13 Apr

I really don’t get yesterday’s napowrimo prompt: something about a line of nonsense and then a coded poem. My code is very basic and I think you will easily crack it.  The nonsense goes without saying.



Three Words

THree words IS the PRO

per aMount to ProTest that

thiS is not quite Up


my partiCular

street; sadly, no interest,

no sKill; so…up yourS?



I thought I would keep to the spirit of the prompt, however, so there is a line from the dramatic monologue ‘The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God’ by J. Milton Hayes hidden in today’s tale.

I had somewhere to go today. That doesn’t often happen now that the boys can walk to school alone. Some of you may know that I have been job hunting since I graduated – right at the height of the recession; timing is everything – and I have had two interviews and no luck. My biggest problem is fear: I lack confidence (stop laughing if you know me personally; I’m all right once I get in there). There are so many jobs I like the sound of but I might not qualify on one point so I don’t apply because I don’t want to waste their time or mine. My family are becoming increasingly frustrated because they believe I can do anything so long as it doesn’t involve a kitchen.

Consequently, when I was offered the chance to go on what I can only describe as a ‘job course’, I took it. It entails four four-hour sessions per week for four weeks. The idea is to build the confidence of women like me who have been out of the work place for a long time (twenty years in my case); get their cv up to date, that sort of thing. I attended a taster session this morning and I feel rather excited about it. The hope is that we will get a four-week placement (unpaid) at the end of the course and employers will love us so much they will take us on at a fair wage.

I didn’t feel confident or excited first thing this morning. I put on my glasses and the right arm snapped right off. I haven’t had new glasses in over three years and the prescription of my old ones is out of date so I couldn’t even wear them as a temporary replacement.  Besides, I don’t think Deidre Barlow – the Baldwin Years is a good look on me.


I opted for the next best thing: camouflage. I straightened my hair and let it hang over my temples so that no-one could see I only had one arm. Trouble is, it only worked if I didn’t move my head to left or right. Up, down; no movement at all, really. Try waiting at a bus stop angled so that you have to be sideways on to see the oncoming traffic but that puts the morning sun in your eyes – in a southerly direction, I think – and while I don’t want to complain because we haven’t had any sunshine since last June and may not see it again in my lifetime, it meant that every time I turned my head away from the sun or towards the traffic, my glasses slid down my face so that I could only see through the left lens.

I was able to hide the problem during the taster by sitting still as a cat and unnerving the session leader by looking only at her through two solid hours. I was so still that I may have gone into a trance at one point, because I seem to recall Generation X made the coffee while singing Nice Day For A White Wedding and Billy passed around chocolate biscuits.  Not a great idea whilst wearing a wedding dress; and it was too tight for him.

Did you know he was in the movie The Doors, playing Cat, Jim Morrison’s best friend? Me neither.

The Hub and I met a white cat today. We had just settled in the car, with Toby in the back seat, when it walked up to the Hub, liked the look of him, and jumped in, onto his knee. It was quite happily accepting a fuss when it spotted Toby and decided the Hub couldn’t be that nice if he had a dog, and jumped out backwards, never to be seen again (I assume). It was nice to see the way cat and man bonded; sometimes they just do.

Here are some of my favourite cat quotes:

George Mikes A dog will flatter you but you have to flatter the cat.

Jenny de Vries You own a dog but you feed a cat.

Helen Thomson One is never sure, watching two cats washing each other, whether it’s affection, the taste or a trial run for the jugular.

Anonymous Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.

Mary Bly Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you.

James Gorman Cats are the ultimate narcissists. You can tell this by all the time they spend on personal grooming. Dogs aren’t like this. A dog’s idea of personal grooming is to roll in a dead fish.


Did you get the line? It was ‘There’s a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Kathmandu.’  I hope you are not too Nepalled at my inability to write in code; at least now you understand why today’s poem is rubbish.

I first heard the poem one Saturday afternoon sometime around four in the Seventies on the best programme ever made for children’s tv, Playaway. I tried to find a video of Brian Cant reciting it but no luck; as a consolation I have another video for you to enjoy:

Trivia Corner: did you know that Tony Robinson (Baldrick; Time Team) and Jeremy Irons (Brideshead Revisited and one dreary film after another until Die Hard) started out in Playaway?

Here’s the Playaway theme tune, sung by some bloke I’ve never heard of:


I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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