The Martini Collection

A collection of short essays on a variety of subjects designed to fill those rare few moments of self indulgent quality time.

Why 'The Martini Collection'?

Any time any place any where,
There's always a story to share.

The Pursuit of Happiness

It isn't always necessary to have laws laying down what our basic rights are.

Bowls on A Summer's Afternoon

Just a very early attempt at writing poetry but fun to do anyway. Incidentally, it was written in Bury St Edmunds one summer's afternoon.

Lunch in the Ruins

Five minutes on a summers day in the ruins at Bury St Edmunds
Cherry

My Dark Side

A stormy afternoon sets the mind off down some dark recesses from the past but there was light at the end.

Write A Poem

The very first poem I wrote. Crass and chunky but what the hell.....enjoy

Sex and Marriage

A sideways glance at the age old institution of matrimony.

19th July 1983

There really was not much happened that day in human history that had the potential to rock the world off of its axis. A couple of searches on the...

Russia, Ukraine, Europe and NATO

In international relations there can never be an entirely satisfactory outcome from a situation without either party resorting to conflict. That...

The lake and the seagull

It probably happened in the summers of 1961 or 1962. I am certain it was either of those two years because the following year, as it was our last...

Twenty two years and Seventy Years

Yesterday on the radio were several references both in the news and in documentaries that the 27 th January 2015 was the 70 th anniversary of the day...

Conversations in a library

At the back of the small town regional library housed in a 1980’s single story building next to medical centre was the reference and reading section...
Cherry

Orlando

It was the first of several mornings at the stables where everything that had to be done seemed to happen with a light and deft touch. The hay nets...

That Was a Busy Night

Even two or three nights later I still cannot work out the contextual setting of a very clear dream I had the other night. Why was I, a mere civilian...

A review of 'Under The Wire; Marie Colvin's Last Assignment' by Paul Conroy

For me this was a real page turner of a book which is an experience I have been missing for a couple of years. I have read books by journalists going...

Serendipity

About a year after my mother died my Dad felt well enough to start clearing out some of her things. Amongst them were a couple of carrier bags of...

Conversation in a barber shop

It always seems to be raining in Salisbury since I have been working there. This particular morning the rain was sheeting down so violently it was...

The Blue Blazer

It is hard to tell when going through old photographs from when you were very young if you can actually remember something from the picture or if...

Never Enough Time - My Life with Terry Biddlecombe by Henrietta Knight

A few years ago I lost interest in reading biographies of jockeys and trainers. Then for Christmas Heather presented me with ‘Not Enough Time – My...

Brook Tea Rooms in Swanage Dorset

Brook Tea Rooms 15 The Parade Swanage BH19 1DA Date 11 th March 2016 We have been regular visitors to Swanage in Dorset for about five years...

Lunch at the Anchor Bar, Poole Quay

Anchor Bar Thistle Hotel The Quay Poole BH15 1HD Date and time of visit 19 th March 2016 @ 1230 I looked for a venue for four covers that would be...

Finders Keepers and the Red Jacket

As I walked towards the crest of a hill on the path my view of the bay gradually opened up to its full panorama. The sky was clear to the far horizon...

Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire and Mr McKissock

This is a place I clearly remember as being a stopping off point on a school trip from Maidenhead in the Thames Valley to Snowdonia National Park in...

The Gin Festival

I was not quite sure what to expect when we booked tickets for our selves and two friends to go to a 'Gin Festival' at The Pavilion in Bournemouth...

A Reed Shaken By The Wind

This book was first published in 1957 following his journey through the marshes of southern Iraq with Wilfred Thesiger in 1956. In Gavin Maxwell’s...

The EU Referendum and a plea to voters

At this point of the referendum campaign most of us will have decided how to vote on 23 rd June. Some of us, at this late stage, will still be...

Andrew Lindsay Gordon & 4 prophetic lines

I am currently reading through Brough Scott’s ‘Henry Cecil – Trainer of Genius’ and came across these four lines of philosophical poetry: Life is...

Splinters in Christchurch Dorset

Splinters 11 – 12 Church Street Christchurch Dorset BH23 1BW Date & time of visit 03.06.16 @ 1200 How many times have we walked past this place...

