December 7, 2016
I’m writing a story. So far it has only a few hundred words, but already I want to find out what the characters in it do next. In fact, that’s the most exciting bit about writing so far. I have some idea about the general scheme of the story and what I want to be “true” for the world I’m weaving, but as it evolves gently before my eyes I’m still constantly in awe of the ease with which I can conjure and construct whatever suits my needs. Read the rest of this entry »
November 1, 2016
We’re going carolling in pubs again. It’s another glorious romp around some excellent ale houses with a piano and a sheaf of carol sheets which seems to be an annual indulgence. I’ve just sent an order to the printers for flyers (download yours in advance here if you like) and we have more pubs than ever on the list.
Read the rest of this entry »
October 29, 2016
It’s a rare thing for proper grown-ups to get a day to themselves. So when it arrived this Friday I took it in both hands and fulfilled a few old ambitions.
To understand me, you have to understand the way of the world twenty-five years ago. The Cross City Line was being electrified, and I was travelling to school on ancient diesel multiple-unit (DMU) trains. A boy sat behind the cab of a DMU could see what they did. You could see the rails leading into the distance and the signals and signs they needed to read.
The Cross City Line is part of a wider Centro network, including the lines to Stourbridge, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Hednesford, and of course the range of central Birmingham stations.
There are some things I fancied doing, and some of them have been on my mind since 1991. Read the rest of this entry »
October 10, 2016
I don’t care how bouncy you are when you arrive at work on a Monday morning, or how grumpy you are in the face of relentless positivity. To me, that’s not a mental health thing. That’s a personality thing. Neither am I going to rant about NHS provision. That’s not a mental health thing. That’s a finance and training thing.
But resilience is absolutely a mental health thing. I find that my own mental health has been most at risk when I have had no strategies and support to prevent the outside world dictating terms. If you are working with, living with, or think you are a person whose resilience is below par, start working now on ways to keep them/yourself healthy between the ears. And for goodness’ sake, speak to someone. Here’s a handy link to The Samaritans if you need it. If you’re not in the UK, go and pester your local health team until they tell you how to find someone similar. Because it’s a damned complex world out there and only a small amount of grey matter serves to pilot us through it. The real miracle is that so many people seem to do it effortlessly.
September 9, 2016
This is not an inspirational post. Or at least, not intended to be. I’m hardly disadvantaged by my own estimation.
But I wanted to acknowledge and celebrate a little milestone. I had an e-mail from Kickstarter this week congratulating me because exactly a year ago I’d successfully concluded the campaign for No Dice, and it was fully funded.
Bear in mind the average Kickstarter project might take months or years to set up, run for a month and then take another few months to even get off the ground properly let alone send out all the rewards and so forth. Read the rest of this entry »
September 3, 2016
I’m playing a gig in a couple of weeks in Walsall Town Centre. It’s only a short appearance on a stage I’m happy to share with a whole host of local performers, speakers and dignitaries. Love Your Neighbour is an initiative started in Birmingham and spreading across the country.
It would be great to see a whole crowd of people supporting their local community.