Foreword & Contents

FOREWORD

I’m not going to write too much here, that would spoil the fun.
I was born in 1966, and apart from my year at university, I’ve lived in the same small town in south Wales ever since. I used to work in the book trade. As of September 2009 I was a full-time student again. As of October 2011 I’m unemployed. I own my own house; I’m single; I’ve got no kids, no pets, no TV, no money to speak of…
This series of disconnected jottings isn’t intended to reveal any Great Truths about Life, The Universe and Everything. There are Great Writers who do that sort of thing on a regular basis. But I freely admit that I’m not exactly Mr Average, and I do tend to look at Life from a jaunty angle sometimes.
I also tend to get involved with interesting/ eccentric/ artistic/ creative/ odd people, and often find myself in situations which most people tend to pass by. (If I drop the odd name here and there, it’s not to show off – it’s just to illustrate the preceding point.)
Some of these entries are recycled from an earlier blog I had on MySpace, and where possible I’ve included the original date. Some are Extracts from my Uncollected Notebooks. These are a series of small pocket books written largely in coded hieroglyphics, which I’ve carried for many years. (My literary executor is under stern instruction to burn them all before reading.) However, occasionally one piece turns up which is worthy of preservation. Some are letters which I’ve sent to local newspapers over the years. Of these, about a third have been published. My complete scrapbook went missing some years ago. There’s a reward for its safe return.
I hope you enjoy these random (in the literal sense, not in the ‘teenspeak’ sense) outpourings, and if you do, please click the ‘like’ button and/or leave a comment. Otherwise, I’m going to feel like Jack Trevor Story (see I Want to Tell You a Story.)
And if you do find what I write to be to your tastes, why not try out my slice of Doctor Who/Torchwood fanfic, Pit Stop?

CONTENTS

1      I STARTED SOMETHING I JUST COULDN’T FINISH
In which The Author contemplates the incompleteness of his life so far

THE RECYCLED STUFF

2      ELTON DEAN – SORELY MISSED
In which The Author doesn’t see the finest sax player since Coltrane

3      SKIRTING THE ISSUE
In which The Author reveals his legs and inner thoughts

4      METAMORPHOSES
In which The Author fails to recognise an old friend

5      A LOAD OF CRAP
In which The Author examines the contents of his recycling bag

6      LEARNING DISABILITIES
In which The Author meets some children with ‘special needs’

7      A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
In which The Author gets an email from an old friend

8      ADVICE TO THE LOVELORN
In which The Author reads a rather strange letter in a newspaper

9      LITE RACY RATS
In which The Author reads a worrying report in a newspaper

10    A MYSTERIOUS BOOK
In which The Author receives an unexpected delivery

11    MERE COINCIDENCE…?
In which The Author ponders the deep structure of the Universe

FEBRUARY 2008

12    IT’S MUSIC, JIM – BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT
In which The Author recalls a New Year holiday in Carmarthen

13    EXTRACT FROM THE UNCOLLECTED NOTEBOOKS 1
In which The Author wonders what he has to do to get some privacy

14    I WANT TO TELL YOU A STORY
In which The Author revisits the life and career of Jack Trevor Story

15    INCOMPLETE LIST OF GIGS
In which The Author realises he spent far too much time watching bands when he was younger

16    BLOODY WOMEN
In which The Author talks to one of a pair of twins

MARCH 2008

17    JUDGEMENT DAY
In which The Author experiences some technical difficulties

18    A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 1
In which The Author has a letter printed in the newspaper

19    A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 2
In which The Author doesn’t have a letter printed in the newspaper

20   A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 3
In which The Author writes the Letter of the Week in the local newspaper

21    GRANOTECHNOLOGY
In which The Author coins a new word for an old phenomenon

22    CAREERS ADVICE TO THE YOUNG
In which The Author offers some life lessons to the next generation

23    THE POWER OF SUGGESTION
In which The Author plays a joke on a friend

MAY 2008

24    THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE
In which The Author is abducted by extraterrestrials

25    MAKING HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES
In which The Author goes on tour

26    THE ONLY STRAIGHTS IN THE VILLAGE
In which The Author and his friends are victims of an unfortunate misunderstanding

AUGUST 2008

27    THE FOLKS WHO LIVED ON THE HILL
In which The Author reminisces about his childhood home

28    APROPOS OF NOTHING…
In which The Author discovers an old song on YouTube

29    NEVER ARGUE WITH THE DESIGNATED DRIVER
In which The Author takes a bus journey

SEPTEMBER 2008

30   I WANT SOME ‘EXCITEMENT’ IN MY LIFE
In which The Author goes in search of physical and mental stimulation

31   MORE ON THE ‘EXCITING’ SURVEY AT THE SURGERY
In which The Author has cause to question his life expectancy

32    ‘WHAT DO YOU WANT?’ – ‘INFORMATION!’
In which The Author encounters a telephone ‘helpline’

