Friday, 29 November 2013

Another Twelve Step Programme

How to Become a Fortune-teller
Another twelve-step programme from the author of:
 ‘How to Start Your Own Religion’

Fortune-teller, psychic, mystic – they all have one thing in common: they all claim to predict the future. There are many reasons why a person would choose this ancient and noble profession.  There are many reasons why most people who choose this profession are women. These reasons are –
  1. You can work from home.  
  2. Clients can be fitted in around the children.
  3. There is no limit to what you can charge.
  4. The money you earn is tax-free.
To be a good fortune-teller you do not need any of the Clairs – clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience – but what you do need is some knowledge of body language and astrology.
Throughout each of the following steps, the pronoun ‘they’ refers mainly to women, as generally men do not visit psychics. When questioned, eight out of ten men admitted to finding the whole business unnerving; thus contributing to the belief that women are the braver sex.
Step 1: Speculate to Accumulate
Visit the mystics in your area. Some will be free, others not. Try them all and study their methods. Do they work alone or use props – the crystal ball, cards, incense? Do they make eye contact or hold your hand? Take no notice of what they tell you, but try to remember what they ask you. Write these questions down – they will be important later on. Here are some examples:
a.      Do you work with your hands?
b.      Do you do a lot for others?
c.       Have you been feeling a bit down lately?
d.      Do you know someone who has passed on?
e.      Do you know someone with the initial M?
Don’t know any mystics? Stop any woman, in any bingo hall, and ask – the grapevine is a fortune-teller’s friend.
Step 2: Knowledge is Power
There are many books on the subject of body language. Beg, steal or borrow one – it will become your faithful companion and will help you get to know your clients before they have chance to get to know you. Do this by making conversation before the reading starts.
Some people are under the impression it is wrong to ‘feed’ the fortune-teller and will not speak during a reading. If your client refuses to answer reform your questions as statements.
Obtain a decent astrology book too and learn the character traits of each zodiac sign. If all this reading seems too much like hard work you can always take the riskier option – forget the books and play it by ear, but this is not recommended for those that would like to make fortune-telling a life-long career: remember a master craftsman takes time to learn his trade.

Step 3: It’s What’s on the Outside that Counts
Decide on an image. You can opt for the Romany look, complete with long flowery skirt, fake tan and too much mascara. Or would you prefer the more sophisticated attire of suit and high heels? Make the decision based on the type of clientele you hope to attract. If in doubt, take the middle ground – a jumper with picture of a cat or a counterfeit Reebok top, and jogging bottoms (this outfit works well when accessorized with a tabard or apron). Cigarette in corner of mouth is discretionary.

Step 4: Mind Your Language
Learn the fortunetellers’ vocabulary and practice your spiel.  People love spiel as much as they like to categorise. By talking the talk, clients will consider you in the same league as Financial Advisors and Pharmacists. Throwing around such words as ‘symbolic resonance’ and ‘residual energy’ will baffle your client and impress upon them that reading the future is a science, not an art.
Step 5: A Rose by Any Other Name
You need a pseudonym. Avoid Gypsy Rose – there’s one in every coastal town – in fact forget Gypsy anything. Go for something exotic such as Madame Zara or Zelda, or Estelle de la Roche; a foreign-sounding name will enhance your credibility.

Step 6: Practice Makes Perfect
Use your friends. The fact that you know everything about them is good. The more info you find out about your clients beforehand the better as this leads to a successful reading and a satisfied client who will be only too eager to recommend you to their friends.

