Thursday, 6 September 2012

Noodle Time!

So the week of foodie joy continues.

Before we headed to see Rent, my esteemed colleagues and I hit the Greenwich establishment that came recommended to us. It was kind of like a cafe, the menus were in the table and for £4.20 you could buy a rather tasty special fried rice so massive, I am still eating it two days later. Yes ladies and gentlemen, may I announce to you... NOODLE TIME!

Oh and as a tip, a squeeze of lemon, some red and yellow peppers and a sprinkling of ginger will really perk up two-day-old special fried rice. My colleagues ate noodles, you know what with it being Noodle Time. They told me they were very nice too!


Sunday, 22 January 2012

Miss Lacy and her Coco Ribbon Stockings

Jack Dimachio’s body was found face down in his New York penthouse suite. A Playtex stocking, the dowdy kind so thick my Sergeant used them to wash his car, wrapped tightly round his neck. As Sergeant Jones rolled him over, his blue eyes bulged out of his sockets, glazed with death.
Sergeant Jones whimpered. “Not a pleasant way to go that… Nice suit though.”
Jack Dimachio was the highest paid and best looking divorce lawyer in town, every rich dame looking for a good settlement and a rebound always fled to Jack. With his movie star smile and dark eyes, he’d made a killing with the ladies since he was just 21. Now, twenty years later, it looked like one of the ladies made a killing with him.
“You think he dumped some divorcee and she got her revenge Sir?” Sergeant Jones asked thoughtfully.
“Could be,” I replied, “it’s worth looking at all his previous clients, and a chat with Mrs Dimachio… who found him?”
“His last client Sir, Miss Stoke Lacy.”
“Miss? Why would a miss hire a divorce lawyer?”
“Take a wild guess.” came a husky drawl from behind me.
Stoke Lacy was no innocent. You could see from the look in her eyes, the wavy blonde hair and the perfect curves of her body. This woman was a danger to any man with a pulse.
“We were having an affair.” Stoke smiled, watching my eyes take her in as she took a drag from her cigarette, “It has to be his awful wife, she found out about us, forced him to end it.” 
As my eyes reached her legs her smile grew wider.
“I never wear Playtex stockings… What do you think I am, a housewife? I only ever wear Coco Ribbon. You can check.” She held out a shapely leg, her face mocking.
“No need Miss, you may go.” I said. Every man’s eyes following her as she sashayed out of the room.
“We need a talk with Mrs Dimachio, call her in Jones.”
“Of course sir.”

Two hours later, Mrs Dimachio peeped red rimmed eyes over her auburn fox furs, a frail slip of a thing. With her dark curls she must have been beautiful once, but now all remained was the strain of anorexia and a philandering husband.
“I never knew Miss Lacy” she sobbed bitterly, “But I know her reputation. She was poison, always carrying on with other women’s husbands and taking all their money. My Jackie, dead… it must have been her.”
“Please have a tissue Madam” I offered her a box of paper hankies as she collapsed into sobs.
This dame could barely hold up her own arm, let alone strangle a man with a stocking but I had to ask.
“What brand of stockings do you wear Mrs Dimachio?”
“What does that matter?” her voice squeaked, “Am I suspect?”
“We need to rule it out Mrs Dimachio.”
“Playtex, as does virtually every woman in New York. You’ll be a long time finding your murderer if all you do is check their stockings.” She simpered.
“That’ll do for today Mrs Dimachio.” I sighed.
As she left Jones came bustling in. “Sir, Lacy checks out, only ever buys stockings from Coco Ribbon. Here’s a list of Dimachio’s previous clients.”
“Good Jones, now get back to work.” I said gruffly, waving him away.
I slowly scanned the list, a sea of desperate, fed up housewives. Dowdy Playtex stocking after dowdy Playtex stocking. It could be any dame on here, but this wasn’t a crime of passion, this wasn’t some woman scorned, or even a vengeful ex-husband. Tests results showed not a single imprint on the stocking. Whoever did this, planned it.  I scanned down to the bottom of the client list… Miss Stoke Lacy. The woman needed another visit.

