Forty years is a long time

forty years ago I would have called him an old man
if I had noticed him at all
he would have slippered past me in the corridor
and smelled of pee
I would have held my breath
for a step or two
he’s me

Art Sale Expanded

The Art Sale in aid of Pulse Wholefoods Coop has been expanded and extended, as well as the 6 paintings HERE, an additional 2 paintings have been added to the sale.

These are:


Oil Pastels on Canvas – 8″ x 8″ – 200mm x 200mm

Cefncaeau View

Oil on Canvas – 24″ x 30″ – 600mm x 750mm (approx)

These photos of the paintings don’t do them justice – they need to be seen to be appreciated.

6 new paintings

Well – 2 from last summer, the rest painted this winter

All are Acrylic on Canvas – 800 mm x 1000 mm, 32″ x 40″


EDIT – Now expanded and extended ***

For a limited period – until Saturday February 19th, these six (plus 2) vibrant paintings are on sale by auction. Starting price for all but one painting just £50. The other painting “Sisters” has a starting price of just £20

To make a bid use the contact form available from the menu above.

This sale is in aid of Pulse Wholefoods Coop and the paintings can be seen in the shop from Thursday February 10th until Saturday February 19th. Winning bidders can pick up their painting from the shop after that or it can be posted at cost.

Current Bids:

Ar Y Bryn – 0, Yn Y Goedwig – 0, Llwynhendy – 0, Lan Yr Afon – 0, Glan y Mor – 0, Pen y Mynydd – 0, Cefncaeau View -£50, Sisters –

Go on – be the first 🙂

UPDATE: an additional 2 paintings have been added to the sale.

These are:


Oil Pastels on Canvas – 8″ x 8″ – 200mm x 200mm

Cefncaeau View

Oil on Canvas – 24″ x 30″ – 600mm x 750mm (approx)

These photos of the paintings don’t do them justice – they need to be seen to be appreciated.

The True Meaning of Christmas

Christmas is snow and feasting and fire and preserves. Christmas is calm and peaceful. Christmas is generous and spiritual. Christmas is short cold days and long colder nights – it is the darkest time of the year when life retreats to its lair and prays for its own renewal. The festival of Christmas sits like a light at the centre of each year’s tunnel drawing us towards it, injecting us with hope and ejecting us into a brighter future. In the Northern half of the world, Christmas is as essential to our psychological well-being as water is to our physical.

Photo: A Christmas Tree by Rhian Jones

Sadly, Christmas has been hijacked and harnessed by the dolts that profit from our human innocence and gullibility. They present us with beads of paste and glue – fake glitter that dilutes the true light and costs us our breath. We are herded through lanes edged with bulging shelves laden with colourful consumables designed to imitate the love and light our psyches crave in the darkness of midwinter. Cleverly, the Christian establishment has also hitched itself to the festivities and imposed its fable, to complete the duality that keeps us enthralled.

Christmas is neither the celebration of the birth of a man in some past land, nor the gluttonous gorging from the toxic mound of phony food. The true meaning of Christmas is in its light. It is the annual counterpoint to midsummer, when the sun’s light is at its most abundant, for Christmas is full of light too – the light that we carry inside. We bring it with us into the darkest time of the year and we express it in our fire and frolics. We don’t need churches or shopping malls, we just need ourselves – the bringers of light.

See Slade in their prime for 60p

Yes, just 60p to attend a gig by Slade but you’ll have to travel four decades back in time first.

I came across this poster advertising a gig by Slade at the Glen in Llanelli in 1970/71.

I was taking pictures for a new website for the No Strings Rock Bistro in Llanelli. The bistro has just been opened by Tony Rees, originally from Cardiff, who himself, played at the Glen in 1968.

Thing is, it was me who organised that gig. I was vice-president of the students’ union at the local college at the time and I remember going backstage to pay Slade, I think it was about £200 in cash. I remember we made money on the night so seeing as it was only 60p to get in, we must have had a good few hundred punters in.

I was (virtually) there

The mainstream media’s coverage of the student protests over tuition fee increases is completely silly. Their collaboration with the police and with the government, unconscious or not, is damaging their reputation as credible sources of news and information.

I’ve got to admit that my participation in the demonstrations has been limited to tweeting a few messages of support to the students. I’m just an ordinary bloke trying to scratch a living in the dark depths of the recession and am generally content with the way things are, being a bit apolitical. I’ve witnessed a number of such occasions on the television over the years, and swallowed the line I’ve been fed. Of course you expect nonsense from Sky News and we all know that ITV News  chases the sensational tabloid headlines, so any accidental exposure to them is tempered with a large handful of rock salt, but the BBC? I’ve always trusted the BBC – shame on me.

