Managed to get the first draft of the minutes from yesterday’s meeting done this morning, so I am obviously cooking on gas in one aspect of life at least. Hurrah. Only wish the same could be said of my writing, which is rather fading into obscurity at the moment. If only I could drum up some enthusiasm from somewhere for the novel, eh, but I simply can’t. Ah well.
Still, at least we have this week’s heroes sorted in the office: they are (a) Bruce Parry, as Andrea likes him; (b) Carol’s husband for taking such a fabulous photo of a bridge built by; (c) Isambard Kingdom Brunel, whose bridges rock (according to the Dean); and (d) the new Chaplaincy flat and toilet, which are both wonderful and no-one dare use for fear of taking off the shine. As it were.
Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to sort out the furniture for next week’s Freshers’ SCS stall. I couldn’t find where it was supposed to have been stored, so sent various panicky emails out, hoping someone would enlighten me. Best to find out now before I arrive first thing on Monday morning and have nothing to sit on or set up on. Sigh. UPDATE: Apparently, all we need is stored in the post room which is called the store room and which isn’t the one they direct you to even though it’s the one they use for post. Aha – that’s why I couldn’t find it then!... Problem solved.
At lunchtime, I chaired the University Writers’ Group in its new venue – nice to get back together after the summer break and catch up with what’s been going on. And I made them play a quite challenging game and got some great writing out of it too, hurrah! I’ve even given it to them for homework (cue evil laughter …). Oh, that means I’ve got to do it too. Dammit.
This afternoon, I squeezed in time to have a Starbuck decaff cappuccino – ah bliss – and tonight I’m paying my respects to Mr Tesco after work, groan. From the sublime to the proverbial indeed. At least there’s the next episode of Mutual Friends on TV later.
Oh, and I’ve managed a rather strange piece of flash fiction, my first in a long time, I think. So I can do some writing then, even if not the novel ...
Woman on Top
Angelina knew that Brad hadn’t expected to have to climb up Beachy Head in the middle of the stormiest day of the year. Purely in order to gain her affections. But she always liked to offer her potential menfolk a challenge – it was what all the magazines told her to do.
Right now, she was inspecting her French manicure – freshly painted today – and trying to ignore the grunts, groans and muffled shrieks coming from the cliff. She assumed it was Brad. It must be. There wasn’t anyone else vying for her attention at the moment, so no reason for anyone apart from her intended to be there. Was there?
Surreptitiously, she flipped open her mobile, trying to keep both it and herself dry in the torrential rain, and pressed the familiar code for her best friend.
Georgina answered at once. ‘Has he proposed yet, darling?’
‘No, don’t be stupid,’ Angelina shouted back, hoping she could be heard at the other end, but not by her clifftop Casanova. ‘He’s still climbing. Mind you, if I don’t see any action soon, I’ll ring the Coastguard. I don’t want to seem unreasonable.’
‘Darling, you never do. Good luck.’
And, with that, Georgina disconnected the call. Angelina grimaced. She knew Georgina wasn’t really a girly chat kind of person, but even so she’d hoped for rather more. She had nothing else to do now on the top of this god-forsaken cliff apart from wait for Brad. She was already fed up with admiring the odd gull brave enough to venture into the wind or watching people fleeing down the path to safety.
With a sigh, she stepped a little closer to the cliff-edge.
‘Brad? Are you there?’ she yelled. ‘I’m getting cold up here – can’t you hurry it up?’
No answer. Damn it.
Crouching down and clutching her Armani scarf so the wind didn’t catch it, she crept nearer still to danger and shouted again. ‘Brad?’
The response wasn’t what she expected. Instead of seeing her handsome hero ready to plight his troth, a distinctly female arm reached out from the cliff and grabbed her scarf, pulling her towards the wild sea. A moment later, and a sharp push from behind sent the unfortunate Angelina hurtling over the edge and down to the unforgiving rocks below. Her screams were whipped away by the wind.
A few moments later, and the taciturn Georgina was being pulled to safety by the treacherous Brad.
‘Thank God you’re safe,’ he breathed in her ear as he held her at last in his arms.
‘Of course I am,’ she snorted. ‘Around here there’s only room for one woman on top.’
And I've finished Christopher Hill's biography of Cromwell, "God's Englishman". Very interesting stuff, though more political than I'd anticipated. It sets the man nicely in his age and setting, so a very useful book. I still prefer the more personal approach of Antonia Fraser's biography though.
Today’s nice things:
1. Getting draft one of the minutes done
2. This week’s heroes
3. University Writers
4. Starbucks coffee
6. Flash fiction