Thursday, 31 May 2007

Busy couple of Days

Isn’t it strange how you sometimes just get bitten by the bug and feel compelled to write? That’s what happened to me over the past couple of days.

Firstly, as I’ve already said, “Six thirty Sleeper” was accepted at Ruthie’s. Big Yay! I really do like that story. Second, I posted a revised revision of “Public Performance” in the Tank, got some excellent suggestions, and I’ve already completed a final draft and sent it off to Neil for his appraisal. I’ll let you know when I hear back. I’ll be interested to know if all the grossness of the public toilets leads to a Ruthie’s let down due to lack of eroticism.

I’ve also finished a first draft of what started out as a sister story to “Public Performance”. That no longer seem appropriate so I changed the names of the characters and it then morphed and went in a direction I wasn’t expecting. Seriously, anyone who thinks they know me will get little shock when they read this. I shouldn’t think the story quite rates a “caution” tag, but for me it’s definitely a departure. It’s only a first draft, and I’ll run it through the tank in due course. It reads more like a scene that a fully developed story at the moment and I need to find a way to remedy that.

I’ve also half written another story, this time retuning to the “Ladz Local Lovelies” brand. I’m not saying anymore about that until it’s finished apart from one word – “Lift” (“Elevator” for those across the pond). I’m hoping I can finish this one quite quickly too. Then, maybe, if I’ve got all these shorts out of my system, I can turn to Chloe again and get on writing “The Method”. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with that story when it’s finished. I know that Ruthie’s have accepted stories of that length in the past (indeed one finished just last week), but I’d kinda like to take it to an e-pub too. Then again, I can always take it to and e-pub after its six-month stint at Ruthie’s (assuming they accept it, which they might not). I hate making decisions – I guess that’s why at work I’m the lackey and not the boss.

Anyway, here’s a little something for you. Mat suggested that the blowjob scene in “Public Performance” was a little quick. So I expanded it. Warning – the following extract contains adult material. (the blue bit is all new)

“I don’t know. With how worked up you were earlier, I don’t think it would take long. Let’s see, shall we?” She slowly unbuckled his belt. His button fly jeans offered no resistance when she ripped them open. Kenny’s hard cock was already making a tent in his boxers. Jessica popped open the buttons and freed it. She never took her eyes from his as she feasted. She licked and sucked and scraped along his shaft with her teeth. Her head moved back and forth, taking more of his cock into her mouth each time until her nose nestled in his pubic hair and his cock lodged in her throat. She massaged his scrotum, squeezing his balls gently and making him moan. In short order, Kenny felt his orgasm build. He held her head and gently thrust into her mouth. His cock nudged her throat and his balls slapped against her chin. When it came, his release was an untapped well and he flooded her mouth. As she always did, Jessica swallowed all he had to offer. She removed his cock from her mouth, stroked it and licked her lips. “Stay hard for me?”

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Normal Service

After this weekend “press release” style blog entry, normal service is resumed today. You may have noticed that “Breakfast at Ruthie’s” finally went on sale at the weekend. I’ve received quite a few messages over the past couple of weeks enquiring about the book, so I’m hopeful that they’ll translate into sales.

You may also have noticed that my MySpace profile has undergone a minor makeover with the pic from “Breakfast” cover as the new background. I’ve left my blog background alone because, apparently, some people quite like looking at the nipple. I plan to make more changes to the profile as well, but that’s not a priority at the moment.

The main priority is completing the makeover of It’s underway, with new graphics, but click around it and you’ll see that there are a few areas that I still need to add to.

One of them is the page that links to other authors. If anyone would like to be added to this page, please contact me via MySpace message or e-mail and I’ll gladly add you. Just give me the URL and a quick sentence or two of self-promotion and we’ll be happy bunnies both.

Couple of other things to report. First, Ruthie’s Club have accepted my story “Six-Thirty Sleeper to Paris” on the condition that the smattering of French within it stands up to editing, which is a fair point. It’d be daft to publish a story where the foreign language within it was a mess. It should be okay though, I’ve picked up a fair bit of French from my darling wife (who, for those of you who don’t know, IS French) and anything I wasn’t sure about I asked her to check for me.

