Category Archives: short stories

Lay Your Head on the Writer’s Block

I’m never quite sure what writer’s block is.  I know it refers to an inability to write, but what actually counts as writer’s block?  If you sit staring at a screen for hours without writing a word, does that count?  Or is that too short a time?  Does it have to last at least a few days or weeks before you can call it writer’s block?  And when I wasn’t writing at all between the ages of eight and twenty-four, was that writer’s block?  Or was it a crisis of identity?

Aside from the question of how long it lasts, what kind of thing is writer’s block?  Is it the complete inability to write a single word?  Or does it mean you don’t write anything you’re remotely satisfied with?  If it’s the latter, I’m in trouble – because ‘not remotely satisfied’ describes nearly every day’s work for me.  But if it’s the former I’m OK because most days I manage to write something, even if it’s only a blog post.  Which is why I’m so glad I have this blog, because on really bad days where I can’t string two morphemes together, I can at least manacle a blog post into position, run it up the flag and see if anyone salutes it.  A blog post is usually less than 500 words; it’s achievable and, with the click of a button, it’s published and ready to read.

OH has an interesting view on overcoming writer’s block.  In the same way that Michelangelo saw the sculpture as being hidden within the stone

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/michelange386296.html

you could regard writing as ‘taking away’ everything which is not the story.  I’m not sure how cutting things away works when faced with a blank page rather than a lump of rock, but it’s worth thinking about. *

In ‘His Dark Materials’, Phillip Pullman wrote of the subtle knife which cuts windows between different worlds, ‘you may have intentions but the knife has its own intentions.’

http://www.kidsreads.com/reviews/the-subtle-knife

This is an idea I try to bear in mind when writing a poem; that when writing I may have intentions, but the poem has its own intentions too.  Nevertheless, the blank page can be a very intimidating thing to overcome, so when I have a bad day and think all my thoughts are worthless, I try just to write, believing that anything is better than nothing and reminding myself without a first draft there can be no second draft, no finished version.

I guess the process of writing is hard to fathom, else there would be no such thing as writer’s block.  But it’s clear that writing begins with thought.  Thoughts occur in the mind, and the writer selects which of them to commit to paper: so maybe writer’s block begins here, at the level of thought.  When the mind is a blank, the page will be a blank.  However, in my experience what is more likely going on is that the mind is not producing anything your critical self deems worthy of using; hence a good exercise when blocked is to write whatever comes into your mind, no matter how nonsensical or seemingly worthless.  James Joyce did this, and look what he managed to produce just listening to the babbling of his mind!

Interesting things happen when we let go of controlling our thoughts.  And out of this arises poetry.

And I know it’s not the day for linking to it, but I’m going to link here to the Insecure Writers Support Group because this post is relevant.

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/

Kirk out

*Sounds like some bizarre version of scissors, paper, stone…

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Filed under language and grammar, my magnum hopeless, novels and longer works, poems, short stories

The Year of Sitting Comfortably

Are you sitting comfortably?  Then I’ll begin.

You will only recognise those words if you are a) Old Like Me or b) young and into cultural irony like my son: I continue to be amazed at how much stuff from my youth he recognises because it’s referenced in things he watches.  Anyway, are you sitting comfortably?

Then I’ll begin: because today’s post is about the lost art of storytelling – by which I mean the old oral tradition of face-to-face narration (I realise plenty of stories are being told in print or on film.  Incidentally, remind me to post a review of La La Land.  I saw it on Friday and it is beyond description, but I’ll try.)

What started me off on this was – well, first of all it was because the title came to me and secondly because there is in Loughborough library a storytelling chair.  It’s large enough for one adult and one child, and it’s decorated with ladybirds.  Lovely, I thought, just right for a parent to read to a child.  And then I discovered that it’s actually an electronic chair: you sit in it and it tells you stories – and that seemed sad to me.  It seemed alienating and distancing – and moreover, a waste of money, especially as the funds had been raised by Friends of the Library and could have been spent on an ordinary comfy chair destined for face-to-face storytelling.

