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I did a 5-day e-tox which meant I had no computer time, I switched back. to my brick phone and I even began reading paperbacks rather than use my kindle. Kept a paper journal.

It went well.

So I’m I’m going to do a 10-day e-redux from 16-25th. Not so much a blanket ban on technology, but a massive reduction, allowing myself only 2 daytime checks of the computer, revert to my brick phone, and insert exercise and meditation into the space I would normally use for surfing t’web.

Using a paper notebook instead of this, and back to reading paper books.



blue note

Gave up playing in bands this week.

The last few gigs have been rubbish, the final one was a 10-2.30 daytime slot playing to the Great North Run. The band comprised of two guitars, a keyboard and three saxophones, along with two singers and a rhythm section. Someone was blowing a whistle too. Couldn’t hear a thing. Didn’t get paid either, though I didn’t know that until it was over.

Anyhow, enough of that rubbish. If I play at all, I’ll be busking.

On the plus side, it takes away a lot of background noise, literally as well as figuratively. I’m going to focus my time and energy on The Plan.


The knife shop replied and told me what I’d asked for is too expensive, so I either pay more or choose something else.

It took me a day to decide on the original replacement choice, so I really don’t know how I’m going to find a third alternative this side of November.


PS – I eventually chose a multi-tool. I will never use it.

favourite authors

The long list changes from day to day, but there are some who always make the list:


Jane Austen. Because she’s Jane Austen.

John Steinbeck. For his short novels.

William Gibson. For imagining the world in advance.

Elmore Leonard.


Despite the above, I’m currently re-reading the Cassandra Clare novels.



favourite musicians

My favourite musicians are:


Bill Evans, for his use of space.

Neil Young, because he’s Neil Young.

Robert Fripp, because of his conceptual approach. And also cos he’s blindingly good, whether on his own, with his band, or as a sideman.

John Coltrane.




Having returned my over-large pocket knife to the company I bought it from, they asked me what I wanted in return. I honestly don’ know, there are so many options, blade types, lengths, different steels… or I could buy a torch, an axe, a rucksack…

I’ve spent an entire morning and haven’t managed to decide.


After a busy spring, I took the summer off from writing. It’s Autumn now and I’m ready to go.

Things to do:

  • Begin promoting DN1
  • Add thumbnails to my short stories
  • Ensure my short story collection, the shakers, is available in print and online. It’s currently down, awaiting a cover. Plus I need to get hold of the MS, which I’ve lost.
  • Complete the second Mark Barrett novel (whatever it is eventually called)
  • Continue working on the following novels:

The trick is to get back to my writing routine. It will flow from that.


There was a cool little site called ReadWave on which you could put your stories and even add a little thumbnail image to go with it, and quite an enthusiastic writers’ community was building up. People shared, commented and generally encouraged each other to keep writing.

But for some reason the site was closed and put up for sale.

The thing I took away from it though was that my stories should have thumbnail images. I’m going to make the effort to repair this deficiency.


Johnny-boy bought himself an old saxophone. It was made in the Yamaha factory but branded with someone else’s company logo – so it’s good quality but not an expensive thing to buy.

He says blowing it will help his condition, exercise his lungs and diaphragm, and I have to agree.

I love Japanese-built stuff. All the saxes I buy are Japanese, two of my guitars are Japanese (the third is Italian and about fifty-odd years old, so I’ll give it a pass), and I really like the combination of build-quality and consistency they have.


You ever played with one of those empty-square sliding puzzles, like the one below? You have to keep rearranging the squares until they’re in the correct order.

Every short while my brain needs to be reorganised in a similar way  – it’s defragging for the brain.

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