Rosey's cycle of disasters!

Rosey was cycling along minding her own business, when an elderly lady staggered into her path. Rosey swerved to avoid her and as result got into an uncontrollable wobble just as she was about to descend a steep hill.

An approaching motorist was forced to take avoiding action which startled a passing pedestrian whose enormous dog dragged him into the bushes.

Rosey continued downhill unable to stop. She tried using her feet to assist her brakes, and the metal studs on her heels sent a shower of sparks flying out behind. A drunk on a bench dropped his can, and rubbed his bleary eyes convinced he was witnessing an alien landing.

Still unable to stop, Rosey hit the kerb and somersaulted over the handlebars landing in a flower bed which was being sprayed with water by a gardener. He quickly turned the hose away, and showered a young family who were, until then, enjoying a peaceful picnic in the park.

Rosey grabbed her hat, adjusted her muddy jeans and scrambled off to retrieve her bicycle from where it landed in the duck pond. Unfazed by the assembled crowd which looked on open mouthed, some dripping wet, she mounted her cycle and tried to make as dignified an exit as she could.

Unfortunately the front wheel, once round, was now egg shaped and although it still went round, it caused Rosey to bob up and down as she set off down the road. Once again the hill took control, and Rosey found herself travelling at breakneck speed with brakes which no longer functioned. Up down, up down, up down.

And then it happened. She rounded a corner and there in front of her was a truck with its tailgate down forming a ramp - up which Rosey shot!

She found herself her in the middle of a stack of open black sacks filled to overflowing with waste food on its way to the pig farm.

Rosey never got over the events of that day. She never cycled again, and she gave up bacon.

Rosey does twitching

My friend Rosey and a couple of other teachers went bird spotting with her class of ten year olds the other day. When she was first told she was to take the kids ‘twitching’, she panicked a bit because she thought it was something to do with social networking, and whilst she is an occasional user of Facebook she’s never really got to grips with a medium that only allows her to express herself in just one hundred and forty characters! She was very relieved to be told that being a twitcher is nothing like being a tweeter!

The children had been told to wear clothes that were not to colourful, as they needed to blend as much as possible with the surroundings. Rosey remembered she had a camouflage jacket somewhere in her wardrobe; she bought before she did her voluntary service teaching in Africa thinking it would make her less likely to eaten by wild creatures. Anyway, she said  it was so good that when she searched for it last week, she couldn't find it!

Those of you who are familiar with Eastbourne will know that at the western end of the seafront there is a steep grassy slope which rises six hundred feet to the summit of the chalk cliff known as Beachy Head. Rosey’s school sits at its base, and the lower slopes are home to all kinds of interesting feathered fowl. Skylarks and chaffinches, swallows and sand martins. Rosey led the group with a bird spotting book in her hand and a pair of binoculars to her eyes.

There are also rabbits, millions of them up there. Rosey was pointing out a hovering kestrel when her foot suddenly descended into a rabbit hole much the amusement of the children. Her situation caused even more mirth when she extracted her foot minus her boot! Fortunately a couple of eager volunteers managed to extract it for her, and they carried on their way.

Rosey, ever thoughtful, packed some sandwiches for the expedition. Around lunchtime she seated the children and her colleagues in a circle and handed out her little triangles of bread cheese and ham. In retrospect it was not such a good idea. The other birds which inhabit that region are of course seagulls and they are more than a little partial to a sandwich and fearless when one comes into sight. One of the perishers swooped down and helped itself to a sandwich straight from the hand of a little girl who immediately went hysterical.  Then the other kids joined in, throwing their sandwiches as far away from them as they possibly could. This was followed by a frenzy of activity from other gulls which flapped and fluttered around their newly acquired banquet. Gulls squawked, kids screamed and Rosey flapped her arms and shouted ‘shoo-shoo’!

Needless to say, the trip was abandoned. It wasn't the most successful expedition the school has conducted, but it certainly will never be forgotten.

Rosey on parade

It was the town’s carnival last weekend. The procession is always a lengthy affair and can become a little boring after watching hundreds of folk in home-made fancy dress parade past, and floats which are supposed to depict something but you can’t make out quite what! Thank goodness for my friend Rosey. At least the spectators at Newsome Road roundabout had something to laugh about! I’ll tell you why in a moment or two.

