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writing

Jubilee

Another one-hour wonder. Again, thsi is just written off-the-cuff, so please forgive any mistakes.

He was late. She hoped she hadn’t been stood up. It would be the first time she’d ever been stood up, but he was nearly 30 minutes late. She nibbled her nails and drained the last of her second glass of wine. 

She needn’t have worried; soon she saw him. He was glancing around the restaurant, eyes straining to see her. She recognised him from his photo – thank God he actually looked like that – and waved him over. He came over, all smiles and apologies. 

“Sorry Samantha – do you prefer Samantha or Sam? – it’s been a manic day. I just lost track of time.”

“Either’s fine. What would you like to drink? I’ve just had some pinot noir and that was very nice.”

They agreed to get a bottle of the pinot noir, and settled down to an evening of getting to know each other better. 

They had only spoken a couple of times on partners.com, but Samantha already had a good feeling about Richard Grady. He was a policeman, lived in Bermondsey, and had two cats. She sensed a good vibe from him.

“So, what were you doing that kept you so long?” she asked playfully. His face turned serious.

“I’ve been doing some investigating,” he said. “There’s someone on the Jubilee line who keeps on cutting women’s hair.” 

Samantha spluttered in her drink. 

“Really? Someone’s giving free haircuts on the Jubilee line?”

Richard smiled grimly.

“Not exactly,” he said. “He’s been riding the Jubilee line during rush hour, armed with a pair of nail scissors or similar, cutting great chunks out of women’s hair. The train’s so crowded and jolty, no one has noticed him doing it. But he doesn’t cut just a little bit; the other day, he cut six inches off someone’s hair. She was devastated.”

Samantha nodded. “I bet she was,” she said. 

“So, considering I live on the Jubilee line, I decided to stay on it for a little while, to see if I saw anything untoward.”

“And did you?” asked Samantha.

“No,” said Richard flatly. “Anyway, I was thinking of getting the grilled sea bream, what about you?”

They ordered, and spent a pleasant time discussing their interests and hobbies.

“NO way is The Sound of Music your favourite film!” Samantha screeched, the pinot noir working its magic. “It’s mine too!”

“I’m deadly serious,” said Richard, his eyes twinkling. “Edelweiss gets me every time.” He watched her throw her head back and laugh. She had a fantastic laugh – tinkly and feminine, but with dirty undertones. 

They carried on, talking about their jobs now. Samantha was a research consultant for an obscure channel’s flagship morning show. She told him about some of the bizarre stories they had covered. 

“We once spent a week – a whole week, Richard! – covering Japanese knotweed.”  

Richard guffawed. 

“So, tell me more about your job,” said Samantha, twisting her red curly hair around her finger. 

“Well,” began Richard. “I catch bad guys. And do paperwork. That’s about it.”

Samantha giggled.

“I’d like to catch the bastard doing haircuts on the Jubilee line,” said Richard. “It’s more serious than it sounds – a lot of rapists and murderers take ‘trophies’ off their victims. It seems like that’s what this guy is doing. And the attacks are getting more frequent. We hope he’s not escalating, then we’d see something very unpleasant between Stratford and Stanmore.” 

Samantha shuddered. 

“Anyway, on that cheery note, I think it’s time we got the bill,” said Richard, waving over the waiter. Samantha delved to get her purse out of her bag, but Richard was having none of it. What a gentleman. 

“Where have you got to go back to tonight?” he asked, as they stood outside the restaurant. It began to rain, so Richard, ever the pessimistic gent, pulled out his umbrella and motioned for Samantha to stand underneath it with him. 

“Wimbledon,” said Samantha, severing slightly. “It means I have to get the Jubilee line to Waterloo.” She looked imploringly at him. “Will you come with me?” she asked. 

“Of course,” said Richard. “I’ll be your knight in shining armour. I mean, I’m going that way anyway, but still. Let’s go.”

They walked in that strange way that only two people sharing an umbrella can walk to Baker Street station. It was Friday night, and the station was packed. They squeezed through the oyster barrier and just mangled to get on a crowded southbound train. 

“It’s only a couple of stops,” said Samantha. “I think I’ll be ok. But thank you for coming with me.”

