Thursday

Rosey the poet

My friend Rosey is a creature of habit. She has little habits, big habits, funny habits and irritating habits! The only habit she doesn’t have is a nun’s habit! For instance, she has a habit of discreetly burping after eating spicy food. And that is always followed by another habit; she always says ‘Pardon me for being rude; it was not me it was my food’. Recently she was meeting her mate Jodie for an Indian meal. Apparently after a particularly hot curry she released a squeak from a different area! And according to Jodie, an impish smile crept across Rosey’s face and she said ‘Pardon me for passing wind; it was not me it was my vind…..aloo’! 
      She does like to treat us to silly rhymes. For instance, ‘Rabbits mate and pigeons flutter, cows like grass and bread likes butter’. And ‘North south east and west, but for me the south is best’. She often rhymes unintentionally. For instance, she recently saw me after I’d been to the dentist and said ‘Hi Keith, how’s your teeth?’ I couldn't help but laugh!
     Last Friday several of us met for our weekly get together at the Bicycle Arms and I asked Rosey, tongue in cheek if she’d ever considered publishing any of her poems and she took the wind out my sails when she said she already had! Apparently she entered a competition a few years ago and came in the top ten and the winners had their efforts printed in a book. I had no idea. We all started muttering among ourselves about our own literary efforts and we suddenly realised that Rosey was quietly reciting her poem.
      Silence!
      'Summer sunshine rides the breeze
       as sunrays weave their way through trees
      A dappled carpet paints the ground
      With shades of gold and green and brown
       and …..’
     Realising all ears were on her, she suddenly stopped, got up and walked outside. Helen followed her. A couple of minutes later they retuned. Rosey was looking down at the floor. I have no idea what happened. The poem clearly meant something to her that she’s keeping to herself. The look on her face told us that it was time to change the subject.’
      ‘I need to do a survey for work and I’m a bit stuck as to how to go about it’ chirped Helen. ‘It’s a sort of report and I thought that I ought…’
       With that Rosey started giggling. ‘Hey, you’re a poet and you didn’t know it!’ she said. The Rosey we know and love was back!

Holy moley Rosey!

You may recall that my friend Rosey and I share the same birthday; a couple of days ago in fact. Well I was speaking to her a few minutes ago and when I asked her what she did on our big day, she told me she decided to create a bucket list. I asked her what she put on it and she said that only made the decision to do it, and that she hadn't actually done it because she can’t think what to put on it! “Apart from one thing” she said. As no further information was forthcoming I ventured to ask what the ‘thing’ was and she said “Buy a bucket”. So I asked her why she wanted a bucket and she said it was to put her list in. I pointed out that it was only called a bucket list because…then I stopped because it occurred to me that I didn't have a clue!
      So I went on to ask her why she needed buy a new bucket when she’s got a perfectly good one down at her allotment.
      “Two reason” she said. “Firstly there’s a hole in my bucket”.
      “Dear Liza dear Liza” I sang out, and I got one her quizzical looks in response.
      “Yes” she said “I've got a hole in my shed roof too and put my bucket on the floor to catch the drips and when I went back the next day the bucket was empty and the floor was wet. That’s how I know I've got a hole in my bucket”.
      “Dear Liza dear……” I started. She stopped me in my tracks. “You've got a whole lot of holes going on” I said.
     She seemed to ignore my remark and went on to tell me that she wanted a bucket with pink roses on it. I asked why and she said “Duh”. Clearly I was missing something.  “Pink roses. Rosey Pinkerton. Get it?”
      “Got it”
      “Good”
     “About the list” I said.” Have you got any ideas?”
      She said she would quite like to learn golf.
    “And get a hole in one!” I quipped making a reference to our earlier discussion. She said she would like to dress as a man for a day and go to a gent’s loo!
     “And maybe one day go into space” she said.
     “Just be careful you don’t fly into a black hole!” I said. My remark got the silent treatment so I put on my serious face and suggested that a few of us should  meet up at The Bicycle Arms for a  brainstorming session and that’s what we’ll probably do next weekend.
      Suddenly she remembered a joke about a hole. As I've told you before, when she tells a joke she often doesn't understand it herself which makes it all the funnier for the assembled audience. This one however she seems to have got as she giggled all the way through it. She said “A man walked past a hole in a wall. He heard a voice going ‘Eight eight eight….’ He looked through the hole to see where the voice was coming from and got a poke in the eye. ‘Nine nine nine…’said the voice.