I should explain that Rosey was charged with organising a troop of marching fruit and vegetables on behalf of her allotment society. Not actual fruit and veg you understand; making a cabbage march would be a feat beyond even Roseys creative capabilities! No, the allotment holders were dressed in homemade outfits which were supposed to resemble human sized apples, runner beans, parsnips, beetroot and the like. Rosey was a carrot. She made her outfit from an orange sheet of cloth sewed into a point at the bottom. However she hadn't completely thought it through because its design seriously impeded her forward progress making it necessary to shuffle rather than walk. She died her face and hair green and wore a sort of spiky green fascinator on her head to suggest the foliage bit. Because her outfit limited her speed, the ‘allotees’ gradually found themselves getting more and more left behind by the front half of the procession, as were the various bands, floats and marchers behind them.

Anyway, when she and the rest of the snaking convoy got to Newsome Road roundabout, the preceding half of the march was out of sight and Rosey was faced with a choice of five exits from the roundabout to choose from. As you’ve probably already guessed, Rosey choose to lead the half-mile pageant up the wrong road seemingly oblivious to the fact that there was a sudden dearth of roadside revellers to cheer them on. Lester the Lettuce soon realised what had happened and ran to catch up with Rosey, losing a leaf on the way. Unflappable as ever, Rosey simply raised an orange arm in the air, finger pointing skyward and began to make a circular motion with it, at the same time starting on a 180 degree turn with everyone following behind. The road was a little narrow, so when the Bagpipe Band was walking north and attempting to pass the float piled high with elderly folk from the Serenity Home for the Bewildered which was still going south, there was a moment of utter confusion. There ensued a battle of walking sticks and drum sticks, but after a couple of minutes it was all sorted out and Rosey once again found herself leading everyone in the right direction. She decided it would be prudent to tear open some of the stitching at the root end of her costume in order give her legs a new found freedom in order to make longer strides thereby allowing the rear end of the procession to speed up. It worked for her, although some of the poor people behind her, notably old Percy the Potato and the musicians of the Wallingsea Silver Band, found themselves breaking into a trot to keep up. Unfortunately the band member’s breathlessness had something of a detrimental effect on the music they were attempting to play.

I am pleased to report that by the time the front half of the procession was turning into the carnival arena, Rosey and the marchers of the back half had caught up, and were extremely relieved to have the chance to stand still for a while and get their breath back.

The good news is that Rosey and the allotment holders won a prize. Not first prize, but a prize nonetheless. They got the coveted runners-up cup in the Groups and Societies category along with a cheque for the princely sum of 40 Guineas, which I believe translates to £52.50 in today’s money.

The rest of the afternoon was great success. There was much dancing, a dog show and a falconry display amongst other attractions. Ice cream was in huge demand and Rosey held court in the beer tent where she relaxed over a bottle of ice cold Chardonnay with our circle of friends. I wonder what she’ll come up with next year?

Rosey blows an egg

My friend Rosey, in her role as teacher’s assistant was sitting alongside Miss Burton who was telling the children in her form about eggs and with gloved hands was carefully handling some samples she'd borrowed from the Museum of Natural History. Not the type of eggs you eat of course - although I suppose you could – but rare eggs and big eggs and strange coloured eggs. When I say Rosey was assisting, she was not actually able to handle the eggs themselves. Given her propensity toward accidents they would have been safer in the hands of the nine year olds than they would be in hers.

Miss B explained to the kiddy-winks that the eggs were empty because they had been what they call blown’. Well, Rosey remembered that many years ago she had been shown how to blow an egg so suggested out loud that she would show the children how it was done. A very nervous Miss Brown suddenly had a premonition of impending disaster, but her objection to Rosey’s scheme was overruled by 25 excited students! She was to bring some eggs to school and amaze her audience!

That evening Rosey carry out a trial session. She got an egg and stuck holes in both ends with a cocktail stick, and five eggs later she was successful in keeping one in its original oval shape rather than reducing it to a fistful of slimy shards! Then she blew with all her might through one hole and the contents shot out the other one just missing the mug she'd intended capturing it in and splodging itself onto her cat Scruffybutt's back. Being a bit of a contortionist, the white ball of fluff managed to reach the mess with her tongue, and if she could have smiled she probably would have because she clearly enjoyed it! Rosey decided that was test enough to confirm she still had the ability to ‘blow yolk’ as she used to call it.

Fast forward to the following morning. Rosey is surrounded by excited children and a nervous teacher. She carefully pierced holes in both ends of her little hen’s egg. It went silent. Not a peep from the kids. If ever she needed a drum roll it was then! Suddenly Mrs Brown chirped ‘Are you sure this is wise Miss Pinkerton?’  ‘Of course Miss Brown, trust me’ said Rosey. The number of times Rosey had used those words formed a line up in Miss Brown’s mind!

