Old journalists

never die,

they turn



and writers


The so-called Enfield Poltergeist was at one time hailed as the best documented activity of its kind in Europe. Inevitably, it kick-started a media circus and became the subject of a feature film, a mini-TV series and a number of documentaries with another on the way. Together these turned it into a mockery of paranormal activity. When the Daily Mirror broke the story in 1977 strange things were going on in the Green Street house. Read the view of someone who was there


The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is the closest the world has come to a nuclear war since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. Russia’s strong man Vladimir Putin has spent years building his country into a world power based on its vast gas and oil reserves. In choosing to invade Ukraine,  ostensibly to make this independent country once more part of Russia, he not only threatens his own future, but also that of Russia’s which he has slowly built with cunning, care and skill. As I write talks of a cease fire are under way in Turkey.


Minutes after he was arrested in 1983, the innocuous looking civil servant Dennis Nilsen admitted killing 15 or 16 men. He’s been in and out of the news ever since with a three-part ITV series starring David Tennant in 2020, a Netflix documentary the year after and now a BBC2 three-parter still available in BBC iPlayer.

I was on the Daily Mirror at the time and after breaking the story I collaborated with Brian McConnell and  wrote a book about Nilsen’s four-year killing spree. It’s been updated as an eBook with two new chapters added and the case viewed from today’s perspective. To get a copy follow this link.

At least

that’s my story

and I’m

sticking to it


A rant about the lack of good jazz in Cornwall. Jazz peaked way back in the last century and suffered a Beatle blow in 1963, but it survived and continues to do so thanks to a new generation of talented players. Unfortunately, their visits to this far western corner of Mainland Europe are rare. To read more click the word Jazz above.


The pandemic meant the end of face-to-face duplicate bridge until the autumn of 2021. For many addicts like me playing online was an admirable substitute and another chapter in my own relationship with the game in different languages and places which I cover here. As it's so hard to find online I've included the famous James Bond hand along with another that led to a woman shooting her partner and being acquitted of murder!

Douglas Bence


Creative Writing helps many people, particularly those with health issues, the aged and those who live alone. It can teach you more about yourself and the world in which you live and frequently takes lives in different, unexpected but welcome directions. By Creative Writing I mean anything beyond a shopping list or a letter of complaint. I ran some successful Writing for Well-being courses online during lock-down and still do all I can to encourage people to give it try. Here’s some tips on how to get started.


Like the taste of supermarket potatoes, Sunday-night television and the froth on a pint of beer, journalism isn’t what it used to be. But there are still some great reads and I’ve collected a few of my favourites here.


No case-bound copies left unfortunately, but I have a few paperbacks which are outrageously overpriced on eBay. Otherwise follow this link to Amazon for an eBook