New Year

New Year Resolutions

So why do we make them?
We’re certain to break them,
They are one of our worst institutions.
My New Year’s plea
 and I think you’ll agree

Is to ban all New Year Resolutions.



So I wrote a year ago and I still feel more or less the same. There’s no real reason why a new year should be connected with promises to do all sorts of things that are good for you: giving up smoking; losing weight; exercising more; being kind to your elderly mum or dad – if you’ve got them; doing more for other people; helping in charity shops or the like. The list is (almost) endless.

But there’s no real reason why it should be connected with January 1st. You can just as easily start a diet or give up cigarettes on 14th June or 29th October. But there we are and once again I start thinking about what I want to improve in 2016.

I want to write more. OK. Shall I try for a blog a day? Not very likely to keep at it, certainly not after the end of January – even if I manage that long!

There’s also the nagging thought that brilliant pieces scattered randomly in my blog aren’t really acceptable for comp entries as “unpublished” stories/poems/articles. Stuck. Up against a brick wall.

Probably the best way is to try to write: 
1. Something every day – however short or however silly
. 2. Blog entry at least twice a week – using Daily prompt if necessary
 3. One larger project – story/play/new poem each month
 4. say, half a dozen fillers/letters/bits and bobs each month

Might not achieve this but at least I have set a few goals,












No Fear!

<a href=””>Fearless Fantasies</a>

How would your life be different if you were incapable of feeling fear? Would your life be better or worse than it is now?

A life without fear may sound attractive at a first glance, but think again – it’s very far from ideal.

If you don’t have a reasonable dose of fear you’ll have no sense of danger. You’ll walk down a busy road and not even notice the traffic, you’ll dive into a swimming pool without checking that you are at the shallow end, you’ll let a stranger into your house without wondering whether he will rob or kill you. 

One thing is certain; a life without fear would be likely to be  very short !CG16D








Lark or OwL?

<a href=””>Because the Night</a>

When I was little my mum and dad said I was a “good getter-up”. I don’t think I have changed very much since. I reckon I do my best work early on in the day. At one time I even tried the experiment of getting up at 6am and getting a session of writing in before the family got up and I was snowed under getting breakfast, packing lunches and seeing the kids off to school. But that was a long time ago…

I have occasionally stayed up late to get something finished, to meet a deadline or get a competition entry sent off in time. It doesn’t work – at least not for me. Trying to write late at night means I make silly mistakes  don’t spot typos and generally send in something that is less than my best.  I’ve never won a prize for burning the midnight oil.  I’m more likely to misaddress the MS or leave a candle lit and burn the house down!





<a href=””>Flawed</a&gt;

Remembering – my worst – I might say my only – fault.
If I don’t write things down, I forget them. If I don’t make a shopping list I come home without the things I meant to buy. Sometimes I forget to take my list…or lose it.

Remembering names, people’s names, place names, where we are going, when we are going, it’s all just too much.
Yes I use diaries and calendars and computer reminders and tick lists, but….Now just remind me, what was  today’s prompt?






Sorry, I’m busy. I’m writing.

<a href=””>Sorry, I’m Busy</a>

This is one I made earlier -several years ago. But the thoughts re interruptions when writing still apply!

Persons From Porlock

“Can you give me a hand with my homework?
You’ll do it much better than me
It’s taking me ages, I must write three pages
On ‘Betjeman’s thoughts on the Sea’.
Please can I have a few biscuits?
I’ve had nothing since well before three
And Mum, can I try just one more mince pie?
It won’t stop me eating my tea!”

“All right, but stop pestering me!
I’m writing just now, can’t you see?

“Hello dear, I see you’re not busy
Could you bash out a letter for me?
To this firm in Leeds an order for seeds
And be sure they are sent c.o.d.”

“But why should it always be me?
I’m writing just now, can’t you see?
There’s a half-finished story I’m drafting
A report for the local rag too
That I really must write and send off tonight
The deadline is long overdue.
I’ve a poem that needs some reworking
And one where I’m stuck for a rhyme
I’ve pieces emphatic and epigrammatic
On medieval theatre and mime
That I’d write if only I’d time
If only…if only…I’d time!”



Places I’ve always wanted to vist

<a href=””>The Wanderer</a>

Many places I’ve not been
Strange and lovely still unseen:
Rivendell, the Shire as well
The grey Havens by the sea
Jotunheim and Valhalla,
These names all call to me.

Alas! I’ll never vist them
They’re all in stories, see?















Buses Are Best

I’ve long felt that bus users in my part of the world – Lancashire in the North of England – get a raw deal. We’ve just heard the the grants that were paid to keep “uneconomic” services running are going to be axed. OK this isn’t the fault of the County Council; the crazy conservative government under David Cameron and chancellor of the exchequer Osborne have reduced the money paid to Local Government. Each year when the County, District and Parish Councils scrimp and save and sack workers and reduce services, what is the attitude of Central Government? Is is “Well done, you’ve shown how thrifty you are, we will reward you by paying a bit more next year”? Is it hell! The attitude is “you managed on £X pounds this year, you must have been over-spending, Next year you can mange with £X minus 10%.”


It annoys me that no-one connected with the council, neither elected members nor paid officers will complain about this mis-mangement of our finances. Yes OUR finances, the money we pay in income tax,  council tax and all sorts of other taxes like VAT all goes to central government who are now reducing or totally discontinuing essential services including the bus service.