It Weren’t Half Hot, Mum

A breeze soothes my face as I drift into another sun drenched dream, I can hear the chatter, chatter of some locals above the waves that caress the shore and then she prods me in the rib. ‘Let’s go out tomorrow.’ This is Sri Lanka, there are no island tours where you all sing Gin Gan Goolie and drink copious amounts of alcohol whilst a hairstylist from Scunthorpe tells you how she once saved three wild cats from a dustbin and then nearly miscarried because she caught Toxoplasmosis from their faeces.

In Sri Lanka you book a taxi. That evening we invited ‘Elvis’ the taxi driver into the hotel (and you thought he worked in the chip shop) to discuss our trip the next day. Elvis informed me that we would need to depart the hotel at 05:00 in order to see the baby elephants being fed. Now no one would call me an animal lover, nor indeed and animal hater. I guess I’m an abstainer, I’m like that with a lot of things. Take Homosexuality for instance, I don’t have a problem with it, if that’s who you are, fine, best of luck to you. I just don’t need to participate. So I explain to Elvis that we are on holiday and 4:30 only exists once a day. He tells me what a beautiful sight it is and I tell him that I’m sure David Attenborough  has it covered, we agree on 06:00, reluctantly. The morning doesn’t start well when believing I need to pass a little wind and pooh my pants. Fifteen minutes later we are in Elvis’s taxi and heading out to the Elephant orphanage. If you’ve never ridden an Elephant its fairly easy once you get on it and surprisingly they purr? I managed not to pooh on the elephant, but I did get mugged by the children, but that’s another story 🙂

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Now What?

There is no grass to lie in anymore and the clouds are one mass of grey. I’m hardly likely to find an abandoned Chevy in Yorkshire or a cassette of Little Willie John, but I do know a place down by the crazy river. Great song.

 

Obsessed by deserted places, I love the river with it’s lonely, or even sunken  boats – we are owners rather than doers aren’t we? How many people received treadmills and exercise bikes for Christmas which will be nothing more than clothes dryers in a month? Joining a Gym doesn’t get you fit, going to a Gym does that. Of course there’s my bike in the garage, I’ve repaired the inner tube more times than I’ve ridden it. How many resolutions have been broken after 4 days into 2019 I wonder?  You may have noticed I am a little melancholy? Well, I’ve noticed during the past 4 days that everything and everyone is out to annoy me, in other words I’ve stopped smoking simply to get more oxygen into my lungs when I’m running, but I’m also doing dry January and now I have caught the cold from the princess, who incidentally is no longer a princess, but is, in actual fact the “I’ve got a good idea. Lets stop drinking and smoking,” bitch from hell who lives here, she’s against me too, there is a plot, you know. See! (too many commas, the commas are annoying me, I’m going,  see you next week –  Harrumph 😦

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An Empty Bar, a Dog and a New Year

Mogan, Gran Canaria, 1976. We were poor, not dirt farmer poor you understand. I’m not Clarence Carter, the rains hadn’t washed the crops away, my mom wasn’t called Lucille and she wouldn’t have been able to afford the bus fare into town even if she was. No, we were poor spear-fishermen, living in a van and I was beginning to feel a little like Patches as the fish had become as elusive as his crops. Just before Christmas we landed a  twenty seven pound Monkfish, sadly the Spaniards of Gran Canaria didn’t eat Monkfish, but the local cats seemed to enjoy it.

New Years Eve approached and I guess I looked glum. I was eighteen, I required food, alcohol and female company – I wasn’t particularly concerned which order I got them – but I wasn’t getting any. The Master had planned a surprise, he told me he had salted away a little money and on New Years Eve we were going to the local bar. ‘Food,’ he said, ‘would have to be Tapas,’ (they were free in those days) but we could have a drink and if I could manage a smile we may even attract some female company – Hurrah.

The night arrived and after a good wash in the sea (maybe that’s why the fish left?) We set out for a New Years Eve to remember. Everyone in Jose’s Bar greeted us with their usual gusto, which was to generally ignore us. In the past there had been an issue with myself, a girl and her father and I guess you could say a little unpleasantness with some American campers when ‘Mudguts’ and I had caused what the local Guardia described as a riot (over reactionaries – tut) We were determined to enjoy ourselves and soon everyone loosened up, there was talk of the fish, how the weather was possibly going to blow up in January and eye contact with a senorita. The master gave me one of those looks (you know the one, it says. “Stop it!!) when her beau glared at me. By quarter to twelve I was excited and looked forward to toasting the New Year with our friends. At this point they all disappeared. I mean everyone, even the barman. There was a dog, I guess he was Spanish, but he looked as happy as we did, we waited for half an hour and when no one returned? We finished our drinks and headed back to the van. To this day I still don’t know where everyone went 🙂

