Ad-libbing For The NHS

Performing does not always require a stage

I was sitting in the GP waiting room suitably preened for a smear test when a nurse appeared…calling my name.

Like the rest in the waiting room, I was masked and over-egging my smile to what I thought were familiar faces.

I spend way too much time on my own — — enough to talk to spiders.

My “hubby” lives on the other side of Scotland. He is from Bangladesh and works with other men from Bangladesh in a restaurant so busy they sometimes forget I’m there.

Catching his attention is like trying to catch a trout without a fly unless, of course, we are in bed.

Too many days on my own and I am craving laughter like a coke addict craves coke. A trapped audience has me excited as said addict with a fix — — sparking a spin of steamy jokes and one-liners, like the sort a parent makes that embarrass their children.

I have a joke for every occasion.

I find sex jokes work best on the NHS and old men. And years of teaching Belly dancing has given me a repertoire of fanny jokes that could rival Joan Rivers.

Anyone who listens to me is fair game for a routine, but I had met my match with the elderly gent heavily breathing over his zimmer frame in the waiting room.

His idea of banter was complaints, double entendre winking, followed by more compaints; being deaf didn’t help, nor did his daughter trying to keep him in line.

He, mid-rant about the GP’s inability to make appointments stopped when the nurse lent close to my ear.

“Would you mind awfully if a student practices on you?”

“Student?” Huffed the elderly gent “no students coming near my bits and pieces, they’re in enough trouble as it is.”

“She wasn’t talking to you…dad,” blushed the daughter.

The nurse smiled at him.

“Can’t even get a good night’s sleep thanks to my friggin prostrate, and you want some whippersnapper to have a rummage?”

“Dad,” hissed his daughter, her face now beetroot. “She was talking to the lady next to you.”

He peered at me over his mask and winked. “You have a prostrate too?”

I laughed through my mask as the nurse led me down the corridor, asking me again if it was alright for a student to “have a go?”

I couldn’t give a damn who did it as long as it didn’t hurt, no one walked in and I didn’t fart during the process.

“Mind?” I chirped, “My fanny’s had more viewings than a house auction, what’s one more?”

This was not strictly true but I’m a slut when it comes to getting a laugh, menopause can do that to a woman. Sometimes I feel like all I have left are jokes plus, perhaps, a more whimsical look at life than the younger, more intense me.

The nurse chuckled and with a crisp rustle of her plastic apron opened the door to a slip of a girl, who didn’t look old enough to order a pint let alone be a student doctor.

I couldn’t help myself.

“My fanny has seen more strangers than the London tube — — — ”

I caught the student’s eye.

“ — — — — Not that there has been many complaints.”

She definitely laughed.

I toyed with the idea of cracking my standard, “at my age, you got to take what you can get” joke but decided against it.

It didn’t really fit with the “I’ve been around the block so many times I’ve lost count” theme and in my experience, it’s best to coordinate jokes rather than throw them out randomly like an amateur fisherman.

Especially in a clinical room with all the warmth of a morgue. That had the sort of cold atmosphere no amount of heating could destroy, enough implements to have me sitting with my legs crossed and more lubricant than a sex shop.

You can have your work cut out for you in such places and it is best to warm up with one theme, build a narrative of expectation.

I was going for a “good time girl rather than a desperate old yin”.

The nurse told me to strip, gesturing to the bed with a “make yourself comfortable” — — –like the two go together.

The nurse and the underage student disappeared behind the curtain.

I removed my bottom bits, and jumped onto the bed.

“The last time I did this for a stranger, I was pissed,” I said.

Was that a laugh?

“And that wasn’t yesterday.”

They pulled open the curtain.

I positioned myself into the sort of pose that required a lot of deep breathing.

“And this is where the cleaner comes in,” I joked.

The ever youthful student slipped on her gloves with a condom-style flick, smeared ‘gel’ over her “larger-than-life” implement then with shaky hands turned to the nurse with a “which bit” look.

There was a certain amount of prodding and fumbling; enough to make me glad she wasn’t male, and I hadn’t eaten gas-inducing cauliflower before I came.

As I left the examination room comfortable in the knowledge that according to the nurse it was the last one. That at my age smears were no longer necessary I bumped into the elderly gentleman and his daughter. He was huffing up the corridor and she, looking at his prescription.

He caught my eye.

“Curing the prostate is a piece of piss according to him.”

“Dad he didn’t say that.”

“May as well have.”

He stopped for a breath.

“We’re off to the chemist for a carry-out.”

“Pills dad.”

“At my age, it’s a carryout.”

He leaned toward me. The days of a half bottle and a bit of how’s your father are gone for me. Now it pills, creams, and if I’d lucky a few hours kip.”

“You sleep like a horse dad.”

I laughed. “A carry-out for me is a tube of lubricant and a tub denture cream.”

“He looked at me and smiled, “well make the most of it honey, one day it will be Senokot and a hot water bottle.”

Out ad-libbed, I headed to the chemist for my carry-out, (I was heading for the hubby that weekend).

I liked to think I had an answer and generously gave him the last laugh. The truth was I was dealing with an expert, a man who had probably spent his whole life embarrassing his family, with jokes, that should be heard only once.

As I entered the chemist there he was, seated by the foot fungal creams — — minus a daughter.

