Testing 1-2-3. Is this thing on?

I am sorry that I have not written for a while. I will do so shortly. Promise. (Or threat, depending on how you see it).

Creake Abbey market

A rare personal appearance if you’re in Norfolk and want to pop along…

Pork pies

Some pork pies, yesterday.

I’ll be at the market at Creake Abbey tomorrow morning (6 November) in a dual role – firstly helping the Pie Lady (from page 151) to sell her delicious pork pies; secondly to sign a few books for Christmas. It will be, as far as we are aware, retail’s first ‘book and pork pie’ stall.

And whereas Tony Blair wanted armed guards for his book appearances, we are hoping to work out some sort of ‘book and pie’ joint deal, which is far more civilised. Honestly, had we have been in charge, Iraq would have never happened.

If you’re in the vicinity, hope to see you there…

Weekend round up thing

I prepare for a photoshoot!!!

Somebody is coming round tomorrow to take photographs of me, for an Important Newspaper Feature. It is exciting, and I am planning to spend today worrying about what to wear. I am hoping that I won’t be put under any pressure to don deeply, deeply unfashionable shoes, as I wish to retain my dignity and artistic integrity. But if they order me to then I will, because it might sell a book.

I shall post a report soon. Until then, here are three things…


I have been meaning for ages to link to Idiot Johnson’s E.P. Under the ridiculous assumed name of ‘Tim,’ Idiot has been reading and commenting here since the very very very early days; we’ve been in regular correspondence, and he has sent me regular MP3 files – I have been helping him out with some musical and production consultancy by telling him stuff like ‘yes, they are very good’ and things. Anyway, Idiot actually visited the Village during the summer, met Short Tony, and was present at an unfortunate golf cart/chicken owner accident. Go listen to the songs – they are seriously good (particularly the title track).


I have received a postcard from the Snailr project!!! This is Anna Pickard’s record of her esotericSnailR 1 trip around the USA – I like to think that this was in part inspired by my own esoteric trip round the USA last year, despite the fact that she lives in the USA and had said to me previously ‘I am going to do an esoteric trip.’ Anna is – without question – the most frighteningly, frighteningly talented writer I know, and I was looking forward to her poetic and moving descriptive reportage of the American panorama. Anyway, I have scanned in her postcard here. The best thing about having a blog has undoubtedly been getting to know people like Anna. (And, of course, some nutters as well, but you take the rough with the smooth.)


And finally, there is an interview with me at Caroline Smailes’s site (if you haven’t seen it already.) I’ve kind of been in awe of Caroline since I read Like Bees to Honey and I was a bit blown away when I met her over the summer to discover that she’d heard of me and liked my writing, plus her bazongas were just about to fall out of her dress, so short of offering me chips and introducing me to Leonard Cohen it was basically my dream fantasy meeting. The competition that ran with the interview is now closed, but Brom went and won it, and he’s also been a reader here for a grillion years, so that worked out nicely.


That is all for now. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I have had my hair done especially and am trying to work out the correct moody yet available expression.

Private Secret Personal Appearances.

A couple of dates for your private secret diaries…

If you’re in or around Norfolk:

I’ll be at Waterstone’s, King’s Lynn on Saturday 7 August between 11.00-1.00 , signing books and generally saying ‘hullo’ to people. I know it’s a big county – but if you’re within striking distance then do pop in and introduce yourself. The shop’s in Norfolk Street, right in the town centre.

Even if you’ve already bought a book, pop in anyway and buy somebody else’s book, and I’ll sign that instead. My mother-in-law has already embarrassed me outside the shop by shouting ‘looklooklook that is your book in the window oh lord and a thing with your name on and everything look look everybody why are you running away?’

If you’re in or around London:

I’ll be at the George in Great Portland Street on Saturday 24 July from 3pm onwards. (Lord! Next Saturday! Details and map here.) This is not a signing books thing; nor is it a big deal sort of do; it is just me going to the pub. There will hopefully be some other interesting bloggers/Private Secret Diary readers/friends of mine there as well. The chickens cannot make it.

If you’re in the area and want to come in, say ‘hullo’ and have a pint then please do! Bring a friend if intimidated. Of course also I will sign anything you want, probably with greater and greater enthusiasm as the afternoon wears on. I don’t get out much.

Enjoy your weekends and I hope to see you there…


Short update

Booooo – the Toddler’s nursery has gone bust. So I have had no time to write an’ stuff, what with the looking after her.

