Sunday, April 30, 2017

Y is for Yellow Belly

I just read my post from yesterday. And I've decided alcohol obviously enables me to get the creative juices flowing as when I started that post I had absolutely no idea what I was going to write.

Sadly, I don't think green tea with lemon has the same effect on me. *Looks forlornly at cup by side*

So only Y and Z to go on the A to Z! I didn't actually think I'd make it through the month so I guess somewhere I still must have a bit of stamina left.

Hmm. I still have no idea to what to write about so I'll just keep going until my brain fires up.

Oh yes. I'll write about an experience I had today at work. So I shall call this post Y for Yellow Belly which in the UK is a colloquial expression for cowardice.

Yep, so today I met a young lady, aged around 30, who was out shopping with her mother. I sold her a £1600 pair of diamond earrings to cheer herself up as she had just been dumped by text.

Now I concluded that because of her age, the amount of money she spent, and the fact that she was upset enough to divulge her news to a stranger it was probably a relationship that had been a lengthy one as well as a meaningful one (to her at least.) I felt very sorry for her - dumping someone by text - what kind of person does that? In my opinion, a "yellow belly" and, frankly, I thought if he didn't have enough courage to end it with her face-to-face then she was better off without him. (Of course, I didn't say that as it was not my prerogative to do so.)

So, I've observed in the course of my life that some people are really not good at communicating and that can severely impact their relationships and that quality of their life. When the going gets tough and they can't communicate on a deeper level about the stuff that really matters the relationship is basically shafted. A relationship can continue with problems unresolved especially if there are other considerations like children and housing etc but it's never the same for the communicator who never gets resolution. In essence, silencing one partner because of the other's inability to talk (whether intentionally or otherwise) becomes a form of manipulation and emotional abuse.

I think that young lady had a lucky escape. Being dumped by text signifies to me a lack of empathy and the ability to confront emotional situations. She could have ended up marrying him and finding that out only when the going got tough. Better to find out now and have a chance to find someone else who doesn't rely on texts or social media to do his dirty work.

Well rant over. Hopefully, that lovely young lady enjoys her earrings and finds an honorable young man to sweep her off her feet.

And when I am ready to move forward with my own life, I shall have "good communicator" at the top of my list. Along with about thirty other requirements. At least thirty. Probably more. A lot more. In fact, it could be a very long list indeed.

One, of course, will be the necessity to have a very good sense of humour indeed.


Friday, April 28, 2017

X is for people I'd like to x-ray.

Firstly, let's get something out of the way. When I developed my hiatus hernia a couple of years ago I effectively gave up alcohol. However, in order to face a huge mound of ironing earlier this evening that seems to have the capability to reproduce, I have decided to indulge.

Therefore, as I write this post I am verging on the tipsy. By the time I finish it, I could be pressing my keyboard from underneath my desk. Luckily, I have plenty of fat to absorb the alcohol but any minute now I expect my lips to do a Mick Jagger. Luckily, alcohol doesn't appear to affect other parts of my body (except my brain) otherwise my arse might turn into some hideous monstrosity like the one which is attached to Kim Kardashian's arse.

You know whenever I see a picture of Kim Kardashian's butt I imagine that scene from Alien where the Alien bursts forth John Hurt's stomach. I keep seeing it over and over in my mind - Kimmy lying on the beach when her butt suddenly explodes and this small lethal creature that has been living off globules of her fat bursts forth and latches hold of Kanye West's face.

Now that's what I call a summer movie. Not that girlie Disney princess stuff. They'd be queues right around the block for a sci-fi movie like that. Especially if Piers Morgan got mutilated in it too. They couldn't call it Alien Butts or  Butt Feeders or even Arse Armageddon

Now, what was I supposed to be writing about? 

Oh yes. A word beginning with X.

X-ray? Blimey, I'd love to x-ray Kim's butt and see what's inside. I could probably get a thesis out of it. Maybe even a Nobel prize for science. That would be super cool.

Whilst I'm at it - if I had to a chance to x-ray Gerard Butler I would. Any part of him. I'm not fussy. 

I'd also like to x-ray Daniel Craig's gun. I've heard it's pretty big. Apparently, it also never fires blanks. I think that's the sort of rumour that needs proper scientific investigation.

Who else? I'd like to x-ray Donald Trump's head. Just to see if there's anything inside it or if it's just an empty vacuum. Now I know he gets a lot of stick but I reckon there is something there. However, I'm not sure a packet of Jelly Babies is really that impressive.

I'd also like to x-ray Rupert Murdoch's wallet. And then perhaps his colostomy bag. Just for fun.

Anyone else? Oh yes. Tom Cruise. How could I forget my arch nemesis? Perhaps it goes without saying I'd have to x-ray his brain just to see what the hell is going on inside it. Perhaps it's full of tiny spaceships whizzing around? Hmm could be.

Anyway, it's gone 11pm here and I need to be up before 7 as I need to be at work by 8 am. So I must love you and leave you with this question - who would you like to x-ray and why?

W is for Why and Writing

When my children were small "why" was a word which cropped all the time at the beginning of sentences. "Why" would often proceed moments of amusement and laughter when I was forced to explain all sorts of weird and wonderful topics.

When I was a teenager, and I wondered how the world worked and was searching for those answers I often ask myself "why" questions. More often than not, I couldn't come up with answers about religion or existence or even about algebra but, eventually, I developed my own thoughts on life and accepted this life for what it is. I learnt that when it comes to philosophy, you don't always have to have the answer but sometimes contemplating issues give you a better perspective and appreciation of life.

Now, as I move through middle-age towards inevitable death, I wonder "Why" my life is turning out as it is.

I have some answers to some of my questions and for others, I don't. Those unanswered questions are difficult to lay to rest.

But somehow I must let them go. Hopefully, writing will be my cure.

V is for Vanity

So I am running behind on the A to Z again. Unfortunately, due to the complicated life I lead at the moment, I simply having no energy most days to write. I know some writers seem to thrive on stress and trauma but that's not me - my best work is when I'm relaxed and happy and when I can let my mind roam free.

So V is for Vanity. I was really going to let rip on this subject as I find the increasing emphasis on looks and body image, particularly in the media, very unwholesome and perhaps very damaging to many young men and women who aspire to look like photoshopped celebs. But of course, vanity is not always just about looks and when it is wrapped up in narcissism it can have so many more destructive traits.

