I'm writing this for Sunday Scribblings'
What about this for a quote!

“I would much rather have regrets about not doing what people said, than regretting not doing what my heart led me to and wondering what life had been like if I'd just been myself.”

I have to admit it took me ages to make out what it was saying, it’s certainly a mouthful! But I like the sentiment – I think!

I assume it means that some regrets are more important than others. I think, correct me if I’m wrong, that not doing what your heart says is more regrettable than not doing what your friends tell you to do.

Actually I’m not sure I agree. Doing what my heart has told me has got me into all sorts of trouble. I often deeply regret listening to myself.

On the other hand, my friends have often given me advice which I have stupidly ignored and regretted like crazy.

Are you following this or are you beginning to regret starting to read it?

It also talks about wondering what life would be like if I’d just been myself. Wow, it would be a disaster! I’m a bit accident prone, and I get myself in all sorts of scrapes. If I hadn’t listened to what people suggested to me I dread to think what would have happened!

I’ve just found a simpler quote. “Forget regret, or life is yours to miss”. And another, “If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world.”

But the funniest quote I came across was this one by an actor I’ve never heard of, Denis Leary – “My biggest regret in life is that I didn't hit John Denver in the mouth while I had the chance.”


think pink!

My friend Keith found a weekly meme called True Colours. Each week the contributors post photos and say a few words about the chosen colour. As this week the prompt was my favourite colour pink, he suggested I join in. So here goes!

With a name like Pinkerton is hardly surprising that my favourite colour is pink!
My favourite shop is called Pink. It’s in Brighton.

My new car is pink. I love it

I saw these pink shoes in Spain. Aren’t they lovely?

I love stretched limos, and this little Trabant I saw in Prague
really made me giggle!

I'm off for a glass of pink champagne. Cheers!.


I'm weird and I'll tell you why!

. .
I’ve been tagged– yes me! And I’ve been given a badge to display. Mind you, I can’t read a word of what it says in the small print, so I hope I haven’t just agreed to do something I’d rather not! This is it.

It was given to me by Tanya Gwen Minnick - what a fabulous name. It seems I have to list seven weird or random facts about myself. Why anyone should think I do one weird let alone seven defeats me! But I’ve had a go, and these are they! (gosh that was posh!)

1. I walk under ladders for good luck. Most people walk around them but I did that once, kicked the ladder by mistake and the guy at the top fell off!

2. I got home late one night after a having a few drinks. It was dark in my entrance hall and I tried sticking my feet into my two white kittens thinking they were my slippers. It made their eyes water!

3. I spent a year at a finishing school in Switzerland. Now that was weird, but at least I know how to arrange flowers and curtsy for the Queen.

4. Not only do I not get jokes, I don’t know when people are telling jokes which can be very embarrassing.

5. Right, nobody else knows this except the teddy bear I sleep with, and I hope my parents don’t read it – but I’ve got a tattoo! It’s on my bum cheek, my left one I think, although I always get a bit confused when I look in the mirror! It’s quite cute, it’s a little fairy!

6. I can talk like a duck. I know ducks can’t talk I’m not quackers, but you know what I mean!

7. I learned Latin at school and I can still remember the basics. I’ve always loved this saying - struit insidias lacrimis cum femina plorat - when a woman weeps, she is setting traps with her tears. I’m giving our secrets away, aren’t I girls?

I think I am supposed to tag seven people now. But as I am fairly new to this blogging palaver I think I’ll ask for seven volunteers instead. Any takers?..



Wooooo, woooooo - scary stuff!

I wrote this for Sunday Scribblings
I noticed the clock on my kitchen wall had stopped. Apart from that, the morning was pretty much the same as any other.

I rummaged through the drawer in search of a new battery. I found AA’s, D’s and an old No.6, but the only A I came across was a lumpy sticky one!

Anyway I carried on with my routine – showered, got dressed and had breakfast. Toast it was. I prefer croissants, especially the pan-au-chocolat type, the straight ones with square ends and two chocolate worms through the middle, but I didn’t have any.

As I’ve told you before I have a bit of a short term memory problem. That’s why I often end my blog posts with a different subject to, woops, from the one I started with!

Where was I? Oh yes, I was just about to put my coat on and leave for work when I looked at the clock on the kitchen wall and thought ‘Oh, I’m early. I’ll have another mug of coffee’. It was only when I switched the telly onto News 24 I discovered it was nine o’clock and I was very late for work!

