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Jun
21

The Mundane and Uneventful Life of Me

Before you begin, as much as you may doubt what you are reading, please believe me when I say that absolutely every single word of this is 100% true.*

I have to admit, just minutes after I’d written the post before this one, I kind of regretted it. I mean, what was I thinking? “I will be writing about my own real life… so I will attempt to live a more interesting, eventful, and entertaining life”. Am I insane???!!! I couldn’t live an entertaining life if you wrapped me in cellophane, painted me pink, glued live rabbits to my back, and dropped me into the middle of a maximum security prison (I haven’t got a clue what all of these things might add up to, but they seem like they should result in something mildly interesting). My life is as eventful as a three-nippled turnip at a stamp-collectors convention (again, haven’t got a clue what any of that means, but it sounds pretty dull). Or so I thought…

Last week I took the family down to see my parents, and, whilst there, we took a day trip to action packed, centre of all excitement Stratford-Upon-Avon (home of the Royal Shakespeare Company). As I waited in line to take the kids on a fifteen minute ride in a row-boat down the River Avon, I overheard an elderly Canadian couple discussing how peas taste different in England, and it was slowly becoming extremely obvious that something outrageously fun was about to happen. And then an short old lady turned around to talk to me, and the excitement-ometer went from crazy to absolutely frickin’ insanoOo!

“I’m ever so sorry to trouble you, and please feel absolutely free to decline, but I don’t suppose you would be so kind as to row my boat for me, would you?” said the lady who looked uncannily like Judi Dench, sounded very much like Judi Dench, and bloody well WAS Dame Judi Nobbing Dench! (That isn’t her real middle name, just incase you were wondering).

Yes, the queen of British film royalty was stood directly in front of me, looking straight at me, and speaking words towards my face! Once I’d overcome the initial shock I very nervously and eagerly agreed to row her boat for her (not a euphemism), dumped the kids with my wife, climbed into the row boat with the wobbly clumsiness of a seasoned rowing maestro, then watched, very un-gallantly, as someone else helped her into the boat.

“Away we go!” she giggled once she was seated comfortably, and I compliantly began to waggle the oars in the water.

“Don’t worry, I have done this before, but it always takes me a while to get the hang of it,” I assured her. I waited for a reassuring reply, or possibly a mocking reply, or ANY kind of reply, but, when I looked up, I saw that she was already lost in a world of her own.

She said absolutely nothing for the next three or four minutes, and just stared, misty-eyed, at the rippling water, seemingly oblivious to the fact that my rowing was getting worse, not better. When she did finally speak I got the impression that a wibbly-wobbly boat ride on the splashy-sploshy waters of the River Avon may not have been a very good idea, as she was actually a little bit tipsy.

“This might not have been a terribly good idea,” she said. “You see, I’m actually a little bit tipsy right now.”

She went on to explain that she had been out to a party the night before, and was yet to return home. I guessed that she may have been a little bit more than slightly tipsy when she used words and phrases like “out on the lash”, “completely shit-faced”, and “twatted a hamster in the face with a cotton bud.” I’d love to embellish on these details, but I’m sorry to say that I didn’t have a clue what the hell she was babbling on about.

I noticed that she was turning slightly green, and began making barely perceptible vomit convulsions in her chest, so I did my inept best at turning the boat around, to take her back to the bit where you take the boats back to, but that was when she lurched forwards, yanked the oar from my right hand, then began bashing the hell out of a semi-submerged Tesco carrier bag that was drifting past us.

“Piss off!” She yelled at it. “Go on! Get bent, you arrogant, prima donna! I’ll give you what for if you ever show your face around here again, you prissy little bald twat!”

