Friday, March 25, 2022

Are You Having A Laugh?

An ex-secret service agent with a personality problem and a desire for imperial glory.

An aged president who looks like he's got a giant fork prong stuck up his arse to keep him upright.

A floppy-haired bumbling classics graduate with a predisposition for crass decisions.

A tinpot dictator who showcases his weapons like a movie trailer.

A comedian who has found himself elevated to global status. 


If the world wasn't on the brink of war this surely would be the cast list of a first-class situation comedy.   



Friday, March 11, 2022

What Happened to My Wine Gums?

Since my post earlier last night, I've been sorting my books and CDs, which until recently have been still packed in my basement in my new home.

The basement (or glorified cellar if you wish) was one of the attractions of my new home - providing a place where I could hoard all my crap. I don't use the word "crap" lightly, as it would indeed be crap to most people. However, I rather like hanging onto my personal crap. Most of which is a multitude of books. Of course, my books were about the only things the Ex didn't request in the divorce settlement, so I still have them. Then again, maybe that's not surprising given his reading material mainly consisted of car manuals and supermarket receipts. 

God, I am so restrained. After 5 years of divorce hell, I don't know how I've managed to remain so diplomatic. Is there a Nobel peace prize for restraint in the face of a divorce? If so, I should definitely get it.  

Anyway, what I really wanted to say was - I'd been sorting out some books when I decided I had done enough work to give myself a treat. So I got out a packet of wine gums which are one of my favourite treats. This particular packet had grabbed my attention because it said "30 % less sugar" on the packaging. So I opened the packet and peered inside, hoping to spot a black or red sweet.

I was mortified.

I have deduced that the manufacturers have produced 30% less sugar sweets simply by reducing the number of sweets by 30%. 

I know it's a tough world out there at the moment, but that is pretty bloody miserly. So I say - send all those 30% less sugar packets to Russia and let the Duma experience real hardship. I reckon with no Big Macs and no decent wine gums to chew on Putin will be gone before the year is out. 

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Timely Reflections

Contrary to my post last year saying I was back in the writing business, my time writing on my blog has been limited. Mainly that's because after moving home, I started a new job with a national charity which subsequently sucked up all my time and energy. It left very little time for me to pursue my MA where I was not totally exhausted. So several weeks ago, I made the decision to leave so I could do myself justice in my MA. I was offered a part-time job in the cultural sector, which I accepted. 

The next day Russia invaded Ukraine. 

Several weeks later and 4 days into my new job, I've concluded I made the right decision even though a part-time job means I will have to live frugally at least until my MA finishes. I listen to the news and watch the terrible events unfolding in Ukraine, and my mind races through all the possible scenarios of how this war may play out. There is no end that does not involve the suffering of many people.

So today, I am grateful to be alive. To live in a country that upholds freedom and democracy. That I've survived a brutal divorce, a health scare, numerous stressful and exhausting jobs and escaped covid. I'm grateful I have a roof over my head, the opportunity to further my education, 3 wonderful sons and, hopefully, will live long enough to look back on these last few tumultuous years with philosophical eyes.

Tomorrow I begin the race to catch up on my MA. My first project, a short film script, needs tweaking, but it has been suggested it is good enough to make the grade. Fingers crossed. My second, a pilot for a sitcom needs committing to paper. The sequel to The Changing Room needs finishing, as does my psychological thriller. 

Time is of the essence. These last few weeks have shown that we never know what is around the corner. I'm just grateful that, in my case, it's not a tank or missile.  

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Birdsong to Wokesong

Many years ago, I read Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. It's a terrific, emotive book that now sits on school syllabuses alongside other past literary masterpieces. If you've not read it then you've missed out.




Anyhow, a few years later, whilst at The Cheltenham Literary Festival (a very prominent cultural affair in the UK), I happened to see Sebastian Faulks close up. I was climbing the stairs to take my seat early for his forthcoming talk, and to my surprise, I saw him seated in a room off the stairwell. He glanced up, and we looked at each other for a moment, and then I carried on walking up the stairs. I suspect he was wondering if I recognised him and whether I was going to solicit his attention for an autograph. Awkward. In fact, I was actually thinking, "He looks strangely attractive for a guy with red curly hair."  (I'd been binge drinking the night before.)

