Banjo boom bashed by Brixham busker ban

Having flown against contemporary opinion by outlawing the banjo as played by busker Matt Woffindale, the Devon fishing town of Brixham has turned itself into a laughing stock…..

Dennis Nilsen to feature in new Sky TV series

Sky TV is planning a new programme on murderers, one of which will focus on serial killer Dennis Nilsen who earlier this year was the subject of one of CBS’s 10-part ‘Murderers and their Mothers’ series. As times change, one programme on the same subect every five years is acceptable, two in a year is too much….

Memorable Lit Fest debut for Looe writing group

Two WEA creative writing courses in South East Cornwall led to the formation of the Looe Writing Group which made its debut at two events in November’s Looe Literary Festival. One featured short stories, the other poems in the ballad form used so effectively by the late Cornish poet Charles Causley. Watch this space for more courses in 2017.

Spirit of Napoleon dogs Django festival

Flooding of the Seine forced the 37th Django Festival to be switched from Samois-sur-Seine to a field opposite the palace at Fontainebleau. The organisation was excellent, there was plenty of superb young Gipsy Jazz players, but the big-name acts and spirit of Napoleon hung over the venue like his fine felt cocket hat

Conjuring the Enfield Poltergeist

A feature film called ‘The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist’, based on a 40-year old story broken exclusively by the Daily Mirror, is due for release in the UK on 10 June. It will doubtless be a brilliantly-made blockbuster, wonderful to look at or listen to, but have little to do with fact, a frightened family or flying Lego bricks. Go to this page for what really happened

Rough Justice

Here’s one of my darker short stories, inspired after a night in Lorna Doone country. Enjoy!

Bridge across the Channel

An obnoxious minority prompted me to give up bridge for five years, but last year a delightful group of French players revived my enthusiasm and since then I’ve taught the game again and played regularly. The French Connection is revealed here along with two much-quoted, but difficult to find hands: the so-called James Bond deal and another that led to a murder in Kansas City. Wherever you’re playing, always be nice to your partner!

Journalism

While politicians are still wondering how to implement the recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry, newspapers are largely behaving themselves. Follow this link for some excellent examples of journalism dating from the 1960s. No telephones were tapped to bring you these excellent pieces

Aubrey Fitzrovia

Aubrey’s rants were on-line for a year as ‘The Rural Rambles of Aubrey Fitzrovia – the scurrilous thoughts of an aging rebel somewhere in the bleeding heart of Middle England.’ The first three are available here in pdf form. An ebook is planned