Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tequila puzzle

Flash Fiction Friday -
Prompt: STARTER SENTENCE: “I slowly peeled back my eyelids and immediately wished I was still out for the count”

Genre: Open
Word Count: 1500 words
Deadline: Thursday, July 28, 2011, 8:30 pm EST


Tequila puzzle

 I slowly peeled back my eyelids and immediately wished I was still out for the count. Light blinded me and whoever that was drumming in my head deafened me, but there was no hiding from the truth of where I was.

The room’s retro psychedelic paintwork fitted my nightmare perfectly, as its spin slowly eroded into a more leisurely pace, and I managed to regain some focus in my vision.

Oh no, I was right. I really am here.

I tried to lift my head off the pillow, but Keith Moon picked up his sticks and beat out a mighty rhythm against my temple, so I put it straight back down again.

Oh the tequila had made so much sense last night. I’d even suggested it and I’d eaten the damned worm. Really? Will I ever learn?

And now here I was.

Lying in this bed.

In her bed.

Memories of the night before flickered through my mind as I raced to confirm my own worst fears, or maybe to allay them. One way or the other I was in a lot of trouble.

My heart sank as the full reality of my situation fixed itself into my mind. I tried once more to get up but Animal from The Muppets walked in and started a duet with Keith, my arms and legs refused to listen to the commands from my brain too, probably because they couldn’t hear them over the drumming. Either way I was going nowhere.

My life really had got messy over the last three years; a continually downward spiral that had led me here.

Ever since that day; that bastard day. The day my wife told me she was leaving. The day everything crashed. She wanted more than I could give her, wanted more Father for our daughter than I could ever be.

That was when I found the bottle. I haven’t put it down since.

Three years have floated past in a haze; she took everything I had and more. The worst thing she took was my hope.

I lost all of it that day.

Hearing the tears exploding down the cheeks of my daughter killed me inside. I never looked back; I never even tried to see her again. I couldn’t.

Sleazy one night stands with increasingly nasty women had been my only successes, whereas uncomfortable internet dates with anyone worth meeting had all ended badly.

Until now.

Until last night.

And I was too damned hung over to be able to make any sense of it; too damned stupid anyway.

She had made the first move. She had! She came on to me! That’s why I’m here – she wanted me here.

My wife.

This is her room. This is her bed.

What did it mean? If the drums would only quieten down enough to let me think, I might be able to work it all out. What exactly did this mean? Is it an accident? Was she as drunk as me? Is she hiding somewhere now, regretting everything we did last night?


Or – dammit I don’t know what ‘or’ actually is!

What is going through her mind?

Does she want me?

Does she?

Where is she now? What is she doing, and when…?


When is she going to come back and untie me?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fretting about money

This morning I woke up with the weight of the world on my shoulders. I lay in bed worrying.

Money isn’t exactly growing on trees at the moment and yet here we are at the very start of the holiday season.

Seven weeks with two little kids to entertain is not going to come cheap. Meanwhile at work, things are tight too, and work is never guaranteed.

So I fretted.

I worried about how we were ever going to save enough money to do all the repair work in the house, or the extension that we so badly could do with.

Essentially, I was trying to do early morning maths, and it wasn’t going well.

Suddenly, there was noise.

My two young kids came running in, bounced onto the bed and into my face. Both the boys are healthy and, as far as I can tell, happy.

My wife rolled over and leant in to join the mass cuddle.

The stress, the fears, the ‘everything’, melted away.

How dare I worry about money, when I have this?

The extension can wait.

Monday, July 25, 2011

How I haven't let a lottery win change my life

So here we are at Monday again, and yet again I failed to win the Lottery on Saturday, so I guess I’d better go in to work.

I had planned to frolic around by a pool in Monaco this morning, sipping cocktails delivered to me by a bikini clad Nicole Scherzinger, and then getting taken out for a drive around the streets by Lewis Hamilton in his F1 car. Sadly the harsh reality was that I had to make my own cup of tea while watching the clock, as usual.

Never mind, to be honest, Nicole always puts too much gin in the cocktails for my taste anyway, and Lewis’ knees look a bit bony for sitting on while traveling at 100MPH. So I’m probably better off sitting here, next to the guy on his mobile bragging about the size of his portfolio.

What did the lack of a sudden lottery win this weekend prevent you doing this morning?

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Prompt: Use the photo for inspiration.

Genre: Open
Word Count: 1000 words
Deadline: Thursday, July 21, 2011, 8:30 pm EST



Through the rattles and clacks. Through the squeaking brakes and the mis-matched points. Through the relentless kerchings and chikkas of the lady’s stupidly loud i-pod that was kicking out far too much bass.