But when I got to school the children were still arriving! ‘How odd’ I thought. ‘I’m not late at all’

It was a normal kind of day and on my way home that afternoon I purchased a couple of new batteries for the clock.

When I walked in the door it felt odd. I can’t say exactly what it was, but something made me shiver. It was a really strange sensation.

I took my coat into the bedroom, and there on the floor was a white bed sheet, the one I’d folded up and placed on the chair the day before. Again I shivered, I don’t know why.

I joked with myself about there having been a phantom in the house while I was away, and a strange aura had remained!

I remembered being told once that ghosts pop white sheets over their heads when they want to be seen. When I told my friends they all laughed, but I thought there may just be some truth in it.

And right then the hair was standing up on the back of my neck. At least I think it was. I’ve never actually seen the hair on the back of anyone’s neck stand up!

I then noticed that the TV was turned on. It was tuned into Ghostwatch on Channel Four. Now I know I am in the habit of forgetting to turn it off so I wasn't entirely surprised. But ‘weird’ I thought, because the last thing I watched was BBC News 24 this morning. I was now getting more than a little spooked.

I went into the kitchen to get a bottle of chardonnay from the fridge and I noticed a cereal bowl with a few soggy cornflakes in the bottom. But I’d had toast for breckie and had fantasised about pan-au-chocolat. And the mug – it was half full of cold tea. I’d thought I’d had coffee.

Something was playing with my mind. I grabbed a jar of dried garlic to keep me safe – I didn’t have any of the real stuff, but I hoped it would have the same effect.

I was feeling a little shaky so I went back to my bedroom and sat on the edge of the bed. It was then it happened. I could not believe my eyes.

The white bed sheet on the floor began to move!

I was petrified.

Then slowly a head appeared from underneath the sheet, a fluffy head with big round eyes.

It was my cat Fuzzybutt looking as frightened as me! Then a tail appeared from the other end of the sheet. I couldn’t help laughing – it looked as if Fuzz was six feet long! But it was Scruff’s tail. They both came out and jumped on my lap. They were shaking.

‘Let’s all pull ourselves together’ I shouted. I stood up and the cats jumped onto the floor. I remembered the battery for the clock and thought that then was the perfect time to stick it in. So the three of us went back to the kitchen.

And then the oddest thing of all. The clock was merrily ticking away. And not just that, the hands were showing the right time. ‘Oo–er’ I thought. Fuzzeybutt and Scruff looked up at me with their tails between their legs.

What happened that day, I really don’t know. Did time stand still? Did nothing I thought I’d done actually happen? Had a spirit – a phantom been in my home?

I guess I’ll never know, and if you believe that story you’ll believe anything!


A very blind date!

I've written this for (Fiction) Friday.
I’ve had a few boyfriends. Well, at my age I am bound to have done. But I’ve never found anyone special. No young man has ever frothed my coffee, showered me in fairy dust or carried me away on a cloud of candyfloss.

In fact I’ve not had much luck in the bloke department.

For instance there was Pete the Geek! I told myself that the anorak and his bobble hat didn’t matter. After all he was an interesting person. He once announced that he was going to give me a treat. We were going to the airport. I of course assumed that we were jetting off for a romantic night in Paris or somewhere.

Wrong. He took me up to the observation platform where I sat shivering under a blanket with earplugs in, whilst he gushed over Boeings and Airbuses and other assorted flying machines.

Then there was Jimmy the Joker who always had a funny comment in every situation. Unfortunately I have a problem differentiating between tragedy and comedy and cried when I should have laughed, and giggled when I ought to have pulled a sympathetic expression.

There was Trevor and his tandem, Freddy who suffered from flatulence and Julian. The less said about Julian the better, except to say that he had an unusual physical ‘problem’ which I couldn’t keep my eyes off!

Should I tell you about it? I’m always afraid of saying something which could offend my readers! Okay, Julian had a strange twitch. One eye brow shot up and down quickly followed by the other one, a bit like the brows on a ventriloquist’s dummy! There I’ve told you.

Well, I couldn’t stop staring at him and once I kinda went into a trance and he had to wave his hand in front of my eyes to break me out! So that was that.

