• A word from King Barry

    Stuart is away this week.

    I, King Barry, Snow White’s father, will provide you with an update.

    Stuart is, thus far, doing OK on all goals for 2017:

    1. Talks continue with a few potential business acquisitions.
    2. The fitbit indicates that he is keeping his nose ahead of his friends group. (Just. That Ger woman is pushing hard.)
    3. A whole kilogram has been lost, no seriously, a whole kilo.
    4. Every day has been a writing day.

    Naturally, the highlight of the winter for Stuart has been the opportunity to play me, King Barry, in the Abbotts Ann village pantomime. The production was a roaring success, playing four sold-out performances in early-December. The show was put on by the Abbotts Ann players, a group with sufficient talent to produce a good show, even when hampered by novices like the big boy.

    A friend attended the opening night, and did not go to the pub until AFTER the show had ended. His comment was telling;

    “I think that it’s great you live in a village that still does things like this. It’s brilliant.”

    It’s unusual for any acquaintance of Stuart to utter anything halfway sensible, but I suppose the exception proves the rule.  People are quick to rue the loss of their local pub, or corner shop, and they moan about how the street, estate, neighbourhood, ‘never does anything’ any more. Yet, it is this very same people that drove past their village shop to get to the supermarket. The same people who don’t attend the fireworks night, because they are busy. The same people who don’t use the pub, don’t attend community meetings etc…

    I, King Barry of the Kingdom of Elate (on the nice side of the A38), leave you with this, my regal thought. YOU are your community. YOU can make it thrive. Stuart tells me that it’s also, really good fun.

    And remember…

    “You are my first, my last, my everything…”  Barry White, the Walrus of Love. 1974.

  • Christmas Time

    Merry Christmas!

    I’m looking forward to some tasty food, some classy grape based beverages and the company of friends and family – including the little fellow above, Nero the dog.

    The world’s media and thousands of talented bloggers will produce long, detailed and weighty reviews of 2016. I daresay there will be much talk of war, terrorism, politics and death. It really has been quite some year.

    Nero’s year has been altogether simpler.

    Food has been plentiful. Walks too. He has been particularly pleased with the variety of armchairs, couches and beds provided for his comfort. Most satisfactory.

    Every time Margaret and I return, Nero jumps up and down at the back door, waiting to hear the key in the lock. When he does, he speeds across the room to his toys, selecting one as a welcome home present. Whether we have been gone five minutes or a few hours, his enthusiasm is entire and unlimited.

    He loves curling up on a couch in front of the fire, even more if he can share the couch with us.

    Each morning, I awake to Nero tip-tapping across the wooden floor in the bedroom. In between long yoga-like stretches, he has taken to ‘huffing’, ensuring that I’m awake.

    Together we head out in the early light for a walk around the village. We take the same route each morning, yet every day is a brand new adventure, full of exciting scents, animals to chase and people to deafen with barks.

    We make the world very complicated.

    Be more Nero.

    Merry Christmas everyone!

  • S is for Sex

    That has done it.

    I used the word Sex.

    I will spend most of tomorrow moderating comments from robots offering me ways to buy more sex or to get tablets to make me better at sex.

    I’m writing a book.

    Have I mentioned that already?

    Sean, the hero, is most definitely about to get some action.

    Lucky him.

    This brings me to my challenge.

    How on earth does one write about sex?

    I suddenly find myself being incredibly English. “A stiff upper lip” has the right adjective – but the nouns are all wrong.

    What to do?

    Take a course? Phone a friend? Ask the audience?

    Don’t get me wrong, I have had sex. More than once actually. Sometimes with someone else.

    Never though, have I written about it.

    After much thought, and even a little fretting, I believe that I will simply close the bedroom door and let the reader work out the rest.

    What do you think?

    Was Fifty Shades incredibly erotic or toe-curlingly awkward?

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  • L is for Lennon

    Lennon. My family name.

    The source of endless entertainment on the telephone or in shops.

    “Lennon. As in dead Beatle.”

    Sometimes – people laugh.

    More often, people look slightly puzzled.

    I’m getting old and Beatles references don’t go as far as they used to.

    The ‘present Mrs Lennon’ as I jokingly refer to my wife, has, to date, wisely avoided the more obvious puns on the name.

    The poor woman already has a lot to put up with being married to me

    “Recorded in several spelling forms including O’Lennon, O’Lennan, Lennon, Linnane and Lineen this interesting surname is Irish.

    It usually originated from the pre 10th century O’Leannain, a byname meaning “lover”, but may also be from O’Lonain, a diminutive of “lon”, meaning the blackbird.”

    Read more:

     So there you have it. I’m either a lover or a small blackbird.

    Best I leave it there I think.

     

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