I like festivals. They make notches in the year which is  what they were always supposed to do — like memory knots. They told farmers when to plant this and how to husband that. And they have the added advantage of helping me decide what’s for dinner 🙂 Today it’ll be good pork sausages with savoury rice and sweet&sour vegetable stir fry because it’s

2nd Feb Groundhog/Candlemass/Imbolc

8th Chinese Year of the Monkey begins

9th Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day

14th Valentine’s Day The menu varies a bit for that but it always has dessert in it and we seldom have dessert — oh and something bubbly.

and last but not least the Leap Day when you girls may propose to the significant other of your dreams — or not… Just buy some chocs and have done… See? Hopeless romantic, me.

I have a poem, Another Launch in Riverbabble for the first time in ages. It’s for Tim Peake. Some coming up in Bewildering Stories (I believe one next week) and in PP&P. I have just been accepted in Gyroscope Review too. I am preparing more stuff to send out and I am working on something a little bigger.

In the meantime I am on a mission on behalf of my friend Ayreshire born retired English teacher, James Graham, who is an extraordinary poet and is so generous with his own time in commenting on the work of other Writewords members including myself. I have the highest admiration for him as a poet, a mentor and a man!

James Graham has a book coming out at the end of this month with Matador which is an imprint of Troubadour. It is called Becoming a Tree and I recommend it highly to you. It will be available on the 28th Feb and will retail at £8.99. Visit the website. They have a cute carousel of books there and you will see that one coming up! 🙂 I am going to get him to sign a copy for me 🙂


If you have never read James’ work here is one poem (one of my favourites) from this collection, previously published in The Linnet’s Wings last year. The Book of Lascaux

(You can already buy his collection Clairvoyance on amazon.)