francis_george A few of the little stories I sometimes write in instagram captions are being compiled into a booklet to be given out free at RIBS, the new stand-up comedy night at Crack Magazine's lovely pub, The Christmas Steps. Come along on 14th December for an evening of ale and laughs. Event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1418954071727824/ 3w

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francis_george You might think this is an image of Louis Spence (in a dashing pink & blue shirt I happen to also own), but it's actually a sly selfie. 3w

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francis_george Justin descended the dripping cobbles, quietly aware of how nicely his hat and coat combo matched the foggy, almost Dickensian atmosphere of the city that day. 1mon

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francis_george 'What an ugly building', uttered Val, half unconscious, still sluggishly slurping on the remnants of last night's cocktails and cakes, congealed around her grotty gums. 'Uh?', asked Kev, eyes glazed, head sore, toes itchy, tongue white and dry and dotty.
'That building', she said, slowly extending a shaky hand and pointing her withered index finger out of the cab, hot pink nail varnish tainting the air. 'Hm', croaked Kev. 'Yeah.'
The taxi driver turned his head fifteen degrees to the left - he was about to tell them how the building was listed. 'It's brutalist', he was to say, but the lights had gone and someone behind had banged the horn.
Val lit her cigarette. 'What the fuck were they thinking?' she said.
He pulled away.
'It's brutalist', he thought.
1mon

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francis_george Dad. 1mon

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francis_george This pic is how I imagine the past would look if it was in the future. 1mon

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Nashville Francis Blagburn
francis_george 500m to the party 1mon

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francis_george @dunchar was reading Heat in a tranquil room. You won't believe what happened next! www.shufsounds.com 2mon

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francis_george Esther got home from the Peking Plum at 22.05, switched on the kettle and turned on the television in order to be told by George Alagiah about all the most important things that had happened in the world that day. She emptied the contents of her coat pockets before putting it away, as was her wont, and in doing so revealed the shiny red wrapping of the evening's complementary fortune cookie. A miserly woman, Esther rarely gave oxygen to such superstitious fancies, but on this occasion something compelled her to open it. She cracked the shell to reveal a strip of paper within, lying dormant like a pearl in an oyster. She held it up to the light. 'You will be given the opportunity of a lifetime today', she croaked the words absent-mindedly, squinting behind her glasses before snapping back into life. 'Hm! Fat chance', she spluttered, sinking into her (floral, kitsch, comfy) armchair. 'There's only an hour left!' Nonetheless, as the clock struck 11, she was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime. 'Oh good', she thought. 'Thats nice.' 2mon

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francis_george Eugene knew he was a good looking guy. He often remarked to his guy friends, 'I'm a good looking guy', to much enthusiastic agreement and back patting. 'You're a good looking guy!', Dan had once confirmed. It was for this reason that Eugene had reacted to the dearth of a mirror in the cinema's toilets with such rancour. His good looks didn't just happen, they required preening and periodic attention. He stormed downstairs to the box office, each step emitting an almost gong-like thud on the thin wooden stairs, and stood by as the earnest, boyish clerk apologised and printed a sign, talking and doing simultaneously, digging out the laminator, warming it up and proceeding to laminate the sign. Eugene followed the clerk upstairs and into the loos. He waited as the clerk fetched blu tac, and appeared visibly annoyed when he returned with an insufficient amount. By the time the whole snafu was over, it was ten past, and he'd missed what Yvonne informed him was 'the best bit'. 'Fucking hell', he said. 'The best fucking bit.' 'Did they print the sign?' Darren asked. 'Yeah', he said. 'But it took long enough.' 2mon

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francis_george For Diane, life in the city was necessity. 'It's all I've ever known', she'd once explained to a sedate squirrel on one of her nighttime walks. 'It's survival.' She often caught glimpses of the rolling English hills in the passing adverts of the side of buses or on postcards in tourist vendors shops, or occasionally in the eyes of small children whose astonishment at the big city mirrored her own disillusionment with it. One day, in a small green area, she felt the presence of her kin behind her like a ground swell, so familiar it was stifling, and noticeably unsettling. She became aware of her wings tucked behind her, useless things which promised freedom but delivered only it's image. 'I can't leave this Godforsaken town', she thought, (or rather felt, since she rarely thought in words per se.) 'I wouldn't know where to go. I'd die, I'd starve.' She turned around and joined the pack, a few of whom had noticed an exhausted looking old man on a bench who had some bread, and were beginning to generate a hubbub about it. 'Bread!', one of them shouted, his face a featureless mass of meaningless shapes. 'Yes', she said.
'Bread.'
2mon

