First off, we’re all stressed by the current situation so we need to bring ourselves down from the ceiling to help us cope a bit better. This little gif gives us a calming breathing rhythm. If you have a smart device, there are apps too – Beat Panic and Companion – that can help us manage our reactions to what’s happening. It’s scary but we’re going to get through it, right? Now, the travelling bit. If you’re confined to home and missing going out, these train journeys, mostly from the driver’s cab and with no commentary, can take you … Continue reading Travelling the world when you can’t leave your home due to Coronavirus lockdown
I have another blog; actually there’s a small flotilla of them due to special interest like literacy and interviewing for decisional capacity and the discovery that each module of the fine art course requires its own. It’s a blog zoo and it has a successful breeding programme. But there’s a particular one that served a purpose at its inception by separating my science identity from my more, what shall we say, relaxed? persona and which, now I’ve been out of that world long enough to have lost contact with any direct expertise, is getting little attention. I haven’t lost interest in … Continue reading Time to wrap up the science blog?
Narrator ‘I hate it, it’s horrible!’ ’There’s nothing wrong with it. Get it down or there’s no afters’ ‘But Dad!’ ‘Sammy, I’m warning you!’ ‘Jason says it’s witches’ poo!’ ‘Samantha!’ (‘Samantha‘– that meant trouble) ’Finish it now or you go to your room with no TV, understand?’ Sammy’s mouth turned down at the edges. Her bottom lip started to protrude and quiver. Her shoulders started to chug up and down and her fists tightened on the Sunday tablecloth. She sucked in a huge breath though distress-flared nostrils and she howled. It was an eyes-screwed-up, face the colour of the abandoned … Continue reading Marmite: an inadvertent exercise in perspective writing
21/09/2013 Lovely Girls Suzanne Conboy-Hill Amy watches the door, that grimy finger-stained gobbed-on portal to fleeting respite from the ward’s stink. The stink that makes her eyes water and saturates her soul. She tries to shift her bottom, to hold her limbs still for just long enough to hover briefly above the puddle of cold pee that has settled in a trough of rucked-up rubber sheeting. No luck, she sinks back. Flails back, in truth: arms threshing, mouth grimacing and spit flying, right onto the wet sandpaper of the twill draw sheet. Edie, inches away in the next cot, lets … Continue reading Lovely Girls
Call this a diversionary activity, [yes do, because it is – I should be faffing with my first drawing assignment but after days of wrestling with a sculpture of Alien made from scrap metal, a hatchling dragon in an egg, and a pot cat, I’m only slightly nearer submitting something.] I’m taking a pop at the layout and design of my blogs. Remarkably, after blogging with WordPress for years, three days into the art course and I found I knew nothing about anything. I’ve been bumbling. Now though, with an enforced induction into menus and the magic of categories under … Continue reading All change!
In smoggy 1960s Yorkshire, a world away from the psychedelics of London, Mo arrives at the dingy building in Dewsbury where she is going to be a temp. She is not welcomed, instead she is ridiculed – a fat stupid girl running about like a frightened mouse. Merv though, the charismatic co-Director of the company, sees something in her he wants and takes her aside to be his PA. He uses his power and smooth transatlantic charm to shape her to his needs, letting her into his high flying world where there is glamour she has only seen in black … Continue reading ‘Fat Mo’
I don’t have to launch my books, they just slip their moorings at dead of night and sneak off. This one, ostensibly by the elusive P Spencer Beck, made its escape yesterday. Described by one reader, who may or may not be a friend and who may or may not have been referring to letting it get loose at all, as ‘sheer lunacy’, this is a work of non-fiction. Little diary snippets reliant on the single perspective and grossly biased memory of the one observer so most likely of dubious veracity. Not exactly fake news, more hake news, i.e a … Continue reading Not Being First Fish – second edition with illustrations and six new stories
A wasp drops onto the pond, flails about a bit in an unequal struggle with the surface tension and, GLOMP! A fish snaps it up and disappears. Then – Splash! Thrash! PWARGH! Wasp floats to the surface, not so lively but still kicking. Another fish eyes it up. GLOMP! Then PWARGH! And back comes the wasp, this time with distinctly critical vital signs. Fish Number Three approaches, gets a bead on its profile and GLOMP! Fish disappears. I wait. No regurgitation; this wasp is being recycled. To recycle a wasp, it’s smart to be Third Fish. From Not Being First Fish by P Spencer-Beck. Available … Continue reading ‘Not Being First Fish’
I have found that poetry describes itself in terms of both feet and meters, thereby flouting European Directives on measurement, which may still be a hanging offence in parts of Scotland. Worse, I discovered that poets communicate using an exclusive and arcane language that looks like a hybrid of algebra and a medieval incantation. There are iambic pentameters, metonymys, tankas, and tragic flaws. There are also words I’m pretty sure have been made up and get changed, like code, so that only insiders know what they mean. I’m onto them though. These are some of the ones I think I’ve … Continue reading ‘Poetry is Weird and Quite Possibly Illegal’
There are days when, having polished off your last borrowed book and even cast a worryingly enthusiastic glance over Alan Titchmarsh’s column in Radio Times, there’s no other way of avoiding the stack of unopened Scientific Americans than checking out the Parish magazine. In the last issue there was an invitation to write in with a send-up of a local business. At least I think that’s what it said. Anyway, inspired by the floods that had paralysed the village some while back, I get cracking on a description of ‘my’ micro-chipping service for fish… Fish n Chips Fish n … Continue reading ‘Fish and Chips’