Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hey SK!

Dear SK
I'm resisting the urge to ask how you again are feeling and to imagine you with all sorts of emotions that you may not have. The experience is yours alone; tell it or not.

I'm not quite sure how I am going to get this letter to you, nor how you will feel about it when I do. Furthermore my spacebar is only working intermittently so writing it as well as reading it will have its challenges. Oh, and one of my fingers has stopped moving. It's a bit like an engine that won't turn over though it starts eventually and it clicks whenever I use it, which makes me squeamish.
Anyhoo, typing finger, spacebar and nausea aside, I will press on.

The time is 3.20am and I woke in a cold sweat an hour ago after dreaming of pythons being delivered to a married couple in a lift. Lots of constricted breathing, purple faces and syringes later (in the dream that is), the couple tried to murder each other. The wife got away thinking she’d killed him but the husband had only dashed down the fire escape to have her declared insane. If that's not my marriage in a nutshell, then I don’t know what is.
Anyway, the dream has done me a favour,  because upon waking I suddenly realised what I have been wrestling to get a hold of in my brain since we met. Bear with me.....

I have a commission from the local aspirational magazine to write that piece we discussed about Couchsurfing...700 words. This is significant because I finally decided to give up worrying about getting a job, to have some confidence and to put all my energies into writing. Do or die, now or never. Many people encouraged me to do so and it's a real relief to give in to it, just as you finally made me believe you on another matter entirely. The magazine was the first I approached after my decision and they accepted immediately and so this gives me heart. The Editor is a published author himself and very complimentary of my writing as is an academic I know. I have decided to believe them too.

I am sure many people more accomplished than I have asked you this already,( and I don't know if you'd be interested at all so soon after the journey), but when you are ready,  how would you feel about telling the story of your walk with a view to getting it published? Not for my local rag (though I will give the link for donations) but as a piece of journalism for a bigger newspaper or magazine or in book form as a record of th journey. I'd have to pitch it but it'd be a learning curve for me. You have such great stories to tell and the walk hit a note with so many people that I am certain there’s an audience for it; (and you may also raise more cash along the way) the river- floating, the busty 60 year olds on their way to serve at a Beerfest, the eccentrics in the country home; the reason you walked out one midsummer morning in the first place. It would serve as a record for you and the family too. It would also be great to chat to some of the people you met and stayed with along the way for their view of being part of such a journey. I really think I'd do it justice. But if I don't then someone should.

Would you be interested? If nothing else, it might spark a major newspaper to pick up the story ( if they haven't already) and increase awareness, but that may not be something you’d want to happen. Have a think. You may simply want to move on,or wait till time has passed or are resolved to write it yourself or or...

In the interests of full disclosure, I will reinstate some of my blog posts so that you can see what I can do.

As for the mechanics of it, I would go at your pace, by your timetable and whatever method you prefer -phone, Skype,email, plain old letters.. whatever.

 As you know, your visit was significant to me and you seem to have that effect on people. Your wall is covered in similar sentiments which is why I know there would be interest. You seem to bring out the poetry in people, all of whom are so eloquent about what you achieved.

If I have been cheeky and presumptuous then forgive me and I hope it hasn't ruined a friendship however remote.
I hope you are well and have recovered physically at any rate. If there's any justice, you'll now get a bit squidgy round the edges like the rest of us.

Eat more biscuits.

Much Love
L x

 PS. Still working on being Parisienne with a different date looming. I have even bought a hat ! My daughter says I look like a gay man in it, but then I did buy it in Brighton  :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

 "What is it that caught your Emotionation in that film?" I misheard but what a fabulous word! It really does capture a feeling, an experience. I have decided to invent it.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Eating My Egg With a Spoon

On Thursday, a woman had an Egg; or the Egg had a woman, the nuances were never clear.

 She never did eat her Egg with a spoon but it was one of those things that was always a possibility, at the back of her mind.

She was saving it for a treat.

To the woman, Eggs were comfort food, giving sustenance and support - and they were loyal.

Even when she boiled them.

They really were great like that..Eggs. They noticed her and worked around her silently. They plotted where she was in the kitchen just as she had marked them on her map and then they orbited around each other, mutually appreciative.

She would sometimes talk to them as you would to plants, telling the creamiest of them that she recognised the special care he gave her and how that made her feel Queen of The Eggs; that because of this, she would be attentive to his shell, not drop him nor separate his yolk from white; that Eggs were as safe with her as she knew she was with them..........
And how gloriously golden their yolks were!  How wonderfully smooth to the touch were their shells. They really didn't care that her knees creaked as much as the fridge door or that she was wearing trousers two sizes too big which meant that the crotch was around her knees making cycling proficiency a nightmare. The days when she was as fresh as an Egg herself were drawn far, far into the background of a past hazily sketched. Yet you could read on their settled posture that the Eggs saw nothing of these things. They  saw ....her.

On Friday, something small crawled into her stomach and sat their uneasily, unwanted and unwelcome. It was defiant and vociferous, rendering her unable to sleep. It caused her so much pain that each time it moved -which was frequently for it could not seem to get comfortable - involuntary tears would swim upwards over the ladder of her windpipe, push forwards and  tumble out over her grieving eyes to fall into the pools gathering around the rocks of her lips and chin.

And the fridge was empty.