So where I work at the moment, I see many women (mainly young but also older women too) absolutely caked in make-up and teetering around in high heels which in a few years will have their feet covered in bunions and deformed. I find it rather sad, that when these young women are at an age when the majority of them have healthy, fresh-looking skin they feel it necessary to plaster it with a cement about three shades darker than their natural skin tone. Top that with pencilled eyebrows and false eyelashes some of them just look like replica Barbie dolls. For old bags like myself, I kinda understand the need to cling onto to some looks and feel your best for as long as possible but, nevertheless, sometimes when I see faces with caked with makeup I seriously wonder if I would recognize the person underneath if I were to see them without makeup.

So, as I was saying, I was really going to let rip on this subject (I was just warming up there) but then last night Master Benedict and I were messing around with a mobile phone and he took a picture of me.

And there's no other way to say this...

But I looked like I'd been hit by a bus. A double decker bus. Probably travelling at 60mph.

And then after I'd been hit by a bus some bastard had inflated me with a bicycle pump.

So in other words, I looked shite. (And that's putting it mildy.)

So life hasn't been too good for me for the last two years or so and seeing that picture really brought it home to me that I need to look after myself more. In every way.

I guess there's a balance to be had in all things. At the moment I haven't found it. Hopefully, I'll find it soon but I am guessing it's not likely to happen for three or four years. In the meantime, I'm going out to buy some makeup and some bubble bath.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U is for Ode to a British Urn

You still unused large pot of cream
You unwanted gift of Christmas 1988
A dusty reminder, who can express
Why I haven't cleaned my cupboards
Full of bottle ring stains and cobwebs
Of dead spiders and perfumes that stink
In bathrooms or in the kitchen
What crap in inside all of these bottles?
What ancient spice? What congealed mascara?
What putrid hand cream? What decomposed biscuit? 

I've heard some bathrooms are sweet, but those unclean
Are gross, I should know, I have one
Not to the obvious inspection, but on a closer look
There's a huge pile of shit
In cupboards, drawers and even in shoe boxes
Because I stuff bottles, jars and tins everywhere
Bold cleaning is definitely not for me
I'd rather read a book, or take a run
All you pots and tins, just sit there for a few years more
Until I die and some other fucker gets to throw you out


Well, that got rid of U in a few minutes. I suspect Keats is turning in his grave right now. Oh well.

 What next..."V".  Oh crap.

Monday, April 24, 2017

T is for Tradition

Tonight I am going to write about traditions or one British tradition in particular - the "stiff upper lip". Now if you don't know how the "stiff upper lip"tradition came about then let me explain:

When we are babies English tradition has it that we are left in our prams on promenades, piers or in our back gardens for a dose of good old sea air. (Apparently, it's good for the lungs and builds up a cast iron constitution.) Roughly, this tradition translates to 12 hours a day in the freezing cold with only a rubber teat for company and a flock of seagulls pooping on your pram. Indeed, I remember only too well those days spent looking forlornly out of my Silver Cross pram worrying if the seagulls were going to shit on me and yearning for my mother's breast.

(Okay, maybe a little dramatic licence there as I can't actually remember anything - I was practically mummified.)

Now this childhood induction into the great British "stiff upper lip" tradition lasts for about 3 years - or until such time you can undo your harness and scream "child abuse."

So that's how we English got a stiff upper lip - it started out because our lips were actually frozen solid.

Now, over the years, our reputation for having a stiff upper lip has spread throughout the world because other nations soon realised that there was no way they could ever defeat a country whose children were subjected to such hideous infant torture. And that, my friends, is why Hitler didn't invade England - as a man who had to keep his upper lip warm with a comedy moustache - he knew Germany could never match us Brits for resilience.

Anyway, bearing in mind this great English tradition for courage in the face of extreme adversity perhaps it's not surprising we were able to evacuate so many of our soldiers from Dunkirk with just a few sardine tins and a couple of upturned hats.

"I say Johnnie - there's a Stuka at 11 o'clock.  I'll cover you whilst you and the boys wade out in your wellies."

"Yes, Sir!  It'll be damn cold out there though, Sir!"

"Just bracing sea air, Johnnie. Perfect opportunity for an afternoon swim." 

"Yes, Sir!  Shall I tell the boys to swim the last two miles to Dover for some exercise, Sir?"

"Excellent idea, Johnnie. Don't forget to practice the synchronised swim routine too."

"Yes, Sir!"

"Right, heads down everyone! Brace your lips, I want to be back in Blighty for tea!"

Yep, so that's the story of how we got our stiff upper lip.

Well... maybe. (Cough, cough)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

S is for Shorts and Sex

I am currently on my lunch break which I am having to interrupt to report on the obscene matter of middle-aged white British men wearing shorts in the vicinity of my workplace.

It is 14 degrees here at present. The weather is mild and is partially cloudy. There is not a heatwave going on and yet I am seeing numerous men wearing shorts. If this isn't bad enough, it is made worse by the fact the shorts are on average one size too small. I am sick to the stomach, Readers. Sick, sick, sick, sick, sick!  How is a woman meant to concentrate on her work when she is forced to watch this unwholesome parade of hairy white legs and bulbous paunches.

So my advice is to British men who wear shorts is -  unless you have a physique like Rafael Nadal keep your legs covered up or don't expect you wife to be accomodatiing unless she is visually impaired.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

R is for Responsibility and Rage

I am a couple of posts behind with the A to Z so I'm going to do a couple of quick posts to play catch-up.

So, I am in a melancholic mood tonight so finding my usual spark of creativity is not easy. If I were to write down how I feel it would be explosive. But probably not in a good way. And so I must bide my time and wait for the moment when I can draw upon my emotions and use them to better my creative writing. That's what writers do and that's what I did in the more poignant moments in The Changing Room. 

At the moment, I am still in grief. Grief for my past and grief what might have been. My days and nights are full of responsibilities and worries for my children and for our future. My emotions flicker from sadness to incandescent rage and everything else in-between. 

On the plus side, I finally have control of the TV remote.


