Welcome to Abigail's Journal Space

I have set up this space to provide a focus for all things writing-related and in order to keep some kind of record of my published pieces. Where possible I will supply links to e zines and information about printed material. If you wish to get in touch with me directly, please leave a comment. Alternatively, I can be found on both Twitter and Facebook.

In addition to the outlets mentioned above and in fairness to all the editors to whom I am equally grateful, my work has also appeared in: 'Ink, Sweat & Tears', 'Symmetry Pebbles', 'Reflections Magazine', 'Earth Love', 'First Edition', 'Magnificent Me', 'The Human Genre Project' and 'Rumble'. If I have left anyone out, I apologise in advance. I will rectify any omissions of discovery. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Abi

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Los Bomberos

For some weeks now I have been experiencing difficulty with my smoke alarms.  One of them started to beep, at first very softly, a random and intermittent nuisance, irritating, but bearable.  However, as time went on, its complaints became progressively louder and more insistent.  Eventually, rendered reckless by sheer exasperation, I climbed on a chair to investigate.  Being somewhat vertically challenged, I could not see much at all.  I discovered that there was something writtten on the white plastic casing - but I could not get close enough to read what the words said.  (I wear vari-focal spectacles and the angle and the distance was all wrong.) I tried to remove the aforementioned plastic casing but I could not see how this might be easily acomplished.  The harder I tried to achieve my goal, the more likely it seemed I would fall over.  All the time I was wobbling on the chair, the thing was going 'beep' in my ear.  After some minutes, I began to see how prolonged exposure to high-pitched sound might have some useful application in a hostile situation and went on to wondere whether smoke alarms are covered by the Geneva Convention.  Finally, I climbed down from the chair and abandoned my efforts.  I took to sleeping with a plug of cotton wool stuffed in each ear.

Then, to my rescue came my cousin, Kim, who works for the Fire Service in Essex.  Showing considerable resourcefulness - and no small amount of kindness - she telephoned her colleagues in Cornwall and arranged for two ot them to call on me and my errant smoke alarm.  They came this evening, just after eight, and showed me how to fix it.  One of them was tall and handsome with broad shoulders and extremely good teeth - in short, everything one would hope a dashing fire-fighter would be.  The other was sweet and friendly - and he had nice eyes - but, compared to his colleague, he was - there is no was to say this tactfully - positively diminutive. He couldn't reach the smoke alarm either, not even when he stood on the chair.

Now, surely, this can't be right, can it?  In the event of an emergency involving a fire (rather than a smoke alarm) there would have been more chance of me carrying him than of him carrying me.  Or am I just hopelessly behind the time?  Is this, perhaps, a new breed of firefighter, one that has been developed for emergencies in mine shafts, tunnels and other confined spaces?  Is it the Jack Russell of firefighters, as it were, tiny but tough and ferocious?  If there are any firefighters out there reading this, then - really - I need to know!

In the meantime, I am hopeful that I will soon be able to dispense with my cotton wool ear-plugs.  Tomorrow, I will buy a new battery - and now I know how to put it in.  Of course, I may still need someone much taller to complete the operation.  Would it be rude and ingracious, if I telephone the station, to ask them to send the larger model?