How is everyone finding the almost worldwide lockdown? I hope you and the ones you love are safe and well and finding ways to make this unprecedented situation we find ourselves in bearable.
I’m extremely fortunate. I don’t live in a city, and I have access to a garden and the internet. Interestingly enough, I’ve never spoken to so many people in such a short space of time. From phone chats where I catch up with people I never usually call, to the Zoom meetings that are now a regular part of many people’s lives, I’m grateful for the technology I have at my fingertips. I’m doing online Pilates, yoga and Spanish classes, and every day my family and I catch-up to exchange news
(Much of which is taken up by discussion of what we will be having for dinner—food and the state of our supermarkets the now national obsession. That and what everyone is binge-watching on iPlayer or Netflix.)
And of course there is the new neighbourliness where we chat over fences and wave at each other every Thursday night when we stand outside and clap for the carers.
Anyway, if you are seeking a bit of distraction, I’ve rounded up a few light-hearted spoiler-free extracts from my next book, Highland Chances due out 1 June.
Stay safe everyone.
The perils of online planning
“Same. Can we skip the pub quiz and…?” He paused, finger and thumb gripping the tiny brush and glanced up to catch my eye, dirty grin in place. His other hand slid up my bare leg, fingers sure and warm.
When we got married, I wondered if that would kill lust stone dead. Didn’t couples moan all the time that the wedding ring acted like a chastity belt? In a previous job, my colleagues and I once stumbled on our boss’s online calendar, the one she’d not made as private as she should. Sunday mornings 8-8.30am were highlighted—SEX WITH GREG. She’d added a 15-minute-in-advance text alert too. Josh, the guy I worked with, changed the day to Tuesdays and shortened the time slot to ten minutes. Not sure how that worked out for them.
A hazy grasp of geography
“Oh shut up! He still should hae asked, shouldn’t he? I want a proper boyfriend!”
News to me. Katya, who’d also lived with Mhari once upon a time, reckoned Mhari preferred other people’s love lives to her own. All that opportunity to ask personal questions and not bother with the complicated bits yourself.
“What about Xavier? He’s nice, isn’t he?”
A big sniff. “Dinnae be daft. He’s no’ gonnae stay here. When we leave the EU, he’ll need tae go back tae Canada.”
“Canada isn’t in Europe, Mhari.”
“Is it no’? Anyway, he’s loads younger than me.”
Four years. The same age gap as her and Hyun-Ki. I referred to this. A drunken explanation that this was exactly why she wasnae going to waste her time on younger men. Shallow. Totes immature. She ended the last statement with a loud fart, which made the two of us giggle for ages.
The scramble for freebies
Carnage. A mad scramble started up straight away as hands darted everywhere, trying to snaffle the freebies. Angus ended up with his back to everyone, body hunched over the table to protect the bags. Several of the women tried illegal Rugby scrum moves on him that would have got them blacklisted from the game. He put up with it for a few minutes before straightening up and bellowing, “Oi! Stop that!”
Angus was six foot five and twice the width of me. The yell worked, the crowd of women retreating expressions cowed.
He folded his arms. “Now, everyone of ye is gonnae queue nicely, show us your ticket tae the games and say ‘thank ye very much’ when Gaby and Jamal here hand ower the bags. Agreed?”
Fervent nods from the crowd.
“Anyone who doesnae,” he growled, “will be thrown in the loch.”
Two women looked far too delighted at the prospect of a dookin’. “Does that mean you would put us over your shoulder?” one asked, her smile gleeful.
“And,” her friend threw in, “spank our bottoms?”
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