Mustard Shampoo

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– “Oh no Frances, don’t do that again! It’s only Tuesday…. What time is it?”

– “Early enough, and listen to this, it says Venus is aligning with the Moon today, and small events stemming from Capricorn’s innate daryness  will pamper you with a stream of luxurious payback…. can you translate this?”

– ” It means I need three spoons of sugar in my coffee today, stewardess!”

– “Oh.. I forgot to tell you, yesterday: we’ve run out of coffee.”

– “aarrrggghhhh…. check inside Tommy’s lottery box- if he’s still snoring…. you might find a couple of free coffee samples, as the horoscope suggests…”

– “I’m afraid I can’t, it says here- geminis  need to emphasise on time keeping today, or else  we may have to face self-piling workload.”

– “ok. Don’t forget the Arabica mild roast on your way back.”

– “I’ll write it on my hand. Bye! Don’t fall back asleep lucky capricorn!”

By a chance of luck, as I reach for my phone…. the battery’ s dead. Frances saved me again, because I had set the alarm  buzz for seven am.

Through the window I watch her walk away in a confident hurry, sporting a purple uniform and her favourite yellow crocs.

–  “Frances, I’m not a Capricorn, I’m a Sagittarius!!!” My words are trashed away by the noisy rubbish truck.

*          *          *

The boss has given us an extra lunch half hour, and once again the receptionist wants me to take her sample-hunting.

– “Let’s have lunch first, I suggest, there’s no queueing at the food stall right now. They said there might be a storm.”

– “What, is that what Francesca read on today’s horoscope?”

– “Don’t be jealous of her. She’s had it hard.”

– “And so have we all. Three samples for me and only one for her!”

– “Hot dogs?”, Asks the food stall lady.

– “Two for me with no ketchup, loads of mustard,  extra napkins and chopsticks please!” Anita’s not pulling her leg.

– “That will be eight pounds fifty, just eight pounds for you.”

– “I ‘ve not got enough coins…. so: Same order please,  but without the hotdogs!”

–  “Ummm… One seventy five, two seventy five, three pounds for you! And a hotdog on the house!”

– “Same for me please.”

– “Look, there’s a new bench there. Quick, grab it girl!”

I hesitate to ask then brave the question:

– “Anita, can I enquire…. why won’t you eat without chopsticks?”

– “They make me feel slender. That’s it.”

– “Oh, must be a precious feeling for a millennial female.”

– “Ok,  Capricorn! it’s beauty goodies time!”

– “But you only had mustard for lunch!”

– “Yes, I needed to make up for the free granola bars they were handing out at the station. Here, I took a couple for your pretty Frances.”

– “Thanks. We ve got twelve minutes left. Put some lipstick on, off we go on a lucky errand….. hey, I said lipstick, not Mustard!”

*          *          *

Anita was sniffing all the new shampoo and conditioner cute bottles, not lending an ear to me.

– “Do you do Mustard shampoo, Madame?”

– “Mustard shampoo? Not as far as I know. But our latest cinnamon edition shampoo and conditioner in one is your closest bet. Let me ask my supervisor anyway.”

Leaving all the bottle lids halfway screwed, Anita looks high on exotic essences.

– “Please Sir, could you be kind enough to fill in our creative suggestion form, and very importantly, your email address, because we are treating you with this season’s sample case.”

–  “But we’re late to work…”

– “No worries – I can quickly  fill it in for you,  because I am impressed with the beautiful shine on your girlfriends hair.”

– “Don’t misspell your email address again!” Anita the spoiler sometimes behaves like she’s my girlfriend.

Mission exceeded, we two colleagues are pleasantly excited  by what items we got inside the gift bags.

We hear a thunderbolt.

It’s raining so heavily we have to stay under the porch, dodging the upset bargain shoppers who only want a square inch of shelter.

The rain grows thicker and cooler. I’ll never forget the next five minutes, when Anita opens the coconut shampoo and the small crowd of shoppers instantly start querring about the product.

Anita wants the stage, and she starts foaming her hair under the storm.

I think they gave us an aphrodisiac instead of shampoo. Passers try and take pictures… but the rain’s too thick.