“That’s ok,” smiled Richard, and she smiled back at him. This could be the beginning of something good, she thought. 

At Bond Street, a large group of drunk lads came on the train and pushed past Samantha and Richard quite violently. 

“Watch it!” shouted Richard at them, but their replies of “up yours, grandad!” were louder.

Lots more people got on at Westminster and Samantha and Richard were temporarily paralysed, with their arms glued to their sides. Samantha was beginning to feel slightly apprehensive. There were so many people, all jostling and pushing, that she wasn’t sure she’d notice if someone cut great chunks of her hair out. 

At last, the train pulled into Waterloo and Samantha gratefully managed to claw her way out. Seeing as Richard lived a few more stops on from Waterloo, they had mutually decided he would stay on the tube when she got out. 

She waved through the window at him, and he waved back at her. She walked towards the train to Wimbledon as light as air. She didn’t even notice when she walked past a group of giggling teenagers.

“Her hair!” they were saying. “It looks like half of it’s been hacked off!”

It had been a good evening, though Richard, as he walked into his flat. His cats began to twine themselves around his legs, but he was in no mood for that just yet. There was something more important he had to take care of first. He made his way to the bathroom, ignoring the meows of his disgruntled cats, and opened the cupboard behind the mirror. There were all his pretty things he had collected, and he had one more pretty thing to add. 

He hung the masses of red curly hair reverently next to all the other hair. Sniffing them gently, he promised himself that he would have a bigger, better pretty thing from Samantha before too long. 

He cleaned his teeth and went to bed. He slept soundly, knowing he had spent his day most satisfactorily. 

crafting, crochet, friends

Some quick wips

What’s a wip? Well, obviously, it’s a Work I Progress. I have so many of these at the moment! And they’re all baby related! Everyone is having a baby! Or two. Anyway, here’s some projects I’ve had on the go.

See how long ago this was? I was in the pub!

Textured baby blankets. I’ve now finished the pink one.

Ta-daaa! It doesn’t look very good just flung on the floor, but I promise it looks better in person.
Very quick slip-stitch border.
Another blinking baby blanket…

So that’s what’s on my (many) hooks at the moment!

out and about, photos

Flamingo Land

When I was a student, I lived not too far from Flamingo Land. I really wanted to go (I love flamingos! I love land!) but owing to the fact that no one had a car and we were all skint, it remained a pipe dream.

UNTIL NOW!

As I’ve mentioned, my boyfriend is a roller-coaster fiend. Flamingo Land is a zoo with a theme park attached (sadly it isn’t just a load of flamingos), so when lockdown eased, we went zooming off to North Yorkshire to go there.

It was better than I could have imagined! Even the roller-coasters, which I’m still a bit scared of, were fun. And the zoo was great! Overall, 10/10, would flamingo again (geddit?!)

To put your mind at ease, it was nothing like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPKi1_rVuVU

Happy little chappy
It’s out-of-date now, but the record lasted for 2 years!
Mumbo Jumbo
Mumbo Jumbo… again
That’s more like it! Some hot flamingo action
Is it cold up there?
Bounce
This peacock very selfishly didn’t open his tail
Tuxedo
Piranha. Very sparkly. And deadly!
I want a sea lion, and I want one now.
crafting, embroidery, friends

Double Trouble

One of my friends has just had twins! Eeeek, twice the crochet! I’m still slogging my way through the two crochet blankets, but I’m seeing them tomorrow. How can I see them when they don’t have something homemade? Then I had a genius idea! Earlier this lockdown, I sent for a punch needle kit that I saw on instagram. I made a quite respectable lighthouse.

Pretty darn good, I thought

I gave it to my dad, who likes lighthouses, and he was very pleased with it. Considering it had only taken a couple of evenings, I wondered if I could repeat the process. And I did!

The finished article

The twins are called Noah (Noah’s ark, easy) and Rory (…harder). Anyway, I decided to make Rory a tiger because they’re roar-y.

The beginning
Back view

I like the way the back of the punch needle looks. If I’d been clever, I could have used it to make a lion for Rory… never mind.