Now, if I had been thinking more strategically, I could have offered my "services" for a leg up in the literary world or (if I had been feeling particularly demonic) I could have offered to proofread his forthcoming novel for free and send his career into literary freefall. 

Anyway, it was a disappointment to read HERE in The Daily Mail that Sebastian said at this year's Lit Fest he had stopped describing women in his writing and that he felt liberated by it. Apparently, a female academic at a previous festival in 2018 had challenged his "right" to write about women. Subsequently, Sebastian reviewed his position.

So basically, Sebastian caved into some woke woman who wanted to silence one of the greatest living writers of our times because she's offended.  So no more descriptions of women by Sebastian. Humph. How miserable and boring! Personally, I found some of his descriptions jolly amusing. 

It must be bloody miserable to be a white middle-class man at the moment. So miserable that one of our greatest authors can't even raise his pen above the parapet to describe a woman in a work of fiction without some woke extremist getting her bloomers in a twist. 

It seems to me that lately, the issue of gender identity is growing like an uncontrollable cancer. It appears it is rapidly becoming a breeding ground of intolerance that is adversely affecting the arts and the areas of academia that seek to debate and nurture critical thinking.

Where does this repression end?  

It ends with a very few dictating our thoughts and actions. A minority dictating to a majority who fear repercussions. People afraid to laugh. People afraid to speak. People afraid to even whisper.

Hmm. Sounds rather like fascism to me. 

Surely it's imperative in a free, democratic, society that the voices of artists, writers, musicians, free-thinking academics and philosophers are allowed to speak openly. To debate. It is also vital, in my opinion, that successful ones like Sebastian stand up and be counted. Sebastian might well feel liberated - but somehow I suspect that is the liberation that comes with knowing he's not going to be verbally stoned and have his books burnt rather than the liberation of not writing descriptions of women.

Enough said. Now I'm off to write my upcoming novel. It's going to be a novel about a white middle-class woman who falls in love with a white middle-class male author who unfortunately turns out to have no balls. (Not sure if a lack of balls counts as a disability and whether I'm on dangerous ground.) Anyhow, I'm struggling to describe the absence of balls as obviously I don't have any. Of course, I could use my imagination, but let's just say when it comes to balls, I prefer tennis balls anyway - they're not as hairy and you can't choke on them.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

And so I return...

The lights have been out on this blog for over a year, but now, at last, I return. I do so to remember what creative writing is like and unlock the key to my imagination. Where else better to do that than here, where my journey began 14 years ago.


So, with a glass of gin in hand, let me begin.


So first, there are two subjects to cover. Although I shall probably only cover them briefly here, it is almost impossible not to mention them. They are Covid 19 and my divorce. No doubt I will return to them again in due course.


Fortunately, my immediate and extended family and I have been unaffected by Covid except in small, recoverable doses. But, regrettably, a number of my friends and acquaintances have lost relatives, and my former brother-in-law was hospitalised in intensive care. So, if you have lost relatives or perhaps are now suffering long covid, I offer you my sincerest condolences.


Secondly, on August 27th this year, I finally received my Decree Absolute. Almost 5 years since my separation. And now - sit back - my legal fees were a staggering £55,000. That's around $74,000. Those costs came out of my divorce settlement, which I had to fight for until almost the bitter end. It is a ridiculous amount of money to spend over a relatively tiny pot of cash, but when one party fails to cooperate, if you want a vaguely fair resolution, then you have to fight for it. 


I have learnt quite a lot about family law, especially how it fails to protect the weaker party, and I am not impressed. I will be elaborating on this at a future date. It's possible I may get some of my costs back as I have an ongoing case being investigated by the Legal Ombudsmen for negligence against my first legal team. Their mishandling of my papers meant I had to secure other legal representation, which proved vastly more expensive. However, ultimately, those extraordinary costs were incurred because my former husband did not want to give me a fair settlement and consistently delayed proceedings by not producing his paperwork so that my solicitor had to undertake more work in pursuit of them.


