Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Kissed Bethan twice

Back of GWAWR’S car. GARETH and EMYR don’t wear seatbelts.

GWAWR You two okay back there? You’re awful quiet.

GARETH Yes Mam. (To EMYR.) Go on, what did she say?

EMYR Nothin’, she just ‘eld my ‘and…

GWAWR ‘Ow’s your Auntie Brenda, Emyr, after ‘er operation?

EMYR (Deadpan.) Fine thank you Mrs Hughes. (To Gareth.) Oh my

God, Gar, it was amazin’.

GARETH Is she a good kisser then?

EMYR Yeah, she fuckin’ a…

GWAWR (Loudly.) Emyr Thomas! Did I hear you swearing?

EMYR No Mrs Hughes! (Sniggers.)

GWAWR (Smiling.) Lucky for you I didn’t then, isn’t it?

Friday, 8 December 2006


Julie watched him run into another great defence line, bob on his toes like a cat and sail through the lot of them with the ball still in his hands. The whole school cheered and the sound made the hairs on her neck tingle as if from cold, and then he scored the try right between the posts. The cheering was now like a solid object, warming the pitch between the teams and Gethin was right in the middle of it, being carried like a blonde trophy on their shoulders.
His dimpled smile reached her and she waved, he blew a kiss and smiled even harder. Somehow that just made it worse that he wasn’t hers. She was desperate to just touch those small ears, press her nose into his dimpled cheek and have him press back. She had watched him so many times, observed how his hair changed colour from the back to the front; the short back of his hair was almost gold and ever so slightly curly, but when it came to the front, into that little quiff, it was a light brown shot through with more gold. His neat eyebrows were the same colour, but his eyelashes were dark brown and long like a girls’. Julie had imagined them sweeping down across her cheek so many times, imagined cupping that handsome face with her hands and kissing it. She sighed.
Last time he had stayed at her house after an argument with his Dad; she had dried his tears, made him tea and watched him off to sleep. She had curled her fingers through his hair, smoothed his forehead and gently rubbed his earlobes until she’d made tears of her own. She had felt so wretched about that beautiful boy sleeping in her bed that she had gone to sleep in the spare room with Mr Bear clutched to her chest, the little toy’s head wet through from crying.
The worst part was that he’d already told her he loved her, that she was the best friend he’d ever had. Julie hadn’t known being told something so lovely could hurt so damn much. She’d been that great friend though, looked after him and comforted him – made it through the day without longing for him, waiting for him to change. Another sigh as the crowd cheered again, she didn’t bother squinting to see where he was, she was already looking at him in her head; watching his long legs stride across the muddy field, perfect pink lips breathing white clouds out into the cold air.
Everyone thought they were going out with each other, even his parents. It was a small town and it wouldn’t do that the school’s star rugby player was actually gay; he should have a girlfriend who watched him play so he could blow kisses to her from the pitch. Julie stamped her feet against the autumn breeze, gazing up at the clouds and laughing silently; she hated watching rugby.

Saturday, 11 November 2006

I call myself Daddy

I call myself Daddy
as I push him down the street.
We stop to buy apples and I let them
admire him, act proud when they say
he looks like his Dad.
I worked out the dates though
and there’s no way he’s mine,
I was in France, didn’t come back
that month. Couldn’t have done it,
not from France.
I think he knows, just three months
he knows, he’s a clever little thing.
We’ll wait, we will,
and soon we’ll go.

Monday, 11 September 2006

Andy’s white chocolate and raspberry loaf


250g plain flour + extra for dusting
3tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
175g raspberries
100g white chocolate roughly chopped
1 large egg, beaten
175ml milk
100g granulated sugar
60g butter melted + extra tbsp for greasing


1. Grease a loaf tin sparingly with melted butter and dust with flour, shaking off the excess.

2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt – and make a well in the middle.

3. Mix milk, egg, and sugar together, then pour into the well.

4. Add the chocolate and raspberries and mix together all the ingredients. DO NOT over mix. Just give it four or five good mixes with a spatula to form a wet batter. It adds to the texture if it isn’t mixed together properly.

5. Pour into the prepared loaf tin, and put into a pre-heated oven (gas 4/180 ◦C/350 ◦F) for about 45 minutes to an hour – or when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Should be really golden and well-risen when ready.

