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Showing posts from August, 2017

Reasons why Fran's trainers are drying on the radiator

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The only other time I’d experienced flooding, before two o’clock in the morning on Wednesday, that is, was years ago while teaching a group of Polish graduates creative writing at St Mary’s College in Twickenham. There’d been significant rainfall and I was having a one-to-one tutorial with Eva, sitting together at a desk in a basement classroom.
She kept looking down at the floor while I was giving her feedback on her writing and I thought, how rude! It surprised me as the Polish students were impeccably polite and very hesitant to interrupt or lose concentration. But she didn’t seem to be listening, and here I was, telling her how to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, drawing on my lifetime’s experience of such fame and fortune  by imagining what it must be like. 
She looked down again. ‘I apologise to interrupt,' she said. 'Something very wrong on floor. There is water around our feet.’
Sure enough, the room was half an inch deep already in flood waters. We paddled to the doo…

Evidence that Fran now knows the difference between plain and dry

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Last week, I stayed overnight at my grandchildren's home to look after them while their parents went to a friend's wedding. Elijah is five. Phoebe is three.

This meant giving them breakfast on Friday morning.

It also meant finding out that Elijah could teach me a lesson in kindness.

A short play, set in a living room

Scene 1

Me: Have you finished your cereal, Phoebe?
Phoebe: Yes. Can I have toast now?
Me: What would you like on your toast?
Phoebe: Just plain, please.
Me: Okay, I'll go to the kitchen and make that. Elijah, have you finished your cereal?
Elijah: Not yet.
Me: I'll do your toast after Phoebe's. What will you have on yours?
Elijah: I have Marmite, please. I love Marmite the best.


Scene 2

Me: Here's your toast, Phoebe. Plain, as you said. Elijah, I've put some toast on for you. It'll be ready soon.
Phoebe: (looks at toast in horror, as though I'd served up rats' brains sprinkled with cayenne pepper)
Me: What's the matter?
Elijah: You've put…