Saturday, June 11, 2016

AMSTERDAM... THE RETURN!!

BIRTHDAYS, HOLIDAYS AND NEW PROSE...


Hello beasties!

I am declaring this weekend a weekend of much yeti-ness...



Anyway - back to business as usual to kick off this busy weekend...

Well, I'm just back from Amsterdam - and it was rather a mixed trip, to say the least. I'm not going to do a very in-depth diary post as I am preparing a new episode of THE SHY LIFE PODCAST which was recorded during the trip and I also have plenty of photos to post - a lot of them are also in Twitter and Instagram. 

What I will say, to begin with, is that I was travelling with flat-mate Calum and that we were here for his 43rd birthday! (I'm not too far behind him, either...)

We flew from Gatwick after lunch on Sunday 29th May 2016 and arrived mid-afternoon - heading out for a couple of drinks and burgers at THE GREEN GRILL BAR, not too far from our hotel. The weather remained mainly over-cast the following day - but we got out and about and I recorded a fair bit of the material for the podcast - including the first part of an interview with Calum. I bought a few trinkets and we pottered about - having lunch in a favourite cafe of mine which I wrote a story about in my A YETI WAY OF THINKING collection. After a rest mud-afternoon we headed for Vondelpark - which is quite a large area and full of greenery and cyclists. We had dinner in... The word of the day in Flemish was winkel... It means shop!!

Unfortunately plans for the rest of the trip were spoilt when I took ill - it may well have been the chicken kebab that I'd eaten earlier in the evening - although we may never know for sure. Sadly, I spent most of Tuesday and Wednesday in bed. All I can say is I'm very glad I'd got some good tells on my phone which saved me from having to watch endless episodes of Bargain Hunt etc. By Thursday I was feeling a bit more myself and we took the boat and tram to the zoo - where I made friends with a cat and recorded more for the podcast, before nervously attempting to go for our last night before returning dinner.

From the point of the podcast, luckily I had recorded quite a bit of it during the first day and was then able to record a couple of bits from my sick-bed before rounding it all off on the final day at the zoo and on the city's canals...

The finished episode - released early Wednesday am, 8th June 2016 can be found on iTunes under THE SHY LIFE PODCAST or on Soundcloud at:

https://soundcloud.com/shyyeti/the-shy-life-podcast-3-a-slightly-iffy-trip-to-Amsterdam

Here are the details:

THE SHY LIFE PODCAST - 3: A SLIGHTY IFFY TRIP TO AMSTERDAM...

In this, our third full-length episode, Mr Yeti and his flat-mate Calum head off to Amsterdam for Calum's birthday! Alas all does not go quite to plan - but there is a lot chat about holidays gone by - a trip on the canal and some chatting with a zoo animal or two! This episode was recorded between the 29th May and the 5th June 2016. Our next episode will hopefully be out later in the month. All contents are Copyright Paul Chandler, 2016.

Now that's out of the way, you're probably relieved to learn that I don't have as many photos for you as would usually be expected during one of my typical jaunts overseas. I've been to Amsterdam enough times as it is - it's not as if you don't know what the place looks like - although that said I don't appear to have blogged about any of my previous trips in any great detail; none of the ones from the 00s OR my last trip in June 2014 for my friend Harry's 40th.

So anyway, I'm going to share some of my photos from my somewhat ill-fated 2016 trip, but will also save one or two photos for my next post on the city, which includes another of my daft SHY YETI sketches.


Before we go I'm going to leave you with a new prose piece, which is a vague sequel to the story that I wrote last time I was in Amsterdam in 2014.
 
Next time - which will hopefully be tomorrow (!!) I should have another Shy Yeti sketch for you - it could be one of two; I'm not sure which one will be ready first... I have one set in Amsterdam where Shy Yeti is on a film set and then one that concerns a rather peculiar psychic who turns up on Mr Yeti's door. Episode 4 of THE SHY LIFE PODCAST will also be out... 

Our missions is to keep you entertained!! More soon!

