The small girl bounced along the pavement, holding her father’s hand and incessantly babbling a monologue on the subject of sweets. The latter was a forceful expression of her preferences for “spongey” sweets with the only deviation being a disapprobation of her friend Emily’s preference for sugared jellies. It was all delivered with an assurance and articulacy her father admired.
“Mushrooms and bananas and shrimps are soft. You should suck them then they melt properly. But the ones Emily likes make your mouth hurt because they’re scratchy”.
She paused briefly to check that her father was listening. He smiled at her so she carried on detailing which sweets she would buy and her future plans for her pocket money, most of which seemed to involve Emily. He smiled again and did not interrupt her.
Years later, she would recall her father’s hand holding hers. Continue reading
Shakespeare rocks and he makes you brainy. Well, I’m happy to credit him for making me a genius…
An amazing video for those who love their bookshelves.
A really interesting exploration of the future of Facebook (found via Tim Harford on Twitter).
via emergent by design
“Frances, have you got any change? I want to get the paper.”
“My purse is on the kitchen table. There should be some cash in there”.
David scrabbled for change, grabbing at an approximate amount which he thought would suffice for a copy of The Observer, quickly replacing any coppers in favour of a handful of silver. His eyes rested momentarily on a new twenty pence piece in amongst the rest but it disappeared into the depths of his pocket whilst he pulled on his jacket. He yelled a form of goodbye as he walked out the front door.
His weekend consumption of current affairs normally revolved around a brief online browse of all the newspapers whilst vaguely concerning himself with BBC News24 or the Today programme. This tended to be interrupted by breakfast, children and his wife organising them all but he was quite content with just a cursory glance at the headlines leaving the obsessive analysis to his wife. He never could quite understand why she wanted the constant updates of whichever media was convenient to her: the radio in the morning; Twitter and various websites on her laptop during the day; twenty-four hour television news in the kitchen; weekend breakfasts spent poring over all of the papers. This insatiable desire to learn about the horrors of this blighted world was incomprehensible to him: they both worked in the public sector (she was a teacher; he was an NHS doctor) so he felt that they both dealt with quite enough awful reality every day without dwelling on more than they had to.
But this morning he felt guilty. He felt the need to consume and discuss, hence the early Sunday morning walk to the local newsagent. Continue reading
The shine on the relief of the images and the sharpness of its edges drew her eye to the table. A brand new twenty pence coin sat amongst the dirty shrapnel given to her in exchange for the battered ten pound note she had paid for her coffee. She picked it up to look at it more closely but was disappointed that it had last year’s date inscribed on it rather than this year’s. Never mind: there was still a childish excitement in finding a new coin.
It was an unusual pleasure to be sitting in the café at this time of the day: she would normally be frantically tackling paperwork and marking in this paltry free period but she had escaped the confines of school to alleviate a feeling of claustrophobia. It seemed to be the right decision. The warmth of the early spring sunshine tentatively touched her cheek through the window and felt like a soothing stroke and, coupled with the first mouthful of milky coffee, she allowed herself to relax a little. This really was most civilised.
Half an hour earlier, she had been waging war with a class of 15 year olds who had been entertaining themselves with a supply teacher. They had provoked, irritated and disobeyed in minor ways but their accumulated efforts had wound up the pasty looking figure who was attempting to act in loco parentis to the point where he had lost his temper and shouted aggressively in the face of the loudest culprit. She had been called into the classroom to remove the student who had responded to a simple request with, “Fuck off!”. Continue reading
It’s taken me a surprisingly long time to get around to blogging. However, since I resolved to throw some words out into the depths of cyber space and started playing about with backgrounds and headings, I have been wondering why it took me so long.
Initially, this blog will be an outlet for some of my fictional writing. It will enable me to gauge its success with a wider audience to see if it can stand on its own merits. I suspect I might not enjoy some of the responses it may elicit but we shall see…
I look forward to future cyber meetings and the amusement they may bring.