Dentistry and the modern novel

William Faulkner said that a writer’s only responsibility is to his art. Mine, unfortunately, is to my dentist. Driven from my bed in the early hours of the morning by a cracked wisdom… Continue reading

Tales from the Fat Camp

Every morning I eat a bowl of porridge oats with sliced banana, nuts and seeds, and a dash of soy milk. Then, in a desperate bid to counter the reflux I’ve endured for the last two… Continue reading

Running Free

After health problems stopped me running for almost two years, I decided to start up again. My first forays out onto the open road (or gravel track) were tentative to say the least.… Continue reading

Insomnia

At three o’clock in the morning, I had a revelation. Christopher Hitchens was wrong. It isn’t religion that poisons everything. It’s thinking. Lying awake in the blanket silence, the rest of the household… Continue reading

Publish and be damned?

All writers want to be in Waterstones shop window, now, today, this minute. One small obstacle stands between us and the realisation of a lifetime’s dream. Publishers. Today’s climate is not encouraging for… Continue reading

Time off for bad behaviour

Two weeks without a word commited to paper. Well, I have allowed myself the luxury of this blog. Otherwise, it’s the pauper’s equivalent of lounging by the pool with a fruit cocktail and… Continue reading

Bada Bing!

Grown men don’t wade into swimming pools, wearing dressing-gowns, chasing ducks. Well, not unless they’re psychologically disturbed mob bosses searching for meaning in a dangerous world. HBO’s award-winning The Sopranos is a Masterclass in virtuoso performance, with only… Continue reading

Oh, we did laugh…

Saul Bellow wrote a book Mr Sammler’s Planet. In it was this thought-provoking passage: ‘… And this brought to mind Kierkegaard’s comical account of people travelling around the world to see rivers and mountains,… Continue reading

When the dust settles

I get bored easily. I can’t do the meditational thing and sit in a chair doing nothing. My mind feeds on constant activity. I need to be doing something at all times, even… Continue reading

Sam Peckinpah

In 1969, the movie-going public were introduced to a new and controversial genre that featured hard-bitten, laconic characters in perpetual moral crisis and slow motion death sequences that looked mesmerising on the Big Screen. The Wild Bunch… Continue reading