The chemist handed him his “carry-out” bag.

He cracked a joke, and headed out the door as I headed in, the chemist still laughing.

He caught my eye and with a wink muttered. “My work here is done.”

Single Is The Tits

Sheryl is the main character in my Bellydancing and Beyond series and she like Nefertiti evolved from an old blog I wrote to get to know them better.

Nefertiti being her belly dancing teacher/mentor.

So I decided to give her a bit of a spruce up to see if I can unearth anything new about my first great heroine for my next novel.

Single is the tits
A Sheryl Monologue

Nefertiti being pressed for time has asked me to be her guess—sorry ‘guest blog’.

Asked is probably not the right word as Nef has a way of putting things that makes ‘no’ not an option.
According to her being single means, I have time on my hands…

My mum has the same idea.

She recons ‘time on my hands’ is her passport to a 24-hour personnel assistant.

‘You can’t feel sorry for yourself if your arm is up a drain pipe,’ she reckons.

Feeling sorry for myself? Why would I feel sorry for myself? …Being single is right up there with a good fish supper.

The only ring in the bath is my own- so no need to clean. And I can make a box of chocolates last as long as I want to; who’s going to know if it only took me a rerun of ‘Corrie’ (Coronation Street) to scoff the lot, even the hard ones.

I am telling you single is the tits!’

Mum hates the words tits…Ironic really, as she swears like a butcher with Tourettes attacking a sirloin on Christmas Eve.

My mum is the sort of mum best left at home. Anywhere public to her is an opportunity to point out eligible men in a voice that can be heard over a pneumatic drill.

She’s the sort of person who thinks encouragement is listing your faults in order of preference.

‘Sheryl’ she says ‘You will never pull in a bra like that’; (Mum’s answer to everything is a good bra. Well that and a nonstick pan.) You couldn’t pull a cracker – even if a wrestler was attached to the other end.’

Well, the last thing I’d be doing with a wrestler is pulling crackers. And I told my mother so. We were in The Stables at the time; a pleasant cafe that can (according to Nefertiti) make Nescafe almost bearable.

When Martin left me for the ‘body that defied gravity’ I was as gutted as a roll mop.

But not now, I get out as much as possible – once I’ve put mum to bed.

I’ve been on a few dates, met a one-eyed darts player from Cork. He had a great trick for putting his opponents off their aim——let’s just say his glass eye was portable———with an invisible flick.

I met an army bloke at MacDonald’s whose idea of wit was to talk about “his weapons of mass destruction”.

Then there was the guy from the fish and chip shop whose idea of a ‘come on’ was to arrange two Scotch eggs and a battered sausage suggestively across my chips.

I was impressed until I saw his pickled eggs.

They were floating on the top of the jar like dead fish, a man with stale pickled eggs is a man best avoided——no matter how artistic he can be with batter.

And of course, there’s Shifty… he’s the barman at The Argyll; he is every woman’s dream barman.

He’ll remember your drink; remember your favorite song and late at night when you’re feeling lonely, his toothless grin will stop you from doing anything foolish.

Yes, being single can be a happening state of affairs as long as you keep a wide birth from well-meaning mother types, and get a good look at a man’s pickled egg first.

And if you want more from Sheryl check out my latest reading below—-enjoy

Bus Stop

Something new doesn’t have to be death-defying, just a break from a routine is enough to set my bowels into overdrive.

I watched the bin lorry pull up at the car park opposite. It was the crack of dawn, the world was waking up and my stomach was like a glass of Alia-Seltzer.

I was sitting in a bus shelter, waiting for the bus but feeling like I was waiting for the dentist. I hadn’t sat on a bus in years.

In Scotland, you get a free bus pass when you turn sixty, and mine had been burning a hole in my larger-than-life purse since lockdown. The thought of a free ride niggled me, and as the restrictions had lifted, I saw my chance. On a promise of a few proseccos with girls, I dusted off my “going-out” mask and booked a seat.

We were gonna paint the town a mild shade of pink.

It seemed a good idea at the time but as the whole adventure loomed closer I started to feel agitated, riding on a bus is hardly water rafting up the Amazon, but something new does set my teeth on edge.

It was a two-hour trip, a long time for a bladder of a certain age.

There was a time when I happily jumped on a bus without a care in the world, when I had the sort of bladder that could hold a keg of beer, even with a good sneeze.

Back then, the thought of driving had me as sweaty as a wrestler’s jockstrap. I was terrified of city driving, motorways made me sick to my stomach, and every time a police car drove by I froze, thinking I had done something wrong.

Not now, I have driven all over Scotland to see my hubby. Conjugal rights can do that to a woman, force her to overcome her biggest fears. I can now face those god-awful roundabouts on the “M-what ever” as casual as a lorry driver. And thanks to my trusty sat-nav, not only do I know where I am going but every pee stop on the way.

I never get caught short in a car.

But today I was as agitated as my first day at school. All the dysfunctional fears of missing the bus had set me on edge like a dozen expressos.

My mother, a control freak, my father on the cusp of Aspergers, had me early for everything, fearful of being late, missing things, which led to me being ‘the first” and feeling like a dickhead; just like I did in that bus shelter.

I was the only one there with 20 minutes to kill.

I watched the binmen clutter along the pavement, already missing my morning coffee.