Second, I posted a revised revision of “Public Performance” in the tank on Friday and I’ve been delighted with the reaction to it. I’ve got one or two issues to look at that have been raised by the reviewers, but top and bottom of it is that the story is just about ready for submission.

And Finally. It’s bloody freezing here today. My fingers are like blocks on ice and I’m having real difficulty typing. Thank God for “right-click” spell-check. Does anyone have any thermal gloves I could borrow? And what the F**k happened to summer?

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Breakfast at Ruthie's

You can now purchase your copy of "Breakfast at Ruthie's" from my Lulu store. "Breakfast at Ruthie's" is a collection of five hot tales, each of which was first published at "Ruthie's Club".

The book is available in three formats, a 6" x 9" paperback edition, a 4" x 7" pocket paperback edition and a 6" x 9" Hardback edition. Prices are £7.50 for the paperbacks and £13.50 for the Hardback. (Price in US$ and Euros will vary with exchange rates but is currently $13.50/€11 for the paperbacks and $24.50/€20 for the Hardback)

"Breakfast at Ruthie's" contains these stories.

Scratched - Carol drinks a little too much while her husband and his friend talk business over dinner. She decides to take a slow walk back to the car to try and clear her head. What she finds when she gets there surprises her. How she reacts surprises her even more.

Measuring up – Mike is tired of dinner parties. They seem to be nothing but an endless merry-go-round of idle chitchat, new world wines, and experimental cooking. But his newest work colleague has a different idea of the perfect evening.

LADZ Local Lovelies #56 Laura – Laura wants Gavin. Gavin hardly even notices Laura's alive because he's always got his nose buried in an issue of Ladz magazine. But Laura has a plan—if Gavin's dream is to fuck one of the Ladz "Local Lovelies", she'll just have to become one herself.

LADZ Local Lovelies #58 Emma – Jake takes a train trip to London on a glorious spring day and realises he seen the young lady sitting opposite him before. What he doesn't know is that Emma is one of Ladz "Local Lovelies", and since appearing in Britain's leading lad's magazine in nothing but her undies, her life hasn't taken the path she expected.

Divine Interview (with Cassie Exline) – Dana Rubeck grasps the opportunity to interview her favorite author of erotic fiction at his mansion on the outskirts of her hometown. But, disarmed by his rich British voice and natural charm, she allows him to show her that he doesn't only write about great sex.


While you've got your credit card out, why not pick up a copy of "Two Ks and No Space" and "Reunion" ?

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Don’t cha just luv Myspace?

Yesterday, at around 3 in the afternoon, by a curious quirk of fate, I had three friend requests from three attractive looking young ladies, two blondes and a brunette, all of whom were named Kayla, although one of them spelt it differently. As you do, I had a quick look at their profiles before deciding if I should accept their kind invitation to be friends.

It turns out that all three of them were 19 year old student nurses from a place called So Cal which sounds as if it may be in the Far East. But that wasn’t the only thing that these three lovelies had in common. All three of them described themselves as “permanently horny”. Maybe that’s why they want to be friends? Perhaps they like the idea of befriending an author of erotic fiction (I don’t like the term Erotic Author – it makes it sound like I’m the one that’s erotic and anyone who’s seen me will know that’s not the case) who will be able to aid their horniness with his words.

Also, all three Kaylas were very disappointed that MySpace didn’t allow them to post ‘naughty pictures’ of themselves, but kindly provided a link to a site where, for a small monthly fee, I could see many such pictures of them and other similarly minded young ladies. I could even see them ‘perform’ on webcam, whatever that means. Perhaps they are singers or actors and would like my critical opinion as a fellow artist, albeit in a somewhat different field.

I thought it strange that I be contacted by three 19 year old student nurses from this strange So Cal place on the same day, so I investigated a bit more (I fancy myself a modern day Sherlock Holmes. Or maybe a male Jessica Fletcher). I opened all three profiles in tabs in Firefox and do you know what I found out? Aside from the pictures of the Kaylas and the backgrounds, the three profiles were identical. Even down to the placing of the slideshows and list of favourite TV shows. Remarkable. Perhaps I should introduce these three beauties. They are bound to get along well what with having so much in common and all.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Tuesday Smile

I came across this on, of all places, the BBC 606 boards for my local (well, they were local when I used to live there) football club (Who incidentally have just been sold by the owner for £10. Some people say that £9.99 too much, but I think it's a bargin).
Anyhoo - I found this yesterday when I was feeling miserable and it made me smile, so I thought I'd share. The original poster swears they are genuine (he claims to work for the council in question - which is Wolverhampton since you didn't ask).

