panyabanjoko

Poetry, stories and knitting

Go with your Gut…

…that’s what I did a few days ago as I was travelling down ‘souf’.

I was looking forward to the three and a half hour coach journey for 3 reasons…

1. I would have time to be alone with my thoughts… we’ve been too busy lately.

2. I was going to see someone I hadn’t seen for a few months.

3. I was embarking on an exciting adventure.

Okay, so everything was going according to plan, including me dashing through the city centre with my suitcase and almost missing the coach.

Made it by the skin of my teeth, sat down, wiped the sweat from my forehead (and discreetly from under my armpits!) and said (quietly to myself) hello thoughts how are you… when….

some geezer asks if he can send a text message from my phone… my gut said NO, so I said ‘no’.

He persisted this time asking if he could make a quick call… Again my gut said no… actually it screamed it…

Can you believe despite me firmly saying no this fool continued to badger me… so I got a little ghetto dropped the received pronunciation and fell into hardcore dialect, he got the message (or so I thought).

I Settled down once again, as the coach pulled onto the motorway this geezer decided to walk up and down badgering the other passengers, each in turn saying no… even with his pitiful story of having his phone stolen… yeah right…

Finally some guy did take pity on him and agreed to him sending a text from his phone…

And I felt bad… I mean where was my charity, my humanity to man, it was only a text message after all…

I guess he sensed my thoughts because he walked back up to the back of the coach where I was sitting and shouted… no actually he spat a barrage of insults at me… sarcastically thanking me for not allowing him to use my phone. I felt even worse. But I also felt that it was my phone and I had the right not to give it to a complete stranger, especially as I was a woman travelling alone… I ignored his insults… years of watching the dog whisperer had paid off as I summoned my calm assertive energy… it really does work (thanks Caesar)

…within seconds he was back down the front of the coach asking the same guy who had allowed him to send a text message to make a call… of course the guy couldn’t refuse as he had been set up to think that he was the good Samaritan and me the wicked witch so he allowed him to make a call… and do you know what happened… as he took the phone from this innocent passenger he said ‘I’m just going to be half an hour’ and he proceeded to go to the toilets where he stayed with this guys phone.I mean what the hell was he doing with it!?

I knew he was up to no good. That could have been me. I would not have appreciated some guy having access to my phone and sending god knows what kind of messages from it.

So my gut was right… a con man. Thank heavens I listened to my gut and ignored my head and heart!

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Beat the Bullies

I was reminiscing last Friday about my days as a youngster… I was that skinny kid with the knobbly knees and the round spectacles courtesy of our wonderful national health system…fodder for bullies I was, easy prey, being nothing but a ‘skinny four eyed git’.

One day the school bully announced at morning break that she was going to pound me into the ground after school, she was bored and needed someone new to terrorise. She was as tough as a Tonka toy! Mean, big, bad and scary. Everyone did her bidding and I had stayed out of her way… until now!

I spent the rest of the day in absolute fear… I still remember that helpless feeling… all my plans seemed unrealistic, e.g leave school early and run home fast, ask her politely not to beat me up, disappear into thin air… nope there was no way out.

Lunch time came and she issued her threat again leaving me weak at the knees and reluctantly preparing to accept the worst, she was twice my size. I also knew deep inside that once she had annihilated me that would leave the floodgate open for all the other trainee bullies to have their pleasure at my expense.  So this event would become a regular feature on the playground landscape.

Then the sound of the final bell rang and I bolted from my class hoping to be fast enough to get away… of course I wasn’t, she had her cronies corner me. So the fight was on. She spent the first few minutes insulting me verbally, about my glasses, they were pink!!! (I don’t rock that style any more!!!)

Whack… she landed the first punch to my face, turned to the group of kids that had gathered around shouting ‘fight, fight, fight’, and smirked with pleasure.

…she pushed me against a wall and prepared to land her second blow but before doing so she pulled my hair… very, very hard… and that was it… Something inside me snapped. I clenched my fist and whacked her back… real hard… the look in her eyes said it all… she hadn’t anticipated me fighting back.  I punched and I kicked and I fought as hard as I could, my skinny arms and legs flailing around like a puppet on a string.

