Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Time flies when you're having fun

Update on writing: Copper Moon rewrite is going well, might even finish it in the next three months.

Several other projects are in progression: another novel, two novellas and several short stories. I'd expect most of these to be finished by the end of January.

I'm going to see 'Avatar' on Thursday at IMAX and I'm hoping that it lives up to the hype!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Cuddly vampires

Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen in 'Twilight'

Whatever happened to Nosferatu with his sinister glide and oversized fangs? Or even Dracula, blood dripping from his gaping jaws as he infects another victim with vampiric poison...

The vampires of today look like they've stepped out of a Levi jeans advert. Robert Pattinson flicks his tousled hair and gives his moodiest piercing glance to send shivers of a different kind down the spines of his female fans.

I blame Buffy, a friend of mine blames Anne Rice. Whoever is to blame, there can be no doubt that the modern vampire has been de-fanged. No longer a figure to provoke revulsion and intense fear, the vampire is now pin-up material, a rock star, a teen idol. Popular culture has sunk to new lows.

The shadow of Nosferatu

A Small World

About three weeks ago, I accepted an invitation from a volunteer who helps me with Italian football research to join a website called 'A Small World'.

ASW is a social networking website, very similar to Facebook with one major difference - it's invitation only. Once you join, you have access to all features of the site. However, despite gaining access you don't immediately have the means to send out invitations to others. ASW say that "Trusted and loyal ASW members who meet certain criteria have the privilege of inviting a limited number of their friends." As yet, I do not have the power to invite others to join. It's the highbrow Facebook, basically. Tiger Woods is a member, along with numerous other celebrities. However there are strict controls on who you can contact and what kind of things you can post in discussion forums and the 'events' areas of the website.

ASW also has this to say about itself to potential advertisers: "An integrated media company, ASW is an ideal match for advertisers seeking to target the world's tastemakers and develop heightened mindshare within our sophisticated and influential membership."

Obviously I was intrigued by the possibilities this website offered and the high status that its members imagine they have - it's like being in the VIP section of high class nightclubs as much as it is being a cerebral professor locked in an ivory tower and 'social networking'. So I posted an advertisement for this blog on one of ASW's hallowed forums, to see the response from the 'intelligentsia' there. Unfortunately I was less than overwhelmed by the responses. Most initial responses were negative. One poster suspected me of looking for ideas to solve writer's block, while another criticised football for 'cretinising the world'. Many had issues with a blog that merged the themes of football with creative writing. Another was certainly not interested in anything that had been written for the News of the World or The Sun newspapers.

Now they may have a point, and certainly I have been at fault for using this blog as a place to store dry, factual football articles that I have been writing and compiling for the past 2 years. Clearly this blog needs more of a coherent identity rather than my previously hastily-posted short articles and football profiles. Therefore, I will attempt to improve the quality of the blog from this point onward. I was not impressed by the patronising intellectual snobs of ASW, but was reluctantly forced to admit that they did have a point. However I am not sure whether I will continue to mingle and socially network with the upper classes and high society crowd!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


Here I am in front of the church of St Lazarus (Ayios Lazarus) in Larnaca. The (second) tomb of Lazarus, who Jesus famously raised from the dead, is here. I went down into the crypt, close to the tomb, and there was definitely an eerie atmosphere down there. Perhaps that was due to a lone woman clasping a piece of paper or a photograph to her face, and silently praying.


This is the castle at Paphos. It was originally built as a Byzantine fort to protect the harbour. It was then rebuilt by the Lusignans in the thirteenth century after being destroyed in the earthquake of 1222. In 1570 it was dismantled by the Venetians. After capturing the island, the Ottomans restored and strengthened it.It has served as a fortress, a prison and even a warehouse for salt during the British occupation of the island.

The slaying of the dragon by St George

This is an image of St George slaying the dragon from the nunnery of St.George of Alamanos.


In Cyprus, I visited the neolithic village of Choirokoitia. It was in 9000 BC that settlers apparently arrived here, to an island that was previously uninhabited. It is the earliest evidence of civilisation on Cyprus.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Cypriot weather

Arriving in Cyprus, the weather was as I expected- 20 degrees at midnight! Although it is a Cypriot autumn, it feels like an english summer. Today however, I stepped on to the balcony at my friend's apartment and was greeted by dark grey clouds- am I back in England???? I hope that it won't rain! I have had a very pleasant weekend (more on my adventures later) and today we shall explore Nicosia - or is it Leftkosia?

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

The beginning

Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. The blank canvas can be intimidating or it can be viewed as the beginning of a fresh opportunity.

My blog starts here: I intend to post my fiction, my football reports and anything else I feel is of interest when I have the opportunity!