Thursday, September 30, 2010

Grandma Bear

Grandma Bear was a bit of a snob.  After living with her sister in New Zealand for a few years, she returned home to Australia with a double-barrelled surname.  Somewhere between Gisborne and Brisbane, she had acquired ... a hyphen.

I don't know where her uppity ways came from.  We were a working class family and she had been a cleaner, albeit in a posh private girls' school.  She often started a sentence with: "When I was at Somerville House ...".  By her dowager-like bearing, you would have thought she had been the headmistress.

We all loved her.  There was, after all, more to Grandma Bear than her social aspirations.

Born along Lower River Terrace, Kangaroo Point in 1889, she had witnessed Brisbane's 1893 floods and also remembered Aborigines camping in her back yard.  Her mother, in typical European style, gave them flour and tea.  Grandma's mother was a strict, upright, God-fearing Scots woman, and a "bit fey".  Her father was a Dane who had run off to sea at a young age.  Despite being Australian-born of a Scottish mother and a Danish father, she still called England "home".

Grandma lived with us for several years.  I used to sit with her in her bedroom listening to her stories of the past as dust danced in a shaft of sunlight coming through a high window.  I don't recall much now, but I do remember the sound of her deliberate voice as she talked about "the Miss this" or "the Misses that", as she referred to the young women of her youth.  She didn't have a distinct Australian accent, but I don't think she was "bunging it on".  It was probably just the accent from her era.

One of her favourite memories (or was it partly a romantic fantasy?) was of the Italian count - Count Catanzaro - who would have returned to Australia to marry her had it not been for the torpedo that ended his life in the Mediterranean Sea.  Strangely, her sister in New Zealand shared this same fantasy, but with herself as the intended bride.  She even went so far as to give her son the middle name "Catanzaro".  How must the poor kid and her husband have felt.

I remember seeing an old postcard the Count had sent to Grandma.  In the shaky handwriting of her old age, she had added the word "darling" to his greeting.  This, I guess, was intended to add strength to her story that it was, in fact, she who he wanted to marry and not her sister.

In a photo she kept of Count Catanzaro, he looked like a real dandy with his perfectly coiffed hair and clarinette for a prop.  Maybe his title of "Count" had also been just a prop, added to impress the local colonial ladies.  Although, a glance at his foppish appearance had me wondering if he might have actually preferred the local lads.

Ah, what would my childhood have been without Grandma Bear?  And who else in the family could have provided me with such amusing writing material?

Often when I write flash fiction, I draw on real life for ideas, but use a bit of poetic licence.  However, this story needed no embellishment at all.  Every word is absolutely true.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In the "pocket handkerchief" garden

Plink ... plink ... plink.  Raindrops shiver the surface of the small garden pond.  In a protected spot, a raft of bubbles, each containing a black spot, will soon become hundreds of tadpoles.  The striped marshfrogs were busy in the night.

A racket of noisy miners flies past, hot on the tail of a blue-faced honeyeater.  They must be nesting nearby.  The "Mickies" leave and the honeyeater settles in to feed on the red pom-poms of the calliandra tree. There's a splashing in the birdbath - a noisy miner has returned for a good wing-wash.

I sit on the back stairs, self-satisfied.  The flowers I planted at the start of Spring are blooming between the herbs and fruit trees.  Pansies, petunias, blue salvia and daisies.  And the year-to-year "stayers" are also flowering ... gay yellow nasturtiums that always make me smile; the strong red statement of hippeastrum trumpets; and many others.

The Greek spinach and amaranth (glitha), given to me by my neighbour, still self-seed every year, as do chillies, cherry tomatoes, mustard greens, flat-leaf parsley and lots more.  And they usually do it in the pathways mulched with coconut coir - oh, like the zebra bean I've just noticed growing between two stepping stones.  The smell of freshly laid lucerne mulch, now rain-soaked, fills the air.  The earthworms will be loving this.

The newly planted avocado and strawberry guava trees seem to be settling in well.  The gramichama planted last year looks grand.  It and the lilly-pilly get a gorgeous flush of pink new growth that gradually changes to a glossy green.  They have all joined the tamarillo, lemon, lime and pawpaws planted a lot earlier.  I have room for one more tree I reckon ... a pomegranate perhaps.

Soon my tiny back garden will be a food forest with its understorey of herbs and passionfruit vines.  A canopy of green creating a cool space in the suburbs.

A pumpkin vine has self-seeded from buried scraps.  Even though there is no room for it, I'll let it grow towards the fence where it can climb and stay out of trouble.

A turtledove has secreted itself among the leaves of the calliandra looking for a nesting site; and a red pom-pom dropped by a  pale-headed rosella has been caught in the leaves of the tree fern - an early Christmas bauble.

Ah, a cup of peppermint tea and herb muffins would be perfect now.

Tweeting Boy George

How many times can George read tweets about how beautiful his eyes are without going spare?

There's far, far more to this man than his hats and makeup.  There's far, far more to this man than his music.

I have looked into his eyes, past his eye shadow, deep into his soul.  Makeup and clothes are part of who he is ... but they're just one small part of a many-sided human being.

He is not the image you have created of him in your own minds.

They seek him here
they seek him there
never to find him
within the constructs
of their own minds

Monday, September 27, 2010

My writing process

I never sit down with blank paper or laptop and try to command my brain to write.  I wouldn't know how.

The spark of an idea just pops into my head and I run with it.  Often I don't have any idea where it's heading.  Like on Saturday, I looked out the window and saw raindrops falling off the end of a kookaburra's beak.  I just knew that a story was brewing.

Now, having said that, I have recently started writing flash fiction to given prompts.  This is a totally new approach for me and I'm finding it to be an interesting experience.  All the same, I still don't try to push my brain uphill to squeeze a story out.  If an idea doesn't come to mind without effort, I just don't do it.

I remember seeing an interview with a professional artist.  He was in his garden enjoying nature when he said, self-critically: "I should be inside painting".

Oh, for God's sake, creativity doesn't recognise the word "should".  It's not something you can just whip into shape.  His whole identity seemed to be tied to the idea of him "being an artist" instead of art being just part of his life.

comes from

Others may disagree with me, especially if they see writing, painting or whatever as a discipline to be practised daily or if it is their "job".  For me, an amateur in the true sense of the word, it happens when it happens and I wouldn't want it any other way.

I don't know how to kick-start the creative process, but I suggest that you record your ideas as they come, whether you're out shopping or watching TV.  And keep a pen and paper by your bed because how often has an eloquent expression come to you in the night, only to be forgotten by morning?

I sometimes sit quietly observing what is around me, not thinking about writing, not thinking about anything.  Just absorbing the minutiae of my environment like a sponge.  If something comes to mind, I write it down, then put down my pen and return to just watching.  I begin to see things I hadn't noticed before.

Elegantly written in simple words, observations of the everyday can take on immense power.  The mundane becomes absorbing.  The ordinary acquires presence.  I mean, you only have to think about how much a cricket commentator, in love with the game, can say about a man hitting a ball with a stick.

For me, the power of haiku, for example, is in succinctly drawing attention to a moment in time that could have been easily overlooked.  Not necessarily a "big" moment, but a single moment looked at intently.  My favourite all-time haiku is a modern one, unconstrained by 5-7-5 syllables, posted on Twitter by Hermonhermit:

Snowy road
the emptiness
of the school bus

For me, it is perfection.  Simple words, an everyday moment.  But what power!  It explodes into my mind. *

I can't remember who said "Learn the rules, then ignore them", but I like it.  You can start a sentence with "and".  It's called style.  Don't be afraid.  Let the words flow out in their own way.

Although, once that initial outpouring is over, go over your draft ... and not just once.  You will always find unnecessary words or think of a better phrasing.  SLASH AWAY!**


* I've just read another haiku that blows my mind.  It's by @cirrusdream on Twitter:

empty playground
... but the wind
rippling the puddles

** Unless, of course, you're Bertrand Russell who, it is said, never re-drafted.

Facing the facts

"You're not funny and your problem is that you can't face the fact."

"You always sing off-key."

These things didn't matter to her.  She didn't live inside her ego, so his jibes didn't touch her.  But what did matter was knowing that he wanted to hurt her.  What did matter was discovering that he wanted to destroy her confidence.  What did matter was realising that he didn't understand her at all.

After all these years, he had no idea of who she was.  The teller of corny jokes, the offkey yet joyful singer of songs, she was love.

He thought that he owned language, humour, sex ... and that she only borrowed them.

The things that she had known since childhood, he fed to her as though she were completely without understandings of her own.  He handed her a book.  "This will be good for you."  Its pages were a reflection of her own soul, her inner self ... but he never noticed.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Highgate Hill Dreaming

It was a warm spring day.  The little girl, not yet of school age, lay down in the furtherest corner of her back yard to watch the insects in the grass.  She watched with great intent and lost all awareness of the world outside the land of the tiny.