There was a very large fire in Parliament Square – no there wasn’t, it was just a large bin. The protesters attacked mounted police – no they didn’t, the mounted police attacked the protesters. I know because I was there, well I was there virtually at least. I saw the pictures on the television and the other pictures all over the internet. I heard the reports on the radio and browsed the news media’s websites.  I followed the trends on twitter and clicked the links to innumerable articles, opinions, photographs and videos. I made my own mind up.

Set against the current desperate financial background and the corruption, incompetence and sheer greed displayed by the bankers and the politicians, it’s a wonder the Houses of Parliament are still standing never mind a few smashed windows. Of course the biggest story of the day is that our beloved Charles – the Prince of Wales no less, had his armoured car attacked.

Like I said, I’m an ordinary bloke, just another middle-aged man; a small human creature feeling his way through this crazy universe, but come on the BBC, I’m not an idiot, you could be so much more than a mouthpiece for the establishment.

* * *

p.s. After writing this I was sent a link to a video about the Poll Tax riots of over twenty years ago.  Scarily similar.

You Tube – Poll Tax Riots London 1990



Endless Painting


Acrylic on Canvas
80 cm x 1000 cm, 32″ x 40″

On a hard day

stresses and strains
aches and pains
bruises and sprains
again again



Oil on Canvas – 12″ x 16″ approx – 30 x 40cm

All the questions . . .

I just got interviewed for the Selling Books website.

Click Here to read the interview and get a glimpse into the twisted mind of the narrator 😉

What was it now?

John’s jumbled muddled mind twisted thoroughly as he sat still at the top of the steps. He was alone and deep in thinking, thinking about what he was thinking about. He was, he was sure, supposed to be doing something important, or so he thought, that day. He knew, or he thought he knew, it was something to do with his girlfriend? Mary was John’s girlfriend. Mary was very understanding, thought John. She’d understand. She always did. He thought about the best-forgotten time he’d gone fishing instead of to a date with Mary. He told her he’d been rushed to hospital with suspected appendicitis. That was a laugh that was, she’d showered him with remorseful kisses and she had emphatically apologised for not being with him in his distressed times. She’d even walked him to the bus-stop instead of vice-versa, even though he told her it was only a germ in his stomach after all.

And then there was the time he’d arrived an hour late for a date and he told her his bus had been involved in an accident and he’d had to make a statement to the police.

She had believed that too.

John was very forgetful, very forgetful, in fact he was so forgetful he had to write down what day it was on his hand, but to make up for his lack of memory he found he developed a terrific imagination and very often the most fantastic and unbelievable excuses would pour out easily from his trick-box. They were so unbelievable that she was the only one who believed him any more and he sometimes wondered if she did know the truth but still played along. Anyway, he was sure she’d had enough of his excuses.

He started trying to make up an excuse when he realised he’d forgotten what he had to make an excuse for.

Never mind, he thought, it’ll come to me, maybe when I see her. She’s very understanding is she.

But when was he supposed to see her? He didn’t know. He looked at his watch, then remembered the day was written on his hand, and that’s what he wanted to know. It was Friday, or it could have been Saturday, maybe he’d forgotten to wash his hands the day before. No, it was definitely Friday. Now, what happened on a Friday? Yeah, he met her after work. That was the night she worked late.

That was it, he’d go and meet her after she’d finished but he’d have to take her a box of chocolates or something to make up for what he’d forgotten. That would do fine, he thought, a box of chocolates suits all occasions. He’d give her the chocolates and a kiss. She’d understand, she always did.

He looked at his watch again, for the time this time, it was half past twelve – dinner time, suddenly he felt very hungry. She’d given him the watch for his birthday the previous year, or was it Christmas? Never mind, it was dinner time and he was hungry.

He went straight and impulsively towards the nearest café.

After a meal, a good filling meal, he sipped his coffee and thought again. He thought about the day before and what he’d done. What was it he had done? He came home from work. Changed. Washed. And gone out with the boys. It was a big drinking session for some reason. He couldn’t remember what it had been for just then but no doubt, as always, it would come to him.

Firstly, they’d gone to The George in Elphin Street, had a few drinks, a good few drinks, he remembered that, there was that model of a horse on the wall of the lounge. He’d always fancied that and finally persuaded Pete the barman to give it to him. He’d arranged to collect it the following week. Yes, he remembered that all right. What happened after that, he didn’t really know.

