Conversation with cat…

28 11 2009

Oscar: Meow!

Me: What?

Oscar: MEOW!

Me: puts plate of food on catmat

Oscar: Mrrrrp. starts eating food

Me: sits down at computer

Oscar: Meow! jumps up on desk and sits on computer

Me: removes cat, goes over to cat bowl, mushes up food with fork

Oscar: Mrrrrp. starts eating food

Me: sits down at computer

Oscar: Meow! jumps on desk and sits on computer

Me: Oi! removes cat, back to cat bowl, mushes up food again and puts bowl in kitchen on worktop

Oscar: Mrrrp! jumps up on worktop and starts eating food

Me: watches for a bit, then goes back to computer

Oscar: sitting on floor looking up at me Mrrrrp?

Me: goes back to kitchen, mushes food again

Oscar: Mrrrp. starts eating food

Me: goes back to computer


small crash from lounge

Me: Oscar?

Oscar: Mrrrrp.

Me: goes into lounge. Cat sitting on posh record deck Oscar! NO!

Oscar: Meow.

Me: Oscar, NO!

Oscar: MEOW!

Me: Oscar, NO! picks up cat

Oscar: MEOW! bites hand

Me: Oscar! takes cat back to kitchen and puts on worktop in front of bowl

Oscar: Mrrrp. starts eating

Me: goes back to computer

Oscar: Mrrrp? tries to open lounge door, now shut MEOW!

Me: Oscar, no!

Oscar: MEOW! gets bored and goes upstairs


small crash from upstairs

Me: Oscar? goes upstairs, can’t find cat Oscar?

Oscar: silence

Me: Oscar? eventually finds cat in bookshelf in spare room hiding behind another record deck, various bits and bobs on floor Oscar, NO!

Oscar: Mrrrp? comes out from behind record player and bolts out of spare room

Me: Oscar? follows cat into bathroom

Oscar: Mrrrp. settled on clean towels in airing cupboard, feigning sleep


The Tree

27 11 2009

Today I found a magic tree. It was covered in deep, rich, pink blossom. When I reached it and sat beneath it, the world changed. There were no cars, no traffic noises, no people shouting, no city smells and no polluted sky. Just the gentle rustling of leaves whispering spring secrets to one another, the occasional bird singing in celebration of its own beauty, and looking up, nothing but a sky of green and pink. I lay under it, and every now and then a soft petal swam down towards me in its own individual twirling dance, to land lightly on my face or body. I caught one and felt its velvety softness between my fingers. Rubbed it on my cheek, sniffed it, tasted it with the tip of my tongue before laying it on the grass beside me. I slept.

When I awoke, I was standing in the middle of a field, surrounded by long grass and wild flowers, bowing and nodding gently in the warm summer breeze. The sun was high in the sky and the only sound to be heard was the gentle rustling of grass and the singing of the birds. In the distance stood the tree, welcoming the ground, its branches heavy with rich blossoms. It looked surprising clear even though it was so far away – every leaf, twig and petal was as clearly defined as if I was standing right in front of it. I was. I reached up and gently touched it’s cool leaves and stroked its soft, scented blossoms, feeling the life in them. I reached up to its entirety, head back, eyes shut, and it took me in its arms and welcomed me with loving branches.

I was the tree. I stood proudly in a beautiful park bursting with exotic birds, flowers and other trees, though none were as beautiful as I. People came to admire me and collect my fallen petals; lovers sat beneath me and whispered to each other in the dying light of the summer sun. But soon the people began to come less often. Now they sat beneath other trees. The birds alighted in other branches. I looked down at the carpet of rotting petals beneath me. My time was passing; my beautiful arms held nothing but a few sad, wilting petals and leaves, brown tinged and dying. A fading beauty.

A strong wind blew up and strained at my limbs. Rain smashed down, bruising my few remaining delicate leaves, snapping my twigs and turning the ground beneath me to a pool of thick mud. The rain lashed harder and harder, and the wind whipped me, tearing off my limbs, scattering pieces of me all around. I wept red and gold tears and even they were snatched away from me by the cruel fingers of the wind that carried my grief laughing and dancing in spirals around me.

Then the lightning came.

Now I stand alone. I am naked. White and deformed. I tremble, unable to hold myself upright. I try to reach up to the sky, to the sun, for help. I stretch up and feel something give beneath me. The sky spins above me and I crash to ground, stunned and lifeless.

Awake. Startled. Sitting up. There’s a squirrel by my feet. It’s staring at me, legs splayed out, tail up, as if caught somewhere it shouldn’t be. I brush something from my face, and the sudden movement startles it into life and it darts away across the grass.

I look up into the tree and feel its quiet sadness.

Dustbin lids and grandmas…

18 11 2009

Wow, kept awake most of the night by wind (of the weather kind).  Took me right back to being in Iceland, it was that strong at times.

Realised at one point that these days there’s something missing when it’s really windy… that sound from childhood, followed by the comment from your mum or dad… remember?

Clanngggggggg. ‘Next door’s bin’s gone.’

