Monday, 18 June 2018
Paul’s fascinated by genealogy, he’s managed to trace the McGladdery line back to 1630. ‘What, half past four??’ the local vicar quips, munching on some beef jerky. Paul’s investigations of his own ancestors hasn’t revealed anything or anyone you’d consider colourful. He glances over at Gaynor, she’s guffawing at the Daily Star problem page, occasionally muttering ‘dirty gets’ and sniggering to herself and then offering to read the offending article to the vicar. ‘I bet there’s some rum buggers in that gene pool’ Paul thinks. He knows Gaynor’s father is Kieran O’Wilson, who hails from Skibbereen in County Cork. Gaynor showed Paul a photograph once and they share the same flame red hair and Norse features. Needless to say, Gaynor hasn’t seen Kieran for many years, he returned to Ireland after his conviction for bigamy in the early ‘80’s. Gaynor’s mother, Queenie, still floats around the village, often claiming to be Gaynor’s older sister rather than her mother. She performs at the Conservative Club every Friday, it’s not a formal booking, more of a case of her leading the singing and dancing with Kevin on the organ. Ultimately, during her performance of Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies’ she starts to undress, egged on by the vicar, the Bishop and the Church Warden, who are all sat round the same half pint of bitter. Thankfully Kevin always keeps his dog’s blanket by the side of the organ, to throw over Queenie should the show go too far. When Paul mentions her mother to Gaynor, she rolls her eyes and quickly stubs out her Park Drive ‘She’s not asked you for money again has she?’
Friday, 15 June 2018
Paul’s toupee has always been a sensitive subject, the poor soul lost the majority of his hair at an early age and he’s attempted to disguise his baldness ever since. On a number of occasions, Gaynor has suggested to Paul ‘Shave it all off, that’s what all the cool guys do.’ Paul just laughs in response, ‘Fancy that’ he says ‘imagine the shock old Mrs Dixon at the fish shop would have, she always comments what a fine head of hair I have’ he adds with pride. Gaynor stares at him in amazement........’She’s taking the piss Paul, didn’t you realise?’ she laughs ‘everyone knows about your syrup, just like everyone knew about Frank Sinatra’s rug.’ ‘Frank Sinatra worn a toupee???!’ exclaims Paul in disbelief, ‘Really Gaynor, you do have some funny ideas.’ ‘I thought you worn it for a laugh’ says Ed Sheeran, whose sat trying to tune his guitar, ‘like Morrissey and his hearing aids.’ ‘Morrissey’s not deaf???!’ says Paul now almost shouting ‘then tell me’ he asks rhetorically ‘why does he sing like that!’
Thursday, 14 June 2018
Gaynor and Pixie Lott monopolise Paul’s bathroom these days. Over the last few months, it’s become littered with girl’s paraphernalia, like scented candles, clean dry towels and bottles and tubes of brightly coloured potions that make it smell ‘like a bloody tart’s boudoir’ as the local vicar eloquently puts it. The girls have also asked Paul to fix a lock on the door; the vicar ‘accidentally’ barging in on Pixie because he’s ‘desperate’ for the toilet, seems to happen all too often. ‘You’re desperate for something, you mucky old get’ laughs Gaynor, giving him a Chinese burn, a dead leg and a poke in the eye for good measure. Sometimes there’ll be a blood curdling scream, when a massive hairy spider is discovered proudly holding court in the bath. Thankfully both girls are too scared to try and wash the magnificent beast down the plughole and Paul is called in to catch the intruder in a pint pot and release it onto the window sill outside. During these episodes Paul will sing the refrain to ‘Born Free’ by Matt Munro, followed by ‘There was an old lady who swallowed a spider, that wriggled and wiggled and tiggled inside her...’ ‘Dick.....’ mutters Gaynor to Pixie, pulling heavily on her Park Drive.
