Monday, 29 March 2010

The future of publishing...

Lazy blogging 1.O.1.

I've come across this on a couple of blogs, so the chances are that you have too. Nonetheless, it bears repeating.

Yes, it's over 2 minutes long, but stay with it (you poor thing) it is worth it.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Thinking Ahead

He followed me into the kitchen as if he had something important to tell me...

- Dad, I want to be a writer.

- Cool, I said.

I’m not one of those people who dump their own dreams and expectations on to their children. I want him to do whatever he wants to do. The cliché long as he’s happy.

So I left the conversation at that.

A few days later...

- Dad, did I tell you I wanted to be a writer?

- Yeah, buddy. That’s pretty cool. What do you want to write?

He gave me the title of something that he’s been thinking about. First it was going to be a movie, then a cartoon, then an X-box game. Now it’s going to be a book. We have franchise possibilities here, people and that’s why I’m not providing the title. You just never know.

- That sounds excellent, son. When you going to start it?

- Eh...he says and pauses. He thinks awhile. Like it hadn’t occurred to him that work had to be done and the thing had to be started. He answers - Soon.

- Can I give you some advice, buddy?

- Sure, after all, dad you’re world famous and very successful (ok, he didn’t say that EXACTLY. I’m a wish fulfilment kinda way.)

- Well, to be a writer, you’ve got to read a lot.

- I think I want to be a businessman then.

- Why are you thinking about this just now? You’ve just turned 12.

- I can’t live with you or my mum forever. I need to be able to have enough money to buy a flat of my own.

- Again. You’re 12. There’s plenty of time to think about this.

He pats my hand

– You need to plan, dad. Stuff just doesn’t happen on its own.

Who is putting this stuff in his head? I blame the cartoons. Full of all kinds of nonsense.

Friday, 26 March 2010

You couldn't make this shit up...

Thousands of dead starfish (1, 2, 3, awwww) covered a stony beach over a mile-long stretch at Budleigh Salterton, East Devon. A line of the creatures stretched for more than a mile across the pebbles

The reason for this mass death? One expert said the process of reproduction had left the starfish "tired out" (better word might have been “shagged”) and they had been left "susceptible" to tides and the wind.

This is me not sniggering and resisting all sorts of teenage comments.

From The Times...

When a famous tantric guru boasted on television that he could kill another man using only his mystical powers, most viewers either gasped in awe or merely nodded unquestioningly. Sanal Edamaruku’s response was different. “Go on then — kill me,” he said.

Mr Edamaruku had been invited to the same talk show as head of the Indian Rationalists’ Association — the country’s self-appointed sceptic-in-chief. At first the holy man, Pandit Surender Sharma, was reluctant, but eventually he agreed to perform a series of rituals designed to kill Mr Edamaruku live on television. Millions tuned in as the channel cancelled scheduled programming to continue broadcasting the showdown.

First, the master chanted mantras, then he sprinkled water on his intended victim. He brandished a knife, ruffled the sceptic’s hair and pressed his temples. But after several hours of similar antics, Mr Edamaruku was still very much alive — smiling for the cameras and taunting the furious holy man.

“He was over, finished, completely destroyed!” Mr Edamaruku chuckled triumphantly.

Call me old-fashioned, but there’s something unseemly about destroying someone’s (albeit bogus) reputation, and taking so much pleasure in it, dontcha think?

Lost in Translation...

In Wales they look to keep their mother tongue alive and part of their actions to do this is to have all the road signs in English and Welsh.

Which is nice...until a recent road sign printed and displayed near a supermarket read in English... “No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only.”

And underneath it said in Welsh: "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated".

It seems the local council needs a translator to translate the translator.

From The Telegraph...

An actress who was rehearsing a role about a woman who was riddled with debt visited a local credit union. The workers at said Credit Union were happy to regale her with stories of the hapless folk they had to deal with.

One man from the West Midlands, who was believed to have debts of up to £50,000, had a sex change in a desperate bid to avoid debt collectors.

The man, who cannot be named, had got into so much debt that he decided to switch identities completely.

