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Thursday, 1 March 2018


I hardly go out anywhere without a notebook. And what a friend it has been over the years. Over a long period of time, I have jotted down snatches of conversations overheard in the streets, in queues, in waiting rooms and barber shops, on trains, in cafes, pubs and restaurants and all manner of places. They are all true moments. All human.

Some of these snatches have sparked ideas for some writing projects, but they fascinate and amuse me partly because of what I overheard and partly because I have no idea what came before or after the bits I heard.

I am trying to develop this idea having accumulated a substantial amount of material.

Here are a few examples. Make of them what you will:

‘Every Christmas
I send him a long letter.
I think he appreciates it.
He’s in prison, like.
Nothing serious.’

‘He’s had his final last chance.
Every frigging time
he thinks he can waltz back
as if nothing has changed.
No more. No fucking way.’

‘You have rice with it.
Everybody does.
You don’t have chips
with Chicken a la King.’ 

‘You’ll have to come down yourself.
They won’t let me in the bookies
with a babby.’

‘Hey big bollocks,
how’s it hanging?’

‘He has to take it easy.
They found a kink
in his small intestine.” 

‘I don’t think I will
but I know I could.
Maybe I should.
What’s the worst than can happen?’

‘Her birthday present will be a surprise.
It’s not what she wants
but it’s what she’s getting.
She’ll get the hump
but she’ll have to lump it.’

‘Ach, I do miss him.
He used to kill all the spiders.’ 

‘Some nights I think I wear
all the clothes I’ve got,
layers and layers.
I can’t afford the heating.’

‘At the funeral somebody said
that for all his faults
he had lovely handwriting.’

‘I can’t get used to a Great Dane
in the living room.’

‘Can’t believe the number
of orange trees in Seville.”

‘He slammed the door
and cracked the glass
with that temper of his.’

‘Every time you come shopping with me
you turn into an idiot. Go and sit
on that bench over there until I’m finished.’

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