Remember, remember what they wrote about the 5th of November: BUT keep us all safe

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This year in the UK and a number of other countries, we won’t be allowed to have lavish outdoor fire pits or bonfires or BBQs in honour of celebrating Guy Fawkes’ embarrassing failure to blow up the British Houses of Parliament.

In the UK at least a few fireworks set off from the back yard would probably wiggle past the current COVID lockdown rules and whether according to the rules or not, you can bet your boomy bum-bum that we in England, at least, will be listening to the popping and zooming of fireworks on Thursday night right through to the end of the weekend. Or longer.

guy fawkes 2020

It’s not just spiders that scare animals: fireworks can do them real, long-term damage.

And then there is Diwali the following weekend. More fireworks.

Fireworks are fun for people: not for animals

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A true story to end Random Acts Of Kindness Week

Every now and again you have an experience like a random act of kindess that restores your faith in human nature, don’t you?

random act of kindness 2020

Random acts of kindness are wonderful. Let’s build on them so they are no longer just “random.”

Last week I went to a small town in central England to meet a very dear friend, a fellow author, for a social lunch and catch-up.

My SatNav directed me to within spitting distance of where I needed to go but looking around I realised I was in a small housing estate (sub-division). I got out of the “truck” (old SUV) and wondered what to do next.

A smiling face locked eyes with me and said, “you’re lost?”

[Read more…]

New Year’s resolutions you must write for your pets

At New Year we get plenty of suggestions on what resolutions we humans should make, but there’s a strong need for us to write resolutions for our pets to follow if we are to lead a peaceful co-existence for the coming year.

Here are some suggestions for our cats, dogs and horses. Can you come up with more for, say, Parrots? Rabbits? Pigs? Goats? Donkeys? I’ll leave you to ruminate on that but for now, here are my three front runners…

Ziggy (my Canadian cousin, a Cornish Rex): you will not sit in the pasta pan just before your mom needs it to make tagliatelle alfredo.

New Year’s resolutions for cats

You will not swat your human’s head repeatedly when she’s on the family room floor trying to do yoga. [Read more…]

Grand National special: writing into (and out of) the Jeremy Vine Show…

I will never be asked on to the BBC (UK) radio programme, “The Jeremy Vine Show,” again.

Grand National article on How To Write Better 2019

My kind of Grand National … where the fences are a little smaller. And so are the “horses…”

Note to non-Brits: Jeremy Vine is a perfectly nice guy who does a great radio show here in the UK. He is also one of the patrons of a local charity I support here in my home town of Milton Keynes, England, called Ride High. So he’s an extra-nice guy.

Once upon a time Jeremy’s researchers thought they’d found the perfect cannon fodder: me

This was because I had written an article on the Grand National Horse race (the 2019 version of which takes place today near Liverpool, England) about the high number of equine casualties arising during the race where horses were maimed and sometimes killed. In 2011, in particular, there was really high casualty rate and coming up to the 2012 race, I let rip. (See below for the actual article I wrote.)

Ring… ring…how to terrify an interviewee so creating some real radio entertainment!!!

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Horsey jokes you’ll love, because you need a sense of humour…

Do you love, hate, or tolerate horses? Know someone else who loves them? Whatever your feelings you may as well laugh … and here are some useful opportunities.

The following is a sneak preview of one of my favourite jokes in my forthcoming book, 500 horse laughs for humans … to be published later this year with illustrations by the one and only Roger Penwill whose work is truly superb.

Jokes about horsesIt’s the sequel to my iconic, lovely, popular title The Horse Lover’s Joke Book which has sold nearly into the 6 figures ( a lot for a niche book) and continues to make horsey families laugh even 18 years after it was published.

Today, in the aftermath of International Women’s Day, here is some advice for young women making that tricky choice between their horse, and their boyfriend…

Why horses are better than boyfriends

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BUT is a hurtful word: what writing lesson can we learn from dressage?

Have you ever noticed how the word “but” can rip the positivity out of the words preceding it in whatever you’re writing …at the expense of your poor readers who may suffer from its nasty negativity?

why the word BUT can be unnecessarily negative

Dressage: Easy? Sure. Like threading a needle blindfolded is easy.

Being a weirdo, when I’m not writing in here or for my own books or my clients’ books and blogs, guess what I do in my spare time? I write. And none of this namby-pamby keyboard or touch screen stuff. This is hard core handwriting on paper with a pen, cramped up in a car or sometimes in a drafty little wooden shack with a leaking roof in pouring rain and no heating. In mid-winter. Sheer masochism? [Read more…]

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