Friday, 27 October 2017

A Lost Poet? Maybe?

Over the years William McGonagall has had a bad press. Those 'In the know' often say he was no poet, just a mediocre writer who dabbled in verse. I understand where they are coming from, but I don't think he was as bad as that. This book is the complete collection of a man who is not so much forgotten, but one who academics like to forget. I found this book highly entertaining, and would recommend it, just to give one an opportunity to make ntheir own minds up, and not to be talked down to.

I Love A Diary

I have kept regualar diaries for over 25 years, to me it's an essential part of my life, who I am, and in recording history as I see it, helping historians many years from now make sense of the life of a simple man. That was quite a mouthful, but I am a true lover of diaries and journals and this one 'The Diary of a Nobody' , should be read by everybody who keeps day to day journals. It's the kind of thing that wouldn't be printed in these politically correct times, with it's vivid descriptions of life in a 'middle' class London Superb. I believe it's still in print and is a bloody good read.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Fiction Within Fiction

To be honest, this book would be better understood and appreciated if you take a look at Series One of 'Californication', which starred David Duchovny in the role of the book's author, 'Hank Moody'. In other words the book is taken straight out of the series in it's own right and is a excellent read.

It's a coming of age tale by college dropout and all the baggage that he collects along his road to a living hell.  Beautifully written I have to say, and great to read as you watch the character Moody bumble in and out of explosive situations, throughout the series, particularly the first.

Recovery Of A Football Genius

Jimmy Greaves may not be too well known these days outside of football historian circles, but at his best there were few to match him. His finest days were at Chelsea and Tottenham, scoring 100 goals before he was 21. And earning something like of £140 a week in the early 1960's, an enormous amount for the time.

This book is the story of his downfall and recovery from alcoholism. An honest account from one of soccer's true greats. It's not an easy read, but well worth the effort of seeing it through to the very last page. I first read this nearly thirty years ago at the start of my own recovery, and many times since.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Back To William Jones.

Finding out more about Leicester's 'lost poet' William Jones has become something of an obsession. I now know the location of where he lived in Leicester during the 1840's, 11 Pelham Street, opposite the Leicester Royal Infirmary. The street is still there, the house long gone, but old maps reveal that it was a corner house. But where did he walk in the course of day to day life? One certainty would be the allyway inbetween the old Saracens head pub and the Jetty Wine lodge. Leicester Market Place, the new (as it was then) railway station on West Bridge, parks?. I intend to find out much, much more over the next two years, now that I have commited myself fully.

The book cover, Jetty Wine Lodge alleyway and four images of Pelham Street now dominated by redbrick, modern housing and a car park. Lots more William Jones blogs to follow.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Exorcising The Blues.

In times of stress like right now in my case, I son't reach for a bottle of pills, rather I go for a book or a good movie. To lighten the load of my depression, I have gone for 'A Month In The Country' by J.R. Carr. After reading the book, I turned on the 1987 movie, recently restored and available on Blu-Ray format.

Such a relief. A couple of years ago, I paid a visit to the location where the film was shot. More about that in the next blog, as I can't locate the images I made.....worth the wait.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Remembering the poet William Jones.

This year I'm on a mission to bring due recognition to a poet, whose body of work has been long forgotten. His name is William Jones, born in Cosby, Leicestershire, and died in Pelham Street, Leicester in January 1855, age 47.

Sons of poverty assemble,
Ye whose hearts with woe are riven.
Let the guilty tyrants tremble,
Who your hearts such pain have given.
We will never from the shrine of truth be driven.

From Spread The Charter far and Wide, 1842

He was a chartist and work activly for many years with the movement in Leicester. Although not a great poet, his work deserves a wider audience, and my intention is to organise some public readings and give talks about hime and his life. His gravestone is now visible in the churchyard of St. Michael and All Angels, in the village of Cosby. Pelham Street still exists, but nothing remains of his house where he lived with his wife Sarah for many years.