A History Of Great Mistakes


Teaser 2
December 27, 2009, 10:00 am
Filed under: About, Book | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

And so, in keeping with the theme of ‘teasers’ I’ve started – here’s the second one for you…!

Merry Christmas everyone – hope you have a Happy New Year!



You guys gave me a great idea…
November 30, 2009, 8:19 pm
Filed under: About, Book | Tags: , , , , , ,

So, sometime back in March – an idea (born out of your ideas) came to me. And so, since then – I’ve been writing a book, wittily titled A History Of Great Mistakes – Part 1.

The book is halfway done – but before it sees print (if it ever does), I need to find me an agent, a willing publisher, and a bunch of people who might be half interested in reading it. Before you ask, it does tie up the lose ends left dangling from the Dublin story below. And starts several others.

So – watch this space.

In the meantime, I knocked a little something up to hint at an upcoming story, and they’ll be some friend-generated tales coming along shortly.

Enjoy!



A trip to Aberystwyth on a sunny weekend to see the Sky – update
March 10, 2009, 11:15 pm
Filed under: Aberystwyth | Tags: ,

(Wait! This won’t make much sense unless you’ve checked out part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9 and part 10 of ‘A trip to Aberystwyth on a sunny weekend to see the Sky‘)

So, as I was chatting to Rach on MSN a little earlier, when who should pop up – but Sky.

Now – I’m going to freely admit that as I was writing about Sky, I took the decision to avoid all contact with her… …just in case she might stumble across the website and hate it.

But as it happens, I was feeling a little brave tonight, so I said hello – and told her all about Helen’s great idea, the site and her story.

SKY says:
Pete, was it meant to be a proper date???
PETE says:
lol… Well, in my head it was – but if you didn’t think so it’s ok with me…!
SKY says:
I don’t mind – either way…! lol

It was encouraging to see she’d associated the same level of importance to the date as me.

Twenty-five minutes of silence and reading followed, with the odd comment here and there before…

SKY says:
My dog was called Cariad!! How rude! And she doesn’t dribble…
PETE says:
lol… Sorry – I couldn’t remember her name…!
PETE says:
So what do you think?
SKY says:
Yeah
SKY says:
It’s good
SKY says:
lol

So, happily, she loved the story (apart from the Cariad mistake – sorry again Sky) and my great idea…!

But the conversation didn’t end there – we got to talk properly for the first time in ages.

SKY says:
Why didn’t you just say Pete?
PETE says:
Tell you about the writing? Or about everything that happened?
PETE says:
Or just sorry?
SKY says:
lol… About what was going on!
PETE says:
Ah… It was a bit hard to say “hey, I’m just nodding off here because of all the partying and twistering I’ve done…”
SKY says:
God! I remember that we just had a new puppy who peeed on the sofa seat before you came over! lol
PETE says:

I badly wanted to impress you – but I failed miserably

PETE says:
😦
SKY says:
Ahhhh, I don’t need impressing
SKY says:
🙂

SKY says:
So what made you change my name to Sky then?
PETE says:
Well, honestly, I treated you pretty badly that weekend
PETE says:
And I didn’t want anyone to think badly of you
PETE says:
(not that they would, the way i’ve written it, but still….)
PETE says:
So – ********* became Sky
SKY says:
Thanks
SKY says:
😀
SKY says:
Soooooo… Can I share it with friends?

…and with that – I think she liked it…

(thanks for the weekend Sky)


A trip to Aberystwyth on a sunny weekend to see the Sky – pt10 (the end)
February 27, 2009, 7:53 am
Filed under: Aberystwyth | Tags: , ,

(Wait! This is the last part of the story – so don’t read the below unless you’ve checked out part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, the (soon to be closed [28/02/09]) interractive intermission, and part 9!)

For the first time in months, I had a dream as I slept in the doorway.

I dreamed of the sun shining down on me as I walked along the beach with Sky, listening to the ocean crash against the shore and feeling the water’s spray on my face.

My inner soul felt at peace as Sky looked at me and smiled. She was so beautiful, and this was the first time I’d really noticed it. Sky moved towards me and whispered “it’s been worth the wait” in my ear, before looking me in the eyes, moving closer towards me and licking my lips.

Then she licked my cheek. And my neck. I started to laugh as she licked my nose before passionately locking tongues with me.

My blurry eyes opened mid tounge-lock, and I felt the chill of the night air again. I smiled and closed my eyes to enjoy my kiss with Sky. ‘What’s that familiar smell?’ I thought, letting out a peaceful sigh.

I opened my eyes again.

Not quite Roxie - but not far off

Roxie

Roxie stared back at me, drooling.

“PFFPT!” I blurted as I pushed him away from me.