Relax I told myself and when that didn’t work I took a deep yoga inhale, and let it out——nothing. I pressed my forefinger against a nostril, inhale, exhale, thumb to the other nostril, inhale, exhale.

I swear I saw the bin man stare.

He didn’t look the sort that breathed for relaxation. He looked the sort who thought yoga was a type of yogurt and heavy breathing was something he did on top of a woman.

I’m not a dick head, I wanted to shout…instead shifting uncomfortably on a cold ledge I watched the lorry disappear into the sunrise, grateful for my mask. He had no idea my face was red and being Scottish probably never used the word dickhead.

The bus pulled up.

Its door slid open, and I with a smile wasted behind my mask attempted a casual alighting jump.

“I’ve got my day out mask on” I joked.

The driver stared at me with the irritation of a teenager listening to his mother trying to be funny.

He gestured to the card machine.

I fumbled.

“Face up,” he snapped.

I fumbled some more, my face hot behind my mask.

He tutted.

“I said face-up” he growled.

I looked at the three passengers, they stared out the window.

I fumbled again, my technology joke taking a nose dive so bad I have now forgotten it.
He grabbed my card, flicked it over the machine, and with “a here’’ handed it to me.

The bus lurched into first gear.

I stumbled into a seat.

“You can’t sit there” he shouted.

I moved on.

“Or there.”

The three passengers stared at me like I was half-cut.

How about a sign….I wanted to yell then saw the sign and blushed.

I truly felt like a dickhead.

The bus pulled into the next stop.

A blond bounced on.

“Isn’t it cold” she joked, expertly managing her sixty-plus card.

He said nothing started the bus catching her stagger to the front seat.

“You can’t sit there”. He hissed.

She glanced at me and I at her… and contact was made. 

A few hours and a few proseccos later I waited at the bus stop for the return journey home.
Having retold the story over a bottle or two I was feeling smug. I had exaggerated the story for laughs, with a new technology joke (which now, sober, I can’t remember.) I even had the barman on the edge of his seat, until I went too far, told him I put the driver in his place.

Paranoia is a great storyteller.

I was waiting in the cold, my bladder reassuringly empty as the blond from the morning appeared.

“I wouldn’t worry about him,” she said. “He’s like that with everyone, they usually put him on the school run. Keeps the kids in line.”

“All aboard” yelled a chirpy-looking bus driver.

I jumped on, expertly sliding my card like a pro.

“Good day?” He asked.

“Excellent,” I said safely landing on a legal seat.

The blond threw me a knowing look.

I threw her one back.

It had been a brilliant day and despite my anxious feelings of missing the bus I had made it back not only in one piece but with a comrade traveler. I could do this again I thought, then turned to the blond.

“How was your day?” And before she could answer, I launched into my story that had her sleeping like a baby.

The bus driver it seemed heard everything.

As I jumped up for my stop and waited for the door to open, he, with a chuckle turned to me.

“I wouldn’t worry bout that driver,” he said, “he’s a total dickhead”.

The Legacy Of Manifesto The Great Is Out Now 

Victoria’s Secret

Photo by Pixabay on

It was a bra but not as you’d know it. It had layers, in every animal print you could imagine, and a zip.

“It’s a sports bra,” said the salesgirl “designed to make running sexy.”

I looked at it….it had as much support as a banana skin…

My pal and I had met for the first time since lockdown with plans for a few drinks, food, and a catch-up laugh.

I was feeling frisky.

It had been so long since I’d been in Glasgow that just the sound of buskers had me kicking up my heels, in fact, I was so high I was even handing out the odd coin….

Arm in arm we giggled down the street, jigging to a street guitarist.

“She hasn’t been out since lockdown,” laughed my pal.

He nodded, his face lighting up as I slid a pound his way with a shimmy.

Then it caught my eye, the shop window behind him….pink, black and full of underwear.

A lingerie shop with the promise of something more… Victoria’s Secrets.

“I’ve never been in there,” I said adjusting my Asda knickers.

“Well, let’s go.” Said my pal with a tug at my arm.

My pal is a glamorous woman of seventy-something. She is a delicious size ten who can still pull off leather, lacy bras, and zip-up jeans.

I can’t remember the last time I ‘zipped up’. I pulled on my first ‘Adsa’ stretch jeans years ago and have never looked back. I live in elasticated waistbands and low heels, sciatica can have that effect on a girl.

Not that I am ancient, 61 is not old, but mature enough to know when you’re flogging a dead horse.

Perhaps Victoria Secret’s would offer something different… something for a round woman who was feeling a little frisky?

Masked, we headed into the dimly lit, larger-than-life department store filled with underwear fit for a porn star, and as uncomfortable-looking as porn sex.

It was a strange mixture of decadent Victorian burlesque and modern erotica.

The shop was full of determined young women bargain hunting; the odd young man with a “shit is there not something better I can buy my woman” gaze; couples——one on a mission and the other trailing behind with an I’d rather be at the pub slump; and one homeless-looking man who had decided that eating a bag of chips at the “£ 2.99 and under” bench was way better than outside.

My pal was immediately at home, zig-zagging through the stands. She lifted what looked like a collection of ribbons stuck together and held it against her tiny pelvis.

“I had one of these once” she laughed explaining where the legs go.