Through all of this, he heard it.

Over there, yes absolutely, just under that seat.

Can he see it? No, not yet but the sound was unmistakeable.

It had been 18 long, hopeless years since Arnold. P. Ratzenflower had heard that noise, but the tune played into his ears like a Stradivarius in the hands of Vivaldi. Oh how he had longed to hear that noise again.

All those years of searching.

All the pain, as those around him had distanced themselves. They never understood his need; never accepted the truth.

It was 12 years since his wife left him, and 10 since the courts decreed that he could no longer see his boy.

A thin smile tried to creep across his face as he remembered the last time he had seen his son, the happiness in his heart at having that last cuddle on the land train. Then, the sadness of what followed that fateful visit to the zoo, removed the remnants of the smile, replacing them once more with the painful grimace that the truth of his life has forged.

But still he searched.

It was all he had left.

And now, here, just under that seat.

Surely – surely this time? Had he really found it? The sound was there, the distinctive shuffle mixed with a snigger.

18 years after that trip to Devon had changed his life, with all his family now gone and his savings spent, was it really the end of the hunt?

He could show them.

He could show them all. His wife, his boy, everyone. Once they saw it they would know. They would understand. They would come back.

The slightest flicker of a smile came back as Arnold remembered that first time in Devon.

They were on their first holiday as a family. Little Jimmy was one, and after a full year of parenthood they had been so ready for that trip.

Balancing work and fatherhood had been so surprisingly stressful. Giving up work and turning into a Mother had been so hard for Julie. They needed that break.

They needed something to remind them who they were.

And boy had Arnold found it.

In an attempt to recapture their student days together, Arnold had popped out into some woods to collect mushrooms. He knew exactly what he was looking for. One little trip for old time’s sake and the pressures and the cares of their new responsible lives would fade away, even if only for a while.

It was while he was sampling his collection, on the walk back to the caravan that he had found and met with the Smurfs.

The amazing, mystical creatures had picked him up when he tripped and mended his aching ankle. The sheer beauty of Smurfette had blown him away. Their speech was so poetic, so tuneful. Their little blue noses were the cutest thing he had ever seen. And there was that sound, the shuffling sniggering sound. It had played and played the whole time they were talking, and they had said so much.

Their knowledge was astounding as they spoke of how to stop war and end poverty. Arnold knew these guys could fix his broken planet. With the Smurfs in charge the whole world would become one.

Arnold had told them to pack their bags, he would come back with something to carry them in and he would take them to Downing Street. The world needed the Smurfs. Together, they would save the Earth.

But Arnold never found them again.

His wife had laughed at first, and then cried until finally the crying stopped and her resolve hardened.

The search could not stop though. It was too important.

Humanity’s survival depended on Arnold finding those Smurfs, and that was far more important that one man’s family.

Arnold kept looking.

But nothing was under the chair.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Coffee time

Anyone fancy a coffee?

So if George asked you if you’d like an NESPRESSO, he would no doubt flash you a smile and regale you with some witty banter about some Million Dollar heist that he had pulled off, while making it.

You’d ignore the fact that he has clearly forgotten that he was only acting, and isn’t actually a criminal genius (unless you count getting paid so many millions, just for snogging Juila, and acting very badly, while nurses work so damned hard for a pittance – which is both criminal and indeed genius), and smile.

You’d laugh at his witty banter, and occasionally catch your partner’s eye, as both of you try and guess which one of you he is hitting on; both of you will try and decide if you can realistically say no if it’s you.

You would take the proffered coffee and relax, letting the combined smoothness of the drink and its creator, massage your troubles away.

Yes you would.

I love barmpots me.

I am constantly drawn towards a good old fashioned nutter, and last weekend saw that role filled very nicely by a very good friend of my Father-In –Law, called Paul.

These guys went to college together in the days when men were men and the Pop stars of the day were Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Liberace. As I said these were the days of men!

Actually, I don’t know who the Pop stars of the day were, perhaps Pop hadn’t been invented yet. It is difficult to be sure.
To get vaguely back to the point, these guys have been very good friends for a long time and it shows. Their genuine warmth for each other and each other’s families is highly evident and an inspiration.
It was due to this extended friendship that we came to be at Paul’s daughter’s 40th birthday party. And mighty happy I was to be there too, as they are a solidly nice bunch, and well worth the journey to Bristol.  

They are, of course, a bunch of barmpots.