6. Remove from oven but leave in tin to cool slightly (about 10-15 minutes), as the loaf will be delicate when hot. Turn out on to cooling rack and leave to cool. Really nice still warm with custard, or cold the next day with a cuppa.

Friday, 4 August 2006

Andy’s Roman Honey and Cinnamon Cookies


200g wholemeal or spelt flour
100g runny honey
100g sunflower oil
1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp grated nutmeg (optional)
1 tsp ground ginger (optional)
Few grinds of black pepper (optional)

Makes about 12 – 16 cookies


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 5). Oil a baking sheet with some sunflower oil

2. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and combine into a soft dough.

3. Roll into walnut sized balls and place on oiled sheet, flattening slightly with the palm of your hand.

4. Bake for about 8 – 10 minutes.

5. Leave to cool on the sheet.

6. Make a cup of tea and stuff your face.

Friday, 21 July 2006


The lights came on at five a.m. no matter how bad your head was, or how tired you were. The first job was to warm the ovens, the sound of the fans inside might have been soothing at any other time, but when it’s gone five and you’ve not had much sleep they’re more like jet engines. Next I had to go to the chiller, drag the heavy, screeching door aside and pull two metal trays taller than me all the way to the ovens; check the LCD displays that the temperature is correct. The cakes and doughnuts only take about 10 minutes to cook, and when the huge oven doors open next the sweet smell explodes outwards.
The cakes have to cool while I tray up the frozen baguettes, scraping my fingers on the hard loaves. You have to be careful not to drop one, a frozen baguette shatters like nothing else can. Once they’re jammed into the bread ovens I have twenty minutes to ice the cakes and sugar the doughnuts, my least favourite job. I hate being covered in jam and cinnamon glaze, and I will spend the rest of the day cleaning sugar from under my fingernails.

Sunday, 21 May 2006

Unrhymed Blodeuwedd

Leaves and green matter filled my throat
As I gasped for air on the morning I was made,

My lungs forced it out. I ripped moss
From my hair and out from behind my eyes.

I stood in a green world blinking daisies
From my vision, dappled meadows instead of sight.

My first exhalation dropped petals on to the grass,
Slow petals, already starting to dry and wither.

Rhymed Blodeuwedd

I was made from the petals of flowers.
Coloured and folded, until the hours

Dragged me awake and I stood in the light.
I was made for a man, not made for life;

Not hunting, feasting ‘til the light falls dim.
Though I had no choice: I chose to kill him.

Friday, 7 April 2006


A line drawn with eyeliner, down through skin
onto mirror. The line crimsons into lipstick,
starts to glitter outwards and spin
like a star. I press myself into it, lick
a sugary path all the way up to the sky.
I won’t wash it away, won’t even try.

Thursday, 6 April 2006

His Trick

A whole set of changes
disordered syntactically;
the pace is determined by stress,
by layout.

Cummings is all childlike - faux-naive innocence.
Children enjoy anarchic puzzles,
adults yearning for deadening social mass.

His trick came off;
Marilyn Monroe was not alone.


A found poem. It's actually about e.e. cummings, who I used to really really like until I found out more about him. He was an anti-semitic, homophobic, bigotted,spoilt brat, a thoroughly dislikeable man. The original article is here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2005/04/16/bocumm16.xml&sSheet=/arts/2005/04/16/ixartright.html

Tuesday, 14 March 2006

My knitting obsession

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibres)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I will knit anything. The cheaper the better, then it doesn’t matter if it fucks up.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
No chance.

3. Do you have any allergies? (Smoke, pets, fibres, perfume, etc.)
Mayonnaise makes my skin go red.

4. How long have you been knitting?
Only a few months.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes of course.

6. What’s your favourite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Vanilla, ylang ylang, dragon’s blood, lemon, cinnamon, clove. In that order.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
All of ‘em.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I love making anything.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s?
I have eclectic musical taste. Classical to hard house, jazz, big band, bubblegum, drum ‘n’ bass, but indie is my true love.

10. What’s your favourite colour? Or–do you have a colour family/season/palette you prefer? Any colours you just can’t stand?
I love all colours, but I love brown more than most at the moment. I also have a navy blue scarf that goes nicely with a brown pinstripe blazer.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Living with partner, lots of plants.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
To be as happy as possible and make lots of things.