“Me too,” said a sales girl with the silhouette of an ironing board.

She took us to the discount bar, sprinting across the floor like a gazelle.

The sale’s area was a sea of bras the size of egg cups, knickers with holes in all sorts of places, and G’strings that seemed more fitting as a headband than covering genitals. Finding something that would fit me in that lot was as probable as me growing a penis.

I watched my pal with armfuls of matching underwear head to the changing room, pondering a glass of wine.

“Can I help you?” Said an apparition of smooth skin and fitness.

“I was looking for a sports bra,” I said.

She eyed my breasts, which like the rest of me has expanded over the years, pulled open the large size drawer, fingered the D &DD sections then pulled out her phone.

“You got any of those zip-up sports things?” She said.

She listened… “No, out-sized.” She said.

She nodded, then looked at me.

“F? No I was thinking more of a double?”

She listened… laughed, then hung up and told me “to wait.”

Minutes later, puffed from what appeared serious stair running she appeared, stuck several bras under my nose, and with a motherly smile told me “to take my time.”

I stared at the animal print underwear.

“There is plenty more,” she said, “don’t worry we can find you something that fits.”

I headed into the changing room next to my pal with a ‘perhaps I’m wrong” hope, and my Asda undies riding up my jacksy determined to fill every orifice.

Back in the seventies, my mum brought my first bra in Myer’s bra department; the only place to shop in Melbourne as far as my mum was concerned. We were served by a no-nonsense maternal woman with a tape measure strung around her neck like the key to a secret door.

The two women stared at my breast detached like they were observing a painting.

“Is the left bigger?” Said, my mum.

“Perhaps, but hardly a cup size; perfectly normal,” said the sales assistant.

“Normal?” Glared my mum.

“Well yes…Most women are a bit…lopsided.”

“Well, I’m not,” Snapped my mother.

“I’ve seen a few in my time and believe me your daughter is very normal.”


”The sales assistant threw me a smile. “Well yes, I’ve seen women with not only different sizes but different shapes. Why the other day a woman came in with one like a pear and the other more an apple….And people think sales is easy.”

“Mine are perfectly balanced” muttered my mother.

I locked the door behind me and stared at my reflection in the soft light. It was probably one of the plushes changing rooms I had been in and the bra was probably one of the stupidest I had tried on.

Doing up a bra at the front when your breasts are the size of melons is as easy as clipping on a led when your dog is chasing its’ tail. My breasts flopped in the way and I couldn’t see a thing.

“You alright?” shouted my pal.

“Not really” I shouted back “some friggin idiot has designed a bra that takes as long to get into as a corset”

“You need some help,” said the sales assistant.

“No” I grunted. wrestling with flesh that seemed to have a life of its own. The last thing I needed was her shouting down her phone “we need something larger, we’ve a melon and an aubergine here.”

I was just about to give up, “who wants to friggin jog anyway,” I shouted when my pal burst in with an arm full of underpants, all half price, extra-large, and sexy.

She smiled“Something for the weekend?” She said thrusting a few glamours pieces my way.

Standing at the checkout, card in one hand and a set of underpants that had the promise of never “riding up” I stared up at the poster behind the cashier…

An extra-large, beautiful model glowing under the sun in a bikini. I looked hard at the large triangle-shaped material barely covering her breast and nudged my pal.

“Does one look bigger than the other?”

“Perfectly normal,” said my pal, “one of mine’s like an egg and the other way more like an orange.”

“Me too,” muttered a voice from behind.

The cashier looked up, catching my smile “that’s why they chose her honey.”

Happy October if you are looking for new authors at free or 0.99c then check out the links below. But hurry as the offer finished 30th October 2021

Romantic Comedy

Sweet And Fun New releases.

Laugh Out Loud Romance

Sci Fi October Sale

By Kerrie Noor

The Other Side Of Death

Photo by Adrien Olichon on

The losing of a parent in your fifties is the best anyone can hope for. And when there is a chance to say goodbye, put the past to rest, then the gods have handed you gold on a plate.

When my mother died I was fifty-three, alone, thousands of miles away in a caravan. I howled like a baby.
I never made the funeral, never got to go through her things, never got to hold her hand as she slipped away. She was my mother, but at times I felt like a distant relative.

Her death ripped my family to shreds and all I could do was phone, message.
I live in Scotland and my family in Australia, once I knew my mother was dying I went back. I spent four weeks watching grief explode in anger, arguments, resentments, and silence as the gremlins of our family took hold.

It was like the lancing of a boil that wouldn’t heal.

Grief brings depression, silence, blame, and shouting. My mother was a shouter, a fighter, and a blamer, and she was angry that my father was outliving her.

At least that is how I saw it.

I wanted peace, but I quickly realized everyone has their own way of dealing with cancer, especially siblings. My father was the sort to hold things in, head to his shed but as he was an invalid with the onset of dementia, his emotions were all over the place, contained behind a blank face and irrational outbursts of rage.

I assumed he was terrified, devastated at the loss of the woman he loved. I grew up listening to my parent’s love story, and over the years of phone calls and visits, it never seemed to change. They still held hands.

I suspect my siblings saw it differently, and they unlike me had shared their lives with mum and dad. They called dad selfish, especially when he, staggering on his one leg balled at my mother, almost blowing her frail body off her feet.