He was thought to have built up the massive debt – around £50,000 – after falling behind on his mortgage payments and credit card bills after losing his job.

Here’s me thinking that no amount of debt removal could induce me to get the danglies removed. What would I scratch first thing in the morning?

It was also revealed that the owner of a 99p store in Wolverhampton had to shut down after penny-pinching customers demanded 1p change.

From my local paper...

A brown hen recently proved that it wasn’t just cats who had the monopoly on having several lives. This wee creature – let’s give her a name – Henny - got hit by a car. Did Henny die? No, but she got her head stuck in the car’s front grille. It was only when the driver stopped at a local shop and another shopper said to him, ‘Is that a hen stuck on to the front of your car?’ that the driver realised he had a hen stuck on to the front of his car.

Genius. You couldn’t make that shit up.

Monday, 22 March 2010

May Contain...a rant or two

Let’s imagine this wee of the most prestigious newspapers in the country runs an article in their lifestyle section entitled: 25 Reasons to Hate Women. The article goes on to list the promised 25 items that are puerile and clichéd. In essence it’s something we’ve all read in those chain emails. You know – the ones that say send this to 25 friends and to any woman you know with a sense of humour. However, this time it’s been given the sheen of respectability by one of the broadsheets. But we all see the “fun” side of this - read the “truth” in the items and nod and laugh and tell our pals so that they can all read, nod, laugh and then pass it on to their pals. Oh how mature we all are. How we congratulate ourselves that we are able to see the lighter side of life.

Not going to happen is it?

Rightly so, people (both women and men) would be emailing their MP, boycotting the newspaper and the social networks would be alight with fury as everyone vents their indignation.

Let’s now turn this on its head because the very first part of this posting did happen at the weekend. It was The Times and they published an article entitled 25 Reasons to Hate Men. With the promised 25 puerile and clichéd “fun” reasons as to why men should be the focus of women’s hate.

A day later and someone at the newspaper has had a re-think. Perhaps we’re being a tad harsh, they might have said. So they have another look at the article and ...they change the title. It’s now called “The Trouble With Men”.

Oh, that’s alright then.

Naw it iznae.

If that article had been written about ANY other section of society they would have been in deep do-dah. They would have been up to their necks in lawsuits and quite possibly the boys in blue would have been knocking on their door bearing a charge of Hate Crime. But it’s about men. They can take it. They’ve been cowed into submission. Broad shoulders and all that.

Fuck that.

Oh, I know – you’re possibly sitting there and thinking, oh here he goes again.

It’s time to stop this shite. It’s not smart, it’s not clever, and it cheapens us all. C’mon people, we’re better than this. Aren’t we?

The encouraging thing for me is that many of the comments that followed this piece of regurgitated crap – apart from one or two fuckwits – are from both women and men questioning the IQ of the brain dead marshmallow head that thought it was worth publishing.

As for the people at The Times...shame on you.

Go here ...

...and give vent to your indignant side...I’m off upstairs to push the toilet seat up, while farting loudly, scratching my nuts and piling up coins as I go.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

book reviews...

My reviews of Robert Crais and Joseph Wambaugh's latest novels are now live at the website below. Among others.

Go take a peak.

It's easy.


You know you want to...

(I've just been to see Shutter Island - hence the dramatics. Don't know how the feck I'm going to get any sleep. I mean.... just because you're not paranoid, doesn't mean they're no longer out to get you.)

Thursday, 18 March 2010

A musical interlude...

This tune popped up on my ipod late last night and I was reminded of the first time I heard this version. It was days before Obama was voted in and listening to it then it felt almost prescient...and moved me to tears.

To take on such a soul standard was a brave move by Mr Seal, but boy (IMHO) did he do Sam Cooke proud.


Sunday, 14 March 2010

Poetry stuff...

After a flood of requests – and on this occasion 1 constitutes a flood (I get to make the rules, people. It’s good to be the king) – I decided to post the notes I used to deliver my adjudication at the Scottish Association of Writers Annual Conference.

