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Thursday, 24 June 2010


I haven't had time to write much over the past couple of weeks - have had numerous musical rehearsals and performances, been to the theatre to see Hairspray (great fun!) and been generally busy, though am promising myself that i'll get pen to paper for a few hours this weekend....

Here's a poem I wrote for the most recent Leeds Savages ( writing group; the task was to write something about or inspired by Elvis, and I decided to write a light poem featuring the titles of twenty of 'The King's' singles....


'I wish' she cried, 'you were more like Elvis
With those twinkly eyes and that exquisite pelvis
The way he moved got me 'all shook up', from my heart down to my thighs,
As I’d sigh and swoon to each sex soaked tune, Ma called him the 'devil in disguise'

I wonder if she knew that when I kissed my 'teddy bear'
I was dreaming of stroking those skin-tight jeans and running my fingers through his hair
But darling, those muddy trainers, well they’re hardly ‘blue suede shoes’
And that sorry attempt at a goatee beard I find quite hard to excuse

That awful shirt that you somehow adore I’d like to ‘return to sender’
You used to have taste, where did it all go wrong? And you used to be so slender....
I miss that hunk of ‘burning love’, I don’t want us to go our ‘separate ways’
But sometimes I wonder if you’re still that boy whose heart I set ablaze.

So if you really ‘love me’, if you want us to stay together,
Then baby show me a ‘good rockin’ tonight’, I swear ‘its now or never’.
He looked at her and gave a smile
‘I’m sorry I can’t compete with Mr Presley’s style

But from the first day that I met you, you were ‘always on my mind’
You set alight my ‘wooden heart’, put my lonesome days behind
I followed you round like a ‘hound dog’, all panting tongue and wagging tail
And at night would pen you ‘love letters’ that I would never ever mail

I hoped for a ‘little less conversation’ when we went on our first date
But you were always a ‘hard headed woman’ and you made this ‘poor boy’ wait
There was 'crying in the chapel' on the day that we were wed
All I could think of was the 'wonder of you' and how I couldn't wait to get you to bed.

But if you no longer 'love me tender', if I fail to give you thrills,
Then I'll put on a sparkly jumpsuit, knock back some pies and prescription pills
I'll be surrounded by girls less than half my age, they'd sell their souls just to hear me sing
But have no fear, for you, my dear, are the only one who’ll ever rock this King.’

Thursday, 10 June 2010

The Final Whistle #fridayflash

This is a quick little story / sketch that I wrote in front of one of the very very many tenuously football related programmes currently clogging up the television schedules (A footballers wives edition of Come Dine With Me to be precise!) in honour of the FIFA World Cup, which kicks off today.


Come on come on come on come on, that's more like it, yes! NO!
You idiot, what the hell was that? Come on lad, get the ball, come on,
that's more like it, YES! What? Call that a foul, you blind fool?
Get your eyes tested mate! Oh no oh no oh no I can't bear to watch oh no no

Darling, I think we need to talk....

What, now? Can't you see I'm watching the game?
Now be a love a fetch me a beer....
Oh christ these Argies are going to be the death of me,
one nil, ten minutes down and already one nil,
Come on boys come on you can turn this around; that's better,
a bit of aggression lads, give them a taste of their own medicine.
Yes, yes, that's it, that's it, push it, push, COME ON!

I'm seeing someone else.

What? Don't be stupid.
It'll all be over by 9.30 and then you can watch your soaps.
OH FOR GOD'S SAKE! How did he miss that?
My nan could have scored there, you overpaid waste of space.
Come on now, come on, that's it, that's it, I've got a good feeling here,
this is it, this is it, yes, yes, yes, YES,


What a beauty, oh yes, get in!

His name's Edward. I met him at Pilates.

Yeah right, as if any straight man would be seen dead at pilates.
Did you see that goal? An absolute beauty, here , watch the replay,
d'you see that? ENG-ER-LAND!!!!!

Yes I saw. Great.
A load of millionaires running around like overgrown schoolboys.
Somehow I doubt those big busted models are with them for their admirable ball skills.
Now, do you want to see something?
Look at this picture, yes, that one on my facebook profile.
You didn't know I was on facebook?
You really don't know that much about me at all, do you.

Stop with the attention seeking, look it's almost half time,
we can have a chat at half time,
I'll even get you a cuppa.


We'll talk at half time, you say?
Well i'm sorry, but I'm not putting up with this anymore.
As far as we're concerned it's full time.
We're over.

What? Oh my god, my god look at this, can they, can they, oh my god,
yes, yes, yes they can! Two one to EN-GER-LAND!

Right that's it I'm off, I'm going to Edward’s.
Don't bother calling me, I'll be too busy having hot, sweaty sex to answer.

Ok, right, be seeing you then. Two one, my god, we really might do this.

She had been all well and good when it came to cooking, cleaning and bedroom services, but there were no doubt other women out there who'd be able to fill that void when takeaways, squalor and porn became too much. The world cup final though - this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. He knew without a doubt that when that final whistle blew he would be experiencing either the greatest ecstasy or loss of his life.
His wedding really had been pale in comparison.
Up against the true love he felt for those eleven men, that white shirt and St George's proudly flying flag, Frank’s wife of ten years was never going to compete. Women can come and go but football – ah, football!