I had four weeks, everything was heightened, my time with my mother, consoling my father, him consoling me, holding me, solid as a tree trunk.

I remember washing my mother’s back, and her loving it, massaging her feet, and her ignoring, wanting my sister.
My mother had always been a mixed bag, and now with cancer, it was even more so, she went from hard to soft in a matter of minutes. She wanted to ‘go out’ her way, and thanks to my sister she did. Swallowing jealousy is not easy but as I returned to Scotland I did just that, while my sister and mother got on with the business of dying mum’s way.

Everyone retreated to their corners, my brother into silence, my father confused and hurt, while my sister and mum almost melted together. I retreated into my new job.

I dreaded Christmas, my mother had weeks, my husband of just a few months had left for Bangladesh his parents were also dying, and here was I staring at the frost swearing at my mobile unable to connect, console him or my mother.

Then it hit me, one final gesture for mum —–Christmas, it was staring me in the face.

My mum is the sort of person who holds back and her holding back taught me to jump, make mistakes, and when she said “there’s no need to come” —– like she wasn’t dying. I jumped.

As I sat there on Christmas day, jet-lagged, my way too expansive Champaign drunk by everyone else, by a sister who couldn’t be arsed with me, an uncle so drunk he knocked over the roast I watched my mother happy in her red dress.

Despite it flapping about her skeleton body like a tent she looked beautiful, drinking in every moment of what she loved. Her family around her.

She couldn’t eat let alone drink, but she was the center, sparkling, almost dancing.

My sister in her anger had moved mountains, gave mum all she wanted, my brother and his family supported her with humor and kindness, while dad watched on the sidelines, impotent to help.

It was four weeks of color, I laughed with my parents, told them stories, walked in the sun with my brother and his family, cried, and kept a distance from my sister, swithering between jealousy and admiration.

On our last day together we stopped for lunch at a restaurant where mum, my sister, and I always ate when I visited. I remember leaving my wine thinking I wanted to remember everything. As my sister drove us to the airport mum held my hand. I have a history of feeling unimportant, that what I feel or remember is not real, but when she held my hand, I felt I mattered.

God, it was awful saying goodbye and as I headed into the airport my heartbroken, my sister followed, pulled me back for one last hug.

Mum’s tiny bird-like hands held my face. She looked into my eyes and oh my god, I saw into her soul —pure mother. She dug right into the pit of my stomach, and I howled from my bowels.

If I am honest I think she didn’t want me to come because she dreaded this moment with her over-the-top emotional daughter but, when it came she was amazing, her loving hands consoled my tears, we melted together.

The world carried on but for a moment mum and I stopped, even my poor crying sister was invisible just me and my mother — a moment with no words.

Death is like sex it is never really what you expect and nothing like the movies, it’s messy, unspoken, and yet in it all its messiness there are moments like outside an airport where people are hailing taxis.

My brother and sister were there as she went into a hospice, faded into a shell, drifted into a comma. Their good-bye was different, slow like the defrosting of a joint. and if they were pissed of with me, I don’t blame them.

A few years later I went into a spree of novel writing, filling my stories with farcical comedy, and often there was a death scene. Life is never the same when death touches you. In my latest, The Downfall of Manifest The Great, Aggie having lived life with a great amount of gusto passes on leaving behind a poem.

I’m not sure how my mum would take such a poem but I like to think that there is a little bit of her there, that as she lay in the hospice surrounded by her family there was a part of her dying with gusto in her red dress naturally.

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on

The Ramblings Of A Dying Woman

I love my body, from the deliciously farting bowels to the breast that gave me pleasure.

It has devoured food so delicious I drool, to bed-diving so spectacular my pelvis lubricates at the thought and a heart that loved so much that it ached.

My body has been there for me through thick and thin.

Crying when I needed to, dancing until it dropped, and laughing with gusto, turning a bleak day into a comedy sketch.

Even frail and old, wheeled about in a chair, my body has not let me down. With gums that fill with juices at the mere smell of sweet hemp, to full thick hair that delights in the stroking of my lover.

I love my body and those I shared it with.I give in to its passing with gratitude and thank the gods of the galaxies for designing such a miraculous and efficient machine to live in and another to share it with.

The Ramblings Of A Dying Woman can be found in my latest Sci-Fi comedy ——-The Downfall Of Manifesto The Great.
Although my blog is very emotional the novel is a parody. It’s funny how writing comedy can often trigger other memories and emotions.


Photo by Ellie Burgin on

I am working on a novella about the start of Lockdown when we were Zoom virgins and stockpiling loo rolls.
And to capture the essence of such feelings I like to write my characters in the first person; see if I can get to know them better.
Here is Catrina.
She and George have not been together long. In fact, they are still at the dating, dressing up phase when Lockdown throws them together…

Lockdown Revisited

George plonked himself down and opened his laptop like a pandora’s box.

“I am working’ I mouthed.

“I’ll be quiet” he mouthed back; quickly adding a “luv.”

Quiet is not something George is good at, even his breathing is noisy.

Impossible when working from home.

I watched him pour a whisky, waltzed to the fridge, and with a ceremonial tossing of ice—–miss his glass.

That’s what happiness does to George, he turns into a dancing sportsman with shit aim.