1. My bush is really overgrown round the front and my back passage
has fungus growing in it.
2. He's got this huge tool that vibrates the whole house and I just can't take it anymore.
3. It's the dog mess that I find hard to swallow.
4. I want some repairs done to my cooker as it has backfired and burnt my k**b off.
5. I wish to complain that my father hurt his ankle very badly then he put his foot in the hole in his back passage.
6. And their 18 year old son is continually banging his balls against my fence.
7. I wish to report that tiles are missing from the outside toilet roof. I think it was bad wind the other night that blew them off.
8. My lavatory seat is cracked, where do I stand?
9. I am writing on behalf of my sink, which is coming away from the wall.
10. Will you please send someone to mend the garden path? My wife tripped and fell on it yesterday and now she is pregnant.
11. I request permission to remove my drawers in the kitchen.
12. 50% of the walls are damp, 50% have crumbling plaster and 50% are plain filthy.
13. I am still having problems with smoke in my new drawers.
14. The toilet is blocked and we cannot bath the children until it is cleared.
15. Will you please send a man to look at my water, it is a funny colour and not fit to drink.
16. Our lavatory seat is broken in half and is now in three pieces.
17. I want to complain about the farmer across the road; every morning at 6am his c*(k wakes me up and its now getting too much for me.
18. The man next door has as large erection in the back garden, which is unsightly and dangerous.
19. Our kitchen floor is damp. We have two children and would like a third, so please send someone round to do something about it.
20. I am a single woman living in a downstairs flat and would you please do something about the noise made by the man on top of me

Monday, 21 May 2007

Keeping it Straight

I find that one of the biggest problems with writing 'longer' stories, is keeping everything straight in your head so that you don't contradict yourself at some point. Of course, it depends on the complexity of the story as to what you need to do to keep things straight. For example, with "Charlotte Secret" the plot, the characters and their histories were such that I had to write a timeline going back nearly two years before the story began – this so that I could get the timings right in respect of the various coupling, weddings and pregnancies that led to the situation that David and Charlotte find themselves in as we first meet them.

On the other hand, whilst "Lost and Found" was a longer story, it was far less complicated. In fact, I spent most of the time I spent on that story that wasn't actually writing it, was spent researching things like flights and working on the authenticity (it's quite hard of an ignorant Brit like me to paint a convincing picture if small town USA).

With "The Method" it's different again. Yes, I have a timeline drawn up, but that's more of an aid memoir then an essential – it helps me get things like the Oscar ceremony taking place at the right time of year. However, my biggest difficulty has been keeping track of the fictional Celebrity world I've had to create as a background to the story. Chloe is meant to be a global movie star. So she'll have a filmography, right? And the other, non-celeb characters will mention her films from time to time, right? And Chloe will have friends who are Celebs, right? And she'll mention them or talk to them or actually meet them from time to time, right?

So I've got two files open, one listing all the films she's been in that have been mentioned in the text, and another to do the same for other celebs, and both of them have the necessary notes so that I know what the other characters think of the films/people.

Now, I was going to post an example, but to do that I'll have to cut out the notes, which would be far less interesting? Why? Posting the notes will give away the ending of course. Anyway, here are some of the films mentioned in the text so far. The last film appears with kind permission of one H.L.Berry.


Films Made

Film Type

Part played


Until Midnight




Don't Say Goodbye




High School Hell




To Eternity and Back




Charlotte's Secret






Young Kelly


Tutoring Sophie




Nightgirl – The Movie



Monday Moan

It’s Monday again, and I’ve got a list of moans as long as something very long indeed. In fact, it’s such a long list, that if I were to write it down, it’d be Tuesday and I’d have wasted a day and have something else to moan about. Instead, let’s stick to the main gripes shall we.

