Splitting Threads

“I’m not splitting threads – hairs – whatever you’re calling it, mate.  No – no way.  Jog on.  This is what the deal is.  Take it or leave it.  Either way, I’m winning.  No skin off my nose, boss.  Nope.

I can tell you’re keen, though. You just don’t trust yourself to part with your pride for an almost micro-second, in realising this is the best way to move on – for everyone involved.

That pride, huh? Perhaps the biggest killer.  The biggest killer of everything.  Ridiculous, really.  I think, if there was a ‘filter’ for all the pride in the world… it would look a lot different.  If only…

Yet, here we are, bud.  You’re still deciding whether this is best thing for you.  Don’t you realise that eventually – if you don’t make your mind up soon – you’re going to be left behind?  And catching up will be a real bitch.  It’ll be a big shock.

In some ways, I understand.  But in more – bigger, important and urgent ways, you just need to decide.  Me – the world – is going to move on with out you.  Do you want to learn and develop with us? Or are we still going to split threads – or hairs on the subject?  We can’t wait forever.”


Prompted by this link.

Feb 2nd – Yorkshire pudding people

February 2nd – Yorkshire pudding people


“How dare they? How very dare they?”

There was uproar. The Sheffield branch of the Yorkshire Pudding People (‘Dedicated to preserving the culinary heaven of God’s Own Country’) was reeling. This slight could not go unanswered.

“This slight can not go unanswered! Something needs to be done!”

The voice belonged to Eric Battersclough, chairman for as long as anyone could remember of the Sheffield branch of the YPP. Normally sanguine, Eric Battersclough was turning an awkward shade of purple as apoplexy gripped his heaving frame.

“I say we do ‘em in. All of ‘em. Every branch.”

The voice at the back, clamouring to be heard, was that of Martin Darnall, a militant member of the outlawed paramilitary TBYTP (Take Back Yorkshire Through Pudding) group. Known for their sometimes violent promotion of the savoury dish, the TBYTP often donned balaclavas and armed themselves with sausages for their terrifying ‘Toad-in-the-hole’ runs, where they would storm the doors of upscale restaurants and insult the diners for their culinary choices. Their calling card, a small fortune-cookie-sized Yorkshire pudding, containing the message ‘You have been visited by the TBTYP’ was what kept restauranteurs in this particular corner of England awake at night.

Although officially not welcome, the TBYTP were tolerated at these meetings because, as Eric Battersclough once succinctly put it, “Them’s might be nobbut trouble, but them’s ‘eart’s areet.”

Usually, interjections from Martin Darnall and his associates were shouted down, accompanied by cries of ‘Shame!’ and ‘Get thee ‘ome, tha monkey!’ but this time no-one interjected. Action, it was clear, needed to be taken.

The cause of their ire?


Morrisons, the once proudly local supermarket, founded as an egg and butter stall in Bradford market in 1899, was stocking…gasp…popovers. Ready-mixed, ready-made, freezer-fresh Portland popovers, and not from the kitchen of the ever-smiling Aunt Bessie.

Popovers? You may well ask.

A simple web search will tell you that, way back when on the other side of the Atlantic,  “Settlers from Maine who founded Portland, Oregon, Americanized the pudding from Yorkshire by cooking the batter in custard cups lubricated with drippings from the roasting beef (or sometimes pork); another modification was the use of garlic, and, frequently, herbs. The result is called Portland popover pudding: individual balloons of crusty meat-flavoured pastry.”

Portland popovers? In Morrisons? The angst was understandable.

“More reasons to shop at Morr-isons? There’s nay fookin’ reason now, friends. I’ll have nowt to do wi’em. Nowt, I tell thee.”

Alfred Mossborough spoke for them all. Martin Darnall reached into his pocket, and pulled out a black balaclava. He slipped it on, and several of his comrades followed suit. Each militant was presented with a ceremonial bag, brought out from a locked chest at times of Yorkshire distress. Inside, the weapons of war: flour, eggs, and milk.

Martin Darnall turned, and faced the crowd. He raised one clenched fist to the air, clutching his war-bag with the other, and roared to his people,

“Morrisons? We’ll fookin’ batter ‘em!”


Inspired by a prompt from here

Splitting Threads – Dead Deer

Splitting Threads

The dark dog ran across the beach of the tidal river, a low short patch of black shiny mud. Gradually the waters receded; lapping gently away to reveal first the feet and legs, eventually the torso.

[split – thread one] During the fearsome row the dog must have got away. Each assumed it was with the other. As their divorce grew ever more acrimonious they didn’t met again for years. In all the contacts via solicitors and courts they never once mentioned it. When finally they met, on the street, and spoke (the bitter hatred now dulled) it emerged that neither had the dog. They had no idea what had happened to it since that fateful day and they had no idea of its role in the discovery of the gangster’s body.

[split – thread two] It was too big. In every sense it was too big. How on earth had they got themselves into this? Accidentally killing this Mr. Big character, they were in big, big trouble. The whole of the City’s underworld would be in uproar. But first they had another big problem. He was big. They needed to lose the corpse. And quick Three of them were involved, but that was not enough to shift him. So more people were needed, creating greater risk. And transport. They had an hour until high tide, they needed to get him in the river quick. It was dark. How they were not seen manhandling him over the balustrade of the old bridge they could not believe. What they will eventually know, in time, is that they were seen. And that enormous splash was heard up and down the old river. The first of many, in the days and weeks to come.

Today I wrote from 16:06 to 16:16. I was prompted by an idea here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here

Feb 1st – Circle in the sky

February 1st – Circle in the Sky


The circles started appearing

one Wednesday afternoon.

Atmospheric phenomena,

they said on the news,

nothing to worry about.

Photos rolled in from across

the globe, all showing

the same thing: perfect

circles, a white outline

outlining clear space.

Jets were sent to intercept,

to pierce the ring, investigate

the empty space and the

bordering ring.

We can’t get close, the pilots

reported, in their languages,

scrambled and unscrambled:

We can see them, but they’re

always the same distance away.

Scientists went on TV

to talk about what they might

mean, speculating.

Conspiracy theorists theorised:

they’re spying on us, they claimed,

The Russians, Americans, Chinese.

The circles stayed exactly

where they first appeared.

Preachers preached from pulpits:

A sign from God, they exclaimed,

He’s testing our faith.

The Americans, believing in

a higher power, placed their faith

in long range missiles, and

launched them at the sky,

from an unspecified location,

live-streamed. The Russians

held back, watching, their

best men on the ground

at the launch site. The missiles

passed through, unimpeded.

The events were watched

from the ISS, orbiting its own

circles, 400 kilometres

above the ground. The circles,

even from above, stayed exactly

where they first appeared.

Exactly twenty-nine weeks

after that Wednesday afternoon,

the circles went, leaving

more questions than answers,

a number of cults, and a

testing of faiths. Small children

now draw circles in the sky.



Inspired by a prompt from here