On the Introduction of a Lady

Lady Pinky-Moe was born on a cloudy day at the bottom of my grandmother’s garden. She was born amid a glass of delicious, satisfying berry juice and the chirping of birds, the screeching of crows, and the deliriously haunting sound of the leaves swaying in a ferocious wind that was significant of the sad departure of the last dregs of summer.

It was cold, the day Lady Pinky-Moe was born. Cold, windy, grey.. simply divine. You may be thinking that I am slightly off my head by saying that; how could it be ‘simply divine?’ you wonder, ‘if it is utterly cloudy and grey and cold?’

Well, quite simply, dull days have a magic of their own. The magic of this day was the leaf-shaped glass that held the satisfying berry juice, clouding up as the biting wind chilled the drink to a perfect temperature, sweet on the tongue and cold down the throat. The magic of this day was the sound of the swish of the bright pink skirt as the lady stepped out from behind the white rose bush that leant against the old ebony fence right at the back of the garden. The flash of bright orange as her scarf was blown about her face, her smooth black hair waving in the wind as she straightened up, looking about her in a confident manner. The magic was in the way the line of trees behind my grandmother’s back fence were whipped about by the wind, whispering to each other, creaking and groaning and then rising in a chorus of psithurism. When I turned my face to the sky the fresh breeze was accompanied by little flecks of rain.

When she saw me in my little blue checkered dress, the glass of berry juice loosening in surprise in my hand, she darted forward sharply and grabbed the glass from my fingers.

‘Well, now. You don’t want to spill this delicious drink, do you?’

‘No -no.’ I said, completely awestruck. She was beautiful, and so elegant. My nine year old mind struggled to comprehend how she managed to be so commanding and kind at the same time. And she was talking to me. Never mind she stepped out of nowhere. To me she was real.

Her eyes were sharp, stark, large. Her hands were gloved, and she had a loud voice which she used to air her many opinions about all sorts of matters.

That, ladies and gentlemen, was Lady Pinky-Moe, named by the childish version of myself and the name had stuck against my whim, as names are wont to do.

Love Letters #28

Sunlight in his eyes.

She was an uninspired girl, and he had sunlight in his eyes. She was quiet and hid in the corners of rooms, shadows fell over her face and people’s eyes passed over her in a crowd.

She faded into the wall behind her, and her voice was like the bubbling of a spring; soft and gentle and mere background noise.

She watched his movements, the way his feet seemed to never touch the ground, but fly over it. The way his body flowed, in synchrony with itself. She found it so hard to synchronise her mind and her body together. Her mind saw one thing, but her body did the opposite. And how did he twist like that, duck so smoothly, double over laughing while balancing a tray in one outstretched hand.

She knew what he was like. He was like those cartoons of dancers, bending over and looping while balancing hundreds of things on all the points of their bodies.

And she was attracted to his bronze muscles. The way his cheekbones glowed under the warm light of the kitchen, and when he opened his mouth wide to let the laughter gush out, his teeth were so pearly and white, their edges so straight.

Sometimes in her room when she was writing she heard him laugh outside, and helplessly she giggled. Her body responded to him. Her brain gravitated towards him, he made her react.

That is what it was. He made her react, at a time when reacting to things was so hard and so much effort.

He teased the smile out of her, he brought the tears to her eyes, he made her heart palpitate, and her hands hot and sticky.

But he didn’t know this, and this fact made her even more withdrawn. Her feet were desperate to dance on the grass like his brown ones did, but they stayed put under her desk, folded neatly together, tapping gently to the rhythm of his.

Damon Ludwig,

She wrote his name on the back of her Biology text.

I think I am in love with you, Damon Ludwig.

She stared out of the window, where she could see her little sister, a tiny wisp of a girl, but like the rays of morning sunshine flooding the shadows of the night, dancing away on the wet wintery grass, and Tristan, huddled on the wall, his golden curls peeping out from under his heavy woollen winter hat. And George, smoking over the fence, and the fire in the centre of the Ludwig’s’ garden next door, and Damon Ludwig, poking the fire with a metal rod, feeding it so it cackled and rose higher, his legs moving back and forth with his motions…


Notice me.

Her pencil scraped the paper and dug into it so hard it broke through and made a small marked dent in the wood underneath, and Damon glanced up through his shock of jet black hair, right up into her window.


N.B. This is for my novel. Characterisation, I think. But it’s more like a love story, even though my novel is not a love story. This love story between two of my dearest characters is dear to my heart.


Oh, hello. Nanowrimo is here.

Oh, hello indeed. It is the first of November. How mad is that.

I have been trying to finish a novel for five years. Let us hope this is the month I manage to do it. Alongside commuting to work and getting a FIRST class degree. Not second, not third. First. I will not settle for less.

