Showing posts from August, 2009

Let's get writing!

I know many of you wouldn't call yourselves official "writers" but I also know that amongst my regular readers there are some hugely talented "unofficial" writers. So I just wanted to let you know about a few writing competitions that may inspire you to put pen to paper!

The first is my own little competition over at the The View From Here. I hope you read my review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame Smith ( see my link bar) in which I discussed the latest phenomenon of Monster Mash. Now it's your opportunity to write some mash too! So why not pop over to The View and see the details. The Closing date is the 23rd September and I'm looking for a really silly piece of writing (about 500 words) to take the prizes. Nothing would please me more than one of my blogging friends to win so please, please have a look!

Secondly, if you find the idea of writing comedy too hard Gary Davison has a flash fiction competition (250 words) coming up shortl…

Shocking, Disturbing News!

Oh my goodness, I have just had some deeply disturbing news! My good friend Mrs D, in whose villa we are staying in Cyprus, has sent me a highly informative document with all the relevant info we will need for our stay - from taxi firms, supermarkets and tourist locations to telephone numbers, doctors surgeries and, of course, of vital importance - the location of the iron. It is an extremely thorough document and obviously designed for a complete thicko such as my good self who hasn't the vaguest idea about what she should be doing. In fact I'm still wondering what size of suitcase to buy for myself... and we leave in a week's time. Oh dear!

Anyway, I was taking all of this in my stride until I read the following...

"Next to the toilets there are bins. It is not recommended that you flush the toilet paper down the toilet, this is common in Cyprus so please use the bins provided. There are several large bins at the start of the estate for all to use and they are usually…

Music Monday; It's Magic!

This last week has, I hope, marked a change in fortunes for my family as not only was my car parking fine rescinded but, more importantly, my elder brother got married! It was a warm, intimate wedding with only the closest of friends and family present which befitted a "second time around"wedding for both partners.

Some of you will remember that my elder brother's former wife died tragically last year. Subsequently, my brother assumed total responsibility for their daughter. While some relationships might have been stretched by the sudden arrival of an unexpected child 24 hours a day, it has been heartwarming to see how my brother's new partner welcomed his daughter in such sad and difficult circumstances. Their marriage now marks a new step for them as a family unit. Hopefully, it will be just the start of many future happy and healthy years together.

Now during the wedding reception there was some rather unusual music in the background. ( Well not the normal wedding …

Newsflash! (and other stuff.)

Well would you believe it, I actually had a response from the Car Parking company!

Now you may wonder why I sound so surprised. I'm not sure how it is with all you folks abroad in your respective countries but I'm pretty flabbergasted because I've become accustomed to not receiving responses from companies and indeed many other institutions in the UK. And as for customer service departments - there's more chance of my having a conversation with a purple 6 legged alien with 4 eyes than actually getting to talk to someone who knows their subject.
Anyway, the good news is that I've been absolved from my car parking ticket - without even producing my ticket! I've got to admit it was not the result I was expecting; I'm not used to things going my way. Maybe fortune has, at last, begun to shine on me! I suspect the administrators decided to take pity on me because of the cruel circumstances of my fine and my being such a poor downtrodden, overworked, lonely housew…

Music Monday; Say What You Want!

One of the best things about blogging is having the freedom to express yourself, to Say What You Want. Sometimes it really helps the healing process to get things off your chest.

So it's time for me to say what I want. Loudly.

Why, O Why did I have to get to get a ****** puncture! Why, why, why????
(Screams akin to a woman just about to have all the blood sucked out of her by Tony Blair reverberate across the Home Counties....... )

Why, why, why???? Someone please tell me the answer!

And no - the story doesn't end there. Unfortunately.

Why, why, why did I have to hit the kerb?? And no, not just a normal itsy bitsy kerb but one of those stupidly high ones outside multi carparks which are strategically placed for maximum denting?
(Yep, you know what that means.)

Isn't it bad enough that people leave their cars (and gates) parked where they shouldn't? And what about those selfish people who can't pull out at junctions without having a man waving a red flag in front of them?…

A Letter of Complaint

Vinci Park Services UK Ltd,
Milton Keynes Partnership Parking Office
PO BOX 597

Dear Sirs,

Ref CPN EG10570492

Please note the following;

• Cost of 4 cinema tickets; £18.00
• Cost of soft drinks and popcorn £ 12.00
• Cost of car parking £ 4.50

• Cost of gust of wind flipping over car parking ticket (supplied with no adhesive) £ 30.00

Total cost of outing (excluding petrol and stress) £64.50

Morals of this outing;

• Never expect an employee of Vinci Park UK Ltd Services to follow his heart or his morals.

• Always expect the worst from your fellow human and you will not be disappointed.

• When parking using the facilities of Milton Keynes Partnership always supply your own Sellotape, glue or adhesive.

• Always pray to God for calm weather.

• Remember to carry your blood pressure tablets and/or paracetamol with you at all times.

Finally; remember that everyone is always guilty unless proven otherwise – except in a court of law.

Yours with deepest affection,

Jane Turley


Social History; Life in the Countryside during WWII

About 4 years ago, young Jacob was sent home with a worksheet from which he was to select a homework project to do over the holidays. Now generally I'm inclined to think these projects are a complete nightmare and should be retitled "Parent's Homework" - or even better "Parent's Headache" because it's usually mum or dad who ends up building some hideous monstrosity out of paper mache and tinfoil.

However, on this particular occasion, one of the challenges was to interview an elderly person about their childhood during World War II. Now a project that required no glue or paint was quite revolutionary and rather appealing to a weary mum like myself so as my mother was coming to stay for a few days I decided to ask her to tell a few stories about her youth into an old cassette recorder. (I should point out that I don't think mum was that keen on being described as "elderly" but nevertheless after a glass of wine she didn't put up too m…