Wednesday, May 30, 2007

En Route to Madness

Map reading is my new hobby. I bought an A-Z Street Atlas for our town and surrounding area yesterday and I have to say that it’s absolutely fascinating; I can’t put it down.

Mr Man keeps saying “I can’t believe you’re so engrossed in a map!” He thinks I’ve finally gone to Cuckoo Land.

I would, but I haven’t found it on the map yet…

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek was a 1984 single for family pop band “Five Star”.

I was suddenly awakened by a sharp slap to the face. Startled, I raised my head, squinting, trying to avoid the glare of the light. My cheek was stinging, almost burning, but the sensation was quickly overshadowed by the pain of my other afflictions which I was blissfully unaware of whilst in my drug induced slumber. My body was stiff and aching from being tied in this awkward position for so long. My wrists were sore with open wounds from the friction of the rope. My head was pounding from whatever they had injected into me.

“Where is it?” he demanded.
I could hardly see him through the light, shining full in my face. I could hear his footsteps coming towards me on the bare floor boards. The room sounded empty. Suddenly the smell of dust and wood was replaced by the smell of aftershave and mouthwash as he pushed his face into mine, pulling my head back by my hair. I let out a cry.
Where is it?” he hissed.
“I don’t know… I don’t know what you’re talking about” I croaked as tears welled up in my eyes.
He released his grip, throwing my head forward.
“Don’t play games Roberta. We know you have the recording” he said calmly as he walked away and disappeared out of my vision again. “I have someone searching your home right now, as we speak”
My tears began to spill from my eyes. I couldn’t be strong any longer. I was exhausted. I was in so much pain. And I was scared.
“Please… I don’t know anything” I sobbed.

At that moment my cries were suddenly halted by the sound of the door opening. Footsteps followed. I couldn’t see what was happening; the light was too bright. All I could do was listen:
“What do you mean ‘nothing’?”
“Nothing. I searched everywhere; the car, the laptop, the CD player… all I could find was rubbish music”
“Detail it. What did you find?”
The other man sighed heavily as he searched his memory “Ok, in the car stereo was Craig David ‘The Story Goes…’” he began. “In the glove box was all kinds of rubbish; more Craig David, Lionel Richie, Bill Withers…”
“I like Bill Withers” the boss interrupted.
The other man hesitated “Ok. Well, anyway there was also a Duets tape with soppy love songs, a ‘Motown Heartbreakers’ tape, and get this… Five Star” I could hear a crack in his voice as he stifled a laugh. The boss was not amused.
“Did you listen to it?” he demanded.
“Of course I did” replied the other man “Well, you know, just to check that the recording wasn’t on it”
“Ok, what else?”
I heard the rustling of paper.
“In the CD player was songs from the Movies, you know, old stuff; Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, that sort of thing. In the cassette player was Billy Holiday. Lying around the place was a Leslie Garret cassette, again with songs from old Movies, and a Declan CD”
“You’re kidding” scoffed the boss.
The other man chuckled “No, serious”
“That little boy that the old grannies liked?”
They chuckled together for a while and then the boss suddenly stopped.
“Ok, that’s enough, what else?” he asked sternly.
The other man stopped laughing and cleared his throat “On the laptop she’s recorded loads of Sheryl Crow stuff, but the last thing she had listened to in Winamp was Mariah Carey”
“And what about her mobile phone?”
“Stevie Wonder ‘As’ when you press play, and Stevie Wonder ‘Sir Duke’ as the ring tone. Actually, loads of Stevie Wonder, and some chart stuff as well”
There was a pause for a while.
“I listened to it all boss; there’s nothing there”
Another pause followed.
“Ok, get rid of this chick” he said to the man, and then as he walked towards me again he raised his voice slightly “Well, it looks like you’re free to go, beautiful; you’re guilty of nothing more than having no taste in music”
He switched off the light and all I could see was blobs in front of my eyes. I heard his footsteps fade as he walked out of the room, and after the other man had untied me, he followed, quietly singing to himself; “Hide and seek, it’s just a game we’re playing, hide and seek. Swear I’m gonna find you, sneaking up behind you, hide and seek…”

I was left sitting there, alone, as if I had imagined the whole thing. They left no evidence of ever being there, apart from the chair I was sitting on. As I struggled to my feet I could see the first glimpse of sunlight through the window. It was going to be a beautiful day. And I still had the recording…

