.  Places he knew his whole life now viewed from the cockpit of a Tiger Moth. (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Airborne at last. Hubby said the views of the surrounding Wiltshire countryside were spectacular. Places he knew his whole life now viewed from the cockpit of a Tiger Moth.
(c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Our little group watched with bated breath as Hubby flew out of sight and after what seemed an age, I finally breathed again as he came into land.

Safe landing for Hubby! (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Safe landing for Hubby!
(c) Sherri Matthews 2015

He had the time of his life and even today, he lights up at the memory of this flight.   I managed to keep his surprise secret until I presented him with his gift certificate at his birthday party.  Which is amazing really, as he is a terror for finding things out when he shouldn’t.

Happy Birthday Hubby!

Thinking of his Tiger Moth flight gave me the idea at last for this week’s Flash Fiction, 99 words, no more, no less.  Hope you enjoy it:

Something in the Air

Jack checked the instrument panel and flicked the fuel gauge. Zero. Still no engine. Yet he was gliding smooth as butter through the clouds.

A blinding flash suddenly filled the skies and Jack stared, mesmerised, as a turquoise glow flooded the cockpit.

He didn’t remember landing. “Are you alright love?” his wife asked. “You look pale.”

“I saw something,” he muttered. “So beautiful…”

“The sunset,” she laughed.

Breaking news that night reported sightings of an unidentified object crashing near Stonehenge. A reporter told of a brilliant turquoise light witnessed by thousands.

Now it was Jack’s wife who turned ashen.

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
This entry was posted in Blog Hops, Family Life, Flash Fiction, Photos and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to Flight Of The Tiger Moth: Black And White, Secrets And Flash Fiction

  1. What a fantastic gift, both five years ago and today! I love the photos, Sherri, but that ominous sky would have keep me on the ground. 🙂 Your husband looks so happy. Happy Birthday to him! No doubt you’ll be toasting with some bubbly tonight. Enjoy!
    I loved the flash fiction! Excellent! xoxo

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      You can see by Hubby’s face that he was delighted! He is braver than me though, like you, I wouldn’t have gone up there and I was quite nervous, to say the least! Haha 😀 Well you know, never need much of an excuse for some bubbly Jill! I’ll send on your birthday wishes…thanks so much and glad you enjoyed the flash 🙂 Phew. I thought this post was never going to get done. And even when I published I had all sorts of problems, it posted with a date in February, no idea why!!! xoxox

      Like

      • I’m with you, Sherri. We’d be on the ground together, toasting your hubby in the dark skies. 🙂 OMG! I’ve had the same problem lately. I publish the post, it tells me it’s published, but then it’s not on my site. When I go back to check, the published date is really old. That’s happened to me for the last three posts.
        On another note, I wish you were in the US. Tonight on TCM (Turner Classic Movies) they’re showing, “A Place in the Sun.” I’ll be watching it and wishing you were here to join me. xoxo

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Haha…definitely 😀 Oh that’s so annoying about WP, I wonder what’s going on with that? Sorry you’ve had all that trouble for three posts. I really hope whatever the problem was/is gets sorted and soon.
        And what great timing, oh how I wish I could have been there watching it with you too Jill! I love TCM channel. We do get it here and I need to remember that and look out for my favourite films more often. Sounds like you had a wonderful evening 🙂 xoxo

        Like

  2. Heyjude says:

    Gosh Sherri your post leaves me breathless! So much in one post I don’t know how you manage to keep up with yourself, I know I’m pretty dizzy now 😉

    Love the photos and in black and white they look as if they are from the 1940s – what a fabulous birthday present (and happy birthday Sherri’s hubby) and clever you to link it to the flash fiction, which, as always, is a real treat.