Let us see how this goes, eh?

My hopes, as they are every November, are high.

My daily writing goal is 3000 words, 5000 on the weekends. It helps that I have a general plot outline to follow, and an idea of what my characters should turn out like. Whether they do what I ask so kindly of them is a different matter entirely.

That is easy, right? RIGHT? I was thinking I should do it on my train commute, and since I only work three days a week I have Monday evenings and Friday evenings, and during the day I can study. Right?

We’ll see.

I plan to document it just to show my future self what I am capable of. That’s the spirit!

Are you planning to do NaNoWrimo? Or have you done it in the past? Do share your experiences if you have, I’d love to know how it went!


Reflection People

So once I had a dream that there were two of us. I mean two of me and two of you.

Hey that’s interesting.

Yeah. It was weird. Like we had parallel lives in the same houses and we just accepted that there were two of us. Like you would say, ‘oh the other me went to the shops today. I’m so glad she did because I really needed knickers.’

The two me’s share knickers? That’s weird.

Well not really when you think about it because it is you, just another you. You’re the same, though. Same person.

How can we be the same person if we are two different people?

Think of it this way, imagine your reflection stepped out of your mirror.

That would be awful.

Hear me out okay? She stepped out of your mirror and then she started just being you but in a non threatening way. She just did the things you didn’t like doing, like, I dunno, buying knickers..

I love buying knickers. They are so pretty. I want to buy my own knickers.

OK, ok, how about taking the bins out or cleaning the litter tray?

Yes, that stuff.

And going to work for you when you really don’t want to and doing your taxes and all that. And she doesn’t complain because she is YOU, just the reflection version. So you are still doing all of that only now you have double the man power and double the brain power and double the hair and nails and feet and fingers. So, really, you would be at an advantage. Imagine cooking dinner, you could just relax and read a book and you could also chop onions and fry vegetables.

What about if the reflection turned against me?

Hmmm, yes. That could be a possibility. You have a real whole functioning brain that is pretty much a spare brain so why WOULDN’T you want to become your own separate person?


Well, I must think about that and get back to you.

Can’t wait to hear about it.

Ok. See you tomorrow.

Same place?

Same place.




That was Delilah. She did not always speak in a lilting tone. It only happened when she was either particularly annoyed, or uncommonly sad. Today, on this fine bright sunny May’s day, she was particularly annoyed. The object of her annoyance? Hmm, let us observe him.

He is walking along with quite a swagger, his hands stuffed deep into the blue pockets of his very baggy blue jeans. His white T-shirt hangs loosely over his skinny frame, and a shock of what looks to be very white hair obscures half his face and all of his neck. He is walking along the pavement, away from Delilah.

“TWWII-III-GG!” her shout has broken new grounds. It has yet to exceed the sound barrier, however.

Let us now describe Delilah. She is slight of build. Her hair is very dark, and falls over her face in softly curling waves. The large, baggy hoody she wears hangs over the black jeans beneath. On her feet she has placed a pair of scuffed black trainers. Her face is sharp and clearly defined; her features small and pretty. Her dark eyes are fringed with thick, long lashes. Her translucent skin reveals, beneath those strange, glittery eyes, a network of pale blue veins. The unusual emphasis of these blue veins gives her a slightly unearthly look.

Twig does not turn at the call of Delilah. He ambles along, smiling at the sky and to his front, but he never looks back. You can see that Delilah is now frowning deeply, seeming quite annoyed.  She stares after Twig, her frown deepening somewhat menacingly. She is not holding her breath, but in her mind is planning all the atrocities she will commit against such rudery. Oh, wait! It seems like she has NOT been thinking of atrocities, but was instead debating whether or not to call Twig again! Ah, she has reached her decision. Here we go…


Holy mackerel! It has gone and exceeded the sound limit! Delilah Woods is indeed a talented girl.

Twig can be seen to jump in fright, clutch his arms to his chest and whip round. We can now see his face. It is as sharp featured as Delilah’s. But where Delilah was dark, Twig is not. He has a pair of striking eyes, the colour of cornflowers. His eyebrows and eyelashes are as white as his hair. He, in short, looks the very picture of total and complete terror. His eyes alight on Delilah pretty quickly, and his shoulders sag in relief.

“Oh”, he says, scratching his head, his other hand reaching for the safe haven of his pocket, “S’you”

“Yeah,” Delilah marches over to where he is standing, “after I’ve called you like twenty times!”

“Come now, Delilah…”

“No! Shush, Twig, you need to keep your ears pricked a bit more, you know?”

Twig can be seen to roll his eyes. Delilah, if you must know, is a bit of a drama queen. I think it has become quite apparent to you already, actually.

“Alright” Twig says, meekly. He gives a little smile to indicate that all is well back at the ranch.

