Anne Pack

Another Perthshire Writer

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anne pack

I joined Perthshire Writers in January 2009, after meeting founder member, Margaret Gillies Brown, at a social function. Iíd always wanted to do creative writing, but didnít know how to start. Margaret encouraged me to join PW. At the first meeting I was struck by the friendliness and helpfulness of the members. The meetings are informal and the schedule is interesting. Everyone is invited to give constructive criticism on written pieces, and there is no shortage of encouragement. I have learned such a lot in a short space of time. I havenít had anything published yet, but I hope to.

Computing for the Terrified

You say itís called a PC laddie, no, that canít be true
In my young day thatís what we called, the local boys in blue
But please go on, Iím here to learn, how to surf the net,
And correspond by email, an electronic tete-a-tete
And that wee sleekití looking thing is called a mouse you say
To navigate the etherís maze and point me on my way
Save regularly thatís the key, funny, father said the same,
Maybe I am not too old for starting at this game.

I must confess Iím terrified that Iíll do something wrong
And all the stuff thatís stored inside will suddenly be gone
But weíre assured that every night a back upís put in place
I think he means the night shift comes and fixes our mistakes
Informationís stored in bits, like a jigsaw I suppose
It must get very cold in there because once, he said, it froze
The softwareís something I just cannot get my head around
Though apparently my memory is absolutely sound.

I nod my head when he says words that are so clear to me
Like the nasty virus I caught last month or the spam I had for tea
I know full well what a firewall is, it needs no explanation
But spare me please the details of the term defragmentation
My desktopís tidy, thereís just a cup, some pandrops and a pen
I guess the monitor he mentioned will be round to check and then
Weíre going to have some cookies, and some chips I heard him say
Iím really glad that I enrolled for night classes yesterday.


computer problems

handbag

tardis

The Handbag

Now Iíve got a handbag, a tiny little thing
It cost me a fortune and I bought it on a whim
But itís such a handy thing that without it Iíd be lost
The contents are so priceless I just couldnít count the cost
Thereís my car keys, my door keys, my hair brush and my purse
A photo of my husband for better or for worse
Some crumpled paper hankies, some handy safety pins
My driving licence with three points, I got for my sins

Thereís my credit cards, debit cards, and loyalty cards galore
A membership card for the library from 1984
A torch without a battery, a roll of dental floss
A mobile phone, an iPod and some strawberry lip gloss
Thereís toothpicks, lipsticks in every shade and hue
Some loose change in case Iím out and need to use the loo
Assorted pills for every ills, some plasters for my feet
A pair of tights, some 1st class stamps, a mirror and some sweets.

Yes my handbagís a tardis and Iím its Dr Who
I know each tunnel inside out and every corner too
It defies the laws of physics in terms of time and space
Itís a constant in the evolution of the human race
It may look cute and dainty, a classic object díart
But without it firmly in my grasp I wouldnít get too far
Iíd be lost without my handbag and the things it holds inside
Weíll always be together, forever side by side.

Telephone Conversation between Gordon Brown, PM and the Big Bad Wolf

A telephone rings.

'Hello, am I speaking to Mr Gordon Brown the Prime Minister?'

'Yes you are, and who am I speaking to?'

'This is the Big Bad Wolf and I am phoning you on behalf of the people of Nursery Rhyme Land and Fairyland as their chairman. Or should that be chairperson because itís non-PC to say chairman nowadays. Hey, Iím not even human so maybe I should be called chairwolf. What do you think?'

'Now youíre being silly Mr Wolf. How can I help you?'

'At our meeting last week we discussed our role in the development of children and we think that the Government is determined to be party poopers and spoil the fun.'

'How so?'

'Well, take Little Red Riding Hood for example. Wearing hoodies in public has become so unacceptable that Little Red Riding Hood asked her mother to remove the hood from her cloak. And while weíre on this subject can you tell me when her granny will be eligible for meals on wheels? Little Red Riding Cloak, as we now call her, is under such peer pressure to attend after-school clubs and the like that she would appreciate not having to walk through the dark forest every day. Besides, itís just not safe. You never know might be lurking behind a tree.'

'Ok Mr Wolf, Iíll see what I can do. Iíll phone social services and ask them to look at her case as a matter of priority. Now was there anything else? Iím a busy man.'

'Mr Brown. I have only started. Iíve got a big long list here. I hope youíre taking a note of all this. Now Iíd like to move on to Little Miss Moffat. She suffers from mild arachnophobia and there is a six-month waiting list for her to be seen by an NHS behavioural psychologist. What do you intend doing about it?'

