Over time I have attended various courses on writing.

These have not had any lasting effect on my ability to actually write anything.

As an after-effect of these different efforts I have various short pieces of work with no home to go to.

I can’t see that any of these will be the foundation of some best seller.

I am gambling that displaying your old work has no deleterious effects on future writing.

On that assumption I will put them out there warts and all.

On the basis that it is possible someone might get some small pleasure from reading them.

From some old writing exercise I have this short piece of writing that did not make the grade.

The idea was to describe a character. But the feedback was that the character was one-dimensional.

In fact the reflection was that he was a little shit and that this made the end satisfying to read.

I was very sympathetic to Mike and I quite liked him. In some aspects I felt an affinity with him. So it is sad that he did not make the grade as a character.


Mike gripped the Momo steering wheel, his knuckles pale. Petite hands, not like a man’s at all, slender wrists and puny forearms, which are currently in tension. So that the slim muscles are clear.

His acne scarred face reddened with aggression.

Mike barks out “Move you bastard!”

He weaves his lowered Vauxhall Nova towards the right-hand side.

The darkened purple interior vibrates in time to a huge subwoofer behind his left ear – “50 Cent”. Mike adjusts the baseball cap forwards a little and leans forwards. His nose inches from the screen; he revs his engine with a whoosh of the dump valve.

The ash from his fag is forming a scree slope down the front of his T-shirt. His clothes are market-stall “designer”; all sportswear accented with gold jewellery from Argos. Today Mike wants to look cool.

Finally, he has passed his test at the ripe old age of 18, old for a license. He would have to tell them he passed months ago. They couldn’t know he was a new car virgin.

He’d had to be nice to his god-awful parents for a whole week now. He’d finally persuaded his dad to give him the money for this real bitching car. He could tell them it was all his own work – they’d think he was cool then.

His face ape-like in concentration screwed up. With ears stuck out at right angles beneath his close-shaven hair.

He looks for even a minute gap in the traffic “Fuckin’ Wankin’ Granddad, why not fuck off and die”

He edges his lurid green front spoiler close to the boot in front and flashes the four-way headlights. His laceless trainers describe a dance on the “custom” pedals until the unbalanced car slews sideways.

He leers, “Hope that scared the old bastard!”

He wanted to arrive like a star in “2 Fast 2 Furious” in a rush, lights blazing. He wanted to impress (particularly Roz – she looked great in that pink mini skirt last week). But this idiot was holding him up. He felt his heart beat faster – he wanted to kill him in a serious way. He could imagine ripping out his still beating heart. Kicking the gagging corpse around until this feeling ran cold.

He hit the horn hard and then zigzagged out until he was parallel, nothing would stop him now.

What was this? The old guy was accelerating, fucker, he would have him. Mike plants the accelerator hard into the purple carpet. He feels the blood pumping past his calf muscle as he exerts great pressure to keep it there.

Sweat springs from his forehead as he looks ahead at the oncoming bend.

He won’t give way; this git will never take him. Every muscle in his 5’ 7” frame taut he grits his teeth. He will win this or die, the evil fucker.

The Speedo needle crawls upwards, the corner, not past yet, he won’t brake, never. He turns to give the guy the finger as the Volvo truck rounds the bend.

Things You Really Will be Doing Now You’re 50 – Part Three

Following on from part two of the things you are going to find when you’re 50.

Ten more items from the same list:

  1. For a long time you have prided yourself on how laid-back you are. Not for you excitement over the miners’ strike, Milli Vanilli, or the Falkland’s war. Recently you are getting red-faced; yelling at the television like some Alf Garnett caricature. You start to avoid certain national newspapers and Question Time on the BBC.
  2. You’ve crammed as much into your life as you thought possible; considered that every moment was a busy moment. Now juggling has become more frenetic. You consider ways to do more: reading whilst going to the loo; learning whilst sleeping; writing your memoirs whilst stood on one foot pulling on a sock. You wonder whether sleep should be optional.
  3. Posters, brochures, TV adverts you notice are predominantly in favour of young people. You’ve never noticed this before. “Young people are our future”; “young people deserve a chance”; “think of the children”. You’ve been excluded from important people in society and no one gave you any warning.
  4. Skimpy underwear for young people is exciting, no underwear is considered provocative. For some reason now big underwear is appealing; if it doesn’t reach your belly-button you no longer consider buying it.
  5. Gatherings of people seem to generate enough noise to rival a Motörhead concert. You find yourself avoiding socialising; instead sitting in to watch repeats of familiar programmes.
  6. People now find it a great idea to deny how old you are. “You’re 50; you don’t look it”; “I never would have thought that you were 50”; “50? You look much younger”. Even though you know that it’s fabricated, you still like it and work to pretend it is genuine.
  7. There are gaps in your hearing – tones that you can no longer hear. You attend hearing tests and no one can detect these gaps. Oh there’s hearing loss but that’s “normal” for your age. People you like start to use those tones to communicate. “What?” is now a conversational feature.
  8. Despite appearances, as far as you’re concerned you are still 18. You feel 18. You’re sure you think like 18. If only your knee would stop hurting you’d give that snowboarding a try. Other people see you as some hoary old hermit. This is confusing. For some reason you’re no longer allowed to go rock climbing, roller blading or clubbing and you’re unable to understand why.
  9. Things that happened yesterday as far as you’re concerned: the music of your youth; the attitudes of your teen years; the clothes people chose. These are now referred to as “classic” or “old school”. Those times are regarded as morally the Wild West. Those who lived through them are regarded with suspicion; as borderline depraved.
  10. You’ve ceased to be described by absolutes. When you were younger you might have been “good at maths”; “good at running” or, if you were very lucky “good” with the opposite sex. Now “for your age” becomes a universal qualifier “your vision isn’t bad for your age”; “your blood pressure is good for your age” or if you’re very lucky “you look good for your age”. You’ve lost the ability to be just “good” at anything and have joined a group of people older than 50 who must therefore be less “good” than everybody else.

If you missed part one you will find it here:
If you missed part two you will find it here:

Watch out for part four here: