BOOKS and PRINTS
More Crazy Art
Even More Crazy Art
These A4 booklets include many of my early images. They are limited editions in full colour. I make no high claims for these eccentric pictures, but I do know that they erupt from somewhere deep within. Trying to stop them would be like struggling to cap a volcano.
As the great L.S.Lowry said: 'I don't know why I paint like I do. It seems so pointless. But I just keep on doing it. I can't help it.'
Night of Horror
This is the story of one of Britain's worst maritime disasters, which occurred on the shoreline of Flushing, Cornwall, in 1814.
The Queen Transport was smashed on to jagged rocks by strong winds and massive waves after breaking her mooring line in Falmouth Harbour.
Nearly 200 people drowned, most of them wounded soldiers and their families returning from the Iberian Peninsular War.
A mass grave containing many of the victims is situated in nearby Mylor churchyard.
Read All About It
Reflections on the Writing Life
A largely forgotten Yorkshire author called John Braine helped spark my interest in writing for a living.
This booklet records the many other influences I acknowledged during my half century as a journalist.
Among them were the novelist James Hanley, the great American journalist H.L.Mencken, the acerbic columnist William Connor (Cassandra) and, of course, the incomparable D.H.Lawrence.
On Being Provincial
and Other Essays
The word 'provincial' is now used in Britain almost entirely in a pejorative sense. But it was not always so.
In the lead essay in this collection, I glory in my provincialism and describe how, down the generations, low-born provincials have led the way in the sciences and arts, and enriched the cultural fabric of the nation more than any other social group.
Another essay, The Age of the Prat, tells how 'boymen' are now in the ascendancy due to the influence of tertiary education, feminism and increased wealth. Where has manhood gone? It has been diluted and diffused by a mixture of laddism, androgyny and parental over-indulgence.
The Real Deal discusses the rise of fakery and fraudulence in modern Britain, while Beautiful Machines identifies engineering creations with aesthetic appeal.
The most poignant essay is Departed Souls, which laments the loss of friends as one gets older.
When it comes to wise reflections and witticisms on life, you could take the view that Oscar Wilde, Samuel Johnson, George Bernard Shaw and Winston Churchill have said it all.
I beg to differ.
This collection of epigrams, aphorisms and (I hope) humorous asides has been gleaned from 70 years of life. The quotes offer a sceptical, some would say cynical, view of religion, politics, money, property, women, journalism and many other aspects of life.
Some will provoke yelps of indignation, but I contend that all reflect the truth.
And truth, as all journalists know, is the most indigestible thing on earth.
On Being Editor of
the Falmouth Packet
SOME journalists want to be foreign correspondents. Some want to edit great titles. Some crave to be houehold names. Oddly enough, one of my many journalistic ambitions was to be Editor of the Falmouth Packet.
To edit a long-established weekly newspaper and its sister titles in Britain's greatest location (Falmouth in Cornwall) was one of those dream jobs many a big city newspaperman coveted when local journals were in their pomp.
Being editor of the Packet is the subject of the lead essay in this collection, which also includes pieces on White Van Man, my enigmatic father, Leicestershire (my home county) and the joys of being an author.
Portrait of the Artist
as an Old Bloke
TURNING to art in your Seventies is not to be taken lightly. It can literally change your outlook, for as an 'artist' you see the world in a different way.
This booklet includes some of the scores of images I've produced in the two-and-a-half years since my 70th birthday. Some are good, even though I say so myself, others not so good. But the one virtue they have is that they sprang from somewhere deep within, and are therefore spontaneous, natural and true.
From 'Woodland in Winter' to 'Fish on a Platter', and on through 'Bonfire Night' to 'Let's All Do the Conga', these images offer a rich mix of colours and/or an occasional smile, if nothing else.
Moreover, I love producing them and get great pleasure when people like them enough to buy them at Cornish street markets and arts festivals.