Eventually, the heat of the sun brought her back to her surroundings.  But this was a very different world from the one in which she lived.

The suburban houses, gardens and fences of Highgate Hill had all disappeared.  Instead, she found herself in a dry eucalypt forest.  It was quiet except for the sound of cicadas and the leaves crunching under the feet of a goanna lumbering slowly  along.

The words "Bennung-urrung" seeped into her consciousness, but she had no idea what they meant.

Seamlessly, her familiar scene returned.  She could hear a car's motor and a dog barking in a back yard.

The next time it happened, she ventured up along a ridge.  Near the top of the high hill, she found a small creek and, further over, a couple of cool lagoons.  She sat down on a rocky outcrop at the very top of the hill and, again, the words "Bennung-urrung" came gently to her mind.  But this time she understood.  It was the name of this place.

She saw kangaroos grazing on the slopes and koalas sleeping in the trees.  The lay of the land reminded her of where she lived, but the resemblance ended there.  She headed off downhill towards a swampy area.  Several people came towards her but they passed by, unseeing, towards a small hill.  She followed them and, on reaching the top, saw where they were heading - a bora ring.

Once again she slipped back into her "home" reality.  Her mother was in the kitchen, cooking, and everything was completely normal.

She didn't have the words to explain what was happening to her.  In any case, it wasn't the sort of thing she would tell anyone.  She just "knew" that time was a strange thing and it didn't always tick-tock around the face of the clock in an orderly fashion.

She had once heard another child who, on learning about octaves, had looked up from the piano and said "Yesterday, today and tomorrow are the same thing".  The adults had dismissed this as just childish nonsense, but those words had stayed with her.  Now she understood what they meant.

She was living in the same place at all times, but split between two different time zones - one called the present, the other called the past.  She wasn't afraid.  It just seemed perfectly natural.

She returned to the "forest time" often, watching the people hunt, dig for yams, gather fruit, make fire by rubbing two sticks together, and once observing a youth stand very, very still for several minutes before quickly spearing a fish. Their songs were not tuneful like the ones she heard on the radio, but she found them strangely absorbing.  Their dances, too, were very different from the ballet her sister was learning, but the moves looked just like those made by kangaroos and the other animals.

As she grew older, her forest visits came less often until, by the end of Grade 3, they had stopped completely.  But when she read about the Dreamtime in the school library, she discovered that the Aboriginal view of time was similar to hers.  The creation of the world in the Dreamtime happened "then", but also in the "now".  It is always with us.


Bennung-urrung, the place of the frill-necked lizard, is now called Highgate Hill.  The bora ring at Woolloongabba has been cemented over to make a carpark in the grounds of the Holy Trinity Church.

Suburbia has buried the past, but every now and then a small child catches a glimpse of it through a tear in the curtain of time.


Another world

After a couple of hours flicking between Twitter and my blog, my eyes were tired.  I turned away from the laptop screen and looked out the window.  There was a whole other world out there.

It had been drizzling all morning, but now it had started to rain.  A kookaburra was perched stoically on the overhead cable, drops of water occasionally falling off the end of his beak.  Drip ... drip ... drip.

A very wet blue-faced honeyeater flew up to him making accusative noises.  Kooka merely fluffed his feathers.  Then three noisy miners flapped around him threateningly, asking him to "please leave the area".  Kooka didn't even register their presence.  He just maintained his steadfast stare at the ground.

Beyond the drama of the birds, yet another world existed.  In the distance, a plane from Sydney containing many people and many stories had begun its descent to Brisbane Airport.  Framed by my window like a painting, this scene appeared on the surface to be an undivided whole.  Yet there was layer upon layer of reality in it, each seemingly unconnected.  A million different stories were looking back at me.

In one part of the scene, an ant had suddenly altered its direction for a reason known only to the ant.  Inside the plane, a flight attendant was looking forward to the end of her shift.

And inside each individual creature, a myriad of events was also taking place.  The blood flowing through our bodies; the endless chatter of our brains; an itchy toe.  Yet all these things go towards making a whole, apparently unified, person.

Is that scene through my window also many parts of one whole in some strange as yet undiscovered way?  Trying to answer that question through thought will lead merely to surmise, but it's an interesting thought to ponder all the same.

Friday, September 24, 2010

DOGS, DOGS, DOGS (A piece of fiction)

Her home was utterly caninised.  The visitor was greeted by the smell and barking of the dogs; the old carpet was soil encrusted from the pad-pad-padding of many feet; and doggie blankets furfully festooned the sofas.

