Showing posts from February, 2015

Evidence that Fran has experienced major trauma

SATURDAY UPDATE ON SLIPPER SITUATION: Mourn with me, brothers and sisters. I went to M & S to fetch my new slippers and put them on at home only to find my heels hung over the edge.  Size 7s, my foot!  I am slipperless once again, as the nice but harassed lady on the counter tells me that there are no size 8s in stock. Fear not. I did buy an alternative to make me feel better. Here they are. Not quite a pair, but good enough.  Thornton's Special Toffees. Yum. One in fruit and nut, and one in Brazil nut flavour.  They won't keep my feet warm, but they still provide a kind of comfort that's very welcome in my distressed, sans-slipper state. 

Reasons why Fran is getting cold feet (and that's not a cliche)

I'm unreasonably excited about getting my new pair of slippers. This is what they look like. I never used to wear slippers. I'd always schlupped around in socks, going 'oof, oof' on the cold kitchen tiles in the winter. My husband would urge, 'Get yourself some slippers and stop oofing' and I'd look at him and say, 'I may have some parts of my body which have gone south in search of new adventures, and maybe I do watch 'Flog It' on my days off, but I am not yet old enough to wear slippers.' Why did I think they were a sign that the End was Nigh? I don't know. Two Christmases ago, not long after I became a Grandma and it seemed futile to hang on to my youth, in the same way it's futile for someone to cling hopefully on to a cliff edge who's got honey on their fingers, I decided it was time. I was in Marks & Spencer, thinking, 'But these all look like care home slippers' when, there they were: my destiny. Exactly

Evidence that sometimes three syllables are enough to be going on with

I found this snippet of writing in a notebook. I don't remember where I was when I wrote it or when. A writing class? It intrigued me, though, just playing on one word like this. The word 'abandon'. Three syllables. Oh, if only it were that simple. And yet, within the word, there is the thing itself. Ah yes, it begins with the vowel, hanging there in the air as though it were benign and could do no damage.  But then the 'b' - the 'ban' - the plosive threat of violence, of a door shutting, of isolation and the colour black.  And the fall. The 'don'. It is all finished. The decision to leave you behind has been made.  The last part of the word can be whispered by the guilty as a victory hiss, by those who depart, as they slide the bolts on all the doors, or turn the silver key in a lock. They take the 'don' with them.  It is the centre of the word that remains, the part that hurts the most. A bit depressing, though. Perhaps I was on

Evidence that Fran would rather start a new blog than mark the rest of a pile of essays

Hey, for those of you who like to write, I've started a new blog on which I'll share writing tips, hints, exercises and the like, mixed in with the usual selection of (what I call) humour. What inspired me to start the blog was finding a heap of papers and files, all to do with my years of English teaching and running creative writing classes, as well as all the notes from previous writing classes I used to attend years ago. What to do with all these? Paper a room? Make a whole fleet of paper aeroplanes? Send them to recycling and take up an entire landfill site with metaphors and character descriptions? Ergo - the new blog.  It's here.  Write with Fran Come and take a look. And let any writing friends know. They're welcome aboard.

Reasons why Fran should stop watching ballet

Someone sent me a link on Facebook to this video of a Russian ballet dancer. Something not to watch before you gorge yourself on sausage and mash. I watched it just before my evening meal, and I really wish I'd had a sardine salad planned, or perhaps a thin vegetable soup with a couple of herb croutons. The ballet dancer leaps around as though his body is made of cotton wool, staying in the air like a bubble, for much longer than seems possible, and landing as though the floor wasn't concrete, but a thick, soft Turkish carpet. And all I could think while I was watching was, in a minute, I'm going to tuck into a plate of pork accompanied by a hillock of buttered mash, and after that, I shall barely be able to rise from my chair, let alone fly halfway across a room like Peter Pan in nude tights. I do love dancing, though. I have a CD called 'R & B Divas' and when no one is looking - and I've turned the mirror to face the wall - I will career around the

Evidence (more evidence) that Fran likes to ruin things.

Someone just challenged people on Facebook to write a 50 word story on the theme of 'Once upon a time' and I can't resist that kind of ruin-a-fairy-tale challenge, as regular followers will know. I posted this one: Once upon a time Red Riding Hood’s mother said, ‘Will you take some cakes to Grandma?’ ‘Of course,’ said Red, but when Mother went to the cupboard, she was very surprised to find she was clean out of flour. Red lounged on her bed, smiling, her pillow higher than usual. Now I feel inspired, here are a couple more: Once upon a time, three little pigs made their mother pack their knapsacks and left home to find their fortunes, despite Mummy Pig’s distressed squeals. ‘Take no notice,’ said Pig One, who’d always lacked empathy. At lunchtime, they opened their knapsacks. ‘Hey! Who packed sausage rolls in here?’ they cried. Once upon a time, there were three bears: Daddy Bear, Mummy Bear, and Paddington Bear, who had got lost.  ‘Apologies,’ said Padding