Friday, April 21, 2017

Q is for Quasimodo

There was a lonely hunchback called Quasimodo
Who some thought was a homeless hobo
But he lived in a church
Where he observed life from a perch
Until one day he slipped off and died

But the ghost of Quasimodo did rise
And from the bell tower he still spied
On lovers and embraces
And friends of all races
And at night in the dark he cried

I'll always be ugly he wailed
His face full of pain and paled
But then a circle of light descended
And Quasimodo ascended
To a place where only the soul was graded

To me you are beautiful said Jesus
Your heart is full of passion and kindness
So he took Quasimodo's hand
And led him to a land
Where love was the only rule

Now Quasimodo lives in peace
And his tears have ceased
Everyday he wakes with joy
To the sound of a celestial choir boy
And his smile lights up the world beneath

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

P is for The Problem with Plumbers

*Warning* Do not read this blog if you’re a plumber, married to a plumber, related to a plumber in any way or, possibly, if you once had an affair with a plumber. If, on the other hand, you have ever been overcharged by a plumber this article will probably appeal to you.

* * * * *

A while ago, I was in a very cynical mood. I was stomping around my house having just returned from the school run (which is so unfair at my age) and in the midst of a hot flush when a business card fell through my letterbox. It read:

Traditional English Plumbing at Traditional English Prices

Immediately my hot flush took on rocket propulsion proportions. Steam burst forth from ears like an exploding piston as I recalled, in detail, the numerous times I’d been screwed (financially) by plumbers and tradesmen. You see, in my experience, “Traditional English Plumbing Prices” are calculated in a somewhat dubious manner. Let’s examine the components of a potential invoice in more detail:

The Call Out Fee: This is calculated on the cost of approximately two days’ travel to and from the plumber’s place of abode to your home - which he estimates as long distance even though you've told him seven times it's in the next street. The fee will include: a full tank of petrol, one or two full English breakfasts, lunchtime sandwiches, six coffees and (just in case he doesn't make it home by 4.30pm) a Kentucky Fried Chicken with extra fries.

The Hourly Fee: This could be anything. Literally. Pull a figure out of the air, double it, quadruple it and add on Great Aunt Lil’s age and you’ll probably be close to the hourly fee.

The Cost of Necessary Parts: Your plumber will charge you the cost of the parts as they are priced at your local high-end DIY store - despite the fact he will have paid a pittance at the local plumbers’ merchant.

The Cost of Unnecessary Parts: The plumber will charge you the cost of the parts you need - and the parts you don't need. He’ll also delight in telling you that your bathroom suite no longer meets current health and safety guidelines and you need a replacement. He won't actually know those guidelines but he’ll be able to produce a glossy catalogue that you can look through while he phones the betting shop and travel agents.

The Cost of VAT: Your plumber will say he can do your job cheaper if you pay cash as he won’t charge VAT. This is a lie. He is still going to charge you VAT because he’s not going to risk being caught by the Inland Revenue. So he just raises the price by 20% so that he can knock it off and appear generous. It is a PR exercise: the reality is you’re getting stitched up and if you decide to pay by cheque/card he will make an even bigger profit. Humph.

So, my advice is to always get a detailed written quotation before you agree to anything. To avoid incurring “unforeseen plumbing costs” follow my five point guide below:

1. Do not pass wind in the same air space as your plumber or you’ll risk being charged danger money. This will be in the form of some jargon on the invoice like “C/T19195W faucet joint” or “1.5 screw-top head runner for C/T191195W”.

2. Keep your animals at a distance otherwise your plumber will charge for extra time to visit the doctors for a prescription for his asthma.

3. Under no circumstances tell the plumber you're a pensioner or he’ll be ringing his investment banker before you've made his first cup of tea. If necessary, tell him you are prematurely grey due to being hit by lightning whilst hiking through the Amazonian rainforest.

4. Hide all evidence of your creature comforts in case your plumber thinks you will “pay any price”. Include all obvious signs: Earl Grey tea, oversized underwear, dog-walking shoes and copies of the Radio Times.

5. Make sure you leave visible reading material in your bathroom. Include books like Undiscovered Serial Killers, Murder by Gunshot, Plumbing for Beginners and Death of a Salesman.

Finally, to prove that underneath I really am quite charming (and I don’t want to receive any hate mail). To all honest plumbers and tradesmen out there: You Rock.

When your plumber peers round your bathroom door wearing this cheerful expression
 and says "I've found the problem!" - you know you're about to be screwed.

O is for Otters and Onesies

So I was challenged to write a post about Otters by writer John Doppler. He likes them. And I like them. But writing a post about them which is more than saying "John likes them" and "I like them" is pretty hard.

I suppose I could write about their habitat.

But that would be a bit intellectual for this blog. And would require research. And I'm not sure if there's any articles about otters over at The Daily Mail.

I know I could make another attempt at poetry...

There once was an otter called Reg
Who had an artificial leg
Don't ask me how
Or raise a brow
Just accept that this story is true

Okay. I don't think the poetry angle is going to work. I'll just try another second verse to be sure...

One day Reg went for a swim
On a lake that was full to the brim
He hit his leg on a log
It fell off and blinded a frog
And the river police towed him away

Nope, the poetry thing is really not working. No one's going to appreciate a poem about an otter with an artificial leg.

I think I need to revisit the Turley Two Liner poetic form....

Otters, cute wet creatures
Smell a bit fishy

Hmm. Better. But I don't think I'm really capturing their cuteness. One last attempt and then I'll have to think of something else other than "otter".

Otters, big whiskers like Terry Thomas
Should be flying Spitfires, not swimming

Oh damn, damn, damn. I am just no good at poetry. I give up.

I know! Let's talk about onesies!

Hmmm.... know.... I'd like to see Kim Kardashian get her arse out of a onesie in a hurry. In fact, I'd pay good money to see it. In fact, I reckon it would probably take her so long you could make a feature film out of it.

Right that's O done. P next. Any suggestions?

N is for Necrophilia

Now before you folks start getting rowdy with me for choosing a pretty ghastly subject, I just wanted to say that this topic was suggested by a work colleague as the obvious follow-up to yesterday's M is for Mechanophilia blog.

Okay so let's get on with it....and I'll get straight to the point.

