The Rock Pool Aificionado and Other Stories
These stories contain the witty, perceptive and heartfelt musings of a renegade scholar. Putting his knowledge to delightful misuse, Dr John Basford deconstructs an episode of Postman Pat with such skill that no object – glove, doll, cat or moustache – can retain its innocence. Beware. There are word games, mind games, conundrums and human quizzes. This is a world of hidden secrets, hidden meanings and silent sufferings. Enjoy the delightful insights of a highly intelligent, amused mind.
G J Martin
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Waiters’ Guild: Thank you for your copy of Jo Shaw’s Limericks of the Derbyshire Dales-there seems little here to interest our membership-was it perhaps intended for the Writers’ Guild?
Martin Aimless: Jo Shaw kicks the crap out of the post-modern pastoral myth and invites us to touch and smell the rotting corpse of England’s Mid-lands: middle life, middle class, middle income; we feel the atrophied flesh dropping through our soiled hands as the author performs a joyously malign autopsy and intones in our resisting ear a pitiful litany of the spiritually dead.
The People’s Chum Magazine: Fun and frolics for all the family.
Shaw’s school days were marred by the restrictive environment of a minor public school and unfounded rumours of financial irregularities regarding the funds of the school bank. Shaw left school a term early by agreement with the headmaster and the assigned school solicitor though not before showing a preternatural flair for verse on the wall of the masters’ common room.
So began the Wanderjahre. Time spent as a peripatetic topiarist in Wilmslow inculcated a love of the outdoors but unfortunately coincided with a number of petty burglaries in the area and the local Constabulary advised Shaw that it was in everyone‘s best interests that the business terminated its activities and moved on. A period grape picking in the Languedoc brought with it a love of wine. Again misfortune followed as the unaccountable misdelivery of 144 bottles of La Coume du Roy Maury to Shaw’s home address in Bouzigues resulted in a brief period of incarceration followed by a resolve to make a new start in South America.
As the logistics officer for a six-piece Bossa Nova dancing troupe ‘A Bridge to FARC’, attempting a rapprochement with rebel factions in Colombia by touring reserves in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the nugatory rewards, both spiritual and financial, proved too scant and heralded a return to the old country, even before the British Council funding was withdrawn under a cloud. Only two members of the troupe were actually convicted and Shaw was almost entirely exonerated.
What followed were the dog days of Shaw’s career in entertainment, finally even the dog impressions lost their appeal due to an increasingly sophisticated audience of care home incumbents. And so the world of literature was blessed as the prodigal returned to a life of letters at a secret address in the Peak District away from the unwarranted intrusions of the authorities.
A series of poems by Michael Sheridan who writes:
An ontologised phenomenological approach to the curse of the evil disposition of writing, the cacoethes scribendi, as a fragmentalist nullifying intensification of the problem of the everyday, the genjo koan, achieving its lysis through a virtue ethics of obedience to the First Pure Precept, in learning to desist from evil in learning to desist from the evil of learning, this being the ground of the discriminative wisdom of the Second and Third Pure Precepts, and being a modulation of being in which the identification with the minimal transcendentality of existence in its ethical dimension of compassion, beyond a finding of a supporting ontology, reveals that suffering at the suffering of the other just is the practical ground of the disposition towards the good, taken as the least harmful way of managing the co-irritability of being in this world of things and other minds, an achievement grounded upon the luminous experience of mind in the hence of its co-dependency with the whence of the real in its appearing reality.