Friday, 26 April 2013


more rumness, but this time some more likeable types and their hadron chums...

Monday, 22 April 2013

rum chaps

so these rum chaps happened. no idea who they are or what they're for... but they definitely happened. oh yes

Saturday, 20 April 2013


something a little different - my friend nick of the excellent "pile of leaves" blog ( asked me to photo my "in tray" of books but because we've just changed the shelving system now we have new bookshelves, i thought it better to label the soon to be read books on the shelves... gives me an excuse to show off a little corner of the homestead book collection

the whole shelf!

 the lower shelves!

the middle shelves

A - Annals of Todmorden compiled by Dorothy Dugdale: pretty much what it says on the tin. A book of local history with some - er - entertaining diversions such as "October 1881 - a novel entertainment took place at the Thorn Inn, Shore, called a "jingle of spoons". It was a dish composed of different kinds of meats, all boiled together, and made into a kind of hotch potch. Each person was supplied with a spoon and helped himself out of the dish. It appears to be the revival of an old custom, the origin of which is almost forgotten."

B - Nightmare Movies by Kim Newman: I'm rereading this after about ten years as I've now seen a lot more films Newman writes about here. One of my favourite books on both horror *and* cinema.

C - How To Be An Illustrator by Darrel Rees: because, like, I really want to be a proper illustrator.

D - Colossus: The True Story of William Foulke by Graham Phythian: because now I work for a football university I thought I really needed to get round to reading something on the sport. And so here's my first choice - the biography of the notoriously larger Victorian football player... the man who, famously, may have been the first to "eat all the pies".

the top shelves

A - Dark Water by Koji Suzuki: a book of modern Japanese horror stories which I've been meaning to read for ages. Mainly because the original 2002 film was stunningly good and some of my friends highly recommended it.

B - The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick: because I've not read any Dick yet and my wife read it recently and loved it.

C - The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of the World's Greatest Mystifier by William Kalush and Larry Sloman: because I've been meaning to get round to it for ages. I've always enjoyed *any* history of magic that I've read so I'm really looking forward to this one.

D - The Queen's Conjuror: The Science and Magic of Dr Dee by Benjamin Woolley: another sort of magic history book, but mainly because it needs to be read for research for my Famous Five novel and particularly it's central sixteenth century mystic, Boaz Hulek.

E - Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges: because I've never read much Borges and everything I've read about "The House of Leaves" particularly seems to go "it's like Borges, but longer and not as good"...

F - The Fairy Tales of Herman Hesse translated by Jack Zipes: because I really, really need to get round to reading this thing at last.

G - The Great Animal Orchestra by Bernie Krause: because it looks fascinating, the first chapter was beautifully written and I've always been intrigued by Krause's music.

H - A Time to Dance, A Time to Die: The Extraordinary Story of the Dancing Plague of 1518 by John Waller: because it's a book about the dancing plague of 1518! What other reason do you need?!?!

I - Chaplin: The Tramp's Odyssey by Simon Louvish: I don't like Chaplin much and never really have done. I was always a Harold Lloyd kind of kid... but Louvish is a brilliant, brilliant writer on both comedy AND cinema so if anyone is going to make me rethink my views... it's him.

there's loads more of this nonsense, should anyone be so interested!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


i have been drawing them. lots of them. i call it practice...

Monday, 8 April 2013

Friday, 5 April 2013


should any of you fine ladies or gentlemen be passing through the calder valley and fancy a drink or a natter, why not join  the inaugural session of the calder valley scribblers in hebden bridge? please come! keep me company!!

sorry for silence - been in welsh wales, visiting my mum and her myriad odd cats...

First Show in Two Years!!!

 This Saturday! The old college! Todmorden Folk Festival! I will be selling all the things! Come and buy them and tell your friends!!! (And ...