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Fanfic: Balfour [BevCrusherDay]

Today is #BevCrusherDay. 13 October is Beverly Crusher’s birthday, so what better way to celebrate than writing a short fic or two about our favourite doctor? This will be cross posted to Ao3 and my personal blog, and Tweeted on both AnnaOnTheMoon and Gates_Daily.. It’s also Flufftober, so if you follow me on Archive of Our Own, you’ll find a daily fluffy piece about our favourite couple!

Title: Balfour [BevCrusherDay]
Rating: G
Fandom: Star Trek The Next Generation
Pairing: Beverly Crusher/Jean-Luc Picard
Summary: Jean-Luc helps Beverly recover from her ordeal with Ronin

Disclaimer: I don’t own TNG, Beverly or Jean-Luc. I don’t work for Paramount, CBS, PocketBooks, Simon & Shuster…etc, etc. I’m just a fan! I also ask for forgiveness from Gates McFadden and Sir Patrick Stewart for using (abusing?) their characters.

Captain’s log, supplemental. Commander La Forge and Mister Data have recovered from their exposure to the anaphasic energy, but I’m afraid Doctor Crusher’s recovery will be of a more personal nature. – Sub Rosa, Star Trek TNG episode 7×14

Jean-Luc pressed the chime outside Beverly’s quarters and waited for the door to slide open.  Beverly was surrounded by her boxes with a frustrated look on her face.  Jean-Luc walked into the room and surveyed the crates. “Can I help?”

“Ugh. Yes.  What was I thinking packing everything? And leaving?  I mean I just…threw away everything. My career…my friends…you….”  Jean-Luc enveloped Beverly in his arms and rubbed her back.  “You weren’t in control. I’m just glad I never transmitted your resignation.  I knew something was off.”

“I wish I had known,” Beverly grumbled.  She rested her head against Jean-Luc’s shoulder. “You came to take me out to dinner and here I am blubbering to you…I’m sorry.”

“There’s nothing to be sorry for.  You were taken advantage of by an alien.  It’s natural for you to need comfort from your friends.”

“Not my Captain?”  Beverly raised her eyebrows at Jean-Luc.  He shook his head. “No, tonight I’m not your captain.  I’m just Jean-Luc.”

“Well then, just Jean-Luc,  what are our plans for dinner?”  Jean-Luc reached down and took her hands in his. “Well, I thought we might go on a stroll along the Danube.”

“Sounds lovely.  Just let me change first.”  She gently kissed Jean-Luc’s cheek and disappeared into her bedroom.  Jean-Luc peered into one of the open crates, and seeing the jumble of books inside, he decided to help her by putting the books back on her shelf. He didn’t know if she had a particular way of organising them, but at least it would get them out of the crate and she could arrange them later.

At the bottom of the crate, Jean-Luc pulled out a picture frame with a photo of Beverly, Jack, Walker, and him taken over twenty years ago.  He studied the picture and grinned, remembering the day well.  They had gone camping together at Balfour Lake and they had spent the day splashing in the lake before Walker set up the camera to take a timed photo of the four of them.  In fact, picture Beverly was sporting a deep sunburn on her chest, and Jean-Luc remembered  Beverly complaining about how much she had wished she had thought to pack a dermol regenerator that weekend.

He placed the photo on a shelf as Beverly emerged from her room.  “Unpacking for me?  Thanks.”  Her eyes fell on the photo.  “One of my favourite memories of all of us together.  I think shortly after, Walker was transferred away, wasn’t he?”  Jean-Luc nodded. “And then it became the three of us.”

“The three musketeers.”  Jean-Luc grinned and his grin faded as he looked at the photo and he gently ran a finger down Jack’s image. “And then, there were two.”

“Mm. But at least we have each other.”  Jean-Luc reflected on her words and made a snap decision.

“Change of plans. Want to go camping at Balfour for old time’s sake?”  Beverly glanced down at their clothing. “Well, we’re a little overdressed for camping, don’t you think? And can we really use the holodeck all night long?”

“Course we can.  I’m the Captain.  Meet me at Holodeck 4J in…an hour?”  Beverly nodded.  “Any gear?”

“I’ll take care of that.”  Beverly grinned.  “See you then, Johnny.”

“In an hour, Bevvy.”

###

Beverly laughed as she approached the holodeck doors.  Jean-Luc was wearing hiking boots and zip-off trousers with his shirt, and he had a bucket hat perched on his head.  On his back, he had a frame backpack, and he was holding another in his hand.  He passed one of the backpacks to Beverly and she shrugged it on. “Wow, really going for the experience, aren’t you?  I just thought you would program our campsite into the holodeck program.”

“No, I thought we would enjoy the hike…is that ok?  We can alter the program if you want.”

“We’ll see.  It’s been twenty years since I carried all my gear like this.”

“It’ll be good for you.  We’re going soft serving on a galaxy-class ship.”  Beverly poked his stomach, which was still as firm as it had been twenty years ago. “Soft? Who you calling soft?”  He chuckled. “Maybe soft was the wrong word.”

“I take you point though.  That training we did for Celtris Three nearly killed me…” she trailed off.  “I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to bring that up.”

“It’s alright. I…I did what I did to keep you safe.  That was all that mattered to me.”  Beverly wiped a tear from her eyes and she adjusted the straps on her pack.  They were treading towards their feelings again, and she still wasn’t sure if she was ready.  She had patted herself on the back for managing to keep her feelings hidden when they had been attached to each other’s thoughts, but the more she thought about it, maybe it would have been better if she had just admitted her feelings.  He knew.  He had to know.

“Computer, open doors.”  The holodeck doors slid open and Beverly felt like she was immediately in the woods surrounding the lakefront.  She inhaled deeply and the air smelled crisp.  Full of pine trees, mountain flora, and that heady scent she associated with bodies of water.  “Which direction?”

“Pick one.”  Beverly headed off on a trail to her left and turned back to talk to Jean-Luc. “And, you’re sure there’s nothing you need to do tomorrow morning?”

“Nothing that I couldn’t hand over to Commander Riker.”  Beverly snorted. “Do I want to know what you told him?”

“I told him I would be on the holodeck with you all night.”  Beverly raised an eyebrow. “Was that wrong?  I am on the holodeck with you.”

“Yes, but…Jean-Luc, when you say things like that, people might think….”  Jean-Luc reached for her hand and clasped it in his. “Think what?”

“Oh, never mind.  I suppose the scuttlebutt would be nothing new…what about Sickbay?”

“Well, technically you’re still on the leave  I put you on when you tried to resign, so it’s still in the hands of Doctors Hill and Selar.”  Beverly pursed her lips. “I see.”

“Beverly, stop.”  She abruptly stopped and Jean-Luc tugged on her hand so she was facing him.  “Something’s wrong…talk to me?”  She sighed. “Sometimes…I wish we still had those psi wave implants.”  Jean-Luc grinned. “You sure about that?”

“Well…alright, maybe not all the time.  I mean,  when I was with…that…thing….I’m not sure I’d have wanted you to feel…what I was feeling.”  She blushed.  He grinned.  “I take your point, but maybe if you could have felt what I…” he trailed off, embarrassed.

“Yes?”  He shook his head. “Later.  Let’s get to our campsite first.”  Beverly gave him a wry grin, but took off down the trail.  “I don’t think it’s far, at least, not if we started where I think we started . Do we have a map or a compass?”  Jean-Luc patted the hip belt on his pack.  “Do you want it?”  She nodded and Jean-Luc passed her the compass.  “Of course, this only really helps if I know what direction the lake is in….”

“Should be northwest of where we entered the holodeck.  I didn’t program a long walk for us.”

“So, you know exactly where we should go?”  He nodded.  “Well then, why don’t you lead?”

“I thought it would be more fun this way.”  Beverly rolled her eyes and stood to one side and swept her arm out in an ‘after you’ pose. “Lead me to our camp site.”

Jean-Luc led her to a small clearing, nearly identical to the campsite they had used twenty-odd years ago, and the same site she and Jack had taken Wesley to when he was three.  She and Wesley had been back a few times after Jack passed away, but they hadn’t gone camping since he was 12.

“Just like I remember it.” Jean-Luc nodded . “I haven’t been here in years – the real one, I mean.  You?”  Beverly shook her head. “Not since Wes was about twelve.  It was around that time when he became too cool to go camping with his mother.” She frowned.

“Ah, yes.  I remember what it was like to be twelve.”

Do you,” she asked with a smirk.  Jean-Luc shook his head.  “Right then.  There should be a tent in one of these packs. Shall we get it set up?”

“Just one?” Beverly raised her eyebrows.  “Well…I can have the holodeck provide a second one if you’d prefer.  I’m sorry.  I wasn’t…I wasn’t really thinking, was I?”

“No, no, it’s fine.  We all shared a single tent twenty years ago. Why would you think to get two when it’s just the two of us?”  Jean-Luc chuckled. “And Jack rolled over and cuddled me instead of you.”  Beverly snorted. “Walker and I couldn’t stop laughing. Especially when Jack went to cop a feel and got a very interesting surprise…”  Jean-Luc blushed. “Don’t remind me.”

“From what I recall, you seemed to like it,” she smirked.  “Beverly!  I was sleeping.  Someone touched me, of course I was going to react!”

“Hmm. Did you think it was me?”

“I don’t remember.”  Beverly snorted again.  “You’re lying.  Oh, for the psi implants.  Remember, I’ve seen your dreams!”  She giggled with glee.  Jean-Luc sighed. “I am never going to live that one down, am I?”  Beverly leaned over and kissed his nose. “Nope!”

Jean-Luc just shook his head.  He was grateful for her playfulness though.  Perhaps she was beginning to heal if she was acting more like herself.  He laid out the tent poles and studied them.  Beverly leaned over and passed him a sheet of instructions. “Thanks.  I think this is a two-person job.”

They struggled to get the tent together after a breeze blew away the instruction sheet, causing Beverly to laugh.  “Think you programmed that weather in a little too well.”

“We’re almost done.  Now, I think we just need to peg in these guy ropes so the tent doesn’t collapse when we go inside.  I can do that, if you could unroll the bedrolls?”

“Thank goodness for self inflating mattresses.” Beverly tugged the packs into the tent and unhooked the rolls from the bottom of each bag.  After unrolling and pressing the inflate button, Beverly was left with deciding where to place each bed.  She remembered you didn’t want to be touching the side of the tent while you slept or you’d get covered in condensation, which would in turn make you cold.  But placing the beds in the middle…did she give them a small berth between or place them touching?

When they had slept on KesPrytt, they had started out sleeping side-by-side with their backs touching until Beverly had complained and Jean-Luc had told her to use his shoulder for a pillow.  She grinned, remembering how he had gingerly wrapped an arm around her and she had fallen asleep listening to the steady beat of his artificial heart until his dream woke her up. She placed the beds side-by-side and zipped the two sleeping bags together to form a double sleeping bag. If Jean-Luc had programmed the night cycle as accurate as the day cycle, they would want to share their warmth as Beverly hadn’t seen any heating devices in either packs.

Beverly listened to Jean-Luc hammer the pegs into the ground as she looked through her pack.  She pulled out both a bikini and a one-piece and laughed, despite also thinking it was thoughtful of Jean-Luc to pack both for her.  She called out, “I’m going to change now.”

“Alright, I won’t peek.”  She laughed.  “Shall I put on a shadow show for you?”

“It’s not dark enough for that yet. Maybe tonight.”  Laughing, she finished changing and poked her head out of the tent.  “I’ve got my suit on now.  Your turn.” She crawled out of the tent and Jean-Luc’s mouth went dry.  “Uhh….”

“What?  You picked this.”  Jean-Luc rubbed the back of his neck. “Yes…well…I wasn’t sure…what you wanted…uhh…you look…nice.  Really nice.”  Jean-Luc licked his lips and Beverly grinned.  “Go change.  I want to take a dip in the lake.”

“Sure.  Just let me get the fire going first so we have something to warm us up when we’re done.”

Beverly walked into the water up to her ankles and shivered. “I forgot how cold the lake was.”

“We’re halfway up a mountain, what did you expect?”

“True,” Beverly dipped her hand in and splashed Jean-Luc, cold water hitting his chest. “Hey!”

