Sunday, December 27, 2015

GOODBYE 2015!! HELLO 2016!!


WHAT OCCURRED IN SHY YETI LAND IN 2015 AND WHAT'S IN STORE IN 2016...

Hello beasties!

Welcome back for our final post of 2015. I do hope you all had a splendid Christmas and are now gearing up to celebrating the arrival of 2016 - whether this be by having a party or simply by going to bed early. I'll probably be writing and watching some old telly - I'm currently contemplating having an evening of Prisoner: Cell Block H; watching the last few episodes with a well-loaded gin and tonic! Last time I watched those final episodes I got terribly tipsy on some boozy coffee one Saturday afternoon in about 2003. Ah well, we shall see...

Anyway, I guess this should be considered my review of the year... Clearly not THE year - just MY year, which is enough for most people...

Oh, go on... Indulge me... I've put together a guide of all things Shy Yeti in 2015 - collecting all my posts for the year in one place to re-share the links with you... Look how much effort I've put in; it's all shiny and new!? What!? You'll take a look... Oh, thank you... So where shall we begin - oh, I know - what books did I publish this year; that seems the obvious place to begin...

SHY YETI'S PUBLISHED BOOKS OF 2015...

Here they are - all in a lovely list for you...

THE BEAST OF FRIENDS - SEASON 3

My first release of the year - the third season of THE BEAST OF FRIENDS quartet. This is a good one too; seeing a slight shift from humour to a darker set of scripts that tell one sinister story... This season focuses on the arrival of a new flat-mate who causes all manner of horrible events.

Link: www.thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_01_11_archive.html

POETIQUETTE

It came out a little later than I had intended - but I am very glad to have finally got it out there. This was the 10th anniversary edition of my 8th collection from 2005 and the last of my main batch of early reissues.

Link: www.thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_08_23_archive.html

I also did a show in celebration of this collection, some months after it's 10th anniversary in late October 2015. It was the only show that I did in 2015 due to being unwell - so it meant a lot that it was such a fun evening. You can read about my return to The Poetry Café alongside John Smallshaw at: http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_11_01_archive.html

THE BEAST OF FRIENDS - SEASON 4

This was the fourth and final season of BEAST and was published in mid-October, along with a compiled volume of seasons 1 to 4, which I was very keen to produce. This final season contain four longer scripts which rounds up the series... or does it!? Read on to learn the answer...

Link: www.thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_10_18_archive.html



During 2015 I also posted a lot of new material on my blog. Once I have enough pieces I'll probably put them all into a collection, but for now you can read them at the following links... A lot of them were inspired by day trips that I had or by photographs that I took and I was pleased to be able to share so many of my works in progress; especially during a year when I wasn't so well. I'm happy that I didn't let my writing suffer and kept busy with it - as it's a very important part of my day to day life...

SHY YETI'S BLOG STORIES OF 2015...

LOVERS DON'T LIVE LONGER
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_02_08_archive.html

CARROT... CAKE.
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_03_08_archive.html

LOOKING DOWN ON ME...
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_05_03_archive.html

SQUIRREL DRAG AND KINDLY APPARATIONS
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_05_10_archive.html

DOWN THE CAT CAFE
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_05_17_archive.html

LISBON... TRES BON!
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_06_07_archive.html

THE STAIRS (MAKING AN ENTRANCE)
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_06_21_archive.html

GONE WITHOUT HOPE OF RETURN
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_07_19_archive.html

MY VERY OWN SECRET GARDEN
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_07_26_archive.html

TIME IS THE THUG
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_08_09_archive.html

DIRTY OLD TOWN
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_09_06_archive.html

FISH AND CHIPS ON MORECAMBE PROM...
www.thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_09_20_archive.html

AUTUMN WON'T HAPPEN...
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_10_04_archive.html

HORNER AND THE MYSTIC CATS OF TORQUAY...
www.thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_10_11_archive.html

HORNER AND THE CANDY-FLOSS EATING ZOMBIE...
www.thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_11_22_archive.html

LYON AND I...
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_11_29_archive.html

THE CHRISTMAS BEFORE (A PROLOGUE)
www.thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_12_13_archive.html

THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_12_20_archive.html

It wasn't just stories and photos that I posted on the blog during 2015, but an interview or two, a review of my Poetry Café show, a biography from the Beargrrrian Gazette and a Yeti Agony Aunt column, of sorts...

