Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Seventy Answers


I've come to a pause in typing up Seven Answers.  I need to draw some more initials, which takes time, and recently I don't seem to have had much of that.  There are still more replies to publish, although the end is in sight, and soon I'll have to decide what next.

It's been fun so far.  I didn't read all the replies when I first received them, so I've discovered a lot of lovable new voices and interesting stories.  The process of typing them up has been a delight too: I've felt close to each writer as I've typed, a feeling I used to enjoy when I was young, copying my favourite poems by hand so I could stick them on my walls or give them to friends.

Sometimes I've encountered editing dilemmas.  I've cut a few passages in order to tighten the replies and I've corrected a few spelling and punctuation mistakes.  On the whole though I've tried to keep my interfering fingers to myself and let each person speak.  I've also removed some references to people and places that I thought might make a writer recognisable, but here again I've tried to do as little as possible.

And now spring's become summer and tomorrow will be the solstice.  When I started typing up the replies the first primroses were coming into flower, now my garden's full of roses and there are still a few more replies to come.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

An Encounter

(I found this fragment stapled to another set of replies.  There might be more of it somewhere else, but it's rather nice as it is).

He likes the same music as me... who'd have thought it!  Another trance, folk, world-music, poppy freak in the world.  He seems interesting and interested - rather than just taking about himself.  Unfortunately, and unusually, he doesn't drink, having stopped a few months ago after looking in the mirror one morning after.  Still, no one seems to be perfect.

All in all, a really enjoyable and romantic evening.  And yes, hopefully we will meet again[...]

A Lie

I'd like to tell you about the time I arranged for someone to steal my ex-boyfriend's car and drive it into the sea; revenge for the hours he spent telling me about how camshafts work and my disappointment that the excitement he obviously felt telling me about car engines didn't last the distance from the garage to the bedroom.  I'd like to tell you that, but it wouldn't be true.  What is true is that I used to pretend for hours that I was really interested because I wanted him to sleep with me.

A Memory

(This isn't my memory.  Like all my recent posts it's one of Seven Answers).

I can remember waking up in my cot and wanting people to come.  But they were all still asleep [...], even my sister who slept in a bed, so I stood up by holding onto the wooden white painted rails and boinged my Humpty Dumpty up and down with the hand I wasn't holding on with.

After a long time my mum or dad would come and let me out, or my sister would get out of her bed and come over to chat and play.  I don't think she was able to open the cot front and release me.

I still have the Humpty Dumpty, he is Chad Valley, about the size of a big Easter egg and made of very faded and worn pink and blue velvet.  The elastic for boinging him up and down tore off a few decades ago.

A Fear and a Wish

Deepest fear: moths.

Deepest wish: to stay happy and loved.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

An Encounter

Recently I went to see a band with my girl friends.  It was a fun night and the music was rock covers so we could all sing along and spill beer down our arms.  I pushed down to the front and positioned us right in front of the band.  [...] I could feel someone looking at me and turned to the left where I locked eyes with a very, very good-looking guitarist.  He had green eyes and we had one of those stares where you both dare each other to stop looking first but you can't.  One of those stares that make you want to drop to your knees in front of him.

I broke the gaze eventually and looked at my friends who were both wide-eyed.  'What was that?!' they mouthed and I fanned my red face with my hand.

The rest of the gig it was hard to take my eyes off him.  It was clear that we fancied each other and he even sang along to some of the lyrics while he was staring at me.

After the gig I tapped him on the back and he turned round; his green eyes again.  I said, 'I have two questions for you.  One, was the cute girl standing next to me your girlfriend?'

'Yes.'

'Oh, OK.'

'What's the second question?' he asked.

'That doesn't matter now.'  Pause.  Then in my beery bravado I said, 'You would though, wouldn't you?' and he said that I should come to the gig next Saturday and he would guarantee that she wouldn't be there.

I didn't go, but I did think about it.

Monday, 15 May 2017

A House

I spent most of my childhood in a bungalow in the countryside.  Originally it wasn't particularly big but my father built an extension on to it, comprising a dining room and spare room/study.  He also built a double garage to one side.  But the garden was my home - I had a camp at the end of it with a rope ladder and hammock, and I created lots of little cycle paths around all the flower beds.

In the house my favourite place was the attic - it seemed that there was an endless supply of treasure up there: dressing-up clothes, including Mum's wedding dress; a lime green ostrich-trimmed flapper number; a red and white Hawaiian dress; then boxes of old Victorian postcards; naval memorabilia and so on.

My other favourite place to go to on a Saturday morning before everyone else was up was the dog basket, squeezing in with our beagle, even occasionally eating his biscuits.