Dog spittle covered my face and most of my neck. Roxie, Sky’s dog, had been licking my tongue.

I hacked up spit on the doorstep, coughed out several small black hairs and wiped my tongue on my sleeve. There were a dozen new and different taste sensations present in my mouth. None of which were welcome. I tasted something resembling lamb, something I hoped was chicken, and what I can only imagine being canine testicles with apple and walnut rissoto.

“Thought you were going to put your arms around him at one point” said Sky, smiling at me.

I scowled and used my sleeve again.

She laughed and outstretched her arm to help me up.

As we walked towards her house, I tried to make polite conversation, but couldn’t think of much to say. Well, beyond how much I wanted a toothbrush and some mouthwash of course. I hadn’t appreciated just how tired I really was. The weekend had taken it’s toll on me, and if I was going to make things up to Sky I was going to have to focus. I desperately needed coffee.

Sky, graciously gave me a fresh toothbrush and directed me towards the bathroom a short time after we got into her house. Just in case, I brushed my teeth three times, and swilled listerine until my gums burned. Never having been over to Sky’s house before, I was a little surprised by the layout. As the house appeared to be on the jointing point for two different mini-hills, and the inside had been built with an S-shape ground floor – one side of which was just under a foot lower than the other.

It confused me no end. I was used to straight, flat, floors. At that point, before I’d moved down to Warwick, I’d been living in a bungalow. And just before that (for a week, to clear my head after Jill), I’d borrowed a friend’s flat in town. I didn’t like all these ups and downs in houses.

‘I wonder if there’ll be any ‘ups and downs’ later’, I thought to myself.

“I’m bound to have worms, consumption and mad cow disease” I muttered as I walked towards the kitchen where Sky had been making me a drink. “Thanks for the coffee” I said, clasping the cup in both hands, enjoying the warmth and sipping quickly from it. “Think I really need it” I continued, “I can’t believe I fell asleep…”

Sky smiled. “So, what time’s your train?”

What with golf, the food mix up and being hit on by Roxie, I’d completely forgotten that I was meant to be getting back to Warwick. The weekend was almost over, and I needed to be at work tomorrow.

I looked at the clock on Sky’s wall. 9:15. My hands fumbled around my coat for the timetable I’d grabbed from New Street on the way up.

The last train was at 10:55. I needed to leave the house in just over an hour to make it. My face fell. ‘This weekend has just kept on getting better and better, and this is how it ends’ I thought.

Apologetically, I explained my situation to Sky. I wasn’t quite sure what to do after I’d stopped talking. Should I sit down in the living room and spend a very small amount of time with her? Or should I just call it quits and walk down to the station now?

Neither decision was ideal, and my reason for coming was slowly evaporating in front of me.

“Why don’t you just stay over?” said Sky, completely out of the blue.

“Errr…”

“Get a morning train” she suggested, “and hang out with me tonight.” Sky smiled at me.

I looked at the timetable again. There was an early train that would get me into Birmingham with (just) enough time to get a connecting train to Warwick in time for work, but it was going to mean that I’d have to leave Sky’s house at 4:30 in the morning. Still… It was a very enticing offer…

“…go on then.” I said.

Half an hour or so later, Sky beckoned me towards the sofa in her living room, and we sat down next to each other.

“So Pete, what would you like to do?” She asked, leaning in towards me, suggestively.

I’d spent the weekend getting to this stage, but I wasn’t quite ready to lean forward myself just yet. I was sure I could still smell Roxie on me, and frankly, I had a feeling I pounced on her like I wanted to, I’d have wound up head butting her mid kiss. I was a little nervous.

My eyes glanced towards the television in the corner which had been on since I’d arrived, but turned down low. The opening credits for The Green Mile popped up on the screen.

Sky’s body was still leaning in, her eyes staring into mine.

We… Could watch this movie together in the dark…” I said, thinking that a little stall would give me time to check again for post-dog odour and relax into things.

Sky smiled, got up, turned off the light and sat down next to me closer than before. The movie began.

Intently watching The Green Mile

The Green Mile

A year before, on an impulse (after hearing good things), I’d bought myself a copy of The Green Mile on dvd. Though bad luck and a general lack of time, I’d never been able to sit down and watch the film before that evening with Sky.

I had never been so enthralled and hooked by a movie. Yes, I was a fan of the cinema, but I watched trashy films with B-list actors and dodgy sets. Not epic, thought provoking period pieces such as that.

My eyes witnessed John’s journey along The Green Mile and my soul cried out against the injustice suffered by him for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I shed a small tear for him, and those who had guarded him, as the film closed on a low note.

Looking upwards, to hold back the tears as the final credits rolled, I turned to Sky, intent on asking her what she thought of the film.