“Cold, isn’t it?”  She smirked.  Jean-Luc wandered over to her and lifted her up in his arms.  “Jean-Luc…put me down! You’re going to drop me and I’m going to hit my head on the rocks.  Put me down!”  Jean-Luc grunted. “You’re not that heavy.”  He carried her until the water was hitting his chest and then he unceremoniously dropped her in.  She came up sputtering.  “Why you!”  She reached for his shoulders and pushed down on him until he was under water.  He came up laughing.  “I deserved that.”

“Yep.”  Beverly swam away from him then, performing perfect strokes towards the centre of the lake where a small wooden platform was.  She turned around and swam back towards him.  “I love swimming in lakes.  So much more fun than doing laps in the swimming pool.”

“True, but the pool is heated.”

“Can’t fault you there.” Beverly crossed her arms over her chest, conscious of her nipples puckering in the cold.  “Aren’t you going to swim?”

“I quite enjoy watching you.  But yes, I think I’ll do a few ‘laps’ myself.”  The two friends swam together, trying hard not to turn it into a competition, but they couldn’t help themselves and started racing each other.  When they finished, Jean-Luc laughed. “That was fun.  I feel younger.”  They headed for the shore and Beverly shivered in the air.  “Stay here, I’ll bring a towel closer.”

“Thanks.”  Jean-Luc glanced at her before turning his back and groaning.  Why was it so hard for them to be in a relationship with each other?  What he really wanted to do was to sweep her into his arms and kiss her, but instead he pulled towels out of their packs and tied one around his waist before heading towards the shore with a towel for Beverly.

Beverly watched him walk away and grinned.  He really did have a nice looking backside.  He brought a towel to the shore, and she wrapped it around herself under her armpits and wrung out her hair.  “Ugh, my hair is going to be so tangled after this.”

“I packed a brush.”  Beverly raised her eyebrows. “I’m surprised.”

“Ha. Ha. Let’s pick on the bald man.” Beverly lightly ran her hand over his head and he closed his eyes. “I like my men bald.”  She kissed the top of his head.  “I’m going to go change into some dry clothing. What’s for dinner?”

“Fire should be going nice by now.  I put a few potatoes and some corn on the cob in there before I joined you, they should be cooked by now.  I did cheat slightly.  I planned for steak to be delivered right about now.”  A transporter beam activated and two large plates arrived, filled with steak fillets and salad, along with two glasses of wine, the rest of the bottle,  and two pots of chocolate mousse.  Jean-Luc shook his head.

“Guinan?”

“Guinan.  I only asked her to beam in steak for our dinner.”  Beverly reached for one of the glasses and took a sip. “Your vineyard, I think.”

She turned and went into their tent and rummaged for something comfortable to wear.  Fortunately, Jean-Luc had packed her a pair of sweatpants and a camisole, but she grinned and dug though his pack until she found one of his soft shirts and pulled it on instead.  She emerged carrying a brush, and Jean-Luc merely raised his eyebrows and shook his head as he went to have his turn at changing.

Beverly was running the brush through her hair in front of the fire, trying desperately to detangle it.  One thing she had forgotten was how tangled her hair would get swimming.  Usually, she would just take a shower and wash it, but unless she wanted to ask the holodeck for a shower or wanted to leave, she was stuck with trying to detangle it.  Jean-Luc came out and took the brush from her hand. “Let me.”

“Mm. Thanks.  I was just thinking that if we weren’t camping, I would just take a shower and wash my hair to detangle it.”

“Do you want a shower?  It’s not like we can’t ask the holodeck for one.”

“Hmm, but that would be cheating.”  Jean-Luc grinned as he ran the brush through her hair. “I suppose, but then we also could have a toilet instead of the latrine block.”

“Alright, you’ve convinced me.”

“Computer, create bathroom complete with shower, toilet, running water and appropriate toiletries.”  A large bathtub with a shower appeared alongside a toilet and a sink.

“Your shower,  Milady.” Jean-Luc bowed and Beverly laughed. “Nice bathroom.  Who programmed a tub that big?  You could easily fit two…or more people in there….Computer, what file did you get this bathroom from?”

Riker-62”  Beverly and Jean-Luc both burst out into laughter.  “Figures.”  Beverly eyed the bathroom.  “Walls.  It needs walls. Computer, place walls around the bathroom and a door.”

Walls appeared and Jean-Luc pretended to pout.  Beverly laughed and pecked his lips.  “Be out in ten.  Just need to wash my hair.”

Jean-Luc was trying very hard not to think about his best friend naked on the other side of the holographic wall when he heard the shower start.  Instead, he made himself useful and spread a blanket out close to the fire for them to sit on while they ate.  Beverly emerged and shook out her hair. “Thanks.  That helps.”  She sank down onto the blanket and Jean-Luc sat behind her to brush her hair. “It’s alright, I detangled it in the shower.”

“Hmm,  I know.  But let me do this for you.”

“Well, I won’t say no.  I do enjoy having my hair brushed.”

The two sat in silence as Jean-Luc gently ran the brush through her hair.  When he was done, he sat playing with her hair, running it through his fingers as it dried in the heat from the fire.  Beverly finally spoke up.  “I don’t know what possessed me,”  she paused and started again. “No, I do know what possessed me.  I don’t understand why though.  Was I just vulnerable or susceptible?”

“Did the implants we had a few months ago do any lasting damage?”

“No,  I examined you myself and looked over my scans.  Once they were removed, we both returned to normal.  I mean, you stopped hearing my thoughts, right?”

“Regretfully.  I found I almost liked having you in my head.”  Beverly laughed. “Sure, occasionally, but would you have wanted me in there constantly?  Could you imagine?”  Jean-Luc grinned. “Suppose not.  Still, it’s good to know there was no lasting damage, though I still wouldn’t have minded a connection to you.” Beverly turned around to face Jean-Luc.  “We’re always connected, Jean-Luc.”

“I suppose you’re right.”  He leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. “Are you hungry?  We don’t want the steak to go cold.”

“Mm, yes. And we don’t want that wine to go to waste.” Jean-Luc turned off the stasis field keeping their dinner warm, grateful for small technological advances.  In the morning, he would have breakfast beamed to the campsite, too.

They ate together, exchanging the occasional friendly barb and when they were done Jean-Luc put their plates to one side and lounged back on the blanket and pulled Beverly against him.  Beverly threaded their fingers together and tried to find the words she wanted to say to him.  He was her best friend…and more.  So much more.  She took a deep breath.

“I don’t think I ever thanked you.”

“For?”

“Coming after me.  Rescuing me.”  Jean-Luc grinned into the twilight.  “Beverly, you don’t need rescuing.  You’re quite capable of taking care of yourself.”

“Clearly not!  I let a ghost…” she shuddered.  Jean-Luc rubbed her arm with his free hand.  “I know you’ve been talking to Counsellor Troi, but if you need to talk…I’m here.”

“I told you about Nana’s journals, right?”

“Hmm. Yes.  You expressed interest in hoping you had a thirty-year-old lover when you were one hundred.”  She laughed. “Nah, I like my men older.”

“Good.”

“Do you know I can’t light candles anymore in my quarters?”

“I had wondered. I noticed last night at dinner you were eyeing the candles on the table suspiciously.”

“I keep waiting for a green mist to come out of it and possess me.”

“No, that won’t happen,”  he brushed a stray hair off her cheek and leaned over to kiss it gently. “I won’t let it.”

“Ah, but you can’t be with me all the time.”  He grinned at her in the firelight. “No, but I can make sure I’m with you if a candle is lit.”

“You’ll have to come over the next time I take a bath then.  I like to light candles when I bathe.”  Jean-Luc groaned. “You would have to bring up being naked.”  She laughed.  “You and I…”

“Yes?”

“We’ve been through so much together.  And I think that’s why I was so afraid.  I was afraid we would lose this,” she said raising their joined hands.  “And I don’t want to lose my best friend.”

“You wouldn’t,”  he spoke so softly she barely heard him. “I suppose…maybe that’s why things happened with Ronin.  I suppose I was looking for someone who….”

“Wasn’t me?”  She nodded. “Like, if I could have a romance with someone else, then you and I would just continue to tick on the way we have been…that’s silly, isn’t it?”

“No.  I understand.  I don’t ever want to let go of you, either.  I never stopped to think what would happen if we didn’t work out. I just assumed we would and we would continue to be us.”

Beverly suddenly turned her head and kissed him.  “I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry.”

“What are you sorry for?”

“I’m sorry that I’m so afraid of taking that next step with you.”

“It’s alright.  I think our relationship is pretty good the way it is.  But if you ever want to be more….you just say the word.”

“You might get a girlfriend.”  Jean-Luc scoffed. “Doubtful.”

“Hmm. There was Nella…and Vash…oh, and Kamala…and I can’t forget Philippa and Jenice.”

“Phil and Jenice were a long time ago.  Jenice was before I even met you. Kamala was never a girlfriend, she just imprinted on me because I treated her well.  Vash…I’m not sure I have an excuse. I’ll blame that one on Riker and his Horga’hn.  And Nella….well, quite simply, my love, she wasn’t you.  So no. I can’t say that a girlfriend would get in your way.  What about you? Planning on dating anyone?”  Beverly shook her head.

“No.  Not after…well, I really haven’t had much luck, have I?  I dated a man who wound up being a symbiot who hopped bodies, a man who turned into light, and then a man who turned out to be a ghost….I think I’ll stick with you.” Jean-Luc leaned over and kissed her.  “I was hoping you’d say that.”  She twined their fingers back together.  “But is it alright if we don’t define this quite yet?”

“Of course.  We have all the time in the world.”  He leaned over and kissed her again.

Beverly shivered .  Twilight had turned to darkness, and Jean-Luc really  had done a good job programming in accurate weather. “Cold?”

“Just a little.”

“We could move the conversation to our sleeping bags.”  Beverly turned and grinned at Jean-Luc. “About that.  I, ah, zipped the sleeping bags together.”  Jean-Luc raised his eyebrows and she smacked his chest. “Not for that!  I just thought we could…share warmth.”

“Sounds like a plan. Do you need to change for bed?”

“Not unless you want your shirt back.”

“Tempting just to see what you would do, but no.  You can keep it.”  He turned on a small lantern so they could see to get into the tent and their their joined sleeping bags.  Jean-Luc turned off the lantern and pulled Beverly against him.  He kissed the top of her head.

“I think,  I could get used to this.”  Beverly smiled and wrapped an arm across his chest.  She tilted her head up and gave him a chaste kiss on the lips. “Me too. Goodnight, Jean-Luc.”

“Good-night, Beverly.”

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission.

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FanFic: Birthday [BevCrusherDay]

Today is #BevCrusherDay. 13 October is Beverly Crusher’s birthday, so what better way to celebrate than writing a short fic or two about our favourite doctor? This will be cross posted to Ao3 and my personal blog, and Tweeted on both AnnaOnTheMoon and Gates_Daily.. It’s also Flufftober, so if you follow me on Archive of Our Own, you’ll find a daily fluffy piece about our favourite couple!

Title: Birthday [Part 13 of Flufftober]
Rating: G
Fandom: Star Trek The Next Generation
Pairing: Beverly Crusher/Jean-Luc Picard, Beverly Crusher/Jack Crusher
Summary: Beverly turns 25

Disclaimer: I don’t own TNG, Beverly or Jean-Luc. I don’t work for Paramount, CBS, PocketBooks, Simon & Shuster…etc, etc. I’m just a fan! I also ask for forgiveness from Gates McFadden and Sir Patrick Stewart for using (abusing?) their characters.

The Stargazer docked with Starbase thirty-two with a click of the stays and Jack and Jean-Luc were the first to debark alongside their other best friend, Walker Keel.  They had come to the base specifically to celebrate Beverly’s twenty-fifth birthday, and to visit Wesley, the apple of his father and honorary uncle’s eyes.

The three men rushed through the station, playfully shoving one another out of the way as the vied to see who would be the first to Beverly’s door.  Jean-Luc easily outstripped both his friends and he was soon entering his passcode in to the door panel and he gave a cheery wave to the other two as the door slid shut with a soft hiss.  Jean-Luc looked around the familiar quarters.  Despite being on a starbase, Beverly had done her best to create a cosy environment for the fifteen-month old who was playing on the floor with some soft blocks.  Wesley squealed when he saw Jean-Luc and lifted his little arms up to the man.  Jean-Luc grinned and hefted the baby up into his arms and pressed a kiss against his chubby cheeks. “Missed you, my boy.”