He did know that by then he’d had quite a few drinks and after visiting a few more pubs, the names of which eluded him, he guessed they’d ended up in George’s flat, where he’d made a drunken speech about something he couldn’t recall and made a fool of himself as he vaguely remembered.

He left the café and stopped to admire his suit and himself in a shop window. He looked startled at his reflection. Good god, suit, he should be in work now, not wearing a suit.

What time was it? Quarter past one, his watch said, he’d better hurry, he suddenly remembered he had to be at the church by half past. Mary would be waiting.

Was I sighing a lot then?

  • Was I sighing a lot then?
  • When?
  • Then, when I was on the computer.
  • Were you what?
  • Was I sighing – a lot?
  • Just a bit.
  • I hope I’m not like that in work.
  • Work? You hope you’re not like that in work. Ha Ha. Doesn’t matter why you’re sighing – you just don’t want to be seen sighing – in work. Ha Ha. Oh, that wouldn’t do, mustn’t be seen sighing in work. Ha Ha.
  • Oh shut up, you know what I mean.
  • Hmm.
  • I’m going to have a bath.
  • OK.
  • I need a bath. Do you want to use the bathroom?
  • No.
  • OK.

Today we went to town

(This from about three years ago)

Today we went to town. We walked most of the way through the park, alongside the river. On the way saw a few interesting things. People were walking, some running or cycling. People had dogs, some had human companions. We saw jays hopping about and flittering into trees, (they might have been magpies), and we saw a squirrel. Some of the trees were budding with leaves and some with flowers – like the magnolias in Disney pink and white near the castle.

A black dog was in the river trying to catch a pair of ducks. A man on the bank shouted loudly at the dog: “Millie, Millie,” he shouted. “Come here, there’s a good girl.”

A few people stopped on the footbridge, as we did, and watched the tug between the dog, the man and the ducks, some may even have taken pictures – it was a lovely, sunny, spring day. Eventually the dog heeded the man and left the river to lots of cuddles and assurances that she was a good girl. Millie is a good girl.

Then there was the smart couple in their late seventies, sprawled out, eyes closed, on a bench in the sun. And the guy with the bull-terrier who ran around in the undergrowth like a truffle-hound (yes, it was the guy who ran around). The ice-cream van was quiet, though its engine was chugging along keeping the unsold stuff freezing – still a bit early in the year for that. It might have been sunny but it was cold in the shade or when the wind rose.

And then between the greening trees, the garish logo of the Moscow State Circus, I wondered if it was still sponsored by the state or whether the name was just another brand. I wondered how much the brand was worth.

Town itself was OK. Busy, seeing as it was a Saturday, but just about bearable, though we had to buy a cold drink in Marks and Spencer, then sit out the back for ten minutes. That’s when we saw a guy in a mac and glasses run past pursued by a store security guard. A skinny, scruffy old man with a thick grey beard stopped and watched the pursuit until it went out of sight behind a building. He looked at us and smiled. “He’ll have him,” he said. I laughed, he moved on and I got told off for encouraging a nutter.

A few minutes later the guy was marched back past us flanked by two uniformed security guards and a plain-clothes guy. He couldn’t have nicked much, he was only carrying a small carrier bag, unless he had other things under the mac. I tried not to look at him as he walked past but he caught my eye and my shoulder-blades trembled. I don’t know how they do it – those security guards, get paid minimum wage and have to deal with shit like that.

In the middle of the main shopping street we saw some teenagers clambering over a tank while nervous soldiers tried to keep them from doing any damage or hurting themselves.

Then we dodged a Big Issue Seller (I know – tut-tut)  and a charity chugger and wandered into an exhibition about the making of a city or something – anyway, it was a fantastic space, right in the heart of the city, but all it was, was like a blown-up brochure, just text and photos – they could have put it all on something the size of a takeaway menu, what a waste of space, and I bet it cost a fortune too.

We stopped in the market and bought some bread rolls and looked for a knitting pattern.

A few other things happened and we saw a lot of people, every one with a story, and I imagined some of their stories. An old woman in a wheelchair with a false leg and a middle-aged woman pushing her. I wondered what their relationship was. I had a little play worked up about the two of them, it involved a dog, a Big Issue Seller and a shoplifter. Turned out that the woman pushing the wheelchair was the mother of the bloke who nicked the stuff. At first they don’t know each other, then it emerges that she gave him up for adoption because her religious parents forced her to. Now he’s found someone to blame for his crap life and she’s found a reason to stop paying the penance for giving him up by looking after the infirm ageing mother she hates. In the end the dog pins the security guards in a shop doorway and the woman and her son walk off happily together abandoning the miserable old woman in the wheelchair, who is now at the mercy of the Big Issue Seller, who is imploring her to buy his last copy so he can go to the hostel for a bowl of soup and some stale bread.