Her Eggs had left behind the scent of their regret. Death by Spoon was exquisite but forbidden and so they had left with tiny cracks in their shells.

It was her legacy.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Postcard Pam's Weird Weekend

This is weird. I have been looking forward to it for so long. Sitting on a train with nothing to do but write and paint my nails. Instead I have anxiety.
The thing is that I had been feeling quite good about myself; By and large; when all is said and done; relatively speaking.
 I have lost some of the weight I gained. I am back into some of the clothes that remind me of who I am. People are fond of calling me ‘bohemian’. Apparently it suits me. I have stopped fighting it for I recognise myself.
 Several lifetimes ago when I was in my New Romantic year, I would be stood-standing at a bus stop in a frilly shirt or be walking through town in knickerbockers when the ‘yoof’ of my youth would call out ‘Peace man’, giving the standard John Lennon Salute with two inoffensive fingers.
 I didn’t feel insulted; more baffled, violated even.  I’d been hiding myself so carefully.
Maybe that’s what I have done in the past 24 hours, hidden myself and it has caused me anxiety and a longing to turn the clock back 14 hours; to be the person that I was then; the one who liked herself, finally.
Instead I am sitting on a train looking as though I’d been Tangoed.  They promised me in the salon this would not happen.  But it has happened and worse, there are two white panda circles where the crumpled bags under my eyes are, so it has highlighted those to great effect. The thing is, I felt good about my ageing face yesterday. Liked it even; appreciated that it was the face of a nice woman in her 40’s, not an orange woman looking like some terrible caricature of a lush. It has aged me 10 years.

In this train, I can hear an echo of blended voices  demanding to know why, if I am so bloody perfect, did I have it done at all? Well I’ll tell you. I am not perfect, I am just accepting. I am learning to be accepting but sometimes I have setbacks, especially when there’s a £15 offer on and it is something I have never tried before (suggestions anticipated)
During a setback, it occurred to me that although my face (and neck) looked tanned and happy from  my new job as postie  - and the lower two thirds of my arms  similarly so - when I am naked, I look as though I am still wearing a white T-shirt and leggings. That, Dear Reader, is not an image to linger in the mind after 3 children and a lot of cake.
(I’ve just had a cinnamon swirl for elevenses and it’s 8.50am)
Anyway, cutting a long story short – strapless frocks and strappy tops are to be worn this weekend, if not pencil skirts with thigh high splits and all of the above ending just below the knee.
My mother has a favourite refrain when she talks of my daughter’s beauty:
“Thank goodness she doesn’t have your short tree trunk legs”
I try to love her, I really do.
The aforementioned forest favourites are currently covered in scrapes, grazes, bruises and cuts. The reasons for this are many and varied when looked at in detail, but if I paint you a picture with a wallpapering brush, it quickly reveals work-related incidents. 
A fight with a bicycle pedal
A fight with a bicycle stand
A slip on wet floor tiles in an Italian restaurant that I was delivering to (that one really hurt and I didn’t even get a free meal though I have heard that their chicken dishes are to die for)
A fight with a bicycle and a hedge
A slip on a wet manhole cover
A fall down some wet tiled steps on Nutter’s Way! I mean….Why would you? Floor tiles are for inside, and even then only if they have some ridges to protect against aquaplaning.
An incident involving a bicycle chain and a trapped shoelace (I don’t like to revisit that memory too often. It makes me tired.)
The resulting injuries brought me to the conclusion that an all over tan, would at least make the bruises less obvious.
It has, because people can’t take their eyes off my Jaffa Self.

 I am planning to stay in the shower for a very long time when I arrive up North. I may not have time to speak to my parents before I set off to my party 9 hours later because I will be scrubbing my face. I may have to wear a backless frock and a balaclava.
I think I left it on too long. They advised me over and over not to panic as the colour deepened as it would all wash off to an all over glow in the shower and furthermore, they said it may come off on the bed sheets.  I took this as an instruction to have a night’s sleep. So, I slept in the tan rather than set my alarm for 2 in the morning when it was due to come off, and I was up at 5.30 in any case.. To be fair, everywhere else is passable. Certainly I enjoy a bit of colour (however uneven) on my legs. I have also woken up with 2 (count ‘em…2!!) cold sores and there’s obviously the gum boil and chronic infection in my tooth to contend with.

Oh yes! It’ll be a triumphant return home.  .  I am such a catch for some lucky, lucky fellow of indeterminate years and hair possession.
Actually, I generally go for slightly younger men, but this shade of orange would just tip me right over into the category of stereotypical. Boycie's, 'Marleeeen!'  I’d just need a leopard print wrap dress, matching high heels , hot pink lippy and earrings as big as budgies.
If I lift up my buttocks (stop retching you lot in your 20’s, it’ll happen to you too!) there are white lines cupping them from underneath like hammocks where the tan didn’t reach, and a little 6 inch line round my waist where I presume the spare tyre folds over. Just on one side! I wonder if I’ve had a stroke and not noticed.

“Stay classy San Diego!”            

