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Tell Your Own Story

Writing & Me by Howard Edmunds

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Article by Howard Edmunds ©.
Posted in the Magazine (Tell Your Own Story: , ).
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Here we go about me: if asked to do this prior to 12 December 2018 I would have found this task impossible but now 1,000 words seem too little. For some reason totally unknown to me I sat down and started to write, never having written before, about Milo, a very cute and small dog. For some reason the words just kept flowing, I could not stop. Before this I had always been a big reader but I had never thought of writing anything. After writing the first Milo story I attended a doggy Xmas party, this inspired me to write about it through the eyes of Milo. This piece was published in The Evington Echo, a local newspaper with a circulation of about 6000, they also put a picture of Milo in it. Since the piece came out Milo is often stopped when he is out walking by people who recognise him from the article. Since then I cannot stop writing, I have now written about 50 or so short stories, and have many more in the pipeline. I write about mainly about the dogs that I meet in the park, a particular favourite being Bobby a very grumpy and greedy dog who is always getting into trouble. Bobby’s parents have three brilliant children who I also write about. One of the stories I have written, Life in Wellington Boots, was inspired by Bobby’s biting habit and the children having to wear the boots to protect their ankles from being bitten.

I so love the new world that I have created for myself, away from the realities of everyday life. Writing was not a thing that I had ever envisaged myself doing, but now I cannot stop. Jobs and things that I used to do now get put aside, who needs a spotlessly clean house when you have things to say and words to write. I have always had a slight artistic bent, I used to produce pottery and even managed to sell some of my work to Liberty’s, a well known shop in London. My career was that of accountancy, not the most inspiring of professions in the world, but it did put bread on the table and occasionally produced the odd moment of amusement.

Well now for the boring bit, me. My name is Howard Edmunds and I am of a certain age when the numbers don’t really matter, as someone I cannot remember once said, I act my shoe size not my age. I feel a lot younger than my actual age and try to act as such. I had a fairly normal childhood, my father was in the army so we travelled around quite a lot, the one posting he had that I remember the best was a three year posting to Cyprus. My schooling was pretty mundane and I managed to get through it without getting expelled, mind you there were a few near misses. After leaving school, and not knowing what I wanted to do, I had a variety of jobs such as painting and decorating, engineering, an overhead crane driver and then I finally settled on accountancy which I did for about twenty five years. I am now retired and loving every minute of it. My interests now are walking in the park, gardening, cooking, reading and now writing. The writing seems to have become an obsession, I write now at every available opportunity, it has become a passion, I feel like a man with a mission.

The writing itself gives me a great deal of pleasure but I also like the comments that I get from people who have read my short stories Somehow I seem to have got some people to enter my fantasy world and some of them have told me how they like this place. One of my friends told me that a lady that I do not know very well had phoned him up to say that when she read The Xmas Doggy Do story it had made her laugh, This was the first time that the lady had laughed since her husband had died several months earlier. I was so pleased that I could have this effect on someone. I have a friend who I include in some of my stories and she owns her dog Bobby who I write about, Bobby is a real character and is always getting himself into trouble. This friend has got three adorable children who I include in some of my stories. The friend reads my stories to her children who really like them, sometimes she has to stop reading as the children are laughing so much. Another friend of mine, a lady who is older than me and who edits my work told me that when she feels a bit down, she will read one of my stories to cheer herself up. It gives me great pleasure to know that I am giving people some joy in life. I seem to have a very diverse audience.

I must admit that the thought of writing about myself filled me with horror, but I have really enjoyed doing it. Thank you, Writing.ie, for suggesting it and I hope it is what you wanted.

(c) Howard Edmunds

I am now retired after being an accountant, not the most exciting way of spending your days, but it kept a roof over our heads. My interests are walking in the park, growing vegetables, reading and writing. My interest in writing began on 12 December 2018, this is when I wrote my first short story titled The Adventures of Milo. I was inspired to write this by a very cute and small dog a friend of mine owns. Since then I have produced in the region of fifty five more short stories, mainly about dogs that I know or meet in the park. My stories are usual based on looking at life through the dogs eyes.

 

 

The Glove Compartment by Howard Edmunds

To Bobby (the grumpiest dog ever) life in the foot well was getting rather boring to say the very least. Why oh why did he not qualify for a seat like all the other passengers, why was he always dumped in the foot well like a piece of rag. Bobby thought he deserved more respect than he was given. If Onkar had his way he would have made Bobby travel in the boot, but Kally would not allow this to happen. Occasionally when Onkar was feeling really brave and Kally was not watching Onkar would put Bobby in the boot, Bobby did not like this one bit. But Bobby did get his revenge for the trips in the boot by leaving very discreet puddles in there. Since Kally’s little nasal job,to remove the polyps, she often wondered why there was a funny smell when she opened the boot to put in her shopping, not her Bobby. Even Kally would not suspect what Onkar had been up to, heaven help him if she did find out.

