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Friday Fictioneers – Sea

Every Friday, Rochelle sends a prompt pic, and every Friday over a hundred writers from around the world write 100 words of fiction. This week’ s pic looks like this:


And here are the 100 words what I wroted:


We didn’t understand why a seven-year-old was desperate for an old diver’s helmet from a junk shop, but he cried like never before. I reluctantly paid twenty pounds, hoping I might sell it back for a tenner soon after.

Every night after school he would wear it to watch television, do homework, play hide-and-seek – he only took it off to eat.

Did an untapped interest in ocean exploration trigger his want for the helmet, or vice versa? It’s impossible to say. But he’s in the Indian Ocean now. If anyone can find the airliner on the sea bed, it’s him.



Choon Choosday: Gerry and The Pacemakers – You’ll Never Walk Alone

Exactly 25 years ago today, Liverpool and Nottingham Forest fans travelled to Sheffield to watch their teams play an FA Cup Semi-Final. The game kicked off at 3.00pm. At 3.06pm it became clear there was a crush at the Leppings Lane end and the game was abandoned. 96 of those Liverpool fans never went home.

I’ve written about the horrific, tragic, avoidable events of 15th April 1989 before. But today is not the time to revisit that anger. Two weeks ago the inquest into those 96 deaths was reopened. We hope that when it reaches its conclusion some time next year, the whole truth will finally have been told and those responsible, those who failed the fans on the day, those whose actions and inactions resulted in 96 lives being lost, will be held accountable. We keep believing there will one day be Justice For The 96.

Today, we remember and we mourn. #JFT96 #YNWA




Questions over lunch

I was tippitytapping on my laptop at lunchtime when NGAW walked in, her bright smile and lively “Hi!” filling the room. She sat at my table and we starting chatting about this and that, discussing the weekend just gone, comparing tastes in tea… you know, shootin’ the prandial shit. And then from somewhere, I can’t remember where or how, the following quickfire exchange:


NGAW: Are you married?


NGAW: Have you ever been married?


NGAW: Do you ever want to be married?


NGAW: (laughing) Shall we get married?

TRG: (grinning) Yes, let’s!


Those of you who have been following the NGAW saga will know by now that this was no form of come on / invitation / evidence of her romantic and/or sexual interest in me. And even if it was, cute as she is, I wouldn’t make any sort of move, for reasons I have covered elsewhere. But I thought you might enjoy this chat, I certainly did :)


I’m sorry, this never usually happens. It’s not you, it’s me

I am ill this week. I know, it’s hard to believe isn’t it? I am never ill. Okay maybe once a year I get a cold that lasts a day or so, sometimes I even take that day off work if I am feeling particularly unwell or unmotivated to be there. But this week, I am struggling. It’s a cold, nothing major, not even “man-flu”, but it has knocked me down.

To paraphrase Craig David: I was at work on Monday, felt rough but saw out the day; Tuesday I phoned in sick and stayed home, did nothin’; Wednesday I phoned in sick and spent the day watching DVDs. I went back today but within an hour it was obvious it was too soon and I came home lunch time. I have promised (myself more than work) I will be back in tomorrow, mainly because it’s Friday and I only work half the day anyway so I might as well go in. And also, I realised, because I’m not used to having more than a day (or maybe two, max) off sick and it seems alien to me to be off this long, I don’t know how to do it, it isn’t me.

Since I left school, the only time I have had an entire week off sick was about six years ago when I had a bout of sciatica so bad that I was on the floor of my brother’s house, in tears, unable to get up and begging for an ambulance. I was given loads of really nice mellow drugs, and signed off for a week. And even then the only reason I was off the whole week was that my brother lives 200 miles away (which I know is merely a nip to the shops for an American audience, but over here it’s half the country) and I couldn’t get home till he was free to give me a lift. By which time, although my back was still bad, I was up and about and would have gone into work anyway.

Why am I telling you this? Because although I have all this downtime on my hands while I sit around at home, writing is not an option. Yes, I feel that rough. So there will be no FriFic from me this week. I’m sorry, this never usually happens. It’s not you, it’s me.

So I’m off to have a nap. Maybe wrap a hot towel round my head. Normal service will be resumed next week. In the meantime, here’s some music:


Choon Choosday: Dinah Washington – Mad About The Boy

Something a bit different this week. I started humming this for no reason at all a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been meaning to post it as a Choon since then. There are very few recorded songs where everything conjoins to absolute perfection, but this is one. The orchestration with its lush yet yearning strings, that desperate horn phrase at the start, Washington’s sublime vocal, and of course the exquisite lyrics and melody of Noel Coward, one of the greatest songwriters ever to have lived. It’s part celebration of the admiration for another, and (a much bigger) part cry of pain that the other is unobtainable… but it’s 110%



Friday Fictioneers – Live

If it’s Friday, it must be FriFic! The weekly Flash Fiction Festival around the globe! Here is this week’s prompt as supplied by Rochelle:


and these are the 100 words it sparked in my imagination:


I hear the applause. All those nights in clubs and pubs, in open-mic shows and comedy showdowns, have all been leading up to this moment. My moment.

Ignore the audience at home, they told me in the green room, look into the camera like it’s a mirror. Just say the words like you’re practising in your bedroom.

The rehearsal went great, but I didn’t let that carry me too high. I stayed focussed, kept concentrating, channelled the nerves into adrenaline.

And that adrenaline peaks as I stride out into the lights.


“Good evening ladies and gentlemen! My name is…. erm….”



Choon Choosday: Stone Roses – Fools Gold

Greetings everyone and happy April 1st! I thought I’d take the opportunity this morning to share a track with the word “Fool” in it, given the date. From the very first notes of Mani’s legendary bass riff, this has classic written all over it. Ian Brown is of course one of the greatest yet simultaneously not-very-good vocalists of all time, and here his understated delivery is perfect. Such a shame that he went on to influence Oasis and that monstrosity Liam Gallagher, but that’s not Ian’s fault. This is still undisputably a



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