Heaven Calling – Part 2 Fictional Series #Comedy #Marriage #Dating

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Welcome to my weekly blog series – Heaven Calling.

This series is out every Thursday on BlondeWriteMore.

For part 1 please click here.

Recap: Camilla’s enjoyment of heaven life came to an abrupt end last week after she made a shocking discovery about her husband, Gerry. He’d decided to start dating after spending two years mourning her. Two years felt a little short to Camilla. In view of her amazing wife skills she was expecting Gerry to grieve for at least twenty years.

As she had a good working relationship with God and her team of angels, Camilla hoped they would be able to offer some assistance to her, in getting Gerry back to a state of mourning.

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Tina’s Writer Diary – The Film Director #Writer #Comedy

 

tinas-writer-diary

Tuesday

2.00 p.m. I am taking some deep breaths. Keith, my partner, is giving me some odd looks.

As film director of my book trailer video I am responsible for getting the most out of my actress; Melanie (Keith’s new darts partner from the pub) and creating a visual treat for my readers.

I consider myself to be a film expert, I may not have studied film making but I have watched a lot of TV box sets, have a monthly cinema pass and created a lot of unnecessary drama in my life.

A door slams downstairs and interrupts my train of thought. I notice Keith smile to himself.

“Who is that?” I ask Keith.

“It’s my mum” he announces, looking relieved about something.

I let out an inner groan. Keith’s mother, Pamela, always stifles my creativity. She is the last person I need on my makeshift film set.

Melanie squeals “I can’t wait to meet your mum Keith!”

2.03 P.M. Pamela is stood at the doorway to the attic, carrying a plastic tub of food.

“Some curried beef mince for you all!” she says, waving around the tub of brown gooey liquid.

“Hello Pamela, nice to meet you!” gushes Melanie, tottering over to Keith’s mother. “I am Melanie, Keith and One-eyed Bob’s darts team mate!”

Pamela smiles and then looks Melanie up and down taking in her pink stilettos, minuscule brown leather mini skirt, leopard print vest and bright red lipstick.

“Oh Pamela that looks nice!” squawks Melanie pointing to the tub of curried mince.

“It’s Keith’s and Tina’s favourite dish Melanie” gushes Pamela gesturing towards Keith and I. “I like to make sure they have a good supply!”

My neck and shoulders stiffen with Pamela related agitation. When God was handing out culinary skills Pamela was not at the front of the queue. It was a dark day for us all when she stumbled upon the recipe for curried beef mince.

“Thanks and see you later Pamela!” I say pointing towards the door.

“Tina, Keith tells me you are making a film. If this is the case I need to be here!” announces Pamela, crossing her arms and standing firm.

“I think I can film my own book trailer video!” I say guiding Melanie over to the chair.

“Tina I am not leaving!” barks Pamela.

“Keith will you please escort your mother out of the house” I snap.

Keith ignores me and stares at something in the ceiling.

“Looks like I’m staying!” announces Pamela with a look of delight.

2.56 p.m. Melanie has been tied and gagged to the chair for sometime.

No matter how much I urge her to act like she is desperate to escape from the chair she insists on winking at Keith and giggling.

I am getting frustrated. Margaret the cat senses my annoyance and starts to prowl around Melanie’s chair. It makes no difference.

3.05 p.m. “Melanie” I say trying to remain calm. “This is not a comedy!”

3.34 p.m. “For goodness sake give me the camera!” screeches Pamela.

“Get off!” I shout as Pamela tries to grab my camera. “I am the film director Pamela!”

We tussle over the video camera for sometime.  Keith looks away.

“I am sick of watching this circus! Now get her out of the chair and go sit on it yourself!” growls Pamela, snatching the camera out of my hands.

3.42 p.m. I am being tied and gagged by Keith.

Pamela is holding the camera and smirking at me.

“Right then Tina” says Pamela, looking around the attic. “Let’s see whether we can make you angry!”

I squirm in my chair. My heart is beating fast.

What is that annoying woman going to do to me?

Pamela goes over to my draft novel ‘Beautiful & Kidnapped’, picks it up and starts to read.

Anger bubbles inside of me at the sight of Pamela turning over the page.

I watch Pamela’s smirk disappear. It is replaced with a look of intense concentration.

“This is quite good Tina..” she murmurs.

That is it! My rage erupts inside of me. I am sat in this silly chair, unable to move, and my annoying mother in law to be is reading my AMAZING new novel! Aghhhhh!

I knew it was a bestseller. No one has been listening to me. I know what I am doing when it comes to serious fiction.

I thrash about and try to break free from the chair.

“Bingo! This is the look we want!” shouts Pamela quickly pointing the camera at me.

3.51 p.m. I am seething! Pamela is busy reading my draft book whilst Keith is showing Melanie how to throw an imaginary dart.

The camera is still rolling.

3.56 p.m. “Mum do you think we should let her go now?” asks Keith.

Pamela is too engrossed in my draft novel to answer.

3.57 p.m. I am finally set free. I charge over to Pamela and grab my draft book out of her hands.

“That is sooooo good Tina!” gushes Pamela. “I want to read more about evil but incredibly handsome Frank!”

I roll my eyes and check the film.

Fair play to Pamela she has captured an emotional young woman struggling to break free from being tied to a chair.

“This is better than I expected!” I say watching Pamela smile.

Keith is still showing Melanie how to throw an imaginary dart. After catching Margaret the cat’s eye I escort Pamela out of the attic and close the door.

7.23 p.m. Today has worked out well. I am going to be starring in my own amazing book trailer and I have had some positive feedback from Pamela.

“I am in so much pain!” yelps Keith from the sofa. “That cat doesn’t like me. It will take weeks for the claw marks to heal!”

“Melanie escaped. She ran into the street screaming. How did you manage to get out?” I ask, thinking back to the secret enjoyment I got from watching Melanie totter at high speed out of my house.

“Mum’s tub of curried mince. I opened it and waved it at the cat. The foul smell made it pass out!” says Keith.

