Wednesday, 16 November 2016


img_0494No, I haven't gone down the route of cosmetic correctives, Botox or the like.
img_0497'Fillers' in the context of writing are the shorter articles that magazine editors slot into gaps between longer pieces of copy and adverts. Because of this they are usually chosen at the last moment, once the major components of an anticipated edition are agreed upon and a judgment is made as to what space needs to be infilled.
img_0496My first published piece of writing was a filler in The People's Friend over 2 years ago. Since then they have published several more of mine, the most recent in the Christmas Special now on sale. The current article is about Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean which I first discovered as a child when looking through my father's stamp collection. 
img_0495Stamps give an overview of a country featuring as they do pictures featuring geographical, historical, anthropological, mythical and natural interest. It is from these stamps that I learned of the spectacle of the island's red crab migration. If you've never seen photographs then do take a look online.
img_0498My favourites from my late father's collection though have to be a set of 5 stamps issued 30 years ago in which an artist imagined Santa Claus holidaying on the island which bears his name. After the busy-ness of Christmas Eve, who would deny him a restful holiday in the sun?

Monday, 7 November 2016


While I'm writing this, there is in the background a gentle buzz of noise. People are chattering, there is an occasional burst of laughter from the table in the corner, the explosion of a grind and hiss from the machine being used by the baristas as they complete the next order for a skinny latte with a caramel shot, or whatever it may be. All the normal sounds and comforting hubbub that comes from sitting in a cafe whilst tapping away at my keypad.

You may think that I am writing in a cafe, as many other writers choose to do. Except I'm not. I'm in the warmth of my own home listening to 'university undertones' from the cafe menu on Coffitivity. As it's pouring with rain outside I really didn't want to leave the comfort of my desk this morning!

Cafe bars are a great place to people watch and many an unsuspecting customer has found his or her way into a short story of my composition. Just why has the otherwise elegantly dressed and perfectly maquillaged old lady sitting by herself have dirt incongruously entrapped under her fingernails? What happened to the brusque workman this morning to put him into such a foul mood that he snapped rudely at the young barista serving his tea? And the smartly suited businessman in the corner working at his laptop in the corner keeps glancing furtively around the room, leaning forward to cover the screen whenever anyone walks by - what is he hiding?

Here is a piece of flash fiction of mine that was published last month on Paragraph Planet. Enjoy!

Do you find writing in cafes a distraction or a source of inspiration?