“M ssssss oooo.” Jean-Luc laughed. “Good try.  Wesley, what’s your name?”

“Wuhssssss!”  Wesley clapped and Jean-Luc grinned. “Great job, Wes!  Can you wish Mommy a happy birthday? She’s twenty-five today.”

“Hap Burr?” Beverly rolled her eyes and took her son into her arms after Jean-Luc greeted her with a kiss. “Close enough. Where’s Jack?”

“Dada!” Wes exclaimed. “You spend every day with me and can’t say mama, but dada, who you see once a month, was your first word.”

“M m m m m m m m.” Jean-Luc chuckled. “That’s a start. Jack and Walker are down the hall. I won.” Jean-Luc puffed out his chest with pride and Beverly laughed.

“Hmm. What did you win?”

“I get to take you out to dinner, if you’d like. Unless you want to go out with Jack. Then I’ll look after my favourite fifteen-month-old.” Beverly shook her head. “You boys still act like you’re at the Academy.” She rolled her eyes and passed Wesley back to her best friend who grinned back and quipped, “Mm, but you love us.”

Beverly snorted as the door opened and Jack and Walker entered. Walker went up to Beverly and dipped her low before kissing her. “Oi, she’s my wife!”

Walker grinned at his friend as Jack greeted his wife and son. “When Beverly married you, she married all of us.” Beverly took Wesley from Jean-Luc and passed him to his other uncle. “Great! I need husband number three to change Wesley’s diaper.” Walker grumbled, but took the giggling baby into his bedroom. Beverly winked at Jean-Luc.

“So, husband number two. I see you were beat out again by Jean-Luc.”

“Hey, how come he’s number one?”

“He got here first,” Beverly grinned. “You should never race the only Freshman to win the Academy marathon.” Jack rolled his eyes. “Fine. Go out with Johnny.  At least I get to sleep with you.”

Beverly arched an eyebrow. “Hmm.” She tucked her arm into Jean-Luc’s before waving a cheeky good-bye to her husband. “So, where are you taking me?”

 

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission.

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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Test Post

This is just a test post to check a few things. My blog recently was hacked and malware installed, and my awesome friend Thad (I’ll get links to his sites, but you can check him out on Twitter as Tyranicus) managed to not only REMOVE AND FIX the malware/spam, but he did it without losing my 10 years of posts. YAY!

The only bad thing is I noticed some issues with the text.

£ signs were messed up, as were ‘ and : so, I’m just running down the series of symbols to check and make sure they function properly, or if I need to hunt for fixes.

Bear with me. The errors are all over my posts that were restored, and I honestly don’t have time right now to go through and fix them all. But hopefully, it won’t be a problem with new posts, so….testing!

!

£
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A Letter to Ryanair…

Because their online contact form isn’t long enough and their Facebook page doesn’t allow for visitors to post (gee, I wonder why), and they don’t offer any additional contact information…

Dear Ryanair,

My husband and I understand that issues happen.  A shortage of staff can cause chaos, a broken plane can cause delays, weather can have an impact on take offs and landings.  Most of the time, we both go with the flow and if our plane is a half hour late, it doesn’t bother us and we carry on.  However, the events of Saturday, 16th June need to be addressed and reparations need to be made.

My husband and I were scheduled for flight FR1548 – London Stansted to Leipzig (Germany).  The flight gets in to Leipzig quite late, so we always book a room at a hotel with 24-hour reception and book our rental car to be picked up the following morning as no one is manning the rental desks that late.  This is a system that has worked out for us on several previous trips, including one where we were delayed by about an hour.

On Saturday, we arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare.  After going through security, we checked the departures board and our flight said “Gate info 1845”, so we went to Giraffee for dinner.  While on our walk around the duty free area, my husband noticed the flight information changed to “Delayed until 1940”.  This was fine, as it would only make the flight a half hour late (original departure 1915). We finished up our dinner, and checked the board once more.  Our flight info was now blank, only showing the flight number, time, and destination.

We tried to find someone who could explain what that meant, but you have no staff on that side of the airport and neither does the airport.  We finally spoke with a man at the currency exchange who could only tell us that he didn’t know either.

To our delight, the gate was announced at 1845, the original time stated.  Fantastic, we thought.  Still slightly later than our boarding passes said, but maybe they can get the plane loaded in a half hour.  We all rushed to the gate and joined a neverending queue . It seemed half the plane had opted to get “Priority” boarding to be able to put their bags on.  We did, since my rucksack carries my laptop and I didn’t want it to wind up in the hold.  We stood around for fifteen, maybe 20 minutes. I probably should have kept track, but I didn’t.  Eventually, we got told our gate was changing and there was a mad rush to the new gate, now putting us at the back of the Priority queue.

We stood.  A Ryanair employee finally arrived and started scanning people through.  They stood on the stairs, unable to go outside to board the plane as the doors were locked and there was no staff around to unlock the doors and babysit our walk.  It was around 1945 when the queue finally started moving and we were able to board the plane.  Once again, we optimistically thought this would only cause about an hour’s delay, and I quickly checked the S-bahn schedule for Leipzig to make sure we could still get into the city centre before shutting my phone off per flying regulations.

We sat on the plane.  No one was speaking to us and as far as anyone knew, we were still boarding.  Except that a quick look around (we were in the last row) showed the plane was full.  What was going on?  They went through the safety announcements and we thought for sure this was the signal that we would be pushing back….nope.

Finally, sometime after 2030, the pilot finally comes on to tell us “There was a problem with the flight plan.”  Naturally, this caused confusion as surely the plane would follow the same flight path it always follows from London to Leipzig?  But then my husband and I speculated that we were simply waiting for a slot to take off since we were late.  The PA system remained silent.

Around 2045, there was a sudden announcement to return to seats, fasten seatbelts, and we would finally be departing.  Hooray!  Some quick Maths and we determined this would mean landing around 2330 local time, but trains would be running until 0130, so we weren’t worried, and the flight progressed as normal….but it seemed a little long.

Finally, well past the hour and forty minutes in the air, the pilot comes on to tell us –Surprise!  We’ve brought you to Berlin. “Unable to land due to curfew” was the reason given, although I now know that our plane could have landed and Ryanair could have paid a fee for landing outside the curfew.

Berlin?  Berlin wasn’t even on the side of the country we planned on being in.  “What are they going to do for us?”  began the common thread across the plane as we descended.  Once we landed, we had to wait on the plane some more as we were waiting for busses.  At first, we thought the announcement about the bus meant “We’ve arranged for busses to take you t Leipzig”, however we soon found out that this was not the case, and we were waiting for busses to take us to the terminal.

Confusion continued with another announcement “Ryanair will pay for taxis to your final destination”  came over the PA.  Cue cheering.  My husband and I assumed this meant there was ground personnel in Berlin who was going to be arranging this for us. Perhaps they would pile as many people as possible into taxis to the various final destinations. We needed the city centre, so we were fairly confident there would be a few more heading that way.

A steward near our end gave us clarification. “You pay for the taxi now, and Ryanair will reimburse you.”

Since we were now on the ground, I turned back on my phone and googled for taxi rates.  The cheapest was €381, the most expensive over €500.  We looked at the trains.  The earliest train to Leipzig was at 4 in the morning (it was now close to 1AM).  While that was an option for some of the passengers, it wasn’t an option for my husband and I, who had a further drive on Sunday to our destination in the Harz mountains.  Neither was shelling out €400 or more for a taxi ride with no actual guarantee in writing that your company would be reimbursing us.

We still remained optimistic, thinking surely there would be ground staff able to help.  In the meanwhile, an email came through from our hotel in Leipzig that I was being charged €107 for the room we should have been checking into, and being listed as a “no-show”.  I tried to contact the hotel, but had no luck.

Once in the baggage claim, it became obvious to all of us that there was no staff other than airport staff to help, who naturally had no idea what was going on.  Sighing, I opened up a hotel app on my phone, and booked the cheapest and closest hotel I could find – the Best Western for €86.  We then jumped on the DB app to look up tickets back to Leipzig (remember, we had to pick up a rental car there!). Tickets were showing up around the €50 mark.  Our quick trip to relieve stress was soon adding up.

Next came figuring out how to get to the hotel, so I rang them and in my halting German asked about a shuttle.  The shuttle doesn’t operate on weekends.  Fantastic.  We had to book a taxi, €21.20.

I am seeking the following in reparations:

*€86.36 Hotel in Berlin

*€21.20 Taxi in Berlin

*€6.80 S-Bahn tickets

*€50 DB Tickets

And lastly, I am also seeking €107 for the cost of our hotel in Leipzig which I had to pay for as a no show for a total of €271.36.  Please see attached photos for proof of amounts.

Additionally, I would like to add that I have Type 2 Diabetes and by the time we arrived at our hotel there was nothing open nearby to purchase food and if it wasn’t for a cereal bar in my suitcase, you might have had a serious medical issue on your hands.

I expect to see a cheque waiting in the post when we return from our trip.

Thank you.

Rebecca Lockley

***
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I Met Patrick Stewart!

About a week ago, I received an alert about a gala event happening in support of Unique Voice, a charity in Bristol that works with schools and the community to “empower children emotionally through the use of Drama and the Arts” (source: About Us section of their website). Their Patron is Sir Patrick Stewart, and he would be hosting their Summer Gala.

I wanted to go.

With everything that’s been going on, and all the other things we have planned this year, it wasn’t looking like a possibility until someone close to me decided they wanted to purchase a ticket for me to attend. They have asked that I not say publicly who they were, but they are someone I love very much. My ticket arrived in my inbox a few days ago, and I became excited.

I decided to wear my LindyBop dress because it gives me confidence and I love the way it looks on me. I wore it with the underskirt this time for extra poof, and added a little feathery blue clip in my hair to try to dress it up a bit. I didn’t clean up too bad if I say so myself!

I was sat at a table with 9 strangers, but fortunately, they were all amazing and immediately drew me into their fold as they all knew each other. I can’t remember everyone’s names (sorry!) but table 9 had a blast. We shared stories and laughed and it was like I had been friends with these people for years and not just minutes.

One of the organizers recognized me from my Twitter photo and we had a short conversation with a promise to talk later, but we sadly never got the chance…but I’m sure I’ll be around again as I really like this charity and wish we lived closer to Bristol so I could work with them!

There were signs on the table telling us not to ask Patrick for selfies, but to take photos and to share them on social media. I took a few from my vantage point that didn’t really come out the best, but I’ll share them here anyway.

After dinner, Patrick was coming around to the individual tables to talk to everyone – the room had 13 tables of 10, but at least two of the tables were all people related to/working with the organisation, so it was an intimate gala. When he got to our table, he was on the other side from me and chatting and one of the men at our table said “She’s come all the way from New Jersey to see you!” I called back “He’s lying, I live here, I promise,” but Patrick Stewart came over to speak with me. His hand came down on the back of my chair and he said, “You know, I used to be married to someone from New Jersey.” I answered back in the only way I possibly could – “Well, then on behalf of my home state, I do apologize.” He laughed and stretched out his hand to shake mine.

Our minute was over…or was it?

During the auction, I was trying to win one of the items – all winning bidders would get a picture with Sir Pat – but it got too high for me. Especially when he auctioned off breakfast with him the following morning and it went for £350!

The rest of the night there was dancing, drinking, and talking to my new group of friends. After the Gala, we went to a speakeasy, and that was a new experience for me too.

In the morning, I had breakfast in the same restaurant Patrick Stewart was in, and after I was standing outside waiting for my taxi and he came out. He had his suitcase, and we made polite conversation. We both were complaining about how long it was taking our taxis to show up and he said he was trying to catch a train at a specific time. Since I have the ability to take whatever train I want, I offered him my taxi when it showed up first. He thanked me, and I had another handshake.

Ironically, his taxi turned up only about 30 seconds later. When I got to the railway station, I needed to speak with the gate attendant to be waved through the barriers. Who was standing there talking to the man? None other than Patrick Stewart! I made some silly joke about meeting again, and we both went through the barriers and started heading in the same direction. More jokes about “I’m not following you/You’re not following me” and the like and it turned out we would be boarding the same train. We both went into the waiting room, but when they called our train, I noticed he went out the door for the opposite platform.