Football is forever.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

'On the Town' - #fridayflash


There came a point in my late twenties when staying out until the small hours of the morning in some sticky floored dive lost its appeal. Who, after all, would subject themselves to that once they’d discovered the joys of imbibing a nice pint of ale in an establishment where the barman knows you by name, where you can hear yourself speak and where you can stay until closing time yet still be tucked up in bed by 11.30? Not me. Yet there I was, pushing forty and queuing outside Aladdin’s, the best and only club in town, surrounded by teenage girls who could legitimately have been my daughter. With the young guys dressed casually in trainers, jeans and t-shirts, we, in pressed shirts and shiny shoes, felt hopelessly out of place.

The fish-out-of-water sensation continued further inside. The last time I had been to a club the playlist had consisted of cheesy pop concluding with a failsafe bit of Bryan Adams just in case you hadn’t yet managed to pull, but from the second we entered it was safe to say that Bryan would not be featuring in DJ Hacksaw’s set. I couldn’t see the appeal of the supposed ‘music’ that had substituted a recognisable melody with a looped sample of what sounded like nails being dragged down a chalkboard. The screeching noise seemed however to fit perfectly with the mood of my fellow revellers who were writhing ecstatically as if possessed by the dissonant sounds.

“Hey mate, having a good time?” Barry from accounts shouted over the racket. I nodded politely, though in reality was questioning why he had chosen here of all places to spend his last night before leaving the country. I hoped for Barry’s sake that Sydney would provide a better class of women than the scrawny chavs he was currently working the Barry magic on. We'd never really been friends but given that all of the other lads had agreed to attend his leaving do I’d figured it would have been a bit lame to say no. I got the impression that most of them had come because they wanted an excuse for a night on the tiles away from the wife and kids rather than through any sense of loyalty towards the colleague we’d always referred to as Fat Barry.

Barry pulled me aside and fished from his pocket a couple of tiny white tablets. “Fancy some?”

Surprised at the offer, I shook my head. “No thanks. I don't do drugs.”

“Lighten up, these are herbal, they’ll give you a rush but they’re completely legal. Everyone else has had some already”. He gestured to the rest of the group who were attempting to ‘throw some shapes’ much to the amusement of a group of giggling girls. Given the pounding bass I couldn’t make out whether the words the women were shouting were encouragement, verbal abuse or a combination of the both.

Barry pressed two pills printed with the image of a leaf to my palm. “Come on mate, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s not like I’m offering you crack, it’s all natural.”

Aware that Barry was not going to let me rest until I’d consumed his offering, I reluctantly put the pills onto my tongue and took a big swig of lager.

“Thanks;” I said in what was intended to be a sarcastic tone, the nuances of which were lost on Barry entirely.

“No problem. You can buy my next drink though; they cost a fiver each.”

“A fiver?” I spluttered in disbelief, lager dribbling down my chin. “They’d better be worth it. I could have bought three pints and a kebab for the price of whatever I’ve just washed down my gullet.”

Barry laughed.“Its top drawer stuff. The girls take it all the time.”

“The girls?” Barry pointed in the direction of the women circling my colleagues like hyenas, no doubt attracted by their propensity to buy a cocktail for any female willing to give them the slightest attention rather than their polyester outfits, receding hairlines or the scent of desperation oozing from their pores.

“We’re lucky that Rose was prepared to sell me these. She’s got plenty of regulars who’re going to go without tonight thanks to us.”

“Very lucky indeed;” I mumbled through a mouthful of beer.

I was about to get the next round in when two women grabbed our arms and forcefully dragged us towards the centre of the room.

“Your friends told us to fetch you for a dance.”

This was it, the moment I’d been dreading all night - I was going to have combat years of fear and dance in a public place. I suddenly felt a sense of gratitude for Barry’s pharmaceutical gift; hopefully the promised rush would kick in and I’d experience a magical metamorphosis into Sussex’s equivalent to Travolta.

Awkwardness gave way to a strangely pleasurable sensation as the bass-line vibrated through my body. The screeching music no longer seemed quite as offensive to my ears and I found myself nodding in time.

“Feeling good, mate?” Barry asked. “Told you it was first-rate.”

Barry and I were working on our best robot moves when the rest of the group interrupted our gyrations.

“Some of us aren’t feeling great, we’re going to go for some fresh air;” my colleague Jim announced.

“My guts are all over the place;” another of the guys muttered through clenched teeth.

We made our way to the smoking area and I too started to feel an uncomfortable stirring in my stomach.

“What the hell have you given us?” I asked Barry angrily. “It must be the pills, why else would we all be feeling rough?”

“Not quite all;” he said with a smile. “I feel fine. Mind you, I didn’t take any.”

“What?” the rest of us shouted in unison.

“Think of it as a leaving gift,” he replied. “A little something to remember me by. Do you know what I’ll remember about you guys? I’ll remember all those times that you went for a drink after work without inviting me, all those snide comments behind my back that you thought I couldn’t hear. Don’t act like you’re surprised; I knew all along what you thought of me. Anyway, in return for all those times that you treated me like crap, I thought I’d treat you to a truly crap night out.” He paused and laughed.

“I’d say ‘crap’s a given’ after a double dose of prescription strength laxatives...”