At some point in our journey to and from Toastmasters my friend Argent happened to ask me whatever had happened to a story idea I had some time ago – I had to admit that it had been shelved in my brain for the time being. However, we both agreed that it was worth returning to – so here is episode one – if the story gets a positive enough reaction then you can look forward to further episodes in the coming weeks.
OK – so, for those of you increasingly small number of people who don’t know how a Wordzzle works the rules can be found here http://ravensviews.blogspot.com/2008/02/wordzzles.html
Each week we are given a set of ten words for the main bout, five for the “mini” or support act and all fifteen for the mega. The words of choice are:
early morning light, Pinocchio, mist, leaves, sandy, coffee, walking, traffic, pray, stomach
And for the mini: train, art, admirable, cotton, fluffy
My story doesn’t really have a title yet – so any suggestions will be welcome. Hope you enjoy.
Week one – John O’Groats to Helmsdale (51 miles)
Well the train put me down Tuesday night and I was able to find a nice truck driver to take me the rest of the way to John O’Groats, but I can’t say much for the hotel: it smelt like someone had been keeping chickens in the room, and the less said about the coffee the better. You know that ultra expensive coffee on the news – the one where the beans pass through the stomach of a cat? Well it tasted like that.
I was a bit worried about the weather on the first day, you know what they say about Scotland – if you don’t like the weather hang around for half an hour – but the mist across the sea soon cleared and I was even able to go for a quick paddle in the water and spent an hour walking on the beach – although the walking frame did get stuck and the mobility scooter had to get a push start from the man with the sign. I didn’t like him much – he wanted to charge me £40 just to stand by a sign saying “Land’s End 600 miles”. He reminded me of Mr Johnson from the Chemist shop, you know – looks like his hair is made of cotton wool? I know you won’t like me saying that, but at my age you can’t afford to be mincing words.
Anyway, once we’d got the scooter out into the traffic it ran well enough, although I’ve noticed that the wheels skid a bit when you drive over leaves so I’ll have to watch that when I’m going down hill.
Going was really good the first day and I managed to get to Freswick by midday. Not that there was much there – just a pub called the Admirable Lord Of The Glen, where I was able to get a Bacon sandwich. The scooter does about 25 miles before it needs charging, depending on how many hills you go up, so I have to find a hotel that doesn’t mind me plugging it in – but I’m wishing that I remembered Mr Wiggles, the fluffy cushion that little Sally made for me last Christmas
Thursday was a bit better – having managed to get as far as Wick (which has a golf club that your mate Tosser would love) – but despite my best efforts my knickers are still really sandy – must have been from the walk on the beach. One particular hill I really thought I was going to have to get out and pray to make it up the hill, but somehow we made it.
Yesterday was not so good – my back was giving me gip from an uncomfortable stay in a Bed & Breakfast – they must have used corrugated iron for the mattress, that’s all I can say. So I was up with the early morning light and off, but I got rather distracted when I reached Dunbeath Castle and ended up spending half a morning walking around on the zimmer frame. Sometimes I really hate the walking frame, but it comes in handy as well – because everyone just assumes that you’re stupid when you have one, so if you play your cards right and shout about whippets from time to time you can usually get in free. The castle had a lovely display of modern art, not that I understand all that new fangled nonsense – frankly if they wanted someone to ride a bike all over a piece of canvas then I’d’ve been happy to take half what they paid Damien Hurst.
Anyway, I eventually reached Helmsdale about tea-time and found myself a nice hotel with a Jacuzzi. I think a few of the other residents resented me getting in, with all me wrinkles making me look like a whale, but I have to say it was a nice change after all that travelling.
Well Spud – I’ve got a lot of planning to do today before I set off again. The roads are very winding, so it could take me longer than I thought – especially with having to find somewhere to re-charge the mobility scooter each night. I will try to send you another post card next week. In the meantime – do yourself a favour: get a haircut and ask that Debbie out – she won’t wait for ever.
Exhibit 12a: Text sent from mobile no ********, Mr Bernard “Spud” Maris to ******** Margaret Mills, Friday 16th Oct 2009, 0845:
Where’s u? Cum bak ome – we’re watchin Pinnochio this w/end. No u like. BTW: Polize cum round, want no where u r, say u stole sumfink? Txt me back. I no u have this numbr