When I didn’t spot him on the platform, I thought I had better let him know, so I walked over to him and gently tapped him on the shoulder to let him know. He thanked me with a hand pressed against my shoulder and another handshake.

These small encounters with one of my absolute favourite actors will stay with me for a long time, even without photos of the event. Who can forget getting three handshakes within a 12 hour span?

***
First two images from Unique Voice on Twitter.

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Adventures in Yorkshire


Things have been hectic lately. So hectic, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get together with one of my oldest friends when she and her sister were visiting…but we made it work and I spent Sunday evening with them, and then they asked me if I wanted to join them on Bank Holiday Monday to visit the North Yorkshire Moors Railway – someplace my friend and I planned on visiting when she visited me six years ago but hadn’t been able to.

Our reason for going to the NYMR was Harry Potter because Goathland was used to represent Hogsmeade station in the films (well, just one film) and my friend, her sister, and I are all big Harry Potter fans.

When they first told me their plans, I sat down with the National Rail app and bus schedules and I worked out a long trip for them leaving Lincoln at 7 in the morning, taking the train to Pickering, then getting on the steam train to Goathland, followed by a two hour bus ride to York, then a train to Edinburgh, their final destination for their trip.

I worked out that I could go with them a far as York, and then hop on a train back towards Lincoln…although I really wasn’t looking forward to a two hour bus ride to York!

I started looking at schedules again and I worked out if we took the train to Malton, then the 840/X40 bus to Pickering, we would be able to do a round trip to Goathland, take the bus back to Malton, and then head in our separate directions – my friends to York to get up to Edinburgh, and me to Leeds to catch trains heading back towards Lincoln.

The trip was not without a few snags. Our first snag hit when the Northern Train to Reford was cancelled….but fortunately, we could hop on an East Midlands Train to Newark North Gate and continue on our journey.

We reached Malton with plenty of time,and the bus station was only across the street from the railway station. The round trip to Pickering was £7.50 (singles are £4.80) and the twenty minute bus ride was pleasant. We sat with a man who is a regular bus rider, so he was able to tell us which stop to get off at and how to walk to the station.

From the bus stop, it’s about a ten minute walk to the railway station. This was fine as we should have had twenty to do the walk in and get tickets. Unfortunately, the bus was running late, and it shortened our time to walk and get tickets to just under fifteen minutes, but we made it to the NYMR station with five minutes to spare…

We missed the train. When we got to the ticketing counter, the man was just putting through our tickets when his phone rang – a little boy fell and broke his arm and required first aid. But by the time he got back to us, the train had already left the station and we would need to take the train in an hour…which would cut our time at Goathland, but we thought it was still doable.

We had to have tea and scones in Goathland, and I think I finally solved the Cornwall vs. Devon debate:

One half done each way!

We heard our train come in and we rushed up the iconic stairs and grabbed seats on the train…to sit. And sit…and sit. The train we were supposed to be crossing was running late. We watched the clock tick up and realised we were going to miss our bus back to Malton, so back to the planning stage I went.

The next bus was two hours later, and then we would have another hour to wait in Malton before boarding a train to York, and then I would split from my friends – they would go on to Edinburgh, and I would head home.

Of course, our original plans would have had us reaching our destinations by five and now we wouldn’t get to our destinations until almost ten, but…these things happen, and no one got stranded!

And it was all worth it – the early start, the transfers, the emergency contingecy plans on top of contingency plans because I got to see one of my closest friends…we’ve known each other for over thirty years!

***

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A Day Trip to Wales

Yes, you read that right. a day trip to Wales.

It involved leaving the house by 0445 to drive to Scunthorpe, 5 hours of trains cross England and Wales, then a spin on the Ffestiniog, and the trip in reverse. We pulled into our driveway at 2359.

This trip was spurred by trying to decide where to go on day trips on Tim’s time off and one of us saying “too bad we can’t go to Wales”. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! If we couldn’t go to the Alps (or North/East Germany) for a day trip, we’d do the next best things and go to Snowdonia.

Bleary-eyed, we got in the car and drove to Scunthorpe. I was freezing, and began to regret my choice of clothing – jeans and a long sleeved tunic. It didn’t help that that particular Trans-Pennine Express train seemed to not have functioning heat and it was like an ice box. I planned on sleeping on the first leg, but it was too cold to sleep.

We made our first connection with a rush to a platform change at the last minute…but at Chester we nearly missed our connection as our train was running late and we had to leg it down the platform….fortunately, the Arriva staff held the train for us or our entire day would have been scrapped!

At Blaenau, we only had about fifteen minutes to get our tickets for the Fez and hop on behind the good old Earl of Merioneth (the Square) as she’s being retired in April and actually, getting to ride behind the Square was one of the reasons we did the trip!

Riding the Ffestiniog is one of our favourite things, so we sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the ride to Porthmadog.

Our plan once we got to Port was a leisurely lunch in Spooners and some wandering around the town before boarding to go on the long journey home. And by this time, we were ridiculously tired.

I was still really cold, so I bought a blanket in Edinburg Wool Mill and wrapped myself in it on the platform and the trains. Tim called me granny, but I was warm!

Our trip home had considerably less changes and with the exception of the loo on the Trans-Pennine express overflowing and smelling horrible, the trip home was fairly painless, and I’m pretty sure I slept through most of it.

Unfortunately, if you don’t have access to rail privs like we do, this trip would set you back by about £300. But for us, it cost less than £20 (for the Fez on a priv discount).

***

Screenshots from the National Rail Enquiries app for Android, and the Ffestiniog website.

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Beverley: A Hidden Gem of Yorkshire


Recently, my husband had his week of spring leave off from work. Last year, we managed to do a short international trip to Rotterdam on the ferry, but this year we decided we would do a few day trips from home instead. And by day trip, I mean we just jumped on a train heading North to see where we would wind up.

After a short stop in Scarborough, we decided to go to Beverley. Not for any real reason other than when we took the ferry from Hull to Rotterdam in November, we had found a “mini guide to Beverley” and I used it for a humerus photo op with my Star Trek action figures. And, naturally, we had to take MiniBev to Beverley…

It turned out, it was an utterly amazing place!

Beverley has a minster, so we headed in that direction. I actually hadn’t been aware of the minster ahead of time, and this is why I think Beverley is a bit of a hidden gem. I mean, look at this minster:

The minster offered free admission, but an £3 charge for taking photos, which we gladly paid. We were two of maybe a dozen or less people walking around the minster – it’s obvious they don’t get a lot of tourists, at least not in March.

Even the columns and ceiling were intricate!

I love how even after almost ten years in the UK, I’m still discovering little gems like this – and my husband, who grew up in Lincolnshire and visited Yorkshire frequently had never been either!

Beverley is the county town of the East Riding of Yorkshire and is located about 8 miles away from Hull. In addition to the Minster, there are many other things to explore and do in Beverley, we just didn’t have enough time to explore the whole town! Beverley also has a fascinating history, well worth a read on the Wiki page, or experiencing first hand, as the sewards at the Minster are very informative and will take the time to answer any questions to the best of their ability!

Definitely add a stop to Beverley on your next trip to Yorkshire.

***

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The Best Cheesesteaks This Side of Philly

About a week ago I started hearing about a new Philadelphia Cheesesteak restaurant opening up in London. I was skeptical, as previous attempts were not very good, until I read that the owner hails from the same area of New Jersey I do. I was sure this would mean decent and authentic cheesesteaks, and I was not disappointed.

After the debacle at the railway show, Tim and I headed into London specifically to make a pilgrimage to Passyunk Avenue.

Passyunk Avenue can be found on small street in Fitzrovia (80 Cleveland Street), which is super easy to get to from the Warren Street tube stop. The restaurant is small, but I was told they do have a lower floor with additional seating for when it gets busy.

The atmosphere was amazing. All of the staff (that I spoke to) are from Philly or New Jersey, and ironically, all the patrons I spoke to were as well! It was almost like we were back in Center City Philadelphia. And speaking with the patrons who had eaten before us, the food was getting rave reviews for authenticity.

We were given seats in the back corner. My only complaint was the chairs were a bit low for the table, and I wound up sitting on the bench at the back next to Tim, which always makes me feel kinda awkward! But the food….

Sandwich prices were around £10-11. Really not bad. Sides started around £4. Tim and I spent £30 between two cheesesteaks, an order of Old Bay cheese fries, a beer, and a diet coke. Which frankly, we probably would have spent £50 or more going to a different restaurant in London, so I found the prices pretty good. Even a trip to Five Guys or Ed’s Easy Diner (my other two favourite American style places) would have cost us well into the £30-40 mark.

We both ordered Chicken Cheesesteaks. Well, I actually wanted to order Chicken Cheesesteak Hoagies, but I think I confused our server when I said no onions (as in raw) and she assumed I meant not cooked (I’m allergic). It didn’t really matter so we ate what was put in front of us and they were tasty. The bread was softer than you would expect if you were in Philly (or NJ), but decent for the United Kingdom. The homemade wiz is what really makes the sandwich though. Many restaurants that try to serve a Philly Cheesesteak either use sliced cheese or they get confused and use Philadelphia cream cheese (ew!). So while it wasn’t bright orange like traditional Chez Wiz…it was really good!

I absolutely recommend visiting if you’re an ex-pat from PA/NJ missing the tastes of home, or even if you’re curious as to what an authentic Philly cheesesteak tastes like. I know I have a new favourite place to eat in Philly, that’s for sure!

The only thing missing was an ice cold Yuengling!

***

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Harassed at a Railway Show

(Yes, I took this in the loo on the train.)

Over the weekend, my husband and I did a whirlwind of things – we went up to Yorkshire, we went to London, and we even made it to Wales. But my worst experience out of the whole weekend had to be our visit to the London Festival of Railway Modelling at Alexandra Palace. Now, my problem had nothing to do with the show itself – in fact, I enjoyed the layouts (when I could get in to see them) and I got to meet a Twitch streamer Tim and I watch and while we only purchased a single book at the show, there were plenty of stands we would have made purchases at if we had unlimited spending!

My problem was with the people attending the show. More specifically, with men.

Whenever we attend these more generic modelling shows, I never see a lot of women, unless they are assisting their husbands with their stands or being dragged around by a child or spouse. This means there is never a queue for the loo, but it also means that seeing a woman is a rarity. Probably even more rare to find one wearing a skirt (my preferred clothing choice). But it doesn’t excuse the behavior of some of the men I encountered.

I got looked at. Looks, I can handle, and I’ll even smile back. But a double take? Inappropriate. Looking a third time and then doing a weird winking, tongue clicking “here’s looking at you, kid” kind of thing….not ever appropriate. Nor is it appropriate to repeat it a second time.

It also is OK if you accidentally brush up against breasts when you’re trying to move in a crowd. You just apologize to the person and you’re fine. It is, however, not OK to either not apologize or smirk. 50% of the population (give or take) have boobs. Those of us with boobs know they can get in the way and know it’s usually an accident if someone brushes against them. Also, while we’re on the subject – boobs are there and there’s nothing those of us with them can do to conceal them, so looking down someone’s top is also not appropriate.

In addition to the incidents above (of which I was boob brushed at least three times and I actually yelled at the triple take tounge clicker the second time), there also was the rude shoving. One guy was even pressed up against my back trying to shove past me and that’s just not on. USE YOUR WORDS. Say excuse me if you need to get by, or wait your turn. At one point, the crowd was getting thick and I was following Tim and there was another couple about a foot away from me and this man just decided to barge past us and shoved me (and touched my boob in the process). I mean…really? It’s a model rail show. THE MODELS AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE. With the exception of a few bespoke items, chances are the stands aren’t going to run out of whatever it is you wanted to buy.

So here are my tips for attending railway shows. Or sci-fi conventions. Or…you know what…these are just general tips for being in groups of people —

1. Don’t ogle people.
2. If you accidentally touch someone, apologize.
3. Don’t ogle people.

Simple!

