Kaleidoscope – Part Three

“Everybody get down!”

The balaclava’ed man, holding a clipboard in one hand and a small, black gun in the other, shouted again.

“I said, everybody get down!  Now!”  But as he looked round the café, it dawned on him.  The customers were trying to get down.  All being over seventy, it was just taking a very long time.

“Iris, my hip, my hip, I can’t bend my leg!  I can’t move!  My tea, my tea!  I’ve still got tea left!”

“Tea?  TEA?!  Grace, the man has got a gun for Christ’s sake and you’re worried about your tea?!” Continue reading “Kaleidoscope – Part Three”

Benefit Of The Doubt?

As a parent, it is our responsibility to provide for our children the best we can – emotionally, spiritually and financially. It’s not always easy, right? But we manage somehow.

For most of us, it’s what we signed up for.

Which is why yesterday’s announcement that ‘jobless, Keith McDonald, 25’  who is set to have his tenth child, by the tenth different girl, stuck in my throat.

The Sun stepped forward, in its own inimitable way, and offered to give the guy a break. Of his tubes, that is, and offered a free vasectomy. Continue reading “Benefit Of The Doubt?”

Mirror, Mirror

I sat in my café today, minding my own business (whilst trying to overhear any juicy conversations), and an older lady came and sat down opposite me.  She was in her late 70’s, salt and pepper shoulder length hair, brown polo neck jumper.  A woman that,unfortunately and unfairly, a lot of people wouldn’t even notice.

Except this particular woman was wearing a mini skirt.

Continue reading “Mirror, Mirror”

‘Careless’ Whisper

A few weeks ago I wrote about a very thorny subject, one that ended up raising more questions than it answered. I talked about the impending introduction of Sarah’s Law into our neighbourhoods and how everyone would be affected.

There was one topic that I touched upon briefly that has been playing on my mind lately. That of the innocent.

What happens when an innocent person is accused, subsequently vilified and punished for a crime they did not commit?  Do they ever manage to rebuild their lives? Continue reading “‘Careless’ Whisper”

The Holy Scale

It has been a month since I last weighed myself.  The long gap between visits to The Holy Scales can be mostly attributed to life just getting in the way.

That, and I’ve been avoiding them.

I’ve moved on from my last disastrous shopping trip and mourned the loss of my favourite shops.  I’ve since made a concerted effort to get my considerably large butt into shape and lose a few pounds, if only because I’ll have nothing to wear otherwise.

But I have a problem.

It’s REALLY hard work! Continue reading “The Holy Scale”

Only Fools …

When it’s time to do the grocery shopping each week, I sigh, mutter under my breath, have a quick moan to anyone who will listen, but then just get on with it.  It’s what we do, right?

Grocery shopping (as opposed to clothes shopping – it’s important to differentiate) is one of those chores I hate (along with hoovering, polishing and generally all housework), but it needs to be done.  The Absolut won’t buy itself! Continue reading “Only Fools …”

Streamlining

Holy crap Batman!

I have been well and truly overwhelmed by rubbish this week since my OH decided to completely re-organise the loft. What on earth possessed him? Had he followed my cunning plan of never venturing up there, we wouldn’t be in this chaos. But no, he has to go and mess with the order of things. Tut, tut.

It’s funny how someone’s good idea only remains ‘good’ as long as it doesn’t make me want to kill them! Otherwise, it’s just an idea.  One that’s going to irritate the hell out of me – not a wise move. Continue reading “Streamlining”

Kaleidoscope – Part Two

“Grace love, can I borrow your Sweetex? I’ve only gone and left mine at home today and I can’t bear my tea without them.”

Grace bent slowly and brought her beige, faux leather handbag to the table and began to rummage through the numerous side pockets.

“I’m just the same Iris love. Can’t bear any other sweetener. Bob got me Hermesetas the other day and it bound me right up it did! And I tried that, that thing, you know, the sprinkly thing. Haven’t been allowed any in ages. The white stuff … “Flour?”

“Flour? Flour?? Why would I put flour in my tea Iris? I worry about you sometimes,” Grace sighed. Iris shrugged and returned to buttering her teacake. The two women sat silently. Continue reading “Kaleidoscope – Part Two”

Sunday afternoons with Dad

rowing boat

 

As the countdown to my fortieth birthday rapidly (and regrettably) continues, my yearning for nostalgia continues.

As a family, we try to spend as much time outdoors as the English weather will allow (and even when it doesn’t) as many of my childhood memories are of going on mini adventures with my Dad.

Sundays were especially exciting.  My dad would take my brother and I out for the day and, more often than not, we’d end up doing something that would horrify my much more sensible Mum.

One of my favourite adventures was going on Dad’s speedboat.  At the age of 6, the same age as my youngest son is now, it was one of the most exhilarating things I’ve ever done.

The speedboat was red.  The paint was flaking off in several places but we didn’t mind.  Its top speed was about 100mph.  As long as the rope didn’t snap.

Let me explain.  This wasn’t your average speedboat.  It didn’t have a speedometer, or a steering wheel.  It didn’t have a galley and the only seats on it were two planks of wood nailed to the floor.  In fact, it didn’t even have an engine.  In fact, it was just a very small, old, leaky rowing boat.  With no oars.  What made it special, however, was that it had a rope tied to a loop at the front of the boat, the other end being attached to the back of Dad’s lorry.

Dad would drive the lorry to the edge of the water and my brother, being five years older than me, would paddle the boat out as far as the rope would allow (although I’m not quite sure how he managed this with no oars!)  Next came the best bit!  My dad would slam the lorry into first gear and race as fast as he could up the sloped, shingle beach.

I remember our two greyhounds being there (that’s a whole different story), jumping around, generally just getting in the way.  They would pine for Dad as he drove the lorry up the beach but wouldn’t be able to resist the lure of the murky, cold water.

We probably hit about 5mph at top speed.  The wheels invariably got stuck in the shingle, the lorry had definitely seen better days and there were normally a dozen breeze blocks in the back weighing it down.  The blocks, however, were essential as they doubled up as our seat for the journey back – the dogs always got to drive up front with Dad.

I’m sure Mum was oblivious to a lot of the things that we got up to with Dad.   Mum never tagged along, unless we were going to the ‘proper’ beach at Camber Sands.  Then, after dishing out the egg and salad cream sandwiches, she could always be found playing rounders with the rest of us.  But she was the sort of woman who, when she went swimming, would try her best to have her head, neck and shoulders out of the water because she didn’t want to get her hair wet.  Suffice to say, she wasn’t a great fan of water.

It did mean though that she was always there when we got home.  Two slightly soggy, incredibly windswept, but very happy children.

I haven’t been back to Sharps Green since.  It’s been 34 years now and part of me is worried that if I go back I’ll spoil the memory I have but maybe, going back with my own children, it might just be better than I ever remember.

 

kate sutton

 

Simon Everett

Next Big Thing …

Simon Everett is 21 and from Chelmsford, Essex. Gaining a very well deserved First Class degree in American/English Literature with Creative Writing at University of Kent, Simon is about to embark upon an MA in Creative Writing.

He was the winner of the T S Eliot Poetry Competition at UKC.

He also happens to be a very good friend of mine!

The Peach-coloured Girl on Level Two Continue reading “Simon Everett”