Then she started to cry… yep the school bully that had beat up loads of kids started to whimper like a puppy.

I had won. I had actually won my first fight. I had actually beat the  most feared kid in the school.

Me… the skinny kid that looked malnourished, the kid whose glasses were held together with cello-tape. ME!!!

We became friends after that, not best mates but okay mates and I continued my life as a geek…

reading books and writing stories…

… and the moral is ‘don’t judge a geek by the colour of their glasses!!!!

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7 Things I Don’t Like About Men!!

1. The pretence that they can’t multi-task when really they can! (yes I’ve seen them scratching their hairy bits, whilst drinking beer and watching football).

2. They always seem to have copious carrier bags filled with fuses, wires, flexes, plugs, nails and other useless bits that they might one day use but never do!!! (And they’ll never let you throw them out.) (Tip: Do it whilst they’re not looking that’s what I do!!!)

3. They forget important anniversaries such as the first time you went to the cinema together or had a fish and chip supper…

4. They can be very lazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5. They don’t talk much and when they do it’s about, computers, cars and gadgets…(yawn!!!)

6. They never tell the truth, e.g always saying ‘NO’ to the question ‘does my bum look big in this?’ when really you have an arse the size of an elephant!!! And had they told you the truth you wouldn’t spend the best part of an afternoon in the changing room of your favourite shop trying to squeeze into a pair of size 10 trousers when really you should have asked for a size 14!!!

7. They never take a hint, e.g ‘chocolates are really nice’ means I’d like chocolates please and ‘fine’ means it’s not!!!

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7 Things I Like About Men!

1. They get dressed quickly… so there’s never any waiting for them to get ready!

2. They don’t worry about much… I envy this because I worry about lots.

3. They’re excellent at reverse parking… something I’ve still to master!

4. Once they’ve decided you’re the one… they don’t care how rough you might look.

5. They know how to massage egos, e.g ‘does my bum look big in this?’ usually gets the reply ‘no babes you’re perfect!’

6. They do all the dirty jobs… putting the bin out, unblocking toilets…

7. They pay for you at the cinema, restaurants… (If yours doesn’t then it’s time to get a new one!!!)

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Good things come in small packages?

I went through my school years being called ‘short arse’ because of my petite size.   I wasn’t perturbed by this name calling because even I as a 13 year old knew that people grew…. such was my naivety.

School days passed and adulthood commenced and still my height remained the same… I put this down to being a late developer… although my feet were growing at a rapid rate and ‘big foot’ was added to the repertoire of names  I was called.  I travelled through my world thinking, not that I was short, but that everyone else was freakishly tall… a healthy attitude I think… although psychoanalysts would probably call it self denial.

My career as a freelance storyteller further massaged the notion that I was of  ‘normal’ height as my storytelling audience ranged from  3 years old to 10 years old… Yes I felt like a giant among the little people.

But something has changed in my blueberry and chocolate chip muffin world…   School teachers are now mistaking me for their pupils as I roll up to tell a story they are ushering me from the reception desk and asking me why I am not in my lesson…  and as I protest I’m an adult they stare at me with incredulity and call other members of staff to gawp at me in amazement too.

I’ve always thought that the best things come in small packages e.g the micro chip and er…well… I  can’t think of anything else but I’m sure there are a lot of useful small things in the world…

Now I’ve just found out that you are 1cm taller in the morning than you are in the evening… come on give me a break that 1cm is very important to me… So I have no other option and have decided I’m never going out in the evening again!

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things to do keeps growing…

New year, new start, new thoughts,

more zeal, extra determination, little time.

Update CV, get new business cards, attend more open mics.,

write more poetry.

Tie up loose ends, make a start on new projects,

eat well, live healthily

tick off things done, write down things to do

tired!!!

bed early, no more late nights

share achievements and celebrate successes

Achievement sharing taking place now

Books I have had published, yay!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

one thing completed on my list!

