Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Too Much Christmas: A Guide

Help! My multiple chins are suffocating me!  I don't think I've consumed anything that isn't made up entirely of fat or sugar since the festive period began.  I feel as though am turning into a wobbly me-monster.  Gutzilla, if you will.  Doesn't help that I've proper fudged my wonky foot up and I'm on a temporary, osteopath ordered ban from both Crossfit and running while it heals and all. Little to no exercise + ALL OF THE CALORIES is making me feel ever so slightly sluggish.  Not even sluggish and in slow - more like, I feel like a formless lump without vertebrae. Hrrmph.  At least I've been able to focus all my energy on growing this bad ass moustache.  Cool, no?

Andy "sideburns and lipstick" Price looking rather dashing too.

Been a weird month, hasn't it?  Soaring highs of snuggly (translate:drunken) Christmas family time and all of the obligatory "do"s leading up to the Big Day... Crashing lows of the inevitable hang overs accompanied by the depressing flurry of massive icons and influencers passing away.  Just learned of Carrie Fisher's passing, which felt like a kick in my cheese filled guts.  Such a funny, outspoken, admirable lady as well as a great voice for mental health.  Just.  Ugh.  Don't know what I can say that hasn't already been said better. I'm sure if she had anything to say about it, it would be in the form of a cryptic tweet, made up entirely of emojis. 

Instead of dwelling on feeling a bit morbid and watching the clock for when I have to go to sleep in preparation for work tomorrow (which I was doing for a little while there), I thought I'd hop on here and write something silly and try to raise a smile instead.  On December 27th, we're officially in that void between Christmas and New Years where nothing makes sense,  and the after effects of Christmas are fully upon us.  Here, my friends, is my handy guide to recognizing when you've had a bit too much Christmas:

Too Much Christmas:  The Symptoms

1.  Lack of hunger, surge in appetite.
The patient may claim to have "forgotten what hunger feels like."  At any other time during year, this will generally coincide with a loss of appetite, and the sufferer will have an aversion to food as a result.  In the case of and overindulgence of "Christmassing", the physical feeling of hunger will be missing, but the desire to eat food intensifies, particularly if said food is presented on a cheese board or in a Quality Street tin.  Unless that food is salad.  Because it is Christmas, and who eats salad at Christmas? Monsters and rodents, that's who.

God, I miss nutrients.

2.  Emotional Instability
After imbibing Christmas, you may not feel the correct emotions in any given situation.  This may have something to do with the fact that you've been piss-arseholed for a month solid and you are living in a constant merry go round of sugar and alcohol highs and lows.  Do not be alarmed if you find yourself laughing at "harrowing" TV dramas and crying when you see a video of a child getting a puppy for Christmas.  And then watching said video over and over again even though you are watching them through a misty veil of salty, salty tears and can't tell which moving blob is the little girl and which is the puppy any more.  

Mmm.  Salt.  Someone, pass the peanuts.  I've not eaten for thirty seconds.

3. "Where am I?  What year is this?"
 There is a high probability that at any point between December 24th and January 1st, you will have no idea what decade it is, what the time of the day is and who these people  in paper hats are around you.  Don't freak out.  Just do as the vaguely familiar people who all look a bit like you (relatives, perhaps?) are doing.  Keep your pyjamas on, watch only films that you've seen a hundred times before to avoid further confusion and just keep shoveling crackers (the edible kind, not the ones that go bang) into your face hole until it passes.  Hopefully, when you come around, you'll be in the right century.  Don't worry - I've also heard the ice age sucked, but the fact that you have a onesie on and access to the internet should be indicative that that's not where you are right now.

4.  Food Group Confusion
One of the more obvious signs that you've recently been off your tits on Christmas is that you may no longer be able to distinguish the difference between beer/wine and water.   This is temporary.  Eventually, you will remember that trusty, non-hangover giving H20 doesn't have bubbles in it and doesn't make you fall over or want to show your nan that "look, Nana, I can twerk!!"  

Similar confusion can also occur between food and oxygen.  

