October 2015 Comments/Reviews/Thoughts

While seeking to complete the phrase, When I became a man I put away childish things, I was pleasantly surprised to find a C. S. Lewis attribution. In his essay On Three Ways of Writing for Children it’s paraphrased by C. S. Lewis to, When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. A trait that has become more pronounced in my dotage. Read more of this post

Harry And The Ferris Wheel

Barbers always follow their request that you to tell them how you would like your hair cut with a question intended to draw you into a conversation. At which point I usually answer their facile question with an equally facile reply, anything to end the agonising silence as the barber waits for a response. However, there are times when I can become quite animated, as I did in response to the question put to me by the young woman about to cut my hair. A question I’m sure she regretted asking as I directed our conversation to Carol Reed’s classic film noir The Third Man¹, the actor Orson Welles who played the part of Harry Lime and the fairground of the Prater in Vienna — where Reed shot a now famous film sequence. When I asked her about these things it came as a surprise to be told that she’d never heard of Orson Welles or Harry Lime, nor the Prater fairground in Vienna, nor seen the film or heard of Carol Reed the film’s director. As it must be over fifty years ago when I first saw the film, probably over twice as many years as her age, this should really have been no surprise to me at all. Read more of this post

September 2015 Critique/Review/Thoughts

I recently sent an email to an ex-colleague saying something like: a thought that now seems rather obvious — but to me as an engineer and ex-civil servant who spent a lot of time writing reports and specifications certainly wasn’t — which is that if you are writing fiction you don’t have to tell the truth. This assumed truism amongst fiction writers is a real struggle for me, even when reminding myself of it. Rather strange that I should even think like this given that I have never had a problem embellishing the truth (just a little bit), being deliberately conservative with the truth or on occasions concealing it. In all of these concepts previous untruths may have remained hidden depending on the circumstances, but no untruths were ever added. Writing fiction that allows characters, time, places, events, etc, to be manipulated for the purpose of the story is something that I’ve happily accepted in my reading but I find it an alien concept in writing.

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Emotional Malevolence

Jon rolled over and lay on his back, closing his eyes he slowly heaved a deep—long—sigh. Ana lay contentedly beside him lost in her own thoughts until disturbed by what to her sounded like a triumphal sigh, not a sigh of contentment that two lover’s shared — the inexplicable divine. Turning her head on the pillow she looked at him, her contented smile becoming an angry frown. Memories rekindled of the happier times they shared together becoming shrouded by deeper, darker, feelings; thoughts of those times when she was accepting and uncritical of him were now fast disappearing. Instead she was reminded of man who had constantly damned her with faint praise, who subjugated her intellect to that of his own, who was incapable of accepting her as his equal and certainly not as someone with the ability to be his intellectual superior.  Read more of this post

What is Right With the World

The rooted hope of the modern world is that all these dim democracies do still believe in that romance of life, that variation of man, woman and child upon which all poetry has hitherto been built. The danger of the modern world is that these dim democracies are so very dim, and that they are especially dim where they are right. The danger is that the world may fall under a new oligarchy — the oligarchy of prigs. Read more of this post

August 2015 Critique/Review/Thoughts

The more I read the more I understand the difficulty that there is in the creation of a good short story. Perhaps it’s now time that I took some short stories off my bookshelf and at least attempted to read them, other than Woody Allen and a few other comedic collections that I have read. Of course every month the short stories in this group are really short, especially this month. Novel, novella, novelette, short story, flash fiction — a word count by any other name may not lead to any enlightenment! This month most of us may have written really long flash fiction, which those subscribing to National Flash Fiction Day may still think too long (see Rule 10.1).

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Luscinia Aves

In the metropolis there once lived a cruel gangster called Terry who despite being a son of ‘Arry — nicknamed the godfather — was dissed and yet feared by all the other gang leaders. Nevertheless, when the Met police set up task force Olympia to combat their activities, it was Terry that they all turned to for leadership. All that is except Paddy, leader of the Athenry gang.  Read more of this post

July 2015 Critique/Review/Thoughts

I was going to give July on the CWG ‘a miss’, but Araminta’s story caught my attention and — well — one thing led to another, so here I am. The time interval between scoring the stories and any critique, review, thoughts, is really essential. Although I would like to see more advance notice on the forthcoming themes (I do understand the present difficulties: i.e. September’s theme needs July’s result). Read more of this post


In ancient Greece there once lived a cruel and fearsome king named Tereus who despite being a son of Ares, the god of war, was considered to be a Thracian barbarian. However when Greece was invaded, it was to Tereus that all the Greek kings sent soldiers to fight the invaders. All that is, except Pandion the King of Athens.  Read more of this post


‘I would suggest that divine discontent is a fitting term regarding the affect this website has on those that view it’.

This remark, Jon’s first at a meeting called by the Minister responsible for digital media and communications, prompted what could only be described as a moment’s pregnant silence. Jon was used to his remarks meeting with a hostile reception but he wasn’t prepared for what happened next. The meeting erupted into a chaos of quips between the other delegates regarding the website and a divine purpose. Jon sat there somewhat bemused that his attempt to bring some degree of clarity to the meeting should be so ridiculed. The other delegates clearly had no comprehension of the website’s intent. They assumed that they could break the code currently making any recording of the site contents impossible. That this would lead them to the source of the site and its intent. Read more of this post

Yanis Varoufakis

thoughts for the post-2008 world

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UK Constitutional Law Association

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News, analysis and comment on Africa

Intriguing History

Map your history, make new connections and gain new insights for your family local or special interest project

The Slog.

Deconstruct lies, reconstruct Decency


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