Step 7: Spread the Word
Don’t waste money on costly advertising – self-promotion works just as well. Strike up conversations in bus queues and doctor’s surgeries. Talk about the great mystic you went to see. By the time word gets around, no one will remember it was you that spread it. Don’t forget to suggest that the mystic has done readings for celebrities; this is not lying – didn’t you once tell the singer at your local club she’d never win a raffle let alone X Factor?
Step 8:  Now you’re Ready – Reel ’em in!
The first reading: if it’s Ethel from the next street, you’re laughing – especially if you spoke to her husband that morning and found out she has a hospital appointment on Tuesday. If you haven’t had a chance to do any research, tell Ethel she has a hospital appointment coming soon; chances are she will – even if it’s in ten year’s time no one can say you were wrong. If Ethel flatly denies she will have an appointment – it’s against her religion – tell her it will be for someone close to her.
            If your client is a stranger, look for weak spots – the flicker of recognition in the eyes or the way they perk up when you mention certain subjects such as love or marriage.
            When effecting a reading it is important to remember the six M’s:
a.      Most single people want to know if they will get married.
b.      Most married people want to know if they will have children or if their partner is faithful.
c.       Most old people want to know about their grandchildren.
d.      Most people know someone called John.
e.      Most people know someone with E in their name or a birthday in June so throw out letters and dates more or less at random.
f.        Most people – unless they’ve lived on a remote island in the Pacific entirely alone for at least ten years – will know someone who is having a baby, an operation or dental appointment.
There are of course people who have lived on a remote island for ten years or more – they are called recluses and they don’t often visit psychics.
Step 9:  Money Makes the World Go Round
Arrange your fees on a sliding scale. Poor Ethel lives on her pension so ask for a donation. If your next client works at the Tax Office charge anything from £20 up. Not getting enough business? Imply that you have been in contact with Lady Diana or Albert Einstein. Or that John Lennon has written a song through you. This will be of interest to the tabloid press who will pay cash for your story and give you free advertising.
Step 10: Baubles, Bangles and Beads.
Utilise your props. Jewellery will distract the client and therefore allow you valuable stalling time. Wear at least one large ring and as many chains as your neck can hold – remember most people over the age of thirty watched The A Team and loved Mr T.  and under dim lighting, gold-plated jewellery looks like the real thing. Younger clients will think you are an incredible mystic having made so much money to buy so much bling.          
            Offer the client optional extras such as palmistry (the holding of their upturned hand), crystal ball (place in-between yourself and your client and stare at occasionally) or cards (deal face down in any formation and turn over at random). Add a surcharge of at least 20% to the cost of the reading.

Step 11: The Three R’s – Relax, Remember and Repeat.
Once you’ve built up a database of regular clients, keep notes and tape recordings of what you have predicted so you can repeat yourself on their next visit. As your confidence increases you can sell these tapes to your clients to boost your earnings. By this time you should know your regular clients so well you will not need to fall back on stored information.
Step 12: Call My Bluff
If, at the end of a reading, you hold out your hand for your fee only to have the client shriek, ‘You’ve got to be joking!’ you know you’ve been foiled. There are several tactics you can employ in this situation.
a.       Insist that you are right and advise the client to go home and give the reading time to ‘sink in’.
b.      Use gentle persuasion (with tea or coffee) to show the client how they have misinterpreted your words.                                                                                                If a and b fail:
c.       Blag sympathy by saying you’ve been up all night with a sick budgie.                                 Or
d.      You must have been susceptible to the vibrations of the previous client.                   Always:
e.       Offer a free reading.
f.       If word gets out that you are a charlatan, spend a month living off your earnings in a foreign retreat where you can rejuvenate your powers. On your return, repeat Steps 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A Twelve Step Programme

How to Start Your Own Religion

All religions are man made. Fact. But some are more blatant about it than others. There is no law against founding your own religion. So, if like L. Ron Hubbard  or Sun Myung Moon,  you fancy yourself as an entrepreneur but find Big Business and Capitalism are just not your cup of tea, then this could be the twelve step programme for you.

Step 1.  What do You Reckon?

a.      Establish your doctrine: Do you believe the human race originated on another planet? Do you think we used to be lizards? Do you accept that when we die we are transported to a parallel universe where we will meet our other selves and compare notes? Even if you don’t, just pretend you do.  

b.       Devise your tenets: Every religion has to have at least five tenets. Ten is a popular number. Actually the more you have the more genuine you will appear .: e.g., “We believe we are the one and only true church and who ever shall join us shall have bestowed upon them Marks and Spencer gift vouchers.”

Step 2. A Rose by Any Other Name.