SHY YETI'S OTHER WRITINGS OF 2015...

SHY YETI'S 8TH INTERVIEW...
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_03_22_archive.html

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A SHY YETI
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_07_05_archive.html

ASK SHY YETI!
http://www.thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_10_25_archive.html

SHY YETI'S POETIQUETTE SHOW AT THE POETRY CAFE
http://www.thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_11_01_archive.html

SHY YETI'S 9TH INTERVIEW...
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_12_06_archive.html

I also wrote a few travelogues of my holidays - and took a lot of photos...

BERLIN (No diary, but plenty of photos!)
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_03_08_archive.html

LISBON
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_06_07_archive.html Photos
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_06_21_archive.html Diary/photos

GRANGE-OVER-SANDS (No diary, but plenty of photos!)
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_09_06_archive.html
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_09_20_archive.html

DARTMOUTH (No diary, but plenty of photos!)
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_10_11_archive.html

LYON
http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_11_15_archive.html

What follows is a list of the projects that I worked on during 2015 which will hopefully be out soon... I'm at different stages with each of these - some may not even be completely finished until 2017, let alone next year... That said, the first of them will be published in January - but I have been busy on it since 2014; it takes time to get these script-books polished, you know.

SHY YETI'S WORKS IN PROGRESS OF 2015...

HOT STUFF!! - SEASON 1

This will be the first project to be released in 2016. It was ready by early December 2015, but I didn't really want it coming out around Christmas - it's nice to release a new project at a start of a new year, even though I've been working on this one since 2014. There will be more posts about this project over the next few weeks and I posted a prologue to the first season a couple of weeks back as one of this year's Christmas stories:

http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_12_13_archive.html

KENSINGTON GORE - SEASON 1

I'm not too far from completing this one - the second of the two spin-off series from THE BEAST OF FRIENDS, I have about 40 pages left to proof. It's set in an area of London near The Royal Albert Hall and features Katrina, Warren and Lucy from BEAST becoming involved in a number of sinister supernatural shenanigans related to a block of expensive apartments that they are managing. There will be more about this once I'm closer to publishing it, but I'm hoping that this will be by April at the latest.

A YETI WAY OF THINKING

I've been working on this collection of my short stories and poems since 2012, but it's been on the back-burner whilst I worked on the 10th anniversary re-releases of my earlier poetry collections. Now those are all re-published I am aiming to get this collection completed by the summer - hopefully around the time that I make my return to The Poetry Café.

BEAST OF FRIENDS - THE MOVIE

I began work on this in autumn 2014 - but didn't want to release it until a year or so after the 4th season of BEAST was published; it's a slightly longer script-book than the previous seasons - but I would like to release it towards the end of 2016, but we shall see. It's a "missing" story in the canon of BEAST scripts - set in Venice one New Years Eve where a killer is murdering wealthy business-yeti who are attending an exhibition of pies.

I am currently working on proofing the 2nd and 3rd seasons of HOT STUFF!! - whilst writing the 4th season, meanwhile I am proofing season 2 and writing season 3 of KENSINGTON GORE... Whether the second seasons of both get released during 2016 depends on how long it takes to get them ready, but it would be nice to release them if I can.

2016 sees the 10th anniversary of my POEMS TO MAKE BEARS GROWL poetry collection, but I'm not sure whether it needs updating as it was the first of my books to be especially designed for Lulu.com. It might be nice to do something to mark the anniversary, but I may do that by doing a special show at The Poetry Cafe; I haven't thought that far ahead yet.

I've also been working for some time on two Mouse Of Commons projects - but they probably won't see the light of day in 2016. The first of these, THREE TALES ARE BETTER THAN ONE is a collection of short stories and might be out by late 2016 - failing that it'll be 2017. The second project is a novel that follows on from the last Mouse novel - but I doubt that will be ready for another 18 months or so as it is low on my list of priorities.

Next time I'll be celebrating the new year by telling you something about the characters and stories involved in the first season of HOT STUFF!!, which is due out in the middle of January.

More soon...
 
Yeti hugs,
 
Paul xx
 
This post and all content is Copyright Paul Chandler 2015.

Friday, December 25, 2015

SEASONS GREETINGS!!

MR SHY YETI WISHES YOU A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

You can read my two seasonal stories for 2015 below...

