‘Let’s go for a Chinese!’ says Tom in a true triumph of hope over experience. There’s only one Chinese restaurant anywhere near us and both the decor and the menu are seriously in need of a revamp. However, with our long-serving Dyson becoming the latest victim of the appliance apocalypse sweeping (or not in the case of the Dyson) through our house, we feel in need of, well not a treat exactly, but a change of scenery.
No surprises at the restaurant; everything about it is reliably dreary, although the evening livens up when the man on the table behind us does a runner. That is, he fumbles for his walking sticks and hobbles slowly out the door without paying. Having tasted the sweet and sour pork I can understand why. So, it seems, can the staff because it takes several minutes before a waitress sets off after him.
Although the meal’s a little less than bog standard, there’s nothing wrong with our pot of jasmine tea which arrives with a couple of fortune cookies. I’m a bit wary of fortune cookies since my dad decided, a few days before he died, that he fancied a Chinese takeaway. It wasn’t a huge success since he only managed to swallow a couple of microdots of prawn toast before having to admit defeat, but our falsely jolly evening took an even bigger nosedive when I tried to cheer him up by reading his cookie fortune. ‘You are in a very difficult place,’ it said, ‘but this will pass.’ Tonight, mine predicts that, ‘You will be called to fill a position of high honour and responsibility’, which is happier if a bit worthy.
I wish someone could tell me what’s going to happen with our house move which has been dragging on forever. I do know that I’m very grateful to Preseli Mags who’s kept me sane in all kinds of ways, offering emotional support and practical advice. I’m slightly more sceptical when Mags suggests a bit of space clearing could sort out a spot of bother, nevertheless I decide to try a small experiment by space-clearing my desk which has become unusually cluttered. And here’s the really spooky thing; before the exercise, the paperback of Turning the Tide was at 58,000 on Amazon (not that I check these things... much) and I didn’t have a berludy clue what to do on the WIP, then, once my desk was clear, Turning the Tide shot up to 19,000 and I wrote 700 words. Ooh-er!
My short story, Charm’s Way, which appears in the latest edition of ‘Your Cat’ magazine also involves transformation and, maybe, a little bit of magic. I was particularly charmed, however, by Mary Kilvert’s illustration accompanying the piece. Mary’s blogged about her work here, and you can see the illustrations both for my story and that of Jane Wenham-Jones which appeared in the previous issue. Thanks for the link, Mary, I look forwards to working with you again.
Painting is 'Totem Gymraeg' by Tom Tomos