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Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Book Review -Have A Good Week Till Next Week - British Wrestlers of the TV Era by John Lister


 Have A Good Week… Till Next Week

British Wrestlers of the TV Era


by


John Lister

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Have-Good-Week-Till-Next/dp/1983116246/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=John+Lister&qid=1620742533&sr=8-1

 

BLURB

 

For six years, the stars of Britain’s ITV wrestling told their stories to Fighting Spirit Magazine’s John Lister. Now these in-depth biographies of more than 50 grapplers come together in the ultimate history of the ‘World of Sport’ era. From Adrian Street to William Regal, from Tiny Tom Thumb to Giant Haystacks, these are the true stories of amazing lives in and out of the ring. 


AUTHOR 


John Lister is a professional freelance writer who has been writing for wrestling publications since 1990. Author of Slamthology, Turning The Tables: The Story Of Extreme Championship Wrestling, and Purodyssey: A Tokyo Wrestling Diary, he formerly worked for Power Slam and The Fight Network and is now a regular contributor to Fighting Spirit Magazine. 

 

It is around 1964.  I was ten-years-old.  Most Saturdays I would take the bus on my own (it was a different era) to Belfast city centre and walk all the way to the New Lodge Road to visit my Granny Rachel’s house and Aunt Sally’s next door.  They were sisters.  I have many fond memories of those trips and visits but one in particular stands out.  My Aunt Sally was a constant cook and she loved watching professional wrestling on television.

I recall a big bowl of marrowfat peas, generous amounts of salt and vinegar, thick slices of bread lathered with butter and a big blue-striped mug of what is now known as strong builder’s tea, all consumed while watching the wrestling.  Aunt Sally, every now and then, passing from living room to scullery and back again, would shout or shake a fist at some villainous grappler, while commentator Kent Walton described the action.

 

******

John Lister has written a fabulous and fascinating history of the glory days of British television wrestling, 1955 to 1988.  Have a Good Week… is a collection of wrestler profiles, some I remember very well, others knew to me.  The book provides insights into the lives of wrestlers and the world of wrestling, the individuals trying to find their niche and promotors’ dealings behind-the-scenes.  It was a world of sometimes gruelling tour schedules, piss-poor wages for several grapplers, pre-arranged bouts, friendships, rivalries, heroes and villains, all in the name of entertainment, and it was an extremely popular sport.  This was before the hyper-showbiz, super-athletic, epic US-style of wresting that, at heart, was and is high-octane pantomime stuff.

I can’t forget the flamboyant Adrian Street, camp but skilled in the ring, booed, hissed at and cheered depending on his performance.  Big Daddy was an audience favourite, not the greatest advertisement for body/mass ratio, who depended mostly on size and weight to crush opponents.  His most famous opponent was the truly enormous, Giant Haystacks, who like his rival, often flattened the poor souls trying to topple him. 

Away from the mountain men, there were fit and fast athletes who could demonstrate quick and efficient moves, much to the delight of audiences.  There were also those out to inject some comedy into the matches and others who were downright dirty players, getting up all sorts when the referee wasn’t looking.  Promotors tried to keep their wrestling bills mixed to keep audiences attending and viewers watching.

I am reminded of some of the great names from those heady days; Brian Maxine, Catweazle, Jackie Pallo, Mick McManus, Jim Breaks, Johnny Saint, Kendo Nagasaki, Les Kellett, Mark Rocco, Mike Marino, Pat Roach, Marty Jones and so many more.  I would have liked more on Bert Royal and Dave Finlay, but there is more than enough history and nostalgia in this book to satisfy any fans of wrestling on TV way back when.

 

John Lister is to be applauded for this collection, riveting and compelling, a fine history of a sport that attracted millions of TV viewers every week.  This is a superb book for wrestling fans but it should appeal to a wider audience of general sports fans for its revelations of real iife outside, trying to earn a crust.

 

Never mind two falls or two submissions, this is a knockout book.  Outstanding work.

 

 

 

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

PIPER

 Piper

 

It was 

in the wind,

on the wind, 

of the wind,

a tune playing,

inhaled by the coastline

from somewhere out there,

from the land or from the sea,

a piper playing slow music

inside the ocean’s angry noise,

melody fading in and out

like foreign radio in the sixties,

in the wind, 

on the wind, 

of the wind.

 

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

OU - OWE YOU

OU (1987 – 1992) – Owe You

 

Years ago, my weary Open University tutor,
when asked to elaborate on the class struggle,
pondered a while, looked profound
raised his head, closed his book,
gave us his professorial look,
stood up, took a deep breath and sighed:
"All I can say on the class-crass debate,
in all my teaching years I've found,
no matter how we argue the toss,

what the fuck, the world still goes round." 

