Sunday, 26 October 2014

I recently visited the Coronation Street tour in Manchester. Not that I watch the programme, you understand. Well, at any rate not since Albert Tatlock got the shock of his life when Ena Sharples told him she was pregnant. (What a story line that would have made).
What was enlightening about the experience was the way some of the visitors were so serious about it. They spoke of the characters and story lines as though they were real. I couldn't help it, it just made me smile whenever I overheard a character talked about like that. I reckon the guide must have thought I was demented as every time he looked at me I was grinning from ear to ear.

I suppose that it is a mark of the writers and production staff's professionalism that they can make it so real to certain people and I certainly wouldn't decry that. All in all it was a most enjoyable experience and I would recommend it if you are ever at a loss for something to do when in Manchester. Just please don't ask for directions to Weatherfield.

Daddy's Girl, the first in my new series of novels is currently doing the rounds in the endless search for an agent. It would be so nice if agents explained why a book
" well written but not quite right for my lists..."
The second in the series, Come Softly To Me, is well on the way to completion and the plot for the third book is already starting to form in my head. The stories are set in 1960's Croydon, Just when Coronation Street was going out each week in black and white and starting to find its feet.
The 'Daddy's Girl' in the stories is Jill Bennett, the best detective that the Metropolitan Police never had. It wasn't until 1973 that a woman police officer could prefix her rank with the title 'Detective'.

The trip to Australia was the highlight, so far, of the year. If only the flying time wasn't so long. Thirteen hours to Singapore is a long slog. Mind you, it only seems like yesterday that the same trip, in a Beverly Transport aircraft of the RAF, took more than two days to cover the same ground. I can still hear and feel the droning of the Centaurus engines driving their reverse pitch propellers. Happy days.
We stayed on the Gold Coast in Queensland visiting friends and spent one week in New Zealand. The rebuilding of Christchurch after the devastation of the earthquake was nothing short of inspiring. Wherever  ominous gaps appear where buildings used to be the townsfolk have erected boards covered in colourful graffiti. It certainly works. The optimism you sense seems to be everywhere.

Oh well, back to the job in hand. Now, what was the address of the new agent...

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Out with the old - in with the new.

Well, I must say that these last few months have been hectic. I seem to have been rushing from one thing to the next.
Firstly, I've finished the first of my new series, Daddy's Girl, and it's currently with two agents for consideration. It follows Jill Bennett's career as she strives to become a detective in a man's world. Initial feedback has been very positive and I'm very excited about the whole project. The setting of the books is Croydon in 1960 and the Met's Z Division. I've had some terrific responses from their archives department when I was researching. They will certainly be credited when the book comes out.
Next, I've redesigned the website to be more about Richard Cudlow and not just one book. I hope you like it. It's under constant review so I expect changes to be frequent. I'm writing the code from scratch and that is some learning curve so please be patient. Any positive suggestions would be most warmly received. By the way, the new address is
You may not know but my wife is Australian. I think it was the dangly corks on her hat that swept me off my feet. Well, a trip down under is almost upon us and I can't wait. Every morning I'm humming Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport as I prepare for the day.
I'll update on here about any progress towards publication. I've started the next in the series with a working title of Come Softly To Me. It's going to involve a trip back to Croydon to look up some old haunts. Take care and don't forget, there are seven deadly sins, so have a great week!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Short Stories Wanted

If blogging was easy, or so the saying goes, everyone would be doing it. That's as may well be but it isn't the 'blogging' that's hard, there's always something to say. No. The difficult bit is finding the time to update your musings with material that will appeal. Well, I hope that this blog will garner some interest.
I recently approached the radio station broadcasting to our local hospital in Port Talbot. Why, I enquired, are short stories not told to their listeners instead of the constant music. Not expecting a reply I was somewhat taken aback when I received an email from the station engineer at 10 o'clock in the evening. It appears that my idea was received with more than just a little enthusiasm. As a consequence, I'm now part of the team. However, we are short one, not unimportant, ingredient. SHORT STORIES.
I have recorded about half a dozen of mine and we're asking authors in South Wales to submit their stories for possible inclusion in our schedule. The stories need to be somewhere in the range of 2,000 to 5,000 words, although exceptions will be made for good material, of suitable content, we want to try to uplift the patients not fill them with despair and printed single sided one and a half lines spacing.
We are hoping that some authors may like to come to the station to read their own works and be interviewed. As we're a charity there's no payment but it is a way of getting your material heard and appreciated. Patients will be encouraged to submit feedback of stories they like.
I hope this plea will not go unheard and that we can bring to hospital patients something just that little bit different.
Stories should be sent, together with a brief bio, to: Radio Phoenix, Neath Port Talbot Hospital, Baglan Way, Port Talbot, SA12 7BX.
I'll keep you posted.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Is it me, or do the people that we elect and trust to do what's best for us seem to be struggling? Whether it's the 'credit crunch', immigration controls, or law and order we can all, I'm sure, spot activities that just don't make sense. It seems to me that the people in power, upon accession to their office, throw away any modicum of common sense they ever possessed. And what a blessing the 'deficit' has been for them. They want to blame all our ills upon it when the solution to most of our 'ills' is staring them in the face.
Here, in Port Talbot, the local Health Trust is in the process of running down a £66million ten year old hospital and people are going to die as a result. The Trust was informed, some time ago by the powers that be, that if the drip drip drip removal of hospital services continued then doctors would no longer be sent their for training and development.
Well, doctors are now no longer sent to the hospital and the Trust is using this to justify wholesale removal of services. This will  force the 50,000 in the catchment area to travel up to 15 miles for A&E and other hospital services. The existing department within the hospital confirms that they have saved lives which would otherwise have been lost had the patient had to travel any further.
Surely, the solution was to re-instate the services that would have ensured that doctors were, once again, sent to the hospital to work. Why is that so difficult? Why is it better to endanger such a large number of people when the hospital could have thrived.
To add insult to injury, the hospital that most would have to travel to, Morriston Hospital in Swansea, are stretched almost to breaking point as it is. Regularly, ambulances can be seen queuing to unload their patients at their A&E with some remaining on board in excess of an hour.
When a similar decision was made about Worthing Hospital in Sussex, 1000's of people took to the streets and the decision was reversed. Do the good people of Port Talbot have to do the same? Can the right decisions only be made after disruption and riot?
Wake up people of Port Talbot! Once you've lost your hospital, you'll never get it back!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Here we go again!