NOVEMBER 2008

33    WHAT’S IN A NAME?
In which The Author muses on changing fashions in childrens’ names

34    THE WRONG D. WALLACE
In which The Author buys a book

DECEMBER 2008

35    IT’S BEGINNING TO SOUND A LOT LIKE XMAS
In which The Author is mentally tortured contrary to International Law

36    THE GREAT MIGRATION
In which The Author indulges his sweet tooth

JANUARY 2009

37    ANOTHER STRANGE COINCIDENCE
In which The Author has a weird dream

38    STRAIGHTFORWARD? PAH!
In which The Author attempts some DIY

39    MUSINGS ON THE LOSS OF AN OLD FRIEND
In which The Author attends a funeral or three

40    IT’S GOING TO BE A VERY LONG MONTH
In which The Author demonstrates his Stealth Proofreading skills

FEBRUARY 2009

41    CHOCS AWAY!
In which The Author sends a Valentine card

42    THE GREAT VALLEYS SONGBOOK
In which The Author goes to see live music again

43    SCHOOL REUNION
In which The Author acquires some new PC software

MARCH 2009

44    INHIBITIONS AND EXHIBITIONS
In which The Author expounds a theory of mental illness

MAY 2009

45    IT’S A HARD LIFE
In which The Author reflects on a publishing phenomenon

46    A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 4
In which The Author bemoans the booking policy at his local cinema

JUNE 2009

47    GOING DOWN THE RIVER
In which The Author explores the upper stretch of the Vale of Neath

JULY 2009

48    FROM A LAND DOWN UNDER
In which The Author finds his soulmate – and loses her again

49    THE BOYS’ VILLAGE PHOTOSHOOT
In which The Author is a model for the afternoon

50    ON A PERSONAL NOTE…
In which The Author finds the perfect song to sum up an abortive relationship

AUGUST 2009

51    PICK’N’(RE)MIX
In which The Author casts an eye over contemporary youth culture

52    RESULTS DAY
In which The Author recalls failing exams

53    MONDAY, BLOODY MONDAY
In which The Author spends the day in the pub

54    SHAGGED OUT
In which The Author wonders what has happened to his libido

55    REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL (Part 4)
In which The Author justifies his decision to take the money and run

SEPTEMBER 2009

56    WHERE I GO IN MY DREAMS (Part 1)
In which The Author explores some of his interior landscape

57    DOWN AMONGST THE ÜBERMENSCHEN
In which The Author meets some BNP sympathisers

58    TIME AND TIDE
In which The Author witnesses a wonder of the natural world

OCTOBER 2009

59    A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 5
In which The Author makes a plea for a choice of television viewing

60    CSI ABERDARE
In which The Author has a sneaky preview of his Criminalistics practical

61    HIT AND MISS
In which The Author sees a particularly lovely pair of legs

62    FOOL’S MATE
In which The Author has to describe his ideal woman

63    FALLING OUT OF LOVE
In which The Author writes a eulogy

64    AUTUMN ALMANAC
In which The Author is decided seasonally affected

65    A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 6
In which The Author defends a local pub for local people

66    STRANGERS ON A TRAIN
In which The Author overhears a conversation

NOVEMBER 2009

67    WHERE I GO IN MY DREAMS (Part 2)
In which The Author explores more of his interior landscape

68    A PAY-IN IN THE ARSE
In which The Author engages in battle with the machines yet again

69    ABSENT FRIENDS
In which The Author sees some old pals reunited

70    EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION…
In which The Author has the six-week blues

71    FREAKS, GEEKS AND SPACE INVADERS
In which The Author is the fount of all knowledge and wisdom

72    IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A BIT LIKE XMAS
In which The Author sees an underwhelming set of festive decorations

73    SOCIAL DILEMMAS
In which The Author wonders about trusting people you deal with online

DECEMBER 2009

74    A MINOR MIRACLE
In which The Author has a date

75    EDUCATING NANCY
In which The Author fields a ringer in his Psychology seminar

76    WHERE I GO IN MY DREAMS (Part 3)
In which The Author goes dancing in his subconscious mind

77    MISTLETOE AND NO WINE
In which The Author has a rather unconventional festive season

JANUARY 2010

78    NEW YEAR, NEW START
In which The Author makes some resolutions

79    EAST AND WEST
In which The Author finds himself torn between cultures

80    DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
In which The Author travels in Space and Time without leaving the pub

81    SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND
In which The Author goes to Aberdare’s new ‘upmarket bar’

FEBRUARY 2010

82    ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST
In which The Author is in nostalgic mood (again!)