One of the first TV programmes I ever watched after we got our first black-and-white set was ‘Jackanory.’  This was a storytelling programme and as with all TV programmes, sitting comfortably was a prerequisite.  Jackanory went on for years and featured famous actors and actresses reading from a book, interspersed with pictures.  It was a simple but effective format.  Nowadays we have to turn to the radio for storytelling, but once every two months I go with Ruth to a group called Telling Tales.  The Leicestershire Guild of Storytellers puts on this event in Leicester and it features a mix of traditional and modern tales from a huge variety of cultures.  Last week we had stories from India, Norway, Germany and Iran, as well as my own largely descriptive account of the garden of the vicarage where I grew up.  I love telling stories and hearing them, and it is my firm belief that we need a return to our oral traditions; to go back to face-to-face storytelling.

And poetry, of course.

Kirk out

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Honey I Spent the Voucher

Yesterday I went ahead and spent the Waterstones voucher (no apostrophe is intended, for the apostrophe has gone) which Daniel got me for Christmas.  With it I bought both light and life, which I will explain in a moment.  But first the apostrophe.

I’m sure I’ve blogged about this before *, but the saga of the Waterstones apostrophe reminds me of a pub in Northampton which went from sensible to silly and then just plain absurd.  I have mixed feelings about apostrophes: when they are used I like them to be used correctly, but they are in general so poorly understood that I think we should abolish them altogether.  However, this pub in Northampton started out as a perfectly respectable establishment called the King William IV.  It then being the eighties, it reincarnated as a silly fun-pub catering for yuppies and styled itself King Billy’s.  But over the ensuing months bits of the name dropped off, leaving the name as King Billy’ (losing the ‘s’ but keeping the apostrophe) and then as King Billy with half an apostrophe, something wordpress is unable to reproduce.  So that the failure of punctuation mapped the downfall of this once respectable pub.

Here it is, apparently now closed but due to reopen; if the brewery can be believed (and who could doubt the word of a brewery?)

http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/owners-hope-to-have-closed-northampton-pub-reopen-as-soon-as-possible-1-7232033

So with this voucher, as I said, I bought a light.  It’s a very useful light as it clips onto the pages of the book you are reading enabling you to read in bed without needing to get up and turn the light off afterwards.  And I also elected to buy a book of short stories.  I prefer novels but the problem with a good novel is I devour it in a matter of days (I’m already on my second reading of the Rebus I got for Christmas) whereas short stories last me a lot longer.  They also have the merit of introducing me to authors I may never have read.  There is much to say about this particular volume of short stories, but I’ll save it for another post, except to comment that the introduction laments the lack of outlets for writers of the form – a view with which I concur utterly.

So as I come to the end of this post I notice another year has begun.  I wish you all – what do I wish you all?  Everything you wish yourselves, unless what you wish is like this (go to minute 32):

Kirk out

*I did – it’s here:

https://wordpress.com/post/lizardyoga.wordpress.com/4501

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Insecure Wednesday

Yes, it’s the first Wednesday of the month and time to be insecure again – and this month the question we insecure writers are asked to consider is, ‘What is your favourite aspect of being a writer?’

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com

Well I guess for me, my favourite aspect is the tremendous sense of liberation which comes from ‘unpacking the heart.’  That phrase is used rather disparagingly by Hamlet, but for me it’s an opening, a freedom; not so much a road as a river that you follow, never knowing where it may lead you.  Each day is a surprise and although it is often hard, just as following the course of a river is hard and can lead you into ravines and over rugged rocks; when you finally break through, the experience is stunning.

I never know where I’m going and I like it that way.  Looking back you find a sense of rhythm and purpose but at the time it often makes no sense: all you can do is pursue that infuriating river that twists and winds, falls and rises, expands to a sea and contracts almost to nothing.  It’s like Leonard Cohen once said: it starts off easy but then you’re on your hands and knees at 3 am trying to pursue a lyric.

OK so now I realise I’m getting away from the good stuff and talking about the difficulties.  But you can’t have one without the other folks!

Speaking of Hamlet, there was a guy on the radio the other day who claimed that the supposed universality of Shakespeare was all down to a conspiracy by the RSC.  Sounds a bit far-fetched to me…

Happy (and hard) writing!

Kirk out

 

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Once Bitten Twice Sigh: Dealing with Rejection

*Sigh*.  Another day, another rejection – this time in the form of a competition shortlist which unaccountably did not have my name on it.  It’s very hard to keep going during these times: you feel a blow to the stomach like a sucker-punch which takes all the air out of your lungs.  You start to feel a bit sick: then the inevitable thoughts come in.  Why did I think that story was any good?  Of course they didn’t choose it!  What makes you think you’ll make a writer?  And so on.  But along with that there’s a stony stubbornness which won’t let me stop: and that’s a good thing – but right now it doesn’t feel good.  Right now that stubbornness feels like your doom.  It seems there’s no escape from your own nature – or fate, or whatever it is – and you start to feel like Sisyphus, condemned to push a rock up a mountain only to see it roll to the bottom.  Every time.

