Did I mention..?

I’ve only gone and got myself another job!
Now don’t get excited, it’s not paid.
Oh, and don’t worry – I’m not giving up the day job either.
No madam, I’m not giving up the blog or the writing.
O.k., who shouted, ‘Shame!’? There’s no need!
Some people!
No listen, I’m now a columnist for ‘Canals Online’ magazine.
I know, I know. I’m chuffed once again. It seems that my chuffedness knows no bounds. Just as soon as I think, ‘do you know what, I think that I’m as chuffed as it’s possible to be,’ something comes along and boosts my chuffidity to a whole new level.
Now I must admit I feel a bit of a fraud. Stop shuffling about at the front and I’ll tell you why.
I haven’t actually got a boat.
Apparently I don’t need one.
Hard to believe I know.
I don’t fish either.
No, nor cycle.
And I don’t even…
Hang on a minute, will you stop fidgeting.
Yes you. I asked nicely not long ago.
What is that you’ve got there?
Is it?
Eurrgh! Well put it down and go and wash your hands.
So for the rest of you, here’s what happened. I was looking for somewhere to advertise, DOGNAPPED!
Pardon? Yes, that’s right, the first kids book.
Anyway I was trawling through the Internet and…
No, I don’t know why I wasn’t trying to advertise the third book, ON THE DOG WALK. Somehow my mind doesn’t work that way.
What!? No I said ‘trawling through the Internet,’ not ‘trolling,’ that’s something entirely different. Perhaps you should join our hand washing mate and go and give your ears a quick swill.
I said, ‘GO AND GIVE YOUR EARS A SWILL.’
Oh sorry, is it? Well switch it back on again, that way I won’t have to shout so much.
‘I said, ‘SWITCH IT BACK ON…’ Good Lord, does it always whistle like that?
So yes, anyway, I wanted somewhere to advertise DOGNAPPED! and if you remember it’s set on a narrowboat. So I thought, ‘Why not try canal magazines?
So I did.
Canals Online.
Columnists Wanted,’ it said on the Home page.
Hmmm! I thought.
Could I?
It might just attract more readers to my blog, I thought.
No, I never said anything about a better class of reader now, did I?
Although thinking about it…
Well if you’re going to complain at least stop picking your nose while you’re doing it! Honestly, I ask you!
So I anyway I applied.
And now I am.
A columnist.
For ‘Canals Online’ magazine.
Here’s my first one here.

http://bit.ly/2DFuK0W
Try it, you might like it. And don’t forget to read the rest of the magazine too. It’s only fair.
Oh hello, back again. Didn’t dry your hands I see. You what? The dryer’s broken. Well that’s not my problem is it?
No don’t wipe them down my trouser leg like that! It’s unhygienic.
No I’m not going to go through it all again just for you.
Well you should have thought of that before, shouldn’t you? Some people!
Ask the others, perhaps they’ll tell you.
I have to go away and write next months column.
Now I’m a columnist.

Radio Ga Ga…

Oh hello.
Blimey you snuck in didn’t you? I never heard a thing.
I was what?
Oh, miles away.
That’s true I suppose.
Things on my mind.
A lot of stuff going on.

Did I tell you that I was going to be on the radio?
Again, yes.
What do you mean, you’re surprised they’ll let me back after last time!
It wasn’t that bad.

Was it?

Anyway, yes I’m going back.
Dave Homer’s show like the last couple of times.
Well yes, he’s a very nice bloke.

Did you know he’s the real ‘Mr Dave,’ of Balti Dave fame.
No?
Remember all those curry houses down Lye High Street – his fault.
See, you learn something new every day, don’t you.

I wonder what he’ll ask me? That’s why I’m so distracted. Running through the possibilities.
About the third Misty book obviously, that’s why I’m going in the first place.
He had me there for the first two after all.
But there’s so much more.

What do you mean, ‘like what?david robertson
There was The People’s Book Prize last summer. I could tell him a couple of funny stories about that, couldn’t I?
No I’m not telling you what, you’ll have to listen in won’t you!

fullsizeoutput_25d

Then there was the play wot I wrote. PM dot com. We could chat about that.
The Saturday night performance yes. Goes without saying really doesn’t it.