Necrophiliacs are the kind of nutters who make the Kardashian family look sane. And that's saying something as, by normal standards, the Kardashians with their narcissistic fetishes for photographing their false inflated giant-sized bottoms and boobs are completely and utterly bonkers. 

So I've thought long and hard about the people who participate in this kind of weird stuff and I've come up with this thought:

Nuke 'em.

Alternatively, put them all in a room with Kim Kardashian and stick a pin in her arse.

He who dares, wins.

Monday, April 17, 2017

M is for Mechanophilia

Yep, I wasn't entirely sure what "Mechanophilia" meant either until a few days ago, during a restless night, I popped over to The Daily Mail for my regular dose of dubious news reporting and read this article.

Now if you can't be bothered to read the article. I'll sum it up:

It was about a man who was recently prosecuted for trying to have sex with a Suzuki motorbike. Yes, men don't just do it with sheep. They also do it with bikes, cars and probably the No 43 bus from Paddington to Tottenham Court Road.

I also have it on very good authority from a friend who is a consultant radiologist they do it with a number of other interesting objects. To which I say:

Never buy a second-hand vacuum cleaner.

Anyway,  back to the article at The Daily Mail. Now I imagine when I first read this article I probably reacted something like this:

Then very quickly I felt like this:

Then I went into one of my writer's fantasies and wondered what would happen if the offender encountered one of these:

Then I thought:

What the hell... why don't I just write a story featuring myself a kick-ass heroine who rescues the world from a bunch of crazed mechaanophiliacs   mecaniphicacs   mechani  weirdos who like to shag cars.

So watch this space. I have a feeling my next work could be my ManBooker prize winning novel.

L is for Luck

Do you believe in luck?

I'm not sure. Maybe we make our own luck? In the writing world, I often hear writers say that the harder you work the more luck you create. I kinda agree with that statement as when you work hard you invariably create more chances for success or "luck" to come your way. If you sit still and wait for it, rarely does it come your way.

However, then there's just plain spooky luck or, in my case, bad luck which isn't attached to any work ethic.

For example, this true recent story of something that happened to me...

I had finished an evening shift before Christmas and left for home in my car. It was very dark and the visibility was getting poorer due to a fog descending over the countryside. About half my journey is on a fast 60mph road and about half is cross-country. So I'm driving along the 60mph zone at a relatively slow pace due to the descending fog when suddenly cars coming in the opposite direction start flashing me. I am confused for a moment or two until I realise that something is wrong my lights. I play around with various lights switching them on and off and I come to the realisation that, since the previous night when I drove home, not one but both my headlights have blown - probably within a few minutes of each other.

How unlucky can you be? I have to drive home late on a dark winter's night in a heavy fog with only my sidelights and fog lights working....

At this point, I have to toss up whether it's safer to turn off earlier onto the country lanes where it is always foggier due to pits and falls of the countryside or risk carrying on my journey on the fast road which has a lot more traffic. I decide there's a greater risk of an accident on the fast road which is very narrow and where some jerks will travel the full 60mph even in poor visibility.

So I leave the main road as I reckon I have a better chance of getting home safely.

The fog though on the country roads is much worse than I expected and I soon begin to curse that I did not stay on the fast road where at least I might have been able to follow the rear lights of the car in front. As I crawl along the fog gets thicker and the visibility poorer until I am leaning forward in my seat straining to see the curves of the country roads ahead. I am probably driving at about 15 miles an hour. 

Then, a very short distance ahead, I notice an even thicker patch of fog on my side of the road. I can't see through it at all.  Is there something there I ask myself? A ghost perhaps? 

I decide to slow down to almost a standstill and as I get closer I see...

a white cow.

I am gobsmacked. I've seen a lot of cows in my life. But you don't see many almost entirely white cows. And what, statistically, are the chances of me coming across a white cow, in a dense fog, very late at night, on the same night that my both my headlights have blown?


Okay, son, let's stand here a little longer while the fog comes down. Then we'll make a
a break for it. Follow my ass to the main road and then we'll leg it to freedom. Watch out for any cars though, I heard there's some crazy bitch who drives like maniac some nights. Apparently, Ferdie Fox nearly bought it the other night when she did a wheel spin on Nutter's Bend.

So anyway, I slowed down to almost a complete standstill and drove around the cow as it trundled down the road. And a long while later I got home safely.

It's a spooky story, isn't it? There a lot of bad luck in that story but - on the other hand maybe it was good luck I got home alive on what was a pretty treacherous journey.

Hmm. I'm thinking now maybe it wasn't an ordinary cow. Maybe it was a ghostly guardian cow saving me from some other hazard.

Who knows? Luck, chance, fate. They're all strange phenomena. Do you believe in them?

Friday, April 14, 2017

K is for Kindness and Kindergarten

I've worked in retail, on and off, for most of my life and it is a very culturally diverse profession. This is because at the bottom rung it is very lowly paid and often has ridiculous working hours. In addition, often the only skills that are needed are a smiling face and the ability to work hard and pick up new skills. Consequently, it's a trade that is open to a lot of people - either on the shop floor or behind it.

Recently, I've been working with a Russian, a Chinese, an Algerian, a naturalised British man originally from Hong Kong, another one on a visa from Hong Kong, a naturalised UK Indian whose parents still live in India, a half-Japanese naturalised British man, a Moroccan, a half Austrian and half Brazialian......and so on. There are a few more nationalities but I can't remember where they're from and, in all honesty, I'm not really bothered. Now, as you can imagine, with such an eclectic range of colleagues there's quite a range of religious and cultural beliefs too - as well as sexual orientations. In short, on the surface, we're quite a different bunch.

As a writer (and because I am essentially nosey) I love to hear about people's lives so when I have the opportunity to listen to my colleagues' back stories I always take it. I've learnt that some are here to pursue economic prosperity but others have come for a variety of other reasons such as education, relationships, politics and so on.

Now the world is a pretty crap place at the moment with a lot of political tensions, especially over immigration, refugees, and terrorism. Since the UK has voted out of the EU, I'm not going to get into a potentially explosive debate about whether or not some of my colleagues should be here or, if and when, they should return to their own countries. What I will say is - I like them all and I've found it to be true over the course of my working life that when you work closely with people you see past cultural differences and accept them for who they are rather than dwell on where they came from. When you know someone on a personal level all that matters is kindness, honesty, integrity and empathy.

