scribbles tagged ‘Oh’

smoke signals

Monday, October 7th, 2013 | tags: ,  |

Neighbours Bonfirewalking home from downtown I noticed a large stream of swirling white smoke coming from…. ….my house


Maybe I left a candle burning unattended and my whole home is now going up in smoke. My heart sank and I broke into a run. Luckily it was just a garden bonfire in my neighbours garden. I took in my ash-speckled laundry and climbed the wall to talk to my neighbour. A group of people were clearing the badly overgrown garden, I acknowledged their good work and said next time I’d help of they warned me. Then a friend’s face turned up and I discovered that they’d bought the house, so I now have new neighbours who are old friends! Excellent result. Reading town is a small town in many ways.

smoke signals
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omnipresenceness virtually distributed

Saturday, April 14th, 2012 | tags: ,  |

We really exist, we’re no longer just virtual!

How do I know?

The wendy house now has it’s own facebook page:

People can ‘like’ the wendy house on facebook! Oh, the sense of achievement, success, relevance to middle-age culture. Excellent!

Of course there’s twitter aswell, but I try not to flaunt my omnipresenceness lest people start spreading meme-ified-rumours of my godli-ess-ness


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upping the sparkle quotient (part 1)

Thursday, March 1st, 2012 | tags: , , , ,  |

(WARNING: BORING – this is a DIY story)

  1. Paint tester potsDecide on a colour – Deciding what colour to paint the hallway and bathroom has taken 4 years. 4YEARS! Currently the bathroom is white – too clinical and boring. The hallway is a pale custard-yellow. Too insipidly polite for my taste.  The colours I like are too dark for these rooms which have small or north facing windows. Then INSPIRATION! –  during a particularly dark dream about people being abducted (for their body-parts on the healthcare black market) from an Opium den that I was ejoying – I saw the wall colour sparkling through the candle-light and smoke…. GOLD!
  2. Purchase 3 test paint pots – all marked as ‘gold’ looking like slight variations on the colour and damn sparkly. Each with a slightly different product names, produced by different companies, brands. Minor tea-fest to celebrate
  3. Move furniture and plants – out of the to-be-sparkled dark hallway and bathroom into the sun filled Orangerie. Had a cup of tea
  4. Sugar soap the walls – standing on my fabulous bauhaus bar stool to reach the high bits. Discover the bathroom was painted either before the plaster dried or without adequate priming….unexpected…. Chorus: wash hands, moisturize hands, have a cup of tea
  5. Bathroom paint peeled-offPeel-off poorly applied paint – peel the ploosely attached paint. A satisfying experience. Chorus…
  6. Paint 3 test squares on west, north and south facing walls then spend the daylight hours drinking tea and pondering how the natural light affects them at different times of day and artificial lights in the evening…  Chorus…
  7. Cut-in Hallway edges – a time consuming task because one of the main characteristics of hallways is that they have lots of doors (4 in this hall) and windows. Chorus…
  8. Sleep – overnight while the paint dries
  9. Cut-in the Hallway edges 2nd coat  and leave for 4hrs to dry Chorus…
  10. Prime bathroom bare wall. Chorus….
  11. Visit city recycle centre. Oh! Errrr! this is where the th 40-something attactive men hang-out on a Sunday afternoon….   ……I’ll be doing a tad more spring cleaning this spring…  Chorus…
  12. Paint hallway 1st coat. Then pack stuff away ready to finish with a coat or two next weekend Chorus…

 (DIY story on pause until the redecoration is finished… )

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lost our box

Thursday, January 19th, 2012 | tags: , , , ,  |

wendy: is there a password for the hotel internet?

The staff gives me a handwritten code then adds:  we’re not sure it’s working, let me know if you can get the internet


wendy: I can connect to your wireless but your wireless hub is either not connected to the internet or your ISP isn’t giving out IP addresses because the error message I get is about the DNS server not providing IP addresses

staff: ????????

wendy: um, your internal wireless system is working ok, but the line coming in is having trouble. Maybe just turning your internet hub on and off will solve it, or you’ll have to phone your internet provider…

staff: we don’t know where the box is, we’re having building works and we’ve lost it

wendy: Oh!!!!! Probably worth looking for the box then….