Turning into the darkened driveway I clasped my gun, I didn’t trust this dame one bit. Striding up to black door I slammed on the enormous brass Lionhead doorknocker.
“Police! I need to speak with Miss Lacy.” I barked.
“Why come in,” came a familiar husky drawl as the door opened
She looked ravishing, in a long black figure hugging dress. Her chest dripping with diamonds. “Do you like them” she smiled, her rich red talons fingering the jewels, “a goodbye present from Dimachio.”
“Where are you going?” I demanded.
“A gala opening.” She smiled.
“Seeming to be holding up without your lover aren’t you.”
She sighed. “I didn’t kill Dimachio.”
“You found him,” I hissed, “he dumped you for his wife, Did you use a Playtex stocking to frame her?” 
“Listen, there are things about Dimachio’s missus you don’t know.” Stoke snapped, “Maybe it’s worth checking her bastard child.”
She stared at me, eyebrows raised. A black Saab pulled in the driveway. Stalking away, she called “Now, if you excuse me, I have a gala opening, some of us have lives you know.”

Staring at the office ceiling, the clock ticked past 9pm. I thought of my ex-wife Jo sitting at home with her new husband.
According to the records Jones’ checked, Mrs Dimachio didn’t have an illegitimate child. I had zip. Nothing concrete on the mistress. Nothing on the wife. They both had motive. Lacy had just been dumped, she certainly had the nerve. The wife had been humiliated by his affairs for years, she wore the right stockings – but not the strength to hold them.
Throwing my pen down I saw Jones slumped at his desk.
“Come on” I grabbed his shoulder, “time to head home.”
Then I saw it crumbled in the bin, Mrs Dimachio’s family tree… she had an illegitimate child alright. Someone who certainly used Playtex stockings.

As the door creaked open, I grimaced at Mrs Dimachio.
“Can I come in?” I asked.
“How is the case?” she asked, her lips pursed.
“Couldn’t stand the affairs? Didn’t have the strength to strangle him yourself so you got your son to do it?” I growled.
Suddenly I felt the tip of a steel barrel pushed into my skull. “Not quite,” laughed Sergeant Jones.
Slowly I turned my head to see Jones staring at me, his eyes menacing. Reaching for my gun I flinched, it wasn’t in my holster, it was already in Jones’ hands. 
“I never introduced you to my mum did I sir?” he smiled.
I turned to see Mrs Dimachio, tears falling down her cheeks.
“Jones, what have you done?” I asked.  
Jones grinned, his eyes bulging, “Dimachio was my step father –  not that he accepted me, but I was still in the Will, mum begged you see.”
He twisted the gun further into my temple. “I figured I could wait it out, he drank too much, surely living so fast would kill him off. But when Stoke Lacy came along,” he sighed, anger furrowed his brow, “he made a fool of himself for her. It was hell having to watch that whore writhe her way into his will. He wanted to divorce mum and marry Lacy, leave her my entire inheritance.”
“But Dimachio dumped Lacy.” I said.
Jones sighed, “Lacy dumped Dimachio. He gave her mum’s diamonds to wear to the gala in a bid to get her back. It was only a matter of time before my five million would be lining her pockets.” He laughed, “My years on the force weren’t wasted, I knew a printless stocking would make you think it was some anonymous dame.”
Calmly, he pulled back the safety. I squared my shoulders, waiting for the moment to strike.
Out of nowhere a shot fired into the air, whipping his hand away, in one movement I grabbed his shoulder, barging him roughly to the floor.
“Darling!” Mrs Dimachio screamed, rushing over to her bleeding son.
Whirling round I saw her, a swirl of blonde hair emerging from the shadows.
“Good work.” She drawled, her eyes triumphant, “Well, better get on doing your job, arrest the criminals.”
I nodded and pulled out my handcuffs.
“Dimachio didn’t just give me diamonds you know,” she continued. “He was so desperate to get me back he had already changed his Will.”
Moments later she was gone. After scoring five million, Stoke Lacy and her Coco Ribbon stockings sashayed into the night.

Chicken Shit

I’m a chicken shit.

