About Me

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I am a 68-year-old gay disabled amateur part-time writer living in Slough, Berkshire UK. I have published around 50 articles in 20 leisure and lifestyle magazines. I live with a range of health issues including heart disease, chronic kidney disease, Type 2 diabetes, depression, atrial fibrillation and restless leg syndrome. (I'm working my way through the medical dictionary!). I'm a member of Slough Writer's Group which is interesting and informative. Latest News. 10th July 2023 Awarded 'The Sandy Lee-Guard Award for Endeavour' by the Slough Writers Group. 6th December 2023 Completed studying 'Writing for Magazines' with CityLit University. January 2nd 2024. Fell over in the lounge and fractured my left femur (whilst recovering from fracturing my right femur in July 2023). Recovery expected to take 6 - 8 months. May 2024. Completed studying ' National Centre for Writing' course 'Creative Non-Fiction - An Introduction'. You can see the articles that have been published in the 'LATEST WORK' section of my website.

Saturday 30 March 2024

Good Friday

 It's Good Friday and tomorrow night the clocks go forward by one hour. Can't remember which way they go? Someone taught me this little phrase:

Spring forward. Fall back.

I think maybe that it was my (now late) mother who taught me this. Whatever, thanks.

I've accidentally erased two sections of my website, so I'm having to rebuild them. It matters not - they could do with a freshen up. I think that I'm also going to reinstate my 'POETRY' and 'FICTION' pages. Check them out:

I removed them because I'd started writing non-fiction again, however friends have suggested that I reinstate them. So I will, sometime over the weekend.

I hope that you're having, and continue to have, a good weekend.

Wednesday 27 March 2024


I've almost finished Bodie's website. Last night I added a few tweaks to the 'ARTWORK' section. Check it out at www.bodiebest.org.uk .

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Terrible Tuesday!

Today I tried to edit a website I've been working on. All afternoon I couldn't get it to work, but now it's working (eventually). Check out the 'ARTWORK' page at www.bodiebest.org.uk .

I'm emotionally worn out now!


I unintentionally deleted two sections of my own website while working on Bodie's! I must take more care when using my FTP software!

I'm rebuilding my 'LINKS' page from scratch. If you have a website that I should link www.richardhill.co.uk to, please let me know by sending me an email at sloughwriter@gmail.com .

Sunday 24 March 2024


Doing some research for my own book, I came across this. As a child, I and some friends used to do this:


The ancient custom of calennig can trace it roots back to the middle ages and is still active in some areas of Wales today. Children would go from house to house, singing rhymes and wishing the occupants a healthy and prosperous new year. In exchange for this goodwill, they would receive money, food or the calennig apple, which is an apple standing on a tripod of twigs and decorated with holly.

Good news!

YES! I've just managed a walk outdoors with a walking stick alone. No walking frame! I took it extremely easy. I took only a few short, simple steps and walked about 200 metres. I'm really chuffed with myself!

Sunday snippets.

I've started reading 'How To Write Creative Non-fiction - New'. by Donna Kay Kakonge. I think that it's written as a teaching course. We are given assignments. I'm going to use them, not to answer them directly, but as an aide-memoir for snippets that I've written as personal exercises. 

I can clearly picture myself, up to the age of 11 when we lived on a little farm in Bontdolgadfan (Bont). I went back with Simon, Mum, and Eve a few years ago. This is what I wrote about that visit...

I stand on the simple stone bridge and slide my finger along the edge of carvings of my initials set into the slate slab, the only permanent record of my being here almost sixty years ago. I wonder how much water has flowed under this particular 18th-century bridge since I last played here?

This village, Bontdolgadfan, is smaller now. I guess I’ve grown in proportion to it’s shrinking. It was a lifeless and inert river with no fish, save the dead fish. Contaminated by old abandoned lead workings at ‘Dylife’, a way upstream. But the river was a great place to play, as I frequently did, and would.

The village nestles in the valley beneath the high mountain ‘Newydd Fynyddog’. It instills the feeling of claustrophobia, then and now.


In the quadrant between the road and river stands what was our farmhouse called ‘Pen-y-bont’, translated as ‘Bridgend’. Now earning its’ owner a healthy holiday let. No permanent tenant.

My mind conjures up the sound of cattle hooves crossing the bridge from field to farm for milking. The cows issue a distinctive aroma as all cows do. They belch and fart.

