Monday, October 15, 2018

Boat People

They are young, whole lives ahead of them,
And take their chances on a rusty hulk.
Terrified at last to be locked below deck,
Wouldn't have wanted so many to push on board.

The Mediterranean is calm, so they say, but
With bodies crushed together, no provisions
And no facilities, death is never far away.
All long for Lampedusa, tolerance, a new life.

It is night now and a patrol is sighted,
A hubbub arises and the old tub lists.
Before you can think about home, here or there,
The sea is upon us all, this is our tomb.

In villages and towns, the old are bereft,
Some wives too and youngsters. Will they ever
Hear, or will they be left to surmise,
When no call from Europe ever comes?

Friday, October 12, 2018

Who's hacking whom?


Seen in North Greenford

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Monday, October 01, 2018

Thursday, September 27, 2018

In Memoriam - Chas Hodges (1943 - 2018)


Chas and Dave "Wonder Where He Is Now?" on Later with Jools Holland, June 2018

Friday, September 21, 2018

Short Story of the Month, October 2018

The Willesden Herald New Short Stories Story of the Month

October 2018: Everything Comes Together by Frank Haberle

“In your trailer, it’s colder and darker than outside. You pull the wad of bills out and smooth them out in your frozen red palms. There’s a twenty, a ten, and eight singles. For one flashing moment you think of your rent, now ten days late. Then you get up and start walking back to town.”

Frank Haberle
Frank Haberle’s short stories have won the 2011 Pen Parentis Award, the 2013 Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, and the 2017 Beautiful Losers Magazine Award. They have appeared in magazines including the Stockholm Literary Review, Inwood Indiana, Necessary Fiction, the Adirondack Review, Smokelong Quarterly, Melic Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Cantaraville and Hot Metal Press. A professional grantwriter with nonprofit organizations, Frank is also a volunteer workshop leader for the NY Writers Coalition. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and three children.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Short Story of the Month, September 2018

The Willesden Herald New Short Stories Story of the Month

September 2018: The Almost-Widow by Carina Buckley

“If I had known, then, that a dull night’s companionable reading would prove on reflection to be a moment of perfect bliss, it’s hard to say what I would have done. Is the horror past or present? All I know is that right now, today, I am greedy for those days, and all the ones I had are not enough. It was their timelessness that made them worth having.”

Carina Buckley grew up in Margate, Kent, and now lives in Salisbury. She works in higher education and has recently completed her first novel, THE TRANSPARENCY OF WATER. She is working on a collection of short stories as well as a full-length play, SINCE I LAST SAW MY SISTER. She has had two short plays performed at the Salisbury Fringe festival.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Things were different back now

I'm trying to be bookish and keep out of the argy-bargy but in the swim on Twitter, at https://twitter.com/storyofthemonth. (I give it six months.) By the way, if you have stories and would sell one for a free book, please submit to Story of the Month. (Steve)

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Laser removal of rust (video)

Fascinating. Brave for the guy to run the thing over his hand?

Friday, August 17, 2018

The earliest colour film of London - 1924


"Home at last! A personal study of Claude Friese-Green, inventor of the Friese-Green colour process"

Taken in 1924. Note the people around the Cenotaph in Whitehall. And so many people, in what looks like Petticoat Lane market, probably not one of them left alive today.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

R.i.p. Aretha Franklin



Many pleasant, sometimes blissful hours, owed. The video is of a special performance with guests including the Obamas and Carole King.

Aretha Franklin, 'the queen of soul', dies aged 76 (from The Guardian)

Friday, August 10, 2018

British visa hell

It's worth reading this thread of 34 tweets, to get a picture of the rotten heart of British bureaucracy, under Theresa May.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

"But how are you going to pay for it?"

Here is the answer from a rising US Democratic Party star, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the candidate who turned out many times more voters than is usual to win a primary in New York against a leading and long-term Democratic incumbent.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Short Story of the Month, August 2018

The Willesden Herald New Short Stories Story of the Month

August 2018: Independence Day by John Califano

In 1960s Brooklyn, New York, sensitive and empathetic Johnny Boy struggles to navigate adolescence. Here his worldview is shaped by the trauma inflicted by the violent and competitive relationship between his father and his older brother, who despises their father’s closed-mindedness and is the only one willing to stand up to “the old man.”