3 days in the hotel and my only internet access was on my cell phone.

Hotel Internet - not working...

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Herbaciousness abounds

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 | tags: , ,  |


Many pathways in heaven are herbaciously bordered. Not all, but a big darn lot, 700 or more

herbacious borders

This little beauty is in Buscot Park, along with water gardens, kitchen gardens, walled gardens, Italian gardens…. …all immaculately designed from the perspective of a person wandering through them. I managed to spend the best part of a day drinking the visual beauty

Herbaciousness abounds
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Monday, July 25th, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |


I’ve joined a group, a society, a community a Movement!

Berkshire Womens Movement (BWM)

I like to pronounce it as BRRrrrrrrrwwwm, like the sound of a car accelerating. I’m hoping for some community action. Yay! The second incarnation of the Brrrrvrrrrooom website says the movement is all about

bringing about social change through community inclusion

The driving, founding member has already arranged a discussion group lead by one of the UK’s leading feminists, a celebrity – Kat Banyard author of ‘The Equality Illusion‘ and director of UKFeminista

She’ll be leading a discussion on…

‘Why is feminism still relevant today?’
Wednesday 27th July 2011
7pm – 9pm @ RISC Global Cafe, 35-39 London Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 4PS.

Meanwhile, I’ll get to wear one of those little plastic-coated paper broaches  that says “BWM wendy” excellent!
Come along and join in…

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Bristolian hat-wearers unite

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

dance teacher: Wasabi makes you jedder
wendy: Jedder?
dance teacher: yes jedder (demonstrates by shaking her shoulders)
wendy: Oh (signifying realisation), Judder! Where do you come from?
dance teacher: Reading, why?
wendy: (decides not to mention her unusual accent)  I’ve never met anyone who actually came from Reading
dance teacher: where are you from?
wendy: Bristol
dance teacher: whereabouts in Bristol do you live?
wendy: I don’t live in Bristol, I live in Reading
dance teacher: Oh, whereabouts in Reading do you live
wendy: Cemetery Junction

mutually understanding silence

dance teacher: a lot of people wear hats like yours in Bristol
wendy: (pause of disbelief)… I got this little beauty from Jacksons
dance teacher: Jacksons?
wendy: Jacksons, at Jacksons corner in downtown Reading, the shop
dance teacher: Oh

During the evening I put more effort into keeping the conversation going by trying to find out more about the dance teacher. An interesting life; writing a novel, travelled to the US for research where she met some influential dancers. She was given the dance business after she met the previous owners at lessons, the work involved arranging themed hen-night evenings and many more interesting stories.

The teacher looked happy enough, the conversation flowed, while I focussed on her. For a brief moment she appeared to show a interest in me when I mentioned my admirations for the fabulous Josephine Baker. But the conversation almost always felt like hard work, mostly disappointing because of

  • incongruence with my experience of the world “people in their 50’s are too scared to leave the house or go anywhere on their own“. I mainly mix with fiesty fifties.
  • what seemed like an extreme lack of self confidence “I can’t dance“. Yet she teaches it.
  • naivity “I didn’t realise that running a dance business would involve a lot of hard work”
  • lack of an active interest in wendy!

She smiled as she talked, conversation liberally punctuated with self-deprecation and giggles. She was  interesting and some might find her self-deprecation charming.

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stranger at a bus stop in southsea

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

romatic couple watch the evening roll inwendy: excuse me, do you know if the bus drivers give change here?

Stranger: yes they do, it’s not like Reading

wendy: OH, MY! I’ve just come from Reading today, that’s where I live!

stranger: I used to live in Reading, I moved here 11 years ago, I’m visiting Reading tomorrow

wendy: oh, OH! I used to live in Southsea for 7 years, I’m just visiting, I’ll be back in Reading tomorrow, I’ll keep an eye out for you, nice to meet you and thank you!