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Men and Their Music

Not sure how long I can keep up this postie-ing. I have been too tired to blog. I have missed you all loads and want to tell you all sorts, but if I ain't walking, I'm asleep. It's 8.45 and I have been in bed for half an hour, and this despite having been to work once in the last 5 days. It takes an awful lot of chocolate and sleep to deliver the mail.
Still, good old Kate, over at Kate Takes 5, has The Best 5 albums by male solo artists as her Listography topic today and it means I can indulge without overtaxing myself. And it's one of my favourite

So, here we go and the undisputed crown goes to:

1. John Martyn   - Solid Air :    It's been giving me goosebumps for 30 years. Nuff said.

Runners up are:


2.  Sorry, but it has to be done, I dance to this till I've worn a hole in the carpet, which reminds me.....

3. I went to see this next one at the cinema when I was 18 and got so excited that I opened a family sized bag of Revels with too much enthusiasm and  showered the two rows in front with chocolate like it was an exploding pinata! To my teenage self, he was a brimful of pulsating sexuality...Grrrr!!

4.   OMG! Legend! Altogether now


5.   Gorgeous memories of a stiflingly long hot summer in 1995, pregnant with my first child and eating lots of Orange ice lollies. I still quite liked my ex then and he would drive me round the beautiful Rutland countryside in the early evening so I could catch a bit of breeze and we'd listen to Stanley Road.
 Fabulous :)

I'll enjoy reading yours and thanks to Kate for giving me the most pleasurable hour I've had in a long time :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Just say 'Yes!'

Until this weekend, I had not had a night out since I went to my friend's funeral in January.
Well I had; I had been to the dogs and although many,many people will say that I have been going to the dogs for some time, it was in fact my first time and I was so very tired after my first week of postie-ing that I was struggling to know where I was. Scarily, being teetotal, I was the designated driver on that night and could barely keep my eyes open. Oh yes, the others thought I was a barrel of fun!

But the funeral was a different kettle of fish. Although the day was filled with emotion and sadness, it was also powered by laughter and memories and love and hugs; faces that I have loved my entire adult life surrounded me and cushioned me, leaned on me, let me lean on them and we all told each other, as ever, how important we are to each other. It was as  though a carpet was being  weaved with the strands of lives that had already been lived together. On that day, they were fused together for eternity - an unbreakable bond.

I remembered my friend from the meal we had shared 8 months ago. (I was the one of only 2 members of a large 'gang' who had moved away from out hometown but neither of our ties have been severed). He had been so excited to have a meal in his favourite restaurant, just the two of us. He made it  absolutely clear that it was his treat and that he was proud to do that. He had very severe difficulties to battle with his whole life, my friend, and so money wasn't always available. He also had a bit of a reputation for having mothballs in his wallet. He showed me pictures of his new nephew, of whom he was incredibly proud -he had filled his life with meaning he said. G had never had a partner, I suspect this was because he felt his difficulties were a barrier and because he believed this, it became a self fulfilling prophecy.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Thanks Libby and Sarah!

Thanks for both your comments on the previous post. They helped loads and put stuff in perspective. I have removed the post to protect the innocent but appreciated the support xxxx

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Shit Saturday Blues!

Not all shit, just a bit shit.

I have been on a bit of a journey recently, since the crush started (and yes, for those of you paying attention, it was the egg) and things got as intense as they could do without either party mentioning it. Now, I know that some of you will query if there was a mutual crush at all under these circumstances; surely it is all a figment of my elderly and desperate imagination?

Fuck off! You're wrong.

What happens to me when someone is interested in me, should be injected into mice and then found a cure for.

 Do I think to myself "Lucky, Lucky me!" ?

Yes I do.

 Do I think, "Excellent, let's enjoy flirting with this very handsome younger man" ?

 Again, yes I do.

Can I actually do that though?

Absolutely not.

Do I instead think to myself::
 "Eh up! That can't be right. There's a rip somewhere in the space time continuum that needs a wee stitch in it. What on earth does such a lovely young thing want with me?
 It must be a bet. Or something he does to make the time go quicker.
He'll be laughing up his bobble hat about this.
 Does he not see the size of my arse? Does he not see the size of my wrinkles/bags/thighs/bingo wings.

You name it and I will wonder if he's blind.

 For God's sake, the knickers I wear to work can be seen from space. It simply doesn't make sense.

 From time to time, his pleasure at seeing me was so apparent that I'd momentarily think the whole thing was quite reasonable.
Then I'd see him smiling and blushing as he huddled with me in a corner and I'd think to myself how ridiculous I was being. He was clearly mad as a box of frogs!
Surely my cellulite and beginnings of a beard would register with him shortly.
It'll would all in tears....... mine obviously.
So, you can see how exhausting this all is for me. Kicking myself constantly when something lovely is happening, takes a lot of effort. I have to be vigilant in case I get carried away with myself and actually start to enjoy it and worse, think that I deserve it.
Just when I had wrestled with all of this, talked it out, wrote it down and resolved to do just that, the balloon of intensity seems to have popped.
 I have a theory about this; I think it's cause I hoovered something when I had a spare hour and offered him an imperial mint. Nothing says 'middle age and heading rapidly for bus pass' more than hoovering with a sweet you can still buy in a quarter.
I'd have been as well asking him to hold a packet of Tena Ladies whilst I fished out change from my shopping trolley.
Obviously,I am comfier now that the universe is back in its proper alignment, but also terribly sad.

 I cannot make up my mind if kicking myself up the arse has just kicked the shit out of the situation, or whether we have both had a bad couple of days, or whether...or whether...or whether.... Do you see? Just EXHAUSTING!!!!!!!!
And why? Since never in a month of Sundays, did I ever think the outcome would be any different.