Yeti hugs,

Paul xx

P.S. A helping hand was written on Wednesday 1st June when I was in Amsterdam in bed with a bit of a fever! I hope it makes sense! It should do - I returned to work on it again between the 6th and the 9th of June 2016 - just before it was posted.

LENDING A HELPING HAND...


Sarah had seen something was wrong from the moment he'd walked in...
He looked so distracted and unhappy - unlike the first time...
Of course, hundreds of people entered her cafe every day - 
But what made him different was that she'd found him attractive...
That didn't happen half as many times as one might think it would...
It was at least six months since she'd connected with anyone like this...
He'd been there before a couple of days ago;
Back then he'd been with a small group of friends -
Mark was the name that they'd used and which he'd responded to...
He'd made her laugh when she'd taken their order.
But that second day he'd been alone and disengaged...
He'd made no small-talk and there was only brief eye contact...
Sarah wondered what was up - she needed to know...
The cafe was not long from closing for the day when the police arrived...
Her colleague, Anna, was out front and was talking to them from the step...
The man, Mark, had noticed the police too and looked agitated.
There was no time to think this over, so she approached him immediately.
"If you need a way out then you can hide in our kitchen -
There's no back door, but you can wait there as long as you like,
Be quick though - hurry - before the police come to speak with me..."
The man had nodded and then slipped down the back-stairs...
"Thank you..." was all he could manage, but it felt genuine.
"Don't think this means you won't have to pay your bill..."
Sarah teased, unheard and then returned to the cash-till.
Eventually she did speak to the Police - Anna had said very little.
Her café was clearly just one of many places that Mark had visited -
So many people pass through here - she had explained,
There was very little to say and the Police seemed to accept that...
"I have not seen this man..." she had said and that was that.
They had seen that he wasn't at a table and soon they had departed. 
Sarah never did ask what had caused him to be so nervous of the Police.
It was better not to know, she reasoned - it was his business...
She never saw anything in the papers - so what exactly HAD occurred?
That night, Mark slept with her - he seemed distracted but she didn't care.
After that, for a while he even worked in the kitchens at the café...
One morning she had found him on his mobile talking excitedly to someone;
There was no doubting that he'd learnt some good news...
Whatever it was that the Police had wanted him for had faded away...
Perhaps whatever he thought he'd done had resolved itself...
He'd been forgiven - his friends were looking for him again...
Sure enough, without a word of explanation, the next day he was gone...
She feared the worst; it had upset her, there was no denying it...
Sarah had begun to like him - in fact she had intended to keep him;
She blamed herself - had known Mark wouldn't stay after that phone call...
Secretly she had hoped that he would stay or would promise to return...
The others had been different; too needy and she had grown tired of them...
It was a hard job - there was always so much to clean and cover-up after...
Still, it was usually worth it... She had felt differently about Mark though...
She had begun to share her honest self with him - now she just felt used...
No, this wasn't the first time Sarah had lent a helping hand...
But it was the only time that those she'd helped had been allowed to leave...
Little was Mark to know how close he had come to a permanent residence...
Down below the café - deep below the cellar floor...
Nor was he to know that in another six months somebody else -
Some other lone traveller would pay for his freedom...
This wasn't the first time Sarah had lent a helping hand -
And it wouldn't be the last...
 
All contents of this post are Copyright, Paul Chandler 2016.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, June 05, 2016

THAT SHY YETI FELLA IS BACK AGAIN...

AN APPLE FOR SHY YETI!!

Hello beasties!

This week Shy Yeti looks at diets and healthy eating, but not without a fight! I took the photos for this post back in March, I think - when I first decided to write a collection of yeti scripts and when I was visiting St George's hospital on a daily basis as part of getting my leg problems sorted.

I'm just back from a week in Amsterdam and I wouldn't exactly say that it was the healthiest of trips a) we did have a few nice meals and b) I got food-poisoning and/or a stomach bug! On the other hand - when I wasn't laid up in my bed back at the hotel - we did, at least, get out and about and I was probably moving around more than I would have been during your typical week at work when I'm only pottering about the library or sat behind the enquiry desk most of the time. Oh, and due to being ill I barely ate for 48 hours - so I MUST have lost some weight. Still, it's not recommended...

