Extract from “Escape From Winter”

I’ve spent most of this last month back in cold, rainy England. Even though it happens every year, I’m constantly surprised at how August really is nothing special in England. In my memory it was always great, but I suppose that that was probably an assorted collection of days from June, July and September. Ho hum.

Anyway, in all that time, I have done no writing, except a journal with my twin brother, as we travelled around Wales, England and Scotland. Perhaps I could find an amusing extract from that and post it here at some point.

In the mean time, here is a little manuscript researching I’ve been doing. Yes, oooooooh. You see, my grandmother came round to visit my parents, and brought with her a whole host of materials and photos she inherited from her father. His name was W.M. Ridgwell, and is the inspiration for my pen name. (At the time, I didn’t know the name was without a central “e”, and I’ve been constantly debating since then whether or not to change my pen name, the problem being, it’s part of the web address and I can’t work out how to change that.) He wrote two published books – one I think a vanity publishing (if that’s the term) of his autobiography, and the other “The Forgotten Tribes of Guyana”, from his time as Organisational Adviser to the United Force of Guyana. My grandmother brought with her a third, unfinished book. Its name is “Escape from Winter”, and it is part autobiography, part guide book for the Canary Islands, composed in a Franco-ruled, pre-mass tourism time, and designed to encourage those elderly Brits who suffered from the cold to migrate. I haven’t finished reading it yet, but I’m really enjoying it, partly for an insight into a relative, partly to see how times and writing styles have changed, and partly from a Spanish-speaking, historical perspective. It’s great to find myself bonding with a relative who died when I was 7, and seeing what we had in common and what set us apart.

Continue reading “Extract from “Escape From Winter””

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Anniversary, Road Trip, and a New Adventure

Wow, Blog, it’s been a month. But what a month. First Easter at home, then a Road Trip with my twin that went from Shropshire to London to Plymouth, then after a ferry from Santander to Barcelona. Then 4 nights in Barcelona, before a mad dash through France to catch the ferry home.

I'm the shorter one

Somewhere in the middle of this internet-short, adventure-heavy excursion, a milestone passed. This blog has been around for a year, and it’s still going. Whether or not it’s going STRONG is open to debate, but overall, I’m quite pleased with it. You would think at the end of a year, it’s time to look at the package and review it. Fix it up, make it better. And you know, maybe I will, but not yet. One thing that may come about, though, is a great deal more of my personal information.

WHY? you ask (with dramatic flair). This is a blog about your writing! you might feasibly continue. Well, that’s true, and I have no intention of changing that. However, despite being about for a year, most of my readers are my friends, and since none of my current friends are going to Japan with me, they might want to know what’s going on in my life out there. So there’s going to be a new Category on the side. It’s going to be called “Japan”, and it’ll go with the “Background” stuff. If you’re interested in just the writing, then go to the “Poetry”, “Short Stories” or “Stage” sections.

Writing is still happening, but at a temporarily slow pace. Expect a comeback sometime soon. And I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who bother to follow this blog who aren’t my mother or twin (who have an obligation to keep up-to-date).

I fly to Japan on Wednesday morning. Between now and then I need to bring some semblance of order to my life so the only things I need to worry about in Japan are Japanese… urk!

See you on the other side of the world!

Too Much Poetry

I’m back, Blog.

And not just me. My computer’s back, and running smoothly once again. HUGE thanks and gratitude to Brenda and her lovely husband Damian.

What’s new?

Well, in brief summary:

  • I lost my camera while taking little Lily around Barcelona Zoo. Getting a new one…. sooner or later.
  • I’m planning a Road Trip straight after Easter, from Shropshire to Barcelona and back again, with my twin brother. I should be posting some of the photos from it here. Obviously, that’ll be after I get a new camera.
  • It’s starting to warm up in Barcelona. I can walk around without a jacket most days. Not today, though – it’s raining, an event that’s now so irregular, it actually affects my behaviour. If this continues, I’ll become truly Spanish and always stay home when it’s raining.
  • Stopped my Spanish classes, but still learning it a bit. Started teaching myself Japanese too. Feel my Spanish isn’t good enough, but want to get started on Japanese…. we’ll see how that goes.
  • Trying to come up with plans for after Japan, mid-August. Maybe I’ll come back to Barcelona?
  • Doing both Improvised Comedy and Stand Up Comedy. Hopefully performing as a warm up act for some professional comedians on the 12th of March.
  • Reading.

If you need more details on any of the above, well, you’ll have to email me or something.

I’m trying to get back into the flow of writing again, but it’s proving hard to kickstart myself. One of my eternal problems is self-censorship. If it’s of no standard at all, I don’t think it’s worth writing down. I need to train myself not to press the delete button for now, and to just type type type until I have enough to go back through.

Anyway, enough of that. Here’s a poem I was getting close to content with before my computer crashed… now lovingly restored.

Continue reading “Too Much Poetry”