First off, let me say that being in the position of “expert” doesn’t sit well with me. Not false modesty, simply that my knowledge is slight, my experience limited and any work I do is intuitive. On the other hand, I have built up some experience of what it takes to get published in the poetry world over the years and my opinion is as valid as anyone else’s. So there.

Second off – see what I did there? – I only had ten minutes to speak so I was limited as to what I could say. Given the time I guess I could have trundled on for …oh, the whole weekend. But people had to talk about other (much less important) stuff, eat, drink, snort wine, sleep, so as I said the stage was mine for 10 minutes.

Not a lot of time to talk about such a vast area. So I picked a couple of trouble spots…..the adjudication follows on from here…

Judging a poem, as with any form of artistic endeavour is highly subjective - we all have our own history, and without choosing to, we bring this to bear when we read a poem. We filter the work through our own experiences, beliefs, prejudices.

As a judge I try never to lose sight of the courage it takes for a writer to put his/her work up for appraisal. Particularly if you are less experienced. So respect to all of you who entered the competition.

There were 62 poems in the competition.

What was I looking for?

- When I read a poem I look for insight. Is there a strong theme and does the poet’s treatment of it give me fresh insight into the situation? (I often read poems in competitions where the poem is about something in nature. This may constitute a lovely picture postcard of a poem but ultimately doesn’t involve me. However if something in nature is being used to highlight something in the human condition (gawd, I can sound like such a wanker) then the poem will have much more meaning for me.

- James Mitchener said that good writing is ordinary words used in an extraordinary way. Did the poet display a love of language? Years ago, while I was giving a workshop to a bunch of school kids and describing poetry, the penny dropped for one of them and he said – poetry is words that taste good. And this is what I look for in a poem...does the poet use ordinary words in an extraordinary way? Do the words taste good?

- I also look for emotional content. I need to be engaged in the poem and to engage me you need to involve me. Seamus Heaney said that the best poems are often about something else...what was the poet saying and what was I able to read between the lines? Did the poet spell it all out for me (not good) or did he/she leave me with some work to do (preferred)?

Time is limited here and before I go onto the winners there are some important points I’d like to make.

The first concerns feedback. The word count on my critiques totalled almost 10,000 words and I hope that you each take them in the spirit they were intended. In your journey is a writer the ability to take in feedback will be key in determining how far you go in your career.

You must remove your ego from the piece – view it as separate from yourself – and take the feedback as a genuine attempt to help you make your poem stronger. For me feedback is not personal – it’s all about the writing and getting the writing to as strong a place as it can possibly be.

The second is something that many of you will have heard time and time again from this stage over the years. And as I read over the 10,000 words of my feedback it was an issue that came up time and time again.

If you learn the art of how to show and not tell, it will seriously lift the quality of your writing. If that is the only lesson the less experienced of you take from this whole weekend that just that one thing will make the weekend a success.

Modern poetry is as much about what you don’t say as what you do say – it’s the art of suggestion.

Ezra Pound said – the artist selects and presents the luminous detail. He does not comment. Let me repeat that – present the detail – do not comment.


Presenting just the right amount of detail is vital – too many of the poems relied on generalisations – abstract terms that spoke directly to the brain, but made no connection to the emotions. What is joy? What is sadness? These are terms that I understand but nothing is happening on the stage of the poem. These abstractions will highlight different associations for different people – but give me the detail, the symptoms if you like, of these emotions as YOU see them and I’m there, I’m involved.

Someone once said that a writer should only be allowed to use the word “beautiful” once in their career. Why? It SHOWS me nothing. Illustrate the beauty and make me think, wow that sounds beautiful.

A brief word on rhyme – someone once said that rhyme is a good servant, but a poor master. The problem with the majority of the rhyming poems in the competition was that the rhyme took over and became the became be all and end all of the poem.

Modern poetry  is about the words tasting good, it’s about assonance, alliteration, imagery, simile, metaphor, metre and yes, rhyme.

However with most of the poems in the comp that used rhyme, every other poetic tool was ignored in that rush to meet the note at the end of the line.

