“I am an elephant,” said the fugitive, and he was. This had not gone unnoticed but none of us had felt the need to say it as he was quite clearly an elephant – tusks, trunk, rough grey flank, big ears – yup, he was an elephant all right. “I am an elephant,” he said again, “we traditionally hide in custard.”
We had just enough to hide him in and when the police broke down the door and searched the house they did not seem to find anything suspicious in the unusually vast amount of custard we had, it being a Sunday.
Mum had made a treacle sponge to go with it, but of course the custard was no good to anyone now.
Meet Lee (many of you will have done already). He is a friend of Digestive Press.
On Saturday Lee did something amazing. He walked one hundred kilometres (that’s quite a long way) in just 31 hours (that’s not that much time and includes some night). As part of a team of four, made up by the equally courageous Darryl, Emma and Caroline, he trudged across the South Downs to raise money for Oxfam, acquiring aching limbs in the process. Digestive Press was proud to appear on his ‘hat of sponsorship’ (as seen in the picture above).
Anyway, Lee and the gang are aiming to raise as much money as possible and it is not too late to contribute. There is a link in the sidebar or you could give your mouse a rest and simply click here: http://www.justgiving.com/goingnowherefast
Well done Going Nowhere Fast, you did go somewhere fast. Um. Huzzah!
I peed too loudly and woke the cat. I stubbed my toe (predictably). I opened the door to the post woman and realised too late that I was not wearing clothes (I thought she was you. She looked like you. When you carry your big bag). There wasn’t even any post for me, it was all for you. I dripped toothpaste on my tie, then I dropped my toothbrush outside whilst closing the window (and the brush was picked up by a crafty wheeler-dealer fox who traded it for woodland sweeties and the brush was traded again and again until a bird got hold of it and it ended up in Nova Scotia and I had no hope of getting it back). I made toast and jam and thought that nothing could go wrong but once I had spread the butter on the toast I threw the knife in the washing up and had to get another one from the drawer to spread jam with and had to tell myself off silently. I got a wrinkle in my sock, which made me walk uncomfortably and caused me to step on a snail and it cracked and squished (sorry). All the post that came for you caused my brain to become fogged up (or maybe it was fogged up before that). I had become a menace to other pedestrians. I was so fogged up that I could barely think where I was going.
So I stopped along the way and sat down and when someone came to ask me I told them and a few minutes later they brought it. The carrot cake was moist without being wet and when I sank the spoon in it pulled away softly and silently. There were bright orange strands of carrot darting through the rich, nutty cake and icing on top which was almost cheesecake. I ate it slowly with my spoon and the fog began to clear.
In the back garden there were several hamsters buried along with their various hamster possessions, placed at the bottom of a small pyramid I had constructed for them out of old staircases. The stairs were still fully carpeted and when it rained the pyramid stayed wet for days and began to smell. Weeds and grasses grew up around and inside it and other small animals began to find their way in, probably worrying about ancient curses. The pyramid was not the greatest of my sculptures. The electricity pylon made of old remote controls was better and my bread sculpture of a tortoise looked very life-like now that it was covered in a thick green mould.
Halfway to the horizon there appeared to be a line of boats bobbing about on the sea, basking in the sun like sea lions. These boats had never been to sea though, they were not made of wood or plastic and they had no captain or crew. The sea was a sculptor with an eternity on her hands and had washed the boats from solid rock, slowly wearing away at it with all her skill and power. I could not compete with that level of commitment – my tortoise had six weeks of mould on it, the sea had been busy for six million years with no one to watch her progress or give encouragement.
The motion of the waves caused the illusion that the boats were moving but in reality they were no more capable of movement than the hamsters in my pyramid.
On my way down Ruette de Gallette my phone went. I fell into step with the ring and then fished it out of my pocket. It was the head of the island constabulary. Old Madame Le Creuset, who lives on the sea front, had been beaten to death with a shoehorn. Her own shoehorn. She had been found on the kitchen floor with one shoe on and one shoe off whilst outside the last tide she would ever see had washed in. She had lived on the sea front but now she had been brutally murdered with a shoehorn so technically she no longer did, but the tide did not seem to take much notice. I hurried down the hill towards the sea which was being burnt a brilliant yellow by the sun. Halfway there my mind wandered and I realised that I had done it, I had broken into Madame Le Creuset’s kitchen and beaten her to death with a shoehorn, brutally. I could picture it clearly, the shoehorn was in my hand and the old lady had one shoe on and one shoe off. I fled down Rue Moules Marinieres and then Boulevard de Bon Bons and didn’t stop to think until I was at the nice cake shop on Ruette St Eclair, enjoying a hot chocolate. Once I sat down and thought about it I realised that I was getting confused with a dream I’d had and I hadn’t murdered Madame Le Creuset at all. I should really have left the cake shop and joined the investigation at the sea front but I had my hot chocolate in front of me and was committed to it, having stirred in the cream on top and summoned the thick swirls of chocolate from the depths of the mug. Furthermore, there was cheesecake on the way.
You sent me a text message from the beach but all that poured out of the end of my phone was sand. It landed on the table in a sad pile which I sieved and searched through but there were no clues. You had taken up with a dreamer who had difficulty controlling his bones and walked butterflies and pigeons in the hills. I texted you back a flat, wordy text asking how you were and where you were. The next one I got from you was a mess of tiny driftwood and after that you stank out my pockets with seaweed. I didn’t hear from you for a good long while. You had never been that good at keeping in touch, especially not since you had taken up with the dreamer who had difficulty controlling his bones and walked butterflies and pigeons in the hills. Eventually another message came through from you, which made me pleased. It seemed that you had ended up somewhere else, somewhere quite wonderful as from my phone dropped two small, round, pinecone-and-blueberry pancakes.
Back in Manchester, Suzanna has a brand new swish website with moving pictures, clicks and background music and everything. It displays the full range of her photographic services and can be found at http://www.suzannalaw.co.uk/
In the village, all of life was a game.
The shop shut at five. Whilst Mr Key did the books, Mr Felder would let the children play all over the store, in amongst the rows of cans and bottles and packets. They each took a basket, slowly walked to the back of the shop and placed their baskets on the floor. Mary Jane’s aisle contained bread, crisps, biscuits, sweets and drinks. Jacomo’s was full of tinned vegetables, pasta, rice, breakfast cereals. Solemnly, seriously, they put both their feet in their baskets and crouched down, holding the two handles. Casual observers may have wondered if it were a craze for buying feet. Continue reading
Whole schools kept in
sterile white fridges,
Plastic pulled tight
over unbreathing gills.
Silvery shine under
heavy store lights,
Like the sun when
once they swam free.
Caught, drowned in air
gutted, packed, stacked,
Housed now in
blue polystyrene boxes.
Fresh for the taking
into trolleys like nets,
A very easy catch
ready to take home.
On my plate
I pick out the bones.
This morning the sun defied the weather forecast to beat down on the island, compelling us to drop what we were doing, forego showers and rush out of the house and down to see the sea. Last time we were at Saints Bay was in the winter and we found a washed up pineapple but today the small, rocky beach was fruit-free. The tide was on its way out and as it washed back over the pebbles it made a wonderful cascading shroogley noise to accompany the crashing waves. The sun was shimmering on the sea as the boats bobbed about in the harbour and as we sat on the rocks our thoughts turned to cake. Continue reading