And that in a moment of inspiration after a glimpse of the wheelchair woman and before popping into a health food store to buy a small plastic tub of hummus to use with the bread rolls to make a sandwich for lunch.

That image of the wheelchair woman is still there, it’s a bit fuzzy but she’s now gone past misery, she lives in a black universe of pain, hate and resentment. The wheelchair pusher is a bit of an enigma – there’s a blankness there, her reality is somewhere else.

So, it’s spring and people are revealing themselves a bit more and the light is better so you see more anyway, and your head is up from the dark floor of winter and it’s worth fighting again, and there’s something to fight for – life and love, love in the spiritual kind of way, where you see the light everywhere and realise that there is no need for hate and resentment or any other of those negative human feelings.

So, we go back and make a sandwich with the bread rolls and they’re huge and we put hummus and salad and half a pack of balsamic vinegar and sea salt crisps in each one and we eat them with a cup of Darjeeling and we loll around reading The Guardian and The Western Mail and doing crosswords but cheating by using the Internet until we’re rested enough to go and buy some organic onions from the wholefood shop and a couple of Lucky Dips for the Lottery from the newsagents round the corner and that’s at half-time during the Italy-Wales rugby match that we discovered was on the telly while flicking through the papers.

And it’s still Saturday afternoon and we loll around a bit more and finish off one of the crosswords by more cheating and by guessing and then start to make an evening meal that turns out of be waxy new potatoes and a concoction of organic passata, black-eyed beans, fresh green organic garlic, the onions, diced sweet potatoes and a big splash of tamari – nicely spiced with Cajun spice mix, fresh ginger and organic paprika – nice.

Now, late evening after some organic (and expensive) lager and that, it seems, is our Saturday.

I am the Moon

I am the moon. I have always been the moon. I will always be the moon. My heart beats with cool light. I move my thoughts over the blue emptiness. I vibrate with blue emotion.

There is no thing except the cool blue. There is no place except the cool blue. There is only the cool blue.

I am the moon. I do not feel. I do not see. I do not hear. I am the moon.

There is no thing. Nothing. I am the moon.

I am the blue moon. I am alone.

“Did you say something?”
“Did you say something?”
“Who are you?”
“Who are you?”
“Who am I?”
“Who am I?”

“I am the moon.”
“I am the moon.”

I am the blue moon.
I am alone.


“The moon looks blue tonight.”
“No it doesn’t, it is white. The sky is blue”
“The sky has no colour. The moon has no colour”
“It’s the light from the sun. It has no light itself.”

“It’s late. It’s cold.”
“The moon affects the sea.”
“And me.”


“Take my hand, it’s dark.”
“Your hand is cold.”
“Warm enough. You are not alone.”
“I love you.”
“I love you.”


“It’s a beautiful night.”
“A beautiful sight.”
“A beautiful light.”

“Let’s go home.”

“Goodnight moon.”
“Goodnight moon.”

“Take my hand.”

“I love you.”
“I love you.”

“Let’s go home.”

“You are with me now.”


I am the moon. I am the blue moon. I am alone.

More ebooks

The Words in Me and The Walker have now been published as ebooks on the smashwords site and they are being offered for free until Saturday.


The Words in me ebook

The Walker ebook


The Three Bears ebook

The Three Bears is now available as an e-book in many formats from the excellent Smashwords site.

Paint Art

What to do when you’re bored with stumbling


You get an idea in your head and next thing you know it’s occurring. I thought I might get rid of – by burning – a load of old paintings that were damaged or irredeemable in some way so I piled them up like a bonfire. I lit it. Then realised how stupid I was because a) It was just an idea, and b) the paint would burn and pollute – phew – I stamped the germ of the fire out and went back indoors for a cuppa before tackling the task of getting the paintings back in the shed.

Here’s the paintings piled up:

Ten minutes later I went back outside and this is what I saw:


Time is a triangle

Back, back, back
A slow awakening
A rude boy is born
He is
An old man
He has lifelong
He can see
the reality
in between
And ends
and ends
Go again
He waits
and he hopes
still . . . . . . .
still . . . . . . .
Go, Go, Go
An old man
vision blurred
and the connection
the coruscating thread
the light
the love
the white-out
Time is a Triangle.