Noah
Rory

Not bad for ONE evening’s work! The next day, I went to Tiger (I love Tiger), and bought two ready-stretched canvases. Then I removed the canvas and stapled the embroidery on the frame. I’m pretty pleased with myself, and hope they like them!

crafting, crochet, friends

Drape

A few years ago, I went to the Stitch Show at Alexandra Palace. I had a whale of a time and came skipping out with far too much yarn, and not enough time to use it up. I’m still getting through it, about 3 years later! Anyway, one yarn I was very pleased to acquire was by Habu Textiles, and was a silk-wrapped paper yarn.

Oooooooooooh…

I bought three balls, entirely without a pattern in mind. Never mind, something will come up. Well, I could find knitting patterns for Habu, but not crochet ones. So I put the yarn in my Box of No Return and forgot all about it.

UNTIL NOW!!

When one of my friends said she was having a socially-distanced picnic for her birthday, I suddenly remembered my Habu yarn! I dug it out, and wondered what to make with it. While I was researching patterns, I idly chained a length. I wondered if a simple mesh would work, so I did a few rows, and you know what? It really did!

Successful experiment

And away I went! In no time, I had a fully-fledged scarf!

Please excuse my face and my hair.

Unfortunately, I gave the scarf away before I could get a good quality picture of it, which I’m annoyed with myself about, but never mind. Because the scarf is made of a linen/paper mix, it has a beautiful drape. It can also hold its shape, and be manipulated into other shapes, so I had fun scrunching it up, and then relaxing it.

Scrunchie

So there it is. The story of some sad little balls of yarn, all alone and forgotten, and how they were resurrected into a glorious, draping scarf. And my friend really liked it!

The full range of Habu yarn can be found at http://www.habutextiles.com, but there are local UK stockists too.

writing

Gung-Ho!

Another week, another one-hour wonder! I suppose this is finished, but I don’t like the ending. I don’t know why ‘Gung-ho’ would be an especially Spanish name, but the joke about the sup came to me, so I had to make it Spanish. So, I don’t like the ending, but enjoy!

Gung-Ho! ***

3 Reviews – ££ – #1 of 2 restaurants in Cronge 

***** Love2Review

Excellent service, outstanding food. Not too pricey. Highly recommended.

Gung-Ho!

Thanks, Love2Review!

**** AlisonMorley

Best restaurant in Cronge!

Gung-Ho! 

Thanks, Alison!

Alison Morley

No problem! 

* MrPasta

Can’t believe the good reviews this place is getting. This place is awful. My server was completely uninterested in us. The food, if you can call it that, had obviously been sitting around for ages, because mine was cold when it arrived. Awful. 

Gung-Ho!

I’m sorry to hear that, Mr Pasta. We would be delighted in giving you a £25 bar tab to compensate for your cold food.

MrPasta

Thanks, but I’ll pass. Nothing can remove the taste of cold tomato soup. I’ll be spending my time now at Totorelli’s, the best restaurant in Cronge IMHO. 

Gung-Ho!

Cold tomato soup? Can you just run past us what you ordered again?

MrPasta

Gestapo soup.

Gung-Ho!

GAZPACHO soup is meant to be cold… 

MrPasta

Is it? Because no one else had even HEARD of Gestapo soup, and my wife has been to Italy, so she knows about these things. If you’re going to make stuff up, I’m going to take my custom to Cronge’s other, better, Italian restaurant, Totorelli’s.

Gung-Ho!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gazpacho   This might help. And we’re not an Italian restaurant, we’re a tapas bar, serving Spanish food.

MrPasta

You’re unbelievable. You’ve made up a whole wikipedia page because you were WRONG!

AlisonMorley

This is great. MrPasta, you need to bow out gracefully.

MrPasta

They pay their reviewers!

Gung-Ho!

We certainly do not. 

Love2Review

*grabs popcorn* Quit while you’re behind, Mr Pasta!

MrPasta

You’re all being paid to gang up on me! It shouldn’t be called gUng-ho, it should be gAng-up! You don’t get this kind of treatment at Totorelli’s.

Love2Review

I’m not being paid. Are you, Alison?

