Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Allotment a year on

So it's been a year since i took the plunge, paid twenty quid and joined the bad back brigade of allotmentising oldies.

Before and after pics

Not quite from the same spot but you get the general idea.

Spring cabbages, broad beans and new potatoes are now in. The sixty odd strawberry plants are now just starting to flower.

Looking the other way

Almost the same position. The bath is still in situ (has water lillies and frogspawn in it), the last of the winter cabbages and broccoli is about all uou can see growing this way, but there are 200 onions and shallots and garlic towards the end of the plot. There's also a big pile of manure too.

I haven't got round to rebuilding the greenhouse or shed yet, but it's been an experience. What I've saved in vegetables I've probably spent buying smaller clothes due to weight loss, but overall I've enjoyed it and have paid the twenty quid for another year.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Ten Questions - Andy Peters

Quick witted, left-handed, pink hat wearing guitarist and author Andy Peters joins us today for Ten Questions. The near-pension drawing author of The Barry Island Murders and The Saundersfoot Suicides has been causing a whirlwind in the world of Welsh crime fiction recently (or Cyrmgrit as no one calls it) with his mixture of wit, seventies Welsh holiday resorts and more wit. He's also written books about Otis King, a welsh Blues Detective who solves cases in Memphis, one of which is featured in a short Youtube film.

Ronnie Barker or Ronnie Corbett?

Well, what with the big lad being fully occupied daisy-pushing, these days the only option is the diminutive Scotch myopist golfer and his unfeasibly large chair.

I was never much of a fan of any of their individual sitcoms, no, not even “Porridge”, but in my youth I enjoyed their work together...some top sketches. Also gave work to a bunch of dreadful forgotten women singers like Lynsey DePaul, Clodagh Rogers, Dana, Elton Bastard John and Barbara Dickson  who would otherwise have been unemployable

What's your latest book about?

An ex-Maths professor in 60s Las Vegas poking his nose into other peoples’ business for money, and trying to avoid getting it shot off. It’s called “Subtraction”, it’s dead good and has a fine cover by ace crayonist Joe Lumley. I believe Amazon may have a copy or two still available.


Newport Gwent or Newport Pembrokeshire?

I’ll go for the Pembrokeshire version, since my mum lives in Pembrokeshire and my masterpiece of Welsh crime fiction, “The Saundersfoot Suicides” is set there.

Apologies to my old mate Lloyd Llewellyn who comes from the Gwent (or Monmouthshire as I prefer) version....but he won’t be reading this as he’s a drunken old fart, who can rarely focus his eyes

Where do you write?

On my rather decadent white leather chaise longue, at home, generally with at least one cat trying to stop me. I have no internet at home, so no distractions to churning out many thousands of top words a day. When I could be arsed.

Gypsies, tramps or thieves?

Tramps, every time, unless it’s those two Gypsy women out of “From Russia With Love”. Chances are it won’t be.

Is your writing inspired by real events?

No, I make it all up, apart from all the messy sex with endless well-upholstered blondes, which is all literally true. And murdering ex-girlfriends.

e2e4 or Nf3?

I mean, really, is this the best you gritty crime boys can do? As ever you go straight for the flashy and trendy stuff, despite its having no lasting value. And you can’t even spell the stuff properly, all done in bloody text-speak. King’s Pawn or Queen’s Indian my firmly chiseled arse! I’m a Ruy Lopez man and always will be. That’s P-K4 for the illiterates out there. Stick with the classics.

Some people!

Physical book or e-book?

Well, if you’re buying, I have both varieties available. Take your choice.
If I’m reading, which I rarely do, it has to be an e-book. You don’t need reading glasses, bookshelves, the pages don’t fall out and they weigh nothing. I am not one to bleat on about missing the smell of them or all that claptrap.

Which of the following swimming pool rules have you not kindly refrained from?

No Bombing
No Running
No Heavy Petting
No Acrobatics

I suspect the word “heavy” there is entirely your own invention. That “bombing” thing is no joke in some places either, I imagine.

I will confess to having had a whistle blown at me by some fat tosser of a lifeguard in Sale baths in 1973 and again in Durham Baths in 1979, but in view of the various high-profile court cases currently pending about such things, my ignorance of the exact birth date of the other party involved and on the off chance I ever become rich and famous enough to warrant suing, I decline to go into further details.

Incidentally, why are all people who work in Sports Centres always massively overweight?

Where can we find you on the internet?

Here’s my Amazon page

Or my Facebook author page

Or be my friend on Facebook so I can pester you to buy all my books

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


If there's one thing that really bugs me, it's the use of new words to describe things have adequately been described otherwise for years. I'm not talking about Fracking here, as the use of that appears to be just because someone has decided that fracturing has too many syllables for us plebs. No, re-boot is today's moan.

If a film was remade, we'd call it a remake. What was wrong with that? Was the term remake not an accurate enough description of a remade film? Was there plenty of confusion abounding that remade might not actually refer to the remaking of a film but something else?

No. Re-boot is all about making the art of remaking something old (possibly because they can't be arsed to either come up with or take a financial gamble on new ideas) appear more sexy or 'modern'. It gives the impression of something more than a remake. It's a remake 2.0 as no doubt some twat or other would refer to it.

The phrase reboot, as we all know, comes from computing. When the sodding thing crashes, which lets face it they all do, you turn the bleeder off and back on again. It then restarts. So to me, a rebooted film would be one where you start from the beginning, same actors, same set, same script and remake the film so it's the same as the original. After all, when you reboot your computer you don't open it up and change all the workings inside, do you?

So as well as annoying, it's, in my opinion, wrong.

What makes this a thousand times worse, for me, is the latest subject of the 'reboot' is Robocop. To me, this was one of the best films of the eighties. A bit of dystopia, a shed load of sarcasm (especially the adverts) and maybe the fear that at some point in our lifetime mechanised cops may actually exist in some form. What was so wrong with it that it needed rebooting?