John Califano grew up in Brooklyn, New York and lives in Manhattan. He’s worked as a writer, actor, visual artist and musician and has performed in clubs, art galleries, feature films and Off-Broadway productions. He recently completed his debut novel, JOHNNY BOY, and is currently working on a second book and a collection of short stories. His work was recently featured in The Broadkill Review.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Life is a holiday from non-existence.

There's lots to see and do,
And when it's time to go,
you wish you could stay
another week. But oh
in the end, you may say
we're tired and, after all,
we'll need another holiday
when we get home.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Unguarded Moments

If you walk without thinking how you're walking,
   that's the way you walk.
If you think without thinking where you're going,
   that's the way you think.
If you talk without thinking what you're saying,
   that's the way you talk.

Say my name.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Short Story of the Month, July 2018

The Willesden Herald New Short Stories Story of the Month

July 2018: Lily by M.E. Proctor

“Some of us remember places better than we remember people. With time, we even start wondering if these people existed at all. As kids the difference between reality and fantasy didn’t matter that much. Lily lives in that in-between, somewhere.”

M.E. Proctor worked as a communication professional and a freelance journalist for many years. After forays into SF, she’s currently working on a series of contemporary detective novels. Her short stories have been published, both in Europe and in the U.S. She lives in Livingston, Texas.

Monday, June 25, 2018

March for a People's Vote on the Brexit deal

Rees-Mogg, Gove, Farage and Johnson as seen by the March for a People's Vote
Credit: https://twitter.com/clairehewlett62/status/1010499282212937729
"Do you really want to be left alone on a small island with these men?"

The Brexit clown car honks and sputters its way into the circus ring, and out they stumble as, with a final bang, it falls to pieces. They fall about laughing, while their band plays the only tune it knows.

Friday, June 22, 2018

TV hacks fawn over Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un



Comparing ludicrous and mindless propaganda by Fox News and North Korean TV commentators

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Short Story of the Month, June 2018

Announcing the inaugural New Short Stories Story of the Month

The series kicks off with Con Chapman’s engrossing account of a relationship in trouble, and what can you do but go for a run? Let's see how that goes. 
June 2018: The Woman Who Listened to Britten by Con Chapman
Con Chapman is a Boston (USA) based-writer, author of two novels. His short fiction has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and other print publications. He is currently writing a biography of Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington’s long-time alto sax player, for Oxford University Press.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

New Short Stories - Story of the Month

Announcing a new single item magazine. “What is a single item magazine?” I hear you shout. It only has one item, the story of the month. When another story of the month comes along, that will replace the previous one. There will be a list of all the previous stories of the month. Simple as that. Each successive story of the month takes over the Story of the Month page and gets added to the list.

No submission fee, no recompense, all for love of the short story genre. There are no obligations or restrictions, except for permission to publish on the Story of the Month page here on this website. Aside from that, copyright remains entirely with the author. Note, the story will only remain online till another story of the month replaces it. That might take more than a month sometimes.

To ensure quality, and also to make things easier for me, there will not necessarily be a new story every month. It will be treated like a magazine with rolling submissions, no deadline, and stories accepted or rejected ad hoc.

All the details are on the Submittable submissions form. Please read carefully before submitting. Word limit 4500*. Generally literary, not keen on generics. Only one submission at a time, please, and wait for the response to that before making another submission. (Steve)

whlogo

* Updated 16/6/2018

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Grenfell Tower inquiry day six – watch live



Relatives and friends of the victims share their testimony, all very moving. This is the sixth day.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Live stream the 2018 Champions League final on YouTube

6 pm: Watch Liverpool versus Real Madrid in the 2018 Champions League final, courtesy of BTSport on this YouTube link.

It seems you can also watch free on Virgin cable channel 100. Here is more info about the game and channels etc, from the Bristol Post.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Penny Arcade

And then there may be a moment
When you look into the eyes of the other
And realise they have always known.
She or he is ahead of you. They always
Cared. Or never cared at all.

Like those old mechanical horserace games.
In one race, she's ahead of you,
Everyone's ahead of you.
Yet in another game, you're far ahead
And can't be caught.