But in the meantime, a short piece of mine appeared on the excellent Newsarse website. Newsarse is great – often laugh-out-loud funny, and has many more hits than misses, which is unusual for the genre.

And I was interviewed by Bren and Soph of This Reality Podcast. (Starting at about 18:15 in, if you’re in a hurry). This was actually from a while back, but I hadn’t got round to linking to it. If you haven’t heard TRP yet, I’ve very much got into it – it’s a really nice, relaxed hour or so of chat, generally about unsigned bands and films – and the presenters’ love for those topics comes through. (Although to be fair, Bren did get a little hung up about speed limits on this particular show. Most of the time, the show is not about speed limits.)

Anyway, it was a very enjoyable chat – Bren and Soph have followed Private Secret Diary for years, and it was great to talk to them. There’s some quite interesting stuff in there about anonymous blogging, if you’re into that sort of thing (“hahaha, you pseud!!!” – the LTLP). Aside from that, it will be interesting for stalky JonnyB completists.

I have to go. She is smashing up the guitars.

Matters arising.

I normally do this sort of thing at the weekend… but I’m getting horribly behind with stuff, what with working really hard an’ that to get stuff out of the way before the new Baby arrives and MY LIFE BASICALLY ENDS.


I was featured/interviewed/chatted to on the Angry and Cliff Comedy Podcast the other day. Many of you may already have come across Mr Angry and/or Cliff – it was good of them to give me the time of day and sort of set up jokes for me to answer.

It is a bit odd hearing your own voice on one of these things. Listening back, I was struck by the fact that I sounded so much like the old tapes of my dad reading me Winnie-the-Pooh stories in the 1970’s, without the intellectual content. Anyway, if you are interested, I am over there.


I’ve decided to turn off comments for all the older posts. This is a bit of a bind, as some of the most interesting/bizarre things that people have to say tend to crop up on old posts, and it is fun when a visitor says something out of the blue. But I’m fed up with all the spam from tossey people trying to get something for nothing. Including you, Honda. Yes you, car manufacturing Honda at Honda dot com.

The irony is that it all goes into the spam filter. But then I wade through them anyway, cos there is occasionally a false positive and I don’t want that genuine non-spammy non-tossey person to feel all forlorn that their comment hasn’t been published.


Please do continue to leave comments though. I still read them all obsessively, and laugh.


Thanks for bearing with me. Carry on!

Weekend news update thing.

It is spring!!! So we have decided to go away for an extended weekend somewhere, to celebrate the fact.

The chickens will not be travelling with us, so Short Tony is tasked to look after them. I am hoping that there will be no fowl pox in my absence, but if there is then he is quite capable of coping.

We are travelling quite light, as the LTLP can’t seem to fit into a lot of her usual clothes for some reason. But that means that I will be able to take more pants. We’ll be back next week sometime. I have turned the comments off to foil the spammers.

* * *

I was a bit gobsmacked (although nicely so) to be featured in the acknowledgements of Zoe Margolis’s new book along with a few other of the old/old-middle school blogging people. It is very humbling, but credit where credit’s due, and she would be nothing without me, nothing. I am just about to start reading the book itself (obviously I have read the acknowledgements page 1000000 times), but suggest it would make a good present for somebody, although perhaps not your Auntie Jean, or loony hook-handed ex-Imam of Finsbury Park Mosque, Sheikh Abu Hamza.

(Yes – I know she writes as Abby Lee. It is confusing, I appreciate.)

* * *

Since I wrote, months and months ago, about the highlight of my rock music career – supporting indie rock legends the Sultans of Ping – I have bizarrely and coincidentally encountered two whole people who were in the audience that night. So I’m writing this here so that it’ll be picked up by Google and hopefully more will come forward, and I will organise an audience reunion, with warm beer in plastic mugs and perhaps a fight at chucking out time. The LTLP may come, but she never really rated my musical career, and she is not drinking at the moment, anyway.

* * *

Finally – a happy announcement!!!

I will be making a happy announcement in a week or so when I have told all the people face-to-face that I should tell that way. I have been very careful not to let the cat out of the bag, inadvertantly drop hints etc. etc. so I hope my news will be a lovely surprise for you all. I can’t wait to say something, but you mustn’t rush me.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.

Testing 123

OK We have moved hosts, and I am trying to work out if everything is working properly.
Please let me know if everything is not working properly. It might take a couple of days to fix. A couple of the most recent comments have gone into the ether… I apologise for this if one was yours.
I am still answering questions at – it is quite fun if a little strange.