11/14/16

Supermoon in East Lancashire

No Supermoon here in East Lancashire last night. Too much rain and cloud, even when I checked at 6 am today.

There was, however, a man, unseen but clearly audible, shouting in the street: ‘Fuck …. you! … Fuck. You. … Fuck you!

Perhaps he was also disappointed at the non-Supermoon and was cursing the clouds.

I went back to bed anyway.

Tonight’s another night.

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08/17/16

Gussets and Me. Tights Stall Saturday Job.

Larry was a lavishly coiffured, shiny-suited chap who sold tights and stockings in our local market hall. He paid partly in cash, partly in boxes of chocolates. Nice chap but misguided enough to give me a Saturday job. hosiery, tights stall, market, disastrous job

He also employed Dora and Elsie, two older ladies who, despite their slavish devotion to the application of makeup, had never quite mastered the art although they were rather more successful in their attempts to emulate Larry’s extravagant perms.

My experience of tights -or pantyhouse as our American cousins call them – was limited. As with many dalliances that seem like a good idea at the time, but end in disaster, I had approached them with gusto and discarded them just as quickly.

You pulled a tiny, scratchy scrap of something brown, black or grey out of a packet, stuck a wiggling hand down one of the legs (the only entertaining part of the process) then you sat on the bed and stuck your legs in the legs. So to speak.

This seemingly simple act presented a myriad of possible outcomes, all of them uncomfortable. Continue reading

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08/15/16

Performing at the Ilkley Fringe Festival

I’m delighted, delighted, chuffed to announce that I will be reading my short story from the Leeds Trinity University Creative Writing Anthology at the Ilkley Fringe Festival on 4th October.Leeds Trinity University Anthology

This is the anthology I co-edited with the wonderfully creative and super-organised Lucy Brighton, under the supervision of Prof. Hardwick.

I’ve organised for a small group of contributors to read our work at the Festival, giving priority to emerging writers. For most of us, this is our first published piece of work. Yay!

It’ll be my first performance. I am rigid with fear and bubbling with enthusiasm in equal measure. How is that even possible? And how will such a mismatched duality manifest itself on the night? Continue reading

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05/8/16

Letter to the Man in the Audi

Dear Man in Audi,

The one who overtook me on a blind bend today, nearly causing a head-on collision. The one I hooted and flashed my lights at.

Yes, you.

You seemed a bit confused; shooting past me then slowing down to 20mph.

You were yelling at me via your mirror.  I can’t lip read, though. Sorry about that.

But the cartoon-like effect of your swivelling head, wobbling mouth and eye balls rotating in opposite directions did make me grin.

And that’s quite a skill you’ve got there, operating the steering wheel by telekinesis, leaving both arms free to flap around in the manner of one with a wasps’ nest in each armpit.

Then there was the way you were frantically bouncing around in your seat, as if you’d just realised your bottom was involuntarily hosting a recently-ignited firework.

Continue reading

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04/23/15

Mackerel and its Part in my Downfall: Part 2.

After the fishing trip in Tenby, mackerel played no part in my life until many years later when a boyfriend –let’s call him Tarquin – took me to meet his mother.

Tarquin was a lumbering, rugby playing chap who clowned around a lot.  He had a clutch of posh, amiable siblings, with names like Montgomery, Araminta and Rupert, unfortunately absent on the day of our visit.  I believe there was a step father too but he too was nowhere to be seen when we visited. Probably cowering under a bed somewhere, sucking his thumb.

Because Mrs Tarquin was terrifying. Continue reading

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03/12/15

Labour’s Pink Van.

Oh Labour party, whatever have you done?  A pink van to entice women voters?    labour party pink bus

Really?  Don’t women get patronised enough with pink gardening shears, pink screwdrivers, pink tool boxes, pink fizzy alco-pops, pink bloody everything?

This looks like the sort of van that goes round Freshers’ Fairs dishing out chlamydia testing kits and fruit flavoured condoms to 17 year olds.

I’m surprised there isn’t a rotating mirror ball on the roof, eyelashes on the headlamps and tinsel round the tyres. Does it fart glitter out of the exhaust pipe too? Continue reading

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11/1/13

When I’m Cleaning Windows. (Not).

Some strange scrabbling noises at the front of the house this morning prompted me to stick my head out of the bedroom window.

A young man with a purposeful expression was climbing up a ladder.

Now a purposeful young man on a ladder may sound promising but I hadn’t ordered one and as he was clutching a bucket and a squeegee, there was no mistaking his intention.  Some tactful questioning revealed that he was, as I suspected, a window cleaner at the wrong house.
‘Uhh, I had a few beers last night, don’t really know what I’m doing this morning,’ he said,  switching his direction to reverse and dropping his squeegee on his descent. Continue reading

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08/27/13

Wot Badge?

Trip Advisor keep emailing me. They say they’ll give me a badge when I’ve done 5 reviews.

Now I don’t wish to appear ungrateful but the last time I ever had the urge to acquire a badge was many years ago. Put it this way, I was still at the age where I was troubled by double Maths on a Friday afternoon.

I had a stack of badges on my school blazer and they all had things like Anarchy in the UK, The Stranglers and The Jam written on them. There was also a large one made out of rubbery stuff, shaped like a rat.  I was wild, you see. Anti-establishment and anguished. My badges, dog collar, safety pins and cropped, red hair said so.  The tragic rebel image took a battering though when it rained and the food colouring I’d used to dye my hair ran all over my face.

By 16, I sported a fashionable, mirrored badge, from which Lenin gazed solemnly out. These badges crept round certain parts of the school, finding their way onto the lapels of those of us who wished to display their Communist tendencies. We were so hip, a cut above the rest. The elite, in fact. An irony which escaped all of us.

At 17, in a flowery smock, with embroidered jeans, rattling with beads and reeking of patchouli oil, my badges said, Make Love Not War and Nuclear Power? No Thanks.

Aged 18 I went wandering round Europe and one by one, the hippie badges dropped off, went rusty or were lost by the roadside.

The last badge I acquired was for my son when he was 10.  ‘Jesus is coming,’ it said,  ‘Look busy’.

Since then, forcing my dentist to promise he’d give me a sticker in return for being allowed to drill my tooth, is the nearest I’ve come to needing any sort of sartorial adornment to boast of my achievements.

So thanks, Trip Advisor, I’ve grown out of badges. But if you would like to reward my contribution to your website with a large shiny new camera and a ticket to, well, just about anywhere, I’d be delighted to accept.

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03/24/13

Horror movies that aren’t.

H and I just watched half of The Amytville Horror.

I’d read the book as an easily spooked 12 year old so when we found the remake on Netflix I got all excited.
‘Oh go on, let’s watch it, it’s dead scary this is, it’s brilliant, go on, you’ll kack yourself watching this,’ I said, huddling under the duvet and taking an excited gulp of Booze Bargains, Vin de Cheapo.

We watched as blood dribbled out of light switches, fridge magnets arranged themselves into misspelled messages and the door to the boat house slammed all by itself. Continue reading

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03/8/13

Breakfast with Proust.

I was looking out of the kitchen window, at wet rooftops and a slate sky, the view only slightly brightened by a splash of vomit on the window, the result of a brief but exciting  liaison H had with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. (Sorry Mum, really sorry, I’ll clean it up, honest.)

Then from a bag of crusty rolls, a yeasty smell escaped and barged its way up my nose to my brain, flipping open a bright cine-screen from a very long time ago.

I was 19, had just pitched up in Algiers with my feckless fool of a fella. I’d tell you his name but as a compulsive fantasist, he had a whole string of names and I never found out which was the real one. Continue reading

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