Category Archives: Performance

Hello, and welcome to my blog.

Yesterday, was our annual “rush home from work only to rush straight out again because we need to get a parking space at some random school where our child is singing in a concert” night. It’s always a fraught affair, as we never ever get there early enough to get a seat in the audience anywhere near the stage, but every year we set of in high hopes that things will be different.

This year, things were the same.

We arrived at St. Osmosis (or whatever it was called) and took our child to the classroom where the rest of her school mates who were taking part were waiting. The concert was a number of children from various schools singing individual songs and group songs, all around a central theme. This year’s theme was peace and unity, as it is 100 years since the end of World War One.

Once again, we had to sit miles away from the stage (just like we had park way away from the school). I presume that the reason for this was that all the pushy parents were camped outside the school since 2pm on the day, like people waiting for the latest iPhone to go on sale, and then they rushed in to grab all the seats so that they can take multiple photographs of darling little Tarquin or Persephone, as they sing and pout just like they made them practice for six hours every day because all that matters is being the best, when you have no personality.

Soon enough, all the children from the seven different schools filed into the sports hall where the concert was taking place. As they did, each of the children looked for their parents, and vice versa. Across the crowd, it looked like when people do that thing where they don’t stand up fully, but just rise up a little bit – like when a crowd at a football match watch a player approach the goal. They don’t do it all at the same time, but you see one or two at a time bob up expectantly – and then pockets of people bob up all other the place. While they were bobbing about looking for the child, they had (for some reason) a look on their faces like people looking for their baggage on the carousel at the airport – trying to remember what shape and colour it is, but knowing it’s got a dent in it. We saw our little cherub – who decided to dispense with the usual smile and wave, and responded to our waving by sticking her tongue out.

I blame her mother.

The concert was very enjoyable. All the children sung very well, and some of the songs were complicated. Our child did very well – despite spending much of the time pulling faces at me (I was reciprocating) or fiddling with her hair, uniform, or biting her nails. Despite this, I cannot adequately explain just how proud I was to see my child – I genuinely felt like my heart would burst out of my chest. Yes, it was just an inter-school concert, but my child has a few struggles in life, and had a rough year last year health wise, and it was so lovely to see her singing and smiling.

Can’t wait until next year!

Mind you, by next year I will be a millionaire!!. The other day, I was fortunate enough to receive an email from Jacob Wunder, the Account Director in United Bank of Africa (UBA) Ghana. Mr Wunder wrote to me to tell me how I would get almost half of a $12.8m fortune, that he has found (found!?) in the bank. I quote:

In my Department here at the bank, I discover an abandoned sum of US$12.8M United State Dollars. The money belongs to one of our biggest customer whose name is General Valery Mikhaylovich Khalilov from Russia. The late General died on 25th December, 2016 on a plane crash en-route to Syrian where a civil war is going on since 2011.His plane crashed into the Black Sea off Sochi, Russia. I contacted you to enable both of us claim this US$12.8M United State Dollars,and have it transferred into your account in your country.”

How amazing is that! All that money being discovered 18 months after old General Khalilov snuffed it on Christmas Day. I wonder if he got to open his Presents? Jacob Wunder went on to explain what I need to do to get my hands on the money – and explained how easy it would be:

No other person will know about this business deal, not even my colleagues in my bank will know about this golden opportunity which I want you to partake with me. Make sure you keep everything confidential, until we have the fund claimed and wired into your bank account.It is 100% risk free, this is because I have mapped out a guideline and procedure to use in claiming this fund on your names. You will be presented as the rightful next of kin to late General Valery Mikhaylovich Khalilov.”
So all I need to do is pretend to be the General’s son! That’s easy! I can find a Russian army uniform on Ebay, get some medals, and before you can say “Perestroika” I’ll be rich beyond my wildest dreams!!

Apparently, there is a small form to fill out – but my new best mate Jacob Wunder assures me it’s a formality to ensure we have the full trust of each other: “I will send you an agreement, you will study it sign and I will also sign it. When we have endorsed the agreement, both of us will have full trust on each other

So, watch this space!

I’m in the money, I’m in the money…..


Hello, and welcome to my blog.

Last night I was fortunate enough to go once again the Earthouse – a re-creation of an Iron-age roundhouse, built based on floor plans of an actual Iron-age round house found at an archaeological site. The Earthhouse is – apparently – England’s only purpose-built structure for the telling of stories. And it was for that reason, that I and my fiancée were there  – to hear the last in this year’s season of “Stories for Grown Ups”.

The story we listened to, was ‘Frankenstein’, which was originally written by Mary Shelley, two hundred years ago – when she was just eighteen years old. Last night, as at every time these stories are told, the story tellers are from a company called “The Crick-Crack Club”,  a charitable company who have been telling stories in places around the country since 1987. They have told over two thousand stories in these thirty years, and if the size of the audiences they play too have been consistent with the three hundred and fifty people who listened last night, that means that around seven hundred thousand people have been captivated  by the stories told to them.

And captivated is exactly the right word; last night’s tale was told by one man, supported by a woman who played music to add emphasis or atmosphere. These two performers plied their craft around the centrepiece of the Earthouse, it roaring open fire. With only lanterns on the pillars of the Earthouse, as the man told Shelley’s masterpiece, the light of the fire danced across his face as he spoke. At times, the light reflected from his eyes, and at others, as he moved around he was just a silhouette. All of this, combined with the story itself had the listener transfixed.

Although I really enjoyed the story – and indeed, am now keen to read the original book – there was one moment in the tale that caused my brow to furrow. What caused the furrowing was nothing to do with the tale itself, but more a couple of words, the way they were said, and the audience reaction to them.