What I came here to write about was blind dates. I’ve had a few of those I can tell you! Keith wrote about one last week – he called it He’s not for Rosey or something. It was a pretty accurate account of yet another disastrous encounter.

But the one that I remember almost was a blind date! It was arranged for me to meet my date at the bench alongside the second rubbish bin in the park. At the appointed time I sat down and waited and then I saw a couple of guys coming towards me. They were arm in arm so I assumed they were, well, you know! Batting for the other side!

Then I noticed one was wearing a blindfold – it must have been my blind date.

And it was. He was introduced to me as Toby, and then his friend made a discreet exit left! He clearly wanted to take the blind date bit really seriously, so I played along. He asked if he could feel me which took me back a bit! Then I realised he wanted to feel my face to get an idea what I looked like. I said it would be easier if he took the blindfold off and took a look, but he was adamant that he wanted to act blind.

So I steered his hand to my cheek and he started feeling around which tickled a bit. Then he suddenly stuck a finger up my nose and poked me in the eye with his thumb! Wow, that hurt!

Now I couldn’t see either because my other eye had closed in sympathy. Talk about the blind leading the blind.

That broke the ice and we did go on to see each other a few times, but it wasn’t to be. Sorry about the anti climax!

I wonder what they’ll find for me next?


If I could change one thing

If my Fairy Godmother suddenly appeared and asked me if I would like to change one thing about my life I would say in all honesty, no..

But if she said I could change something in somebody else’s life, then I would grab the chance with both hands.

In my class at school, there is a small child. They are all small of course but this child is smaller than all of the others.

I’ll call him Tommy although that’s not his real name.

He is quiet, and spends most of his time in thought, staring at the ground, in a world of his own.
Exactly what goes through Tommy’s mind I don’t know, but I would guess he’s thinking about his Mother.

You see, his Mother is unwell and unable to care for herself. Tommy’s father left long ago, soon after his wife became ill.

While her son is at school, a nurse pops into give her what help she can, but once school is out it’s down to Tommy to tend to her, cook for her and carry out all manner of duties which a child of nine should not even have to think about, let alone do.

From his window Tommy can see his school friends kicking a ball around in the street, or playing tag. But he never complains. He just gets on.

If I could change one thing for him, it wouldn’t be for him to have the advantages I had when I was growing up. It’s not money he needs. He doesn’t need any more love than he gets now from his mother, she couldn’t love him any more than she does.

No, I wish he could have a normal childhood just like his friends. A childhood where nothing really matters except scoring the winning goal.

But I guess that’s all a dream.
Based on a true story


My pilgrimage

As soon as I saw the prompt ‘Pilgrimage’ on Sunday Scribblings my mind went back to my schooldays. I remembered the hymn that was our school song, To Be a Pilgrim.

I just looked up the words because it occurred to me that when I was a kid I had no idea what the song was about. It was all written in Olde English with heaps of words that meant nothing to me. Even now I’m struggling a bit!

I can remember that we all found the name of the writer a bit funny. Well, when you are ten you are bound to find someone named after a swollen toe somewhat amusing. Who on earth could be called John Bunion even if it is spelt Bunyon!!

Actually I’ve quite surprised myself. I remember that it was written in sixteen forty-something, about the same time as Keith’s fave pub The Five Ashes Inn was built.

I also recall that 'Billy' Bunion wrote it in prison as part of his book Pilgrims Progress though I can’t remember why he was there.

I also know that someone altered the words, and someone else, Vaughn Williams I think it was, changed the tune!

That reminds me of the character Trig in that TV sit-com who was a road sweeper and said that he’d had the same broom for twenty years and it had only needed six new heads and four new handles!

Looking at the words again I realise that the second line says Let him in constancy, not Let him incontinently! I also thought there was something about fancy flees in the last verse, but now I see it’s when fancies flee away.

I also thought that the third line of the second verse was about no foes staying the night. Wrong!

My journey through school was a pilgrimage. It was a journey beset (I like that word) with angst and acne. They say that the journey is more important than reaching your destination, but in my case the getting to my destination was one of my life’s greatest moments. I made it – I left school!

He who would valiant be ’gainst all disaster,
Let him in constancy follow the Master.
There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent to be a pilgrim.
Who so beset him round with dismal stories
Do but themselves confound - his strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might; though he with giants fight,
He will make good his right to be a pilgrim.
Since, Lord, Thou dost defend us with Thy Spirit,
We know we at the end, shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away! I’ll fear not what men say,
I’ll labour night and day to be a pilgrim.



