Monday, 16 April 2018

Round 16.


That was not the MOST disgusting thing I have ever eaten but it was close.

It has now settled, deeply – though not deeply enough – in a pool of grease, slowly fermenting in the pit of my stomach.

No amount of fizzy water seems to be helping, and I have drunk two bottles.

I might explode from the bubbles.

I need coffee.

A walk.

Fresh air.

Maybe I will need to sleep the damm thing off, though I could just throw up.

It WILL be quicker.

Not the most disgusting.

But close.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Round 15.


Rosie works in the local supermarket.

The supermarket isn’t far from where she lives so she uses her bike and cycles to work. She leaves it in the bike rack, which is next to the super market trolley rank.

She doesn’t lock it.

Rosie is young, young enough to not yet know what she wants to do with her life – she works in the supermarket by day, at night she dances at the local gym.

Jim, her boyfriend, moved out last year; he sells cheese in the local market so she still sees him.

They are not friends anymore.

Right now Rosie is alone, she is quite happy with that  - as Jim was a pain in the arse most of the time.

And he stank of blue cheese.

Some of the cheese Jim sells comes from the local farm where Fred lives with a lot of sheep.

The cheese is sheep’s cheese.

Fred learnt how to make cheese in his twenties, when he lived for a while on the Island of Haiti.

He has an adopted daughter who lives in the city; she has a child of her own now even though she herself is one.

Her mother helps out.

Fred never sees either.

He sees Rosie a lot, because the supermarket sells some of his cheese too; he is in the supermarket at the moment.

He is standing at the back near the sausages - negotiating a sale with the Dairy Purchaser.

He can see Rosie’s reflection in the security mirror hanging in the aisle over the bananas.

The Dairy Purchaser, D.P. for short, is Derek.

Derek Peters.

His initials are a coincidence.

By another coincidence he is married to Fred’s sister Jackie who runs the canoe concession in the summer.

In the winter she works at the Post Office.

The Post office is opposite the supermarket.

Standing by the doorway of the post office, Isabel lights a cigarette.

Isabella, her full name, promised to give up smoking but her boyfriend Johnny skipped town last week without saying goodbye and she’s feeling angry.

She thinks the cigarette will calm her.

She tried vapour sticks for a bit but she found the whole thing too complicated, she prefers to roll her own.

She inhales deeply and looks up; her eyes are brown.

She sees Rosie’s bike outside the supermarket, and  - maybe because she is angry, maybe because Johnny was such and idiot or maybe just because her period is about to start – she steps across the road, takes the bike and rides home.

She didn’t think twice.

It would be nice if Rosie discovered this at the same time that Fred concluded his negotiations with D.P. and was then able to offer Rosie a lift home.

Fred has a van.

The van smells of sheep and not a little of cheese, which would probably be enough for Rosie to forget any romantic thoughts she might have had, or Fred tried to encourage, but none of this happens.

When Rosie steps outside and discovers that her bike has been stolen Fred is still deep in detail concerning litres of milk and whether it is pasteurised or not.

Rosie laughs.

And walks home.

yeah, yeah, i know - the ed.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Round 14.


She is driving a white Audi compact, which is just as well as she is in a traffic jam crawling up the exit ramp from the motorway.

She decides this is a good moment to add some mascara before she reaches work and leans forward and uses the rear view mirror.

In front of her, driving an ageing Renault, Terry is listening to Bruce Springsteen’s River album. It’s an old album, but Terry realises that he doesn’t know half of the songs it contains.

In a moment he will sing along.

He looks up to his rear view mirror and sees the woman in the white Audi trying to apply mascara, not crash and not block progress on the exit ramp. It is not easy for her to do these three things at once and Terry wonders at the way her mouth seems to be working independently from the rest of her body.

He looks ahead.

There is a woman in a green Ford; he can see her face in her rear view mirror.

She is smoking.

She shouldn’t be, her face no longer looks able to cope with the poison.

As if sensing this she takes a final, obsessive drag and drops the remains of the fag onto the hard shoulder, changes gear and edges forward.

She is not only worrying about her health; she is late for the meeting that will decide much of her future.

There is a new director at the office and he has decided it is time to make changes.

She wonders why it is always the men that have this role.

The director’s name is Jason and every time she hears it she thinks of the Argonauts.

Jason and the Argonauts; it was the name of a film she saw when she was nine years old.

She thinks about it now as she edges up the exit ramp.

What was it all about?

Something about going to the end of the world?

At this moment Jason is sitting in a blue Mercedes.

He too is edging his way up the exit ramp.

He too is late for the meeting that is meant to implement the decisions he has already made.

He is imagining that his car is fitted with some sort of destructive ray with which he can zap the cars in front of him to another dimension.

Jason is fairly childish for his age and job title, though that could be changed to Trouble Shooter.

For much of his waking time he thinks he is a character in his own fantasy; for much of his sleeping time he dreams that fantasy.

He is un-married.

Right now he is imagining the destructive zapping of the car immediately in front of him.

The driver is married.

She is applying mascara.

She is blocking his exit ramp.

She is driving a white Audi compact.

happy easter - the ed.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Round 13.


This place.

You wanna hear about it?

Reception area; floor – grey slabs.


In the corner, a red sofa; blue and yellow and green bananas.

You CAN sit on the bananas.

If you’re brave.

There’s a table, low, too low; you can put your coffee here.

I have a coffee.

The coffee comes from over there – at the end of the corridor.

There are people standing in the corridor, you need to push past them to get to the coffee machine.

I pushed past.

The coffee machine is in a closet in a dead end of an annexe to the corridor – it was not the architect’s priority.

It’s ours.

Between the bananas and the corridor there is a Christmas Tree, to one side.

It leans, ready to fall over; some of the baubles are too heavy.

Opposite is a metal bar – no drinks.

A secretary.

I can see her head.


Her nose.

And eyes.

Her computer screen hides her mouth.

And whether she is standing or not.

She is responsible for opening the door.

This is a challenge.

You have to pull it so you can push it, or maybe it’s the other way round.

It’s not clear.

This place…

This place is not clear.

mondays just creep up on you somedays - sorry, the ed

Monday, 19 March 2018

Round 12.


There’s a guy – I can’t remember his name right now, let’s call him Fred; his real name will come to me whilst I write.

We worked together at the factory before the management and economies decided to lay off more than half the staff, I’m not sure if Fred survived the cut; he was a specialist – an expert in super conductors or coolants or something, but he was old enough to take an early retirement and the offer would have been attractive.

I was employed elsewhere so it mattered less.

Apart from super-somethings Fred loved all things Scottish – he was planning a visit that summer with his wife – and so we were talking about Mike Leigh’s film The Angel Share.

And that took us on to golf.

Fred asked me if I knew the origin of the word.




So Fred told me, that above the club entrance at St Andrew’s there is a sign that says Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden.

“Are you sure?”


Fred is French.

Driving home I wondered about this, something didn’t ring true. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that if there was a club-house there must have already been a game.

Maybe it had something to do with Fred being French and me thinking that I – an Englishman – should know more about my own language than a Frenchman.

By the way  - another Frenchman whose name I can’t remember – told me he had learnt some new vocabulary.

“Oh yes, what is it?”


Ho ho ho.

Christmas has of course slipped past, the New Year has installed and I’m driving around thinking about the past and the future.

And I’m thinking about belief and ……

Little kids believe in Father Christmas.

They believe in Fairies.

Elves too maybe.



All these things exist.

How does it happen?

Are they born with these beliefs?

Sometimes maybe – but a lot of is down to stories.

The stories we tell.

And the stories we write.

These stories are like this because the writers want the world to be like this.

So they create one.

And other people agree.

They live the story too and the story becomes real.

…..Something like this.

It’s exhausting.

When I got home after working with Fred, whose name I still haven’t remembered, I was exhausted, 
it had been a long day.

But before I lay down to sleep I did a bit of research on golf.

A couple of weeks after I met Fred again.

“Hey, you remember that story you told me about golf?”

“Fred smiled.

“Yes, I do.”

We had been looking at short form answers.

“Well, I did some research and it seems that the story is completely untrue.”.

His eyes twinkled.

“Yes, but it’s a good story.”

Sorry, I still can’t remember his name.

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