Sunday, 18 April 2021

NEW FOR 2021 - A DOZEN QUESTIONS - SPECIAL GUEST: EILEEN CARNEY HULME

 


A DOZEN QUESTIONS

Special guest: Eileen Carney Hulme

Eileen Carney Hulme was born in Edinburgh and has lived and worked in many parts of the UK and in Europe as a library assistant and a tutor and practitioner of complementary therapies. She has spent the last ten years living in the north of Scotland,  enjoying big skies and deserted beaches.


Her first collection of poems, Stroking the Air, was published by Bluechrome of Bristol in 2005 and her second collection, The Space Between Rain was published by Indigo Dreams in 2010. Both collections were named in the Purple Patch Small Press Collections Awards in 2005 and 2010.


Eileen's published work has appeared in many poetry magazines, anthologies and on Internet websites.

There is much more on Eileen and her work via this link:

https://www.indigodreams.co.uk/ech-tsm/4589983025

 

Q: What is your favourite word? 

A: Love, the world needs more of it.


Q: What is your least favourite word? 

A: Carapace, have yet to read a poem and think that is the perfect word.


Q: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? 

A: Beach walking for all three.


Q: What turns you off? 

A: Know alls and smugness.


Q: What is your favourite song? 

A: That’s very difficult. I love so many but as a performance Bruce Springsteen singing Thunder Road at Hammersmith Odeon 1975.


Q: What is your favourite film? 

A: Again so many, will go for a classic, Casablanca.


Q: What is your favourite curse word

A: As if...


Q: What sound or noise do you love? 

A: The ocean.


Q: What sound or noise do you hate? 

A: Boy racers.


Q: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? 

A: Musician or Astronomer.


Q: What profession would you not like to do? 

A: Politician/liar liar pants on fire.


Q: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? 

A: You’re always early, come back later.


Q: Any words of encouragement for writers and writing?

A: The usual, read loads and write loads (and don’t worry about times when you are not writing) and have some self belief. Some will like your work, some won’t, and please be as supportive as you can to other writers.


Thank you for participating, Eileen.


Saturday, 17 April 2021

NEW FOR 2021 - A DOZEN QUESTIONS - SPECIAL GUEST: JACK B. BEDELL

 


A DOZEN QUESTIONS

Special Guest: Jack B. Bedell


Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits ​​Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press.  

 

His latest collections are Color All Maps New (Mercer University Press, 2021) and No Brother, This Storm (Mercer University Press, 2018). His work has appeared in the Southern Review, Radar Poetry, The Fourth River, Terrain.org, Construction, Grist, Sugar House, Shenandoah, Pidgeonholes, Cotton Xenomorph and other journals. 

 

Bedell is the recipient of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Individual Achievement in the Humanities Award and the Governor’s Award for Artistic Achievement. He was appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to serve as Louisiana Poet Laureate, 2017-2019.

  

Website: www.jackbbedell.com

Twitter: @jbedell

Instagram: @jackbbedell


Links to recent books:



 

https://www.amazon.com/Color-All-Maps-New-Poems/dp/0881467774/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=jack+bedell&qid=1616685979&sr=8-1


 


https://www.amazon.com/No-Brother-This-Storm-Poems/dp/0881466751/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=jack+bedell&qid=1616686052&sr=8-3




 
https://www.tamupress.com/book/9781933896953/bone-hollow-true/


 

https://www.amazon.com/Revenant-Jack-B-Bedell/dp/0692720634/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=jack+bedell&qid=1616686052&sr=8-6

  

Q: What is your favourite word? 

A: I fall in love with a new word almost every day. My recent crush is on littoral. I love its meaning and its tone.


Q: What is your least favourite word? 

A: Never been a fan of dank. It turns any sentence into the setting of an Edgar Allan Poe story.


Q: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? 

A: Community does it for me in any of these categories. Being around generous, sympathetic, like-minded people helps me be as productive as I possibly can be.


Q: What turns you off? 

A: Lack of caring or humanity turns me off. Kindness and concern for others should be the most basic of our traits.


Q: What is your favourite song? 

A: “Passenger” by Deftones is my favourite song. It’s the sound my blood makes traveling through my body.


Q: What is your favourite film? 

A: At points in my life I would’ve said “Raging Bull,” at others “Grosse Pointe Blank.” Since I’ve been 100% focused on raising my kids the past 19 years, I’d probably say “Shrek” now.


Q: What is your favourite curse word

A: “Zounds,” maybe?


Q: What sound or noise do you love? 

A: I love the sound of flowing water. Anywhere, any time.


Q: What sound or noise do you hate? 

A: Can’t stand the sound of anything breaking. Causes dread and panic every time I hear it.


Q: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? 

A: I spend a high percentage of my time watching investigative shows like Dateline and 48 Hours, so I’d have to say Forensic Pathologist.


Q: What profession would you not like to do? 

A: I could never be a surgeon. My tolerance for “good enough” is way too high to have lives depending on my perfection.


Q: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? 

A: “Welcome home. I have some people here who’ve been waiting for you.”


Q: Any words of encouragement for writers and writing?

A: Like I tell all my students, give yourself permission to write. You never know who you’ll help by sharing your words and your experiences. Trust that if something means enough to you for you to write it down, it’ll mean as much or more to the people who read it.


