Category Memories

A necessary journey

One of the things we come across from time to time are slogans, neat little sayings designed to make us think about some point they want to make, and for a great many of us, they work. One I remember that came out during World War Two in England was, “Is your journey really necessary?” […]

Our living room

I love to close my eyes and see our living room full of people when I was the tender age of seven. Had I been able to film it, I would have captured an assortment of events to rival anything offered as ‘home entertainment’ at the DVD store today. Thin Uncle Dave has just opened his […]

Acquiring skills

‘Share and share alike’ would be one of the things we were taught when young. I found it difficult at times, but in the presence of older people it was best to comply. There were a few times when uncensored, I’d surprise myself by sharing something prompted by a spontaneous generosity from within. I’d feel […]

Cap and gown

When I reached the magical age of 14 I had had enough of school, and left. It was my hope then that Dad would be happy for me to learn a trade, either as a plumber or bricklayer, but for some reason that didn’t happen. So for the next three months after I left school […]


In a school where I used to teach in the 1970s (Stratford High School), I sometimes used what are called ‘starters’ to get pupils started in writing projects. These could be incomplete sentences which I would write on the blackboard for the pupils to choose from if they wished. They would use them to take […]

Danger, hero

  I suppose we all have some place that has an air of mystery and darkness about it. Mine is a real place, somewhere along the River Ribble in Preston, Lancashire, at a place called (in the vernacular), ‘t’ Church Deeps’. It is a place where the river cuts in under the bank causing dangerous […]

Oh René!

Our present day computer knowledge-based internet age gives added impetus to our questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? And, what happens when we die? Suggestions there are a-plenty from accountants, judges, army officers – commissioned or otherwise, mystics, assorted reverends and well-intentioned folks from flocks of faithful of every […]

Walks with my dad

A few scenes with my dad are rather special to me. Times when I discovered something about how he felt; things that helped shape the way I see and feel about things today. I was about eight years of age at the time of the following events. There always seemed to be so very many […]

A surprising reversal

We brought nothing into this world and it is certain that we shall carry nothing out of it. However, the bit in between immerses us in many variations. I once watched a plain piece of metal being silver-plated. The process didn’t seem to take long. The piece of metal was lowered into a tank. I […]

The rent man

We lived in a stone cottage in Preston in the 1930s – two up, two down – and shared an outside loo with the folk next door. So the rent wasn’t much, one shilling a week, but it still had to be found in the days of the Depression. The rent man was pleasant enough, […]