Happy New Year everyone I hope it brings us much joy and literary success (yeah I know this isn’t literature, but I’m happy)  See you on the other side 🙂

Posted in 1970'S, Blogging, Fishing, Humour, Life, Lifestyle, Opinion, people, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Somewhere Else For Christmas

A drop of sweat seeps into your eye and combined with the oil starts to burn, the prickly heat on your arm is driving you mad and you can’t scratch your undercarriage because the Greek woman with her three children have camped in front of you; roughly ten feet from your groin. The kids keep staring at you and they all seem to be called Ella. The princess tells me ‘ella’ means ‘here,’ but Google says it means ‘she,’ hmmm? Meanwhile another child, Charlie (he just had to be didn’t he?) is jumping in the pool, climbing out and jumping in again. Everytime he does this he calls to his mom to watch, but she is engrossed in conversation with the Lifeguard, who probably once did the Diet Coke ad and is ignoring Charlie’s calls.

The Greek children are teasing each other and screaming whilst ignoring their mom who shouts ‘ella!’ possibly twice a minute. Despite all this I drift off to sleep and begin to dream – I have been incarcerated in a lunatic asylum, but I plan to escape during a volleyball game, suddenly a loud shout shatters the dream. I open my eyes, disorientated, the sweat and oil, is by now,  burning holes into my pupils. Standing directly above my sunbed a member of our ‘entertainment team’ is crying out, ‘Volleyball! last call for volleyball!’ It is at this point that Santa, who arrived some hours ago on a Camel, now walks down the beach, climbs on a windsurfer, waves goodbye to the children and sails away. The greek children begin to cry, their mom shouts, ‘ella, ella.’ Charlie shrugs and jumps in the pool, shouting for his mom to watch, but mom goes to play volleyball with the Diet Coke lifeguard and I wonder if Christmas in Hurghada was such a good idea 🙂

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When Christmas Came Early

Your heart is beating so hard you can hear it thundering in your chest, but the hunt is almost over and your prey is within touching distance – the heat is so intense, sweat is cascading down your back.

Yes my friends this was me as a seven year old crawling into my Mom’s airing cupboard, hunting for yet another elusive Christmas present. I generally hunted out all my Christmas presents long before the old guy in the red suit turned up and drained my Dad’s whisky glass. One year they bought me a Scalextric. My parents were good, loving people – trusting , you know? So they hid the Scalextric under my bed. I discovered it two weeks before ole’ white beard was due and formed a cunning plan. I retired early every night (without being told, then eventually ordered) Keeping it under the bed and with great difficulty I assembled every part and was race fit in two nights. Of course my downfall was the early retiring. Succumbing to her curiosity my dear mama decided I must be ailing with some form of sickness so she came to check on me. I had a jolly good telling off that night I can assure you.

But this was a minor setback and my powers of detection and inquisitions became legend within the family. I tried everything but waterboarding my sisters – in turn their counter surveillance techniques would put the CIA to shame. Many years later they warned every girl in every relationship, “Read Treasure Island, give him no clues or the little bastard will find them.” Then one day after an arduous  Christmas shopping spree with a certain young lady I hit gold! We had separated to buy each other presents and upon our reunion she said, “Hold my bags for a minute I need the loo.” Really? I mean really! I couldn’t believe my luck 🙂 When she returned I was euphoric, I couldn’t control myself. I grinned at her. “Love the shirt,” I said. “How did you know I liked those trousers?” I asked. ” That pullover is so me, but I kinda guessed you were getting me that book.” At which point she burst into tears. So, if you don’t want to feel like a complete heel with a sad feeling in your chest for the rest of your life, don’t go hunting for Christmas presents, I don’t, well not anymore 🙂

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Mindful of Images

As I lay in the long grass the clouds drift carelessly over my head, changing the shade of the landscape and my mind drifts with them to times gone by and images I have stored in my hard-drive. I wonder why my mind stores some images and not others? Memories are different – I remember the events leading up to dad shooting my dog Judy, but only have an image of my mam playing with me in the aftermath. Maybe because it’s Christmas another image came to light today. When I was four years old my mam had a brain hemorrhage and was still in hospital on Christmas Day. In 1961 kids weren’t allowed in neurological wards, so my dad, in true Baldrick fashion, hatched a ‘cunning plan.’ Opening a window from inside someone plonked me on the window ledge from outside and I sang ‘Away in a Manger’ to the ward. It’s not my memory, I have been told about it, but its my image of all the poorly women looking up at me as I serenaded them. It was the same Christmas I became an Astronaut, hmmm,  what would a therapist make of that I wonder 😉

