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Late from Halloween

Wednesday October 31, 2018 in halloween |

Speed writing from my recent writers’ residency. Needs work but thought I’d share.

The way she shuts the door, there’s always a squeak. She can never keep it quiet enough. She gets in first.


If this is going to turn into an argument about her now being a grown-up – or not being a grown-up – I will try to use this as an example. Still the angry little girl. Hands on hips and what?

“Your question is a little too abstract,” I say. “Ask me another.”

“Who replaced Brian Jones in the Rolling Stones?”

Eh? Bugger. She’s wrong-footed me. Mick Taylor, I think, but I don’t answer. She doesn’t know Mick Taylor. Nobody knows Mick Taylor. The Pointless answer from the Stones. Perhaps she has taken this from Pointless. I should get this over with.

“What time is it?”

“Brilliant,” she says. “Right answer. The answer to what, if you were wondering. Well, I estimate that it’s around five and twenty to eleven.”

Five and twenty. An old fashioned way of telling the time. Grandfathers and their clocks. Just to wind me up.

“You estimate?”


“I see.”

There is no clock out here. Too readily confronting her in the hallway with no evidence to back me up.

“Because I know that it’s after ten thirty, which is why I knew you were going to ask.”

“And I knew what what meant.”

She’s trying not to smile. We’re funny together.

“Excellent,” she says. “Very perceptive. Well done Benedict Cumberbatch.”

“Who’s she?”

I know who Benedict Cumberbatch is. But I like to be flippant with her. Not a very grown-up thing to be doing.


2017 in Concert

Sunday December 24, 2017 in music |


Billy Bragg and Joe Henry at St. George in Bristol. King Creosote at Colston Hall.


The Jesus and Mary Chain at O2 Academy Bristol. The Who at The Royal Albert Hall.


The Cribs and Honeyblood, both at the O2 Academy Bristol.


Pond supported by Methyl Ethel at Thekla, Bristol.


The Flaming Lips at The Colston Hall.


Mr Jukes at The Marble Factory and Sparks at the O2 Academy.


The Pretenders, The Waterboys and Public Service Broadcasting at Colston Hall. Sleaford Mods at O2 Academy.


Ride as SWX Bristol. Robert Plant at Colston Hall.


The Charlatans at Brixton Academy.


Another Goody Bag for Halloween

Tuesday October 31, 2017 in halloween |

His pain was so great that he could no longer struggle or move at all, except his head turned briefly in my direction, and his eyes (horror-filled) met mine.

Book choice is Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. Winner of the 2017 Booker Prize, I wasn’t expecting this to be a Halloween read but it has suited this afternoon perfectly and I am already halfway through. A very original ghost story.

Film choice is Raw. French modern horror written and directed by Julia Ducournau.

TV choice is Stranger Things. Back for the second series and – again – I am halfway through. The Halloween episode is brilliant.

Song choices are Drayton Manored by Sleaford Mods and Disco Creep by Nachthexen. I saw both bands live recently and these two tracks are seasonally fitting.


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