83    AN EXCITING NEW DOCUMENTARY
In which The Author tries to broaden his appeal to a younger and more media-savvy readership

84    NUMBER NUMBNESS
In which The Author fears that history might repeat itself

85    A VERY STRANGE DREAM
In which The Author finds part of his dream diary from 1997

MARCH 2010

86    WHY AM I HERE…?
In which The Author ponders a geographical question

87    A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 7
In which The Author writes from the perspective of an 80-year old woman

88    IT’S COMPLICATED
In which The Author ponders his relationship status

APRIL 2010

89    EPIC FAIL
In which The Author discovers the meaning of a popular youth idiom

MAY 2010

90    NOOKS AND CRANNIES
In which The Author refreshes his memory of the parts that Google Streetview didn’t reach

91    FRUSTRATIONS OF A SOLITARY WALKER
In which The Author walks for miles without getting anywhere

JUNE 2010

92    A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 8
In which The Author has some mathematical mischief

JULY 2010

93    THE TWIN PEAKS EFFECT
In which The Author fancies a girl half the time

94    LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
In which The Author wonders why TV companies make such heavy weather of outdoor filming

SEPTEMBER 2010

95    WHERE I GO IN MY DREAMS (Part 4)
In which The Author goes on more nocturnal journeys

96    WHERE I GO IN MY DREAMS (Part 5)
In which The Author lucidly dreams of a perfect village

97    ANOTHER ODD DREAM
In which The Author does exactly what it says on the tin

98    MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE BAR…
In which The Author has a moment of clarity

OCTOBER 2010

99    NEWS? WHAT NEWS…?
In which The Author forwards some important information

100  MARXIST ECONOMICS
In which The Author transcribes an ancient manuscript for a modern audience

JANUARY 2011

101  INCOMPLETE LIST OF ANNOYANCES (Part 1)
In which The Author lets off some steam

102  INCOMPLETE LIST OF ANNOYANCES (Part 2)
In which The Author sounds off once again

FEBRUARY 2011

103  BULLSHIT DETECTOR
In which The Author expounds on The Two Cultures

MARCH 2011

104  OUT OF AFRICA
In which The Author sees some amazing children at play

APRIL 2011

105  SNAP, CRACKLE AND POP
In which The Author digs out some old records

MAY 2011

106  DEAR ME
In which The Author carries out an internal audit

107  OFFENDER PROFILING
In which The Author does some psychological research

JUNE 2011

108  WETIQUETTE
In which The Author revisits the unwritten rules of pub culture

JULY 2011

109  A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 9
In which The Author contributes to the town planning debate

110  POETS’ CORNER
In which The Author and some friends reply to a challenge

111  WHERE I GO IN MY DREAMS (Part 6)
In which The Author discovers one of London’s best-kept secrets

112  WHERE I GO IN MY DREAMS (Part 7)
In which The Author has another lucid dream

AUGUST 2011

113  INCOMPLETE LIST OF ANNOYANCES (Part 3)
In which The Author sees an irritating use of English

114  TURN LEFT
In which The Author explores a parallel universe

115  INCOMPLETE LIST OF ANNOYANCES (Part 4)
In which The Author ponders one aspect of the British banking system

SEPTEMBER 2011

116  A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 10
In which The Author follows up on an earlier letter

117  ADVENTURES IN THE BOOK TRADE (Part 1)
In which The Author and his friends get asked some silly questions

OCTOBER 2011

118  EVERYTHING CHANGES
In which The Author wonders whether there really is a future

119  MODERN PHYSICS Vol 1: SPACE
In which The Author contemplates the mysteries of length and breadth

DECEMBER 2011

120  …ANOTHER DOOR OPENS
In which The Author meets an attractive young lady with a strange past