I would say he adopted the same attitude to the divorce proceedings as he did throughout our marriage on any matter of importance, and that is a total unwillingness to discuss any topic of significance. Ultimately, he has stripped me of the ability to give our sons the support I could have done. As the mother of his children, he should have known that I would always put our sons' wellbeing before my own, but the fact he didn't even want to give me a fair settlement speaks volumes of just how little he cared for me but for our sons too. In the end, he couldn't rise above his own disinterest and bitterness to do the right thing.


I have not talked about my divorce at length in the past for fear of upsetting my children, but they are all adults now, and they have not only been a witness to my trials they too have first-hand experience of the hardship and financial struggles we have endured these last 5 years. My youngest son especially has suffered far too much, which simultaneously makes me extraordinarily sad and enrages me. He was a staggeringly good tennis player with national titles, but through lack of finances, I was unable to salvage his tennis career. His academics were seriously affected, and last year he was diagnosed with a rare illness called erythromelalgia.


Through a financial contribution from my brother-in-law, I was able to salvage his elder brother's tennis career. Subsequently, because of his tennis achievement in the US college league, where he became a top 10 NAIA player, reached the nationals and achieved All American status, he is now studying for an MBA in the US on a full scholarship. I often wonder how my younger son must feel knowing he was the better player. I can say that too without offending his brother, who would often say that his younger brother was more talented. Luckily, all I can say is that my youngest son was born with my sense of humour and he is very resilient. I am pretty sure the majority of children would not have taken so many kicks in the teeth as well. I am more proud of him and my other sons now than I have ever been.


So, at this point in time, I have moved way up North in the UK and have bought a cheap nondescript terrace where I can live with minimal costs. I am currently not working in a conventional 9-5 sense as my health is shot to pieces, and it is now time to look after myself. 


So, where do I go from here? Is there any laughter left in the former Mrs T?


Well yes!


Luckily my sense of humour has never totally deserted me, but it has been very hard at times to find it when the odds have been against me. However, to fully unlock the key to my comedy writing, I have signed up for a brand new MA course. It's the only one of its kind in the UK. It is being run by a well-known comedy producer with all the right connections to get me up and running again. So, I need to start writing. I need to break through the barrier of silence, and this is why I have returned now to The Witty Ways of a Wayward Woman.  


So I have a vast amount to talk about. I have missed commentating on so much these last five years: Brexit, Trump, Johnson, Covid 19, the rise of wokeism (ugh)...even tiny Tom Cruise and Kim Kardashian's arse! 


But of course, my experiences mean I also have a lot to say about other matters, especially feminism, the legal system, ageism, women's careers, sexism and so on.


So I have plenty to say. Yes indeed. And in my own particular style. 


So join me here on The Witty Ways of a Wayward Woman as finally I move forward and unleash, once more, my verbal assaults upon the world!









Friday, January 15, 2021

Ebook of Fantasia is Free on Kindle

My short story Fantasia is free to download as an ebook on Kindle for five days. Please feel free to share with friends and anyone who might be interested. It's already gone to no 1 in the free children's environment with just a few downloads. It would be lovely to see it there a little longer. Any reviews would be most welcome!




Friday, November 20, 2020

Bad Poetry 2: A Tale of Terrible Misfortune

 There was a buffoon called Johnson

Who thought he was Charles Bronson

But he fucked-up Brexit

So attempted to exit

Dressed as a woman in Labour

 

Unfortunately for Boris

No one was fooled by “Doris”

So he pulled out a gun

Broke into a run

But was caught in the commons by Keir Starmer

 

“But… but…. but, Boris stuttered

“Brexit is oven-ready. And buttered!”