AlisonMorley

Certainly not, Love. Wish I was though! But speaking of paying for reviews, have you noticed how Mr Pasta has been banging on about Totorelli’s?

Love2Review

Hmm, suspicious!

MrPasta

I’m not being paid by Totorelli’s, which, incidentally, is the best restaurant for miles around, I just can’t believe the shoddy quality of Gung-Ho! There are only two restaurants in Cronge. You gotta pick a side. I pick Totorelli’s.

Love2Review

Is that £25 bar tab still on offer, Gung-ho?!

Totorelli’s **

3 Reviews – ££ – #2 of 2 restaurants in Cronge

*** Love2Review

Decent enough Italian, good food, just spoilt slightly by the overly-enthusiastic waiter.

**AlisonMorley

Meh, it’s ok. If you want a good plate of pasta, then sure, it’s fine. But here was a very zealous member of the waiting staff who ruined the night slightly. Would have given another star if only he’d calmed down a little.

Totorelli’s

I’m sorry to hear that. Obviously, we’re delighted that our for has inspired our staff to be so excitable, and remember, we are Italians! But we’re sorry it marred your night. 

***** MrPasta

Wow!!!! What a restaurant! Authentic food, authentic atmosphere! Utterly brilliant!!!!! I was blown away by the quality of everything, from the hand-ironed linen napkins, to the waiting staff, who I thought did an incredible job. 10/10, you should go!!

Love2Review

So MrPasta, we meet again. 

MrPasta

You’re that nasty reviewer who was paid by Gung-ho, aren’t you!

Love2Review

I wish I was being paid! Mate, listen, you obviously prefer Totorelli’s, but you don’t have to be quite so, well, gung-ho about it, if you don’t mind the expression. 

AlisonMorley

Love, have you not seen his profile pic? Look at that, think about the enthusiastic waiter… and put two and two together…

Love2Review

OMG, it’s you! 

Totorelli’s

I don’t know what you mean. 

Love2Review

Lol, don’t use your Totorelli’s work account to deny you’re working for Totorelli’s!

MrPasta

This comment was removed by TripAdvisor, who are investigating user MrPasta

AlisonMorley

Whew, that was quite a ride!

Gung-Ho!

Well, that was really something. Alison, Love2Review, there’s a £25 bar tab for you each as a token of appreciation for sorting this out. 

*****SignorLasagna

Excellent restaurant! Really loved it. Ignore all that drama above. It’s really great. If you’re ever in Cronge, this is the place to go.

Totorelli’s

Really pleased to hear that.

Gung-Ho!

MrPasta?! That you???

all about me, just for fun, out and about, photos

The next day…

…was Saturday, 20th June. Just another ordinary day, right? WRONG! It was my birthay! That’s right, our birthdays are only a day apart. Makes it easy to remember, I suppose. Anyway, we went to Margate, on the Kent coast. If you’ve never been, then go. If you have gone, then go again. It’s that good. The sand is yellow, the sea is blue, the sky is grey (well, only when we first arrived). Fish and chips taste better there and the houses are all different colours. I just Kent get enough!

Ah, Blighty. The sky did brighten up when we were there!
What’s the time, Mr Wolf?
CLOSED
“Here’s what you could have won”
My new friend
Mark was enjoying himself, I promise!
I love the colourful houses you get at the seaside
A red boat. A happy boat!
A white boat. A sad boat.
Life’s a beach
Our companion during lunch
Dirty birdies
Footprints in the sand
Why did the lobster blush? Because the sea weed.
Bloody useless stuff. Waste of a good pound!

By the way, if you are interested in hearing songs set in and around Margate, here a couple by the rockney rebels, Chas and Dave, and electro-pop duo the Pet Shop Boys.

family, friends, photos

Spoil the Boy

I find the Ruth Miskin phonic system really problematic. I’m sure I’ll vent at a later date, but one thing I doooooo quite like is the flashcard for the sound ‘oi’. It shows a boy getting lots of presents, and then underneath, it says, in nice curly writing, ‘spoil the boy’. So I took Ruth Miskin at her word, snd I… spoilt the boy.