121  DEAR FATHER CHRISTMAS…
In which The Author regrets having the chimney demolished

122  IT’S BEEN AN ODD FEW DAYS
In which The Author reflects on the festive season

JANUARY 2012

123  MODERN PHYSICS Vol 2: TIME
In which The Author muses on the Fourth Dimension

124  MEET THE PARENTS
In which The Author confronts his inner demons (and angels)

125  NOT BORN BEAUTIFUL
In which The Author dreams of a life more ordinary

126  BEHIND THE MASK
In which The Author conceals and reveals simultaneously

127  INSIGHTS INTO THE MIND OF A WORKING MAN
In which The Author meets another pillar of society

128  NO FUTURE
In which The Author comes unstuck in Time

129  SIBLING RIVALRY
In which The Author plays second fiddle

FEBRUARY 2012

130  MEMORY DUMP
In which The Author reflects on some unreliable memoirs

131  BATCH PROCESSING
In which The Author comes up with a scheme to cut NHS waiting lists

132  SEARCHING FOR SATORI
In which The Author gets lost in translation

133  TIME CRASH
In which The Author witnesses a Spacetime Singularity at first hand

134  FLIPPING PICTURES
In which The Author needs some technical support

135  I’M SORRY, I HAVEN’T A CLUE
In which The Author becomes Technical Support

MARCH 2012

136  SOME HISTORICAL RESEARCH
In which The Author lives in the past for a while

137  MORE HISTORICAL RESEARCH
In which The Author brings his readers up to date

138  IDENTITY CRISIS
In which The Author addresses an existential question

139  YET ANOTHER WEIRD DREAM
In which The Author’s subconscious plays mind games again

140  RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
In which The Author has a note from his mother

141  THE ROUGH GUIDE
In which The Author does his bit for the Welsh tourist industry

142  WELCOME… TO THE REAL WORLD
In which The Author wishes he’d taken the blue pill

143  AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY IDENTICAL
In which The Author stands up

APRIL 2012

144  HE’S FALLEN IN THE WATER!
In which The Author goes late-night swimming

145  THE PROBLEM OF THE VANISHING BARMAID
In which The Author investigates a modern-day mystery

146  WHERE DO WE DRAW THE LINE?
In which The Author ponders another geographical question

147  IT’S THAT PARALLEL UNIVERSE AGAIN
In which The Author writes an open letter to his student friends

148  PORTION CONTROL
In which The Author exercises some self-restraint

149  CHANCE MEETING
In which The Author stirs up some traumatic memories in a virtual stranger

MAY 2012

150  ALL TRUSSED UP AND NOWHERE TO GO
In which The Author’s self-imposed confinement reaches the seven-day mark

151  LOGORRHOEA
In which The Author uses The Chambers Dictionary and not Webster’s

152  WHERE I GO IN MY DREAMS (Part 8)
In which The Author’s subconscious goes wandering again

153  CONNECTING PEOPLE
In which The Author does someone else’s job

154  PICTURE THIS
In which The Author wonders ‘what happens next?’

155  NOTHING EVER HAPPENS
In which The Author doesn’t see an historic event

156  ROBOT INVASION OF EARTH (Phase II)
In which The Author narrowly avoids being upgraded

157  WITH UNFRIENDS LIKE THESE…
In which The Author carries out his first-ever cull

JUNE 2012

158  COURTING CONTROVERSY
In which The Author considers one of psychology’s great unanswered questions

159  ADVENTURES IN THE BOOK TRADE (Part 2)
In which The Author recalls some good advice

160  FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
In which The Author engages in online dating

161  UP THE AMAZON…
In which The Author encounters more customer disservice

162  AND THEN ONE DAY YOU FIND…
In which The Author (and his friends) get older

JULY 2012

163  COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN
In which The Author meets a ‘native speaker’ of English

164  A LITTLE RESPECT
In which The Author doesn’t want to be in your gang

165  OMNISCIENCE
In which The Author finds his Time Machine

166  SPOT THE DELIBERATE MISTAKE
In which The Author revisits some of his favourite films

AUGUST 2012

167  MOTORCYCLE EMPTINESS
In which The Author loses another friend

168  ZIGZAGGING DOWN MEMORY LANE
In which The Author takes a drunkard’s walk down his psychick pathways

169  HOW MANY AUTHORS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A LIGHTBULB?
In which The Author starts to go off the 21st Century

170  NOTHING SHORT OF A TOTAL WAR
In which The Author chooses a side

171  ADVENTURES IN THE BOOK TRADE (Part 3)
In which The Author and his friends have some mischief

172  LONDON ORBITAL
In which The Author has an adventure for sixty pence

SEPTEMBER 2012

173  GRASSROOTS RESEARCH
In which The Author does some fieldwork

174  A TURN-OUT FOR THE BOOKS
In which The Author learns a new word

175  DEATH WARRANTS
In which The Author and his friend have a mammoth day out

176  WINTER DRAWS ON
In which The Author wraps up warm

OCTOBER 2012

177  A PRESSING PROBLEM
In which The Author reads his ‘local’ newspaper

178  A CAPITAL DAY OUT
In which The Author revisits some old haunts

179  A FAREY TALE
In which The Author explores the mysteries of time, space and money

NOVEMBER 2012

180  WHERE I GO IN MY DREAMS (Part 9)
In which The Author’s dream world extends

181  LIVING IN THE PAST
In which The Author visits another parallel universe

182  FOR THE FALLEN
In which The Author goes in search of the Truth

183  IT’S GRAND OOP NORTH!
A Journey in Several Movements, in which The Author ventures into uncharted territory

184  WALKING THE DOG
In which The Author’s old friend comes sniffing around again

DECEMBER 2012

185  NO LAUGHING MATTER
In which The Author keeps a straight face

186  COMIC CUTS
In which The Author watches a demonstration of paper-folding

187  IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD
In which The Author’s rational side reasserts itself for a while

