The Strawberry Princess – an Introduction to the Series

April 13, 2008

Author’s note:

I am pulling together a series of books for very young children.  The anticipated titles for the books are below. All being well, I will add at least some of the story lines onto this Blog.  If someone feels compelled to point out that I am a genius offer to publish and pay me wild amounts of money, then so much the better.   

The stories were inspired by Saffora.  More exactly, they were inspired by the fact that Saffora, being about three weeks old now, won’t stop crying unless you tell her a story or are prepared to breastfeed.  Not being her Mum, I stuck with the stories.

Am thinking that whole series will comprise of these 4 books:

The Strawberry Princess and the Wolf of Dreams

The Strawberry Princess and the Old Tower

The Strawberry Princess and the King’s Court

The Strawberry Princess and the Shadow King


The Year of the Potato

April 13, 2008

Exercise from the writing class – week 3

The Year of the Potato


There was a flourishing abundance of them that year.  Kept in the ground as so much buried treasure.  Only  to be claimed with the traditional digging and sweat.  And then carried inside and scrubbed over the kitchen sink. 

But oh, the magic of those spuds.  Spud love.   Because that was the year that Hester eschewed all other vegetables to be loyal to the potato.  A veg that had knobbled and nosed its way into her empty heart, and then grew there in veggie ecstacy.  That year Hes would eat nothing else and eat it with a fierce joy.  She ate King Edwards as chips and sweet potatoes mashed with butter and salt.  New potatoes, cold from the fridge with mayonnaise and perhaps a little watercress stuck in the dish by our Gran.  Hester ate potatoes morning noon and night.  She ate potatoes diced, boiled, baked and fried.

… and then she’d sit and watch TV.  Became a couch potato, with her fingers rooted inside a bag of crisps.  Let her be, said Gran.  As if we would want to do anything else.

For the year of the potato was the year that we were freed from her usual tyranny.  Free from impetuous demands and random threats.  Threats that were sometimes followed through, therefore coloured with the grim awfulness of uncertainty.  So we learned to love the vegetable for Hester’s sake alone.  It was a vehicle of peace, a healing, salvation spud.  We’d even forgo the food so that she might have it, and in return we gained a nod that said we could go out and play and not come back until it was too dark to see.


Songs about willies and cups of tea

March 14, 2008

PicnMix me a Man

Match dot com
Isn’t much fun
I emailed guys
Who didn’t reply
and I wonder why
when all I want is…

Speedating’s easy
but also sleezy
I had some doubt
yet gave my number out
still it came to nowt
cos all I want is…

Party’s aren’t fun
When you know no-one
You’re just there to see
if your fantasy
wants someone like me
and all I want is…

One sunny day
He will come my way
and he’ll smile at me
like a mystery
but it’s clear to me
that he is all I want…

Blue eyes like Fred’s
with Simon’s legs
Keanu’s eyes
Arnold’s thighs
funny and kind
with an open mind
and a willy the size
of Everest
(and twice as hard).

In Praise of Tea

My first day at school
I broke some rules
I went crying home
and to stop my moan
there was a cup of tea

Oh a cup of tea
Life’s philosophy
sweet hot remedy
Instant recovery
Is a cup of tea

Then the boy I liked
Wanted to fight
So I left that guy
but I didn’t cry
but I had a cup of tea


The last job I had
which wasn’t bad
went from nine to five
to a p forty five
so I had a cup of tea


And when I die
No need to cry
Don’t say I’m gone
But put the kettle on
Just need a cup of tea…

Exercise from the writing class – Chorley

March 14, 2008

Exercise Three: Describe a route taken by foot as a child 

The way to the Rec 

You leave the house by the back door.  This part is easy.  No-one, ever, uses the front door.  The front door faces the police station and you don’t them peering in past your feet and your door and their eyes sneaking up the corridor and into the kitchen and seeing your dirty dishes all piled up.  So you leave by the back.

You go through the little yard with its flowerbeds with walls of paving stones and containing a wizened blueberry bush.  There is old, mummified catshit so brittle it breaks to the touch.  Not that you meant to touch it.  You just meant to clear out the stones and weeds like your mother said.  Go past the saw horse and the wood stacked beside it.  Through a passage way that ends in a green door, always wedged open for the same cat that murdered the blueberry bush, the shame, and into a larger alleyway.

You have to turn left here.  Turn right and you hit the outer wall of the flour mill.  Walk through that wall and you’re in with the men who lean out of windows and leer at your mum when she sunbathes with no clothes on and jeer at you too. 