Sometimes, I think the world would be a much a better place if we remembered the human traits we all share - and the things that unite us rather than divide us. I'm not saying sometimes tough decisions should never be made - especially in times when they clearly need to be - but it would be good if as a global community we don't forget our humanity and remember that underneath we are all the same. That kindness is a virtue, not a vice.

To this extent, I think it would be good to round-up all our political leaders and send them back to kindergarten. Maybe they would learn something.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

J is for Jewellery, Jacob and Jinxes

So this post is going to stray from my normal gibberish and a be glimpse inside my life.

The alternative was writing about jelly which is far too wobbly and reminds me of my arse. So it's a no go area. 

So if you've read my A for Anno Domini post you'll know that recently my life has completely changed. I thought in two years time, when my youngest son went to university, I'd go back to part-time work and pursue my writing career which although wasn't earning any significant amounts was on an upward trajectory - one of London's top agents had considered the full manuscript for The Changing Room and I'd had two top publicists interested in it too even though I decided when the agent eventually declined my novel to self-publish. In other words -by choosing self-publishing - I decided to put my money where my mouth is believing The Changing Room filled a gap in the market for women's fiction - contemporary humorous fiction for middle-aged women but which also had substance. Unfortunately, the first publicist, who had represented some of the biggest names in contemporary thriller writing, pulled out at the last moment due to "over commitment to her traditionally published novels" by which time, I'd spent already a £1,000 on a new cover at her request so it could be more commercially marketed. As you can imagine, I felt more than a little jinxed having now lost a top agent and a top publicist. 

However, a second experienced publicist stepped in. My spirits lifted for a while but I soon began to realize that the momentum had been lost and even though she got me a commission with one of the national papers for this article, in the end, they didn't run with it. Why I don't know - I'm guessing it was either my humour or it wasn't controversial enough for their readers to do what that paper likes best - unleash vitriol in the comments. I'd thought very carefully about that article because it was such a great opportunity but I also knew it was always going to be a very difficult remit for a very controversial paper. 

I guess you could say I felt a bit jinxed. My breakthrough moments as a writer had been lost. But overall I was still pleased - I'd gone from writing obscurity to obtaining the interest of a top agent, two top publicists and I'd micro-managed every aspect of my novel from the editing to the design and distribution. I'd gained the support of Whitefox, who were my go-between on the publicity front, who have since offered to represent me for my next novel at a very reduced cost having acknowledged certain aspects of the campaign did not go as they should have - and I know they are sincere. Ultimately, it was a huge learning curve which had cost me a few thousand from my inheritance but even now, two years on, I still think it was the right thing to do. Jinxes or no jinxes. What pleased me most though was the reaction I got to The Changing Room. There is room in fiction for laughter in the lives of middle-aged women. It doesn't all have to be chick-lit or Bridget Jones.

Yikes, this post is rambling on a bit. It must be the writer in me.

And so that leaves just jewellery and Jacob. Jewellery is what I work in now - many years ago I trained as a retail jeweller and worked in London in a prestigious store. I've had to go back in a lowly position after so many years as a housewife, but returning to London is now my objective - it is the only way I can help Jacob and my other sons financially in their immediate future.

Below is Jacob. He is the second of my three sons. He is dyslexic but wasn't diagnosed until he was in his last year of schooling, despite me banging on teacher's desks for years. Consquently, his academics are not strong and he has worked at his tennis to compensate and to give him a career. A few days ago, he signed a tennis scholarship with McPherson College, Kansas in the US. As our family unit has fallen apart these last few years one of my biggest concerns is that he and his younger brother might lose their opportunities in life but Jacob has been very lucky - the kindness and generosity of a relative means that Jacob will now still be able to go to the US. I will have still have to find some of the fees which, even with a scholarship and a donor, are very expensive but it is doable now. A few months ago I was crushed that it might not be possible.

As for my writing, this is probably the longest thing I've written for some considerable time as my life is now so complicated. But what I know is this: I may be a mother, an employee and soon an ex-wife but I am also me and I am a writer. And I will not lie down and take the shit that has come my way anymore. I will live my life with love and laughter.

 And I will write another book. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I is for Iambic Pentameter

So this going to be one of my intellectual posts. (Ho hum.)

Let's talk about iambic pentameter.

Now to refresh your minds, since I'm sure many of you might have forgotten what iambic pentameter is from your school days (I can't remember anything prior to 1990 so if you're older than me there's a good chance you can't even remember your name) I shall refresh your memory with an explanation taken straight from a dictionary rather than using my own explanation because my own garbled definition would probably make you wonder if I have any brain cells left.

So, accordingly, this is the explanation from the Oxford Dictionary:

A line of verse with five metrical feet, each consisting of one short (or unstressed) syllable followed by one long (or stressed) syllable.

Yep, makes no sense to me either. Thirty years ago I think it did. Although, frankly, at school, I was a bit of blagger back then too and had an uncanny ability to sound like I knew what I was talking about when in fact I had absolutely no idea. This was probably because I read a lot and knew lots of big words thus pulling over the wool over many of my teacher's eyes. Unfortuantely, that didn't work well in Maths where big words can't replace numbers. Although I think I tried a few times. Unfortunately, the answer "Gobbledygook" doesn't impress most maths teachers who usually have some type of personality disorder. 

Who other than a maths teacher would snort with laughter when you put down 2X for an answer instead of 2Y?

So back to iambic pentameter. Basically, it's quality prose or poetry that sounds really good and trips off the tongue. The best way to appreciate it is to read or listen to some of the best or most famous pieces. Like these pieces from master craftsmen, William Shakespeare:

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

Richard III

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date

Sonnet XVIII

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.

Twelfth Night

Now I have been lucky enough over the course of my life to have seen some of our finest British actors perform Shakespeare and if you ever have a chance to see the Royal Shakespeare Company in action at Stratford then do take up the opportunity. Shakespeare is not always easy to appreciate if you are unfamiliar with the language but I guarantee that the live spectacle of theatre in the home of Shakespeare is something not to be missed and will keep you riveted to your seat.

