Almost another year gone by since my last confession! As mentioned in my last blog I had intended to bring out a third collection of fables (imaginatively titled Still More Simple and Slightly Silly Stories), and there are ten new ones in various stages of completion. For some reason, however – perhaps the current troubled and challenging times – they’re all tending to veer too much to the dark side; more deeply Grimm rather than fun and silly. So for now they’re on the back burner. In the meantime, there’s this year’s offering: The Bear in the Fifth Floor Flat.

October 2018: heavens – is it really a year since my last words above? In some ways it seems like only the other day. Certainly the time has sped by, mostly with audiobooks; these included hefty doses of Henry James and Trollope, a little known Thomas Hardy, the letters of Abelard and Heloise, two by the explorer and travel writer Wilfred Thesiger, several Italian and Portuguese works and two disturbing and not for the faint-hearted classics by Baudelaire and the Marquis de Sade. There were even some opportunities for my vocal contribution (one of which involved more than 450 headings for Samuel Richardson’s mammoth epistolary novel ‘Clarissa’). Additionally, crosswords and puzzles for The Connexion, and of course new stories to follow up on last year’s stocking filler ‘Seven Simple and Slightly Silly Stories’.

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So, how did all this start – the stories, QuizzicalWorks, the behatted upside-down man?