I cannot recall a sexier scene than my very professional receptionist washing her locks under the violent spring shower. I want to ask her what her sign on the horoscope is.

Anita needs not to feel jealous about any single millennial or trillinial chick. The girls got it.

Before the rain recedes the receptionist’s head is wrapped in a newspaper.

A rain scent still lingers on her- even today,  as all customers keep boomeranging back to our shop.

*           *          *

On my way back after work, I don’t bother to collect free papers to cut out the horoscope for Frances, as I’ve been fed up of doing for the past couple of years. All I can think of is brushing with Anita’s hair. I forget to pop into the supermarket to get a coffee jar for the flat. I even forgot Frances’ gift bag!

*         *          *

The flat door is unlocked and I am hoping it’s not  some burglars coming to steal toilet rolls. There’s sachets of mustard over the kitchen table. Frances treating my Anita again as a gesture of fair competition.

– “Thanks, Frances! Frances, you in?”

She sneaks out from Tommy’s bedroom. I pretend not to notice. The keetle beeps.

– “Who got the coffee?”

– “Tommy won a tenner on the Lotto! Says Frances, bottoming her uniform.

– “Well done.  Can I keep the change?”

The evening is light as usual,  lifting the work fatigue just when it’s time to sleep.

I could have guessed! These geesas  are a couple! No wonder they don’t mind me being three months behind the rent…

What other stuff is to be discovered this week? Do I have to peep on one of Frances’ horoscopes to find out?

*          *          *

Two weeks later, and as I am still scratching the love bite, a couple of emails come in at once.

One from the landlord, and one from the beauty store. Bad news is landlord going on a gap year so wants one years rent ahead, good news is we won the two shampoo recipe contests. I only submitted one- shampoo with rainwater…

Over the phone, Anita can’t believe her luck, and starts laughing and laughing,

– “I made up a mustard shampoo formula, just as a joke….. I didn’t even test it…. can’t believe we won the grand, plus the lifetime supply of beauty products!”

Well, it’s all typed somewhere in cyberspace. As for me I need to find a new room. The grand comes in handy.

– “You moving out with Frances?”

– “Nope!”

– “Then come to my block! there’s a free room on the second floor sharing with some dictionary animals…. sure they ‘ll love the mustard shampoo….”

– “Thanks.  I ‘ll check the horoscope and get back to you.”

– “No probs, Capricorn! I’ll be practising on a new sardines moisturising cream formula as a good bye prank to Frances – while you make up your mind…… gosh you really got me into this.”

– “Just to remind you girls once again, I am not a Capricorn, but the lucky Sagittarius…”

The End

Keep the competition happy!

 

 

 

The Feathered Drone

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Alex remained indifferent to the plague all the village was worried about, for he was the village fool…

Errands for you, and you! fix my car, polish Mr Quito’s shoes in three minutes…. only, and only, for a bunch of coloured feathers.

And everybody was fond of him, we could even say proud of him. But why he loved the feathers – people kept on asking each other. There were always jokes going on about Alex’ s feathers, and he didn’t really like that- but nevermind! He always got beautiful ones from friends returning from holidays or business trips.

One morning the fool heard a knock on the door. He was asked to dispose of his feather collection, as a precaution to take against the enigmatic plague going around.

His flatmate Manu managed to agree to give the feathers, only if these would be returned once the disease would receed.

Manu kept checking on him all day, in case he would be upset without his feathers.  But on his way back home,  he was absorbed by the colourful decorations on his friends’ garden trees, and statues…

– “Isn’t all this festive? Alex has been charging everyone with old curtains… instead of feathers!” For the first time in a month, people were cracking jokes again, distracted at last from the same topic.

A couple of weeks later many folks were happily helping him make his creations, and some ladies even asked them to do their garden doors up.

The sick started to take tiny walks out- just to admire the colourful, crazy new attire their old town was showing.

When the subject was raised at the village neighbourhood meeting, all agreed that, even if Alex had asked for permission prior to putting up the funny decorations, the artwork would be removed after the summer.

In need of nonsense, the people were getting more ideas just to stay away from the taboo subject- from taking the cattle on a stroll to wearing flower diadems- anything to show they were not afraid.