Anyhow, I've been trying over the course of the ten years writing this blog to get to grips with poetry and iambic pentameter. And the result has been - I have failed miserably! I am now reduced to writing free poetry (without rhyme or rhythm) in the form of 3 line haikus. Here are a few previous A to Z attempts:

Haikus in praise of Jason Statham:

Jason is very cool
Even though he is bald
Sometimes he wears a flat cap

Jason has a big gun
His aim is accurate
He doesn't have to lift the toilet seat

Jason and Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious
I am so going to watch it

Now to be honest, as you can probably tell from the above attempts, I'm not sure if I've really got the hang of this haiku business. Three lines are just too complicated for me. I'm now working on developing my own form of poetry called the "Two Liner." Here are my first attempts:

Shakespeare, awesome.
Me, shit.

Brexit, bring it on
Tunnel sealed

Jason, still cool
Ring me

Daniel Craig, what again?
I vote Jason

Trump, floppy hair
Scissors please

Daily Mail, pictures
pictures, pictures, fail

Poetry awesome
Me, bucket of piss

So there we go - I've developed a new form of poetry and I'm rather impressed with my own first attempts! I may yet get the Nobel prize for literature! Now if you'd like to try the new "Two Liner" leave your attempt in the comments. The best one gets a copy of my novel - paperback or ebook (your choice) of my novel The Changing Room.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

H is for A Horrid And Heinous "H" Story

Tonight, I am going to relate to you one of the worst experiences of my life which happened about three years ago. It was very late at night and I was out in the garden securing the chicken hutch when I was stopped in my tracks by a truly revolting noise. I'm not going to even try and describe it as it was so abhorrent it will make you throw up. However, what I will say is - as a mother of three sons - I have heard some pretty gruesome noises including:

1. High-octane exploding bowels.  This was after about a month of constipation when I doubled-dosed one of my sons on constipation-relief medicine. The memory of this sound and the high-impact splattering adorning the bath (the toilet was too small to accommodate the outpourings) will stay with me forever.

2. Severe nauseating and overpowering flatulence.  After the consumption of burnt beef curry by someone who is not me and not my children. (Work it out.)

3. The screams of childbirth. These were not my own which would have been preferable. After having spent 24 hours in labour, I was wheeled to the maternity ward, exhausted and with my assets resembling an imploded jam roly poly and desperately wanting to sleep. Therefore, I did not enjoy listening to the screams of the woman in the labour ward below who had either:

 a) given birth to triplets through a vagina the size of a pea shooter

 b) given birth to an alien

 c) realized that the birth was being shown live on national TV


 d) finally realized that sex leads to a lifetime of misery

Anyway, as you can imagine, all the above experiences involved pretty horrific sounds.

However, they do NOT compare to the sound that accompanies the discovery that one of your chickens has died and is being eaten by the garden hedgehog.

I will never feel the same about the heinous Mr Hedgehog again.

Hands up who likes chicken.

Slurp slurp slurp

Friday, April 7, 2017

G is for Glasses

Tihs posst waaaaaaas going tto be aboooutttt "gulags  "  so i loook bra iny as I''m worrird peopke mifgt thimk I'm stipid/

Bit i can@T  finnd  my asses.


('m hopping I wil l fiiiid theeeeeM by tomotoe/


Leavvvvvw ideas for H pleass/

fetting old is shhit/

Thursday, April 6, 2017

F is for Fantasies

This is going to be one of my rare intimate posts. This is a post where you discover something about me and I get to, hopefully, discover something about you! So don't forget to leave me one of your fantasies in the comments.

Okay so here are my top twenty fantasies:

1. I win the ManBooker prize.

2.I win the Nobel prize for literature.

3. I win the Nobel Prize for literature and the ManBooker prize in the same year - for different books. (I've always been ambitious.)

4. I bump into Tom Cruise at Harrods and say "Oh I am so sorry.... Oh you look familiar....Now don't tell me.... you're... your'e... Justin Bieber."

5. Our Prime Minister, Mrs May, invites me to be the Minister for Literature. I decline because I am too busy on the international book circuit talking about my Nobel prize for literature and my ManBooker Prize. (Awarded in the same year.)

6. I go onto the Daily Mail Website and the headline reads:

Kim Kardashian's arse explodes.
Large crater appears on Hollywood Walk of Fame.

And underneath the headlines are 952 close-up photographs. And a video.

7. I wake up one morning and I have lost 4 stone.

8. I wake up one morning, turn on my side and there is a (youthful) man there who looks like a Roman God with a lithe body and muscular torso. I say:

"Do you have a twin brother? We could have a threesome."

9. I win 70 million on the lottery - on the same day as I win the ManBooker prize and the Nobel Prize for literature.

10. I never get caught for speeding. 

11. I never get caught for speeding and driving irresponsibly whilst eating a bar of Cadbury's fruit and nut chocolate.

12. I bump into George Clooney in Harrods. I say... " Oh you look familiar. I'm sure I know you from're.. you're... Donald Trump!"

13. Her Majesty makes me a Dame for services to Literature. I graciously accept.

14. I wake up one morning and discover a horse's head on my pillow. Luckily, its made of chocolate so I stay in bed all day eating it.

15. I discover a miracle cure for facial hair.

16. I write a kick-ass film script. I am asked to help audition the lead roles. Jason Statham comes into the audition room and I say "So Jason, what can you do for me?" He says "Anything you like. I love this script and I really want this role." I say "I'm in room 52 at the Ritz. No need to knock."

17. I'm in the foyer of the Ritz and bump into Gerard Butler. He says; " I've heard you've written a kick-ass film script that would be perfect for me. Is there any chance I could audition for it?" I say "Can you come to my room after 10pm? I have a late night appointment with accountant."

18. I wake up one morning and go over to the Daily Mail website and the headline reads:

Kanye West airlifted to Hospital.
Enormous sinkhole appears at Kardashian's mansion. Kim Kardashian still missing.

19. God has a sense of humour.

20. I meet a very wealthy senile old man with 7 younger brothers.


By the way, you can pick up my short story for children and adults called Fantasia free HERE on Amazon kindle for the next five days. If you enjoy it please write a review!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

E is for Eggplant, European Union and Equestrian

So I've had a couple of suggestions from my writer friend Derrick LoRusso for today's E post. He recommended I write about the words "equestrian" or the "European Union."

Which are both better suggestions than the only word I've come up today which is "eggplant."

