Tag Archives: Humour

Drifting in Time

Drifting in Time.100 Word Wednesday

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Image by Sandra Jane

My relief; we made it back to the docks. Exhausted, I’ve been rowing with the current ever since the Meridian sank. When? How strange that the harbour is in a dilapidated state and abandoned, all in a space of one week. I sense an eerie chill, of being observed, that bristles the hairs on my neck. This is no welcome and this is not home.

I nudged Holmes awake from his sleep, he is delirious due to his allergy to sunlight and I note his aversion to physical exertion, except puffing of hashish from his pipe. Well, Watson, he had said before we sailed, if I can’t get the true elixir then this potpourri will suffice.
‘We made it Holmes,’ I shouted, glad to be alive.
‘Yes,’ he said and sat up in the boat for a better look. ’We are indeed here, but at the same time we are not.’ He grabbed at his pocket watch and checked the hour. ‘Oh! What year is this? Ah! Doctor, yes yes how very clever.’
‘What!’ I didn’t get his demented drift. ‘Clever?’
‘Oh yes, the Doctor is afoot.’ He grinned. ‘Let’s tread with care.’
‘Who?’
‘Precisely, Watson. The Time Lord himself.’

Is She my Type?

Blind Date.

Zoo Bar IMG_1387

Street Art in Glasgow, Scotland

They said she’s nice, so don’t be late
You’ll recognise her beautiful smile
And she’ll be wearing the latest Prada style
My nervous excitement, on a blind date

I saw her, gorgeous, laughing at the bar
Dressed in fashionable hugging stripes
Enchanting, attracting extroverted types
Like a prowling stag, ready armed for war

There is something about the fading light
That brings out an instinct in my mind
A sort of sublime emotional mating kind
That drives survival, but perhaps not tonight.

 

 

Fortune Teller – Aunty Rose

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Tarot Cards – Image from pixabay.com

Aunty Rose.

Tea leaves, tarot cards and a glass crystal ball
Aunty Rose has a special gift she can read them all
Holding hands in circles, she’ll speak to your lost friends
Relaying their sad voices with promises to make amends

One summer fete she had sat in her fortune teller’s tent.
Where Mrs Gilford asked, and then all her money spent
To know where her dead man Alfred had hidden his secret gold
Alas, thought Rose, how awful for this wife not to have been told.

They sat and pondered over Alfred’s wealth while sipping sweet tea.
And Rose swirled the leaves around in a glazed white porcelain cup
To form some shapes and symbols that would settle for her to see
The location of the treasure, but alas Aunty Rose had to give up.

Let’s consult the Book of Thoth to reveal the secret of his hoard
So Rose dealt the Tarot cards into rows across the table’s board
It was looking good dealing mostly cards showing golden jewels
But alas, the next was a row of snakes, then jokers and dancing fools.

Not to worry Mrs Gilford, said Rose, I have a mystical crystal ball
Let me gaze into its misty haze, and as the clouds of ether fall
they will reveal exactly the perfect place where to seek and search
Alas, all she saw was a scabby bird holding in its beak a dying perch

Next, Rose lit some candles and in the silence of the subdued light
She held Mrs Gilford’s hands and called to Alfred about their plight
A freezing chill filled up the tent and a ghostly voice spat and roared.
But alas, Mrs Gilford could not understand and declared Aunty Rose a fraud.

Oh this failure was a terrible shame that Aunty Rose could not endure
She pack her bags and said farewell, with no predictions for her future.
Then one day a letter came with pictures of Rose on a Caribbean beach.
And a view of her new home, a sixty meter yacht – ”Alfred’s Sweet Peach’

Traditional Christmas Sentiment.

My piece below is a reflection on a well known Christmas Ghost Story.

Mr Scrouge.

I was never happy nor gave a festive care
When carol singers screeched outside my door.
They seemed so full of seasonal Christmas cheer
With good tidings and joy that I found such a bore.

My name is Mr Scrouge not Santa Claus.
I didn’t give presents and I didn’t send cards
Nor hung baubles or tinsel on a coniferous tree
Instead I’d count my gold and cackle aloud with glee.

Then I saw an apparition over St Nicholas’s church in town
A ghostly creature laughing, his finger pointing down
Mr Scrouge, he called, your time on Earth is running out
What use is your pointless life full of bitterness and doubt.

What do I care of others and your empty ghostly threats
I am off to the bookies now to collect my winning bets.
Then a tiny ragged boy appeared holding out an empty bowl
Sir, he said, my mother’s dying, please a penny for her soul.

