BellyWheel were a band - 2001 to 2003 comprising

Martin Craven - Guitar / Lead Vocal
Steve Borsley - Guitar
John Bentham - Bass
Johnny Moran - Drums

previously there was Curleys Heroes

here are some tracks

Follow Me - I Don't Care - This Guy - Gloria
recorded Feb 2002 by Sid Shark Fin
with some help from the King

this is a story

The Apple

Ben Hope glanced over his left shoulder at the clock, it was two minutes to twelve. He got up from his desk and walked across the office toward the large charcoal grey metal cupboards. Opening the doors, he scanned the contents of the cardboard boxes. Pens, paperclips, the usual array of drawing office supplies. "Blades, who's moved the fucking blades" he fingered all of the boxes, "obviously not in here are you?" Ben's mind began to race. He didn't really want to ask but he was already doing it. "Barbara, I can't seem to put my finger on any blades", he spoke into the cupboard neither moving nor looking in her direction. In turn Barbara without raising her bespectacled eyes from the VDU screen reached down to the two draw cabinet on her left opened the bottom draw and kicked it twice with the outside of her gleaming brogue clad foot, "In here", she mumbled.

He almost said it then, it was there at the front of his brain, damp on his lips " My mummy beats me when I mumble, my mummy broke my glasses".

It was now seven minutes past twelve and already things were not going to plan, the blades were not meant to be down there, that's not right. Ben had been sat at his desk since eight forty five this morning working everything out, each little detail and straight away he was nearly five minutes behind schedule. The blades were in completely the wrong place. Ben closed the cupboard doors, turned and walked towards bespectacled Barbara and her open draw.

She looked up from the screen, stared at him, and for one brief moment they were making eye contact. "What number?" She was asking him what number blade. That's definitely not right. She was now looking down into the drawer and that was much better, but he wanted to choose the blade. Ben's heart raced. He had the time for that, until a quarter past twelve to look at the blades, to look at all of the blades and choose the best one.

"In fact" she mumbled again. "It looks like we only have No.10's. He picked up the thin shiny sheath from her desk, holding it between thumb and forefinger. No.10, BS2982 made in Sheffield England A simple line drawing of a deftly curved steel blade was emblazoned across the packaging, which was not dissimilar to that of a condom packet. Perfect he would have chosen a No.10 definitely, that's good, that makes everything right again. He didn't need all that time to choose a blade, that was silly of him. Ben had an erection.

You have to be very careful when removing old blades from your scalpel, not as careful as when you're putting a new blade on, obviously. But still take great care. Swan-Morton, Ben loved the way that was written down the shaft with BS2982 neatly stamped below it. That was good, the blade and the scalpel both being to BS2982 very good.

Ben moved around his desk and switched on the uplighter, which illuminated the photograph of his mother and his older sister Ruby, who now lived in Canada, raised his coffee mug, drank the remainder of a lemon flavoured cold remedy and settled himself to the job in hand.

Ben took his lunch box out of his briefcase, opened it and removed the brown bread and ham sandwiches neatly wrapped in clingfilm, his yoghurt and of course the apple. There was no spoon in the box, so after finishing his sandwiches he was forced to eat the yoghurt from the plastic carton as though it was a thick drink. The time was now twelve thirty five and that was fine he didn't spill and that was fine too.

Ben placed the empty mug directly in front of him "WORLDS GREATEST DAD" and sat the apple on top, rotating it from the vertical to the horizontal so that the core ran from right to left. Applying the minimum of pressure with the palm of his hand and placing a strip of one-inch masking tape over both the apple and mug, Ben became very happy indeed. With a water based black marker chosen from an assortment of pens on his desk, Ben drew a circle around the apple.

Ben pondered. If the apple were the world then longitude 140 would be a suitable location and with the unflinching right hand of the finest surgeon marked a dashed line around the apple. Holding both the apple and the mug steady he began to slice along the line through the skin of the apple. What dropped to the desk, looked perfect, almost good enough to eat.

Ben's fingernails penetrated deep enough into Barbara's scalp to give a faint squeak as they hit the skull, her head twisted to the right as her face crashed down into the keyboard, causing the arm of her spectacles to burst her left cheek and splinters of glass puncture the eye. "Off they jolly well come". Ben flicked the blade from the inner lobe up and round "hold still that's my girl ". Perhaps she caught sight of her ear as her head was swung to the left and a warm jet of red washed over her face and across the screen. "Once more steady as an apple, Round we go. You'll see much better now, without those silly things on". Don't mumble Barbara! It's time to get back to work, just look at the clock."

"The things we do for love, the things we do for love, like walking in the rain and the snow, when there's nowhere to go. Do you like 10cc Barbara"

copyright Martin Craven 2001

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