Tag: prose

Is Shakespeare Overrated?

The British actress, Dame Judy Dench, once said “a bad experience of Shakespeare is like a bad oyster – it puts you off for life.”

This, it appears, is the case for me.

Before you all start screaming, “Philistine,” I would like to put on record, Shakespeare is probably the greatest and most influential writer to have graced this planet. The fact his work, 400 years on,..

Saturday Never Comes

His history is bullet-pointed on laminated paper and pinned to his bedroom door. I never knew, after the war, he was a goalkeeper for Somebody United, winning trophies and medals. There’s nothing to suggest this amongst his sparse belongings on his small desk; a fading photograph, some medication and wet-wipes, and a half-empty jar of Everton Mints. We sit on his bed and stare into space, and I notice he has goalkeepers’ hands, huge and agitated, as he runs them along the fraying fabric of his trousers.  I wonder what game he is dreaming of. How would I know? I wasn’t around often enough to be part of his fading memories.


Grandad taught him how to make a coal fire. He would wait to hear the outside coal bunker being rattled, then grab his blanket and run downstairs, taking pole position on the sofa overlooking the fireplace. Something hypnotic floated in a cold morning air. A soft hush from ash, shovelled from under the stool-grate and placed on yesterday’s headlines.  Miner’s hands turned and twisted; paper turned into perfect firelighters. Precision and experience constructed beds of coal and kindling. A strike of a match, the thud of a damper. Golden glows filled the room. He laid back and breathed in the magic.   

Before the Heatwave

He had never seen a sparrowhawk this close. Three metres at most, as he camouflaged himself behind Aloe Vera’s across his window. Blue silvered wings shrouded her prey. Powerful limbs and speckled chest absorbed dawn sunlight.

Peck by peck she dismantled. A carpet of young pigeon feathers laid to confirm her regal status. His slight twitch alerted her. Sparrowhawk and carcass gone. Upstairs, his 6 a.m. alarm, a lament for a grieving mother, floated through the Mede. 

Welcome to the Blog.

Welcome to my first blog post. I have sat for months thinking about what this blog is about and what would be the most intelligent thing to write and get the process underway. Nothing seems to flow. Is there a condition known as blogger’s block?

What I do know is I am a writer. I must be, I’ve written words since the age of four. School, work, the occasional love-letter. I spend every day writing in my journal; poetry, prose, anything that makes a pen move across paper. And now, as I approach the age of sixty, I have decided I would like to be published.

I have a first collection of poems, All Mine, which is in the process of being published, and I am working on my first novel, the first draft I plan to have completed in 2022.

My hope for this blog is it will turn into some kind of journal, diary, call it what you will, which will open a door to my thoughts as I continue on this late journey in life.

Who knows, maybe we will be able to share something useful along the way? If you have any budding tips or advice for a newbie on the block, then please get in touch.