Established 2003. Now incorporating The Sudbury Hill Harrow and Wherever End Times

Monday, December 31, 2012

Africa - BBC trailer

Don't forget this when you're angry with other parts of the BBC!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Signs of the times

Empty bookshop, empty bellies?

Duelling planning applications:
one to redevelop "the piazza",
the other to designate it "a village green"

Friday, December 21, 2012

Can't wait for the Chilcot report?

Life and War with MF Delgado
"Before Hutton, before Butler, before Chilcot, Mikey Fatboy Delgado was looking into the matter... In the spring of 2003 the Iraq war is underway and Mikey is almost all in favour of it. It makes for good television and is improving his sex life. If only the BBC would sort out those green pictures of fighting in the dark he might even be prepared to cough up for a licence. And if only corrupt policing and the amount that Blair grins weren't so unsettling he would be able to relax and enjoy watching the highlights of the fighting more."

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Last call for short stories

Don't know if the world will end tomorrow but it's the closing date for entries to the annual short story gala. If you want the one-off mug, inscribed "The Willesden Short Story Prize 2013", plus money, publication and last but least, immortality, here is how to enter.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Live music!!!

Robyn Hitchcock and friends encore "All The Young Dudes" at the Three Kings pub

Monday, December 03, 2012

Competition update, end of November 2012

Jenny Barden's novel Mistress of the Sea has been published by Ebury Press in hardback, with the paperback to follow. The word is it has been a runaway success in bookstores, including at Heathrow airport. Jenny's story "Propitiation" in New Short Stories 3 was an excerpt from her then work in progress.

Brian Coleman, whose emotional story The Bedroom was included in New Short Stories 5, has published a collection of his stories called Bright Ripples in a Dark Pool for Amazon Kindle.

Steve Moran has done an interview for Duotrope's listing of the Willesden Herald competition. You might not be able to read it after December, as they have announced that starting from January 2013, there will be a membership fee to access their literary markets database in full.

The rate of entries coming in has gathered pace but we still need a lot more, so please round them up, haul them in, keep them doggies rolling. And. That.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

More better sooner repeater

As usual at this time of year, I worry about the number of entries to the short story competition. We need more. As to the quality, I'm finding that some fail due to what I would call general clumsiness. Sentences that should flow and follow may have been over-edited and become herky-jerky. Instead of them being a series of stepping stones there may be unfathomable chasms between each and the next. However, I still see a few interesting stories.


Official sponsor!

Friday evening walk

Donnington Road

Willesden Sports Centre

Willesden Stadium

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lenin's Tomb: "Israeli psychopath"

"Hamid Abu Daqqa was playing football in his Real Madrid shirt when he was shot through the stomach by IDF troops several weeks ago. This was significant for the Palestinians and the wider Middle East, but not for anyone else. Not a single UK broadcaster knows his name. But do they know Muhammad al-Hums, Ranan Arafat, Omar Mashharawi, Isam Abu al-Miza, Hiba Mashharawi Turk, Mahmoud Abu Sawawin, Marwan Abu al-Qumsan, Walid Abadla, Hanin Tafish, Faris Basyouni, or Muhammad Iyad Sadallah? These are but a small sample of the children, pregnant women and elderly Palestinians killed in recent days by Israel. Not a single UK broadcaster knows a single one of these names.

Anyone with an internet connection can hear live feed of the airjets, drones and helicopter fighters strafing the Gaza sky. If you want the sonic experience of airborne death, it's available to you."  

The beginning of Lenin's Tomb commentary "Israeli psychopath" by Richard Seymour

World market and library fair

Library books on display in the concourse

The world market is a regular Saturday event

Cupcakes from the world market in Willesden library centre.
(Somebody's already had one of the Smarties!)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Poverty in Brent

From Brent Citizens' Advice Bureau on Twitter: "We have given out 34 food vouchers this week, including to a pregnant woman and a family with young children."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Gathering: Dear Mr Kenny

"Dear Mr Kenny, I will not hesitate to invite friends to Ireland when it once again becomes a country I can be proud of. A country that lets a woman die because of archaic religious beliefs is not one I want to show off. Legislate for X."