Maybe I should write a story about that….

Because yes, in the end that is the only response; to turn your experiences into art.  And thankfully nowadays the sucker-punch doesn’t last too long: I bounce back from it relatively quickly.  But it’s very hard to find a place in a world which doesn’t seem to have any time for your work.  My problem with stories is, I think, that they don’t have a strong plot.  I’m not good with strong plots: my strengths lie in ideas and characters; moments in a life.  Although I have had some success with surreal plots, such as Mem Mat, the one about the memory mattress which stores your actual memories.  I have also – as is only fair – had some success with writing about trans issues: first with the Mslexia blog and before that, a story called DIVORK where a woman thinks her husband is having an affair because of a lip-print on a glass, only to discover that the lipstick is his.

As far as poetry goes I think my problem is that I write a lot of rhyming verse and there seems to be a mindset that serious poets write free verse.  Hence I’ve had more success with comic verse.  Interestingly this mirrors the process when I began to write: unable at first to take myself seriously as a poet, I started with parodies and comic rhymes, assuming like everyone else that the serious poet did not rhyme (or only sporadically) and that therefore I was not a Serious Poet.  It took a long while for me to be persuaded otherwise – and now it seems to be taking a long while for publishers to be persuaded, too.

*Sigh!*

So here’s the rub: do you carry on doing what you do even though no-one seems to like it, or do you try to alter what you do to fit in?

Answers below please…

Kirk out

 

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They Shoot Horses

I’ve posted a version of this story a while ago, but now it’s going live!  I’m uploading it to a fiction site where it may get taken up and published online.  So when you’ve finished reading, go to https://www.reddit.com/r/fictioncircus and vote for it!

They Shoot Horses

Queue is a lame word but it’s better than line: I seem to think it’s French for tail.  I wonder what sort of animal would have a tail like this queue – something mythical, probably.  A dragon.  Which makes us all knights, I suppose.  I like that thought – it makes the queue a little more bearable if you can be a hero instead of an idiot.

They say queuing in Britain started during the war – not the Satellite War; the one before that – because of the rationing.  Everyone had to queue for their food – and now it’s ingrained like democracy in our character.  Like the mantra of equal opportunities: that’s what this queue is all about.  You take your turn and you wait.  Then you get your fifteen minutes.

I wonder how much of my life I’ve spent in queues?  Days, maybe – even weeks?  How many hours at the airport?  How many at the supermarket, the dole office, the bus-stop – the food-bank?  When I look back, my life seems like one long queue.  One long line for admission to the human race.

Sure, I could leave, but I’d just end up coming back again – because the Queue is the only game in town.  I’m not rich enough to afford a stand-in – not at today’s prices – and for every one of us here there’s a dozen more waiting to join on.  It’s crazy – but what can you do?

This Queue is a whole other dimension; you’ve got time and space, you’ve got vertical and horizontal – and you’ve got the Queue, winding in and out of it all like a giant snake.  Which city is it where they say a great serpent sleeps under the streets?  Edinburgh?

I don’t remember.

It’s disorientating.  I can’t afford the Q-app, and without it you can’t get any perspective – unless you can find a drone, and there’s not many of those left now.  Sometimes you think you’re closing in and then you turn a corner and all you can see is that damned serpent winding off into the distance.  You’ve got no perspective.  It reminds me of India: you can sit on a train for days, but according to the map you’ve only travelled half an inch.  So you learn to wait.  You wait without hope or expectation; because life is waiting and waiting is life.

You soon stop trying to talk to anyone.  You’re not a human being to them, you’re the competition – and after a while you start to think the same way.  If someone gives you a smile, you wonder what they’re after.  It’s terrible, but what can you do?

What gets me is, there’s no need for the guards; yet there they stand shouldering their stun-rays like extras in a war-movie.  It winds me up.  What do they think we’re going to do?  We’ve sacrificed everything to be here: why would we screw it up?  Yet on every corner there’s another glaring numpty, like a bouncer on the stairway to heaven.

