Thursday 29 April 2010


Crazy nutter requires cosy padded cell

(Might possibly write a short story based on this little pearl of a six word memoir - stranger things happen in life than could ever be made up)

Saturday 24 April 2010

HOW MANY TWITS MAKE A TWAT? asked david cameron

Just the one, David.

Saturday 17 April 2010


Returned home from Glastonbury this afternoon - relieved to be home but glad that Thursday and Friday went so well. There was a fight early Saturday morning, which I'll tell you about personally, but no real damage was done. I knew something would happen and am very glad that it wasn't me who lost my rag although I came close at the pub. Grief and alcohol are not a good mix but sometimes can't be helped.

It was lovely to meet again despite the sad circumstances. It would seem that lots of people want to see Madness at the Glastonbury Extraveganza. I'll post details of dates etc soon. Please think about coming - we'll have a smashing time (possibly literally!).

Hope you got back safely.

Love Maggie xxx

Monday 12 April 2010


Can't stand all the coverage already. It's so depressing - I try not to watch/listen to it. Anyway, it's a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned.

Vince Cable is the only politician who understands economics and the financial crisis we are in. He has been the only politican speaking knowledgably on the subject for several years. The main challenge for our country is sorting out, long term, this financial collapse. Therefore, the next Chancellor of the Exchequer, should the most important position in government.

Vince Cable should be that person. Vince Cable is a Liberal Democrat. So, vote Liberal Democrat.

As I said, it's a no-brainer.


George Pelecanos and David Simon are both gods in my eyes on account of their massive involvement (writer/producer)with 'The Wire.' So, I was interested to see how Pelecanos's latest novel panned out. (I've never read anything by him before.)

And it wasn't at all what I expected.

The story, a crime novel, set in America, has a basic plot, which centres around a family in crisis. Other characters come into play but the plot revolves around the family and in particular, Chris Flynn, a teenage tearaway.

Both that basic plot and minimalist writing style reminded me a lot of the two novels that Linford Barclay has written. (Since Pelecanos has written loads of crime novels, I'm not for one minute suggesting he has copied Barclay or the other way around.)

So, it's very different in style to 'The Wire', with its multitude of scenes in one episode and a barrel full of strong characters.

But there are hints of 'The Wire' in some of the dialogue and the disfunctional backgrounds that so easily turn young men towards crime.

Did I enjoy it? Yes, I did, although there were times when I longed for more to happen. However, I still turned the pages/allowed myself 'just one more chapter' so he's a writer I would read again and recommend - just don't expect the full blast of 'The Wire'.


There are three ways to write a novel. The trouble is that nobody knows exactly what they are. Somerset Maughan.

Friday 9 April 2010

Test Twitter feed

This post should generate a Tweet.

Wednesday 7 April 2010


I've had problems with my back for years but over the last few months it has reached the stage that my back muscles are totally seized up most of the time. Not only is this painful and distressing, but it means that I'm having difficulty writing on my computer.

The problem areas are my neck, shoulders and between my shoulder blades.

I've hardly used my computer over the last month to see if it would make a difference but it hasn't.

I'm actually writing this under the influence of paracetamol and codeine, ibruprofen, and tramadol. Also, I have magnets all the way down either side of my spine, and am wearing a tens machine, neck collar and shoulder brace.

Believe you me, you have to really want to write to be togged up like this.

Also, I sit on a special back-less chair and my key board is raised on a slant.

I'm doing everything I can to strengthen my back: swimming, walking, daily stretches and pilates; I pace myself and give myself plenty of time for relaxation; I go to an osteopath regularly and I don't lift heavy things etc etc. But at the moment all these things aren't enough.


The bladder problem was a mere inconvience (pardon the pun) compared with this.

The problem originated from a slightly twisted spine and pelvis and made considerable worse by a chiropractor who over-treated me, including my neck, which I'd never had trouble with before.

Hey-ho. Such is life.

The plan for my writing, therefore, is as follows:-

* I shall concentrate on my second novel Winchester Blues, working for no more than 30 minutes twice a day

* My technical manager i.e.John, will write posts for this blog and the new additions of Facebook and My Space as I dictate to him (lying on a comfy duvee and tickling the dog). Since he has a full time job, this will only be roughly once a week and it may take time to answer comments.

By the way, a big Hi to Dorothy, who has left comments on all three of my sites. Very briefly, I'll reply. Yes, Amsterdam is a beautiful, friendly and interesting city, with a wide variety of small shops along most of the canals. And no, we aren't going to the festival in Mali unless there's a hotel with a balcony right next to the venue!

For those of you who have happened upon this post, let me tempt you with reading some of the many posts already written, including:-

* My first novel Cyprus Bluesin its entirety (it can be read on your computer or downloaded)

* Accounts plus photographs of the Essaouira Gnawa and World Music Festival in Morroco

* A short video of Bob Wisdom (Bunny from The Wire) and myself in conversation at last year's festival

*The Wire, which is the best TV series ever made

*Further TV and film reviews

*Book reviews

*Pearls of wisdom

*6 word memoirs

*Posts about Winchester, where I live, local groups etc

*Posts about the newspaper reports and short stories I've had published

*Posts about the writing process

*and not forgetting my most popular post - my open letter to Van Morrison (who still hasn't replied yet!)

Plus much, much more.

Sadly my 30 minutes is up but can I ask again, if you've any advice about how to help with back/neck/shoulder pain, I'd be very, very grateful.