    Thanks my friend – have a great week 🙂
    Jude xx

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Jude, I don’t know either and honestly, my head is spinning too!!!! I thought I would never get this post off the ground…no pun intended, haha 😀 Still, got there in the end. So glad you enjoyed the photos, figured that out too at last. I love them in the B&W, a real 1940s ring to then I agree. Thanks for Hubby’s birthday wishes, will send them on, and so glad you enjoyed the flash! I’ll be catching up now once again…and tomorrow will at last get to the bench photo for you!! Have a lovely evening my friend 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful memory for your hubby to cherish! I know it thrilled your heart to pull off such a great surprise/secret 3 years ago! And How I wish you could turn each flash fiction into a short story! I so enjoyed this latest and my it made my imagination take wing (yes the pun is intended!) 🙂 Well carry on dear friend… xoxo

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      It did indeed, I was so happy for hubby 🙂 Haha…love your pun 🙂 I honestly had no idea how to use the turquoise theme so what better than something unearthly? Remember Signs? I would love to write a movie script…but since I only do 99 word flash fiction here, I think I’m getting ahead of myself big time, lol 😀 Thank you so much dear friend…we carry on regardless 🙂 xoxox

      Like

  4. Ula says:

    I love how you connected these challenges. I can imagine how much your husband loved his surprise birthday present.
    That flash fiction piece is lovely, and I am curious about that turquoise light. What secret is Jack’s wife hiding?

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Ula, I’m so glad you enjoyed the flash fiction 🙂 The turquoise light is mysterious isn’t it? Jack’s wife, I think, is wondering what he really saw when he was up in his plane…and the connection with the crash landing near Stonehenge 😉

      Like

  5. Amy says:

    What a wonderful birthday present for your hubby, Sherri! Can’t imagine how happy and surprised his was. Great photos you took. 🙂

    Like

  6. cardamone5 says:

    I am so happy you posted this again, because when I went to comment on the first post, it sent me to your blog, but did not allow me to comment.

    I wanted to say Happy Birthday to your hubby, who is a pilot? What a talent! And such a thoughtful b-day present you gave him. He’ll treasure those memories and photos forever.

    Love,
    E

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Well it means a lot that you came back a second time Elizabeth, thank you so much for persisting! I have no idea what happened, but when I published it showed up in between two other posts in February! Hopefully it won’t happen again…
      And many thanks for your kind birthday wishes for Hubby, which I’ll be sure to send on. But no, he isn’t a pilot. The pilot sat behind him but let him take over the controls (that’s what terrified me!) after only a few minutes of instruction! And it certainly was a day he never forgot 🙂 Love back to you too 🙂

      Like

  7. restlessjo says:

    I gave Mick a helicopter flying lesson for his 50th, Sherri, and I remember him being very nervous. Your husband looks relaxed and happy so it was a great choice. And it looks wonderful in black and white so you smashed it on both accounts. And even squeezed in an aerial connection for your ‘Flash’. Cooking on gas, girl 🙂 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      What a great present for Mick! This was for Hubby’s 50th too 🙂 I hope Mick enjoyed it despite his nervousness. I was so nervous about Hubby up there but he was fine. Then again, I’m a nervous flyer, period. Things like that don’t worry him at all. Wish I could be like that :/ It was great to use the B&W on these, finally got there! Haha…thanks so much Jo, you are a wonderful encourager…flying by the seat of my pants, cooking on gas.. (love that!) 😀 🙂 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. rgemom says:

    What an amazing gift for your Hubby, and the photos are priceless. In awe of you and this post. Whew!!!! That’s a lot for a writer to focus on!

    Like

  9. This is a very full post Sherri! I just love the photos of your hubby – he looks like a kid with a lollipop happy! That is the best birthday gift – I bet it will be hard to top. The fiction as usual does the job extremely well and I did enjoy it! Then I get caught up in trying to imagine how hard it is to do 99 words – no more, no less 🙂 Filled with admiration!!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Yes, I was perhaps over-ambitious Pauline 😉 No wonder it took me ages to get this one ‘off the ground’…pun intended, ha 😀 Hubby was absolutely thrilled, no doubt about it. It was wonderful to see him so happy and to see those views made it even more special. Within an hour of his flight, the storm broke and it would have had to have been cancelled, so he got in just in time. I love writing flash fiction, never thought I could do it and it’s only through blogging that I decided to have a go. The thing is, I never know what I’m going to write. So often the original idea ends up disappearing altogether. The process fascinates me. So to know you enjoy them so much makes my day, thank you so much for your great comments and encouragement 🙂

