the humble spud

i had crisps
for lunch.
ignoring the bunch
of glistening grapes
i plumped for the ridge cut
sweet.chilli.full.fat.option.

and.they.were.pretty.damn.good.

so good, in fact,
that i’m having
another pack.
of course,
it increases my risk
of a heart attack,
which isn’t
particularly good but

i suppose i’m a risk taker,
a lunchtime heart breaker,
a crispy snack partaker.

it’s probably in my DNA,
this predisposition,
this predilection
for a selection
of potato based fare:

the humble spud.
transformed into
a crunchy delight.
I may have another bag
later tonight with
some beer.

another predilection of mine.

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Sunday drinking

i am Sunday drinking and thinking about this and that, none of which is important or life changing or even interesting. but, I suppose, it’s exercise of sorts for my right arm and left cerebral hemisphere.

occasionally a squawk, a squeak or a cry interrupts my hand and brain training as animals of all sizes (and permutations) gather on or in the river, to fight and swim and gossip.

i pour another Shiraz, and contemplate the possibility of finding something stimulating to watch on TV. perhaps i’ll read for a while. i read three books at a time, my capacity for reading is only equalled by my capacity for wine and cake.

i decide, by internal vote, to skim the Sunday broadsheets to look for intelligent life amongst the rhetoric and salacious articles about fading celebrities with artificial breasts. there is little of interest. nothing to amuse this muse.

i pour another Shiraz. note the use of a capital S, Shiraz is held in high esteem in my house. A respected tipple. i am Sunday drinking. i am Sunday thinking about this and that, about nothing important, about nothing in particular.

perhaps tomorrow i’ll go out. wearing my favourite green coat and rainbow scarf, walk through bursting snowdrops, take photographs which make me think
or perhaps, i’ll Monday drink and Monday think about nothing important, nothing in particular.

as long as the world is still here tomorrow. it may not be, we shall see.

#FP The girl in the window (a revision)

Based on the following #FP

‘The house had been empty for decades, yet every morning he saw the same little girl at the window.

She blew him kisses.

Cold kisses.’

He lived in a quiet street. A quiet faceless white collar suburban street lined with trees and sensible middle class cars. The lawns were neat. Their edges sharp. In summer, sprinklers hummed and hissed and rosey-cheeked children played tag and hide and seek. It was an idyll to aspire to. A haven to retire to. Geoff thought it was the dullest place on earth.

He was a junior programmer for a software company. Married. No kids. Bored. They used to have a cat but she left for a neighbour three doors down. As cats do. His wife was slim and pretty. And More than a little ditzy. Her name was Valarie and she collected vintage dresses.

Geoff woke at precisely 5.30 each morning. He showered. Ate breakfast. And left for work at precisely 6.30. Geoff had a car. Of sorts. He resisted the temptation of leasing something flashy and stuck with his old Volvo estate. It started. It went. It was green and dented. He didn’t care. He preferred to walk and take the train.

At the corner of his street was a grand old house. Its garden was overgrown and fences rickety. The windows were shuttered, hiding emptiness and intrigue. He didn’t know much about the family who once lived there but he knew that there had been a fire. Everyone had got out before the fire took hold except for a little girl who hid in her room. Firefighters found her curled up in the bottom of a wardrobe. She was untouched by the flames. It was the smoke that killed her.

Geoff woke at precisely 5.30am. He carefully slid out of bed and Valarie rolled into his mattress dip, snuggling and sighing. He tiptoed to the bathroom and stood under the hot shower. Another day. Another dull, boring day. Some mornings he wished that he didn’t wake at all. After a quick breakfast of toast and tea, he slipped out of his quiet suburban house and into the warm July air.

As he reached the old house, he stopped to look, as he did most mornings, and he saw something move. He squinted in the early morning sun, cupping his eyes with his hands. It was then that he saw her. The face of a little girl was pressed against a shuttlerless window. She had long dark hair and the most wonderfully expressive face. The face of an angel. She waved and blew him kisses. Cold kisses. He shivered. Then as suddenly as she had appeared, she was gone.

Each day on his morning walk to the train, he looked up at the old house. And each day the little girl appeared at the window and blew him her cold kisses.

He decided to see if he could find out more about the house. About its secrets. He looked up the newspaper account of the fire. It happened in 1983. It was a terrible tragedy. The little girl who died was trapped in the upstairs of the old house and her parents were beaten back by the flames. Firemen held them back as the house smoked and creaked and groaned with water as the flames were quenched.

According to eyewitness accounts the mother screamed and kicked. Some said she was carted off to a sanitarium. The father sat with his head in his hands and sobbed in despair. He became a drinker and roamed the streets talking quietly to himself, occasionally shouting at passers by.

At the bottom of the article, Geoff found a picture of the family. Mum and dad and daughter.

A little girl with short blonde hair.

So who was the little girl in the shutterless window? He spent days researching the family, trawling through state records until he stumbled upon a death notice from 1978 for a little girl aged two, their first daughter, who had fallen from a top floor window in that very same house.

There was a picture of the toddler.

She had long dark hair and the most wonderfully expressive face. The face of an angel.

He sighed. Geoff knew what he had to do. The next morning, she was at the window as usual and as usual she blew him a kiss. This time he caught it, held it to his heart to warm it and then blew it back. She caught it and smiled at Geoff. Then she was gone. Forever.

His morning walks would never be the same again but each morning he still imagined he could feel her cold kisses.

And see the little girl with the long dark hair and the most wonderfully expressive face. The face of an angel.