5.  Smelling/Being Flammable
A sudden increase in gifted bath and body care items often leads to an over use of scented products.  This symptom is innocuous enough and is usually the least damaging to the patient's health.  As long as they don't stand too close to naked flames for a little while.  Best save the Yankees for January.

Additional handy hint for men:  No, those ladies aren't fainting because of the "enticing" fug of Lynx that shrouds you.  They are passing out from the fumes.  Please alert the emergency services.

Happy holidays all, and I wish you a speedy recovery from all the festivities!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

How Writing Is Like Running

Whoops, looks like October came and went.  This year feels like a ride on a dodgy fairground waltzer, where the man in the flammable trackie bottoms and a fag sticking out of his mouth flings you madly in circles, making you too cock eyed to see anything passing at normal speed.  Stop 2016, I want to get off!  I've just been sick on my shoes!

I can't blame 2016 for everything, though.  Main reason I've missed an entire month's worth of blogging opportunities (how was your Halloween by the way?  Well done for surviving the creepy clown epidemic if you're still around to read this), is that I got into a familiar cycle of thinking "must write more...must write more...", which, I should know by now only serves to make me freeze up and view my keyboard as a tray of tiny mines that might explode at my touch, and I need my fingers for scrolling through Facebook 999,991,003 times a day.

It's not been a totally unproductive month, though.  I've learned lately that working out is my favourite hour of the day.  It's time that's 100% mine and no matter how useless, lazy or incompetent I'm feeling before I go into it, I always come out thinking "I CAN LIFT A FUCKING BUS!! COME AT ME BRO!!"...despite being logically aware that there might be slight discrepancy between the biggish kettle bell and an actual bus.  

I never used to feel like this when I started - especially when I took up running.  I went into most activities involving getting my trainers on with trepidation and it was anyone's bet whether I'd finish up feeling invincible or berating myself for a whole weekend for being overtaken that one time by that pensioner rollin' along the seafront in their pimped out mobility scooter. Now, I'm a lot more forgiving.  I (mostly) see exercise as a cumulative thing to be enjoyed for its challenges, and feel grateful to be allowed a whole hour or so just for my lycra-legged self to get stuck into just moving for fun.  Is marvellous!

I feel the same way about writing now as I used to about running.  I love the activity, but I beat myself over the head with self criticism before I even put pen to paper.  So, in order to get me writing something other than "why have I stopped writing?  What can I do to make myself write more? Why isn't what I write better? Blah blah narcissistic whining, first world problems etc etc" in my trusty notebook (*cough* diary *cough*), I thought I'd compile a list of ways that writing is essentially the same thing as running. *Flexes fingers*


1.a For not doing it.  When I started running, I was super self conscious about the label.  I wanted to be a runner.  And in order to be a runner, I needed to run lots, constantly and fast.  And if what I was doing didn't meet up to any of those things, I was a wannabe runner.  A shambler at best.  As a writer, I must churn out a bazillion quality words a day.  On top of the blogging, I must start and actually finish a fully drafted novel in order to be able to bestow the title upon myself...even though after getting 2 chapters in on my projects, I inevitably realise that I don't have the inclination to do it really..Or I secretly do, but think that what I've made so far isn't good enough to carry on with.  Then I kick myself in the pants for not having enough of a concentration span to achieve something printable.
 1.b For doing it
"OMG, how dare you be running/writing right now?  That hour could be used for cleaning (which often makes you want to eat a tea towel out of boredom), entertaining others (because they're not capable of doing it themselves, or...?) or organising the next 12 months of your life in meticulous list-y detail.  Oh, you want a break from the lists and the over thinking in order to keep yourself a sane member of society?  Well that's just selfish!"

Okay, so this is something I'm still guilty of.  I may overcompensate after a 3 mile bimble by "refuelling" with an entire battenburg and several slices of cheese, despite the fact that I've grown to learn that getting to move in an otherwise sedentary, office-based lifestyle is a reward in itself (endorphins are REAL, people, I've FELT them, I swear!), but, to be fair, I probably would have stuffed the marzipanny goodness down my cake hole even if I'd sat around all day long, sooo...it's okay?  