***

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Renting Space in Your Brain

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I’ve been a user of the internet in all of its many forms since the mid 90s, and since then I have had my fair share of trolls and mean comments – usually simple one offs like “I don’t like your voice” left on a video (which is ironic when I have acted and sang semi professionally!). But in my history of using the internet and becoming a content creator, I can count on one hand the number of people who just don’t know when to stop and start to become a nuisance . The first incident happened around 15 years ago and was a guy my husband and sister dubbed “Batteries” and things got so bad with him and his threats that I did have to go to the police. The second was about 10 years ago, and it might have been more than one person but at any rate, the result was *me* getting banned from a useful website I posted on and I had to speak with the police about the harassment. Then we delve into the land of psycho expats with more than one just losing their shit and stalking several fellow expats…and now we get to the most recent, ridiculous harassment/trolling efforts of someone who…well, they’re anon as far as I know. They do have internet handles, but I’m not going to mention them out of politeness.

Here’s where we get to the title of my post – Renting space in your brain. It’s incredible how ONE SINGLE COMMENT can kill you. For example, ONE music director in 2002 didn’t like my voice and I didn’t sing for 10 years. These comments weren’t about my singing, but another way I contribute to the arts – these comments were on the words I wrote.

The first comment came in September on my account over on Fanfiction.net. It was from a fellow “author”, and it was nasty and harrassive. FFN doesn’t let you remove nasty comments from registered users, so I simply deleted (And later re-posted) the story the comment had been left on and blocked the user id. Speaking to a fellow reader, I found out that the author in question “does this to any author who writes better than them and has a following”. Ok, so it was down to sheer jealousy then. Fine, whatever. I kept publishing.

I made the move to Archive of Our Own a few months ago after I finally got my invite to the site. I moved over much of my fic from FFN, but I also made an announcement on FFN that I was going to be posting on AO3 and if I wasn’t updating on FFN, to check me on AO3 and I listed my AO3 pseudo – AnnaOnTheMoon.

AO3 allows you to screen comments before they are posted, and a few came in from a person. Again, they were filled with harassment and well, they tried to tell me what I should write. Like, telling me “You need to write blahblahblah and blahblahblah needs to happen.” My response wanted to be “Go write it yourself”, but instead I just deleted the messages, figuring they would get the hint that I wasn’t interested in their “orders”. Other readers left comments requesting different storylines and if I felt I could write them, I did.  But when someone demanded I do something or another…no. AO3 doesn’t have a block feature, so I just had to delete the comments as they came in.

Finally, they stopped using their registered profile, and swapped to posting anon. And funny enough, the only reason I found out they were the same person was due to what they wrote in their comments when they referenced “a lack of negative feedback”.  Now, why would you assume someone even had negative feedback unless you had been the one who tried to leave it in the first place under your other nom de plume?

It was at this point I turned to getting advice from Author Dayton Ward on Twitter:

Dayton Ward was right. Just ignore, ignore, ignore. Don’t let them have space in my brain. But…it was hard. Especially with the comments that were coming through. At one point, they seemed to blame me for the entire Picard/Crusher fandom.

They decided that a fic I wrote called “The Comment Box” was about them. The fic itself was a tongue in cheek story about the ridiculous comments that are posted on Trek pages. Their response? Dedicating a story to me (and a friend of mine who is a big supporter of my writing.)

They thought they were writing an opt-ed. Uhm…no.  They also decided to steal my own tag of tongue in cheek, because…well, why not.

They admitted they had been reading me on FFN and had been the FFN user I blocked. They claimed to have “Been stalked in high school” (I also should note, that basing their age on what they mention in their own author’s notes, they aren’t much out of HS) and yet they decided to stalk me. (oh, and told me my depiction of stalking was wrong, because the way they were stalked is the absolute only way things ever happen)

The story got weird. I was Queen of the kingdom who churned out shit, but then I also inspire people? But the gem had to have been where I basically get blamed for the entire fandom.

I mean…what now?  But this “fic” was the final straw, and I contacted the AO3 admins and reported the story and the user for harassment.

…but I still can’t get their comments out of my head.  It’s poisoned my story, just like it poisoned one of my previous stories.  At this point, I want to either abandon the story (and the series as it’s second in a series), or delete it.  But if I delete it, I doubt I’ll ever re-write it, so then that also means that months of work will just be down the toilet because I can’t evict this asshole from my brain.

++

*sigh* Hopefully, by getting this all out, I will be able to evict them once and for all and return to my writing…because how does that phrase go? The best revenge is a life well lived?

***
+Meme made by me, screenshot from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
++Meme by Swear Trek
All other screenshots are from Archive Of Our Own or my own Email and Twitter accounts. 

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An Evening with Sir Patrick Stewart


A little over a month ago, my Google Alert for Patrick Stewart (shut up) went off with an interesting alert – Sir Patrick Stewart would be giving a talk during the Huddersfield Literature Festival. Tickets were £15, and I hadn’t yet seen it pop up on Twitter.

…So I blagged front row tickets. And then I waited…and waited..and waited for the day…and OH, was it worth it!

I had a bit of a panic on Thursday when I started to read the weather report for both Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Snow. But not until the wee hours, so we would likely be fine. To be on the safe side, we packed sleeping bags, extra warm clothing (hats, scarfs, fleeces), water,and snacks into the back of the car just in case the snow turned into a second Beast and we had to sleep in the car.

Our day started off with a walk through Huddersfield. There was an international food fair going on, so we checked that out and we headed to the Town Hall to make sure we knew where we would need to be and we scoped out the place we were meeting up with some friends for dinner before settling down into a local coffee shop (I’ve forgotten the name!) for a cup of Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. (Naturally.)

We met up with friends for dinner at the Zephyr. None of us were familiar with the place. The food was…ok. I had a Cajun grilled chicken burger and there was no spice at all on my chicken, which was disappointing. But the Strawberry gin was good.

We all were scattered around the auditorium, so we parted in the lobby and Tim and I headed to our seats. I still didn’t think it was real…I would actually see one of my heros live on stage? Talking? Telling us about his life and career?

When Nick introduced Sir Pat, he explained that Patrick agreed to photos during the first five minutes (and he even posed for pics), and then asked for phones/cameras to be put away and asked that it wasn’t recorded. In fact, we were told if anyone did get caught with their phone held up during the talk, they would be kicked out. I did spot one guy on the balcony out of the corner of my eye holding up a phone though, so if any footage gets posted online I’ll link it.

Patrick Stewart was brilliant. He warned us that he didn’t give short answers, so there weren’t a whole lot of questions asked, but the stories the man told…it was worth it. I’d have gladly sat there for another hour..two….three…just listening to his stories. Perhaps one day he’ll publish a memoir (and Mr Stewart, if you’re reading this, Please can I edit it?)

We even got a rare treat! Not one accent,not two, but three accents! Sir Pat imitated a local accent when he was telling us about his interview to receive a scholarship to attend the Old Vic (and apologized for it being bad, though as a non-local I couldn’t tell), and then he gave us “Space, ze final frontiere” in a French accent. I have to say, I’m quite happy Paramount didn’t make him use a French accent! His third accent was a recreation of his role in 1967 on Coronation Street, plating a Fireman from Lancashire.

We also learned his favourite episode is the Inner Light (though the questioner asked “What’s your favourite Enterprise episode, so I’m not sure if the questioner was confused over which series Sir Pat was in!). This is honestly no surprise to me as it is an incredible episode and it’s made even better by the appearance of Daniel Stewart playing his son!

Sir Patrick told us about his early days in acting, about meeting and becoming bezzies with Sir Ian McKellen, and how he felt when he was on the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are and discovered more about his father. We also learned that the two charities he is patron for are in memory of his parents – Refuge for his mother and Combat Stress for his father.

And speaking of his early days in acting – did you know he lied his way into gaining his scholarship? Naughty Patrick! But I think he paid his debt in full back to Yorkshire in the end when he became Chancellor of the Huddersfield Uni.

I’m still giggling over his (former) hair piece having been flown across the atlantic specifically for his audition for Captain Picard…and then it was never used. While he did mention he wore a hair piece in one episode (Violations, in a flashback Beverly has), he didn’t specify if it was the same one or styled the same way. Hmm. Something to ask him in the future, perhaps?

Sir Patrick said in an interview on BBC Radio Leeds on Thursday that his favourite childhood book was Treasure Island…and I really think he should record an audiobook for it, don’t you?

+

All in all, it was an incredible evening. Sadly, I didn’t get to ask him my question. I wanted to ask him to give advice to those of us in the arts (Performing, writing, creating) who face criticism and how you can bounce back from it…but it wasn’t meant to be and I’ll hopefully get to see him again and ask.

It started to snow on the way home. Not a significant amount, but enough to be annoying.

Thanks Huddersfield Literature Festival for having him, and THANK YOU Sir Patrick Stewart for speaking with us!

You are, forever, O Captain my Captain.

***

+Photo by Neil Armstrong.

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The Beast From The East Strikes Lincolnshire

It’s a November kind of February…well, now March.

When I woke up on Wednesday before my huband, I left the curtains pulled on the bedroom and glanced at the cats in the spare room on my way to the stairs. They were sharing their perch and both quite avidly watching something out the window. Merddin (the ginger boy) even tried to catch something through the glass. So I looked out and was greeted with:

Snow. Our first major snowfall of the 2017/2018 winter. They’re calling it the Beast from the East with good reason as it stretches all the way from Eastern Russia to nearly cover the entire European continent. It even snowed in Rome!

But let me back up to Tuesday, when we saw minimal snow showers and a squall or two. I happened to be in town to buy a birthday present for my aunt at M&S and when I left the shop, it had started to snow.

The snow continued in little squalls the rest of the day, and we even had one so bad the bus driver could barely see on the drive home, but it wasn’t bad overall. But at 8PM, I received a text from Tesco that my deliver was cancelled due to the snow! I wound up at the local co op where I was lucky to grab a small bottle of milk, and a 6 pack of eggs. No bread.

I went to bed thinking I would catch a bus in the morning to a grocery store since all we got was that piddly amount of snow.

Boy was I wrong!

I was cold. I layered up with thermal tights, thermal leggings, 2 thermal tops, wool and fleece socks…and my brand new Beverly Crusher onesie from Think Geek.

By the time Tim left for work, it was snowing on and off. Then, around 2PM, we seemed to have a blizzard out there.

Wednesday is Slimming World Day for me, and I usually walk to group as it’s not far away. But a recent knee injury has left me getting lifts from my friends, and for group on Wednesday, I asked my consultant if she could pick me up. I’m part of her social team, so I was able to stay to group and help her the entire evening, but not before bundling up for the cold!

My Slimming World consultant picked me up at 4 and we headed to run group as she wasn’t allowed to cancel. But I took a 6 inch ruler outside before I left to measure the snow in the garden, and it was a tiny bit over the top of the ruler.

I also had to have a little bit of fun with MiniBev and MiniPicard.

After Slimming World, we slided our way back home and I walked to the co op once more in the hopes I could pick up the missing essential grocery items. That was a big fat nope. No milk, bread, or eggs. Someone is making a lot of French toast! I did spot this single little icicle though:

When my husband left for work around 11AM for his 2-10 shift, all the hills into Lincoln were closed. He had to park the car up at the Lawn and walk on foot the rest of the way into Lincoln. Once at work, his job took him out to Ancaster, some 20 miles away. His trip home took an hour to get back to Lincoln, and then another hour to get from Lincoln to Dunholme…a distance of only five miles.

Naturally, he was unable to stop for supplies on his way home, so I could only hope the co-op would get a delivery in the morning.

As you can see, the cats are more interested in the electric blanket now than looking out at the snow.

This morning, I was relieved to see we hadn’t had any more snow overnight, however it has now become windy, which means lots of drifting snow. Still, I had hoped the co-op would have been resupplied, but according to a friend, a delivery came in early, but people were buying multiple jugs of milk, loaves of bread, and packs of eggs, leaving the shelves empty by the time I got there.

I did manage to pick up a pack of wraps, some soy milk, some chocolate milk, and a 4-pack of duck eggs. I’ve never eaten duck eggs before, but I’m assuming they will taste relatively the same. I hope. We can use the chocolate milk in our coffee and the soy milk with cereal to save the minimal regular milk for tea.