“What was it you wanted, ay?”

Delilah hands him an envelope that she had pulled out of her brown satchel over the course of her short admonishment. Eyebrows raised, Twig takes it.

“Goodbye now, Twig” says Delilah, and she turns to make her way home.

Twig looks surprised, “Where are you going?” he asks, curious.

“Home” Delilah sings, her satchel swinging by her side.

“Can I walk with you, then?” it is Twig’s turn to call out. Delilah glances back, eyebrows raised.

“I hate to break it to you, Twig, but you live on the opposite side of town”

Twig nods, “Just checking” he says, simply.

“Fair enough” Delilah replies. Twig heaves a sigh of relief, stuffs the envelope into his pocket where it miraculously fits, and turns and carries on. He can feel his mind sink back into the dreamy state it had been in before Delilah had rudely interrupted him. A haze of blue obscures his vision, and a thin yellow path reveals itself to him as the direction he should be walking in, so that he avoids any obstacles. To you, as a mere outsider, his face looks blank. His eyes dart from here to there, unseeing and glassy. Twig, as it were, is walking in a bubble that is his own, sweet, serene world.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly how he likes it.

The Phenomenal Girl

I think I will start by describing someone to you and see whether or not you find any significance to this person. I sit here, under the baby oak trees, the wind ruffling my lanky hair. (You’re probably wondering why I am describing the setting. Well, it is just that Master Jeffries, my English teacher who may well be reading this right now and swearing to high heaven, has always told me to add in a setting to accompany my description, as it adds orientation to the piece of writing, and I aim to have a very orientated piece of writing.)

As I watch the gulls squeal high above me, I see her walking past.

She carries a brown leather satchel that is slightly faded, and her long golden braids are decked as though for conquest, with coloured strings of exotic varieties of colour, ranging from the deepest opal to the strongest indigo, all weaved intricately through those long plats as they swing down her back and over her shoulders. A few wisps of escaped hair frame her heart-shaped face, where the brightest pair of striking eyes scan the path before her, and its borders, as she carries gracefully on. Her shoes, I notice, are of a turquoise tint, braided at those edges which touch the skin of her foot with exotic-looking beads. She looks like nobody I have ever seen, and yet I set eyes on her everyday at this very spot. You might think that it is a very cheesy thing for me to say, that I have never seen anything like her, because, logically, I have. Since I told you I set eyes on her every day, and have done for the past two years. It’s like I am contradicting myself, if you look at it in a logical manner. However, that is not so. I will deign to explain.

You see, everyday she looks entirely different. Some days, she will come with hair so short she could pass for a boy, if it weren’t for her pretty heart-shaped face. Other days she would come with skin so dark she could pass for a person from Africa or Australia. Some days her nose would be hooked, other days it would be snubbed, but mostly it would be straight and true, and I knew that was her original nose. I lived for the days when she was an original, with her natural colour skin, which was peachy beige, with a tint of rose, and her natural colour hair, which was a sandy colour which glinted like finely spun gold in the sunlight. How, you ask, do I know it is the same person if she appears completely different each day? The answer is actually surprisingly simple.

You can always recognise someone if you notice them enough, if you watch them every day. You recognise the way they take their steps, their little mannerisms and habits, the way they pass, glance at things, the inclinations of their heads and their gait. Most of all, though, it is their eyes. You can always tell someone by their eyes; they are windows into your being, existence, soul. I know the previous sentence might be a cliché, but some cliché’s are worth repeating, such truth do they hold. Her glittering, vivid, bright greeny-grey eyes are unmistakable, and she can never change them. I suppose, if you had a technical mind and really considered it, she might be able to change the colour of her eyes, by wearing contact lenses or something of the sort, or get them dyed (I heard the other day that that was possible to do), but she never did. I’m not sure why, but I cannot say it disappointed me in the least that she did not. It made me appreciate this strangeness even more, and observe it with much more care and attention, wondering at the oddity and sometimes utter impossibility of her daily change in appearance. Yes, impossible.

How did one go about changing their skin colour in such a way? How did they manage to pass the same spot, each 24-hour interval, with differing lengths of hair, differing colours and differing textures? How did they manage to go from a shorn-off look to long flowing locks the very next day? This, dear reader, is what I would consider and mull over daily, waiting for this apparition of absolute brilliance to pass by me each day, as I sat on my insignificant bench. She passed by me each day, but she never seemed to notice me or acknowledge my presence. Sometimes her startling gaze would pass over me, vague and unseeing. Blank, glassy. I knew I could never mean anything to that. Nor did I wish to mean anything to that. I, and forgive me, although I haven’t got the faintest clue why I am asking for this forgiveness, saw her as food for thought. I wondered why one human wanted to look different every single day, what ulterior motive that human might have. I wondered whether that human enjoyed what appeared to be a such tedious task, what must be going on in that human’s head, what must that human’s daily life consist of.