I never want to think about the Friday night again to be honest. All those fluffed lines. Waiting in the wings when I should have been on stage.

Wearing a Manchester City shirt – I still feel unclean! Well I haven’t got that many United shirts and my brother was the only person I know with enough strip for the cast. Just a shame he supports that mob from the wrong end of town! No matter how much I scrub myself…

What?

Oh yes, you’re right – I”d forgotten the stray dog running around the audience in the second half. Ha ha! I wonder where he came from? I wonder where he went?
Still, the Saturday performance was soooo much better.

It got a laugh anyway.

17342786_10154627669764086_1081957200397871344_n

And now I’m a professional playwright.
I got paid for it, so there.
I don’t think the amount is important, do you.
Oh!
Seeing as you asked it was ahem, ahem.
Pardon? Oh you didn’t hear. Never mind then.
Okay, okay! If you insist.
A pound.
No need to laugh quite so hard, thank you!

So anyway I decided to write another.
Yes, another play.
Well you don’t need to groan quite like that.
It’ll be funny.
In places.
No, I can’t tell you what it’s about. If I did I’d have to shoot you, it’s a secret see.
Don’t want anyone picking it up before it’s ready.

It’s set in The Black Country.
That’s as much as I’m saying otherwise Lenny Henry or Doreen Tipton might nick it.

Perhaps I’ll tell my mate Dave though.
Perhaps I’ll tell him that I do a blog.
What do you mean, ‘Where?
This is it!
Honestly!

Tell you what, I’ll mention your name.
You’ll have to listen now, won’t you?
102.5 FM Black Country Radio.
From 3 o’clock on Friday afternoon.
Or get it on catch up.
It’ll be a loff anyroad up.
Bostin. 😀

Vote DOGNAPPED! You know it makes sense

So – here’s something a little different from my usual scribbling.
Okay, who said, ‘About time too!
There’s no need.
And the rest of you can stop sniggering.
Honestly if I’ve got to come over there I swear that I’ll…
I should count to what?
Oh all right. 1,2…
…8, 9, 10. Thanks, I’m feeling a lot better now.
Now I may have mentioned this before, but Misty’s book, DOGNAPPED! is in the final of THE PEOPLE’S BOOK PRIZE and…
Eh?
Was that you – again?
It was, wasn’t it? ‘You never bloody shut up about it!‘ indeed.
I’ve got your card marked, matey.
Anyway, for the rest of you who are at least kind enough to show just a little bit of interest, then let me explain.
No not you, smarty pants.
You can go and stand over there – in the corner. No, go on, further, further and a bit more. That’ll do. I’m not speaking to you again.
Ever.

4
THE PEOPLE’S BOOK PRIZE.
It must be important, it’s in capitals.
And, ha ha, the final is in the capital too.
I know, I know – I don’t know how I think them up.

Well I thought it was funny! In fact I think a bit of wee came out. It must be an age thing!

So, London.
Down the smoke.
A week on Tuesday.
Me and Kate get to have a bit of posh nosh.
In Stationers Hall down by old St. Paul’s cathedral.
For the awards ceremony.
It might even be on a Sky News podcast thingy.
I’ve got to wear a dicky bow.
No, I haven’t bought it – I borrowed it off Posh Dave, he’s in a male voice choir, so he has all the gear.
I don’t even have to tie it, it’s on a bit of elastic. But don’t tell anyone, I’d hate to spoil the illusion.IMG_0216
So there we have it.
How about that then?

Of course you know what it’s about. The gang of dogs on the canal barge – got it now?

Well you said you’d read it, I told you to borrow it from Dudley library. Yes the one with Ashley in it, remember? I knew you’d bring that up – again! Here he is look, I know you like to see him, occasionally

I’m chuffed.
So’s Misty.
Pardon?
Will we win? Dunno – I’ll let you know.
Oh, hang on I nearly forgot.

You will vote for me & Misty won’t you?
Yes, that does include you in the corner.
Yes, I’m sorry – just a bit tense with all this going on. Hope you understand.

Anyway:-

Children’s section
DOGNAPPED!
http://www.peoplesbookprize.com

Thank you.