One of them can be read by scrolling down on this post to the previous post and the other can be read at: http://thedaffypoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015_12_13_archive.html

Enjoy!! :0)

All contents of this post are Copyright Paul Chandler, 2015.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING... (IS IN THE EATING)

A SECOND CHRISTMAS STORY...

Hello beasties!!

This is a just a quick post for Christmas week... As last week's script was slightly sinister and down-beat I decided to write you something jolly and seasonal this time!

Yeah, right... Anyway! Enjoy!


Next week we'll be looking back at what I've been up to in 2015 and some of what we can expect in 2016...

More soon!

Yeti hugs,

Paul xx
 
THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING...
 
Everybody likes to celebrate Christmas...
Why should I be any different?
It's just the way that people actually celebrate that sets them apart;
Not everybody marks the season in exactly the same way...
I like to throw a party and invite my friends over for mince pies and nibbles...
People come far and wide to sample my Christmas pudding.
I don't blame them. It is rather good.
Usually I give myself plenty of time to prepare;
But this year I was running late.
Sure, I'd gotten all the ingredients together -
It's not something you can do in five minutes...
Most of the canapés were ready to go and just needed to be put on plates -
But I'd left making the pies until the night before -
And as a result I'd ended up rushing it...
Casting an eye over the number of guests arriving I quietly began to panic..
It wasn't just that a lot of people had accepted my invitation this year,
But also that some of them had invited friends of their own...
I didn't like it - but there wasn't a great deal that I do about it either...
But it was clear to me that I wasn't going to have enough...
I needed to make more pies, maybe even another dessert...
It was a lack of ingredients that was the main problem -
With nowhere open nearby for me to get what I needed...
That's when my boy friend showed up to save the day...
Boy-friend, ex-boy friend, I'm not really sure to be honest...
I hadn't expected to see him - we've been arguing a lot lately...
It's my fault, of course - it's my life-style that is to blame I am told...
He's suddenly taken against it, I'm not sure what he thinks he knows...
I've never exactly flaunted any of my tastes in front of him...
It's something that I've always done in private...
Recently he turned vegan - he's gone on a health kick...
That's half of the problem and the reason we've been disagreeing...
He wanted me to do the same, but I wouldn't...
I'm happy for him to do as he pleases, but I won't be lectured to...
Now was no time to argue, so I asked for his help...
He was unsympathetic; told me he'd forgotten all about my party -
Said he had just come to pick up his stuff and -
Then said some rather hurtful things about my friends...
"Have a drink..." I insisted, "Let's not end this by fighting..."
He had other things to do - other places to be, I accepted that...
"Honey... Just come and help me in the kitchen... Just quickly, please..."
I kissed him gently on the neck, the way he liked and he followed me...
I sharpened a set of knifes whilst he grudgingly washed some plates -
And then, once he was done, I introduced him to the flat end of a shovel -
Then turned the oven on whilst I prepped the extra pastry...
The party-goers weren't going to be disappointed that night after all...
Everybody likes to celebrate Christmas...
Why should cannibals be any different?


PS Thank you to Drew Miller for his drawing of a certain Mr Shy Yeti which appears at the bottom of the post. Drew is a musician and we are planning on doing some spoken word/musical collaboration during 2016; but it's all very hush hush at the moment! But watch this space...
 
PPS Our jolly Christmas tale - THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING was written between Sunday 6th and Saturday 12th December 2015, with slight proofing just before it was posted. It was provisionally entitled MINCE P-EYES - but that came from my original idea of somebody who bakes eyes into mince pies, it wasn't a very good title or idea, really! In the first draft of the piece it was the narrators girl friend, not a boyfriend who finds their way into the oven. I should emphasize that the story is fiction and in no way indicates how I will be spending Christmas!! Honestly!?

This post is Copyright - Paul Chandler, 2015.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

THE SHY YETI CHRISTMAS POST 2015

HOT STUFF!! THIS CHRISTMAS...

Hello beasties!

This week I've got the first of two Christmas-themed stories for you. The first is a script which acts as a prologue to the adventures that you'll find in my new series, HOT STUFF!!, the first season of which is published in January. It introduces all the main characters and is set around in a Christmas tree in Spectrum City Library... I hope you enjoy it!!

