Fred Dibnah

There are men who can run as fast as gazelles and women who can dive to great depths holding their breath for up to twenty minutes. But one man from Bolton could defy gravity. Fred Dibnah.

Interview – Harry Whitewolf

Back in September I reviewed Harry Whitewolf’s novel The Road to Purification, Hustlers Hassles and Hash. Author, poet and traveller, Whitewolf’s writing is a fusion of observation, fact and speculation. I asked Harry about his work, travelling, the number 11 and gn****.

Burt Bacharach

One day in the 1970s, a new LP turned up in the house. A collection of songs by Burt Bacharach. One song in particular stood out: This Guy’s in Love With You. It wasn’t necessarily the song that connected, but its association with . . . witchcraft! Every Sunday we’d go for a day trip … More Burt Bacharach

Carl Sagan

There’s a telling moment during an interview between CNN founder Ted Turner and cosmologist Dr. Carl Sagan. As Sagan contains his anger at America’s refusal to distribute wealth fairly Turner asks him if time travel is possible. Before answering, Sagan offers a wry grin at Turner’s obvious discomfort and his clumsy attempt to change the … More Carl Sagan

Agnetha Fältskog

Never rename a boat. I recently saw one for sale and it was named the John Thomas. Now, I don’t know where you live, but in Britain John Thomas is an alternative name for a gentleman’s wedding tackle. No one in their right mind would own a boat and keep the name John Thomas. In … More Agnetha Fältskog

My Very First Job

Do you remember your first proper job? Not the weekend stint in the cake shop, the first post-school full time gig? I remember mine. If you worked for Sherwood Flexibles in Salford between 1983 and 1986 you’d remember it too. (* For legal reasons I’ve changed the names of individuals!) My school exam results were … More My Very First Job

Jake Thackray

If I mentioned the phrase folk music, you might think of bearded men with one finger stuck in their ear singing songs about wassailing, with lyrics like ‘Oi ‘ad one lassy in the dewsoaked ‘ay, and we went with a way and a hay ninny nonny…’ Jake Thackray wasn’t like that. Unbearded, fingers focussed on … More Jake Thackray

Arthur Daley

This post was written a couple of days before the sad news of George Cole’s death. I hope this is a fitting tribute to the actor and his greatest character… There are few people whose names enter the lexicon of a language. If you hate the thought of spending money you’re a Scrooge. Block progress … More Arthur Daley

Ode to Isha koppikar

To describe Isha Koppikar as an underdog is almost contemptuous, but in a world of near tribal loyalty and a suspicious allegiance to following trends and fads and being expected to follow consensus, Isha Koppikar was just that: the underdog, the outsider. One of the finest Bollywood celebrities lost in a sea of misplaced fanaticism. … More Ode to Isha koppikar

Author Interview – Rupert Dreyfus

‘Electoral democracy, for pretty much the entire nation, is nothing more than a spectators’ sport.’ Rupert Dreyfus’s debut novel Spark explores the individual in the face of big business and reacting against a system geared towards a select self-interested few. In this author interview I asked Rupert about writing, self-publishing and a worldview that led … More Author Interview – Rupert Dreyfus

Supporting Valencia

You might not be interested in football (and let’s just pause here to remind our non-European friends it is football, not soccer), but Spanish side Valencia have in recent years transcended the sport to such a degree even die-hard football haters would sit up and take notice. Settled on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, Valencia Club de … More Supporting Valencia