Your Religion needs a name. Nothing is taboo here; just be creative; the more original the moniker the better. Think of such religions as 3HO (The Happy, Healthy, Holy Foundation) and Emin (previously The Church of the Eminent Way). Short and snappy names work best – even The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity are happy to be known as the Moonies.  Also, give yourself a title; something Eastern-sounding, such as, Rehtaf Ymfonos (which spelt backwards reads ‘son of my father’.

Step 3. Promote Your Product

a.         Design a website: There is plenty of free web space available as long as you don’t mind having Bat Cave or Angel Fire images attached to your web address, or adverts for dating agencies and adult chat lines on your home page.

b.         Write a slogan: For example, ‘The Church of Heineken refreshes the regions that other religions cannot reach.’

c.         Make lots of promises that you can’t keep: A religion will attract the interest of potential members by offering them something they cannot get elsewhere. Beside the promise of eternal life, The Moonies offer marriage for all, Scientology offers fame and fortune and The Children of God (aka Family of Love) offers its members the right to have promiscuous sex with strangers without the burden of guilty shame.

d.         Do some Marketing. Fliers are essential. Most will end up on the pavement but your message will be out there and it will reach someone, even if it’s only the road-sweeper.

Step 4. Come and Join Us

a.         Now you need somewhere to preach. This could be outside Boots on Queen Street or East bay at the city bus station. Even outside the public toilets at the rail station will do as long as there is a lot of foot traffic. But it is better for your image if you choose a run down shack just a short walk from a town centre and preferably near a large church.

b.         Advertise in the local press and in shop windows. Appear to welcome people from all walks of life – you can target individual groups and weed out the undesirables when you are better established.

c.         To ensure your venue is full for that vital first meeting, give out leaflets at homeless shelters advertising free tea and biscuits.

d.         Write your sermon and practice it in the mirror or on the dog. Put emphasis on words such as ‘Truth’ ‘Honesty’ and ‘Abstinence is not obligatory’ to draw your audience in. Don’t forget to throw in a few statistics. People love statistics: “Our God saves 99.4% of all members.”

Step 5. Gimme Gimme Gimme

a.         Announce your good works – but always refer to yourself in the third person. E.g., “I helped an old lady across the street” will translate into, ‘We help the Aged’.  “I flipped my cigarette butt at a tramp” becomes, ‘We help the needy’. 

b.         Ask for donations – subtly of course. Use a donation form with tick boxes that range from £5 – £50 this will make donors feel mean if they give any less.

Step 6.  Stay Grounded

Your religion needs a sturdy base. It could be your kitchen or front room. Inviting new members into your home shows them how genuinely humble you are – especially if it’s a bed-sit in a rundown area. Place a collection box in a prominent place with ‘All donations will be used to stamp out ignorance.’ written on it. Do not return anyone’s coat until they give up their small change.

Step 7. Improve Your Status.

By now money should be rolling in and you wouldn’t want the tax man to get hold of any of it. Register as a charity. Then you can put the money away for a good cause (You) and collect maximum interest.

Step 8.  Author! Author!

Begin writing your holy book. It can be a variation on a biblical theme or a complete work of fiction. With a picture of cute puppies or children on the jacket it could be a best seller. Never written before? No problem! See my twelve step programme, How to Become a Novel Writer.

Step 9. Dish out the Dirt.

Employ minions to do the jobs you hate. Make them feel special by giving them titles such as ‘President of the Elders’ or ‘Auditor of the Treasury’. While you take a break in the Bahamas to work on your book of wisdom, let those beneath you keep your affairs in order. Soon you won’t have to bother at all as the Church will practically run itself. You can then concentrate on larger venues, such as football stadiums.

Step 10. Memorise and Mesmerise

Learn hypnosis. Yes, that’s right, hypnosis – speed-hypnosis actually. That is the art of standing before someone and looking directly into their eyes while preaching fanatically. The minute you have their undivided attention, tap them on the forehead and watch them collapse like a pack of cards. Call it healing energy. This works well if you whip your audience into a frenzy before hand. Do this by getting them to swing their arms in the air and chant your name. Background music is optional.

