Supporting A Football Team

I am a man of stolid loyalties, which mark my life from everything to do with  morning routine through to lunchtime sandwich fillings and sports interests. Since the dawn of my maturity, I have supported the same football team, and in the last twenty years that has been an easy thing to do. Now, teams who previously came to our home ground for their annual humiliation, or had to pretend to be “good sports” when we won the championship again, are beating us using the postman and a guy who popped in to service the radiators because their actual strikers prefer going to the gym where they are more likely to get a real work-out.

I am a man who delights in being modest, and welcomes that in other people. That is not a modest thing to say, as we know,  and now I have got my comeuppance . The old, glory-rich manager retired at the end of the last season, after putting another championship cup in the broom cupboard as his display shelves had run out of space. He personally selected his replacement, and then sat back in the stands, I initially presumed, to marvel at the triumphs of his successor.

As news of his appointment spread, the papers were full of talk about “A safe pair of hands” or “Look what he achieved with no budget, put a hundred million in the petrol tank and watch that guy fly into the stratosphere.” Now, seven months later, we are regarded as an easy ‘three pointer’ by any team which plays us, and the humiliation is complete by my reckoning although others, no doubt, hope it has a long way to go.

I am a man who has, in lots of ways, experienced the effects of changing fortune and circumstance so, apart from writhing with embarrassment when the team which allowed me to achieve my advance-level pass in gloatmanship now leaves opponents grounds in a plain van, I feel considerable sympathy for the manager, so recently feted, who’s suffering from insults has only been limited by the finite vocabulary of his detractors.  I have some experience of this, and its not as much fun as people think.

In clouds above our heads deceased supporters are clubbing together to rent a thunderbolt with which they mean to extricate the poor guy from his current post and remove him to a place were the fires are self- renewing. In the land of the living’ pints are drunk and supporters quietly share their pain, and shake their head over some new disaster.  When I was eight I received a school report which disturbed my mother. It read, “Time is running out for Wells: must learn to take life seriously”  Clearly the man had an eye for character. If we meet in cloud-land on some future day, I shall ask him what his school report is for our current manager, poor guy, and listen to him sharpening his pitiless quill.

Veterans of my Blog may notice that some of my sentences are over-long. I apologise but must confess that these sports-day humiliations are dismantling me rivet by rivet, and it’s starting to show in the sentence structure. “We’ll support you ever morwer. Keep your head down and get out the doorwer” etc

Posted in character, childhood, community, creative writing, faith, Fiction, humour, Life, Talent, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Shameless Talk About Publication Date

Some time ago I wrote a post about people whose life was unsettled because they had an extreme degree of good manners. In it there was a general who refused to attack the enemy because, he considered it to be too early in the morning, and he knew his opponents would not have had the benefit of breakfast.

Life can mirror art or writing anyway, it seems because I woke up this morning to find that Living Life Backwards is now on sale on Amazon. With an unnerving display of self-interest may I ask you very kindly to buy a copy of the book and then leave a review on Amazon.  The reason is simple really: it would make me happy and I’ve found over the years that I quite enjoy being happy. Let us therefore seize the day

The link is

or in the UK

A kindle review is also available I now see. Funnily enough I’ve already discovered that if you leave a review on the paperback version, it doesn’t transmit to the kindle version and vice versa which is odd.


I’ll shut up now


Posted in character, community, creative writing, Environment, Fiction, Health, humour, Life, life2, Love, Relationships, Romance, Talent, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Morality and Strategy

I’ve always loved ruminating about theories such as the essence of beauty or perfect harmony and I got to comment on an incident recently where there was a division between those who believe that morality should influence your actions but not determine them, and those who believed that morality was something we all possessed unless it was put to the test.

I know, for good and evil, over time, people have died for their faith, or turned away a commercial opportunity on a matter of principle, but these figures seem to be few and far between. The Vicar of Bray, who was first written about in the 18th century, was made famous because his abiding strategy was to hang onto his vicarage, and to this end he changed his political outlook from being a monarchist to republican and back again, and said whatever needed to be said in order to maintain his livelihood. Do we know anyone like that, are we anyone like that? Most of us hope not to find out or to be placed in a position where ‘survival’, as we understand it, depends on taking a fresh approach to our beliefs, or quietly ditching them, whichever causes the least embarrassment or pain.

