What can YOU say in six sentences?
It was the biggest cock you’ve ever seen.
Probably the first, and I think it surprised you, shocked you even: you hadn’t expected the red fleshy bits, certainly I felt you flinch. You buried your head in my thigh – I felt you quivering, and assumed it was fright. …Continue
Fourth floor of a triangular gable.
On the end of a triangular wedge of a not-very-long block.
At the fork in the road.
From where I am sitting, a white marble Madonna is brightly reflected therein, but from where?
Face hidden in stony cloth folds, she shines white against a summer-blue sky.
Took me a while to see that it wasn’t a virgin but from a roof garden, in which stood a white canvas umbrella.
'The first time you're unfaithful won't be the worst time you're unfaithful.' Alice had told her that, but it hadn’t been possible to know whether it was meant as good advice or was her way of making sure you didn’t pinch any bloke she had her eyes on.
As if – Alice always went for the the ones with money, regardless of what they looked like, or whether or not they had anything in the way of brains. Whereas she’d been seduced by, had got high on words, the things he said…Continue
He didn’t know that what he thought he saw of me was just his mirror image, my reflecting what I thought he wanted.
Didn’t realise that my desperation to be spoken to, as well as understood, lay beneath my lack of conversation, as did my hard-won understanding that telling truth brought only…Continue
Excarnation - the removal of flesh from the bones, a word known to me from reading John Hedges 'Tomb of the Eagles' wherein he describes burial practices in Neolithic Orkney. It is my intention to do the same for 'Not wanted on voyage' since without exception the comments of four most excellent readers on WriteWords said, in a variety of…Continue
The sea for me.
Ashes scattered from an eastern coast into the North Sea – if that is easiest – no need to hire a boat.
(But do please check the wind direction.)
Don’t want a resting place that others feel obliged to return to (or maintain).
Hope that memories of me are kept in hearts and minds.
Not reduced to stony slab or in some memorial book.
Fifty years ago today I woke up in Saffron Walden, last morning of a stay with school friend Sue, a stay which both underlined to some extent my social ineptness, compared to hers, and included several ‘firsts’ - pubs and snogging against a wall with just-met strangers - all taking place against an insistent, ever-repetitive, slightly whining, ‘From a…Continue
A while ago (months if not years) we described where we wrote, included photos; Teresa’s cosy cubby-hole comes immediately to mind, and more recently, more fleetingly, Amy’s high windowed new room.
Much more recently Angela asked about our individual preferences, idiosyncrasies and peculiarities while ‘in the writing zone’: some of us…Continue
‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’.
That was one of those things my mother didn’t say to me, but nevertheless I heard it often enough when I was very young.
Before my eighth birthday godliness was relinquished. Pretty soon after I knew cleanliness had not…Continue
"Do you need a.... drink or anything ... a cup of tea? Was it bad news?" The voice tailed away, could have been speaking from the moon, from another planet for all she heard what it was saying, she was at the limit of her ability to concentrate on anyone else, to be polite. One hand still clutched the telegram, the other fiddled with the buttons at her throat, they’d never felt this tight before, she thought she might choke.
Turning her back, with as much determination as she…Continue
My parents leaving, guilty-faced, me in my far corner bed, puzzled revulsion at blood-stained sheets right where my head would rest. Long, high room, distant door, dirty cream walls and total lack of knowing what I was doing there (‘not in front of the children’).
Only solace – and small delight – the view from the two-storey tall windows…Continue
I listened to what he had to say without comment. Concentrated so intensely on watching the way his mouth moved, that his lips seemed to take on a life of their own – two separate beings joined at either end but each disliking the other and writhing in an effort to escape, before realising that they couldn’t, after all, live apart.
And is there – should there be? – a cut-off point when we cease to blame our parents?
When who we are is the result more of what we’ve done (or not done) than what they tried to tell us?
When how we behave is no longer the result of any damage…Continue
I started having dreams about being famous this afternoon; not seriously, not even willingly, just ... you know.
What started it was an email, saying they were going to use something I’d written, and would it be OK for them to send a photographer round. Yep, you read it right: would it be OK for them to send a…Continue
A propos of yesterday’s post, and coincidence rather than serendipity, today’s Telegraph reports the death of a woman known only for the fact of having written a book. Entitled ‘Misadventures’ it was the story of an entirely unremarkable life, badly written in stultifying detail simply because she wanted to; once (and eventually) published, the cognoscenti apparently could not decide whether or not it was…Continue
Born just after the end of a war, and none repeated since.
Childhood secure, parents responsible and caring - no trauma there.
Married the man I met at sixteen, and though there’s been been the usual minorly-cataclysmic compromises, there’s been no…Continue
‘So will she be able to deliver me here?’ then immediately, before her mother had chance to answer, stooping over a second contraction, suddenly feeling a lot happier than she had done, wanting things to begin now rather than wishing they’d go away.
‘I’ll phone her and ask her to come and have a proper look, but…Continue
She’d been home nearly a week before she had reason to go into the room, and it was a couple more days after that before she remembered what had struck her as odd: ‘What on earth is that sheet doing on the bed in the spare room?’
A brief puzzlement then he said, ‘Oh, it was some daft idea I had, that I’d find it easier to sleep there than…Continue
If I’d known I’d never have married the man.
Thirty-five, maybe forty years after we met he’s developed these really annoying habits.
The sort that, if he’d displayed them before we married, in the first few months, I’d’ve been off and away, over the…Continue