My advice to all the rhymers out there...if you are serious about writing poetry...serious about being published...set aside the rhyme schemes for now. Free up your use of the other poetic skills...and once you’re comfortable with them pick up the rhyming notes again.

And now for the winning poems...

(BTW, for those of you who don’t know, the poems are entered under a pseudonym and I didn’t know the name of the poet until the moment I announced the placings and the Competition Secretary translated the pen name into the poet’s actual name.)

Third place - An intriguing first line sets up a fine piece of poetry on the subject of unrequited love. (Or was it lust, he asks with a cheeky grin?)

There is a lot to admire about this poem. Highlights for me include “I kneel, gloved, buttoned tight” The inclusion of the word “gloved” for me suggests an individual afraid of physical contact because one touch might make them lose control – which is of course a large part of their problem. They are trying to keep everything under control. And this is an excellent example of the art of poetry – the art of suggestion.

Also loved lines like

“fat, white candles guttering

In holy breezes”.

Again you display your skill with well chosen words. Just the inclusion of “fat” adds so much in terms of layers of meaning. “Guttering” is also of course laden with meaning.

A couple of suggestions, if I may? And this could just be me – I can understand why you want to include “ashes to ashes...” but I have come across this so much in the hands of poets with less skill than you that it has an immediate negative reaction and carries with it the dust of cliché. Also the “Oh” after “I see you.”...I don’t think it adds anything to the piece but a slice of melodrama. I would lose it.

These mini-grumbles aside this is a well-worked and strong poem which shows that I am in the hands of a skilled individual.

And 3rd place goes to... - Priest by Claire Scott

Second place...

This was a delightful piece of poetry with a strong atmosphere of the exotic. I loved the way the poet illustrated the cultural side of her narrator’s past with its people and the way in which they talk.

“I was born the years the snow came early”

A wonderful insight into a people. And the poet resists the temptation to spell out the importance of this statement in highlighting a cultural difference – something that a poet with less skill might have done. Instead leaving the words as they are in the page, the reader is given the opportunity to reach this insight on their own, making the lesson (if I can call it that) all the more effective.

Second place goes to ...Word Connections by SHARIFA (Mary Smith)

First Place...
... sent me on an interesting journey. At the start of the poem I really didn’t like the narrator of the piece but by the end of it I was completely seduced by her. She was a harridan at first but allowed herself to mellow as the poem progressed and I was given an insight into the sensual loving woman she could be if treated right.

The language was wonderful throughout with lots of moments that had me green with jealousy.

A highlight:

“when words beg for air, speak them

and listen as a bird listens for dawn”

You distil into just a few words the problem that besets most relationships, that of poor communication. You don’t lecture, you don’t spell it out but you illustrate your point with such skill that your reader can’t help but take in your message


“Do not hope that the syntax of a kiss

makes love the way pennies make a pound”

... many people will recognise the truth in these lines. And again your meaning is skilfully distilled into just a few words that would take a novelist a whole chapter to illustrate.

Also the soft sibilant sounds along with the vowel sounds in the line create a beautiful effect.

If I’m to be picky, I would work at the first stanza a little more. I completely understand why this is so terse, but there is a danger you will alienate your reader. I had the luxury of several readings to help me get the sense of the poem, but if this were published in a magazine your reader might just move on to the next poem. For me it was just too brief and gave no hint of the excellence that was to come. The line “do not deface me with crumbs” – the word “deface” was almost melodramatic and did nothing to suggest I was in the hands of a highly skilled poet.

That aside, this poem had me cheering the joy of poetry. Well done and congratulations to a worthy winner.

House Rules by Alison Craig

And there you have it people...anything you don't understand or you'd like more detail on let me know and perhaps I'll make that the subject of a future blog. Or I'll just ignore you and continue to do just as I please. As I said's good to be the king.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Weekend Writer

The people leave. .. the mists form and close like a veil. The world is shut off from that magical venue until the same time next year when the chosen will return and congregate as if the months were mere moments.

See, I can do fanciful.

It would have been more accurate just to report that a good time was had by all at the Scottish Association of Writers’ Annual Conference, but that would have been a tad cliché and as you know we writers avoid them cliché things. Like the plague.

