Going Coronuts, and the Patience War concept.

We are weeks into social distancing and lockdown in London, and overall I’m handling it fine. I’m fortunate to still have a job and a family for company, yet despite that my nature is to crave social contact, and I miss it. I miss flying, I miss going to pubs and restaurants, I don’t miss getting on the underground but I do miss what is at the other end of the trip! This is a 3 day weekend due to a public holiday, but it doesn’t feel like it.

Writing is a hobby and passion, you’d think lockdown would be a perfect opportunity to bang our a few stories or even a novel, after all I’m not going out am I? Yet, for some reason that hasn’t happened, the effort of figuring out how to keep the family supplied when basics couldn’t be found in the store, the work in setting up new social networks and figuring out ways of communicating has drained time away. I don’t know what the toilet paper hoarding was about, people are worried about a respiratory virus so they enough of the stuff to keep their rear end comfy for at least the next decade! Baby wipes too for some reason, why you need those if you’re going to be stuck in your house I don’t know. If I was going to hoard I would have gone for stuff with calories, personally. “They starved to death but their butts were clean” sounds like the beginning of a comic story, maybe. Some other time, perhaps, when I’m out of all other ideas.

So now the “novelty” is over. Skype, Zoom, and other tools have become part of the daily family routine, the kids are getting virtual lessons from school and I can find actual yeast in the store! I’m keeping up with friends online, going running or biking almost every day, and everything is firing on all cylinders. Except it isn’t. I’m finding it getting harder to keep this up, and getting edgy. I’ve invented a new portmanteau to go along with covidiot and quarantini, which is Coronuts. I’m sure I will survive and not be found running naked with flaming hoarded toilet paper wrapped around my head, but I can’t promise not to get grouchy.

I’m going to remember how this feels, the groundhog day, same as yesterday and will be tomorrow grind. I feel like I’m living in a Philip Glass piece, one key repeated over and over until I’m desperate for it to change. It may be strange, but it’s useful.

For years I’ve had a novel series idea in my head, I call it “The Patience War”. It’s in the near future and the Earth is under attack (isn’t it always?) by an unknown assailant. In order to protect itself, humanity must send some of its very best on years long patrol missions. 6 years in a ship with not much more space than the ISS, eating algae grown from your own waste products, breathing recycled air, and talking to the same 4 people under the ever-present threat of the enemy or spacecraft failure millions of miles from any possible help.

What would it feel like to be part of that crew? How can I convey the isolation, loneliness or boredom? I’m getting a taste of it now, not remotely the same level, but something to work with – a small image I can magnify and explore.

Maybe I can turn a negative into a positive, at least in one small way. Maybe it’s inspiration.

Acid Plains – a short story

When I started my first real writing project I was planning a short story, thinking I wouldn’t have everything I needed for a book. After a thorough outline I realized I had more than enough for a full length novel, 120 thousand words later it was done and far too long. Something had to go, so whole subplots disappeared. There was one cut part I saved, a self-contained short story embedded in the larger tale. Acid Plain as I’m calling it was fun to write, so I dusted it off, capped it off beginning and end and here it is!

If you like this story there’s more to be had on this site.


In the UK Easter Monday is a public holiday and I decided to use the time to put new tires on my mountain bike, a new thing for me, usually I’d pay some hippy in flip-flops more than the bike is worth to do it for me. The previous owner in his less than infinite wisdom put slick road tires on it, and at times it would skate around gravel tracks like Ice Capades. I hate Ice Capades worse than raw octopus, so I went onto Chain Reaction Cycles and found that there are more tire options for my bike than my car, fortunately they have some handy guides and I virtually plonked my credit card down on tires, tubes and, I admit, bar ends. I know many proper bike people sniff at them but I like them.

A couple of useful youtube videos and I was ready, and after a fair amount of prying and swearing the new tires and tubes were on, but my front wheel didn’t spin. I fixed that and was proudly spinning my now freed front wheel when my finger got caught and it ripped part of my fingernail off, which put a damper on celebrations a bit.

It’s one of my primary typing fingers, and it’s going to be out of commission for a couple of weeks, but it hasn’t stopped me from finishing my website! In the end I opted for a simpler design, and concentrated on getting the content organized. I’ll be using it to keep you updated on my writing and other hopefully less painful aspects of my life! I’ll be migrating some of my old posts from a previous website onto here in the next few days, then I can get back to writing!


It’s a beautiful Easter weekend here in London and the family and I are on lockdown because of coronavirus, the perfect time to buckle down and finish that website I’ve been meaning to do for such a long time! Except it isn’t. I’m discovering that no time is ever a good time, because I want to be writing! But, without a website I can’t reach out to you, dear reader, so I’m going to buckle down and get this thing done if it kills me! Actually, I may stop before then, if it’s killing me I’m obviously doing it wrong…

Anyway, this site is all about me. I like to cook, I like to fly airplanes, fix cars and mess around with stuff. I knock up steps out of old palates when the need arises, and I want to tell you all about this. But mostly I want to show you my writing! I’ve had ideas for novels and worlds going back for decades, and I finally got around to putting them down on the page, now I want to show them to you. If you like them, share them, and tell me what you think! I’ll be listening, if I can ever get this website finished!