I may reward myself for stringing more than a few sentences together by binge watching Netflix and telling myself that it's actually creative research.  Ooh!  Ooh! Speaking of, has anyone seen Black Mirror?  I'm on series 2 and I've never been so depressed/inspired/amused/terrified by a TV show in my life.  Hoo blimey!  

What were we talking about again?

 When I started running, my house was actually clean.  I mean, not super clean or anything because, well...it's me doing it, but my organised chaos was lots more organised than normal.  I could locate a matching pair of socks in under two minutes and only lost my keys once a day as opposed to every time I put them "somewhere safe."  How do I know I'm having a little tailspin about how much I write in my spare time?  The other day, I polished my hoover.  We're at crisis point, people.

I'll never be totally free from the desire to compare my performance in most areas of life with the people who do it better, but I'm learning to compare myself to the only person worth doing it with - myself.  Sounds cheesy, but it's pretty euphoric when you huff your way through a little 3 miler and then it dawns on you that you just referred to 3 miles as "little" when 3 minutes used to be an achievement in itself.  I haven't quite got there with writing yet, but I feel optimistic that I will learn sometime soon that I can't be Margaret Atwood because she's already been taken.  

Pretty sure I only ever do anything in life for this reason.  My life is a constant pursuit of smugness.   I'm not proud of it, but it's the truth.


"I ran a distance that most people would only go in a CAR!"

"I wrote a WHOLE blog post and put it on the Internet for EVERYONE to see!  Am so brave and creative.   Oh, God, what if there is a typo?  What if I used "to" or "two" instead of "too"? What if someone sees it and then tries to talk to me about it in real life?  Should I take it down?  But if I take it down, then it will look like I haven't posted for ages and it's already been a month. Ohgodohgodohgod!"

Hmm.  Maybe need to work on my post writing smugness.  In the meantime, am off for a run.


Thursday, 13 October 2016

London Marathon News (?)

Good evening browsers, skimmers and readers of blogs of questionable quality!  How goes it?  A friend offered to create a guest post for my little corner of the Internet (sorry said corner is a bit dusty.  Don't think I'll ever get the hang of the whole  "regularly maintaining your website" thing...think of it as looking "lived in" or "shabby chic" as opposed to just "a bit shit").  This offer reminded me that if I am going to be popping other people's work up onto an online platform alongside my word vom, then I should probably at least put something new up myself. 

Also watch this space for said guest post =). 

So. Yass.  New stuff.  Biggest news this week is...fanfare, please.  Failing that, jazz flute interlude/recorder solo:

I did not get into the Virgin Money London Marathon 2017! 

Boo.  Also hurrah!  I had properly mixed feelings about whether or not I wanted to get in and when I found out that I didn't, I felt sad; Opportunity of a lifetime/bragging rights forever/being part of a historic event, amazing sense of achievement blah blah etc etc. 

Then it dawned on me that I'm not doing it.  I'm. Not. Doing.  It.  I don't have to do it!  For the first time in about 3 years, I have no races on the horizon to nurse semi crippling excitement and anxiety about.  I don't have to worry about whether my tantrumming foot will fall off.  I don't have to run for hours and hours, beating myself up because I want to cry and I'm not fast enough (root cause of this emotion?  Generally hunger).  While I probably will end up caving and signing up to the next thing offering me a shiny medal for turning up in shorts and turning a bit puffy and purple, it's nice to entertain all of the things that I can do now that I know I won't be sacrificing 3-4 months to the running gods:

Things I Can Do Instead of the London Marathon

1.  Be warm - With no races to train for, I can opt for the cozy, swear and sweat warmed surroundings of my gym for a while instead of the endless putting on and taking off of layers involved in winter night time running where your body is BOILING and drenched in the sweat layer between your skin and your coat, but your fingers have turned into frozen carrots sticking out of your palms.