Step 11. Increase Your Credibility

This is where it gets tricky. In order to have your religion go down in the annals of history, and to make yourself look more authentic, commit a sin. Yes, really. Go on a spending spree with embezzled money and flaunt that fur coat and Mercedes Benz. Be seen in a strip-club. Have an affair with a minor.

If sinning is not your thing, then confess to an earlier crime – a stint in prison perhaps or a speeding fine. Whether it’s true or not is neither here nor there, but folk will be drawn to your humanness. People in general do not feel comfortable around those without sin.

Step 12. Take Time out for Reflection

Abandon your new religion. Pass the reigns to the person who believes and trusts in you the most and retire to Spain where you can become a semi-recluse and contemplate your life – in style. Bask in the knowledge that your name will be on many lips for many years to come.

I hope you have found the practical advice in this guide helpful. Remember to follow the steps in order to avoid jeopardising the success of your project. If you should, at any stage, suffer a major setback or insurmountable obstacle (such as press or government interference) wait seven days before starting again at step one. Good luck and may the farce be with you.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Nashelle learns something about snap judgements...

Nashelle is waiting for the bus. She is going to work. A thin lad joins her at the bus stop. He has a carrier bag full of cans of Strongbow cider. He smiles. He has a pleasant face and Nashelle thinks she knows his sister. Another lad lumbers toward the stop. He is overweight with a doughy face and has a carrier bag full of lager and is drinking a can of Strongbow. Nashelle wonders if he is the brother of a chef she used to work with.
The two lads talk about alcohol. Then Doughboy makes a call on his mobile. He talks loudly to a female. ‘I could only get Fosters,’ he tells her. ‘She’ll have to be happy about it,’ he says to Thinboy. Nashelle wonders what kind of girl would go out with that kind of boy.
Dough-boy drains his can and throws it in the bushes.
‘He’s a proper litter lout,’ Thin-boy says. He seems embarrassed. Nashelle wonders if he really did say this or if she has read is mind. She thinks Thin-boy is probably intelligent and wonders why he is wasting his life on booze. She is disgusted with Doughboy and has to stop herself from telling him how bad it is to throw cans in bushes, that little creatures can crawl in them and get trapped, and why didn’t he put it in his pocket until he finds a bin? Nashelle is not pleased to have spent the last ten minutes in the company of piss-heads.
Thinboy and his mate walk away from the bus stop. They look up and down the street, scuff the curb and chat about nonsense. Nashelle looks in the opposite direction and thinks how nice it would be to have her own car and drive to work and not have to come into contact with people like this.
‘Hey, love, the bus is coming.’
Nashelle looks up.
`Doughboy is calling to her. The bus is coming down the hill. Nashelle jumps up from the seat. She hadn’t realised she was lost in thought. Oh god, she might have missed the bus; she would have had to wait for the next one and would have been late for work. She looks at Doughboy lugging his bag of Fosters. ‘Thank you,’ she says.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Last Wednesday

3.00: After work Nashelle stops at Tesco. She phones home and a deep voice answers. Who’s that? she asks. It’s me, answers the voice. It takes a moment for Nashelle to work out that this is Son2 and not her husband. What would you like for dinner? she asks. Corned beef pie or chicken, he says. Nashelle is overcome with love for this young man who knows what he likes. She wants to cwtch up on the sofa with him and watch a film like she used to before he discovered the internet. Nashelle puts her nagging thoughts of free-range and vegetarianism aside and buys a fresh chicken.

On the way home she meets Son1. He is on the way to the hairdressers. Nashelle is overcome with love for this young man standing so tall in front of her. She wants to sit him on her knee and read to him like she did when he was small enough to sit on her knee.

6.00: Dinner goes well: Husband complains about something watery on his plate and Nashelle makes a mental note not to cook pumpkin again; Son2 accuses her of deliberately forgetting that he doesn’t like parsnip; Son1 wolfs food, ignoring his cabbage, and runs back to his room. Nashelle is so happy that the family has eaten together at the table that she decides not to argue over who will do the washing up and does it herself.