I have no idea why "eggplant" keeps popping into my head. Now, no offense to my lovely American friends but calling a vegetable an eggplant which looks nothing like an egg is completely nuts. When I imagine an eggplant instead of looking like this:

It looks like this:

And when I imagine a European Union eggplant it looks like this:

As for "equestrian," Derrick told me I should write about it because us Brits are obsessed with horse riding, polo and fox hunting etc etc. However, I am going to have to come clean and admit that the only horses I am interested in are the ones I might pull in the sweepstake at work and win at a 100-1 on the Grand National. I know nothing about horses except they have four legs and leave large amounts of shit on the roads around here. Now I am sure there's a European law that forbids either too much or too little horse shit on the roads but I can't be bothered to look it up as it would probably take me about 10 of my remaining 25 years to wade through the legislation and, as you know from my previous post, I need that time to find a series of senile old men to marry and fleece out of their cash.

Anyway, we Brits are on our way out of the EU so we can do what we like with our horse shit in about 18 months. In the meantime, in honor of this upcoming momentous event, I've written one of my thought-provoking haikus. It goes like this:

Britian is gone. France is left
With Germany.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

D is for...Divorce.

The only word beginning with D that has been cropping in my mind all day in order to write about tonight is "Divorce"- even though I'd already decided I wasn't going to write about it. So I'd been putting off writing all day hoping some other word would come into my mind, so a few minutes ago as it's almost the UK 12pm deadline I decided to go to one of those random word generators for some much needed inspiration. I put in a request for ten words beginning with D...and the second word that came up was... divorce.


The first word was directory.

Anybody want me to write about "directory" ? I doubt it. Maybe some weird techy geek with a telephone directory fetish but that's about it.

Okay, so I'm going to write about divorce as that kind of spooky stuff is fate's way of telling me its okay to let loose.

But I now only have ...12 minutes before the deadline! Crap. I better make this quick.

So this is what I know about divorce:

Elizabeth Taylor got divorced 7 times

Zsa Zsa Gabor got divorced 7 times

Mickey Rooney got divorced... 6 times I think

Lana Turner got divorced 8 times.

So..... you know I ain't doing so bad - only 1 in over thirty years!

Now let me see - I'm 52. I have approx 25 years left in me. So if I want to beat Lana Turner's record I need to marry and divorce 8 more times in the next 25 years assuming I don't peg it early. This means I need a new husband every... 25 divided by 8 = um um um..... nearly every three years.

Cripes. I better get a move on.

Okay any of you folks out there know any willing victims (preferably with large wallets) email me at

Okay that's it. I've got 4 minutes to spellcheck.

Ps -  I'd prefer a toyboy but if you know a rich oldie make sure he's senile so I can line the next one up whilst he's kipping.

Monday, April 3, 2017

C is for Cream Crackered.

I was contemplating a few words over the course of the day for tonight's post including castration, conception and carol singers but it's already 10.30pm, I've done three hours of housework, two hours of commuting and a nine-hour working day so my brain is fried. I finally got home at 9.30pm, cooked tea for my youngest son and will be leaving the house at 11pm to pick up another from a nearby town so I think I'm just going to go for "cream crackered" instead.

If you've not heard of the expression"Cream crackered" it is a slang phrase here in the UK which means "knackered"- or to put it politely - very, very tired. Cockney rhyming slang is particularly prevalent in the East End of London although some expressions like Cream crackered have filtered into wider usage. Essentially, Cockney rhyming slang is a group of phrases used by Cockneys as expressions instead of using the correct word. 

Cockney rhyming slang is pretty simple to undertsand. Here are some simple famous examples:

Rosie lee means tea

Apples and pears means stairs

Trouble and strife means wife

Adam and Eve means believe

So you'll understand that now when I write I am cream crackered you know what I mean! 

Anyway, time to go and finish my parental duties for the day. And when I get home I'm going straight to bed!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

B is for Brighton Cock

To fully appreciate this post it is best to read my A is for Anno Domini post. (Scroll down.)

Julie knew, before she had been in Brighton three hours, that he meant to corrupt her. With his smooth fingers, and manicured nails, his manner charming and sophisticated, anyone could tell he didn't belong -  belong to the early summer sun, the cool Whitsun wind off the sea, the normal crowd of dental hygienists who worked in Sunny Smiles Dental Practice. They came in by the front door every five minutes, swaying down Queen's Road after closing, teetering on their high heels. But he was different - for a start he was a man in a female-dominated role and, secondly, for a man of his obvious attractions, he'd slipped discreetly through the side door whereas other handsome men of his demeanor might come through the main entrance reveling in the attention of female admirers. Julie's pulse began to race a little as he took a seat not far from where she'd been sipping a vodka observing her co-workers with their fake teeth and false smiles.

The soundtrack to the local six o'clock news played on the large screen television in the corner of the bar, distracting Julie from the uncomfortable feeling that the male hygienist aroused in her. She swivelled her stool around to watch the news, ruing the fact that her secondment to Sunny Smiles was a total disaster. It was obvious from the gleeful glances of the other hygienists that they were still bitching about the fact she had tripped over in her new heels and inadvertently injured the left ear of a local celebrity with a dentists drill. Julie watched the television for a moment and then swivelled back to face the bar, draining the last of her vodka and sucking an enormous ice cube into her mouth.

"Wive me a wubble," said Julie despondnetly, her cheeks puffed out like a hamster.


"A Wubble!"

"Oh you mean "A double,"" grinned the barman.

"I've wad a shwit way," said Julie regretting sucking up the ice cube but not wanting to spit it out in front of the barman and the male hygienist who, worryingly, was now perched even closer.

"A shit day?"

"Wes...shwit, shwit, shwit!"

"That bad eh?"

Julie nodded and attempted to ignore the hygienist as the barman prepared her drink with two generous shots of vodka. However, ignoring her co-worker was very difficult when his smooth tanned skin, chocolate eyes and raven hair were attracting the attention of all the nearby women. Normally, Julie would be flattered by the attention of a man who could have his pick of any women in a bar but she sensed his interested in her was not romantic but something else - but she didn't quite know what and somehow she wasn't sure if she wanted to find out.

"You'll be out of a job tomorrow."

