Tag Archives: creative writing

Why do we need libraries in this day and age?


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Christmas Wrap

Christmas present wrapping… I’ve been doing it for the best part of fifty years… you’d have thought I’d have mastered it by now!

My dad worked as a youth at George Mason’s:  The International Grocer’s and he could wrap a parcel perfectly just by looking at it! Mind you he had wrapped everything from butter to eggs in his time and then ridden a dozen miles delivering the groceries on his bike.

My mum was as good, she’d set the parcels, wrapping paper and Sellotape in a production line and would be away at a lightning pace until everything was neatly wrapped and labelled and posted into assorted bags for prompt delivery.

My poor wrapping has tended me towards choosing gifts which are basically square and can be enveloped in no more than a single sheet of wrapping paper. Even then with the paper looking crisp and even, I still manage to mash it with the Sellotape which is the single most enduringly unhelpful product known to man (other securing tapes are available!)

I’m sure my nearest and dearest are looking forward to tins of biscuits, shoes in a box and a book this Christmas. A lucky one might even receive a Toblerone if I’m feeling ambitious.



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Ordering the Reso Books

The Reso books are now published by JLB Learning Innovation, please make sure that you order with this publisher showing.  The previous publisher was Kings Hart Books.. they are no longer trading.

The books can be ordered from any bookshop, but it is worth getting the ISBN number from Amazon.  The books are produced on a just in time process – one is printed as soon as the order comes in. This reduces wastage and also costs of storing printed copy.

Amazon is able to deliver a copy fastest, but the best prices often can be found in Amazon Marketplace here. Click on Buy on Amazon to see the best deals…

Happy reading!

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An unfortunate icy blast for Christmas

I’ve been a tad hors de combat in the last few weeks having damaged my ribs.

In an attempt to feign a wild and interesting story out of this I could describe a particularly treacherous off-piste adventure at Val d’Isere.

Unfortunately the truth is more prosaic. I slipped over on the icy road outside the doctor’s surgery. My last words to Jane were “You pop over to the shops for a moment and I’ll go back and get the car. I don’t want you slipping on that icy road outside the doctor’s.”

Old age does not come alone and no good turn goes unpunished.

As pain goes, I’d describe it as marginally less painful than shingles, but definitely in a category above childbirth and kidney stones.

I am now awaiting a blizzard of icy comments for that last remark.

I’ll be blaming the medication.


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A summer, many years ago…


A timeless summer holiday picture of the type that you might take this summer. It could be the beach at my hometown of Rhyl, or any other beach in the northern or southern hemisphere.

When teaching the rise of Nazism in Germany to students my constant concern was the idea that it couldn’t have happened here in the UK, or in fact anywhere. The students were absolutely confident that fascism could not take root in the UK. I was less sure.
Living close to the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire, we were able to bring in a Holocaust survivor to recount her story of her experience in Nazi Germany. I was pleased to see that the students were incensed that she could have been treated like that. It gave me some hope for the future.

The events of the last year have confirmed to me that the veneer of civilisation is very thin and that there was nothing specifically German about the rise of fascism. Fascism can overwhelm any democracy given the right circumstances, which include, scapegoats for misfortune, economic downturns, a manipulative and cynical government and a press ready to trade in propaganda. By that reckoning, it is only the efforts of good people that are keeping us from falling into a downward spiral in this country.

This picture really alarmed me, a great family picture of the Frank girls enjoying a beach holiday in the late nineteen thirties, unaware of how quickly events would overtake them. Anna is lying in the sand, smiling.

For the triumph of evil it is sufficient that good people do nothing.
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