In the tale, the scientist was travelling to a city with his brother – the artist, who was a fan of all arts (music, theatre etc.). The scientist had arranged lodgings for his brother in the city for a month, while he (the scientist) had to go on to take care of some business. The scientist told his brother that there was lots of things he would like that he could go to entertain himself with in the city – Art galleries, concerts, theatre, Opera, and……poetry readings.

As the story-teller said the words “poetry readings”, he rolled his eyes – and the audience half laughed, half groaned in agreement. This caused my brow to furrow because it bothered me to think that poetry still has a stigma attached to it – that it is dull and boring, and doesn’t have a place in modern society. I admit that my reaction was a personal one because I write poetry, and the reaction I witnessed made me wonder if I might be wasting my time in writing my poems on this blog, if there really isn’t the interest out there.

But then I had another thought: (I know! two thoughts in quick succession!) I’m not wasting my time writing my poems, because my poems are nothing like what most people think of when they think about Poetry. Even in the circle of poets that I have I come to meet through the writing groups and the spoken word events I attend, I would say that no-one writes poetry like I do. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people who write funny poems – but they more subtly funny than mine. I go for more blatant comedy.

I think poetry is seen as stuffy and difficult to connect with, which is why people ‘switch off’ when poetry is mentioned. Some of the people who write poetry and perform at the spoken word event I go to are so skilful in the use of words and the imagery they create,  but I find it hard to connect with their poem. I choose to write about life, and real events, and the style in which I write is the style of poetry that I myself would like to read. I share my poetry on my blog, because A) I like to make people smile, and I think (some) people do like what I write, and B) I would like to develop my identity as a poet and hopefully have work published – in magazines first of all, and then one day a book of my poems.

I fully understand how traditional poetry could be seen as not relevant, but there is a beauty, and enjoyment in all poetry if you just give it a try. The responses I have received from people who have asked me to write poems for relatives of theirs has told me that people can get great enjoyment out of it. I have enjoyed listening to my fellow poets read their work at the spoken word events.

That being said, I appreciate that Poetry is not for everyone.

But it is also not the abomination that many assume it is.



Good evening and welcome to my blog.

I have given this blog a life expectancy of thirty minutes – that is, thirty minutes in which to say all that I want to say. Should I complete this task in less than the allotted time, then fine. If not, I will publish it as it is – including mid-sentence if needed.

Can you feel the suspense rising?

Try harder.

I have looked at the clock and it is 21:07 GMT – I estimate that I have already been writing for three or four minutes, so my time runs out at 21:33 GMT. Time to get on with it!

I am a fan of James Bond films. I like the recent ones, and the older ones have a certain “cheesy” charm to them. I have liked all the “Bonds” – There is the question of who was better – Sean Connery or Roger Moore, and I think Sean Connery just nicks it for me. However, I have to admit recently watching a bond film that I didn’t like. It was “Never Say Never Again”, and it was awful! It just looked like it was on a very low budget – at least for the first half of the movie; the fight scenes were crap, Connery was clearly wearing a wig and his make up looked awful – in one scene he looked almost orange!

The second half of the film was better – Kim Basinger in a leotard will improve any film – as it seemed that the producers had realised they needed a bigger budget. But by then it was too late – I couldn’t watch any more.

I assume Bond saved the day?

I recently had a bit of a wobble about my poem writing, infact I’m still “rippling” as the wobbling stops. I had some rejection letters from publishers, and although I accept it was naïve of me to expect to get published straight away, to have someone say they don’t like my poetry was hard to hear. I bought a book about the rhythm and flow of poetry, but found that when I wrote as suggested in this book, my ‘voice diminished’. Fortunately, I received some guidance and advice from another very experience poet I met at an open mic night, who not only said that he thought I had a good poetry voice and he liked what I wrote, but also said I shouldn’t worry at this stage about the flow etc. that will come. For now, I just need to continue writing.

And not just poetry. Writing this blog is of immense help to me, so I intend to continue.

Times up!


W is For Duck – Now on Social Media!

Dear readers of my blog,

I am pleased to announce that W is for Duck is now on Social Media – it has it’s own Facebook page which you can find by simply searching on Facebook for “W is For Duck” or by clicking here:

On the page you will see my blog posts, and will be able to see some of my Friday Poems brought to life – as there are videos of me reading them at a local Open Mic Night – including a reading of my newest poem, “I Hate Barbie” – which won’t appear on my blog for a few weeks yet!

Feel free to like, and share the Facebook Page, and encourage your friends to check out my blog!

And don’t forget to check out this week’s Friday poem – it’s posted at 6:30pm tomorrow, Friday 28th July.





Friday Poem #24

Good evening and welcome to this week’s Friday poem.

As you read this, I will be preparing to go on stage to play my part in my local amateur dramatics group’s performance of “Dangerous Corner”, a play by J.B. Priestley.

This weeks poem is inspired by the act of performing.

I hope you like it.



Lights up

Heart rate up

All dressed up.

The steps to the stage, a mountain


Lines learnt

Midnight oil burnt

My place in this cast earned

So why do I doubt myself?


I know these lines

I know these lines

I know these lines

I’ll just check my script once more


Sounds of the audience filter through back stage

I pace to and fro like an animal in a cage

I have nightmares that my script is a blank page

The time creeps ever nearer


My mouth goes dry

I have butterflies

I don’t know why

I can’t remember my own name


The hall falls silent, it’s time to go on

I’m so nervous,  I don’t think that I can go on

At least this time I don’t have a song

There’s my cue –


Deep intake of breath, and……