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While the Kettle Boils

Character One

Yes, that’s Mr Canada

We had a lovely evening

Just friends you know, chatting

Over burgers - not McDonalds

this time, the Royal Oak, in Risca.

It’s nice there, a food pub, 

really comfortable with red seats

and old-fashioned tables. 

He knows the score, not expecting

anything else - although I know 

he’d like more and yet.....I don’t 

see him like that, hard to explain.

He’s interesting and we 

have a laugh, and yet…..

Now you know Tony? Army guy

friend of Becky’s boyfriend? 

What’s great about him is that

he’s happy with things as they are.

He’s not wishing for more, 

It’s too soon for him,

too close to the last –

same as me, same as me.

He’s on the tele tonight, 

that gardening programme,

what’s it called?.......

I’m gonna watch it just to see

his arse, he’s got a great arse!

It’s too soon though for us both



 Character Two

Nah, we don’t, you know, not now.

He’s never interested, and me….

I’d rather have a cup of tea,

To be really honest, know what I mean. 

Want a builders tea or posh?

Know what you’re like. Funny

to think… when we first got together - 

the bath was the first place…..

I always sat at the tap end and he…

Man-sprawled at the other end, 

Covered his whatsaname 

In a massive load of bubbles!

Surrounded by scented candles,

glowing, relaxing, laughing,

a glass of wine in my hand – huh!

The idea of sharing a bath now

turns my stomach, no way.

I’d rather share a cup of tea

and Love Island on the tele.


Character Three

I keep a poetry book by the side of my desk

and when things get blurry, between wanting

the job and walking out into the street -

just leaving the office behind and allowing

the sheets of paper that we’re no longer 

supposed to keep on our desks, to blow

away, like a slow motion significant moment

in a film. I don’t walk out, instead,

I read a poem, to make sense of why

I remain, researching the world for others

who like me, want to find the answers. 

This poem says that the searching is life, 

not the pot of gold at the end. It makes me

feel happy to think that I’ve already found

something of what I’m looking for. 

Did you say you’d been a counsellor,

 you’d be good, you’re wise

not that old, but mature, don’t laugh.

I like to talk to you, you’ve already lived

and I can learn from sharing stories

and a poem I find beside me, 

when a blurry moment appears.


Character One

You know the one I’m on about –

He’s Indian, from London,

A big bloke, I showed you the pic,

Yeah he’s got a lovely face too,

I like a man to be manly, rugged,

not worried about a bit of weight.

He was more keen than me mind,

But I felt that there was something.

He’s been inside, for fraud 

done his time though, it doesn’t bother me

He told me straight out.

I’m meeting him in London 

this weekend. I’ve booked myself

a room in a tidy hotel, 

nothing fancy, just to see him

face to face, but not commit.

He cares for his Dad who’s old,

And sees his boys twice a week.

I don’t know how it’ll work, but…

there’s something there,

I’d like to explore.


Character Two

He’s forgotten Ceri’s swim kit,

I’ve gotta run, get to the school -

so embarrassing, my mother being

a dinner lady an all, when

everything goes wrong.

It matters to a kid in school, that age,

don’t you think – fitting in, looking cool?

His father favours Ceri over Jack -

he never says a thing, never stands up

for his kids, never answers back.

I sometimes think I’d be better……

Gotta run now, get to the school.


Character Three

Don’t ask me if I’m seeing anyone,

As if being on my own is a half-life.

I work, go home to my perfectly

comfortable, set up exactly as I want,

messily me, minimal if I want it, flat.

Excite myself with drives to the coast,

breathing the sea air, striding up the

sand dunes with breeze blown hair,

dipping my toes into the icy ocean.

On some days  a burger in

the local café is just enough for

my taste buds. They know me there

now and I get pleasure when asked,

“the usual is it love?” I smile and

find a seat away from the window,

by the wall, where I can read my book

and not be interrupted by families and

groups of loud girls and men on the prowl.


Character One

I still see the girls from the band

we meet up a couple of times a year.

Lots of memories there, to share.

And I’d go back if it weren’t for the end,

the last few months, when he changed.

I loved to hear him play guitar, I felt

he sang those songs to me alone.

The girls and I would dance and

drink vodka and share our lives

at a booth in the corner.

People change with time and

I have no problem with change,

but all the things I loved, it

seemed like he poured them away

filled himself up with other stuff,

unrecognisable, unenjoyable,

that made him unbearable to live with.

I tried, for a while, for the kids, God 

they didn’t need more disruption,

but I owed it to the memory of how

good it used to be, to let him go.

He left one morning, whilst I shivered

in our bed, placed his key on the table

and closed the door quietly

behind him, I pulled the duvet

over my head, and cried

silently, so that 

the kids didn’t hear -

curled up I was,

like a small 

injured animal.


Character Two

No, I’m not ok Sian sorry.

It’s twat-face he’s been having an affair

After denying it, denying it for months.

What the hell, the total twat!

Fancy doing that to his kids, how 

Do they deserve that Sian, they’ve 

Done nothing, what the fuck?

Sorry Sian, I’m not ok, sorry.

I thought there was something,

I’ve been thinking it for weeks,

the way he’s shaving so carefully,

smothering himself in shedloads

of aftershave, the one I bloody

gave him for Christmas!

Oh my God, Christmas -  

went out on his works do

I wasn’t invited, apparently

no partners this year – whatever!

I bet he never went, took a taxi 

probably to hers, to their shag pad.

The whore, bloody whore, fancy

stealing someone else’s husband -

she must have known he was married.

What kind of woman leaves her kids?

She has kids yeah, two, 10 and 12 -

how could a woman walk out on her kids?

How could he want to be with someone

who abandons her own children,

devastates her children’s lives?

Well he won’t be taking my kids

anywhere near her, I can tell you that.

If he thinks I am letting my kids within

five miles of that …..that…… sorry Sian.

They will not be meeting her – never.

He’s made his choice…his life with us,

or with her, he’s made his choice I’m sorry.



Character Three

A colleague runs a makeup and hair business

on the side, you know, it’s her passion. She’s

planning to give up the day job one day soon,

I’m sure we all relate to that. So - I volunteered,

I think she wanted more diversity amongst   

the models in lace silk and satin for brides,

with a vision of what life should be – I explained

that I won’t wear a dress with a split up the side 

or a neckline that places my breasts on a plate

sharing my body with anyone that I didn’t carefully choose.

I took my own dress in the end, not a real bridal gown

but a dress that I wore to my cousins wedding last year.

I’ve got a photo here, I love this colour, and look at the earings 

pearls and crystals - and my black hair against the bright pink silk.

Part 2
00:00 / 17:34
Part 1
00:00 / 12:56

Extracts from
While the Kettle Boils…

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