Especially the two old friends.

Never more so than when they are together.

Mind you – Paul can be quite eccentric by himself.

Take his coffee machine for example…

The shiny new Nespresso machine sat proudly in the corner, waiting for its moment of fame. It got it.

Each and every person at the party was offered coffee, and each and every one of them had to be shown how it was made. “Here let me show you how it works” Paul would proudly say, before dragging them over to slowly learn how “first you press this button here, and that just puts some warm water in the cup – you don’t drink that, I think John might have been given that earlier actually, he said his coffee was a bit weak. You don’t drink that though, you throw it away. Meanwhile you pop one of these special pots into here – look at that, it goes in just there, then – and look, here is the old one; can you see the little holes? It pushes the water through there somehow. Anyway, then you throw that old water out, but the cup is warm now, so you press this button and…”

Everyone got the tour.

Everyone got the coffee.

I went back three times for two very good reasons.

Firstly the coffee was good. I’m not a big coffee guy, I’m more into tea, but this coffee was real good. You coffee aficionados may disagree – but I for one am a Nespresso convert!

The other reason harks back to the basic point that I’m making about people. You see, the repeating tour and talk about a coffee machine should technically have been boring. It should have been a chore to go through just to get a drink.

But it wasn’t.

Paul is just mad enough to pull it off, and keep making you laugh – not always at his jokes, but sometimes at his sheer nutter-ish-ness. That may not be a real word, but it should be. With enough caffeine inside, I went outside to hear about the birthday girl’s day feeding lions….

Barmpots – the lot of them!

If you want a cup of coffee made by someone suave, sophisticated, cool and sexually ambiguous - then head to L.A.

If you want a nice cup of coffee made by a mad old maths teacher who continually makes you laugh and feel very welcome in his company, surrounded by some very decent and insanely friendly family – then head to Bristol.
I’m sure Paul will make you a cup, if you ask.

Photo -

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

When practical jokes go wrong...

You remember him – kickboxing, Robot dancing part-time doorman and nappy changing expert?

That’s him.


One craze that occasionally resurfaces in the office is to apply someone’s face as the background on people’s desktops if they leave their PC unlocked. This then leaves the – ahem – hilarious impression that the victim loves and must be stalking the person whose face is on their screen.

We do laugh a lot in our office.



While working late the other day, Craig phoned up and asked if he could use our mutual mate Simon’s PC, as he knows Simon has some specific software that Craig wanted to use.

Reluctantly Simon let him have the password and left him to it.

Craig being Craig, and not entirely unexpected to Simon, a little fun jape was left behind. Craig had left a photo of himself as Simon’s background. Not just any photo, but a very specific photo of Craig. This practical joke was intended to shock, surprise and eventually amuse Simon, and to be fair – it worked.
However, I also saw it.

I’m slightly crueller than Simon is.

I pointed out that by giving Simon this photo willingly, Craig had also given him full publishing rights, to do with it whatever he wanted; which Simon accepted without making any attempt to actually research the legality of the claim, which is a shame -because neither did I.

Simon decided that what he wanted to do with it was to give it to me, as well as ensuring that I knew I was allowed to publish it however I chose.

The first thing I did was to send the following email out to almost everyone in our company. The second thing I did was to copy and paste that same email here. I don’t have many friends…



Please note that I am absolutely fed up with things of mine going missing in this company.

The manner, in which people assume that if something is not locked away, and instead kept in a public place, it is therefore theirs, is just not on.

You did not buy it – it is not yours – FULL STOP.

Earlier this week I left some honey in the kitchen. A brand new jar and it was not cheap.

Today, only two days later, I notice that even though I have only had one spoon out of it, the jar is empty.

I assure you I will not rest until I find the culprit, and will take full action possible against them, as I truly feel that it is theft.

I have spoken with people about it, and managed to work out some suspects as well as see some interesting video footage from that camera in the NOC.

I have managed to get some stills from the CCTV that has captured a suspicious character, loitering around the kitchen out of hours, who I would very much like to speak with in relation to the missing honey.

If anyone recognises this person, please call me so that I can rule them out of the enquiry.

Your anonymity is assured. Thanks.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Lady

Prompt: Title Prompt – Write a story involving playing cards and using these words: Ante, Drag, Bluff, Busted, Blind

Genre: Open
Word Count: Up to 1300 words
Deadline: Thursday, July 14, 2011 4:30 pm EST


The Lady

The men eyed each other closely.

