EDitorial ± 29-Dec-2013

130Story: Ice / Nuts / Tree

The rules of 130Story are simple: given a random seed word, write a story in 130 characters.




More to follow.

EDitorial ± 22-Dec-2013

130Story: Over / Self / Shift / Twice / Control

The rules of 130Story are simple: given a random seed word, write a story in 130 characters.






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 21-Dec-2013


(200 word short story published on 1000Words on 21-Dec-2013)

Keith appeared in our porch on Christmas Day. It was the chirruping that made Reuben go to the door. Next to the cage was a bonsai.

"Mum, can we keep him? We’ll call him Keith."

Do butchers deliver on the big day? I’d not ordered anything. Reuben carried the cage while I put the tiny tree on the table. It made for a nice centrepiece.

From his shelf, Keith’s orange face surveyed me as I basted the turkey.

Reuben was more interested in the bird than his presents and fed him bits of bread roll. We had a lovely day, the three of us.

Boxing Day brought further twittering. Two smaller brown birds sat there. No additional foliage. Reuben only had eyes for Keith, so we put their cage on top of the fridge and opened some sweetcorn.

Yesterday, when we found three scary-looking chickens, I called the rescue centre.

"Swans are our speciality, dear. But bring them down anyway."

I had to explain to Reuben, poor lad, that Keith would be better off there.

We went again today to drop off some blackbirds. Reuben enjoyed seeing Keith.

If this carries on tomorrow, I’ll give Reuben’s dad a ring.

EDitorial ± 16-Dec-2013

TT1314, Week 6

Dampness all around this Monday, and it's up to that Dome to play a team with an avian nomenclature. Already clipped the Cormorants and upset the Avocets, so tonight invites some naval-gazing as we encounter the Wrens. Note: way back, we used to play a lady called Jenny (with me here?) who, if she missed a shot, would yell "fish!" End of story.

Only spinserve Ed(gar) left from our previous meet, now joined by new boys lefty Anton and Felixstowe Mike. This being a rearranged game -- cheers to both team secs for making that happen -- it's just us and them. Which is a big change since usually there'd be one or two other matches in progress. Three tables means three parallel games, agreeing to keep score among ourselves. Should make for an early night. In brief:

  • underwhelming 1/3 for Andy, beating Anton 3-1
  • satisfactory 2/3 for Yang, winning his first two before losing in straight ends to give Anton his only point
  • surprising 3/3 for Ed -- yay! -- not losing an end all night (according to the scorecard)

Singles done and everybody's got at least a point to go home with, which is unusual. Yang offers the doubles to Andy who manfully offers it back. Not the greatest track record for Ed and Yang in the doubles, yet they came through to land that crucial extra point to propel Defiants into the top three. Good way to end the first half. Fat Coke in glass bottles awaits us at the Man On The Moon.

EDitorial ± 14-Dec-2013

130Story: Smile / Envy / Hand / Sweet / Climb

The rules of 130Story are simple: given a random seed word, write a story in 130 characters.






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 13-Dec-2013

East Suffolk Committee for Aeronautics: Press Release

(330 word short story published on 330 Words on Friday 13-Dec-2013)

ESCA’s Geoponic Intelligence Low Earth Satellite (GILES) lifted off from the former RAF Bentwaters site aboard the Ransomes X rocket on December 8, 2013 at 3 o’clock, give or take. Separation took place at roughly quarter past, the twin Villiers mower engines splashing down safely in the Deben. Before the hour was up, telemetry from GILES was received by volunteers at the Bawdsey Radar museum.

“We’re over the moon to have finally met the December launch target set by my father,” said Ted Leadbetter, GILES mission controller at ESCA’s Propulsion Labs in Oulton Broad. “Dad’s initial aim, some 40 years ago, had been to rendezvous with Apollo 17. That groundbreaking plan, like so many others, was thwarted by the Local Government Act of 1972 and the enforced unification with West Suffolk.”