2. Do more of this shit (except maybe with less of a derpy expression and single as opposed to double chin):

I fully expect to be able to bench press a bus load of obese pensioners and their shopping by this time next year.  I mean, is this not the face of a super hero?

 "I'll save you! Hurr hurr!"

3. Develop a "normal person" relationship with food.  

Okay, bit of a long shot, but when you're both constantly hungry from putting all your energy into "da milez" and bragging about all of said miles you've covered in training, your (my) body tends to go into desperation (greedy a.f) mode and it craves anything that requires little to no preparation, preferably made mostly/entirely out of sugar,  i.e ALL OF THE SWEETS!  AAAAAALL OF THE CAAAAAKE!! Logic takes a 4 month nap in which terrible, high calorie, low to zero nutritional content munchies is inhaled because "My body needs FUEL and I DESERVE THIS!!"  I still haven't switched out of this mindset and haven't run a marathon in about a year and a half, but I can hope that time will fix me.  Blind optimism works, right?  Right??
4.  Drink without guilt/remorse

I was just going to write "drink" there, but my super healthy, no booze regime leading up to the Liverpool Rock 'n' Roll Marathon last year had more loop holes that a pair of poorly made, knitted crotch less knickers.  I wasn't to drink during training..unless:
- Is a special day such as birthday, holiday (Christmas etc), weekend or any other day ending in the letter "Y."
- Am being forced to rest an injury.  Medicinal, you see.
- Am thirsty.
- I need the calories because do you know how far I've run this week??

5.  Be in denial that, in fact, even though it's probably the best thing for my slightly wonky, broken body right now...and I'll have so much more time to play with for a few months..and it'll give me a chance to throw myself fully into CrossFit for a bit instead to develop my strength...part of me is still a bit sad that I didn't get into the London Marathon.

Because I'm so not. You are.  Look at you with all that repressed temptation to sign up to the full marathon that's coming back to Cardiff next year instead.  What's the matter with you??

Saturday, 24 September 2016

How To Do Uni

Hello Saturday! Hello middle-of -the-day bath and dressing gown times! Not simultaneous, 'course.  Dressing gown would get soggy.  I know I should be feeling sorry for myself after I made the decision today to forgo another Cardiff Half Marathon since my last week's Swansea Bay 10k reminded my right foot how angry running can make it, but in all honesty, I'm not too arsed.  I'm fully aware that I did this to myself. Zero proper running training, followed by one manic month into which I decided to squeeze in ALL OF THE MILES EVER!! What else was going to happen, really?  Silly sod.

It is precicely because I have such clearly excellent logic skills that I'm going to share some nuggets of knowledge this week, primarily aimed at my baby sister, who used to look like this:

Butter wouldn't melt

and now looks like this:

Butter still wouldn't melt.  Also get that butter away from me, it'll ruin my lipstick for my Instagram post. #selfie #Nomakeup #etc #etc #harambe?

In my mind, she is still 9 years old, and will remain to be so, even when we both reach an age where sitting down is the best and most time consuming part of our days (soo...28, then?) and we are so wrinkly that we look like we've been left in a bath for way too long. So, it comes as a bit of a shock to me that Forever 9 is pissing off to uni tomorrow.  
Because everything is about me, me, me (obviously), I have processed my "What the fuck?  Nooo, time is going too fast and I have no control over it and my life is ultimately meaningless and what is life about anyway and is it time to eat yet and help me, I'm so oooold!!" feelings by ruminating about my own experiences of studentom.  

Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.  And even if my own vision isn't perfect now, it's a damn sight clearer than it was back in 2006-2009 when I was off my tits on 2-4-1 VK Blues 5 out of 7 nights a week.  I didn't have a big sister to kit me out with important hints and tips when I was a fresh faced (spotty) youth embarking upon the adventure of a lifetime (the opportunity to take wild advantage of a body that could drink heavily and not suffer for a whole week afterwards).  So, Shaunna....This is my gift to you.  And no, you can't return it for a H&M voucher:

1.  Say no to as few things as possible
I probably took this bit of advice a bit too far. And obviously, if it feels too dangerous/uncomfortable, definitely say no.  I'm not telling you to say yes if a stranger asks you if you want to see some puppies in the back of his van.
In Swansea Uni, I worked a part time job, "studied" (read mostly good books that I would have enjoyed in my spare time anyway for a degree - sussed the system there, didn't I? Heh) and said "yes" to every single night out/group meetup/opportunity to hang around in town in a small gang going "ha, look at me, I can buy Haribo for breakfast and no one will tell me off!".  It might have resulted in a few mornings working at Debenhams cafe, hiding in the big freezer and praying for death because "everything hurts", but it was worth it.  
3 years fly by about as quickly as 3 weeks in Uni and suddenly it's all over.  Think of it as a mini practice at life as a whole.  You want to look back at it and hate your adult life in comparison because uni was so magical and dramatic and silly and fun because you took advantage of every opportunity you had. Okay, maybe not, hate your adult life, but...y'know.  Memories and that.  If I hadn't said yes to so many things, I wouldn't have had memories like this beaut:

- Going up onstage at a student pub's karaoke night (my first and last ever attempt at karaoke for reasons about to be made obvious) to belt out Tribute by Tenacious D as part of a group of 3, only to finish and realise that my co performers were mute throughout the whole thing.  Then, sitting back at table to rest of friends telling me in the blunt honesty only real friends can employ  "Beck, you had a microphone.  You didn't need to shout."

2.  Check your garden for rats
Enjoy your first year in halls.  If your experience was anything like mine, the student housing situation will be dire.  My first house share outside of halls introduced me to the delights of:
 - Having a gaping hole in the kitchen floor, covered only by thin plastic flooring, making each trip to the fridge a potential game of Kerplunk where the marbles are students.
- Fuzzy mold and damp in every nook and cranny of the house that gives you eczema for the next decade of your life.
- Scaffolding left up all year round so that strangers can climb up to the top floor windows to cheerily bid your roomate "Hello!" and scare the living shit out of her.
- Having a derelict building adjoining your house, which you and your peers spend more time in than is strictly safe, causing the letting agent to ask with a knowing smirk the following term "so..ahh...Nice circle of chairs you have in there.  Can't imagine what that's for!"
-  A territorial, jack russell sized rat in the back garden that aggressively rushes at the door every time your dare to take the bins out.  

Don't worry.  It's all part of the experience.  Living in a house not fit for human habitation is all par for the course as a student and it gives you some great stories for when you leave.  Sometimes, I do wonder how Kalashnikov the rat is doing these days.  S/he is a monster not of this world and will defnitely outlive us all.

3.  Eat more than 2 colours
Seriously.  Everything I ate was microwaveable, orange, came from a can and was sprinkled liberally with melty cheese.  Sounds delicious, but there's only so much tinned spaghetti and Tesco Value cheddar your body can tolerate before begninning its slide into potential obesity and being struck by oh so "mysterious" colds every other week.
4.  Accept that you will drive your housemates crazy
 You will fall out.  There will be at least one impossibly neat one, an infuriatingly messy one (moi!), one that has the ability to party for more consecutive days than should be humanly possible and one that fucks with/steals other people's food when they're in bed (we never got to the bottom of who the nocturnal "bread scruncher upper" was in my house.  Still a mystery to this day). Your habits will drive the nuts and theirs, you. Everyone is annoying, and living in close proximity with other people, day in and day out will inevitably create the odd drama.  However, if you realise that these dramas are just superficial and keep in touch, you could have friends that you take with you for the rest of your life.  Plus, they'll probably know so many embarrassing stories about you by the end of your time together years that you'll have to keep them sweet to keep them quiet and vice versa. 

5. Know that after 3 years of toil,study and making a tit of yourself at the union on a Wednesday night, it'll all be worth it, because you get to proudly wear a silly flat hat and cape like you're in Hogwarts and post for not-at-all-awkward photos to cherish forever.  Like this:
 "I graduated! Lolz."
Good luck, young one!  And don't let Tequila trick you into thinking it's your freind.

