Author and Illustrator

March 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

I am very happy to announce that with the publication of  – Tai Chi Reflections – coming up in august, I will be a fully published author as well as being a long standing, seasoned, published illustrator, thanks to Findhorn Press.

Tai Chi Reflections is a set of 48 self-empowerment cards based around the body language of the tai chi form. I would like, in due course, to tell you all about this project and to introduce you to the great team I assembled for Tai Chi Reflections and also to introduce you to their work.

Tai Chi Reflections

Tai Chi Reflections

With a view to better integrating my web presence, I am currently looking to shift all my personal home website  to WordPress and then to integrate ‘Still Glides the Stream’, and my other occasional blog ‘An Englishman in Bangkok’ all into one more user friendly site.

I suppose I should be a little more serious about my writing from now on….. and I am of course a very serious man…. but anyone who knows me would surely be a little disappointed if I were to curb the quirkier aspects of my view of the world. Don’t worry – I’m sure that won’t happen.

Thanks for listening,

In the time it takes

June 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

I found this little fragment in an old notebook – who knows what was going through my mind at the time. It does amuse me though and it could easily fit into the Muesli Slush material – I must get round to stitching all that together sometime and wear it.

 

In the time it takes to scorch two slices of bread beyond redemption, Muesli Slush had bitten off all the nails on his left hand. He would never now make a guitarist. Nothing sinister about that – he was left handed.

A punch-drunk fly with cauliflower eyes ricocheted around the inside of a chinese lantern. An hour previously it had lost all ability to think longitudinally and in a last visionary blaze of a million suns passed into another life. As it dropped out of the bottom of its world, the bottom dropped out of Muesli’s. In his trembling right hand he held the letter…

 

Navel

May 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

‘Contemplating your navel’ – it seems to me that that’s seen as a pretty much negative phrase, implying a mindless and meaningless self absorption. I was contemplating mine this morning and I invite you to do the same. Go on, stick your finger in it. You can probably get away with doing it wherever you are – on a bus, in a business meeting, painting the Forth bridge etc. Whatever you are doing you can probably surreptitiously find it and touch it.
We rarely think about it, but it’s the biggest most powerful symbol of our independence in the world, created in the moment we left the mothership and floated out into vast dark empty space to start to be whatever we were and are going to be, carrying all the hopes and dreams of our antecedents with us. What a wonderful thing it is.

Oh and while you’re in there, get that little but of fluff out of it.

Sic transit gloria mundi

January 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 12.04.58As I sit in the Bangkok sunshine sipping my iced latte, I turn my mind back wistfully to my last visit to England over the summer. I had occasion to visit the concourse of Preston Bus Station – now a sad relic of its former glory. There it stands, virtually deserted and mouldering into dust. No more the hubbub of the citizens’ daily lives, no more the trysting place of young lovers, no more the icon of Preston’s bright future. Even the sputum of countless tramps is a distant memory.

The cafe, however, does in fact seem to be thriving, paradoxically, as the last repository for the dwindling ‘care in the community’ patients long since evicted from the sanctuary of Whittingham Hospital. There but for the grace of god go I.
Stand 28 is still there of course. I wandered past and ran my fingers lovingly along the wooden rails and stood a moment in silence, hoping against hope that the P5 would pull in and take me home. They say all roads lead to home, but tragically no longer by way of the happy rumblings of the dear P5.
Sic transit gloria mundi.
A tear in my eye, I left and went to buy some Dettol.

Latter Day Lancelot

January 13, 2014 § 1 Comment

It’s such a charming sight , though perhaps a little dangerous, both from the risk of accident and from pollution, to see a young Thai woman in a soft evening gown, her unhelmeted, long dark hair flowing in the slipstream, her bare feet in jeweled sandals only centimetres from the hurtling Tarmac, riding side saddle on the back of a greasy motorbike taxi as it threads its labyrinthine way through the immobilized traffic of Bangkok. The driver a latter day Lancelot carrying his fair lady on his white charger, jousting with the forces of darkness and laughing in the face of risk assessment. Rose tinted? – I think not

Birdsong and Betjeman

January 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

An Englishman in Bangkok

Sitting in the garden this Sunday morning reading John Betjeman and drinking tea, I’m not sure whether I feel so proud of my cultural heritage or somewhat ashamed of not leaving it behind, but what a joy is ‘Archibald’

A squirrel is tentatively nibbling on the breadcrumbs I have scattered on the garden wall and a ‘do well’ bird is loudly encouraging me from its nearby perch. As an Englishman with little grasp on the Thai language and only a rudimentary vocabulary which doesn’t stretch to ornithology, I can only apply my own labels to the morning choristers. The ‘do well’ bird is a welcome friend who does keep my spirits up in times of doubt and can occasionally raise them even further should I choose to hear a ‘do wow!’ .
The ‘Oreo’ bird is another who assuages my guilt from too frequent visits to the biscuit tin, but…

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Abstract concrete

March 27, 2013 § 4 Comments

Morning sun warms the ong
And the song of the birds
And these words record the falling of blossom

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