This post is in response to the Music Meme that Jane tagged me with ages ago! Each tagged person is supposed to list the first 10 songs on their ipod when they select “random”, but although I own an ipod, it’s hidden somewhere in the depths of the abyss – also known as a cupboard – and I never really used it much anyway so it doesn’t have all of my music on it. So I decided to go to the 5 things I use most often to listen to music - the car stereo, the CD player, the cassette player, my laptop, and my ‘phone – and list what was in them at that time. Now I’m supposed to tag 5 people…

I would like to tag Catherine, Rhea, Hobby Bobby, SirBusy (although he might be too busy), and… … Grannys.Myth.Peeler.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Just Read

Not meant as a command but as a kind of play on words as in the post I make reference to “Just Another Thought…”, “JustGiving” and “Just Smile…”

I’ve been meaning to do a blog roll and side bar update for what seems like forever. (Of course, if you’ve read my previous post you’ll realise that I haven’t actually written a blog post for millions of years now, but I have travelled back in time to update my blog, so to the average unenlightened reader it looks like it’s only been a few months since I last did a blog roll update, which is far from forever)

You’ll notice a couple of new blogs listed. One of them, “Just Another Thought…” is written by my dear friend Aiders. We actually lived opposite each other when we were 14-16 but then lost touch when we left school and both moved to other areas. Thirteen years later we got in touch with each other again through Friends Reunited and I’m glad to say have stayed in touch ever since. I didn’t know back then that she had such a great talent for writing, but her poems are beautiful. Thankfully she has chosen to share some of them with us in her blog.

You’ll also notice that there are two links to “JustGiving” supporting two different sponsored events. The first is for my friend Dawn Morley, who is running in the Race for Life this year to raise money for Cancer Research UK. This charity is the worlds leading independent organisation dedicated to cancer research, and with an estimated 1 in 3 suffering from cancer at some point in their life, I dare say many owe their lives to this valuable research. I know cancer has claimed at least 3 lives in my family, not to mention the friends lost, and the friends and family who have been successfully treated. Both Dawn and her teenage daughter will be running in memory of Dawns Dad who sadly died of cancer nearly two years ago. The race will be very challenging for Dawn as she has never done anything like this before, but obviously the charity is one that is close to her heart.

The second is for a team of LAS Paramedics who I don’t know from Adam. They’re climbing the three highest mountains in England, Scotland, and Wales in a 24 hour period - hell, it would be challenging enough without the time restriction. They are climbing to raise money for The Richard House Childrens Hospice, which provides support and care for children who are not expected to live into adulthood. Angela (the author of Just Smile…) has done some of her nurse training in this hospice, and she explains that it is a very valuable service that is suffering due to lack of funding. Previously Angela had told me about the services this home struggles to provide:

“[The] children's hospice… offered respite and end of life care. They had a lovely, recently built facility that offered residential and day care… The day care service was no longer offered because of funding... Most of this purpose built facility wasn't being used and during my placement they were making staff redundant…”

I sincerely wish Dawn and the Paramedic team every success in their upcoming challenges. Although Dawn has already exceeded her target amount, wouldn’t it be great if she could raise 150% (£225)? Or even 200% (£300)? I will gladly pass on any messages of support, but if you’re a blogger, please link to these two fundraising events on your blog. Thank you!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Daydream Believer

Roberta!” shouted the teacher, forcing me to turn my attention to her from outside the window. With the hum drum chitter chatter of a classroom full of 7 year olds it was easy to drift away.

There was one word that linked every school report I ever had – Daydreamer. It wasn’t true though. I wasn’t so much daydreaming as day… sleeping... with my eyes open. I used to go into a trance like state with my eyes fixed on whatever was right in front of me, but not really seeing what was there at all. It’s a habit I’ve carried right into my adulthood, caused mainly by lack of sleep.

I remember when I was in my teens, sitting on the floor enjoying a game of cards with a male friend of mine. While he spent some time taking his turn I kind of drifted off into one of my trances. Looking up from his cards he noticed where my eyes were resting and suddenly moved to cross his legs, and it’s only then that I realised I was staring at his crotch. Neither of us said a word, I just took my turn and we continued playing cards, and it’s never been mentioned to this day. God knows what he thought. I wonder if he still remembers it.

I still do it now – go into trances I mean, not stare at my friends’ crotch. The worst time of course is when I’m driving...

Although written by John Stewart from the folk group The Kingston Trio, Daydream Believer was originally recorded by The Monkeys, providing them with their last #1 hit in 1967.