Posts

Play my radio show

Every Monday between 2PM and 5PM (GMT) I play a variety of rock-based music on my own music internet radio show (the Music Box Radio Show). I chat about the tunes, talk about what's on at the cinema, what's going on in the arts and a little bit of local sport. All tunes are selected from my own CD and digital collection. Here's my latest music show for you to play...

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Picture of some Rory Story Cubes

The City

I threw some Rory Story Cubes and the images revealed let me imagine a City ...

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the stage and catwalk of the Rolling Stones show surrounded by a massive crowd

The Rolling Stones at Old Trafford

I went to see the Rolling Stones in Manchester. It was, really... amazing. No exaggeration. Read about it.

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Create drawn with pencil

Sketching the bay

Well the drawing lessons have been running for a few weeks now and I’ve been unhappy with my output from them. I needed to get out from the classroom into the great outdoors ...

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Pedregalejo

On Holiday in the Shadow of the Volcano

When the volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted in Iceland in 2010 it caused enormous disruption to air travel across western and northern Europe and also to my holiday! Read all about my holiday issues here ...

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Paseo de Pedregalejo, Malaga Este

Ash crisis? What ash crisis?

When the airline says its safe to fly again, sadly it looks like our holiday is nearly over

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Barcelona to Almería – travelling to Spain with a dog, part 8

The two of us and Piper the chihuahua arrive in Dieppe to travel to Paris via Rouen

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Just like Conan Doyle?

Don't deny you always wanted to write like Conan Doyle? Me too. So I gave it a go.

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En Ronda

This poem was inspired by a photograph of a building awning I saw in September 2007, in Ronda, Southern Spain. The huge photo depicted some famous local bullfighters...

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Streets of fire

A picture of a boy and a miner freshly out of the mine inspired me to write this piece of flash fiction...

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6 word story anyone?

Inspired by Ernest Hemingway's famous iconic 6 word story, I had a few attempts. read 'em here and be embarrassed for me.

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Hand in hand with the great Stephen King?

Recently in my creative writing class we carried out an exercise, adding to the beginning or end of a fragment of text we’d been given by our tutor. I was excited by the start of the story and piggybacked my text on to it.
Below is an extract from Stephen King’s “Night Shift”…

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ape hands using a keyboard with a banana at the side

About me

Reading and writing have always been easier for me than 'rithmetic, so that's why this isn't a blog about numbers.  Mathematicians see beauty ...

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bots

"I know what you mean" St John squeaked. "I mean, where are the women? We came here for a night of sybaritic pleasure and no totty about. Not a sausage. I was so looking forward to putting the pedal to the metal, if you know what I mean."

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I’m back…

Some of my friends in Gibraltar noticed the site was down. I’m happy to report it’s back online again. Thanks Roy and Sylvie!

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Tommy’s tale

“Tell them Tommy. It might help.” she said. Her partner, who was probably in his early 60s, seemed reluctant to go forward, but eventually he moved towards the light and speaking hesitantly at first, said, “I’ve an experience to share." He looked around at the expectant onlookers. "My sister thinks it might be good for me if I tell you my story. She calls it a story, anyway. But it won’t make the snow disappear and I don’t think it will make the train come any sooner.”

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The wheels on the bus …

Writers & Artists Yearbook asked on Facebook "Writing exercise time: write a short paragraph to accompany this image." I posted this ...

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Paris Gare de Lyon

Paris to Barcelona – travelling to Spain with a dog: part 7

The two of us and Piper the chihuahua arrive in Dieppe to travel to Paris via Rouen

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Francisco y Cayetano Rivera Ordonez

I read and enjoyed for a second time, "Death and the Sun, a Matador’s Season in the Heart of Spain". Edward Lewine embarks on an eye-opening journey around Spain, with Spain's most adored bullfighter. Also here's a CBS video about the brothers Ordonez.

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Horror flash

I wrote this piece when my friend Lauren brought in another yet another great idea - write some flash fiction. She gave us the idea that a little boy was in bed, meant to go to sleep, but he couldn't, for the very good reason that he thought there was something hiding under the bed!

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xenon headlight

Haiku

A haiku is a 3-line poem with 17 syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count. Thought I'd give it a bash!

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a photograph of a photograph of a figure in silhouette close to the camera walking from left to right

Is there life?

More photographic prompts this week er… “prompted” me to combine 2 snaps into a quick sci-fi 70’s pastiche. Simples!