And from the dirty rags in the doorway by the ironmonger Jacks
She rose up and I saw an evil face laughing on a boney rack
Her skeleton chattered, Mr Scrouge, it is clear for all to see
That death is knocking on your door, but you’ll never be free

My heart stopped beating, I shivered and felt a creeping cold
The ragged boy and mother laughed at my life becoming mould
I cried for an Angel to rescue me from this dark despotic death.
So I promised to spend my wealth to end all poverty on Earth.

The boy and mother warmed me from a pitiless lonely end
And we celebrated Christmas with all their wondrous friends
It cost me all my hard earned gold to bring them happiness and good cheer
And so the moral of my sad story to you must now be very clear.
That having lots of family and friends at Christmas is wonderfully dear.

Book Week Scotland -Simply Read Too

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I had a book and CD launch today with the completion of my project for Book Week Scotland.

The book contains the transcripts of a collection of poetry and short stories written by Lanark Writers, which I published. The recordings on the Audio CD, which are the authentic voices of the authors, were arranged by the gentleman on the left, Mr Boom. He also composed the music and did the sound engineering. The result is a professionally finished piece of entertainment. Mr Boom is a TV entertainer as well as a sound recorder for local music groups and bands.

Here is an example of one of the poems; Villanelle for an Ancient Lover by Edith Ryan.

 

How did this lover get to be so old?

Who once was young and in his prime

In whom the fire of the love has not gone cold.

This ardent mate with passion bold

Whose days were full of summertime,

How did this lover get to be so old?

A lover with a heart of beaten gold,

Now slower, all he needs is time

In whom the fire of love has not gone cold.

Life’s race is run, perhaps life’s story told

In fireside tale or ballad rhyme

How did this lover get to be so old?

I thought that he had split the mould

Eternal youth, an ardour so sublime

In whom the fire of love has not gone cold.

Time’s etched his face with line and fold

And on his hair there’s frosty rime.

How did this lover get to be so old?

In whom the fire of love has not gone cold.

*****

Simply Read Too in Other Writings

 

 

 

 

 

Second Glance

Second Glance by Jan Train.

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Glasgow Street Art

sometimes

when people walk away

you want to call out

their name

just so they’ll turn

with a polite look

of enquiry

and you’ll say

something

quite inane

simply

for the pleasure

of seeing

their face again.

A Girl on the Train.Short Story by James McEwan

On my journey by train into Glasgow yesterday I was reminded how anonymous we are to other passengers and seemingly invisible -unless they try and sit on your lap. We become strangers thrown together for a short period – and we sit in silence. Or do we?

I tried to capture this in a short story I wrote sometime ago where the interaction of sounds, furtive glances and seemingly disinterest is a cover for our instinctive curiosity.

Tell me what you think, can you envisage this situation?

On Camera Nov 2014 128

A Girl on the Train.

(She Blew Me A Kiss.)

 

The girl rushed into the train compartment and she dropped into the seat diagonally opposite me, to my right by the window. Seemingly agitated, she looked out and down the platform as if searching for a friend or relative, who perhaps might wave. But no one was there. Rapid beeps preceded the closing of the doors and the train smoothly moved off.

Her red hair was tied in a ponytail. Freckles dotted around her nose, her cheeks were clear and soft. She wore a white blouse underneath a tight tweed jacket, a short skirt and her faint green tights stretched down her legs into the ankle boots that matched the light tan of her satchel. Early twenties.

A woman directly opposite from me shook her Hello magazine and we exchanged glances.

I returned my attention to the crossword. Four down, the colour of jealousy, five letters. Green and isn’t that also the colour of envy?

An increasing volume of a ring tone from a mobile telephone had the girl rummaging in her satchel. I looked up. The woman opposite lowered her magazine, tightened her lips and shook her head at me as she glared over her glasses. I tried to ignore her and returned to the crossword.

Six across, slight discomfort in the organs. Ten letters, try irritation.

The girl placed a notebook on the seat, before retrieving her telephone from the bag.

‘Where are you?’ She spoke into her mobile.

The woman opposite rustled her magazine to a new page and turned sideways.

‘Well get the next one.’

I stared at my crossword. What kind of boyfriend misses meeting this girl, with bright blue eyes? Seven down, an inferior assistant, three letters. Slave, no that’s five, try cad.

‘Carol, you always say that.’

Not a boyfriend then, perhaps it was just a friend with a lame excuse, and who had probably slept in.

‘No its Ok, I can wait in Starbucks, you owe me.’

