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First full migraine in ages.


autumn is coming

It appears that the final season of Game of Thrones is close to broadcast.

Maybe when it’s finished, George RR Martin will get round to finishing the books too. I’ve been waiting about eight years for the next book in the series. To be honest, I’d need to go back and read ’em all again to remember what happened and to whom.

Then again, naah. Can’t be arsed.

Will await the next Joe Abercrombie book instead – due out in September, and the start of a new trilogy.


I tutor part-time. It pays the rent.

Sometimes though I’m tempted to go back into full-time teaching, mainly for the money. I do like being in the classroom, I’ve written two books – under a pen name – about my time as a teacher, but schools are becoming ever-crazier. It’s not the students, they don’t really change for good or ill, but over the last ten or fifteen years school leadership teams have skewed the educational Overton window beyond anything that approaches the business of providing an education.

So I think of going back into teaching.

Then wiser heads prevail


I like to work on different things at the same time, or at least allow things to overlap.

Currently, DN1 is being considered by an indie publisher that I really like the look of, and while I’m waiting for a decision on that I’ve gone back to editing Jago. Once I’ve completed the edit of Jago I’ll complete the final edit of .50 Cal, the follow up to NQA, which is primarily a Christmas 2019 present for my pals, and if a decent book comes out of it, so much the better.

By the end of 2019 I will have:

  • Completed .50 cal
  • Redrafted Jago (after which it will need another two redrafts)
  • Hopefully, had DN1 published by the indie publishing company

And by the very beginning of 2020 I should have completed the final draft of Shoreline Gold. What happens with that depends a little on what happens with DN1.



I completed a draft of Jago some time ago.

Then I left it to soak for a while, and I’m now redrafting it. I’m at page 221 of about 285. When I’m done it will need another draft, then another. Maybe three more drafts to make it presentable.




Foolishly I tried to use the wifi in Waterstones again.

Foolishly because, first of all, I know it blocks a huge amount of websites (cos Waterstones thinks I’m not grown up enough to access Tim Pool or the live RT feed on week 18 of the Gilet Jaunes disorder). Secondly, it’s extremely slow.

So I wasn’t expecting much, and I got less. In fact, I’ve drafted this entire piece while waiting to open google.

My feeling is, this isn’t an episode of Ellen in 1994, I’m not sitting in Buy the Book alongside a cast of quirky characters sharing witty back-and-forth – this is 2019, and everyone sits alone whilst glued to the web. Or in this case, not.

Waterstone’s wifi is a disaster.

I’m off to MaccyDs.

(Google still hasn’t opened).


I was packing my sax for tonight’s gig and had a bit fiddle with the two arms that guide the octave key on the crook.

Fiddle over, I discovered the cork from the octave key was missing (see picture of circle without cork).  Without that cork none of the notes below it will sound, and all of the notes are below this key.

It’s Friday and the tech is off until Monday.

Gigs cancelled.


Twice Brewed

Here’s where I was yesterday. About a half mile up from the Twice Brewed Inn, just west of Crag Lough and Sycamore Gap.

Hadrian’s Wall ran along those crags, 80 miles from coast to coast. It was built 2,000 years ago and the roots of the wall are still visible.

nail me to my car

I’m left-handed, and that can be a bit of a minor disability in some ways, but it gives you a different and often enlightening perspective. I’d been asked to play some guitar for a party (don’t think I will, I’m too rusty), but I thought, if I did, I’d want to play sitting down, stage left.

But then I thought, that’s Fripp’s place, Robert Fripp being the only well-known guitarist who always plays sitting down, and he always sits stage left. So I can’t do that.

But for a lefty, stage left is a great place to be, you can look across the stage and see everything properly. Stage right is somehow wrong, it feels a bit clouded. Then I thought, I wonder if Fripp is left-handed, so I googled it, and it turns out he is.

When he began playing guitar he was, as he admits, left-handed, tone-deaf, and with no sense of rhythm. He even said that his first guitar was so bad it crippled his nascent technique, but added that ‘the music will out.’

Fripp has produced some of the most interesting and original rock guitar music ever. I think he employed his limitations, he made them work for him.

This reminds me of an old friend.

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