In Future This Blog Will Be Closed On Wednesday Afternoons

In preparation for our house move, I loaded up the car with accumulated garage rubbish and we headed off to the dump (aka “the tip” – official name: Civic Recycling Centre). Damn us if the thing weren’t open.

Lots of other people were caught out too, enough to alert us something was up before we even reached the gates. To be fair to the dump, they’ve always been closed on Tuesdays and there’s a dirty great sign by the gate which says so. The thing is, these days, in England, we’re just used to everything being open whenever we need it.

I’m old enough to remember when shops and stores were closed all day on Sundays and shops would close for Wednesday afternoons, and banks, bless ’em, would shut their doors mid-afternoon, Monday to Friday. Weekend banking? Not a chance.

The thing was that this wasn’t really a problem for most of us as the situation was quite clear. Shoppers had a responsibility to mind the time and, if they missed the shop, they only had themselves to blame. It usually meant opening a tin of something, like it or lump it.

I have noticed whenever holidaying in Wales and Spain – in certain parts, at least – you can’t find a restaurant or gastropub (or whatever the Spanish equivalent of that is) open on a Monday. Sundays is normally dead being the Sabbath, so avoid going on a short break anywhere over a Sunday and a Monday, unless you want to eat McDonald’s.

What’s my (serious) take on this?

Well, for a long while I’ve kind of missed the spirit of the quite Sunday (early closing Wednesday was sometimes a pain in the arse). There was something ineffably calming and peaceful and ordered about Sundays. I mean, it wasn’t ever a religious thing for us but if that’s what it takes, so be it. A sabbath made for man; I quite like it.



Quiller pulled open the drawer of his great walnut desk and withdrew a short ebony tube. Next, he withdrew a squat glass bottle of some dark fluid. I looked up and met that familiar stern gaze. At length, he turned again to the bottle, removing its cap. He picked up the tube and then I noticed it had two halves; with a couple of twists, he separated these to reveal a brilliantly golden triangle at one end. I was fascinated to watch him place this end inside the bottle’s neck and pull on a tiny lever concealed along the tube’s length. He then handed me this tube, minute flecks of blue liquid adhering to its glinting, triangular point.

While I marvelled at the device in my hand, Quiller had slid a large sheet of white paper in front of me. I looked up at him again. He tapped the sheet.

“Please write out one thousand times, ‘I must cease abusing this planet’s resources, either wilfully or mindlessly, for the rest of my days.’”

(173 words)

Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers – Photo Prompt #190

We are all guilty, me too.

I know that “lines” are a universal punishment for kids having watched the opening credits of the Simpsons with Bart writing them on the chalk board before whizzing off on his skateboard. Officially, in my school, it was called “imposition”, and done at home on paper and given in the next day. It was, I think, considered the most lenient and less serious punishment but I would happily have been detained or whacked any day. Lines is a form of prolonged psychological torture.

This week’s photo prompt provided by Yarnspinnerr. Thank you, Yarnspinnerr.

The rules for FFFAW are all explained HERE and please click on the blue FROG button below to read other stories submitted.

A Bit Of Folding

What’s happening to the workplace? Useful things seem to be disappearing. One of these is the common and garden waste paper basket. Once we all had one, under the desk and by our right ankle. Now no more.

Why? Is this a corner cutting cost effective way of shortening the distance travelled by night cleaners, perhaps? And I know this is the age of recycling; communal bins labelled either for Paper, Plastic, or General Waste are dotted about hither and thither; our own shoe leather wear is not their concern.

I make my tea with water from one of those awful Zip taps, never quite hot enough for tea, and although there is a receptacle for used bags, I take mine in the cup back to the desk because I like the full five minutes or more of brewing time. Then I remember there’s no damn bin.

Then that virtual light bulb appears over the old noggin: origami. So I google the art of folding a square bit of paper into a box or shallow tray. Origami fascinates me, though most of it is useless, swans and shit. I wonder if it was the work of some mathematical genius or some crazy trial and error. Though I follow the instructions diligently, my improvised tray looks evident of the latter course; a broken down random mess. Making the creases is easy, it’s folding the corners, turning the flat paper into a 3D box, that confounds me. Every successive attempt looks worse than the last.

Look, this is dumb; it’s only a makeshift tray for a soggy, squeezed out tea bag. It’ll do. When I next pass the big waste bin by the door, I’ll chuck it in. Then I’ll make another, even worse than before.