“Don’t give me that clap-trap,

You’re just a tabloid hack

And as thick as a brain-dead lama”

 

As Boris started to weep and plead

Keir pulled out a writ and began to read

“I don’t need no fancy prose

Let’s pelt him with tomatoes

And leave him for the Tories to dismember!”

 

But out of the throng rushed Dom

Fresh from his castle with aplomb

“I’ll save the day,” he said

His face a beetroot red

“We will never give up or surrender!”

 

“Not you again, Dominic

You’re a number one prick!”

Said Keir as he summoned the judge

“We’re done with this fudge.

And you and your visionless glasses.”

 

Then out of the chambers came Her Majesty

To sort out the political travesty

“It is time for the tower

On your knees and cower

You’re a pair of unwholesome arses!”

 

Down went her thumb

As a guard beat the drum

And Boris and Dom were hauled away

“Let’s do this in style,” said the Queen with a smile

“Take the offenders and whip them in my blenders!”

 

So this is the end of this sorry tale

Where justice did rightly prevail

There is some last advice

 Which I hope will suffice

To ensure this will never repeat

 

Never, ever, piss off our Queen

She’s old, stubborn and very mean.

And when she is moody

She will mix a smoothie

Made from kale and her secret cream.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

What's in a name?

It is more than likely I will change my name in the very near future which will no doubt please my husband and his family.

However, I will be probably be keeping Turley as a pseudonym for my comedy writing since I've been writing under it for over a decade. So, I am afraid my ex is just going to have live with the potential of my embarrassing him.

Oh dear. What a pity!  

Initially, I plan to use my new name in my private life only, but it's possible I might use it for my planned crime writing. It depends on how I feel at the time.

Of course, I have thought about reverting to my maiden name or another family name which makes complete sense. However, I quite fancy to revert to total anonymity for at least a brief period. 

One of my sons has suggested Jane Bond. 

Which rather appeals. For obvious reasons. Luckily, I can still laugh at myself. I can only thank God and my family genes for blessing me with a sense of humour. 

Anyway, I am not sure if Jane Bond is the name but it would certainly fit on the front cover of a book well and I am looking for a name that has a "ring" to it.

If you have any suggestions please do drop me a line or leave a comment. Give it your best shot. I am open to all wild suggestions!

Monday, November 16, 2020

Three Glasses of Wine leads to Bad Poetry

Yes, I have had three glasses of wine as I am off work for a few days as I am self-isolating prior to a minor medical procedure. I am, therefore, feeling a little ribald. So, I decided to write a poem.  

Now, before some of my lovely American readers go apeshit, please remember this a comedy blog (even if it has been slightly lacking in humour for a while.) As a consequence, the poem is in my usual eloquent style which required some deep thought for all of 5 minutes. 

Here we go:


There was an old man called Trump

Who had a particularly small lump

For a brain

He lost an election

Got a floppy erection

And was never seen or heard of

Again.


Quality stuff - although the last line is probably rather optimistic. Let's face it who doesn't want to see more of Mr Trump. He is pure comedy gold as is our own Mr Johnson. 

Let's see what I can manage tomorrow night after a few drinks. Nominated subject matters welcomed. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Talking About Faces

A few months ago I was generously given a phone as mine kept dying on me and the battery was one of those irreplaceable ones.

I duly set-up facial recognition in addition to a password.

Unfortunately, since then it has only recognised my face... maybe once.

I can't decide whether on the day I set it up I was looking astonishing gorgeous or completely hideous... or perhaps like a female version of Boris Johnson.

I think Boris and I have a lot in common at the moment. He looks completely shagged-out running the country during the pandemic and the Brexit crisis; I looked completely shagged-out through the stress of my elongated divorce. We both look our ages of 55. I used to look ten years younger but lately, I am looking battered.

The only real differences between us are that  Boris has a 32-year-old girlfriend, a top job and a stack of cash whereas I have two cats, a tea cosy and haemorrhoids.

It's a man's world.









Are You Having A Laugh?

An ex-secret service agent with a personality problem and a desire for imperial glory. An aged president who looks like he's got a giant...