The thing is, the queue polices itself.  Anyone gets out of line, they’re thrown off by the others: then they either go right to the back or they leave.  I’ve only seen it happen once, and once was enough.

But boredom’s your main enemy.  I guess that’s what pushes people over the edge; just not being able to occupy yourself.  You get tired of the screens pretty quick, and the further in you get, the more adverts there are.  They’re all targeted, advertising stuff from the booths or the Q-runners; and in between adverts they run the Show.  Every so often they replay the big winners, just so you don’t forget.

You try not to, but in the end you all watch the screens.  There are only so many hours a day when you can practise and after that you get bored.  It’s out of kilter; all this waiting compared with the few seconds of your audition.  But then you’d better be ready to do the whole act.  You have to be prepared for anything, at the drop of a hat.  Anything, up to and including the sad old Loser’s Handicap.  But I’d take that – if it was the only thing left.  Hell, I’d even take an internship, and at my age that’s a very long shot.  So I leave nothing to chance: I spend several hours a day going over my first lines and then honing the main act.  I wish I could afford some coaching as it really gives you an edge.  These days you can even take a degree in Showmanship; but nothing’s guaranteed.

First few days, you’re going to get antsy.  No-one tells you how long it takes, so you think you’re going to get In pretty soon – and when you don’t, you fret.  People jiggle their feet or jump up and down; they start swearing and looking at their watches.  Scuffles break out.  Words are exchanged.  And I get that, I really do – because it’s hard.  Patience is hard, especially when supplies are low.  But impatience is like foreign currency here: there’s nothing to spend it on.  So hour by hour you calm yourself: you train yourself to wait.  I learned that in India, too.

The great thing is to keep busy.  First thing in the morning, I do my twenty minutes.  Doesn’t matter what it is: jogging on the spot, stretching, jumping, touching my toes.  Everyone has their own routine and sometimes you get into little contests.  Of course, before that you have to pee.  Your toilet buddy is the most important person in the Queue, because you don’t want to be paying a Q-runner every time you have to go; and you have to resist the temptation to – pardon the pun – take the piss.  If you spend hours out of line you can lose your toilet buddy and it’s hard to find another.  Mine’s called Cormac and he seems to go about twice as often as I do.  Weak bladder, he says.  So after our usual pee-exchange, it’s time for breakfast.  It won’t be much, just a bar or some fruit, but I make it last like the full English with extra toast.  Sometimes I pretend I’m eating a huge platter with eggs and bacon, sausage, fried bread (fried bread!) tomato, even baked beans.  I imagine the colours, the flavours, the textures.  Sees me through half an hour, if I’m thorough.  At the end of it I almost feel full.

You’ve got to pace yourself: after breakfast I can spend ten minutes just brushing my teeth.  Because all those hours when the queue hardly moves, if you can’t occupy yourself, you’ll start thinking – and that’s when it all kicks off.

When someone’s kicking off, you can feel it.  There’s a restlessness goes through the queue like a ripple through the body of a snake; and everyone’s thinking, uh-oh! – a jumper.  We’ve all been there.  The trick is to wait it out: sooner or later the feeling passes.  You have to keep two things in mind: the life you left behind, and that long snake of zeroes in your future.  One hundred pounds for every man, woman and child in the queue – you just think about that.  Your island off the coast, your helicopter, your farm.  Your ticket out.

Even so it can get to you.  Maybe you’ve been here too long; maybe you’re out of money.  Maybe you’ve lost faith in your Act.  But if you jump ship you’ve only got one life left – as a Q-runner – and everyone knows a Q-runner’s life is not worth living.  So when someone’s kicking off a ripple goes through the queue; and your senses are on high alert, listening for a cry, a bang; a siren.

            I feel a thrilling vibration close to my heart.  I jump; then I realise it’s my phone.  I’m tempted to look, but texts are my only entertainment in the evening, so it stays in my breast pocket.

Sometimes I get to reminiscing.  I can see the whole of my life laid out before me like a film winding from the opening credits all the way up to this scene.  I want to be the director instead of an extra: I’d like to cut all the bad scenes; the bits where I acted badly or forgot my lines.  And then I think I want to cut the future; edit out all the swirls and loops of the queue which stand between me and the Studio.  Cut to the chase: to my big scene.  Because I’m ready.  God knows I’m ready – but right now the only camera I can see belongs to some bloody queue-tourist.  I wouldn’t give those bastards the snot from my nose: poverty-porn merchants is what they are.