 

Misty’s Chrissymus Song Book…

Sorry folks, but you know what old Miss Cranky Pants is like.
‘Wouldn’t it be nice if you could sort out some nice carols,’ I said, ‘for the Christmas do’s that we’ve got coming up.’
But according to her there are none that suit.
No dogs represented apparently.
So she’s written her own, to rectify the situation.
Here they are!
Like I said, I’m so very, very sorry!

img_0041

I THINK I’M IN DANGER
(Traditional tune – Away in a Manger)

I think I’m in danger, I may come to harm
The farmer has left me in charge of the farm
There are creatures all over, it fills me with dread
How can one little collie, get this lot to bed

I run like a whirlwind, I ‘come bye’ like mad
I do all those tricks I was taught by my Dad
I round up some ducks, I herd up the hens
And if I was taller I’d open the pens.

The cattle are slowing, overtaken by sheep
At this rate of progress I may need a jeep
The horses are frisky and starting to stray
And some blooming piglets have stolen the hay.

The stars in the night sky are less than impressed
And I have begun now to run out of zest
I lay down my head with a feeling of sorrow
‘Oh sod it!’ I think, ‘I’ll sort it tomorrow.’

4a-300-copy

A SHEPHERD WATCHED
(Traditional tune – what do you think!?)

A shepherd watched his sheep one night
While seated on the ground
A silly ass came rushing past
And chased the flock around

He scratched his head in stunned surprise
Not knowing what to do
‘Fear not’, spake forth a little voice
‘I’ll round them up for you.’

Looking round, the shepherd spied
A dog come into view
‘Pray tell forsooth,’ the shepherd said
‘What’s in the deal for you?’

‘Believe me’, spake the little dog
‘This really is no scam,
I only wish a bed of straw,
Maybe a leg of lamb.’

The man agreed, for he true knew
He was in trouble deep
In less than thirty seconds flat
The dog herded up the sheep.

The shepherd, he was most impressed
‘Pray what do they call you?’
‘Colin,’ replied the little dog,
Head in a bowl of stew.

The shepherd, who was Mutton Jeff
He heard this not the same
And that my friend’s the story of
How collies got their name.

img_0034
ONCE A DASCHUND
(Traditional tune – Once in Royal David’s City)

Once a Daschund loyal and so pretty
Had a kennel, it was painted red
Not a fan of anything so grisly
The garish hue was doing in her head
The colour really made her cross
So she went out and bought a tin of gloss

Daschunds they are really such a small breed
Being quite deficient in the leg
But our friend she really paid it no heed
The problem never entering her head
But when half finished, she was madder
Our poor mutt, she couldn’t find a ladder.

People came for miles just to wonder
This marvel all mankind could now behold
No one there could quite believe the blunder
On Facebook, Twitter, everyone was told
What an awful colour scheme
The top still red – the bottom painted green.

IMG_0216

Quite how Ashley got his picture here I’m not too sure! Did you know that someone started a movement to get him back in favour for book 4 – honestly, what a nerve!
CHUCK THE BALLS
(Traditional tune – Deck the halls)

Chuck the balls for hounds and collies
Fah la la, la la, bark, bark
‘Tis the reason I’m so jolly
Fah la la la la, la la, bark, bark
Chuck them further, chuck them higher
Fah la la, fah la la, bark, bark, bark,
You’ll be shattered, I won’t tire
Fah la la la la, la la, bark, bark.

And so, our little homage to dogs at Christmas is nearly over. Only one left to sing and just to warn you, there is a slightly naughty word in it. So sorry yet again! I did tell her, but Misty muttered something about it being artistic license. I just said that it was awfully rude.
Anyway that’s just about it for now. As I said there’s one tune left. Hope you enjoy it – put your fingers in your ears for ‘that’ word.
Oh, take a look around the rest of the blog site- there’s all sorts of stuff on there to give you a bit of a giggle.

By the way, these great pictures are drawn by the very talented Mr Ian R Ward.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL

Clear your throats – that’s right madam, cough it up – it may be a gold watch! Let’s all have one last lusty chorus…

AN ALSATIAN
(Traditional tune – Good King Wotsiface)

An Alsatian, he set out
Told no one he was leaving
The pizza cooked, without a doubt
Was deep and crisp and even
His friends, he knew they liked it hot
But he had let it coo-el
A vital thing he had forgot
Oh what a silly foo-o-el!