It was my boyfriend’s birthday on Friday (19th June) so we had a socially-distanced barbecue with us, his sister, my brother, and his dog.

This is the first birthday we’ve lived together, so hiding and wrapping presents was a challenge (at one point, I did order him to just ‘leave the room, for goodness’ sake’) but I managed it! Here’s his haul:

Hard to see what this is, as it’s in its box. It’s a growler, grr, filled with beer.
For his crowning glory
Some everyday essentials
This goes…
…with this!
Through the wrapping process
Ta-da!
Pink washi tape, as Mark is confident in his masculinity
Spoil the boy!

writing

Mortal

Another one-hour special! This was written on a programme called Scrivener, and when I was writing it, I copy and pasted emoji in it. Worked well. When I copy and pasted the story into wordpress… they all disappeared. So just so you know, there were loads of emoji. It was very colourful. And if someone replies and here’s no writing, that was an emoji.

‘Mortal’ means ‘really really really drunk’ up in the North East. I don’t come from the north east, but it was the first thing that came to mind when given the spark word.

Also, I took major liberties with grammar and spelling. The computer did its best to reinstate capital letters and apostrophes and whatnot, but it is actually meant to be written wrongly, if that makes sense. I have no idea how da yoof text each other; I am seriously uncool, and used to use correct punctuation when I had my Nokia 5110.

Anyway, here is Mortal.

Girl’s on the Lose!

Participants

Staceeeeey (admin)

Becca 

Lady V

Mel

Thursday 11th June

Staceeeeey: rite lads, whos up for getting mortal tomoro. been to long!

Becca: Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Lady V: 

    Mel: well up for it lol

     Becca: wheres gud these day’s

     Staceeeeeey: waikiki is open now, got new drink’s 

     Lady V: all I’m interested in!! Lol 

     Staceeeeeey: sat at 9 ok? x

     Mel: brill, c u then

        Friday 12th June

        Staceeeeey: Just checkin………. We all gud for gettin mortal tomoz?

        Becca: HE’LL YEAH

        Lady V: even washed my pulling pants lol

        Becca: lol

        Mel: do they work??????

         Becca: no! 

        Staceeeeey: no lol x

        Lady V: yes they do

        Staceeeeey: They mite work bettr if u didnt wash them…… if u see what I mean! 

        Mel: LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Becca: grim

Lady V: u wait and see

Saturday 13th June 

Becca: getting mortal later lads! 

Lady V: pants all ready on lol 

Becca: leg’s shaved?

Lady V: got a brazziliun!

Mel: lol

Staceeeeeeey: rite the plan…………… meet at waikiki at 9, get right mortal an sleep all sunday !x

Mel: sounds like a planx

Sunday 14th June

Mel: uhhhhhhhhh

Staceeeeeeeey: kno the feeling lol

Becca: im never drinking agen

Staceeeeeeeey: was a gud nite tho

Mel: yehhhhhhhh

Becca: cant beleve the pulling pants worked vix

Becca: oi vix

Becca: victorrrrrrriaaaaaa lol r u there

Mel: shes prolly still busy 

Becca: yehhh 

Monday 15th June

Mel: any1 herd from vix yday

Becca: nope lol prolly still getting it on

Staceeeeeeeey: slag

Becca: lol

Mel: lol

Mel: really tho, any1 herd from her?shes ment 2 be in today

Becca: in where lol

Staceeeeeeeey: in her new lads pant’s

Becca: lol

Mel: in work

Becca: prolly pulled a sickie

Mel: prob

Staceeeeeeey: shes dun it loads of time’s before

Staceeeeeeey: dont wurry about it

Mel: ok

Tuesday 16th June

Becca: vix get yo lazzzzy ass into work were all getting a bollickin for lieing for u yestday

Becca: wat r u doin???????????? 

Staceeeeeeey: stop dicking us around vix 

Staceeeeeeey: uve made melanie cry

Staceeeeeeey: slag

Becca: lol

Becca: wen she gets out from under her guy shes going 2 have sooooo many messages!

