Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Kitchen Sink Dramas.

I talked the other week about great English working class authors.  One of my favourite films and books is Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse.  It was made in 1963, the year I was born.  If only they made films like that today.  Sheer escapism.  Billy Liar England's Walter Mitty.

I think my father based himself (I am joking) on Billy Liar's father.  Especially on a Saturday morning when he decide to hoover the whole of the house, banging into the skirting boards and shouting:

"I am up.  So we are all up."

One doesn't think he appreciated me coming in the early hours of the morning probably quite the worse for  wear.  I am sure we put our parents through Hell when we were growing up.  

Any way.  This is one of my favourite British films.  A classic kitchen sink drama/comedy.  It also introduced the world to Julie Christie.  I just love the way she struts her stuff without a care in the world.  If you have never seen the film.  You don't know what your missing.  You can watch it on You Tube.  

Here's a clip for your enjoyment.  Do you like this film?

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

My Birthday And Christmas 1914

It was my birthday yesterday.  Number one son bought me a bottle of malt and number 2 son bought me a notebook for my scribblings..  Psst.. If you want an idea for a blokes Christmas present.  A bottle from the top shelf of the Scottish Malt  variety always goes down well.  My favourite is Dalwhinnie.  My rock hero Neil Peart (Rush drummer and song lyricist) drinks MaCallan.

 The wife bought me a book by one of my favourite comedian's, bus conductor's, folk singer, poet , rambler and author:  Mike Harding.  Check out his website for some great folk music and his books...

The book is called: Yorkshire Transvestite Found Dead On Everest.  If you type Winston Churchill and the sticky bomb in You Tube you will find Mike reading an extract from the book.  Have you met any loons like the sticky bomb creator?  I found the book very funny and if you want a good read about his ramblings, I recommend it very highly.  I am now the proud owner of three of his books.

So how old am I?  Well Princess Elizabeth became queen this year and the FA Cup Final was called the Matthews final that year.  Even though Stan Mortenson scored an hat-trick for Blackpool.  No I wasn't born in the fifties.  Can you guess how old I am?

I was talking to Rachel on her blog this morning about how I wish there was footity ball on Christmas Day.  In 1914 there was a truce and the Germans (no Stan Boardman jokes please!) and English exchanged cigarettes and sweets and had a game of football in No Man's Land.   Here's Mike Harding singing about it.

Monday, 5 December 2016

A Statue For The Gaelic Poets.

Part 2 of our Christmas shopping trip to Killarney.  We spotted this statue on Saturday.  It was erected in 1940 and the sculptor was Seamus Murphy.

I think it's the mark of a great country when it's poets are commemorated.

Do you think poetry is important?  I do.

I read a on a poem publishers website  the other day stating  that it doesn't buy poems.  They pay poets for the number of books they sell.  What ever happened to the advance?

Who is your favourite poet?  Do you write poems?  I do some times.  Culture on a Monday afternoon.

PS. Are you watching the Turner film on Channel Four tonight?  It's on for nearly three hours - yawn!  It stars Timothy Spall.  I can only picture him in Auf Wiedersehen Pet Playing the Midlands character Barry bragging about the time he won the the West Bromwich Second Division Table Tennis League.  Seriously.  It's supposed to be excellent.  Will try and post tomorrow!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Art Discovery On A Killarney Christmas Shopping Trip.

Yay an Nay. And (never start a sentence with And) it did come to pass that we did venture over the Cork and Kerry mountains to go shopping  of the Christmas kind in Killarney.  We went in The Works In Killarney Outlet Centre and I bought a book (for myself) and we bought a lot of other stuff for presents.  Then we walked along Old Market Lane and spotted this Muriel (Hilda Ogden's phrase) and we think it is superb, don't you?  Wish I knew who painted the images.  Anybody know?

 Any body tell me what the Gaelic writing above the two women says?  Thanks.  

Anybody out there paint or write?  Tell us about your work.  I wrote another one of my tales last week.  The collection is growing.  Keep up the good work!

An employer once asked me if my teacher wrote on my school reports:

David is a like-able pupil but is very easy distracted.  Must do better."  

I was amazed and said:  "Yes.  How did you know that?"

He smiled and said:

"They wrote that on every-bodies school report."

See you tomorrow.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Hungry Hill With A Literary Connection.

That's a mobile phone photo took from our kitchen door over looking Bantry Bay.  It's Hungry Hill over on Beara Peninsula.  The hill inspired Daphne Du Maurier to write: Hungry Hill.  Margaret Lockwood starred in the 1947 film or "filum" if you say it that way.  The novel  was her seventh book and there have been 33 editions printed.  The film and novel are based on the the history  and family saga of Daphne Du Maurier's friend Christopher Puxley who owned Copper mines in the area.  I have never read it have you?

It's often said locally that when there is a cap of cloud on top of Hungry Hill, it's going to rain.  The transparent like cap on the top in our picture.  Made no difference and the weather is glorious at the moment. There has been a lot of frosts lately and this is always followed by the rain.  I think it comes next Tuesday.  

My grandfather could look at the tide and tell you what time it was without looking at a clock or watch.  Another sign of rain is Beara Peninsula looking really close, dogs eating grass and rocks shining in the distant hill sides.  What ways do you know for predicting the weather?  I don't mean watching the news!

Thursday, 1 December 2016


Did you see the match at the Theatre Of Dreams (Old Trafford) last night?  The lads in red put on a great show and Henrikh (Mickey) Mkhitaryan is quickly taking on the role of the new king.  I haven't been so excited about a United player since Ronaldo, Cantona, George Best (he was called Best and was the best) Kanchelsis, Bryan Robson... Shall I go on?  

Apparently Sir Bobby Charlton nicknamed Old Trafford the "Theatre Of Dreams" because it was/is the place where you followed your dreams, glory and happiness.  Isn't football amazing?

Talking of dreams.  I had a dream the other night that my son won FIFTY Miillion on the Lotto.  I was over the moon and in my dream, I woke up and was going:

"Yes, yes.  All our money worries are over.  We are going to be rich."

Then my wife turned to me and said:

"I don't know what you are so happy about.  He wouldn't give us any of it.


I screamed and pulled the pillow over my head.

What would you do if you won the lottery?  I would start my own publishing press, invest in a football team and have lots of holidays in some very nice places.  What about you?

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Temerity Tuesday.

Do you have the temerity to write a book, poems, song or even paint a picture?  Could you press the send button or post that letter and wait and wait longer than even that?  For ever in God's waiting room.  Why don't you get that file up on the screen and start writing your book again?  Or have you got more sense?  


There is even the argument that there are very few markets for working class writer's today.  I can't think of many male working class authors being interviewed on television recently can you?  Perhaps that's what I have been doing wrong all these years.  I have been aiming my working class books at a middle class audience? 

Do you write?  Please tell me what you think.   We have had Black Friday.  Today I am calling it: Temerity Tuesday.  Get writing that book or painting that picture!  

I feel like the next song this week.  Good old Thin Lizzy.  My favourite Irish band.  I once saw them in Manchester in 1981.  Showing my age.