Another BRIC in the Wall

During the first week of June, Wirral Ways to Recovery celebrated Volunteer Week, and all the volunteers received certificates. There was a band on playing music, and speeches were given both by Mellissa, the head of volunteering, and Damien who heads up the BRIC volunteers (Bringing Recovery Into the Community – they build flower boxes in alleys, turn wasteland into allotments and generally make the world a slightly nicer place to be).

Here, with only a little judicious editing from me, are the speeches that Mellissa and Damien made to thank their volunteers for all their hard work…

…and here are the same speeches with a lot of judicious editing.

Britain’s Got Issues

My wife Erica and I have always been big fans of stand-up comedy. We’ve holidayed a few times at the Edinburgh Fringe and had a great time.

One day Erica’s trolling the internet and she spots a place in Liverpool called The Comedy Trust that offer a six-week course in stand-up comedy, culminating in a gig. So with much encouragement and flattery she packed me off to do the course.

This is most of the gig that resulted (she didn’t get the end because her phone memory ran out, but thanks to the miracle of having my own phone running in me jacket, a sightly scratchy audio of the last two minutes gets us over the line) . I hope you like it.

Wedding Guests

Two very dear friends of ours got married last week, and they did me the very great honour of asking me to be best man (my wife, Erica, was Matron of Dishonour and Avenging Angel of Alcohol-Related Injuries). They also did me the even greater honour of asking me to write a reading for them and perform it at the wedding.

Here it is recreated in a small room for the benefit of an imagined futurity. Should you hate the sound of my voice – which I would understand completely – the text is available here.

Stood Up, Went On, Booed Off


For Christmas my lovely wife very kindly got me onto a stand-up comedy course, which has been very exciting to do. Great people there and it’s really fun.

Today we got the invitation in the post to pass to friends and family. This is the actual real show we’ll be doing in front of an actual room of actual strangers in twelve days’ time.

Suddenly my mouth has gone dry.



This week in the Spider Project writing group we welcomed a new tutor.  Her first task for us was to read through some newspapers she had brought along and discover a character who interested us.

My eye was caught by an article in the Daily Fail about the death of Mary Tyler Moore.  Not being American, I had (and have) no idea who Tyler Moore was, but she died and that’s a shame.  However – have you ever read a sentence in the newspaper and thought, “Nah, that’s bullshit, mate?”  I did, and I wrote my story about that very thing.