I certainly am no better or worse than anyone else and quite possibly not as good as many but I did ask myself the question, “What principle or belief would  you sacrifice your well-being for, or are morals an influencer of actions but not a determinant.”  A little deep for me this morning, perhaps, but I haven’t had my mood – lightening glass of lemonade yet.

Answers below or to an address of your choice !

Posted in character, community, creative writing, Environment, faith, Life, Love, Relationships, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Dentist to the Vampire Profession

My introduction to the  market I have made my own, possibly owing to a lack of other surviving candidates, is as a dentist to the Vampire Profession. As with many things, my opening came by chance. I was taking a late night, and possibly unwise solitary stroll through London’s Hyde Park when I was accosted by a man I later came to know as Baron Root- Canal, (Off the record these double barrelled names seem to cut some mustard with gentleman of obscure dietary habits ).

Apparently, advancing years had affected his digestion so the thicker blood offered by young maidens of a reckless disposition was too strong for his digestive system. His doctor advised him to seek the thinner blood transported round some of London’s better watering holes by gentleman of the worn out variety. ‘Worn-Out’ might be my surname if I was a Vampire, because I’m somewhere past my best. Anyway, I’m rambling which is a failing among those experiencing obsolescence. He advanced on me, with his walking stick held in a menacing manner, and his eyes glowing with that rather flashy green colour sported by our night time folk, and then opened his jaw to begin the meal.

“I don’t wish to spoil the fun” I said, “But I can’t help noticing that your gums are receding and there is quite a lot of plaque on your upper right fang. He stopped in his tracks and said. “I’ve been experiencing some discomfort there, do you know about these things”, and I did. I was a dentist with a small and dwindling practise affected by my limited technique and lack of enthusiasm, but the Baron wasn’t to know that.

“Where do you live” I asked him and he referred to a little visited and somewhat dilapidated grave yard south of the river. ” No castle then, no priceless works of art and butler’s whose lack of tan is obvious to the most casual visitor.” I continued, He glowered briefly, and I realised that mocking vampires was not the  way to proceed. Caution of manner, I soon learnt,  was essential if working with them was not to become a draining experience.

Being kindly by nature, I directed him to an old people’s home, were thinner blood was almost a required characteristic among the inmates, but with the warning, “I happen to know Thursday night is curry night so your meal might be a little spicy and with that hint of fresh coriander admired by the cognoscenti. Does that trouble you?”  I asked . “Not at all” he said smiling now, and clearly in better spirits. He understood his dental problems were soon to be something in his past, “A little exotica in the flavour department is a welcome respite from the norm.”

I was glad to be of service, and vanished back into the lighted streets after giving him my business card. “Opening hours” I lied but with the intention to change them, ” Are between 11.30 pm and 4.30 am. He thanked me and we parted company. He turned out to be the first of many clients and also my introduction to currencies of obscure and antiquated origin. Apparently these vampire chappies don’t do modern. All music played was  of the classic variety.

Posted in character, cooking, creative writing, dieting, employment, Fiction, humour, Life, skils, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Wardrobe Function

My wardrobe, like a mature garden, changes with the seasons but no new plants or clothing items are purchased. As the weather grows warmer, the jacket comes off and then the jumper and I just walk around in a shirt, together with the jeans and shoes which remain in service regardless of the weather. I believe in having three pairs of shoes. One for comfort, one smart black pair, and one smart brown pair. Neither of them are worn very often because I am not smart, and that was explained carefully to both pairs before they agreed to become part of the Countingducks clothing supplies department.

Thus life has rolled on, and I have been happy with gradually putting on more layers as the temperatures changes, and I look forward to when jumpers and jackets could be quietly removed again to enjoy their well-earned summer break: shirts, by the very nature of their calling must work throughout the year.

This year, however, something has gone wrong. Some germs or a virus, no doubt exhausted from all that travelling and activity decided to take a break within my person and very soon afterwards I could be heard coughing and wheezing in riotous welcome, as well as experiencing fatigue and other odd symptoms. The health department blamed the jacket, saying it was too thin, and proceeded to get me a thicker ‘winter’ coat.

