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Week 279 – Fulshaw Crescent, Steve Nicol Played For Ayr And Dumbledum, Dumbledum, Dumbledum Vegetable Garden…Dumbledum, Dumbledum, Dumbledumdum…Corn!

Well here we are at Week 279.

Whenever I see the number seventy nine it makes me think of my first address that I remember as a kid. From there I realise that I can also remember our first phone number.

Firsts are good to bring to the forefront every now and again and I’m sure that many a first has inspired a story. (Or maybe an arrest.)

Not so much a first but a first for a while. It was brilliant to see Liverpool win the English Premier League title. It has been thirty years since they last did that. Man, it shows that  I’m getting old when I can remember them lifting the trophy the last time. (Liverpool football club has a long tradition with Scottish players and of course there was their manager, Bill Shankly who came from a wee Ayrshire village called Glenbuck)

I think back to those days and a lot has changed. Then I had hope for what is now. Hope is the lot that has changed.

I used to watch ‘Married With Children’ and Al Bundy’s outlook made me laugh. It’s not so fucking funny when I’m living it. Al had it better than he realised!

I can’t comment on the ‘…With Children’ bit as God hasn’t blessed us with those. I have to admit if I had kids I would have been a lot happier. I found a site from somewhere in Brazil where you can sell them. But God in his wisdom didn’t give me the ability to navigate the internet.

I know that there are a few of our writers who are still avid readers and I wish I could do that. In a way I do as we are getting through around sixty short stories a week. Unfortunately this has made my book reading take a back seat.

At the moment I am half way through ‘The Count Of Monte Cristo’ – I had always promised myself that I would read that as it was my favourite film I saw as a youngster. Oh how manly I thought Richard Chamberlain was. The folly of youth!

Half way through isn’t that great as I still have around seven hundred pages to read.

I am also a quarter way through the biography of Freddie Mercury. It’s a bit weird how folks are snobbish about biographies (Same folks who bore the tits off of you about Real Ale, Red Wine and Malt Whisky) I don’t know how many times I’ve heard some intellectual snobbish fuckwit state, ‘Oh I only read biographies.’ Christ knows what that is meant to say about them – Nosey bastard maybe?

I’ve also got all the comic books of ‘Preacher’ to read. I loved the TV show. Cassidy is the coolest vampire since Severen, Hitler’s escapades in hell and plenty of blasphemy to keep me happy. I’ve never seen a humping Jesus before.

And to top it all off, I have the new Stephen King, the latest Rebus book by Ian Rankin and the last Tom Thorn book by Mark Billingham. Every one I want to read but not sure if I’ll ever get around to them.

I was wondering a couple of things.

1. If any of you are writing, are you able to read whilst doing so? (And I don’t mean at the same time!)

2. Have you a book that you want to get to and if you do why haven’t you read it?


I wish I could say that the answer to the last question and the books I have waiting is due to time but I don’t think that’s it. I’ve found that the older I get, I can’t read as much as I used to. So when I have finished on the site, I’m not sure if my eyes are up to it.

…Maybe that has something to do with my reading choices as a teenager???

I’m also not sure if my mind is up to it.

…Maybe that has something to do with my drinking choices from being a teenager??


Okay onto this weeks stories.

We had three old friends and two new writers.

We welcome both Mark and Philip. Let’s hope that they continue to send us their work and they have a lot of fun on the site.

Our topics this week include; inventive cooking, locality, re-cycling, Nirvana and an offer.

As always our initial comments follow.


First up was Tom Sheehan.

I really do wish that I’d kept a note on how many stories he has had published. Everytime that I mention this I need to re-count them.

I’ll get the exact number next time. For now lets just say that he has left the hundred mark well behind him.

Tylen Brackus‘ was first Tom’s story for us on Monday.

‘Who wouldn’t want to stay in an old box-car?’

‘The pace and tone was perfect, this was a lovely read.’

‘Re-purposing before it became chic.’


Who better to follow Tom than Leila Allison. This lovely lady is also in with the bricks of the site. ‘Miranda‘ was her offering on Tuesday.

‘A clever ghost story with Leila’s usual panache!’

‘I think that the reader not actually meeting Miranda adds to the mystery and mystique.’

‘The short paragraph ending ‘Are you who you are?’ makes you consider acceptance, realisation or even yielding.’


We broke the back of the week with the first of our new writers.