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making it so

Saturday, August 14th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

tall colleague: it smells like electrical equipment burning in here

wendy: OH No! The last time someone smelt something that no-one-else could…

colleague:  …it happened just afterwards

wendy: everyone out of the building

tall colleague: which electrical equipment should I torch first?

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smells like rain

Friday, August 13th, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

wendy: smells like rain

my colleage looks outside the window at the blue sky, looks back at me, raises a single eyebrow slowly then  the edges of her mouth swing out while her lips furl from her teeth revealing the cheekiest of grins.

wendy: I know, it sounds a bit bonkers, but this room just does smell like rain to me, can you smell it?

colleague: no (laughs, then, about a minute later)  OH MY GOD. WENDY! Look out the window, its raining!

A cloud above the building that we couldn’t see was dumnping its load with avengance, rain against blue skys. To me the smell was overwhelming and kinda sexy.  Apparantly the other people in the room couldn’t smell the rain through the building walls.

On planet wendy we not only smell the future coming we often hear then trip-over it too.

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synchronised plant ponderings

Saturday, May 1st, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

wendy: I was gardening every evening this week

julie: me too, I’ve planted potatoes and herbs, last night I spent 2 hours gardening, it feels so good afterwards.

wendy: Oh (signifying impressedness) um, I just really pull out weeds and think about doing other  stuff

julie: I pull out weeds too

wendy: mainly I stand with my mug of tea looking at my borders thinking things like ‘that Phlox looks good even though it’s pink, maybe I should plant some more’

julie: Yeah, I do that in the morning before I come to work too

wendy: me too

julie: you are not alone

Phlox, Bluebells and white armeria

Phlox, Bluebells and white armeria

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access rights

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 | tags: , , , , ,  |

young boy: but I love you, please.. …if you wont even give me a chance to prove how good a boyfriend I’d be for you, I might as well kill myself now

young girl: OH  P’Lease, grow up, I dont negotiate with emotional terrorists

Within 3 hours he had  written-off £4K of boy-racer Suzuki motorcycle to keep his threat promise.  He gave her name and address as hss next of kin.    She hadn’t had the chance to enjoy freedom from his persistent lobbying for access rights  when the police notified her of the accident.  They certainly added dramatic effect. Raised the terror levels.   How long before his capacity for violence, obsession with her, will put her in hospital?

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car neige

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 | tags: , , , , , , , , , ,  |

3pm. Somewhere near Didcot. 21st December

How sensible am I,   starting my journey back to Reading?
Unbeknownst to me, Reading had already come to a standstill
The Reading Chronical had already published the standstill*

6pm. Pangbourne. 21st December

Gridlock in PangbourneThis is where I encountered the full car neige,   the tail end of the traffic trying to get into Reading.   The traffic standing still,   sliding sideways, not yet abandoned.   Local radio traffic news talked  50 yards taking 2 hours to cover.   Urrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhhhh……

Across the next hour I called and consulted with multiple friends. The phone network was often too busy to connect my calls.   Despite the presense  of many car drivers I felt very alone.    My calm sensible friends and I agreed that I needed to get off the road quickly and get shelter for the night.

Elephant Hotel Bar, Pangbournewendy: do you have any spare rooms for the night?

receptionist: stranded?

wendy: yes, well, um, yes

receptionist: we have one room left,   would you like a toothbrush with that?

wendy: OH! (signifying relief at getting a room and supportive receptionist) Yes please, thank you, I was turned away from the hotel down the road, a toothbrush!   how thoughtful

Handsome Other Guest (HOG): we’re stranded too,   I’ve only got a hammer and some ski poles in the boot of my car,   maybe we can do a deal over the toothbrush?

wendy: I’ve got a blanket in my car, we could build something like a tent with the poles and hammer.   Not sure where the toothbrush comes in

HOG: (Huge smile then turns to receptionist) table for 6 please

receptionist: we’re waiting for the chef to get in before we finalise the menu,   we’ll try and feed everyone

HOG: Table for 6?   Can you put me on the waiting list

Butcombe beerClearly the snow car chaos called for some serious parking-up and a pint of Butcombe.   My party for one joined a few other party’s for one and we all shared stories of family, cars, hills, walking, the IT industry  and other topical faerie tales.