Now I am left with the choice, which I made this morning, over whether the air is cold enough to justify what I call “the emergency jacket” or warm enough to favour my ‘normal’ jacket whose feelings, I fear , are in danger of being bruised by the new kid in the wardrobe. This bewildering level of sensitivity cuts no ice with her ladyship and on those days, like today, when I decided to leave it inside, I gave my loyal pal a quiet pat to remind it that “It’s day would soon come again”.  Sometimes we all need reassurance about our worth, even a humble jacket, and a  quick pat on the back can make all the difference to our day.

Posted in character, community, creative writing, Fiction, Health, humour, Life, Relationships, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Syria. Touching Faces And Moving Hearts

Some years ago I was in Bejiing and, as people do whose life and mind are largely unguided by a sense of direction, I found myself on my own and  in some back street and away from all tourist routes and sights.

The Great Wall, the Forbidden City and other places are amazing and engrossing, of course, but as always and everywhere it is people I love and who fascinate me: eyes across cultures and languages which meet mine and seek for reasons and understanding. After a time, as I wandered around looking at the street markets I walked into some arcade for no reason at all.

Suddenly a group of younger adults surrounded me and started prodding gently at my cheeks and pulling on my luckily short moustache.  There was no aggression in it but merely curiosity and wonder at a being, I presume, in their midst and so alien in appearance and experience:  I was surprised but did not feel threatened.

I am aware that our time on this earth is finite, and during my time here I am apparently divided by matters of sex, culture, race, age, income and many other factors from most people around me, but I don’t care so much about that. What I care about is emotional state and welfare ,regardless of your sex age or circumstances, and those who experience fear and joy, feel in the  same state as anyone else who shares those feelings. It is emotions which connect us as powerfully as any common circumstance, and when I hear of people in distress, or see silencing and spirit crushing  crowds of men and women on some street in Syria hoping for food, or the sheer bewilderment of those caught up in some tragedy, they are as I would be in their place.

The gods above must laugh at how we separate ourselves from each other, given how much we share in this life and on this earth, but still we do,: seek to separate ourselves. I am a man of no position at all, and as ordinary as they come, and that is a matter of some satisfaction to me. Those people in Syria are just ordinary people as well, but the situation they find themselves, by some accident of geography and political instability, is not ordinary. How they endure it, I cannot begin to understand, but it is a lasting testament to the bewildering contradictions of our species, that a man or government can look with wonder at the stars, but remain indifferent to the plight of others caused by his arrogance.

Posted in character, community, creative writing, Environment, faith, Life, Syria, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Picture Of Man Holding A Book



photo (2)

I am either lucky or clever, and I won’t be telling you which one it is. Some time today I managed to insert a ‘selfie’ here of me standing in front of the wardrobe mirror checking my hair. At the same time, for reasons too bonkers to explore, I will be holding what I think is called a ‘proof’ copy of my book ‘Living Life Backwards.’ The photograph, I can see, is not all it could be because holding the book, the phone and trying to look in the mirror challenged my powers of co-ordination. Never the less, here it is and it is a very nice moment for me.

Cooking is cancelled this evening and we are going out to have a glass of  wine or two accompanied by a miniature portion of cottage pie to maintain appearances and just enjoy the moment. Of course, a book without readers is a bit like an orphan, and that is where you all come in. Let this little title, ‘feel the love’ . It comes out, I think on the 26th March and will be on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, Spindle, Nindle and Windle or whatever those modern reading platforms are called. I will be able to give you a better indication of that nearer the date or after I have been told off by my publishers , PDMI for not knowing this already

In the meantime, if any nice people, and I am aware there are quite a lot of you, want to do a review of the book can you leave a comment on the bottom of the post saying something like “Review” or “I will review” or other words of your choice so I can use the email sent with your comments to supply you a copy of the book, given that you do book reviews of course: that would be lovely. Any help at all would be lovely really. Making something happen is seldom possible on your own, and certainly not by me.

Thank you all so much for your support and normal levels of literacy will be returned to in my next post

Oh before I forget, why not click on the FB ‘Like’ button so you can get updates on the book, and news about my next one which started its journey towards production yesterday. It is called “The Man Who Missed The Boat”. Heavens, all this talking about your self is quite disconcerting.   Still what else can you do eh… eh……. You still there?

Posted in blog, character, community, creative writing, Fiction, fiction, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 62 Comments