THE CHRISTMAS BEFORE… A PROLOGUE


This short script acts as a prologue to events that take place during the first season of HOT STUFF!! It is set before Horner arrives at the library – whilst he is elsewhere taking part in events that appear in THE BEAST OF FRIENDS – Season 4. It is Christmas and we have the chance to meet those who work in Spectrum City Library for the very first time – including the Head Librarian, Fiona, who – for a number of reasons – did not actually appear during the first season of HOT STUFF!! Note: I didn’t want to include this at the start of the book, partly as it was written later than the rest of the season and partly because it works better if read after the first season.

HORNER:

I was not at the library when the following occurs – but much of it was told to me by those who were; Mavis and Edie, mainly. It is a Christmassy tale – a ghost story, if you like – only this story does not feature ghosts of the past, but ghosts of the future!

WE SEE THE LIBRARY – IT IS QUITE A LARGE BUILDING, SET OUT IN WHAT WAS ONCE A LARGE GYMNASIUM, BUILT OVER ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO. IT IS NOW A PLACE OF BOOKS. IT IS DARK OUTSIDE AND ALL THE CUSTOMERS HAVE LEFT – HOWEVER THE LIBRARY STAFF ARE STILL ON DUTY AND HELPING TO DECORATE THE LIBRARY CHRISTMAS TREE…

FIRSTLY, WE MEET MAVIS AND EDIE – TWO LADIES WHO ONE WOULD ASSUME ARE WELL PAST RETIREMENT AGE – BUT THIS DUO ARE FAR FROM READY TO RETIRE… THEY WORK ON THE ENQUIRY DESK AND HELP TO SHELVE THE BOOKS – ALONG WITH A SENIOR GENTLEMAN NAMED ARTHUR, WHO HAS ALSO WORKED THERE FOR QUITE SOME TIME… THERE IS ALSO A YOUNGER MAN – A HIPSTER, SOME MIGHT CALL HIM – HE IS A PLACEMENT STUDENT CALLED JACKSON… AT THIS VERY MOMENT HE IS MAKING A MESS OF GETTING THE TINSEL FROM A BOX, WHILST THE LIBRARY CLEANER, DEBBI – BUSILY HOOVERS UP AROUND HIM. FINALLY WE SEE SCRUFF MAN IN HIS 40S, FELIX – THE CARETAKER – HE IS HELPING THE LIBRARIAN, FIONA, A MIDDLE-AGED FLAME-HAIRED LADY TO HANG BAUBLES ON THE TREE… ON THE VERY TOP OF THIS TREE THERE SITS A GREEN PARROT WHO WATCHES OVER THEM; THIS IS NIXON…

MAVIS: (delicately)

Fiona… I’m asking this for Edie, by the way… We were just wondering when we might be stopping for a break and whether after that we get to go home…

FIONA: (brightly)

Well, thank you – Mave… You might like to tell Edie that I’m happy for us to have a break any time we’d all like to… Helping decorate the tree was always a voluntary exercise and I know that it’s not everybody’s idea of a fun Friday night…

MAVIS: (with dedication)

Well, I certainly don’t mind…

EDIE: (defensively)

Hey! I never said I minded… But we have been at it a fair while… I’m hungry!

FIONA: (not intending to make them feel bad)

I’m happy to keep on over the weekend anyway – I’ve got no better plans…

JACKSON: (toading up, looking like he’s about to salute)

Well, I for one will certainly be here to help you, boss – I’m not having you scrambling up and down this tree without me here to assist…

DEBBI: (in agreement)

Too right, Jackson… She’s been battling that cold for days…

FELIX: (disapproving)

She should go home! We can do this…

ARTHUR: (nodding)

Which is exactly what I said too…

FIONA: (gently)

Thank you, people… Well, perhaps you’re right… Would you all like to take that break and whoever of you are free tomorrow, we’ll continue then; but only if you’re genuinely free… I know exactly why Edie wants that break…

FELIX: (curious)

Mulled wine and carols around the fire?

MAVIS: (jumping in, wary)

She doesn’t do carols – have you ever heard her sing?

EDIE: (pretending to be offended)

So rude!

MAVIS: (cheekily)

Rude, but honest! As for mulled wine – don’t give her more than a thimble-full!!

