The hospital – a poem


Oh, how I hate the hospital,

What a dreary and austere place,

I hate it more and more,

Each time it raises its clinically sterile face.


The white noise is just awful,

Children, crying through the night,

It’s meant to do the opposite,

But it sucks out all the hope and light.


It hurts to see his dear, little face,

On the pillow, clean and white,

The fact their colours match,

Makes it a really horrible sight.


Oh, how I hate the hospital,

The nurses looking weary and drained,

Children with arm drips neatly bandaged,

Their faces puffy and tear stained.


If I had to describe the hospital,

I would call it a modern version of Hell,

Just being in this cesspit of illness,

Is enough to make me feel unwell.

by Robbie Cheadle

Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town (coming soon)






The 1940’s through the eyes of a child – Swimming and fishing

The little girl trailed along behind her older brothers and sisters. They were going to swim in the shallow water of the river Waveney which ran along the bottom of the farm where the little girl lived. There was a part of the river which was free from the thick reeds that grew in the river where the children liked to swim. Further out in the middle of the river was a place the children called “the hole”. The river bed suddenly took a deep dip and the water went from being fairly shallow to very deep. The children were all warned not to wade too deeply in the water for fear of falling into the hole.

The little girl slid down the mud into the water. It was freezing cold and made her gasp with shock. She was quite determined to keep up with her brothers and sisters and so she carried on, wading into the water further and further away from the river bank. The water came up to her waist and her upper body was covered in goose bumps from the cold. Her brothers were swimming further out in the river so the little girl took a step to far and disappeared under the water. She went down and down into the coldness. She could see bubbles floating up towards the surface as she kicked out and struggled. A firm hand grasped her arm and hauled her upwards. She broke through the surface of the water and gasped for air. Joey, her older brother, had seen her go under and had pulled her out. Joey had saved her life that day.

Her oldest sister, Jean, took her to the river bank and dried the little girl on the one towel that they all shared. For a while, she sat on the bank watching the activities and recovering from the cold and the shock. Her older brothers and sisters carried on as usual. There was a ditch that ran across the meadow and emptied into the river nearby. The ditch was built to drain the excess water when the river flooded, which was quite often. The little girl watched her older brothers run up to the ditch and jump in. They sank deep into the mud in the ditch and got themselves covered in mud. When they were completely muddy, and looked like mud monsters to the little girl, they jumped out of the ditch and ran down to the water shouting and screaming. They dived into the water and rinsed off the mud. The little girl was only three years old and she was too young to join in this activity.

Later on that afternoon, the little girl’s older sister set a fishing line which she left overnight. Wendy was very good at this and often caught an eel or two. The eels were a green brown and looked like snakes which was a bit creepy but they were very good, cooked in milk and water in a frying pan and flavoured with pepper. The little girl really hoped that Wendy would catch some eels for them to eat. In the morning, Wendy would run down to the river to see what she had caught.

A couple of swans glided past on the river. They were beautiful, white birds but the little girl was a little bit afraid of them as they were huge in her eyes and she was warned that they could break your arms if you went near them. Occasionally, one of her brothers would find a swan’s nest along the river bank. The eggs were massive and if the boys found a nest with eggs in it, they would flinch an egg for the family’s tea. The little girl’s mother would fry the egg in a little bit of lard in a frying pan. The egg would take up the whole pan and was a real treat, eaten with a bit of salt and pepper.

All these thoughts about food made the little girl suddenly feel very hungry. She was pleased to hear the distant sound of her mother calling, summoning them all home for their tea. Tea comprised of bread and butter and pineapple jam, which was the only jam available. The children were also given a cup of sweetened tea. The little girl’s father was home for tea on this occasion and so the children were not allowed to talk at the table. Children were seen and not heard. As the head of the family, little girl’s father also had a kipper with his tea. Her mother had managed to get this kipper for their father that morning in the village. Kippers were often not available as fishing was very dangerous during the war due to the land mines in the sea and the constant attacks on the fishing trawlers from the air and by submarines.

Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town (coming soon)


Father’s day cherry cream “sick day” cake

This year most of the Cheadle family was sick for Fathers Day. Mr Fox, Mrs Fox and the two small Foxes all succumbed to various bugs. Fortunately, my parents have proved to be resilient thus far and are not sick. I pray it stays that way as it worries me to death when my mom is ill as she just goes from okay to extremely sick in one foul swoop.

Mr Fox has very bad sinus and I have something called the Rhino virus.

Robbiephotos-18I haven’t grown a horn or two but have just developed a death rattle cough which gradually turned itself into a chest infection as I ran around waiting on my three man babies over the course of the long weekend. So here I am on cortisone and an antibiotic SIGH!

Mini-Me (aka Gregory) had a very bad cold virus that turned to bronchitis on Friday. He is also on an antibiotic.

As for Mini-T (aka Michael), he is really sick with flu. His oxygen intake is at 70% of his normal which is below average. He has been drooping on the couch in the living room all weekend, coughing his lungs out with a red, puffy face.

Father’s Day could not, however, pass by completely unnoticed.  So I thought up a cake that would not require to much effort from me – strawberry cream shortcake. I didn’t have any strawberries though so it evolved into a [very expensive and imported from Spain] cheery cream short cake.

