Sad or Funny

Given the choice between making people weep and enabling them to laugh (not that anyone has given me that choice (or even that ability)) I would rather make folks laugh. Sure, there’s a certain pride involved in being able to wring tears from the eyes of readers, but isn’t there enough sadness in the world already without me pissing more into the pot?


Not Much on TV Tonight

Sitting in the waiting room at Peterborough railway station enjoying a bit of nosh and a read of my book when I look up to see the other two people in the room staring, rapt, at the monitor showing the train times.

Am just contemplating saying to them not much on TV tonight is there, when one of them looks away from the screen and catches me staring at him with a big grin on my face.

I rather judge the moment to have passed and so look down, rather shamefacedly, at my book. Ho hum.

All Them Bones

Walking through a churchyard and I came across a stone telling me that Thomas Somrbody-or-other was buried near there (apparently he had something to do with HMS Victory) and I thought that’s nice of them.

When we (yeah, the royal we) get cloning up to sctatch, we’ll have plenty of genetic material to play with. So if, for instance, we need a goood boat designer, we can make a copy of Thomas and pick his brains.
Similarly, it’d be nice to chat to a newly cloned Buddha. I’m sure he’d have some interesting things to say. Because, of course, his mind would be cloned along with his body, right?

So, assuming this gets off (or out of) the ground, who, from the annals of history, would you like to sit down and have a chat with?

It Was Okay

The meal last night went without a hitch. We all met at six and walked around the corner to the restaurant (another word I have difficulty spelling). Alcohol flowed and voices got louder. Food came and we ate and voices got louder still.

I was interested for a while and my voice got loud too, even though I was drinking water, but there came a point where it seemed to me that it was all a little too boorish. Seemed to me that people were talking louder and louder just be to be heard and to get their (oh so precious) point over.

One of the managers just seemed to take over (fuelled by alcohol and ego no doubt) and the rest of us just gave up. The big boss busied himself with messages on his phone; the other manager began to make agreement sounds (hmm, hmm); one of the programmers just carried on being as quiet as he always was; the other programmer kept smiling and nodding, but not saying much; and I just recorded my impressions so that I could write them up the next day (aka now).

So, all in all – it was okay. I even got an early night.

(follows on from The faint hope that it’ll be okay)

The faint hope that it’ll be okay


It seems that me and the team (from work) are meeting at six and then going to the bar. That should be interesting. How do I keep calm in light of the fact that I don’t drink alcohol (and even have difficulty spelling it)? How do I maintain my status as ‘one of the boys’ when I’m going to stick out like a pink iPhone?

But it’s just not worth the hassle to announce that I want to stay in my room and read my book, and go on my blog until hunger drives me out to find pizza. Is it?

I do still have the lingering hope that I might fit in, one of these days. That I might actually enjoy myself in the company of men. And that’s what’s making me meet them at six. The faint hope that I might just be okay.

To be honest, I prefer the company of women. No, actually – that’s wrong when I think about it. I prefer the company of people who I can have a sensible (and yet senseless) conversation with. People who are like me. People who aren’t too afraid to say what’s on their mind and see where that leads them.

Having said that, I’m not really sure what form such a conversation would take. It used to be that it would involve flirtation. But I can’t really do that now. It’s against the rules. And besides, I couldn’t do that with blokes! Well, I could. But I wouldn’t want to. People can get the wrong impression you know!

Anyway, it’s thirty-eight minutes past five and so I have twenty-two minutes to gird my loins, so to speak. I’m sure it’ll be okay. Just so long as I don’t fall into the wrong kind of silence. That’d be the worst thing. If a bout of self-consciousness came over me and I went quiet, that’d be that. I’d be dead in the water.

How about if I pretend to be drunk? Yeah – that’d do the trick. An evening of pretending to be drunk!

Gah. Kill me now.


We Sleep with Sheep

We were sleeping well. The noises in the corner were no louder than those in our head so we ignored them. The sheep were typically silent.

When the brick came through the window, we were dreaming about Donny Osmond and about how he used to live on our street and that we knew his dirty little secret. His carnival float was no place for breaking glass and so vanished as our eyes shot open.

We must have yelled out at that point. Otherwise, how else did they know to come? Drawn by our scream, surely. 

The sound of someone knocking the rest of the glass from the frame of the window. The shadowy form – silhouetted by the street light. Our hand, groping under the bed for the cricket bat Dad got for our birthday. Big hopes.

As we swung at the shape climbing through the window – giving it all we had – striking for the boundary and beyond, we heard the door open behind us. As the bat hit home, the light-bulb blazed into life. As the glass in the window frame smashed out under the force of the blow, a voice behind us, infinitely weary: ‘oh, Gordon, this has to stop, dear.’