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To write with clarity and simplicity*

January 26th 2016

*Advice from The Economist Magazine’s Style Guide for their staff writers. It is a difficult maxim to maintain but it is sound advice to anyone either contemplating tapping the keyboard or putting pen to paper. Here are a couple of simple tips I try to follow: Less is more In these attention-sparse days, short-form copy […]


Write like a Spook

January 19th 2016

For all wordsmiths who enjoy manipulation of the English language look no further than the CIA Style Writers Guide. Get your download from 185 pages of tips on how to write like a spook. From those wonderful people who brought you such euphemisms as ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ (Illegal kidnapping and Torture) and ‘Enhanced Interrogation Techniques’ […]


New website about to be launched

January 15th 2016

I have decided to expand my author website to include my commercial writing activities. There seems to be some logic to this move as both are about the use of words and love of the English language.



December 20th 2015

Bill Bernbach’s famous American advertising agency, Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB), made a virtue of promoting perceived negatives and turning them into positives. DDB’s legendary early 1960s ads for the VW beetle, ‘Think Small’ and ‘Lemon’ used wit, humility and simple black and white imagery to engage readers. To this day VW advertising remains witty, informative […]


If David Walliams can write children’s stories, then why can’t I?

November 11th 2015

Maybe I should change my name like David Williams did to ‘David Walliams’ to create a distinctive resonance. Evidently, the change was not an act of shrewd marketing or vanity but simply because he discovered there was already another Equity actor with the same name. However, I am sure this must be the reason for […]


Is there anyone listening at Yorkshire Water?

October 28th 2015

The Monkey and the Organ Grinder Further to my lengthy post of 27th October cataloguing the saga of my blocked drain at 7 Alexandra Road, Harrogate. YW were quick to make contact with me via Twitter. However, the operative dealing with the project has to refer everything back to YW’s contractors, AMEY. It would appear […]


Yorkshire Water Shambles

October 27th 2015

I don’t normally use my blogposts to complain about the world but I have been so shabbily treated and inconvenienced by Yorshire Water’s incompetent handling of what should be a simple procedure that I have been driven to share the story on my blog.  A dread to think of the money being wasted by YW […]


The North South Chasm

July 06th 2015

I have just spent the last few days in London attending my son and daughter-in-law’s wonderful wedding. But that’s another story. As a traveled but die-hard Yorkshireman I have spent plenty of time visiting London over the last forty or so years of my business life. We knew back then that London was never England, […]


Moving On (or nostalgia ain’t what it used to be)

February 03rd 2015

  Sometimes it is difficult not to be nostalgic. At the end of February I will give up my post with the Friends of Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I was one of the original founders of this charity and have held various posts including chairman and latterly as a fund raiser. The Friends […]