Photo: Stocksnap

 

How To Be Romantic With A Writer #AmWriting #writer #ValentinesDay

 

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Here are some great hints and tips on how to be romantic with a writer.

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The Diary of Roxy Collins – Part 8 -News #officelife #chicklit #amwriting

 thediaryof

Friday

9.45 a.m. I am busy multi-tasking at work.

This consists of shuffling some papers around my desk for no reason, other than to give the impression I am doing something productive and daydreaming. The hunk in last night’s film that Shaz and I watched left us both speechless. We have never been glued to action scenes like we were last night.

Martin, who sits opposite me in the office, has just emailed me a meeting request. He catches my eye and grins, revealing his yellow crooked teeth. I sense something is wrong.

He picks up the phone to call his mother.

9.46 a.m. As Martin has a loud voice and insists on taking personal calls at his desk, the entire office is treated to an update on his mother’s health.

He only left home (he still lives with his mother) two hours ago but obviously feels the need to check whether there has been a change in her bowel movements.

Sadly there hasn’t been any change so he suggests she makes a start on the bumper sized packet of prunes in the food cupboard and takes a warm bath.

9. 52 a.m. Check daily horoscope from my favourite astrologer – Mystic Clive. This is a daily ritual which can make or break my day.

If Mystic Clive says that the day is going to be dire I do take action; I pop some tissues in my bag along with a bar of chocolate and some headache tablets.

If Mystic Clive says that the day is going to be good I make sure I have a nice bright lipstick on my lips and in my bag a bar of chocolate and some headache tablets.

Apparently as a Gemini I can expect some exciting news today.

The only news I have had so far is that my bank account is overdrawn and that wasn’t exciting.

Pull a disappointed face at Mystic Clive’s photo on my phone screen.

10.00 a.m. Enter meeting room with Martin and Marcus, the Senior Manager.

I have no idea what the meeting is about.

10.02 a.m. Try to avoid looking Marcus in the eye.

The office Christmas Party and our unexpected kiss over the photocopying machine is still on my mind. We have never spoken about what happened.

I can’t help but sneak a glance at him.

It got quite passionate between Marcus and I.

At one point I was sat on top of the photocopying machine kissing him like crazy. He had warm soft lips and a firm embrace.

Then I accidentally pressed something on the photocopying machine control panel. To my horror the machine leapt into action and started photocopying my denim jean clad bottom. Neither Marcus or I could work out how to stop it in our drunken state.

Our kiss resulted in:

A 100 double copies, with staples, of my denim jean clad bottom.

A puzzled looking office junior, who, the following day had to sift through all the photocopies.

Me embarking on a drastic food diet, as my denim jean clad bottom photocopy highlighted a few pressing body shape issues.

10.04 a.m. Martin has been promoted and is now my new line manager. I feel sick.

Consider tweeting Mystic Clive to tell him that his Gemini horoscope for today is rubbish.

10.06 a.m. Martin is looking forward to managing his new member of staff.

Catch Marcus staring at me. For an older man, late 40s, he knows how to set female hearts racing with his sculptured hair, sharp pin stripe suit and his exotic aftershave.

Maybe today is not all bad. I wonder if he wants any photocopying doing?

10.07 a.m. Return to desk after telling Martin that I am far too busy for a ‘catch up’ and check phone.

Text from Matilda, my teenage daughter, asking whether she can have a party at our house.

I text back ‘NO!’

She replies with ‘I hate you!’ plus angry face emoji.

Followed quickly by

‘Louise’s parents let her have parties all the time. Wish they were my parents!’ – another angry face emoji.

11.15 a.m. Tweet Mystic Clive and tell him that his Gemini horoscope was wrong. There has been no exciting news and I am an #unhappyGemini.

My tweet receives a lot of re tweets. I have never been this popular on Twitter.

Tell Martin I am still busy.

1.37 p.m. Twitter on fire. It seems Mystic Clive made a mistake and there are many #unhappyGemini ‘s out there.

Pull a satisfied face at Mystic Clive on phone screen and tell Martin I am ‘flat out’ with work.

7. 25 p.m. The boys are at a Superhero sleepover party at their friend’s house.

Matilda is busy uploading her latest YouTube video titled ‘please adopt me’. It’s about how she has an evil mother and how she wants to be adopted by someone else’s parents.

Its time for me to now enjoy myself.

This is how I like to roll on a Friday evening:

Dress in track suit bottoms and old t-shirt.

Apply a thick coating of a new face mask. On the bottle its promising youthful and radiant looking skin. Need all the help I can get at my age.

Pop a slice of cucumber on each eye.

Lie back on sofa, whilst sipping a cheap Sauvignon Blanc, through a straw as don’t want to disturb face mask.

Listen to loud but soothing whale music.

7.28 p.m Knock at front door. Groan and stagger to the door clutching bits of cucumber and glass of wine with straw. Whale music still blaring out.

Unlock door and gasp at how tight the face mask feels on my face.

7.29 p.m. Open door and yelp, which causes face mask to crack.

There on my doorstep is my cousin Maggie’s jilted fiancé, Vince, his father John, Maggie’s father Uncle Bob and Great Aunt Vera in a wheel chair.

Everyone apart from Great Aunt Vera grimaces at the sight of me and the loud whaling sounds coming from my living room.

Great Aunt Vera points at my wine glass with her walking stick and shakes her head in disapproval.

7.45 p.m. Everyone is squeezed into my lounge. I have given everyone a drink; a soft drink for the two fathers, a bottle of beer for Vince and a large glass of Sherry for Great Aunt Vera.

Uncle Bob announces that the family want me to go to Greece and persuade Maggie to come home. Vince, the fiancé she jilted a fortnight ago, is devastated and has failed to talk her round. According to the family I am the only one who Maggie will listen to

7.47 p.m. Sat with mouth open in shock at the news. Uncle Bob has even offered to pay for my flight and travel expenses.

“You are not to spend Uncle Bob’s money on booze Roxy!” croaks Great Aunt Vera from her wheelchair, before draining her glass of Sherry and asking for a ‘top up’.

