Monthly Archives: December 2016

Happy New Year!

This year I resolve to read more novels of every kind, and to ignore all news articles featuring Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and anyone else who has sought to undermine my country. This year I resolve to be kind to people of all creeds, colours and ages, and try to see the world from their […]

Class Will Always Be The Last British Taboo

It’s the end of 2016, and evidence of growing class separation is suddenly all around us. ‘I ruined a goose last week,’ said the lady behind me at the theatre. ‘Then someone told me about this shop called Lidl. The most extraordinary place. They sell frozen geese. Do you know, it was every bit as […]

Trading On Fear

An extraordinary new documentary, ’13th’ from Netflix sheds light on a little-understood loophole in the US Constitution. The 13th Amendment says that there will be no slavery except for those convicted of a crime. The clause allowed for involuntary servitude to be used as a punishment in the aftermath of the Civil War. America comprises just […]

How You Write Isn’t Important

James Hadley Chase supposedly wrote the bestseller ‘No Orchids For Miss Blandish’ on a flight. Edgar Wallace could write a book in a day. Virginia Andrews became such a successful pulp writer that the Inland Revenue declared her technically still alive after her death because she was still earning. It took John Kennedy Toole’s mother […]

Should We Revise The Arts?

Arthur Ward seemed an ordinary working class fellow with an interesting middle name (Sarsfield). He was born in Birmingham in 1883, where he grew up to become a civil servant. Early photographs are unassuming, but compare them to his later pictures, when he appears in a silk dressing gown, puffing on what looks like an opium […]

Are The Sights Of London Being Compromised?

St. Paul’s Cathedral is an internationally recognised landmark in the London skyline. Since 1938 the City of London Corporation has operated a unique policy known as the ‘St Paul’s Heights’ to protect views of the Cathedral from the South Bank, Thames bridges and certain other points. For more than seventy years this has worked perfectly […]

The Bestiary Of London

I have a book somewhere of all London’s stone lions, but there are many other carved creatures lurking around the eaves of the city. These include gryphons, dragons, elephants, sharks, unicorns, beavers, eagles, sphinxes, ants, mice, fish, grasshoppers, ships, angels, farmers, camels and something outside the Natural History Museum that looks like a pterodactyl. In […]

A Merry Christmas To All My Readers

Here’s more Christmas cheer for you from today’s papers. Some of it may be apocryphal, ie. from the Daily Telegraph. London is on high alert for a terror attack. I live 500 yards from its epicentre. Apparently there’s ‘Christmas weather travel chaos’ as storms batter Britain. Not in London. Of course we can’t get anywhere […]

The Devil Times Four

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…four horrendously creepy volumes of short stories. Because my award-winning ‘Devil Quartet’, Personal Demons, The Devil in Me, Old Devil Moon and Demonized are about to come out as e-books! Here you’ll find out what happened to the cutlery of the Marquis de Sade, […]

The Case For English Eccentricity

M’Lud, I am here to argue that our country is still as eccentric as it always was, and in some cases considerably more so. I will now submit my evidence. The Winter Solstice, time for Pagans, Druids and other mentally disenfranchised loners to head to Stonehenge to mumble about ley lines, past-life regression, homeopathy and other […]