For those not in the poor people...the event is a glut of competitions, workshops, readings and inspirational talks all crammed in to just a few hours from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.

I was the judge for the poetry competition and I had 62 entries. I waited for people to spill wine over me, push me out of the way or issue veiled threats. But they didn’t. Everyone seemed to appreciate what I had to say... if you’re interested I may post my overall comments in this blog. Wanna see?

And I was able to deliver it all from the podium without too much coughing and sniffing.

(I have a cold type thing going on. Coughing so forcefully it feels like my eyes are going to pop out of my head. Is that sympathy I can hear up the back?)

Conference highlights?

- Friend of this blog, R J Ellory was a knockout! He went out of his way to speak to as many people as possible and each of his three talks was inspirational. I overheard a number of people saying to each other that he was the BEST speaker they had ever heard. You just can’t say any better than that.

His story of struggle, persistence and drive was something that everyone in the room could relate to and aspire to...and to make it even better it all has had a happy ending. It’s wonderful to see the good guy get the rewards for all of his hard work and talent. Let’s hope his career continues to go from strength to strength. If you haven’t read any of his books, do yourself a favour toot sweet and buy one. Or all of them.

(Such was Roger’s drive that while he was working an 80 hour week – yes, that’s an 8 and a 0 – he would come home, do the family man thing and then go to his writing space from 10pm till 1:30.)

A couple of the ladies were spotted swooning and passing comments like – he’s rather attractive.

- Finding out who had written which poem was cool - ‘cos my nose was bothering me.

- Many of the same ladies alluded to above were also swooning over the basketball team who were also staying in the hotel. There was a lot of swooning going on, let me tell ya. But in a non-clichéd way of course. The basketball players were from Trinidad and Tobago and all of these handsome, tall, athletic black men were almost too much for our ladies. Can’t remember how many times I whispered to someone – take a shower. Still, the guys took it all in their stride and were very helpful in carrying suitcases, etc. Women who were seen entering the hotel in a robust manner were suddenly all fluttery and incapable and requiring “assistance” whenever a team member was nearby.

- Seeing one of my favourite people on the planet - Margaret Thomson Davis. She’s approaching her 84th birthday and has just embarked on her 42nd novel. That has a nice symmetry about it, no? Let’s hope there are many more.

- The guest speaker on Saturday night was Alan Taylor, Literary Editor of the Sunday Herald. I was quite prepared not to like him – he and his paper are quite sniffy about the whole genre fiction thing - and I sat with arms and legs crossed to listen. However, he was excellent. Quite the raconteur. His talk was effectively an exercise in name-dropping, but what names! You name them... he’s wined, dined and holidayed with them. All the greats of modern fiction are in his address book. Gore Vidal, Muriel Spark, Toni Morrison etc etc etc. He was even invited to fit a truss on John Irving, but we’ll draw a veil over that. Maybe Alan will talk about it one day in his biog.

- Giggling up the back of the conference hall with Gillian Philip and Keith Gray. I mean, honestly. They are supposed to be examples of propriety and models of good behaviour given that they write (very successfully) for “young adults”. It doesn’t matter a jot that I may have started them off. They should still know better.

What were we laughing at? Well. They announced the winner of one of the categories and the title of the piece took me aback. Did I hear that correctly, I asked Gillian? Eh? She answered while taking a BIG slug of wine. This winning story was a heart-warming tale of a struggling church community who had brought in a new minister. He’d started off this group hug thing at the church. Which was shortened to The Church Hug ...which was felt to be a bit of a mouthful...and from there it was merely a hop, skip and crazy-assed jump to...and the title of the story... “The Chug”.

If you are as clueless as Gillian and Keith you won’t know that in these here parts a “chug” is that solitary activity that causes the early onset of blindness, hair to grow on the palm of your hands and prompts much guilt and wearing of itchy shirts as a form of penance. At least, that’s what the nuns told me. Definitely not something one does as part of a church led activity. At least not in any church I’ve ever attended.