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The Rock

I think this was one of the first pieces of ‘flash fiction’, for want of a better term, I ever wrote in the first Creative Writing class I attended, in 2009. It came out of a lesson to which my tutor brought a smooth khaki coloured rock, and told us the 15 ideas it had given him for a story. He asked us to use our imagination and to come up with something ourselves ...

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Writer’s Block

Anyway I was tellin' you about this geezer. Supposed to have done a lot he has. A lotta writin’ not a lotta wacky baccy! Does a lot of soul searchin’ too I expect. Staring out the window, I mean. Often see him, looking down at me I do. Why me I’ve no idea. I’m not exactly inspiring...

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Bonnie and Clyde

I wrote this when I got a homework request for something biographical in a college class. It was inspired by a BBC 2 Timewatch programme I watched about Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.

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Dialogue

I was asked to write something entirely in dialogue. I'm not the greatest talker in the world but when it comes to imagining a dialogue that's easier for me... see what you think.

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In The Machine

...as he pressed the On button, there was a loud report, the TV screen shattered and an acrid cloud exuded from the gaping hole where it had been.

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white power fascist fist

Adolphus and Me

What if a fascist group rose to prominence in the United States, sometime round about now? Huh? Well what would YOU do?

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hadrians murdo

Illuminating Hadrian’s Wall

Drawn by the first-ever lighting of the 70-mile monument from end to end, thousands of visitors filled every local car park, lay-by and footpath, while helicopters and a NASA satellite recorded the necklace of beacons from above. I played my part!

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escape UK winter

Winter blues – travelling to Spain with a dog, part 1

I’ve become more unhappy with the effect of the UK winter on my state of mind and have yearned for an escape... This is the first post about my escape abroad. I’m hoping it’ll give YOU inspiration to do the same.

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Detail from a Lowry painting at Kelvingrove

Our day at Kelvingrove Art Gallery

I visited Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and made a video. It's no "War & Peace", at just 78 seconds long, but I hope you like it.

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Sonnet

This poem was inspired by watching tv adverts showing shiny, happy people buying nice sofas, immediately followed by ‘Warzone’. ‘Warzone’ was a Channel 5 documentary series following the lives of British servicemen and women at Kandahar Airbase, Afghanistan. Amongst the team was a fire crew, who had put out a plane fire..

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Oscar

Here’s a poem abut one of my cats…

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The fly In the Ointment – travelling to Spain with a dog, part 2

In the middle of yearning to get away from the UK for the winter I only went and bought a dog! Complications!!

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Man looking at huge screen of departures and arrivals in a station or airport

Dieppe to Paris – travelling to Spain with a dog, part 6

The two of us and Piper the chihuahua arrive in Dieppe to travel to Paris via Rouen

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Spoon

Here's a 'concrete poem' I wrote. Concrete, pattern, or shape poetry is … “poetry in which the typographical arrangement of words is as important in conveying the intended effect as the conventional elements of the poem, such as meaning of words, rhythm, rhyme, and so on. Judge for yourself if I managed it!

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Cargo ship in a port early morning

Newhaven to Dieppe – travelling to Spain with a dog, part 5

Read about our journey from Newhaven, Sussex, across the English Channel to Dieppe in a bid to escape the UK winter

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About 35°C in the shade

'Opening the wardrobe door' was a recent writing prompt I was given. Quick as a flash fiction writer, I came up with this...

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kids drawing of Frankenstein

Self portrait

On a hot day in the garden I used my iPad as a mirror and sketched a self portrait on paper ...

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The Elephant of Doom

This is a piece of hokum, inspired by Rudyard Kipling's characters in "The Jungle Book"...

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Round robin anyone?

Some time ago I took part in writing a 'round robin' ...

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Interruptions

Steve got a writing toolkit for Christmas, and last night we each took one of its' emery boards, each with a prompt on it, and started writing. Then he interrupted us every 5 minutes with another line we used to change the direction of our stories. My starting prompt was I loved the way she said "balloon". She said it as if she were blowing bubbles., and the interruptions, are in italics below. Here's what I came up with...

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Cento

From the Latin word for “patchwork," the cento (or collage poem) is a poetic form made up of lines from poems by other poets. Though poets often borrow lines from other writers and mix them in with their own, a true cento is composed entirely of lines from other sources. Early examples can be found in the work of Homer and Virgil. Quite good company, huh?!

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Calvin and Hobbes

Recently, after making a donation, my wife brought home a book of comic strips from a charity table at work. It was "The Calvin And Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book" by Bill Watterson, commemorating his own comic strip, which was pretty big in US newspapers in the 80's and 90's.

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Those Were the Days

In 2009 some old friends and I made a nostalgic return to some old pub haunts. I played the papparazi part. We all ended up feeling old. Where did the time go?