Nobody wanted to be the first to break, the first to have their bluff called and lose face in such a harsh environment. The pressure was growing though, and ‘The Lady’ was growing restless.

They had to stay calm, to maintain their cool. One blink and it would all be over and she would pounce, the other men would revel in the loser’s pain.

Not for long though.

One by one they would ALL fall, and The Lady knew it. All too often she had seen this, and all too often she had ripped them apart. The men all came striding into the room, wearing their bravado like a teenager wears his lost virginity – proudly borne aloft and far higher than the event truly merited.

The Lady read the room like a mother reads a Harry Potter book to her child – slowly and with ever decreasing levels of interest, as the chapters get longer and the will to wait for the next one to come out on DVD gets stronger.

First up was Dave, the slightly balding, budding comedian who was going to joke his way through this, no matter how mis-timed or inappropriately unfunny those gags may be. His cheap, short sleeved work shirt was at least three years old and still slightly stained from the constant hammering of curries and ale. Dave sat quietly, not really listening or paying enough attention around him. Dave would not last log in this game.

Next to Dave was Jorgen, the tall Norwegian who epitomised how time can erode and weaken the bloodline. Any semblance to his Viking heritage had long since been washed away. Jorgen was – to put it simply – a dork. Tall, gangly, spotty and prone to a mild stutter, he could no more pillage than he could get work delivering Diet Coke. None the less, The Lady was careful not to write him off too quickly, she had been fooled by the nerdy looking ones before. Usually they put too much thought into their bluff and not enough into concealing their excitement once they have thought of it. Sometimes though…. Yes, sometimes they proved sharper than they looked, she would watch him closely.

Cliff was next. The broad shouldered mechanic’s fingernails still clung firmly onto the oil that had otherwise been so carefully scrubbed from his hands. His boyish face had a permanent smile that kept his cards firmly held at his chest. It was impossible to pick up anything from such open eyes, except for a slight feeling of bewilderment that so minutely betrayed his fear. The Lady smiled, the fear was there, and that meant he was out of his depth. Cliff was all hers, easy meat.

Beside all of the men sat their women, undoubtedly the power in each of the homes before her.

Big, flushed looking women, eager to push their man forward and to see him step up to the plate. There was no fear to be seen in any of their eyes – only a mixture of mis-informed pride or mitigated embarrassment about what their man might do next. None more so than in Jane, who had heard Dave’s jokes a million times and knew full well that he was probably going to say something painful before they left this room, like the time he had shouted “Look out!” when he had seen the guide dog of a blind man fail to warn his master of an approaching puddle.

The women sat looking at their men, who were fully immersed in the moment as they tried not to give any indication at all about how they might be feeling. Instead they sat stony faced and silent as the tension rose.

The only other person in the room was The Lady herself, strong and forthright, unwilling to ever bend or compromise on even the slightest detail. She had long ago laughed off the irony in her nickname, given to her by her colleagues at work due to her appearance and manner. The Lady looked and acted like a builder in drag, and her friends had decided that the clarification was a necessary reminder to everyone that she was, in fact, actually a woman.

So now they sat.

And waited.

Waiting for the first to break the silence; who was going to fold first?

In the end it was Jorgen who flickered first, his eyes blinking just slightly too frequently. The Lady picked up on his Tell immediately, “Ha – got you”, she thought as she noted the way his wife firmly held onto him, a mixture of support and control that had failed to prevent his weak hand to shown. He had nothing – nothing at all.

It had been a full forty seconds since The Lady had spoken those dreadful and crowd stopping words. The words that had created this tension among the players in the room. Time was immaterial though, The Lady could wait.

Jorgen was busted, and Cliff was empty too, she was certain of that. That only left Dave. Dave was surely all talk and no walk, wasn’t he? The Lady waited, time ticked past.

Dave was giving nothing away though; he was still just staring into space. It was almost like he wasn’t interested, like he wasn’t concentrating. Did this mean he was bare or what?

What she didn’t know was that Dave was thinking. Thinking hard.

A whole minute passed and The Lady smiled. She was ready to take them down, to reveal her next play.

But suddenly a cough. An actual cough!

And it came from Dave – He was going to speak.

For Dave had indeed been thinking, ever since hearing Nurse Janice Cropell of the Northwick Park Hospital’s Ante-Natal class, AKA ‘The Lady’ say, “So – Are there any questions that the Dads would like to ask?”

For the first time in years, Dave had thought up a new joke.

“Er, yes – I have a question… If it’s a girl, can I still buy it Scalextric?”

Janice stared in disbelief.