Such as, why do people think that you can have building work done without creating a mess? We’re having the dividing wall between us and next door re-built as it’s in a very bad way, and they are also going to put some rather attractive railings on it to stop my son from falling down the 5foot drop to next door (we live on a hill). As you can imagine, as the old bricks have to be removed before the new ones are put in place, it gets a bit dusty. And both my wife and neighbour are moaning, hence I’m moaning. I’m assured by the builder that they will clean it all up when they have finished with ‘brick acid”, which supposedly cleans the bricks in the driveway up nicely. And I’ve even said that if the neighbour isn’t satisfied I’ll pressure wash it myself for him. He’s still moaning though.

Second, I almost successfully managed to avoid the news programmes on the TV yesterday, but was unfortunate enough to catch the “Headlines” on channel 5 while waiting for a film to start. And do you know what the “top story” was? No? I’ll tell you. The father of the little girl abducted in Portugal is flying back to the UK for 24 hours to deal with some “personal matters”. What? This isn’t news. This is what you’d expect someone who’s been out of the country for nearly a month to do. Are the media really so hyped about this story that they have to tell us things like this? Surely this is his “personal and private” business. Tell us about the case, by all means. Tell us when they’ve found her, or if they arrest someone, but there’s no need to tell us what her parents are doing 24/7. Leave them be, for God’s sake – don’t you think they have enough on their plates without worrying about what the papers might say if he flies back home to pay a few bills and check the house hasn’t fallen down. I’ll say it again, just in case the media wasn’t listening the first time – Leave them alone!

Of course, all this is just fluff. The real reason I’m in such a foul mood is lack of a good night’s sleep. My son is trying to push through a couple of those nasty molars, and during the day, when he’s occupied, he’s fine but come night-time, when Daddy wants to sleep, it’s a different story. I’m miserable and grouchy and it seems that my temper is bubbling just beneath the surface. And this has been going on for a couple of weeks now. What I need is a weekend away, where I can lie in bed until noon undisturbed. Either that or I’m going to snap and take it out on someone who doesn’t deserve it. Unless you can think of someone who does deserve it. Any suggestions? Come on, I’m ready to really rip into someone, just give a name. A name God damn it. A name!

I think I need another cup of tea.

Friday, 18 May 2007

The Method

You may or may not remember that I'm currently about half-way through writing a story which began life with the title "Little Miss Movie Star" and has since morphed into "The Method".
The reason for the title change is that I want to try and work the idea of our main character being a 'method actor' into the story to try and create a bit of ambiguity about her. I want the reader to be not entirely sure if he can trust Chloe or not.

To do this I’ve had to rewrite portions of what I’ve already got in order to introduce method acting and its meaning in the context of this story.

Below is one of those scenes. I’ll need someone to keep referring back to method acting, and that will be Kim. Chloe might mention it herself in passing, but it’s Kim who will be the voice of doubt for the reader. That said, I don’t want to reiterate it to often. I want the concept to be nagging thought in the back of the reader’s mind, not the over-riding impression of Chloe.


Over lunch, Adam agreed to meet up with Kim and her flatmates for drinks that afternoon. His flatmates agreed to go along too. They met in the Student’s Union, which was much quieter than the first time Adam had visited.

“Oh, thank God!” said Kim.

“What’s up?” asked Eddy.

“Little Miss Movie Star isn’t here.”

“You mean Goodman?”

“Yeah. I can’t stand her. Attention grabbing little slut. You know that Adam and I have been landed with her in our tutor group?”

Eddy looked at Adam with shock. “You didn’t tell us that.”

“I only found out today. Besides, it’s not really a big deal. Is it? I know she’s a decent actress and stuff, but it’s not like she’s anyone really important.”

“Decent actress?” said Kim. “Are you serious? Have you seen ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’?”

“It was really bad,” said Shanna. “But it was the script more than her acting. She proved what she can do in “To Eternity and Back”. Adam, are you going to invite her over the flat for coffee sometime?”

“Not if you’re going to fawn over her, no.”

“I promise not to.”


“I wouldn’t bother,” said Kim. “She won’t go.”

“I still don’t know what she’s doing at university. I mean, she must be taking time off from making movies and that’s got be costing her a fortune,” said Eddy.

“I suppose you get to a point where you have so much money that making more of it becomes less important,” said Adam.

“I have a theory,” said Kim. “I think I know why she’s here.”

“Come then,” said Eddy. “Spill.”