It came out really well and, despite their ailments, Mr Fox and Mini-Me managed to tuck in and eat a slice. Mini-T and I just didn’t quite feel well enough to partake of the feast. I did take some cake down to my parents cottage so that my parents, my sister and her husband and my aunt could also enjoy the outcome of my innovative “sick day” baking.

The cherry cream shortbread cake looked delightful and everyone who could eat it enjoyed it.


If you look carefully at this picture you will see two different kinds of cream. My effort saving double thick cream from a pot didn’t quite work out as planned so I ended up having to whip cream any way [I also had to wipe up the double thick cream that had run all over the plate and onto the floor with a cloth – such is life and actually quite funny].

My shortbread recipe can be found in Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream berries story and cookbook. If you don’t happen to have that to hand, you can watch the video on how to make it below:

Wishing you all a good week filled with good health and cheer!

Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town (coming soon)


Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt – Twilight #writephoto

The little boy lay on the couch. His sweet, little face was flushed red with fever and his breathing was laboured. The doctor said it the flu virus. There was nothing the doctor could do for the little boy that the mother was not already doing. She had used his nose spray, nebulised him and given him cough mixture and his asthma medication. The virus would have to burn itself out. The mother felt very sad that the little boy was so sick again. He hadn’t had the flu vaccination because he hadn’t been well enough during the window period to have it done. Now he lay there, coughing and coughing. There would be no pancakes or French toast for breakfast on Sunday as he would not be well enough to make them. The mother looked out of the window. It was twilight and the temperatures were dropping. The view looked how she felt; dark and cold.

This piece of flash fiction was written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. If you would like to join in the fun, click on this link:

Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town (coming soon)

The Liebster award

Thank you to Mae Clair for nominating me for the Liebster Award. I don’t often participate in awards because I work full time and find it hard work keeping up with my blog as it is without anything extra. Mae’s nomination was well time for me, however, as yesterday was a public holiday in South Africa so I had a bit of extra time. Mae has a lovely blog and I recommend that you pop over and visit her at

For the Liebster Award, the rules are:

  1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 11 blogs
  5. Notify those blogs of the nomination.
  6. Give them 11 questions to answer.

Random facts about myself

  1. I am the oldest of four girls;
  2. I started reading adult books when I was ten years old as I finished all the children’s books in our local library;
  3. I have attended more than sixteen schools;
  4. I have lived in more than twenty houses;
  5. I have lived in Cape Town, Johannesburg and George, all in South Africa;
  6. I used to teach spinning in the gym;
  7. Red grapes are my favourite fruit;
  8. Yellow is my favourite colour;
  9. Both my sons have Dean as their middle name;
  10. I like to read classic books; and
  11. I really like my pay check job – most of the time.

The Questions

You’ve been given a working time machine. What era of history would you visit?

This is a very tough question as I really love history. I think that if I could go back in time I would visit 20 July 1969 when Neil Armstrong first stepped onto the moon. So exciting to be a part of such a huge first in the history of mankind.

What is your totem animal? (Inspired by a post I recently saw on Jan Sikes’ blog).

Well, I think I will have to go with a giraffe. I love these beautiful and grateful animals especially when seen in the wild.

What was the first story you wrote?

I tried to write a novel when I was sixteen and in High School. It was about two girls who liked to get out and about and enjoy themselves and one gets raped. I never finished it and I lost the pages that I had written years ago. I have always liked to write poems, especially naughty and funny ones. My son, Michael, and I have written a series of children’s books about Sir Chocolate and I have just finished a bigger children’s book for an older age group entitled Silly Willy goes to Cape Town.

Beach or mountains?

Mountains – I am allergic to sea water.

What is your favorite time of year?

Early spring when all the flowers start blooming and summer stretches ahead for months.

Name someone from history you find intriguing.

I find the story of King Henry VIII totally fascinating. He was a despicable man but the story of his six wives and the establishment of the Anglican Church is fascinating.

What is your favorite fairy tale?

My favourite fairy tale is Rapunzel. The idea of the little man dancing around the fire chanting and letting slip on his name is totally splendid to me.

When was the last time you played a game of chess?

I can’t play chess – I never had the opportunity to learn how. My boys can both play though.

If you could travel to any city or country in the world, where would you go?

I would go to London. I love London and England and everything English. The houses, the literature, the history – delightful!

Name your favorite cartoon when you were a kid.

I think if I had to chose a cartoon figure it would be Superman. The man of steel thrilled me when I was a child. Of course, there wasn’t the variety that there is today.

What mythical creature do you wish actually existed?

I like unicorns – really boring and girly.

My questions

  1. What is your favourite children’s book;
  2. What is your favourite flower;
  3. Board games or computer games;
  4. Books or television;
  5. How do you like to relax;
  6. Which scientist do you think did the most for mankind;
  7. Where do you like to go on holiday;
  8. Where would you like to go on holiday in the future;
  9. How do you like to exercise;
  10. Would you like to be part of the Mars project if you could; and
  11. What is your favourite sweet treat.

My nominees

I know that not everyone has the time or inclination to participate in blog awards so if you aren’t able to participate that is not a problem. If you would like to join in the fun, I look forward to reading your responses to my questions.

Yassy from;

Kim from;

Patricia from;

Vicki from;

Bella from;

Terri from;

Donna from;

Ann from;

Annette from;

Isabel from; and

MichelleMarie from

Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town (coming soon)