Wednesday, 13 June 2018
Only Paul has his own bedroom now. The local vicar and Ed Sheeran share and they have bunk beds that Gaynor found in a skip. Pixie Lott shares the master bedroom with Gaynor and her huge wardrobe. It’s the room with a lovely view over the park and it just fits two double beds at a squeeze. Ed doesn’t like sharing with the vicar, if he’s not snoring and farting like an old sow wriggling in the bottom bunk, then he’s up and down twenty times a night taking a slash. The vicar’s also prone to sleepwalking and regularly, he’ll deliver the Eucharist and sing ‘All things bright and beautiful’ and other popular hymns, whilst stood on the toilet seat, which serves as his pulpit in the land of nod. In true farcical style, the vicar often returns to the wrong room while sleepwalking and on the first occasion Pixie woke up in bed with him, it was after a heavy night on the blue WKD. Fearing the worst, she spent the whole morning (in between vomiting) begging Gaynor to confirm that she and vicar hadn’t become intimate. Gaynor like a true friend, kept her guessing and extracting the ‘Michael’ until Jeremy Kyle came on, then she lost interest and told her the truth, just to shut her up.
Tuesday, 12 June 2018
It’s Monday and Paul’s at home listening to Woman’s Hour. The local vicar hasn’t surfaced yet, but he rarely does before lunchtime during the week. Around 11am, there’s a knock on the door, it’s Gordon, the Council’s truant officer. He’s a regular visitor to the house, it’s common knowledge that Gaynor, Pixie Lott and Ed Sheeran, will often be found here when absent from school. ‘Morning Gordon’ says Paul inviting him in, ‘Tea? Milk no sugar?’ ‘Yes please Paul’ he replies, ‘any sign of the three amigos today? They haven’t turned up at school since Thursday and it’s an important exam year for them’. ‘Have you tried down the precinct Gordon?’ suggests Paul, ‘I often see them busking outside Rumbelows. Ed plays guitar, whilst Pixie dances and Gaynor chases the punters down the street until they pay up.’ ‘Ah! What sort of a career is music’ scoffs Gordon ‘when will these kids ever learn, eh Paul?’ Paul reminds Gordon they both played in bands back in the late ‘70’s and whenever Gordon’s down the Dog and Gun a bit worse for wear, he’ll reminisce about the best time of his life with the band to anyone that’ll listen. During Paul’s lecture, Gaynor, Pixie and Ed walk in. ‘Surely you won’t make us go to school now Gordon?’ questions Gaynor. Gordon looks at the young musicians and sees his own young hopes and dreams reflected in their eyes. ‘Ok’ says Gordon. ‘If you all turn up tomorrow, I’ll turn a blind eye.’ As the cheering dies down the vicar comes in wearing just his underpants and socks, ‘What’s the celebration?’ he says, quickly looking round for an open bottle of fizz.
Monday, 11 June 2018
When Paul’s busy at one of his charity meetings, Gaynor’ll take over the kitchen duties and prepare the evening meal for the waifs and strays that hang around Paul’s house. Thankfully, she attended school on the day the home economics teacher covered ‘boiling the kettle’ so it’s naturally, Pot Noodles all round. Gaynor prefers the original flavours like ‘Chicken & Mushroom’, though she never uses the little sachet of soy sauce, ‘it’s minging’ she’ll say. Pixie Lott and Ed Sheeran are a little more adventurous and Ed always opts for the Bombay Bad Boy, to impress the ladies with his ability to eat hot exotic foods. Gaynor leaves the washing up to the others, ‘well, you shouldn’t have to cook and clean, should you?’ she’ll reason. Enviably the empty pots are left for Paul to collect and recycle. It wouldn’t be that bad if there wasn’t a healthy serving of dimps, sweet rappers and snotty hankies in each one.
Friday, 8 June 2018
Paul’s in the Barnardo’s shop, next door to Rumbelows. There he’s found amongst the rails of pre - love paraphernalia, an almost new Harris Tweed sports jacket. It transforms his look completely, he seems slightly taller, younger, marginally slimmer and perhaps a little more handsome and virile. He parts with the asking price making sure he’s sufficient money left to buy Gaynor’s Park Drive and beef jerky and sets off down the high street. Back at home there’s something different in the air, Gaynor wouldn’t normally notice Paul, even if he walked in the room on fire, whilst dressed in drag, with an inflated condom on his head. Today however, he catches her eye, she can’t quite put her finger on it and she’s unsure why she’s staring, ‘you had a hair cut?’ she enquires through a mouthful of the newly acquired beef jerky. He smiles coyly enjoying the attention and walks into the kitchen where there’s a similar experience with Pixie Lott, who stumbles even more through her usual ‘likes’ and ‘init’s’. The local vicar clocks what’s going on and as soon as Paul takes the jacket off, he’s nabs it, after all if it can turn that frog into a prince, imagine what it can do for a stud like him. The new blart behind the bar at the Dog & Gun better watch out!