Lockdown has sparked road works on a grand scale and his caravan park is now full of workers who will happily unblock a drain before he is out of his pajamas.

My George is now a “happy hurler”.

Paper balls are dropped-kicked feet from the bin, teabags frisbeed, his shoes hurled, and don’t get me started on his jockstrap…

I stared at the screen, trying to focus. I was in the middle of a screen share that would send a hyperactive to sleep and George breathing like a megaphone was up his nostrils didn’t help.

“The spreadsheet will make your life easier.” Said the Know-It-All trainer.

“It’ll take more than a spreadsheet to make my life easy,” I glared at George.

He chuckled.

I tutted.

Then I saw it, my face in the corner of the screen screwed up like a turtle. Seeing my face on zoom is like walking past a shop window when you’re pissed off except much worse…magnified angry is not a good look.

“Look at this Luv,” he said.

“I’m training,” I snapped, forcing a smile.

“Ever so funny,” he said.

“Spreadsheets,” I said.

“Oh that,” he said. “I leave mine for the accountant.”

He sipped his whisky like it was the elixir of genius, tapped a few words, then threw back his head and laughed so loud the cat skidded on the window sill.

“Must you?” I snapped.

“We all need a little laughter during lockdown.”

“I’ve got some half-my-age-know-it-all telling me this space-age spreadsheet is a piece of piss and you’re telling me to laugh it up?”

“I can hear,” snapped the Know-It-All.

He jiggled his glass “fancy a whisky?’

“Not now.”

Tea, coffee? I’ll make it.”

“Look” snapped the Know-It-All “if you don’t have the time right now I can put you on a course.”

“Course?” I said “that’s the council’s answer to everything. Don’t they understand that working from home is stressful enough?”

She sighed.

“Why don’t you have a go and call me if there are any problems.”

I was about to answer, tell her what she could do with her “have a go”, launch into the joys of sharing a kitchen table with a man child when I noticed George was silent.

“Well that’s the pension fucked” he spluttered.

She who’s half my age stopped…

George jumped up to pace.

“Completely fucked.”

“What was that?” the Know It All said.

“I think he’s looking at his savings,” I muttered.

“Oh that,” she almost looked concerned.

“Fucked as a fucked camel.” He shouted.

“Tell him to wait, things will come around,” she said.

“Tell him? In that state? Your talking “red rag to a bull”; swearing that’ll have Quentin Tarantino blush.

She looked at me like I had two heads and one was rotating.

“There’s no need to worry” she shouted.

“Worry,” He said “I’ll be working until I’ve crocked it until I am paralyzed by a stroke and spoon-fed by the Polish.”

“What goes down always rises again. Every man knows that.” She almost smiled.

He turned on me with those “red rag to a bull” eyes.

“Darling,” I said, “we’re on zoom.”

I don’t think he heard the “darling” because he began to rant about waiting and piles.

The-Know-it all asked what waiting had to do with piles and he, making a rude gesture to his backside yelled “it’s an age thing.”

I told him piles were all in his head.

“In the arse more like it.” at which point Know-It-All began to talk of calming down, which as everyone past the age of consent knows has the opposite effect.

Finally, he stopped for a breath.

“You’ve got piles?” Said the Know-It-All.

“No damn it….”

“Just as well” she laughed “there’s bugger all toilet paper in the co-op.”


If you want to read more of George and Catrina, how they got together then check out A Dame Called Derek just click on the link below for a free book and the chance to join my newsletter.

In My Wildest Dreams

In May I passed sixty and headed into the heady heights of sixty-one.

With a strong cup of coffee, I stared into my complicated face; a face with more crevices than the moon and thought …

I look more like my father than my mother and that’s with a shave… (LOL)

Thank the galaxies for long hair, hair dye, eye liner, a nice husband and candle light. I could write a bigger list, move onto the artillery of underwire, the miracle of colour and the great illusion of chin lifting by smiling but instead I tossed away my hair removal cream, and dug out a poem.

Not that I see myself as a poet or write many but this one was inspired by a “Flames Zoom Workshop.”

Contemporary performance in your own home.

Fiona the director of Flames and Tricky Hat productions asked us to create a piece “in my wildest dreams” and this was mine…

In my wildest dreams is an old folk’s home where people are screaming to get in.

An old folk’s home with topless barman, palm trees, fairy lights, and bespoke incontinence pads- with fabreze built in.

The words “dear” will be banished along with microwave mash and plastic cups, instead there’ll be cocktails, a good view and real hash brownies.

In my wildest dreams my fanny will not only be bejewelled but, tattooed the following…

“I made men weak at the knees; some even paid for a sniff.
So treat me with kit gloves.
And don’t fucking clean me like a cooker top.”

In my wildest dreams growing old with be a blast,
With dancing, snogging and denture cream that not only works but is free on the NHS.

In my wildest dreams growing old will be as celebrated as birth.

We will be heard and listened to, and asked how to make soup rather than “did your bowels mover”.

We’ll drink malt whiskey, wear red lipstick, and have lots of kittens to pat.

We’ll have so many visitors we’ll be turning them away.

“Why is the world so shit?” They’ll say “why didn’t we listen to you?”

And thanks to the fabreze in our knickers, no one will ever know that the squelch of a fart five hours ago was really way more than that…


Photo by Jeremy Bishop on
"Tight equipment is not something to shout about but then neither is a tenner pad."

