Be Excellent to Each Other: Things We Learned from Stumbling into the Sea Last Christmas

Spurred on by the early morning chill, we walked steadily over the sands towards the pier as a whirl of chatter buzzed around us in English, Polish and Arabic. With one of our number waylaid with a stiff limp, we let the crowds of Santas, elves and penguins shuffle passed in a snaking procession that stretched all the way from Bournemouth to Boscombe.  This was our first Christmas Day in Dorset, and we were feeling decidedly under-dressed.

Sleepy looking teens swigged from what must have been extremely cold cans of lager, whilst the slightly more dignified older set sipped from hip flasks and steaming cups of cocoa sold by an opportunistic – but charity minded – road-side-vendor. Families in various states of undress, spilled out of the beach huts lining the route, playfully jostling for a few more minutes’ shelter as they waited for the off.

[Continue Reading…]

Tom Robinson: Racism, Grassroots Music… and Getting Stuck into Twitter

“Is that Owen Jones?” whispers Tom Robinson with some excitement.

We peek round the corner and can’t quite make up our minds.

“Hang on a sec…” says Robinson and starts speaking a Tweet into his phone…

K + N SIngle Tweet

[Continue Reading…]

Maggie Sawkins: Diaries, Unsent Letters Addiction

“He was sitting there with a big plastic bottle of white cider, with this heroin he was smoking and he had an axe on the floor. He had one eye and one ear, and I looked at him and said: ‘My daughter wants you to go or I’m going to call the … [Continue reading]

“Wilful Murder?” Clive Bloom on Thatcher’s Secret War…

“I wanted to write a political thriller,” to cover the factual story nobody else was covering, Clive Bloom tells Searchlight Magazine Arts over the phone from his home in London. Bloom is Emeritus Professor of English and American Studies at … [Continue reading]

Song: You Ain’t No Muslim Bruv

Stella has just sent us her take on the heckle heard around the world. It made us giggle… and like all of her stuff, we’ll keep putting it online until she gets us sued (at which point we’ll just stand on a street corner with a … [Continue reading]

Morrissey, ‘List of the Lost’: That Joke Isn’t Funny?

Penguin Books have so much to answer for… We are absolutely horrified by Morrissey’s new novel, ‘List of the Lost’. All the reviews are true – read this excellent rinse by Michael Hann in the Guardian – he is spot on. The book may only be 118 … [Continue reading]

100-Word Fiction: Tiddles the House Cat

For the fifth time that morning the little cat pushed her head repeatedly against the old man’s hand in a vain attempt at coaxing it into life. For ten years the lazy tuxedo had wanted for nothing. She had been doted upon to the point of … [Continue reading]

100-Word Fiction: Not-So-Original Prankster

Stuart Grout via Flikr

If only he’d stuck to gluing pound coins to the floor. But no, he had to go further, and Manchester Printworks on Sunday morning was perfect for it. Placing a small baggy of washing powder on the ground, he stepped back and waited. “Excuse … [Continue reading]

100-Word Fiction: Drinking with Graham

“I won’t have a pint,” said Graham moodily at the bar in the pub they always went to. “I’ll have a large water.” This was not what Simon had hoped for, even though drinking beer with Graham could be difficult and this option was cheaper. “I’m … [Continue reading]

100-Word Fiction: Numbers Game

“I like you. I want you to be my girlfriend.” As the girl on the other end of the phone launched into a response, he stared intently at the mirror opposite his bed. “See, you do remember, yeah. I work with Mark at the Oriental. He gave me your … [Continue reading]