So, what have I learned from this?
I have learned (yet again) that losing something that I never had affects my self esteem.

I moped, I felt lonely, I wondered here my life had gone, I reflected that I have no-one to turn to in these desperate moments. Everyone I tried to contact was out or busy or going through a bad patch (selfish cow!) and I was friendless and alone in the world. Poor me!
It took a tremendous effort of will to remember all this:
a) Of the people I contacted yesterday and who were busy, 1 said they'd rather be with me, 3 offered to meet the following day, 1 called me immediately saying she was just about to go for dinner but she just wanted to hear my voice and could she call the following day. 1 called and asked if I was OK, and I said I was (when I wasn't) because I could hear she was in a rush and the line was bad. I recalled that I had been invited out 3 times in the last fortnight but hadn't accepted anything. I remembered that (and not for the first time) a much younger man had found something attractive in me, in spite of myself.
I remembered that when I meet people in the street they look genuinely pleased to see me and ask me to places that I don't go to.
So, who is holding me back?
Me, that's who. And it stops here.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

No Wonder No-one reads me

I have the attention span of a bluebottle.

In summary, since I was last on here:
 I have been ill (I believe that I mentioned that in my last post)
The internet went down for nearly a week and then just as suddenly, popped back on again
The painter has been here for the best part of 3 weeks,but not doing much at any given point in the day. House is in chaos
Washing machine broke down a fortnight ago and I haven't had the energy to do anything about it and so spend large amounts of time, sitting in other people's kitchens whilst their washing machine does the deed.

I have a huge crush on someone unsuitable and it's making me feel all girly and ridiculous and smiley and makes me want to write his name over and over on my pencil case with little hearts and arrows next to it.
It's not outside the realms of possibility (although it definitely should be) that he has an unsuitable crush on me. Not just impossible, but unfathomable!

So, that's why I haven't been here.

Pam x

Friday, February 24, 2012

Shopping Lists!

I have a cold and feeling very sorry for myself and so I am taking the easy way out with an article published in a magazine published locally. My second pay cheque for writing -how very satisfying!


...SHOWER WAITROSE TROLLEYS LIKE CONFETTI because once their job is done, they are simply discarded like a pole dancer whose bum has dropped (that's certainly what forced my change of career)
The small trolleys have those special little bits of levered metal that have been modeled on Arkwright’s till. They grab onto your list for you in case it lingers too long beside the frozen peas and you have to retrace your steps before dragging it back by its dog-eared corner. The lever thwacks it into place and there's no escaping, which is probably why folk leave it there. We are all G-G-G-Granvilles, terrified of losing a finger.
Since our Goodly Editor mentioned his delight and preoccupation with shopping lists, I have collected around 60 from Waitrose trolleys. I feel as though I know you all, in an abstract sort of a way. I have taken little pieces of you home dear Shoppers of the East Midlands.    
As I speak, I do not now, nor have I ever owned a shopping list that I once saw attached to a shopper. I made it a rule never to liberate a list from a trolley that was still warm. I don't want you to worry on that score. I understand your concern. It would be as though I had rifled through your knicker drawer, and one has one's dignity.  I can of course, gleam a little knowledge about you from the handwriting; a little shaky here, a tad spikey there, artistically floral on the odd occasion and with doodles that signify you have far too much time on your hands.  I can take an educated guess what you are planning for dinner (amongst other things, you rascals!) and I am pretty certain that if called upon, I could give the police a brief description of you, if not a rough sketch.
I know who had just opened their gas bill while there was at least one ill child in the house  "Calpol, ibuprofen, cloths and bleach, Antibacterial spray - kills 99% of germs!" , all written on the back of a British Gas envelope.
I know that Debbie* had just ordered a sachel and top from Boden and was planning a trip to Aberdeen. I also have her e-mail details because she wrote the whole week's menu on the back of a print out. Shame on you Debbie!! Did he remember to put that note by the bins when he went out? I will resist the urge to e-mail him and ask.
A lady who likes ready meals and olives has a hospital appointment.
I love this next one, it's hoping for the best and planning for the worst "Eggs, raisins, red wine, linguine, Man Tissues! Resolve and Nurofen"
Aptly, a senior citizen who likes fruit, TV magazines and The Woman's Weekly - has written her list on the back of a web page entitled:
50 Tips for Grocery Shopping - Zen Habits -breathe which would suggest that rifling through the Reduced section is not approached by everyone as though they were a child at a Lucky Dip!
A man who likes adventurous sandwiches has been on a Rutland Care Activity Weekend.
 I know when you are tired and hormonal and sensibly opting for a vegetarian meal of chocolate, wine and crisps. I know when the family is coming round for dinner and when Heston Blumanthal has seeped far too far into your psyche.
I know when you have been in a hurry or have been meticulously planning or need to keep to a budget "Beans, spaghetti hoops, beer"
I strongly suspect the person with the expensive paper to be a spy for beneath his bold prompts for Italian coffee and kosher salty snacks, something caught my eye. I have no need of varifocals as I am not yet old enough, so I removed my 4 pairs of glasses and peered at the faint scribbles beneath the fountain-penned list, noticing as I did so, that pencil marks are barely visible on grey paper.... In no particular order they read
Red Grapes                   by wood slice                   crown                   supportive shield
                              verbal conf                   tweaked                 4pm or before   !!!!
If he isn't a spy then he's certainly up to no good. Tweaked and supportive shield should never appear on the same page in a God-Fearing house!
All and all, between choices of paper,  handwriting, your plans, appointments and eating habits - I reckon I could just about work out where you live!
*Debbie’s name has been changed to protect the innocent. She’s actually Karen.