13. What is/are your favourite yarn/s to knit with?

14. What fibres do you absolutely *not* like?
Not keen on mega eyelash, unless I’m knitting it with another wool.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Freeform, inspired by Jan Messent.

16. What is/are your favourite item/s to knit?
Scarves, they’re quick and satisfying.

17. What are you knitting right now?
A mohair scarf for my sister.

18. What do you think about ponchos?
I like them, I think they’re good. I need more practice before I attempt one though.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

20. Bamboo, aluminium, plastic?
Metal, or plastic. Never tried bamboo.

21. Are you a sock knitter?
Not yet.

22. How did you learn to knit?
Inherited the knitting gene from my Mam, but didn’t learn until a few months ago.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
Less than a fortnight.

24. What is your favourite animated character?
I love Spongebob Squarepants.

25. What is your favourite holiday?

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Objet d’arte.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?

29. Any patterns you have been coveting, but haven’t bought for one reason or another?
My Mam had just given my some Jean Greenhowe ones – but I get all mine from off of the internets.

30. What are your foot measurements, and what kind of socks do you like? Size 8. Warm socks please, I have very cold toes.

Friday, 10 March 2006


The grey sea heaved in front of them, the slow sound of the waves deadened by the windscreen. Outside the car, rain formed repeating curtains of glittering diamonds swept along the ground in gusts. Dewi clicked the radio on and Amanda quickly turned it off again.
“Why did you do that?” asked Amanda,
“Turn the radio on!”
“Jeez, Mand! I just turned the radio on. It’s quiet, I’m bored.”
“Can’t you just be still and enjoy?”
Dewi rolled his eyes and made a shrugging gesture, meant to indicate ‘whatever’. Amanda knew what he was doing and chose to ignore him, that would wind him up even more, she knew. She was enjoying this, even if they were parked on Aberaeron seafront in the middle of a storm. It was peaceful, and the sooner he chilled out the better.

Sunday, 19 February 2006

There's no one here at the moment

The gate to the keep is open,
ushering only the sun and a few birds,
One perches on the ‘you are here’ sign.

Soon they’ll come with boots and sticks,
up the hill to take pictures of the sea.
They’ll scare the blackbirds away.

Tuesday, 14 February 2006

Mrs Smithfield

The Smithfield family are the envy of their neighbours and friends. There are five offspring, all good-looking and ‘gifted’ in one way or another, and long-married parents who still send each other valentine cards. Susannah Smithfield, the mother, runs the household with faultless organisation. No medical appointment is ever missed, no dry-cleaning abandoned and there is never a gap in the supply of teabags, bread, or shampoo. Her system of automatic replacement even extends to the household pets. When one of the animals exhausts its natural span, she buys a new puppy or kitten a few days later. This is not a sign of heartlessness, it’s the opposite: a desire to fix everything, even sorrow. In years to come, she will look back on this time and wish that she had paused to notice what was happening to her eldest boy.

Thursday, 12 January 2006

Andy’s low-fat lemon drizzle cake


2 large eggs
100g sugar
100g softened low-fat margarine
grated zest of 2 lemons
175g self-raising flour
125ml milk
pinch of salt

For the lemon syrup:
100g icing sugar
Juice of 1 lemon


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4). Brush margarine all over the inside of a loaf tin, then coat with flour; shake any excess out, line the bottom with baking parchment.

2. Put the eggs and sugar in the bowl of the food processor and whiz for 2 minutes. Take off the lid and drop spoonfuls of the soft margarine on top of this mixture, together with the lemon zest, then whiz for another two or three minutes. The mixture should now look like mayonnaise.

3. Add the flour, milk and salt, cover and whiz until the mixture is smooth in texture and even in colour, scraping the sides down with a rubber spatula if necessary.

4. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown on top and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and stand the tin on a cooling rack. To make the syrup, gently heat the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan, stirring until a clear syrup is formed, about 3 minutes. Do not boil.

5. Prick the warm cake all over with a fork, then gently pour the syrup over it, until it has been completely absorbed.

6. Leave until cool, then carefully ease the cake from the baking tin and remove the baking parchment. Keeps 1 week under refrigeration in an airtight container. Freezes up to 3 months.

7. Make a cup of tea and stuff your face.
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