He set out to the local shop
The weather it was snowing
He hoped no one had seen him go
But little was he knowing
A row of circles marked his trail
Of which way he would go-o
Steaming circles – yellow rimmed
Shining in the snow-o-o!

His friends who were all quite astute
Noticed their host missing
They all set off in hot pursuit
Following his pissing
They caught him at the checkout till
And mocked him till he blu-ushed
So don’t forget the garlic bread
Or you may end up flu-u-ushed!

rascal-running
Oh – and if you were wondering why I couldn’t put an end to this little venture before it went too far – the boss was watching every move very, very closely!

Coming soon…

Well – here’s some news.
Ready?
Good.
In exactly one calendar month you will be able to get a copy of the next Misty book – In The Doghouse!
How about that then, eh?
Yay!
That’s the 28th of November then.
You can pre-order it now if you can’t wait.
On Amazon, see my author page (yes, I have one of those now), here’s the link http://amzn.to/2cQXKM7
Good or what?

And don’t forget that Dognapped! is in the final of The People’s Book Prize next year. Tell your friends so that they can read it and vote for it like you did.
You did vote, didn’t you.
Oh!
Well voting opens again in May next year, so put it in your diary.
It’ll be on Sky News.
Me and Kate, eating posh nosh down ‘the smoke.
We’ll bring you a doggie bag, o.k.

In fact, as a reminder, the third Misty book – On The Dog Walk! – will be released then just to give you a nudge.
I can’t say fairer than that, can I?
And the final is in July.

And here’s a preview of the cover of book 2.

cover-mock-up-copy

Yes, Ian’s done a great job again hasn’t he?
And I’ve seen the pictures for book 3!
No, you can’t see them yet!

I’ve got to have some secrets after all.
It adds to the suspense.

Power to The People’s Book Prize

Have you got a mo?
It’s just that I’ve got a bit of news.
Oh you know already?

How, if you don’t mind me asking? After all I only just found out…
Sorry? You what?
You think that I’m going to tell you about the honeymoon!
Honestly, you lot!
All you every think of is sex.
Well it is, isn’t it – be honest.
In fairness I have done a blog about that little adventure, but I thought that I’d tell you about this other news first.
What?
No this is nothing to do with sex either.
Really! Get a grip!
And no, that’s not a euphemism for anything.
Yes, I know I wrote a blog entitled ‘Sexual Healing‘ the other week, but I’m not going to make a habit of it.

O.k? Are we clear now?

Right then.
Back to business.

Thinking of previous blogs, do you remember that one I published a couple of weeks back, ‘Should I Practice My Speech?
What do you mean, ‘you didn’t bother.’
Why not?
No, I know that one wasn’t about sex either.
Is that what it takes to get you interested, a bit of titillation?
Stop sniggering at the back, ‘titillation‘ is a perfectly legitimate word.
Good grief!
Calm down for heavens sake! I only wanted to tell you about the book.
Yes, yes. ‘That old chestnut again.
Sorry if I’m boring you, but I’m genuinely excited about this and so is Misty.

Ah, yes – Misty. That got your attention didn’t it!
I’m sure she puts you up to this ‘I don’t care‘ act half the time just to pee me off!
Anyway, back to DOGNAPPED! I told you that it had been entered in The People’s Book Prize, didn’t I.
Yes I did!
It’s only gone and got through to the final!
How about that then!?

No I’m not making it up.
Yes, I know I do make a lot of things up, I am an author after all. It’s virtually part of the job description.
Yes, I know it’s a kids book.
It’s in the children’s section of the competition.
Yes, really!

See. Changed your tune now haven’t you.
Yes. I did write it all myself.
No – I don’t care what Misty said, she didn’t dictate it. Not all of it anyway.
Oh, see now, that’s just sour grapes that is. I know the illustrations by Ian R Ward are fantastic, but to even suggest that they’re the only reason that people bought…
Pardon?
You just looked at the pictures!IMG_0035
It’s not a bloody comic for heavens…
O.k.
Yes.

I am, I am.
…7, 8, 9, 10.
I’ve calmed down now, thank you.
I just thought you’d be pleased for me.
For a change.
Just this once.
I was chuffed anyway.
Even Misty smiled.

Isn’t she cute when she does that?