Lovely Girls

21/09/2013 Lovely Girls Suzanne Conboy-Hill Amy watches the door, that grimy finger-stained gobbed-on portal to fleeting respite from the ward’s stink. The stink that makes her eyes water and saturates her soul. She tries to shift her bottom, to hold her limbs still for just long enough to hover briefly above the puddle of cold pee that has settled in a trough of rucked-up rubber sheeting. No luck, she sinks back. Flails back, in truth: arms threshing, mouth grimacing and spit flying, right onto the wet sandpaper of the twill draw sheet. Edie, inches away in the next cot, lets … Continue reading Lovely Girls

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‘Lovely Girls’

From the re-cycler ; ‘Lovely Girls’ is a story about the life of a young woman in an institution for people with learning disabilities. Amy watches the door; that grimy, finger-stained, gobbed-on portal to fleeting respite from the chronic stink that makes her eyes water. First published by The Other Room Journal, it moved to Scribd when TORJ ceased operating. 1999 words.   Continue reading ‘Lovely Girls’

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‘If it ain’t broke …’ now an i/Phone/Pad/Pod/Thing download

If it ain’t broke …’ has been on This Personal Space since May 20th, 2012 and now I am very pleased to announce its availability as an iPhone/iPad download from Ether Books, 12/07/12. A brave decision by Ether – not everyone would take the risk of featuring a story whose main character is a man with Down’s Syndrome, especially one who doesn’t live up to the stereotype of happy, smiley but ultimately helpless dependent. The app and the download are free. If you felt so inclined, you could take a look and maybe even give it a star or two? Jolly good. Continue reading ‘If it ain’t broke …’ now an i/Phone/Pad/Pod/Thing download

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‘Lovely Girls’: a grim tale of one woman’s life in an institution

‘Lovely Girls‘ is not lovely at all. Described by one person as ‘wonderful, inasmuch as something so crushing can be wonderful‘, and by another as ‘richly conceived and … harrowing’, it is a fictional account of the life of one woman in an institution for ‘the mentally handicapped’. I worked in such places in the mid 1970s and early 1980s. I was part of the closure programme when people were moved from this awfulness to more humane environments, and I saw how the attitudes of both public and ex-patients changed. Service users gained skills and self-respect, our neighbours learned how to communicate with someone … Continue reading ‘Lovely Girls’: a grim tale of one woman’s life in an institution

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Winterbourne abuse scandal

Writing is writing, right? Someone in ‘Good Will Hunting’ said that, if you can do it, you should, on behalf of all those who can’t. Well this link to my other blog, my other life, is my writerly way of speaking for those who can’t. Others have done the same. Journalists have made erudite comment. The BBC gave us the material. But we all knew it was happening, somewhere in our souls, our collective psyche. We knew that we could not always trust humans to act with humanity, or decency, or even just plain neglectfully. We knew that some would see an opportunity for … Continue reading Winterbourne abuse scandal

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