Thursday, February 27, 2020

The trick of keeping Tricky Dicky's laws going

Aren’t politicians coy when it comes to drugs – and drink? If you live in UK, tonight’s news will remind you of the capitalistic approach to drugs selling (not that it is put quite that way), and the worry about large numbers - almost 25,000 - sleeping on the streets here.
And yet if any non-drugs-taker has suffered more than me – and is more aware of the social implications – I have yet to meet him.
I was a a journalist with the handle of investigative reporter on a right-wing weekly when Tricky Dicky’s drugs laws started to pushed all around the world.


I had no idea back then what the astonishing claims landing on my desk meant. Students out of their minds in drugs orgies, gangs making a fortune from drugs, a variation on what they term now as county gangs, where youths are employed to distribute the illegal stuff.
 The allegations were amazing, but like so many young newspapermen, I expect, I was happy to be handed a 'hot' story.
I probably exaggerated it a bit, too, in the hope of making the front page. Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventuring book, Sailing to Purgatory, at

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Quaffing pancakes for 600 years - at least

It's pancake day today so it goes without saying that you'll have enjoyed one (or two) of these delights.
Only, if you did, you might be part of a considerable minority.
I deduce that because not one of the many people I've asked if pancakes were on the menu, answered 'yes'.
Surprisingly, too, for what used to be such an English tradition, many admitted they had forgotten that today was the day.
One or two (at least) asked, 'What's pancake day?'

I didn't know

Like many others faced with that question, I suspect, I really had to admit I couldn't say why the day is pancake day.
Nor why it is also called Shrove Tuesday, and nor why tomorrow will be Ash Wednesday.
Thankfully, writer Ellen Castelow has come to the rescue at historic-uk. She reminds forgetful us who had, well, mislaid the meaning or reason for the popular date, that today is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent tomorrow, Ash Wednesday.
Lent! Oh, yes, I remember that from childhood when I tried to give up favourite tastes - cooking dates from the family pantry, sweets, of course, and chocolates, and once-a-year apples.
Ellen reminds us, 'Lent – the 40 days leading up to Easter – was traditionally a time of fasting and on Shrove Tuesday, Anglo-Saxon Christians went to confession and were shriven …’
Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventuring book, Sailing to Purgatory, at

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Leaping up for a cry in the night

I had hardly fallen asleep when a woman's scream filled the bedroom. Perhaps inspired by some knight of old, I leaped from under the duvet ready to come to the aid of the fair maiden.
In spite of the volume of the full cry, the seemingly desperate lady was not there beside the bed.
The bedroom window stood wide. Through it came the cry from the garden right below.


The long, agonised shriek sounded remarkably human.
However, the view revealed that it rose from a seemingly love-sick quadruped. That's not supposed to happen in February, but online experts suggest that the furry lady might well have her calendar mixed up.
Very likely, London's really weird winter has not really offered proof of the season - not even one snowflake.
Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventuring book, Sailing to Purgatory, at