I (sometimes) call myself Mr. Pondersome. I'm a rather wordy, weirdy person. I say hullo a lot. I write a lot more. While you're here, why not give some of it a read?

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

HIKING BOOTS (a.k.a. Pillow Talking and Nordic Walking)

Valerie rolled on her side.

            'Sorry.' she said, reaching for the corner of the sheet near the bottom of the bed.

            'Feeling cold?' Sean breathed against the nape of her neck. She sighed.

            'A little.'

            He kissed her just beneath the left ear. His lips lingered. She shrugged her shoulders.

            'Sorry.' she said, 'Sorry for saying sorry again.'

            Sean's hands slipped off her waist. 'You're uncomfortable. You're obviously uncomfortable again. Shall I go?'

            Valerie flipped herself back over to face him. Since cutting her hair shorter, she had felt noticeably lighter. People said that she looked more attractive. She felt it was practical. She pressed her face against Sean's chest.

            He wrapped one arm around her head. When Valerie picked him out from the bar she had noted that he was self conscious about his weight, proud of his body hair and prone to forming pathetic little smiles. She liked the idea of him. He felt like the right shape.

            Sean breathed out through his mouth. 'You're too much for me.'

            'I sincerely hope not.'

            'I should have known. Who wears hiking boots to bed?'

            Valerie slapped him lightly on the chest and laughed.

            'The most I've ever done is Nordic walking.' he said, 'Never qualified. And you...?'

            'Nordic walking's fun.'

            'Should have known. Which is strange because health junkies tend to keep away from me.'

            Valerie raised her head and rolled her eyes.

            'For obvious reasons.' Sean said. His voice was wavering.

            'You'll do.' Valerie said.

            'For now.' Sean added.

            Valerie looked up into his face. His long ginger hair resembled a flaming bird’s nest. She tousled it loose.

            'Turn on your side.'


            Sean shifted his body to the left. Valerie turned on her bedside light. She brought it closer to them, as far as the cable would allow. She watched as his silhouette gradually intensified against the far wall. She ran two fingers across his bicep. It was surprisingly firm.

            'Enjoying the full picture?' Sean laughed nervously.

            Her fingers rolled up his shoulder.

            'Could you keep looking forward?' she said.

            He shrugged his shoulders and did so.

            'And keep still. If you can.'


            She trailed her fingers across the slight crevice of his neck, rose up to the fractured tip of his right cheekbone and slid all the way back down to his shoulder again. She saw it. If it wasn't for all the hair, she would have felt it too. The ear and the elbow were the two main craggy peaks and the slope between elbow and shoulder was almost perfectly angular. The shadow even evoked the jumping tourist, with the flickering of Sean's thumb over his abdomen.

            He glanced back. 'You haven't seen anything, have you?'

            Valerie imagined the route she would take, where the lake would run through, where the rabbits would tend to burrow.


            She imagined herself where the jumping tourist would be. She would ask him why he kept on waving, if it was urgent or just a bit of fun.

            'You haven't-? Valerie?'  Sean turned himself fully back around again.

            She watched as the landscape slid into a lumpy torso and long messy hair. The fond memory collapsed back into the girth of a strange man. She reached for the light again.

            'You saw a mole, didn't you?' Sean said, eyes wide and looking directly at Valerie's.

            'Just a tourist.'

            He frowned at her.

            'I didn't see anything.' she said.

            'Then what was all the finger touching about?'        

            She kissed him on the nose. 'Just realised there were parts I hadn't seen yet. Hadn't explored.'

            'Thanks.' Sean said. He dove in for another kiss.

            Valerie stumbled back but wrapped her arms around him. She realised that the hair could have easily been the grass.

DAY 1 OF 22 (a.k.a. Make Sense of this Post-Birthday Blog Entry! Find the Relevance! I Dare Ye!)

                This is Day 1. The birthday was yesterday but this is Day 1. I've been officially 22 years old for one proper day now. I'm celebrating this year as my milestone for manhood simply because it's even-numbered. 21 years old as a period of great change just doesn't make much sense to me. I like things to be rounded up or at the very least even.

            So what am I going to do now? I've made a post so I might as well make it creative. Writing something prosaic or even poetic keeps that nasty temptation of writing a 'This-is-my-life-and-OMG-can-you-believe-it' blog at bay.

            How about this:



So what?

So what?

So what shall we do

at 22?


            Nope. Too greetings card-y. Besides, the 'true' poet in me died a little over three years ago. Well, not so much died as passed out drunk on its own convoluted hooch. Maybe I should try something like:


ERASMUS: Twenty-two years of age means nothing.

NEIL: Next to nothing.

ERASMUS: Excuse me?

NEIL: To say it's nothing outright is to deny the importance of tracking age altogether. So come off it.

ERASMUS: Tracking age? Is this a hunt now?

NEIL: Rather than saying we're growing old, why don't we just keep on saying we're growing up?

ERASMUS: Not in terms of height, I'm guessing.

NEIL: I'm serious. Ageing is climbing. Or descending, depending on your outlook.

ERASMUS: Not to mention your medication.

NEIL: Shut it.