FIONA: (trying not to sound impatient)

Yes, thank you… What I was actually about to say was that Edie wants her break because I promised her we’d open any presents that the customers have left us…

MAVIS: (enlightened)

Oh! Is that the story? I did wonder…

ARTHUR: (still intent on teasing)

Just keep her away from any liquor chocolates… She can’t handle them…

EDIE: (with mock upset)

Arthur! Not you too!? I’m hurt…

JACKSON: (hopeful)

Where are these presents anyway? Shall we stop? It’s just that I’m not achieving anything other than making a mess with this tinsel… Did anybody buy us an X-Box?

DEBBI: (also hopeful)

Or a new hoover? A man-shaped duster? No?

FIONA: (chuckling)

Alas, I don’t think so… Edie… Where’d you put the swag?

EDIE: (growing excited)

On the spare shelving trolley…

MAVIS: (nonchalantly)

Which she is currently guarding like her life depends on it…

EDIE:

Well, it does! There are crackers too… We should pull those first…

MAVIS: (sounding a bit school-marm-ish)

Or we should leave those for the library Christmas lunch…

FIONA: (calmly)

I’m pretty sure that we get a cracker as part of the deal with the restaurant… Edie is clearly feeling the urge to pull a cracker – and I, for one, don’t feel that any of us should stand in her way… I must admit, I am quite in the mood to wear a paper hat!

ARTHUR: (seeming quite excited himself now)

Who isn’t? Then we’ll pull a cracker now… Do we have mince pies too?

FIONA: (clearly beginning to revel in her role as party hostess)

We do… I’m afraid we can’t have them hot – the last time we tried to heat them on the fire in my office we were left with little piles of ash! Such a waste – and these ones look very nice; Nixon and I picked them up when we were in Waitrose earlier…

MAVIS: (teasing again)

…And no, Edie, we can’t heat them on the radiator! That’s what she does at home!

FIONA: (grinning)

Mave! Listen, before you ask – it was a customer, not me, who got the crackers!

EDIE: (curious, then calling out)

Bless! Shame we don’t know who! Come on Debs – come and get a mince pie!

DEBBI: (reluctant)

Oh, I dunno, Ede – Jackson and I are meant to be going for a curry later…

FIONA: (enthusiastically)

I’m sure you’ve room for a mince pie… Consider it your starter… Good girl!

JACKSON: (with his mouth full)

Yes, come on! I’ve already had two, Debs – you’ll be fine… Line your stomach!

DEBBI: (sounding quite keen once she’s tasted one)

You are naughty, both of you – encouraging me like that… Oh, these are good!

FELIX: (spitting crumbs as he speaks)

Very good! So where are those crackers that you’ve been talking about?

EDIE: (reading off the back of the box)

I’ve got them here… It says that each one of them has a motto for the new year!

MAVIS: (becoming quite excited)

Oh! Perhaps they’re like Chinese fortune cookies – where there’s a prediction… You know the ones I mean – we had them that time when Reverend Pascoe retired – you know, when he got very drunk on Babycham and kissed the Bishop…

FIONA: (thinking back with fond memories)

I recall – I was invited to the wedding the following summer; now that really was a lovely day! Come on, make sure you all take one – so we each get a hat and a motto!

THEY ALL TAKE CRACKERS FROM THE BOX AND BEGIN PULLING THEM – MAVIS AND EDIE, FIONA AND FELIX, JACKSON AND DEBBI ETC – EVEN NIXON GETS A HAT, PULLING HIS WITH ARTHUR AND WINNING… ONCE DONE FIONA INDICATES THAT THEY SHOULD ALL READ THEIR MOTTOS ALOUD. AS THEY SIT AROUND THE HALF-DECORATED TREE IN THEIR BRIGHT CRACKER HATS, THERE IS LOTS OF CHATTER; EDIE SPEAKS UP…

EDIE: (clearly keen to be first)

Shall I read mine? Yes?! (not waiting for a response) It says “You will soon be surrounded by old friends who come to your rescue!” Who could ever could that be?

MAVIS: (mystified, becoming cheeky)

And why would you need to be rescued, Edie, dear? I know… She’ll be accepting an invite to a school reunion – will get drunk and then fall over in the ladies loo…

EDIE: (sighing)

To be surrounded by old friends who come to my rescue! How kind! Thanks Mave…

MAVIS: (gently)

Don’t sulk… My prediction is much the same… “Things must get worse before they get better – but a familiar face will arrive just in time…” Now I’ve fallen in too…

EDIE: (laughing)

Ha! …And a happy Christmas to you… What does yours say, Felix?

