Thursday, 21 September 2017

A curtailed diary of a new motorhome owner.

The day I won the lottery was the day I’d taken the cat to the vets. She’d had all her jabs and I’d even had a certificate saying she was healthy enough to be taken abroad. A pussycat passport, provided ‘free of charge,’ by the vet who had just fleeced me half a month’s wages for the moggy MOT. I had no intention of taking Bosscat abroad, but it was nice to know I could if I wanted to. 
It wasn’t a real life-changing amount, the lottery win, not the vet fees. We were not talking millions. But, it was a welcome injection of cash into a bank balance that had been severely lacking equilibrium. In fact, it was enough to make one of my bucket list dreams come true. 
You see, I’d always wanted to buy one of those luxury motorhomes and travel around Europe; free to go wherever I pleased at a pace that suited me. And now with two hundred thousand British pounds in my account, I could happily take six months off work and get on the road. And thanks to my new cat passport, I could take Bosscat with me. 
Ellie was a beast. (Is it wrong to call your new five-ton motorhome after your ex-girlfriend?) It had all mod-cons, shower, toilet, two TVs, oven, satellite dish, loads of storage, triple lock security and a steering wheel that could convert to left or right-hand drive. To be honest it was nicer than my flat. Maybe six months could turn into forever. 
And it might have to, my boss had not been best pleased. I thought she’d be glad to see the back of the whinging, demotivated, barrel of frowns, but apparently, I’d become indispensable all of a sudden. I gave her an ultimatum, six months off, or I quit. As I started my journey, I had to get used to being unemployed.  
Day 1.
We set off at 7 am. Bosscat curled on the passenger seat, me feeling like the king of the road in my airline type, driver’s seat. Exploring Wales was first on my agenda. It was shocking how little I knew of my homeland. I headed up the A470, the road to heaven, stopping regularly to marvel at the view and to allow the beauty to take my breath. Bosscat slept most of the way, occasionally jumping down to use the litter tray or have a munch of food. I turned off the SatNav and turned left or right on a whim; exploring the mountains, lakes, and reservoirs. I had a bacon butty from one of the many snack vans dotted around the laybys. Then I headed down into Swansea and along to Mumbles and Caswell Bay, where I intended to set up base for the night. 
Spaghetti Bolognaise, red wine, the sunset over the Bristol Channel and Bosscat purring gently beside me. This was the life. 
Day 2
The next day I was up with the lark again. The birdsong, made me feel at one with nature as I lay awake in my gas-guzzling machine. I walked along the beach, feeling the cool sand between my toes as the sun introduced itself to the new day. I considered stripping off and running into the sea but there was a chill in the air so I turned and began to trudge back to the van. 
That was weird, there was smoke coming from the van. More than smoke, flames. Flames leaping into the air, the van was burning down. 
“Bosscat!” I shouted as a ran towards the van but the heat beat me back. “Bosscat.” 
I stood there staring at the flames. Everything I owned of any worth was now crackling and melting in the heat of the fire. Including the lovely Bosscat. A tear ran down my cheek. 
“Meow.” I looked down and saw my cat brushing at my legs. I bent down and picked up my moggy. 
“Looks like the dream is over, whiskers,” I said. 
“Meow,” she replied. 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

