December 2020

For several years now I have been writing a special Christmas poem; I was originally asked to write one for a friend in Barnsley who was wanting something ‘real’ to read at an carol service. From this came the Shepherd’s Sonnet which became part of the ‘Fourteen Festive Sonnets’ I edited for the marvellous Candlestick … Read more

A little bowl of Autumn

In our four months in lock down in Bridlington we’d often escape on our bikes to the countryside just minutes away.  We watched the seasons change from spring to summer and I’d always meant to stop and pick up the small pine-cones blown from an avenue of trees alongside a favourite cycling path. Somehow I … Read more


The fields are scraped and golden as we pass,Hawthorn berries wave scarlet fingernailsAnd all around I see the death of grass,Summer is guttering though green prevails,But in the woods the bracken’s is brown,Roadside seed-heads fuzz where once were flowers;It was the sweetest summer season I have known,Though every year I say this: it’s what endures.The … Read more


This was written over a year ago, Leeds is even more silent these days… the picture is a recent sculpture placed outside the Henry Moore Gallery, it made me smile. Extinct Sometimes I cycle home a different wayAs if to take it by surprise, and seeThis used to be a town of striking clocks-That sounded … Read more


Back in Leeds after three months away in the East Riding it’s taken me some time to settle back into the city I’ve lived in for nearly 50 years.  I have felt restless and unsettled, have missed the sea and the open countryside.  When I’m cycling around I seem to still be wearing my observant … Read more

City Stories and Country Songs

I’ve just come back from a cycle ride. I’ve been based in Bridlington in theEast Riding of Yorkshire since lockdown, and it’s had an effect on manythings. I have for the first time seen spring in the countryside and by the sea frombeginning to end. I have seen wild flowers from their green shoots, throughexuberant … Read more

Leeds Lit Fest Leeds Lit Fest was a miracle in this its second incarnation, bringing books, authors and events to audiences on a city-wide scale.  I was very lucky to be involved in the initial five podcasts where Leeds-based writers talked about places in the city that have particular significance for them.  Write a catchy description to … Read more

Reading, reading…

I read all the time.  I think most writers do.  It’s my go to relaxation activity, it’s my way of finding out about myself and the world that is not me.  I’m a two novels a week boy, unless it’s a splendidly commodious Victorian novel that I can bathe in for, oh I don’t know, … Read more


My outside office has been burgled twice in the last week.  The vandals, singular or plural, may be the same ones, either returning to complete the job of completely trashing the joint, or lying low somewhere, behind a bookshelf perhaps to continue with their self-imposed task of shredding, destroying and leaving their foot prints on … Read more

Isle of Wight

Some years seem to come laden with the past, particularly if one has reached a significant birthday as I did with my seventieth a few months ago.  It’s brilliant to be able to say that one was doing a certain thing fifty years ago and the five decades seems to give it all a special … Read more