The sound of laughter rang through the school. Just as Rosey was beginning to blow through the hole little Mickey Smith went behind her and stuck his fingers in her ribs. The extra effort brought on by her sudden jerking movement produced a hurricane from her lungs and through the shell. A jet of slime shot high in the air and landed unceremoniously on the cheek of an already nervous Millie Moore who been sitting away from the crowd with her eyes closed and her fingers in her ears as if expecting an explosion!

When the laughter stopped and Millie’s tears had turned to smiles, Rosey triumphantly held up the empty shell and declared the experiment a success! So pleased was she, that she suggested carrying out another of her old tricks which involved soot, water,a plastic bag and a tyre pump. Miss Brown didn't even give her the chance to explain what might have entailed!

Rosey helps Mr Harrington find his wife

I popped into Tesco’s the other day and bumped into my friend Rosey. When I say bumped into her, that’s not completely true – actually she bumped into me! Yet again she was wandering around the supermarket with her wretched mobile phone in one hand whilst the digits of her other hand prodded the screen to send yet another text to yet another person also wandering around in a similar glazed-over state somewhere else. I can’t remember if I told you, but Rosey wants to start a campaign to get local councils to wrap padded sleeves around lampposts and signs so that pavement tweeters don’t injure themselves when they collide with them.  She got the idea after hearing that temporary scaffolding across pathways is legally required to be softy swathed in order to comply with Health and Safety regulations. Having said that, she walked into one of those the other day and did herself major damage – she broke a finger nail! So far she’s got six people to sign her petition so she’s well on her way. I should add that I’m not one of them – I’d have the pesky things totally banned in public spaces!

As I was saying, we were in Tesco’s and one of Rosey’s neighbours, a Mr Harrington wandered up to her looking a little glum. Rosey immediately sensed something was worrying the old fellow and asked if he was OK. He replied by saying that he’d lost his wife. ’Ah’ said Rosey, ‘I bet she’s over by the bakery counter; Mrs H is very partial to a cream doughnut with her afternoon cuppa!’ ‘No Rosey my dear’ said Mr Harrington clutching her hand, ‘She’s gone, Gladys.. has.. gone’. Rosey asked if he’d rung her sister or any of her friends. Apparently she had a habit of wandering off sometimes, some age related problem according to Rosey. I thought I’d interject at that point as Rosey clearly had not cottoned on to the fact that Mrs H was now the late Mrs H; she’d popped her clogs, gone to a better place, joined the angels. (I didn’t use those clich├ęs of course!) . Rosey was duly mortified when she realised she had misunderstood what Mr Harrington was actually trying to tell her. Then with a huge grin she suggested we all go over to cafeteria together for a cup of tea and a cream doughnut as a mark of respect. I just wanted the floor to open up under me!

After Mr Harrington had tottered off, feeling a little more depressed than he had a few minutes earlier, she mentioned to me that she was a little concerned about a worrying condition she had developed. I asked what was troubling her and she slipped her flip flops off (try saying that after a couple of beers!) to reveal – well, her feet! She pointed down to them and asked my opinion on some brown spots that had recently appeared. On closer inspection I noticed that were perfectly spaced and formed a pattern Also the ones on her right foot were a mirror image of those on her left. ‘Rosey’ I said ‘Have you been wearing your Crocs in the sunshine?’

School starts again tomorrow and so Rosey’s long summer recess comes to an end. For all her funny ways, Rosey is a treasure, and the little kids in her class love her to bits – as do all her friends! 

Like Rosey Like!

If you've been following  the escapades of My Friend Rosey over past few years you will know that she works as an assistant to a schoolteacher with a class of twenty or so bouncy nine and ten year olds. You will also be aware that when she ‘gets down with them’ as she calls it, she often reverts to childhood herself which is why she is so popular with her charges. The trouble is, she gets so involved that she often picks things up from them. I don't mean coughs and colds, although that does happen occasionally. No, I mean for instance ways of speaking. Just recently she has adopted the irritating use of the word ‘like’ as an embellishment to every sentence she utters. She goes (sorry, I meant to say she says - even I'm at it now!) ‘I was like doing this and like this happened and I’m like…….’ Grrrrr! I reminded her that according to the Oxford English Dictionary the primary use of ‘like’ is as a preposition meaning similar to. She then screwed up her nose, put on her sourest expression and told me I was getting old! The cheek of it! So I said to her ‘do you like like licking lollipops andlike lemons like?’ It fell on stony ground!

The other irritating thing she’s picked up is the growing use of the word ‘so’ when starting a sentence. This I think she has picked up from media commentators on the telly. I said to her ‘So, do you still like to like sew?’ She grinned at me and told me I was a so-and so. I guess I had that coming!