FELIX: (slightly embarrassed)

“Grow confident in the next year – secrets do you no good – flourish and fly!”

EDIE: (fascinated)

Felix! That’s kind of a positive one… But what secrets are you keeping, exactly?

JACKSON: (a little patronisingly)

He’s hiding that special someone out in his tool shed… I knew it all along!

MAVIS: (encouragingly)

Don’t listen to him, Felix… That sounds very positive, doesn’t it, Fiona?

FIONA: (looking a bit distracted as she begins another mince pie)

Absolutely… Jackson! Enough teasing… It’s Christmas! (Jackson just rolls his eyes)

FELIX: (somewhat sarcastically)

It’s okay – he’s just being daft… So, what does your say, Jackson? Wins lottery!?

JACKSON: (grudgingly)

“If someone offers you the world, don’t be naïve – the world is not theirs to give!”

ARTHUR: (surprised/confused)

Blimey! Now we’re getting deep! What about you, Debbi? Did you get a new duster?

DEBBI: (getting rather giggly)

Oh, Arthur… Don’t be silly… Although now you mention it, I could do with one!

ARTHUR: (happy to see her smiling)

Maybe there’s a new one amongst the presents? If not then I’ll buy you a new one!

DEBBI: (blushing now)

Aw! You lovely man, you! I’m not sure about mine – you read it, Arthur… I’m shy!

ARTHUR: (reading it to himself before reading it out, with some surprise)

Alright then… Although if your motto is anything to go by then you shouldn’t be – hark at this… “You are a born leader – just don’t let the power go to your head!”

DEBBI: (defensively, but humoured by the idea)

It doesn’t say that… Give it here… (but Edie has already taken it from Arthur)

EDIE: (surprised, but kind of pleased)

It does, you know… World domination beckons, my dear…

FIONA: (handing Debbi another mince pie, which she takes)

…Or failing that maybe you’ll be Head Librarian before next year is out?

DEBBI: (affectionately)

Don’t be silly, Fi… You’ll be here forever…

FIONA: (not sounding too sure about that idea)

So, I’m told… So, what about yours, Arthur? What does it say?

ARTHUR: (pleased)

I’m in for a treat, I think… “The past is passing – soon the future will arrive and it will be bright…” I mean, that’s certainly a lot better than I ever dared hope for…

EDIE: (quite excited)

Aw, Arthur! How cute! Maybe it’ll be a lady! One of the customers, maybe?

MAVIS: (equally as excited)

Oooh! We could all do with a bit of that… What about Nixon, Fiona?

FIONA: (sounding uncertain)

Short but sweet… “It’s time for a change – so get started!”

DEBBI: (offering the parrot a bit of her mince pie)

Blimey, Nixon… Maybe he’ll be starting a family of his own…

FIONA: (sounding a little strained)

Hmm… I’m not sure about that… Don’t give him too much of that, Debs…

EDIE: (keenly)

Who’s left… Oh, you! What about yours, Fiona?

FIONA: (sombrely)

“You will be going somewhere hot…”

MAVIS: (confused)

And?

FIONA:

No, that’s it…

EDIE: (disappointed)

Really… That’s not a very good one… Unless it means that you’re going on holiday? Had you been considering a tropical holiday somewhere, Fi?

FIONA: (trying to make light of it)

I’d not, no… Still, I might do now… I’m more a “Walking in the Lake District” type of girl, but we’ll see! Ah well! Come on, everyone… More mince pies… Let’s get some of these presents open… Let me go and fetch the port… I left it in my office!

JACKSON: (chuckling)

I bet she’s been secretly knocking it back when the cataloguing gets too much…

ARTHUR: (supportively)

I wouldn’t blame her…

FIONA: (keen that the truth be known)

I can assure you that I’ve not been doing anything of the sort…

DEBBI: (helpfully)

Can I help you with anything?

FIONA: (thankfully, but still looking upset)

No… No… I’m fine… Mavis… Edie… You know where the glasses are, don’t you?