*  the exceptional Number 17 bus was still on the move, albeit erratically.

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local cello

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

Angel is a  young (late 20’s) local boy who reminds me of the ‘Charles’ character in  the film ‘4 weddings and a funeral‘.  

Angel in the morningAngel:   Yes….Yes…my home was broken into 4 years ago….they took everything….everything small….small enough to carry……mobile phones…..DVD player……they didn’t take my Cello….it is portable,  in a case with a handle,  you can carry it….they didn’t take it.

Wendy:   Oh (signifiying acknowledgement of the value of a person’s Cello)

Angel:  Yes.   Good thing really

Wendy: Yes……..      I’ve got a friend whose sister is called Hilary, like Jacqueline du Pré

Angel:   Yes…….         ………Yes……..   ……..must go……        got a train to catch.

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precision time memories

Saturday, October 31st, 2009 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Bros 1957: Wendy, do you remember what we were doing at this time on September 11th 1979?

Wendy: Errr……   …not really,   what were we doing Bros 1957?

Bros 1957:   Oh!   You don’t remember!

Bros can produce an ‘Oh’ packed with emotional messages.   It’s a family trait.   He was genuinely very suprised that I didn’t remember what we were doing at a specific time on a specific day nearly 10 years earlier

Wendy: Nope.   I can guess but it would be based on probablities that things I remeber happened at that time.   What were we doing then?

Bros 1957:  We were having a family sauna  at a ski resort in Inari, Finland  

Wendy:   I remember the Sauna.   How do you remember the exact date and time?

Bros 1957: because it  was exactly 10,000* days ago (huge smile)

Helsinki's Sibelius monumentBros 1957 has a fantastic ability to remember time and events together,  he’s published an eponymous  moon-based calendar.

* dates have been changed because I can’t remember them
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facilitated footwear

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

Wendy:   I want Oxblood red please!

Conkers footwear facilitator (CFF): You can have any of these colours, you can have different colours for different feet, different colours for different sections of the boot, what would you like?

Wendy: Oh, Oh, OH,   purple, no green, no this electric blue,   no brown.   Oh!   …   um,   Oxblood red please..

Conkers, TotnessI discovered Conkers shoes in the summer of 1986.   discovered after having been sent there by a bouncy student friend from Newton Abbot who’s boots I couldn’t help but admire.   By the time I found Conkers  they were 9 years old and had a small shop at the top of Totnes High street.

They now have a larger shop half way up  Totnes High street. As a student I couldn’t afford the luxury of a well made, durable, easy to repair, natural tree-rubber soled, funky coloured, personalised pair of shoes. I sulked and promised myself that when I had a job I would come back and treat myself.   I’ve had one job or another for nearly 20 years.   This week I went back to Totnes and now I have a pair of boots being made-up to fit.   I suspect I will be back again…   for purple, or green, or…

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Monday, July 6th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

Wendy:   Do you remember Rod Stewarts haircut in his early years? When he was in The Faces?  about the time of Maggie May?   No.   Silly question. You are clearly way too young.    It’s an  early ’70’s cut, short on top and longer at the back,  it was called a feather cut

Alan: like a mullet

Wendy: Yes! That’s what I want,   a 70’s kitch mullet

Alan:   you’ll need a lot of product

Wendy: Oh <mindful not to argue with the hairdresser before he starts cutting>

I got exactly what I asked for.   Hoorah,   it certainly turned heads on the street

Rod Stewart sang the first cut

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hypnotistless regression

Saturday, June 27th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

After a few minutes silence a new conversation starts

male: I’ve got a new horn

female: Oh?

male: Yes,   it’s no longer ‘MOOOOOOO’   now it’s  ‘MOOOOOOEEEEW

female: that’s nice

male: do you want to see my horn?

Wendy: Teeeeheeeehheeeeheeee he wants to show you his horn

Returning to the UK has reinforced my ability to regress the age of 12 without the aid of a parachute or hypnotist.  

