5.9.18

Fun pub games for the sober and drunk alike

I saw a fun thing online this week, in which an elaborate and brilliantly successful prank was played in a McDonalds. In case you missed it the story is here, to summarise, two lads noticed no Asians in any McDonalds adverts on the walls of a local McD's. They mocked up their own large poster and then (and this bit was amazing) used cunning and guile to put the poster up on a blank wall, and there it remained for at least 50 days (and counting). My hat is off to them, the prank was wonderful.

And this then led to other people on twitter talking about pranks they had played, such as putting photos of themselves in all the photo albums in a store (rather that photos of Jeff Goldblum which is obviously a superior choice).

This in turn led me to remember a game my friend and I used to play back in the late 80s and early 90s.

We started a silly monthly night out on the first Thursday of every month. There was probably a reason this started but it was rapidly lost in time and the celebration of "First Thursday" just continued. The rules were simple, it occurred only on the first Thursday of a month, we had to go out drinking straight from work, we would visit several pubs, and we didn't stay out past 9pm.

After a few months to spice up the fun we invented the First Thursday Game, in which each person had to buy an item from a charity shop (for less than a pound!) and then leave said item somewhere in a pub, cunningly positioned to match the decor, the object must be in plain sight (no hiding it behind things) and then the following month anyone who could see their item still in the pub claimed a point! There were of course no prizes just much laughter.

The sort of gems we left included an obviously school made metal work sculpture, an ashtray from Devon and a really cheap and nasty vase.

Extra points were gained by how cheap the item was, so a 30p item would beat a 99p item for example.

Some months we'd add a theme as well, such as 'souvenir items with places names on' (see the Devon ashtray) or 'something wooden' etc

Thinking about this simple game and the joy it brought made me think I should look at bringing it back, I wonder if it would still work?

I talked about it on twitter and a few people seem keen to give it a go. If you, (like Joy and Emma) plan to have a go - do let me know in the comments below. I'm just sad that back when I played, digital photography and phones were not common so I have no photographic evidence of our silliness.

25.7.18

Wordy Wednesday - Palindrome by Rae Stoltenkamp

Today I begin with some exciting news. A new book from one of my previously interviewed authors is about to leap into life!

Very soon (maybe even as this blog post is published) you will be able to get your hands and eyes onto the new book by Rae Stoltenkamp 
The book is Palindrome and is a prequel to Six Dead Men.

In my last interview with Rae we chatted about her sci-fi series 'Rainbow Quest' and her favourite character in that world. But what of Detective Robert Deed and his story?

In Six Dead Men we met a detective among the stories and snapshots of the dead. Six lives extinguished in mysterious circumstances. In life they infected what they touched and in death they continued to wreak havoc. But even contemptible men deserve to have their deaths explained, and so in stepped Robert Deed.

We met Madie Bricot. Who just wanted to live the normal life of a twenty-six year old. The last thing she was expecting was to be the main suspect in Detective Inspector Robert Deed's investigation.
But Madie was about to learn some things about herself which terrified her into running. Meanwhile Detective Inspector Deed battles against his attraction for Madie...

In Palindrome we have travelled back into Robert Deed's past. Back to 1975. In Haddington, near Edinburgh, Robert Deed’s 13th birthday approaches. On the cusp of adulthood, this birthday brings more than a coming of age celebration for Robert. He’s about to see the glint of Death’s scythe in the corner of his eye, even touch the honed edge. Travelling the road towards his future, Robert must solve the murder of his first crush, battle his grief, and exonerate a dear friend. Is he willing and able? Can he truly trust in the so called inner wisdom of his instinct?

If you love a detective story, and love a detective with psychic powers, then grab a chair and a copy of Palindrome and settle in for a journey.

You can get copies of all of Rae's books over at Amazon, or check out her website.

Sign up to Rae's email news and get a free copy of Six Dead Men (no excuse not to read it now!)

You can even grab a free e-copy of Six Degrees 
In these Magic Realism vignettes several peripheral characters from Six Dead Men and its upcoming prequel, Palindrome, tell the reader what they think of the Deed family. Sometimes the Deeds get to say their piece too. There are also hints of things to come in Palindrome.


27.6.18

Guest Post - Pride is not for you

Today the blog welcomes Nick (who you may know from twitter) who wanted to share his (strong) feelings about a recent newspaper article about Pride, what it means and what it's for. And straight friends, I have news, it's not for us....

Here's what Nick has to say ...


It’s 2018, LGBTQ+ people have way more rights than ever before. At least in the UK and many parts of the so-called West, elsewhere our existence is still a legal question sometimes punishable by death. Here in the UK homophobic crime is still prevalent. Personally I probably get roared at in the street about once every six months. And I’m lucky, to the untrained eye I can sometimes pass for straight. Our camp brothers, butch sisters and trans comrades often don’t have that luxury, and for them it is far more difficult.

But we’re good right?

No we aren’t, and the need for Pride remains. Pride was born out of a bloody battle for equality, from vilification, chemical castration, ostracisation, the AIDS crisis, lost jobs, lost lives, and more.

Pride is now many things to many many people. From dikes on bikes, to fabulous drag queens, village groups to corporate giants, baby gays slowly making their way from Narnia to aged battle scared queens. This is incredible and I love it.

But Pride is NOT for Liam Payne to say how his son makes him proud and want to be a better person. Bully for you, you utter knob, he should do. That’s your job, you’re a Dad. In the Evening Standard piece that opens with his mug and the headline:

Liam Payne says having son Bear has ‘changed everything’ as he speaks out in support of London Pride: ‘He’s making me a better man’

You actually have to get to paragraph four before any LGBT person is mentioned.  Instead we get a roll call of the great and the good who are also ‘proud’. Get in the sea.

Pride in it’s origin was not about  our children making us want to be better people, doing well at uni, or anything else in the heteronormative world people are proud of. It was saying ‘We’re here, we’re queer and you can get used to it. We are proud of who we are despite the fact you kick the shit out of us.

So Liam, the Evening Standard et al can fuck right off.

Now I’m absolutely in love with my straight ally friends, and I know we would never have achieved equality without them. I also love them because if interviewed about Pride in London and asked what made them proud, they’d say that the people they love can live their best lives now. They’d reference pride. They wouldn’t make it about them. Because they bloody get it.

Anything else is stealing the air and experiences from a large group of people who are on the receiving end of more violent crime and hate than you will ever know. We are more observant of the world around us and vigilant because many of will still double check our surroundings before holding hands with a loved one. Yeah still, and it’s 2018.

Finally giving the headline to a straight-white-rich-able-bodied-man, perpetuates the idea that not being a racist/homophobic/misogynistic/disablist arsehole is something to be lauded. Are you fucking kidding me? Not being these things is human decency 101. It doesn’t deserve a medal. If you can’t manage all of this you have work to do to catch up.

So Liam et al, I appreciate what you’re doing, the campaign you’re supporting, but no one likes the dickhead that rocks up late to a party and then makes it all about them. If you do decide to make it all about you, expect to be shitting glitter and not in a good way. After all, as the overused meme says, anyone who says hell hath no fury like a scorned woman has never met a mildly inconvenienced homosexual, and at pride there’s thousands of us.

As usual I welcome comments. Or pop over to twitter and tell Nick what you thought.

He's not always this angry...

https://www.instagram.com/bainser/