188  A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 11
In which The Author contacts the BBC

189  ENTERTAINING ANGELS UNAWARES
In which The Author learns the true meaning of Christmas

190  NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET THERE
In which The Author finds himself on the road to nowhere

JANUARY 2013

191  STONE, PAPER, SCISSORS
In which The Author recapitulates an earlier theme

192  THE MUSIC BOX
In which The Author helps to move some furniture

193  THAT WAS THE MONTH THAT WAS
In which The Author helps a friend, loses a friend, and makes some new virtual friends

FEBRUARY 2013

194  DOWN THE TUBES
In which The Author and his friends go underground

195  WHERE I GO IN MY DREAMS (Part 10)
In which The Author experiences the joys of Co-codamol (again)

196  DÉJÀ VU
In which The Author has a blast from the past

197  BRIEF ENCOUNTER
In which The Author meets a travelling companion

198  ONE NIGHT A DVD SAVED MY BACON
In which The Author concludes his trilogy of train-based encounters

199  SHOT DOWN IN THE NIGHT
In which The Author has a non-train-based rail-related encounter

MARCH 2013

200  30 DAYS OF KINK
In which The Author is glad the Spirits could do it all in one night

201  NOSE-PAINTING, SLEEP AND URINE
In which The Author keeps his wallet in his pocket

202  A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 12
In which The Author’s friend gets through the firewall

203  LAST ORDERS
In which The Author gets a surprise birthday present

204  A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 13
In which The Author supports a Liberal Democrat (believe it or not!)

205  ORANGES AND LEMONS
In which The Author reflects on another security leak from the future

APRIL 2013

206  KOREA OPPORTUNITIES
In which The Author receives an unexpected phone call

207  QUANTUM SILLINESS
In which The Author becomes a co-author

208  THAT’S REALLY SUPER, SUPERGIRL
In which The Author is in a whimsical mood

209  COMPUTER LOVE
In which The Author makes some imaginary friends

210  THINGS I LEARNED FROM THE RADIO LAST WEEK (Part 1)
In which The Author has his horizons broadened by the BBC

211  ASK A SILLY QUESTION…
In which The Author resists the temptation to give a silly answer

212  A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 14
In which The Author is a tad cynical

MAY 2013

213  THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU GRADUATE
In which The Author offers some advice to prospective students

214  WAXING LYRICAL
In which The Author can’t hear clearly now

215  C IS FOR CYBERWOMAN
In which The Author reaches the end of a friendship

216  PREDICTIONS (Part 1)
In which The Author dips into a book of science essays

217  A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 15
In which The Author cracks the nationals

218  I DON’T LIKE THURSDAYS
In which The Author has a very odd day

219  WHERE I GO IN MY DREAMS (Part 11)
In which The Author goes back to school

220  THE DREADED NETBOOK HURLER OF OLD MOUNTAIN ASH
In which The Author encounters a real-life Goon Show

221  INCOMPLETE LIST OF ANNOYANCES (Part 5)
In which The Author minds his own business

222  A SAD DAY FOR DEBAUCHERY-CUM-DEPRAVITY
In which The Author drinks up and leaves

223  INCOMPLETE LIST OF ANNOYANCES (Part 6)
In which The Author goes bump in the night

JUNE 2013

224  THINGS I LEARNED FROM THE RADIO LAST MONTH
In which The Author catches up on four weeks’ listening

225  THE DOG, THE DOG, HE’S DOING IT AGAIN
In which The Author is way down

226  PREDICTIONS (Part 2)
In which The Author hasn’t got your number

227  THIS NON-SPORTING LIFE
In which The Author presents another slice of life in a Valleys town

228  GETTING STONED
In which The Author and his pals have an impromptu day out

229  DIGITAL BY DEFAULT (ALMOST…)
In which The Author plays computer games with the Government

230  IT’S THE SAME OLD SONG
In which The Author decides to buy some headphones

231  W.W.W.W.W.W. (Part 1: The Travelling Tippler’s Problem)
In which The Author tries to get connected

232  THE TRAVELLING EX-SALESMAN’S PROBLEM
In which The Author tries a juggling act

233  MEANWHILE, IN A CENTURY NEAR YOU…
In which The Author and his friend have some technical difficulties

234  CLOUDS ACROSS THE MOON
In which The Author is a midnight rambler

235  CAPITAL DEPRECIATION
In which The Author wastes £7.40

236   A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 16
In which The Author writes an unsolicited (and unpublished) review