Sky, stared right through me.

I paused.

It was suddenly very warm in that room. ‘Maybe it’s the central heating’ I thought.

But then I realised – I’d been sat next to Sky for three hours in a darkened room, and I hadn’t placed a hand on her once or given her a single kiss. In fact, 20 minutes after the movie had started, I’d moved away from Sky on the sofa, edging closer towards the screen instead so I could hear the dialogue and take in the incredible cinematography.

I gulped.

There wasn’t much to say to Sky. I’d spent the weekend saying sorry for getting drunk, playing twister and missing messages. Another sorry just wasn’t going to cut it. I looked at the clock. 1am.

I looked at Sky.

It was pretty obvious that I’d blown my chances, and the evening.

Sky took a deep breath and left the room for a moment. I heard a slam somewhere in the background, and she came back in with a small tub of Haagen Daas, ripped off the top fiercely and began eating.

We sat, in silence, for over an hour.

Eventually, I couldn’t bear it any longer. I’d come here for her, ‘and damn it’ I thought – ‘I’m going to do my best to salvage whatever I can.’

Mentally aiming for a lone kiss in my head, I opened my mouth, and began to tell jokes.

It took a solid half hour to even begin to dent the shell that Sky had built around her, and things were looking bleak as she offered me another coffee dryly.

After accepting, once Sky had left the room, I sat back on the sofa and thought about the best jokes I knew. ‘I have to come through’ I thought, ‘I have to be of sole mind and purpose to achieve my aim. I have to be focused!’

I set my mind on Sky.

And as I thought about it more, I felt a little better. I surveyed my surroundings. My living room ‘battlefield’ was tidy, her sofa was comfortable, and we were going to be plenty warm as the heating was excellent. I turned my head to look out of the window, and then back towards my watch. It was just past 2:30.

I yawned.

‘It’s very warm in here’ I thought.

I closed my eyes and listened to the music playing on the television.

A loud thud woke me. I shot up and turned towards an angry Sky. Behind her, the clock read 3.

I gulped. “Guess I really needed that coffee…!” I joked.

She didn’t laugh.

As we left the house after another prolonged period of silence, I thought through my situation. The only thing still salvageable was a kiss goodbye. So, like a soldier on a mission, I mentally picked myself up and dusted myself off as we walked.

I had 40 minutes left to change her opinion of me – and I was going to have to bring out some class A joke material.

Luckily (and partly thanks to my ability to mock myself), after 20 minutes, we were both laughing.

‘This is great’ I thought, ‘maybe it happen!’

We were only five minutes away from the train station when I decided to play my ace. A joke so funny that I could rarely tell it without laughing before, during or after. I felt it was sure to secure me my elusive kiss.

As I recounted a short story about and English man, an Irish man and a Scottish man, I kept myself together well. No laughing before, or during the delivery.

I threw the punchline out, and mercifully, she laughed. And she smiled at me for the first time in what seemed like ages. I could feel myself smiling on the inside, and my heart warmed to the ‘moment’ we were having.

And then I laughed.

Laughed so hard that I let out the most prolonged fart you will probably ever hear.

Sky’s face fell, and I’d swear I saw her nose ‘twitch’. We walked the small part of the journey left in silence and Sky hugged me goodbye before I stepped onto the train.

I sat down and stared at the plastic grey seat backing.

“…f@£king hate Aberystwyth…” I said to myself as the train pulled away.



A trip to Aberystwyth on a sunny weekend to see the Sky – pt9
February 26, 2009, 2:07 am
Filed under: Aberystwyth | Tags: , ,

(Well hey there – do you come here often? You don’t? Then hold fire – don’t read the below unless you’ve checked out part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8 and the interractive intermission!)

Gez, Gereint and I dined on the finest roast chicken lunch known to man as we watched the football highlights and drank Budweiser. Lewis, because he was driving, (and because he’d rubbed Gez’s face in it when he’d won at golf earlier) had to make do with coffee and a lone stuffing sandwich.

“Payback’s a bugger isn’t it Pete?” said Gez as he took a bite of chicken.

“That it is Gez, that it is…” I said, smiling at Lewis as I took a sip of beer “…that it is.”

I hadn’t heard from Sky since I’d left a message on her voicemail earlier, and it was beginning to worry me.

“What time are you meant to be hooking up with Sky?” asked Lewis, finishing his sandwich and eying my dinner.

“That’s a really good question.” I replied, reaching into my pocket to retrieve my mobile. ‘Still nothing’ I thought. “I guess sometime soon, I mean it is…” I looked at the clock on the wall, “…8? Already? Have we been talking and watching football for that long?”

‘Oh God – there’s no way around it – I’m going to have to ring again.’ I thought, wincing.

