A lead feather boa

Rusty bicycle

Image: Pixabay


‘Okay. Run it by me again.’

‘Land’s End.’


‘To John O’Groats.’


‘For charity. To save pandas.’

‘Okay.’ Dave eyed the soggy tyres on the ‘reclaimed’ bike, the red brown rusty spokes, the chain draped over one pedal like a lead feather boa. ‘But on that?’

‘It’s for charity,’ repeated Sarah, voice brittle-cheerful as blown glass.

‘I know honey, but …’ He nearly didn’t say, but the words filled his mouth and had to come out. ‘Is this like the skydive you tried to do for dolphins? Or the sponsored swim for dung beetles? Or the sponsored silence for howler monkeys?’ Dave had loved the thought of that last one, the sweet, mute irony of it.

Sarah’s eye twitched. ‘They were all good ideas – ‘

‘Brilliant ideas,’ said Dave a little too quickly. ‘But – .’

‘I know! The skydive for dolphins was cancelled because the week before the plane crash landed into a SeaWorld, the swim was scuppered by millions of ladybirds invading the local pool -.’

‘Made the local news, that.’

‘I know, Dave. And the sponsored silence … Well, that was really unfair. Who gets disqualified for a sneezing fit? Bloody Gina should have been disqualified for wearing that mucky old gorilla suit.’

‘To be fair, she didn’t know you were allergic.’

‘So she said. It just seems everything I try to do is doomed to failure. And I love pandas so much.’ Fat round tears, heavy with mascara, began to ooze down her cheeks.

Dave fished a paper hanky from his pocket. ‘Well, I can see why you love pandas,’ he said, gesturing towards her eyes. ‘It’s cos you look like one.’

As she wiped her face, Dave stared at the drooping chain, at the slashed seat, green with moss and sighed. ‘Alright. I’ll take a look at it for you. I just hope those chubby bamboo eating bastards are grateful.’

She slipped her arm around his back, planting a kiss on his stubbly cheek. ‘I’ll put the kettle on,’ she said.


12 thoughts on “A lead feather boa

  1. Poor Sarah, trying so hard to find an outlet for her big-hearted ideas. She’s lucky she found such a big-hearted man to support her. (Although if someone said I looked like a panda, hm,,, Time to rethink my mascara choices!)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. This is exactly why I switched to that tube-type mascara — because I am a sentimental little weeper. 😉 At the writers conference last weekend, I asked the presenter during a break, “Are you going to show more clips of Notting Hill as your examples? Because if so, I need to go get more tissues.” And I was glad I did!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I really did. 😉 The conference was great (see PB4Eva for more). My arm is about 90% better, I think. Although when I see my physical therapist tomorrow, he might give you another answer, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Glad the arm’s on the mend – must be a relief. And the conference sounds great. You sound like you do very well at these things – so far I’ve been too chicken to do an agent pitch, I booked in for one a few months ago and ducked out at the last minute 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought she looked like a panda too, ha! Glad I know where John O’Groats is now, that’s cool. Drove right by it for the ferry up to the Orkneys, caught the other terminal nearby it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All women look like pandas when their mascara runs – it’s just how it is 🙂 Never been as far as John O’Groats – was it picturesque or bleak? Not seen Land’s End either for that matter. What would be the equivalent tip-to-tip journey in the States, Bill? Apparently it’s 603 miles from J O’G to Land’s End – wonder what the distance is from Northern to Southern USA?


      1. john og was exotic to us as foreigners, of course: picture it mid- November, quite “windswept,” quite something. It’s 2700 miles from Mexico to the Canadian border, along on a hiking trail called the PCT. Just freaking big, here. That’s why we need guns I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ha! The bigger the country, the more guns required? Has there beem a study done that shows that? 🙂 I think I’d find parts of Scotland pretty exotic, to be fair, compared with the mild, lusher conditions down here in the South West of England. Can’t believe you were here nearly a year ago – boy how that’s flown!


      3. Don’t think I’m not thinking the same, about the fact it’s been a year. Yes, you should go see more of Scotland. Doesn’t matter much all the trees seem to be gone, either.

        Liked by 1 person

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