By Lesley Gibson

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Deux Points! Or here are the results from The Hoochter Chucter Jury!

Guid Eevnin!

I hope yis have aw hid yer tea and are richt tae hae a gaw at answering ma 'Blog Buddies' questyins.

(Ahem) Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. On this fine late winter evening, may I take the opportunity of welcoming you to the home of Pam and hope that you are feeling prepared for the Blog Buddies questionnaire ahead.

Aye, she's richt an aw!
Yes, that's right.

A wis fair scunnert hinkin o sumday to gie thon award tae
I found the decision of whom to pass the award onto, extremely difficult

So'am gonnae gie yes aw a go.
And so, I have awarded it to each and every one of you

Cannae wait fr'a yer heid scratchins
I simply cannot wait to hear your many and varied answers

Mebbes ye'd like to waash yer coupon afore starting tae gie yersel' a fricht.
Perhaps now might be an opportune time to freshen up in preparation.

Are ye fur the aff?

1. If you could be any type of chip you liked, what would it be and why?

2. Angelos Epithemiou... who suspects there's a  handsome man under there?

3. What would be the title of the hit song from the musical about your life?

4. How old are you and (b) How old would you like to be?

5. Who is our greatest National Treasure?

6. What was your most embarrassing wardrobe malfunction?

7. What would be your superhero name be? Why?

8. What do you think has caused my eye infection?

Richt. am aff fur a few bevvies doon the Hoochter Chook til aw the rest o yis let yer mooth gie yer arse a chance.

And that's the end of the scoring from the Hoochter Choochter Jury.  You can now participate at home by inserting your own answers in the comments box to any or all of those questions and we'll be back shortly with a summary of the main results.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Big Bananas

It's all sex in the Post Office!

I saw a naked young man whilst I was postie-ing today, and yes, he was worth it. ( similar but not identical to this rock star)

Also, my work mate (let's call him Bob) was eating a colossal straight banana next to my trolley.

It was like watching gay porn.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Blog Buddies Questionnaire from Sarah Mac

Last week(or the week before) I was extremely honoured to receive not 1 but 2 awards from Sarah Mac at People Don't Eat Enough Fudge. Blog Buddies was the first and she set me a number of questions. Here are   the results from Hoochter Chucterland:

1. Foods I didn't try till I was really quite old :
    Asparagus, celeriac and artichoke are all favourites now that were considered to be unnecessary veg with ideas above their station when I was growing up.

2.The trait I most admire in a person?
  Well, there are a lot of contenders for this but I think overall, happy-go-lucky-ness, is what I most admire, because resilience and a positive outlook comes with the territory. My daughter has it in bucket loads and she has difficulties to overcome that never phase her. In fact, she has naturally turned them into benefits. Every day I think I learn more from her than she does from me.

3. Marmite, I don't! It's the one thing we disagree on Sarah. Just the thought, makes me stick my tongue out and try to scrape it off.

4.Seagulls and the smell of dolls take me back to my childhood. That peculiar, plasticy newness reminds me of Christmas when I was 4 and of my beautiful new doll, Daisy. She is still in my parents' attic. Her eyelids closed but that was about it on the malleability side. She was rigid everywhere and seemed to have an awful lot of hair for a baby. She looked as though had a pensioner's Wednesday Special shampoo and set.
 They keep asking me to take it away because they can't bear to throw her out but I don't need to keep her, that smell ensures she's with me always. I think they're worried that if they do it, she'll find her way home and strangle them in their beds.  I was going to insert a pic of a scary doll here but I made the mistake of Googling the term and I defy you to do the same and sleep soundly in your beds. I shall be leaving my light on I can tell you.

5. Not old junk but treasures, definitely. My house is filled with with them. I like my 'things' to have a history of life. This is why I could never live in a new house. I briefly had a business selling vintage clothes too and 2 display cabinets, 1 filled with shoes and vintage handbags and gloves, and the other with old jewellery and more handbags.

6. Coffee or tea first thing? Well, I have cut out caffeine but still like decaffeinated coffee first thing then it's roobois or herbal tea all day.

7.Being a fledgling Buddhist, karma is a difficult one for me. I really hate the idea of it since sometimes ,I like to think that shit happens and it's no-one's fault. But, I do really believe in cause and effect and when I look back at my life, I have always believed strongly in karma, I just didn't call it that. Pride comes before a fall, that sort of thing. I think you can change your karma and your fate by changing the path that you are on. This is a big question, so maybe we can talk this over on the beach with that scone Ms Mac!

8.Would I read someone else's thoughts? No cos no good ever came from listening at doors and you need context too. But, if I was forced to,perhaps the Dalai Lama because then I would be able to hear silence and feel all the peace that there is in there. Gawd knows my head is stuffed with constant whittling, it's exhausting!