Here a dog, there a dog, everywhere a dog-dog.

After the initial excitement of my arrival, they all settled back down into their regular spots.  The big old black labrador climbed onto the end of one sofa and dropped her head onto the armrest, her gentle brown eyes following me around the room.  Another one, a yellow dog of many breeds, sat on his bed on the floor, leaning against the wall with the curtain draped stylishly over his head.  He had some kind of a fabric fetish.  An assortment of different breeds and colours dotted the room.

No, dotted is not the right word.  They monopolised the room.  They were the room ... its decor, its atmosphere, its very raison d'etre.

When I couldn't find a free spot to sit down, the woman rooted around under a chair and pulled out a plastic lid.  She placed it over the bin of dried food and beckoned me to sit down.  She squashed up with the dogs on a sofa and, after some grunting, one of the dogs reluctantly moved onto the floor.

You've never been somewhere like that?  I have.  Many times.

"How many dogs have you got now, Maisie?"

"I reckon about 12."

"You know you're not supposed to have more than three?"

"But who'd look after the dogs if I didn't?"

Maisie was one of a special breed herself.  An older woman on a pension, living alone (humanwise, that is), she somehow accumulated stray dogs.  Lots of them.  I'm not going to offer a theory of why she does it.  All I know is that the dogs are her entire life.

"I don't know what we're going to do about you, Maisie."  Sometimes I just hate my council job.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


She hates the old suburb.  "It's dirty and rundown".  Was she really talking about those streets of interesting shops and colourful people that I love so much?

Where she sees death, I see vibrant life.  Where she scurries, I wander happily.

The buildings aren't flash and modern, not like a shopping mall where you can buy a hundred varieties of plastic thingies.  The small shops are mainly one-off, not part of some super chain.  Mick's Nuts is cramped and they only accept cash, but people come from all over this city to shop there; even royalty had sent a minion to buy some nuts.  Reverse Garbage is my second home and I've turned lots of their industrial offcuts into art and useful items.

The smell of Asian greens wafts out of the Vietnamese deli and the footpaths are full of people eating at the many cafes.  From an upstairs room, the sound of "hare krishna" floats out of the window of the vegetarian restaurant.

The old suburb has heart.

"No-one could find Barbara Streisand's nose beautiful!"  She was so sure in her black and white world.  I shrank back into myself like a mimosa leaf that had been touched.

Your harsh dismissal
of the beauty
I see in
the old and unusual
our hearts never meeting

SPRING AND RAIN ... some poetry, mainly haiku

Rain always brings
a rush of poetry
to my heart

With spring comes
a livening
of the spirit
and I feel one
with green things

Winter is over
I sit on the stairs at night
 once again

Rainy day
the soggy earth
squelching underfoot

Spring brings
an outrage of
nasturtium flowers

Nasturtium flowers
looking back at me
through the rain

the violet flowers
for itself

Spring in this land of
its subtle changes

Dark glossy leaves and
the tender pink flush of spring
lilly-pilly tree

Here a small pansy
clinging close to the earth
and there a tall tree

City pollution
disappearing for a while
as the rain comes down

The sweet earth
the falling rain
 and her children

Soft leaves of green herbs
nestled in straw coloured mulch
catching raindrops

In the gentle rain
bright green mint leaves quiver
as the drops fall

Rusty guttering
rain water drip-dropping
onto the earth

Marigold circle
bright yellow flowers smiling
at the sun

My soul lives down where
the dark moist leaves decompose
on the forest floor

Forest floor
wet leaves
return to the soil

The oriole calls
to remind me that spring
is here again

The paper-thin skin
on my old woman's hands
softly wrinkling

This cracked old wall
toeholds in the crevices
for mosses and ferns

Spring returning
the dragonfly bends the reed
 of the bulrush

Friday, September 10, 2010

WHAT THE ALIEN SAW ... or ... "It's a Wrap"

One fine spring day, the alien called Zop landed his craft in invisible mode on a quiet suburban street. Zop’s mission was to observe and report on the cultural behaviour of the local homo sapiens. His findings would earn him a PhD on his home planet if he was lucky.

He heard a noise coming from what looked like a community meeting place. “Ah, I’m sure to see something here of academic interest to my head of department”.

