Pink is the new Grey

I'm a freelance writer, caffeine addict and cake whore. This is my blog, where I unleash my inner witch from her gingerbread latte cottage in the woods. Some people just can't play nicely online.

Look what’s new on Alfie Dog Fiction…

Look what’s new on Alfie Dog Fiction – mentioning no names 😉Downloadable now from:


The short story is a much neglected form amongst readers in the UK. Across the pond in the US it enjoys much greater popularity. If you fancy a ‘quickie’, something you can finish during your lunch break, or a journey, or before bedtime so that you don’t stay up reading all night, then Download yourself some great short stories from Alfie Dog Fiction at; including one by me. How The Bones Fell will be available from midday on 16th October. Please download – I need food, new shoes and lots of chocolate (not necessarily in that order). Thank you. 

Happiness is …

Separate quilts.

Separate quilts: 

Allow you to experience the luxury of having a whole quilt all to yourself every night … without the expense of getting divorced.

Encourage creativity in bedroom – you’ll have to find new things to fight over (like who’s had ginger nuts in bed).

Reduce the risk of ending up in an unpleasant ‘Dutch oven’ situation.

Now I can kick the covers onto the floor, whilst my Lord-and-Master Remain’s securely wrapped up like a mummified sausage roll.

Entry under my quilt is by invitation only. 

Crumbs …

The problem with these ‘secret support’ t-shirts is that they act like a crumb-catcher bib. Whip your top off at the end of the day and it’s like you’ve sneezed over everything with a mouthful of biscuit. One time I thought I’d developed a new mole overnight; I was terrified … until I realised it was a melted chocolate chip. 

Thought for the day: The Female Misogynist.

I listened to a discussion on BBC Breakfast this morning about the results of a recent survey, which indicated that ‘most’ women find that period pain (and other associated symptoms) affect their ability to work. It also seemed to indicate that only a very small minority felt able to discuss thus with their employers, as you might reasonably expect to do with any other health issue that might sometimes affect your ability to do your job. 

I can understand why some women do not support calls for an automatic right to ‘Menstrual Leave’, for fear that it may discourage employers from hiring women. They may have a point. But a woman should be able to At least say to her employer, or colleagues: ‘I have my period, I’m in a lot of pain because of it, please cut me some slack today’, or to ask if reasonable adjustments can be made on the days when she is affected.

Why do so many feel unable to do this? I myself know if women who suffer a great deal during their period, but are reluctant even to mention it to their nearest and dearest, their female nearest and dearest, whom they must know have experienced menstruation themselves. Why the silence on a topic that affects half the population, that is, in its way, fundamental to human existence?

Nothing about menstruation is pleasant, I grant you. But who decided it was dirty? Or so revolting and shameful that it should not be mentioned? You already know the answer to that one – The Patriarchal Society. 

But, it seems, not all misogyny comes from men. An astonishing amount comes from women themselves. You only have to read some of the comments below the following BBC article to see many examples of this. In fact, join any thread on social media where women are participating and you will see it. 

So, it isn’t just men policing women’s behaviour, telling them what it is taboo to mention, but it’s also other women. To an extent many of us females are guilty of minor misogyny (you can hear yourself now, can’t you, saying: ‘Ooh, just look at her. I’ve got knickers that cover more than that skirt!’). But at its worst it’s a form of bullying; these women, the perpetrators, are complicit in enforcing the silence. I like to imagine them as henchmen of the patriarchy, strutting around in peaked caps and jackboots, with faces like smacked arses, looking like the female secret police from that Two Ronnies skit The Worm that Turned.

We can be discreet, but we should not be silent.

Dark in the Day.

Delighted to announce that a short story of mine, Metawife, is featured in this collection from Immanion Press, alongside many others by some really great writers, both well known and not-so-well-known. If you love weird or twisted tales, buy a copy, if you have a friend who does, buy two. If you’re a fan of any of these authors (come on, there must be some Tanith Lee fans on my friends list) buy one. If you’re my mate, buy one; if you hate me, buy one – just so you can rip my writing to bits. Really, you’ve no excuse not to …

