Category Archives: Folk Tales

We lay on the Cobbles 

​We lay on the cobbles like fleshly landed pilchards and it was was not at all that bad way to start this crisp autumnal morning ..then a fresh coffee … breeches on and off to work ..the life of the maritime and coastal villager


Not since Kuala Lumpur

I have not been this excited about Christmas since the winter of 47 when I was held at gun point on a backroad out of Kuala Lumpur by a band of communist rebels …. I had just been to see the British consulate ..picked up a Singapore house special with rice …was bombing along in my rather tired Austin seven … when band of daring trouble makers demanded recognition for their part in liberating Malaysia. ..I explained I my dilemma. .The food was getting cold and could it wait til the empire truly collapsed…Well the long the short of it …was I spent Christmas with a hill tribe and was released from captivity as a result of bureaucratic inertia….very very exciting times ….(my cousin who is a stickler for detail and an avid reader…will point out I was -29 yrs of age at the time in the real world or 39 yrs old in my made up one ) it’s all mere accounting ,this being my 106 th Christmas I am allowed some tolerance when it comes to exact dates …yours very excited as we speak….


Me and Mr Earnshaw


Brrrng brrrrng brrrng …Mr Earnshaw ? Yes Mr O’CONNELL  a rather delicate  matter   not sure if I should talk on the phone ….anyway further to my understanding that you are sort a criminal overlord  or at least active in the west Cornwall area as far as St Denis. YES  well we had a board of governor’s meeting last night  and it appears someone has been dipping into the new library fund  and according to Geoff the treasurer   Jimmy May have used monies to buy something and now it turns out what he bought was Nothing!!!!….Mr Earnshaw get to the point ? Well Mr OCONNELL we were wondering if you and Anto might have a quiet word if you no what I mean ….Okay Mr Earnshaw quite quiet or total silence ?? Oh dear well it is for the children and if the ends justify the means  might you do total silence …I tell you what Mr Earnshaw if a certain young lady gets star pupil of class 5 this month  consider it done …



I had anticipated a full house search   what I hadn’t anticipated was the discovery in the back of my sock drawer was the discovery of Abraham Lincoln teeth …I agreed with the desk Sargent that an explanation was needed  I even asked him if he could speculate on their provenance and it might jog my memory …as the investigating officers catalogued the other rather mundane contraband including an several gallons of vanilla toilet duck ….my bail was conditional on me providing a believable explanation as to how I might have presidential teeth in my possession ..I remember being in Chicago in 2002 what I don’t remember is smashing the display case  wearing the teeth as dentures and half choking on the flight home as I attempted to consume the British airways risotto …no I was at a loss …and so I remain in a judicial limbo pending unreasonable certainity regarding the presidential dentures …

Mr Earnshaw and Me

image image Brrrng brrrng brrrng ….A rather  desperate voice asked me if it was me …I replied it was …”Thank goodness  my apologies Mr OCONNELL. I know you are a busy man …but following yesterday’s conversation regarding your daughter disclosing to the school assembly that you were a bank robber ..and my follow up conversation  to confirm you were …Well Miss Williams your daughter’s class teacher  called me late yesterday evening in tears  from her beginners pilates for people with weak bladder control ..she was unconsoleable …and  it turns out your daughter broke into.the schoolsafe   and removed several rather sensitive documents regarding myself and miss Williams  and a regretable event at Chapel Porth cafe last year ….so Mr OCONNELL  you must understand how unacceptable this is ?”…I waited and began “So Mr Earnshaw you are telling me that my 9 year old child was able to compromise the security of  the institution entrusted upon you by the parents and our rather  ludicrous government …might I suggest that you and miss Williams  reconsider the  where any concern might lie  in this rather embarrassing event …I look forward to meeting you both at the governor’s AGM next week I said I may be a bit late as I have a heist on that afternoon good day Mr Earnshaw !!”

The church of the present day saints


Much of the stannary town  of Totnes was in a deep slumber ….The quiet shuffle of late night revellers found their way into the thresholds , nooks of the coffee early houses ….yesterday was a difficult day …fake shaman was a catchall cry of the purveyors of dream catchers healing crystals and tinctures that gave inner peace and outward authority …Who were these prophets ..who were these prophets  and on whose authority could they be accused of charlatantry given the suffocating plethora of alternatives … gentle  calm mindful voice suggested I choose not the question the right of false prophets and fake shamans to decry on the high street. …

The confounded fumbling of an adolescent Don Juan


Having spent most of my youth reading a combination of john Le carre, Louis L’Amour and Gogol…I was not in anyway equipped for what was to become the imperative concerns of my hormonal fuelled adolescence…I believed like Albert camus I was an outsider and this much lauded time of loss of innocence greeted me with an amount of Darwinen curiosity and mechanical ineptitude …I was given to believe from numerous Sunday viewings of “Ryans Daughter”, there was to be an amount of pleasure derived from the heavy handed fumbling that all courtships could necessitate…cinematography cleverly never afforded one the chance to understand how these wondrous encounter might happen…and given my own unfamiliarity with the hidden regions  of the human landscape it was bound to require an amount of improvisation….The fumble  seemed to be the main vehicle to these treasures of physical delight …I will point out that authors on this subject have used an amount of artistic licence …The few early encounters will ladies  resembled a marx brothers style grappling  and on several occasions we were reduced to asking for assistance as my journey through the undergarment reduced us both immobile …Both unfamiliar with the culmination of these encounters we smiled as we lay on the fresh cut grass of an underpass or  verge of a motorway roundabout…..panting  sweating and flushed truly believing the confounded fumbling rather than fondling were truly what foreplay involved  and in a clever ruse the forbidden fruit tasted less of mango and more of an unripe pear…neither of us ever resorted to poking or pulling at the nether regions  satisfied with our progressions with the aid of looser garments…..