Category craic

sobering

In the last couple of months, two old mates have died. They were people I knew well enough to share a laugh and a joke with, people I spent a lot of time with back in the day when we…

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resolutions

I’ve started 2014 with a few New Year resolutions. In no particular order, they are: 1. cut down on alcohol 2. shift a few pounds 3. get fit 4. seize the day 5. find adventures 6. abolition of a system…

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eye off the ball

Oops. Two months since I last added a blog to the website. That’s a bit slack. But then, in my defence, I’ve been a bit busy. City Baby, which I helped write (and which I may have mentioned before, once…

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budget

It’s amazing what you can do with next to no money behind you. You get inventive, because you have to. You call in favours. You work with people who get what you’re doing and are happy to give their time…

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struggle

All too often, I’m the first to make a joke about it. To quip that being a poet’s an easy life, that it’s largely a matter of lazing about watching the world go by and waiting for inspiration, that it…

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rebellion

I love Blackpool. I really do. Last Thursday I headed up there in the van – just as I did last year – to make my way to Rebellion Festival, which takes over the Winter Gardens for a four day…

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fair to middling

That’d be the traditional way of describing my month. Fair to middling. An archetypal British expression to downplay your excitement at how things are going, draw as little attention to yourself as possible, and do all you can not to…

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foreign country

The poor are a foreign country. It’s a comforting thought. Or at least, I guess it must be, because the Iain Duncan Smiths and the Richard Littlejohns and the Melanie Phillips of this world spend a lot of time banging…

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city baby

At last, it’s done. The autobiography I’ve been working on for the past couple of years was handed over to the printers just before the end of June. You might think that after all that time there’d be no need…

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blue peter

Life recently has been a little like an episode of Blue Peter. Not because I’ve been cutting things up with round-ended scissors, not because I’ve been using old Fairy Liquid bottles – with the branding carefully taped over so as…

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whodathunkit?

Life’s a funny old game. A few years ago I found myself sitting down for a pint with Steve Ignorant, front man of punk legends Crass, and wondering how to answer his suggestion that I worked with him on writing…

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open letter to Iain Duncan Smith

Dear IDS, things can’t be easy right now. But then, when were they ever? You’ve spent your whole life grafting away, and what have you got to show for it? Nothing. You’ve been the nearly man so often, and that’s…

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