Anyway, I've been meaning to tell you that she’s got a new boyfriend. We've not met him yet. You may recall a couple of years ago I mentioned the time she excitedly told us about a new beau who she claimed was a barrister. We were all very impressed until we found out he was in fact a barista at Starbucks!  Not that there’s anything wrong with that you understand, it just that… well, you know!  Now her new chap is apparently a pleasant enough bloke in his early forties. We don’t know much more about him yet, but we'll start probing soon and I’ll report back to you. She told us that he is a conductor. Bearing in mind the confusion I described above, I thought I should establish straight away whether he waved a baton or checked tickets on a train. He is in fact, in his spare time, the former and has recently taken the post of leader of the Rosey’s choir! What his actual full time job is, the one which pays the bills and buys Rosey’s chardonnay, we have yet to find out mainly because Rosey doesn't seem to know herself! She said she asked him and it sounded so complicated that she just nodded knowingly and promptly forgot!

This weekend five of us are meeting in Rosey’s allotment shed for a drink and a chat, so we may find out more then - provided that is, the floodwater has cleared and the shed re-joins terra firma! I’ll keep you informed!

Rosey drinks an oil slick

The thing I look forward to most when returning from holiday is finding out what amusing antics my friend Rosey has been up to in my absence. As soon as I got home I called Jonni for for an update. Once again she hadn't let me down!

At our local, The Bicycle Arms, there are several colourful characters that put things in their drinks. For instance, there’s Big Bob who likes a packet of crisps with his drink and always, when he’s finished eating them, he pulls out his false teeth and rinses them in his beer. Then there’s Glass Eye Tony who is worried that someone will steal his drink when he goes to the loo and so he pops out his false eye and drops it into his pint.

Well, apparently the other day one of our friends, Helen, helped herself to Rosey’s drink whilst she was on one of her frequent visits to the toilet. (What she gets up to in there is a mystery; surely no one needs to pee that often) It was not deliberate of course. Helen was having an animated conversation as she often does, and she inadvertently picked up Rosey’s wine and downed it to lubricate her hard working vocal chords. Anyway, Helen did the honourable thing bought Rosey a replacement. A while later Rosey felt the need to trot off to the toilet yet again and in order to hold on to her chardonnay, she decided to take a leaf out of Glass Eye Tony’s book; not actually a leaf, but a pink petal plucked from a plastic flower in the middle of the table which she dropped into her glass. A couple minutes later she returned and took a swig of vino without looking down completely forgetting the hazard floating on its surface which needless to say ended up lodged in her throat. Well, to cut a long story short, the whole gang took her off to the A&E department at Eastbourne District General hospital where it was removed.

Actually Rosey has a history of putting stuff in her drinks. She likes champagne but refuses to pay what she considers to be too high a price, so she sometimes drops an Alka Seltzer  into her white wine to make it fizz; not so much water into wine, more wine into champers! But the oddest thing she did drinkwise was in an Italian restaurant where several of us were eating pizzas, and as usual Rosey sprinkled quite a bit of hot chilli oil onto hers as she likes things spicy. On that occasion she thought it would be fun to put some in her wine. Well the effect was something akin to an oil slick floating on the surface, but undeterred Rosey took a mouthful. This resulted in a fit of violent coughing which she tried to quell by gulping down water straight from a jug on the table. A waitress approached to offer assistance and Rosey turned to face her, coughed, and squirted a jet of water from her mouth all over her! This of course set off a bout of hilarity all around, and a giggling Rosey started belching uncontrollably making a funny situation even funnier. Then she tried to speak and the resultant sound bore a remarkable similarity to the voice of ET!

Now I come to think of it, my friend Rosey has a bit of a history of drinking incidents. Not so long ago she almost choked on a tea bag which she forgot to remove from a brew. Then there was the time she made me a mug of coffee, but inadvertently used gravy granules instead of Nescafe which produced a somewhat acrid concoction.  I also remember her putting sea salt instead of sugar in a drink on one occasion. You may recall me telling you about the time her mother came for a meal. Her Mama doesn’t approve of Rosey drinking even though she’s thirty four, so she put a generous slug of vodka into a bottle of spring water in the hope her tipple would go unnoticed. She put into the fridge for safe keeping, but unfortunately when her mother went to get herself some water, she found herself swallowing Rosey’s guilty secret after which a rather dramatic episode occurred! It wouldn’t have been so bad had Mother not been tee-total! That was the first and only time Mrs Pinkerton has ever been seen inebriated!

I’m going to hers for a drink at the weekend. Let’s hope it will be less eventful than of late.I have this fear of one day being poisoned and ending up in quarantine!