It may have been at this point that Gillian leaked some wine down her left nostril. And very fetching it was too, Toots.

The next giggle-fit came when Keith was quizzed about one of the competition entries he judged. This was a story about a magic iron – of the hot plate, pressing variety. What was wrong, we asked with such an item having magical properties? It then all got a bit crazy and alliterative (well, we are writers darling) when we asked if he would have preferred a Fucked Up Fridge, or an Arsey Aga. That might even have been me.

So next time you go to one of those writer events and you see all those prim and tidy authors giving it the butter wouldn’t melt thing, you know what they are really thinking.

Especially if I’m sat beside them.

It was just a wee shame that I didn’t get my horse out of its packet on Saturday night. And no, that’s not a euphemism.

A cowboy and injun themed disco was arranged for Saturday after the award ceremony. Unfortunately, this was on at the same time as the poetry reading, which I was asked to M.C.

The plan was to go to the poetry event in the “Penthouse” on the top floor of the hotel, do the mc thing and then run down to my room, pop into my inflatable horse costume and then boogie on down to the disco, which was helpfully sited in the ground floor. However, the poetry thing went down rather well - standing room only dontcha know - and people ended up flitting there from the disco.

A word on the inflatable horse...well, two words. Comic genius. It defies description so I won’t even bother trying. I borrowed it from a pal at work – She Who Must Not be Named – and I feel that I let her down by not wearing it.

Anywho, as it ‘appens...hotel staff closed the disco bar at midnight and some of the hardier souls present came in search of more excitement find that the poetry event was still running. Don’t let anyone tell you that we poets don’t know how to have a good was 1:30 before we ran out of steam.

Then it was off to bed, perchance to dream without coughing up chunks of my colon. Thankfully that cool wee dude, Keith Gray turned pusher and provided me with some flu remedy. The kind that you wake up from a week later wondering what the feck happened.

Maybe that explains the mists.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Blog Awards....

Vote for your favourite author blog here...

Go know you want to...

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Bumping heads.

Here’s a message to the designers of games with an “18” tag

– a pox on all your houses. And the same to the parents of the children in my son’s age group who allow their kids to play this vile stuff.

Ok, that’s a wee bit strong admittedly but I am SICK of saying no to the wee fella who has recently taken Pester Power to new levels. If he takes this quality of persistence in to other areas of his life as he matures we will have no worries at all about his future.

Two HOURS on Saturday.

An hour on Sunday.

Two hours yesterday.

And I’m certain his mother got the same treatment.

We were sitting in the bookshop after scouting one of the game shops. Which made him feel even worse because all of the games he wanted were rated 18.. .and the conversations went something like this...

Him – How can I be the oldest boy in the class and the ONLY one not allowed to play 18 games?

Me – Thems the breaks, kid.

Him – tell me again why not?

Me – because it’s illegal.

Him – Give me a GOOD reason why not.

Me – because it’s illegal.

He sighs dramatically and then stares at me as if trying to burn a hole in my forehead with his will. I wear my best bored expression. The one I wear when celebrity TV is on.

Me – what are you doing?

Him – just looking.

Me – you’re good at it.

Him – oh, so now you say I’m good at something.

Me – you’re good at everything you put your mind to, son.

Him – except persuading you and mum to allow me to play 18 games.

Me – you speak much truth, young man.

Him – but daaaaaaad, EVERYbody else in my school gets to play them. They think I’m a freak. (He’s now wearing a petted lip the size of my sofa – and I feel a wee bit guilty)

Me – what does your Mum say?

Him – she says no. She always says no.

Me – well there you go.

Him – but Daaaaaad, what’s the worst that could happen?

Me – your mind becomes deeply but subtly flawed over a number of years and you go crazy from a bell tower with a rifle and kill everybody you see.

Him – you REALLY think I could kill people? Do you really not trust me, dad? Do you really think I could so something like that? I could never hurt anyone...

Me – of course I trust you...calm down...I’m just giving you an extreme example.

Him – I could NEVER hurt anyone, Dad – he crosses his arms – and I’m REALLY hurt that you could say something like that.