It’s reported that one in five children are to be categorised as having “special needs”. Codswallop. There were about four hundred and fifty children in my last school and about ten of them were regularly caned. Those who advocated the abolition of corporal punishment pointed to this fact as proof that it didn’t work. I say that it did work, because the mere threat of the cane kept the other four hundred and forty of us well behaved. There will always be some who are just ‘naughty’.

When the cane was abolished and children’s behaviour markedly worsened, the abolitionists were horrified and so invented things like ADHD and other excuses, lest they be blamed for the deterioration in behaviour. Misbehaving pupils, and some of the more irresponsible parents, then grabbed this as an excuse for bad behaviour. “It’s not that he(she)’s naughty, they have something wrong with them and they can’t help it.”

If discipline is applied at home from the time a child can recognise their parents voice and children are subjected to what they crave most, the security of a routine, there would be a lot less children being classified as ‘in need’. The only thing they’re really in need of is proper parenting.

I had cause to visit a cemetery recently and, as I always do, I paused by the section for children. Don’t get me wrong, it is beautifully laid out and attended to but at the same time it is a very sad place.

I was reminded of Barbara, an ancestor of mine who died in 1864 at the ripe old age of 98. We found an obituary for her in the local press. It stated...

“...her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren numbered 145, 89 of whom were still living...”

That meant that during her lifetime, Barbara attended, or was aware of, the deaths of 56 children. Imagine having to go through that. It’s not something, thankfully, that we have to bear these days. There is a beautiful children’s cemetery because we don’t have to.

That’s it for now, take care and I’ll be back soon.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

What on earth has happened to the weather? Last month we invested in a jacuzzi for the garden. Nothing too fancy just a blow-up bath holding two hundred and ten gallons of hot, bubbling water. The day after we installed it the temperature (of the water) was a very pleasant 42 degrees and in we jumped. Marvelous! A very warming and pleasurable experience.
Then it rained, and it hasn't stopped raining long enough for us to use it again. Before you start, I'm sure it wasn't our fault that it did rain but it seems an awful waste of chemicals and water. Watch this space...if the sun comes out I'll probably be calling it the best thing we did.
Yippee! We've just booked a return to St Lucia in the Caribbean. Well, it's one of the stops on a cruise. I can't wait to get down to the land registry there and re-commence enquiries about great great great great great Grandads will. When he died in 1797 part of his estate was plot 29 in St Lucia comprising a plantation house and about 200 acres. No-one knows what happened to it. They weren't impressed when I tried to identify my birthright in January. Ah well, at least I know right is on my side. I hope they don't think all Britons are as eccentric as I appeared to be. Never mind, and as my old Gran used to say, musn't grumble.
Take care and come back soon.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Hi, it's been a while because I've been particularly busy, what with trying to advertise to increase sales and finish the sequel. Still, I'm writing and that, for me, is the main thing.
I was talking, the other day, to someone convinced that science, and indeed scientists, were the key to the future. He said he liked talking to me because it gave him the opportunity to try and teach me something. Especially, he said, after the way I seemed to promote the geocentric universe as opposed to the heliocentric one that all right minded people believed in.
I just went 'Hrrmmph'.
I said, "if the earth is spinning, as you say, can it spin at two different speeds at the same time?"
"What are you talking about," he replied, "of course it can't."
"Can you tell me, then," I asked, "why is it that the sun takes 24hrs to return to its original position on the earths surface, yet, the fixed stars further away than the sun, take only 23 hours and 56 minutes, give or take a second or two."
He stared at me for some time before saying, "you just don't understand."
Now, this is what I mean. When scientists come out with statements that are so easily shot down how can we have any faith in them? Oh well...
I was looking at my family tree again the other day. I'd been asked how we got back so far, all the way to 498. The reason is simple. My great grandad, with fourteen greats, was King James II of Scotland. Once a royal connection is made then all the preceeding records are in place. We were able to go through Scottish, Pictish and Viking royalty back to Eric who died in 498.
It was sad about King James. He was one of the first kings to really champion the use of a canon as a weapon of war. And, he was right. A body of men marching aggresively towards your position would have their minds concentrated when a gunstone landed amongst them when they were still a mile and a half from their objective. No doubt they would suddenly realise how much they were missing their kith and kin.
We don't know whether there was a problem with the casting of the weapon or whether the Master at Arms was over enthusiastic but, one day, when the powder was lit an almighty explosion split the gun into many pieces and the King into two pieces and the poor chap was only 30.
Do have a look at the website. That reminds me I must put a link to this blog on it. Anyway, take care and thanks for dropping in.