I don’t blame the refugees.  I don’t blame the unemployed; I don’t blame the dispossessed.  I blame the government.  Two million homeless after the last floods and what do they do?  Build more houses?  Deal with climate change?  Nope.  They make us stand in a queue.  Of course, they all live on the high ground, so they can afford to ignore it.

Again a movement ripples through the line: I pick up my bag and wait, but by some weird queuing alchemy, by the time it’s my turn all the space has gotten squeezed out.  I’ve seen it happen loads.  When I used to wait for the bus the people at the front would take up so much space that the rest of us were left standing in the rain.  Sometimes I’d shout: Hey guys, can you move up so we can get under?  Mostly they’d look sheepish and start shuffling.  But this ain’t no bus queue and by the time the movement reaches me I’ve got room to take one pace forward.  I measure the step like a Roman.  Pes, pedis. 

There were Romans here, once upon a time.  Led by old Claudius, they stuttered up from Kent, threw up a city wall and dug in some baths and sewers.  I used to live on the old Roman road; it went straight as a die from here to Chester.  But there’s not much of it left now.  The modern town’s a ragged conurbation, with the monorail slashing across like a line through a careless essay.

And then the Screens appeared; right after the war.  It’ll cheer people up, they said.  They slapped ours right on top of the old Roman baths, and before long you had a Screen on every corner.  Then they seeped into the houses.  The small screen is dead: long live the Big Screen!  They were wired right into the wall.  There was no off-switch and no plug: once they were in, they were on.  Some people took out their windows and put Screens up instead.  Herds of wildebeest; much nicer than the back yard.

The old style of news reporting was dead, since the advent of the Street Brothers and video-drones, so a fair number of journalists had joined the Queue.  And of course The Show had thrown most actors and musicians out of work.  Talented or not, we were all equal now.  You had to admit, the idea was genius: to solve unemployment, inflation and the housing crisis all in one fell swoop – you’ve got to take your hat off to whoever came up with that one.  But I heard he joined the Queue too, in the end.

At first there were folk who wouldn’t have a Screen in their house.  But they all caved in eventually, because if you didn’t have a Screen nothing else worked.  You’d have no kettle or fridge or washing-machine; no heating or hot water.  No computer.  It was the latest thing: a holistic and totally compliant home.

An hour later we’re outside the shopping mall.  A group of droids are in a window showing off the latest smart-suit: ‘a must-have for all executives.’  What does it do, I wonder?  Answer emails?  Field phone-calls?  Be your avatar at a meeting?  I’m out of touch these days, but it’s probably not much more than a wearable laptop.

Time for lunch: I take a couple of soggy sandwiches from my chill-bag.  Only a few left now, and once they’re gone I’ll have to buy in.  There’s plenty of food available: you’ve got burger stands, fried chicken booths, chip bars, ice-cream stalls, donut diners, you name it – and for anything further afield you can use a Qrunner.  Finding food is not the problem: the problem is paying for it.  We’re a captive market; so they can charge whatever they like.

Another shuffle – and now we’ve hit a Blind Spot, out of sight of a Screen.  There aren’t many blind spots left now – they’re working to cover them all – but here’s where I get the only few moments of quiet in my day.  I close my eyes and bathe in the silence.

A shout wakes me like icy water: with a sigh I pace out the space that’s opened in front.  We’re in Sight again now: wearily I put down my case and lob my sandwich-wrapper at the nearest rubbish-chute.  It’s only 12.30 and I’m bone-tired.  Some days sleep can seem like a distant memory.

But at least during the day you can tell yourself you’re headed somewhere.  The evenings are when I miss home the most: I miss my tiny kitchen and my fireplace; I miss Patchouli, my fierce feral cat.  I wonder if she’s still alive?  Cats are vermin now: if they catch you feeding one, they’ll shoot the poor thing right in front of you.  And then you’re out.

Mid-afternoon, I take a peek at my phone: it says 3 new messages.  My heart skips a beat but I save them for later.  Late afternoons are hard: hour after hour you glance up at the sky, trying to discern a tinge of dusk.  When it comes, the sky is lined with orange.  If I could climb up just once and watch the sunset, I’d go to bed happy.

As the orange spreads across the sky we shuffle forward again.  I might have come a hundred yards today.