Then she sat back down, and a look of realisation came over her. First she looked shocked, then she looked embarrassed, and then she threw her head back and laughed so loud she practically screamed. And she continued to laugh like this until I too began to laugh. And she continued to laugh like this until I stopped laughing and wondered if she was alright. And she continued to laugh like this until it really began to freak me out. And then she took a breath, leant forwards and said ‘I thought it was Patrick Stewart!’ And that got her laughing all over again. And then, when the insane laughing was finally over, she leant forwards, clutched my oar-less hand and said, ‘one word of advice for the future, my dear, never drink absynthe before you’re due to perform Shakespeare.’
‘Are you performing today?’ I asked.
‘Yes, yes, but not until one o’clock,’ she replied, for some reason adopting an Irish accent.
‘Erm…’ I said, pulling my phone out so I could just check how many minutes were left until one o’clock (which I know was not many). And then she snatched the phone from my hand and tossed it into the water.
‘Feck!’ she yelled at me, still in an Irish accent. ‘Feck you and yeh fecken enternet, trying to get me on your YouTube or some fecken shite!’

By this point I was not very amused, and my moment of being stars truck was officially over, so I clenched my jaw, bit my tongue, and paddled (with one oar) as fast as I could, back to the riverside. It took about three minutes,
and, for every one of those three minutes, she continued to shout swear words and other phrases, like “wanky apple farts!” and “wobbly chair-legs!” at myself and on-lookers, still in an Irish accent. She also produced handfuls of drinking straws from her handbag, which appeared to have been stolen from McDonalds, then tore the ends of the paper wrappers off, stuck the exposed parts of the straws into her nostrils (sometimes two at a time), then attempted to launch the paper wrappers off the ends of the straws, towards the gathering on-lookers, using nothing but nostril air. Only one wrapper actually made it beyond the perimeter of the boat, and on two occasions she actually performed complete nasal evacuations into the water. I could not believe that this was the same woman who played the Queen in Shakespeare In Love.

When it came time for her to get out of the boat she suddenly began to act perfectly normally again. She thanked the boat guy who helped her back onto dry land, she thanked me in a very genuine and courteous manner, and then apologised for drowning my phone, and promised to compensate me for it. And then she turned around and walked away.

I do not know if she was genuinely drunk, or if she was doing this for a joke, or maybe as part of some hidden camera TV prank show (if it was, then I know for a fact that they need my consent before they can air it on TV, and I saw nobody hanging around with a consent form and a pen) but it was, without any shadow of a doubt, the most bizarre and interesting nine minutes of my life.

PS. I went online that evening, to look for reviews of her performance at the RSC, wondering if she remained at the same level of insanity whilst on stage, and I discovered that she isn’t even in any plays there!

PPS. I haven’t got a clue how she intends to compensate me for my phone, but I’m hoping she will read this blog post and try to get in touch with me.

I’m not sure how I will ever top this.

*that part isn’t entirely true.

May
23

I’m Back…

For those of you who regularly follow this blog… what is wrong with you? I haven’t posted on here in over a year! Please seek medical attention immediately.

The reason I haven’t kept this blog up to date is because of some reasons. However, this is something I intend to change, and the way I plan to go about it is to refer to my first book, in two ways:

1. I am going to write it in the same way that I wrote my first book – as if nobody is ever going to read it (this is not too difficult for me to imagine), which will include lots of typos, bad grammar, bad spelling, and general bad badness. The major difference will be that I will be writing about my own real life, instead of a fictional character.

2. I am going to follow in the footsteps of my title character – nobody wants to read about my boring life as it is, so I will attempt to live a more interesting, eventful, and entertaining life, more for my own benefit than anyone elses.

This will all begin as soon as I feel brave enough. I don’t know when that will be, or how often this will be updated, but, since you are not reading this, that doesn’t really matter.

See you soon! xx

Apr
21

Holiday

I’ve recently been on holiday. It was one of those caravan sites with a big swimming pool, evening entertainment (provided by people who failed to make it into the auditions for Britain’s Got Talent), and where, as part of the package deal, you get tiny people hidden in one of the caravan cupboards.
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I had never been on one of these holidays before and have to admit that I wasn’t too sure what I’d make of the whole ‘tiny people in your caravan cupboards’ thing. It turns out that our tiny people proved to be a fountain of knowledge, having the answers for all those ‘first day of holiday’ questions we had, and also being helpful guides to the local amenities and sights. Unfortunately, despite all of their knowledge and wisdom, the only thing they ever bothered to share with us was how to get to the swimming pool.
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And on those rare occasions that they didn’t lead us to the pool, I couldn’t shake the feeling that they were only taking us to places that THEY wanted to go.
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(And that ride wasn’t even going round. Which was pretty freaking weird!)

