This afternoon I realised that it takes me four minutes and 29 seconds to peel a satsuma. That’s over 31 minutes a week, which is around 1,631 minutes a year… otherwise known as 27 hours.
It has come as quite a shock to me that such a block of my time is dedicated to one of my five a day, and it has had me wondering how much time I waste on other humdrum tasks.
Five minutes more wasted and I have come up with this little list.
- Trying to get rid of pins and needles – 260 minutes
- Hiccuping – 312 minutes
- Stifling a yawn – 60 minutes
- Proofreading my text messages – 1,820 minutes
- Figuring out the meaning of an emoji – 60 minutes
- Trying to decide if I want sugar in my tea – 260 minutes
I hope you can understand why I am keeping this post short. I’m off to invent some time-saving, multi-tasking techniques.
NB If you think my satsuma peeling time is excessive, it’s because I have a fear of the straggly white bits.
The time is finally here, week one of ismithwords’ new weekly flash fiction challenge, Literary Lion. This morning I plucked a neon orange paper strip from under the watchful king and unfurled its corners to reveal the word ‘Space.’
So go ahead and commence with penning your pieces of 400 words and under, using the word ‘space’ as a prompt. It can be interpreted as literally or metaphorically as you wish. Remember to pingback to this page and to include the tag ‘literary lion’ so we can find you in the WordPress reader.
Good luck, and here is my space inspired tale…
It was a bullshit phrase. As he uttered it his face glazed. For weeks I had ignored how closely the words were from tumbling off the tip of his tongue.
I was seventeen years old and it was a Friday night. I had just doused myself in Christian Dior’s Poison and smudged charcoal kohl across my eyelids. That scent was now destined to be etched into my brain alongside that phrase. A phrase of three little words that no one ever wants to hear.
Bullshit. If I walked paces from where I was stood I was giving him what he asked for. But I couldn’t have stayed tethered at ten footsteps. He wanted an easy way of saying “I don’t love you anymore.”
It must have been the love leaving that glazed across his face. A demonic exorcism of something that was damaging. I’m sure if I had bothered to look in the mirror, I’d have seen it seeping from my pores too.
Oxford. The city that saw me trawling museums as a child and drinking holes as a teenager. It is also home to a reprobate character or two…
Five things I learned this weekend.
- A man (that you do not know) will find no qualms in stealing a sheepskin rug from under your bottom on the rooftop of a bar because he is cold and there are no blankets left.
- A man will also find no qualms in standing with his bum pressed up against your shoulder even though there is a shedload of floor space around him and you have spent the last 30 minutes shifting your chair across his toes.
- The Ashmolean Museum is filled with staff members on ‘backpack watch’ (probably because they’ve seen a knuckle-headed tourist wipe out an irreplaceable Ming vase with the oversized load on their back). The dunderheads always ruin it for the rest of us.
- Massage therapists will touch your feet even when you ask them not to (and then look shocked when they narrowly miss a roundhouse to the face when they do lay their paws on yours).
- Waitresses no longer find it necessary to apologise when you inform them that there is a hair in your cucumber sandwich, and they will only replace it once you’ve fully tucked into your scone and hence no longer have the palate for savoury. Of course at this point you have also forced yourself to power through the high tea, forgetting all thoughts of said hair and her return only reminds you of the discovery and makes you want to throw the jammy creamed cake at her phlegmatic face.
Otherwise the city of spires is quite a delightful place to spend your hours.
Thank you to the Daily Post for inspiring my photo-taking for the second time this week.
The monday musings of a crazy cat lady…
I was watching The Simpsons. He strolls into the room and plants a squidgy bundle of sellotape and wrapping paper on the bed. I look up, eyebrow cocked, and he nods towards the parcel.
After unfolding the glitter-caked paper I am reminded of that moment in Sex and the City (yes I am a teenager of the noughties who was embroiled in the wonders of American cable sitcoms, bootleg jeans and RnB), when Trey brings home a cardboard baby for his wife, Charlotte, because they can’t conceive and he deems this an appropriate novelty substitution.
Inside the paper I find a cat. Not a real cat, but one stuffed with polyester and furnished with glossy plastic eyes that follow you to every corner of the room.
I am not saying we are ‘trying for a cat’. Unless you can call yearning after the endless snapshots of a Google image search for ‘Exotic Shorthair Kittens’ trying. But my boyfriend did bring home this cuddly toy grumpy cat because I am cat-broody and unfortunately, at this moment in time, without the real thing. Polyester and plastic will just have to do…
Today I have been slicing words from magazines like a blackmailing pro, to create what is known as ‘Found Poetry’. Here’s what I discovered amidst the piles of paper words…
Panoramic florals amplify the monochrome morning.
You rave with that cheap thrill,
Artificial in flirtation,
A moonphase away from a world
Quilted in blue.
Today’s poetry 201 challenge has helpfully allowed my writer’s brain to head home, in creating some prose poetry. The subject is ‘fingers’ and the challenge was to include some assonance in the piece…
Her blood boiled upwards as my ears rang with her rage. The words abandoned their sensical path, instead bulging the brain as indecipherable mush. I couldn’t hope to untangle it. It would reside, for evermore, swelling, sneering at my sanity and tormenting it into submission.
As her back faced forwards I took the wrath and exhausted it in the only way my schoolgirl mind could conceive. A hidden gesture paraded with such force that it would spend my frustration.
Forearm clenched, bicep tensed, I paraded a pugnacious middle finger at the back of her straight black bob.
She would think she had won.
I think this photo fits this week’s photo challenge rather nicely too…
Happy new year to my lovely readers, I hope your last few weeks have been filled with a little indulgence of all kinds. In racking my brains this morning for a New Year’s post I ventured down this nostalgic path…
Mechanical pencils are very often my weapon of choice, owing to many childhood years spent amidst shattered splinters of sharpenings and lead smears across my fingers and exercise book pages, but this morning, jutting from the hefty white ceramic fist that sits on my desk grasping my writing tools, a sliver of gold caught my eye.
Digging out a plastic sharpener in faded fuchsia from the bottom of my desk drawers, I gave this metallic sheathed scribbler its very first gasp of life. It shed its lustrous skin whilst the smell of wood shavings and lead scuffled up my New Year’s flu blocked nose and struck a chord in my brain that resonated with my eleven year old self, sharpening pencils in a blue diplodocus desk tidy that my Dad had purchased because I had a penchant for dinosaurs and it was obviously with much hilarity that one could sharpen their pencils in an extinct reptile’s bottom.
Once I’d grounded myself from my nostalgic wondering, I noticed the sharpenings had spiralled into a golden fringed crown… a regal start to the year.
Day Two of Photography101… the street.
Under the Bridge.
In the middle of the city, amidst the murky river and the singing train tracks, the air smells of the dusty pages that render the space silent.
Laura didn’t have an imaginary friend. But she did have a series of Take That dolls that were entirely representative of their real life counterparts when they whispered sweet nothings to her.
This post is in response to today’s Daily Prompt, Imaginary Friend…
My trainers were the whitest of white. Blobs of blood plummeted onto the milky leather, instantly at odds with their crisp colour.
My foot had slipped along the metal pole where the paint was cracked and flakes of rusty brown were starting to take ownership. On the way down my two front teeth met the metal bar, grinding between the dirty surface and my gums as the roots bent, the enamel crumbled and they tumbled to the floor.
I ran home, blood spurting from my mouth and down to my white trainers, a gap in my gums that rendered the remaining fangs vampire like in their protrusion against the void. For the first time, my childlike vision of immortality was shattered.
This post is in response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt “At what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?” http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/finite-creatures/