Everyone’s flicking glances at the street-lights: when they come on we’ll halt for the night.  Then the Q-runners start swarming, yelling, place your bets!  You get odds according to your place in the Queue: then when you’ve paid, you can go home and sleep.  It’s not enough for them to have us queuing all day, they have to have a race at night for us to bet on.  Since horses are mostly farmed now, they race Q-runners instead.

I watched it once, and once was enough.

But even if I could afford to bet, I can’t go home – because my home isn’t there any more.  When I came here the Screen was disconnected and the house condemned.  No Q-deposit, no house.  You’re here for the duration.  It’s terrible, but what are you going to do?

The lights come on; runners and homers start shouting the odds and the rest of us stake out our sleeping-pitch.  The best places are by air-vents – you can sleep there till dawn, with any luck – but tonight all I get is a step outside the arcade.  I spread my sleeping-bag and sit on it, marking out my territory before it’s time for cocoa.  I keep my head down: the homer deals are still going on and tempers can run high.  The odds change all the time and if your runner gets a better deal, you can’t blame them for switching.

When everyone’s gone to watch the race I pop across to the vendor for cocoa.  Now comes the best time of day, when I sit and look at my phone and enjoy a hot drink.

The first few days, I had visitors dropping by.  But no-one’s been for a while, so I look forward all the more to my texts.  I take a mouthful of cocoa and swipe my inbox.  Still just the three messages.  True to form, two of them are junk; but the third is from Julie.  My heart gives a little skip as I thumb the icon, and see her smiling and waving.  I smile and wave back, even though I know she’s just a collection of pixels.  Then I open the message.

            Nearly there!

Julie’s always so up-beat.

The bars are lighting up and drinkers start to shove their way through; stepping over us like garbage.  I can’t remember the last time I had a night out.  I remember Carol and I were together.  I don’t want to think about it so I get out my diary and write a few lines about the day; then at ten o’clock Cormac and I do one last pee-exchange before the siren.  You should get to sleep as quickly as you can, before the clubs open; before the muffled trance-beat makes your ribs start to vibrate like a wild heartFriday nights are the worst: you get pissed on and beer-bottles thrown at you.  We are the vermin now.

I curl up small on the steps and lay my head on the pillow.  Maybe tomorrow we’ll be in sight of the Studio.  Maybe we’ll even get in!  Imagine – this time tomorrow, I could be sleeping indoors!  I try to picture it; all the bodies lining the corridors and stairs, all the way to the top floor where the Audition room is.  As I fall asleep the Screen is crooning a jingle about the new Sweet-Dreams App…

3100 words

 

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Two Ronnies, Four Candles, One Ronnie and an Orange

When your sword fails, you draw your dagger – and so it is, friends, that I find myself here instead of writing my short stories because for some reason my document has frozen.  This reminds me of a most brilliant sketch, the best thing I’ve seen since the Two Ronnies’ ‘Four Candles’ and clearly a modern hommage to it, which was this:

It’s brilliantly written, so if you haven’t yet watched, take a look.  I think it’s easily as good as the classic hardware shop sketch.

Hang on, let’s see if my document’s still frozen or if it’s thawed a bit.  Nope, seems to be a problem with open office.  Back to Word then…

It’s been a day for problems.  This morning I heard a disturbing trickling sound: at first I thought it was just the bath emptying but then I realised that water was coming from the base of a cupboard.  Weird.  It was also trickling through the ceiling.  Something was clearly wrong: I went upstairs to find Mark mopping the bathroom floor with a succession of towels.  It seems that the automatic plug thingy, which had stopped working a while back, had come unscrewed from its moorings.  It appears that this device performed an essential job in draining the bath and was now not performing it, due to lying on its side on the floor.  I got the side of the bath off and tried to screw it in again: however the assembly is broken (which is why it stopped working in the first place) and so I shall have to get a new one.  In the meantime the bath is out of bounds so if you were thinking of coming round to have a soak, you’re out of luck.

Sometimes it seems there’s a theme to your day.  I’m not sure how an overflowing bath, a broken plug and a frozen document all add up but I’m working on it.  Can’t do a thing with the document. Hey, do you remember a time when women supposedly used to say ‘I’ve just washed my hair and I can’t do a thing with it?  What were they were expecting to do with it, I ask myself.  Perhaps my hair can sort out the frozen document and the broken bath plug?

Nope, for the latter I think I’m going to have to go to the hardware store.  I wonder if they sell fork handles?

Kirk out

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