Say a prayer for Rosey!

      I saw my friend Rosey last Sunday. She told me she thought she’d picked up a disease of the feet!      “Look” she said as she slipped off her Crocs. “I've got lots of big brown spots”.
      I pointed out that the big brown spots formed perfect patterns and they bore a remarkable similarity to the circular cutouts on her Crocs. Then it dawned on her. “Sun tan?” she said.
     “Yep” said I.
      The reason I met her was to take her to church. I’m not a great churchgoer myself, but Rosey hasn't been for years, apart from when she has been with the children from her school for their carol services and things. I can’t remember if I told you, but the school where she works as a classroom assistant is a church run school. Normally to get a job there you need to be a regular at St Peters or another local church. Rosey is not! But Rosey’s parents are. They are pillars of the community and go to the church every Sunday. They also raise funds and are greatly valued by the Reverend ‘lets-pray’ Lester. Need I say more?
      Well, this week she has to take a group of kids to communion as part of their RE studies. Normally this is the duty of head teacher Miss Grossman but she is indisposed. Rosey was worried that she wouldn't remember what to do, so I said I’d take her for a dummy run so to speak. Incidentally she got into a bit of trouble with Miss G after she told the kids during assembly she was taking them 'God bothering'!
      Anyway, apart from sitting when others stood, and standing when other sat she did pretty well. At one point she nudged me in the ribs and pointed out on the service sheet that gluten free communion bread was available which for some reason tickled her. She then put her hand to her mouth and asked me in a hushed whisper what ‘Sanctified’ wine was; was it like Sancerre? I think she was joking but with Rosey you can never be sure. My biggest fear was that when we went forward to receive communion she would ask if they had any chardonnay! Happily she didn't.
      Well, we got through it and as I write this she is at St Peters with her charges. I’ll call her later and see how it went.

Rosey gets into a bloody mess

      I was having a beer with a few friends in the Bicycle Arms when in staggered a clearly distressed and slightly inebriated Rosey. We all gasped when we saw her. She was wearing a white blouse with a massive crimson stain on the front. We all stared open mouthed. At first she said nothing and neither did we, but then the words starting pouring out. “It’s blood, it’s blood, it’s blood” she screeched as she hopped from foot to foot.
      “Do you want to go have a pee?” asked James as he watched her frantic footwork. Rosey suddenly stopped hopping, adopted a straight face and a mild frown.
      “No” she said, and then reapplied the agonised expression she was wearing seconds earlier. Presumably anxiety was getting to her because she was shaking like jelly.
     I asked her where the blood was coming from and she said she didn't know, then started peering down the inside of her blouse. I asked if I could have a look which in retrospect was  probably not the right thing to suggest as she stopped hopping and gave me penetrating stare. Jenny came to my rescue by suggesting she take a peak. Rosey calmed down.
     “Oh dear” said Jenny “It’s a bit of a bloody mess down there”.
    “Watch your language” said Rosey “this is not the time to start swearing”.
     “No” said Jenny, I meant it‘s ‘bloody’ as in….oh, never mind”.
     James suddenly poked her in the ribs; not hard but enough to make Rosey squeal
    “Ouch”.
   “Sorry Rosey, I was just carrying out a medical examination!” he said, and then he started laughing which was totally inappropriate given the circumstances.
    “Actually, no it didn't said Rosey “But it could have done”.
    James said we should take her to the medical centre for some tests. I reminded him it was closed for the day and suggested we went to the hospital emergency ward instead. Rosey whose constantly changing expression suddenly reverted to serious said she didn't want to pester them. But we all insisted. Fortunately it was in walking distance; driving was out the question as we had been in the pub necking alcohol for a few hours.
     As we walked down the street I asked Rosey where she was when whatever had happened had happened, and she pointed across the road to the Gourmet Grill  and Wine Bar.
      “So you had a meal” I said. Suddenly thoughts began to float around my head. “On your own?” I asked.
     “Yep” she said
     “Did you have any wine?” I asked.
     She said she did and I asked which wine she'd had. “I managed a whole bottle of Merlot…hic.” she said as a satisfied if slightly wonky grin appeared on her face.
      “So you had red wine for a change” me.
     “Yes” her.
     “What did you eat?” I inquired
     “A big fat juicy burger” she said followed by a licking of her lips.
     “And did you have any relish with it?” I asked.
     “Of course” she said “Oooooodles of tomato sauce”
     A few minutes later we were back in The Bicycle Arms with our friends. Rosey had gone to the ladies room with Jenny to clean the tomato sauce from her chest and rinse some of the wine stain from her blouse. We ordered more beers for the lads, something revolting and green for Jenny, and a strong black coffee for Rosey bless her!