*          *          *

Mario’s car wouldn’t start after a long day training at the doctor’s surgery, so he called the strong Alex to help push it back home. Once by the porch, he told the fool

– “Make sure you wash and dry all that sweat off before you go to sleep!”

– “No need.”

– “What?”

– “No need.” Mario looked at him, and Alex explained,

– “If I keep the sweat then I will grow feathers!”

The car engine started as a comical sychnonicity of events, for the idea this silly comment had sparked in Mario’s scientific mind made him rush back to the surgery lab, to stay and work on it for the following weeks.

The decorations in town started getting exaggerated and lost their novelty charm. With the plague, they added to the confusion. So down they came.

The fool thought he wanted his feathers back: he walked to the surgery hoping to find Mario, besides there being rumours he wasn’t in town.

Mario was on the phone speaking some foreign, very weird language. Saying something about a “formula“. When he saw Alex, he smiled and rushed inside to get the box of feathers.

– “Aye! My feathers!”

– “We got something even better. Wait here five minutes.”

– “A drone! A drone!” People were clapping. More drones followed. Maybe these were bringing vaccines!

– “I’m going to sleep in my bed now- please Alex, don’t say anything.”

– “I won’t.”

– “Oh, I wanted to ask you…. well, I was slightly curious…. why do you collect feathers?”

Alex put his head down and turned sad.

– The feathers…. my feathers… well, it’s just that maybe one day I’ll get invited to one of those really funny dressing up parties…. so I’m saving up all the feathers for  my costume!”

The End.

There are other jolly means than monetary remuneration to celebrate your existence.

The Water Diamonds

Every night

Little diamonds float inside

The glass of water on my bedside table.

They glow with ease

The town is sweet.

I breathe harmony.

Another gift, another day

And as I pray

I am pleased . Because today

I did my best.

If these water bubbles could speak

They would certainly repeat

“Enjoy your rest, pray for the rest.

Although we’re cheap

We have in common:

A peaceful sleep,

We dream we’re free…

And wake up on our feet.”

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The End.

Thanks for sharing!

 

 

 

 

My Unforgettable Getaway

The Mount from Marazion“Why do you want to go to St Ives? It´s a five hour train ride… we can fly to Ibiza in less than two hours.”

“No Ibiza. I just want to go to St Ives.”

“Ok then!”

Didn´t take much convincing, for the joys and miseries of travelling always set a new mark to start afresh.

-“Can I ask you, what will we do in St Ives?”

-“Here are the tickets, we´re leaving in one hour and forty minutes.”

-“ Oh, no,You´re joking!” I saw that shiny, little star in his eyes.

The journey was unexpectedly smooth and I had three boxes to tick on my list- art, sea and moaning.

Yep, moaning. I always save my moaning to get spoilt in the most ridiculous manner I can.

– “You will not moan there will you? “

– “Not if you let me smoke as much as I like”.

– “Ok”.

The closer we got to the hotel, the more enchanted we felt, for if there was a place with a simpler richness of character, this would be the areas of Cornwall.

The first day was silly, spent walking up and down like a pair of knotted shadows, the skilled rythm of the port not affected by our hungry curiosity . We watched, and before the art galleries closed, we had seen those paintings.

-”Gosh, you look like that pirate!”

– “Thanks!, he also looks like me”.

There is a travel style we enjoy, and it is the one opposed to the “surveyor tourist” as I like to call them, who carries a list of the most important sights to visit, at a particular date and time, and the more he sees, the better.

We just like to float there, let our shoes take us around, hear the history from the locals, notice those particular little things…. go visit the places the locals recommend, and mostly, get to know the people.

That day I was left thrilled by an old novelty of place, so I had forgotten to do my planned and loved moaning. Took me almost an hour to fall asleep as the beauty of St Ives played in my imagery, making me want it all.

Very lucky to rise under a beautiful sunshine and a treasoning wind, I suggested we had a sip of Cornish Lust Cream for breakfast. It sprung to my mind to hire some bikes, why not. Even if my smoking and quick sandwiches habit was not going to be my friend. Minutes after I googled a bike hire service, I heard my name.

