Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Boxer and the Hoop Hoop.



More adventures of Carol and Bev

The house is cool and the light curtains move pleasingly in the breeze.

'Look at that!' says Bev, dreamily, from her comfortable bed.

'What's the matter!' Carol pulls the duvet quickly over her head.

'Blue sky!'

'Eh?' Carol relaxes for a moment and then adds, 'What about the incessant barking of the neighbours' brainless bloody boxer?'

A volley of barks sounds nearby.

'All morning, mark you! "Woof, woof, woof...and...woof".'

The dog confirms the pattern of Carol's complaint.

'I suppose-' Bev begins, still contemplating the view.

'Don't say anything nice! I know what you're going to say. "It's not his fault. He's just lonely. He's seen a cat! He just wants a walk."  I'm going round there to sort it out, and you can come, or not!  What's French for "dog" and "kill"?'

'Shall I make some coffee and get some croissants?  There's a boulangerie on the corner.'

Carol grunts heavily.

Outside, some children start a ball game against the wall of the house.

'What? Jesus! What's that?' Carol sits up in bed. She has mascara on her cheek and her hair is flat against her head on one side. She goes to the window.

'Oi! Clear off! Go away! Get lost!'

They stare up at her and smile.  One of them says: 'Bonjour Madame!'

'Bonjour les enfants!' Bev leans out of the window and Carol goes off to the bathroom in disgust.

Bev hears the front door open as she finishes the coffee and puts the croissants on a plate.

Outside, Carol chases away the children, who squeal in delight. Then she advances on the boxer.  There is a woman of indeterminate age and developing corpulence holding onto a child which has inherited its mother's pug nose and sullen expression.

'Good morning! Are you the owner of this dog?' Carol says, in an unmistakably belligerent tone.

The woman does not understand and scowls at the English girl with the flat hair and blackened face.

'Ah, bonjour Madame!' Bev arrives. 'Nous sommes en vacances juste à côté.'

The woman does not reply.

'Tell her I'm going to poison her dog if-'

'Je m'appelle Bev et mon amie s'appelle Carol.  Enchantée!' Bev puts her hand out.

The woman turns and goes back into the house. A moment later, a man comes out. He smokes a cigarette in an aggressive manner and stands in the doorway to the house, his chin jerking up, once.

The dog barks.

The child wails.

'It's like The Good, The Bad and The Bloody Hideous,' whispers Carol.

Bev is undaunted.  'Bonjour Monsieur!'

The man steps forward and puts a hand on the gate. He takes the collar of the boxer in the other and lifts the latch.

Still he does not speak.

There is a moment when the threat of violence is tangible..

'A la prochaine!' says Bev, jauntily, taking Carol's arm and leading her away at a brisk pace.

'What did you say to the ugly bastard?'

'See you soon!'

They got to the house and hooted with laughter.

'Let's hope the latch on that gate holds!'  says Bev.

'Plan B...Got to have one,' says Carol.

Bev sets the tray down on the garden table and tries to decide between strawberry and raspberry jam.  Carol fidgets for a while and then settles.

'They've stopped now,' she says, helping herself to butter and staring at a hoop hoop. 'Never seen one of those before...'

Bev grins, knowing the danger is past.

If you like this, you'll like Bunny on a Bike (Links at top of page).  Thanks for looking:)

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Bev and Carol go shopping in France

BUNNY ON A BIKE  http://tinyurl.com/7zv4vy2

This is not an extract from my book Bunny on a Bike but it is typical of what Bev and Carol might get up to.

Bev and Carol go shopping in France.

'Why is it never the right temperature?' Carol hitches up her long skirt.

'What do you mean?' Bev smiles at the passers-by.

'How can you not understand that? Let me explain: it's always too hot or too cold. Never just right.'

'What? Look! A Brocante! Shall we have a look inside?' Bev goes into a junk shop, saying  a jolly 'bonjour' to the man with the moustache, who is standing in the doorway minding his own business.

Carol follows, snarling quietly.

'These lamps are nice. I like the green one.' Bev shows Carol a very ornate brass oil lamp with a pretty glass shade, which is cracked.

'Buy it then! No sense in missing a bargain. The world is crying out for broken oil lamps.'

'I might just get it. Such a lovely colour!'

'You already said that. Anyway, do you know how to say "oil lamp" in French?' Carol grins.

'I won't need to, will I? I'll just hold it up and say "C'est combien, s'il vous plaît"'

'What does that mean?'

'How much is it, you silly tart!'

'He won't like being called a silly tart, I shouldn't think. Probably knock you out with it.'

The man slides towards Carol and Bev.

'Vous-avez trouvez quelque chose Mesdames?' His teeth are startlingly irregular.

Carol eases herself behind Bev.

'Oui, Monsieur. C'est combien?' Bev beams.

'Ah! English? You are from England!'

Bev is disappointed.  She wants to practise her French.

'Oui, nous sommes anglaises.'

'I see. You like the lamp? It's very ancient. Beautiful.' He gazes at the lamp and Carol fidgets.

'Saw you coming!' she whispers.