People ask, 'how can this happen in the 21st century?' (Irish Times)

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Belfast tour

Titanica by Rowan Gillespie (Titanic Quarter)

Titanic memorial, City Hall, erected 2012

Poster wall, Falls Road,
new mural to be unveiled 8/10/2012

Sinn Féin HQ West Belfast, with Bobby Sands mural

Section of the Peace Wall, West Belfast

IRSP murals

Front of The Crown Bar

Europa Hotel, viewed from the Crown Bar restaurant

Welcome to the Shankill Road

"It's All Good" graffiti, Shankill Road

Welcome to Sandy Row

George Best mural

UVF mural 1

UVF mural 2

Orange hall

Orange hall silhouette

Tribute to equal rights campaigners

International Day of Peace mural, "Imagine"

Harry Lemon

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Parakeets in Willesden

Rowdon Avenue

A flock of parakeets in a silver birch
These parakeets are newcomers this year. I heard and spotted one about a week ago on two separate occasions as it flew and across the rooftops. Now there's a flock of at least six or more. Pairs of them were flying around in circles, level at tree top height, squawking and back onto the tree. They have a raucous, cackling cry, which I never heard before and is not at all melodious. A magnificent sight when they are flying!


All Souls College Oxford sells Mark Twain library for flats

"To the Warden and Fellows of All Souls College, Oxford." A most heart-rending appeal in a truly horrific situation, unique in its specific brutality and ignominy. Also a carefully reasoned and inarguable case.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Jimmy Saveloy joins Herald

We're delighted to welcome Jimmy Saveloy to our team of news bloggers. He will be focussing in closely on the Big Society, the voluntary sector and charities, especially residential institutions. Plus he has some ideas for fundraising events.

Not really.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Still want to keep Heathrow?

The London estuary airport should replace Heathrow as the capital's main airport. Heathrow should be downsized and eventually closed and replaced with housing and parks.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Reverie on a Theme

It’s a hunger.
It’s a raft in a flood.
It’s a pitiful wound.
The tide in a lonely bay,
insanity of a saint,
the echo of silence,
sleepless weeping,
call of the nightjar,
triangulated moonbeam,
shared time,
when summer performs cartwheels.

It’s a song on a loop,
merry-go-round of the heart,
plaintiff squeak of a mouse.
It’s waiting for a letter,
the sound of your own name,
transfiguration of another’s,
the grumble of a pet.

It’s a mating call,
howl of the night wolf,
dove on a windowsill
waiting for bread,
help of a teacher for an idiot,
note left out on a table -

“Your dinner is in the oven.”

Stephen Moran

Friday, October 26, 2012

Unpublished Cigarette Packet

A la D.T.

Till and never till the waving earth
Unleaves him with the ash of barking trees,
Will and never will the conquered
Chestnut nightmare sting the bees,
Jarred on honeydew and lime.

For once in a bishop's soutane soaring,
A moon went riding on the haggard
When all of Christendom was snoring,
Coarse as a belfry-batted blaggard,
Polite as the rood of time.

Till and never till the cashiered soul,
Demobbed as a rookery rifle-shot,
Wills and bewails the testament told,
Feathered down in a satin cot,
Swung for a capital crime.

Oh harrow me sideways, if I ever
Desecrate the rushy lake of marrow
With one red cherry stone whatsoever,
Or deflower the bed of passion's farrow
With an ill-winded rhyme.

Stephen Moran

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October update

October 2. Henrietta Rose-Innes has taken the runner-up prize of £2,500 in the BBC 2012 international short story competition for her story "Sanctuary". The results were announced at a ceremony in London, broadcast live on Radio 4 arts show Front Row. Miroslav Penkov took the first prize with "East of the West". Details

October 24. A. J. Ashworth has won the Negative Press short story competition. Judge Evie Wyld says: ‘It was the voice that attracted me and Nicholas Hogg to this one. Her story is strong and understated at the same time.’ Details

For more news about previous finalists and prizewinners, see Willesden Herald short story competition. Closing date December 21.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012