‘Dark in the Day’, a collection of weird fiction will be available from September 9th.
In the blink of an eye, around the corner, The Weird is everywhere. It’s in the bird that turns out to be a fluttering newspaper, that white shoe left in a ploughed field, or the curdling smoke on the windscreen of a car, caused by the fast-moving reflection of clouds overhead. Normal is often weird and vice-versa. We’re used to weird dreams but what about the wide-awake weird? This collection celebrates evocative tales of oddness that span the genres of magic realism, the supernatural, the fantastical and the speculative.
Weirdness lurks beyond the margins of the mundane, emerging to dismantle our assumptions of reality. When we encounter strange intervals, our perception of the natural order is challenged and changed. It is perhaps in those moments, that we glimpse the hidden truth of all things.
Dark in the Day is an anthology of weird fiction, penned by established writers and also those new to the genre – the latter being authors who are, or were, students of Creative Writing at Staffordshire University, where editor Storm Constantine occasionally delivers guest lectures. Her co-editor, Paul Houghton, is the senior lecturer in Creative Writing at the university.
Contributors include: Martina Bellovičová, J. E. Bryant, Glynis Charlton, Danielle Collard, Storm Constantine, Louise Coquio, Elizabeth Counihan, Krishan Coupland, Elizabeth Davidson, Siân Davies, Jack Fabian, Paul Finch, Rosie Garland, Rhys Hughes, Kerry Fender, Andrew Hook, Paul Houghton, Tanith Lee, Lisa Mansell, Kate Moore, Tim Pratt, Nicholas Royle, Michael Marshall Smith, Paula Wakefield, Ian Whates and Liz Williams.
Catalogue number: IP0126

ISBN: 978-1-907737-74-9

316 Pages, 11 b/w illustrations

Price: £11.99, $18.99, €16.50

Down to Earth

A long time ago, in a university far, far away, a Lady of a Certain Age walked in through the doors thirty years after leaving formal education – not to pick up where she left off, but to jump one step ahead of herself straight into a degree course without the benefit of a return-to-learn, access, or foundation level course first. Three years later she emerged as the proud holder of a BA in Creative Writing with honours, First Class! 

In the same week that I learned my degree classification, for I am that Lady of a Certain Age, I also learned that a short story of mine had been accepted for inclusion in a collection, Dark in the Day – alongside real writers (that I’ve actually heard of).

The view from cloud nine looked so rosy that I decided to take leap right off the edge and enter a couple of writing competitions. After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained – not that I think I stand a chance of winning,  as I said to my Lord-and-Master. 

‘Probably not, but never mind,’ he said. ‘What you’ve got to remind yourself is that you’re going up against people with talent.’

Did you hear that crash? That was the sound of a Lady of a Certain Age coming back down to earth with a bump.

Found Poem: Sing a Song of Soldiers.

The Centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme seemed an appropriate moment on which to share a found poem of mine entitled Sing a Song of Soldiers. To construct it I spliced together partial lines from war poems with partial lines from nursery rhymes, to make a new whole. So many of the men who die in war are so very young, some barely out of boyhood. In the First World War particularly, when recruiters became desperate and began to turn a blind eye to blatant lies, some of the combatants must have virtually gone from playing soldiers to actually being soldiers.

Sing a Song of Soldiers.

Little boy Kneels at the foot of the bed

and as he drops his head the instant splits his startled life with lead

blood-shod in shoes with grown-up laces he’s all ready to run some races

dragging stumps through fiery ground

Humpty Dumpty plummets arching towards his death

and all the king’s men seek to find their missing limbs

the maid is in the garden hanging men like shirts

sing a song of sixpence is muted when they shoot you in the throat

ding dong bells for those who die

as the cow jumps over the crimson guts

sleep pretty darling huddled as in bed

you are too young to fall asleep

this is the way we wave bye-bye.


Works used:

Keeping the Distance. Curt Bennett.

One Fine Day. Curt Bennett.

Golden Slumbers. Thomas Dekker.

A Square Dance. Roger McGough.

Anthem for Doomed Youth. Wilfred Owen.

Dulce et Decorum Est. Wilfred Owen.

Growing Up. A.A. Milne. When We Were Very Young 1924.

Vespers. A.A.Milne. When We Were Very Young 924.

A Whispered Tale. Siegfried Sassoon.

A Working Party. Siegfried Sassoon.

The Dug-Out. Seigfried Sassoon.

The Night Patrol. Arthur Graeme West.


Sing a Song of Sixpence.

Ding, Dong, Bell.



A Facebook friend reminded me of the word ‘omnishambles’ yesterday. 

That is what we have now, an Omnishambles.

The Remain campaign never expected to lose, so they never bothered to make a plan. And it seems the Leave campaign didn’t really expect to win, because they didn’t make a plan either, as evidenced by Boris Johnson’s running away from the leadership contest like it was a blazing bag of poo.

The prophetic creator of this neologism could have custom-made it to fit the situation in the UK at the moment. But if the writers of ‘The Thick of It’ had presented us with a fictional scenario as farcical as the flaming fudge bag that is the reality of British politics at the moment, we’d have slammed it as implausible.

Truth is stranger than fiction. And far more omnishambolic.

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