237   THINGS I LEARNED FROM THE RADIO LAST MONTH (June 2013)
In which The Author carries out his usual audit of unexpected trivia

238   BUGGER RUGGER
In which The Author risks alienating half the Welsh population

239    A NIGHT ON THE TILES
In which The Author develops a new addiction

JULY 2013

240   IN OTHER NEWS…
In which The Author offers an alternative perspective

241    ANY COLOUR YOU LIKE
In which The Author doesn’t go to a music festival

242    A DAY IN PARLIAMENT
In which The Author penetrates the corridors of power

243    I SUPPOSE YOU THINK THAT’S CLEVER…
In which The Author enjoys some highbrow jokes

244    BREAKING NEWS…
In which The Author has a touch of the vapours

245    FURTHER UP THE AMAZON
In which The Author and his friends get ripped off

246   EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’
In which The Author bucks the trend

247   CHAIRMAN OF THE BORED
In which The Author wants to do something different

248   THE EXPERT SYSTEM
In which The Author reaches for the reference books

249   A BRIEF INTERLUDE
In which The Author needs a change of scene

250   ON THE ROAD AGAIN
In which The Author goes bus-hopping

251   CAMPING? WHAT A CARRY-ON!
In which The Author sends a postcard home

252   THE HANDS OF TIME
In which The Author gets a shock

253   DRIVEN TO TEARS
In which The Author is feeling very depressed

254   A CAUTIONARY TALE
In which The Author recommends a radio play

255   THINGS I LEARNED FROM THE RADIO LAST MONTH HOLIDAY SPECIAL
In which The Author brings you a bumper bonanza of bizarre facts

AUGUST 2013

256   ROCKING AROUND THE FOREST
In which The Author stretches his legs

257   IT MAKES NO FRACKING SENSE TO ME
In which The Author hears from his local councillor

258   THINGS I LEARNED FROM THE RADIO THIS WEEK (w/e AUGUST 9 2013)
In which The Author continues his mission to entertain and educate

259   …AND ALSO THE TREES
In which The Author continues his exploration of the Forest of Dean

260   THINGS THAT GO BUMP
In which The Author returns to Coleford

261   ADVENTURES IN THE BOOK TRADE (Part 4)
In which The Author has an odd phone conversation

262   THE BLISS OF IGNORANCE
In which The Author walks out of the pub

263   RETURN JOURNEY
In which The Author makes his way home from the Forest of Dean

264   A POSTCARD FROM AIRSTRIP ONE
In which The Author witnesses colonialism in reverse

265   THE DROWNED GIANT
In which The Author experiences yet another odd coincidence

266   A FUNNY OLD EVENING
In which The Author has a strange night in the theatre

267   NETWORK NEWS
In which The Author reads between the lines

268   XMAS COUNTDOWN
In which The Author marks the change of season

SEPTEMBER 2013

269   CAVEAT VENDITOR
In which The Author promises not to laugh

270   THE PERILS OF A PROOFREADER
In which The Author offers some words of warning

271   DEATH OF A CLOWN
In which The Author says goodbye to another friend

272   A SUPERPOSITION OF STATES
In which The Author is undecided

273   THE CHRONON-GLUON INTERACTION
In which The Author comes unstuck in time

274   WHERE I GO IN MY DREAMS (Part 12)
In which The Author goes trainspotting

275   ON THE UP
In which The Author feels that his luck might be changing

276   MAKING ONE’S OWN LUCK
In which The Author wonders about the Cosmic Order

277   BUILDING THE WALL
In which The Author has a spare ticket

278   BAD WOLF
In which The Author proves that what goes up must come down

279   SMALL OUTBREAK OF IDIOCY IN SOUTH WALES TOWN (TOO MANY BRAIN-DEAD)
In which The Author wonders whether everyone is in on the joke

