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.

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.


Once again everyone was very busy at this week’s writing group at the Spider Project.  This time we were asked to choose a photograph from a book.  The first task was to describe the photograph – see the video above.  The text of that poem is here.

Second up – see the video below – was to write a story about the same picture.  The text of the story is here.

A really enjoyable way to take the imagination out for a run.  Many thanks to Gerry, the group leader.

By Lack of Popular Demand

This is the poem I read out at the first Spider open mic I attended last month.  Since then some of the people who were there have been very kind about it, so I’ve added a reading here for everyone to see.

You would not BELIEVE how much harder it is to read a poem to yourself in a room than it is to perform it live to twenty people!  Took me four goes to get this right.  Still not perfect but it’ll do.

Text is in here if you want to read it rather than listen to me banging on.

La Belle Epoque

I went to a writing group for the first time last week.  It was the sixth of October, which is apparently National Poetry Day, and in aid of that we spent the first five minutes banging out a quick poem.  The group leader solicited answers to various questions – name a place, a colour, etc. – and at the end of all that, we had to use the following words in our poem:

Black, Blackpool, horse, fish & chips, Professor Brian Cox, swimming.

I called it La Belle Epoque, which is, as usual, a Half Man Half Biscuit reference.  The text is available here if you want to read it in peace.