Forgive the American turn of phrase but I feel it best explains what I am. Frightened of my own fucking shadow.
I don’t blame you if you put this down right now, just stop reading out of lack of interest. Christ, I would. Who wants to read about a woman with no life. A woman who has done nothing. Who has no coherent line of narrative whatsoever.
I almost wish I was Bridget Jones, a whimsical mess she may be but at least she put herself out there, and she got a nice flat in London, her very own Mr Darcy and some top notch media job even though she seems to possess only a mediocre talent for the trade.
I’m a librarian. A 35-year-old single and quite simply bored-out-of-her-brain librarian. There are no kids. There isn’t even any romantic baggage to speak of.
When I was a teenager I had fantasisies of being some dominatrix French secretary style librarian. Prowling the book halls in spiky court shoes, a tight shift dress and leather whips aplenty. I certainly did that a lot in my twenties (minus the whip, well most of the time) and it certainly scared the crap out of Ms ‘High Priestess chartered librarian in charge’ Jones.
So I drabbed down. To be honest the fight went out of me, shift dresses don’t look so pleasant after a bacon and chicken marks & sparks sarnie and you have a bit of a bloat on. And the effect of those heels? My crusted, scarred feet still have yet to recover.
So out came the old woollies, the slippers, the yellow stained blouses, I even got myself a bike to ride to and from the library in. It has a sweet little bell and a basket, all very rustic and could be tres chic… if I lived in a cute country house next to the coast and not in the middle of a busy traffic infested city. 
In my drab attire I was much safer, a much more trustworthy and viable option for a promotion which never happened. They thought I would rot happily away with the musty yellowed family sagas.  
Which I, of course, am doing. Thirteen years has melted away. Thirteen long years where I have lived vicariously through my beloved books, Where I get lost in the pages, the stories, I became the princess heroine, the femme fatale, the hot shot city lawyer with a penchant for Christian Laboutins.
All the time this voice inside my head screaming the same thing over and over and over. I need to get out of here. I need to get out of here. Do something different, something, something frightening.

My flat echoes all previous descriptions of myself. It’s small, it’s clean, it’s mostly white and it’s full of books.
I often sit at my bed and I wonder, what it would be like to take to the high seas, to feel the wind in my hair, the nausea in my stomach. What would it be like to walk into Prada and buy everything on credit, not a worry in the world about the bill. What would it be like to eat blowfish by the forkful, not caring if you survived or if it finished you off.
I always wonder in threes. Three scenarios, three daydreams. Everything happens in threes. I read in Aspects of Interior design that three is the magic number. All decorative ornaments, be they vases or candles, should be placed in threes. It is the number of beauty, of good taste. Then there is the triangle of the lord - the father, the son and the holy spirit or the three sixes stamped on little Damien’s head. The superego, the id, the ego. Even Freud thought in threes. That comforts me on some level. Are you finding me creepy yet? I find me creepy on occasion. It’s the ultimate horror movie jibe, the woman scorned, the woman ignored, she seems so meek, so mild yet here she is going on the rampage with her menstrual blood. I assure you I am not creepy. That if you journeyed into the inner recesses of anybodies mind your findings would not be altogether sane or comfortable. Especially the mind of a woman who hasn’t had any form of sexual contact in three years. That kind of frustration is enough to send anyone a little off kilter. The last man was a blind date who forcefully shoved his hand up my skirt. In my shock I said nothing until he muttered something about the quiet ones being the wettest. I came to my senses then and legged it, sobbing all the way to my front door. How humiliating, 32 and being treated like a teenager by some pervert with his hand in my pants. Men are not pleasant creatures.
And so I am a near on recluse. No dates, a very small amount of friends, no family to speak of since my mother died last year. I am alone. In my flat, with no money and no reason to go on. Do I have choices? Could I just quit, just leave and spend my days roaming the red light district in Amsterdam. Should I run to New York and sing like Sting. Should I apply for a makeover show and watch my confidence blossom as pushy presenters shove me into wrap dresses. No, I know what I will do, I will hide in books and watch as life slowly filters by.

My shoe has a hole in it. I was standing behind the counter, smiling inanely at a customer when I felt it. The edge of my little toe was creeping for freedom, escaping from the leather insoles. I can’t afford new shoes. Flustered I pull out some superglue, whisps of fuzzy brown hair drop into my face. Is it the light or are they streaked with grey? Pulling off my shoes I dap the glue at the split sole, praying again this will work. Then he appears… he is all radiance and smiles with his perfect lock of dark hair dropping on his forehead. He cocks his head to the side when he sees me, like he’s a bird, like I’m his prey. He’s sizing me up and is deciding when is best to strike, when to go for the gullet.
“What are you doing Kate?” he drawls, loudly, so every customer in the library spins round. It’s Kathy, but I don’t bother correcting him.
“Hole in my shoe.” I mutter, desperately looking for a file to bury my head in.
“Buy some new ones for god sake woman.” He tuts, before focusing his broad grin at a quibbling teenage girl who looks like she might orgasm at the very sight of my beautiful but very bossy superior. It makes me sick that at just 26 he is already a chartered librarian. One more step and he’ll run the whole library. It makes me dread the day Ms Jones leaves.
Well, almost.
“Kathy! I need you to recatalog the entire Mills & Boon section. That old lady Janice Dickenson has run amok with them again.” Comes her booming voice, she strides past me, hair in a tight severe bun, lips pursed. Who knew such a short skinny woman would inspire such distaste in me.
“Peter, darling” she coos, clasping his muscular and veiny hand as he leans against the counter. I should have known they would be in it together.
I nod and run to the Mills & Boons, aghast at the mess. Mrs Dickenson has started ripping the raunchy sections out for her own personal collection. I know I should charge her, but since her husband Fred died I can see how lonely she is.
“I just want to remember what it feels like to be touched” she whimpers at me every time.