The bikes were there! Peter from Lands End Cycle Hire had delivered them! And we were the halfway though a cigarette. At first I started to feel uneasy thinking of the awful cramps I would get on the next day, but Peter´s jolly mood made me stick to the no-plan, which was to just get on the bikes and go here and there and nowhere.

Pete pulled out a large. colourful map and marked a cross over our exact location. Then he drew a route to follow with a skillful trace, and told us where we could go, including St Michael´s Mount.

– “Isn´t all that too far?”

– “No it isn´t”, he said, confidently. I was slightly scared when I saw the line on paper, but all this sounded so good.

Handing us the bikes as if he was trusting his best racing horses to take us on our journey, I watched my partner ride off in circles like a kid.

– “Where´s the map?”

– “I´ve got it!”

– “No, give it to me!”

Every time I remember that day I´ve got to stop doing what I´m doing and enjoy the resurfacing emotions for three minutes.

I felt very proud of not going back on my steps but taking up the little adventure, and we could´t wait to go. We only took essentials and the bike locks. No, no raincoats.

“If it´s longer tan I think then I can start my moaning.”

Instead of moaning, all that came up was a futuristic renaissance of the body as my legs pumped up the oxygen, and we felt so free and in control of space, wanting to go further and further.

All that running after buses, errands and the ever broken lift had paid- I wasn´t so unfit! I was recalling how as a kid I liked to BMX, while I tried to not miss the enticing lansdcapes and architecture that allowed us to inhale history, life and future.

We didn´t get lost. We saw so much, placed our feet on the Giant´s Heart of St Michael´s Mount, the day was too long and at the same time too short… for we could´t get enough. It was all too entertaining to leave space for cramps.

At one point a young lady called us and handed us the notes I had dropped while taking off my jumper. This was sooo nice.

The sky was wide, the breaks so delightful.

– “You haven´t started moaning yet!”

– ” Wait and see. It´s getting dark, we need to get back to the hotel.”

– “I think it looks like it´s about to rain.”

– “How are we going to make it back tos St Ives?”

A passer-by Heard us and said the last train was leaving in sixteen minutes, and we could take the bikes too. I thought it was a joke, but it was correct. My ignorance!

My partner looked at me and said

– “I didn´t know you were so fit”.

– “you mean the bike is fit.”

– “Very funny.”

– “Sure I am, because you always send me to the most remote shop to get hot chilis for the pasta sauce before it´s about to burn!”

– “I guess so… do you have that Crust cream on you?”

– “You mean the Lust Cream?”

– “Yeah. Whatever.”

– “No, I left it on the night table…. When do we go back?”

– “You want to go back?”

– “Well, if we got enough money to stretch the holidays…. I´d like to stay one week more.”

– “OK. We´ll stay until we got two pounds fifty left in our pockets.”

He opened a secret zip inside his jacket and showed me a few notes.

– “Hey, you cheeky! I asked. What´s that”?

– “I got a refund and I saved it for a sunny day.”

– “Brilliaaaant! We´re there! Quick, where´s the bikes wagon? “

– “No idea….”

– “What we gonna do?”

– “The bikes wagon is the last carriage!”, somebody informed.

– “Thank you, Sir! “My man stared at him in funny way and whispered…

– “This guy really looks like that pirate on the painting we saw yesterday.”

I lied all the time about not having any night cramps, even if he kept on asking, because I wanted to cycle my breathe away- on every single holiday, for the rest of time….Bikes at Porthmeor Beach

After six days whe realised we had only three gorgeous pounds left. We had fed the seals, been fishing and many more things. It was time to return the bikes.

Peter must have read our relief, because he smiled as if he could grasp the joy of our cycling in Cornwall. He must have been very used to that.

– “Before we go, can we get a souvenir mug? Do you think we got enough coins? “I enquired.

-”Lets try. The mug broke a Little on the way back. What is really strange is that the day we got our brand new bikes and got back home, the mug strangely appeared undamaged.

A few weeks later I noticed my man staring at some birds.

– “You like their looks? The shorter one reminds me of the pirate on the boat on the painting….”

– ” It’s even better than that! I think she might be the same person who picked up our quids when you dropped them in Cornwall”…

– You wish!

*          *          *

Lately I found a new excuse to moan- and this is if someone asks to borrow my bike!.

