Snakes Alive!

We took the dog for a walk last night and stumbled across A SNAKE! All curled up and sunbathing in the middle of a field. Eeek!
We thought it might be one of these, on the left. (An ADDER!)

But, when we got home and checked the internet, it was actually one of these (a grass snake!).


People in Australia, you are allowed to snigger but, honestly, it wasn’t just a little wormy-thing. It was a proper, big (about 2.5 feet), curled up snake. Not the sort of thing you expect to see on a walk.

So now, when we venture out, we have to look out for: traffic, cows, horses, other dogs (and other dogs’, droppings), broken glass, wasps, bees and snakes. Hmm, very relaxing.

Right, lots of competitions and giveaways to tell you about, so here goes:

1. The New Writer has a FREE competition (ah, we like those), to win a subscription to the magazine and publication and all you have to do is write a poem and send it to them on a postcard. Closes 16th September. See more here.

2. You can win a weekend at the Festival of Romance on 9th and 10th November in Bedford. (Make sure you’re free before you enter!) You don’t even have to write anything to have a chance of winning this one. Well, you do, but it’s just your name and email address! Simples!

3. There’s a fabulous Crime Writing weekend to be won here, taking place on 20th/21st September in Harrogate and you’ve just got to send the first line of a crime novel in 140 characters (or less) – ie: the same as a tweet.

The competition closes on 30th August and the winner will be announced on 10th September. I’m away over 20th/21st September, so there’s no point me entering this (*kicks herself*), but I’d love one of you to win it, so get creating!

And, still on the subject of Crime, this isn’t a competition but a new 6 week Crime Writing Course, organised by Writing West Midlands, that might be of interest if you live in or around Birmingham. It starts on 3 September.

And talking of courses, my new daytime Creative Writing course in Moreton is due to start on Thursday 26th September, so if anyone’s interested in joining or finding out more, drop me a line!

This entry was posted in Bonnie, Competitions, Poetry, West Midlands and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Snakes Alive!

  1. Catherine Robinson says:

    Thinking of alternative titles for your post – ‘Snakes on a plain’ perhaps?? I keep hearing about people with grass snakes in their gardens and I would LOVE one! I’ve never seen one in the wild, only on the telly.

  2. Wendy Clarke says:

    I feel your pain, Helen, re the dog walk…. It’s a minefield (although we haven’t actually come across one of those yet!

  3. Jaci Cox says:

    Ah, yes…”us Aussies”. Ran over a snake in the middle of a main road (no, I don’t live in the bush. Metro-Sydney, in fact). Couldn’t stop, of course, as it was a busy intersection. But I can tell you, I felt the bump, like speed humps. (Ooh, sorry…too graphic?) …Also, as I was growing up, one of my brothers kept a “children’s python”–which suddenly disappeared one day. Never had a good night’s sleep after that until I moved out. I DO NOT LIKE SNAKES!

    I love your blog, by the way! 🙂

  4. helena mallett says:

    Eek indeed! We’ve seen a few out here in West Wales … scary.

  5. Linda says:

    Haven’t seen a grass snake for years, and I’ve never seen an adder – even when I’ve gone out looking for one to photograph! Their venom can be fatal to a small dog, but they usually prefer to protect themselves by avoiding humans and other animals that might harm them.
    Thanks for all the useful info, I’m definitely having a go at the crime writing weekend competition!

  6. olivespastavino says:

    We have harmless black snakes here, they look like hosepipes and they can grow to be very long…over a metre… Also adders and vipers, I saw an adder (a baby) when I was walking the dog down the road the other morning, it raised it’s head at her (the dog) and then quickly slithered into the undergrowth. Also the cat and the dog were playing with an adder outside our farm gate, it was about 8 inches long, I shouted at them to leave it and the snake played dead so I got a long broom handle picked up the snake on the end and flung it as far as I could into the field. I actually felt bad as I saw it spiralling through the air….but I don’t like snakes and it doesn’t matter how many people say that they’re more scared of me than I am of them….sorry, I can’t believe that!

    Thanks for all the excellent writing info by the way.

  7. Keith Havers says:

    I’m not keen on snakes but if I had to come across one I’d prefer a crusher to a biter. They seem slower and I think I could outrun one. We were out walking one evening in Cairns, Australia, when my wife suddenly leapt in the air at something she nearly trod on. Turned out to be a brightly coloured bootlace.

  8. jotiddy says:

    As kids we had two sand boas and a python as pets (we lived in Africa, and my little brother used to go out and catch them in the bush). My job was to look after the mice that were dinner……very upsetting.

  9. philippabowe says:

    We have lots of grass snakes down my way, they do tend to be very big and very aggressive, making up for the lack of lethal venom I suppose. I try and remember to stamp through fields with very long grass to warn any sunbathing snakes I’m coming and give them time to slither right away – I do like to see them, but there is that visceral fear that the logical mind can’t quite banish.
    I also recently persuaded a young nephew out of wanting a snake for his birthday and into getting a kitten: I’m hoping for a nice thank you present from his mother!

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