“Well, she’s a method actor, isn’t she?” Kim looked around the table as if that explained everything.

“Yeah, and?” said Eddy.

“It’s what they do, isn’t it? They go and experience what it’s like to be the character they are going to play so that they can empathise and emote. She’s probably landed a role as a student in some shitty film and needs to pretend to be a real student for while so that she can play it.”

“Don’t be silly,” said Shanna, “Actors don’t do things like that.”

“Method actors do. You know Bobby Brandon, the fat American? Well, apparently, when he had to play a chef, he went to work in a professional kitchen for a fortnight to see what it was like. And when Michelle Phillips made ‘Escape from Ghetto High’ she went to work at an inner-city school in New York first.”

“That’s bull. All the kids would have recognised her,” said Eddy.

“No, they didn’t. She went in disguise. The movie people made her a prosthetic mask and stuff.”

“There is another theory,” said Adam.

“And what’s that?” said Shanna.

“She’s on my course, yeah? English and The Classics. My theory is that she came across The Classics through her acting, fell in love with them and actually wants to study them.”

“Nah,” said Eddy, “I prefer Kim’s theory.”

“That’s because it’s right,” said Kim. “I’ll bet it’s what Goodman is doing. In fact, I’ll bet any money that within a couple of weeks she’ll have found herself nice, normal boyfriend, boff him for a couple of months and then dump him just before she’s due to start making the movie.”

“Well, if she’s only after a good humping, then I hope she picks me,” said Eddy. “That’ll be something to tell the grandkids, that will.”

“I can see you now,” said Adam. “You’ll be sitting in your rocking chair on the patio, with a woollen blanket wrapped around your legs, saying, “No, really kids, I did. I humped Chloe Goodman.” I can imagine their reply as well.”

Thursday, 17 May 2007

See, that’s what’s wrong with the country.

It appears that today, Britain will have a new Prime Minister elect, without a single vote being cast by anyone, not even members of his own damn party.

This is a disgrace!

After the triumph of democracy that was the French presidential elections, with a whopping 85% turnout to chose the new leader, we in Britain go to the opposite extreme, with a zero percent turnout, due simply to the fact that we have been denied the opportunity.

I cannot express just how disillusioned I am with my country at the moment. We already have a sensationalist media which makes newspapers impossible to read and TV news impossible to watch, and now this. And what is the media doing about this travesty? Nothing, they are too busy complaining that the laws in Portugal deny them free access to all that is happening in an ongoing police investigation into that missing toddler, while blaming everyone from the girl’s parents to the hotel owners for her abduction. That and printing pictures of super-skinny celebs.

Could someone find out when the next flight out of here is? I need to go and pack my bags.

It’s Thursday again, where’s the bloody week gone?

I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older, or because I have so much to do, but time seems have accelerated in recent weeks. I suspect it’s the latter. I’m having one of those periods where you have a list of tasks longer than the long and winding road and every single one of them is mega-important and needs to be done NOW! So you find yourself having to decide which one you can put off until tomorrow, and before you know it, it’s not only tomorrow, it’s next week. Then next week turns into the week after and the deadline is on the horizon. Then the deadline is tomorrow and you have to drop everything and do that thing you would normally have done straight away, meaning that something else gets pushed to tomorrow… you get the idea.

On the other hand, if it is my age, I now understand why old folks can sit in the same chair all day without getting bored. I mean, when you’re knocking on a bit, if time really does go faster, then watching an hour of “Cash in the Attic” or “The Antiques Roadshow” will only seem like a 30 second commercial anyway.

To business. I’ve got a couple of subs to follow up this week/weekend/when I get around to it. One of them has been in the mix for a couple of months now, but the deadline isn’t until June (I think). I would like to know, but I can understand why they haven’t made a decision on it yet. Would still like to follow it up though, just to see.

I’ve done a second draft of my story “Public Performance”. I’ll be posting it as a revision in the Tank later today. It is still very much a draft—in this version I think I’ve addressed most of the major issues that were brought up with the last draft, but I’d like to look again at a few smaller specifics before I think about subbing it.

And finally we’re just two weeks away now from the release of “Breakfast at Ruthie’s”.