Thanks for participating, Jack.

 








Friday, 16 April 2021

NEW FOR 2021 - A DOZEN QUESTIONS - SPECIAL GUEST: JAMIE GUINEY

 


A DOZEN QUESTIONS

Special Guest: Jamie Guiney

Jamie Guiney is a literary fiction writer from County Armagh, Northern Ireland. His debut short story collection 'The Wooden Hill' (published by Epoque Press) was shortlisted under Best Short Story Collection, in the 2019 Saboteur Awards. Jamie's short stories have been published internationally, broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and he has been nominated twice for the 'The Pushcart Prize.'

Jamie is a graduate of the Faber & Faber Writing Academy and has twice been a judge for short story competition 'The New Rose Prize.' His work has been backed by the Northern Ireland Arts Council through several Individual Artist Awards and he has also been chosen by Lagan Online as one of their New Original Writers.

Jamie favours the short story genre, believing it to be the closest written prose to the traditional art of storytelling.

Jamie is represented by literary agent Kim Witherspoon, founding partner of Inkwell Management, NYC.

SOCIAL MEDIA & WEB

Web:               www.jamieguiney.com

Twitter:          @jamesgwriter

Facebook:      www.facebook.com/jamieguineywriter

Publisher:      www.epoquepress.com/our-authors-jamie-guiney


 

THE WOODEN HILL

‘Jamie Guiney’s stories feel like classics read by the fireside on dark, winter nights. Tales of ordinary people and their everyday lives are illuminated and elevated by Guiney’s keen eye and gentle empathy.'

Paul McVeigh, winner of The Polari Prize and The McCrea Literary Award

‘Evocative, lyrical and touching, The Wooden Hill is a stunning collection. Under Jamie Guiney’s pen the smallest detail becomes cinematic; characters breathe; landscapes live. Intensely personal, unflinchingly human, these are stories to savour, lingering long after the end.
Miranda Dickinson – Sunday Times Bestseller

BUY IT
(available online/bookshops in Paperback and eBook)

www.hive.co.uk/Product/Jamie-Guiney/The-Wooden-Hill/23011958

www.epoquepress.com/online-store


Q: What is your favourite word? 

A: Dada.


Q: What is your least favourite word? 

A: Impossible.


Q: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? 

A: Wit.


Q: What turns you off? 

A: Arrogance.


Q: What is your favourite song? 

A: Vincent, Don McClean.


Q: What is your favourite film? 

A: Anything with Indiana Jones in the title.


Q: What is your favourite curse word

A: Shitebag.


Q: What sound or noise do you love? 

A: My children gently snoring.


Q: What sound or noise do you hate? 

A: An out-of-tune guitar.


Q: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? 

A: Astronomer.


Q: What profession would you not like to do? 

A: Undertaker.


Q: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? 

A: Please, come in. You did okay.


Q: Any words of encouragement for writers and writing?

A: Keep going. Read widely. Try not to take rejections too seriously. Pay it forward.


Thank you for participating, Jamie



Thursday, 15 April 2021

NEW FOR 2021 - A DOZEN QUESTIONS - SPECIAL GUEST: NESS OWEN

 A DOZEN QUESTIONS

Special Guest: Ness Owen

Ness Owen is a Welsh poet from Ynys Mon. Her work has been widely published in journals and anthologies including in Planet Magazine, Mslexia, Red Poets, Poetry Wales, Atlanta Review, Culture Matters. Her first collection Mamiaith (Mother Tongue) was published by Arachne Press in 2019. https://arachnepress.com/books/poetry/mamiaith-by-ness-owen/  ;
Twitter @ness_owen


Q: What is your favourite word? 

A: First English word that sprang into my mind was 'mottled'. I like the sound of it it. The first Welsh word was 'crwydro' which means to wander.

Q: What is your least favourite word? 

A: Normal.

Q: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? 

A: I often get inspired when I'm walking. Usually when I'm wandering along - following my nose and mulling over ideas.

Q: What turns you off? 

A: People who like listening to themselves a little too much.

Q: What is your favourite song? 

A: Love Cats - The Cure / Mor o Gariad - Meic Stevens

Q: What is your favourite film? 

A: I seem to have watched 'Paul' an awful lot lately but I'd be quite happy to see it again so I imagine it is one of my favourites.

Q: What is your favourite curse word?

A: I have far too many. I probably say bollocks far too often.

Q: What sound or noise do you love? 

A: I love to hear and try and recognise different birdsongs. 

Q: What sound or noise do you hate? 

A: Grinding teeth.

Q: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? 

A: I would like to take great photos.

Q: What profession would you not like to do? 

A: Anything that would require me to sit perfectly still. I'm a compulsive fidget. 

Q: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? 

A: Croeso! (Welcome)

Q: Any words of encouragement for writers and writing?

A: Spend time with your work, believe in your work and support other writers.

Thank you for participating, Ness.