Misadventures

Misadventures

Sylvia Smith

Language: English

Pages: 208

ISBN: 1841950955

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Part memoir, part comic monologue, this is an ensemble of mishaps and anecdotes that, taken together, reveals the ups and downs of one woman's life. Relentlessly self-deprecating, Sylvia Smith's diary at first seems to relay the humdrum, everydayness of living, yet it steadily gains momentum as a darker undertone gathers force. Interspersed between humorous tales of first-date disasters and "get-rich-quick" schemes gone awry, the reader is thrown off-balance by the loss of sexual innocence and a pervading sense of loneliness. As Sylvia stumbles from one temporary job to another, and through a variety of furnished flats, her deadpan delivery is shot through with moments of sandpaper-dry wit.

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main entrance and pick the roller up from the pavement.’ One lunchtime Kathy and I had sandwiches at our desks. I had also bought myself a yoghurt as my dessert. I was very tidy minded and decided to suck my spoon clean. I put it right side up into my mouth, gave it a hearty suck and attempted to pull it out again. To my horror it wedged itself between my upper teeth. I groaned and Kathy looked up to see my open mouth with the spoon hanging from it. I sat at my desk wondering how I was going

just the basics and her dusty feet, leaving a tide mark all around the basin. Each time I shampooed my hair I had to scrub the bowl before using it. She would rarely have a bath. Although Jenny supplied a first class automatic washing machine Andrea would change her bed linen and bath towels very infrequently. Jenny said to me, ‘Every time I come home I can see Andrea’s dirty net curtains upstairs as I come up the path. She hasn’t taken them down for months. I’m going to put them in the washing

have to repay the authorities. If he hadn’t taken my customers away I would have let him go without causing any trouble.’ 1992 THE GROPE I was aged forty-seven. Every Monday evening for several months I went to an over-twenty-five’s disco in Enfield with a group of girlfriends. The men were all very attractive and aged from thirty-five upwards. My girlfriends and I were frequently asked to dance but as soon as the DJ played a series of slow numbers the lights would go down and

be lovely, wouldn’t it?’ and passed me the completed form. Ten days later I returned to Marion’s house with the various products she had requested. We settled in her lounge. I asked her, ‘How did you get on at the hospital?’ She replied, ‘Unfortunately the doctors told me the cancer has spread too far and they can’t do any more for me.’ I said, ‘I’m sorry.’ She replied, ‘Oh, don’t be. It’s only one of life’s little battles.’ I asked, ‘Aren’t you upset about it?’ She replied, ‘Not really. I’ve

London’s West End as their printing department. I ran the Gestetner Department. Ursula was in charge of the Photocopy Department. We shared an office called The Print Room. Ursula was dark-haired and very attractive. She had come to London from Liverpool with her fiancé Eric as his job as an engineer required him to work there for six months. They were living together in a furnished flat in Streatham. Ursula told me this was against her parents’ wishes. We were both newcomers to the company.

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