 

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First Love, First Fall

Cast your mind back and reconstruct those formative years…. wasn’t it strange how we got the attention of the opposite sex with playful abuse, She would hit me -playfully – wanting me to chase her, she would giggle and run away – I would catch her, hold her tight and the giggling stopped, but before I could kiss her (I guess I wanted to) she struggled free, hit me and ran away again. We continued this ritual for weeks, at least I remember it as weeks but in actual fact it was probably days.

Suddenly she stopped hitting me, I stopped chasing and the ritual was ended. She lived on a hill and so we could see each others bedrooms – after our parents banished us to bed we communicated by switching our bedroom lights on and off, we couldn’t bare to be seperated – together forever. We stroked each other, kissed each other and held hands wherever we went. One hot summer’s day we never let go and walking through town I suffered the cramp and the sweat between our palms for hours- terrified at the thought of letting her go – I often wonder if she remembers that day too. Then one day she decided she liked my friend more than me and his ‘girlfriend’ decided she liked me more than him, so they swapped us. I often wonder how that discussion went 🙂

Of course this is all from memory and we know how deceitful he can be 🙂

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We Will Not Be Silenced – available now

We’ve put up with abuse since time began, time to stop it! Call in on Candice, it’ll be intense 😀

TheFeatheredSleep

The Anthology, We Will Not Be Silenced: The Lived Experience of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Told Powerfully Through Poetry, Prose, Essay and Artis now available via Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Will-Not-Silenced-Experience-Harassment/dp/1732800006/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543429811&sr=8-1&keywords=we+will+not+be+silenced+the+lived+experience+of+sexual+harassment

PLEASE consider purchasing a copy or several as proceeds go toward sexual assault awareness, education and prevention and you will be actually making a difference with your purchase. We worked hard to get this project completed by the holidays so it would be timely given all that has happened this year.

All four editors of this Anthology met on WordPress and many of the contributors to this amazing publication write on WordPress and call it home. I really hope I can count on my WordPress friends and family to show some support of this much needed Anthology. ____________________________________________

We Will Not Be Silenced: The Lived Experience of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Told Powerfully Through Poetry, Prose, Essay, and Art

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Recovery From Illness!

A little Wednesday motivation from Carolyn, check out her site 😀😀

ABC of Spirit Talk with Carolyn Page

The following is an excerpt (October 2014) from ‘Our Time Has Come’ – The third in our Free Book Series.

Our Time Has Come – Chapter 12 – And We Say to All  

“I do find what you are telling me in regard to excitement, travel and renown, a little hard to visualise at the moment. Feeling as I do (rather ill and without energy) it is rather hard to conceive a life filled with energy once again.”

“I did have enormous energy whilst dancing for those years. However, as I said; it’s hard to conceive (from my sick bed) a life such as you’ve advised.”

Indeed, dear brave heart, we understand. However, be that as it may, dearest, you will recover (as indeed you are currently recovering) and you will experience a new way of life; one that shall take you around the world, dearest, filled with hope, love…

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Stuff They Told Me

I was reflecting upon all the stuff I was told as I grew up and wondered why I’m kinda normal. When a tooth fell out I placed it beneath my pillow whereupon a mysterious Fairylike creature sneaked into my room, I assumed she lifted my head and replaced it with a sixpence, but apparently the tooth crawled out from beneath the pillow so as not to wake me. So now I have an apparition with a crawling tooth in my room and if I didn’t go to sleep the ‘bogeyman’ would ‘get’ me.

My mam told me if I sniffed Poppies earwigs would get in my nose and eat their way into my brain, I now think this was to prevent me becoming an Opium addict, something she no doubt misheard on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. Then, of course if I misbehaved the Gypsy’s would steal me, I mean really? Why would they steal naughty children? Surely they had enough problems. Other people that wanted to steal me were strangers, so ‘never accept a sweet from a stranger,’ okay I can deal with that, but in between the Fairies, the crawling teeth, the Bogeyman, Opium addiction, the earwigs and the Gypsies, strangers were the last thing on my mind. And to be honest if the Gipsy’s and the strangers were such a great threat what the hell were my parents doing letting an old, overweight geezer in a red suit who stinks of Reindeer, whisky and carrots into my bedroom in the middle of the night bearing presents? 🙂

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