8.05 p.m. Beg Shaz via text to look after my kids whilst I am in Greece. She strikes a hard bargain. Send her Derek’s (my failed first date) mobile number.

8.45 p.m. Send Mystic Clive a heartfelt tweet about how his Gemini horoscope was right in the end and apologise for any misunderstanding (40 re-tweets) earlier with my other tweet.

 

 

The Diary of Roxy Collins Part 4 – The First Date #Chicklit #comedy

 

thediaryof

 

Sunday

1.55 P.M. I am sat in Brian’s car, parked outside the garden centre, awaiting my new date, Derek.

It was my idea for the date to be at the garden centre. A decision that I am now regretting as Derek is a gardener and I struggle with growing watercress.

To secure the date I did tell a small white lie. In my email I told him that I was mad about flowers and plants. The truth is I am useless at gardening and kill off plants as opposed to growing them.

Brian has kindly offered to drop me off and collect me later. He says he worries about me meeting strange men off the Internet in garden centres.

Every so often Brian likes to give me his views on how I should approach life. He enjoys being a father figure to me, as well as my landlord and my ’emotional rock’.

Today’s lecture is all about self-control. He is urging me to have some self-control on this first date and not get carried away with my emotions.

According to him, his wife Patricia possessed a good level of self-control for many months after they started courting.

I promise Brian that I won’t get carried away. I remind him of the following points:

• I am a thirty something single mother of three kids and not some lovesick teenager.

• The date is at a garden centre and not some nightclub. It’s an alcohol free date – what could happen over a latte and a tray of bulbs?

• I have very high standards when it comes to first dates.

• I am in full control of my emotions.

Brian turns to look out of his window and I can hear him muttering something.

1.58 P.M. Check my first date outfit.

In the end (after 5 clothing changes) I opted for a classic white shirt, a pair of smart blue jeans and some black ballet pumps.

Check my ‘natural looking but heavily made up’ makeup using my diamanté compact mirror.

My red hair looks sleek, shiny and neat. There is not a strand out-of-place.

1.59 P.M. Douse myself with perfume in the car which sends Brian into a huge wheezy coughing fit.

2.01 P.M. Greet Derek outside the Garden Centre .

Enter shock mode – in the dating app photo Derek looked handsome, in real life he is stunning!

Stand with mouth open and shake my head in amazement at the beautiful sight of Derek.

My dating app has come up trumps this time. The expensive subscription fee that sent me overdrawn was worth it.

Marvel at the size of his spade like hands and stare into his dazzling blue eyes.

Love his date outfit, blue and white checked shirt, jeans and smart boots.

Get heady rush from his spicy aftershave.

2.03 P.M. Head for café inside garden centre. Derek doesn’t say much as we stand in the queue.

I order a latte and he orders an espresso.

2.05 P.M. Find table and sit down opposite each other. Silence. Wonder whether Derek is shy?

2.10 P.M. Still staring at each other in silence.

2.20 P.M. He doesn’t talk much.

In view of his amazing looks I make the decision to ignore his lack of conversation making abilities.

Continue to gaze into his dazzling blue eyes.

2.31 P.M. Pay for coffee and wander into the Houseplants section of the garden centre.

2.33 P.M. We are both stood looking at some plants.

I am struggling to think of something intelligent to say. My gardening lie is coming back to haunt me.

All I can manage is a finger point and “colourful!”

Try to remember the name of at least one plant for when we are making couple small talk.

2.35 P.M. Wander into the Trees and Plants section.

Derek remains silent and takes hold of my hand. My body is tingling with excitement. In all my years on this planet I have never walked hand in hand around a garden centre with someone so handsome.

We look like a beautiful couple who share an interest in flowers and stuff but don’t need to talk to each other.

Decide that conversation on a date is overrated and unnecessary.

2.37 P.M. Things develop further by some ornamental trees. After staring at the trees we turn to look at each other. I find myself wanting to kiss him.

We embrace and engage in a kiss on the lips. I am rewarded with an added extra – he runs his large hands through my hair.

I am so glad I practiced kissing the back of my hand before this date.

Derek’s kissing technique is amazing. Gentle and sensual.

Much better than my ex-partner Rob’s ‘washing machine mouth’ kissing approach.

2.39 P.M. Wander into the Ornaments, Pots & Water Features.

Point at some terracotta pots with patterns on them.

Try to think of something intelligent to say about the plants inside them. Words fail me. Give up and enjoy another long kiss with Derek.

As we both surface for air my mind runs through the benefits of marrying someone who doesn’t say much:

1. He will never nag me about the state of the house.

2. He will not bore me with his views on current affairs.

3. He will just concentrate on looking good for me.

4. I can do the talking for the both of us.

2.43 P.M. Get carried away with the idea of having a beautiful and silent husband who enjoys kissing me.

I am now kissing Derek so much that I am starting to feel dizzy, due to a lack of oxygen.

2.44 P.M. Feel hot, flushed and a bit wobbly on my feet. Derek is making me feel like I am a teenager again. I am losing control.

2.45 P.M. Find a bench to sit on, near a large water feature. When Derek is looking the other way I stick my face into the spray from the water feature to cool down.

Wonder how my makeup is doing. Derek hasn’t commented on it. Assume that it survived the kissing and water feature spray.

2.56 P.M. Try to start stimulating conversation with Derek.

“So Derek do you enjoy gardening?”

“Yea!”

“Do you live locally?”

“Yea!”

“Do you go out much on an evening?”

“Yea!”

2.59 P.M. Give up talking. Derek is clearly a man of few words.

Consider the fact that Derek might be only good for one thing.

3.10 P.M. Suggest we get another drink as my lips feel numb after all that kissing.

3.15 P.M. Sit in silence with our respective coffees.

3.17 P.M. Derek speaks. He says “you’re gorgeous!”

In shock at hearing him speak I accidentally tip my coffee cup into my lap.

3.20 P.M. The coffee clean up operation involves a miserable woman from behind the counter and some cloths.

Stare in horror at massive wet patch on the front of my jeans.

