the happy haps

9 Oct

I’ve been on holiday all week. Shhh, don’t tell anyone that I’ve really been hanging out in Oxford (actually, I think most people know, I’ve been none too subtle).

My ambitious tourism plans were a bit scuppered by the weather, but I have lounged and prayed in Port Meadow, visited the Trout, learnt all about the history of St Mary’s, been in some bookshops I’ve always meant to go in but not had time, and of course, hung out in Nero’s.

Amusing sight of the day in Nero’s was a glance over the shelf of books people had been reading in the coffee shop and then left behind. Contents:

The New Testament in Greek, a Criminal Law textbook, a quick guide to HTML, Dante’s Inferno, three commentaries on the Psalms, a Terry Pratchett, some Milton, and a cookbook of chocolate desserts.

I love the Oxford Blackwells clientelle.

I’ve been giving The Pygmy Giant a bit of attention too, though that wasn’t my intention for the week. Poor old Sarah is stuck with a dodgy internet connection, so my replying to submissions is woefully behind. I’m still wading through stuff from the end of August. Doh. On the other hand, I discovered a cool new little Brit Lit magazine here:  And also sent off what I thought was a not particularly great six sentences to Rob, which he decided to include in the 6S newsletter. Not sure about that really – still don’t think it works that well. I only really wrote it for the title ;)

Simile like you mean it

I could tell you that saying farewell will be as hard as resisting
pressing the snooze button. I might say that my curtains are just like the
memories of our happy days – keeping me from embracing a new dawn. I could
explain that avoiding the dodgy step on my way down stairs reminds me of the way
we avoided talking about our weaknesses. I could tell you that this cat litter
scattered across the lino cuts into my bare feet like your lies cut into my
heart. I might reflect that I’m going to be left all alone, like this one
solitary Cheerio rattling around at the bottom of the packet; that all our
future plans have gone sour just like this milk my flatmate left out all night.
And I could compare you with my slippers in some way too, if I were bothered,
but I’m actually going with, ‘See ya.’

I’ve written two 1000 word-ish stories too which are proving endlessly frustrating as I just can’t get them sounding right. Seems it’s not always enough just to have a good idea. Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s not. Generally, a bit of flash fiction is going to turn out well if I already know the last line. I didn’t with these two. Might just start all over again.

In fact right now I might just go back to Nero’s…


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