Some days bring sunshine. Some bring rain. And somewhere along the line life settles in hard as a February sky. Locks down your dreams tight against the iron earth and dares you to object. For such a short month it exacts a long toll.
A bunch of scientists did an experiment once with fleas. They took half a dozen of the brightest and bounciest, dropped them in a jar and screwed on the lid. For a couple of days those fleas launched themselves into almost continually. Eventually, through pain or weariness or both, they stopped jumping so high. They settled on a spot two thirds of the way up the sides of the jar and that was their limit. Even after the lid came off and they could have bounded their way to freedom those fleas kept right on jumping to a place well below the potential of possibility.
Maybe I’m being melodramatic but if that leaden February sky ever clears I wonder how high I can still jump.
The literary legend we know simply as Hugh Cron is taking a well-deserved break from proceedings this week and has entrusted me, his faithful Welsh sidekick, to come up with a few choice words to sum up the week that was at LS Towers*
* not an actual tower – more of a chateau really.
I can neither confirm nor deny if Hugh is adding something extra to his Irn-Bru over the course of the weekend but I can at least confirm that from a roundup perspective what I lack in wit I more than make up for in lack of wit.
Other than dying, there aren’t too many things I recall about my sixth birthday. I know I had a new bike because I was riding it when I was killed. It was green with black trim and it had one of those little single chime bells you could twang with your finger to warn off pedestrians who had stumbled into your path. I can’t remember if I chimed it at the car that was heading to the crossing too fast or if it got hit by some part of the car at the same time I was struck but I know it was the last sound I heard. Still, it was a proper big boy’s bike that I could grow into; except, of course, I didn’t.
Sorry, I should probably clear a few things up. You see, I’m not dead. I’ve had plenty of other birthdays and plenty of other presents. Never a bike though. I just couldn’t face it. Besides, dad was always a runner.
When I lived in London I heard that you were never more than three feet away from a rat. It’s a bit like that with cyclists around here Danny. Continue reading
Another change for week 110 so I’ll get on with the reviews and then explain myself.
We had a mix of horror, markets, a ‘legal’ killing, a fishing technique and a town’s history.
Only one new person this week. As usual, our initial comments follow.
“…you can actually taste the friction Dimitri.”
Stu shook his head and stared, unnoticed at his iPad surfing wife. “Did you hear that Jen? They can actually taste the friction.”
“Hmm…that’s nice love.”
“I suppose they’d know that sort of thing what with it being a cooking show and all, but actually tasting friction? I can’t even begin to contemplate what friction would taste like. OK that’s not true, I imagine it tastes pretty similar to sticking one of those nine volt Duracells on your tongue when you were nine and stupid but that isn’t the point.”
“I expect so love.”
“You’re not even listening to me are you? I could say whatever I wanted right now and you wouldn’t hear a word of…come to think of it it’s probably more like sucking on wet wool.”
‘Twas the night before Christmas
And in the alehouse below
A creature was stirring
A miserable old crow…
“Stirring’s a bit strong a word for it to be fair Nug, but I admire your cheery optimism.”
Nugget shook his lumpy, misshapen and somewhat yellow head. “You know me Bresst. Ever cheery.”
“Been meaning to ask you something though, Nug. What’s this Christmas thing you keep singing about?”
“That? The celebration of Christopher Thomas?”
“Christopher Thomas? You’ve heard the tale of Old Chris surely?” Nugget laughed goldenly as Bresst shook his head. “In that case I propose the same again to lubricate the tale. And,” he continued, poking the form slumped over the table beneath a black feathered cloak, “We’d better get another ale into him if we’ve got any chance of him functioning. Now where’s my favourite…ah! There she is! Menna! Three ales please darlin’. And a couple of those otters on a stick if you’d be so kind.”
Right now. Right at this very moment. The moment we are sharing through the medium of a page and the words it contains a man is washing blood from a nine inch blade. His hands are shaking and not just from the chill of the brown water that alternately dribbles then vomits from a rusting tap.
The bathroom is stark. You know the type. Single, naked bulb throwing diseased shards of light into your brain, alive with a frequency on the ragged edge of your hearing. The floor tiles might be white under the patina of despair, shit and god knows what else. The ones on the walls are much the same but with more graffiti to hide their shame. The mirror above the sink keeps showing the same re-run of a man washing a knife. He looks familiar but he’s changed. Hollowed out. He has no idea why he is cleaning the knife but he doesn’t stop.