When Zop saw the assembled group of women, he knew he had hit paydirt. Their “leader”, probably the high priestess, was showing the others how to wrap what looked like very long bandages around and around their bodies, this way and that, then twisting and pulling a long “tail” over their heads from behind. Then they bent their knees, bending forwards slightly, and stomped round and round the room.

Zop had of course studied the cultural practices of earth for his undergraduate degree. He reached the obvious conclusion that these women were worshippers of ancient Egyptian mummies. This ritual was apparently designed to bring the mummies back to life. His theory was strengthened when he read the title of their pamphlet “Bones for Life”, although it would have made more sense to him if it had read “Bones brought back to Life”. But where they stored the old Egyptian bones was still a mystery to him.

This discovery was certainly very exciting for he had never read about such a sect existing on modern earth. But one facet confused him. Their “dance” was more like that of the American Indian than that of the Egyptians. In fact, he heard the priestess mention the name “Pocohontas”. Clearly, there was an as yet undiscovered connection between those two cultures, which he could enlarge on in his thesis. Yes, he would certainly impress his professor back home.

The dance was followed by communal singing in a magic circle. Then, exhausted by their dallying with the gods, they all laid down on special mats on the floor. The building itself must have been a power source as they all pushed their hands into its walls to get some sort of a recharge.

All in all, Zop found the experience most enlightening. He returned quickly to his home planet where he wrote up his observations and submitted his thesis. He was awarded a First and became a renowned, much respected professor of anthropology.

The ladies continued to meet weekly for their Bones for Life classes, completely unaware of Zop's visit and their effect on a distant alien civilisation.
TO READ MORE ABOUT "Bones for Life" classes, visit

Monday, September 6, 2010


"It's a little tricky at first cause sometimes you have to give it a bit of finger."  That was Doc's suggestion for this week's (#41) FridayFlashFiction's starter sentence, but it didn't get enough votes.  However, it has inspired me to write this story ... not fiction, it's true.


"It's a little tricky at first cause sometimes you have to give it a bit of finger."

That’s how I would have begun the lesson in making æbelskiver, or ebelskivers as we say in English.

Æbelskiver is a Danish word meaning “apple slices”. Well, “slices” doesn’t really fit the bill. Wikipedia describes them as: traditional Danish pancakes in a distinctive shape of a sphere. Somewhat similar in texture to American pancakes crossed with a popover …

I watched the “training” video on my laptop. It all went so smoothly. There was an air of monastic meditation about the almost buddha-like demonstrator as she calmly went through the steps: mixing the batter, heating the pan, brushing the butter into the little round recesses, dropping in the batter, turning them with non-metal skewers when they were cooked just so. Not a drop of batter out of place, either on her immaculately clean clothes or the counter top. It was like watching the Japanese tea ceremony.

She made it all look so-o-o-o easy. Her and her “I’m just floating through this demo” manner.

Now it was my turn. Surely I too could achieve enlightenment this way.

My sister had sent me an æbelskiver pan for my birthday. I grated apples and cooked them with brown sugar, butter, spices and lemon juice.  So far, so good.  I mixed up the batter with plain flour, baking powder, buttermilk, sour cream and so on.  So far, so good.  I heated the pan and brushed the wells with unsalted butter.  So far, so good.

I added blobs of batter to the sizzling wells, not always elegantly.  I got batter in more places than I was supposed to.  My hands are a bit shaky at the best of times.  Then I added a bit of apple mixture to each one, still not always elegantly.  Bits of apple clung to the spaces between the wells.  Finally, another blob of batter ... and wait for them to cook.  The bottoms were burning before the tops started to firm up. I turned the flame down as far as it would go without blowing out.  The timer said they still had a minute to go on that side. I turned them anyhow, using two bamboo skewers, one on each side of the pancake and ... over they went.

They didn’t always land neatly on the other side.  This is where I suggest a bit of finger is needed to position them nicely ... and that is what I did.  When the pancakes looked nice and brown, I up-ended them onto a waiting platter and waited for them to cool down a bit before hoeing in.  I dusted them with sifted icing sugar mixed with cinnamon and served them with cream.  Hmm, some are not quite cooked inside. I think I need to try another one.  Yes, that one was good.  Maybe just one more to make sure.  I ate all 21 of them in a matter of hours.

I had uncooked batter all over the counter top; and me; and the frypan; and the floor; and the utensils.  In fact, everywhere in the known universe had batter on some part of it.  It seemed, then, that this was not going to be my path to enlightenment.

I made another batch the next day. Yes, the next day. I know, I’m a guts. I made them under the pretext that I was going to share them with other people. I didn’t.