Rosey's secret admire - or not!

     My friend Rosey and I met at the Bicycle Inn the other evening. Just a quiet drink, a nibble to eat and a quick catch up kinda' thing. Somebody, a woman we didn't recognise walked in holding a bunch of flowers and went to the bar.  She asked if there was a Rosemary in the pub. Julie who was in the middle of pouring a pint said that there was a Rosey sitting in the window seat and nodded her head in our direction. Rosey as usual was listening to what was going on; she’s always more interested in other peoples conversations than ours! I stopped what I was saying as I was clearly wasting my breath. Rosey who had a fork with a foot or two of dangling sauce-laden spaghetti en-route to her open mouth stopped. I really mean stopped, like she was frozen in time. The spaghetti however decided not to take part in Rosey’s game of statues and slid from the fork and down the front of her crisp white blouse.
      The mystery lady walked over to us.
      ‘Hi, my name is Joy’.
      ‘Hi’ said Rosey.
      ‘Hi’ said I.
      ‘Five’ said the joker at the next table as he raised an open palm in our direction. 
       We ignored him. She sat herself down and apologised for interrupting our meal.
      ‘I’m actually called Rosey’ said Rosey. ‘But I seem to remember the vicar at my christening calling me Rosemary as he flung freezing water all over me’. 
       ‘How do you remember that?’ I asked. 
       ‘Well’ she said ‘It was cold. You’d remember it too’
       ‘No, not the water’ I said ‘how do you remember your christening?’ 
       ‘I was seven’ she said ‘and Mummy and Daddy wanted me to go to a church school so I had to be…done’. 
       ‘OK I get it’ I said. ‘Now Joy, what do you want with Rosey?’
       'I thought you were expecting me' she said 'but it matters not' She then started blurting on about a bloke who was infatuated with ‘Rosemary’. She aimed the flowers in Rosey’s direction. ‘He wants me to give you these; he really likes you a lot’.
       ‘A posey for Rosey’ said the joker at the next table. Once again we ignored him.
      ’He’s smitten with you Rosema…..Rosey, in love in fact. Flames of passion are burning in his soul. The memory of your first meeting forever sticks in his mind and will forever more’ She had suddenly become a full blown actress, her hands held to her heart as she gazed skyward. 
      ‘Whoever he is, he obviously likes you a lot’ I said as I gave Joy a polite hand-clap. ‘So, who is he?’ Rosey looked in my direction and gave me one of her quizzical frowns. ‘It’s not me ‘I spluttered ‘I’m old enough to be your Dad!’
       ‘And that would stop you?’ she said. Then she started listing some of my previous infatuations counting on her fingers as she did. 
    ‘No, no’ said Joy ‘I can’t reveal his identity as he fears rejection. I need to exercise discrimination. All I can say is that he is a handsome and noble creature who sent me to test the temperature and pave his way so to speak’. I got back to eating my ham egg and chips. Rosey nudged me as she felt eating was inappropriate at that moment. Her sudden action sent a fork full of my chips hurtling over to the next table. 
       ‘Can I have some salt for these’ chuckled the joker. We took no notice.
      ‘I have to go and report to your admirer. I can tell that you will just be perfect together’ said Joy as she got to her feet ‘and in a few minutes your beau will be here to introduce himself to you formally’ With that she bustled out.
       ‘Weird’ I said.
       ‘Weird ‘said Rosey.
       ‘Weird’ said the joker.
      As Joy walked out another lady walked in. She went straight over to the bar where Julie was pouring another pint. ‘Hello’ she said. ‘My name is Rosemary. I’m here to meet someone called Joy but I’m a bit late’
      ‘I think we ought to go - now’ I said. Rosey agreed.
      ‘Any chance I can have the rest of your spag boll Rosey babe?’ asked the joker. I just managed to stop her pouring it over his head!

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!