Some days when Kally was in a particularly good mood, not that often, she would put Bobby on the seat next to hers. He felt so proud on those days as he felt he was being treated in a more respectful manner. Being so short the view was not a lot better on the seat, as Bobby could still not see out of the windows. Bobby thought that looking at the dash board was so much more interesting than either looking at Kally’s trainers or looking at the carpet. From here Bobby could see the glove compartment and his oh so doting Mum driving the car, yes definitely a lot more exciting to be on the seat. The seat did have it’s drawbacks though,on one occasion when Kally had to do an emergency stop not only could Bobby see the glove compartment but he could also feel it. The bang to his poor little head brought tears to his eyes, for once Bobby wished that he had been in the foot well. How this incident scared Kally, she feared for her little Bobby’s life. If it had been Onkar he would have feared for Bobby living. Kally had to pull the car over and check that her Bobby was alright. Bobby got his revenge for the bang on the head by giving Kally a quick nip while she was inspecting him for any damage.

Kally had not noticed the rather large crack in the glove compartment’s door, as she had been so concerned about her poor Bobby. The crack had happened when Bobby’s head had rather violently struck it. When Onkar,(who sees all), next got in the car he noticed the crack in the glove compartment’s door the moment he got in the car. He also noticed that there were Bobby’s hairs all over the seat. Kally had forgotten to brush them off the seat due to her concern about Bobby’s condition. At fist Onkar could not believe the crack, he wondered how one could do that. Onkar went back into the house and asked Kally what had happened to the glove compartment’s door. Kally looked a little confused and she wondered what Onkar was talking about, she did this quite often. Both Kally and Onkar went out to the car, Kally to see the crack for the first time, Onkar to check that he really had seen the crack. Well lo and behold there was the crack staring at them in it’s full glory. Onkar was still mystified as to how it could have happened. Onkar also pointed out the dog hairs all over the seat. It suddenly dawned on Kally just how the crack had got there, it must have been the Bobby’s head incident, oh dear she thought .Stalling for time and not wanting to confess to Bobby being on the seat Kally told Onkar that she did not feel too well and needed to go inside and sit down. Kally’s brain was working in overdrive to come up with a reasonable explanation.

Kally thought about lying but could not come up with anything that would sound remotely plausible. Then she thought about blaming one of the children but that would not be fair on them. She could always deny any knowledge about it, but she thought that Onkar would never believe this. Kally was even beginning to think that her darling Bobby might not be worth all the trouble he caused. Now what to tell Onkar she thought, it looked like a confession might be the only answer, what trouble her and Bobby would be in. Then it came to her in a flash, tell Onkar half the truth, she would tell him that she had had to make an emergency stop in order to avoid a little old lady who had stepped out in front of her. The sudden stop had made the glove compartment door drop down, and that she had not noticed the crack when she shut it. That sounded good to Kally and it would avoid her and Bobby getting into too much trouble, Onkar might even praise her for her swift reactions. So Kally told Onkar just that. Onkar looked a little dubious, in fact Kally got the felling he did not totally believe her. No more was said about the glove compartment’s crack though, phew Kally thought. Then Onkar mentioned the dog hairs on the seat, there way no way out of this one for Kally. Kally looked at Onkar with a pleading look and said that she thought there was something wrong with Bobby and if he was on the seat she could keep a closer eye on him. Onkar just said that there was an awful lot wrong with Bobby. Kally then added that she would hoover the car and get rid of all the hairs. Onkar suggested that it would be a lot easier to just get rid of Bobby. Kally decided it was maybe wiser to not say anything in response.

With that Kally went off to hoover the car and Onkar stayed to work on his plan for getting rid of Bobby. Bobby just lay there trying to ignore his throbbing head.

(c) Howard Edmunds

Continental Cuisine by Howard Edmunds

I don’t know if you remember me telling you about my fabulous Uncle Howard’s kitchen floor (Life sucks) and the meals it has provided, well it has been surpassed. I have a great mate called Pedro. His Dad, Miguel, has really given Uncle Howard’s kitchen floor a run for it’s money. When Miguel make his famous paella, what can a dog say, no scratching around in the corners here, the whole floor area is a dog’s dinner table. The only other person whose kitchen floor comes anywhere near those two is my other great continental mate Luigi Dad’s kitchen floor. Now Angelo is an artist at kitchen floors, he covers it with such flare, his splashes are just magic. There have been a few Italian artists over the course of time and he might well join them in time. It’s great going to these houses, come on Mum you need to learn the art of floor splattering.

