In his 1934 publication, JB Priestly described his journey between Bolton and Manchester as; “the ugliness is so complete that it is almost exhilarating. It challenges you to live there." These days people from Bolton don’t have rickets but they do have funny bones. Check out Peter Kay (Phoenix Nights  and Car Share): Diane Morgan (Cunk) Paddy Mc Guinness (Top Gear), Sophie Willan (Alma’s Not Normal), Sarah Cox (Radio Two DJ), Vernon Kay (TV host). Perhaps its in the waters?I’m married (45 years and counting), with two sons and two beautiful grand-daughters.
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Endlessly inventive, intimate, and provocative, this memoir-in-essays is a celebration of the strange and exquisite state of falling in love, whether with a painting or a person, that interweaves incisive commentary on modern life, feminism, art and sex with the author's own experiences of obsession, heartbreak, and past trauma......A Pop  Song, indeed


Houston is described as a frontier-rough town with icehouses selling beer by the gallon on payday, pest infestations right out of a horror film, and the kind of freedom mischievous kids dream of, in Chinaberry Sidewalks, Rodney's tribute to his parents and his remarkable youth. Full of the most satisfying kind of nostalgia, it is hardly recognizable as a celebrity memoir. Rather, it's a story of coming-of-age at a particular time, place, and station, crafted as well as the perfect song.


Words are murdered to dissect by every individual reader, Wordsworth suggest, and the evidence gathered may be used against the author.

AUTHOR  sends SNOWMAN on light years of travel

Francesca Dow, managing director of Penguin Random House children’s books, said: “Raymond Briggs was unique. He has inspired generations of creators of picture books, graphic novels, and animations. He leaves an extraordinary legacy, and a big hole.”

of stories and songs: MCMURTRY MADE + bits and pieces

“I’ve got a skinny little desk in my office,” he reveals, “where I can tape lyrics on the wall: verses on the left, choruses in the middle, bridges on the right. I don’t write down the melody because that stays in my head. The chords are intuitive once I have the melody.”
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I found Difficult Women  very easy to read, which is not something I can always claim when reading about Feminism. The book has been described in other place as witty, hilarious, rigorous, unforgettable and devastating.
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SUMMER PAGE-TURNERS: books for the beach

And I will read, and probably leave until last to do so, a book called Naomi Judd, a book that has perhaps been published in haste, talking about the recent death of Naomi Judd, the mother half of my favourite country female duo The Judds. We reported on this in an article called on 25th May in The Judds: A Tragedy Of Our Times, which you can find in our easy to negotiate archives containing more than 650 arts related features.

DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH: the gemology of Shawn Colvin

Colvin was recognized for her career accomplishments when she was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Trailblazer Award at the 2016 Americana Honors and Awards Show. Presenting her with this prestigious award was Bonnie Raitt, who said Said Raitt, ´She’s simply one of the best singers I’ve ever heard — and a truly gifted and deep songwriter and guitarist… She was ground-breaking when she emerged and continues to inspire me and the legions of fans and other singer/songwriters coming up in her wake´.

MIKE GARRY; a poet who  knows Mens´ Mournings

I have seen Mike Garry (right) working with students in both primary and secondary schools and have watched him work to the very point of inciting a riot and them creating a thoughtful silence, a period of reflection from the class.