You and me both sister.     

Later, Peter announces loudly that he has a date. He smirks at me. No idea why he feels the need to do this. It’s quite obvious for anyone who happens to look upon us that he, as some Adonis of the librarian world would have a date with some elegant blonde, whereas I, the greying spinster in the long brown cardigan would not. Why he feels the need to show off and rub it in is truly beyond me. Self-esteem is a funny thing. I trundle off home on my bike. The wind is cold against my face and I wish I had worn gloves. I start to think about death. It comes as if from nowhere and gives me a bizarre sense of pleasure. Wouldn’t it be so dramatic if I lay on my red carpet and slit my throat. If the blood intermingled with the carpet and by the time anybody found me they wouldn’t be able to see any blood at all. They would think I was merely sleeping. That would certainly get some attention. The thought consumes me so much I almost don’t see the cab coming toward me. I almost don’t see it as it crashes into my bike, crunching the front wheel. But as I come flying over the handle bars I see the big black cab then. I see the headlights, I hear the screech of the tires. I feel the smooth hard cold bonnet as my body crashes against it. I hear the crack in my neck. Slowly I roll off the car and crash onto the pavement. Real blood rising into my mouth. And I think, this is it. This is the change, the something different I had been waiting for. My heart slows. All goes black around me and I wish to god I had stuck with my spiky court heels. Who rides a bike in spiky heels.

Yogi the Orangutan vs. Pedro the Tiger

What a day in the wrestling world! The two arch rivals Yogi the Orangutan - a German reared in Berlin and famed for his flexibility and endurance - and Spanish Pedro, with his handsome demeanour, smooth talking style with the ladies and claws tougher than steel nails, are going to clash once more.
For many months Yogi has been consigned to second place, he has cowered beneath the bed but he hasn't been lazy, he has trained hard, refined his technique - the crowd all have eyes for the underdog today as he makes his way to the mattress soft training ring. You would think the soft ground makes it easier for our dogged contestants, but in fact, it just makes balance and core strength a very key component to this fight.
With his many years of yoga training, you would think Yogi a shoe in for winner every time. But his long limbs fail him. The flail around and Pedro's stouter body has always fared him well in previous fights.
They're waiting for the ref, pumped and eager to begin the first round.
She arrives, her red fair falling about her shoulders, they both draw a breath as she enters the ring.
Round one has begun!
The pair stalk around each other, Yogi on his knuckles, Pedro's lean powerful shoulder muscles working. Yogi makes the first blow, tossing Pedro towards the wall of the ring. Here he collapses with a thud.  But he's up again, takes another blow from Yogi. This is not a good start for Pedro, has he become cocky with his previous wins? And Yogi has him round the waist, but Pedro is fighting back, he has Yogi off him, has whacked him hard in the face with a claw - that must've hurrrrt. And another whack from Pedro, throwing Yogi almost clear out of the ring! After a great start Yogi is suffering now. Can he hold on for round two?
The ref signals the end of the round by rolling into position for round two. The pair retire to their seperate ends of the ring. Yogi can barely hide his frustration for coming in too fast. Pedro is worried, he shouldn't have allowed his opponent such an open hit straight away.
Round two has begun!
The two storm towards each other with such ferocity! There's no hesitation this time, no sizing each other up - oh look at that blow from Yogi straight to Pedro's chest. Pedro wastes no time in retaliation. Oh, this is a close match! Pedro's stout body is once again faring him well but the strength in the long limbs from Yogi is incredible - how can Pedro fight when Yogi has him all wrapped up in his arms and legs? Just one playful smack from Yogi's giant hand would kill a human man. But don't underestimate the strength of Pedro's teeth and claws, he could rip Yogi's chest apart if Yogi drops his defence for just one second...
And there's the end of round two!
This is a match that could go on all night. Actually, it does. Every night.
For Yogi and Pedro are teddys that sit on the bed pillow of a woman in her 20's. (Apart from when the boy stays, they they are safely tucked away under the bed.)
Every night they battle to retain pole position on her bed. If the woman had any idea this was occuring next to her flame haired head while she slept she would be outraged. But she has no clue, she sleeps soundly as they wrestle away. The one or two times she has awoken and seen them, she has put it down to yet another odd dream.