Walk down the alleyway, past the broken-down shed on the left where another cat, a stray called Mr. Tabby, has slept since before we moved in.

At the end of the alley is a street running from right to left, and directly opposite a shop front filled by a group called Gingerbread, who are send you cards on your birthday because you’re a one-parent family and because (I guess) they think that helps.  Mad bastards.  Turn right and go past them.

On the right are a row of seven houses with concrete front gardens and high concrete gate posts without any gates.  We sit on those gateposts sometime to play horses, and the hinges and locks of the lost-lost gates are our stirrups.  Facing the last house is Chorley Little Theatre, small as its name but glorious in sparkly marble.  Like glitter has been tipped on it.  Like it belongs in a snow globe all by itself.  It can hold up to 50 people at a time and you once got free tickets to see Sweeney Todd there because you and youar mates sat outside it one Saturday afternoon and sang an advertising song made up by the Director, or so you understood.  Only you weren’t able to see all of Sweeney Todd because your Mum came to fetch you at the interval because it was a school night and that the play was no sight for young sensibilities.

After the theatre is the street ends.  There is a road running to the right, and a car park, for the theatre.  To go left is to go towards the old church with the silent forgotten rose garden with its statue of Mary.  All of us, at some time, have gone to find peace in that garden.  It is the quietest spot that anyone knows, and the scent of the roses elusive and gentle.  Calmer than rain.

Turn right, away from the rose garden.  Away from the theatre.  The road is the biggest that you have been on yet but it is very short.  It ends in less than two minutes with a school on the corner.  There are three bottle banks in the school yard, and you can climb up on the wall, over the railings and climb on to the bottle banks.  In dreams, it is possible to launch yourself in flight from these banks, and to fly higher than the zombies who stalked below.  It wasn’t easy though, and the zombies fought like crazy.

So you go round the corner of the school, on the main road.  There is nothing about this main road that is fun.  Your main attention has to be on the pavement and how to cross the road.  It is a wide road.  A big one.  It is complicated maneuver and might mean standing in the middle of the road which is all scary and needs your nerve worked up for it.

But once you are across, then you are home and dry.  The rec, the childrens recreation ground, is a long green expanse with walls and railings all around.  Go in through the first gate and the bowling green is on the right and childrens playground on the left.  Go wherever you please, and take your time.


The first ramble

February 25, 2008

Yes, am finally launching the blog.  After procrastination.  After twiddling the guitar, ignoring the washing up and checking emails.  After managing not to call the ex.  After the usual harumphs.

So.  What about this unique bum-print?  Well, it occurs to me that bums have patterns.  Oh alright, so a derrier can come in more shapes and sizes, and change with age…  Mainly, like trees, they grow in girth.  And yet.  And yet…  there is that pattern of skin and wrinkles placed on your behind that is set by the time you are 3 years old.  We should be posing the possibility of, instead of finger-prints, our bums should be our main id features.  We notice them more, we fret about them more, we identify with the state of our own, from saggy to pert, on a daily basis.  A national databases of the arses of the nation, linked to European and US  The moral angle is beyond me (as ever) but I note that with such a database we can all be our brother’s keeper and covert an ass at the same time.   Bar id will involve the exposure of said bum to match said print.    Could get complex, could just be a place to press your bottom against to get you in, like the front door…  No real change needed there at all.   It may even be that the government are already plotting, and have been quietly sponsoring both builders, and now thongs, to bring us to a point of numb bum trauma for those previously sensitive to the scarier sights that this form of id might involve.  Ah.  Now we get to the bottom of it all.

I am sure that there is a song about this, which (if it doesn’t already exist) could be along the lines of:

Oh Bum
Um ti pum
Oh Yum

Top bottoms
We’ve got ’ems
Small passes
Big arses

 Oh bum… repeat.

Be kind
Go bare

 Oh bum (repeat to fade).

Well, it might not be my best work, but it’s late and a school night and the dog ate my feet and my cup of tea is cold.  Still.  I can imagine a sort of teenage Pooh Bear humming this tune in a now 3 acre wood.

 Ah well.  Should stop this now and head off to bed. 

 … But I might let R know that I finally posted a blog first though, and thank her for gently suggesting it every once in a while for several years now.  Was a lovely thing to do.  I can imagine that I’ll ramble wildly here and entertain myself, if no-one else, no end.