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No Dairy...but all the Opprobrium

  When the committee chair asks about your dietary requirements, then gets passive-aggressive about them... 'We've had quite the trial as you're non-dairy veggishistic. Menu option after menu option from my poor bedraggled - mustn't say lowly - village hall committee handmaidens defunct. Amanda's plainest consomm√© - that would otherwise sing with its going to table splunge of non-pasteurised fuller-fat-than-you'd-ever-suspect Guernsey cream enriched mascarpone. And what price leaving out the dolcelatte bind and yak's yoghurt drizzle from Beth's vegan offal sharing platter? Not to mention that Katrin's traditional paella fails to cajole without its hand of Giant Finn MacCunhaill's crumbling of gouged from between the trotters gelatin swole gelding's testicle steeped Caerphilly cheese. They're needing outreach support. Luckily, the touring scheme is of necessity insured for all fall out from incoming fusspot dietary requirements.

Covid Conspiracy from a Living Descendant of Jack Sparrow

                                                       c. Laura Pink Photography      For Lewisham it was an otherwise quiet evening. So, I went next door to remonstrate with whoever was endlessly strimming. He was handsome, forties, bit of a belly, nicely tucked under beanie. Mowing, actually, outside what had been the Salvation Army old people's hostel. I did the English thing of staring, hands hovering midway to hips, brows in full sardon. 'Sir, yes?' he said. Absolutely self-assured. I bevelled and pretended I wanted to borrow the lawn mower. 'Are you in the harpist's flat?' he asked. I nodded. I'm staying here till my new flat has floors. 'How do you know her?' Suspicious. Did he think I might have broken in, thought I'd mow the lawn, failed to find a mower, conveniently heard one being plied outside...? 'Singing cabaret at the Aldeburgh Festival', I said, then gave myself some site-specific context. 'Whe

My Nan Reading

I wonder what my Nanna Ak, the most avid reader in my family, would have thought of My Tutu Went AWOL?  'Please no on and on in it? Kay gave me a book that started off with grass up a moor and never got off it.' Nanna Ak, dressed in her dinner lady's shallows-blue tabard, would read all day. Beside the gas fire; slurping humbugs; tweaking, smoothing and reparting her hair, seams and hems.  Finishing one library book, immediately taking another from the pile in the grate among the irons, shovels and brushes.  Lots of pink on the book covers - mainly fondant, some rose, occasionally hot when the setting was 'off an aeroplane all exotic abroad'.  She knew she would like a book if she turned to page seventy-six to find doctor and nurse/newspaper mogul and society page name-checker/sultan and Moreland nanny having their first kiss. 'The sultan's eyes were like polished cocoa' - so Nanna Ak added a note of Brasso to her conjured blend of sultan's own myrrh

The Duke of Edinburgh's Favourite Song

 '...the Royal Marine guard on the ship shouted he wished they had shot me in Portsmouth Docks -  and  he confiscated my chocolate HMS Victory canon ball!'   Lovely mention from  The Telegraph about the Trafalgar 200 supper on board HMS Victory with Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh as guests of honour.  Lula, harp, and I performed the Duke of Edinburgh's favourite song.  Hit the link below to hear my version of events on BBC Radio.     Duke of Edinburgh interview begins at 3hrs 30mins

Wurlitzer Only when Practicable

      'After sound check, you have a query out front,' said stage management. I was hosting Showzam in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom. 'Her over there. She's been too difficult even for the circus archivists.'  A woman with a waved combover, in a sequined puffa jacket, nylon culottes and pink trainers. Wafting Lily of the Valley and carbolic.    'You may have seen my quick step earlier to the Wurlitzer.'  Her tone was no-crap librarian.  'Every Wednesday I've danced here since before even my mother passed on. To the Wurlitzer only when practicable.'  She spiralled a wrist at me.   'And I've got my three expected carrier bags.  In this first one: Happy Shopper vodka. Not paying your bar prices. In two - shrimp that were Morecambe-bought, home-self-potted. In three - glad rags. So, I'll thank you to tell me your band's set list. Then I'll decide if or not I'm staying.'    I told her.   She nodded. I watched her step high t