280   A BRIDGEND TOO FAR
In which The Author goes for a wander

281   MEANWHILE, DEEP IN THE AUTHOR’S SUBCONSCIOUS…
In which The Author remembers a fragment of a disturbing dream

OCTOBER 2013

282   BOOTHBY’S GHOST
In which The Author has further technical difficulties

283   THE SHELVES THEY ARE A-BULGIN’
In which The Author spends some money on books

284   A TALE OF TWO CASTLES
In which The Author takes another day trip

285   A NOTE TO MY REGULAR READERS
In which The Author makes an appeal for help

286   WEIRD COINCIDENCES (Part 94)
In which The Author feels unseasonally chilly

287   THE ARMCHAIR ANARCHIST
In which The Author decides to make a stand

288   DREAM TOPPING
In which The Author contemplates a good night’s sleep

289   GLOOMY SUNDAY
In which The Author is halfway into the dark

290   A FURTHER TURN-OUT FOR THE BOOKS
In which The Author is the bearer of bad news

291   WHERE I GO IN MY DREAMS (Part 13)
In which The Author discovers a new place to go

292   THE PRICE OF UPGRADING
In which The Author explores the Land That Wifi Forgot

293   2 H.B.
In which The Author has a dream

294   A CLASH OF CULTURES
In which The Author listens to the radio once more

295   OUT OF TIME
In which The Author wishes he’d enabled Safe Search

296   THE BIG BANG THEORY AND PRACTICE
In which The Author digs out an old magazine article

297   TAKE THE WEATHER WITH YOU
In which The Author battens down the hatches

298   THINGS I LEARNED FROM THE RADIO THIS MONTH (October 2013)
In which The Author continues to be surprised

NOVEMBER 2013

299   NEW MONTH, NEW PROJECT
In which The Author takes a challenge

300   DAY TWO
In which The Author tries to reschedule his train of thought

301   CARRIE
In which The Author loses a virtual friend

302   SILENCE IN THE LIBRARY
In which The Author wishes it had carried on raining

303   AN OPEN LETTER TO THE BBC NEWSDESK
In which The Author picks up on an annoying use of language

304   REMEMBER, REMEMBER
In which The Author is back in the fight

305   WET WEDNESDAY
In which The Author hates short cuts

306   OUR FRIENDS IN THE NORTH
In which The Author has some unexpected visitors

307   ONE YEAR ON
In which The Author is in reflective mood

308   THE INCREDIBLE MAGIC WALLET
In which The Author performs a conjuring trick

309   HOW MANY FINGERS AM I HOLDING UP?
In which The Author goes to the theatre

310   AND FOR MY NEXT TRICK…
In which The Author’s magical career continues to develop

311   CRASH
In which The Author can’t think of anything to write

312   UNDERGROUND, OVERGROUND, WOMBLING FREE
In which The Author recalls a colourful character

313   BLOCKED
In which The Author is still stumped

314   SECOND POST
In which The Author finds himself at the halfway mark

315   AUTUMN WOES
In which The Author lets the train cause the strain

316   ADVENTURES IN THE BOOK TRADE (Part 5)
In which The Author remembers a colleague

317   I WANT TO BELIEVE
In which The Author trusts the evidence of his senses

318   HERE COMES THE SUN
In which The Author has more technical problems

319   DOWN THE MEMORY HOLE
In which The Author shares some information

320   WAITING FOR THE CLOUD
In which The Author breathes a sigh of relief

321   JUST A QUICK ONE
In which The Author introduces another obscure band

322   ENEMY ACTION
In which The Author discovers he’s not paranoid

323   MISSING, PRESUMED LOST
In which The Author makes a list

324   FLYING BLIND
In which The Author should have gone to Specsavers

325   STONED AGAIN
In which The Author has a night at home

326   HOW MANY ROBOTS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A PLANET?
In which The Author does some calculations

DECEMBER 2013

327   THE ANGELS HAVE THE PHONE BOX
In which The Author is incommunicado again

328   THE RETURN OF DIAL-A-DISC
In which The Author loses some money

329   GOING POSTAL
In which The Author receives a strictly second-class service

330   A BLAST OF FEEDBACK
In which The Author contacts the BBC again

331   ORDER! ORDER!
In which The Author misses a trick

332   REGENERATION
In which The Author adopts a new look

333   FEELING LIKE A KID AGAIN
In which The Author relives a childhood nightmare

334   DO NOT EXCEED THE STATED DOSE
In which The Author revisits some comedy catchphrases

335   MISSING, PRESUMED LOST (Part 2)
In which The Author remembers more of his overdue books

336   UNDERCOVER
In which The Author has a funny feeling

337   SILENCE WILL FALL
In which The Author has another bizarre experience

338   ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS…
In which The Author is visited by the Ghost of Xmas Past

