Happy Saint David’s Day – Where the hell is Wales, anyway?

That’s the question that most Americans will ask as the inhabitants of Wales and all of its expatriates celebrate St David’s Day, today.

The answer, if you were to ask most Americans, would probably be, ‘isn’t that part of England?’ well, no, it certainly isn’t.

Many of my ancestors emigrated to America and it’s a shame that the majority of their descendants may not know of the beautiful land that their ancestors once came from.

Wales, or Cymru as it is in Welsh, is a country bordering with England and is part of the United Kingdom (or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to give it its proper title) along with England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and today, the 1st of March is St David’s Day.  Continue reading

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Celebrating Shakespeare‏

“I would challenge you to a battle of wits,
but I see you are unarmed.”
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Old Willy certainly had an eloquent way in which to insult people of lower intelligence or those whose stupidity and ineptitude were their most admirable qualities. Now, four hundred years after his death, I wonder what he would think of this ‘modern’ world that we are slowly destroying?

Perhaps this…

“Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind,
As man’s ingratitude.”
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

A Touch Of Death

How cool would it be to see the history of an object just by a single touch? You would be able to see everything and everyone that has come into contact with that object since it was first created. You could touch centuries old items and be dazzled by an amazing glimpse into its past – like time travel without the DeLorean or a big blue telephone box.

But what if that object was a murder weapon? Could you handle seeing the gruesome truth behind its bloody past down to every last bone crunching blood-spattered sinew and the heart-ache and suffering that undoubtedly follows?

At first you may be intrigued and become thick-skinned but in the end, as your head quickly fills with sickening images, could you continue?

Eldan Bethy, an Article Phenomenologist (AP), has this exact power.

To read more about Eldan and his work as an AP click on the link below:

A Touch Of Death

The Winner Of Stephen King’s Short Story Competition Is Announced… and it’s brilliant!

Stephen King Photograph: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images

 

The Guardian newspaper recently ran a short story competition, which unfortunately I didn’t enter due to Open University study commitments, and the judge was none other than the master of horror himself, Stephen King.

The Guardian website wrote…

“The short story is alive and well in the UK according to novelist Stephen King, who this week picked the winner of a competition launched to celebrate his own latest collection, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams.

More than 800 creepy tales were submitted to the contest, run by the Guardian and King’s UK publisher, Hodder & Stoughton. King, who chose the winner from a shortlist of six, said: “I never expected such quality, and it does my heart good. Every one of these stories would be publishable.”

The bestselling novelist picked Elodie Harper’s Wild Swimming – a sinister tale set around a reservoir in Lithuania – as the winner, describing it as “part of a small but interesting genre: the 21st‑century epistolary tale.” Harper, 34, is a reporter for ITV News Anglia.”

You can read the winning story here:                               http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jan/30/stephen-king-short-story-competition-winner-wild-swimming-by-elodie-harper?CMP=twt_gu

The full article can be found here:  http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2016/jan/30/stephen-king-picks-winner-short-story-contest

Congratulations to Elodie Harper and all those talented writers who were long-listed. The writing talent in this country is truly amazing 🙂

Wishing You A Very Retro Christmas

Just the other day, after a marathon seven hours listening to classic 70s and 80s Christmas songs as I wrapped up all my Christmas presents, I started to think of my Christmases as a child and the vast array of cool toys that were available in the shops. Although as a child from a not-so-well-off working class family I only dreamt of owning most of them.

Aside from writing stories and making stuff up, one of my favourite passions is collecting the retro games and toys that I, or my parents, could never afford during my childhood in the 70s and 80s, whether they be TV video game systems, games consoles, classic board games, wind-up or mechanical toys, electronic ‘vacuum fluorescent display’ (VFD) table-top and handheld games or awesome toys such as the British version of the American GI Joe action figure known as ‘Action Man’ – “now with gripping hands!”

Action Man
Action Man
Grandstand's Munchman
Grandstand’s Munchman

The last day of school term before Christmas or summer break (or the last week if you were really lucky) meant being allowed to bring games into school to play. This allowed the wealthier kids to show off their vast array of electronic games from manufacturers like TOMY, Grandstand and CGL, to name but a few. As the majority of them were only single player games it was always just the popular kids or the bullies that were allowed to have a go, whilst the rest craned their necks to try and get a glimpse of the VFD action. Continue reading

Victor Gaunt (The Uninvited Watcher)

This is my latest creative writing ‘masterpiece’ courtesy of the voices within.

Come and meet Victor Gaunt, the uninvited watcher, as he sees the Calgonites for the first time on the day his friend commits suicide.

Are the Calgonites real or is Victor suffering from mental health issues?

Warning: Contains colourful language and scenes which some scaredy cats might find disturbing.

Click on the link below to read the story…

Victor Gaunt (The Uninvited Watcher)

Terry, Maude and Me – The Right Funeral

This was written by a friend of mine, Naomi, and I think it’s comic genius. I laughed out loud for the first time in ages!

Naomi Rettig

INT. TAXI. DAY.

TERRY, MAUDE AND CHARLEY ARE SAT ON THE BACKSEAT OF A TAXI, CHARLEY IS IN THE MIDDLE. THEY ARE ALL DRESSED IN BLACK, CHARLEY IS IN A TROUSER SUIT, PLAIN BLOUSE, FLAT SHOES AND FUR HAT, MAUDE IS IN A TIGHT PENCIL SKIRT SUIT, FRILLY BLOUSE, STILETTOS AND TINY PILL BOX HAT WITH VEIL, TERRY IS IN A SUIT, TUXEDO T-SHIRT AND CONVERSE TRAINERS WITH MESSY HAIR.

TERRY
We’re going to be late, going back to change your hat was foolish.

MAUDE
Darling a French navy hat with a black suit is foolish. Charley made the right decision.

TERRY
It looked ok.

MAUDE
Looked ok? We don’t want Charley to go out looking just ok.

CHARLEY
I am here.

TAXI DRIVER LOOKS IN REAR VIEW MIRROR, SEEING ONLY CHARLEY SAT THERE.

TAXI DRIVER
What’s that love?

CHARLEY
Oh, nothing. Sorry, thinking aloud.

TAXI DRIVER LOOKS BACK TO…

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