7.00: Husband asks if Nashelle minds him watching the football or does she want to watch something else? Nashelle is crocheting a dolls dress for a friend’s niece and says she doesn’t mind. Nashelle is overcome with love for this man who is so considerate. She wants to lie against his bare chest and talk like they used to before the children stopped going to bed early. At half time Husband announces that he’s going to the pub to watch the rest of the game.

8.50: Nashelle watches a repeat of America’s Next Top Model. She likes to see the transformations and the final photographs. Nashelle knows she could never have been a model as she is not at all photogenic. She watches Eat Yourself Sexy. How to increase your libido – salt and sugar are out and pumpkins seeds, oats and lettuce soup are in. Nashelle thinks about oats as she eats a bowl of Maple Crunch with 15g of sugar per 45g of cereal.

11.00: Nashelle’s eyelids are drooping. She goes upstairs and tells Son2 that she is going to bed and to switch off his laptop. She takes a Sleep Aid tablet and reads Fleur Adcock poems in bed. Son1 comes in and says, have you seen the rain? Nashelle looks out of the window and sees a river running down the street. She wonders if it will be like this n the morning and if Son2 should go to school. Son1 goes back to his room and Nashelle tells Son2 to switch his laptop off.

11.40: Nashelle is uncomfortable. She twists and turns. She waits for the Sleep Aid pill to take effect. She is just drifting off when someone clatters into the bathroom and bangs the swollen door shut. Nashelle hears teeth cleaning and then husband appears in bedroom. Do you have to make so much noise? she asks. Husband says it wasn’t him it was Son1. Husband goes out again and tells Son2 to switch off his laptop because he has school in the morning.

12.45: Nashelle is uncomfortable. She twists and turns. She begins to drift off. She might even be asleep. Husband gets out of bed and bumps into wardrobe on way to bathroom. Nashelle hears tinkling. Then nothing. Then more tinkling. Nashelle worries that husband has prostate problems. Nashelle begins to drift off again. Is woken by husband shouting at Son2 to close that laptop down or have it confiscated.

1.00: Nashelle is wide awake. Did you have to make so much noise? she asks Husband. Husband grumbles and snuggles further under the duvet. Nashelle sits on side of bed and puts on a performance worthy of the RSC. ‘Oh woe is me. It’s not fair. How would you like it if every time you went to sleep you were woken up? I can’t stand this torture. I’m going to find somewhere else to live.’ Husband says, shut up, I’m trying to sleep.

1.30: Nashelle can’t stop thinking about chocolate biscuits. She thinks of Eat Yourself Sexy and fights the urge to go downstairs raid the biscuit jar and watch crap TV.

2.00: Nashelle loses fight.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

A conversation about holidays or why being easy-going is hard work.

Last month

Husband: Where do you want to go on holiday?
Nashelle: Iceland
Husband: Too expensive. Since the banks crashed a meal costs four times as much…
Nashelle: Germany.
Husband: Too expensive. A pint of beer is –
Nashelle: Norway, Sweden, Finland…
Husband: The Scandinavians don’t even go on holiday there, it’s so dear. Why d’you think they don’t drink?

Last week

Husband: where do you want to go on holiday?
Nashelle: Iceland, Germany, Finland, Norway…
Husband: (edited version) we can’t go to any of those places…

Day before yesterday

Last night

Husband: Are we going to go on holiday?
Nashelle: Yes.
Husband: We’d better book it, then.
Nashelle: The problem is we don’t know where we want to go.
Husband: Where do you want to go?
Nashelle: I’ve told you where I want to go. Where do you want to go?
Husband: I don’t mind where we go.
Nashelle: (thinks: Iceland, Norway, Germany…) I don’t mind,either.
Husband: I can go anywhere, me…
Nashelle: that doesn’t actually help.
Husband: …Turkey, Greece, Tenerife…
Nashelle: so which one?
Husband: Any one. I can go anywhere.
Nashelle (getting irritated): You don’t mind where you go, I don’t mind where I go, the kids don’t mind where they go – so where are we going to go?
Husband: waffle, waffle, waffle…
Nashelle (in slightly louder voice): You can’t go in the holiday shop, and they ask where do you want to go? And we say anywhere. Unless we pick a place we can’t actually go anywhere.
Husband: I don’t mind where I go.
Nashelle: Hey, that’s funny, neither do I. So where are we going?

to be continued…

Monday, 14 November 2011

And Sunday morning...