‘A Freak Out With The Long Hairs’ was Mark Colbourne’s story for Wednesday.

‘I loved the melancholy and how understated this was.’

‘There is a palpable sense of sadness and loss.’

‘This is as smooth a piece of writing as the best of them.’


On Thursday, our second new writer was next up with, ‘ Philip’s Recipe For Lamb Stew.’

‘That’s a first – I don’t think we’ve ever had a cannibalistic recipe.’

‘I enjoyed this – It made me smile and a little curious!’

‘I’m not curious, I don’t even like lamb.’


And we finished off with David Lohrey.

David has a very interesting back catalogue that is well worth a look.

Southern Comfort‘ was next up.

‘There are so many stories that look back and solely concentrate on one specific, this realistically flits from one thing to another – Just the same as our memories do.’

‘Great flow, it was like a completed jigsaw.’

‘I loved the aftermath of the party but it was so sad.’


Well that’s us for another week.

Usual reminders folks – Please, just like the trucks, keep on commenting!

And have a go at the Sunday Re-Run. Just pick an older story that you’ve enjoyed and send us a spiel or an introduction. Throw in a few questions for the writer and we’ll publish exactly what you send us.

I should go and get started or continue those books I was telling you about but I’m a bit thirsty and once the thirst is quenched it’s even harder to focus.

So I’ll pour out a brandy and leave you with the thought of the guy who was disappointed that he had lost the village idiot contest for the first time in twenty years, he’s not spoken to his twin since.

That should have been the end of this post but I wondered if I could find anything regarding PC and the phrase village idiot. I didn’t really, just a very vague statement saying that it depends on who you are calling an idiot. (Hah! A rose by any other name…) But I did find this gem from Chris Martin. He is quoted as saying:

More idiots should shut their mouths.

Probably the same as moaning, whinging singers!



I read all the time and it doesn’t seem to interfere with the writing. Life does that. I’ve just published my latest and by gum did that take some getting through with one thing and another. Love Rebus but I wish he wasn’t ill – Love Mark Billingham – have his next on order and I have just read Hamnet which is a fictionalised account of the death of Shakespeare’s son. It was excellent – though I’m not sure it would have appealed to you, Hugh. Disappointingly I am reading one of those that has all sorts of marvelous reviews and awards and I’m finding it a bit meh – no names that wouldn’t be kind. – anyway – I go to find an image – dd


Image:Tobias Barkskog / CC BY (

8 thoughts on “Week 279 – Fulshaw Crescent, Steve Nicol Played For Ayr And Dumbledum, Dumbledum, Dumbledum Vegetable Garden…Dumbledum, Dumbledum, Dumbledumdum…Corn!”

  1. Excellent questions. I read all the time. I usually have a stack of four or five and go to and fro. At least one is always a reread. Currently a few hundred pages into Mailer’s Executioner’s Song. I’ve always avoided it because 1100 pagers are almost always a few hundred pages too long. So far so good. 1984 is among the rereads, as is an inscribed copy of Thurber’s Dogs–not inscribed by the author, but by a girl to her father for the Xmas of 1956. Elevation by Stephen King is in there. As is Daemonologie by King James IV of Scotland (later James I of Everything). Jesus, the spelling.
    Reading good writing is instructive. Imitation inevitably occurs with bright young writers whose minds are still there for the swaying. I used to imitate the hell out of Shirley Jackson. Nothing to worry about there; keep at it and your own voice will grow in, by and by. Read shit, however, and nothing will be gained. The instant you decide that a certain book is like a toxic relationship, give it up and choose another.
    Also got The Book of the Law by Crowley. He wasn’t half the pervert he’s been made out to be.


    1. Hi Leila,
      That’s an interesting comment regarding imitation.
      I wouldn’t know where to start to imitate. I would need to think too much and that isn’t a great discipline of mine!!
      Thanks as always for all that you do for the site!!


  2. I don’t read as much as I should. I do read a few stories online each day. However, my other hobby besides writing is playing piano and practicing can be time-consuming. Not to mention I religiously devote a chunk of the day to goofing off.


    1. Hi Dave,
      It’s always a pleasure to read your comments, they are much appreciated.
      And I agree, sometimes you simply need to give yourself some time to do absolutely nothing!
      All the very best my friend.


  3. Diane,
    I’ve always said I’m shite at titles but Shakespeare was shite at kids names which in turn became a shite title!!


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