Yes, the novelty of having these “amusing” little people in our caravan was short-lived. It soon became all too apparent that they were only in this for personal gain. Things soon went from bad to worse.

They drank our wine.
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They hogged the TV.

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And they had the most aggressively messed-up interpretation of ‘photo bombing’ I have ever come across!

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In short, this became more of a holiday for THEM than it was for US, and I have written to the holiday village head office to demand a full refund.

The lesson to be learned is this – DON’T get sucked in by the clever sales jargon. It’s all one big scam. If you tick the box alongside the option “I would like the added tiny people for an extra cost of £48″, tiny people is what you get.
For life!

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Haven’t been able to get rid of them ever since.

Mar
12

{a little glimpse} #4

{a little glimpse} – a single sketch, photograph or work in progress.

Inspired by Cupcakesforclara

Mar
09

#JackSamsoniteQuote #osmuw

“Was my man to leave? In the heat of battle? No, he did not leave. He fought with bravery and gallant-ly… ness.”

From ‘One Seriously Messed-Up Week-End…’ available now in all good bookshops (and some crap ones too) and also in e-book-selling places.

Mar
08

#JackSamsoniteQuote #osmuw

“Crap.

Crap. Crap. Crap.

Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap.

Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. CRAAAAAAP!”

From ‘One Seriously Messed-Up Week-End…’ OUT NOW (how could you possibly resist???)

Mar
07

#JackSamsoniteQuote #osmuw

“Just when I thought I was ready to back away from the whole situation, an entire bare bottom revealed itself from behind the wall.”

From ‘One Seriously Messed-Up Week-End…’ published TOMORROW!

Mar
07

#JackSamsoniteQuote #osmuw

Jack Samsonite’s Personal Statement: Attempt No.19 

My Name is Jack Samsonite.

I sniff balls.

Give me a scholarship.”

From ‘One Seriously Messed-Up Week-End…’ published TODAY!

Mar
07

BOOK BIRTHDAY!

It is finally here…

One Seriously Messed-Up Week-End in the Otherwise Un-Messed-Up Life of Jack Samsonite is officially on the loose as of today!

Sprint down to your local bookshop and grab a copy NOW! (Or sprint down to your local computer and order your copy online. OR even sprint down to your ebook reader and download your digital copy NOW NOW NOW! OR… do none of the above because you think it looks kind of crap. It’s up to you. You don’t have to ‘sprint’ anywhere. You could walk, or roll, or crawl… and it doesn’t necessarily need to be ‘NOW’, you could really do it whenever you want. I’m leniant like that.)

Anyone who is a regular to this blog will already know that I have been REALLY anxious about this book, worrying that it won’t please everybody (yes, I know, you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but it would be nice, especially if they were fans of book 1). Obviously it won’t please EVERYBODY, and, unfortunately some people WILL be disappointed, but the ratings coming in at Goodreads.com has already eased my mind. There are FIVE STAR REVIEWS on there! ALREADY! FIIIIVE STAAAARS! I am SOOOOO relieved, beyond comprehension. It is like when I got an ‘A’ in GCSE music after being predicted a ‘D’. I am completely over the moon. Thank you Goodreads reviewers.

I will rest now, and celebrate my book birthday, then carry on with my next book and then start getting anxious about that.

P.S. Is it weird for an author to publicly celebrate their book birthday? Is it a bit too ‘own trumpet blowingy’? Am I supposed to be quiet and gracious and let other people go ‘Whooop!’ for me? Or is that just lazy? I think this is right. Right? I mean, I think we are expected to promote our work aren’t we? I’m even getting anxious about this blog post!

Mar
06

#JackSamsoniteQuote #osmuw

“OK, so maybe I was slightly overreacting. Laughing with each other doesn’t necessarily ALWAYS signify a sexual relationship but, even so, it was pretty damn sick.”

From ‘One Seriously Messed-Up Week-End…’ published on #WorldBookDay

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