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Monthly Archives: March 2019

Diggy Smalls

Ron Swanson said that any dog under 50lb is a cat. I disagree, owning a 20lb border terrier. He’s called Angus.

aka Diggy Smalls

aaka Bilbo Fleabaggins.

He’s a ghost-face killer, a menace to all living creatures who find themselves between his surprisingly large jaws (and huge teeth) and he likes to fight big dogs. But he’s also the cutest little person I’ve ever met. He loves people. And sleeping.

If I ever need proof that animals have souls, I only need look into his eyes.




it’s just better

I tried, I honestly did, but in the end I bought another tenor sax.

The move to alto has been very rewarding, and it has a sweet lyrical voice that the bigger sax doesn’t have, but, as Davey Sax said to me once, tenor is just better.


Blast #2

It’s hard to show from a distance just how bleak Seaham Blast is. The entire beach is two metres deep of coal and iron-ore slag that was dropped from the foundry and the pit that used to sit on the cliff tops.

It’s so otherworldly they used it as a landscape in Alien 3.








The coastline is littered with things like this wall – a stone windbreak as reimagined by some wealthy creative type. My pal Wilson hates ‘public art’ but I think this is quite pretty.








And this tree trunk is 350 million years old. If you believe the Abrahamic religions you might disagree, but you’d be wrong.

Sébastien Tellier

Sitting here writing I put on La Ritournelle by Sébastien Tellier, probably my favourite tune of the last ten years*. I turned it off almost immediately. It made me remember my pals back at my old job, and made me feel sad.



*along with about three others that I won’t list here.


The Blast

Think I’ll drive down to Nose’s Point this morning, take a walk along the top of the Blast. See if I can get as far as Hawthorn Dene, though I doubt I’ll get that far.

The Blast is a strange place, I believe they used parts of it to film the landscape for Alien 3, but I won’t be scrambling down the bank to get to it. It also features in Dealer No. 1, when Mickey’s dad threatens to murder a city councillor who is trying to blackmail him.

I’ll try and get some photographs.


Sometimes you just have to listen to John Coltrane.

No-one else comes close.


For a while now I’ve been thinking quietly about becoming a publishing privateer. That is, completely turning away from publishing companies/literary agents and just writing as I please. I’ve done both in the past and the most attractive one by a very wide margin is working for myself.

There are drawbacks to this decision – mostly the lack of the affirmation that being published by a ‘publisher’ brings, but the lack of a skilled editor is a loss too – but mostly it’s all positive: I get to write what I want. I get to plot my own course. I’ve got a huge amount of ideas in regard to publishing my own work that don’t translate when working with publishers, large or small.

The covers that Lucas, and previously Pistol Pete, have done for me have been excellent so the artwork side of it taken care of. Putting stuff out there is straightforward and publicising it is going to be fun.

Thinking it through, I’m very excited at the idea.

eu what?

Apparently our unelected masters in the EU have taken a broad brush to the issue of links, memes and the like, and there’s some sort of ban on internet providers allowing them to be used.

I’m really not sure what it is they’re after, I suspect they’re doing a Canute on the topic of online regulation, but it might mean that my posts with embedded links will be blocked, or maybe not. I’m not sure, to be honest.

The EU reminds me of the late-Spanish empire, obsessed with and weighed down by the minutiae of regulation and procedure and ‘form’. Meanwhile the privateers, light on their feet, flexible in approach, unencumbered with regulations and hierarchy and free of the dead hand of bureaucracy, are fleecing them of everything they own or will ever own.


Anyhow, when I find out the new rules I will endeavour to follow them. At least until the EU implodes. Which it will.

It can’t not.

“and there is no map”

Found an old copy of Debut by Björk in a second-hand shop in Hexham. Took a bit of listening to get back into it, but it’s paid dividends.

The opening track, Human Behaviour, is a sort of celebration of people behaving irrationally, and it’s joyful.