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Friday Fictioneers – Ice

It’s only as I type this entry that I realise – last week’s photo prompt from Rochelle was a fire, this week it’s ice. Is that a coincidence or planned? I can’t answer that. But I can answer this pic:


with 100 FriFic words. Admit it, you’re a teeny bit curious what words I’ve selected  this week aren’t you? Well here they are…


He had never had to travel this far north to hunt before. But as temperatures had risen slowly, steadily these last summers, the Arctic ice had thinned. Any surviving animals had retreated.
Ahead were shapes and sounds that were new to him. Perhaps here he could finally trap and kill, silence the hunger and exhaustion that were threatening to overwhelm him.
A crack echoed across the blank white landscape. A sharp, sudden, agonising pain. He fell, succumbed.


Olaf lowered his rifle, raised his binoculars. His shot had been accurate again this time. But the bears were becoming braver, venturing closer.


Choon Choosday: Stock Aitken and Waterman – Roadblock

You couldn’t move in the eighties for SAW producing cheesy pop for unknown stars-to-be or overexposed celebs who fancied themselves as singers. Some have gone on to other things – Kylie for example is now so famous she doesn’t need a surname (perhaps she could auction it off for charity) and Jason Donovan regularly pops up on the West End stage. Some haven’t faired quite so well – Rick Astley, for example is best known now for being linked on the internet when people are being Rick Rolled, and Pepsi & Shirley didn’t quite match the success of their prior employers, Wham.

You can love the SAW sound, or you can hate it. You can blame them as being the original Hit Factory that lead directly to the ubiquitous Simon Cowell TV voting shows, or you can point out they were just the latest in a long line of A&R men matching Artist to Repertoire and selling enormous amounts of records as a result. But you can’t ignore them.

This, IMHO, was there finest hour. Not the standard Soap Pop sound they became synonymous with, but an original, funky number which toyed with sampling in its very earliest days. Put aside any SAW prejudices you may have, this is a



Friday Fictioneers – Fire

It’s been a busy week this week, and I haven’t had as much time as usual to ponder Rochelle‘s email and the prompt pic it contained: Read more…

Choon Choosday: The Beatles – You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)

I don’t listen to The Beatles much. I’ve got all the albums and each one of them (despite all being over 40 years old) can hold its own against any other album from any artist you care to name but it’s the fact that we Brits are brought up with The Beatles as part of our national culture and we don’t need to listen to them. Their songs are already implanted in our heads to be recalled and enjoyed whenever we have three minutes or so we want to mentally fill. And they are such a part of the fabric of society, to choose a choon of theirs on here is a bit of a cliché. Plus I try to select stuff you might not know, and that’s pretty tricky with The Beatles

But within their canon, there are a couple of rarities that don’t get any airplay. YKMN is one such song. Built up over several years, across various sessions, and then bolted together by George Martin, this is The Beatles pissing about and even then managing to create a work of genius. There is so much to admire here, so many moments of real inspiration, but for the me the top highlight is the raucous, interfering but perfectly fitting vibes which ride the badlands between being discordant/ghastly and being the very pinnacle of class.

And if for some reason this tune doesn’t grab you, you can at least play it to your friends and watch them fail when you challenge them to name the artist.

It’s silly, it’s brilliant, it’s inspired, it’s a


Friday Fictioneers – Gap Year

If it’s Friday – and it is – it must be time to post this week’s Friday Fiction – so I have. Every week the legendary Rochelle posts a prompt pic that literally trillions of writers then use as inspiration for 100 words of fiction. This week’s picture of the week this week is this picture this week: Read more…

Favourite Song

Today’s FriFic prompt brought to mind one of my favourite jokes. I won’t link the pic as it isn’t needed to tell it, and in any case this isn’t my official FriFic entry – it weighs in at over 250 words and it isn’t an original story. But think of this is a Bonus – a Wednesday One-Off if you will. And I hope you find this as funny as I do:


Martin strummed his guitar with Irish enthusiasm, Kevin sang with Gaelic gusto. Behind them, the bass and drums of the rhythm section set a furious beat, matched only by the furiousness of the dancing and pogoing in front of them.

The storming first set came to a close after forty five manic minutes, and the band took a breath, gulped down a Guinness.

An elderly punter, able to approach the stage now the melee had cleared, called Martin over.

“Hey, fellas,” he said, “it would mean a lot to me if yous lot could play Paddy Me Boy.”

“Do you mean Danny Boy?” Martin asked, confused.

“No,” the gent insisted, “Paddy Me Boy.”

The musicians exchanged blank looks.

“Sorry, chief,” Martin said, “I don’t think we know that one.”

”Sure you do,” the man insisted, “every good band knows Paddy Me Boy. It’s a classic.”

Martin shrugged, thought hard. “Come Back Paddy Reilly?” he ventured hopefully.

“Nah,” came the exasperated reply, “Paddy Me Boy. I can’t believe you don’t know my favourite Irish song.”

Martin stepped down from the stage, laid a hand on the man’s shoulder.

“Tell you what,” Martin said, “Sing us the first line. Maybe we’ll get it from that.”

He beckoned the rest of the band to the dance floor and they gathered around the man. He took a deep breath, a nostalgic tear formed in his eye as he remembered that first dance with his now dear departed wife. He opened his mouth wide, closed his eyes.

“Paddy Me Boy,” he sang, “Is that the Chatanooga Choo Choo?”



For info, if you’re still reading this far, this isn’t my favourite all time joke – this is:

Q: How does Bob Marley like his doughnuts?
A: Wi’ jam in!


I thank you.

Choon Choosday: Fatboy Slim – Right Here Right Now

It’s hard to believe that the cardigan-wearing bass player from The Housemartins went on to become one of the world’s biggest DJs, and almost single-handedly created the Big Beat genre of the 1990s. He has an ear for a sample, he knows how to rework it, and how to build an epic anthem round it. THIS is the sort of track that the word “Choon” was invented for – great tension-building intro, unrelenting rhythm, anthemic breakdown and then BOOM! drop it in again. It’s a simple recipe but so very hard to get so very right. Norman did with this one, though. It’s a



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