9.Well, there are far too many inappropriate things to mention but the most humiliating would have to be when I was drunk and caught on camera at a 40th birthday party trying to entice my (male, unhappily married) friend into an affair. One of us was always trying to entice the other when my marriage broke up. A 30 year friendship would be down the tubes if we were ever to mutually entice! The most awful bit was that the bloke whose 40th it was sat down with his wife and kids to watch his birthday video and was horrified to see the whole thing play before his eyes like an episode of Hollyoaks. I need just to say at this point that I no longer drink, nor even entice single men, never mind married ones and do not think it is acceptable behaviour. I had been going through a shitty time and it made me behave shittily.

10. Not really a biscuit eater if truth be told which makes the size of my arse even more inexplicable.

11. I love kisses and hugs but only when I am in the mood. Sometimes I have my invisible shield up and people have battered themselves to death upon it.

Later this week, the rules of Blog Buddies and my nominated tagged person..............

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Shadow Elf

 I knew that the unthinkable was going to happen as I slept.  I fought against it with maternal certainty but in the end all I managed to do was to delay it a little. I was panic stricken, terrified; helpless. 
My Elf was gone.

 Even within the dream,I would traumatise myself with the memory, over and over again; knowing that the moment that I stopped, the betrayal would be unforgivable. I would be leaving my child alone in that moment and for every moment thereafter.  Worse, I would have to accept that I hadn't managed to freeze time at the point of separation in order to keep her safe until she found her way back home. I would have to know, truly know that she was away from everyone she loved; unprotected against whatever/whoever had taken her away.
 How could I forgive myself? How could I bear that knowledge?  I didn't even want to try. I wanted to feel all the horror that there was in that moment, because it meant not leaving her alone with her horror now.Any memories of our life before were smothered by the agony of loss.

Last night as I drove home, in the glare of the headlights on the A14 and in the rain, a 7 foot shadow ambled across my path. I saw it quite clearly for it had a definite outline and an unmistakably mischievous gait.  In the hazy, rain-sodden darkness, it seemed to me that it saw me, knew me.
 It cannot be coincidence that I saw an Elf, have an Elf and dreamed I lost my Elf to the darkness.

When have you known unhappiness, the child lingers there, waiting to be consoled always.

Shadow Elf  is my entry for Yearning for Wonderland's Faerie Ring Contest. 

Visit the link above if you want to join in. For another of my competition entries this week, see

Thursday, February 9, 2012


‘Look what you’ve done now, you little shit!', the incandescent roaring of her mother terrified her  but she stood her ground as the large, stuffed turtle was thrown at her with all the strength that accompanies fury. The girl rocked back and forth, clutching the rescued animal to her chest, its warm velvety face looking up at her; desperately seeking reassurance.
After searching for the toy, she’d asked her father if he knew where Chuckles was and so after short, fat, muffled words in the kitchen, he’d sent his wife to retrieve it from the dustbin where she’d thrown it in spite, and then he’d left for work without regret.
 In the space between mother and daughter, a noise began to leak from between the gritted teeth of the child- hissing slowly at first but building and quickening as the force of that noise levered open her jaw in a long, low, feral wail. Her pain insisted on being heard before the twin lights of defiance and hatred found their way to the gallery of her eyes and  prompted her mother to leave, making sure that she’d locked the door behind her.

Part Of The 5 sentence fiction blog hop


‘Look what you’ve done now you little shit! ‘, the incandescent roaring of her mother terrified her  but she stood her ground as the large, stuffed turtle was thrown at her with all the strength that accompanies fury. The girl rocked back and forth, clutching the rescued animal to her chest, its warm velvety face looking up at her; desperately seeking reassurance.
After searching for the toy for hours, she’d asked her father if he knew where Chuckles was and so after short, fat, muffled words in the kitchen, he’d sent his wife to retrieve it from the dustbin where she’d thrown it in spite, and then he’d left for work without regret.
 In the space between mother and daughter, a noise began to leak from between the gritted teeth of the child- hissing slowly at first but building and quickening as the force of that noise levered open her jaw in a long, low, feral wail. Her pain insisted on being heard before the twin lights of defiance and hatred found their way to the gallery of her eyes and  prompted her mother to leave, making sure that she’d locked the door behind her.

My new alcohol -again

Forgive me, but I am reposting this because of a comment/story I left on someone else's blog.It's made me a little thoughtful and when I read it, I see how much has changed for me in the 2 months since I wrote it.


