When I was in my early twenties I worked with Ken Campbell, a man of uncommon intelligence and a genius eye. He wanted me to study ventriloquism. ‘No thanks’ I said. He wanted me to study talking through a dummy and holding the stage. ‘No thanks’ I reiterated. The dummy looked like my father. I … Read more

Birthday bash

So all the bulbs that I planted are now popping their buds. Narcissi, double daffodils, hyacinths and rose quartz tulips that I plunged into a butlers sink. The magnolia tree is magnificent in the sunshine, the forget-me-nots have taken over the borders and the hellebores are lolling their white and pink heads. The old git … Read more


No road trip today. Hastings happened last Saturday. We drove, with Norman guiding us, to Hastings Old Town. And a pretty place it is too. We went to the ‘Stables Theatre’ to see a play about Gangstas. We went with people who had been gangstas. The play drew in a capacity audience, including the screenwriter, … Read more

Pooh Tin

I sleep with Putin in my head. I dream that I fly a missile over the Kremlin and drop it on top of his head. I dream I take a pot shot and shoot him in the forehead. I dream I only maim him so he doesn’t become a martyr. I have nightmares of living … Read more

Zol er krenken un gedenken

It was 1977, punk had exploded and we formed a band. A saxophone, two guitars, a bass, a set of drums and me on keyboard and vocals. It was 1977, I was 28 and the new Northern squeeze was 34. He played rhythm guitar and at a push drums. As an itinerant theatre group we … Read more

Pity Putin

I have been deeply saddened by the conflict in Ukraine. Our world has become so interdependent that violent conflict between two countries inevitably impacts the rest of the world. War is out-dated – non-violence is the only way. We need to develop a sense of the oneness of humanity by considering other human beings as … Read more

Digital detox

My father didn’t have holidays; my mother didn’t have holidays; my father’s father didn’t have holidays, rocking up, as he did in Tilbury from the Pogroms of Belarus. Neither did my mother’s mother who came from Minsk, Pinsk or Omsk, take your pick. So it stood to reason that my brother and I didn’t have … Read more

Finally a Plot

The thought of 10.000 steps at sunrise hurts until the last shoelace is tied. Then, on with two pairs of mittens, two pairs of leggings, two quilted jackets and a bribe for Dennis to stay inside closed doors and the two hour trek begins. The sun peeped over the trees at 7.27a.m. I stood still … Read more


In 1922 the BBC was born. In 1922 my mother was born. Happy 100th birthday to them both. The British Broadcasting Corporation gave us the Home service. Terry Wogan, and The Goons. My mother gave us chicken soup and 733 crocheted blankets. My mother was born in the East End of London, married my father … Read more


I’ve said it before, if you stand still long enough your life comes round to greet you. Last year I was invited to give a talk at my local Arts club. February 4th felt like an eternity away but I put it on my calendar and carried on with life. When it turned up last … Read more