One

Harper bit down on his pencil and watched as a seagull drifted on the breeze against a melancholy blue sky. Despite the sunshine, it looked cold outside and the few people Harper could see were wrapped in coats and scarves and even the occasional hat. He examined the bite marks in the pencil, and then put it back between his teeth and bit on a new part of it, he wondered if he’d been a chipmunk in a previous life. 
He could hear the couple next door going at it. She was yelling at him about something or other whilst he was defending himself, with lame excuses and apologies. A cup or glass smashed against the wall and the word bastard yelled. 
Harper bit on a virgin bit of pencil, half his brain wanted the shouting to stop. It took him back to his own childhood when he used to hide under his covers as his parents verbally destroyed each other before a crisp crack of skin on skin followed by a slammed door would signal the end of the argument. Then gentle sobs would disturb the silence.  Harper would lay there wondering if to go down to comfort his tearful mother, but he never did. Instead, he wrapped the duvet around his ears and forced himself to sleep. Then, one day the door slammed and never reopened. But this time, it was his mum who had gone. 
The other half of his brain was quite happy to hear the argument next door progress. Don would never lay a finger on Maria, but he would slam the door and disappear for an hour or two. 
“Get out, get out you bastard,” he heard Maria yell. 
Harper watched as Don stormed away, getting his phone out of his jeans pocket, no doubt dialling the lover that had caused the argument in the first place. Harper put his pencil down and went to the bathroom where he took a mouthful of Listerine, he swilled and swished and spat, noting the traces pencil paint in the sink. Then, he opened his front door and went into the bedroom and waited. 
It had started six months ago after the first row. He remembered his sobbing mother and decided that he couldn’t leave another woman in tears, so knocked on the next door to offer a shoulder to cry on. Maria had trembled in his arms and left a wet stain on his t-shirt but then she kissed him. Apparently, revenge was a dish best served passionately. 
He heard the front door click and then felt the warmth of Maria’s body on him. He returned her kisses and fumbled with her loose clothing. Soon they were one. 

Don't forget, my two novels, Maggie's Milkman and Extraordinary Rendition are both available to buy as physical books  So, if you fancy owning one of my novels, click on the links below and get your credit card out :-). Signed copies available from the author. 

Maggie's Milkman
http://www.lulu.com/shop/gareh-davies/maggies-milkman/paperback/product-23248753.html

Extraordinary Rendition.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/gareth-davies/extraordinary-rendition/paperback/product-23248768.html

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Shanghaied

A short little something I wrote in my writers' group last night. An explanation at the end. 


A shrill sting at the back of his head and a dull ache at the front. A churning down below that couldn’t end well. Flick’s brain swayed like a gentle swell of a retreating tide. He tried to remember the night before, the raucous bar, the singing, Maggie sitting on his knee whispering promises to be delivered on condition of one sovereign bright. He tried to move his head but the pain shot through his skull as he remembered the constant flow of ale being brought by the young daughter of the innkeeper. Flick had crossed Maggie’s palm with the gold coin and they’d gone up stairs, ready to celebrate his first night back on dry land.  But that’s where the memories ended. The bit he most longed to remember was the bit that couldn’t be reclaimed. Had he passed out before he’d got value for money?
His nostrils filled with the stench of piss, sweat and vomit, he could hear groaning, was it his own? He wished the world would stay still for a minute so he could gather his thoughts. Clammy flesh touched his arm, was it Maggie? Too hairy for Maggie. A moan came from somewhere to his right. Flick prised his eyes open, total darkness suffocated him. He fought the nausea, swallowing hard to keep the contents of his stomach down. The constant motion wasn’t helping. but it was familiar, too familiar. Flick sat up and screamed a hoarse scream. Others moaned around him. In the gloom he could pick out seven, eight, nine other bodies. He didn’t have to remember now, he knew. He’d heard the stories but always thought they were made up by the clergy to discourage able seamen from temptations of the flesh. A door creaked open.
“C’mon you good for nothing scoundrels,” the men around Flick moaned and squirmed as buckets of water were thrown over them. “no more of your lazing, there’s work to be done.”


Background to the story.  

In 1861, Cardiff was a major dock, the population of Cardiff stood at 49000 people. While there were 420 prostitutes working in the Butetown area. 1% of the population of Cardiff were prostitutes. Many of these women were employed by crimps to drug or thug their clients who would wake up out to sea. This process was called being shanghaied.  

Don't forget, my two novels, Maggie's Milkman and Extraordinary Rendition are both available to buy as physical as well as ebooks books  So, if you fancy owning one of my novels, click on the links below and get your credit card out :-). Signed copies available from the author. 

Maggie's Milkman
http://www.lulu.com/shop/gareh-davies/maggies-milkman/paperback/product-23248753.html

Extraordinary Rendition.


http://www.lulu.com/shop/gareth-davies/extraordinary-rendition/paperback/product-23248768.html

Monday, 11 September 2017

It's Back

After 9 weeks away, I am bringing back the blog, but it won't be quite the same. It won't be every day, but a more ad hoc offering. With different things, some story telling, so fiction, some topical poems, some rants, some critiques, some diary entries. I suppose I should change the name of it, but I tried that before and it was a disaster.  

