3 July 2006


So there I was hanging from the apple tree, as dead as honour in high places. A magpie had perched on my shoulder, defecating white slime all down my back. Surprisingly, I was still conscious, floating outside my body, inspecting the vessel of flesh and bone that had carried me through the years.

But who was that at the back gate? She seemed familiar with her greenish pallor and her flowing medieval garments. Yes. It was Alkelda the Gleeful of “Saints and Spinners” fame. She was cradling a small silver vial. She proceeded past the compost bins and the comfrey plot to where I was swinging like Dick Turpin. The magpie that was now perusing my jelly eyes flew off to the chimney pot.


Alkelda chanted some ancient incantation and tossed the contents of the silver vial all over my front. I guess it was just water – some kind of holy water. “Water of life! Heal this erring son!” She stood on the picnic table and unfastened the thick sisal rope that had killed me just as my conscious spirit returned to fill my body like a tide moving over a beach. I was alive again! I twisted my head back and forth and pinched myself as Alkelda disappeared back through the gateway.

“Come back Alkelda!” I yelled but she was gone like a departing rainbow.

Back in the house my wife said, “Where’ve you been? You’ve missed all the quarter final and what’s that red mark on your neck?”

“Oh it’s just those bloody brambles again!”

“Want a cup of tea?”

“Thanks love.”

“Do you wanna know the score? The match?”

“Why what was it? Lost on penalties again I bet.”

“Not this time honey. It was England 4 Portugal 0! That Sven is a master tactician and motivator. Looks like we’re playing France in the semis… Should be a walk over. Walcott scored a hat trick and Michael Carrick played his usual progressive midfield role… it was brilliant! Want a biscuit?”


  1. I think you need to take more water with it, whatever 'it' is - obviously powerful stuff! ;)

  2. Hooray! The Pudding lives!


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