Thursday, 24 December 2015


“I think we’ve got too many pot plants,” Margaret said to Steve.
Steve said nothing. There was an azalea in his mouth,
and a spider palm leaning into his ear.
We’ve got too many pot plants,
he thought.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

The start of a rubbish fairytale

Once upon a time there were two brothers, who were both landscape gardeners. Mister McGarbey, the oldest brother, wasn’t bad at landscape gardening, but he wasn’t brilliant at it, either. “It’s an okay garden, I suppose,” his clients would say, before returning to quaff their Prosecco and judge the poor (for they were the sort of people who employed a landscape gardener). His brother Luke, on the other hand, was a brilliant gardener. Talented, yes, but also creative. He would build little streams with wooden bridges, cut animals into the shapes of hedges, and, for a pair of eccentric billionaires, he had even installed a koi carp fountain. (There were initial issues with maintaining the pressure in the piping, since koi carp aren’t cylindrical, but once he liquidised the carp and strained the bones out, the fountain element worked perfectly.) Luke was paid handsomely for his work and, since he didn’t believe in savings, he led a lifestyle that most would describe as ‘extravagant’. One morning, while the two brothers were out walking with Luke’s personal trainer, his concierge, his butler and his stylist (most butlers don’t have stylists, but as mentioned earlier, Luke was extravagant), Mister McGarbey (Harvey) found his thoughts drifting. Did his brother really deserve to have more than him? What did his brother have that he didn’t (apart from a large coterie of largely redundant staff)? The main difference between them, Harvey McGarbey reasoned, was not talent. Or success. It was self esteem. Mister McGarbey lacked self-esteem. And because a lack of self-esteem is a treatable pathology, and not a reasonable reaction to one’s life, Mister McGarbey decided to see a psychologist.