How cheap is that?   Bargain basement cheap!  

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Thursday, June 4th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Laundered Dressesfriend: you’re wearing a skirt, I’ve not seen you in a skirt before

I pull open my cosey warm cardigan to reveal that the skirt goes all the way up to my armpits

Wendy: a dress

friend: Oh!

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pink and black

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

Saturday SushiWendy: t-mobile’s colours are almost the same as HMV’s   – pink and black

t-mobile assistant: Magenta

Wendy: Oh (signifying recognition that the assistant’s correction was blunt),   I’m sorry,   is Magenta a technical term for pink?

t-mobile assistant:   There’s been an SQL error entering your details,   I don’t know what SQL  is but its not your fault.    

Wendy: Sequal Server? Maybe it needs a t-mobile technical specification,   like magenta instead of pink?  

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bus or tardis?

Sunday, April 12th, 2009 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Waiting for a local bus,   for local people, locally, my other brother skipped up to me with a big smile and HELLLOOOOOO Wendy HaHaHa.   I jumped up to hug him (he’s 6 ft 4).

skippy:   Here’s the bus,   three busses at once,   OooooOOOOoo HaHaha

I walked toward the first double decker

skippy:   WRONG!     we want the single decker, Hahahahaha

Wendy:   Oh (signifying disappointment at not getting the double decker)

Skippy is on the bus and has placed himself in the centre of the back row of 5 seats by the time I’ve joined the line and paid for a ticket.   I look down the bus too see him at the end of the isle,   he shows me all of his teeth and claps his hands,   then raises one hand and waves it at me, as if I might be leaving, while laughing.     I show him my recently cleaned teeth and run down the bus to take a seat next to him.   We chat loudly  during the journey.   I laugh everytime Skippy talks because his enthusiasm and volume is  brillliant.   He is clearly happy to be with his little sister and I with him.

Skippy is looking forward to the Easter special Dr. Who  episode,   he tells me about it.   I posit that maybe this bus is a TARDIS and one of the passengers is a time lord disguised as a local,   the conversation deteriorates from here on.  


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a deficit of skipping

Monday, March 30th, 2009 | tags: , , , , , , , ,  |

 A fairly typical secondary school conversation  about my brother in the late 1970’s:

Secondary School Peer (SSP):   you know your brother?

Wendy:   yes, I know  both of them,   do you mean [name]?

SSP: No,   the other one,   what’s wrong with him?

Wendy:   What do you mean ‘what’s wrong with him’

SSP:   well,   you know he’s not normal…

Wendy:   how is he not ‘normal’?

SSP:   you know,   skipping down the corridors, laughing to himself and clapping his hands

Wendy:   Oh (signifying acknowledgement that my other brother does all these things), yes, he does that when he’s happy

SSP: he’s happy in the corridors at school?

Wendy: yes,   he’s always been able to entertain himself and find things to make him smile

SSP: He’s weird

He  is still a happy soul, able to entertain himself and skip down the street when he’s happy.   It’s as cute in a man in his 50’s as it was for a boy in his teens.   I just bounce,   I find that the less complex up-down movement reduces the likelihood that I will fall over.  

A deficit of skipping must be a very sad thing,   as indeed the beautiful, be-hatted, talented,  lip-synch-averse, wiggly, much missed Billie MacKenzie recognised:

The Associates sang Skipping

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on not selling cars

Friday, March 27th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Wendy:   Hello

AA Approved Car Dealership Sales Person (Sales):   Hello

Wendy:   My name’s Wendy and I’m interested in the used Diesel Mini advertised on your website.

Sales: Yes

Wendy:   It has suprisingly low mileage, do you know why?

Sales: The owner has 4 other cars and spends most of their time abroad,   its mainly sat in their garage, its in excellent condition.   I’ve known them for 25 years.

Wendy: Oh (signifying impressed by people with sufficient funds to buy a car to  store it)   could I book a time to test drive it?