The village roads are still hit and miss. Two of the main roads (Lincoln Rd and Ryland Rd) seem relatively clear, but Honeyholes lane is a struggle and I heard several streets are still completely impassable, as we simply won’t see a plough on the smaller streets. The footpaths are walkable, if you can keep your balance on the packed down snow, and are most definitely not passable if you use any type of walking aid. The buses are even trying to run limited services again.

I’m hoping to get out tomorrow to get groceries. Tesco graciously gave me some vouchers, but I don’t want to schedule delivery until this mess has passed us over as I wouldn’t want it to get cancelled again!

Short video I took from my bedroom window:

***

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Hatred and Fandom in Star Trek

I know I haven’t updated properly in ages (not since before October, and then it was fanfic for #BevCrusherDay). I’m sorry. I’ve been busy. But right now, I feel like I need to write this post about hatred and fandoms. More specifically, I’m talking about the Star Trek fandom. Call us trekkies or trekkers, I really don’t care…but there’s a whole lot of hate in the fandom right now.

Don’t like the new series? Don’t watch it. You don’t have to watch week after week so you can spread your hate. And you most definitely don’t need to tweet the actors to tell them how much you hate it. No. That’s just…I’m not sure I have words. Now, I haven’t watched all of Discovery yet, because it’s something my husband and I want to watch together and we haven’t had time, so I can only speak based on what I’ve seen on the Facebook groups and Twitter. There is so much of this “this isn’t Star Trek” BS it could fill the Enterprise — all of them. My only response is – Does it have the trek logo? It’s Star Trek. It’s all part of one main franchise, people! And guess what? You don’t have to like ALL of the franchise to be a fan! You don’t even have to like the original series to be a fan!

And speaking of the original series, if I hear one more time “Your series wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for TOS!” Don’t you think we know that? But acknowledging TOS as the granddaddy of our franchise doesn’t mean it has to be my favourite series. And you can’t really compare Discovery to TOS. TOS was made in the 60s, for chrissake. It was the best sci-fi out there FOR ITS ERA. Yes, it has cheesy effects, the storylines are dated, the model ships look funny….but this is how sci fi was done in the 60s. You have to suspend some of your modern ideas when you watch TOS and try to be a person from the 60s watching it. And if you still think its awful, look for other sci fi series from that era and you’ll soon see that TOS was actually the best.

Move forward to the 80s and 90s of TNG, DS9, and VOY and the effects still won’t compare to the resources someone has in 2018. (And I’m saying that as a die hard TNG fan)

Or compare the Harry Potter films with Fantastic Beasts. FB takes place over 50 years before Harry Potter is even born, yet the effects in FB far outstrip HP. Why? Because HP was made in the early 00s, and FB was made in 2016. Yes, just a small time frame of FIVE YEARS separate the last HP film being made from the first FB film, and the effects have gotten better. OR we could look at Rogue One compared to A New Hope. Again, SAME THING. Film and TV makers aren’t going to take steps backwards with effects.

Another ridiculous amount of hate seems to be aimed at women – both fans and actors. It sometimes feels like as a woman, I’m somehow not supposed to like sci fi or have opinions and the female actors only role is to be sexy eye candy. Uhm…how about no? But you see it over and over again and it’s no wonder we had to make our own Feminist Trek group where we actually support each other.

While we’re talking about fandom and Star Trek, I also feel like I need to talk about fanfiction. I love fanfic, I write fanfic, I read fanfic. For those of you who don’t know what fan fiction is – Fan fic is Fiction written by a fan of a TV series, book, film, etc. that uses the characters/setting for their own storyline. And yes, there’s slash (which is pairing same sex characters together who are usually hetero in canon). I don’t write slash, for reasons I’m not going to get into on this post, but I do write a lot of fan fic. I mean, a lot. Most people like it and encourage me, and I love that. But what I don’t like are the people who decide to tell me what I should be writing or what I should do with my characters or even demanding that I explain why I made someone do something…and…no. The whole idea of fan fic is that you do whatever the heck you want to do with the characters and setting. I have one troll in particular…they must really hate me. They leave me PAGES of negative reviews…even told me they don’t like my writing. Fine. Don’t like me, don’t read me. And yet…they still read and still leave comments. Comments that I ignore and delete. I mean, get with the program already. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. Why is this so hard to comprehend?

And the sheer length of some of these comments – It must take them hours to compose…like, really? Don’t you have something better to do? I get that you don’t like my fic, you told me over a month ago. Pretty sure the answer to not liking something is to stop looking at it. Whether we’re talking about TV shows, Films, Books, Fanfic, Blog posts, Twitter posts, FB posts, Youtube videos…etc. I don’t look at things I dislike, why do you?

tl;dr – I think Swear Trek said it best with Picard up there.

***
Gifs from Swear Trek, which if you aren’t following them on Twitter, you really should!

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Star Trek The Next Generation FanFic: Doctor Beverly Day

Doctor Beverly Day

Summary:  Jean-Luc decides the ship’s school needs a Doctor Beverly Day.

Genre:  Family, Romance (eh, at a stretch)

Pairings: Picard/Crusher

Rating: K

Words:  857

A/N: So I had a dream last night….this is the dream.  Doesn’t everyone dream of P/C?

13 October is Beverly Crusher’s birthday, so what better way to celebrate than writing a short fic or two about our favourite doctor?  This will be cross posted to ff and my personal blog because I plan on sharing this fic on Twitter and I don’t want to use my ff account publicly.  So if you see this in two places, that’s why.  I know it was yesterday, but I’m still adding this one to my submissions.

Also, the disclaimer for posting to my blog: I don’t own TNG, Beverly or Jean-Luc.  I don’t work for Paramount, CBS, PocketBooks, Simon & Shuster…etc, etc.  I’m just a fan!  I also ask for forgiveness from Gates McFadden and Sir Patrick Stewart for using (abusing?)  their characters.

###

Beverly looked around the room in astonishment.  “Jean-Luc….you really didn’t have to do this.”  They were in one of the conference rooms.  A large painted banner hung across one end proclaiming it to be ‘Doctor Beverly Day’.

“Well, I heard how much you thought Captain Picard Day was a success and I thought we should introduce the children to the other members of the Command staff.”

“Yes, but…most of the children already know me since I’m their doctor, not to mention the mother of-”

Jean-Luc cut her off. “So what better way to thank you?”  Jean-Luc gestured to the table heaving with drawings, short stories, poems, clay figures, and even a small doll.  Jean-Luc picked up one of the poems.

“Doctor Bev is the best doctor in the galaxy / She takes care of our menagerie,” he paused. “Well, at least it almost rhymes? Although…do you take care of the animals on board too? Don’t we have a biology lab for that?”

“We do….but sometimes the children see that I’m a doctor and they ask…you’re not mad, are you?”

“What? Using sickbay resources to look after a child’s pet? Of course not.  Now, let me continue.  ‘Her hair is a gorgeous mane / it is the colour of flame’,”  He glanced over at her hair. “Hmm, looks like you have an admirer here.”

Beverly’s eyes twinkled with mischief.  “Are you sure you didn’t write this poem, Jean-Luc?”

“Quite. ‘I do not like being sick / but when I see Doctor Bev it’s quick / Doctor Bev, you are the best / Better than all the rest’ It’s signed Tommy, age six.”

“Oh, that’s Lieutenant Anderson’s son.  He broke his arm a few weeks ago riding a bike in the arboretum.”

“The children are riding bikes in the arboretum?”

“Where else should they go, Jean-Luc?”

“The holodeck?”

“Hardly.  But anyway, Tommy broke his arm and it was easy to fix up.  Cute kid.  Cute dad, too.”

“Hmm.” Jean-Luc frowned.

Beverly leaned over and kissed his cheek.  “Can dish it out, but you can’t take it, eh?”

“I..ah….”  He rubbed the back of his neck.  “Shall we look at another poem?”

“You don’t have anything to worry about. I prefer my men older…and bald.” She whispered the last word into Jean-Luc’s ear and gently nipped it.

Jean-Luc turned red. “I…ah…see…”  He picked up a doll made into the likeness of Beverly. “Oh look, a doll. She’ll match the Captain Picard doll I happen to know you have in your office….”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Jean-Luc.  The doll is there to soothe children who visit Sickbay.”  Jean-Luc raised his eyebrows.  “Ok, It’s mine.  I asked Mina if I could have it after Captain Picard Day. It was just so adorable.”

“Mina?”

“The girl who made it.  She probably made that one, too.  I’m sure she’d give it to you if you asked.  But Jean-Luc, what are you going to do with a doll that looks like me?”

“Ah….use it to sooth….children?”

Beverly raised her eyebrows. “Do you get many children in your Ready Room who need soothing?” Jean-Luc opened his mouth and shut it again.  Beverly grinned. “Admit it, you just want the doll because it looks like me.”

Jean-Luc tucked the doll under his arm. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Doctor.  Oh, it looks like the children are ready to perform, shall we go watch?”  Beverly was about to reply when a little girl with bouncing red curls tugged on the Jean-Luc’s trouser leg.  Jean-Luc looked down at the child and tried to scowl, though his eyes were smiling. “Yes?”  The little girl motioned for Jean-Luc to pick her up.  Jean-Luc shrugged and bent down so the girl could wrap her arms around his neck as he carefully lifted her.  The little girl pointed at the doll tucked under Jean-Luc’s arm and exclaimed “Mama!” Jean-Luc smiled.  “Yes, the doll does look like Mama.  Would you like to play with it?”  The little girl nodded.  Jean-Luc handed the doll to the girl and she slid out of his arms to go join her friends.

“You know, she plays with the Captain doll whenever she’s in my office.”

Jean-Luc looked astonished. “She does?”

“Mm-hmm. It’s really quite adorable.  Tells it to take a nap.”

“A nap?”

“ Yes.  When you’re grouchy.  She accidentally heard me tell Alyssa I thought you needed a nap one day….”

“I do not get grouchy. Nor do I nap.”

“So that time I caught you with your eyes closed on your couch?”

“I was thinking.”

Beverly rolled her eyes. “Snoring more like it.”

“I do not snore.”

“Hmmm.”  Beverly called over to the little girl . ”Yvette, sweetheart, does Papa snore?”

“Uh.huh. An’ he’s loud!!!!”  Yvette giggled.  Jean-Luc groaned.  The other crewmen in the room tried to hide their smiles.

“Ah, thank you Yvette. If you had said it louder, the whole ship would have heard you.”  The sarcasm was lost on the little girl, who raised her voice and shouted “PAPA SNORES!”.  Jean-Luc hid his face in Beverly’s hair.  “That child….is just a little too much like you some days.”

***

Forgive me for posting another fic on my blog, but again, I wanted to share it on Twitter for #BevCrusherDay. If you’re looking for any of my other fic, it’s on fanfiction.net. If you search for the title of this story, you’ll find my other stories.

Dispensing with the usual copyright footer, since as I stated, I don’t own TNG or the characters….only my words.

*Image via Pinterest. I’m assuming it’s from Nemesis?

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Star Trek The Next Generation FanFic: Birthday Blues

R2 for #BevCrusherDay

*

Birthday Blues

Summary:  Take place mid-Season 5 during episode 21, The Perfect Mate. Beverly celebrates her birthday without her best friend.

Genre:  Friendship, Romance (not much)

Pairings: Picard/Crusher, Picard/Kamala (implied)

Rating: K

Words:  1,030

A/N  Today is #BevCrusherDay.  13 October is Beverly Crusher’s birthday, so what better way to celebrate than writing a short fic or two about our favourite doctor?  This will be cross posted to ff and my personal blog because I plan on sharing this fic on Twitter and I don’t want to use my ff account publicly.  So if you see this in two places, that’s why.

Also, the disclaimer for posting to my blog: I don’t own TNG, Beverly or Jean-Luc.  I don’t work for Paramount, CBS, PocketBooks, Simon & Shuster…etc, etc.  I’m just a fan!  I also ask for forgiveness from Gates McFadden and Sir Patrick Stewart for using (abusing?)  their characters.

###

Beverly kicked off her boots at the door, flung her lab coat over a chair and headed straight for the liquor cabinet.  She rummaged around until she found the bottle of wine Jean-Luc had given her for her birthday last year and grumbled about men and how they can’t be bothered to remember dates from one year to the next. But he had been so obsessed with Kamala that he seemed to have even forgotten who she was!

