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Showing posts from July, 2011

Evidence that trying to economise on the number of characters in your literary work will always have consequences

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The Three Bears - a tragic tale of loss and regret in which a family of bears argue over porridge and muse on their boring lives.  Baby Bear says, 'If only a blonde girl would come and steal our breakfast, break one of our chairs and test out our beds, that would at least liven things up.'  Mummy Bear, who is narked because once again people are moaning about her cooking says, 'Well, that's not going to happen.'  She's right.  It doesn't.  And they find themselves, the day after that and the day after that, arguing over porridge all over again and thinking how like depressing modernist literature their lives are.

Romeo - An Italian youth is infatuated with a girl called Rosaline.  His friend says to him, 'Look, mate. You're obsessed.  Come and gatecrash this party with me tonight and I promise you'll meet someone so stunning that you'll never think about Rosaline again.'  So Romeo gives in and goes to the party where he spends the whole e…

A sonnet - an attempt to say something about the loss of an exceptional talent

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I'm not really one for celebrity tributes, and much of her downfall was obviously influenced by some unwise behaviour, but I still thought Amy Winehouse's talent outstanding.  And it's sad not to see talent like that made the most of (spot the teacher's sentiment!) 


So I wrote this sonnet today.  
A sonnet 
Her voice a gravel-honey mix.  Her life a mixture, too, of rough and then of sweet. Her hair a tower, unsteady, needy, stiff with lacquer.  She, unsteady on her feet and grabbing for support - a mike, a drink,  a backing singer, loyal to the hilt, who sang into the gaps that she had left to guard the reputation she had spilt. Her eyes outlined in kohl, like her obit will be outlined in black.  The voice is gone. Her silence - it says much she never said. Her absence tells it all now, loud and long.
The stage is bare of her.  The stumbling girl with beehive hair sings no more in this world.


Evidence that arriving home is not always the pleasant experience you thought it would be

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Something unpleasant was on my doorstep when I got home from the shops today.

Before I tell you about it, here are some things I would like to have sitting on my doorstep when I arrive home from the shops.

1. A parcel from Amazon, containing books entitled 'Clooneyfy your Husband in Six Easy Steps' and 'Eating Flapjack Mixture Straight from the Pan Without Guilt'.

2. A package from Camelot with a note in it saying, 'Dear Fran, Even though you do not actually take part in the Lottery, we have decided to send you £61 million pounds in cash anyway as you are such a nice person.  It is so much money we couldn't get it through the letterbox.  Enjoy!  (And with your new riches, we are sure that your fifty-fourth letter to George Clooney's agent will result in a meeting.)'

3. A representative from Penguin Books or Faber & Faber waiting for me to get home so that I could sign a contract for a three-book deal worth a six-figure sum.  If said representative l…

Reasons why you shouldn't believe what it says on the packet

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Regular readers will know I've always wanted Big Hair.  Irregular readers can follow the link to find out more if they wish.

I've also always wanted Big Lips.

I have also always wanted a Small Body.

All of this makes me sound as though what I desire most in life is to be a Barbie doll.  It's not far from the truth, but it's not going to happen.  The days are long gone when I could apply for a job as Keira Knightly's double.  I applied for a job as her quadruple not long ago and got to second interview, but even that would have meant me going on a cabbage and water diet.

I try to look at the positives of not being like Barbie.  Number 1: Barbie dolls can't stuff three doughnuts and a bar of Dairy Milk a kilometre long and still look innocent - the look of sudden pregnancy gives them away.  Number 2: Barbie dolls have to marry men called Ken.  Number 3: Real people proportioned like Barbie dolls fall over easily and, although there is a good chance they will boun…

How to Keep Baby Clean - another not-a-Mommy-blogger post

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It is so long since my children were babies that Queen Victoria was still on the throne saying how amused she wasn't, and Charles Dickens was still deciding between the names 'Oliver Twist', 'Oliver Quickstep' and 'Oliver Macarana' for the protagonist of his new book.



But just because I parented so long ago doesn't mean I can't pass on advice, and one of the things you modern mothers and fathers need help with most, I know, is How to Keep Baby Clean.  I struggled with this tricky area of parenthood just as you do.  So I hope you find my ideas helpful.

1.  Finding out why there are so many different cycles on the modern washing machine

When I was a young parent and living in London, washing machines weren't even invented.  We went down to the Thames with the family and scrubbed the baby's clothes clean on any piece of old driftwood floating at the edge of the water.  Then we would hold Baby firmly under his arms and dip him in the river a fe…

Evidence that just one typo when you're Goobling can make all the difference to a faily story

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I've been busy searching in Gooble Images again, but I keep doink typos.  Never mind, I'll see if things improve while I tegg you this faily story.

Once upon a time, there were three little pigs.  Here's a picture of them.










The three little pips had obviously been busy while Fran was searching Gooble Images for pictures of them, because by the time she got back, they'd asked a couple of pippy friends along and become five.  Still, Fran was fine with that, even though having more than three characters in a short story isn't always advisable, although try telling that to any Russian writers.

The three-now-five little pips decided one day that they wanted to go and seek their fortunes.  They said to Mummy Pip, 'Can you do us a packed lunch so we can go for a picnic?'  They didn't tell her they weren't intending to come back.  So, an hour later, they all set off with their lunches.  Mummy Pip had given them each a sandwich, a chocolate biscuit and in one…