3.22 P.M. Phone bleeps. It’s a loving text from Matilda. She hates me for making her spend time with her father and is annoyed he won’t buy her a leather mini skirt.

3.25 P.M. Receive text from Rob (ex-partner) to say that Harry (our son) fell into a tropical fish tank after messing about in his tropical fish shop. Harry’s fine but Rob’s girlfriend has had to go lie down in a darkened room.

3. 27 P.M. Go back into garden centre with huge wet patch on jeans.

Derek’s lack of conversation plays on my mind. Make several attempts to have conversation with Derek. He seems content with just grinning at me and saying ‘yea’.

I am not sure I can date someone who doesn’t talk much or have a laugh with me.

Decide to enjoy what time I have left with Derek. His hands go a bit crazy in my hair.

4.00 P.M. Stagger out of garden centre looking flushed, dishevelled and modelling a bird’s nest hair style plus a large wet patch on my jeans.

Get into Brian’s car and wave goodbye to Derek for the final time.

Turn to smile at Brian, whilst reaching for my phone to text my best mate Shaz.

Brian takes one look at me and groans loudly.

Text to Shaz:

‘Derek is hot to look at but doesn’t say much. He’s a good kisser and that’s it. I want conversation. I won’t be taking things further. Thoughts?”

Text reply from Shaz:

‘Give him my mobile number. He sounds like my perfect man’

 


 

When You Meet Another Writer At A Dinner Party #Writers #Authors

 

5 Writer Situations Where Cheese-4

Due to an elaborate dinner party seating plan, you find yourself positioned at the table between two strangers. Here is what could happen next:

  1. disturbance in your writer force will make you feel drawn to the stranger, sat to the right of you. There is something mysterious about them. They look relatively normal, but you will be getting some strange vibes from them. You have noted their use of big words  in conversations with others, their love of cheese based dishes and their whacky ideas on stuff. You recognise all these as classic writer traits. Deep inside you a small voice will ask “did the dinner party host do the unthinkable and invite two writers to one dinner party?” Surely not?
  2. Just as you shove a hefty slice of cheese into your mouth (during your favourite course – the cheese board), the person to your right will admit to the table that they are a writer. Cue your choking fit on the huge bit of cheese wedged into your mouth and the look of total shock on your face. There is another  writer at this dinner party and they are sat next  to you!  Gasp!
  3. A loved one or friend will kindly reveal to the table that you are also  a writer. More gasps!  You and the other writer will then look at each other until things get awkward.
  4. All sorts of questions will fly through your mind: is this writer sat next to you self published or published? What genre do they prefer? Do they have an annoying typo habit?
  5. You both will start to make writer small talk – “have you written anything today?”  and “do you feel you need to write everyday?”
  6. As writers you both will be making swift and rapid  hand movements – cheese to mouth, swig of wine, cheese to mouth, swig of wine etc.
  7. After a good five minutes you both will have zoned out of the dinner party. You will be deep into writer talk! Sharing writer experiences, literary achievements, bad writing habits and your struggles against daily bouts of writer’s block.
  8. An hour or so later. You both will have talked so much about writing that you will be flushed and suffering from jaw ache. Fuelled by cheese and wine the creative conversation will have got quite animated, intense and maybe a little loud. You may have got some odd looks from a loved one stuck at the other side of the dinner table.
  9. Secretly you will be desperate to go to the loo, whip out the Internet on your phone and find a sample of the other writer’s work, either a book or blog. Don’t worry about this urge, your writer pal will be thinking the same thing. All writer’s are naturally curious.
  10. As the dinner party draws to a close you both realise that you haven’t spoken to another soul for hours.
  11. Parting with a fellow writer can get emotional. Writer friendships are intense without cheese and wine but if you add these into the mix then it’s more than likely you will feel like sobbing on the other writer’s shoulder.
  12. Before you hug and say farewell you will get the important stuff out-of-the-way first – find and follow each other on Twitter….sigh!

Happy writing and socializing!

 

photo credit: StockSnap

The Diary Of Roxy Collins – Part 2 Shower Nightmare #Motherhood #Chicklit

 

thediaryof

Saturday

11.12 a.m. I am supposed to be getting a shower, but instead I am stood outside Matilda’s bedroom door listening to her squealing with laughter.

Her new sixth form boyfriend, Adam, came round early this morning allegedly to help her with some maths homework.

When I think back to my own school days maths never sounded this fun.

Matilda and Adam have only being dating each other for about a week so I don’t know why I am feeling anxious. I am sure I don’t have anything to worry about them being alone together in her bedroom. Teenage relationships take time to get going nowadays – don’t they?

I am going to carry on clinging onto the fact that something good will come out of this private maths tutoring. Adam could perform a miracle and turn Matilda, into a maths genius. I hope he realises that he does have his work cut out, as she’s currently in the bottom set in maths and likely to be re-sitting her exams.

“OMG Adam – please do that again!” cries Matilda, making my heart stop beating. I press my ear to the door. I must keep the belief that Adam’s method for working out fractions excites her. Say to myself “they are doing fractions, not having sex!”

I am interrupted by Toby who staggers out of his bedroom. “What are you doing Mam?” he asks, before letting out a huge yawn and rubbing his sleepy eyes.

“Sshhhh” I say, placing my finger on my lips.

Matilda shrieks with laughter and I feel the blood drain away from my face.

“Sounds like she’s having fun Mam!” announces Toby, making me wince.

11.16 a.m. Peel off my clothes and survey the grotty state of bathroom. The dilapidated shower unit against the wall has seen better days. The bath is sporting a few cracks and the toilet looks like it’s pre-war.

Matilda has switched on her loud dance music and pulsating beat is making the house shake. Repeat to myself hundred times that I can trust Matilda.

I am entering the shower clutching my new can of Exotic Shower Foam Burst. When I bought it in the supermarket a woman nudged me to say that it had taken her to new heights of showering pleasure. I have never been so excited about having a shower.

Switch on jet of hot water and shake can vigorously. I have squirted the soft white foam onto my body and I am now imagining myself relaxing on a faraway tropical island. As opposed to taking a shower in a tired old house and worrying about Matilda’s approach to maths homework.