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francis_george Arnold bought an absolutely massive car to impress Roxanne. He drove it to her building and parked outside, drumming his fingers on the steering wheel and listening to golden oldies on Radio 2. He was enjoying California Dreaming and peering straight ahead, his nervous energy manifesting itself as tiny convulsions of his right leg and a palpable body of sweat on his back which stuck to the plush leather seating he'd had installed earlier that week. At 5.30, when there was still no sign, he wandered into the foyer. He hung around and eventually asked a tall, stork-like man with round spectacles if he knew her and whether or not she'd be back any time soon. 'She's teaching kids in Thailand' he reported. Apparently there'd been drinks. The stork-like man's smile was well meaning, and strikingly enthusiastic, but appeared to Arnold so smug he involuntarily formed a fist in his pocket. At 5.41 he drove home to Uxbridge. They were still playing golden oldies on Radio 2. 2mon

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francis_george Angelo had move to New York from Tuscany in 1971 with only the clothes on his back, (admittedly, stylish cashmere jumpers and expensive denim jeans), and a fifty dollar note. He was a regular sucker for the American Dream, and built a waste disposal empire from the ground up, boasting 6 outlets and a neat Manhattan office by the mid-Noughties. It was 2008 when he broke it off with his then girlfriend, Maria, with the words, ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss.’ He moved to England and started afresh. On 4th January, after a sweaty day in the Slough branch of Natwest, he drove his hire car to a secluded spot and absent-mindedly funnelled kebab into his dry mouth. ‘What the fuck have I done?’, he said aloud. 2mon

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francis_george Dave hadn't thought anything of it when asking Rog and Craig if he could bring his boyfriend to the quiz on Monday. 'He's shit at general knowledge, but good at getting the rounds in', he'd joked, believing he saw warmth in their beady eyes. He'd looked forward to the quiz, feeling it would be a good opportunity to consolidate the bel esprit of the group following February's redundancies. When he saw the graffiti he was at first unsurprised and numb, and later viscerally angry and hurt, cycling through witty comebacks in his head that would restore to him the upper hand. 'Rog is an infantile wanker', he imagined emblazoned on the sea walls. In the end he settled for saying it face to face, and received a respectable, if muted, response from the rest of the team. On Friday he got a text from Steve. 'Good on you mate', it read. 'Everyone knows Rog is a twat.' 2mon

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Valencia Francis Blagburn
francis_george Sylvia and Alain went rambling on the moor regularly, at a brisk pace, indulging in pleasant chatter, with frequent comfortable and spacious silences. It was a clear Saturday when Alain cleared his throat of a frog and blurted out, 'Why isn't there a white history month?', followed by 'It's racist against the English', incongruously loudly. Sylvia's brow was furrowed. 'Oh I don't know', she whimpered weakly, politely, trudging on and suddenly feeling a bit shit. 2mon

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francis_george Pablo sat in the cab of his forklift truck. He watched, aghast, jaw agape, as Dazzle negotiated the controls of the Sennbogen with ease, subtlety, and the sort of dexterity he'd heard once described as "legerdemain". He'd googled the word and thought, 'yes, that's exactly what it is'. Then he went on Dazzle's Facebook and sighed wistfully. 3mon

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francis_george Some of the lads at work called him R2D2.
'I'm not bloody R2D2', he spat, but the ringleader only smirked. He swore he'd stop doing their printing one day, but knew deep down he never would.
3mon

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francis_george 2pm, Thursday.
Albert said, 'I'll jump'.
Luca's hand landed sharply on Albert's. It was warm and there were veins.
'Don't', he offered. 'You'll only sprain an ankle.'
3mon
  •   benjamin_wells ~10am, Monday, 1998. A spaniel puppy (sold from my family to the La Ruca owners) ran out of this shop and got crushed by a car. I've never forgiven them. True story. 3mon

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francis_george My future living room set up 3mon

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X-Pro II Francis Blagburn
francis_george Spot the snazzy nineties photo of my Mum. 3mon

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