Anyway - in this week's sketch "Shy Yeti"'s attempts at healthy living don't quite go to plan... You know what fruit and vegetables can be like! It's never plain sailing...

Before we move on - I posted the 2nd full-length episode of THE SHY LIFE PODCAST just before we left for Amsterdam, the third in all including the pilot. Here is some more information on that:

THE SHY LIFE PODCAST - 2: LIBRARIES OF ALL SHAPES AND SIZES...
https://soundcloud.com/shyyeti/the-shy-life-podcast-2-libraries-of-all-shapes-and-sizes

In this, our second full-length episode of THE SHY LIFE PODCAST, Mr Yeti returns to the location of one of his first full time jobs - which he began 20 years ago this year! His mum is also on hand to share stories of her library days... We also delve into listener's letters, hear this episode's poem, reacquaint ourselves with Dameus Twinklehorn and have a little chat about some second-hand vinyl... I wasn't expecting this episode to be posted so soon - but as I'm now away for a week. Episode 3 probably won't arrive until the middle of June. This episode was recorded between the 21st and the 26th May 2016 - all contents are Copyright Paul Chandler, 2016.

Next week I'll be sharing with you the first of a couple of posts from Amsterdam - leading up to my Poetry Café show at the start of July... I'm not sure, yet, how often I'll post this month, once or twice weekly during July - but it'll certainly be all go!

More soon!

Yeti hugs,

Paul xx

P.S. This sketch was devised during late March and early April, but was written between the 16th and 17th May 2016 - the formatting was completed on Friday 27th May 2016 and it was posted... well, today!

SHY YETI EATS HEALTHILY...

In which Shy Yeti considers reducing his diet only to receive insults from the vegetables that he is intending on eating...

SETTING THE SCENE: Shy Yeti is discussing a new diet with Dr Magda. He is a busy yeti and it is not always easy to eat healthily when you are on the move all the time - but Dr M thinks he has the answer for Mr Yeti and is sharing his theories...

DR MAGDA: (sternly)

Well, first of all you need to cut down on the pies... Seven pies for breakfast is just too many!

SHY: (a little defensively)

But I have cut down! I used to eat ten!

DR M: (even sterner than before)

Yes... Well, that was DEFINITELY too much - but so is seven! You need to cut down further... You simply mustn't eat more than four pies per meal - and I'd prefer it if that number was only three, to be honest with you; but let's see how you go dropping down to four to begin with...

SHY: (earnestly)

Well, I can assure you doctor that I'll do my very best... I do have a small sponsorship deal with a pie-making firm; but I'm sure as long as I eat some pies a day then they'll still be happy for me to represent them...

DR M: (slightly kinder in tone)

Some pies will be fine... Come back in a month and we'll discuss your progress... Make an appointment with my receptionist on the way out, please...

SHY:

Of course... Thank you again, doctor...

SHY HEADS OUT OF THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE - CARRYING A GREAT WADGE OF PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL THAT DR MAGDA HAS GIVEN HIM... TIME PASSES AND BACK AT HIS OWN FLAT SHY YETI IS ASSEMBLING ALL THE INGREDIENTS TO MAKE HIMSELF A HEALTHY SALAD - ONLY IT WOULD APPEAR THAT NOT EVERYONE IS HAPPY WITH THIS PLAN...

VOICE: (giggles)

Oh... Here we go... Let's see how long THIS lasts...

OTHER VOICE: (mocking)

He's been to the doctor - promised to eat healthier... How long's he going to keep this going? I gave it a week!

FIRST VOICE: (joining in)

Ha! I give it a day - at best!

OTHER VOICE: (sneering)

Haha! You're right... Well, he's not going to eat me in a hurry - he hates pears...

FIRST VOICE: (chipping in quickly)

Well, I'm all bruised, so he won't touch me either...

OTHER VOICE: (snapping back)

I wouldn't be so sure... Sometimes he likes to chop a ripe banana up and spread it on toast like butter before piling on some marmalade...

FIRST VOICE: (outraged)

Oh! You bitch... Don't be so cruel... How could you say such a thing?