I return to the present day.

In a field nearby, a farmer mows grass to make silage or hay. The smell of new-mown grass “drowns” all others as does the sound of the mechanical mowing machine. My dad did this.

I move to the farmhouse to stand below what was my bedroom window. Through these panes I viewed real images of the world, within I imagined wondrous worlds that formed my ambitions. And me? I am the son of perfect parents who gave me the world. 

I posted this on my course 'website'.  Here's some more...

Our farmhouse was called ‘Pen-y-bont’, translated as ‘Bridgend’.

(Pen-y-bont was the house on the far right of the above photograph)

Our farm was divided into two, separated by the road and the river (Afon Twymyn). On one side were the farmhouse, a barn and some other farm buildings, the other side, the cowshed, the dairy, more farm buildings and 16 acres of land which was spread around the village.

There was a small river that ran through the centre of the village called ‘Afon Twymyn’. A 18th century stone bridge carried the road from one side to the other. It was a lifeless and inert river with no fish, save the odd dead fish. This was due to contamination caused by old abandoned lead workings at ‘Dylife’, a way upstream. But the river was a great place to play, as I frequently did.

Mum was an excellent cook and created much excellent food in the small, cramped kitchen. It must have been quite a chore to convey the various foodstuffs between the kitchen and living room up and down three steep stone steps. She made loads of pickles and preserves plus a wide range of other things.

Down in the cellar was a very peculiar sight. A large bowl filled with eggs underwater (or so it seemed). The water was something called ‘water glass’. It was claimed that of all the old-time methods of preserving fresh eggs the ‘water glass’ method gave the best and most dependable result. Fresh, unwashed eggs kept in a solution of water glass would remain good and useable for 4 to 6 months when properly collected and stored. Before refrigeration became commonly available keeping fresh eggs in a crock of water glass was the preferred method of egg preservation.

I wrote these extracts that I intend to work into a biography. But that's all for today.

Thank you for reading this far.

Saturday 23 March 2024

Sickly Saturday

I'm not feeling too well today, but nevertheless, I've been working on Bodie's website. It's almost complete, just a few bits and pieces to add and tweak. Take a look at www.bodiebest.org.uk 
This afternoon, I managed to get out on the patio with only my walking frame to help and I opened the gate to let Lottie out.

I've announced on social media that I'm not going to write for magazines for the time being, concentrating instead on researching and writing the book 'Bodie Best'. Bodie really is a friendly and fascinating person and I'm looking forward to writing about him.

Bodie with little Arnie.

I received my t-shirt and hoodie last night and I'm wearing the t-shirt today. Yesterday we lost the remote control for our little FreeSat box in the bedroom. Simon eventually found it in Lottie's bed!
I am suggesting to Resource Productions (a Slough-based media charity for young people) that they might like to run a 'Creative Writing' course for 17-25-year-olds.

I'm going to let Lottie out in the garden twice more this evening.

Friday 22 March 2024

Fantastic Friday!

Up early this morning to work on Bodie's website. I've uploaded 13 of his drawings which deserve sharing. I also uploaded one of his poems. The only section remaining section is 'About the Book'.

Wednesday 20 March 2024

Website Wednesday

I've updated the 'Latest Work' section of my website to include two more recently published articles in Dogs Today magazine. Check them out at http://richardhill.co.uk/latest.html . 

I've started researching material for my first book 'Bodie Best'. Bodie Best is a 19-year-old non-binary person with a variety of complex psychiatric needs including autism. Bodie is a really nice person. During the week, Bodie attends ‘a specialist further education college providing day and residential support for young people with Autism spectrum conditions or additional social needs.’

I've created a 'mini' website for Bodie. You can visit it at: http://www.richardhill.co.uk/bodie/

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Tuesday Notes

 I've been working on Bodie Best's website this morning and afternoon. I've researched more relevant links which are now online at http://www.richardhill.co.uk/bodie/links.html

Today, I walked further than I have since my accident, albeit in slow short steps with the aid of a walking frame. I walked about 400 metres.

I'm doing a 'one-off' course on memoir writing with CityLit on Thursday evening. I planned to write my own life story when I originally booked it, but I've since decided to write my first book, 'Bodie Best'. Hopefully, this taster will give me some good pointers.

