I was supposed to be in Rome now.
Yes, now. Possibly sipping a Negroni, somewhere near The Spanish Steps.
The plan was, to go to Birmingham airport last night, meet my friends there and stay overnight (because we had a 5am check-in -AAAAGH – the next day) and fly out this morning.
My case was packed on Wednesday and I’d rushed round town like a loony, buying Euros and zooming into ‘White Stuff’ (which I can never normally afford) for an impulse buy.
“Can I help you?” the woman on the door asked, as I dashed in. I expect she normally gets, ‘I’m just looking, thanks’, so looked a bit taken aback when I yelled and gesticulated, “YES! Those shoes in the window!!?!” (which I bought, within 2 minutes).
£35! Ouch! for a pair of pumps. But they are very nice.. in fact, I have taken a photo them for you. There it is, up above..
You and I would call them ‘grey’ but White Stuff call them ‘stone’ (and they’re also available in ‘rhubarb pink’, which was very tempting but I had to go ‘neutral’ for once).
Good for walking around sunny Rome, with a bit of a chinos/t-shirt ensemble, don’t you agree?
ANYWAY, why have I not gone to Rome?
No, it’s nothing to do with the terrible fog (although it did delay flights this morning) and, fortunately, nothing terrible has happened to anyone.
No, quite simply, dear readers, I got the date wrong.
I thought it was a bit strange that I hadn’t heard from either of my two friends, so I texted them both on Wednesday: *What time are you both getting to the hotel tomorrow?*
Within seconds, the first one was on the ‘phone and we had hysterics. We literally couldn’t speak for laughing. Firstly, because we thought she’d got it wrong and then.. as realisation dawned, that actually, I’d got it wrong (even down to booking my airport parking for the wrong weekend. Money down drain or what?).
In fact, every time I think about it, I laugh again (I’m doing it now).
In short, the trip was NOT this weekend but next weekend. So, looking on the bright side, I’ve still got it all to look forward to! (*And the shoes aren’t really for sale. I just couldn’t resist a little play with Hemingway’s fabulous 6-word story, which I’m sure you all know: ‘For Sale: Baby’s Shoes. Never Worn.’)
I’ve never done anything quite that stupid before. (Anyone else prepared to admit they have?!)
And by the way, if you want a laugh, have a look at fellow writer and generally lovely person Ninette ( I met her on my Italian writing course last year)’s recent post – she’s in Italy too – in which she tries to involve her dog in a ‘selfie’. It certainly made me giggle.
My mix-up/madness came in a strange week, in which the tax office have detected an (unintentional!) mistake on my tax return from a couple of years ago. (Not mentioning any names but it’s the fault of a former employer of mine who didn’t send me a P45 when I changed jobs within the University – whoops, there’s a clue – and as a result I didn’t declare the right income. Aagh. Will they let me blog from prison? I will keep you posted on that one).
But the good news is, now I’m not going to Rome until next week, I’ve got time to register with the ALCS, finally and get some money that I’m owed (if you’ve ever had even one story or article published in the UK, you need to look at their website!) and to enter the Mslexia Short Story competition (on-line entries close at midnight on Monday 17th March – so you’ve still got time too! What are you waiting for? Stop reading this and get on with it…!)
Or, if you’d rather write a feature, you might be interested in Thresholds features competition which, importantly, is FREE to enter and has a first prize of £500 and a second prize of £100. You’ve got until 2nd April to submit your entry which has to be either:
1. An essay on Author Profile: exploring the life, writings and influence of a single short story writer.
or: 2. ‘We Recommend’: personal recommendations of a collection, anthology, group of short stories or a single short story.
I’d love to have a go at this one but I suspect quite a lot of research and reading is involved and I doubt whether I’m going to have the time. (Is it just me, or does anyone else want to enter every single writing competition they see?!)
Have a good weekend, everyone!
The Spanish Steps, Rome