OTHER VOICE: (snootily)

I speak as I find... I had a neighbour who was one of your lot and that's exactly the kind of thing that happened to him...

THIRD VOICE: (furiously)

Why don't you just shut your yap - for all we know he's going to chuck us all in a blender and turn us into a smoothie!

FIRST VOICE:

HOW DARE YOU!!

OTHER VOICE:

THE VERY THOUGHT! A BLENDER!?! NO, NEVER...

SHY STOPS WHAT HE IS DOING AND LOOKS AROUND AND IS SURPRISED TO DISCOVER THAT, AS HE SUSPECTED, THE FRUIT IN HIS FRUIT BOWL IS BAD MOUTHING HIM AND COMMENTING RATHER SARCASTICALLY ON ALL OF HIS ACTIONS...

SHY: (sternly)

Excuse me... I'm trying to prepare my dinner here... I'm finding it very off putting to have you lot sitting there nattering in my face...

BANANA 1: (mutters)

Oh! 'Ark at him... Now the yeti thinks we're talking too loud... When will his egotism ever end?

PEAR: (equally as mutter-y)

No time soon from what I can tell! It's not bad enough that he intends to eat us but now he wants us to shut up about it!

BANANA 2: (not bothering to talk quietly)

The cheek of the man!

SHY: (crossly)

Hey! Hey! I don't think this is very fair! As you pointed out not moments before - all three of you are battered and bruised... If I don't eat you then you're just going to rot... Is that what you want?

BANANA 1: (shocked)

Shhhush now...

BANANA 2: (disgusted)

He's a heartless one, isn't he?

PEAR: (goading them on)

Put your head-phones on and turn up the volume... That'll learn him...

SHY: (shaking his head and trying to ignore them)

You bunch are just nuts...

IN UNISON: (joining in protest)

We're SO not! The nuts are in that other bowl in the lounge... That's right! Yes! That's definitely right!

SHY: (under his breath)

So, are vegetables are pedantic as this or just you fruits?

IN UNISON:

Ooooh! How dare he!? Isn't he horrible!? We heard that, you know!

SHY:

Don't tell me... You all need an spot of therapy to get over all I've put you through!?!

IN UNISON:

Yes! Yes, we do! Too right... Show us some respect!

SHY: (talking to self)

Eating healthily should be easier than this... Well, shouldn't it? This is ridiculous!

TIMES PASSES... SHY FINDS HIMSELF BACK IN DR MAGDA'S OFFICE RATHER SOON THAN EXPECTED - THIS TIME HE IS ACCOMPANIED BY THE CONTENTS OF HIS FRUIT BOWL, WHO ARE, BY NOW, REALLY BEGINNING TO LOOK WORSE FOR WEAR, ALTHOUGH THEY'VE ALL USED MAKE-UP TO TRY AND MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THEY'RE STILL FRESH AND JUICY...

DR M: (politely, confidently)

So... It's very nice to see you all here - what exactly can I do to help?

BANANA 1: (furiously)

Well - I'm going to be quite blunt about this but we are all here because we object to what you told this yeti about healthy eating...

BANANA 2: (chipping in)

He's right... It's very offensive to us...

PEAR: (through gritted teeth)

You've only gone and told him to cut down on the pies and so now he's eating lots of fruit... That's US if you hadn't noticed!

DR M: (delicately)

Well, yes... That's true - and I realise that you will have quite a personal take on this issue... But you really must admit that it's a lot more healthy to eat...

BANANA 1: (losing his mind over this whole issue)

FRUIT!! FRUIT!! Well, it's NOT more healthy for us!!

SHY: (frustrated)

But you have to go sometime... I don't know if you've noticed - but you ARE fruit and you ARE going to rot...

BANANA 2: (pedantically)

So you say.. But if you will insist on eating us then how are we ever going to know that!?

PEAR: (chipping in)

It's hardly fair...

SHY: (losing his temper, making a bit of a personal attack)

Nobody even LIKES pears - you'll never get eaten!

THE TWO BANANAS MAKE A SHARP INTAKE OF BREATH AND EVEN DR M FROWNS...