Staceeeeeeey: lol

Mel: no im getting really worried guys

Mel: we shudnt joke

Mel: she mite be sick

Becca: yeh, haveing to much sex disease

Staceeeeeeeey: yeh 

Staceeeeeeeey: lol

Staceeeeeeeey: slag

Becca: she is

Staceeeeeeeey: slaaaaaaaaaaag

Mel: just rung her mum..they avnt herd from her

Staceeeeeeeey: tipical slag

Becca: lol

Mel: gotta bad feeling 

Wednesday 17th June

Mel: made new group lads

Mel invited you to join ‘RIP LADY V’

RIP LADY V

Participants

Mel (admin)

Becca

Staceeeeeeeey

Mel: rip vix

Mel:  miss u

Staceeeeeeey: cant beleve he did that too her

Becca: the 1 time her pulling pant’s work,,,,, an he turn’s out to be a psycho!!!!!

Staceeeeeeey: lol

Mel: that’s not funny becca

Becca: lighten up melanie

Staceeeeeeeey: its a JOKE mel

Mel: she was strangled by her pants……… i dont think its funny 

Becca: was r the plans for her funeral 

Staceeeeeeeey: going 2 get proper mortal

Becca: lol

writing

Wanderlust

One more from my one-hour writing sessions. I think this works as a piece of writing, and it’s certainly topical, but it doesn’t really ‘go’ anywhere. Still, I quite like it. Here it is:

Congratulations on your purchase of Wanderlust – Bringing the Outside, Inside (TM)! You have opened a new world of possibility so let’s get going! First, enter your name. Welcome, Andy88! Now create a password for your account. Passwords must be between 6 and 14 letters long, with at least 1 capital letter and 1 number.  I’m sorry, Password1 is not secure. Please enter a new password. I’m sorry, Andy88pword is not secure. Please enter a new password. Bl00dymachine accepted.

Before you begin your virtual travels on Wanderlust – Bringing the Outside, Inside (TM)! you need to select your avatar. Please select your avatar. You have selected ‘bald male’. Would you like to add accessories? You have selected ‘glasses’. You have selected ‘bow tie’. Is this correct? Then let’s go exploring!

It’s a big world out there, and Wanderlust – Bringing the Outside, Inside (TM)! is ready to be your guide. Where would you like to begin? You have selected ‘Europe’. You have selected ‘Italy’. You have selected ‘Venice’. Is this correct? Then let’s go exploring!

Where would you like to travel to first? You can select from: St Mark’s Square, the Bridge of Sighs, the Grand Canal, or the Doge’s Palace. You have selected: Grand Canal. Is this correct? Then let’s get exploring!

Please select from the following gondoliers: Stefano, Pietro, Guido, Bruno. You have selected Pietro. Is this correct? Then let’s get exploring!

Would you like Pietro to sing or give facts? You have selected ‘sing’. 

Back.

Would you like Pietro to sing or give facts? You have selected ‘sing’.

Back.

Would you like Pietro to sing or give facts? You have selected ‘sing’. 

Settings: Sounds and noises: Singing gondolier: Off.

Away we go! With Wanderlust – Bringing the Outside, Inside (TM)! you can get up close and personal with some of the greatest sights in the world. We are on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy, Europe. Pietro hopes you are enjoying the ride. Would you like him to sing for you?

You have selected ‘no’. Is this correct? Then let’s get exploring!

Enter destination for gondola ride. I’m sorry, I could not find ‘St Maek’s Square’. Please enter new destination. I’m sorry, I could not find ‘St Maek’s Square’. Please enter new destination. I’m sorry, I could not find ‘it was a bloody typo’. Did you mean St Mark’s Square? St Mark’s Square selected.

We have arrived at St Mark’s Square. Would you like to explore the square or enter the basilica? You have entered ‘explore the square’. Would you like to feed the pigeons? 

Settings: Display: Pigeons: Avoid pigeons.

Where would you like to explore now? You have selected ‘cafe’. 

Welcome to our typical Venetian cafe! My name is Cinzia, and I am your waitress! Would you like to view our typical Venetian menu? In it, you will find many facts about Venice, and tips and tricks to make your time on Wanderlust – Bringing the Outside, Inside (TM)! even better.  

Settings: Sounds and noises: Typical Venetian cafe: Waitress off.