Should have thought of that

Today’s #Fridayflash – inspired by my reading glasses:


“Nya nya nya nya nya, you can’t catch me!” George’s shrill voice sang the sing-song tune while he waggled his hands over his ears. “Last one in the pool’s a rotten egg!” Oh, I hated the phrase. I had been the rotten egg one too many times. And of course he would get in first, he was already dressed in swim trunks. I had just gotten home from school so I still had to unlace my shoes, pull off my socks, wriggle out of my pants, fold my shirt and tie … ah stuff it, I’d show him! I took a flying leap and landed in the water, fully clothed. Completely soaked. “Who’s the rotten egg now, dummy?” I shrieked. George was now perched on the diving board, giving me an odd look. Actually, everything looked funny. Something was now seriously wrong with my vision. One eye was perfect, the other was seriously fuzzy. My glasses! I pulled the frames off my nose and peered closely at them. Ah. The thick right glass was missing from the frame. Yip, I could poke my finger right through it. Drat! My heart sank deep down into my guts and they, in turn, twisted around my heart like a spring. Mom would kill me. She said so the last time. This was already my third pair this year and we couldn’t afford to keep replacing them.

I quickly snapped out of it when I realised what a fool I must seem, fully dressed and dripping all over the edge of the pool with my broken glasses in hand. Time was of the essence. There’s no way I’d be able see the oval of glass resting at the bottom of the pool, so I sent George in for a little once over – no luck. And then it happened – we heard mom’s rusty car pulling into the driveway. Panic set in, heart pounding at triple the pace. “QUICK!” I yelled at George. “This is what we’re gonna do!” I blurted out my plan and without thinking, plunged back into the pool. George ran out to meet mom before she could even get the car door open. I could hear his voice distorted, as though I was underwater (Oh right. I was underwater): “Mom! Mark’s in the pool and I can’t get him out!” She left her car door open and ran towards the pool, kicking her heels off along the way and plunging in fully dressed after me. Unfortunately, I think I jumped in a bit too soon … Struggling to breathe now. Everything’s going fuzzy and dark. I can’t hold my breath too well. Should have thought of that.

The cleansing

As a journalist (and an internalist) I know the release you get from writing your feelings down on paper … and also the pain and frustration of having writer’s block. Hence, this week’s #fridayflash:


That dratted song was stuck in her head again. “Woo hoo hoo hooo … ” she hummed soulfully in her head, then shook it. “Dammit!” She suddenly threw the pen she’d been chewing on across the room.

Getting up to pace, she realised she was struggling to focus on the task at hand. It really was quite something, more than a wandering mind could actively get under control. But still. Surely she could do it? She just needed some inspiration to get the words flowing. She had proven this in the past.

With a steaming cup of coffee at hand and renewed concentration, she sat down again at the battered old desk with hidden compartments (well, they were hidden until she found and explored them). She looked down at the blank page. She put a fresh new pen in her hand. Closed her eyes. Cleared her mind. Aimed the pen at the page. And away it went! Her hand was flying, transcribing from somewhere deep within her the pure magic she was trying to get across, that she just couldn’t verbalise. Pausing for thought she read it back to herself and nodded slightly. Yes, it was good. It was better than good, it felt like the greatest relief to get these emotions on paper. She read it back to herself again, crumpled up the sheet and chewed on the inky wad. Sending the words back from whence they came. That would do. For now …


This week’s #Fridayflash inspiration mainly came from a tweet by Fairlady magazine @Fairladymag: “The FLY team is feeling nostalgic: from sticky ice lollies to bike rides through the neighbourhood. Tell us your fond childhood memories?” It’s not about childhood but it definitely is about memories:


She sniffed the pressed petals of the long forgotten pale pink flower – surprised to find there was still a faint whiff of the scent that had once intoxicated her so. She hefted the box from which she’d pulled the flattened petals onto her lap and say cross-legged with an ‘Oof’. Lately she made a noise every time she sat down. Most annoying. Must stop that. Sigh.

Tinker meandered into the room, blinking at the dusty patch of sunlight. “Mmrrow?’ he questioned, weaving his tail gently over to the right, coming to sit beside her. “Hello boy,” she rubbed him distractedly under the chin, her eyes glazed over, while Tinker butted her hand with his head and increased the pitch of his purring. “Alright, it’s still very early for your dins,” she replied to him. “Be patient, I just need to sort through this box first.”

She pulled out a wad of photographs, newspaper cut-outs and handmade cards. And so the memories started flooding back. With a smile on her face she remembered the holidays they had taken together: the excitement of going on a road trip often so strong that they’d both be dressed, packed and caffeinated by 4am. Stopping for a toasted cheese and creamy chocolate milkshake at the popular midway point. Wondering around with Tinker on his lead, enjoying his surprise at seeing an ostrich and goat for the first time. Winding down the window and catching that first whiff of sea air. Feeling the wet, clumpy sand ooze between her toes. Watching the sunrise from their balcony with a steaming cup of coffee. That was a wonderful holiday.

Tinker stealthily stretched out his paw and made contact with her knee. Batting it away before he could sink in with his claws, she picked him up and gave him a hug. Annoyed, he slowly strutted away to plot his revenge. Sifting through the rest of the memories took her back to points of her life she had long forgotten. Oh, the yearning for her youth! She remembered exactly what it felt like to be there, experiencing so much of life for the first time. She realised she couldn’t throw them away just yet. Maybe another day. Maybe.

A moment of internetlessness

I was inspired to write the following after a burst of internetlessness at work this week. It’s becoming increasingly common to complain of information overload, but what about those frustrating moments on the opposite end of the spectrum, where you simply can’t access any of that boundless information? If you do the bulk of your work online, I’m sure you can relate …


A moment of internetlessness – modern office irritation

Internet down. Drumming fingers on desk, clicking tongue against cheek, staring aimlessly out the window. Click to try connect at least once a minute. Still no luck. Frustrated sigh, roll back chair an iota too fast, wheels race to steady itself. Stand up suddenly and feel earphones jerking back to the floor. Dammit, keep forgetting I am wearing them!

Head to the kitchen for a cup of tea – soak teabag, avoid the grimy globs of coffee in the sugar jar and splashing self with hot water.

Back to desk, armed with renewed hope and determination. It WILL work now. Sit, key in ‘control, alt, delete’ to unlock keyboard. Type password incorrectly on first two attempts. Finally! I’m in! But no, internet is still down. Quickly check Twitter on BlackBerry for any breaking news I may be missing. Ugh. So many interesting links, but it’s just not worth attempting to view on such a tiny screen.

Put head on desk and wait. It will be back soon. It has to be.