      Like

  10. Tom Merriman says:

    Happy Birthday, Mr Sherri! I wouldn’t know the first thing about flying a Tiger Moth…
    Excellent flash as usual, Mrs Sherri; I can imagine Stonehenge working magic like that. I saw something like that once… apart from it being red, that is, and me being on the ground.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…thank you so much Tom, I’ll be sure to send on your kind birthday wishes to Mr Sherri 😀 He only had a quick lesson just before the flight, the pilot sat in the back but Hubby took over the controls! That’s why I was so darn nervous!!
      Thrilled you enjoyed the flash, and now I am intrigued about your story…do tell 🙂

      Like

  11. That’s a hefty title! 😉

    You are so welcome and I’m thrilled you decided to do the blog hop. LOVE that first b&w photo—it’s fantastic. Though I can see how it might give you a moment of panic to watch him fly out of sight. O_o

    Oh, yeah! Love that flash. Excellent.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha, yes, I battled a bit with the title Sarah 😀 In fact, I started thinking I was over-ambitions altogether with this post!! Got there at last, and thanks again so much for inviting me to take part. I love fun challenges like this…but I’ve got to think about those secrets 😉 And so glad you enjoyed the flash, huge smile on my face now 😀

      Like

  12. Awesome photos and fantastic fiction as always. You leave us up in the air….dare I say Sherri.

    Like

  13. This is terrific, Sherri. Thank you for making the gift to Hubby a gift to us, too, via these great black and white photographs!

    Like

  14. Charli Mills says:

    That’s the kind of smile my Hub would have over such a gift! I like how he could see all the familiar places of home from the air. Tell him happy “extended” birthday! Those photos look smashing in B&W!

    Oooh, a mystery! I can see your scene unfolding, black and white like your photos and overlayed with an electronic flash of turquoise. A unique take on the color! Great flash!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hubby was pretty happy as you can tell! I was thrilled to be able to give him this gift and it was extra special that we all contributed to make it possible. And thanks so much for your kind birthday wishes, I’ll be sure to send them on 🙂
      Well, this is what I ended up with. At the last minute, inspired by these photos – how to get the turquoise in while using B&W photos? Thinking: we didn’t need to see it, except in our imagination as that ‘electronic flash of turquoise’ burst into Jack’s cockpit. It’s not a colour you would normally associate with the sky, more the sea (which was my original idea, using another photo, but it being hubby’s birthday, had to use these!). Anyway, thrilled you enjoyed it…Stonehenge and UFO’s ‘came to me’, ha 😀 Thanks again Charli for inspiring me once again 🙂

      Like

  15. jennypellett says:

    Ha! Great birthday treat, your husband looks like one happy chappy! Ties in brilliantly with your flash – have you thought of compiling a book of flash fiction? A blogging friend of mine did and it’s now available on Amazon. Check out Helena Mallett – she wrote 75 stories all with 75 words. It’s such a skill to get a story into so few words, and you’re brilliant at it Sherri!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      It was a very happy day for hubby, he was as thrilled as I was nervous 🙂 So glad the storm held out though, not long after he landed it broke and that would have been it for the season. As for the flash, I’m thrilled you enjoy them so much and wow, goodness, I am humbled by your suggestion. The Rough Writers over at Chari’s blog are hoping to collaborate on a book of flash fiction or short stories, but it didn’t occur to me to do my own book of all my own stories. I will certainly check Helena out. I honestly thought that everyone wrote flash fiction. It’s the thought of writing a novel that paralyses me, so I feel safe with flash, helps me run riot with my dark mind, ha 😀 Thanks so much Jenny for your wonderful encouragement and suggestion, I’ll definitely keep you posted 🙂

      Like

  16. restlessjo says:

