The Camel and the Straw

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10 Feb

Viable Prospect: I’m not sure how we left things. Do you fancy another pint or… not?

Me: Another pint could work. When were you thinking?

VP: Anytime


11 Feb

Me: Could do Sunday after church, or next Fri/Sat?

VP: Sunday after church I do penance. Next w/e in Paris. Arghh

Me: Arghh indeed. Might be easier if you say when you can do.


15 Feb

VP: Am obnoxiously chokka. Sorry. Could do late on the 1st.

A Wednesday.

Me: The following week (beginning 6th) would be better if you’re around then.


16 Feb

VP: Yup. Sortid.


Sporadic messages exchanged about Paris, mattresses and Noel Coward.


11 Mar

Me: I feel we’ve strayed into pen pal territory here. Are you around at all in the next couple of weeks for face time (not the app)?

VP: Yes. Like on late weds or the following weds?

What is it with fucking Wednesdays?!

Me: How late is late?

VP: 10

For the record, no one can do 10 on a Wednesday. No one.

Me: Can’t do that. Could do the following weds (22nd) at a normal time. Say 7/8.

VP: I like your use of normal.

Me: It is normal for mid-week


18 Mar

VP: I can’t do normal times this week. Up for something normal ish the following…

Lengthy consultation with my new flatmate as to whether this is getting a bit silly.

Me: I feel this is getting a bit silly. Let’s just leave it.


19 Mar

VP: Normal! Silly! Goodness…

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Damn You

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Damn youCC Image courtesy of Scottmga on Flickr

Damn you

Damn you to Hell,

Did you have to be so bloody


I wish to God I’d never met you

Never kissed you

Never held you in my arms.

Damn you

Damn you


My fellow non-believer

Damn you.

CC Image courtesy of E>mar on Flickr

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Laughter Lines

Posted on

CC Image courtesy of kiki follettosa on FlickrFriends react differently when I tell them.

Beatrice draws on her own recent and painful experience, of being courted by a guy in a relationship who assured her he would leave his long-term girlfriend.  She tells me in no uncertain terms to do nothing.

‘I’m not doing anything!’ I say.

It’s true, I’m not, aside from spending every spare moment thinking about him.  There’s not much else to do during a power cut.


Lucy is pragmatic.  ‘Probs best to park that one, non?’



Sophie, wonderful Sophie, invites me to tell her why I’m so crazy about him.  Initially I make a joke of it – ‘You’ve seen the pictures! I’m only human!’ – before feeling annoyed at my own flippancy.  ‘No, it’s not just that.’  What is it exactly?  ‘He’s so funny!’  I laugh at the memory of our conversation the other night.  ‘And….’

I can’t explain it.  A similarity in the way we think, what makes us laugh?  Or something less complicated.  The light in his eyes, their brightness, his laughter, lines at the corner of his mouth.  And when he does moan or complain, I tease him, and he lets me, and it falls away to laughter.

And other things.  His directness.  He asks me straight out if I’m Catholic, because I reel, and apparently ‘quite a few Catholics do it’.

‘No, and I’d say it’s more Evangelicals.  Are you Evangelical?’

‘No,’ he says.

So that’s religion out the way.

And his voice.  I love his voice.  And that he says ‘chap’ without irony.  And his shoes, they’re beautiful, golden brown, like his eyes.

CC Image courtesy of saxoncampbell on Flickr

And the way we dance, close, his knees slightly bent because he’s taller than I am.

‘I can’t believe you’re OK with my dancing,’ he says, turning me.

I say nothing, only smile.  He takes me into a closer hold.

Dance In The City

Remembering Sunday

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CC Image courtesy of ReeseCLloyd on Flickr‘I’m going to church on Sunday morning.  Join me?’

I can’t tell if Beatrice is joking, but either way…

‘I’ve timetabled a hangover for Sunday morning.  Sorry.’


Last time she checked, I didn’t really drink, and certainly never to the point of being hungover.  But then a few things happened…

I found a drink I like which I can order without getting weird looks from the bar staff.

I drank a couple of them one night and came dangerously close to kissing a guy I’ve liked for a long time.

I had the best night of my time in London so far, in the course of which I discovered I also like rum.


A week later, at 3am, in a flat somewhere near Victoria, I discover I also like white wine, though I forget to check which grape.


Later that day, I get the train home.  My mother meets me at the station.

‘You look nice!’ I say.  ‘Is the skirt new?  I haven’t seen it before.’  I start to laugh.  ‘Have – have you been to church?’

My mother laughs.  It’s one of our jokes: whenever we’re trying to justify a clothes purchase, we say it will be good for church.  She at least still goes from time to time.



She raises her eyebrows a fraction – she’s good at that.  ‘You know it’s–?’

‘Remembrance Sunday.  Yes, of course.’

I feel a wave of guilt.  Things start to fall into place: streets oddly quiet in the mid-morning sun, an invitation to church…


I enter the kitchen to find my brother and father discussing the morning sermon.  My brother breaks off to say:

‘How was last night?’

‘Yeah, good thanks.’

‘Did you have a few drinks?’

‘Might have had a few drinks.’

It’s a strange role reversal.

I take a seat.  ‘How was church?’

Really strange.

CC Image courtesy of Sherlock77 (James) on Flickr

Untitled (2013)

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CC Image courtesy of danielweiresq on Flickr‘We haven’t bumped into each other in a while!’

He’s got this big beaming smile, big arms – I’m not usually one for muscles, but if they’re going – and twinkly blue eyes.  For a moment I wonder why, a few Facebook messages in, my interest in the guy had cooled, I’d stopped asking questions, he’d stopped asking questions etc etc.

Then I remember.  It was the mention of ‘Christian karaoke’.  Which is ironic, because there’s something a bit god-like about his looks.  If I were to describe him in greater detail, which I’d quite like to do, and send a draft to my mother, she would reply ‘M&B’, meaning Mills & Boon, meaning cliché-ridden and basically shit.

I smile back.  ‘No we haven’t!’

And isn’t that a shame, I think, remembering our last pavement encounter.

Actually it is kind of a shame.


It’s the end of the evening, and people are lining up for the last dance.   I’ve been charged with rallying the troops.

I pass by where he’s standing, chatting to a girl I know.

‘Are you guys dancing?’ I say.

He dons his jacket.  ‘Actually I’m going.’

‘Oh no!  Well, nice to see you…’

We kiss on the cheeks.

‘You still haven’t given me that tour!’ he says, grinning.

I grin back – of course I do‘No, well…’

Does he actually want me to, or is he just being charming?  Which I hate.

‘It looks like you’ve got contemporary stuff on at the moment, from what I could see in the windows?’

‘Yes, it’s just coming to an end.’  I laugh.  ‘And I wouldn’t have wanted to inflict that on you!’

He grins.  ‘You’re not a fan?’

‘I’d have thought you’re not.’

He concurs.

‘I’ll let you know when there’s something good on,’ I say.

Will I?

A flash of that smile.

I will…

And a cheery goodbye.

… tomorrow probably.

CC Image courtesy of Tilemahos Efthimidias on Flickr