The whoops of relief and gratitude from Jorgen and Cliff, to her astonished but affirmative response, told her that she had lost them.

The control.

The fear.

It had all gone.

The men were back in control and the game was finished.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Happy Birthday ...

I’d just like to say a big ‘happy birthday’ to my lovely wife Jo (seen here last month, before completing this year’s Race For Life 5Km run in Oxford, in just under an astoundingly fast 33 minutes).

I’m not entirely sure how old she is, but I’m guessing late twenties / early thirties? Thirty four at the most I’d say – best guess.

What you can’t see on this photo, is just how sexy her bum looked in those short leggings.

I noticed though.

Happy birthday mate
Love you a lot x

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I am NOT them!

Hello – my name is Glen.

I’m a commuter who travels into London.

This morning, when my train pulled in at the station, the door (not entirely by accident) came to a stop almost exactly in front of me.

I’d say the hugely sought after prize, of opening the door and boarding first, was pretty much 60/40 in my favour against the lady with the squint and the dungarees to my right. The silence that shouted out from between us could be heard a mile away as the tension rose. We both wanted it. We both needed that prize.

The doors unlocked, and I had my hand on the door, so while opening it, I cunningly managed to lean slightly over to my right, increasing my “first on the train validity factor” to at least 70/30 against her.

I watched as people slowly got off the train, concentrating hard on my foe – did she twitch? Is she trying to lean into me so I move over? What is she looking at over there? No, dammit, concentrate – don’t fall for that old chestnut, she’s trying to trick you!

I was ready to run. If there was only one seat on this train, then it was mine.
And then I remembered something.

Just as the last person disembarked, and the path ahead cleared to allow the masses to push forwards toward the precious few seats on offer, I remembered that I’m not the kind of person that I can’t stand.

I refuse to become a faceless number, or one of the commuting animals that have no sense of reality or proportion once they buy a train ticket.

I waved the suddenly confused lady with the squint and the dungarees forward, and boarded the train second, and then easily found a seat.

Does that make me a good person, or a bad commuter?

Does the fact that if the lady with the squint and the dungarees had been a man, I would not have even considered giving up my 70% make any difference?

Today I was lucky as there were plenty of seats available – would I be feeling somewhat stupid now, had there been only one?

Commuting is a tricky business, and you have to learn to fight for your space, but I refuse to stop being me.

Hello – my name is Glen.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Prodigal Son - not exactly the orginal version

Flash Fiction Friday

The Prodigal Son

Dad! – Dad? What are you doing here?”

“Oh there you are son, I heard you here so I thought I’d come and find you.”

“Oh right, I haven’t been here long – er – it’s really good to see you. You’re looking great!”

“Ah thanks my boy, feeling pretty damned good, I do admit – ah come here and give your old man a hug – you look like a rabbit caught in headlights!”

“Heh – sorry, yeah right, come here – UGGGHH you still cuddle like a bear then Dad!”

“Ha, it feels good though, don’t it?”

“Real good Dad, you squeeze away. Where’s Mum?”

“Oh she’s at home gas bagging with Janice – you know how they get talking, once they start you can’t stop them”

“Janice? Aunty Janice? I haven’t seen her in years, if she’s sat with mum then I bet your ears are ringing something chronic aren’t they?”

“Ha, they sure are son. Come on, let’s get over to them, I know your mum is excited about you coming home, she worries so much about you, you know how she is? Come on, I’ll carry your bag”

“Yes I know, bless her. It’s okay, I can carry it, just lead the way, Mum needn’t worry though, I’m fine… I’ve been fine…really.”

“Yes I can see that. Still not found yourself a woman though?”

“Don’t start Dad, I’ve seen people, it just never worked out”

“Well we always thought you might be gay if I’m honest”


“Well come on son, what are we supposed to think? Forty years old and still no wife, not to mention the dancing”

The dancing?”

“When you were a boy, loved dancing you did, always jumping up at the disco and dancing about when those city folk, or whatever they were called, were played – and you were good too”

Dad? Really? What are you on about ‘city folk’ anyway?”

“You know, those dodgy men in the outfits, one was a cowboy…”

“Ha – oh Dad! You mean The Village People don’t you?”

“That’s them – now they were gay, and they did alright for themselves, didn’t they? We kind of thought that if you were happy, then you were happy! And if you’re happy then so are we, so we left you to it really”

“Well sorry to dash your hopes, but I’m not – I am happy though, at least…I...”

“Yes well, don’t worry about all that, it really doesn’t matter now, not when you get down to it.”

