Tuesday, 11 August 2009


[Creative wrting again]

'I used to read my horoscope and still do.'
'Cos..' there was a pause, 'cos...I dunno.'
Her eyes looked to the ceiling in a gesture of ...impatience, or is this guy cracked, or whatever.
'Lt's start again-'
'What's your favourite place?'
'All time favourite place?'
'Robin Hood's Bay.'
'Robin Hood's Bay.'
Christ this was hard work
At last. 'See ya.'
'See ya,' (not bloody likely).

'Hi,' I said brightly.
There was that curious pause then:
'What'/'Well' we both spoke simultanoeusly.
'You first'
'No you.'
'OK, favourite band.'
'Favourite band?' I nodded.
'It's got to be Flaming Lips.'
(Christ where did that come from?)
'So you are still on the medication?'
Oh bugger I thought that would be obvious.
'Anyone who likes Flaming Lips-' Oh Fuck I am digging myself into a hole here-
She laughs, 'Sounds like you are digging yoruself into a hole here.'
Ok fuck.

Poem for Jay

Poem for Jay

It's strange
How I feel you in my body

When I moved out
It felt
Like I'd lost my left arm

I think you live
Deep inside me

It's hard
To fit this you-in-me
With the you
That occasionally answers my letters.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Poems, curries and Frankie

My team went out for a curry after work last night for some reason which escapes me now. In true Capriconian style we went to our usual Indian restaurant on the curry mile in Rusholme. Regular readers of this blog will now that last year at Tina' leaving do, in the same restaurant I wrote an impromptu poem (Poem for Tina) on a serviette and proclaimed to all around me. I had had a drink or two then. I recall a previous occasion in Hull in 1984ish when I recited one of my earliest poems - Dorothy Wordsworth poem, again in an Indian restaurant. Is there a pattern here I wonder? The only other audiences for my poetry so far are my long suffering creative writing class and a couple of conference presentations when I really should have known better. So I guess I am inching my way towards a public performance or two. Watch this space. Now a word or three from Frankie!

Hello sweethearts and others, It was dullsville last night in the Shazam. The Boss didn't get that drunk, I am not sure what worse when he's sober or a drunk. But we all have our crosses or crescents to bear. I could tell he was itching to read some plates but nothing doing, not even some crap poetry. Well he and the other more mature(! - if that's maturity....) members of our team left early leaving me Jake, Isabelle and Raymond to live it up.

Ah, it was a swirling kaleidoscope of an evening. Drinks in the Krobar One and Two, dancing in the Streets Niteclub and more drinks at the Hotel du Lacquer(!). I woke up with a heavy head and an even heavier presence in the bed next to me. But thankfully it was the Dog.

And he agreed to make the coffee and toast so that was OK.

The Boss looks a bit yellow eyed this morning and he has got a face on him like thunder. You know he has never been the same at work since that last cafe girl - Rosetta left. Ah such terrible taste. I better get him a coffee and croissant from Cafe Muse that should cheer him up!

Love and kisses,


Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The creature that I was meant to be

“I never dreamt that I would get to me
The creature that I always meant to be”- Pet Shop Boys, 'Being boring'.

Today I feel like that I am more back to myself. Work has gone quieter and I can hear myself think again for the first time for months or so it seems. It feels as if my own natural shape has returned and I am able to write. I am currently writing a 5-10,000 word essay on the future of Friends for a Quaker competition. Each section of this essay I head with a quote from a Pet Shops Boys song. It is great fun and I also use their word 'pandemonium' which is the title of a track on their new album 'Yes' but also the title of the latest tour.(If any of you want to see and comment on an early version of this essay please email me).

What is interesting to me is that I never really dreamt that I would end up working in HE apart from a childhood dream to be a professor of Astronomy. However, my lifelong dream since adolescence has been to be a writer and sometimes a poet. It is that dream that I am still working on. I am quite a successfully published academic but I have yet to have a similar impact as a writer but I am working on it! This blog is part of this.

This desire to write has gripped me for so long and I guess it does feed into the academic in me but I really want to give it full verse to coin a phrase :).


Bill on bike

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Strange days: Tecky bit for Europe's got space talent

[This is another creative writing bit that goes with my blog entry a few days ago - Europe's got space talent.]

This was going to be the big one to broadcast - a live feed from SPACESAT* to TVs, mobes, black and red berries and humac** devices. This presented many tecky challenges with there only being a window of opportunity of 7 minutes every 24 hours within which they broadcast from SPACESAT could occur and a time lag of 4 minutes for the signal to reach the earth. Any demand for an encore would have to be covered by rescreening parts of the original broadcast necessitating their editing in read time. Such a task was not beyond the skills of IBEEB*** technicians but unfortunately this was a freelance show. However, the audience did not seem to mind the rather abrupt switching between words and music in the encore. In fact it had a certain and was posted on WeeTube****.

* SPAESAT - global space station launched in i2012 with Chinese, Liberian and Euro funding.
** Humac - small digital receptors embedded in human tissues - usually forearms but sometimes thighs
*** IBEEB Iona government sponsored media corporation, launched in i2010 loosely based on the earlier BBC.
**** WeeTube Scots video web site.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Quakers delight me


Well I did not believe Quakers were ready to embrace same sex marriage but last Friday they became the first religious group in Britain to do so. Up till now many Quaker meetings have been informally celebrating same sex civil partnerships but from now on these ceremonies will be the same as Quaker opposite sex marriages which already have a legal status. (i.e. if you marry in a Quaker meeting you don't have to also visit a registry office.

Here is last Saturday's Guardian editorial:

The decision yesterday by the Quakers to perform marriage ceremonies for gay couples was welcomed by campaigners such as Peter Tatchell as a trailblazing. But it is not the first time that the Religious Society of Friends has gone out in front. The Quakers not only began the British campaign against the slave trade but they could also lay claim to have invented modern campaigning, with the publication of a diagram showing the cross section of a ship in which slaves lay shoulder to shoulder. So too did they pick up the cudgels of prison reform and the treatment of the mentally ill. Banned by law from politics and the universities, many Quakers went into commerce and industry, where philanthropists such as Joseph Rowntree provided his workers with modern benefits such as free education, medical care and a pension fund. If Quakers make woolly believers (a majority believe in God but all refuse a creed to which they must subscribe), they are crystal clear on behaviour. They value the experience of inspiration and share it in largely silent worship. The Quaker church will now ask the government to change the law to allow its officers to register same-sex partnerships as marriages. But legal recognition is secondary. The exploration of radical concepts is more important, as is the belief that there is good in everyone. As George Fox, the founder of the Quaker movement wrote, from prison of course: "Then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone."

Best to all,

Bill on bike