Monday, 29 October 2018

My latest children's book.

I am delighted to announce that my latest children’s book is now available on Amazon and I have to say I think it is rather splendid. I have been working with the same illustrator for the last four books and she is producing better and better illustrations with each new production. Her name, should any of you reading this be looking for an illustrator is Oksana Basarab and she can be found on the Fiverr website.

I do hope some of my readers will purchase the book and enjoy reading it, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Brussel sprouts.

I saw on Facebook someone requesting articles on vegetables so was inspired to write the following.

Brussel sprouts.
I am not remotely what you might call a foodie and am probably so far away from being a gourmet as you can ever get, sadly I blame my mother.

She was of the generation of women who would boil the living daylights out of everything she cooked, to the point where you would probably get more nutrition from the water that was thrown away after the cooking process that from actually eating the item cooked.

My mother was without doubt one of the worst cooks I have every come across who almost had the ability to burn water, which explains my lack of interest in the subject to this day.

I am, I think what might be described as a lazy eater, preferring something I can eat with a straw than any foodstuff which requires too much mastication, this may also have come about due to my mother’s ability in the kitchen.

Brussel sprouts, you may be surprised to hear were one of my favourite vegetables, indeed one of my favourite foods altogether, along with Farley’s Rusks although obviously not both at the same time.

I was however somewhat surprised to find on leaving home and getting married that brussel sprouts were not an item one was supposed to eat with a straw due to it being cooked almost to a pulp and in fact should be cooked al dente.

Some many years later, brussel sprouts are still my favourite vegetable, however thanks to my delightful wife who is an excellent chef I now eat them properly cooked al dente, it is though some many years since I had a Farley’s Rusk although I still love them.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Saudi's completely innocent of Jamal Khashoggi death.

Saudi Arabia admits dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in its Istanbul consulate apparently after a fight broke out.

Now it’s all beginning to make sense, I thought he had the look of a trouble maker about him, the sort of chap who would pull a weapon at the drop of a hat, I expect he was armed to the teeth when he entered the consulate and probably went there looking for trouble.

Imagine the scene, upon entering the consulate the violent dissident journalist is shown into a room to face fifteen mild mannered assassins and immediately pulls out a loaded fountain pen ready to attack.

I may have got the wrong end of the stick with this story but the Saudi’s seem more than adequately convinced that something along these lines must have taken place, what a nasty aggressive little man he must have been.

Surely, he must have been some sort of psychopath to have gone to the consulate with the clear intention of starting a fight with fifteen innocent assassins.

The only other conclusion we could come to of course, is that the Saudi’s are evil lying cheating bastards who would trick someone into entering their consulate having arranged for fifteen assassins to torture, kill and then dismember and dispose of the body.

How could this be, for if this were true we would have to believe the stories of women being stoned to death for having sex when they quite clearly encouraged the rapist in his actions by being female.

This can’t be the actions of the Saudi’s who present themselves as such pleasant broadminded, religious and indeed teetotal individuals.

I expect it’s only a matter of time before the Saudi’s come up with a perfectly feasible explanation as to how Jamal Khashoggi started this fight with the fifteen innocent assassins who had absolutely nothing to do with his death.

I imagine that will be the same day that I view a flying pig.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Sky News.

This will be a very short post today as I'm a little busy and I don't feel there is much I can expand upon with this story, although you never know.

My wife and I have a tendency to go to bed to watch the news on television prior to going to sleep but the last two nights they have broken away from the British presenters who are half way through a review of the papers to go live to America to show Mr Donald Trump wittering on about something not at all of any great relevance to a British audience.

My Lord, that man can witter, the first night concerned the successful appointment of a new judge after some controversy which seemed not to be proven where it was alleged he took part in a teenage fondle which the woman alleged it was attempted rape.

Now I haven't followed the story in any depth as I can barely understand American unless it is written form but one assumes that by American standards there was not sufficient evidence which cleared the way for this chap to become a judge.

Everyone in America seems to present themselves as devout Christians who would never do anything wrong, like attempted rape or bearing false witness for example, so I have no idea what the truth of the matter is, suffice to say from what little I saw I didn't think either of them were creditable witnesses. Perhaps it's just the rather odd way the Americans have of putting themselves across.

The American judicial system seems most peculiar to us Brits as these fellows who become members of some upper chamber of judges, (forgive me for not knowing the correct name as I wasn't taking notes) all have political affiliation, I would have thought a better system would be where they have no affiliation and are therefore impartial.

However we broke away from the British news to see Mr Trump give a rather long winded speech, pointing to various people in the audience, being not at all complimentary about the woman who accused the judge and then handing over to judge for him to have his two pennyworth, all very boring.

Then, the second night we broke away to watch what was effectively Mr Trump giving a party political speech in either Iowa, Nebraska or Illinois, I was a little unsure where they were and I felt Mr Trump was also confused. The usual wittering on at great length ensued, together with the pointing to the crowd to announce they had the presence of two Senators and the repetition of the phrase, "Make America Great Again."

So for two nights running we have broken away from the British news to go live to America to see Mr Trump wittering on about nothing of any great importance and I am wondering why is this happening. At this rate it won't be long before we break away to see Mr Trump having breakfast, or even worse, "Now live from America, Mr Trump is having a shit!"

I have written to Sky News to point out my dislike of this continual pandering to the Americas, it's bad enough our television drama is awash with American imports, so please stop this ludicrous breaking away to see a non event in America. I'm not holding my breath that my email will make them change their policy, but you never know! 

Thursday, 4 October 2018

POP Connect presentation.

This week I did a ten minute presentation at the Bishop Stortford POP Connect meeting, here is the script which you may find amusing, I hope so.