She supposed it was her own fault.  She was the one who had pressed Jean-Luc to allow Kamala to leave her quarters…she shook her head.  No. It’s Jean-Luc’s fault for finding her so damn alluring.  He just can’t help but want to solve a puzzle. It’s one of the reasons I lo….no, stop that. She poured herself a glass of wine and took a sip.  She noticed the light blinking on her console and went to check her messages.  Her son’s face filled the screen.

“Hi, Mom.  I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday today.  I hope you’re not spending it alone and Captain Picard does something nice for you…or maybe Counsellor Troi or Commander Riker. I don’t know why I said Captain Picard’s name first. Anyway…Happy birthday, Mom.  I love you. I miss you.”

Wesley’s face faded out and Beverly chuckled. Miss you too, Wes.  She checked her other messages.  There was a written message from her Nana on Caldos,  a message from her old mentor, Doctor Quaice, and an invitation to meet Deanna and Will in Ten Forward for a birthday drink.  She glanced down at the glass of wine she was drinking and shrugged, tipping it back before going to change.  Her bubble bath could wait. Seeing her friends would be a pleasant way to spend her birthday.

Of course, the conversation in Ten Forward revolved around the metamorph.  Beverly frowned as she accepted another drink from Guinan.

“Happy birthday, Doctor.  Where’s the Captain?”

“Oh, I don’t know Guinan,” Beverly spat out. “Off with Kamala, no doubt”

“I….ah…see.  You know, you shouldn’t be moping on your birthday.”

Beverly glared at Guinan. “I’m not.”

“Really? Sure seems so to me.”

Beverly shook her head. “Thank you for the drink, but I better be going.”  Beverly placed her empty glass on the bar and stalked out of the bar.  Of all the nonsense I’ve ever heard out of Guinan.  Me? Moping?  Over Jean-Luc?!  She stalked her way into the turbolift and made it back to her quarters and headed straight  for the bathroom, grabbing the bottle of opened wine and a glass as she sailed past the table.  A long soak in the tub was just what this birthday girl needed. She grabbed the PADD with the current holonovel she was reading in her other hand as on her way past her bed.  Bubbles, books, and wine was all a girl needed to celebrate her 45th birthday…right?

Several hours and multiple “Computer, raise bath temperature”s later, Beverly finally decided to haul herself out of the bathtub.  She was wrapped in a fluffy towel drying her hair when she heard her door chime. Who could be bothering me at this time of night?  I hope it’s not an emergency….out loud, she spoke the command to open the door.

Jean-Luc sheepishly walked in, a bottle of wine in one hand, and a bouquet of flowers in the other.  He looked up at her and blushed as he realised she was only wearing a towel. “I…ah….didn’t mean to disturb…..”

Beverly grinned.  It was fun to make Jean-Luc feel uncomfortable.  She walked closer.  “No, you didn’t disturb me. I was just finished in the bath.”  She indicated the flowers and wine. “For me?”

“Ah…yes…happy birthday Beverly.”  Jean-Luc held out the items to her.

“Hmm, so you did remember.”  She leaned deliberately to allow Jean-Luc   a good look at her towel-clad cleavage before giving him a chaste kiss on the cheek.  “Thank you.”

“Yes..well…Er…I’m sorry if you thought I forgot. I was…..ah….busy.”

“Why don’t you open the wine and I’ll put some clothes on.”

“You don’t have to get dressed…ah….” Jean-Luc’s face turned pink. “That is….I meant….”

Beverly laughed. It was so easy to rile Jean-Luc up.  “I know what you meant.  But please sit. It will only take me a minute.”  Beverly retreated back to her bedroom silently laughing.  Perhaps tonight would be a good birthday, after all.  She returned to her living area a few minutes later, clad in a soft pair of leggings and a long sweater.  She accepted her glass from Jean-Luc and curled up on her sofa, tucking her legs under her.  How many glasses of wine does this make for today?  Four? Five?  Who’s counting.

“I ah…went to the liberty of replicating some nibbles to go with the wine,” Jean-Luc indicated the plate on the low table.

“Hmm. Good idea, Jean-Luc.   So…how is Kamala?”

“She…ahhh…Well, tomorrow is the ceremony.”

“And she’ll be bonded to Alrek?”

“Yes.”

“It still sounds so…barbaric.  Giving away a person like that?”

“Kamala says it is what she wants,” Jean-Luc paused and took a sip of wine before continuing.  “She asked me to stay with her tonight.”

Beverly nearly choked on her drink. “She…what?”

“She asked me to stay with her.”

“And you said…?”

“Well, I’m here, aren’t I? I wasn’t going to miss your birthday.”

Beverly pursed her lips. “I see. And if it wasn’t my birthday?”

Jean-Luc shook his head.  “Beverly, I don’t even know who she is. She changes depending on who is in the room with her and yet….I find her slightly alluring….” Beverly frowned.  “I’m sorry, it’s your birthday and here I am pouring out my soul to you…but I guess I needed a friend.”  He reached out and took her hand and gave it a squeeze.

Beverly tilted her head at him. “Just a friend?”

“No. I needed you.”  Beverly placed her glass on the table and bridged the gap between the two of them to pull him into a tight hug.

“Jean-Luc,  I am always here for you.”

Jean-Luc pulled back slightly and rested his forehead against hers.  He gently kissed her. “I know, Beverly.  I know.”

***
Dispensing with the usual copyright footer, since as I stated, I don’t own TNG or the characters….only my words.

*Screenshot from Season 7, Episode 26 – All Good Things

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Star Trek The Next Generation FanFic: Bev Crusher Day

I know I don’t usually post fanfiction on my blog, but bear with me….


*

Bev Crusher Day

Summary: Jean-Luc surprises Beverly on her 46th birthday.  P/C light.

Genre: Friendship, (light) Romance

Pairings: Picard/Crusher, Picard/Nella (mentioned)

Rating: K

Words:  1069

A/N  Today is #BevCrusherDay.  13 October is Beverly Crusher’s birthday, so what better way to celebrate than writing a short fic or two about our favourite doctor?  This will be cross posted to ff and my personal blog because I plan on sharing this fic on Twitter and I don’t want to use my ff account publicly.  So if you see this in two places, that’s why.

Also, the disclaimer for posting to my blog: I don’t own TNG, Beverly or Jean-Luc.  I don’t work for Paramount, CBS, PocketBooks, Simon & Shuster…etc, etc.  I’m just a fan!  I also ask for forgiveness from Gates McFadden and Sir Patrick Stewart for using (abusing?)  their characters.

###

Beverly smiled as she glanced at the memo that scrolled across the screen:

Meet me at Holodeck 3. 1600.  Dress for riding. –JLP

Beverly checked the time.  0700.  Her shift ended at 1500, so that would give her just enough time to change.  Her relationship with Jean-Luc had been strained lately.  After he was rescued from Celtris III they had a long chat and he admitted to her they had told him she was there and it had been thinking about keeping her safe that had kept him complacent. She wept when he had told her, and the evening was spent with the two of them holding each other.  They had fallen asleep together on Jean-Luc’s sofa and it lead to…well, not really seeing each other, but their breakfasts had turned into also sharing dinner most nights and they had a comfortable relationship. It never quite crossed the line, but it sort of teetered on the edge.  In their 20-year friendship, they had shared only a handful of kisses prior to a few weeks ago.  But since Jean-Luc returned they seemed to have been kissing each other more frequently.  Never more than just a kiss, but it all felt warm and comfortable….and then Nella happened.

Beverly should have known something was up the minute she reached for Jean-Luc’s hand during Data’s concert and he pulled it away.  And then when Nella had the audacity to come into her Sickbay to tell her she was injured while playing with Jean-Luc!  Nella was lucky Beverly had taken an oath to do no harm, that’s for sure . And Jean-Luc…well, it wouldn’t have been the first time she showed up at his quarters for their standing breakfast date, but the last time had been years ago, and it had been Vash….who Beverly hardly had considered a threat to her relationship with Jean-Luc.  But seeing Nella there in her seat sipping coffee as if she just belonged there had made Beverly’s blood boil.

And then, Nella left. While on one hand, Beverly was thrilled that Nella had left, she also felt badly for Jean-Luc. He seemed to have fallen hard for the woman, dare she say, he might have even been in love with her?  But the upside to Nella being gone is he had resumed his daily breakfasts with her.  Beverly smugly smiled to herself. Nella, you never had a chance.

This morning’s breakfast had been simple.  Jean-Luc had been fairly quiet and Beverly was a little disappointed he hadn’t wished her a happy birthday.  She thought perhaps it had slipped his mind, and she wasn’t going to remind him.  But now this invitation had her curious….had he been planning this all along?

She put the thoughts out of her head as her first patient for the day arrived.  No time to think about Jean-Luc and their non-relationship  relationship right now.

###

Beverly stood outside Holodeck Three, decked out in a blue blouse, black riding trousers, and riding boots.  She felt a little silly as crewmembers shuffled past her, but then again, why should she?  She was merely waiting for her companion.

Jean-Luc came around the corner and Beverly’s breath caught in her throat.  He really was rather good looking.  Jean-Luc was wearing a soft creamy coloured shirt, the V-neck showing off the fact that most of the hair on his body was on his chest.  Beverly giggled to herself.  Jean-Luc soon came up to her and gave her a chaste kiss on her cheek.  “What has you giggling?”

“Nothing,” she innocently said. “You look nice.”

“Aren’t I the one who is supposed to tell you you look nice?”

“Well, do I?”

“Always.”  He accessed the panel next to the door. “Computer.  Run Picard-Crusher-23”

The doors to the holodeck slid open.   “Enter when ready.”

“Well, shall we?”  He took her hand in his and they entered the room.  Beverly gasped. She was standing on a hill on a bright sunny day overlooking fields and fields of gentle rows of plants.  A tudor-style house sat in the distance.

“It’s…beautiful, Jean-Luc.”

“It’s La Barre.  I always wanted to show it to you.”

“Thank you.  I feel honoured.”

“Now that Robert and I are on….better terms, perhaps we can visit someday. I think you and Marie would get along well.”

“That would be lovely.  So…horses?”

“Yes.  The stable is this way….I picked out a lovely mare for you.” The horse Jean-Luc had picked out for her was grey with a white star-shaped mark on her forehead.  “Her name is Silver Star. She was Maman’s favourite.”  Jean-Luc helped Beverly onto Silver Star.  “Shall we?”

They rode in companionable silence. Beverly’s horse was keeping pace with Jean-Luc’s and she was enjoying the feeling of the wind running through her hair and on her face.  Wind wasn’t exactly something you got to experience often when you were on a starship.

Jean-Luc surreptitiously watched Beverly.  He loved the way her hair streamed behind her like a ripple of fire.  He thought he might like to run his fingers through her hair, and then stopped himself.  No. Best not think about that.  He led the horses up another ridge and pulled his horse to a stop.  Dismounting, he helped Beverly off her horse before pulling a pinic basket out from behind a tree.

“Prepared, were you?”  Beverly asked with a twinkle in her eye.

“I came in a little early…I wanted today to be special. Happy Birthday, Beverly.”

Beverly smiled. “I thought you hadn’t remembered.”

“No, I knew.  Perhaps I should have wished you a happy birthday this morning, but I had already planned this….shall we?”

“Lead on, Macduff.”  Jean-Luc levelled an annoyed gaze at Beverly, but she had laughter in her eyes.  “Oh, Jean-Luc, the look on your face!  As if I would ever dream of misquoting Shakespeare around you!”

“Hmm.” Jean-Luc quickly spread out the tartan blanket and pulled out a bottle of wine, two glasses, some cheese, baguettes, slices of apples, strawberries, and a small cake.  “It’s not much…” he said, passing a glass of wine to Beverly.

“No, it’s perfect.”  She leaned over to place a kiss on his cheek, but Jean-Luc turned his face and captured her lips instead.  When she broke the kiss, she looked into his eyes and smiled.  “Well, that was nice.”

“Indeed.”  Jean-Luc wrapped his arm around Beverly and pulled her closer.  Perhaps this would be a very happy birthday indeed.

***

Dispensing with the usual copyright footer, since as I stated, I don’t own TNG or the characters….only my words.