I'm starting with a topical poem. 
Saturday night was the last night of the proms but it courted controversy as this story explains. 




Last Night of the Proms
We’ll sing Land of Hope and Glory
We’ll wave our Union Jack
We’re celebrating Britishness.
Now we’ve got our country back.

We’ll belt out Rule Britannia.
We’ll rule the waves once more.
We’re making Britain great again.
Like we think it was before

But wait a minute, what’s this?
that’s not red, white and blue,
You can’t go waving that in here,
old chap, it just won’t do.

This isn’t time for Ode to Joy,
the Euro flag can’t fly.
you upset the Daily Mai brigade
You’re making Nigel cry.

How can you be a patriot
and wave that evil rag?
This is Brexit Britain, 
so wave the Union Flag.

Don't forget, my two novels, Maggie's Milkman and Extraordinary Rendition are both available to buy as physical books  So, if you fancy owning one of my novels, click on the links below and get your credit card out :-). Signed copies available from the author. 

Maggie's Milkman
http://www.lulu.com/shop/gareh-davies/maggies-milkman/paperback/product-23248753.html

Extraordinary Rendition.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/gareth-davies/extraordinary-rendition/paperback/product-23248768.html

Friday, 4 August 2017

Stories from around the world 3

To replace the blog this month I am going to post occasional videos called Stories from Around the World. These are me practising my storytelling skills. They are not the finished article and were all done in one take. But they are quite fun and something to fill the void while the blog is on its holidays. Feel free to leave a comment, or suggestions.  
This story is from Vietnam it's called the Star of Thanh Hoa.




Don't forget, for the next 5 weeks, my two novels, Maggie's Milkman and Extraordinary Rendition   are both going to be available to buy as physical books from a company called Lulu. So, if you fancy owning one of my novels click on the links below and get your credit card out :-). If you would like a signed copy, for ten pounds each, contact me. 

Maggie's Milkman
http://www.lulu.com/shop/gareh-davies/maggies-milkman/paperback/product-23248753.html

Extraordinary Rendition.
http://www.lulu.com/shop/gareth-davies/extraordinary-rendition/paperback/product-23248768.html

Friday, 21 July 2017

Stories From Around the World 2

To replace the blog this month I am going to post occasional videos called Stories from Around the World. These are me practising my storytelling skills. They are not the finished article and were all done in one take. But they are quite fun and something to fill the void while the blog is on its holidays. Feel free to leave a comment, or suggestions.  

This one is from Wales and is called the Fairy Walking Stick, I must admit the end is a bit ropey.:-) enjoy. 

oh oh oh 
Don't forget, for the next 6 weeks, my two novels, Maggie's Milkman and Extraordinary Rendition   are both going to be available to buy as physical books from a company called Lulu. So, if you fancy owning one of my novels click on the links below and get your credit card out :-). If you would like a signed copy, for ten pounds each, contact me. 

Maggie's Milkman
http://www.lulu.com/shop/gareh-davies/maggies-milkman/paperback/product-23248753.html

Extraordinary Rendition.
http://www.lulu.com/shop/gareth-davies/extraordinary-rendition/paperback/product-23248768.html

Now enjoy the story. 

Friday, 14 July 2017

Stories from Around the World

To replace the blog this month I am going to post occasional videos called Stories from Around the World. These are me practising my storytelling skills. They are not the finished article and were all done in one take. But they are quite fun and something to fill the void while the blog is on its holidays. Feel free to leave a comment, or suggestions.  

The first one is fro Japan and is called The Monkey and the Wild Boar and it is from Japan.



Don't forget, for the next 7 weeks, my two novels, Maggie's Milkman and Extraordinary Rendition   are both going to be available to buy as physical books from a company called Lulu. So, if you fancy owning one of my novels click on the links below and get your credit card out :-). If you would like a signed copy, for ten pounds each, contact me. 

Maggie's Milkman
http://www.lulu.com/shop/gareh-davies/maggies-milkman/paperback/product-23248753.html

Extraordinary Rendition.
http://www.lulu.com/shop/gareth-davies/extraordinary-rendition/paperback/product-23248768.html