Defusing anger at governments



A week or so ago, our Prime Minister, Theresa May, approached the podium for her keynote speech to the Conservative Party Conference – dancing to an Abba song. The scene was played on our television news broadcasts. Like many other…

Continue

After the holiday, more going-in-threes…



What a great few days in the Yorkshire Dales! The cottage was miles from the nearest village and couldn’t have been quieter or more peaceful. It was also comfortable. Moreover, it was the ideal centre for visiting the places I…

Continue

Another novel finished and submitted!



With reference to my two most recent blogs (Everything goes in threes and In praise of small independent publishing houses), I’ve spent an intensive fortnight unearthing the 78,000 word draft of a novel, which several years ago I deemed unsatisfactory…

Continue

In praise of small independent publishing houses



It’s generally accepted that today’s big fiction publishers – and, a fortiori, most literary agents – won’t take on a manuscript from a new author unless they expect it to be either a best seller or a prize-winner, or (in…

Continue

Everything goes in threes



A week ago, Wednesday 8th August, I went to see my consultant surgeon to get the results of a biopsy taken on 18th July. The results told me I’ve got cancer. It’s a small, localised and by no means life-threatening…

Continue

Sporting contests



Nearly all of us enjoy one or more sports, as participants or observers or both. Born in Northern England shortly after the end of the Second World War, I was brought up among people – men, at least – who…

Continue

More successes



We’ve started the folktale filming project. For readers who didn’t see the relevant blog a few weeks ago, Tim Knebel of Peak in the Past and I have secured a grant to enable us to make films of folktales originating…

Continue

Good new pieces of fiction in the offing – recommended!



In 2011, the year my Folktales of the Peak District entered the public domain, my friend Hank Quense published to two satirical science fiction novels: Zaftan Entrepreneurs and Zaftan Miscreants. They were eye-wateringly funny, and I remember recommending them to…

Continue

Highs and lows



During the past few weeks a few things have happened in my life to raise my spirits. First, Chapel-en-le-Frith Arts has at last been granted charitable status, after a long succession of frustrations and a good deal of correspondence. My…

Continue

Definitely Spring!



As I predicted in a recent blog, a few days of fine sunny weather have released the coiled Spring. Within 72 hours, bare branches have become green, flowers have bloomed, cherry and magnolia blossoms have brightened our gardens. It’s raining…

Continue