I present to you, dear reader, the Phenomenal Girl.


The above is as narrated by Twig Blackadder.

After I Left You

By Alison Mercer.

I found this book by chance in a town called March, in March, and I read the blurb and thought it would be interesting, and so much to Damian’s disappointment (he thinks I buy too many books and is heavily concerned about where I am going to put them all) I carried it to the till.

Every broken heart has a history.

Anna Jones went to university in Oxford, at a college called St Bart’s. While there she meets a group of people who later become her friends. The relationships she has with these people are at times complicated and even fragile, everybody being young and wilful and in the process of growing up.

The story starts off in the present day, with Anna heading towards middle age. She has a chance encounter with her old ex, Victor, and this brings in a flood of all the old friendships and experiences of her past, which make her realise that she needs to face up to what happened at St Bart’s so long ago.

But what did happen? This huge question creates an atmosphere of suspense and trepidation throughout the book, and it is done so creatively and also craftily that there were certain points where I could not put the book down. I always wanted to know more!

I think the strength of this book lies in the massive secret that is slowly being unfolded. However the plot of a book cannot rely alone on the buildup to exposition, and what really carries this book forward is the wonderful characterisation, the strong, complex portrayal of human behaviour, relationships, the selfishness and insecurities of youth, all interwoven into these characters, making them very real and sometimes hateful. I also couldn’t help falling slightly in love with some of them.

After I Left You is one of those novels that will linger with me as life drags me ever forward. It belongs in my bookshelf, a place reserved only for books that evoke something inside me and ignite my mind. This is one such book.


Bernard Gilbert

Was a fine young man with a full head of dark hair that sprung up in waves. His eyes were large and dark and soulful, and had tempted many a doting young girl into a heartbreaking fate.

“I woke up like this,” he would mutter, mussing his hair in front of the mirror. His lips were slim red lines, the top lip protruded a little, giving him the look of a small overbite. So small. Unnoticeable, even. To Bernard Gilbert, however, it was like a giant, mutant cliff under his nose. He hated it.

Bernard Gilbert had long fingers.

“All the better to play the piano with,” his mother said kindly.

Bernard Gilbert did not play the piano. He didn’t play the flute, either. In fact, he didn’t play anything. He had never ridden a bike, nor read a decent book. He didn’t like maths, he thought historians were boring old farts, and he had a special place in his heart to hate on linguists. He thought science was interesting but had never read anything scientific in his life, save once when he was languidly flicking through a Biology book in the hopes of capturing one keen and pretty medical student in his sticky web of lies and deceit.

“I love you and your medicinal brain,” he crooned into her small ear.
“You’re sick,” the pretty medical student whispered back, hating herself for succumbing to his transparent charm. He wasn’t very clever either, she noticed. He had all these big words but they were empty when she tried to take them apart. He spoke nonsense, and quite often misinformed nonsense.

But oh, those eyes. He had a way of saying just the right thing at the right time and making her weak at the knees.

“So cure me,” he murmured, “I’m sick for you.”

She wanted to cure him. She wanted to be the one who changed him. So she tried, and when he left she slumped in a bony heap at the bottom of her bed and cradled her bony knees and didn’t brush her hair or teeth for three days straight. Then she got up and wilfully avoided romance for the next ten years until she met a nice back haired doctor who looked a little like Superman and fell head over heels for him and thankfully Superman loved her back and they got married and had three children and she never looked back once.

Bernard’s mother was doting and motherly and she loved her terrible son dearly. She thought the world of him, because he was so good to her. He visited her every weekend, bringing her flowers. He fixed all her house fixtures and offered to pay her bills.

Mrs Gilbert had no idea that her son was awful to women, and turned his nose up at things.

When Bernard was with his mum, he was the polished little big eyed boy she had always known.

She would sit back happily with her sewing and sometimes her crossword and smile to herself, “Yes,” she would think, “My boy is a fine young man with a full head of hair. He shall get a great job and meet a nice spouse and have some delicious little children. My work is done.”

Bernard Gilbert was a boring, pretentious sod who only watched selective films and wore massive glasses to create the impression that he was creative and intelligent when really all he was was lazy, an arsehole, selfish, self absorbed and judgemental.

But he was good to his mother. So maybe he could be redeemed in some way. We’ll just have to find out. I think it should be through a hobby, that he redeems himself. Maybe he just needs to pick up a book, or a plough, or the hand of an old stranger. Oh, I don’t know. Maybe he never redeems himself. Maybe he is doomed to live alone forever, shunned by society for his selfish ways.

What do you think?