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


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


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


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

Unfinished Business

The economic downturn had a massive impact on my workplace. Things were a lot quieter on my return after getting the cancer all-clear. Job losses and a reorganisation had occurred during my extended sick leave and I was allocated a new boss, who was tall with pushed-back shoulders and an overbearing manner. He used to work at Jemunt – a former workplace where a triad of bullies tried to break me, but I spoilt their game by walking out – and was in league with my enemies there. You couldn’t make it up. My return to work was met with indifference, which soon mutated into hostility and badgering. It was obvious he intended to finish off what Jemunt had started. There was bad blood. Continue reading

Different Thinking

Since I got cancer, I have been asked several times by doctors and nurses if I smoked. I assume this was to find out if the cancer was self-inflicted. Each time I replied ‘No,’ they looked at my hands, presumably for nicotine stains. There were never any. Continue reading

Over The Years

One autumn afternoon, I’m at The Royal Marsden Hospital for a check-up with Dr Gavaghan and the latest CT scan result. It pours down as I walk along the South Kensington streets and pause by the green doorway to reflect on how ill I’d been there. I get to the hospital, check in and wait for an hour, flipping though newspapers and messing about on my iPhone. Eventually, I’m called into a small room and wait there alone. The familiar feeling of fear is in the pit of my stomach. My breathing is quicker and I can feel sweat on my brow. Heartbeats seem to reverberate at the front of my throat. Dr Gavaghan walks in and wastes no time in checking my neck and doing a nasendoscopy. I close my eyes and gag during the procedure. He sits back in his seat, looks over the top of his glasses, smiles and puts two thumbs up. Continue reading