Continental food has always been my thing, well except for frogs legs, you never know where they have been, revolting. British and Asian foods are good but continental foods are a joy to the taste buds, but not so good for the waistline. We did once go to a Japanese restaurant, this really was not my type of food, I think they forgot to cook the fish, it was cold and very slimy. Some Chinese food I can take, we sometimes have a take-away and I pick at it. American food I find is a bit on the greasy side of things and generally their food is very fattening. We had a visit from an American dog once, boy was he overweight, a strict diet needed there, and I think the same applied to his parents. Now Greek food is a dream, they sure know how to cook a super meal, gosh their Stifado is from the Gods. Stifado is steak cooked very slowly, for about five hours, in a special earthenware pot. When my Mum and Dad were in Greece Dad attempted to purchase a Stifado pot, but when the shop owner learned my Mum and Dad were vegetarians and were going to use the pot to make vegetarian meals he threw them out of his shop. He shouted at them that they would be insulting the pot, it was only to be used to cook Stifado, he then used some word that we did not understand (maybe as well). Well you must admit it the Greeks have a charm all of their own. I have to own up to not being a big fan of German food, a bit too stodgy for my taste. As for French food, well what can I say, far to fancy and messed about with. Why oh why do they put all that wine in a meal when you could just have some wholesome gravy. I am quite broad minded about what I eat but as I said frog legs are a big no no, snail-I would never entertain the idea, and some of the ingredients used in some Chinese dishes seem a bit dodgy and need to be avoided at all costs.

One sunny afternoon we were invited round to Pedro’s place for a barbecue, Miguel was to do the the outdoor cooking. If I had thought he was good with a kitchen floor what he could do in the great outdoors was amazing. I have never seen food so far flung before, there was even a sausage hanging from the branch of the neighbours tree, your guess is as good as mine as to how that had happened. Miguel is a true artist. I think that there could have been more food on the ground than there was on the plates, his enthusiasm knew no bounds. No need to steal or beg here, just self service, eat on. Gosh Pedro and I were so full we had to stop, well one last sausage for me then a bit of shut eye before the next round begins. That’s if I can find a quiet spot, somewhere out of the sun and away from the smoke. The Spanish sure known how to enjoy themselves and get into the spirit of things. What a great barbecue and thanks for the invite Pedro.

On another occasion Mum, Dad and I were invited to Luigi’s place for an alfresco meal that was to be prepared by his Dad, Angelo. When we arrived we were taken through the house to the kitchen, the smells coming from the kitchen made your mouth water, what a treat we were in for if the smells were anything to go bon the lamp shade, better not to ask. I think I had consumed a three course meal before we got to the kitchen patio doors, leading to the garden. There must have been a lot of people invited as two long tables had been joined together. The food on the tables look magnificent, there was mountains of it, and still more to come from the kitchen. Luigi and I had a run around for a while and then we did a few doggy things and then settled down for a rest before the next course. The guests arrived, about twenty of them, and thankfully there were some small children amongst them, children are great as they generally drop some of their food for us dog to have. What between the falling food and the trips back to the kitchen for a lick of the floor what a great time I had. The Italians also sure know how to enjoy themselves big time. The one little downer was that I had a rather sore tongue from all that licking. What a brilliant day was had by one and all. Heaven help Angelo when Luigi’s Mum sees the state of the kitchen, I heard that these Italian women can be a tad on the violent side at times.y. My, the state of the kitchen floor surpassed any kitchen floor I had seen before. My Mum could learn a thing or two from this, dream on. There were splatters everywhere, in fact there were splatters on top of splatters, only a true artist could produce a floor like this, it was a masterpiece in every sense of the word. Doggy heaven on earth. Now where to start, I was spoilt for choice, the lasagne looked a treat and the macaroni cheese, well the smell made this a must. I would love to know how Angelo had got linguine

As for who can create the most splattered kitchen floor. In fourth place Mum,by a country mile, in third place Uncle Howard, in second place Miguel and the winner has got to be Angelo, anyone who can get linguine on a lamp shade has got to be the winner.

(c) Howard Edmunds

 

 

Make Your Submission to Writing & Me
I am now retired after being an accountant, not the most exciting way of spending your days, but it kept a roof over our heads. My interests are walking in the park, growing vegetables, reading and writing. My interest in writing began on 12 December 2018, this is when I wrote my first short story titled The Adventures of Milo. I was inspired to write this by a very cute and small dog a friend of mine owns. Since then I have produced in the region of fifty five more short stories, mainly about dogs that I know or meet in the park. My stories are usual based on looking at life through the dogs eyes.