Frivolous Monsters

Cover-aggedon – Part Two

There is a scene in the famous film Clerks, which follows a day in the life of two American shop employees, where they observe a character they call The Egg Man who’s a crazed guidance councillor that comes in searching through all the cartons determined to find the perfect dozen eggs. And I thought of that scene as I stood by the counter in WHSmith that day; raised hart rate, nervous sweat on my brow, desperate for my next hit – maintaining a complete collection of all the Doctor Who covers of the Radio Times – when I found only space where the magazines should have been.Clerks Egg Man Walt Flannagan Guidance Counselor Read more…

Cover-aggedon – Part One

It was on the walk into town, just past the college which I’m an alumnus of, where I bumped into someone that I used to go to school with. The shame of being an on-going failure in life; a failed scientist and a failing writer still living in my parents’ back bedroom, means that I’m often keen to avoid former acquaintances in the flesh as I dread the inevitable question: And what do you do? Meeting the Queen’s a right bugger.Viktor-Oliva-The-absinthe-drinker-1901 (500x310)

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In the Name of – Part 02

Real people have archenemies too. Mine is a nemesis vanquished by my ancestors. Killing dragons with might and intelligence is one thing, but the inherent mastery over a particular species of animals is another. The Saint Patrick snake allegory is apocryphal – the ice age being responsible for the lack of snakes in Ireland – but consider the proof for the Pied Piper of Hamelin.Pied Piper Postcard 500

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In the Name of – Part 01

I have a unusual surname which, like most people, is derived from my ancestors; who they were, where they lived, and what they did. If you’re a Thatcher your relatives were roofers, a Cooper and they made barrels, or if they worked in a foundry then you may well be a Smith. My ancestors, the ones that counted, were none of those: they fought monsters and were the original medieval superheroes.Gargoyle 03

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Local Super Villains – Part 02

The two local Super Villains had gone to ground, leaving me amongst the chief suspects, but then both of them were about to be upstaged by someone new who came riding into town.Monsters Part 02

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Local Super Villains – Part 01

Sherlock Holmes has his Moriarty, James Bond has Blofeld, whilst the likes of everyone from Batman to Doctor Who have a plethora of extreme foes who come around again and again. They’re the Super Villains, a cut above the rest, and that’s what I see my life, as I walk amongst the scum and the detritus of the local criminal fraternity, one of whom I personally tracked to his lair when I became a chief suspect in his reign of terror.Monsters Part 01

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The Usual Characters

One of my none-fiction writing heroes came to town the other day although I didn’t make the effort to go and see him; partly because £16 a ticket is too rich for my blood, but mostly as he was here to talk about his new film Frank.frank2

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Me, Concert Pianist. Me, Magician.

Some things you don’t know about me include that I once fought a forest fire, at the age of eight I went on the stage, and that I have an incredible amount of trouble with people’s faces. I’m also like a magician when I’m tinkling the ivories, so, think of a number… Magician 500 Read more…

Not Quite the Christmas – Part 02

On Christmas morning I woke up to the words that every child longs to hear: “I forgot to wrap one of yours… And I forgot to buy one of yours… Happy Christmas!Brussels sprouts

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Not Quite the Christmas – Part 01

I love Christmas and from childhood it’s always been a very traditional affair with the week leading to New Year being a quiet time living off leftovers. In recent years the tradition has been whittled down, but even so this was not quite the Christmas I was expecting.Old Christmas Lights

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