*Screenshot image from the 4×05 Episode, Remember Me.

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[Recipe] Slimming World Style Japanese Ramen (Wagamama Fakeaway)

A few days ago, a member of my slimming world group posted a picture of a delicious looking Japanese Ramen style soup her husband had made. Based on her photo, and a recipe I found on BBC Good Food, I came up with this. It reminds me of the kinds of meals you can get at Wagamama.

Japanese Ramen, Serves 2. SYNS: 0

You Will Need:
2 blocks of Ramen noodles (medium chinese noodles)
2L water
2 chicken stock cubes
6 sprigs purple broccoli
1 carrot, diced
200g baby corn, sliced into rounds
1 spring onion stalk, sliced
2 boneless chicken breasts
2TBS Chinese 5 spice
1TBS soy sauce
2 handfuls spinach
2 eggs, hardboiled and sliced in half

1. Slice chicken breasts into strips and coat with the Chinese five spice. Spray a pan with fry light, and fry strips until golden, or use a griddle pan. Set aside.
2. Add the water, stock cubes, soy sauce, purple broccoli, baby corn, spring onion, and carrot to a pot and bring to a boil. Allow vegetables to cook through.
3. Add Ramen and cook according to package.
4. Place one handful of uncooked spinach in the bottom of each bowl and slowly ladle the broth and vegetables on top. Use tongs to extract 3 broccoli sprigs per bowl. Evenly divide the noodles and chicken between the bowls and garnish with egg.

***

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.

Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission.

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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Happy Birthday Hexe & Merddin!

When Tim and I went away to Manchester for an overnight last October, we had no idea that the night we got home would be our last night with our cat, Prudence.

Prudence was Tim’s cat. She had wandered into his garden about 12 years prior and just made herself at home. Tim determined that she must be the cat from Prudential, so Prudence became her name. A few years after I moved, when Pru finally decided I was going to stick aound, she accepted me and she became my cat just as much as she had been Tim’s.

In 2014, she had an operation to remove a tumor from the base of her tail. It was cancerous, and the vet told us if it came back there wasn’t going to be any possible treatment other than to make her comfortable. He couldn’t tell us if we would have 2 weeks, months, or years with her. We decided that we would make the hard choice when she was ready, as we were sure she would let us know when she knew it was her time.

While we were away in Manchester, she started gnawing at her leg. I can still remember (and still have a slight stain from it) the puddle she was sat in when we got home. Her cancer had come back, and it was brutal. We spent the last night together all on the sofa bed in the living room and in the morning said goodbye to her. Instead of cremation, we opted to bury her in the garden.

I was distraught. Being home 90% of the time, she and I were companions. She would usually be in the room with me and we would have our little rituals together. I couldn’t even get to sleep the first few days because there was no fuzzy lump purring on me. I slept cuddling a Bagpuss toy and with a white noise app on my tablet set to a cat purr.

It was during this time we started to plan our trip for our anniversary. We were going to go to Yorkshire to see a lecture by Tim Peake. Unfortunately, Tim had to cancel. But we still had a hotel booked for 2 days in Bradford, so that was when my friend stepped in and invited us to come over and visit her and her 6 cats and to pay a visit to the Yorkshire Cat Rescue. We were going just to visit the cats……Tim, Nicola, and I all had the idea in the back of our head that we would get another cat that weekend, but none of us said this thought out loud to each other.

Once we were at YCR, we started off in the adult cat room. There were nice cats, but none that really spoke to us…..until we got to the kitten room.
In the kitten room, we watched a trio of kittens. A rambunctious boy and 2 girls snuggling together on a bed. One of the girls got plucked out to go to her fur-ever home, leaving the other girl trembling and upset. Since we were allowed to open the pens to play with the cats, I opened up the pen and picked the little girl up. She curled up against my chest and started purring! Not wanting to be outdone, her brother poked his head out and climbed straight onto Tim’s back! We had found our kittens.

Since the kittens were in Keighley and we were in Lincolnshire, we made arrangements for my friend Nicola to pick them up for us and foster them for a day or two, when I would come up on the train to retrieve them.
Tim and I were riding on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway that afternoon trying to name them. With our girl being a tortoiseshell , we decided she needed a suitably witchy name. With her brother being ginger, I first naturally considered names out of the Harry Potter Universe…..but somehow Hermione didn’t sound like a good fit for her, and Minerva would only suit a grey tabby….so then we started thinking about our favourite places, and we finally settled on Hexe (German for witch). But what would we name the boy? He needed a suitable name to go along with a witch, and we joked about naming him Aslan…..but then Tim was worried I would come home with a third cat, a white kitten we would name Pax (points if you get the references!!). Somwhere along the line we started thinking about engines – and so Merddin got his name after both the Welsh legend (Merlin) and the double fairlie at one of our favourite Welsh narrow gauge railways. Officially, Hexe is Countess Hexe von Fluffington, and Merddin is Merddin Emrys. (though really, I think he should be Sir Merddin Emrys!). Well, I say officially, but you know….they’re cats.

And here we are…..our kittens are turning one today!! I can’t imagine my life without them in it…..but we do still miss our Proodle Doodle (among her other silly nicknames!)

It’s been a learning curve for us, too. Tim hadn’t had a kitten in many years, and I never had had TWO kittens at once! Merddin finally grew into his ears and feet (and boy has he grown!) and Hexe continues to be our little dainty girl who loves her snuggles, but on her own terms!

Happy Birthday Kittens!!!

(I’ve made both a short and an extended edition of their first year. Watch them both below!)

PS: Did I mention our cats came from Yorkshire Cat Rescue? They are an AMAZING home grown charity and they place cats all over the country! So if you’re looking to adopt, consider YCR…plus you cn ride the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway the same day!
**

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Pickpocketed in Dresden

You always read about people being pickpocketed, and you never think it will happen to you. After all, you’re smart. You keep your wallet in a secure pocket or around your neck; you’ve purchased RFID blocking cases and sleeves, and/or you use slashproof bags when you travel. But then perhaps you get too comfortable in your location and you become lax. You find yourself leaving your handbag by your feet while you take a photo, or perhaps your wallet doesn’t get put back into a zippered pocket….and then you get hit by a pickpocket.

This was my reality on our recent trip to Dresden. I felt so at home in the former East German city that I didn’t really think about my own personal safety and after having my Wochenkarte checked onboard a tram, I shoved my pass case into the front pocket of my camera bag instead of putting it away inside my zippered purse. We got off at Albertplatz and made our way to the Rebecca Brunnen (fountain) near the Drei Konig Kirche and on towards the fountain at the end of the street and even got as far as the golden statue of August II, two hours after we had had our tickets checked. It was while we were paying for our lunch at a Nord See takeaway that I noticed it was missing.

Queue panic. Serious panic. I emptied my entire camera bag right there on the sidewalk, double checked, and made Tim triple check…..it was gone. My passcase that contained my Wochenkarte (worth €61!), My London Oyster card, and more worrying – my National Rail ID and travel card for travel within the UK.

At first, we wanted to believe I had merely dropped it on the tram, so we headed to the DVB office at Postplatz. After finally finding someone who could speak English (I do speak German, but in this instance, I knew English would be easier), he agreed to contact the driver of the tram we had been on. The driver would check the tram and get back to him in an hour. So we went off to the shopping centre at Altmarkt (I really wanted ice cream!) and returned to find out that the driver had not found my case. We were advised to either return in 2 hours or come back the following day, and the Fundbüro was also suggested. Being pickpocketed was mentioned as a possibility, but we still didn’t want to believe that had happened. I also kept checking my facebook “other” inbox, thinking that if someone had found the case they might have searched for me on facebook and tried to match the photo ID to my profile pic, but no luck. We headed to the Lindt shop and had a delicious Eisschokolade drink (it was crushed truffles and milk. SO DELICIOUS) before heading back to our apartment.

The following day, I returned to the DVB office, but my case stil hadn’t been found, so we went around the corner to the Fundbüro. The Fundbüro is located at 13 theaterplatz, and is in the basement of a building that has many other city offices in it. I dont think it was the city hall building, but it was definitely a city office building. Once we got to the basement, there was a sign (in German) telling us we could only enter if the light above the door was green. Since it was green, we went inside. Fortunately, the people in the office speak English. After explaining what I had lost, they searched their computer that logs everything that comes in and the gentleman suggested to me that I most likely had, in fact, had the item stolen from me because things like wallets tend to show up fairly quickly if they are simply found.

Well, crap.

We had plans for the day, so we purchased a second weekly ticket (uuuugh) and headed on our way. That night I also researched how to get home after we landed back at Heathrow……and I had to spend an additional £31.50 – £10.50 for the Heathrow Connect (while Tim would be using the Heathrow Express, it was twice as expensive to buy a replacement ticket for me) and £21 for a single from King’s Cross to Lincoln. I planned on using my contactless debit card on the underground to get from Paddington to King’s Cross.

The following day, while Tim explored the transportation museum in town, I made my way to the police station to file a report. This report was necessary so I could have my rail passes replaced once we got home, and on the off chance that our travel insurance would kick in.


The main police station in Dresden is located on Schießgasse between Landhausstraße and Rampische Straße. it is a beautiful building, and we actually had admired it on our first evening in Dresden and took several pictures of the building so I knew exactly where I needed to be.

Once you enter the building, there are two windows – one to the left and one to the right. IF both are manned, I believe you are supposed to go to the left, but as only one window was manned, I went to the right. After asking if I could speak to someone who spoke English since my German wasn’t up to snuff (see the end of this post for some handy German phrases!), I was directed to a small waiting area.

After about 20 minutes, a female officer came out and I thought she would be helping me, but after I explained to her what had happened, she asked me to wait. 20 more minutes went by, and I was finally called back by an officer who identified himself as Herr Jentzsch. Herr Jentzsch explained that he wasn’t fluent in English, but since I could speak some English, we decided we could communicate…..along with the aid of google for looking up images of things and correct words!



I was back with Herr Jentzsch for quite some time, but that was mostly to do with needing to first explain everything in English (and write the report in English), and then helping Herr Jentzsch to translate what I had said into German. This is where looking things up on google helped us, as some of my English words and what I thought were the German equivalents were not understood. This was likely due to either dialect differences (I know a mostly Bavarian/Tirol dialect) or because when i translated a word with google, it gave me a literal translation and not the correct word. It didn’t matter though, because even though we had a slight language barrier, we persevered, and I was handed a Bescheinigung to take home with me to get my cards replaced. Herr Jentzsch even wrote part of the Bescheinigung in English for ease of it being understood once I was back in the UK!

All in all it was a pretty painless process. Well, the reporting was. Obviously, losing my card case has been quite painful and I’m still waiting on replacement cards from Rail Staff Travel, but I’m sure they’ll get to me eventually.

I still feel pretty vulnerable….and stupid. But at the same time, relieved. Sure, I had to buy another weekly ticket for 60 euros and train tickets for £30, plus wait for my replacement travel cards to show up before I can travel again, but it could have been worse. My entire purse could have gone missing with all my cash, debit card, and credit card. My passports could have been stolen, my entire bag could have been grabbed, or I could have been hurt. Yes, this incident has cost about £100, but it could have been worse. Way worse. And you know what? I learned my lesson. For the rest of the trip, NOTHING went into the front pocket of my bag unless it was disposable (like a brochure), and I buried my passport underneath the padding that holds my camera. This isn’t going to stop me from travelling, it’s only going to make me more aware in the future. And If I get checked by fare revenue on the tram next time we’re in Dresden, I’ll make sure I put my ticket away BEFORE getting off the tram….and I probably won’t store it in my passcase with my UK tickets and passes.

**
If you don’t speak German and you need help whilst in Germany you might need these handy phrases (with some rudimentary pronunciations. It’s not perfect as I’m not a linguist, but the effort will be appreciated):

Ich brauche Hilfe (Ik brow-keh hill-fe) – I need help.
Sprechen Sie English? (Sprek-ken zee) – Do you speak English?
Ich spreche kein Deutsch (Ik sprek-eh k-eye-n Doy-ch) – I don’t speak German.
Ich kann sich nicht verstehen (Ik can seech neecht ver-stay-en) – I don’t understand you.
Danke (Dank-eh) – Thanks.

***
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission.

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