Love has its reasons

Love has its reasons. Not all kisses
Are the same. Not all eyes say Mystery.
Not all hands say Wrestle me,
I want to wrestle you, leg-wrestle me.

No, Love has its reasons. It's not all
Spring has sprung, needs must. It's not all
Pardon my hormones, did I spray you? I've
A head like a stone, heart like a sieve.

Yes, Love has its reasons, and so
Have I. My eyes were wide open, and so
Were yours. And that is blindness by two
When reasons make way for whoop-de-doo.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Any Deal Will Do

From: Farage and his Amazing Velvet-Collared Scream Coat

I closed my eyes
To vote for Brexit
Head for the exit
From the damned EU
Far, far away
Syria was weeping
Cameron was sleeping
Any deal will do

I wore my coat
With velvet collar
Cost me top dollar
Well I've got a few
And in the east
Fake news was breaking
And the bear was waking
Any deal will do

A flash of gun
An MP fell
My covert coat
Was looking swell
The black shirt underneath
Was open
I was number one

May we return
To twenty-sixteen?
The fervour's dimming
And the screams are too
Rees-Mogg and Gove
Are adumbrating
Johnson's masturbating
Any deal will do

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Architectural joke?

Fulham Palace Road

Trusting and hoping this is only an alarmingly real-looking architectural joke (Fulham Palace Road)

Missing anti skid

Sign

Odd road sign, Fulham Palace Road. "Missing anti skid"

Sunday, March 04, 2018

God's Own Junkyard

God's Own Junkyard

Neon art hub, plus cafe, hidden away on a Walthamstow industrial estate, utterly beloved by international Instagram curators. By Diamond Geezer.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Ice-Skating Babushka of Baikal



"When this 76-year-old Russian pensioner needs to herd her cows, she skates across the frozen waters of Lake Baikal to find them." Amazing woman and a beautiful video from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (funded by the US).

Monday, February 12, 2018

Site for new flats - Wood End, Northolt

Car breakers yard (?) demolished, to be replaced with flats (Wood End)

Car breakers yard (?) demolished, to be replaced with flats (Wood End). It's situated alongside the Piccadilly Line near where Wood End Road meets Wood End Gardens, Northolt. It's a pretty good location, all the better now for replacing the ramshackle car place. Though there is perhaps something to be said for ramshackle places, yes. But not that one.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Short story competition accounts for 2017 - and farewell

As usual, I'm letting you know what happened with the competition money. 2017 was the last ever Willesden Herald short story competition. We actually got into the black this time too.

This year, I decided if we're having an intro, we should pay for that as all the other items in the book got paid, and so it was only fair. And then we had an intro last year, so I thought I'd better backdate that as well. And I also equalised the treatment for the cover in that regard. Another thing I'm going to do is pay my accountant to do the trading company accounts out of the competition proceeds. There is a reason behind that, in that the competition is almost the only commercial activity I've done this year. I never allowed for accountant fees in past years, when the company was doing other things at the same time (computer programming contracts). So here goes:

In
Entry fees: £2718.84
(445 entries @£7.50 after Submittable commision & dollar conversion)
Books sold: approx £120
(Net on approx 120 books sold, after cost, p&p.)

Out
Prizes: £1225
Commissioned texts and cover. £300
Adverts on Google Adwords: £50
Adverts on Facebook: £90
Supplies: £25 (approx.)
Book setup: £53 ($75)
Ingram catalog fee: £8.50 ($12 p.a. fee)
Books gratis, including prizes (23 x approx £5 inc p&p): £115

Web server (Webfusion): £233
Company accounts 2016/7: £654 (inc VAT - we're not VAT registered)
(I haven't counted this in previous years - could have - but I was doing more other things back then. Also I still will have to pay the accountant for 2017/8 - and I'm going to lose out on that, and I haven't shown that here, as it "hasn't happened yet".)

Totals:
+2838.84
-2753.50
-----------
=85.34

I'm quitting while I'm ahead!

Steve M

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Cloned macaques, Rees-Mogg & Farage

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Slán le Dolores O'Riordan



Farewell Dolores O'Riordan, r.i.p. (1971 - 2018)

(Acoustic version of "When You're Gone" on Zacoustics by Zégut on RTL2 in Paris, France on March 21, 2007 - YouTube)