Evidence.  Tequila = bad

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Death vs Gerry

Hallo!  Bit of a weird post, this one.  I've been struggling to find the time this month to do anything other than writing pages of to do lists and zombie-ing my way through them.  Here's some stuff that's happened:

- Went to Reading Festival.  For the first time felt about a billion years old in amongst the swarm of dancing "yoots".  Was an okay time, though.  If I remember to, I'll blog about it.  Promise!
- Got Becky flu on the last day of Reading (like man flu but several times more pathetic & potent) and tweaked my back just..standing about.  Because apparently that's a thing that happens to me now.  As a result, watched Biffy Clyro's set through a fog of painkillers and sadness because "I just can't enjoy the nice bearded man with his top off properly because even my spleen hurts, waaah!"
- I may or may not have (i.e...I have.) started the process of BUYING A NEW FUCKING HOUSE LIKE A MOTHERFUCKING GROWN UP! HOLY FUCK, I'M NOT READY FOR THIS KIND OF COMMITMENT!! But I've never owned a breakfast bar before, so that should be nice...

What with all of the coughing and organising, I've mostly just been running around, shouting at myself like a deranged army major about getting shit done, all the while trying to remember whether I've put deodorant on that day and feeling like my hair is on fire. Cool as a cucumber under pressure, me.

Because I don't have the brain power for anything new at the minute, I've cheated by deciding to use some short (very short, promise) fiction I've written to amuse myself in the hopes that it'll at least raise a smirk for you too.

Let me know in the comments or on my Facebook page (search Rebecca Writes & Runs) if you want to see me do more silly fiction in future, or whether you would like me to know that it's terrible and that I should burn my hands off for ever having tried my (currently still attached) hand at it.  Here goes nutt'n...


Gerry Smith, 37, divorcee and father of one’s stomach clenched as an icy tremor ran through him.  He let go of the ivory hand that helped him to his feet.  

“Cheers, love.”  He pulled a cigarette from his jacket pocket and perched it precariously on what was left of his bottom lip.  “You’re strong for a little ‘un.”  

“That’s alright, Gerry.”  How does she know my name?  

“You the work experience girl?”

“No, Gerry.”  Reaper One found it best not to formally introduce herself unless prompted.  She had learned from experience that introduction upon her arrival tended to freak people out, and she had no time to wait out a meltdown today.  “It’s time to come with me.”  The air behind her shimmered subtly before bursting into a glowing, human-sized blotch against the backdrop of the construction site.  Gerry felt that tremor again.  Why could he hear screaming?  He shook his head and turned in the direction of his porta cabin.

“Flattered as I am, sweetheart, you’re a bit young for me.  If you’re sticking around, make sure you put a hard hat on.  Dangerous places are building sites.”  He gave the yellow plastic on his head a knock.  A tooth skittered off his boot.  “‘Scuse me, mate.”   He stepped over his own corpse and staggered past the left side of his face, which was clinging limpet fashion to a wrecking ball.  The crane’s operator was occupied in watching his lunch make a reappearance into his lap.

Reaper One sighed.  Denial.  Excellent.  Not for the first time that day, she lamented the fact that she couldn’t simply push her clients into The Light.  Why was The Boss so taken with the freewill business?  It only served complicate matters.  Never mind, she thought as she followed her last assignment of the day.  Rules are rules.  

When she caught up, Gerry was in his office sliding his hand through a solid telephone, brow furrowed.  

“Did you do this?”  He snapped.

“No, I didn’t.  I think you know full well why you can’t touch anything.  There is peace in acceptance of the facts.”

“What?  Why have you broken my phone, and who the fuck are you?  I’d call security, but-”  The panic was beginning to bubble in his voice.  Centuries of doing the rounds, thought Reaper One, of guiding souls to their final resting places, and the enduring human ability to point blank refuse to see anything other than what they want to is still astounding.