            Borderline waxing lyrical territory. Now really, who wants to see me waxing? Moving swiftly on:


22. Twenty two. Two and 2. A pair of swans in birthday hats. They're gobbling all the blueprints for the future. Oh no! Oh no! One Oh! One Zero. I've always felt ten. Perfect 10. Good for tensile strength. Strength in numbers.


            Now that was forced. I'm far too good at playing with letters and numbers and obvious clich├ęs so therefore I must stop. Henceforth and all that.

            I'll just say this. I'm another year older. I thought a blog post would help me work it out, get over it, keep on running and perhaps it has. Writing it felt like an exercise in futility so maybe it won't when reading it. I'm awfully good at contradicting myself. Good enough anyway.

            Yes. I'll just say that.

Friday, 12 July 2013

BUSRIDE TO PATERHURST (a.k.a. One of Those Public Transport Journeys...)

David climbed aboard the 11:54 bus to Paterhurst. He yanked his pass out of his pocket and pushed it against the ticket reader screen without even checking.

            'That'll do.' the driver said, 'You can take a seat anywhere except the one with the newspaper on it.'

            David nodded, rubbed his eyes and went to sit at the back of the bus.


            Mona climbed aboard at 11:58. She had the change ready in her hand. She laid each coin down on the countertop individually.

            'Ta.' the driver said, 'Any seat except the one with the paper on it.'

            'Right you are, love.' Mona replied. She shuffled over to the reserved seats for the elderly and took a sausage roll out of her handbag.


            Jeremiah climbed aboard at 12pm. He pulled off his glasses and pressed his pass against the screen.

            'Don't sit on the seat with the paper on it, mate.' the driver said, 'Anywhere else is fine.'

            Jeremiah blinked and pushed the glasses up the bridge of his nose again. He looked at the driver closely for a few seconds then moved on. He sat down beside Mona. They smiled at each other and started chatting.


            Rosie climbed aboard at 12:02. She handed the driver a ten pound note and waited while he counted up the change and handed it to her. She moved towards the chair with a newspaper on it.

            'No!' everybody shouted.

            She looked up at them blankly.

            'Seat's out of bounds.' David spoke up.

            Rosie laughed. 'What am I like? Being taken care of wherever I go today.'

            Everybody laughed except for David. Rosie sat down on a side seat instead.


            David stared at the newspaper. It was a cheap tabloid from three days ago, he recognised the picture on the front page. It's edges were damp and curling. Whatever was underneath smelt fusty.

            The bus grumbled uphill towards Paterhurst. David stood up even though the bus was still in motion. As it approached the stop he brushed past the seat, knocking the newspaper off it.

            'Oops?' he said. He read it off the seat. Tiny black blobs had somehow been formed into the word OOPS. He looked closer; the blobs were thousands of dead ants. They weren't all completely crushed.

            The driver turned around. Mona and Jeremiah were now standing. Isabella was still sitting. They all stared at the driver.

            'Oops.' he said.

PUZZLE CHATTER (a.k.a. A Conversation I Made Up a While Ago)

NEIL: I've been solving a lot of puzzles lately.
ERASMUS: Sudoku?
NEIL: I don't get Sudoku. I get the rules but I don't really care.
ERASMUS: Well at least you've graduated from the back of crisp packets and cereal boxes.
NEIL: Piss off.
ERASMUS: And crosswords? You've mastered them?
NEIL: Years go.
ERASMUS: Now you see I'm all right with crosswords but I excel at Dingbats.
NEIL: If you say so yourself.
ERASMUS: If I say so myself, yes.
NEIL: Those are the ones with the visual clues, right?
NEIL: So you're a visual learner.
ERASMUS: My memory seems to think so.
NEIL: I wish I was a visual learner. I'm an audio kind of guy.
ERASMUS: Audio learning's not to be sniffed at.
NEIL: Oh it's great for eavesdropping, fantastic for overhearing stuff. Not worth a shit when solving puzzles though.
ERASMUS: Hands-on puzzles, you mean. There is such a thing as logic puzzles. You often read those out.
NEIL: You mean riddles.
ERASMUS: That's the word. Riddles are great.
NEIL: Riddle me this: what's at the end of both everything and nothing?
ERASMUS: The letter 'G'.
NEIL: Not always true. Where I come from the 'G' gets dropped from time to time. Every-thin.
ERASMUS: Riddles aren't usually applicable to all accents and dialects.
NEIL: Not everyone can speak purty English like y'all.
ERASMUS: Fuck off, farm boy. This is what years of good practice gets you.
NEIL: Since when is growing up privileged considered practice?
ERASMUS: Since I got to be so good at it.
NEIL: You got a newspaper on you?
ERASMUS: Of course. Want to check your horoscopes?
NEIL: Yeah right. Gimme.
ERASMUS: Would you like a pen too?
NEIL: I think I'll try the word wheel. I got up to twenty seven words yesterday.
ERASMUS: That's about average.
NEIL: I'm getting there. Don't sell me short.
ERASMUS: Sorry, Mr Riddler sir. Here are your pages.
NEIL: All right. Thanks.
ERASMUS: Let me know if you get stuck.
NEIL: Ha! Don't you mean 'if'? Wait, sorry I wasn't listening fully.
ERASMUS: Work it out in your head.