DR M: (disapproving)

Now! Now! There's no need to be mean...

PEAR: (defiantly, but still upset)

Thank you, doctor... I'll have you know that people do like pears - especially in pear and almond tart...

BANANA 1: (sounding a little superior)

That's not quite the same, honey... That's cooked pear - people will eat us raw... Preferably so, really...

BANANA 2: (interrupting) 

Dressed in vanilla ice cream with a cherry on top! They'll have us a fritter though, with syrup drizzled all over us...

SHY: (confused)

I thought we were here to discuss why me chopping fruit and vegetables upsets you - but now you're boasting about how people prefer to eat you...

DR M: (in agreement)

I do agree with Mr Yeti... It is rather sending out mixed messages!

SHY: (turning to Dr M and lowering his tone slightly)

There's clearly some kind of rivalry going on here... I have no idea why they're sulking about this so much - when they saw me I was making a salad - I wasn't doing anything with fruit...

PEAR: (snapping)

You were chopping tomatoes... They're fruit...

SHY: (eagerly disagreeing)

They're vegetables!

DR M: (slightly awkwardly)

They are ACTUALLY a fruit - fair enough; although it's an easy mistake to make...

SHY HAS BEGUN TYPING ON HIS PHONE - HE PAUSES, SURPRISED...

SHY: (attempting to sound calmer)

Okay... I guess I didn't know that... I probably should have done... All the same, Dr - I'm really not sure what I'm meant to do and what I'm not meant to do... As was pointed out earlier all these fruit are going to rot eventually anyway...

BANANA 1: (solemnly)

More fruit get used far too early in their lives - there is still time for them to volunteer for charity work or to help old cucumbers cross the road...

BANANA 2: (boldly)

We think fruit should only be eaten when we've totally turned to pulp...

PEAR: (slightly disagreeing)

Even then I think it's cruel... Our pips should be saved and used to grow new fruits...

DR M: (nodding sagely)

Okay... Well, I understand how you might feel that way - but is it workable...

THERE IS NO REPLY FROM ANY OF THE FRUIT AND SO SHY JUMPS IN WITH A QUESTION...

SHY: (coolly)

If I was sitting here talking about eating cucumbers or cabbages or peas in their pods, then what would you say? Would you care?

BANANA 1: (hypocritically)

Oh... No... That would be fine...

BANANA 2: (equally so)

No problem...

PEAR: (lowering voice)

Most of them deserve it - they probably even like being eaten - cucumbers can be a tad kinky, you know...

SHY: (impatiently)

Hmmm... Doctor... This is what I was trying to explain... Can you see the problem I'm having here?

DR M: (crossly)

Yes... Yes, I do indeed... Now listen you lot - this has got to stop...

BUT AT THAT MOMENT THERE COMES A KNOCK ON THE DOOR AND DOCTOR MAGDA'S SECRETARY ENTERS, NEARLY CRUSHED BY A CAVALCADE OF ANGRY VEGETABLES!

SECRETARY: (close to tears)

DR! DR! I'm terribly sorry.. I JUST couldn't stop them...

DR M: (out-raged)

Well, really! Really... This is most impertinent! I'm in the middle of a private session with my patients here!

POTATOES: (chanting)

WE DON'T CARE!! WE DON'T CARE!! THE REBELLION BEGINS HERE!!

COURGETTES: (also chanting)

KEEP RIGHTS FOR VEGGIES ON THE TABLE!!

BRUSSEL SPROUTS: (joining in)

WHAT DO WE WANT!? CUDDLES!! WHEN DO WE WANT THEM? NOW!!!

DR M: (bubbling over)

PLEASE!! THIS IS MOST UNCONVENTIONAL...

BEFORE ANYTHING MORE CAN BE SAID A LARGE BEEF-STEAK TOMATO COMES SHUFFLING INTO THE ROOM AND ALL THE VEGETABLES, EVEN THE FRUIT MOVE BACK IN RESPECT AND A GANG OF RUNNER BEANS CAN EVEN BE SEEN BOWING...

SHY: (feeling like he might need to pull some fur out in frustration)

What on earth is going on NOW!?

