Monday 30 September 2019

Gower ~ Fading Light #12

Arthur's Stone, Cefn Bryn:

Gower ~ Fading Light #11

Broad Pool, Cefn Bryn:

Gower ~ Fading Light #10

High tide on the salt marshes of Penclawdd:

Gower ~ Fading Light #9

Rhossili Bay and Worm's Head

Gower ~ Fading Light #8

Part of my Fading Light project, this image of a fisherman at sunset was captured at Broughton Bay:

Gower ~ Fading Light #7

A puddle in a car park overlooking the Burry Estuary, Penclawdd:

Sunday 29 September 2019

Gower ~ Fading Light #6

Storm over the Bristol Channel, photographed from Penmaen:

Gower ~ Fading Light #5


Saturday 28 September 2019

Gower ~ Fading Light #4

The bare bones of the Helvetia shipwreck, which ran aground on the sands of Rhossili Bay in November 1887 (part of my Fading Light photography project):

Gower ~ Fading Light #3

A teepee standing proud on the northern shores of Llanmadoc on the Gower Peninsula. Part of my Fading Light series of photographs:

Gower ~ Fading Light #2

Another image from my forthcoming photography book - Gower ~ Fading Light, featuring Rhossili Bay and Worm's Head

Gower - Fading Light #1

I love this set of two photographs, taken atop of Rhossili Cliffs, looking towards Worm's Head. This atmospheric diptych will appear in a forthcoming photography book, entitled Gower ~ Fading Light:

Sunday 22 September 2019

Reading... 1984

Christmas Ghost Story 2020. Draft 1. Chapter One.

Getting a few more words down on my 2020 Christmas ghost story...

Saturday 21 September 2019

Running Like Clockwork

Spent the morning in the writing shed trying to fix the clock there. Managed to get the mechanism to work again :) and to put the thing back together. The chimes were a quarter of an hour out but thanks to Youtube, I've sussed out how to fix that too :) Just a matter of letting time pass now and rejigging the pendulum so the thing runs precisely like clockwork (lol).

Also did a bit of a clean in the shed then, and gave the door a fresh lick of paint, under the dutiful eye of my youngest cat.

Friday 20 September 2019


My next writing shed task is to fix this grandmother clock!


Wednesday 18 September 2019


This book has been with me since the day I was born and has followed me from house to house ever since:

This particular edition of The Adventures of Pinocchio was published in 1961 and originally belonged to my uncle, who lived in the same family home as myself at the time. And despite being in a pretty grim state after all these years, the book remains one of my most treasured possessions. That said...

The original version of The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi is far removed from the tale told in Walt Disney's re-imagining of the story. It is a far darker beast and this edition of the book really used to give me the creeps. For starters, it is illustrated with some pretty macabre-looking drawings. Take the cover of the book for instance. Just who, or what, is that sinister silhouette watching proceedings from beneath the archway?

A creepy something or other watches the macabre wood-spirit
take the form of a free-walking marionette.
If anything, the black and white illustrations withing the covers of the book appeared even more eerie:

A grizzled, threadbare old man, looking like he is a 120 years
old, decides to help a mischievous wood spirit by carving the
wood it haunts into a marionette. In the picture above, the
guy even teaches the thing to walk!
The plot of the book runs like a folk horror classing - having discovered that a plain-looking piece of wood is inhabited by a rather belligerent wood-spirit, an aged and extremely poor woodcarver, Gepetto, decides to animate the creature by carving the wood into a marionette! Why would anyone in their right mind do such a thing?

Whilst the artwork in this particular edition of Pinocchio is creepy, the actual text itself is hardly designed to give children happy dreams. Remember good old Jiminy Crickket from the Walt Disney version of Pinocchio? Well, in the original text, it doesn't take very long for Pinocchio to take offence at the creature, and to actually kill the cricket!

Pinochio kills the cricket!
Of course, this being a supposedly children's book, children, or strange spirits disguising themselves as human children, must be punished for naughty behaviour. And Collodi makes certain that Pinocchio gets his fair share of suffering for his continued antagonistic behaviour. For example, check out this instance of sadistic retribution meted out to him:

burning feet text

In his story of Pinocchio, Collodi wanted to show that children should be good at all times and to always do what their parents expected of them. If they were naughty, they should expect severe punishment and misfortune in return. Collodi therefor inflicted this rather grim retribution on his character:

This was how Collodi originally ended his children's tale, which Pinocchio swinging dead from a noose in a severe gale!

Pinocchio was originally published in serial form in an Italian children's magazine in 1881. Its editor, not to mention its readers, were none too pleased with this dark denouement to the tale and demanded a happier fate for the puppet who wanted to be a real boy. And so, a few months after Pinocchio's melodramatic death, Collodi brought the marionette back to life to give the wood spirit the 'happily ever after' ending his audience clamoured for.  In my edition of the tale, however, the illustrator  concluded his series of eerie drawings with this one, which really creeped me out as a child:


Given our current political climate, I think it is time for me to finally read this classic!

Tuesday 17 September 2019

The Shed is Coming Along Nicely

I am slowly getting there with my writing shed. The inside door and window frames need a bit of a paint, the shelves need a clean and a de-clutter and the windows require a good wash, but I am pleased with the progress I am making with it, especially given the fact that I couldn't move in there for clutter just a few months ago. :)

Saturday 14 September 2019

Friday 13 September 2019

Berserk! Draft 2 Complete :)

Despite the pretty grim cold that descended upon me this morning, which had me suffering and sneezing all day, I took the opportunity afforded to me this afternoon to grab a couple of hours out in the sunshine, where I managed to complete the second draft of Berserk!

Completing the second draft of Berserk!
It is now time to get on with the third and final draft... :)

Thursday 12 September 2019

Sunday 8 September 2019

Berserk! Draft 2. Chapter 8.

Troubled by some irksome dream, I rose early this morning and nipped out into my writing shed with a steaming cup of coffee. Stepping inside the shed, I was confronted by these beautiful shadows above the chill-out settee I have in there.

Shadows on the wall above my chill-out settee
I have had a good few day's writing and am now two weeks ahead of schedule as I begin work on the second draft of Chapter 9 of Berserk! :)

Working on draft 2 of Chapter 9 of Berserk!

Saturday 7 September 2019

Berserk! Draft 2. Chapter 8. Complete :)

I spent this morning out in my writing shed, listening to a little Japan and enjoying the faint warmth of the autumn sun on my face as I completed the second draft of Chapter 8 of Berserk. I am still ahead in my writing schedule, 12 days ahead to be precise, and am confident I can get this beast of a novella completed by the end of the year. But the clock is definitely ticking...

Thursday 5 September 2019

The Verry Volk

Just received my copy of The Verry Volk. I am happy to report it is now available to purchase from Amazon