Year of Fruit


Many moons ago, more than I care to count, I stumbled upon wonderful websites that printed your images onto clothes.

This was a dangerous time for me. Basically I spent days designing up t-shirts and then come payday I would order a bunch of them. Depending on which site I went with the results were varied, but then the images played a factor in this quality as well. It was a learning curve for all involved.

By the time I had discovered these sites the Jester logo, Jesty, had been around for about four years. After spending well into the hundreds on t-shirts I decided it was time that Jesty was put onto something.

A hoodie.

Like the crest of a school or university, Jesty sat with pride on what rapidly became my favourite hoodie. I even stopped ordering anything else, having reach self-designed clothing heaven in my books :)

Through the magical means of word time travel we jump ahead a few years, to when I met the ladyfriend. As happens, the beloved hoodie of mine became the beloved hoodie of the ladyfriend. Any time she was in the apartment that myself and H lived in she made a beeline to get that hoodie, even being annoyed when it was in the wash.

Sidenote, it was in the wash because I hadn't worn it since the last time she had stolen it.

Such is the way of things.

Then, one day, disaster struck. The ladyfriend decided to make dinner (this is the not the disaster) while wearing my hoodie as it was a bit nippy (still not the disaster) and figured a tomato sauce based dinner was on the cards (we're getting closer). I usually help with the meal making but on this particular instance a mate rang looking for a quick chat, so I was out on the balcony taking the call. When I am on the phone I pace, it's just a habit I have. As I paced back and forth I could see into the apartment through the balcony doors. Four pacings later disaster struck.

The ladyfriend had trouble opening a tin of tomatoes and through a sequence of events we, to this day, have not figured out she burst it open.

While wearing my favourite hoodie.

It was like a war scene. Man down, mainly covered in red sauce that was soaking into the grey material with each passing second. All while the ladyfriend just stood there, in the scene of carnage, looking cute and confused in equal measures.

Hoodie down!

That one was tossed to the bin after a few attempts to save it and another hoodie ordered, which basically became the ladyfriend's new hoodie. One she took great care to not cook in and even greater care to hide from me at every given chance.

Seriously, we've moved house/home three times and I never seen it packed but it made the move into her clothes drawer.

Anyway that is a long winded story to bring you up to speed on why her anniversary present this year was so great.

See when we got married, this day four years ago, I had a plan for what the first anniversary present would be. We stuck with the traditional list and the present theme was 'paper'. Now we sometimes play fast and loose with themes and have it as close to as possible, but the theme still has to be present.

This year the theme was "Fruit or Flowers", which doesn't really give a lot to work with. Except the ladyfriend trundled off and brought back a nine year old joke to bring me this:

Look at it!!!!
Look at it!!!!

Not only is this a new jester hoodie with Jesty on it, one that I am assured (we shall see) will not be commandeered by the ladyfriend, but it isn't a print. That is embroidered onto the hoodie.

Look at that stitching! Just look at it!

But how does it tie in with the theme of "Fruit or Flowers" for the fourth wedding anniversary gift? The hoodie is a "Fruit of the Loom" one :)

Like I said, sometimes we play fast and loose with the theme.

I think it would be safe to say that in the "game" of who got the best present the scoreboard was 3-0 to me, but this year the ladyfriend raced ahead and stole the show.

Happy Anniversary baby!


Stolen Stories - Draft 3


I have literally, as in five minutes ago at the time of writing this rant, just finished draft number three of Stolen Stories.

Just like when I was working on Accidental Legend certain elements of the story have changed greatly since the first draft. A few new ideas or jokes came along, one or two plot points just didn't work and were completely written or cut entirely. Going into draft four I have two pages in my workbook of things to fix up and areas that I want to tweak and make better.

If only writing was my full time job I'd have so much more time to get it done. Alas I have to make do with the time I steal from other parts of the day.

Overall though I am happy with how the book is coming along. It is a good story and I think overall it progresses Filthy Henry and Shelly as characters in the strange world that I have built.

Now I will take a couple of hours off before starting on draft four.


Tags: filthy



I'm one of those 'old fashioned' sort of fellas. Never really thought much about it growing up, to be honest. Mammy Jester would instill into us manners using 'The Fear Approach' which basically came down to fear of being clapped up the side of the head or publicly embarrassed for not displaying basic manners.

Not good manners, basic.

Basic manners include simple things like giving up your seat for an elderly person or obviously pregnant lady on the bus. Not just because you are sitting in the designated seating area, but because that is what good, basic, mannered people do. Holding doors open for people, offering to carry something heavy for somebody clearly struggling.

Basic stuff.

You won't be going out winning any awards with such manners, but you will be doing something nice for a stranger at the end of the day.

It is something I have partially carried through into my later years. Only the other week I was on a train home and managed to get that most fabled of things: a seat. I dropped down, opened my book and started reading. At the next stop a crowd of people boarded the carriage and a woman stood next to me.

She wasn't pregnant or infirm, but she looked bollocks tired and had a big bag of shopping with some young kid toys on top. As she stood next to my seat I got up and offered it to her. She protested, even making the joke that I didn't think her holiday weight was a baby, and only took the seat because I insisted. She was very grateful and you could see it did make a difference to her day.

Basic manners.

Lately my pregnant wife, The ladyfriend, has been having a great deal of trouble getting similar basic manners from people on her train. Primarily males. She is what doctor's describe as a 'neat bump', but is still carrying a baby and not just taking two desserts at dinner. Yet most mornings when she gets onto the train she has to ask people sitting in the priority seats would they mind moving so she could sit down.

The last time she did this the guy actually complained that he had to give up the seat. This, boys and girls, is what we call an unmitigated asshole.

I'm not saying that the ladyfriend should automatically be offered the seat (although...she is nor am I a secret Feminazi (seriously I hate those lot, particularly the ones who want to get rid of 'Father's Day' because it is offensive to single mothers but have no issue with 'Mother's Day'...) I'm just wondering how basic manners seem to have totally left the commuting public.

This morning is a prime example of what is wrong with the departure of basic manners. Ladyfriend gets on the train, it's packed, but now she has been beaten down. She no longer wants to argue with people to get a seat. As she stands there another woman calls out to her and offers her her seat. Ladyfriend declines because the woman is sitting in by the window, has a lot of stuff to pack away if she is going to move, and doesn't want to cause any hassle. Meanwhile the guy in the aisle seat just watches the conversation unfold and says nothing.


He let's the woman pack up her bits, then complains when she has to slid past him then makes the Ladyfriend slid into the now empty seat.

Whatever about basic manners surely common sense would have made him think about offering his own seat.

I dunno, the more I learn about humans the more I love my dog.