Monday, 26 September 2011

Peace Bombs in this Hellish Juggle

A few days ago, I read about the Secret War the CIA carried out on Laos, during the 60s - cluster bombs dropped every eight minutes, every single day, for nine years. Farmers continue to pick exploding bomb material out of their land. A local artisan discovered a way to repurpose the explosive metal and make spoons. A former fashion merchandiser discovered the artisan and proposed designing bracelets. She calls the bracelets peacebombs. You can buy them, wear them. The bombs still fall.

I wanted to write a chirpy post about my exciting news - I started my Masters degree in Creative Writing last week! All weekend I bashed away at 265 pages of Defoe's Moll Flanders, patiently watching her skitter from crime to (unreliable) penitence - and feeling really rather chuffed with myself. And then, today, after class, as I was shuffling along a corridor (packed with students going the wrong way), I came up against a chap herding everyone away from the main entrance.

Bomb scare. Newmarket Road cordoned off. Buses, taxis, peace of mind - all a Hellish Juggle. I felt my small bubble of light sink. So much for fictional foes. Two friends I made last week seemed entirely unperturbed, and quite rightly got on with the business of choosing a place for lunch. I found it harder to let go of the hapless rucksack causing fear, of the seeds that are sown every time suspicion is cast upon a targeted group.

Well, I say fear, but finally, when I did find a working bus, a huddle of sixty-somethings were discussing The Bomb thusly: "There was one of them a couple years ago, werenit? At Christmas, in Marks n Sparks? They got nuffin' be'er to do init?" "But Newmarket? Wot's in Newmarket??"
"Nuffink, init."

So there's nuffink in it. Init?

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein next... oh dear. If I start to write villainous fiction, you will know why.
'Hellish Juggle', quoted from Moll Flanders.

12 comments:

Brian Miller said...

that is really cool how they are repurposing those spoons...crazy on the bomb scare...

Fireblossom said...

I have not read Moll Flanders, finding that many of the old classics of that ilk don't read very easily to modern eyes. But I absolutely adore the movie version with Morgan Freeman. It escapes me who plays Moll, but she was very good in it.

Another like that, for me, is Silas Marner. I read the book, and couldn't tell you one single thing about it. But the movie "A Simple Twist Of Fate", in which Steve Martin updates the tale, is a favorite of mine.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I am SO THRILLED you are taking creative writing. Every time I do, it gives my writing a real burst. I had planned a class this fall but it was cancelled. Am hoping for January. Scary about the bomb scare - but I LOVED the conversation you overheard. And am glad you are safe.

Shaista said...

Fireblossom, I saw a trailer for the Morgan Freeman version but it bore no resemblance to the novel. Robin Wright plays the main role, but Defoe's Moll is nothing like - she is a liar, an adulteress and a thief who nearly ends on the gallows but makes good her escape to the new colony of Virginia, where she gets rich and lives merrily with her (cannot remember which) husband :)

Shaista said...

Sherry, knew you'd be thrilled! Good luck for January.. we can exchange notes :)

Richard said...

Just in time Shaista - I was packing my knapsack when your (my) daily fix arrived. Plus the sun is daily gaining in its struggle with Lima´s all-winter cloud. Hints of Spring. A good day has started.

Richard said...

Just in time Shaista. I was packing my knapsack when your (my) post arrived. Plus, the sun is gaining in its struggle with Lima´s all-winter cloud. A good day has started.

Jo Bryant said...

facsinating subject - great post

Morning said...

superb concept.
lovely magpie for sure.

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ds said...

Beating their shards into spoons...good for them!
Congratulations on beginning your MFA; you will do wonderfully.
Guess I'm in the minority, but I loved Moll Flanders--she's a wily rascal, all right, but she also commands empathy (giving birth in Newgate, yes?).
Didn't even know there was a movie. Oh, well.

Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

You definitely totally wrapped me up in your little tale. Rather like reading too many pages of Moll Flanders in a day. Reality and fiction all muddled up.

Nice Magpie.

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