BANANA 1: (in awe)

Shhh now... It's the tomato king!

BANANA 2: (through clenched teeth - do bananas have teeth!?!)

Why aren't you both bowing!?

PEAR: (shocked)

You'll both be in such trouble!!

THE VEGETABLES JUST MUMBLE A LOT - CLEARLY THEY ARE NOT THE DEEPEST OF THINKERS COMPARED TO THE FRUITS - DR M IS CLEARLY QUITE TAKEN ABACK...

DR M: (mutters under his breath)

THIS IS QUITE OUT OF ORDER...

TOMATO KING: (sounding quite dignified)

ARE YOU THE PRINCE OF THE PEOPLE, DR M??

DR M: (growing suddenly nervous)

Not me, no... HIM!! (he points to Shy)

SHY: (defensively)

HEY! I'm just your common and garden yeti - I'm nobody special...

BANANA 1: (surprised)

That's the first time I've ever heard him say that about himself...

BANANA 2: (also surprised)

Yeah! Too true!!

SHY: (grumpy now - so just playing along!)

Will you stop bitching away like that - okay, yes... I'm the king of the humans! How can I help you Tomato King?

TOMATO KING: (booming grandly... not to mention rather pretentiously)

I HAVE COME HERE TO DEMAND THAT YOU MARRY MY DAUGHTER!

SHY: (taken aback)

I beg your pardon!?

TOMATO KING: (beginning to lose his temper and then sneezing)

I WANT YOU TO MARRY MY... *AAAAAAAAATISSSSSSHOOOOOOOO*

DR M: (clearly surprised to meet a tomato with a cold)

Good grief... That's a nasty cold...

TOMATO KING: (rudely)

WHAT DOES IT MATTER TO YOU, FOUR EYES...

SHY: (disapproving)

HEY! That's not very nice - this gentleman is a doctor... He can possibly help with your cold...

TOMATO KING: (his booming voice dropping to a more natural level)

Can you? Really!?

DR M: (confident, hiding his confusion)

Sure... Sure... I'm sure I could do something...

SHY: (grits teeth, interrupting)

Does it involve a blender?

DR M: (trying not to snap)

Shhh, now... (turning back to the King) Might I ask you some family questions, sir? Please, take a seat...

TOMATO KING: (thankful)

Yes... Err... Why, thank you...

BANANA 1: (chipping in)

Can you do anything for bruised fruit?

BANANA 2: (giggling)

I have a bad case of stalk envy...

PEAR: (deliberately silly)

I have a question... How can I be a pear when there is only one of me...

DR M: (finally taking control)

Now! Now! I'll get to all of you - but I can only deal with one fruit-stroke-vegetable at a time... Please, if you would like to form a queue!

COURGETTES: (still chanting)

KEEP RIGHTS FOR VEGGIES ON THE TABLE!!

BRUSSEL SPROUTS: (also still chanting, quite inanely)

WHAT DO WE WANT!? HOT CHOCOLATE WITH MARSHMALLOWS!! WHEN DO WE WANT THEM? NOW!!!

SHY  YETI TURNS TAIL AND MAKES HURRIEDLY FOR THE DOOR - HE IS HUNGRY BUT ALREADY HAS VERY MIXED THOUGHTS ABOUT WHAT HE SHOULD BE EATING - BUT AT LEAST HE'S NOT BEING BAMBOOZLED BY ANNOYING FRUIT AND VEGETABLES... TIME PASSES AND WE SEE MR YETI BACK HOME - RELAXING IN THE GARDEN... HE APPEARS TO BE DINING ON ICE POPS AND HAS HIS EAR-PHONES ON - MEANING THAT HE CAN'T HEAR THE TREES, THE FLOWERS, THE GRASS, THE INSECTS AND THE BIRDS YAMMERING ON AT HIM... HE IS CONTENT... A BIRD TRIES TO POOP ON HIM AND HE QUICKLY COVERS HIMSELF WITH A PARASOL - ALL IS WELL...
 
All content of this post is Copyright Paul Chandler, 2016.

Labels: , , , , ,