I wear two hats when I write this blog of mine. First and foremost, I manage a small charity in a small Scottish town called Dumfries. Ours is a front door that opens onto the darker corners of the crumbling world that is Britain 2015. We hand out 5000 emergency food parcels a year in a town that is home to 50,000 souls. Then, as you can see from all of the book covers above, I am also a thriller writer. If you enjoy the blog, you might just enjoy the books. The link below takes you to the whole library in the Kindle store. They can be had for a couple of quid each.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A world far away

It's Saturday morning and I have slept way longer than I usually do. I feel kind of disorientated. They say as you get older you sleep less. Certainly seems that way with me. Waking up weekend late and getting the day going slowly with coffee, nicotine and the paper is a memory of life twenty years ago. Except instead of a paper made from woodpulp the Guardian is now on my laptop. And Embassy Filter have been succeeded by Camel. It's coloudy out and the world is quiet. Sixty million Brits are reading about 600 Brits fiddling expenses and we are all pissed off because we are losing our jobs and our houses are longer viaable cash machines that can deliver new conservatories and cars with onboard computers and windscreen wipers that know it's about to rain.

In the e paper there was a video from a tearful poet in Tehran dreading what the new day is about to bring now that the scary eyed bloke with the turban and the long white beard has promised to start shooting people should they dare to have a public moan. In the background is Tehran at night. Not clear and big mooned like the picture I have chosen. Just black with splatters of white and orange light in half formed tower blocks. The Iranian night is full of sound as thousands upon thousands of people stand at their open windows and howl out their rage. Most call to God. Allah akbar! Allah akbar! It seems so like footage we sometimes see from night-time prisons when the cons shout at each other from behind locked cells. Should only one howl at the night, then the warders would open up his cell and sort him out. But when all of them shout there is nothing anyone can do. Which of course makes it so crystal clear that Tehran is merely a giant prison. I don't suppose they would mind all that much if their leaders dipped the public purse for some new curtains or boxes of Cornflakes for breakfast. They are rather more concerned that their leaders are about to cut them in half with bursts of machine gun fire.

Which of course is why they shout at the night. Shouting in the light might be about to become a whole new ball game. And all of a sudden my quiet Saturday morning seems something to be treasured. And you know what? If our leaders want some nice new furniture covers from Laura Ashley then that's fine by me so long as they leave the army in the barracks.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Nothing like bit of positive feedback!

It has to be said that my blog has hardly set the world on fire to date. Not the biggest of surprises I guess. The epicentre of the blogaspere would appear to be Tehran as I write and there certainly ain't no million strong gangs of pissed off citizens marching the streets of Dumfries right now. However, today was something of a red letter day for this aspiring blogger. I opened the front door of the office to find a letter waiting on the mat. Hand written to First Base, not me. Inside was a carefully folded piece of A3 on which the text of my blog 'The Kids of Jadeland' was printed. A couple of typos were marked and a line of highly constructive criticism had been added at the foot of the page. 'What an arsehole you are!' Other than that, there was no indication of which part of the blog had caused such offense. Never mind that. No way was this reader about to use the feedback section provided by No way. He/she printed it out on what must have been a very impressive printer to be able to handle A3. Then it was envelope, stamp and a trip to the postbox. Now there's real committment for you. And all for the sheer pleasure of telling me what a complete and utter arsehole I am. In writing! I guess I best respond to my anonymous correspondent. Since the postmark was Carlisle, it would appear you must be local. So why not push the boat out next time and come in for a brew and you can tell me what an arsehole I am to my face. Surely that would be loads more fun. No need for any high tech either. You just open your mouth and form the works. 'What .... an ... arsehole... you are!' There you go. Not that hard. I look forward to it. We're open from 12 to 4, Monday to Thursday and the kettle is on already. No need to be coy. After all, Dumfries might not have a million raging demonstrators on the streets, but we do have the luxury of free speech. See you soon, though I won't hold my breath.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Bloody phone in shows

I wrote this ages ago and never got around to posting it. having re-read it I am perfectly happy to stand four square behind all sentiments expressed herein! The image by the way is one of Bromsgrove from whence call in show bastards with names like Kaz seem to all come from. It will all come clear as you read on. Or not.

I mean, why do we bother?

At about five past six on Sunday I climbed into the car after Liverpool 1- Everton 1 and switched on the radio. Why? Am I in the habit of boiling the kettle and pouring over my head? No. Do I tape United winning 4 -0 with Ronaldo getting three and then watch it 32 times with popcorn? No. So I'm not completely daft. And yet I am still mug enough to tune into 606 to be subjected to call after call of absolute and abject shite from so called Reds, most of who seem to be called names like Kaz and live in places like Bromsgrove or Bournmouth. Their moaning message is always crystal clear. Liverpool are in complete and utter crisis and doomed, doomed, doomed. They bleat on about how Rafa should be fired within the hour and nine hundred zillion quid be made available asap to save us. They are all convinced that Man City will overtake us in the next five minutes. And through it all, I get the sense of thousands and thousands of fellow Reds getting wound up like clocks rigged with Semtex and yelling at the radio 'CRISIS, WHAT CRISIS YOU STUPID BROMSGROVE WANKER! YEAH, YEAH. MASSIVE CRISIS. AS IN JOINT TOP OF THE LEAGUE, LAST 16 OF THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE AND FIFTH ROUND OF THE CUP. OH AND BY THE WAY WE'RE ALMOST AT THE END OF JANUARY AND WE'VE ONLY GOT BEAT TWICE IN ALL COMPETITIONS SO WHY DON'T YOU JUST PUT THE PHONE DOWN AND PISS OFF AND BE A MANC!" So you get the picture. Basically it is a case of bastards, bastards, bastards. So do I switch off and bang in a CD? Do I hell. I suffer the bastards from Bromsgrove and Bournmouth all the way out of town and onto the M58 and beyond and harbour dreams of tapping into some hyper CIA technology that could locate the exact position of Kaz in Bromsgrove and then do a Gaza on his house with a Hellfire missile or something. But switch off? No I don't switch off. Which I figure has to go down as self harm