Matilda has cranked up the volume on her music and I am busy trying to ignore the disturbing rattling sound coming from the shower unit.

Oh my goodness there is a horrible creaking sound coming from the shower unit.

“HELP” I cry out. The music is drowning out my voice.

The tall glass panels surrounding me are falling in on me! Help – I am going to end my days naked and covered in exotic shower foam.

Gasp – the shower panels have magically formed a weird triangular-shaped glass shower prison.

I have turned off the shower and I am staring in horror at my new home.

11.19 a.m. I am naked, covered in white foam patches of Exotic Shower Foam and trapped beneath some heavy shower panels.

The towel rail is on the other side of the bathroom so there is no hope of reaching a towel.

On closer inspection I see that there are no towels on the towel rail. They are all in my laundry basket downstairs.

I am just considering shaking myself dry, once I break free. The problem is that these glass panels look so big and cumbersome. I dare not move them.

Gasp! Matilda’s music has stopped. I need to get help. “GET BRIAN!” I scream to Toby, who I know is now standing outside the bathroom door playing on his games console. He’s unlike my other children, he likes me.

“GET BRIAN!” I am hollering a second time, in case Toby didn’t hear me.

Brian is my landlord and my emotional rock in life. I think everyone needs someone like Brian.

I call on Brian for just about any problem in my life; house repairs, removing spiders from the bath, removing drunken ex partners from my door step, locating Matilda after one of her teenage strops and ferrying me to the supermarket.

Brian will always help me. I must admit that he does so, whilst muttering under his breath about why he ever agreed to let me rent his late mother’s house and why he can’t be left alone in peace, but I ignore him. I don’t think he knew what he was taking on when I turned up to rent his property with one sullen teenage daughter, two young boys, a suitcase stuffed full of clothes, a shaggy dog, two failed relationships behind me, no money and a broken heart.

“MAM what’s wrong?” screams Toby.

“GET BRIAN NOW!” I am yelling so loudly my throat hurts.

The music starts again. I don’t understand why Matilda has to play it so loud.

Reassure myself with ridiculous and naïve idea that Matilda and her new sixth form boyfriend are memorizing maths formulas to popular dance tunes.

11.20 a.m. I am just going to assess my current predicament:

Brian, my rock, is going to come and free me from my shower unit disaster. Let me just think about this.

  • Brian, retired, in his late 60s, a shy man, who goes to church regularly, has led a sheltered life and has recently had a heart pacemaker fitted.
  • Me, in my thirties, stark naked with my womanly wares on show, I have stretch marks, wobbly bits and I have been a stranger to hair removal cream for the last few weeks. I also possess an interesting tattoo, which I would rather not discuss, stood in his late mother’s collapsed shower unit.

That heart pacemaker of Brian’s could be put to the test after he has set me free.

11.21 a.m. I have just had an amazing idea. I am reaching up to grab two purple flannels tied around the shower head and I am now bending down to remove the plastic shower mat.

Carefully I am placing a flannel over each 42D cup breast and then wrapping the bath mat around my waist. That should do it….just! Brian’s heart pacemaker is safe.

The music has stopped and I can hear a commotion outside the bathroom door. My kids are now arguing over who should go get Brian. Matilda is shouting at Toby and Harry, who has emerged from his bedroom. Whilst they argue I try to stop shivering.

Someone is sent clattering down the stairs. Most probably Toby. Matilda slams her bedroom door shut and cranks up her music. Obviously desperate to get back to her maths.

11.23 a.m. Stand naked in shower prison with strategically placed flannels on breasts and wrapped in a plastic shower mat. Think about Toby knocking on Brian’s blue door. As I have had to call upon Brian, to rescue me on numerous occasions, and the kids always fill me in about what happens when they go to fetch Brian I can almost picture the scene down the road.

Toby knocks on the front door and waits for someone to answer it.

Brian appears looking tired and scratching his bald head.

On seeing Toby standing on the doorstop Brian groans loudly and shuts the door on him.

Over the years my kids have learnt to ignore Brian’s initial refusal to help me when I am in the middle of a crisis. Toby knocks for a second time.

  • Patricia, Brian’s wife opens the door wearing a complicated floral apron. She says “I am sorry Toby but Brian is unavailable!”
  • She smiles sweetly and closes the door on Toby. Over the years my kids have learnt to also ignore Patricia. I think persistence is a valuable life skill for the young.
  • Toby knocks for a third time.
  • Brian screams through the window “whaaaaat does she want now?”
  • Toby finds his voice and shouts through the letterbox “Mam’s stuck in the bathroom!”
  • Some bad words from Brian will be heard through the window. Toby assures me he never listens to them.
  • Brian emerges wearing his old beige jacket and limps up the street with Toby trotting after him. I still feel bad for his limp. Reversing is not one of my personal strengths and he did take his life into his own hands when he let me borrow his car.

11.26 a.m. The music has stopped. I can hear Brian’s voice can be heard on my landing.

“Roxy are you ok?” he shouts, through the bathroom door.

“Help Brian!” I scream with chattering teeth. .

Through the glass shower panels I watch the door open and Brian limp in.

“Oh Roxy what have you done to my shower?” he shouts at the havoc that greets his eyes

“Your shower collapsed on me!” I exclaim from deep inside my prison.

“Are you ok?” he asks, starting lift off the glass panels to free me.

“Oh Brian thank you for rescuing me!” I gush, fighting back tears.

A warm glow is shooting through me as I think about Brian, my hero. Yes his late mother’s house is falling apart and in certain parts of the house its like going back in time, but the kids and I can live with that.

I must thank God every night from now on for giving me my children and my rock – Brian.

Euphoria is engulfing me as Brian gives me my freedom. I don’t have to spend any longer in my glass prison, wearing two flannels over my boobs and a shower mat around my waist. I am being set free!

The final panel has been removed and I am making a tearful dash for freedom.

“Brian my hero! Come and give me a hug!” I cry, holding out my arms for him to give me a hug.