Me (looking for a metaphorical shovel to move away some of the metaphorical shite I am metaphorically standing knee deep in) – I’m not saying I think you are capable of doing something like that...

Him – so why say it, dad? Don’t you trust me? (He’s big on trust.)

Me – of course I trust you, but this stuff is too violent and you are not of an age to process the images you see in these games safely.

Him – So. People get their heads ripped off and shot to pieces. So what – he shrugs – it’s not real, Dad. I KNOW it’s not real and I’m not going to copy ANY of that stuff. I’m not crazy.

I’m now wondering how and where he learned to speak in capitals.

Him – please, Dad, pleeeeeeeease? All the other kids laugh at me. They think I’m a loser.

Me (feeling really shitty) – ok, I’ll speak to your Mum.

Him – oh (crosses his arms) so she’s the boss of you then?

Me – nobody is the boss. We agreed on this together and I’m not going to go behind her back and break the deal. Besides, you might want to re-think your tactic here. You’re trying to win me over by being nice and then you suddenly go for the cheap shot and try to offend me.

We settle into silence. I carry on reading my book. He carries on drilling my forehead with his eyes, like he’s trying to hypnotise me with his thoughts.

Him – Dad, pleeeeee....

Me – No. No. No. And I’ll tell you something else. Keep on doing this and you won’t get ANY games for your Xbox.

I realise I’m shouting when people around us look over.

He crosses his arms and his chin slumps on to his chest – sorry, dad.

Me – s’okay, buddy.

I pat his arm. Without even the slightest note of being patronising.

Me – there must be some good games for kids your age.

Him – there was that one – he mentions something by name. Means nothing to me.

Me – why don’t you go across to the shop and get that while I finish my coffee?

Him – but it’s a 12.

Me – and you’ll be 12 in a couple of weeks.

Him – yeah, in a couple of weeks. You want me to LIE?

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

A little something from Me and My Big Mouth...

Just so you know, Me and My Big Mouth is one of the best blogs out there for book lovers...

Monday, 1 March 2010

Things that make me go...


Is it sledding, or sledging? In any case, 30,000 people gathered to watch some people doing it in a small town in Germany the other day. Apparently the girls liked the cold because it made their parts more pert and the boys were all heard blaming the chill factor for I have to spell it out for you? The crowd saved most of their applause for a 70 year old pensioner who spontaneously stripped off to sledge down the hill on his own.

30,000 people? Those pesky Germans.


An article in the Times today claims that a leaked government report indicates that green fuels are almost as costly to the environment as diesel fuels are. Under the European Commission standard, each litre of biofuel should reduce emissions by at least 35 per cent compared with burning a litre of fossil fuel. Yet the study shows that palm oil increases emissions by 31 per cent because of the carbon released when forest and grassland is turned into plantations. Rape seed and soy also fail to meet the standard.

I’ve got a suggestion. See all the money these people have been given in grants, can we not spend it on improving public transport?


the total tosser who waved an Argentina football strip at a man who was severely burned while fighting for his country. You should be ashamed of yourself. Wanker. way...

The breast implants that saved their owner’s life when she crashed her car. They acted as airbags apparently. And this is where I resist talking about Katie Price for once.


Who would have thought that the advent of Viagra would have meant that prostitutes in a Swiss brothel would have become proficient in the use of defibrillators? I’ll just let that one sink in for a moment...old lease of life...hearts that couldn’t take the exertion...

One sex club owner stated that having people die on them was bad for business. You can work out the rest. A pragmatic bunch, eh?


The locals ejaculated with fury (sorry, I couldn’t resist) when their council limply changed the name of a local landmark. Tickle Cock Bridge is a spot where couples have gone for a wee fumble for generations. The council got all premature and changed it to Tittle Cott when Channel 4 were in the area. Like Channel 4 would care. They made their reputation on much worse.

An Over 50’s group claimed they were offended by the name change and demanded that it be returned to its former glory.

A sign reading “Tickle Cock” was erected before you could say ...that man's had a heart attack after taking some Viagra in a Swiss brothel...quick, fire up the defibrillator!