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Spellbound II

I’ve finished reading Spellbound and what an enjoyable read it was. Best book I’ve read of 2012 so far. I like when the baddy gets their comeuppance and the goody has a happy ending. A moralistic cautionary tale for women who fall for the chat-up line of married men. Remember there’s no need to buy the cow if they’re getting the milk for free! I also loved the way it started with a quote from Philip Larkin about parents F**king you up, brilliant but not an excuse for boys who  behaviour badly.

I’ve got Philip Pullman’s ‘The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ’ to read next. I loved his Dark Materials trilogy (Northern lights, Subtle Knife & Amber Spyglass) and his ‘The Ruby in the Smoke’ and was it the ‘Tiger in the Well?’

I’m going to give myself a few days before starting this as I want to get Spellbound out of my head so I can fully appreciate my next read.

ps I’m on chapter 20 of my novel Marry me now…once I’ve worked up the courage I’ll share some extracts.

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On the Rebound

I know what you’re thinking, brazen hussy, say it, that’s what you think I am. It’s okay I’ve been called names before…comically insane, the only black person on this planet without rhythm, 2inches shorter and I would have been a dwarf… I’ve heard it all. But think for a minute, what would you have done, faced with my situation, well?

I know Gertrude hasn’t even been collected by the bin men yet, I know it was wrong for me to have gone out on the pull, but I’m a woman and I have my needs. Look, the temperatures one degree at the moment and there are forecasts of snow, frost lays like a dust sheet on the ground and there’s no signs of it getting better.

I probably am on the rebound but being single has never been my thing, as far back as I can remember I’ve always had a hot water bottle and well I think it suits me, we compliment each other. I didn’t intend to pick Emelda up that day (yes that’s her name) she just touched my heart in her lilac attire and well we hit it off.

Will it last? Who knows, sometimes you have to take risks. I’m happy, my toes are warm and my bed snug and for now that’s all that matters.

My loving Emelda

 

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Goodbye Gertrude

This morning at 6.10am precisely I awoke with a strange feeling. I stretched my cold feet out under my duvet and to my horror I felt a limp Gertrude at the bottom of my bed. Gertrude had passed away. She has gone to wherever it is leaky hot water bottles go. I hear you scoff at my loss but let me tell you something old Gertrude, as I affectionately called her, was a true friend. She has been at my feet in cold and sub zero weather. Remember last year when temperatures plummeted to minus thirteen degrees, who was there for me? old Gerty. Who relieves my cramps every 28 days? Old Gerty.

Now Sting’s (formerly of the Police) song about ‘the bed’s too big without you’ resonates deeply within me. My bed is now an empty, meaningless space without Gertrude’s fluffy pink body to rest my cold toes upon. Never will my toes dance upon her warm body, never will I rest her gently upon my abdomen… never again are we to be together.

Gertrude R.I.P

2007-2012

R.I.P 2007-2012

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Spellbound

I’m reading ‘Spellbound’ by Jane Green and I’m totally engrossed in it. Every waking minute of every day is spent reading it or thinking about reading it. I haven’t had this feeling for a long time, the in-another-world-happy-feeling, that a good book makes you feel. I’m not sure what I will do when I’ve completed it. Perhaps cry!

I had been reading Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ which really wasn’t doing it for me. I loved her ‘Pride and Prejudice’ but can’t get into Emma. What I have found it useful for is helping with my insomnia! One page of ‘Emma’ and I’m out like a light!!! Seriously it’s a great remedy. I think it’s probably one of those books that I’ll only ever get into if  I’m on a deserted island or something. Like William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies, which I did finally read and enjoyed but had to go to the countryside in Jamaica, (no TV or telephone) to really appreciate it.

I had tried to read a couple of Jane Green’s novels before but tossed them to one side I think one of them was ‘Straight Talking’. It bored the pants off me and because of that I had put Jenny Colgan and Marian Keyes at the top of my Chic Lit list. Now after reading Spellbound I think she really is truly Amazing and yes that is with a capital ‘A’.

I hope one day when I’ve got into the romatic fiction world someone will think my work is amazing too.

ps I’m now on chapter 12 of my novel ‘Marry Me’

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