He has a horrified look on his face first and I can hear Matilda’s voice in the bathroom doorway “OMG that’s gross, Mam’s naked and coming onto Brian!”

11.27 a.m. In my rush to hug Brian I lost my two strategically placed purple flannels and the plastic shower mat.

Brian – my rock has just seen a whole new side to me.

To add further pain to my situation there are no towels.

For more Roxy and part 3 click here 

Blogger Celebrates Her Birthday By Throwing A Virtual Birthday Party On Her Blog #blogger #Writer

Blogger Throws Virtual Birthday Party

 

It’s my birthday! 

My virtual birthday party awaits so come on in!

Thanks for coming. I LOVE your virtual party outfit – wow you look great! Stunning!

Didn’t you get the party brief about NOT outshining the birthday girl (me) in terms of a virtual party outfit? Obviously not! (Sigh!)

I am so pleased you could make it – have you travelled far?

I see you have brought me a virtual birthday gift. Thank you so much!

Virtual birthday gifts are amazing aren’t they? No cost and totally reliant upon imagination!

Wow! You shouldn’t have gone to any trouble just for me (cue playful punch and blush)

Let me know what your virtual birthday gift is in the comments section of this post. Your gift looks wild and wonderful. You are so generous.

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Ok, here is my virtual birthday buffet table.

There are napkins over there so you shouldn’t make a mess and spoil your amazing virtual party outfit. 

I have tried to cater for all international tastes. As you know I dream of being American so there are a lot of American buffet dishes. Sigh! (Don’t ask me to point them out on this table though)

So please dive in!

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Wow – you must have been hungry as you made quite a dent in my buffet spread!

Here is my virtual birthday  cake!  Doesn’t it look amazing? I am a big fan of cream, cake and strawberries.

Yes you can have a slice of my cake once everyone has sang me happy birthday and made me feel like a special birthday girl.

That’s it, song done, let’s dive in!

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Right let me wipe away all the cream from my mouth (am such a messy eater) and work off some virtual calories! It’s time for us to hit the virtual dance floor and bust some dance moves. Are you ready?

For noting – as I am the birthday girl I will  be crowned best dancer. This news must be hard for you but look at it this way – it would be terrible if I cried on my birthday after not being given this title!

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Wow I can’t believe how much dancing we did! You certainly know how to move. You look thirsty so let’s head over here.

Here is my virtual drinks  table.

Take it steady, this virtual birthday party is a marathon and not a sprint!

I can whip up some virtual cocktails if you want? Yes you do want cocktails – any favourites?

I will try and look like a professional cocktail maker for you. Stand back whilst I hurl some bottles into the air – did I tell you I am rubbish at catching stuff?

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Ok, my party would not be complete without a virtual piñata. Do you want to take a whack at it?

It’s ready for you. Take aim and hit it!

Hmmmm missed – unlucky! I thought you said you were good at this?

Maybe you have had too many virtual cocktails?

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Its getting late now. Do you fancy a dip in a virtual hot tub?

Yes you do? Ok well I have arranged one for this party! (Squeal)

What is great about my hot tub is that whilst you relax in it you will be able to listen to some of my short stories! Yes I know it’s a great idea. Who wants to sit and look at the stars when you can listen to some of my literary masterpieces?

They will be played to you through the loud speakers lining the hot tub. Yes you are right, I never miss a chance to share my stuff!!

I just hope you have brought your virtual swimming trunks / costume!  Got to keep things decent at my virtual birthday party.

Looks like there is no one in there at the moment so hop in, sit back and tell me what type of short story you want to listen to – I can do horror, science fiction or comedy – any burning desires?

I can also offer you the story audio in a variety of accents:

  • English – my best posh accent
  • My best American accent
  • Yorkshire – my best Northern England accent

Hot tub

You look like you need to relax after all that dancing and splashing about in my hot tub / trying to escape the deafening sound of my voice. I thought my hot tub would have been relaxing but you look a little shell shocked.

I have a lovely hammock ready for you with a nice relaxing view.

Your feet must be hurting after all that dancing. You were on fire!! At one point I thought you were going to outshine me with those dance moves. Nice try!

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Ok you can wake up now!

Sadly that’s the end of my party.

I hope you have had a lovely time.

It was lovely to see you! We must do this all again next year.

Thanks for the virtual birthday gift. Once I get round to it I will knock up some virtual thank you cards.

I am so glad we got to dance together and talk over some nibbles at the buffet table. The happy memory of you shouting “turn that noise down!” (my short stories) from the hot tub will stay with me forever – sigh!

We must catch up soon and you need to let me know where you bought that fabulous virtual party outfit from.

Have a safe journey home…..back to your blog or email.

Happy Saturday!

Blondeusk 🙂


Photo credits:

Gift: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/32029534@N00/6527323805″>empty gifts and promises</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Cake: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/9248805@N04/5846941540″>friend’s bday table 5</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Buffet table: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/78135748@N00/3049215355″>20060304_0052</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Dance floor: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/65304769@N05/8399058933″>dancing legs</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Drinks: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/49889671@N03/6378730497″>Champagne Spread Full 1</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Hut Tub: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/89347716@N00/4472071652″>Hot tub, envigoration, Hveragerði</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Hammock: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/113086034@N04/13917236492″>Lonely Hammock</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Piñata  – photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/14771153@N04/7061782945″>Bar Pinata</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Candles: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/99744233@N05/26573086856″>Candles</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

15 Benefits Of Throwing A Virtual Birthday Party On Your Blog #blogging #Bloggers

It’s my birthday this week and I am very busy  organising a virtual birthday party, which will be held on Saturday on my blog. I am hoping you all can make it.

Here are the benefits of organising this type of event:

1. No need to hire an expensive party venue. It’s held on your blog via a blog post.

2. No need to hire caterers for food or stay up late cooking party nibbles. The party food is virtual so partygoers just use their imagination at the virtual buffet table. You simply provide a photo of a lavish buffet spread to aid creative culinary thinking.