“Your phone is fine.  However, you-”

“Go fetch telecomms for me.  I’ve got a meeting to reschedule!”

“Telecomms can’t help you, Gerry.”  Something passed over Gerry’s face.  Realisation?  Acceptance?”

“Take anything you want from the safe, just don’t hurt me!  I have a daughter!”

“Oh, for the love of -  Look.  It’s physically impossible for me to hurt you.  I can’t.  You’ve already left your bodily vessel.”  He opened and closed his mouth, his fleshless chin clicking in rumination.  They heard the thunk of another tooth hitting the floor.  


“You’ve snuffed it. Popped your clogs.  Hopped off the mortal coil.”


“You’re dead, Gerry.”


“Yes.”  She slipped a hand inside her cowl.  Gerry’s hands flew up to protect what remained of his face.  

“Don’t shoot!”  She produced a gold framed mirror and handed it to him.

“Look.  Remember now?”  He would have vomited on the spot if his stomach lining wasn’t still sitting in his body halfway across the yard.  Didn’t he he have two eyes this morning?  His memories trickled back to him.  The bronze glint in the dirt.  The cold smack of metal against his face.  Dave asleep at the crane’s controls. See a penny, pick it up.  For all your day, you’ll have good luck.  

“Oh.  Shit.”

“Yes.  Sorry.”

“So what now?”

“You come with me.”  

“And who are you, exactly?  Death’s admin girl?”  This?  Again?  How many souls did she have to transport from this world for sexism to actually be dead?  She exhaled.  

“My name is Reaper One.  I currently hold the position of Death.”

“Get off it!  You’re too cute to be death!  Where’s the skull?  Where’s the scythe?”

“The reaper who held my post before I was promoted was...replaced.  His methods were deemed unsubtle.”  The least you could do to move unnoticed through the human race was to make the effort to have skin and a pair of eyeballs.  Reaper Grim chose the flashier route of making an icon of himself.  Wanted to be both feared and revered.  Needless to say, The Boss wasn’t best pleased.  Reaper One dreaded to think where he might be now and never wanted to find out for herself.  

“Maybe people would be less scared of The Reaper if they knew how good she looked in jeans!” He stared at her, the exposed muscles of his cheek twitching.

“What are you doing?”


“Hmm.  Come on, time to get going.”


“Into The Light.”  They were at his body now, where a crowd of hard hats had gathered, enveloped in the eerie quiet of minds struggling to verbalise how it felt to have witnessed your boss’ face hitch a ride several feet into the air.

“Jenkins is eating a sandwich.  My dead body is right there, and Jenkins is eating a sodding sandwich!”

“People handle grief in a multitude of ways.”

“I wasn’t aware that the bloody munchies was one of them!”  Reaper one swept a hand in the direction of the glimmer that was still suspended in the air, only a fraction smaller now.  

“Hurry.  It will close soon.”

“I’m not going in there until you tell me where it goes.  Am I going to Heaven?  Hell?  Disney Land?  Where?”

“The possibilities are many.”

“You don’t know, do you?”


“Then why are you making me go in there?  I could end up watching reruns of Glee for all of eternity for all you know!  You go in first.  Have a peek for me.”

“I would disintegrate if I tried to.  It isn’t my time.  It’s yours.”

“I don’t care if it’s hammer time!  I’m not going in there!”  He glanced at his body.  “What’s the alternative?”

“Roam the Earth for eternity and go insane with all of the other trapped souls.  They’re not pleasant company.”  Right on cue, howls reverberated somewhere nearby.

“What was that?”  

“Them.  They sense when a soul is about to depart this realm and try to escape with it.  I’ve never seen one succeed, but it doesn’t stop the poor wretches from trying.”  The leader of the pack appeared from between two portacabins, clutching his own head in one arm and dragging someone else’s along by a long, ginger beard.  He gurgled viciously at the neck.

“Fuck this.  I could learn to like Glee.”  He practically fell into the void.