Julie's heart began to beat a little faster as the hygentist pushed a copy of the local paper in front of her.

"Fuck!" cried Julie, spurting her ice cube out all over the headline news which read Hygienist From Hell.

"I reckon it's an inside job," replied her co-worker with a rueful smile.

Julie took a swig of her replacementtt vodka and read the opening paragraph.

Julie Watson, 24, a hygienist on secondment to Sunny Smiles, the largest Dental Practice in Sussex, caused a drama at the Brighton branch today when she fell and injured the ear of local TV presenter Matt Coleridge, 54. According to an eye witness, Mr Coleridge left the practice with a bloody ear, his teeth uncapped and declaring he would sue the practice "for every fucking penny".

"Oh God, I don't want to lose my job," wailed Julie, forgetting her earlier apprehension. "All my life I wanted to be a dental hygienist. I wouldn't know what else to do!"

"You're either mad or drunk," said the male hygienist. "Nobody plans to be a dental hygenist."

Julie took another gulp of her vodka.

"She's drunk," said the barman. "That's her fourth double."

"I'm not shrunk!"

"You are," said the hygenist and the barman in unison.

Julie looked from the barman to the hygenist and back again.

"Did I just say I was shrunk?"

"Yes," they replied.

"Oh God I am shrunk. I'm shrunk AND wobless."

"She means "jobless"" said the barman, grinning again before sauntering off to serve a customer at the other end of the bar.

"You don't have to be jobless," said the hygienist. "You have a great body. There's lots of other things you can do."

"But I've always wanted to wook after weople's weeth," blubbed Julie.

"You're never going to work on teeth again, Julie. But I know something you could do," said the hygenist with a sly grin.

"Wot?" said Julie, tears running down her cheeks.

"The same as me."

"But wor a wental wygenist!" wailed Julie.

"But that's not all I am."

"Wot do you mean?" said Julie pulling a face of drunken confusion.

The hygenist smoothed Julie's hair back over her ear and leant in close to her.

"I'm also a porn star," he whispered. "And my stage name is The Brighton Cock."


To be continued at a later date.

With thanks to Graham Greene (who is probably turning in his grave right now!)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

A is for Anno Domini

So it's the beginning of the A to Z challenge. It's going to be a challenging month for me as due to my usual lack of diligence I have not prepared anything. This will probably be exacerbated by the fact that this particular month I also intend to petition for divorce which is the reason for the change to my blog title from The Witty Ways of a Wayward Wife to The Witty Ways of a Wayward Woman and from Housewife Extraordinaire to Creative Extraordinaire. However, I'm not set on "Creative Extraordinaire" so if any you have any zany ideas feel free to fire away. In fact, my original blog title was the result of a competition I had on my blog after I discovered my original title Jane Turley, Diary of a Mad Housewife was being used by a woman to rant about her husband.


All things considered, we'd better not go down that avenue. Let's just say I am slightly more sympathetic to that blog writer than I was at the time! Even though some might consider me a fruitcake, I'm actually more responsible than some people think (well perhaps not whilst behind the wheel of car whilst reversing down my driveway) so I shall be reigning most of my angst in as, having read a lot of blogs over the years, its always been my thought that some things should be kept private. It's a modern day phenomenon to let everything hang-out on social media. Of course, there are good sides and bad sides to this - I've have witnessed some incredible support amongst facebook friends and in the blogging world for people in turmoil - especially for my blogging friend Marie from Nourish who very sadly indeed died from cancer and complications from MS in August 2015.  Conversely, social media can have downsides: cyber-stalking, catfishing, and bullying can have very serious consequences. So when it comes to talking about the more serious side of my private life I'm cautious about writing about it directly. That said, all my life experiences contribute to my writing so I've no doubt that some of the pain I feel right now will materialize in my writing someday. Maybe one day in the future I'll write a book called Fifty Ways You Can Stack Your Pans Without Interference.

Yeah, I've got to say that title really appeals. In fact, there's a lot of potential humour in that one - maybe I can get it in the A to Z.

So anyway, as I would have been celebrating my 26th wedding anniversary on the 20th and a 31-year relationship, I'm thinking distracting myself with the A to Z is a good idea. Let's just hope my sense of humour can see me through. Fingers crossed everyone!

Oh well moving on....

So I chose Anno Domini for my word(s) which means In the Year of Our Lord - or to simply things - the year Jesus was born. It was the beginning of a new life which changed the world. Now I'm not comparing myself with Jesus (although occasionally I have a beard) but I like the concept of a year of birth, of new beginnings.

So maybe this is my year of rebirth and new beginnings. In a sense it already is - the question is how well I cope and whether I am able to move forward. I think we all have an Anno Domini moment at some point in our lives and sometimes there's no choice in the matter. This is mine. I probably, at best, have no more than twenty-five years left on this planet so I want to make the most of them - which is somewhat tricky when you been left up shit creek financially. I shall definitely have to rule out that retirement world cruise now. Blast. Maybe I can have a weekend in Brighton instead? I've always fancied seeing the Bright Lights - admittedly I'd had the bright lights of New York and Vegas in mind but as we say in the UK "beggars can't be choosers".

Hmm... maybe Brighton will be the place I knock out some mind-boggling piece of erotic chick lit and make a stack of cash. Maybe all that Brighton rock will give me inspiration. It certainly worked for Graham Greene. I'll have to think of a good title though.

Maybe Brighton Cock? 

Okay....maybe not. That one might be a little too bold. Even for readers of EL James.

This is what happens in Brighton - in the nerd community. If I write a book
set in Brighton mine will be about a (male) dental hygienist who works undercover as a porn star.
A writer's gotta start with the ideas somewhere.......
Well if you made it this far I thank you for your patience. This blog is usually very stupid and slapstick and this has been one of my more serious posts. I don't know what the rest of the A to Z will bring but hopefully more laughter than tears.

One last thought, I did think about writing about the word "anal" but I thought that might be too daring for this year and put off a few readers. I'll probably write about that next year though when things are flowing through me a bit smoother....

My previous A posts: A is for Air Guitar
                                   A is for Arses and Aidan Turner

My Nominees for the US and UK Elections and Other Waffle

It's the early hours of the morning, and I have had a large gin... Late-night alcohol is always a good recipe for writing gibberish. And...