Is This A Date?

We ate from one plate,
Sharing food and our lives.
He looked at my face
And I watched his eyes.

He told me his secrets
And I told him mine
(Though only the ones
That we dared at this time.)

It was maybe an hour
Or longer I thought
When leaning towards me
An answer he sought.

After all we had said
And curiously late,
He earnestly asked me
“Is this a date?”

I wish I hadn’t lied

You come to me as sunset cools,
I greet you with a smile.
You lean in close to kiss my cheek
With old-world charming style.

You talk to me, I want to hear
But I just watch your eyes.
You tell bad jokes, I laugh at them
And fumble my replies.

You hold my hand and listen as
I tell you all my lies.
You’ve heard them all before, or just
Politely hide surprise.

The waiter comes to clear away,
The dark wind plays outside.
You’ve been so kind, I’ve been a fool.
I wish I hadn’t lied.

Time is our currency, so spend it wisely. Shona x

I Met Him In The Park

It was just
A week ago,
I met him in the park.

The spring-time sun
Caressed my face
And new hope warmed my heart.

The trees leaned in
And tried to hear
The words we whispered there.

His green eyes smiled,
He kissed my lips,
Our silent secrets shared.

I had to leave
And now we are
A thousand miles apart.

Was it really
Just last week
I met him in the park?

Your Perfect Lover

Imagine your perfect lover.

Let’s start with the basics, shall we?
Height first. Let me guess… taller than you.
Dark skin. Mmm, that’s always romantic.
Picture his body, make it as you like.

Now look up into his eyes.
Are they green, brown or blue?
You are the conjurer, creating your fantasy.
Colour his hair, hear his voice, smell his skin.

Your shopping list is complete.
Tonight he walks into your life.
Taller than you, dark skin, just like your dream.
You imagined this man and now he’s here.

Talk to him, watch him, feel him.
Now tell me, is he really what you want?
Doubt creeps in, the fantasy fades.
I think you forgot some things.

You never said he should be intelligent,
A practical man, caring and creative.
Confident, sensitive and considerate.
It’s time to start again.

Now imagine your perfect lover.

The Artist In The Street

The clouds parted and drew back to the mountains. They revealed the cleanest black sky, washed, cooled, purified by the evening rain. The town of Castillo, a maze of contrast between deep shadow and bright electric light, stood crisply outlined. Everything was wet and fresh, renewed and reborn, ready to face the fair temper of the brief Spanish winter. The eaves dripped and splashed down into puddles. Rivulets trickled into drains, carrying away the dust of summer.

A folded umbrella leaned against an artist’s easel, together forming geometric triangles with feet set securely on the paving stones and tips pointing at the white pinpricks of stars above. Across the plaza, the rectangles of the store windows transformed late shoppers from coloured figures with faces and eyes into the blank forms of dark silhouettes as they passed. A night-time mirage of textured lights and distorted shapes was coarsely mirrored in the wet streets…

Coffee In Castillo is out now!


The hours come first.
Pretending I will heal
Today or tomorrow.
Wounding loneliness.

Days add up.
Seven make a week.
A week alone.
Bitter loneliness.

Weeks pile upon weeks.
Four weeks more
Is another month.
Crushing loneliness.

Months are fragments.
The jigsaw of time
That forms my years.
Burning loneliness.


Please don’t let loneliness win. Go out, meet people, make friends.
Yes, it’s hard. Sure, you have no energy and I know it didn’t work out last time you tried.
It’s still not too late. Do it now. This time it will be different.

Above all, be kind to yourself.

Shona x

By The River

In the place by the river
We talked for hours.
The others left
So we were alone.

His green eyes caught mine,
Easily I trusted them.
My story spilled out
Along with the tears.

Lost dreams from the past,
Despair for the future.
He took my hand
As I fumbled apologies.

Don’t say you’re sorry,
His green eyes smiled.
We talked for hours
In the place by the river.


Love: The Secret Ingredients

You have to make the best of what you’ve got.

I’ve just been making chicken stew and that sounds weird. Why would I make that? Because I had chicken, of course! I also had lots of vegetables, some garlic and a pinch of inspiration. So I’m looking forward to a delicious meal tonight and it will be all the more delightful because I know that I’ve used what I had to hand and wasted nothing. It was easy and quick, too.

We can waste even more of our time, energy and indeed money on people and relationships than we do on food. Just think of all those hours you’ve spent online or maybe in bars or some place like that, searching for the perfect mate. With just a touch of chutzpah I’m going to guess that you’ve invested a lot of resources in those efforts.

Did you find that hot and tasty special someone? I hope you did, but if not then may I suggest something? Take a few moments to reflect on all the people you already know, the ones you see at the office or maybe at your church or synagogue. How well do you really know them? Have you given them a chance to come into your life?

Perhaps it’s time to give Tinder a break and take another a look at the special ingredients that you already have.