Fifth news item

"You've Got to Sleep With Your Mum and Dad" is now available on Amazon. Childhood angst, marathon swimming, international exploitation and the threat of impending pinniped intimacy. on 2014-08-13
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Fourth news item

Have a look at my page on Amazon. Still plenty of summer left for challenging literature. on 2014-08-13
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Third news item

Check out my Amazon Kindle page. 'The Baby Who Killed People for Money' is now available. An utterly charming child with a unique and lucrative skill. A father with no defence against his daughter's impulses. Would you take your little girl around Europe for a spot of murder tourism? Of course you would. on 2014-06-30
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Second news item

My story on the Tate gallery website on 2013-11-11
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First news item

A Thousand Natural Shocks An anthology that includes two of my stories. Available now at Amazon. on 2013-11-11
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January 2021
« Jul    

When I was 14, I realised that I needed to toughen up a bit. I decided that one way to get a bit more like the Marlboro Man was to get outdoors. I began a three-pronged attack:

1. Sleep for the whole year without clothes, with a thin sheet as my only cover and with no heating and with the wndow wide open. Admittedly, this was Australia, but in Adelaide winter minima of zero degrees C are not rare. Well, zero is rare but 2 isn’t.

2. Ride my bike everywhere. This was to include a ride up Mt Lofty (727m or 2385ft) at least once every weekend.

3. Swim at least some distance in the sea every day.

In practice, this meant that every school morning, I would get up early, put my shorts on and cycle to Brighton Beach (probably the world’s nicest Metropolitan beach – broad, white sand, clear water, a firm, gently sloping entry to the water – nothing like Brighton in Sussex). Then I would get into the sea. From January through to May, I was increasing my distance and improving my stroke. From then until the end of June, I was confident that my resolution would be easy to stick with. In July the water started to get unpleasantly cold. By the beginning of September, I was having difficulty getting into the sea at all. I was spending ages in thigh-deep water wincing when a wave washed into shorts territory. Then I would dive in, swim perhaps three strokes and run out and vigorously towel myself. At this stage, a magnificent tingling feeling would spread through me and I would feel warm all day. I would go into one of those old-fashioned wooden change sheds (not there any more), put my clothes on and cycle to school. I would be salty all day but my feeling of superiority over everyone made up for that.

I  learned a valuable skill that year. Even now, if I feel cold, I can slow down my breathing and concentrate on telling myself I feel warm. For some reason that I can’t figure out, it works.

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