Sunday, May 24, 2020

Giving up?

I am not a novelist. I've wasted good ideas for short stories by trying to think of them as novels. However, if I revisit them, and I have about four I think I started on, maybe I can rewrite them as long short stories. I'm very down and depressed. Hardly an hour goes by that I don't spend partially in contemplation of throwing my hat at it all. 

I wish this coronavirus would go away, it's so worrying and depressing. So much anxiety, fear... We're shielding each other here. A ticklish throat, random cough at night: is this it? Are we goners?

Then sometimes interludes of welcome respite in the garden. I wish goldfinches would slow down so I could have time to get my binoculars and have a good look at them. They flit to the bird bath and are gone in an instant. I'm going to go for a long walk today, my 3 mile walk. I've been taking the 1 mile route most days or staying in all day. Meanwhile here's Donny...


Giving Up by Donny Hathaway (Spotify)

P.S. "Put Your Hand in the Hand" came up on random play for me after that. Stop that! Heh.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Snaps and claptrap

Weeds are good. I like them. We have to stick together. The camera can't quite capture the delicate primrose colour exactly.

Primroses growing wild in the back garden
In other news, our lemon tree has been freed from its greenhouse prison to romp about in the sunny outdoors. It is bedecked with flowers like jasmine only more grown-up and sensual. The one lemon is still a work-in-progress, hidden by two sentry leaves and lots of tiny lemons have got started and are hoping to hang around a bit longer.

Freed lemon tree gambolling and frolicking in the open air

Friday, March 06, 2020

If life gives you one lemon

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

My all-time Spotify yearly "top songs" in one playlist

I copied the songs presented to me by Spotify as "Your Top Songs [year]" for the past number of years. They started with 2016 and I created this in 2020 with the songs from 2016 to 2019. The same songs recur from year to year but only one copy goes into this playlist. If they do another one for 2020 I'll add the tracks from that too. Here is a link to the complete playlist.

Flying update

As this is a blog, I feel I ought to report what's happening with me, at least once in a while. I'm trying to make progress with a novel I started on more than a year ago. As part of this, I'm taking another workshop course at City Lit. It's the highlight of my week and I'm getting great feedback, encouragement, and discovering that there is so much more I need to do. I know it's often said that you shouldn't workshop something till the entire first draft is finished but I am worried about the foundations I'm laying with the first few chapters and I don't want to "go off half-cocked." A friend from my local informal workshop said about my work-in-progress, "I think this one has legs." That's why I chose to press ahead and try to complete it and why I'm doing all I can to do so. It's fascinating to see how others are getting on with their writing and I learn something new every day, in the process of giving and receiving feedback. The course is called "Advanced fiction writing workshop" and our tutor this time is novelist Mary Flanagan, whose comments and notes are both charming and insightful.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Thanks NHS, 10 years younger & faff-less writing

I'm very grateful to Dr El-Husseiny and all the team at Charing Cross Urology department for giving me back the ten years younger that I feel. To the jolly Caribbean night nurse, you are gold, cheering-up the ward of men with tubes where no tube should be.

And I hope the worried Londoner who talked to me by name, is okay. He was so worried and I said I was the same before but I could have said more as I left. Others too. It's a world apart. We were there for prostate reduction operations. There was a man older than the rest who was fairly quiet and another young guy who was shouting and moaning but he had other complications, probably a different operation, I think.

That was some months ago now. It's been fascinating, becoming "ten years younger." Once I'd recovered from the operation and started feeling like this, I thought it's like having part of a life to live over. What I didn't do for the past ten years and should have, I now must, or will it just be the same again?

So I'm doing some work on a writing project, instead of faffing around, noodling, doodling. But it's tricky, this "being serious" malarkey. There's a danger that my, though I say so, light & breezy text is at peril of becoming dull by having to make sense. But I hope if I rebuild on better foundations, which I am doing now, that normal service will be resumed, and light breezes shall blow again. I don't know if this is of interest to anyone other than me but no matter!

Sunday, January 05, 2020

My most-played Spotify tracks of 2019

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

My Year in Books, 2019 (via Goodreads)

Friday, December 06, 2019

Election 2019 - Evict Johnson from No. 10


This is my position exactly. I can't wait to see that horrible Boris Johnson & his mob slink out of Downing Street before Christmas. If Johnson wins, will life in Britain even be worth living? It's not clear.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Stop me and buy one

Yes, I put this collection of short stories together. If you like it tell your friends. If you don't like it, tell your enemies. When I started in the book business, I couldn't even spell editor, now I are one.


Fifteen stories like the dreams of fifteen nights 

The Book Depository offers this with free delivery worldwide. How they manage that is anybody's guess but it's a blooming good offer. So, I'm afraid this is the hard sell, people: BUY MY BOOK. Buy, buy! Bye bye. Links: Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk, Book Depository

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Friday, October 04, 2019

UFO over London?

What, doesn't look very convincing? Well they never do, do they?

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Yam, sweet potato, cassava, bitter melon


From Lobo, 13 High Street Harlesden, a great low-price greengrocer & fishmonger
Clockwise from top left: piece of a large yam, two sweet potato, two cassava*, one large bitter melon. The skin of the cassava is slippery like a soapy sort of candle wax is coming through it from the inside. Bitter melon lives up to its name; one way to use it is in stir fry with beaten egg, garlic, onion and tomato - if you dare.

* Warning: Cassava is poisonous if not prepared properly. It contains a form of cyanide, which can lead to various disorders, paralysis and death. On no account should it be eaten raw. Ref. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassava#Potential_toxicity

Saturday, August 10, 2019

It's easier to tangle than to untangle

The Willesden Herald: Untitled



Seconds and moments don't follow, they permute.

One on the microwave countdown cannot be understood

as two together tangle with the next and prior

...