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Writing Workshop: Wishes

I wish.

Oh, I wish for lots of things.

I’ll start with a front door. It is duck-egg blue and the paint is slightly faded and peeled from the sea air because that is where I am, by the sea. Within walking distance of a beach, the rough and pebbly kind, with more sky over it than my eyes know what to do with. There are geraniums by the door, and a thick door mat, and if you stand and look up, you would see the house clambering up high, a bit patchy and crooked, leaning into the wind, with square windows set in places you think they shouldn’t be. It is my house, the house I wish for.

Through the door is a hallway, with space for dirty boots and wet coats and geometric tiles on the floor the colour of dry earth. And the beginnings of a staircase, climbing round and up, old, dark wood. The downstairs living rooms are small and piled high, the sitting room walled with heaving bookshelves, and chairs and sofas that don’t match, big enough to sit with your feet tucked under, with blankets strewn ready over an arm or a back, all grouped around an open cast-iron fire. Half-finished knitting projects, or open paperbacks with their place marked by resting them over an arm would give away where I had last chosen to sit.

The kitchen is light and open has a big table. The sink is the deep, enamel kind, and no doubt contains half-drunk mugs of tea, for even in my dream life I doubt I’ll remember to drink the whole lot before getting distracted. Double bay doors look out onto a small garden, half wild. It will have an apple tree, of course, as all the best gardens should, and the kind of flowers that smell heavenly rather than look tidy. It will be a home to bees and snails and, yes, oh yes, there would have to be room for chickens, too. The sound of their scratching and clucking reaching me through the doors I opened every morning, whatever the weather, to sit and drink tea as I woke up far too slowly for any respectable grown-up, same as now, accompanied, perhaps, by a ginger cat with a tail that never stops and who likes to wind around your ankles like yarn. On the table lie bank statements not yet opened, and containing the story of enough money to pay bills and buy fish and chips at the weekends and fund the odd Amazon splurge and guilt-free shopping trip.

The walls of my house would be heavy with art. My own and of people I loved and admired. Paintings and photography and textiles. And treasures. Lots and lots of treasures, dotted onto spare surfaces and window ledges and shelves. Things I had found on the beach or in the woods or picked up off the street. Stones and shells and twisted wood and feathers and pine cones and leaves I liked the colour of that have dried to dull tones.  Things I had found in junk shops and had been given to me by people who knew me well and knew how much I love beautiful, unusual things. And there would be lots of reminders of adventures ventured. Cards from people I had visited. Ticket stubs pushed into picture frames, photos of places visited pinned onto boards. It would be an alive house. A life house.

Upstairs, winding my way up the the stair case that makes my taller house guests have to stoop a little, a half-closed door, leaking out the sound of some activity or another, or music I probably don’t like and yet still know all the words to. It would always make me stop and rest my hand there, to the point of which you can begin to see the outline of my palm, often grubby, having rested there so many times, as I reached through to the boy within. My happy, healthy, unique boy. Who can talk and who has lost none of his passion and curiosity and imagination and ways of seeing and expressing. Who has good friends and who feels loved. A spare bedroom or two would mean weekends were never lonely and my friends, whom my life would be rich with, would always have a place to stay and fall into once we’d drunk too much wine and stayed up too late.

And up again, to the top, where I would have my den. A space of light and skylights and a big low bed with a duvet as thick as you could buy with quilts on top and a profusion of pillows, enough to make an orthopaedic expert frown.  In the space there would be paint and canvases and paper and charcoal and a laptop to write on and a camera with more than one lens. And there, and in the world around me, I would make a decent living and find new things to get excited about and captivated by every day. Through a door there would be a bath big enough to sink in up to your chin, and a shower where  the water was always hot and strong. And if you stood and peered out the window and looked over the garden, you could see the roof of the old but reliable camper van which is the only vehicle I own, the same blue as my front door and packed ready to drive off and find somewhere new to park over-night where I could watch the sun rise.

And maybe, just maybe, there would be a man, with kind eyes that noticed the right things and strong arms, who used his hands and his heart to work and liked to cook so I didn’t have to, and talked too much and wasn’t afraid to feel or take risks. That would be good too.

That’s what I wish.


Now it’s your turn. What do you wish for?

Leave your name and the URL to your post in the Linky below (the URL should be to your post not just to your blog) – it’ll be open til Sunday night so if you haven’t had chance to respond yet, then you’ve got plenty of time to join in. Don’t forget that anyone can take part! New prompts will be up this time next week, so I hope to see you back soon.


  1. Peggy Melmoth

    Josie, your writing is so amazing. I was right there with you, in your windswept house by the sea. I wish for you that you quickly become a renowned portrait artist and buy this house outright because some crazy rich art collector wants to purchase all of your work for masses of cash! And then, one day wandering on that windswept beach the man with kind eyes approaches, and you just know that it is him…

  2. actuallymummy

    I love the sound of your house! I hope you get there one dayx

  3. actuallymummy

    Josie I have joined but your badge isn’t working for me today, sorry. I have put a link to you in the text though

    • Aww sorry about that, not to worry. It does seem to be a bit troublesome for some people. I can’t figure out why!

  4. Josie, Can I come and stay too? So beautifully written I can hear the sea, and Kai, and see your view. x

  5. That man sounds nice :) I know I’ve given you lots of unsolicited advice before but this one is a request… please can you write a novel, an enid blyton wishing chair type novel, ta xxx

  6. I felt like you took me by the hand and showed me round your ‘wish’ house…..but more than anything else I wish this

    “And maybe, just maybe, there would be a man, with kind eyes that noticed
    the right things and strong arms, who used his hands and his heart to
    work and liked to cook so I didn’t have to, and talked too much and
    wasn’t afraid to feel or take risks. That would be good too.”

    for you too.


  7. Susan Mann

    I love the sound of your house. I hope you get all your wishes. You deserve them x

  8. The house sounds lovely and cosy! And of course the man sounds nice too ;)

  9. *cries like a baby* oh sweety I wish that for you too. What a fantastic wish, it sounds just perfect. I hope it comes true because you of all people deserve it *hugs*

  10. Thatwoman

    I too wish for a house by the sea. Mine’s all white inside, and clear and full of light, with a huge table to eat and talk around, a garden full of paths and pebbles, a staircase lined with books and a room for me to write in. A room with a desk and a huge window with seabirds within earshot. Mostly though the house is full of time. Time to do and time to thin which, I fear, is what proves it is just a pipe dream, not least as time has escaped me writing a proper piece for the workshop. Must Try Harder.

  11. @Molly, Thank you Molly. Keep an eye open for him for me will you? ;) xx

  12. @Susan Mann, I hope they’re not all beyond the realms of possibility :) Here’s hoping. x

  13. @Kerri @ Baby Monitors Online, I think he might be the best bit, shhh ;)


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