Thursday, 7 June 2018
Gaynor’s rummaging through one of her old suitcases and comes across her ballet shoes. Instantly she’s transported back to the cold autumn of 1981 and her audition for the Royal Tameside School of Ballet. Her potential as a ballerina had been spotted only months prior to this, whilst working as a dinner lady at the local secondary modern. Randolph, the old Russian school caretaker, who claimed to have danced with the Moscow State ballet, noticed her form and grace as she dished out chocolate pudding and mint custard at lunchtimes and encouraged her to audition. As Spring turned to Summer and she trained hard under Randolph’s tutorage, a wild and passionate love affair raged between them, despite Randolph being 40 years her senior. Tragedy stuck however, only days before the audition, when Randolph was found dead in Gaynor’s council flat. The cause of death was stated simply as ‘exhaustion’. Gaynor picked herself up and with a heavy heart, but with the spirit of Randolph to guide her, went to the audition...............but failed to gain entry. It subsequently transpired that Randolph wasn’t Russian and had never danced professionally. He was originally from Rotherham, real name Clive and had trained as an undertaker’s clerk. He was described by his sister at the funeral as a ‘wild fantasist’ who never settled in one place too long. Gaynor put away her ballet shoes and vowed to never speak of this time until now, when she was quoted as saying ‘Ya wha’ he’s bin on about?’
Tuesday, 5 June 2018
Paul’s delighted to have been asked by the local tourism board, to write a small piece about some of the best places to visit in the village. Word soon gets round and Gaynor and the local vicar are already suggesting to Terry at the Dog & Gun, they’ll guarantee a mention of the pub in Paul’s article, in exchange for a few pints of snakebite accompanied by rum and black chasers? A couple of hours later and it doesn’t take much for Pete at Kwik Save to part with 40 Park Drive in exchange for a mention of the most cosmopolitan supermarket in town. He’ll do anything to outdo that new Lidl five minutes away. Finally, it’s two large cod and chips plus a saveloy on the side for Gaynor from the ‘OMC! - Oh My Cod!’ chippy, all free of course thanks to the tourism board. Back at the house, Paul’s giving Ed Sheeran his weekly guitar lesson and Pixie Lott’s struggling with her biology homework, not helped by the Bishop creeping her out with his offers to explain the human reproductive system. ‘Yo! Paul, my man!’ shouts the vicar attempting to high five Paul as he enters the room, ‘shouldn’t you be writing your article for the local tourism board?’ ‘Well, the funny thing is’ starts Paul, as camp as ever, ‘the man at the tourism board had mixed me up with another Paul who writes for the ‘Local Chronicle’ so there’s no article.’ ‘Shit.........’ exclaims the vicar, much to the surprise of the Bishop.
Friday, 1 June 2018
It’s late Wednesday and everyone’s crowded around the three bar electric fire bought second hand from Help the Aged. Ed Sheeran’s brought with him two Watney’s Party Sevens. He’s found the vintage tins of beer in his dad’s garage under a tarpaulin, next to the ubiquitous magnolia emulsion. The cans are briefly inspected for ‘best before dates’ followed by a few of moments uncertainty before the local vicar’s craving takes over and he steams in punching holes in the places recommended by the manufacturer. Both the girls Gaynor and Pixie Lott, turn their noses up at the offer of free beer, they’d rather drink Paul’s home brewed rhubarb wine, despite it tasting like a blend of ‘Um Bongo’ and Ethanol. As bringer of the bounty, Ed gets to dish out the ale and as usual with those unfamiliar with these 1970’s products, most of it ends up on the floor. ‘Oh well’ thinks Paul ‘I was going to clean the carpet anyway, where’s the ‘Shake ‘N’ Vac’?’ For the rest of the day, the ‘Shake ‘N’ Vac’ TV advert is on constant replay in everyone’s head.