In The Broom Cupboard.

A quip on the Creative Writing Group on Facebook asked for a short story that started with the sentence:

“I kept waiting for a big guy to break down the door and tell me I was a wizard.”

And this is what I came up with:

Continue reading “In The Broom Cupboard.”


The Parachute Regiment’s Day Out.

This was originally written in June, 2014, but never published. Until today! Read on, and enjoy…

What actually happened…

It was the morning of the parade. Not unbeknown to the famed Parachute regiment of the British Army was their spectacular manner of arriving on the parade ground. That is to say, they arrive by parachute.

Now this did take some practice, even for those well experienced in the use of parachutes. Because for an elite regiment to arrive one step out of beat was unheard of. So landing had to be perfect: all the soldiers would land exactly in parade ground formation, and in perfect time. The Regimental band also arrived by parachute, although the kettle drummer had to have his equipment tied to a separate parachute. Nevertheless, they arrived on the ground within the space of a semi-quaver.

Continue reading “The Parachute Regiment’s Day Out.”


An Otiose Revisited.

It would be several years ago that a Facebook friend mentioned the word ‘otiose’. Now those of you steeped in the English language will know that this is not only an adjective, but a noun. For there is an animal called an otiose, and it is, as the name suggests, otiose.

This is what the Oxford English Dictionary has to say on the matter:

Otiose – Serving no practical purpose or result.
‘there were occasions when I felt my efforts were rather otiose’

(archaic) Indolent or idle.

And no mention of my beastie!

Continue reading “An Otiose Revisited.”

A Human Menagerie · Reality · Stories

Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of The Missing Sponge.

Tuesday, 22nd October, 1889

It is late afternoon and Holmes has returned to 229B, a place that we know so well. It has been a frustrating day for Holmes, everything he tried seemed to go wrong. At the stationers they didn’t have the right sort of carbon paper, the chemist had no jeweller’s rouge, nor had they any shellack.

A camel
A camel of the kind often seen at Regent’s Park Zoo.

‘All that walking down to the Marylebone Road for nothing!’ he thinks to himself as he opens the door to his rooms. Immediately his senses are on the alert.

‘There is something in there,’ Holmes thinks to himself, holding the door half ajar.

He is aware of a faint clinking noise that is accompanied by an implausible noise that he can only describe as ‘sloshing’ or ‘wavery.’ There is also a strange droning grunting sort of noise that sounds remarkably like the dromedary he saw at Regent’s Park Zoo last year. Not that he’d wanted to go, but there are times one must humour one’s friends. To add to this there is the distinct waft of lemon in the air.

And lemons are very expensive at this time of year!

Continue reading “Sherlock Holmes And The Case Of The Missing Sponge.”


A Business Headache Solved.

P 603i Tom’s Nuts and Bolts

For most businessmen like Tom, their competition is the biggest challenge they will ever face. Today’s marketplace is like dog eat dog, big fish eats little fish, and any little fish will be swimming for its life. It is a real headache.

In days gone by, things were nicer, more peaceful and there was less competition. Profits were higher, too.

Tom has a business making nuts and bolts. Not your ordinary nuts and bolts, specialist things made of high quality steel and aluminium for military equipment manufacturers.

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Lord Peter Wimsey

Lord Peter Wimsey A PasticheAs a budding writer, there are times when characters hold conversations in one’s mind. There are occasions when the characters aren’t actually in one’s book, as on this occasion. A friend of mine was challenged to write a story in 400 words, this was too much of a temptation, so I wrote this…


Lord Peter Wimsey.

It is a cool summer morning and Lord Peter has just emerged from the wood that edges the south lawn. The air is gentle and the birds are quieter now that the dawn chorus has subsided. He has just returned from a stroll and is now wandering across the damp grass with his two playful labradors gambolling at his feet. In front of him is his home, a stately two storey pile of Cotswold stone, where the French windows of the breakfast room stand open to the breeze.

Something puzzles Lord Peter as he walks towards the house, because Bunter is standing outside, as if bearing a message. As Lord Peter comes within earshot, he says to Bunter, “I say, Bunter, what’s up?”

“I fear there’s a detective novel being written, sir,” Bunter responds calmly.

“Dash it,” says Lord Peter with his right hand resting on his shooting stick, “we don’t have time for that today, do we?”

“I regret we do not,” comes the response, “you have a lunch with Agatha at Claridge’s and a meeting at Coutt’s after that, sir.”

“She’s short of a story, is she?”

“I believe that may be the case. She mentioned that you’d been to Bucharest last December and your train had become stuck in a snow-drift.”

“I say, how on earth did she get to hear about that?”

“I couldn’t possibly say, sir.”

“But Bunter, I know you are the soul of perception, but what’s all this about another detective novel being written?”

“Well, sir, it’s like this…” but before he can finish, Lord Peter says, “has that wretched Sayers woman turned up again?”

“No, sir,” Bunter responds with the calm of an experienced hand, “I would look over there, standing on the gravel drive.”

They both turn to me and Lord Peter puts in his monocle to his short-sighted eye, and frowns.

“Dash it,” says Lord Peter, “another ruddy pastiche.”

Shouting to me across the lawn, “bugger orff, I tell you!”

Somewhat shocked at his use of language and with the colour rising to my cheeks, I fumble my pencil into my handbag, close my notebook and hastily depart.

What he said after I left we will never know.


A Human Menagerie · Stories


Ratingen, Germany. 1988.

My legs ache. It’s the eighteenth of these silly pieces of metal that I’ve turned today, and it’s not even three yet. Mr Schmidt brought me the drawings this morning and indicated which parts needed turning, and that it had to be done swiftly.

Does he think I can turn the machine any faster just to please his deadlines? He’s always putting pressure on us to be faster, and there’s always talk that our pay rises will be less than last year. Why else hang around here? It’s not for the fun of it, that’s for sure.
Continue reading “Werner.”