Tens of spectators watched as Gemma Sadler, 9-year-old winner of our county-wide colouring competition, repeatedly yanked the Ransomes pull cord to ignite the rocket. Her classmates – and, indeed, all East Suffolk schoolchildren – have been asked to watch the skies over the next few weeks for a hi-tech parachute. Said package will, as per the original ’70s ESCA design, contain an Agfamatic 126 full colour camera. Up to 24 images will be available on our website as soon as the film has been processed. Branches of Boots The Chemist from Beccles to Bungay have been put on alert.

By Thursday, GILES will cruise at an altitude of 258 miles and provide a comprehensive agricultural survey of our glorious non-metropolitan county. ESCA’s crack team of COBOL coders promises that the satellite will fly in from the North Sea and directly over East Suffolk several times a day. Then, as GILES approaches the border with West Suffolk, it has been programmed to rotate all sensory devices by 180 degrees. The team also guarantees that GILES will not come within 25 miles of Norfolk airspace.

Mr Leadbetter added: “Not for the first time in the space race is the East leading the West.”

EDitorial ± 10-Dec-2013

TT1314, Week 11: Strongest Team

(yet another guest review by Kevin Cockerill: thanks, Kev!)

Tonight we played Britannia Cormorants, "the stongest team in the division". Not because they’re top but because they are holding everyone else up. These were the words from one of their players, whom I last played about 15 years ago, as they started to turn up for what was a truly enjoyable evening. Their players consisting of two "mature" players -- Jim and Brian -- with hip and ankle problems, and then there was Alex, a keen 13-year-old who liked to smash that ball whenever he got the chance.

Losing the first two games fairly easy was not in our game plan and after clawing back a game we found ourselves trailing 1-3. Both Andy and Yang went down three straight ends to Young Alex, while Kev managed to take an end off him before succumbing to the youthful energy to lose in a 13-15 thriller final end.

It looked bleak BUT Yang and Andy rallied and we somehow found ourselves 5-4 ahead, with wins from all three of us. So the doubles came and Andy offered up the combination of Yang and myself, and played what was a close run event but ultimately couldn’t finish it off when needed. So a fair result, 5-5.

EDitorial ± 7-Dec-2013

130Story: Poll / Rock / Fake / Nail / Sky

The rules of 130Story are simple: given a random seed word, write a story in 130 characters.






More to follow.

EDitorial ± 3-Dec-2013

Spinning Top

Post Sunday lunch, pleasantly full, and is there any better time to come over all Steven Spielberg? There's a bottle top on the shiny table top which, given a half-decent flick of the fingers, spins like those blokes who used to sing In My Liverpool Home.

That rapidly rotating redtop cried out for some appropriate background music. Cue The Young Ballerina by Charles Williams for obvious reasons.

Wish I could take some credit for the way in which the top seems to stop at precisely the right moment.

EDitorial ± 2-Dec-2013

TT1314, Week 10

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Hence following last week's good win, Defiants are rolling out the same crack line-up of Yang, Steve and Ed. Plus neither Andy nor Kev were available, which helped.

Coastal sporting venue tonight down at Felixstowe Rugger, as visited by Steve and Ed at the start of the year. Not ideal conditions, mainly due to the carpet, but we've all played in worse. Home team are both new and old. New because none of them were playing in the IDTTL last season. Old because all of them have played a lot in the past. Joining wife Alison and husband Conrad is ex-Londoner Vinod. Chris, their 4th player, is also there to give his support, which is nice. This'll be tough. In brief:

  • disappointing 1/3 for Ed, outhit by Conrad and outlasted by Alison, losing 11-9 in the 5th end in a game they both wanted to win
  • not so bad 1/3 for Steve, battling past Vinod and taking an end off Conrad (though sorry to lose in straight games to Alison)
  • a satisfactory 2/3 for Yang, victorious against Alison and Vinod

Worth noting an attempted serve by Vinod which sailed high into the air from his bat only to be caught by Steve on the sideline, and Ed the umpire trying to return the ball to Vinod only to throw said ball into his glasses.

Yang and Ed in the doubles (thanks to Steve) and needing a point to maintain that unbeaten record. Won the first, lost the second, won the third, lost the fourth, then Conrad really got going, putting away forehand after forehand, to help them win the fifth and hand Defiants a first defeat of the season. No disgrace to lose 6-4 but could have gone the other way on another night, we'd like to think.