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I keep writing for the sequel rather than face the reality of a publisher saying yes or no to my novel
Posted on 8:10am Saturday 19th April 2014
After years of writing thousands of words for newspapers, I have have written a book. Only one person has read it and she thoroughly enjoyed it. So it is a success . . . one hundred per cent so. I may have to settle for that.
Posted on 1:20pm Friday 11th April 2014
The French are mired in bureaucracy. We try to avoid it whenever possible. However, when we tried to change our account from branch of Credit Agricole to another just 200 miles south, we found ouselves flooded with paperwork.
Posted on 1:30pm Friday 21st March 2014
I go to great lengths to avoid the TV soap EastEnders. When it comes on, I feel like asking if they have a spare rope and an exposed beam
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 13th March 2014
Half-term flying visit to the UK confirms real ale is what I miss most in France. An outing sees us stumble across an impressive Redwings Horse Sanctuary near Banbury but we are unable to find the precise site of a civil war battle.
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 6th March 2014
Arriving in Calais at noon on a Sunday morning, I knew I could stop overnight but I just drove and nine hours and 650 hours later I was home, contemplating the fact, at 72, there is indeed no fool like an old fool
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 27th February 2014
Six-five special - a classic case of distance lending enchantment. Even I thought it limited at the time but it was the only TV us rock addicts could watch.
OK I admit old TV programmes would not stand the test of time but I would have liked the option to check
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 20th February 2014
The BBC it its wisdom did not appreciate the wisdom of archiving early television shows. We might cringe if we were able to see them now, but we would have liked the option.
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 13th February 2014
TOWIE CBB Bake off, Strictly, Splash and all their so-called stars just leave me cold
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 6th February 2014
While Ed Moribund (sorry Miliband) is speaking you can see Ed Balls and Harriet Harman nodding in ritualistic agreement with every word that is spoken, while Nick Clegg looks as if he pondering whether or not to move his knight to Queen-four. Are we meant to take our politicians seriously?
Posted on 8:52pm Thursday 30th January 2014
The probklems with getting EDF to behave in an efficient manner along with repeated breaks in the supply makes me wonder why they do not concentrate on their French commitments.
Posted on 11:57am Thursday 23rd January 2014
Wolves, Moscow Spartak, Honved, Chataway and Kuts made front-page headlines and were feted for years because, in post-war days, the nation was desperate for good news.
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 16th January 2014
We were writing and recording songs and Ellie was going to make it but we never got round to making the final push for fame apart from submitting a tape to Hughie Green. Since then they have been gathering dust since 1976 but now I hope to transfer them to cd.
Posted on 1:04pm Thursday 9th January 2014
The Everly Brothers, Eusabio hit the headlines over the weekend and on the Monday there was a very large spread in The Independent on the significance of Buddy Holly. It all came together lin one, poignant, nostalgic binge
Posted on 3:29pm Friday 3rd January 2014
A picturesque winter trip through Languedoc,The Minerviois and the Pyrenees to sample Christmas in Spain - a subdued version of the festive season in Blighty
Posted on 6:21pm Friday 27th December 2013
Mentally castigating those who hog the central lane on the motorway down to Barcelona, I recalled the days when the M1 opened and first travelling upon it was an experience that mixed totally fright and trepidation with exhilaration.
Posted on 11:34am Friday 20th December 2013
Eight grandchildren between us already and now we are heading for our ninth. Christmas preparations are different this year as grandchild number nine causes us to switch to Spain for the festive season. Off to Sant Cugat, near Barcelona, for Christmas with a difference.
Posted on 11:33am Sunday 15th December 2013
Lynda Bellingham, Shirley Eaton, Wham! Spice Girls. Local people have connections with the famous having attended school, became apprentices together or whatever. I tried to find where my youthful path had crossed that of those destined for fame, but failed, miserably.
Posted on 11:57am Saturday 7th December 2013
Going back to Benevent L'Abbaye in The Creuse, Limousin, France, for a two-day visit, only confirmed that we were right to move on, down to the south and The Tarn .
Posted on 1:00pm Thursday 28th November 2013
Two games a golf per week did not make me fit only less unfit. I discovered that when I bought a Rubbermaid upon moving to France and pottering about The Folly.
Posted on 3:41pm Thursday 21st November 2013
Moving from The Limousin to The Tarn in France was a big wrench, particularly after I had invested so much time and energy into developing an acre plot we dubbed The Folly. But having sold, it, we had to return to clear out the outbuildings and garage.
Posted on 1:52pm Sunday 10th November 2013
So many in England without key literacy and numeracy skills and are judged behind their grandparents
Posted on 10:33pm Thursday 31st October 2013
We can see advantages to the ex-pat lifestyle in Spain but ultimately we would not swap it for our lifestyle in The Tarn, France.