Just around the corner

I've written this for Writers Island.
Just around the corner from my flat is the shop where I buy my newspapers, sweeties and milk when I run out.

Just around the corner from the shop is the pub where I meet my friends for a drink or two.

Just around the corner from the pub is the cop-shop where I had to take my driver’s license last week because I got stopped for speeding and I didn’t have it with me.

Just around the corner from the cop-shop, sorry, Police Station is the park where I play on the swings when no-one is watching.

Just around the corner from the park is the school where I work.

Just around the corner from my school are the allotments where I will soon be growing things.

Just around the corner from the allotments are the public loos (hang on, I’m just nipping in!)

Just around the corner from the Public Conveniences (I love that old fashioned name!) is the church with the noisy bells that wake me up on Sunday mornings.

Just around the corner from the church is the sea front.

and just before the next corner is my flat!.




Memorable mnemonics

I was doing some laundry the other day and I noticed water all over the floor It seemed to be coming from the cupboard next to the washing machine. Strange I thought. I looked in the cupboard and I saw it was squirting from the pipe which sends water to the machine.

Now I’m a pretty practical person. Usually I carry out minor DIY things around the flat without too much trouble. Ok, I did have a problem when I smelt gas. It was dark so I looked for the leak with a cigarette lighter. I needed to re-grow my eyebrows anyway so it wasn’t a problem.

And I once I drilled a hole in the wall to put up a shelf and I hit an electric cable. My friends said that frizzy stand-up hair suited me.

I was pretty confident with the leaking pipe because I remembered a mnemonic. Mnemonics are sentences that help you to remember spellings, useful bits of info and things.

And I remembered how to spell mnemonic because of a mnemonic - Macabre Neanderthals Eviscerate Mammoths On Nocturnal Icy Coasts, or an easier one is Monkeys Never Eat Mayonnaise On Noodles In Canada.

Anyway, I knew I had to tighten the pipe so I said ‘Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty’. Unfortunately I was a little over enthusiastic and I tightened it too much causing the connection to come off in my hand, and I ended up looking like a drowned rat.

Talking of mnemonics, when I recently wrote about birds I was a little unsure about the difference between rooks and crows. I looked up the mnemonic and it goes ‘a crow in a crowd is a rook. A rook on its own, is a crow’. That led me to look up others.

If you can’t decide whether to use Affect or Effect just say RAVEN – Remember Affect Verb – Effect Noun!

And Fahrenheit temperatures to Centigrade ‘30 hot, 20 nice, 10 cold, 0 ice!’

How to spell Necessary – one collar, two socks!

I after E except after C - but not in Keith, weird!

Draw a circle in the air – Never Eat Slimy Worms, North East South West!

Here’s one I learned at First Aid classes so I’d remember what to do in an emergency – DRAB stands for Danger, Response, Airways, Breathing. I can’t quite recall how it’s supposed to help though.

The order of the planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas!

To spell Rhythm – Rhythm Helps Your Two Hips Move

If you have any favourites I’d love to hear them!

By the way, the plumber who came to mend my washing machine pipe was a really nice guy and very understanding.


I'm going organic!

Very soon I will have my own allotment! I can’t wait, but unfortunately I’ll have to because until someone dies there are none available. I am told that an old fella by the name of Harry is pretty close to meeting his maker, and I have mixed emotions because although it will be very sad for his family when he pops his clogs, it will be a great day for me.

When I saw this week’s prompt on Sunday Scribblings it got me thinking. We have to write about organic things, and I thought - ‘I know, I’ll have an organic allotment’

The first thing I have researched is organic manures. I didn’t realise there were so many types. I can’t start making it just yet because it may stink a little, and setting up a ferty-factory on my appartments balcony could prove unpopular with my neighbours!

For organic compost I will need to keep all my waste things – leftover food, dead flowers and things. I’ll get an old bin and then I have to buy some worms! What a hoot! You need a special make called (wait for it) Red Wrigglers! True, I promise you.

I can get them by mail order. I wonder if they are cheaper on EBay. Anyway, I’ll bung them into my bin and see what happens.