I was in the loo pondering the wisdom of my mother despite most of it being as useful as a three-cup bra.
She had me confused about many things.

I grew up thinking the G spot was a new marker pen, and a scrotum was French for a sausage roll.

According to her public loos had more germs than a cesspit, and sitting on one led to the plague. By the time I was ten I was a master at hovering over a toilet like a spaceship.

I could hear the rattle of a loo roll in the next cubicle followed by a long-suffering “shit”.

“The Argyll” was not great when it came to loo paper. I pushed a fist full under the wall, not an easy thing to do when suspended like Yoda above a toilet.

“Cheers,” huffed my pal.

She, having spent the last few hours listening to me rabbit on about a death scene in my latest sci-fi comedy was fed up to the back teeth.

Plying her with wine hadn’t helped. If anything it just confused her. To her comedy was anything with Hugh Grant in it.

“I thought you wanted to be funny?” she yelled from the next door.

I stumbled regretting that third glass… or was it a fourth?

“Death is funny,” I shouted back.

“A dying Alien coughing her last phlegm is as funny as a shopping list.”

I counted one, two, three…

“You’re doing it again aren’t you?”

I didn’t answer, you had to do it five times and I had lost count.

“I knew it,” she snapped with a flush.

“Intermittent peeing” was another of my mother’s mantras. “It keeps everything in good working order” she used to say and I was doing my best- daring gravity to do it’s worse.

Seeing double had that effect on me, suddenly the state of my equipment was on a par with world peace.

A tap splurted on.

“So much for Bellydancing,” said my pal.

Three or was it four?

“So much for your sneeze freely promise.”

“What?” I said.

“You know…”

The hand dryer blasted on.

“Laugh without pads…”

Finally five… I sighed and flushed.

My years of body hating started early, back in the days of beauty pageants. My parents picked holes in the contestants like a judge at Crufts Dog Show leaving me fretting in front of the mirror.

Bellydancing changed all that, along with the odd man who knew what he was doing….

My pal eyed me as I appeared safe in the knowledge that all was still working.

“So why all the pee holding?” She said.

“You have to cover all angles,” I muttered.

Photo by Picography on

A few drinks later we were sitting at the table shouting over an eighties’ band killing a Madonna song.

The singer was ancient. He had the look of someone who’d been around the block way too many times to remember.

His half-hearted gyrates were as mesmerizing as a car crash.

“Like a virgin touched for the very first time ….”

Bellydancing made me feel my body was not only ok but a delicious piece of equipment designed for pleasure.

My mother had as much concept of that as the singer had of virginity. My mother thought a middle-aged stomach should be hidden away like a toilet brush.

“Why do mothers do that, rise from the grave and drag you back to a time of confusion?” I said.

“I never did like Madonna; too many dark roots,” said my pal.

“She hated my belly dancing,” I said.

“What? Madonna belly dancing? Don’t think so.”

“I was talking about my mother,” I yelled. “She had no idea about dancing for pleasure…”

My pal gestured I can’t hear.

“Or connecting with your body; hip circling…” I yelled.

“Touched for the very first time….”

My pal shook her head with a “still can’t hear”.

“Ooooh Yeaaaah……”

“And as for pelvic pleasure…” I shrieked.

The singer stopped.


My pal snorted a laugh as the whole bar stared at me with a “what so great about your pelvis” look.
She topped up my glass with a who cares snigger, turning to the very thing she had been avoiding all night.

My poem.

She sipped her drink and in the dark light of the Argyll read what I had been working on all day.
The poetry of an Alien woman who had done many things and leaves the world celebrating the memory.

The Ramblings of a Dying Woman.

I love my body, from the deliciously farting bowels to the breast that gave me pleasure. It has devoured food so delicious I drool, to bed-diving so spectacular my pelvis lubricates at the thought and a heart that loved so much that it ached.

My body has been there for me through thick and thin. Crying when I needed to, dancing until it dropped, and laughing with gusto, turning a bleak day into a comedy sketch.

Even frail and old, wheeled about in a chair, my body has not let me down. With gums that fill with juices at the mere smell of sweet hemp, to full thick hair that delights in the stroking of my lover.
I love my body and those I shared it with.I give in to its passing with gratitude and thank the gods of the galaxies for designing

such a miraculous and efficient machine to live in and another to share it with.

She read it three times, mouthing each word, occasionally looking up with what I thought was an impressed look.

Then over the massacring of “Pappa Don’t Preach” she yelled…

“I thought you said you wanted to be funny?”

Out now at your favourite store just click

The Wrapping Of Christmas

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler on

It takes two years and a TV remote to know the dark side of a partner.

I decided to say a Christmas thank-you to my son the only way I knew how- with chocolate; apparently it’s not that great in China.

My husband, a man with more vouchers than Amazon brought so much cheap chocolate I had to send it in batches.

Or eat it myself …

Every day he came in from work looked at the pile of chocolate and asked…

“Have you sent that chocolate yet?”

Sometimes I looked at him like he was stupid, other times I just said “yes.”

Finally, my inertia got the better of him.

He waltzed in brandishing a chewed up roll of Christmas paper which needed a little “drying out”, a roll of

Sellotape so old it took half an hour to find the end, and an empty box marked “adult’s only.”