3. No need to hire a DJ for the music / dance floor. As its a virtual dance floor partygoers just use their imagination. Simply add a photo of some people dancing at a party to help bloggers / readers imagine how they would rock it out on the dancefloor. Also include some of the songs your virtual DJ will be playing, this helps your readers choreograph their virtual dance sequence. Sigh! 

4. No need to worry about buying an expensive party outfit. As its a virtual party everyone just uses their imagination.

5. No need for your guests to buy you an expensive gift. All gifts are virtual so again down to imagination.

6. There will be no headaches or hangovers the next morning as all drinks are virtual.

7. There is no embarrassment over dance moves on the dancefloor the next morning as its virtual / left up to the imagination of others.

8. No need to arrange transport for your partygoers or worry about them getting home safely as they just need click out of your blog post.

9. No need to worry about where you are going to put all your birthday gifts, whether you will like your birthday gifts or whether you will have to sneakily return your gifts to the shop or put them in a cupboard to re-gift on to someone else later in the year. All gifts are virtual and left up to your imagination.

10. There are no worries with thousands of uninvited party guests turning up to your party after you stick the invite on Facebook. With a blog it’s a case of the more the merrier!

11. There is no need to fly over international blogging friends for your party and put them all up on camp beds in your living room or in a tent in the back garden – they just go to your party on your blog in the comfort of their own home.

12. There is no need to worry about manning the virtual buffet table 24-7 to suit international partygoers and making sure there is a constant supply of warm sausage rolls throughout the night. Just nip to bed and let your blog post do the work!

13. There is no need to worry about your guests not enjoying themselves at your virtual birthday party. If they don’t like the look of your party post they will click out of your post straight away or even skip past it on their reader. 

14. There are networking opportunities at a virtual birthday party on a blog. Just ask guests to tell you what their virtual gift was for you in the comments section of your post plus a link to their blog. Some of your guest’s wild and wonderful birthday gift choices for you might get them a few chuckles and even some new followers!

15. There is no need to worry about making sure your makeup stays in place 24-7 so that international partygoers get the impression you are fresh faced all the time. Its a virtual party – no one can see your smudged mascara! 

Sigh!

What a great idea! As all my followers are a creative bunch I am sure they will love this 🙂

 

Will see you all (hopefully) at my virtual birthday party on my blonde blog on Saturday!

Just going to lie down as the preparations for Saturday have exhausted me.

Happy Blogging!

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/84652765@N00/2183404554″>IMG_0111</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

The Diary of Roxy Collins – Part 1 – Office Life #comedy #motherhood #Chicklit

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Monday

8.46 a.m. – I am staggering into my office, carrying a gigantic bag of sweets (the obligatory post holiday office gift) and crying out “I’m back everyone…I am back!”

Silence.

No one has acknowledged my return to work after my holiday.

Plonk sweets on desk and notice ladder in my posh glossy tights and seeping blood from a painful blister on my ankle.

This morning I had to totter at speed, in my new stilettos, to catch my bus. I am just asking myself why I didn’t cover my feet in plasters before leaving the house.

Try to block out throbbing pain from foot. I am now regretting getting carried away with an article I found on Facebook, which claimed wearing giant stilettos makes you look slimmer.

8.47 a.m. I have received a text from Matilda, my daughter. Oh…she informs me that hates her school, hates the fact that we now live in, what she calls, a rough area, hates me for not letting her live with her Dad who she thinks is loaded and hates life in general. I am also given a collection of devil faced emojis.

8.49 a.m. Try to ignore the fact that I am bathed in a light sweat from my journey into work and there is pain emanating from my left wrist.

Last week I bought myself a new handbag. I opted for a tiny handbag, as the magazine article about the body slimming stilettos also advised that the fashion trend this season is for minuscule accessories. I went home with my purchase and, what can only be described, as tiny handbag excitement.

In a kind of euphoric high I filled it with everything from my tiny handbag with my large handbag; makeup, headache tablets, hairbrush, tissues, phone, mints, body spray, emergency deodorant, spare knickers, panty liners, book of positive thoughts, my diary, some keepsakes and a toothbrush. Hey presto – a tiny but heavy handbag!

9.08 a.m. Looking around at my office colleagues who have failed to notice my return from a week’s camping holiday. Nobody has looked up from their screens or spoken to me. They are all busy tapping away, or sat sipping coffee.

Ok so I wasn’t expecting:

  • A small crowd waving ‘Welcome Back Roxy’ banners as I emerge from the lift.
  • The Managing Director of the company, clearing her diary and popping by my desk to ask me whether my holiday photos are uploaded on Facebook yet, as she is desperate to browse through them and a thought-provoking comments.

All I want is someone to register that I am back at work. I would be more than happy to accept one of the following greetings:

  • “Hello Roxy!”
  • “Hey Roxy, how was the holiday?”
  • “Hey Roxy what was it like on your own in a tent with your three spirited  (polite term for nightmare) kids?”

I wonder whether this is like the film ‘Sixth Sense’ and I have actually died. Perhaps my kids finished me off in the tent after I forced them to go without wi-fi for 5 days and I am struggling with passing over?

Seriously, this office situation is giving me an early Monday morning complex.

This is the last time I wrestle with a giant bag sweets for this ungrateful office.

9.35 a.m. – I am busy shuffling a few bits of papers and a folder around my desk to give the impression that I am bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on my return to work. In reality I am suffering from extreme physical and mental exhaustion, after a week’s camping holiday with my children. Trying to put up a tent single-handedly, in a violent gale, whilst my kids sit in the car and argue about crisp packet flavours, nearly to sent me to an early grave.

My attention turns to Martin (52 yrs) who sits opposite me. He is busy on the phone to his mother confirming that he would like beef stew with extra dumplings for his tea.

After five minutes of mother trivia, about what he has to collect from the supermarket on his way home from work (toilet bleach, toilet roll, prunes, dates, cabbage and some lavender-scented air freshener), he replaces the phone receiver and looks up at me.

“It’s nice to have you back Roxy.” He gives me a sickly smile and flashes his yellow stained teeth.

