Category Archives: Factual

Smiles to tears.

It doesn’t take much to move me from smiles to a break down these days. The stupidest thing can jog a memory or hit a nerve and I lose it. Luckily its normally in the comfort and privacy of our home, where the dogs provide immediate support with worried looks and slobbery kisses to wipe away my tears.
Yesterday I had just such a moment.
Cleaning isn’t one of my favourite pastimes. I do the minimum necessary unless anyone is visiting.; then the house can be blitzed from top to bottom, inside and out in a just a few hours. Yesterday I decided the top of the tv cabinet really needed some attention. The marks in the dust were too obvious to be missed. With reluctant hands i grabbed some cleaning stuff and set to.
On top of the tv cabinet are an array of family photos, as well as Tony’s ashes and a couple of momentos from times gone by. It’s always been like that, the only difference these days is the addition of Tony’s Urn. Strangely its not the urn or its contents that upset me but the photos. I am the only one still living in any of them. Each has a poignant memory, now bittersweet.
I really thought that by now episodes of grief would have been easier and fewer but they still hit like a sucker punch or tsunami, stopping me in my tracks as I pull myself back together and some semblance of normalcy. Grief really is a bastard.



Filed under diaryish., Factual, Personal, Uncategorized

Berwick Street to Barcelona


front cover

Today Berwick Street to Barcelona, memories of love is available to buy.  It’s our story…..


Berwick Street to Barcelona is the story of our love, as seen through my eyes.  It’s one filled with laughs, tears, and plenty of sex.

After meeting in a shady cinema in Berwick Street in 1982 we enjoyed just over 34 amazing years together, before Tony died of cancer in February 2016.

In our time together we lived in first in Shaftesbury Avenue, then in Brockley in south east London, before settling in Vilanova i la Geltru, near Barcelona. We made countless friends along the way, some good, some great, some better forgotten.

Our life together was filled with some incredible adventures and experiences, some fun, others heart-breaking.

This is a compendium of my memories of all those times.


To get your copy send me a request now.  All profits will be going to  Worldwide Cancer Research.  Details below …


Filed under Factual, Notice/News

14 December 2016

WhatsApp: Misunderstanding cleared up. Less to worry about in the wee small hours. Happy Birthday Carla.
To Ikea; Cute puppies on the stairs. Christmas is everywhere. Panic triggers under control; breathe.
Ikea Family means free coffee. Time to watch the eye candy.
Only wanted a living room rug; spent loads more. No change.
Sant Boi. Al Campo. Forgot what I went in for. Oh that’s right a new toothbrush. No Philips on the shelf. Okay: Amazon.
Blueberries and chocolate eclairs going cheap. My name on them both. Dog biscuits and cat treats.  Keep the kids happy.
Siesta. Four cats on my legs, two cats cuddled up beside me.  Doorbell went, everyone scattered.
MRW delivery. Never as nice as SEUR. Hair clippers. Mine broke during last trim. Haircut tomorrow?
Afternoon walks. Cuddy not keen, so just Franki and yours truly. Peaceful in the fields.
Unwrap rug. Cuddy’s very happy not to have a cold belly on the tiles.


Afternoon tea treat.


Filed under Contemporary, diaryish., Factual

What I say and what I whisper

I have just been challenged to write something every day for the next thirty days using a list of daily prompts. The first prompt being the title of this piece. It may be a whole story or just a paragraph….

I am going to endeavor to stay on the rails with this, but if you’re going to follow the next month’s writing I should warn you some of it might be quite bleak, but may also give you an insight to my currently poorly wired mind.  That’s not to say there might be lighter moments as my mind travels the happy days of long gone.


“Okay, Thanks ” 

‘If only… nowhere near okay. At times just low and finding everything just a little too much to handle, but at times positively suicidal and kept alive by the slimmest of margins.  A near perfect existence shot out of the sky, a love lost that has left me floundering and alone.
Self-pitying and wallowing it has been said.
What happened to the go getter, every day is beautiful me? Squashed by or retreated behind a tsunami of grief.
But you don’t really want to hear any of that and ruin your day.’

“Yeah. Really. I’m okay.”

……………………………………..For Tony


Filed under Contemporary, Factual


I’ve not really had the ‘ganas’ to write lately but as the Nanowrimo challenge starts again tomorrow for 30 days I’ve decided to take part despite busy house stuff going on, and have even had a thought about my story.
I have a list of over 150 one word prompts which I am going to use on a daily basis to build said story. If that doesn’t quite work it may be a load of short stories…. I have chosen the first prompt: number 27 – Mistakes, which is the working title for the whole thing.
Anyway I am writing again…. Tomorrow I will post the first couple of paragraphs of the story as it unfolds… it’ll be raw and unedited and I’d love to get your opinions ….
Thank you for hanging on (if you have)


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Me today

Me today: A happy, 54 year old husband, writer & author, teacher, animal loving, expat living my dream in Spain.

2015-01-01 Selfie

And me 10 years ago when we had just arrived in Spain – Looking a bit younger,  A happy, 54 year old  animal loving, expat starting out to live my dream in Spain.

Mark in Don felix 16.05with thanks to for the prompt.

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Thoughts from last year…

Where you slept

Your basket lies empty now, a sad reminder of where you slept.

As I fall asleep each night I gaze at your place, now empty and wanting. Your blankets lie undisturbed, except for where Cuddy has sniffed around. Twice today she visited your basket and came away with a look on her face of sadness or confusion. She misses you too. My evenings are incomplete without our cuddle on the sofa. My mornings are the same without our shared walkies. Cuddy and I retrace our usual route but we both know something is missing.

When I wake in the morning the first thing I see is your bed. For a moment I don’t remember you have gone, then as my mind and my sight clear I see the empty space and my heart lurches again.

I have such beautiful memories of our tender moments, times when you slept in my arms in the summer sunshine or  on the sofa during a winter’s afternoon. memories of the wild times when you ran like a crazy creature chasing things that weren’t there, or that I couldn’t see, chasing leaves in autumn, chasing, running, chasing.

The cats sometimes use your bed, but not at night, yet. It was always your place and they still know and respect that.

My wonderful man you will be forever in my heart, and your presence will always be in our home. I must trust that you are no longer in any pain, I must trust that you have gone to a better place, for anything else would be too wrong.

Xali, you are my star, a wondrous creature that brought us so much yet wanted so little in return. For this and so much more I thank you.


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