As I get older and more curmudgeonly, I find that my list of things that unaccountably irritate me is growing. As such, I find it useful to explore these newfound prejudices. Why is it that the postman leaving rubber bands by my front door induces such apoplexy? Where has my teenage nonchalance gone when it comes to double parking or cold calling from PPI companies?
Today it is the turn of private registration plates. Why should the fact that someone wish to change an identification number on their car irritate me? Is it because I can’t justify the expense of changing my own VRM? Perhaps it is a sense of unworthiness; should I be offering to take the keys of the drivers of such vehicles? Running a shammy over the bonnet before handing it back to a tuxedo-clad punter after they’ve spent an evening at the craps table?
It occurs to me that there are four reasons one might choose to have a personalised number plate. These are listed below in decreasing order of acceptability to my prematurely-aged brain. Continue reading “N33DL3SS THING5”
The path is losing its fight with the wilderness. A few miles back, it was rutted and gashed by tyres. Now it tails off intermittently into brush and grass, the weeds on each side creeping inwards like Tour-de-France spectators eager to see their favoured rider. Soon it becomes indistinguishable with the forest floor.
My feet become my primary concern now. Roots rise from the ground like sun-bleached ribs. Sticky willow snags on my laces. I am so intent on keeping my footing that I don’t notice the ferns dragging their damp fingers over my forearms and across my rucksack as I push through the foliage. Branches reach across the sky above me, shivering against the grey sky. I am close now. Continue reading “Shack”
I’m pretty sure that’s the first time those two words have been put together as the title of a piece of creative writing, and probably for good reason! Here are a couple of wintery haikus regardless…
Continue reading “Haikus – Marble and Throb”
How can you still love him, after what he did to your mother? Their eyes say it even if their lips don’t frame it.
How could I not love him? He was my dad. You’re supposed to love your dad, aren’t you?
Besides, he never hurt me. Neither of my parents did. Every care was taken with my upbringing. I was fed well, walked to school every day, bought things that my parents couldn’t really afford, given all of the things that they never had. Even their own vices were kept from me. Mum wouldn’t touch a drop until I was in bed, and dad would never light up in the same room as me – never. During the day he’d go outside when he needed a fag. He’d stand with the back door open, letting the cold air into the kitchen. More often than not I’d go and sit out on the stoop with him. Continue reading “Tendrilling”
‘”By the first place, his startling likeness to Catherine connected him fearfully to her – That, however, which you may suppose the most potent to arrest my imagination, is actually the least – for what is not connected with her to me? and what does not recall her? I cannot look down to this floor, but her features are shaped on the flags! In every cloud, in every tree – filling the air at night, and caught by glimpses in every object, by day I am surrounded with her image! The most ordinary faces of men, and women – my own features – mock me with a resemblance. The entire world is a dreadful collection of memoranda that she did exist, and that I have lost her!”’ Continue reading “Book Review – Wuthering Heights”
This week Twitter has been abuzz over what is always a hot topic in the literary world. I am, of course, talking about the P-word – plagiarism. In her was-to-be-published debut collection of poems, American writer Ailey O’Toole was accused of stealing language from the work of fellow poet Rachel McKibbens. O’Toole was publicly called out by McKibbens and has subsequently had her debut collection cancelled by Rhythm and Bones Press. Since then, several other poets have come forward to claim that O’Toole has appropriated work belonging to them. The writing community, always a febrile place where plagiarism is concerned, rounded on O’Toole who issued an apology to McKibbens. So far, so ugly. Continue reading “The P-Word”
They are well-intentioned. For the most part. They walk into the park in their little groups, merry with lager and rum-and-coke, laden with sleeping bags and thermos flasks and rolled up ground mats. They’ll huddle together with their fellow do-gooders, music and torch shenanigans keeping them amused. They won’t sleep a wink, of course, but that’s not really the point, is it? They’ll have a tale to tell, a shared experience, something to post on their Facebook timeline. They’ll raise some money of course, let’s give them their due. Not that any of it will reach me, huddled on my bench on the less salubrious side of the park.
Continue reading “They”