Friday, 11 May 2007

Petrol/Diesel Prices

This is a MySpace bulletin doing the round at the moment. All I can say is that if you think $3 is high, try paying the $7 per gallon that we have to pay in the UK. And most if not all of that difference in price goes to the taxman.

So please, stop moaning!

On the other hand, maybe we Brits could do the same. Although, I don't think as a nation it's really our sort of thing is it?

NO GAS...On May 15th 2007 Don't pump gas on MAY 15th In April 1997, there was a "gas out" conducted nationwide in protest of gas prices. Gasoline prices dropped 30 cents a gallon overnight. On May 15th 2007, all internet users are to not go to a gas station in protest of high gas prices. Gas is now over $3.00 a gallon in mos t places. There are 73,000,000+ American members currently on the internet network, and the average car takes about 30 to 50 dollars to fill up. If all users did not go to the pump on the 15th, it would take $2,292,000,000.00 (that's almost 3 BILLION) out of the oil companies pockets for just one day, so please do not go to the gas station on May 15th and lets try to put a dent in the Middle Eastern oil industry for at least one day. If you agree (which I can't see why you wouldn't) Repost this on the bulletin!! ''Don't pump gas on May 15th"

What a Week!

Well, what a manic couple of weeks that’s been. It’s always the same around this time of year. The firm I work for has its financial year end at the end of April and there’s a ton of work to do to report on it, a flurry of activity from fee earners as they bill all their matters to try and hit their targets. Actually, this year we’ve had one fee earner who’s billed exactly his target amount. Not just over, or just under, but exactly the amount. One of the partners asked me if I thought he was cheating.

What makes it a particularly busy time is that I have to keep the cash office ticking over as I would do normally. That means there are still cheques to pay in/out, electronic funds transfers to deal with and other people calculations to correct, I mean check. This April/May have seen a lot of activity in the house market too as people try and move before the governments HIPs (Home Information Pack) scheme comes into force which will make it more expensive to sell your house.

But anyway, things are a bit quieter now and I have a bit of time to blog. I’ve got some catching up to do, but I live in hope of a couple of slow days so that I can do that without too much trouble.

On to other matters. Blair has gone. Well, nearly. We’ve got another two months or so to put up with him then he’s out of here. I won’t be sorry to see him go—I’ve never trusted the man, even as far back as when he first took control of Labour. It was the clause 4 moment that did it for me. Many people saw it as him modernising his part. I saw it as a desperate attempt to gain power by turning his back on what most people in his party believed. Still, we’ve got a few years of Gordon to look forward to now. That should be fun. Not. If the man’s got any decency he’ll call an early election to gain a mandate of his own (or get kicked out altogether). But somehow I think he’ll hang on until the last possible moment.

More importantly to me, and more excitingly, Wolves have made the playoffs! Yes!!! Get in!!!! I don’t normally talk about footy in this blog, but I’m making an exception today. At the start of the season, with no manager and no money, we were tipped for relegation. But Mick McCarthy has done a great job and we might even be going up. Of course, we have to get past the Baggies first, and then a trip to the new Wembley awaits. We can but dream.

On the erotica front, I’ve been too tired in the evenings to do much writing. I have managed to go over one story making small pre-submission changes. That went off yesterday. I’ll keep you posted over its acceptance or lack thereof. I’ve also started a second draft of another story, but not got very far. I’ll have at it over the weekend and maybe I can get that subbed next week sometime.

Finally – I have a release date for “Breakfast at Ruthie’s”. It will go on sale via my Lulu store on 1 June 2007. That’s three weeks from today. Prices are currently set at £7.50 for the two paperback editions, £13.50 for the hardback and £3 for a digital edition. Although, I may be tempted to reduce the cover price as a launch week special offer. I haven’t made my mind up about that yet.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Six-thirty Sleeper to Paris

As promised, here's an excerpt from one of the stories I've been working on - "Six-thirty Sleeper to Paris". This is a totally new scene to the story since it when through the fishtank. More accurately, this scene was originally a single paragraph.

An announcement interrupted them. Dinner was about to be served to first class passengers in the dining car. Harry looked at his watch. It was seven-thirty. Where had the last hour gone? He asked Celine to join him for dinner. She eagerly agreed. They continued to talk over the meal. Harry was having a lovely time. Not only was Celine a stunning looking woman, but she was great company too. Dinner lasted for almost two hours. By the time they returned to their cabin, it was almost half-past nine.

