About Me

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I'm a 68-year-old disabled amateur writer living and working in Slough in Berkshire in the UK. I began writing in 1996 after having to retire from my career in the National Health Service due to heart disease. I've had a series of heart attacks and two heart bypass operations. Between 1996 and 2010, I contributed regularly to several UK leisure and lifestyle magazines. Many of these articles can be downloaded from the 'ARCHIVE' section of my website. I've also contributed to some television programmes. I'm a member of the 'Slough Writers Group' which is both interesting and informative. At the moment I'm preparing to start writing factual features for magazines. You can see the articles that have been published in the 'LATEST WORK' section of my website.

Monday 27 February 2023

Monday 27/02/23

 Didn't do too much today.

Sorted the relevant bits and pieces for my tutorial this afternoon.

15:00 Tutorial went well.

Submitted TMA01

Prepared material for Slough Writers Group 19:00 - 21:00

Wednesday 22 February 2023

Busy week/weekend.

 I've been beavering away with my OU studyies. I'm ahead of myself now and am taking a break until Saturday when I will begin Unit 4 - First Impressions of poetry. I'm not looking forward to it as I struggle with poetry and have never studied it before.

During the rest of this week, I will be studying 'Grammar', which I struggle with. I don't know my nouns from my verbs nor my adverbs from my adjectives etc!. I don't remember doing it at school nor since. I've written over 50 features for leaisure and lifestyle magazines, so I must be doing something right!

Yesterday, I bought a new printer. My old one was playing up. I'm pleased with the new one, a Canon Pixma 2600.

Friday 17 February 2023

Long time - no post!


It's been a while since I've posted anything. I've been busy with my Open University studies.

On Monday 13th Feb, I had my first 'tutorial' session, and I seem to be doing reasonably well. I explained my difficulties with organising my notes. I explained that I had started using a card index system of keeping my notes. I have started a 'Learning Notes' file and an online 'Study Diary'

I spent  some time getting one of my Fire 7 tablets working and downloading some Kindle books for study.

We had a speaker at Slough Writers Group that evening; published author Geoffrey Gudgeon. His talk was informative, interesting and inspiring.

I've also been reading and listening to a poem written with non-standard spelling. 'Inglan' is a bitch' by Linton Kwesi Johnson. It's good.

I've watched, made and filed notes on the "Songs that changed the world". Sky Arts Channel. A fascinating programme about songs relating to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Yesterday and today I've been researching and reading about - prescriptive and descriptive approaches to grammar.

I've booked a place on the online event "Banners in British Left-Wing Politics since 1800." on Thursday Feb 23 7-8pm. For information and tickets, click the following link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/x/banners-in-british-left-wing-politics-since-1800-tickets-512842685277?aff=eemailordconf&ref=eemailordconf&utm_campaign=order_confirm&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eventbrite&app_cta_src=order_conf_email&utm_term=digitalx

Wednesday 8 February 2023


 I've been tidying up my 'Learning Notes' and re-reading 'Module introduction'.

In the afternoon, I've been loooking at my two books: 'PROTEST! A history of social and political protest graphics.' and 'RISE UP! - The art of protest.'

Monday 6 February 2023

Monday's Musings

 I wasn't well this morning. I always have 'bad' mornings after I've taken my morning medication.

This morning, I stayed in bed and did some research on the theme of UK protest. I searched for a number of texts including the printed word, audio and video clips. I did this in preperation for future units/blocks.

This afternoon, my tutor rang to introduce herself and explain a little about what would be happening. I explained that I'd already completed the 'Module introduction' and why I'd done it a week early. She said that was fine. She booked a tutorial for next Monday.

I've finished OU studies for the day now. This evening is 'Slough Writers Group'. 

Medication Problems

 I've been experiencing problems that, according to my doctor, are probably linked to one of the tablets I take. It's going to be difficult to work out which, as I take 33 tablets a day.

The symptoms cause me to feel very unwell for 2 - 3 hours after taking my morning medication. I feel giddy/dizzy; everything looks dark and 'watery'; and when I stand up, everything goes dark and I feel faint and sometimes I do faint and/or collapse.

My doctor wants me to take my blood pressure every day, for a week. Once before I take my morning medication, once when the symptoms come on (soon after taking my medication) and one hour later.

Watch this space!

Sunday 5 February 2023

OU Y031 Arts and literature Access Module.

 I started my Open University module yesterday. I think it's going to be really good. The theme is 'Popular Protest'. The module lasts 30 weeks, so that's me busy until September!

I've chosen this module in preparation for doing a BA (Hons) Creative Writing degree with the Open College for the Arts, which will take up the next 3 - 4 years.

I'll try to update this blog on a regular basis.

BTW: I've recently become a member of the Society of Authors and the Gay Authors Workshop