Posted on 5:21pm Thursday 24th October 2013
Looking at some of the problems thrown up during research into the Watford Observer's latest publication Watford and south West Herts in the 20th Century Part 3 - 60s and 70s.
Posted on 1:00pm Friday 18th October 2013
Racism in Sw Herts in the 1960s was fairly muted because there was little opportunity to indulge in it if you were so inclined. Oliver Phillips had been schooled by a racist father but a night watching Tina Turner in 1963 confirmed what he already suspected: the colour of the skin did not matter.
Posted on 1:00pm Friday 11th October 2013
With the publication of the new book -Watford in the 20th Century (Sw Herts in the 60s and 70s) - author Oliver Phillips found himself continually reminded of those bygone days and the characters who inhabited them.
Posted on 8:00am Friday 4th October 2013
The new Watford Observer publication Watford and the 20th Century - Sw Herts in the 60s and 70s has been launched this week
Posted on 7:20am Friday 27th September 2013
Writing the book on Watford and Sw Herts in the 60s and 70s, characters from the High Street sprung to mind such as Alfie Walker, Dave 'Don' Donovan, Big Harry and de Gaulle.
Posted on 9:00am Saturday 21st September 2013
So many photographic records were lost as a result of corporate and corporation vandalism in Watford
Do you remember the 1960s and '70s? Our new book will bring back many memories, some good and some regrettable.
Posted on 12:09pm Sunday 15th September 2013
Launched on October 3, the Watford Observer is publishing the third book in the series Watford and the 20th Century covering SW Herts during the dramatic, traumatic and life=changing 1960s and '70s.
Posted on 6:26am Saturday 7th September 2013
Ted Parrish had some 96 articles published in the old Post-Echo, looking at Watford, Bushey and Oxhey past. Now they are reproduced with original photographs of the town in a new book.
Posted on 11:29am Friday 30th August 2013
My five hours in a French hospital for a local operation on my wrist, was briefly interrupted by an unwanted phone call.
Posted on 10:39pm Friday 16th August 2013
The sun was out and not a cloud to spoil the view as someone from my past once sang. However, then I found my car surrounded by the police as I returned from walking the dogs.
Posted on 9:59pm Thursday 8th August 2013
Oli's better half takes over the blog this week as he is too busy being Man Friday, while Ellie recovers from as hip operation.
Posted on 5:09pm Thursday 1st August 2013
The last in a recent series reflecting on a trip down the American South-West. Phoenix and an old gold dust town proved interesting. The last leg of the trip - a tour of Indian country - will appear later in the year.
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 25th July 2013
Camp Verde celebrates the life of the cavalry back in the 19th Century but there is scant mention of the death march which they forced on the Apaches just two years after the peace agreement gave them the area "for as long as the grass grows".
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 18th July 2013
We had been on the road for 3,000 miles so we sat out on the veranda in our rocking chairs and reflected a-whiles. An' when we gone done that, we reflected some more,.
The bar had closed, the China-man with the pig-tail had sold up and . . . well they say you should never go back
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 11th July 2013
The first of three articles detailing our stay in a one-horse town in Arizona, after we had travelled some 3,000 miles from New Orleans through Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. It was time to take stock and chill.
Posted on 1:30pm Thursday 4th July 2013
Flying back to the UK for a long weekend,I took in Thorpe Park, the Harlequin, Beaconscott Village, six restaurants and sampled the quality of the assisted passage service at Luton airport, along with the vagaries and inconsistencies of airport security.
Posted on 2:56pm Tuesday 25th June 2013
We are back to confirm one of life's milestones after a long weekend down memory lane with a very dear pal
Posted on 5:06am Thursday 20th June 2013
Air conditioning was an obvious "must" after the heat-wave that hit France last July and August. It was so hot, excavating an area for a swimming pool had to be postponed until September. Happy but distant memories,.
Posted on 6:21am Wednesday 12th June 2013
For many years I travelled the nation's motorways with kick-off times in mind so it made a change to see the towns and cities beyond the stadia of Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and York.
Posted on 12:21pm Friday 31st May 2013
First come, first served is a good yardstick, but that does not give you the right to ignore those further down the line, An unusual experience so surprised me with its ignorance, I could not bother to be annoyed.
Posted on 12:50pm Friday 17th May 2013
After driving over 3000 miles from New Orleans, it was time to chill out for a couple of days in a town we had been to before. But they say you should never go back.
Posted on 12:00am Friday 10th May 2013
The prospect of being locked in by snow on the plateau above Bryce, threatened our USA tourist schedule.
Posted on 12:00am Friday 3rd May 2013
We just mapped a route in an effort to find a different way to getting to Bryce Canyon and it proved to be the most memorable 48 hours in the USA
Posted on 6:53am Monday 29th April 2013
Reflections on a trip to Arizona and Utah, taking in the magic of Monument Valley.