“Farewell, Gerry.”  With a shimmer and a pop, he was gone.  Reaper One turned to the neck that was now gurgling at her side.  “Sorry, Nigel.  You missed your chance in 1993.”  He flung the bearded head into the dirt and skulked back to the pub he’d been haunting down the road.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

How to Speak Mum

'Iya!  Cheating a little bit this week because I sort of already have the material for this month's post.  Sue me.

Actually, don't sue me.  I am so very, very poor and I need as much cash I can get for pints at Reading Festival next week.  Don't want me to go thirsty, do you?  Or even worse....sober?


It was my mum's birthday yesterday!  It was a milestone one, but I'm likely to get a hiding if I tell you which milestone, so, just...happy 21st, Mum!  I made her a naff scrap book type thing of blog style entries either addressed to her or about her, and she celebrated by going on a Prosecco fueled jolly with her mates down the pub.  I would show you a picture of her, but a photo with her whole face in it is rarer than hamster that poops diamonds:

Anyone recall the Powerpuff Girls?  Where the mayor's secretary was only visible from the waist down?  My mum's a bit like that.  Her face promptly disappears behind her hands whenever she can even sniff a camera.  Which is just as well, because she has five eyes and fangs for teeth.


She doesn't have five eyes and fangs...What she does have is a keen and sometimes inappropriate sense of humour, which she has passed on to me.  Whether this is an act of generosity or evil is for you to judge from all these posts I bestow upon you (sort of) weekly, O Ever Watchful Internet (all hail).

I've lost track of what I initially wanted to say, so I'm just going to slap my pre written blog post that I originally concocted for my mum's "book" (better word pending) down below (heh).  It's about how to translate Tina Talk; a language unto itself.  Here y'are:

How to Speak Mum

I feel that before embarking on this little project, it’s important to get the lingo down pat so that anyone reading this has other than Mum (Mum, feel free to skip this chapter.  Have a coffee, stick One Born Every Minute on and we’ll join you in a few) has a clearer idea of how to decipher Tina Taunton’s Mum-isms.  For the most part, she converses in English, but there are some key phrases she employs that on the surface appear to be English but on closer inspection have another meaning.  Being armed with a few key translations can aid you in communication with Ms Taunton and may one day save your life.  Please read carefully:

“Don’t begit your sister.  She’s only little.”

Obey Shaunna’s every whim and desire or she will create holy Hell for you, me, the neighbours and any nearby flora and fauna within tantrum range.  She might be small, but her moods are powerful and her cry is deadly.

“ Do what you want.”

If you so much as think of doing the thing that you’ve just suggested, sniffer dogs will be retrieving your body parts from trees for weeks.  Go on, do it.  I dare you.

“Go and play outside.  It’s lovely out.”

Fuck off out.  Your presence is giving me a migraine and I want to clean.

“Do you fancy _______ for dinner tonight?”

You are having ________ for dinner and you will be pleased about it.  This is not optional, but aren’t I nice for making it seem that it is?  

“We’re going to have a couple of quiet drinks, maybe some cheese and crackers with the neighbours tonight.”

...Flash forward eight hours to a scene of inebriated chaos.  Teenagers intermittently vomiting and running up and down the street outside, pets snaffling up mounds of stray cheese from under the table adults cheering the sudden appearance of that one bottle of tequila of questionable origin that always turns up at these events as if by magic like a hangover inducing genie.

“What do you think of this dress?”

LET ME SPEND MY MONEY ON YOU!! Also, you look like you got dressed in the dark whilst wearing a straight jacket.  You clearly need my help.

“Do you need a hairbrush/comb?”

You look like you were dragged here after getting your hair stuck in the spokes of someone’s bike and then dropped off in a stampeding field of cows.  Take my offer of a hairbrush or I will refuse to be seen in public with you.

“I’m just going to run the hoover round the living room.”

See you in twelve hours when I have hoovered and polished the house, the pets and the football field over the road.  

“Don’t use that tea towel.  It’s only for display.”

<<<< Error: Translation not found.  Does not compute. >>>>