Still harvesting the apples in our back garden reminded me of this….


Climbing autumn fences

Barbed and berried

Looking out for the farmer

And the cool snout

Of his shotgun. Spitting pellets of old metal that catch a goodun

In your slow arse

Creep over to the trees

The orchard a neat system of lines

Regimental one by one

We pick as many as we can carry, thick-skinned apples

Hammocked in our jumpers

Inside out bellies

Running the mile back to the estate,

Past the infant school, the offie, the corner shop

The gavvers in their car,

Dad in the pub

Over the train tracks, electric braces

Rigid current all the way to France

You live in the Garden of England

They tell us

Dickens the Romans Thomas a Becket William the Conquerer Anne Boleyn Churchill Darwin

All that history, them books

We keep running.

Switching Up Point of View


As so often seems to be the case, just recently I encountered the whole life imitating art and vice versa cliché. I was stuck, in both my personal life and with my work, the wheels were spinning but I had no purchase – I was burning hot and running out of juice. So, I flipped my perspective in both areas.

I had a wake up call of sorts that shook me up and reminded me that I have much to be grateful for, that I needed to clear the complacent gunk out of my eyes and re-see my life for all its joys and richness. I needed, in short, to see what I had from an outsider’s viewpoint to appreciate what I have.

This lesson carried into work too – my current project, a novel, has been stagnating, getting more overwrought and overworked as I tried to ‘fix’ it. So I changed perspective, literally, rewriting key scenes from another character’s point of view… And it worked, at least it’s worked in so far as there’s life and space in the text again. The first draft is finished and I’m editing and redrafting.

So there’s the lesson – in life and writing – flip your perspective and see the world from another POV. It works.

August’s Apples

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Extract from Wounding

An apple tree grows at the end of the lawn; its branches thick and fertile, as she approaches it throws black shadows across her face, bars of cool shade in the bright sunlight. Apples hang from the branches, a hundred red-green orbs studding the bark, visible through the thick leaves. It seems magical, producing, fruiting without their aid or husbandry, cajoled by bees and wandering insects, silently maternal in the garden. Under the tree the grass is pocked with rotten fallen fruit, the apple’s flesh softened and melting into the soil like soap, the harvest squandered. Fodder for wasps, which then sting her children. The sticky sweet waste appalls her. She has always bought their apples, neat and green, wrapped in cellophane, unsullied by nature, almost as if manufactured not grown. When here, if she made the effort, if she could trust them, were more apples than they could eat. She feels sick, her stomach rising towards her mouth, sick at the waste, and sick at the sight of the brown mush, the bright optimism of the apples corrupted by dirt and rot.

So the Doves sneak peek of inspiration board….


An award-winning journalist returns to his hometown to report on the discovery of a body at the site of the government’s latest high-speed rail scheme. Little does he suspect that he will be implicated in a 20 year-old murder, he’ll be accused of corruption or that his long lost best friend, Melanie, isn’t lost at all.