But as you can see, it's a lot more than that now. I like it because it shows us a bit more of Celine's character, but also because it ties in directly with the new ending. Enjoy.
An announcement interrupted them. Dinner was about to be served to first class passengers in the dining car. Harry looked at his watch. It was seven-thirty. Where had the last hour gone?

He looked at Céline. “Join me for dinner? My treat.”

“It is being my pleasure, ‘Arry.” She smiled—a wide smile that could have illuminated the Eiffel Tower.

When they were seated in the dining car, they ordered food and wine from the small menu. The wine was brought directly and the food followed in short order.

“Good service,” said Harry as he laid his napkin across his lap.

Céline huffed. “In my experience, if food is arriving quickly, then it is prepared before and zapped in the microwave. Good food takes a long time to make.”

Harry already had a mouthful of pasta. He swallowed and then said, “I don’t know. This isn’t bad. Sauce is nice, chicken’s well cooked, pasta’s not underdone. I’ve had worse.”

Céline watched Harry shovel another forkful of food into his mouth and muttered, “Les Anglais mangent comme des cochons.”

She laid her own napkin on her lap and picked up her fork. Harry watched with mild amusement as she pushed some pieces of pasta around her plate before spearing one on the fork. She lifted it and opened her mouth just wide enough to get the food in. The pasta brushed her lips, leaving a trail of cheese sauce behind. She closed her lips around the fork and slipped it out, leaving the pasta behind. She chewed slowly and after she’d swallowed, she licked her lips clean with the tip of her tongue. Harry shivered.

She picked up another piece of pasta on her fork and held it in front of her. “‘Arry, I think you have been spending too much time en Italie eating ze pasta and ze pizza. Your pallet has suffered, non? You can no longer tell what is good food and what is not. En France, we are serving better food than this in our prisons and our schools, non?”

Harry shrugged. “Like I said, I’ve had worse.”

Céline ate another delicate mouthful of food and then said, “I know what to do ‘Arry. When we are both settled in Paris, I will take you to my preferred restaurant. Then you will know what is good food.”

The next few moments passed quietly as they ate. Finally, Céline said, “So, ‘Arry. Are you telling me about your American girl? Or am I making up my own story?”

Harry smiled and thought for a second. What harm could it do? Chances were he’d never see Céline again after they got to Paris and Céline would certainly never meet his fiancé. “Her name is Ruth.”

“Ruth is a nice name.”

“We met about a month after I moved to Rome, so we’ve been together for nearly three years now.”

“You are still together? Are you in love with her?”

“I think I am. I don’t know if she still loves me, though. Last time I spoke to her, she was still adamant she didn’t want to move to Paris. I don’t even know if we are still engaged. She hasn’t given me the ring back, so I guess we must be.”

“You are getting married? That’s wonderful. Félicitations.”

“Like I said, I don’t know. It’s been nearly a week since I last spoke with her. I tried to call her before I got on the train, but she didn’t answer her phone.”

“This is bad. I think you should be trying harder to move her to Paris when we arrive. Paris is a wonderful place for a girl to live. Le shopping, le cuisine, le ambiance.”

“You’re right, of course. I should try harder. So what about you? Any special men in your life?”

“Only mon Papa. I am young and at liberty. C’est magnifique.”

They continued to talk over the meal and by the time they returned to their cabin, it was almost half-past nine.

Poem (but not by me)

I just wanted to direct a few folks towards this poem by Je ne sais pas... , which I think a really sweet exploration of a couple’s first time.

The Queen

An unusual one today, although if I get a sec I might write a second entry, but I wanted those who might not otherwise see this to see it.

To mark HM Queen Elizabeth II's state visit to the US later this month, a portrait by photographer Annie Leibovitz has been issued. And here it is.

I think it's one of the better one's of Her Majesty in recent years.

Well that's good, looks like it's too wide to view on blogger. View on my Myspace blog instead

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

There once was an ugly duckling

Yesterday on Mat's blog I mentioned pictures of some ducks I took while in France over Easter. Here they are.

Duck and Ducklings


Duck and Ducklings in the Water


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