A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times


I often get asked how I go about my activities within this weird and wacky world of high-brow, sophisticated and bang up to the minute writing. Things like where do you possibly get all your ideas from?

Well the simple answer to that is I read. Probably for every word I ever write, I will have read quite literally, tens of thousands of other words. But there is even more to it than just that. I mean to be able to write anywhere near as successfully as I do, you also need to be aware of what’s actually going on around you. And in order to do that, you need to take copious amounts of notes.

For example, here’s something I spotted going on in the real world near me in the present day, and here too is a snippet of the notes I took down for it...

"What the Fcuk are you looking at?"

I can't tell you how much I hate the French Connection marketing campaign. Just in case you've been away on another planet for the last few years, and don't know what I'm talking about, please let me further explain...

You see, some bright spark at the company’s ad agency hit on the idea that if you take the initials of the company name, FC, and put 'uk' on the end, you get something which looks vaguely offensive... to a dyslexic at least. And so they've spent the last few years coming up with various slogans and designs, incorporating Fcuk, which they daub over the outside of their garments. How fantastically hilarious!

I find the whole thing totally crass and quite puerile.
Cringingly awful in a sort of "look at me I've almost got
a rude word on my T shirt" kind of way...

If any of my offspring ever came home with an Fcuk T-shirt, I'd divorce them. In fact if any one of my children ever wanted to wear one of said T-shirts - I'd put them up for immediate adoption. And for that matter too, if you ever see me wearing one – Well that will just be a funeral directors idea of a joke. Because I'll be long since dead!

I hate it... hate it.... HATE IT!

Indeed if you were to rummage around any of the personal files of my hard drive, you would be amazed to find literally hundreds of little gems like that one lurking within the hidden directories.

And another nice thing about writing (for me anyway) is how it lets you be whoever you want to be... For instance, if you were to add up all that I have written to date, you would be worried to see how many different wives, children and personalities I have assumed title to. I mean, even the example you have just read above is in complete contrast to my real self.

So with that in mind, let’s see what my imaginary family are up to today as they delve into the life of my not so secret past, in....

Help me I’m drowning!

My daughter came in from school the other day, excitedly waving the 50 metre swimming certificate she’d just earned...

And the way she got it is really important, because it
demonstrates one of the most crucial determinants
of success in just about anything.

You see, for some reason, (muddle-headedness springs to mind here) the swimming teacher thought my daughter had already achieved this milestone. So when they set off swimming down at the pool, it never occurred to my daughter, that she might fail in a task which she believed had been done before.

So anyway, before the event, I’m sure that failure was never discussed as an option... no great importance was given to the effort... it was just something which would be done. No doubt. And because my daughter was only 8 at the time and still highly impressionable, she just accepted her teacher's view of how things would be...

And swam more than twice as far as she’d been able
to swim with me, just two days earlier!

See, You Get What You Expect - So Always Expect More!

And this is just one more example of the same thing...

Because this swimming ‘thing’ got me thinking about something else...

I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, I did all those personal survival qualifications in swimming. If you didn’t do any of this, the next section is going to be lost on you, but if you did, I know you’ll be able to fully identify with it...

Do you remember the bit where you had to jump in the pool in your pyjamas - and then take the damned things off whilst still in the water? If you do, you’ll also remember what happened next...

You had to tie knots in the legs of your Jimmy-Jams,
throw them over your head, and make a float out of them!

So let me just ask you this... in the entire history of the universe, how many people do you think have been wandering by open water in their nightclothes (minus the shoes) then stumbled and fallen into the water, having to whip off the bottoms and turn them into a handy flotation device which kept them alive until help arrived?

I think the answer is somewhere around... none!

Quite often it seems, snippets like this one will sit around for days, weeks, months even. Periodically they will be resurrected and edited in one way or other, until they are finally honed into the witty and enlightening masterpieces I let loose on the general public.

But sometimes... and only in the most extreme of cases, a whole idea might have to get binned. Now they say in all of the great text books on the subject, that you should write about what you know and then explore further possibilities with a little ‘what if’ reasoning. So that’s what I tried to do here.

Using what I already know lots about and asking ‘what if’ I were the exact opposite? I came up with this little number about bad workmen blaming their tools...

I’m not allowed to own power tools...

It’s true. Here I am, a grown man, just the wrong side of 40, (in the same way that Danny DeVito is just the wrong side of 6 foot) and I’m banned from owning power tools.

Now I’m not talking about anything complicated like a Router, (whatever one of those is) but just the sort of thing every self respecting bloke has around his house... an electric drill for example.

Tradesmen who are called to my house to carry out the simplest of tasks look at me with a mixture of pity and contempt. I can see them contemplating what kind of man doesn’t own machinery you can plug in and create lots of noise and mayhem with.

It’s really quite embarrassing, but my partner maintains 
she has good reason for imposing the ban...

You see, she believes that the addition of power to a tool will simply multiply the amount of mess and destruction I’m able to create, before the inevitable point at which I give up on whatever it is I’m trying to do.

In my more self-deluding moments, I think this is nonsense. In fact, I believe that it is the lack of noisy and expensive tools which is preventing me from becoming the King of DIY...

But deep down I guess I know the truth...

No matter what tools I had at my disposal, it wouldn’t make the slightest difference to the end result, other than to bring forward the point at which I’d have to give up, and phone somebody to come in and put the job right.

And if you think my incompetence only stretches to DIY,
you’re sadly mistaken...

You see, for many years (before I got just a little bit of sense) I used to play golf. There were several aspects of the game at which I excelled. For example, I was one of the few people able to throw a club further than the ball I’d just hit. But this skill didn’t really do anything to improve my score...

And so I always hankered after that new piece of equipment... whether it be a new club, or a revolutionary design of ball, which offered the promise of an extra 30 yards on my drive. That’s what I needed to transform myself from hopeless hacker, to pro tour contender.

But again, deep down I still knew the truth...

That piece of equipment which enabled me to hit the ball 30 yards further wouldn’t have been any real good to me. Most of my drives were crashing into the woods anyway. So what’s the point of being an extra 30 yards into the woods?

You see, poor ‘workmen’ of all persuasions blame their tools. They blame them around the house, they blame them on the golf course... and yes, they even blame them when their fantastic product or service fails to find enough buyers...

If only they could afford that new multi-media presentation, that TV infomercial, that bells and whistles website, or that celebrity-fronted promotional video, they’d be rich, rich, RICH!

What do you think?

Well that one had to go, purely because it doesn’t look good sat on a blog partnered by my business site. Imagine how many people looking for a fully experienced master craftsman like me, would have read that just before opting to partake of my services.

But having said that, it still goes to show what fun possibilities you can have with the written word. And that, and the fact it would have been a waste to have not used it somewhere anyway, is why it appears here.

Anyway, that’s my word count again for today but if you would like to see more insights into the slightly deranged mind of this particular writer, please look out for future blog entries under the heading of SNIPPETS.

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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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