I cannot believe Martin is the only person in this office to acknowledge the fact that I have not been here for the last seven days.

“Did you have a nice break?” asks Martin, reaching for his stapler.

“Oh I did, it was lovely thanks!”  I turn away whilst lying through my teeth.

I notice that Martin’s eyes are honed into my orange fake bake arms.

“Did you have Mediterranean weather in Scarborough Roxy?”

“It was warm” I say, once again lying through my teeth and making a mental note of ‘one can of fake tan is more than enough for one arm!’

Martin smiles. “Whilst you were away Marcus asked me to go for promotion, has he said anything to you?” he asks slyly, his beady eyes resembling those of a snake we saw at the zoo on holiday.

I don’t answer him. My blood is boiling.

Martin and I both know the career train is unlikely to be stopping at my station for some time. I am the wrong side of thirty, I have three kids, two useless ex-partners, I regularly have to take time off to cover childcare, I have recently had ‘personal issues’ after a messy relationship breakup, I am considered ‘noisy’ in the office and I….drunkenly snogged Marcus, our Senior Manager, over a photocopier, at a Christmas party.

10.34 a.m. My phone bleeps.  It is a message from Richard, the guy that I have been chatting to on my dating app. He looks amazing on his photo and reminds me of the Ken doll that I used to play Barbie weddings with as a child. Oh no – he doesn’t want to date me as I have three kids and two ex partners. He doesn’t want anything complicated. What is complicated about my situation? I mean we are all talking to each other…well just.

10.35 a.m. I am blinking away hot stinging tears and praying to God that my mascara doesn’t decide to run. I don’t think I will ever find love.

Pop a soothing mint and ask Google to tell me the chances of a thirty something, single mother of three children with two ex-partners finding love again. Google fails to give me an answer.

That’s it I am un-datable. More tears are welling up inside my eyes. I am doing well to contain them as I don’t like the office knowing my business.

10.40 a.m. I watch Martin rise from his chair and creep off to a meeting.
Receive personal call from Great Aunt Vera. She’s eighty nine and getting used to a new nursing home. Her old nursing home asked her to leave. Nobody knows why.

“ROXY!” she yells. Great Aunt Vera hates hearing aids.

“Hello Great Aunt Vera.”

“I was just telling my new friend Ivy about you. I told her you were getting desperate for a man!”

My neck and shoulders stiffen.

“I am not getting desperate for a man Great Aunt Vera!” I snap, noticing a couple of office colleagues raise their heads in my direction.

“Ivy wants to know whether you have tried online dating? Her grandson was desperate like you and he had a few online dates with a woman from the South East. He’s now engaged and they have a baby on the way!”

“I am giving it a try!” I mumble.

“What did you say?” shrieks Great Aunt Vera, making my ears hurt.

“I am giving ONLINE DATING a try!” I snap, noticing more raised heads from my colleagues. I have also just caught sight of Marcus grimacing at me by the office recycling bins.

“How is that wild daughter of yours?” asks Great Aunt Vera.

“Matilda is sixteen and is not wild!” I say, picturing my daughter in a white angel outfit, with huge white wings and a sugary sweet expression on her face. I hear Great Aunt Vera cackle. “You do make your old Aunt laugh Roxy. I have got to go have my meds, good-bye!”

“Goodbye Great Vera!” I replace the receiver and hope no one heard my conversation.

11.02 a.m. Martin returns from his meeting. I try to look busy; this involves stapling some random bits of paper whilst looking thoughtful at something on my computer screen.

“Marcus says that he wants you to work on this project,” instructs Martin, handing me a pile of papers which makes me let out a groan.

“What does he want me to do with it?” I ask, shaking my head in dismay.

“He wants a report on his desk by the end of the day,” informs Martin.

“But its my first day back after holiday?” I whimper.

11.57 a.m. Receive personal call from an upset best friend Shaz.

“He’s dumped me Roxy!” she wails loudly.

“The postman has dumped you?” I watch Martin raise his black monobrow at me.

Martin doesn’t like personal calls in the office. He says ‘every call in the office should be work related and not personal Roxy’. The calls he makes to his mother every morning from his desk are not counted as they are different. I have checked.

Shaz continues. ”Yea, the postman is seeing a girl from that posh new housing estate. How could he do this to me?” I can hear her snivelling.

“Forget him Shaz!” I snap.

“I can’t Roxy!”  Shaz sniffs down the phone.

“Look – walk away and be thankful you have not got carried away with this one. You moved to the other end of the country for the last scumbag and then had to move back when it all went wrong two and half weeks later!”

“Oh Roxy I gave up my job in the bakery so that I could be there for the postman when he was on his parcel delivery shift!” she wails.

“Oh Shaz why did you do that?” I shriek, making Martin drop his pencil on the floor. “Didn’t you learn anything from your last relationship?”

I am waving frantically at Martin. He is rising from his desk with the plastic drinks tray in his hand. I need a coffee. Sometimes I wonder why I get so desperate for a machine generated, bitter tasting coffee which will stain my teeth and ruin my breath for hours.

“I can’t forget about this one” wails Shaz, before snorting loudly down the phone.

My mobile is bleeping.

It’s a text from Matilda apologising for her earlier text outburst. She doesn’t hate me. In fact she loves me very much and has even added a couple of heart emojis. At the end of the text she asks whether she can go out on Saturday night with her new sixth form boyfriend who has a car.

I can’t type ‘NO!’ fast enough. Quickly I press send and try to soothe my thudding heart.

I then realise Shaz is still sobbing down the phone.

“Walk away from the postman and don’t look back” I say, turning away as Martin returns with our coffee.

My phone bleeps again. It’s another text from Matilda. She hates me. No emojis.

Shaz sniffs loudly down the phone before wailing “He made too many deliveries Roxy, I think I am PREGNANT!”

“Oh Shaz!” I say reaching over to my giant bag of sweets which no one has thanked me for. Whilst Shaz sobs I rip it open and stuff a handful in my mouth and give Martin a filthy look as he points at the pile of papers on my desk. Its going to be a long day!

 

For part 2 click here