When I accepted the challenge of speaking for ten minutes at this meeting I hadn’t realised how life was going to get in the way of my preparations.
With there being barely sufficient time to write a ten minute speech let alone memorise it too, so I have come up with a cunning plan.
I have managed to find time to write my speech but not sufficient time to memories it, so as an author and blogger the solution is to read you the story.
Are you sitting comfortably, then I’ll begin?
Once upon a time in a land far far away I was born and my name was Michael Nolan and when I was one year old I was adopted and became Joe Wells.
My father was a baker as was my grandfather and it was expected that as the eldest son I too would enter the family business. I can remember asking my father, “dad, dad draw me a picture?” He drew me a picture of a bread delivery van full of cottage loaves.
I was a cosseted and sheltered child and I think a little immature for my age which may have had some bearing on the fact that I wasted the benefit of my education at Haberdashers Askes School for Boys.
Times were different in those days, corporal punishment was the norm. I can remember many a happy time in lessons staring daydreaming out of the window when a piece of chalk would crack you on the head to regain your attention to the lesson. The teachers had remarkable accuracy, even with objects as heavy as a board rubber.
It may seem harsh today but the teachers had carte blanc to inflict injury on us with any number of objects, from rulers across the knuckles to large plimsolls and finally six of the best with a cane.
By today’s standards it may seem a little over the top, but I’m certain it did instil in us a sense of discipline lacking in the youth of today.
Strangely enough when I was at school I wanted to be a script writer but this was in the days when one was conditioned with a sense of responsibility and so I did what was expected of me and became a baker.
Even if I had continued with my desire to be a script writer one wouldn’t have had the faintest idea how to become one, I suspect today one might be able to go to University and do a degree in script writing.
I have no recollection of ever seeing a careers master, I suspect that all the boys with family businesses were never called to see them and even if one did I can imagine their response when asking for advice to become a script writer. “A script writer, have you lost your mind boy!” “Cut along now and forget all this silly nonsense, you have an obligation to your father, do close the door on the way out.”
I later became involved with The Variety Club of Great Britain which had an amateur theatre group who would put on shows to raise money for charity.
Starting backstage I soon graduated to the stage itself. “We need someone to do a line in act four, you’ll do!” By this time the bug had bitten, adrenaline is such a wonderful drug!
Eventually my father retired and asked me if I wanted to carry on the family business, to which I replied, “I think I’ll take the money and run, if that’s okay with you.”
Having sold the business and being financially secure I set about obtaining my Equity card, for in those days you were not allowed to perform without one.
I worked hard and progressed from the bottom to just above the bottom, which may not sound that impressive but earning a living in the performing arts is a result in itself.
Sadly, as the years progressed my mother’s health gradually deteriorated to the point where due to her dementia I became her full time carer.
Unfortunately, this had a detrimental effect on my acting career and I eventually received a “Dear John” letter from my agent.
One of the few useful things I learnt from school was the fun of writing so I have always written things and continued to do so to satisfy my creative side.
I’m fairly certain my children’s book character Nobby Brasso, from up North where they don’t wear coats even when it’s freezing cold was originally dreamt up one freezing winters day whilst waiting for school to open. He’s come a long way over the years!
Most of my children’s stories were written for the daughter of a girlfriend who later became my wife and were shorter and never thought of as something to put in a book. It was many years later thanks to being able to publish relatively easily on Amazon that the idea of turning the stories into books became a reality.
I have written a collection of plays, called The Plays Wot I Wrote, the title of which was a small homage to Eric Morecambe, although I wonder now if anyone gets the joke or merely thinks I just can’t spell.
One of the plays therein, Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori which is based on letters sent and received by soldiers in the First World War has been produced by the Wireless Theatre Company and is available as an audio download on their website.
Another of my plays, also available on Amazon is The Battle of Barking Creek which tells the fascinating true story of a friendly fire incident on the third day of World War Two which resulted in the death of one of our airmen. One day someone will find the story and make a full length feature film about the event.
It may sound strange that as an author of children’s books I know very little about children but have been informed by a children’s teacher who knows about such things, that the books are suitable for children of a reading age of 5 to 7.
My first children’s book, Nobby Brasso Football Star tells the story of Nobby a young boy who graduated from the school football team to playing in the Cup Final. There are little gags in the book for the grownups who may be reading to a child as I believe the object of a bedtime story is to assist the child to sleep but to keep the adult awake.

The second Nobby book, Nobby Brasso and the big bash birthday will soon be available for the children who enjoyed the first story.
As you can tell, I had a fairly old fashioned education and this is reflected in the books which all have lessons about morals, ethics and aspirations and rewards hidden in the stories.
They say the best way to write anything is from truth, which leads me to Oliver the cat who went to the top of the world. The opening of the story concerns a friend giving a kitten called Oliver as a Christmas present and is based on the kitten given to me one year by my friend Collette. In the story Oliver goes to the top of Mount Everest and saves the lives of his companions on the way and is rewarded with a medal from The Queen on their return.

Once again Samantha’s fantastic space journey has elements of achievement and reward when Samantha goes into space and saves the life of one of the other astronauts, this time receiving a medal from President Obama. All of the books have black characters so hopefully can appeal to a wide audience.

Finally, The Cows Yacht Race is the amusing story of a group of cows who learn to sail and take part in The Cowes Yacht Race.

Coming soon, The Animal Olympics is jam packed with morals and tells of Mole who won the 100 meters proving even with poor eyesight he could beat far superior animals.
Also coming soon is Norman the pirate who didn’t want to be a pirate but would rather be a florist like his friend Dorothy, with gags yet again to keep the adults amused, all of the books are available on Amazon.
Lastly, I write two sometimes serious, but mostly amusing blogs. The Diary of a Country Bumpkin, is one and the other is Joe Wells, of whom it has been said.

You can find links to all the books, plays and blogs on my website