The woman opposite stared through her glasses at me. Well don’t listen I telepathically glared back and clearly you should avoid Starbucks.

‘He did what?’ The girl stamped a foot on the floor. ‘Oh Carol he didn’t. … He did.’

The woman took a deep breath and lifted her hand to cover an ear. Perhaps she doesn’t want to know what he did. I do.

Three down, something rare or unusual, nine letters. A curiosity. What was it he did?

‘But, is he coming with us? … He is.’ The girl stamped her foot again.

The woman folded her magazine and shifted in her seat, she crossed over a leg and accidentally kicked me. Ouch that hurt, I telepathically smiled at her and rubbed my shin.

‘I’m going to ask Mark along, if that’s Ok?’ The girl continued on her mobile and looked at me.

The woman opposite mouthed sorry.

‘No harm done.’ I said and return to my crossword.

‘What do you mean?’ The girl continued her conversation. She glanced at the woman and then stared across at me. She shifted the mobile to her other ear and turned to look out of the train window. ‘But Carol he’s good looking and …’

Eight down, having no choice eleven letters. Involuntary, now that’s an interesting word.

I watched the girl’s reflection flicker in the window where her face appeared contorted by the diffractions of light and passing background.

‘No no Carol … Mark said what?’ The girl stomped both feet.

Oh dear, what did he say? Perhaps Mark is too good looking or perhaps he is a two timing selfish sort. The woman turned a page in her magazine and a picture, of George Clooney with a beautiful woman in an evening dress, smiled at me. Oh how the celebrities live their lives.

‘I never want to speak to him again.’ The girl hugged the satchel resting on her knees.

So many times I’ve heard that before. Nine across intended to mislead, six letters. Deceit, yes we all fall for the same old excuses.

She started to laugh. ‘I know … you should have seen him.’

So clearly he made a fool of himself, somewhere.

‘I know what an idiot.’

So you’re better off without him, he can’t be trusted and you’ll find someone else. Twenty-four down, influenced by proximity, ten letters. Attraction, what does she find attractive?

The girl looked at me. ‘Who should I invite?’ She said into the mobile.

Why not me? I smiled.

Next clue: four across, an impractical person, and eight letters. Idealist.

‘No Carol, he’s too old for me.’ She looked out of the window.

She’s noticed me, but surely we could try. The woman turned over another page of her magazine and I saw Michael Douglas with Catherine Zeta-Jones holding hands. It works for some.

‘I don’t care, I am not going to ask him.’

She has no sense of adventure, I am sure if she got to know me, we’d be a perfect match.

‘That’s what you think.’ She spoke into her mobile and looked at me. ‘I’ll tell you later … later I said.’

The train announcement called out, ‘the next station is Central Low Level.’

In a connecting glance with the girl I instinctively felt a mutual desire and a perception of more to come.

‘No way,’ she said. ‘I’ll meet you in Starbucks, bye … bye.’ She returned her mobile telephone into her satchel.

Sixteen down inspired with foolish passion, ten letters. It can only be infatuated.

The girl shouldered her satchel and left the train. Rapid beeps preceded the closing of the doors and the train started to move off.

Someone knocked on the window from the outside. It was the girl. She frantically pointed at the seat where she had left her notebook. I grabbed hold of it. The top window was jammed and I rushed to the next compartment. The girl was running along side the train and I threw the book out to her. She picked it up, smiled, waved and then she blew me a kiss.

‘Oh really,’ the woman said as I returned to my seat. She shook her magazine to a new page. Renée Zellweger was smiling at me from a picture, as if she knew why the girl blew me a kiss.

Copyright Infringment.

Well I never! I Googled ‘The Case of The Mahjong Dragon’ during a moment of distraction to discover that – epdflibrary.com were offering my book for free in pdf, ePub and ebook formats.

I had to laugh, at first, as I considered; why they thought this was worth their effort? Great comments like, “wtf this great ebook for free” and “I got my most wanted eBook” and “It’s very easy to get quality ebooks”. 29 comments in all apparently, that is more than the book reviews received on Amazon.

Should I be flattered?

Of course all these comments have been generated to get you to disable the ADblock Download link  on the site. (Don’t).

If only I could work out how to turn this infringement to my advantage, as I don’t have the legal punch that perhaps the big publishers have.  However, the publicity would be a great asset, but to be honest I don’t think it will go any further.

I have offered the book for free on Amazon on a few occasions and it does get attention and attract readers, I can only trust they enjoyed the book for its entertainment value.

My response is just to keep writing and let the readers come, they are obviously working for free as well.