From Out of the Rubble

There was a little kerfuffle in the high street this week. Well not in it but about it. Some artists were commissioned to create artwork on the boards covering the BHS windows. They worked their butts off in some grotty weather to get it all done in time for the Christmas Lights Switch-on. Four window…

and then Leonard Cohen died

Well. It’s been quite the week. I don’t know where to start, such is the utter daze that has wound its way around everything since the election results rang across the world like a bell intent on breaking your ears off the side of your face. It seems too big to tackle with my own…

Tonight is…

I feel a little sick. I have that same clammy pallor in my cheeks that marked the few hours, nay – days, after the referendum. I’d cast my Remain vote early that morning then skipped off to Oxford to do my play Pramkicker. I didn’t for one moment believe that the result would be what…

Killer Doll

Halloween. School classroom. 1987. I’m stood, rustling in the crinkly folds of a black binbag, being forced to sway my arms in a class dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It’s a tiresome song. I can’t bear all this angular jerking. Sometimes I feel like an outsider, standing on the outskirts of ordinary 1980s childhood fun….

The Devil’s in the Glass

A pub table is a dangerous place to plan adventures. The devil’s in the glass, the mischief’s in the music, and the old chairs creak meddlesome suggestions to you like the bows of pirate ships or the hammocks of forest hideaways. There is a reveller’s riot spirit lurking there under the table like discarded gum,…

Those Flashing Ellipses

After my column was printed last week I put the longer version up on my website, went to bed, and the next morning woke up to find discussion had kicked off while I was sleeping. It’s the column equivalent of waking up after a party to find strange people crashed out in your lounge. Over…

Cornelius

Trimmed from the book: a little story about an old neighbour of mine… (his name has been changed)…   2004, or thereabouts  One night. Just after midnight.   I wasn’t quite asleep. My book kept falling from my fingers, doinking onto my chin as I dozed off, and Dickhead was deep in some wanker’s reworking of…

“Grab that Pussy” / Not Okay

I’ve struggled a bit with the column I wrote last week. It was ostensibly about Green Rooms, but towards the end, unplanned, I wrote about an incident where my bottom got touched by a man in a pub. It was a small incident. It didn’t bother me terribly, I didn’t feel intimidated, and I have…

Green Room Games

Green rooms are intriguing places. Not least because no one knows why they’re called green rooms. Or at least, I don’t. I don’t know why they’re called green rooms.  A quick google might throw up some etymological gems as to why they are called Green Rooms. Perhaps they are named after Restoration actor Fortescue Green,…

A Crossing Bell

I rang the bell. I had been about to pass it, having heard it rung, mostly by children, almost constantly for the past two days. Something called me back, to approach it. Maybe it’s because no one else was around and I saw my chance. I rang it. It sounded louder than when other people…

Poem: Grey Timebends

I wore my glasses to see it better but there are sea mists today that occlude ocular aids.  Nature as boss, as it should be. We can barely see the great chimney – tallest man in any room – our changing estuary did not feel like putting on a show. The rest of the sky…

life & death & secrets & sharing

I managed to find a quiet spot, in the shade of a little bush that sounded like it was whispering. Leaves that flickered in vertical half-rotations like the royal wave. Lots of people had come to the cliffs to watch the chimney get blown into the ground. There was the polite general hubbub of strangers…