Bandits And Beasts

Ned had a small, white dog called Skar, whose coat was as soft as cotton. She liked to growl and play, but learned not to bark. It was important to know when to be quiet in the Foijen as enemies lurked in the shadows. Gangs of bandits frequenting the woodland, always looking for opportunities to attack and steal. And the wolves out there hunted in packs. Ned often heard the howling somewhere deep in the night shadows. Continue reading

Family In The Holt

Gira busied herself organising the home, while Jorrin sometimes spent days away. Their three sons were all very different. The eldest, Merek, was fifteen years old and spent time inventing gadgets to help their life of sustainability. The middle son, Ned, was aged thirteen but looked younger. He adventured in the forest daily and knew every corner of Ragged Wood. The youngest son was Fauder and only a toddler, but he was showing early signs of being creative. Continue reading

Forest Life

Jorrin and Gira set up home in a far corner of Ragged Wood known locally as the Foijen, which was the most lawless part of the forest and considered by the Snook villagers to be out of bounds. If anyone entered, there was a real danger they would not return. It was rumoured beasts and bandits lurked in the depths of those woods. On still nights, howling wolves could be heard across the darkened land. And merchants came to the Snook with tales of marauding gangs prowling the Foijen. Continue reading

A New Gentleman

Grotter met the posh people and explained he came from less sunny climes, but the Snook had a reputation far and wide for being THE place to live. This seemed to please everyone and they talked and smiled. Grotter was delighted he was fitting in with the wealthy. Continue reading

Grotter

Of the many peasants in the Snook, one man was fervid about living there. His name was Grotter and he saw the village as an up-and-coming place with lots of nice shops opening up. Beyond the High Street, in his view, some splendid houses were being built. Grotter aspired to live there one day. But, for now, his life of toiling in a mine was a difficult one. He grafted long hours underground for just enough food to feed his wife and son. Grotter thought his status was beneath that which a man of his calibre was capable of achieving. And all the rich folk thought they were better than people like him. If only he had a chance to show everyone what an amazing person he was. Disgruntled with his lot, Grotter hatched a plan for an uplift in status. He was desperate to be accepted by the great and the good, who dismissed him as a mere peasant. Continue reading

Villagers

The local manor accumulated wealth at a rapid rate. Peasants worked the land for farmers or laboured underground in chalk mines. Landowners made money and merchants sold wares. Snookington became a wealthy village, attracting market traders from around the Kingdom. Successful commercial men took pleasure in showing off their newfound status and found favour with Lord Snookington. The village was nicknamed the Snook and its traditional High Street boasted a bakery, butchers, greengrocers and tavern. A half-timbered house rose toward the crest of the hill, just in front of the church under construction. Flint and stone were arranged in piles as stonemasons laboured under the warm sun. Continue reading

Contempt

Early evening was setting in and an old man sat on a patch of icy grass opposite the church building site. He pulled a blanket up to his chin as a respite from the biting cold air. A couple in impeccable attire carefully walked in the fresh snow from beyond the churchyard. Their upturned noses raised a little higher when they saw the smelly down-and-out man. He had an apple by his feet. In one swift movement, the well-dressed man kicked the apple away as the prim lady tittered. Ice struck the tramp’s face and he flinched. Standing over the vagrant, a loud plummy voice cheeped out. Continue reading

Olden Days

In a bygone age, Snookington Village was home to more animals than people. The streets were well trodden by horses, cows and pigs. Villagers worked on the many farms or in mines. Life was hard for most, but there was enough food to go around. The village nestled by a woodland at the border of a wealthy Kingdom. The Lord of the manor was a man called Snookington and he managed its affairs in line with the King’s wishes.  Continue reading

New Blog

After getting through cancer, l began to write a series of books for young adults. The first three books are complete. These stories are a mixture of imagination and reality. Many of the places in the books exist and I have either lived or spent a lot of time there. These books continue the theme of resilience and determination. Continue reading

The Beginning Of Something New

A lot of people have been good to me over the years and I have been lucky enough to meet people who are caring, giving and inspirational. Others have thrown criticism, ridicule, snobbery and violence my way. I have been called an anomaly, liability, arrogant, liar, over-achiever and lazy. But these people underestimated me and I was strong enough to push past their nonsense. Continue reading