13th Nov.

11.00 Nashelle is washing clothes.

12.00 Nashelle is washing clothes

1.00 Nashelle is washing dishes. And clothes.

1.30 Nashelle takes bag of dirty duvet covers up the lane. Asks her mother if she will wash them, hide them or bin them. Nashelle's father says the apple tree is ready for planting. He has asked Son1 to dig a hole last week. Nashelle says she will tell Son1 to get digging. Father says, don't 'tell' him to do it - ask him.

1.45 Nashelle asks Son1 if he will dig a hole eighteen inches by two foot. Son1 one has just got out of bed and is searching the house for a ethernet cable. Nashelle gets emotive: Your Grandfather wants you to do it.

2.00 Nashelle is in garden wondering where to dig the hole.

2.15 Nashelle's father plants apple tree. Now there are six trees and a large bush. Much better than a plain lawn that no one ever uses, Nashelle says. We always sit on the patio, she says. In a planter is a tree with red leaves. Nashelle's father takes a leaf. He will identify it from his book. he says not to plant the tree in the garden until spring.

3pm Nashelle is cooking. She wonders if cooking Chicken Tonight is allowed at this time of the day. Cat2 is crying for food. Nashelle is practising ignoring Cat2 by pretending the constant mewling is the trickle of water over a Japanese fountain. Cat2 wonders why, if Nashelle is in the kitchen, it isn't being fed.

4.15 Son2 gets out of bed. Husband comes home from work. Husband notices new tree and says how he prefers to lie on the lawn in Summer rather than sit on the patio. This is the last tree he says. Nashelle looks at tree with red leaves and thinks 'sure...'

5.00 Nash fam sit at dining table to eat. Son1 wolfs dinner - it is really his breakfast because it's the first thing he's eaten today. Son2, who is in his dressing gown, complains that the chicken on his plate is 'leftovers' and tastes foul. Nashelle argues that chicken is fresh but Son2's delicate palate knows this is chicken that has been cooked and frozen. Husband says, Son2 would be no good in the jungle.

5.10 Nashelle announces that she is not doing the washing up. Husband says he's done eight hours work today so he isn't washing up either. Sons1 darts upstairs. Son2 goes to kitchen for biscuits.


8pm Nashelle is watching X Factor and knitting jumper with duck on front. Husband is providing voice over for each contestant.
8.10 The lights dim and Nashelle knows someone has gone in the shower.

8.30 the light is still dim. Husband goes upstairs to see who is taking so long. Nashelle hears Husband shouting about not being able to afford food. Lights brighten. Husband comes back to the sofa. Says Son2 has no sense and was running shower to fill bath.

9.00 the lights dim. Nashelle goes upstairs. She needs a wee and can't wait any longer. She also wants to know why the shower is back on. The bath is empty. Son2 is now having a shower. The bath water went cold sop he couldn't wash he says.
The bathroom floor is a swimming pool. Nashelle leaves bathroom door open. Son2 slams door. Husband growls and goes to wash dishes for something to do.

10.30. Nashelle has finished sewing duck cardigan together. She gets a drink of water. Cooker is still covered in pots and pans. Sink drainer is full of food scraps and greasy water. She leaves it there.

That night Nashelle dreams she is walking up a country lane heading back to Caerphilly. She meets Shirley who used to go to the Spiritualist church riding a bicycle in the opposite direction. Nashelle says, I wish I had my bike. Shirley rides away and then the next minute she rides back with Nashelle's bike. Nashelle is surprised Shirley is so quick.
Shirley takes Nashelle to someone's house, where they have tea. Nashelle wants to leave but doesn't know how she will manage to ride a bike and carry a small child. She thinks about catching the ferry but it costs £35 and she thinks that is expensive just to go home. She doesn't fancy riding back up the lane in the dark on her own with a child.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Another Saturday Night...