MAVIS: (getting up to fetch them)

Yes! Yes! They’re ready to go – I gave them a rinse earlier…

EDIE: (with relish)

Oh, I love a glass of port…

FIONA HURRIES AWAY TOWARDS HER OFFICE – SHE KEEPS THE SMILE ON HER FACE FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE – BUT AS SOON AS SHE IS OUT OF VIEW HER FACE FALLS AND SHE BECOMES FLUSTERED – AS SHE REACHES HER OFFICE SHE CANNOT STOP HERSELF FROM SOBBING – ALMOST KNOCKING OVER THE PORT AS SHE REACHES IT… SHE STOPS HERSELF FOR A MOMENT, SITTING DOWN AT HER DESK AND LOOKING ONCE AGAIN AT THE MOTTO THAT SHE RECENTLY RECEIVED IN HER CRACKER…

YOU WILL BE GOING SOMEWHERE HOT…

FIONA: (fearfully)

Oh, goodness – no… Surely not yet…

FIONA CLOSES HER EYES – ALMOST WINCING IN PAIN – WHEN SHE OPENS HER EYES AGAIN SHE SEES FLAMES SURROUNDING HER – ALTHOUGH THEY ARE NOT REALLY THERE, TO HER THEY LOOK VERY REAL… SHE BLINKS CONTINUALLY – BUT THE FLAMES REFUSE TO DISAPPEAR…

FIONA: (whispers)

Please no… Please… This is not the way it is meant to end… We’re not ready!

JUST THEN SHE HEARS VOICES BEHIND HER – IT IS EDIE AND MAVIS…

MAVIS: (concerned)

You alright, Fi? You looked upset? We were worried…

EDIE: (sympathetic)

What’s up love?

RELUCTANTLY FIONA OPENS HER EYES AND LOOKS AROUND – THIS TIME THE FLAMES HAVE GONE AND HER OFFICE IS BACK TO NORMAL…

FIONA: (wiping her eyes, smiling)

I’m fine… Fine! It’s just getting to me a bit… You know what Christmas can be like!

MAVIS:

You poor thing, you look exhausted… You need a proper rest over the holidays…

EDIE:

You’re still coming to ours I hope… You won’t need to lift a finger…

FIONA: (trying to sound enthusiastic)

Of course! Of course! We’ll have a lovely time…

EDIE: (teasing slightly)

You know what Mave’s like – every Christmas might be her last; so it must be good!

MAVIS: (deep in thought)

Well, it might be… I’m going to give Fatima a ring later and see if she’s still free to come over on Boxing Day… She’ll be with her niece on Christmas Day, I expect… Oh! Here’s the port… Come on, now… Let’s get back to the others…

EDIE: (ushering them all on)

There’s a bottle of Bucks Fizz in the fridge if we finish that…

FIONA: (to herself)

Finished… We might be, indeed… It really could be our last Christmas…

THE LADIES HURRY BACK TO THE FRONT OF THE LIBRARY – WE SEE THE MOTTO ON THE DESK AGAIN… YOU WILL BE GOING SOMEWHERE HOT… THEN WE HEAR THE SOUND OF CELEBRATION… THE LIBRARY IS GETTING READY FOR FESTIVITIES – BUT WHAT WILL THE NEW YEAR BRING??

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYBODY…

FACT FILE:

It was nice to return to the season one cast of HOT STUFF!! which features a number of characters who are no longer around during the season that I am currently writing. I finished the first draft of season one in November 2014 – so returning to that era of the show a year later was interesting and also made sense as a way of writing a piece for my Christmas blog and introducing HOT STUFF!! to a potential audience, especially with the first season being released in January 2016. It was only when I started thinking about what exactly I’d write that I realised that it should be a scene that occurs before the series starts – introducing the main characters from season one and partly acting as a premonition of what is soon to come. It was interesting to write for Fiona, as although she is mentioned a great deal during the first season – she did not appear in any scenes in the way that she does in this special scene. The only characters missing here from the season one cast are Horner and Fatima.

It was written in my flat between Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th November 2015 – in two main chunks – with the second section being the reading of the cracker mottos onwards. Proofreading and preparation took place the following week and it was posted on the blog on 21st December 2015… There was time to add it to this season one release of HOT STUFF!! as an extra, as it hadn’t yet been sent for printing.

Next time, I have a few Christmassy photos and another short prose piece. The week after Christmas I'll be sharing with you my review of the year - no, not world news - but looking back over what I've written and published during 2015 and what's to come in 2016.

More soon,

Yeti hugs,

Paul xx


P.S. Deeley really isn't keen on me wishing you all a Happy Christmas - he's such an old Scrooge!

This post and all contents are Copyright Paul Chandler, 2015.