339   WHERE I GO IN MY DREAMS (Part 14)
In which The Author discovers a non-existent tourist attraction

340   LOOKING FORWARDS, LOOKING BACKWARDS
In which The Author is determined not to be outdone

341   2013 IN REVIEW
In which The Author gets his annual report

342   IN THE CITY
In which The Author weighs up the pros and cons

JANUARY 2014

343   THERE’S ALWAYS A CROSS WORD
In which The Author sings the praises of Arthur Wynne

344   A SECURITY LEAK FROM THE FUTURE
In which The Author finds possible evidence for Time Travel

345   ANOTHER 70s FLASHBACK
In which The Author revisits another old book

346   NIGHT TERRORS
In which The Author recalls some late-night drives

347   A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 16
In which The Author writes to The Big Issue

348   PLUS… TUBULAR BELLS
In which The Author issues a rallying cry

349   LIMEHOUSE BLUES AND TWOS
In which The Author investigates a crime scene

350   THE GREAT TRAIN DOCUMENTARY
In which The Author enjoys a BBC series

351   AN EXCERPT FROM DODGE THIS
In which The Author discovers something on an old flash drive

352   ST DWYNWEN’S DAY
In which The Author finds something else on an old flash drive

FEBRUARY 2014

353   FORTY DAYS AND FORTY NIGHTS
In which The Author is sick and tired of the rain

354   DESIRE LINES
In which The Author goes back to the drawing board

355   LOST HERITAGE, NO FUTURE?
In which The Author attends a public meeting

356   STARLESS AND BIBLE BLACK
In which The Author visits an art exhibition

357   FURTHER ADVENTURES OF THE CIRCUMLOCUTION OFFICE
In which The Author submits evidence to a parliamentary inquiry

358   THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT
In which The Author’s cousin develops a bright idea

359   THE CALM AFTER THE STORM
In which The Author sees something strange in the sky

360   THERE ISN’T AN APP FOR THAT
In which The Author needs to make a list

361   LEAVING NO TURN UNSTONED
In which The Author has a psychedelic interlude

362   NORMAL SERVICE WILL BE RESUMED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
In which The Author carries out some fine tuning

363   ADVENTURES IN THE BOOK TRADE (Part 6)
In which The Author fears for a young man’s life

364   THE END OF CULTURE
In which The Author releases the safety-catch of his Browning

MARCH 2014

365   GUT FEELING
In which The Author is struck by lightning for a second time

366   THE RETURN OF THE KING?
In which The Author displays his romantic side

367   THE GIFT OF WORDS
In which The Author makes a charitable donation

368   SHIPSHAPE AND BRISTOL FASHION
In which The Author has a day in Bristol

369   A WHITE CHALK HORSE UPON A DISTANT HILL
In which The Author visits a landmark

370   THAT’S TORN IT!
In which The Author wishes he hadn’t spoken so soon

371   UP AND DOWN THE STREETS AND HOUSES
In which The Author takes advantage of a change in the weather

372   THE LIMPING WELSHMAN
In which The Author reads a book about the rail industry

APRIL 2014

373   A LETTER TO RCT ARTS
In which The Author finally gives in to temptation

374   ANOTHER ROAD TRIP
In which The Author is left in charge of the travel arrangements

375   THE FLATPACK CHALLENGE
In which The Author assembles some furniture

376   A LETTER TO THE EDITOR 17
In which The Author corrects a production error

377   IT AIN’T OVER TILL IT’S OVER
In which The Author learns of an opportunity

378   LETTING THE TRAIN CAUSE THE STRAIN
In which The Author fancies a break

10 Responses to Foreword & Contents

  1. Dave Sewell says:

    This website is just amazing. I have only just discovered it but an going to enjoy trawling through it for a long time to come :-) Kepp up the good work.

  2. smallsymphonies says:

    Too much for me to read in one night. Loved the Boys Village post, and Pick’n’(re)Mix. It just about sums it up, whatever it is.
    I live in Aberdare too. Just a bit older than you, I used to frequent the Moon Club, behind and above the old Fruit Market on the Hayes, Cardiff. If you thought Bogies was shabby… (Suggest look at the notes under the words for “Another Country” on Small Symphonies).
    Excellent stuff – I’ll be back.

  3. Jenny says:

    Still loving the blogs, and hope that they wont ever stop! Oh, and it doesnt have to be a lonely Xmas, some people have worked over their insecurities, and may be worth the effort now :-) I hope you get in touch! xxx

  4. Pat Lawrence says:

    I loved your article on “Another One Bites the Dust”. Writings like this mean a lot to someone who was born and raised a stones throw from The Mount. I recognized several of the characters you mentioned, i.e. Bill Edwards, Dai “Narrow” (a neighbor), and Meredith Morgan the preacher. The Mount was my father’s “local”, and I spent many happy hours there as a kid enjoying crisps and pop. I left Aberdare for the United States in 1966 (I guess the year you were born), but still have a very special place in my heart for my hometown.

  5. Neil Roach says:

    I love reading your blog Steve. Some of it goes over my head, I suppose too many years of hard living but I enjoy it all just the same. Many thanks for sharing not only your life but your thoughts as well, it shows what a clever and articulate chap you really are and how you’re not afraid to voice your opinions.

    • Steve O'Gorman says:

      Thanks for that, Neil. I like to put a bit of work and a bit of thought into it, good to know it’s appreciated. See you soon, mate ;-)

  6. Oh, this looks like it will be loads of fun & enlightening. Glad the Cosmic Randomness pulled you up in related articles land. :)

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