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aerial view of Dieppe, France

Dieppe to Paris – travelling to Spain with a dog, part 6

All about how we nearly got away with incarcerating our pet in a ship's hold and travelled by ferry to Dieppe

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feather

Writers’ podcast

Here's a podcast I made for a local writing group one night. Er... watch the creativity pouring out of your speakers/earphones (whatever) while you listen

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stylised picture of a gardenia flower closeup in a soft focus

Gardenias again

Based on the prompt ‘Gardenias again’, I wrote this piece of flash fiction about a man who, living alone, comes home from another hard day at the office. But all is not well.

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hand cranked toy music box workings sitting on a small coloured cardboard box

High wire radio act …

In September 2018 after a phone chat / interview I had an on-air “trial” with Don. He's a manager at a local community radio station. I joined Fylde Coast Radio as an unpaid music presenter in September 2018. I have to admit it's taken up a lot of my creative energy since then. After the 21 shows I've done so far, I wish I’d started doing it years ago.

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Murder. No mystery.

The runes were cast and these are what the gods came back with - a black cat, a lightning bolt, a light bulb, an eye, a question, a footprint, an abacus, a compass and a magic wand - see the picture! I did my best with this meagre material... so here is my offering!

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Perfect Day

As part of an exercise in characterisation, the men in my class were asked to write a piece about a woman, and the ladies were to write about a man. Examples given to us were from Alan Bennett’s “A Chip In the Sugar”. I haven’t read the book, but to my knowledge, this lady never lived ‘oop North’…

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Neon letters ART on black

“Drawing for beginners”

I've started attending a "Drawing for Beginners" evening class at a local college. The 1st lesson wasn't what I was expecting...

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Joosy

Chris opened the driver’s door of the 1990 Focus and Joosy ran forward and was in the back seat before he could say “knife”. He had tried and inside the car she looked lovingly at him, but of course, she didn’t understand a word he said.

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Book review: “Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint’s Trunk”

Read my appreciation of Christina Hardyment's "Captain Flint's Trunk" on GoodReads.com. Go on. You know you want to...

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An Introduction to Gibraltar

I worked in Gibraltar for 6 months a few years ago. For me it was an amazing and unique experience. Here are a few things I learned.

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Blue

The writing prompt was to write about your favourite colour. Guess what mine is.

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Oscar, Ella and Ringo

Our cat lost us, so I wrote about the trauma. i guess it helped me.

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Two poems …

I wrote a couple of poems . The first is my take on an 'echo' poem. The prompt was 'edge' so typically oblique, I made U2's guitarist the subject. For the 2nd, a diamante poem, the prompts were a starting point of 'young' and an ending of 'old'. The idea was a smooth transition from one to the other...

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Sketching the lake

Here’s today’s sketch, made on another grey, cold day. I climbed over a fence to draw from the lakeside ...

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The Morning After the Night Before

You know the one where someone shows you a work of art or even just an everyday household object, and it inspires you to write something? I'll show you mine, you show me yours...

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Emp'uh'uh of the empire

The Empuhuh

RoryStoryCubes helped me write this piece of flash fiction about a dog, a dragonfly and a dragon in a spare half-hour.

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Photo prompt kills!

The little man had sharp blue eyes similar to those of a mynah bird we once had caged in the kitchen at home. Gordon continued, "He's my most trusted forensic man. He'll take you through to the morgue...

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Sketches of Spain

I had some drawing lessons with a local artist. Then I went to Spain and spent some time doing some sketches from the terrace of our holiday apartment. See what you think of them.

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The Dean of Gibraltar

Here's an extract from a long standing project I've got on, writing a series of short stories about Gibraltar clergy - don't ask me why but it seemed a good idea at the time!

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How Honey Got Happy

As soon as Honey Dale woke up, Steve Taylor’s face swam into view. It was a waking nightmare. She stopped herself from screaming as memories flooded back. In spite of the occasional nightmare, Honey knew everything was so much better now.

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Borrow box library audiobooks logo

Borrow Box

If your library closed in the recent council budget cuts you can still borrow ebooks and audiobooks from your library service online or via an app on your phone

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Preparations – travelling to Spain with a dog: part 3

All about how I planned to take my Chihuahua dog abroad to escape another dull UK winter

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vik muniz smiles disarmingly straight at the camera in a colour picture

For Your Pleasure

Listen to my poem, "For Your Pleasure", written following an exhibition by Vik Muniz at CAC Malaga, Oct 2012, while you look at photos of his wonderful installations...

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