I have gone up 3 dress sizes since having a break from my career, and I have been teetotal for the past 6.5 months.
This is only significant because, when I struggled with my weight before being teetotal, it was usually remedied by cutting out alcohol. 
I have been struggling with this anomaly (or is it a paradox?) as my arse got increasingly bigger.
I also love being outdoors and paradoxically (definitely the right word this time)  have spent less time outdoors than ever before now that I have the time to do it, and I soooo miss it! I do not enjoy wasting my days by watching TV. But that is exactly how I spend too much of my time.
About a month or so ago, I realised that TV was my new alcohol - it has a much stronger grip on me than I have on it. It is all about NOT being in the here and now of life, it is something that takes me away from my reality. This also puzzles me as I am happy with my home, my friends, my family. A friend of mine tells me she thinks it's an escape from an otherwise busy life, sole responsibility for 3 children takes a lot of juggling and organising and so, she maintains that I use it as a way to switch off. I don't feel that's correct. Maybe it explains sitting down after tea but not switching it on the moment they have gone to school. Nope there is something else going on.
I went out tonight and got into conversation with someone who has a similar profession to me. She's an art therapist who is reassessing the job she loves. I love my job, I just can't do it at the moment. I am burnt out.
I had an interview to be a postie this week (will let you know when I hear about it, it will be 4 weeks apparently)  It will pay about a quarter of the wage I am used to but my dream job has always been to be a postie and the interview only fired my enthusiasm even further. I can think of nothing nicer than walking all day, watching the seasons change, being a pivotal part of the community and having little stressMy friend the therapist has also enquired about being a postie. She has sold her house because she fancied renting for a while, and has found it incredibly liberating. She does not have to constantly repair and improve this house. She can simply relax in it and she has found she has freed up a lot of her time.
I found myself telling her about the TV situation and she said that made sense to her because she stopped smoking 9 years ago, and food took the place of cigarettes 
Now, my new friend told me, she always knows when she is stressed because she finds herself frantically looking for food the moment she finishes work -turns her car upside down. Knowing this, she started an exercise regime but feels that it will easily become an addiction. I replied that twice in my life exercise became an addiction and developed alongside a borderline eating disorder. It then dawned on both of us, that we have addictive personalities. I am lucky in that I never step so far over the edge that I can't get back. So, the food and the TV are not only the new alcohol, but they are new addictions taking over from the previous ones. So, so soooooooooo. What are the addictions replacing? Can I get to the bottom of that? What do I constantly need that I do not have/get? How can I sort that one out?
Answers on a postcard please. Otherwise, what's your addiction?


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pam's Prizewinning Surprises

Have I told you recently that I am the recipient of Blog Buddies? Sarah Mac, my champion passed it on to me and there are a few criteria. The first is to post 10 things that people don't know about you and so, here is Part 1 of the Blog Buddies challenge.
Ten surprising things about Pam
1.     I can juggle. I juggle really quite well with 3 balls (titter ye not, missus).
Well actually, I can manage 3 of anything really quite well with all the usual tricks and flicks. I used to travel within Spain quite a lot and it was my busking thing for food money. It also helped me to make friends J I can juggle in an inconsistent manner with clubs and have a variety of other circus skills under my belt –low level stilts, that sort of thing. I never mastered the unicycle though.

2.     Last year I sung backing vocals in an imploding reggae band, brief but fun. I am determined to get back into a band this year. I am such a music lover that I cannot settle on a genre. Maybe an opportunity will present itself and make up my mind for me. I used to sing a lot when I was younger. During the unhappy years, I did forget that I knew how to play guitar and that I had been a writer of songs. The moment I remembered, I bought Gloria (I expect this will all become clearer in a post one day)my beautiful black, sleek and curvy guitar.

3.     I touched Michael Franti of Spearhead once. Truly I did. It was at the best gig ever on the Indoor Stage at Leicester Summer Sundae. He is so charismatic! Hear his protest music with fantastic beats, here.  Two years ago I went on my first ever (and sadly my only) trip to San Francisco and was invited to a party where I was introduced to the wife of the ex-bassist of Spearhead. !!!!!!!!!! I mean !!!!!!!!! It truly is a tiny world. I reckon if I try hard enough, I could find someone who’d let me roll a fag for Johnny Depp.

4.     Me and my mate Dave have had a ‘will we, won’t we?’ thing going for nearly 30 years.  We haven’t.

5.     I used to run a ‘hand-painted T-shirt’ business in my early 20’s with a grant from The Prince’s Trust. I earned enough money for my first ever inter-railing experience! I t was very time consuming though, hand-painting T-shirts. Strangely, I was never so successful on paper!

6.     I was on Australia TV once. Yes, I had had a crash in a car I was hitching from Adelaide to Sydney in –well 2 car crashes actually- and the lad-who-was-driving’s mum felt so guilty that she took me in and she had a daughter who phoned into a Saturday morning TV music show and got tickets and took me! John Oates was on and I was absolutely in love with him at the time cos I thought he looked like Charles II, who I had a historical crush on after reading stuff like ‘Forever Amber’. I asked him to sign my T-shirt and was so nervous that I got a nerve trapped in my leg and shook like a dog dry humping the hoover. He laughed and cuddled me and instead of cuddling back, I wasted the moment worrying about whether or not I had B.O.

7.     I am useless with pets, and too ashamed and depressed to explain that one.

8.     One of my all-time favourite memories is of a caravan weekend in Aviemore with my mates. One was on top of the caravan singing, Joolz and Ian were shaking the caravan next door as they were new lovers(who could have known that their 25th wedding anniversary would only be a breath away) and a pitiful voice replied to the question ‘Where’s Moose?’ with ‘I’m in the brambles and I’m not coming oot!'

9.     I used to be the town English teacher to a small Extremaduran town. The town mayor took me everywhere like a trophy as I was the first foreigner ever to go there. Since he was political, this is how I met Felipe Gonzalez who was a bit gorg-uss in his day and because I was young and stupid, that’s what I took from the moment.