“No, I suppose it doesn’t, but…I… er…”

“Oh come on then, what happened? Get it off your chest, why are you here?”

“Well, if I’m honest I’m not really sure, it all happened so fast. It had just been one thing after another – money wise. I’d sorted the roof and the boiler, and then the car needed a new engine, I was broke. I mean, if it could have waited a year or something I’d have been okay, work was going fine, but then the fuse box kept tripping out whenever I switched anything on. I called in the electrician and he did the whole sucking in air through his teeth in and talked about cowboys.

The man stood there and told me the house was a death trap, that the earth was all wrong or something, the wiring was shorting out all over the place. I needed to get the whole place re done and he wanted £4000! Can you believe that?

Well I told him he needed to rethink that, and to get back to me with a real quote, then I sent him on his way; he argued that he could start straight away and that I shouldn’t leave it, but I held my ground. I wanted to get some more quotes you see? Well after he left I went to phone another company to get a 2nd opinion and that’s when it happened. There was a big flash and my head just felt like it exploded.

Next thing I knew I was here and you were standing in that corner eating grapes”

“Aye, yes I thought it might be something like that, you always were careful with your money. Well you can forget all that now, you don’t need money here; you don’t need to worry about anything – just relax and enjoy yourself. It doesn’t take long to get the hang of being dead, trust me son. I have missed you though”

“Yeah, I missed you too”

“Ah here we are, look, there’s your mother”

“Oh…… wow…… Mum? I mean - Mum! Look at you…… I’m, I’m….. It’s so good to see you again…. You look… you look amazing! You look so beautiful? I … I…”

“Oh listen to him will you Janice, swans in here after 12 years without so much as a single letter and tells me I’m beautiful! Can you believe the cheek of the boy? Ah come here you little rascal and give your mother a cuddle – would it have killed you to call?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The birthday list

So I have a question for you.

A dilemma - of sorts.

Where do you stand on the following true life scenario? I know this is true life because I’m sitting looking at the object in question right now. It was my son who was given it.

Are you ready for this one?

Sit tight.

My boy came home from school with a party invite for one of his classmate’s 7th birthday.

No that’s not it.

The invite is lovely, and my boy would certainly like to go. As yet I’m not certain if he can go, as we have quite a lot on at the time and I’m just not sure we can manage – but we will certainly try.

The problem that I have is what was included in the invite.

Get ready.

Inside the card was a slip of paper with a web address on it.

The web address of the store where his birthday list can be viewed.

That’s right –his birthday list.

Like the ones that people have for wedding lists, but for a 7th birthday.


I am stunned – but is this just my own backwardness? Is including birthday lists in with your kid’s invites the norm now?

Please tell me it isn’t.

On principle, I most certainly will not be looking at that list before buying anything if we do go, no way, even though there is an element of pressure now, because presumably the child will know what’s on the list, and will not quite understand if he doesn’t get the things on it.

I personally feel more than a little outraged by the whole thing, but I ask you…

Am I over reacting? Is this normal? What would you do if you received one, and if you have sent one, can you explain why you would even for a moment think that it was okay? Remember that I’m not talking about sending this to family, where parents or brothers have specifically asked you what little Johnny might want, but sending them to random classmate’s parents.

I’m going to stop now as the poor commuter sitting next to me is getting scared by the stroppy and loud way that I am hitting the laptop keys as I type.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Disgusting habits

My boy, Daniel, has picked up a habit that we just can’t seem to stop. We have tried every technique we can think of but we just can’t get him out of this particular thing.

Quietly explaining its wrongness, crazed shouting, time outs or rewards – nothing works.

Daniel picks and eats.


And I’m not talking about crisps at a buffet.

I’m talking about bogeys.

Seriously disgusting.

I really don’t get the whole picking and eating thing – and I never have.

When I was young I was a flicker, which is a fine art, practiced by only the most civilized and skilled nose picker. I could flick one behind the sofa first time every time. It never got caught on my finger so you thought it had gone, but in fact it was still there at all. Well maybe a couple of times, but not often.
I just can’t see why Daniel can’t follow me and be a flicker – this has to be healthier doesn’t it? It has to be better than eating snot – surely?

Noses have to be picked when you are young – this is a fact.

Were you a flicker or an eater or is there a mystery third way? How about your kids – have they turned to the dark side?

Monday, July 4, 2011


What is home to you?

To me it’s all about warmth and safety and freedom and people that you love.

Somewhere, somehow, from within that list came this piece of fiction over at RBU.

I know – my head can be a little lopsided sometimes…