Blogs

Blue Planet II, BBC 1, BBC iPlayer, Presenter David Attenborough.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p04thmv7/blue-planet-ii-series-1-1... The Golden Record carried by the Voyager I spacecraft by NASA on the infinitesimally small chance that it would bump into an alien lifeform that would be able to understand it missed a trick. They should have just sent David Attenborough. He would have told them we live in a wee blue planet, seventy percent water that we’re heating up like an egg. Then David could whip...

The Elegance of the Hedgehog - by Muriel Barbery

First heard this on Radio 4 a few years back, now re-reading it.I love stories that give me something new and since I have never lived in a big posh Parisian apartment block... The narrators take turns. Renee the concierge was a poor farm girl. She married a local lad and they moved to town. He died young, she continued working and living in her tied flat and at 54 she has a long-term prickly view of the residents who take her for granted as a...

Jackie Kay (2002 [2011]) Why Don’t You Stop Talking.

I’m one of the few that reads short stories. They don’t sell. There are exceptions such as Alice Munro, Jhumpa Lahari and George Saunders. Poets sell even less of their work than short-story writers, but usually make the best writers. I like Jackie Kay’s autobiographical writing and I admire her parents, who I’ve met on the page. They’re the kind of people that make the world a better place. But for all her awards and glitz and glamour I found...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point

Big congratulations to London_calling79 for 'Compassion Fatigue' which is our Poem of the Week, with a very honourable mention to PoetonaHill for 'Tribes', and to Celticman for his extremely funny and completely surreal 'the weather forecast' which is our Story of the Week. https://www.abctales.com/story/londoncalling79/compassion-fatigue https://www.abctales.com/story/celticman/weather-forecast https://www.abctales.com/story/poetonahill/tribes...

Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain, BBC 2 9pm, BBC iPlayer, director Ben Chrichton.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09hzrvg/blitz-the-bombs-that-changed-britain-series-1-episode-3 The focus of this episode is the Clydebank Blitz which took place on 13 th March 1941. Only twelve houses in Clydebank were left undamaged. Over three-quarters of the sixty-thousand Bannkie trekked away from the bomb sites into the surrounding areas. John Brown’s shipyard with upwards of 5000 workers and Singers’ Factory with 40 000 workers...

Denise Mina (2017) The Long Drop.

Denise Mina’s The Long Drop won Bloody Scotland's William McIlvanney Prize for crime fiction. You expect it to be good. The first-year philosophy student in me, or indeed William McIlvanney’s, Detective Laidlaw, would be the first to ask, what do you mean by good? I mean I did like it. But if I hadn’t read it that wouldn’t bother me that much. I wouldn’t be pressing a copy of the book on acquaintances and saying you must read this. There’s good...

READING NIGHT COMING UP!

ABCTALES READING – LONDON, 3rd FEBRUARY We’re happy to announce our next abctales readings evening, all set to take place in London on Saturday, 3rd February. Yes, a Saturday! We’ve been thinking that holding it on a weekend might give more of you a chance to take part than on a school night … and give us more time for socialising before and after the event. It’s an opportunity for anyone to come along and read their work – poetry or prose – to...

Celtic 0—1 Anderlecht

I’m delighted with European football after Christmas and I love Celtic playing in the Champions League. It doesn’t bother me that much that Celtic get whopped 7-1 by PSG, obviously I don’t like it, but funnily enough there were encouraging signs and on another day Celtic might have sneaked a draw or even won, as the newly-promoted French team recently did. Hyperbole? Here we’re back to reality and I said before the game that it wouldn’t surprise...

Leggings – an opening game in Dereham.

Picture - taken Christmas 2016, larger tree this year, so far haven't taken any pics! Last night I slipped out to pick up a few items in Dereham town centre. There are some shops open quite late. It was only around 18:30 and quite dark. It got lively as I reached Greggs corner, where a small group came rushing out chasing an older man with a stick. I was between the group of one man and his two female friends and the man that they were chasing...

Kit de Waal (2012 [2017]) My Name is Leon

Poverty is always a simple story full of missing people. In a week when American Congress has passed a Bill to give over a trillion dollars American taxpayer’s money to the obscenely rich, Kit de Waal’s, My Name is Leon , is a fictional, child’s account, of what it means to be poor and forgotten in Britain in the nineteen-eighties. The irony here is things were better then. Leon is nine and he takes care of his mum, Carol, as best he can, his...

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