Where he got them I haven’t a clue but I suspect like most things, in some dark corner at work where no one dares to linger…

Three buggered fingernails later I looked up from the sellotape, the end still stuck like super glue.

My ability to breathe life into a has-been, Sellotape is legendary, but this thing had been glued together since the Thatcher years.

“Shall I just buy a new one?” I said.

He peered from his precision paper cutting with a “hardly” look.

Recycling is his middle name, in fact if there was a recycling superhero he’d be it. He could recycle a used postage stamp if he put his mind to it…

His cupboards are full of leftover underpants, mismatched socks, and jackets that don’t fit, usually from his twice the size brother or even worse, his sister.

When I first discovered such talent I was mesmerized, amused. His talent for recycling was on a par with his packing. I’ve seen him pack an 80inch flat screen TV into the back of a Minnie as a surgeon puts back organs. Hell, I’ve seen him parcel up a a running machine for his home in Bangladesh and still have change from a tenner.

And how he does it is as much a mystery to me as getting a souffle to rise.

I stared at my hubby folding paper around the ‘adult” box like he was making an origami H bomb.

It was going to be an all-night job.

My hubby likes to make a meal of things. What is a mundane task for me is truly saving the world for him.
When he peels potatoes, which usually involves a critical inspection of my knives, he expects a round of applause for the symmetry…and don’t get me started on his foreplay.

Finally after an argument about my “flamboyant use of sellotape,” we headed for the post office.

A voluptuous elderly woman admired hubby’s handwork.

“Get a load of this,” she gestured to her comrade.

Her comrade polishing her glasses peered at the address while the voluptuous one praised my hubby for the excellent “taping of the corners”.

“That’s precision that is,” she said “impenetrable”.

Hubby beamed with pride.

“I have wrapped up more presents than Santa himself,” she said “but never anything as, well…perfect,” she eyed Hubby.

“You can wrap my parcel any day.”

She winked.

He gave her his best shy face.

“Pity,” said the comrade.

“What?” I said.

“Well it’s way too heavy for China,” Said the comrade.

“Even by ship?” said The voluptuous one.

The comrade jiggled the box in her hands and blew through her lips.

Chocolate to China it seems is a lot harder to send than a running machine to Bangladesh.

She placed it on the counter like it was about to explode.

“It’ll never make it on a ship, way too suspicious.”

She threw me a look. “They’ll have the squat team after it in Peking.”

“Squat team, in Peking?” Snapped the voluptuous one “Who are you the next Micheal Palin?’

“You need to make it into two .”

“Two?” Snapped the Voluptuous one.

“Make that three.”

“Three?” Shrieked the voluptuous one.

“Well if you want to get it there before Christmas.”

I looked at my Hubby silent but thoughtful. You can learn a lot from a decade of bed-sharing one being when to say nothing and the other being when not to gloat.

His eyes scanned the back of the office stopping at the recycle bin…

The voluptuous one followed his gaze.

“Are those for recycling?” he said.

The voluptuous one with a larger than life smile picked a selection of scruffy padded envelopes that had, by looks of things, been around the world at least twice.

“I do like a man that recycles”, she smirked.

The comrade tutted.

My hubby with an arm full of used envelopes headed out the door, looked at the rain lashing down, and turned to me.

“There’s still plenty of that sellotape isn’t there?”

I said nothing.

True love is knowing when it’s best to feign deafness.

Out Now Three Angry Women And A Baby

Let’s Drink To The Good Old Days…

Photo by ahmad syahrir on

….before lockdown when folk visited, drained your cupboard of booze and still didn’t leave.

“I have come to the conclusion I am a mere list woman…” says Mavis “…with ticks.” 

She sniggers at her wit.

I ignore her. 

Mavis is on her third processco and will be singing in a minute or worse, blaming “Trump’s hair” for the downfall of mankind”.

I watch her empty her glass.

“Yeah that’s me, a funny woman with profound, “yeah I’ve be been there” stories.”
She pours another.

I start to clear a few plates, fluff a few cushions.

“Churning out novels while getting the car service ain’t no picnic; neither is trying to be vegan when you love butter.”

I talk of bedtime, switch off the TV, I even take my bra off and sling it in her face. Does she move? 

Not even a blink. 

“My life is just one long witty conversation with people I hardly know,” she hiccuped “for hilarious blogs…”

There is no answer to that.

“But success eludes me, like my daughter.”

Here we go…

“She seems to be offline as soon as I am online”.

Mavis empties my last bottle.

“God I am exhausted.” 

Aren’t we all.

“I’m fed up looking at my belly and wondering why it insists on looking like I have just swallowed a watermelon.”

We’re now at the depressed stage…

“I jog for Christ sake” she shouts at her stomach; a fart ripples from her chair. 

For a funny writer Mavis is anything but. She is one of those visitors you’d hide from-if you could; except she never knocks, just waltzes in with half a bottle of whatever and empties your cupboard…

And she will never leave until her legs are at the staggering stage and the booze has all but disappeared. 

It took lockdown before I saw the other Mavis, trying to work out zoom really sobered her up.

Photo by Cookie the Pom on Unsplash

Now we zoom and the funny thing is one word of Trump and my computer magically freezes.

Download a free story written to raise for awarness for Alzheimers click the link below…