I’ve never felt at home in this dimension.

I always knew there was something else and felt that, if I just held my mind in the right way, I’d connect with the universe and “real” life would begin.

I was three years old when I expected the big “happening” during a ferry ride to a nearby island. It didn’t come. I was deeply disappointed and felt that life had passed me by.

I never spoke to anyone about this until now. I have just found the words. And I thought that no-one would understand or they would make me feel spiritually "dirty". Other people seem so at home in this dimension – getting married, having children and careers. I’ve never understood how they did it. I want to scream: “How can you be so comfortable and normal? This isn’t real life! Everything and everyone are just ‘Mickey Mouse’ – your religions, institutions and marriages.”

I still think this way but life has brought a series of small “enlightenments” instead of the single big one I had anticipated as a child.

Normally, these gems of awareness have come about through difficult life experiences – times of rejection, pain, loss and confusion – what many people would describe as “negative”.  But these gems have been far more precious to me than the things I had been clinging to.

I don’t have a “philosophy” of non-attachment. I think that is foolish. Letting go just happens. When the object of desire is unattainable, there is pain, struggle and turmoil as the brain continues to grasp for satisfaction. It devises all sorts of ways to try to get what it wants and doesn’t want to accept that “the door has been closed”.

But there comes a point where magic happens. An awareness sinks in that the brain’s activity has become like a stuck record. Seeing the whole process of desire as it is, without rationalisation or the need for fulfilment, understanding comes. Then desire with all its turmoil simply falls away. Choice plays no part.

Another major turning point in my life came unexpectedly with such simplicity, without fanfare. Walking back to the office after lunch, a workmate said, as we were passing a garden: “I love daisies”. Those three words changed my life in a huge way – my essence, who I am. You might say it was the moment the penny dropped.

My initial reaction was to squirm inside. I felt like spitting out the words: “Daisies! They’re just a common flower!” But something stopped me. I heard her honest words, saw her joyful face and looked at the daisies. They were white with dark centres and I was touched by their simple, elegant beauty. The “commonness” existed only inside my dull, ugly brain. We walked on in silence, but I had been transformed ... forever.

I could go on and on, but I will stop here. I hope I have communicated at least some of where I’ve come from and who I am today.


A burst of haiku
as spring's buds swell open
flowers in bloom


Spring rain
washing away
the dust of winter


Spring rain
marshfrog welcoming
the new season


Winter's white arms
turning pink
in spring sunshine


The feel of sunshine
burning into bare skin
now that winter's gone


In the small garden
spring sunshine burning down
fresh beans on the fence


This oh-too-short spring
a time to rejoice before
the heat of summer


Past due my tax forms
past due a myriad things
I'd rather not do

Friday, September 3, 2010


This week's Friday Flash Fiction #41 starts with the sentence : "He walked in and slid the photograph across my desk."  Here's my version:


He walked in and slid the photograph across my desk.

“You swine! You rotten swine!” I spat.

His sickening leer deepened into something that could not be described as a smile. More than a smirk, this look had oozed up from the slimy recesses of his dark brain. It did not belong on someone’s face. “I’ve got you now” he thought. “You are in my power.”

I’d been working in the office for about a month. I thought he was cute and was kinda thrilled when he asked me out. He’d been oh-so-charming when he wined and dined me. I’d always been a sucker for a smooth talker and, having drunk a few glasses of wine too many, had giggled my way back to his place.

Thinking back, I blamed the alcohol for my lack of inhibition; but hey, who am I kidding? I would have had sex with him no matter what. It was only afterwards that I realised what he was really like and had spurned all his further advances. But mistakes made in the heat of the moment always come back to bite you in the bum.

He revealed that he had a hidden camera in his bedroom. Sexual blackmail was his game and he was threatening to post the pic on the office noticeboard and to email it around. “I’ll leave this lovely photo with you to help you contemplate your future” he said.

My brain went into a spin ... but then I had an idea. He would regret trying this one on me. “Thank God for modern technology” I thought. I scanned the photo into my laptop and did some “strategic” manipulation. I reduced “that part of his body of which he was most proud” to miniscule proportions and replaced my face with the face of the boss’s wife.

Now I was the one who was smirking.

I walked in and slid the photograph along his desk and said “How would you like to see that on the office noticeboard?”

“You swine! You rotten swine!” he spat.


As I walk by the river or sit in my tiny garden, not thinking of anything in particular, thoughts sometimes seep into my brain. If you'd like to read my seepage, here it is ...