This was often followed by a comedy metallic rolling sound.  And if you were very lucky and got to the window in time you’d see some bloke running down the street trying to catch their dustbin lid as it bowled merrily down the road. If you were really lucky and next door’s bin had been empty, you’d get to see a whole bin making a bid for freedom – usually in a different direction to the lid, but at the same time.  Aaah, those were the days…

Yes friends, I salute the demise of the Dustbin Lid, and with it the demise of the opportunity to write a comedy ‘bin blowing off and rolling down street chased by father in pyjamas with only one slipper on’ passage that would be understood by children these days.  Wheelie bin lids don’t come off. And if they did they wouldn’t be able to bowl merrily, because they’ve got corners.  These are sad times indeed.

And shortly afer that thought, I remembered hiding my sister’s tambourine behind the curtains in the front room at grandma’s house.  No idea what the link is there!  But as I was thinking about grandmas, I remembered the scribbles I’d seen in a random pad the other day, so thought I’d pop them on here:

Imagine you’re a big grandma looking down on a tiny grandson/grandaughter, and you’ll get the idea of what I was trying to do here… dunno why… maybe it was for a birthday card or something…

Anyway, enough! Off to fix the washing machine if I can… was making some worrying clattery-crashy noises yesterday (the washing machine, not me), just hope it’s not too far gone.  Wish me luck, I’m going in…

Old sketches…

15 11 2009

Morning! Well, its all kicking off in the Archers this week… Even Stephen Fry was twittering about it!

Been going through old notebooks the last few days, trying to organise my random scribblings and remember the ideas behind them (if there were any!). Here’s a couple…

curly man

Quite like Wirey-Haired-Bloke – I think he’s Peter’s dad (from ‘Definitely No Elephants’).  Not sure who the little chubby dude is, or why he appears to have a deformed rabbit by his side…

Here’s a self portrait from my plaited-baggy-jumper days (lordy!)…


…and here’s a rough scribble of Granny Battle (the mental-private-investigatory-too-many-cats-big-motorbike-character)…


Oh blimey, it’s just struck me that perhaps the sketch of Granny B is a prediction of what I’ll end up looking like, haha! Actually, maybe I shouldn’t laugh… maybe I will end up looking like that… maybe I already do, oh no!

Prime scribbling time used to be on the tube on the way too and from work in London… ooh, that reminds me… where’s Beardy-Bloke? Saw a fab bloke on Golders Green station once and sketched him… now where’s that… hang on… aha!


He had such an impressive beard and belly I had to sneakily get him down on paper.

Right, that’s all for now… time for a soak in the bath with Radio 4, then pop out for a paper (possibly nip into the local to read it with a Deuchars) then home to write.  Happy Sunday!


ps – Ooops, how rude of me! Forgot to thank all those of you that were following The Frog Prince, had some lovely feedback, cheers! x

The Frog Prince – Chapter 11

12 11 2009

Chapter 11

The new paving stones in the town gleamed, the tailor had been brought out of retirement, and bakers had been drafted in from all over the country to make the biggest, jammiest, creamiest cake every.

Norris Nuggins and Gran had been moved into a lovely stone cottage by the palace, the Royal Town Crier had a new gold bell, and everyone cheered and waved as Prince Jack and Princess Nesta rode through the town in an open top carriage, on their way to the seaside for their honeymoon.

Gran’s eyes twinkled, and she said,

‘Oooh, now isn’t that nice?’


The Frog Prince – Chapter 10

12 11 2009

Chapter 10

The town tailor had taken early retirement on all the money he had made from making bigger clothes for everyone, so people were rather pleased that this wedding was a rather quiet affair, and the cake – although delicious – had been a lot smaller.  Nesta hadn’t wanted too much fuss, and had said that the money would be better spent paving the roads in the town.

Now she sat on the royal bed and smoothed out the tiny pyjamas.

‘Come on then Jack,’ she said, ‘Let’s see how they look,’ and picking him up carefully she put on the little trousers, then the jacket.  As soon as she did up the last button, there was a loud spang, a sparkly noise, and a lovely twinkly cloud of silver glitter.

Nesta looked up in surprise.  The frog had gone, and standing in front of her in a very smart pair of blue stripy pyjamas was the most handsome Prince she’d ever seen!


The Frog Prince – Chapter 9

11 11 2009

Chapter 9

Gran sat in her rocking chair slurping a cup of tea while Nesta arranged the flowers she’d picked on the way in a little vase.

‘So you’ll be marrying the Prince then, will you deary?’ quavered Gran.  Nesta smiled at her.

‘Yes, Gran’ she answered.

‘Oooh, that is nice,’ said Gran.  ‘And tell me, what will you do on your wedding night?’  Nesta sat down at the table and cut them both a slice of cake.

‘Well,’ she said, handing a piece to Gran, ‘I suppose I’ll kiss the prince on top his head, and say goodnight!’ She sipped her tea.

‘Oooh, that’s nice deary,’ said Gran, ‘Look, here’s a tiny pair of pyjamas for him.  Make sure you do up all of the buttons now, won’t you?’