If you know Bodie, please get in touch with any stories about him. Email us at bodiebest@mail.com

Monday 18 March 2024

A new week.

I spent the weekend working on a small website for Bodie and the book. It still needs to be finished, but it's at http://www.richardhill.co.uk/bodie . I'll be working on it during the week.

Sunday 17 March 2024

The Book

For one of my assignments on my course "Creative Writing - Non-fiction" I submitted the opening of my article about 19-year-old non-binary person Bodie Best, who has autism among a variety of complex mental health issues. Ed Parnell, my tutor and author of "Ghostland", gave me excellent feedback and suggested that it would be a great opening for a non-fiction book.

This got me thinking. I hadn't previously considered writing a full-length non-fiction book but at this stage of my writing "career" perhaps it would be worth consideration. Although at such a young age, Bodie has been through what many readers would consider a fascinating story.

So; with Bodie's consent and enthusiasm, I've decided to write the book. It will involve much research, both into his life story thus far, and the ethical and legal aspects of committing this story to paper.

So, watch this space to see how I'm progressing, and check out a website I'm creating for the project: www.richardhill.co.uk/bodie

Do you know Bodie? I'd love to hear from you. Please email me at sloughwriter@gmail.com

Saturday 9 March 2024

Assignment 1.1

I'm working my way through 'How To Write Creative Non-fiction' which has several assignments some of which I'll post here. 



Emotional Truth

It’s already bad enough. It’s cold, windy and raining. Worse still, some of us, pupils from Bont primary school are being carted away in a rickety old minibus to the dreaded dentist in Machynlleth, some 13 miles away. This isn’t my first such trip; some of us have been doing the same trip for the same reason regularly every six months for the past three years.

Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not the treatment itself that we’re fearful of, although that’s bad enough, it’s the dentist that we fear most. A nasty man pretending to be nice.

We arrive at the surgery, all eight of us pile out of the minibus and go inside to the waiting room. Each one of us takes a seat on one of the dark green canvas chairs. It’s a cold cream clinical room, with dental healthcare posters hanging around the room.

Some of the new first-timers ask us what happens next. Before anyone has time to reply ‘he’ enters the room. ‘Bore da plant’ he says to us. ‘Pwy sydd gyntaf, who is first?’ No-one answers, transfixed by the appearance of this man. He’s dressed in a green gown, gloves, a headscarf and a mask, leaving only his dark eyes visible.

After a fairly long period of silence, Bryn is the first to answer, ‘Fe af yn gyntaf’ meaning ‘I’ll go first’. ‘Ydy pawb yn siarad cymraeg?’ says the dentist, followed by ‘Does everyone speak welsh?’ I raise my hand. ‘I don’t sir.’ Clearly sensing that I’m petrified he says, ‘Yes, I remember you from your last visit pal, you can go next, after this young man’, pointing at Bryn.

I feel sorry for the others, especially for those who are here for the first time. Some of them will have to wait for a long time, waiting for their turn to come. And as they wait, for what seems an interminable time, they hear typical ‘dentistry’ sounds emanating from the treatment room next door.

Bryn is in having his treatment right now, and I’m next which leaves six awaiting their turn, each treatment taking half an hour which means that the last to go in will have had to have been waiting for around 3 - 4 hours. Nightmare.


Group of eight school children being taken to the dentist.

Children sit around awaiting their turn.

Introduction by dentist.

Children chosen to go in first and second.

Experience of children waiting their turn.

My comment

I didn’t read the brief carefully enough.

It's 5:30pm and I'm going to stop work and read the book.

Monday 4 March 2024

Monday 4th March

St. David's day has come and gone.

I've been increasing my exercise and today managed to reach the bench in our communal garden.

I've been studying my "Creative Writing - non-fiction" course and have reached the end of Module Two. Module Three won't be 'unlocked' for another seven days.

I'm currently researching material for two articles for Dogs Today magazine. 'Offenders training puppies to become 'assistance' dogs' and 'Volunteering and Dogs'. I've visited loads of websites and facebook pages.

I've been working since 11am and am now packing it in as it's 5pm.

As you can see, I didn't pack it in as it's now nearly 8:30pm. I've been trying to find a magazine website that I couldn't find, but have so done now. The magazine is called 'SICK' and I've submitted my article BEST'S FRIENDS to them for consideration.

I'm definitely going to pack it in now!