    Just an afterthought, Sherri. 🙂 You mention Porto. It IS a fabulous city but I couldn’t begin to guarantee the weather because it’s quite far north. If it’s blue you want I should check the long term weather forecast before booking. That said, we went in October and I still had a wonderful time. The train ride up the Douro would be a must for the blossom trees if you were going any time soon. Fingers crossed 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, thanks so much for this very helpful info Jo, really appreciate it. I don’t think we’ll be going anytime soon, and thinking about the summer too and what we want to do. I need to pin Hubby down. It would be lovely to see those blossoms though and I adore train rides 🙂 But I bet October would be a great time to go. September even? I still have a dream of going to Paris in September, it being my birthday month. We went in November one year and it was bitterly cold. Still had blue skies though and a river cruise down the Siene 🙂 I’ll keep you posted..let’s see what happens 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: Tales of Turquoise « Carrot Ranch Communications

  18. Big “little” boys behind wheels. I love seeing them happy. Your hubby reminds me of my mister wearing a big grin in his sports car. He doesn’t like heights, so no flying treats for him. I’d have to think up a car-related one instead.
    A good UFO story, Sherri 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yes, boys and their toys eh? I can just imagine your Mister looking just like Hubby in this photo. It’s wonderful isn’t it? Hubby loves cars too,so maybe that’ll be the next pressie for his next ‘big’ birthday 😉 Thanks Sarah, glad you enjoyed the flash…Stonehenge and the turquoise light quite literally came to me in a flash, ha 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  19. This is a cool gift and considering his smile your husband appreciated it. Lovely, Sherri. See you!

    Like

  20. Your husband looks so happy Sherri! How fun that you have such lovely pictures and can remember such a thoughtful gift 🙂 You are one busy lady, I don’t know how you keep up with it all! I must also say that I LOVE your 99 word stories! It’s like a teaser for a good book that I want to keep on reading to find out more.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      It was a wonderful day Heather, one to be treasured that’s for sure 🙂 Needless to say, I took loads of photos and also a friend filmed the entire flight (until Hubby disappeared out of view that is!) on our camcorder. Must watch it again…! Thank you so much, I’m thrilled you enjoyed the flash fiction so much, makes my day that! I never know what I’m going to write though! But that’s what I love about them, they sort of write themselves 🙂

      Like

  21. Rachel M says:

    What a wonderful gift and I love the photos you took. I especially love that they’re black and white.

    Cool story too. Fits in nicely with the rest of your post 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      It was a wonderful day, loved every minute of it, although Hubby loved it even more 🙂 So glad you enjoyed the flash too, thanks so much Rachel 😀

      Like

  22. Ste J says:

    What a wonderfully thoughtful gift, it is wonderful to look down on our green patch of land and feel all superior. I loved the story as well, it wasn’t going where I thought it would, I like the inclusion of Stonehenge and the crashing object, you should sell the film right to that!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yes, that is a nice way to feel superior, definitely! So glad you enjoyed the flash, makes me so happy to know that. But I have to admit that the ending with Stonehenge and the crashing UFO came to me, literally in a ‘flash’, as I didn’t know where it was going either. But now I’m wondering myself, what happens next? Oh the film rights…now that would really be a dream come true! Thanks so much Ste, you’re great!

      Like

  23. What a fantastic birthday surprise your present must have been! Great B&W photos, Sherri. Loved the brilliant Flash Fiction too. I’m laughing at your repartee here with Ste J. Film rights would be so nice, and I’d watch that movie for sure. 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Loved the pictures of your hubby in the tiger moth. He looked like the cat that got the cream. What a wonderful present. Something he’ll never forget.
    Your flash was great too. The turquoise flash landing near Stonehenge. I think he didn’t find it threatening though. XD

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…doesn’t he just? Hubby told me of his desire to have a flying lesson in a Tiger Moth and I managed to grill him, sureptitiously, as to where such flights could be purchased. And the rest is history, a day we’ll never forget. Glad you enjoyed the flash, thanks…and you are right…the turquoise light truly did mesmerise Jack. After all, the engine had died, he had no fuel, yet somehow he landed safely. You are good Irene, very good my friend 🙂 And so glad to have you back…I really missed you ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Sherri for missing me. I feared my absence went unnoticed 😦 . I certainly missed being around and our walks and conversations.