Sales: Yes

Wendy:   I live 21 miles away, in Reading

Sales: If you tell me when you arrive I can pick you up from the local train station

Wendy: to catch a train I’d have to go into London and then come out again,   it would take more than 90 minutes, and at least 2 train rides.   Could you possibly bring the car over to Reading?

Sales: No, we don’t do that

Wendy: Oh (signifying suprise at the sales person’s lack of conversational charm or any effort put into  actually attempting sell the car)

Sales: we can’t leave the office unstaffed.  

Wendy:   I can get there on (date/time) would that work for a test drive?

Sales:   Are you interested in buying it then?

Wendy:   No, I just fancied a day trip out and a free drive in someoneelses second hand mini for the hell of it

Wendy:   yes

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Thursday, March 26th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

why I love England #8:   flippancy

Liberal indulgance in flippancy.   Often there is no apparant  effort to dress-up,   or dress-down, conversations to be anything other than a wee bit of mutual indulgence in minor entertainment.   No nonsense nonsense.   In my experience flippancy is more common, valued,  in England than in  the NW US

Mary:   Wendy?   that’s easy,   we don’t have any Wendy’s here.

Wendy:   Oh, (signifying surprise that I’ll be the first and only Wendy here) I’ll be your first Wendy!

Gill:   everyone is called Gill or Mary…   …I don’t know why….

Wendy:   Even the Simons and Geoffs?

Simon:   What?

Geoff:   Leave me out of this.

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Friday, March 13th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Fire escapeEmergency exit from a Northern English office building.

Using the helter skelter  is an anytime activity, not reserved for emergencies.

I didn’t check if there was a helipad on the roof for emergency entrances.

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Oh burgger

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

I accidentally deleted my blog database when trying to back it up.    

How silly is software that enables that accident?



My last back-up was Dec 17th.   All your lovely comments and my fabulous thoughts between now and then have just become a figment of our imaginative memories…

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Monday, February 9th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |


As a youngster I was unaware that my Bristol accent was amusing until  I  went to University where complete strangers  with strange accents would ask  me to sing Wurzels songs, say ‘Oooh AaarrrrhH’   and offer me cider.      I do know a few people that can handle a combine harvester….   ….I would quite like to drive a combine harvester, for fun…


The Wurzels sang ‘Combine Harvester’


The Wurzels sang ‘I am a cider drinker’

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cute accent #8: dulcet tones

Friday, December 12th, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

Since repatriating to the UK I have not been the lucky recipient of any spontaneous exclamations of ‘cute accent’.   It has been pointed out that I sound foriegn.    I attribute this ‘foriegn accent’ accusation to remnants of my regional, Bristol, burr.     It is possible that the following  comment counts as an English equivalent of saying ‘cute accent’,   it is also possibly something different:

English person in open-plan office (EPIOO):   I heard your dulcet tones nearby and thought I’d take the opportunity to talk to you

Wendy:   Oh (signifying a double message of I wonder if that means cute accent? and what does the EPIOO want?)

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just bear with me if you will

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

says the Very Nice Lady (VNL) from the highways and drainage specialists  at Reading Borough Council freephone information.

VNL:   if I don’t have any joy I’ll get back to you in just one second

Wendy: thankyou

VNL: I didn’t have any joy


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Saturday, November 8th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

chap:   I have to smoke in bed,   I wake up at 3am every morning regulalr as clockwork just to have a fag

wendy: oh  (signifying:   failure to segue effectively into another topic)

chap:   I  can’t give up,   I have a fowl temper if I do (his hand  is shaking as he scrunches his face while taking a long deep draw from his hand-rolled,  warped, filterless cigarette)

wendy: oh (recalls him  slamming  doors, stamping his feet and throwing things  all with  a fag  balanced in  his mouth)   I’ve locked myself out,   got to go and pick-up my spare key.

chap:   do you want a lift?

wendy: no, I’m alright (signifying: no way am I getting in a car with a chap demonstrating signs of emotional instability)

chap: where are you going?

wendy: not far, bye   (signifying: no way am I  letting this chap know  where I store my spare house key)

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