'Oui, Monsieur. Je voudrais l'acheter,' says Bev, stepping on Carol's foot.

'Does that mean "how much for a broken lamp"?' Carol nudges Bev in the back.

'No! Not broken. Just small, how you say? Scratch! Is art! One hundred years old!' The man gesticulates dangerously.

'Should be dirt cheap then!' Carol hisses.

'I make you a good price. A good price for the beautiful English ladies.' He fingers his moustache.  'Thirty euros!'

Carol stifles a snort.

'Bien! Je le prends, merci!'  Bev replies.

'You could get a new one for that!' Carol says

The owner puts the lamp into an old plastic bag and wishes the girls a 'bonne journée'.

'What does that mean?' says Carol, tripping up on the step.

'It means: "fuck off out of my shop you silly tarts!"'

'Oh? Shall we get a baguette, then?  I'm starved.'

If you want to read more about Bev and Carol's adventures as Playboy croupiers please spend your 77pence on BUNNY ON A BIKE at Amazon  http://tinyurl.com/7zv4vy2 And may all your bargains be as gratefully appreciated!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Bev and Carol meet an unscrupulous landlord (extract)


BUNNY ON A BIKE by Bev Spicer (memoir/humour)

This is an extract from my book.  Carol and Bev meet an unscrupulous landlord.

Carol rang the bell.  A woman of about thirty-five with curly, strawberry blonde hair and freckles opened the door.  She was wearing baggy yellow trousers and a cheesecloth shirt, bangles and bracelets and lots of rings. We were not expecting any of this. 

‘Hello.  What a lovely day.  You must be Bev and Carol.  Please come in.  Watch out for the cat.’  She jangled when she moved, like my auntie Vera used to.  She wasn’t a real auntie.  I mean, she was real, but not my auntie.

We stepped over a ball of happy, black fur and waited politely in a large spangly hallway.  It was a house where the cat would be more important than us. There were mirrors and tapestries, a glass lamp on a shiny black table engraved with elephants, a Buddha carved in wood and standing almost three feet tall, and a framed proverb hanging above it that said: ‘Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.’

‘Oh, don’t mind that.  Adil thinks we should constantly strive for spiritual fulfilment.  My name is Ursula.  Pleased to meet you.’ We shook hands and I bowed. 

‘I like your house.’  I blurted, in the short confused silence that followed.

‘Yes.  It’s not bad, is it?  Would you both like a cup of tea?  The lounge is through here, I won’t be a sec. Make yourselves comfortable.’

The lounge was sumptuous, with sofas thick with padding and strewn with silky-bright cushions.  Exotic paintings in colours rich enough to make you squint hung on the walls; expensive looking rugs layered the floor and adorned the walls and a large stone fireplace of intricate design housed a roaring log fire.  It was light and cosy and I wondered whether we would be kidnapped and sold as slaves to rich Indian men who wanted a bit of western promise.

‘Weird,’ Carol whispered.

‘Yeah.  Like some kind of palace.’  I whispered back.  Carol raised her top lip and rolled her eyes. 

‘Shall we sit down?’  I suggested in a more normal voice, now that I remembered we were alone.

‘She said to make ourselves comfortable,’ Carol said.

We sat on the edge of the largest sofa.  I could feel the muscles in my buttocks tensing so I did a few pelvic floor exercises.  Shame not to. I had read about what happened to women if they neglected to maintain their intimate muscles. Ursula returned with a tray of tea as I was in mid clench and I smiled serenely as she carried it towards us.

Carol and Bev in France

 Bunny on a Bike (Carol and Bev at Playboy)

This is not an extract, but it is the kind of conversation Carol and Bev might have.

 Carol and Bev in France

There is a nice garden with hollyhocks, sunflowers, roses and decking.  There is a large table and benches for eating outside. 

'This is great, isn't it?' Bev breathes in the ozone and coughs.

'If you like rain!' Carol looks up at the clouds with a small sigh.

'Lets look inside.  It said there were three bedrooms.'

'It said the average temperature in mid July was 32 degrees!' Carol follows her friend inside the maison charentaise. Their holiday home for the next three weeks.

'The kitchen is okay. Look! There's a fridge, cooker, sink...' Bev says.

'No! Really?' Carol heads for the stairs and cracks her head on a beam.

Bev says nothing.

Upstairs, the largest bedroom has orange floral wallpaper and wooden floors that bounce. The window looks out over a graveyard.

'Lovely! So peaceful! And look - the neighbours have chickens!  Maybe we can get some eggs for breakfast?'

'This isn't Little House on the Prairie! Anyway, how do you say "Can I have some eggs?" in French?'

'Erm. Let's see. Ummm. Okay. "Puis j'avoir quelques oeux s'il vous plait?" '

'What does "errr" mean?'

'That's French for eggs.'

Carol gives Bev one her looks that says 'you are making it up'.

'So... you can have this room if you like,' Bev smiles.

'Okay. What's the French for "There's an enormous spider on your head"?' 

(Carol and Bev are friends. They love each other. Find out what happens to them when they get a job at Playboy in 'Bunny on a Bike' - link at top of page.)