WISH YOU WERE HERE?

There’s nothing sweet and nothing green about Sweet Green Tavern. It may pump out the smell of coal fires and sit snug beneath snow-topped hills, but it is also surrounded by out-of-town mega-casinos and still flaunts the stink of chain-smokers years after the ban.   What counts for the beer garden is a lay-by watched […]

THE CLOCK STRUCK ONE

(AFTER MRS DALLOWAY BY VIRGINIA WOOLF)     I didn’t know why the men were welding the fence, but my two cats were enjoying watching the sparks fly. The odd-jobbers were oblivious; intent on their task. Four hands working as one, four eyes hidden behind goggles.   The old bat in the flat opposite was […]

DHARMA EXPRESS

When I pull up outside the Dharma Express its shutters are down, but a flat-capped man in his sixties emerges from a white Skoda and encourages me to ‘step into his office’. “I’m here about the driving job,” I say, worried there’s been a misunderstanding. He nods vigorously, chewing on the stem of a Meerschaum […]

SWAN SONG

They had all been so polite, trying to soothe her through their strychnine grins whilst shifting uncomfortably in their seats and avoiding her gaze. It was for the best, they said. She was getting tired, they said. She knew, of course, that they meant getting old. They had evidently thought everything out carefully, and had […]

SITTING ON A PARK BENCH

Flashes of pink in the frosty sunlight, from the elderly lady with her Precious poodle. She rests from hobbling to watch protective parents force toddlers across metallic monkey bars, whilst a shell-suited imp slurs abuse at his mother, across the graffiti-ridden jungle gym. “No! I don’t wanna fuckin’ go!” “Get ere now, y’little shit, before […]