 

The End.

Thanks for sharing!

Benefits of cycling include

– Better navigation skills

– Improves spacial awareness and confidence

– Boosts your inmune system

– Brain health

– Social life

….. and no need to mention- saves a good deal of time and money!

St. Ives Bikes

The Children’s Hospital

IMG_1951votenow-2-transIMG_1951Despite the pain and drain that come from working at the Children’s Unit of St Patrick’s Hospital, Tricia loved every minute of her job. She called the children “my kids”. Her life and soul.

Bringing joy and confort to ill kids was like a job she was given by a star constellation since birth.

Since Dr Bailey joined the Unit she found that fighting for the well being of her kids despite the budget cuts was easier- and also he had once recommended her to take two more hours sleep if she wanted to look after the patients in the best way.

Tricia was the star nurse, also envied by her colleagues for her imagination and gift to tune into kids’ waves: when they felt pain, she would ask “what’s the name of this new pain?” and create a character for it.

Whether in the tummy, head or leg, she had elaborated a way to hypnotise the pain dead. “OK. The pain is called Dragon. Lets make him.” After stuffing a blue rubber glove and painting a face and name on it, she would smile and say “tell the Dragon to stop annoying you, or else we’ll punish it into the tissue box “.

“Stop annoying me, Dragon! Or I’ll snatch your ears off!”

“Watch out, he might spit fire from his mouth. Lets muzzle him.”

The fascination of the children pulled them out of their pain, as Tricia put a plaster onto the Dragon ‘s mouth.

“Do you want to sing a lullaby to the Dragon?”

“Maybe next time! The pain is gone and I wanna sleep!”

Eight year old Nathan was admitted and Dr Bailey stole Tricia for a minute “we’ll do our best to save him”.[sociallocker][/sociallocker]

Nathan’s mother couldn’t help giving Tricia nasty looks but Tricia had gone through situations like that before. Nathan developed the habit of telling the ” pain glovies” that ” you are not coming to the wedding.”

“what wedding is this?” Tricia would ask.

“wait and see.”

But one day on an early shift at five AM, Nathan starting crying very loud. Tricia and Dr Bailey happened to be on shift.

” The tube hurts, said Nathan, lets kill it or it will not come to the wedding!”

” What wedding are you always talking about? asked an exhausted Dr Bailey.

” Yours and Tricia’s Wedding!”

The two health professionals looked into each others eyes during a very awkward second.

” OK, said the Doctor, ask the Gremlin to make me an engagement ring or we shall soak it under the sink!” So Nathan opened a plaster and Dr Bailey proposed. Despite the surrealism of the scene Tricia saw a sparkle in Dr Bailey’s eyes that she had never seen before- he was actually proposing to her, right there, in front of Nathan and the Gremlin.

After a tearful Yes, Nathan clapped with excitement, just as a healthy eight year old would, and continued

“The pain is gone! I can sleep forever now!”

” None of that” said Tricia

” I was only joking. Now lets make the Gremlin a girlfriend in case he comes back”.

Nathan was luckily discharged three days later, but strict Hospital rules determined there could be no contact with children after Hospital episodes- so he missed the wedding.

Shortly after, the Baileys received a Thank You card from Nathan’s mum and a picture showing him plummer, in his  bedroom with a dozen of stuffed gloves.

Tricia soon started training nurses in Hospital Play and their first born was named Nathaniel- after Nathan.

It is sad to think that not all Hospitalised children have Nathan’s luck, but there are amazing professionals and volunteers in these Units as children deserve to feel a sense of wonder, even if they will not survive.

The End

This story is based on true characters.

 

 

Sandra’s Tunnel

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Dreams
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This is what I work for.

 

 

 

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Those were the real times.
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I might die- but my tattoo will last forever.
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Wondering if creatures believe in God…
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In quest for the machine of everlasting energy.
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No means No.
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The brief time of glory
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Ideas are delicate
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The reptilian way of crying.

 

 

 

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When something random captures me.
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Diamonds at snack break.
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Pleasure exploading once.
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Is there anyone out there?

 

 

 

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Chewing gum.
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You drilled into my heart.
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The Joy of Water.

 

 

 

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