“Better make a call.” I said, excusing myself and handing my half dinner to Geraint. “Don’t let Lewis near it!” I shouted as I walked out of the room.

The mobile lay in the palm of my hand. My body rested against the hallway wall. I paused. ‘What on earth am I going to say?’ I thought. ‘I can hardly be mad at her for not getting in touch. In fact, I’m a little glad she hasn’t – my nerves probably would have been shot if she had…’

I shifted towards the stairs.

My hands began to tremble as I flicked through the phonebook for Sky’s number. I hovered over the ‘call’ button, gulped, shook myself to my senses, and pressed it decisively. It was high time I manned up and spoke to her directly. The phone began to dial.

I looked at the photographs on the wall in Gez’s house. ‘Maybe it’s time to be a little more direct and to the point. Perhaps I should take control and tell her what we’re doing. Yeah. Hell, maybe I should tell her that I’m coming over now. And maybe I sh–‘ mid thought-rant, Sky answered.

“Hello!” she said, in an unnervingly chirpy tone. “So are you going to be here in a bit?” asked Sky.

“Err…” I looked at my watch “…can be…?”

There was a silence.

“Did you listen to my voicemail? You did listen to the voicemail didn’t you?

“Errmmm…” I had a sinking feeling about her tone. “Listened to the one from earlier… Tried to call you back, and left you a message…” I replied.

“And you got the one I left for you after that?”

“…you left me one after that…?” I asked, with a slightly shaky voice.

More silence.

“Tell you what, why don’t you have a listen and ring me back.” said Sky, sighing and hanging up.

“Erm… Ok…” I said to myself.

I stared at my phone. That was it for us. We’d been together since I’d left school – but that had been the final straw between me and my phone.

The second I touched home, I was going to throw the hunk of junk in the bin.

Holding down ‘1’, I dialed my voicemail, which hadn’t indicated any new messages on screen or via text.

“You have TWO new messages” said the automated woman, coldly.

“…b@£$tard f@£king phone…” I muttered under my breath.

The first message had been from Dad about how nice it had been to see me again, and how grateful he was for fixing my computer. He hoped everything would go well for me, and offered me a shoulder if I ever needed to get things off my chest. Then he screamed “Botheration!” at the top of his voice. Shortly after I heard the sound of familiar pop-ups on his computer. His messaged ended asking for a callback.

I thought he’d be ok to figure it out on his own.

Sky’s message was plain and simple. “I’m going to be cooking tonight, so don’t eat anything! Come over about 8:30?”

My stomach was practically stuffed. I’d already worked my way through half a chicken dinner, two bottles of beer and some pre-supper snacks. I burped as she continued, “And hey – you have a do-over from last night, okay? Just don’t waste it!”

I hung up and headbutted the wall.

After a short period of time spent looking at my shoes, I called Sky back.

Five long minutes later, I walked back into the living room and reclaimed my dinner.

“I’m going to have to go in a bit lads” I said, slowly prodding at a bit of brocolli. “Might have fluffed the Sky thing a bit again.”

As Lewis drove me towards Penparcau, I thought over the conversation with Sky. She had been mighty p*ssed to learn that I’d already eaten. A special shopping trip with the girls had been undertaken as we’d been off playing golf, and a Jamie Oliver cook book had even been purchased especially for the occasion.

I would have been eating apple and walnut risotto with gorgonzola if it hadn’t been for that phone. It was the first good thing it’d done for me all weekend…

Lewis didn’t know Penparcau all that well, and sadly nor did I or Gez, which meant that we drove around aimlessly for a short while looking for Sky’s house. In the end, we lumped for dropping me off by the Spar and asking Sky nicely to come grab me.

Happily, she agreed to walk down to meet me. She needed to ‘walk the dog after his risotto anyway’.

The cozy Penparcau Spar

The cozy Penparcau Spar

I gave Lewis and Gez quick ‘goodbye’ hugs in the car, and got out, waving as they drove off.

There was a terrible chill in the air. Because I’d been inside a centrally heated house for the past few hours I hadn’t noticed how cold it’d become. Or how dark clouds had started to spit down onto the roads. Now that I was stood on the kerbside however, I was feeling it from top to toe.

Looking around I noticed that the doorway to the Spar seemed to offer some shelter with it’s overhanging roof, so I carefully sat down on the cold concrete step.

It had been such a long weekend for me. I’d partied well, golfed poorly, drank too much, and eaten enough chicken to feed a small family, and it was beginning to catch up to me. I was shattered. I tried to remember how much sleep I’d had. ‘Not much’ I thought.

I closed my eyes and felt a warmth rush over me from head to toe. Slowly, as the rain pitter pattered on my face, I fell asleep in the doorway.