Danger Pay - Memoir of a Photojournalist in the Middle East 1984 - 94

Danger Pay – Memoir of a Photojournalist in the Middle East, 1984 – 94 FROM THE COLLECTION OF NOTES AND DIARIES ACCUMULATED BY CAROL SPENCER MITCHELL...

We do not deserve a 'free' press

Yesterday while I was having lunch at my desk I was flicking through the websites for the BBC and The Telegraph. On The Telegraph website I had a...

The Last of the President's Men by Bob Woodward

The Last of the President’s Men by Bob Woodward. Simon & Schuster UK Ltd, 2015. ISBN 978 – 1 – 4711 – 5650 – 2 (Hardback £25.00) 291pp, or 978 –...

My Mum, Dementia and the family

This is a very rough unhoned piece that I wanted to publish in its own rawness so please forgive me if any splinters of literary clumsiness cause...

Lessons from the Pugs

Next to my car in the car park was a four wheel drive with the tailgate open. The owner, presumably was sitting on the tailgate holding two leads in...

The George on Holyport Green and a special Landlord

I first met Ray Binding when I went into his pub, The George on Holyport Green . He was a small man with a cherubic face whom his daughter likened to...

Les Mots by Jean-Paul Sartre (1905 - 1980)

I picked up this book in an Oxfam shop during one of my many travels around the country. It caught my eye because at the time I was looking for...

Earthly Heaven on Horseback

As to the spiritual meaning of heaven I have absolutely no idea if it exists or not. All I know is that one late summer evening I was able to feel at...

Bryn doesn't carry passengers

There are two ways of describing Bryn. A negative description would be that he is ‘nervous’. A more positive description of his behaviour would be...

HSBC - Time to Vent and Rage with a marmalade sandwich in hand

Listen up there dear readers if you want to find out the best way to get some response and action from HSBC. Are they the listening bank? Not sure...
Cherry

Garden border, George Orwell and Slag Heaps

About five years ago I built a raised border by the front step of our home to cover up the austere ugliness of the bare concrete it had been made...

Babylon and F Scott Fitzgerald Revisited

I was introduced to the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald by one of my teachers, David Gowers. To prevent anyone who is interested in English cricket from...
Gold cherry

Tormore Whisky, The Stag and Hounds and the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

The Stag and Hounds at Braywick between Maidenhead and Windsor is where I had my first taste of English bitter that I paid for legally myself as I...
1 likes

Deconstructing a letter in a local paper

Below is an extract from a letter that appeared in our local free newspaper the other week: We have the new leader of the Lib Dems saying that we...
Cherry

Studland, missing fingers, a rabid dog called Bob and a privy

When we first arrived from Canada in the early 1960’s my parents would take us, that is my two elder brothers and me to a farm on the road from...
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Environmental paradoxes on a very local scale

One of our local papers in the New Forest area is the New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times which has been published weekly without interruption...

Retirement - Timing is Critical

For our Christmas entertainment in 2016 we bought two DVDs. One was ‘Billy Connolly Wild Horse Tour’ and the other one was ‘I Am Bolt’. The first one...

The bus ride

The little community bus that runs between Ringwood and Poulner had swallowed most of its passengers by the time we arrived at the stop in Meeting...
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We need a strong fourth estate

‘I spent a lot of time on my – farewell address talking about the state of our democracy. It goes without saying that essential to that is a free...
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Cherry

You want to leave a legacy?

My Dad was nearly 93 when he died recently. It was not unexpected given the combination that he was very old and was suffering from a brain tumour as...

1500 Paces

Sometimes I can work best late at night and sometimes I can work at my best early in the morning. This one day was one of those early morning days as...

Two for Chelmsford for 23rd March 2017

I had a quick canter through the race card for Chelmsford for Thursday 23rd March 2017 and there are two handicaps with horses running that could be...

Is this what our politics have become?

To set the scene, I did vote Remain in the referendum on Britain's membership of the EU and fully accept the result of that vote. Itis a complete...
Cherry

Ask Just One Question

The other day I pulled into a car park behind a small complex housing a medical centre, pharmacy and vets. I got out of my car and noticed a rather...
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Was this exposure good journalism?

On the 8 th June 1972 a picture was taken that was syndicated around the world within twenty four hours appearing on major newspapers front pages and...

A salient quote for aspiring writers

Currently reading Simone de Beauvoir's Force of Circumstance and found the following: 'There are two ways to be a great writer: painting powerful,...