12am Nashelle goes to bed leaving son2 with friend in living room. Cat1 decides to sleep on Nashelle's head. Nashelle tries to sleep on half inch of pillow.

2am the house is alive with the sound of son2 and friend interacting like it's the middle of the day. Nashelle's husband gets up to sort it out. 2.30 Nashelle get up to sort it out. Tells son2 to go to bed.

2.45 Nashelle hears laptop sounds. Gets up, tells son1 (who is still on computer) that she is disconnecting BB so son2 can't use it.

2.50 Nashelle hears nothing. She listens for 'sneaking' sounds. Son2 is very clever. Nashelle finds him hiding in the kitchen. He's getting a drink, he says. In the dark? Nashelle says. Son2 argues that he wants to sleep downstairs with friend but Nashelle isn't having it.

3am Nashelle listens.

Nashelle thinks she might have slept. She might have even had dreams. They were probably not nice ones.

10.15 Nashelle realises there is no rain and gets up to put washing on.
12.00 Husband says, come to Caerphilly, but Nashelle is up to neck in dirty towels.
1pm still washing
2pm still washing. And also cooking. Husband goes out again, son2 and friend have turned living room into student accommodation. Son1 is still in bed.

3pm Still washing. Husband still out. Living room is no-go zone. Son1 has pasty for breakfast. Nashelle lets him know she is worried that he is becoming anorexic. Son1 thinks Nashelle is shouting but she thinks she isn't. Nashelle's pumpkin cupcakes are flat and wet. She cooks pizza for son2 and friend who then go out. Living room looks like the day after the night before.

Sometime after it goes dark husband returns. Son1 reappears and enquires about food. Son2 rings and asks if they are having Chinese. Nashelle has lost track of time. Son1 asks when she is going shopping because he wants food. Nashelle shows him full cupboard and freezer. Son1 says, 'you always say you are cooking something exotic but produce the same old thing.' Nashelle doesn't remember doing this and asks for an example. Son1 doesn't have example and says he doesn't care anyway. Nashelle says she wishes somebody did care because having to decide what people eat is driving her a little crazy. Husband says he's had enough of her going on. Son1 says she's shouting again and that he's going to the chip shop. Husband attempts to cook rice (after Nashelle has found it for him) but doesn't get further than reading the packet. Husband marches off to Tesco for cat food. Comes back with a cake thing with choc chip. Says he doesn't want to fight.

Nashelle has no idea of the time. Her back is aching. She manages to get food onto plates for husband and son1.

7.30 Husband takes Nashelle to watch fireworks from top of mountain. Lanes are like the M4. Arrive by snack bar as last rocket fizzes and people are leaving. Drive home via Lisvane to avoid traffic. Stop at vantage point and look at fireworks all over Cardiff. Nashelle realises it is not so spectacular viewed from afar.

8.30 Nashelle has bath. Watches X Factor and other assorted TV junk. She realises she is becoming the person she used to be before she started writing and wonders how she has regressed to this point. She sees the M5 crash on TV but doesn't think too deeply about it.

11.30 Nashelle retires for the night.
12.15 son1 sits on bed and asks Nashelle for ideas for his personal uni statement. Nashelle thinks she has entered a different dimension.

Nashelle dreams about men tearing the skin off animals and killing people. Of escaping through a window onto a roof. She dreams about cooking a meal for fifteen people. She is swamped with dishes and food in various stages of preparation. She is hungry. She puts food on a plate for herself but finds it in a cupboard sometime later. No one gets anything to eat. She dreams about her mother's dog. About living in a flat in a strange town. All her cats are there - even the dead ones. Son1 is there. He is cooking with a friend. Nashelle suggests son1 and friend take over the flat and she lives somewhere else. Nashelle is going to act as solicitor to a guy she's never met. She wonders how she will bluff it.