Fertilizer is different from compost. Did you know that? I didn’t. It has to come from something which once lived. Dried blood, crushed bone, and old fish skins for example. I’m not sure I know how to crush bones. There's a guy who drinks at our pub they call Bonecrusher, perhaps that's what he does for a job. I'll ask him. I think I can buy it readymade too– Bones2Go!

Another good fertilizer is horse poo. We don’t get many horses trotting past my apartment, and even if we did I’m not so sure I’d want to follow them with a shovel and bucket. I do have a plan though. I know someone with stables, so I’m sure I can get some there.

Actually cow pancakes are probably good too. I’ll gather some of those from the farm near school. I could get the children to help me, and then I wouldn’t actually have to pick them up myself. It would be great fun day out for them too, I’ll mention to the Head.

I also read that something called Humanure is good. If it’s what I think it is, I’ll give it a miss. Can you imagine....no I’d rather not!

Then there is crop cover. That’s when you plant something alongside your plants which insects and bugs find tastier. My book tells me that this is used a lot in vineyards, but I won’t be making my own wine – it takes too long and gardening is thirsty work!

So soon I’ll have organic carrots and cabbages and lettuces and tomatoes. I also want to grow flowers. I’ve never heard of organic gladioli so I could be on to something new. One of my aims is to grow the world’s tallest sunflower. I may just have found the answer!

I let you know when I get my allotment; hopefully it will be before the spring. Perhaps I could take old Harry some poisonous grapes to speed things along.

Did I say that? That’s terrible, I should be ashamed. You know I didn’t mean it. Honestly Harry!



One plain one purl

I thought I’d give an update on my knitting. I am getting quite quick at it now. I found this wonderful wool shop inside an indoor market and I thought you might like to see a picture of it.

They also sell all sorts of other crafty things as you can see from this picture. Incase you are wondering, that’s not me standing at the counter. Well, it couldn’t have been, I was taking the picture!



Anyway, I made all my friends little cell phone socks for Christmas and I was chuffed to see everybody using theirs when we all met up the other day.

My latest project has been a pair of gloves. Very complicated. You have to make sure each glove has five fingers. Then I joined them together with a long piece of elastic which I feed through my sleeves so I won’t lose one.

Unfortunately when I tried them on for the first time I realised I’d made two left hand ones by mistake. So now I’ve got to make two right hand ones, and then I’ll have a spare pair.

Actually Keith always says he gets cold hands at work, so he might like them. I know they are pink, but I’m sure he won’t mind. I saw his laundry drying the other day, so I know they wont be the only pink things he wears.

That reminds me, I saw a man the other day who was wearing one brown shoe and one black shoe. I commented on them and he said that he had another pair the same at home. Actually that’s a fib. I didn’t really see him, it was a joke someone told me.

I’m looking for unusual things to knit and if you can give me any ideas I’d be well pleased. Things like place mats, lamp shades and even a cover for my computer.

I was thinking earlier that as my fruit bowl is always empty I could knit some bananas and apples. Grapes might be a bit difficult, but oranges very easy. Well, they make decorative artificial fruit from other materials so why not wool?

I do eat fruit, in fact I love fruit. It’s just that I keep it in the fridge ( I thought I’d write that in case Mummy reads this!)

I tried a pomegranate the other day. What hard work. All those pips and all that squirty juice! Never again.

What’s that fruit that stinks? I had it on holiday once. I remember – durian. Wow, what a pong. I am told however that they are an aphrodisiac. They wouldn’t be if they were in the same room that's for sure.

A few years ago I tried planting some apple seeds. They didn't grow.

I must get back to my knitting now.




For richer or poorer

I wrote this for Sunday Scribblings.

For richer or poorer
she married a snorer
he snored for the whole of the night
One night he stopped snoring
she thought he’d stopped breathing
It gave her a terrible fright.

In sickness and health
his fabulous wealth -
it constantly played on her mind
Now if he stopped snoring
because he stopped breathing......

no, how could she be so unkind?

For better or worse
she looked in her purse
and saw nothing but buttons and bills
She knew when he died
that he would provide
a fortune by way of his will.

Through joy and through sadness
she knew it was madness
to hammer a stake through his heart
(metaphorically speaking!)
For now she’d just wait
til that faraway date
when one day his death would them part.

This is not a true story! Please take it in the light hearted way it's intended!