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who noticed your absence Irene 🙂 But I wasn’t worried as I blindly thought you were having a ball celebrating your birthdays. Not quite the ball I imagined as it turned out… 😦 So glad you are back and recovered and now, let’s get those walking shoes on and carry on where we left off shall we? 😀

        Like

  25. Pat says:

    Congratulations, Sherri, and so much enjoyed your photos and the sharing of your first secret and the birthday surprise for hubby. I’ll bet it’s an experience he’ll remember for a lifetime. What a beautiful thing to do in giving him those memories he’ll treasure.

    Thank you for thinking of me, my friend, and tagging me on your first secret. I’m truly honored and wanted to continue to pass it on by adding it to my “About” page instead of a post, as I’ve stopped accepting awards — the visits and comments are award enough.

    It’s fun reading on to your other secrets. I like how you’ve spread them out and combined them with the photo challenge.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Pat, I love your comments and so glad you are enjoying this challenge. I thought it would be fun to spread the secrets out like this…plus it gives me more time to think of some, haha 😀
      And no worries, I absolutely understand, but I wanted to give you the opportunity if it was something you were interested in doing. Thank you for linking to it on your About page 🙂
      Hubby had a wonderful surprise and day flying the Tiger Moth, it was a lifelong dream of his and I was thrilled to be able to organise it for him, and the family all contributed. I love giving people surprises and presents 🙂
      I hope you had a wonderful weekend and I look forward to catching up with you as the week goes on my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pat says:

        You’re truly welcome, Sherri, and I was happy to be included and part of your challenge. You added a little mystery by spreading your secrets out in the week and the photos gave it that much more of a flare. Fantastic idea and innovative style. Way to go!

        I am enjoying my week, thank you, having some wet England weather and loving it as everything is beginning to green up. Hope your week is going well, too, my friend. Talk with you again, soon. I hope. Take care. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        Hi dear Pat, I only just saw your lovely reply here, so sorry for the very late reply. My notification button hasn’t been working properly and I’ve been missing comments, very annoying. Anyway, again, I wanted to thank you so much for your always very encouraging and kind words and I’m so happy you’ve enjoyed the B&W and Secrets challenge so much 🙂 Oh I’m glad for your English wet weather! It certainly does green up everything! Lovely to know that your spring is on the way…I hope you’ve had a good week and a lovely weekend to come. I don’t know where the time is going, it will be Easter next week! Our clocks go forward this weekend so even lighter in the evenings now. Hopefully some nice sunshine too. God bless dear friend and catch up with you very soon 🙂 xo

        Like

  26. I loved the way you merged both of those, clever you! Looks like you and hubby had a wonderful time 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Lilka, and yes, hubby had a blast (and I did too, but in a different way) 😀 It’s been fun, although as I’m sure you found, posting every day when I don’t normally do so, makes me realise that I have no idea how other bloggers do it!!!

      Like

  27. You can see how far behind I’ve been. Glad I didn’t miss this one. Your hubby looks like he just got his first car. You did good. And as well with the flash fiction. Wonderful story. I will keep trying to catch up with all that are important to me. Yours, I don’t want to miss. Life is moving too fast.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh Marlene, you are so kind, thank you very much. It delights me that you enjoy reading these stories. Especially, I was so glad to share this one of hubby’s Tiger Moth flight. He was indeed a very happy bunny that day 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the flash too. I look forward to getting back into the swing of writing them again once up and running. As well as other life stories from the Summerhouse, all of which I had planned but, well, we both know what happens to our plans when problems like laptop issues come along. Time is going way too fast. But I am taking your advice to take time out and smell the roses. I hope you are too and have a beautiful weekend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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