'Well of course when we came into power we inherited long waiting lists from the previous administration, but rest assured we are doing everything our power to reduce those waiting lists. We want Great Britain to have a health service to be proud of. The aim in our manifesto is to open new hospitals, recruit more doctors, invest more money...'

'Ok, ok, you can get off your soap box. What I want to know is how is that going to help Little Miss Moffat just now? Sheís a nervous wreck.'

'Er, couldnít she go and help Little Bo Beep round up her sheep? Now thereís a good diversionary tactic. Iím in the wrong job here.'

'You can say that again. Now what about Old King Cole. All he did was call for his pipes, call for his drums and call for his fiddlers three. Before you could say Fe Fi Fo Fum, he received a letter from the Noise Abatement Society and got served an ASBO. Really Mr Brown do you not believe in fairy stories?'

'Of course I do. Have you never listened to Prime Ministerís question time?'

'I wonít dignify that with an answer. Now take the Pied Piper. During the last refuse collectorsí strike he collapsed with exhaustion trying to lure all those rats away from the bins.'

'Really?'

'Yes, and last month several people reported seeing a cow jump over the moon.'

'So?'

'They were hauled in to the nearest police station for questioning on suspicion of taking drugs. I could go on and on.'

'Yes you are a bit arenít you?'

'Next item on the list. Jack and Jill.'

'What about them?'

'Apparently they are not allowed to climb a steep hill to fetch a pail of water, without wearing a safety harness, a hard hat and they must sign a disclaimer for the Water Board. A risk assessment was done and the chances of Jack falling down and damaging his head were just too great.'

'Donít you think that was the right thing to do?'

'No, I do not. Itís health and safety gone mad. Now theyíre left with a big roll of brown paper and a cupboard full of vinegar.'

'Very handy for wasp stings.'

'I donít think youíre taking me seriously Mr Brown.'

'Can you blame me? I have far more important matters of state to discuss with members of my cabinet than airy fairy matters such as these. They wouldnít support nonsensical ideas like these.'

'I wouldnít be so sure. Are you sure you have all the support from colleagues that you think you have? From what Iíve heard some of the members of your party are revolting.'

'I have to agree some of them are not exactly raving beauties but I wouldnít go so far as to say they were revolting.'

'Oh never mind. Actually speaking of your colleagues Iíll fast forward to Rumplestiltskinís gripe.'

'Donít tell me. Heís had a court injunction taken out against him to ensure he doesnít come within a mile of the Queenís baby daughter.'

'No, itís not that at all. He says heís working his fingers to the bone, day and night, spinning straw into gold but still he canít keep up with MPs expense claims.'

'Now youíre exaggerating. Iím afraid the media blew that story out of all proportion. My colleagues and I have returned every penny that was accidentally over-claimed. No-one broke the law you know.'

'A likely story. Speaking of law. When first-offenders are sentenced to spending so many hours on community service do you think it could be restricted to repainting fences and clearing old ladiesí paths?'

'Why?'

'Because a whole gang of them were sent to clear a mass of tangled bushes and undergrowth at Sleeping Beautyís castle. She had just settled down for a 100-year nap and didnít take too kindly to being woken early by a yob with tattoes, a shaved head and several body piercings when she was expecting a handsome prince on a white charger.'

'Ha ha ha. Oh Iím sorry for laughing but Iím just trying to picture it.'

'Take the Three Little Pigs.'

'I donít mind if I do, with a little bit of apple...'

'The local councilís planning department wonít give permission for the Three Little Pigs to build a straw house as itís deemed a fire hazard.'

'Well it is.'

'But itís only up long enough for my cousin to blow it down. Not only that, but the council wonít give permission for them to build a wooden house as it would be classed as a holiday home and liable for a higher tax.'

'The Government has to tax what it can to fund the services it provides.'

'Mr Brown, you are just a killjoy. The way you are going me and my friends will all be out of a job.'

'Well, the government has in place various schemes...'

'Donít give me all that. We just want to do what weíve done for centuries Ė provide entertainment for children.'

'Look Mr Wolf, you can huff and puff all you like but laws are in place for a reason. Now why donít you go out into the forest and eat some of the gingerbread house to cheer yourself up?'

'But Iím nowhere near the forest.'

'Where are you?'

'Iím in the office next to you.'

'What? But how did you get past security?'

'I said I was Alistair Darlingís brother and they said they could see the resemblance.'

'LookÖ.Iíve got to go. Iíve got a meeting. What time is it, Mr Wolf?'

(The Big Bad Wolf burst in through the door) 'Dinner time!'