10.                         When there was a fire on the Carcassonne /Figueres train, I was offered a lift by a couple who also offered a lift to a man who took us to his farmhouse and showed us his bread oven, but more importantly, his paintings, because he had been a student of Picasso! I must look out the postcard he gave me of one of his paintings –he might be famous! Will keep you posted! For my part, I have  a Blue Peter badge for a postcard competition. My entry depicted myself and my brother playing on the beach. I could see it from my bedroom window so had a no fair
advantage. If you flash your badge now, does it still get you in places for free?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A man who picks a cat up by the tail...

"... A man who picks a cat up by the tail,  gains knowledge he can get no other way."
 Garrison Keillor on  A Prairie Home Companion

The wisdom of this is irrefutable.What especially makes me laugh, is the slow burn before the truth of this reaches your brain. It sneaks up on it from behind. It's so clever, that I really can't think of anything else that would have the same impact.

A man who eats artichokes, farts all day. Doesn't really have the same ring.

Garrison has been ingenious as he has presented the cat scenario as though it were a proverb of an Eastern Religion. This not only adds weight to the ridiculous sincerity of it but creates a backdrop of calm, against which we may imagine the cat teaching the man his lesson. I have a cartoon cat in my mind. Possibly Hobbes. Now, THERE is the master of comic philosophy. 

In having to deal with people who may or may not be childish big fat bullies that are irrevocably tied to your family through no fault of your own after accidentally  having 3 children to them*, it is best to practise tolerance and understanding and so I have been attempting to makes sense of things the Garrsion Keillor way. F'r instance:

You cannot blame a tiger for chewing your fucking head off.  He is after all, a bit of a bastard 

If a lion looks like it is going to bite you, shove a donut in   

You must have some experiential words of wisdom for me. Make me smile while I increase my wisdom.

* All characters in this blog are fictitious. Any resemblance that there may be between the protagonists of this post and any bastards , alive or dead, are thinly veiled.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Things a Postman says

 Don't you mean Postwoman

No, actually! I always wanted to be a postman; it's traditional and as you can plainly see, I have the trousers for it.

Before I start, you will see that I am the very proud owner of the new Kindred Spirit award. The Lovely Sarah Mac awarded it to me, and she is one of the reasons that I continue to blog. When I began, I knew I wanted an outlet for myself but didn't realise I'd be opening the door to friends. It has been a surprise, delight and support to me. She is definitely a kindred spirit and in her fantastic blog, I sometimes feel she is my West Country doppleganger. However, since she is tall and willowy, more like a negative of my much shorter, rounder self.

I look forward to welcoming any new friends to PP and to finding more kindred spirits x

So, things a Postman says:

  •  Knock! Knock! Knock!   Good afternoon Sir, can I have your mail back, it's for next door
  • Ratatatat!  Hello Sir, can I give you this? (hands over awkward package and clocks the customer looking expectantly at the pile of mail in my  his/her hand)    Yes, you may have more mail Sir, but I actually start at the other end of the street and , well your parcel was getting on my nerves  Customer(gamely):  See you soon then.                                                                                                                           
  • May I say Sir, that is the most splendiferous moustache!
  • Roll up the magazine and the minute the dog grabs it, pull it straight back out through the letterbox quick! It won't do that again  - but it wasn't me who told you.
  • Knock! Knock! Knock!    I am very sorry to ask you this Madam, but can you take me to 49a please. I've looked and looked.
  • Sign here, Sir. Print on the top then sign on the bottom.     Do you have a pen? 
  •   Knock Knock !  Sorry Sir, Just returning your pen.
  •  It's not so bad as long as you're working
  • Yes thanks, it is cold enough for me
  • It's OK if you keep moving
  • Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I hope that's a dog's toy!
  • Yes your post is a bit damp but if you would care to look at me for a moment then I think we can put this into perspective.
  • Hahahaha! No Sir, I can't take that to Basingstoke.
  • That frikkin dog from number 50 nearly had my hand off through the letterbox this morning!
  • There is blood all over the mail for my route this morning. Who would be so unprofessional?  What if they had something? Why didn't they get a plaster? After bleeding on the first 20, you'd think they'd have sought help, unbeliev......     .........Boss, where's the first aid box? I've cut my finger!
  • Haha! No, I didn't manage to take your mail to Basingstoke.
  • You can leave your handbag in the depot no worries. No one will touch it.  Best take your uniform home though.... ........
  • Either number 52 has bought an identically vicious dog, or the one from number 50 has dug a tunnel!
  • Ha..Basingstoke was lovely, Thanks.
  • Isn't that your telephone ringing? My Mum's fine, Thanks for asking? Erm, telephone.. No Dad isn't too well. Tel... No my Mum isn't Jackie. Answer your frikking phone!
  • Member of Public:   That's not a local accent is it?
                            Me:         No, I'm from Hoochter Chuchter*  in Fife
                            MofP:     Oh, I know Hoochter Chucter!              
                                             silence      pin drop        very quiet       bit more silence        nothing

       Me:      Horrible isn't it?
       MofP:  Didn't like to say.

And finally, an anecdote.
 During the course of my day, I come into contact, either hither or thither with young men. One in particular blushes profusely every time he sees me and finds it difficult to keep eye contact.
 I was just congratulating myself on 'life left in the old dog yet' syndrome when, in a rare moment of self awareness, I realised that the poor young man is mortified because a middle-aged tubby woman from Hoochter Chuchter looks at him with the clear desire to eat him with a spoon.

* Names have been changed to protect the innocent (and me from being stabbed)